Cleveland-Cliffs broke ground on a new plant that will produce 2.48 million tons of custom hot-briquetted iron (HBI). The plant, situated at the Port of Toledo on Lake Erie, will be operational in mid-2020.
The new Toledo facility will be the only producer of customized feedstock for the domestic electric arc furnace steelmakers in the Great Lakes region, according to the company.
CEO Lourenco Goncalves told the event's attendees that he promised the East Toledo facility will be “the most environmentally compliant plant in the world.”
Unlike other HBI producers in the world who disregard their environments, Goncalves said the East Toledo plant will be “fully enclosed” and emit no air pollution while all water drawn into it from the Maumee River will be treated on-site and recirculated, not discharged.
The iron briquettes will be used by area steel mills, including North Star BlueScope Steel LLC in Delta, Ohio, to make automotive body parts and other products. Currently, commercial quality pig iron and HBI products are imported from Ukraine, Russia and South America.
The Toledo plant will employ 130 people at an average salary of $90,000.