New Briquetted Iron Plant for East Toledo, OH

June 19, 2017

A $700 million manufacturing plant is set to break ground next year in East Toledo, Ohio. The construction of the plant will employ 1,200 workers, according to a report on

Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. is building the plant to produce hot briquetted iron (HBI) used in steelmaking, and production will begin in 2020.

"We got a site in the Port of Toledo that is extremely convenient," Goncalves said. "It is close to the clients and has easy access. Logistically, it is an extremely positive site for us receiving iron pellets from Minnesota to produce the HBI, or hot briquetted iron."

HBI is used in an electric arc furnace as part of the steelmaking process and produces a higher grade steel. Currently, HBI isn't produced in the Midwest and area steelmakers primarily rely on scrap metal with some pig iron Russia and Venezuela

"It will be the first HBI facility in the Midwest and the first one in the Great Lakes," Goncalves said. "We think of this as a great market opportunity that has been present for a long, long time, and now we can do it because in order to produce hot briquetted iron you need two things: iron ore, which we have plenty of, and affordable natural gas, which is something relatively new in the Midwest since the shale boom made natural gas affordable in the Great Lakes."