Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. announced that it chose a site in Toledo to invest $700 million for its first hot briquetted iron (HBI) production plant in the Great Lakes Region. Cliffs, a Fortune 1,000 company headquartered in Cleveland, is a mining and natural resources company.
This plant will have the capacity to produce 1.6 million tons of HBI per year to support the steel market. HBI is a form of direct reduced iron (DRI) used in electric arc furnaces (EAF) as a supplement to scrap metal. This is only the third DRI plant in the United States. Ohio’s strategic location, competitive business climate and abundance of low-cost natural energy helped land the project over other Great Lakes states where Cliffs has existing iron ore mines.
JobsOhio President and Chief Investment Officer John Minor said the site, the Toledo Ironville Terminal, is a great location for this first direct reduced iron project in the Great Lakes Region.
“JobsOhio, along with our regional partner RGP, the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority and the City of Toledo are looking forward to supporting Cliffs as they construct this landmark facility that will create 130 permanent jobs and more than 1,200 construction jobs over the next two years," Minor said.
Lourenco Goncalves, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Cliffs, said, “Today’s announcement marks a very important strategic milestone for Cliffs as we begin to implement our plans to be the sole producer of high-quality HBI for the EAF steel market in the Great Lakes region. We thank Gov. John Kasich, JobsOhio and a number of local partners in the Toledo community for their efforts to help advance this project, including an offer of approximately $30 million in grants and other financial incentives. We will continue to work closely with the state of Ohio through the environmental permitting process, and are excited to bring a significant number of high-paying jobs to Ohio.”
Cliffs anticipates breaking ground for the construction of the HBI production plant in early 2018 and beginning operations in mid-2020.