October 21, 2017 12:14 PM
Northshore Mining has been making direct-reduced (DR) grade pellets for years at the plant in Silver Bay. But because the plant was not built for that type of production, it's not as efficient as it could be. But that is going to change, when Cleveland-Cliffs invests $75 million dollars into the plant in the next two years.
CEO Lourenco Goncalves explained more. "We make about 100,000 tons a year now of DR pellets. After the change, we'll be able to produce a massive amount of DR grade pellets. 2.5 million tons a year. That's enough to supply our own facility in Toledo, Ohio."
He's referring to the $700 million dollar HBI (Hot Briquetted Iron) facility that they have planned for Ohio. "We have made a great deal of progress. We have lined up numerous commitments from third-party providers, and have begun staffing with a team of some of our most talented internal employees, along with more expertise from the outside."
Work has already begun on the Northshore project, and the plan is to have it completed by mid-2019.
Also on Friday, Goncalves said that one of their customers does not need as many pellets as planned this year, so that will affect them. He said the problem of steel imports is to blame, and called out the government for the Section 232 investigation that has been started, but not finished. He did say that he sees China become less of a problem with the dumped steel, because the Chinese government is restricting steel output.
Still, he added that 2017 has been a good year, and 2018 is shaping up to be good as well.
Updated: October 21, 2017 12:14 PM
Created: October 20, 2017 03:54 PM
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