October 02, 2017 10:52 PM
"It's a reminder that failure does happen," is how Tom Clarke describes the half-built site in Nashwauk. But his plans to move the former Essar project to completion are full speed ahead, now that Governor Dayton has said the state will continue to support those efforts.
On Monday, Clarke spent the day with elected and community leaders, thanking them for their support.
Saturday was a big day for he, Chippewa Capital Partners, and the team. "On that day, we reached an agreement with a Chinese company for our pellets. So we sent that commitment to the state," he said. That agreement was a letter of intent, and they still have more negotiations to complete.
That progress, along with making key payments to contractors, are factors listed by Dayton in continuing the state's support, and use of the state's mineral leases.
"We know there have been a lot of promises and commitments. We thought the best way to show the commitment is to pay the contractors $39.5 million dollars on Friday," Clarke said. Some vendors have waited years for millions of dollars.
Some of those contractors will likely be back at the site once work ramps back up. Kiewit has been engaged to be the construction manager general contractor.
"There will be 700 people on site in March, for the pellet plant. And 300 more for the HBI plant," Clarke told us.
It will be a new era for that site, for a new era in the steel industry. As for a new name? They don't have one quite yet.
As for Magnetation, which Clarke also controls, it will be longer before they can restart Plant 4 in Grand Rapids. They continue to focus on figuring out permitting issues with their pellet plant in Reynolds, Indiana.
Updated: October 02, 2017 10:52 PM
Created: October 02, 2017 07:49 PM
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