Steel News

Ohio HBI Plant to Begin Producing by Year’s End 

8/6/2020 - After being forced to take a pandemic-related time-out on its hot briquetted iron (HBI) plant, Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. has resumed construction and aims to have 400 contractors on-site by mid-month, the company has said. 

In an update on the project, the company said most major systems have been fully installed, and commissioning has been ongoing where possible. 

“Electrical work is in progress on the (core process units), and pellet handling system and mechanical work is underway on the HBI loadout. Once a pipeline is relocated, we can complete all work on the rail system,” the company said. 

The plant, which is based on MIDREX technology, will be capable of producing 1.9 million metric tons annually. The company had planned to start the plant this summer, but the pandemic, along with the public health measures put in place as a result of it, have disrupted the timeline. 

The company now expects start-up to occur on the fourth quarter. 

“Despite the new COVID-related restrictions on the number of workers allowed on-site, we (expect) to start producing HBI before the end of this year. The intensified demand for locally sourced, ore-based metallics means finding a way to restart construction sooner rather than later, a top priority for us over the last couple of months,” Cleveland-Cliffs chief executive Lourenco Goncalves said during the company’s second-quarter earnings call.