A headshot picture of Corinna Petry smiling
From the Editor
By Corinna Petry
Curbing Carbon

ne door closes. Another one opens. Cleveland-Cliffs will indefinitely idle its Indiana Harbor blast furnace No. 4 within a couple months. Its decision results from the operational improvements gained by adding significant amounts of hot-briquetted iron to the burden of blast furnaces and by maximizing scrap usage in basic oxygen furnaces.

Employees working at the No. 4 furnace will be reassigned to other positions within Indiana Harbor Works. Cliffs says it has jobs available throughout Indiana Harbor as normal operations continue, including its two steel shops, the hot strip mill, all finishing facilities plus Riverdale Works.

With both Indiana Harbor blast furnaces Nos. 3 and 4 indefinitely idled, all downstream operations, including Riverdale Works, will be supplied exclusively by Indiana Harbor’s No. 7 blast furnace.

When the No. 4 furnace—which has a production capacity of 2.1 million tons of liquid steel per year—ceases production, the number of operational blast furnaces in Cliffs’ footprint will decrease from eight to seven. The company does not expect any change to full-year 2022 steel shipment volumes as a result of the idling of No. 4.

By using both in-house produced HBI and additional scrap, Cliffs has reduced its reliance on coke and consequently lowered CO2 emissions, said Lourenco Goncalves, Cliffs’ chairman, president and CEO. The steel complex will “still be able to produce similar amounts of crude steel with fewer blast furnaces.”

[cliffs will] be able to produce similar amounts of crude steel with fewer blast furnaces.

lourenco goncalves, cleveland-cliffs
Up north, the provincial government of Ontario has pledged to invest $500 million in ArcelorMittal Dofasco’s $1.8 billion project to replace coal-fed coke ovens and blast furnaces with EAFs. This project will transform the province into a producer of green steel that will boost its auto parts supply chain and skilled workforce in communities with deep roots in steel manufacturing to help meet growing demand for low-carbon auto production.

The move to a hydrogen-ready direct-reduced iron-fed EAF at Dofasco’s Hamilton Works will take advantage of Ontario’s clean electricity supply to eliminate the use of coal and coke from Dofasco’s steelmaking process, which is one of the largest sources of GHG emissions in Ontario. The project is designed to cut CO2 emissions by about 3 million metric tons a year.

“This investment puts us on a path to low-carbon, sustainable steel and is possible only through partnership with government,” said Dofasco President and CEO Ron Bedard, noting that the company explored various options for making Hamilton Works much more sustainable for the environment, employees, customers and the community.

“ArcelorMittal Dofasco Hamilton will be the first integrated steel mill in North America to transition off coal,” said David Piccini, Ontario’s minister of environment, conservation and parks.

Dofasco has produced steel in Hamilton for more than 100 years.

In other good news, a new funding formula to repair or replace deteriorating U.S. bridges was unveiled in January, so states, counties and municipalities are bringing forth plans to make transportation safer. Please see Page 22 for the cover story on this development.

Let’s all pray for an end to hostilities in Eastern Europe.