HBI facility receives permit from Ohio EPA

The Toledo, Ohio, facility will be capable of producing nearly 2.5 million tons of HBI per year.

The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued a final air emissions permit-to-install to IronUnits LLC, which will allow the company to build an iron briquette manufacturing facility in Toledo, Ohio. When operational, the facility will be capable of producing nearly 2.5 million tons per year of hot briquetted iron (HBI) using a gas-based direct reduction process supplied by Charlotte, North Carolina-based Midrex Technologies.

IronUnits is a subsidiary of Cleveland-Cliffs Inc., a steel industry raw materials supplier based in Cleveland.

The permits include conditions limiting the total maximum air emissions, including carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, particulate matter and greenhouse gas pollutants.

The decision to issue the permit followed the Ohio EPA and the Toledo Division of Environmental Services conducting a public meeting about the project in January 2017. Public comments received during the open meeting and during the public comment period were reviewed and considered before a final decision was made, according to the Ohio EPA.

Permits from Ohio EPA’s Division of Surface Water also are needed before the company can begin physical construction of the facility.

The company hopes to break ground on the facility by May 2018 with commercial operations starting around the middle of 2020. The facility will use taconite pellets as a raw material.