Cleveland-Cliffs to idle blast furnace at Indiana Harbor facility

Cleveland-Cliffs to idle blast furnace.
Cleveland-Cliffs to idle blast furnace.(Cleveland-Cliffs)
Published: Feb. 21, 2022 at 6:54 PM CST
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CLEVELAND, OH (CBS 3 Duluth) -- Cleveland-Cliffs announced Monday it will indefinitely idle its number 4 blast furnace at the Indiana Harbor facility.

According to the officials, this decision was made following operational improvements, including adding hot-briquetted iron (HBI) to blast furnaces and increasing the use of scrap.

The number 4 blast furnace has a production capacity of 2.1 million net tons of hot metal per year. Cliffs said it expects to stop production within the next two months.

As for the employees who work there, the company said they will be moved to other positions within the facility and no jobs will be lost.

Cleveland-Cliffs President and CEO, Lourenco Goncalves, commented on the changes in a statement Monday.

“By concentrating the operation and maximizing productivity at IH#7 (Indiana Harbor’s blast furnace 7) we are improving our carbon footprint and, at the same time, lowering our cost structure for the same level of steel production and shipments. Most importantly, as we have enough job openings on-site for all impacted employees, we are now able to fill several available job openings at Indiana Harbor Works with the current workforce of IH#4,” said Goncalves.

Earlier this month, Cleveland-Cliffs announced it would be temporarily idling its Northshore Mining facilities in May, impacting about 400 employees.

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