Steelmaker gets $32 million in stimulus dollars
Steelmaker gets $32 million to produce energy from waste gas
By Bowdeya Tweh - bowdeya.tweh@nwi.com, (219) 933-3316 | Posted: Friday, November 6, 2009 12:00 am

ArcelorMittal is receiving nearly $32 million from a U.S. Department of Energy grant to fund an industrial energy efficiency project at Indiana Harbor East in East Chicago.

The project will install a new recovery boiler to use blast furnace gas generated from iron-making operations to produce electricity and steam on site. The company says the efficient boiler will capture emissions through flaring from the No. 7 blast furnace. The project is expected to help lower energy costs and per ton production costs by using about 46 billion cubic feet of gas that is flared annually.

Michael Rippey, ArcelorMittal USA's president and chief executive officer, said in a statement the project is vital at Indiana Harbor and the energy saved each year can generate enough electricity to power 30,000 homes for a year. Rippey also said the "funding for this critical project will ensure the sustainability of steelmaking in Northwest Indiana for years to come."

The No. 7 blast furnace can produce up to 11,500 tons of hot metal daily, which is the largest production capacity in North America. The blast furnace was built in 1980 and had major renovations in 2003.

The system's startup is expected no later than March 2012.

ArcelorMittal's $31.6 million grant was the only project funded in Indiana and it was the largest award among the more than $155 million in projects the Energy Department funded. The department granted money to 41 projects around the country using stimulus funds. The grants will be leveraged with $634 million in private industry cost sharing.

The industrial sector uses more than 30 percent of U.S. energy and is responsible for nearly 30 percent of U.S. carbon emissions, Energy Secretary Steven Chu said Tuesday.

U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., and U.S. Rep. Pete Visclosky, D-Ind. commended ArcelorMittal and the Energy Department of recognizing the company's efforts in striving to be more energy efficient.

"This Recovery Act grant marks a commitment to Northwest Indiana's steelworkers," Visclosky said. "The project will create jobs now, greatly increase energy efficiency in the steelmaking process and help ensure the competitiveness and viability of Northwest Indiana's steelworkers for years to come.

"I am proud to see the Recovery Act advance this job-creating effort with long-term energy and economic benefits for the region, and commend ArcelorMittal and the Department of Energy for their commitment to Northwest Indiana."


POSTED - 11/06/2009 10:25

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