Steel Dynamics Announces First Production of Mesabi Nuggets
Jan 13, 2010 14:31:00 (ET)
FORT WAYNE, Ind., Jan 13, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Steel Dynamics, Inc. (STLD, Trade ) today announced the production on January 12, 2010, of the first batch of iron nuggets at the Mesabi Nugget facility at Hoyt Lakes, Minnesota.
Utilizing the ITmk3(R) process developed by Kobe Steel, the plant began commissioning in the fourth quarter of 2009. By the end of December 2009, all individual production systems were operational, and ready for the integration of the overall process to produce nuggets. Today's announcement marks a milestone in that this is the world's first commercial production of nuggets using the ITmk3 process. The process has the potential, ultimately, to revolutionize ironmaking, and indirectly, steelmaking.
Steel Dynamics has built the Minnesota nugget plant in cooperation with Kobe Steel Ltd. of Japan, which has licensed the technology and provided equipment and technical support. Steel Dynamics, with 81 percent ownership, is responsible for operation of the plant and expects to utilize a substantial portion of the plant's output as feedstock for SDI's electric-arc furnace mini mills in Indiana. The start-up marks the completion of two years of construction.
"I salute all those who have worked so hard to bring this exciting project to fruition, including Kobe Steel and the State of Minnesota, as well as the Mesabi Nugget team led by Mark Millett, and numerous employees of Iron Dynamics, who have contributed engineering and operational expertise to the project," said Keith Busse, Chairman and CEO. "We will now continue to ramp up nugget production, seeking to reach the anticipated capacity-rate of 500,000 tonnes per year by mid-year. We expect to begin utilizing Mesabi nuggets at our Flat Roll mill during the first quarter."