Maritime Economic Development: Toledo

Toledo: Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. to Locate HBI Production Plant at Port Authority’s Ironville Terminal

The Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority announced June 15 that Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. will locate its first hot briquetted iron (HBI) production plant at Ironville Terminal in East Toledo.

Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. will lease approximately 100 acres on the east side of the site from the terminal operator, Midwest Terminals of Toledo. Existing infrastructure and material handling capabilities met the company’s requirements. Construction will start in early 2018, with HBI production to begin in mid-2020.

Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. will take delivery of about 2.0 million tons of iron annually, generating about 100 vessel calls. About 1.6 million tons of finished HBI will be railed from the facility annually.

The port authority estimates the $700 million project could create up to 130 permanent jobs and more than 1,200 construction jobs. It was made possible by partnerships between the port authority, JobsOhio, Midwest Terminals of Toledo, City of Toledo, Lucas County, Regional Growth Partnership, and the Ohio Rail Development Commission.

"We are excited to add to the already substantial economic impact the Port of Toledo has on this region," said Paul Toth, the port authority’s president and chief executive officer. "We acquired Ironville with the intention of locating a large-scale industrial user on the site who required marine and rail capabilities, and we truly feel this project is the perfect match for the remaining portion of the site."

Ironville Terminal, formerly known as the Chevron property, was purchased in 2008 by the Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority and leased long term to Midwest Terminals of Toledo. Midwest Terminal currently handles rail ballast stone, and other products at the site.

Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. is a mining and natural resources company and a major supplier of iron ore pellets to the North American steel industry from mines and pellet plants in Michigan and Minnesota. Cliffs also operates an iron ore mining complex in Western Australia.

An overview of Ironville Terminal showing the location of the future Cliffs facility
Photo/Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority