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Monday | 31 January, 2011 | 3:09 am

Positive impact

By Lauren Duensing

January 2011 - A grant from the U.S. Department of Energy is helping ArcelorMittal achieve significant energy and environmental benefits at its Indiana Harbor facility in East Chicago, Ind.

The DOE awarded the facility a matching grant of $31.6 million in November 2009 under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for ArcelorMittal's Energy Recovery & Reuse: 504 Boiler Project. The project will transfer blast-furnace gas from a flare to a newly constructed boiler to co-generate steam and electricity. The grant is the only one given in Indiana and was one of only nine projects nationwide to receive funds for an industrial technology project, according to the company.

The Indiana Harbor facility is the largest steel-making facility in North America, covering more than 3,100 acres, according to ArcelorMittal. The facility operates five blast furnaces, which transform iron ore, coke, limestone and scrap into finished steel. It has a raw steel-making capability of 9.5 million tons annually.

The $63.2 million boiler project involves modifications to the existing No. 5 boilerhouse to add a high-efficiency, energy-recovery, blast-furnace, gas-fired boiler that nearly will eliminate flaring of blast-furnace gas, according to the company.

Representatives from ArcelorMittal and the DOE held a groundbreaking ceremony for the project in October.

"The Indiana Energy Harbor Recovery and Reuse project marks a critical investment in ArcelorMittal Indiana Harbor and the future of steel-making in this country," Andy Harshaw, executive vice president of operations with ArcelorMittal USA, said in a press release. "This critical project will help ensure the sustainability of steel-making in Northwest Indiana for years to come."

Multiple benefits
ArcelorMittal's boiler project will bring about numerous energy and environmental benefits. The company expects the new boiler to generate 350,000 pounds of steam per hour that it will use to produce 38 megawatts of electricity on-site. This is roughly the same amount of electricity required to power 30,000 homes annually, according to ArcelorMittal.

The project also will reduce the facility's greenhouse gas emissions annually by 340,000 tons, which is equivalent to removing roughly 62,000 cars off the road.

ArcelorMittal also will impact East Chicago and the surrounding region by creating jobs related to the boiler project. The design, construction and manufacture of equipment will create 360 jobs, and the company will employ 200 local trades people for roughly 18 months. The project also will preserve 5,900 direct and 26,800 indirect skilled workers.

"This Recovery Act project demonstrates a continued commitment to ensuring that our steelworkers have stable employment and that the Northwest Indiana steel industry stays strong," congressman Pete Visclosky, D-Ind., said in a press release. "With annual energy savings that are equivalent to removing 62,000 cars from the road, the Indiana Harbor Energy Recovery and Reuse project will protect our environment and help keep our local steel industry competitive in the global marketplace." MM

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