Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Energy Department, ArcelorMittal Partnership Boosts Efficiency of Major Steel Manufacturing Plant

On December 17, 2012 Senior Advisor in the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Gil Sperling, joined local officials and company representatives for the ribbon cutting ceremony and tour of the ArcelorMittal steel manufacturing plant in East Chicago, Indiana. ArcelorMittal unveiled a new, energy recovery and reuse boiler that recycles waste gas generated through its ironmaking process and uses it to generate electricity to help power the plant.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) awarded ArcelorMittal $31.6 million for their boiler project under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), which was matched by the company. The company expects this energy recovery boiler to generate 333,000 megawatt hours of power annually of its own electricity, the equivalent of powering 30,000 American homes per year, and to save the facility nearly $20 million in energy costs each year. Senior Advisor Sperling highlighted the Obama Administration’s all-of-the-above strategy to strengthen U.S. competitiveness in clean energy manufacturing.

“Through investments in energy-saving technologies, such as innovative energy recovery and reuse systems, the Administration is taking steps to strengthen American manufacturing and boosting energy efficiency for businesses across the nation,” said Senior Advisor Sperling. “Cutting-edge energy efficiency projects help businesses cut costs, increase efficiency, and create strong, middle class jobs.”

An estimated 360 jobs were supported by the design, construction and manufacturing of the equipment for the project, most significantly the new boiler, which was made in Erie, Pennsylvania by Indeck Keystone Energy.  The project also employed 200 local construction workers at the plant site.  In addition, the new boiler makes the Indiana Harbor plant, the largest steel manufacturing facility in North America, more competitive in the global steel market.  Indiana Harbor employs approximately 6,000 workers.
Signed in August, the Executive Order builds on important steps the Administration has taken to scale up private sector investments in energy efficiency in our homes, buildings and factories with efforts like the Better Buildings Initiative.  The efforts outlined in the Executive Order could save manufacturers as much as $100 billion in energy costs over the next decade, improving their bottom lines and strengthening U.S. manufacturing competitiveness.

In addition, the Executive Order establishes a new national goal of 40 gigawatts of new combined heat and power (CHP) capacity – industrial waste heat capture systems – by 2020, a 50 percent increase from today. Meeting this goal would save American industry $10 billion per year, could result in between $40 billion to $80 billion in new capital investment in manufacturing and other facilities that would create American jobs, and would reduce emissions equivalent to 25 million cars.

The Energy Department’s advanced manufacturing R&D program, through the Innovative Manufacturing Initiative, also invests in next-generation technologies that have the potential to revolutionize conventional manufacturing processes down the road.  In partnership with the steel industry, DOE recently initiated a novel ironmaking project that will develop a process that sprays iron ore directly into the furnace chamber and uses natural gas or hydrogen as a reducing agent to replace the energy and capital intensive coke oven and blast furnace process steps - significantly reducing the energy costs, carbon footprint, production time, and capital and operating costs. 

The Energy Department's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy accelerates development and facilitates deployment of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies and market-based solutions that strengthen U.S. energy security, environmental quality, and economic vitality. Find out more about the Department's work to partner with industry, small business, universities, and other stakeholders to identify and invest in advanced manufacturing technologies with the potential to create high-quality domestic jobs and enhance the global competitiveness of the United States. And learn more about the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership, a government-wide effort to transform advanced manufacturing in the United States.
The Indiana Harbor Steel Mill encompasses about 3,400 acres of land
The total cost of the proposed project would be about $63.2 million. ArcelorMittal’s project involves construction and operation of a blast furnace gas recovery boiler to capture and use 46 billion cubic feet of blast furnace gas per year.
Prior to the new boiler, ArcelorMittal burned about 22% of the blast furnace gas from Indiana Harbor operations before releasing it to the atmosphere through an exhaust stack, a process called flaring. The company used the remaining 78% of the gas to power boilers. The new boiler project further reduces the amount of waste gas that is flared.
ArcelorMittal estimates the cost of preconstruction activities would be $13.1 million, and procurement, construction, and start-up cost would be an additional $50.1 million for a total cost of $63.2 million (ArcelorMittal undated). The estimated total direct earnings would be about $17.2 million. The effect of the total earnings impact by ArcelorMittal would be about $27.4 million in the region. Much of the construction-related spending would directly benefit the suppliers of equipment for the plant and the vendors who would provide materials and services for manufacture of the equipment. The 200 indirect jobs would include employees these companies would retain or hire.


U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) www.energy.gov
Press Release dated December 17, 2012

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