Archived Story

Developers give update on proposed steel mill

Published 9:31am Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Developers of a proposed electric arc steel mill to be located on acreage near Hanging Rock say the project remains on track.

At its Tuesday work session Lawrence County Commissioners heard a progress report on the project from John Schultes of New Steel International, the developers of the plant.

“It is looking very, very good,” Schultes said.

Recently the developers completed a feasibility study that they had tried to get local financial backing for this past fall.

The goal of the mill would be to produce steel and energy, which would be sold to a utility.

“Super high quality steel with low emissions,” Schultes said.

There has yet to be a power purchase agreement but a large utility is interested in purchasing the energy that would come from the production of the steel, he said.

“They need certainties from Ohio regulators,” Schultes told the commissioners. “Once we have a purchase agreement with a utility, the rest of the project goes easily.”

When the mill is in full operation, developers anticipate it creating 1,500 jobs.

“We will still need money to keep going,” Schultes said. “We will have to ask you to help us at some point.”

After the work session Commission President Bill Pratt said the county would support the project in most ways that it can.

“As far as financially, I’m not sure what they are asking,” Pratt said. “We certainly are willing to listen to what they propose.”

Also at the work session Dr. Bill Dingus, executive director of the Lawrence Economic Development Corp., gave an update on a proposal to combine the Ironton and county port authorities.

This past Thursday Ironton City Council had the first reading on the ordinance to dissolve the city port authority.

“(Ironton City Council) as a whole seems to be comfortable with that,” Dingus said.

The new port authority, if created, would be governed by a nine-member board, including members of the city agency.

“It is important for a community if it looks like it is together,” Dingus said. “This will help in that effort.”

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