Thursday, September 18, 2008 By Aaron Brown
Groundbreaking ceremony is Friday for $1.6 billion Minnesota Steel Plant to be built near NashwaukThe DNT's assessment says this has been 11 years in the making, but the concept of turning ore to steel at the old Butler site has been kicking around in some form for nearly my entire life since shortly after Butler closed in 1982.
Duluth News Tribune
Thursday, September 18, 2008
What: Groundbreaking for Minnesota Steel plant
Where: North of Nashwauk, near the former Butler Taconite plant
When: Noon Friday
Operations: Facility would be the first in the state to produce slab steel. It would include a new taconite plant, a direct-reduced iron facility and slab mill.
Projected cost: $1.6 billion
Employment: 700 production workers at full capacity
Output: 2.5 million tons per year at full capacity
Construction: Expected to provide work for about 2,000 construction workers
Timeline: Plant could begin production by 2012.
Lead time: The project has been in development for more than 11 years.
Dignitaries: Madhu Vuppuluri, president and CEO of Essar Steel Minnesota LLC; Iron Range legislators, city and county representatives at groundbreaking. Gov. Tim Pawlenty to speak afterward at luncheon between 1:30 and 2 p.m.
Directions: Take Highway 65 north. Turn left on Itasca County Road 58 and go 2.7 miles. Groundbreaking ceremony will take place on the south side of the road.
The governor is speaking at a reception in Grand Rapids after the Friday shovels n' speeches event, but I've learned of a counter-reception being held at the Nashwauk Rec Center. Many of the local officials not on the VIP list are going there, as are some of the more -- uh, shall we say, proletarian -- VIPs.