Cleveland-Cliffs seeks federal funding for carbon capture project at Burns Harbor plant

December 8, 2022

Cleveland-Cliffs Inc. announced it will seek federal funding to construct a carbon capture project at its Burns Harbor plant.

The company said submitted an application to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations for funding to design a large-scale project that would capture up to 2.8 million tons of carbon dioxide per year from the facility’s blast furnace.

Through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the DoE has about $3.5 billion allocated to fund clean energy demonstration projects, including $2.5 billion for carbon capture projects that would improve the efficiency of and reduce emissions from coal and natural gas-powered facilities, and $937 million for large-scale carbon capture pilot programs.

Cleveland-Cliffs said, if approved, the cost of the project would be shared by the company and the federal government, with each paying 50%.

The project would be possible in the state of Indiana due to a law passed earlier this year allowing companies to store carbon dioxide underground as long as they received the proper permitting from the state and a Class VI well permit from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA permit requires a lengthy approval process.

The EPA is still processing a Class VI permit for a carbon capture and sequestration pilot project in Vigo County approved by lawmakers in 2019.

Cleveland-Cliffs said its own project would be completed within 24 months after construction starts.

The company has pledged a 25% reduction in its greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and recently signed a 15-year agreement to purchase 180 megawatts of energy from the Headwaters III wind farm in Randolph County.

“A key priority of Cleveland-Cliffs’ greenhouse gas reduction strategy revolves around the efficient use of energy and clean energy. We are committed to the greening of the grid through renewable energy projects such as the Headwaters III Wind Farm,” said Lourenco Goncalves, chairman, president and CEO of Cleveland-Cliffs. “This project is another step towards achieving Cleveland-Cliffs’ emission reduction goal of 25% by 2030 and will advance our portfolio of renewable energy initiatives that are additive to the power grid.”

Cleveland-Cliffs became the largest producer of flat-rolled steel in North America after it acquired ArcelorMittal USA in 2020 in a $1.4 billion deal.

Cleveland-Cliffs seeks federal funding for carbon capture project at Burns Harbor plant