The project produces 333,000 MWh of
electricity per year, providing significant energy and environmental
benefits to ArcelorMittal and the Northwest Indiana region.
For nearly three months, ArcelorMittal Indiana Harbor has been
recycling blast furnace gas to produce high pressure steam used to power
the facility. On 17 December 2012, representatives from ArcelorMittal
and the United Steelworkers joined together with Gil Sperling, Senior
Advisor, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy within the US
Department of Energy (DOE), and various local and state officials to
officially commission the 'energy recovery and reuse 504 boiler
'ArcelorMittal is proud to have safely completed the project - one of
only nine projects selected by the U.S. Department of Energy for
critical funding,' said Wendell Carter, vice president and general
manager, ArcelorMittal Indiana Harbor. 'Investments such as the DOE
funding ensure the sustainability of steelmaking in Northwest Indiana,
while supporting our commitments to energy efficiency and superior
ArcelorMittal Indiana Harbor is the largest steel mill in North
America and home to no. 7 blast furnace, the largest blast furnace in
the United States. Approximately 78 per cent of the blast furnace gas
that is generated by the blast furnace is used for heating stoves at no.
7 and for making steam at no. 5 boiler house. Until recently, the
remaining 22 per cent, or 46bn cubic feet (ft3), of blast furnace gas per year was wasted when it was flared (ignited and exhausted) into the atmosphere.
Increase own power generation while reducing emissions
In an effort to displace purchased electric energy and reduce overall
greenhouse gas emissions, ArcelorMittal researched and identified an
opportunity to transfer blast furnace gas from a flare at no. 7 blast
furnace to a new boiler capable of generating steam and electricity. In
November 2009, ArcelorMittal Indiana Harbor was awarded a matching grant
of US$31.6m from the U.S. Department of Energy, under the American
Recovery and Reinvestment Act, for its proposed energy recovery and
reuse 504 boiler project.
The US$63.2m project involved the construction of a new water system
and modifications to the existing no. 5 boiler house to add a high
efficiency, energy recovery BFG-fired boiler that practically eliminates
flaring of blast furnace gas. The new boiler is located adjacent to and
interconnected with the existing no. 5 boiler house. Existing equipment
at no. 5 boiler house continues to operate as it has for many years,
while the new boiler provides additional capacity to consume blast
furnace gas and generate steam.
'The project is a major step forward for Northwest Indiana jobs,'
said US Congressman Pete Visclosky (D-IN). 'With the new boiler, the
facility will improve its internal power generation, reduce carbon
emissions, and provide a reliable source of electric power for a lower
price. Each of these efficiencies will improve competitiveness, which
means good-paying jobs for Northwest Indiana workers. I thank the City
of East Chicago, Mayor Anthony Copeland, Representative Earl Harris,
Senator Lonnie Randolph, the United Steelworkers, ArcelorMittal, and the
U.S. Department of Energy for their unrelenting efforts to bring this
project to completion.'
During the peak of construction, the
project employed approximately 200 local trades' people, as well as
countless jobs at the companies that supplied the boiler and related
equipment. There were more than 400 separate purchase orders issued by
ArcelorMittal on this project, all with companies operating within the
United States. More than one third of the total project cost was spent
on suppliers located in the Northwest Indianaâ€“Chicagoland region.
The energy recovery and reuse 504 boiler project provides the following benefits:
- Uses 46bn ft3 of waste blast furnace gases to generate 350,000lbs. of steam per hour
- Generates 333,000MWh of power a year, which is equivalent to the electricity needs of about 30,000 homes
- Reduces CO2 emissions by 340,000 tons a year
- Saves the facility nearly US$20m in energy costs, which has the effect of lowering the production costs of steel by US$5 per ton
- Enhances the competitiveness of the plant, which directly
employs approximately 6,000 and supports an additional 26,800 indirect
With support from the DOE grant, along with 50 per cent from capital
investments of ArcelorMittal, the return on investment is 29 per cent
and simple payback - the amount of time it will take to recover the
initial investment - is 1.58 years.