Our Commitment to Energy Efficiency

Energy plays a large role in Cleveland-Cliffs’ operations, impacting both the financial and environmental costs of making steel. As a large energy consumer in one of the most energy-intensive industries, we are committed to developing energy efficiency innovations and partnerships within the steel industry. The following is a list of several key energy projects already underway at Cleveland-Cliffs.

Cleveland-Cliffs is proud to be an ENERGY STAR® Industrial Partner. Through this voluntary program, we are working with the U.S. EPA to strengthen our energy programs and energy efficiency in our operations.

Burns Harbor Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS) Study — DOE-Funded Project

Burns Harbor Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS) Study — DOE-Funded Project

In 2020, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) funded several innovative projects supporting industrial decarbonization research efforts, including a research project at our Burns Harbor, Indiana facility.

Through this project, the initial engineering design will be completed for a system to capture 50 to 70% of the CO2 emissions from the available blast furnace gas at Burns Harbor. The project aims to design a cost-competitive, technically viable, industrial-scale system capable of capturing up to 2 million tons of CO2 per year. The study will also examine available carbon sequestration opportunities. If successful, this study could help advance carbon reduction opportunities for the integrated steel industry.

Commitment to Fund Hydrogen Project at Toledo Direct Reduction Plant

Commitment to Fund Hydrogen Project at Toledo Direct Reduction Plant

To further reduce our GHG footprint at our new state-of-the-art Direct Reduction Plant, we have committed to partnering with hydrogen producers to evaluate the partial replacement of natural gas with hydrogen when it becomes commercially available in quantities sufficient to support our facility.

Without any modifications to the plant’s configuration, we could replace up to 30% of the plant’s natural gas consumption with hydrogen to reduce GHG emissions by approximately 450,000 metric tons per year. With additional equipment modifications and capital investments, we would be able to increase hydrogen usage up to 70% and reduce over 1 million metric tons of GHG emissions per year.

Cleveland Powerhouse

Cleveland Powerhouse

At our Cleveland Works in Cleveland, Ohio we are upgrading one of the facility’s powerhouses to significantly improve the facility’s ability to generate electricity. The installation of a new steam turbine generator will maximize the facility’s self-generated electricity by capturing and utilizing blast furnace gas to make steam and electricity for beneficial re-use.

Through this project, the Cleveland facility will reduce its dependency on grid electricity by approximately 51 megawatt-hours (MWh). While this steel mill is already one of the most efficient and productive integrated steelmaking operations in the world, this project will further improve its energy efficiency and reduce its environmental footprint, complementing its world-class steel production and technological capabilities.

Spotlight: Cogeneration

Many of our steel and coke production plants send byproduct blast furnace and coke oven gases to on-site power plants to recover heat and energy. Our Burns Harbor operation is currently executing a multi-year capital investment project to rebuild its powerhouse. The powerhouse is designed to use byproduct fuels from coke ovens and blast furnaces as primary fuels for producing steam and cogenerating electricity.

Once completed, the powerhouse is expected to provide the Burns Harbor operation with 75% of its total power requirements. This will result in significantly increased energy efficiency, reduced Scope 2 GHG emissions, and cost savings for the plant.

In 2020, 23.5% of the electricity used in our operations was self-generated.

2020 Electrical Energy Consumption

  • Self-generated from beneficial re-use of process byproducts: 9,360,655 GJ
  • Purchased Grid Electricity: 30,552,696 GJ