U.S. Steel Opens New Pellet Production Facility in Minnesota

U.S. Steel celebrated the launch and operational readiness of its direct reduced (DR)-grade pellet production facility at its Minnesota Ore Operations- Keetac Plant. Having already confirmed the first shipment of DRgrade pellets, the Keetac facility is on track to deliver approximately 4 million tons of pellets annually. The $150 million investment marks a step forward in U.S. Steel’s metallics strategy by supplying the increasingly tight DR-grade pellet market with low-cost iron ore and building on the company’s ability to meet customer needs.

The new production facility will maintain optionality, able to produce either DR-grade iron ore pellets or blast furnace iron ore pellets, allowing the company to adjust to changing market conditions. Minnesota Governor Tim Walz and other elected officials joined the celebration, along with U.S.. Steel President and CEO David B. Burritt, Senior Vice President – Raw Materials and Sustainable Resources John Gordon, employees, and members of the community.

“This project was completed ahead of time, under budget, and most importantly, safely. Plus, it created 250 construction jobs and 33 full-time union and management jobs,” said Burritt. “This is an incredible achievement for our team at Keetac and for U.S. Steel, as we continue to produce the highest quality products: mined, melted, and made right here in the USA.”

“U.S. Steel’s new pellet facility is a smart investment in the people and potential of the Iron Range,” said Governor Walz. “This project is a win-win. We’re creating jobs, lowering emissions, and ensuring Minnesota’s iron ore industry remains strong for generations.”

Construction on the DR-grade pellet facility began in August 2022 and was completed in December 2023. U.S. Steel’s Minnesota Ore Operations directly employs nearly 2,000 workers.

As featured in Womp 2024 Vol 06 - www.womp-int.com