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Electric melting ferrous scrap.

Power, Scrap Costs Cited in Foundry Closing

March 21, 2024
A Minnesota ductile iron plant will close in April. Metal Technologies Inc. indicated electrical rate increases and the cost of scrap make Northern Foundry uncompetitive.

Metal Technologies Inc. plans to close its Northern Foundry location in Hibbing, MN, at the end of April, the group announced. The closing will mean job losses for 91 individuals there.

An MTI spokesman pointed to rising electricity costs forcing the decision to close the foundry.

“With its electric melters, electricity cost is a major expense. Minnesota Power’s repeated electricity rate increases (most recently filing for an interim 13.82% increase in 2024 and seeking a 17.17% increase after receiving final approval for a substantial rate increase in 2023) mean Northern Foundry pays substantially more per kilowatt hour than MTI’s other facilities,” wrote Nick Heiny, MTI v.p. of Administration and general counsel in a statement.

The statement also indicated that scrap metal costs and the expense of replacing and updating production equipment made continued operations at Northern Foundry “not feasible.”

"The unfortunate reality is that we need to align ongoing production and investment at our other locations to continue to compete in the global foundry industry," stated MTI CEO Matthew Fetter.

Northern Foundry is one of six in the MTI group, the others being in Indiana, Michigan, and Mexico. It’s a green-sand operation casting all standard grades of ductile iron for a wide range of parts, including tie rods, bearing caps, hydrant caps and flanges, concrete anchors, railroad retainers, calipers, steering columns, tilt steering housings, and many others.