Petmin Ltd., a privately listed South African mining group, is developing a $474-million pig-iron manufacturing plant on a 30-acre lakefront site in Ashtabula, OH. Petmin USA Inc. has gained a a final air emissions permit from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, and expected to be producing about 425,000 tons/year of high-grade pig iron for metalcasting customers following about two years of construction.
The developer indicated the plant will be the first in the U.S. to produce high-purity nodular pig iron (NPI), a grade that is low in manganese, sulfur, and phosphorous. The nodularity enhances the value of pig iron in ductile iron production.
Reportedly Petmin selected the site from among 11 potential locations in North America. It’s estimated to employ 110 full-time workers and generate an annual payroll of $6.6 million.
Iron ore pellets will be delivered by self-unloading vessels to the Pinney Dock Terminal in Ashtabula, then transferred by conveyor and charged into the direct reduced iron (DRI) module, converting it into hot DRI that will be charged directly to an electric arc furnace and then cast into NPI ingots.
“Petmin is very excited to be bringing our company to Ashtabula and the Northeast Ohio region,” according to Bradley Doig, president and CEO. “We selected Ashtabula for a number of reasons, including access to a port, manageable electric and natural-gas costs, and proximity to our future customers. We believe that this world-class facility producing this high-specification pig iron for the first time in the USA will put Ashtabula firmly on the map for future commercial growth.”