Essar’s steel arrives in Nashwauk

The first steel beams for the Essar Steel Minnesota plant in Nashwauk arrived yesterday. The steel arrived on tractor-trailers from Baltimore, where the 120 metric tons arrived from its point of origin in India.

The decision to use Indian steel, part of a financing requirement for the India-based Essar, was controversial here on the Iron Range. Nevertheless, construction now begins on the equipment shed for what will at minimum be a new taconite plant on the Range, built over the bones of the old Butler Taconite site — the first major casualty of the 1980s industry collapse.

Plans call for the eventual development of a steel plant on site, though Essar officials have suggested that can only happen if steel demand continues to rise from its current historic highs.

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