REYNOLDS, Ind. (AP) - A Minnesota company plans to invest up to $350 million
in Indiana to build a plant that will produce iron ore pellets used in the
production of steel.
Magnetation LLC of Grand Rapids, Minn., will build its plant at the site of
an abandoned VeraSun Energy Corp. ethanol plant. Work to demolish existing
infrastructures has already begun.
Magnetation President Matt Lehtinen tells The Journal & Courier the company
has secured its financing and expects to pour its first foundation early
this month. The plant is expected to begin operating in late 2014.
The plant is expected to bring 115 jobs by the summer of 2014 but currently
has 25 employees.
Lehtinen says the project has energized the White County community, which
saw a plan by former Gov. Mitch Daniels to turn Reynolds into a hub of
bioenergy fizzle out.
Daniels in 2005 dubbed Reynolds BioTown USA and pledged to make the farming
community the first U.S. community to meet all electricity and gas needs
through renewable energy. Progress has been slow and has been hampered by
changes in market conditions and financial problems among some developers.
Were actually amazed by the enthusiasm and the work ethic of all the
various stakeholders and contractors involved, Lehtinen said. (The
community) has been very welcoming and (the process) relatively painless, if
White County Commissioner John Heimlich said many people have expressed
interest in the new venture and the jobs it will bring.
A lot of people are talking about it, Heimlich said.
The iron ore pellets produced at the plant will be shipped to Ohio-based
manufacturer AK Steel, which has invested about $200 million in Magnetation