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Steelmaker recommissions idled power plant

Facility providing 32 megawatts of power to Sault steel producer
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A cogeneration plant recently acquired by Sault Ste. Marie steel producer Algoma is now up and running, providing 32 megawatts of power to the plant. (Supplied photo)

Algoma (formerly Essar Steel Algoma) has brought online a recently acquired cogeneration plant, producing 32 megawatts to help power the steelmaking facility.

In a news release, the Sault Ste. Marie steel producer said it had the facility up and running on Aug. 1, just four months after acquiring the power plant, formerly known as the Lake Superior Power Plant.

“The redundancy this facility will provide as several of our existing assets approach end of life is of critical importance,” Algoma CEO Kalyan Ghosh said in the Aug. 2 statement.

“Not only does it give Algoma the capability to satisfy its peak power requirements, but it significantly enhances our reliability as we look to ramp up plate production to meet domestic demand.”

The plant’s former owners, Brookfield Renewable Power, shut down the facility in 2014, after the company was unable to reach a power-purchase agreement with the province, and it had remained idled ever since.

Algoma purchased the plant from Brookfield in March.

"The acquisition of a well maintained asset in such close proximity to our operation is very logical,” Gosh said in a statement at the time.

“Not only does it give Algoma the capability to satisfy its peak power requirements, but it significantly enhances our sustainability and reliability by offering some redundancy as several of our existing assets approach end of life.

"With this acquisition, and the potential for a further 71MW in sustainable power projects through the addition of a solar farm (50MW), a low pressure steam turbine (8 MW) in our steelmaking facility, and a top gas recovery turbine (13 MW) at our No. 7 blast furnace, Algoma is rapidly approaching near self-sufficiency in power generation."

Initially, the facility will operate intermittently, supplementing Algoma’s current supply of power and steam for the steelworks operation, the company said.

Algoma manufactures hot and cold rolled steel products, including sheet and plate, for the U.S. market.

The company filed for creditor protection under the Company’s Creditors Arrangement Act on Nov. 9, 2015, and the restructuring of the company is ongoing.




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