Ontario Secures Major Investment in Clean Steelmaking Technology in Sault Ste. Marie

Published on November 12, 2021

 

SAULT STE. MARIE — The Ontario government is building Ontario by attracting jobs and investment in every corner of the province, including historic and transformative investments such as Algoma Steel’s all-new low-emission Electric Arc Furnace (EAF).

“Previously, Algoma Steel was buried in red tape, facing unpredictable skyrocketing hydro costs, and struggling to stay competitive, keep the lights on, and support current and retired workers,” said Ross Romano, MPP for Sault Ste. Marie. “Early in our mandate, our government stepped up for the nearly 9,000 retired steel workers by protecting their pensions and providing $60 million in financing to fund much needed capital expenditures in the plant. Next, we cut job killing red tape and made hydro rates competitive and predictable, which allowed Algoma Steel to emerge stronger than ever. These investments will ensure that there will be many more generations of steel workers who will have the benefit of supporting their families with good paying jobs and contribute to the growth of our community in Sault Ste. Marie.”

Electrification of steel production at Algoma Steel will leverage Ontario’s clean energy advantage, positioning Sault Ste. Marie as a world leader in the production of green, low emission steel. Ontario has taken action to support job creation and investment certainty for industries across the North, including providing companies like Algoma Steel with an affordable and reliable supply of clean electricity for years to come.

“Ontario is home to one of the cleanest grids in the world, with 94 per cent of our electricity generation producing zero emissions,” said Todd Smith, Minister of Energy. “Our clean energy advantage and the actions our government has taken to reverse the trend of uncertainty and skyrocketing hydro bills has provided indispensable support to Algoma Steel in making this investment and transitioning to electric arc furnaces.”

In cooperation with government, the domestic steel industry and its customers, including major automotive, mining, energy, and construction companies, are working hand-in-hand to reduce the environmental impact of their operations and products for the benefit of all Ontarians. Clean, Made-in-Ontario steel is a central part of Ontario’s plan to build – leveraging domestic production to build the cars, technology, transit, hospitals, schools, and community infrastructure that are at the heart of the province’s economic recovery.

“Ontario’s plan to build includes a corridor of legacy infrastructure projects in the Far North that will unlock unprecedented access to health, social services, high speed internet, and clean alternatives to diesel-generated electricity for Northern First Nation communities,” said Greg Rickford, Minister of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry. “These community-led partnership projects and investments will connect northern First Nations to the Ontario highway network for the first time and bring unprecedented economic opportunities for all northern communities and the rest of the province.”

Through Build Ontario: the 2021 Fall Economic Statement, the Ontario government’s enhancements to the Far North Act will support new economic opportunities for First Nation and northern communities. This continued partnership will also unlock critical minerals and bring economic prosperity to Ontario’s North, as the province’s commitment to invest $1 billion advances the planning and construction of an all-season road network and other projects that will connect remote First Nations living in the Far North.

“Algoma Steel’s landmark investment in Sault Ste. Marie shows that our government’s plan to support Northern Ontario workers, businesses, and communities is working. This is in stark contrast to earlier years when the province lost 300,000 manufacturing jobs because of skyrocketing hydro prices and creating mountains of job killing red tape,” said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. “Our government is laying the foundation for long-term competitiveness, economic prosperity, and more good, well-paying jobs in Sault Ste. Marie, and across all of Northern Ontario. We will keep working hard to ensure Ontario continues to attract these transformative investments and good jobs.”

Not only does this investment align with Ontario’s commitment to phase out the use of industrial coal, but it will lead to substantial reduction in greenhouse gases – removing three million tonnes of emissions, roughly the equivalent to taking almost one million cars off the road. Ontario is already leading the country in decarbonization and this investment will help Ontario achieve its target of reducing emissions by 30 per cent by 2030.

“I congratulate Algoma Steel on today’s commitment to build new electric arc furnaces, which will have far-reaching benefits for the environment, clean jobs, and our economy for years to come,” said David Piccini, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks. “Our plan to support jobs, investment, and a clean economy is working and together we will grow our clean economy, fight climate change, and build a cleaner, greener future for our province together.”

“Shifting to electric arc steelmaking will significantly lower GHG emissions while enhancing our competitiveness and sustaining good-paying jobs in Sault Ste. Marie for generations to come,” said Michael McQuade, President and CEO of Algoma Steel. “We applaud the Government of Ontario for supporting us as we embark on this truly transformational change.”


Quick Facts

  • Today’s announcement supports the 2021 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review: Build Ontario – the government’s plan to build the foundation for Ontario’s recovery and prosperity by getting shovels in the ground on critical infrastructure, attracting increased investment, and restoring Ontario’s leadership in auto manufacturing and other industries.
  • Algoma Steel’s $700 million investment into an EAF will reduce carbon emissions by approximately 70 per cent, secure quality employment opportunities in the region, and lay the foundation for other major investments in the community.
  • Algoma Steel is located in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. The company is a fully integrated producer of hot and cold rolled steel product and is a key supplier of steel products to customers in Canada and the Midwest USA. Algoma Steel’s investment into the EAF will lead to the decarbonization of Algoma Steel customers across North America.
  • Since 2019, the Ontario government stepped in to extend a $60 million loan to support pensioners and secure the future of Algoma Steel, cut job killing red tape, stop skyrocketing hydro bills, and reignite the economy to ensure all businesses in the province became competitive across North America.