Biggest construction project in Sault’s history is now underway – by David Helwig (Northern Ontario Business – August 8, 2022)

Algoma Steel has already sunk $103 million into its $703-million electric-arc furnace facility. New buildings will start to rise either late next month or in October

Algoma Steel Inc. has already spent more than $100 million on a two-year, game-changing technology upgrade that local building officials say will be the most expensive construction job in Sault Ste. Marie’s history.

The massive project, expected to cost $703 million, will replace Algoma’s existing blast furnace and basic oxygen steelmaking processes with two new electric arc furnaces (EAFs), allowing 3.7 million tons in annual raw steel production with something like a 70 per cent reduction in annual carbon dioxide emissions.

Michael Garcia, the steelmaker’s president and chief executive officer, says the job is on schedule and on budget. Foundation work is currently underway, Garcia says, and structural steel for new buildings should start to rise in late September or in October.

Chief building official Freddie Pozzebon, who’s held pretty much every job in the city’s building division over the past 34 years, says he can’t remember hearing of a more costly local build, at least since the municipality started issuing building permits and tracking construction values.

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