Russian steel maker Severstal announced Thursday it has hired a Baltimore firm to build a renewable energy facility at Sparrows Point steel mill to reduce emissions and energy consumption.
Renewable Energy Management of Baltimore is expected to begin construction in October of a facility that will produce renewable liquid fuel, a biodegradable, oil-based fuel generated from grease by-products of food manufacturers, for instance.
The initial phase of construction is expected to create up to 20 jobs, said Severstal spokeswoman Marika Diamond. Plant general manager Dave Howard said company officials will evaluate the "potential of using [renewable liquid fuel] as cleaner fuel in our mobile equipment as well as for on-site power generation."
The steel mill has been under a federal court consent decree since 1997 requiring the owner to investigate and clean up soil and groundwater contamination on the Patapsco River peninsula.
In September, Severstal announced that the primary steel-making operations at Sparrows Point would remain idled for the rest of the year because of poor market conditions.
The company has not said how many workers would be affected by the shutdown, but the union president at the plant warned that as many as 1,200 workers could be laid off.