FAQs

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is the timeline for the project?

Petmin plans to break ground in the fourth quarter of 2020 and expects construction to be completed in 2022. Petmin will begin its hiring phase for permanent jobs at the plant during the construction phase, with the formal interviewing of potential candidates to begin in mid-2021.

What is Nodular Pig Iron (NPI)?

Nodular Pig Iron or NPI is a high-grade iron ore-based metallic that is especially low in impurities. Iron ore pellets, the principal feedstock in this process, will be delivered by lake vessel to Ashtabula’s Pinney Dock Terminal. NPI is a key component required in the U.S. metal casting industries via 1,900 foundries in a $33 billion annual industry in the U.S. alone. Currently, local foundries rely on the import of this niche metallic commodity from Brazil, Ukraine and Russia, among other. Most of these U.S. foundries are located in the northern Midwest – in and around the Great Lakes region. The metal casting industry uses NPI to manufacture high-precision, quality products required in the automotive, industrial equipment, infrastructure, defense, aerospace and aviation sectors, among other.

The traditional shape of the moulds used for pig iron ingots was a branching structure formed in sand, with many individual ingots at right angles to a central channel or "runner", resembling a litter of piglets being suckled by a sow. When the metal had cooled and hardened, the smaller ingots (the "pigs") were simply broken from the runner (the "sow"), hence the name "pig iron". This process has since been replaced by the pig caster.

Why did Petmin select Ashtabula for the project?

Petmin considered 15 sites across the U.S. and Canada. Ashtabula was one of two short-listed sites. Ashtabula was finally established as the favored for a number of reasons, including access to a port, rail lines and highways; availability of natural gas and electricity; and proximity to the customer base. Petmin was also impressed by the collaboration and support demonstrated by public and private partners at all levels, including JobsOhio, Team NEO, the Growth Partnership for Ashtabula County, the City of Ashtabula and the Ashtabula City and County Port Authorities.

What is the economic impact to Ashtabula city and county and Northeast Ohio?

“This project will be a major shot in the arm for the economy of Ashtabula County and the surrounding area,” said Greg Myers, Director of the Growth Partnership.

The impact of the economic infusion of 650 construction jobs over the 2 year construction period, and the 110 full-time jobs once in operation, is expected to boost the economic vitality of the region, its tax base and, ultimately, public services such as schools, essential services and parks.

How many jobs will be created in Ashtabula?

Petmin will work with local recruitment agencies and JobsOhio to hire the 110 permanent workers. The hiring process is expected to begin in mid-2021, following commencement of main construction activities. Hundreds of construction jobs will be created during the two-year construction period in 2021 and 2022, peaking at 650 workers.

How do I apply for a permanent position at the Petmin plant?

Interested applicants are welcome to upload their resumes. Kindly review the list of job titles outlined on the Careers web page and reference the position you are interested in in the subject title of your message in the Careers Portal. A detailed description of each will become available at the appropriate time when the hiring phase is formalized.

Who supports the Petmin project?

The project has the support of the City of Ashtabula, Ashtabula County Commissioners, the Growth Partnership for Ashtabula County, the Ashtabula County and City Port Authorities, JobsOhio, Team NEO, and the Cleveland Building and Construction Trades Council, the umbrella organization for more than 29 local unions working in the construction industry in Northeast Ohio. We are grateful for all messages of support received to date from the local community, as well as those out-of-state individuals wishing to relocate back home to Ashtabula.

Will the plant meet all applicable air pollution rules and regulations?

The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA) has completed a thorough review and has confirmed that facility will meet all applicable air pollution rules and regulations.

Petmin will build the most environmentally consciencious plant globally for the production of this essential commodity, establishing itself as a responsible and valued member of the Ashtabula community.

The project was subject to what is referred to as a “PSD” permit, requiring a stringent, thorough, detailed review by both state and federal officials in what has been a multi-year process.

Sophisticated computer modeling was performed and reviewed in detail at the state and federal levels and demonstrated that adding the Petmin facility will not result in an exceedance of any National Ambient Air Quality Standards, designed to protect human health and sensitive populations.

What federal, state and local agencies have reviewed and signed off on this project?

The project has received a rigorous review from multiple local, state and federal agencies including the Ohio and U.S. EPAs, Federal Homeland Security, Federal FAA, City of Ashtabula and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and is now in possession of all required permits to begin construction and operation.

How extensive was the environmental impact review?

The Ohio EPA has been extremely thorough in the Petmin permitting process, with detailed design inquiries and clarifications over a 2.5 year period. The agency determined that downward air impacts from the Petmin plant will not exceed primary and secondary national ambient air quality standards, and will not consume clear air increments within the impact area of the project.

The U.S. EPA requires the use of the American Meteorological Society/Environmental Agency Regulatory Model to be used in modeling the dispersion of emissions. For Petmin, the concentration of pollutants was determined to be significantly reduced in the dispersion process prior to reaching ground level.

Does Petmin still intend to include a carbon dioxide recovery plant?

The current permit allows the plant to be built either with or without the CO2 processing plant. Petmin remains committed to ensuring the inclusion of the construction of a CO2 recovery plant. Funds are in the process of being secured to facilitate its construction. The addition of the CO2 recovery plant will have the effect of increasing the facility’s margin of environmental best-in-class profile even further. Instead of emitting the CO2 into the atmosphere, the CO2 plant will recover and purify the CO2 stream for use in the beverage and/or welding industry.

Will the plant discharge water into the lake?

Absolutely not. There will be no wastewater discharged into Lake Erie. All discharge water will be directed via pipeline to the Ashtabula Wastewater Treatment Plant, located immediately adjacent to the Petmin site.

What kind of traffic will the plant generate during construction and once in operation?

Petmin is working closely with city officials to minimize any impact on local residential traffic during the construction and operational phase of the plant.

The City of Ashtabula has received more than a half million dollars for roadworks, focused on widening and resurfacing portions of East 5th Street, Columbus Avenue and Parkgate Avenue, which will have the effect of diverting increased traffic away from residential areas. These roadworks are expected to begin shortly. Truck traffic will be minimized as all inbound feedstock and most outbound product will be shipped via lake vessels to customers across the Great Lakes, and Europe.

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