SunCoke Energy and Cleveland-Cliffs reached a 12-year extension of their deal to supply coke to Indiana Harbor Works in East Chicago.

Under the deal, SunCoke will provide 1.22 million tons of metallurgical coke, a purified form of coal, to the steel mill in Indiana Harbor.

"This contract renewal affirms the long-term partnership of SunCoke and Cleveland-Cliffs," said Mike Rippey, CEO of SunCoke. "We are pleased to continue supplying coke from our Indiana Harbor facility to the largest blast furnace in North America."

Cleveland-Cliffs burns the coke in its blast furnace to make iron, which is turned into steel for cars, appliances, buildings and a wide array of other end uses.

"Extending this contract positions Indiana Harbor well for the future," said SunCoke President Katherine Gates.

Lisle-based SunCoke supplies coke for steelmaking and iron production in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Virginia and Brazil. Its coke-making operation in East Chicago is its largest facility in the country. It has been using heat recovering technology since 1998.

The deal drew criticism from environmental groups, who are encouraging Cleveland-Cliffs to lessen its carbon footprint by investing in new technologies like hydrogen to supplant the use of fossil fuels that cause climate change.

“Indiana steel mills should seize the opportunity to be international leaders in clean steel production and green hydrogen instead of risking further job losses with outdated technologies,” said Chris Chyung, executive director of Indiana Conservation Voters. “The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act offer titanic federal incentives to modernize steelmaking, create thousands of high wage union jobs, and clean up pollution in disadvantaged communities in Lake and Porter counties.”

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