Huron gets new plant

Clouds of smoke on the horizon have become a landmark of Huron,  as have the Presbyterian Church steeple, the Christmas tree on top of the mill, and the old water tower once located behind the fire station. Today, often a center of controversy, the plant was a welcome replacement for the coal dock. The following article appeared in the Erie County Reporter in the fall of 1966.

Huron gets new plant

Huron will have a new chemical plant, the fifth chemical firm to come into the area during the past six years.

Construction of the Huron lime plant, which will be built on the east side of the Huron River, will start at once, according to Richard E. Thompson, vice president of national steel corporation.

Federal Lime And Stone Company of Cleveland will own 70 per cent while National Steel will own 30 percent. Federal Lime will operate the plant, which will be built on a 12-acre site on the river.

An existing dock leased from the Norfolk & Western Railroad will be utilized with construction for handling raw materials and stockpiling facilities, plus a calcining plant to be built on adjoining acreage. The plant is expected to be in production by August 1967.

The operation at Huron will utilize two rotary kilns equipped with modern and efficient dust collection and material handling systems. Each kiln will produce from 400-500 tons of lime per day and the plant will require approximately 500,000 tons of limestone annually, delivered by self-unloading type vessels directly to the plant site. The stone will originate at quarries on Lake Huron. Storage capacity for finished product will equal three days plant production.

The Huron Lime Company will be equipped with the most modern and up-to-date gas cleaning and scrubbing equipment sufficient to meet the strictest codes of any community. Limestone delivered to the plant will be screened before loading to remove fine particles and the stone will be wetted down prior to dockside delivery. Since lime is highly reactive, all of the product from the kilns will be handled undercover even to the loading onto railroad cars. The major gas cleaning equipment to be installed will be the Venturi-type with scrubbers. The solids which are recovered in the scrubbing process will be pumped out to a settling pond on the property.

It was estimated that approximately 18 employees will be required to operate the plant. Other activities connected with construction, materials, and service will be obtained from local sources. Manager of the Huron facility will be James Roberts of Cleveland. (Mr. Roberts and his family now own and operate Harbor North.)

Charles A. Thomas, Norfolk and Western railway official, complimented the city of Huron on its excellent cooperation that prompted the lime company to locate its new facility at Huron. He also pointed out that Huron Lime is locating on the site of the coal dock that has not been used for two years. Norfolk and Western plans to continue operation of its ore dock and other facilities. “With the addition of Huron Lime, our operations there should be greater than in recent years,” he said.