US-based electric utility Minnesota Power has completed new transmission lines and many related electric infrastructure projects to power Essar’s Steel Minnesota taconite mine and processing facility in the city of Nashwauk.

The electric utility built and installed the transmission line and related infrastructure for two years at a cost of $35m, to meet the demands of Essar, which is constructing a mine, concentrator and taconite production facility.

Minnesota Power Transmission and Distribution vice president Chris Fleege said the utility completed its first major transmission project on the Iron Range and will soon begin work on the next stage of providing electric service to Nashwauk and Essar Steel.

"This new infrastructure not only energizes Nashwauk and Essar Steel, it also enhances electric reliability for the region," Fleege added.

Under the project, Minnesota Power constructed three new 230kV transmission lines of which one is 5 mile long section of double circuit 230kV and 115kV line.

The utility removed a 230kV line and re-routed an 115kV line around Essar property, connected a Great River Energy circuit to the Minnesota Power 115kV system, and provided fiber communications to two new substations.

In total, 28 miles of lines were built and 21 miles were re-routed or removed.

Minnesota Power also set up new substations, the McCarthy Lake facility, to serve the taconite plant and the new Calumet substation, which will serve the mine area.