Tom Clarke talks former Essar Steel site - KBJR 6 Your Weather Authority: News, Weather & Sports

Tom Clarke talks former Essar Steel site

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NASHWAUK, MN -

Governor Mark Dayton is standing by the company attempting to bring new life to the former Essar Steel site in Nashwauk, despite their lack of finances after a 30-day extension.

The man behind that company is Tom Clarke.

We sat down with him for a one-on-one interview to discuss the project's future.

Clarke represents Chippewa Capital Partners, the company that now owns both former sites of Magnetation and Essar Steel.

The bid for the Essar site came with the challenge of securing $850 million in financing by the end of September.

That deadline was not met, but Clarke said the governors continued support shows the project is moving in the right direction.

"If you take into account the money that's been spent to date, and the money we've committed to this is probably the largest industrial project in the history of Minnesota $3.5 billion. It takes a lot of effort to pull that off and I think that the governor and the governors staff saw that we're at a very advanced level in that," said Clarke.

Dayton said a key part of Chippewa's plan is to pay millions of dollars back to the contractors who lost money in the Essar Bankruptcy.

Clarke says this Friday, checks totaling $39.5 million will be going out to pay back those contractors.

He says the next steps include emerging out of the bankruptcy and closing on the ultimate financing for the project.

He added that Chippewa's goal is to be up and running and producing pellets by 2020.

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