HIBBING, Minn. (AP) -- Essar Steel is having trouble getting private financing for the construction of a $1.6 billion taconite-to-steel industrial complex near Nashwauk (Nash'-wawk).
Essar estimates the project will employ up to 2,000 construction workers and when complete will employ nearly 500 people at full production.
Sen. Tom Bakk doesn't want to miss out on that. So the Democrat from Cook has met with two of Gov. Tim Pawlenty's top staff members in an effort to get the governor involved.
The president of Essar's North American operations, Madhu Vuppuluri, stresses that the company is not seeking taxpayer money, just help getting a private sector loan.
The company executive says Essar has used its own money to keep the project on schedule so far, including recently extending a multi-million contract to grade the site.