Five Fascinating Heavy Industrial Facilities Around the World

As an Executive Recruiter specializing in the mining and heavy industrial industries, I have been introduced to some unbelievable facilities. Some of these facilities are incredibly rich with history and have pictures that almost take your breath away. Here are five fascinating heavy industrial facilities (and pieces of equipment) around the world.

The Grand Coulee Dam – Washington State

The Grand Coulee Dam is a concrete gravity dam on the Columbia River in Washington state. It was built to provide irrigation water and produce hydroelectric power throughout the region. In 1974, the third powerhouse was completed, making Grand Coulee the largest power station in the United States with a nameplate capacity of 6,809 MW.

Fun fact: Manufacturing consumes more than 30% of the nation’s energy consumption

ArcelorMittal Steel PLant – Harbor, Indiana

The Indiana Harbor complex is the largest integrated steelmaking facility in North America. The plant is located in East Chicago, Indiana, which is just 20 miles from Chicago.

The Indiana Harbor was established over 100 years ago and is currently operating three blasts furnaces. It employs approximately 4,850 people.

Fun fact: This site is home to the largest blast furnace in the U.S., producing up to 13,000 tons of iron daily!

The Caterpillar 797F Series

heavy industrial facilities


Check out this monster by Caterpillar. This mechanical powertrain haul truck is designed specifically for high-production mining and heavy-duty constructions applications. The 797F has a payload capacity of 400 short tons and has a whopping 3,793 hp.

Fun fact: The 797F weighs in at 1,375,00 pounds and can travel speeds up to 42mph. It also costs approximately $5 million U.S. dollars.

Ford’s Kansas City Assembly – Kansas City, Missouri

The Kansas City Assembly plant currently consists of 4.7 million square feet of production space and employs over 7,000 hourly workers. The plant produces Ford’s F-150 and Transit models and is the largest auto manufacturing plant in the United States (in terms of units produced).

Fun fact: The plant opened in 1951 for military production and was eventually converted to auto assembly in 1956.

Heidi Tunnel Boring Machine

heavy industrial facilities


Heidi is a Tunnel Boring Machines (TBM), which are also known as moles. They are a machine designed to excavate tunnels. Heidi was one of four TBMs that were used to excavate the Gotthard Base Tunnel in Switzerland for a railway tunnel through the Alps. The tunnel opened on June 1, 2006, and is the world’s largest and deepest traffic tunnel.

Fun fact: The Heidi TBM has a whopping 4,500 hp!