Bangkok Post reported that Switzerland based Global Steel Dust is investing up to USD 35 million to build Thailand’s first steel dust recycling plant in the Eastern Seaboard to help make the country’s growing steel industry more environmentally friendly without the need to landfill hazardous waste.
Mr Russ Robinson CEO of Global Steel Dust said that the facility, GSD’s first outside the United States, will collect dust from steel mills in Thailand, recycle it and in the process capture zinc for sale.
Almost all electric blast furnace steel mills in Thailand produce steel by recycling steel scrap and generate dust that contains valuable zinc and iron during the process. EAF dust is considered hazardous under the regulations of many countries including Thailand.
Data showed that EAF steel mills in Thailand produced 4 million tonnes of steel which generated 90,000 tonnes of dust in 2010. The operators dealt with it by land filling or restoring the EAF dust.
Mr Robinson said that once Global Steel Dust (Thailand), wholly owned by the Lausanne headquarters, begins operation, Thailand based steel mills will no longer have to pay landfill costs and pay a premium to export the dust to be processed in other countries. He added that “Demand for steel dust recovery and recycling is currently high and will be increasing as the steel industry in Thailand continues to grow. We do not intend to import hazardous steel dust from other countries to recycle here.”
Mr Robinson said that GSD’s plant will have the capacity to recycle up to 110,000 tonnes of steel dust and produce up to 40,000 tonnes of Waelz Zinc oxide per year. He added that the company is currently securing land from Amata Corporation Plc at its industrial estate in Rayong, and is seeking approval from the Board of Investment.
Mr Robinson said that “We target to complete financing the project next month. Construction of the plant will begin in December and be completed in November 2012.” He added that the Thai plant would be designed to facilitate doubling the recycling capacity in the future.
He said that the company has been negotiating with the steel mills in Thailand, as well as Padaeng Industry Plc, to sell the zinc oxide, which might be partially exported. He added that “In the US, steel mills pay large sums to recycle the dust but we do not intend to do it here.”
In 2008, GSD completed its USD 35 million Waelz Kiln plant in Alabama but sold it two years ago. Apart from Thailand, GSD has entered into an agreement with a Saudi Arabian partner to build a similar facility in the Middle Eastern country, with construction to begin in the first quarter of 2012. A third plant will also be in Asia but he declined to disclose the destination country.
(Sourced from www.bangkokpost.com)