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06.11.2002

Aser to focus on recycling powder from Spanish steel mills

Aser has decided to change its raw material supply market. The company, proprietor of the only steel powder recycling plant in Euskadi has cancelled 90% of the contracts it had with several European iron and steel companies to focus on the recycling of smelting wastes from companies in the Basque Country, Catalonia, and Bayona (France).

Aser’s change in raw material supply strategy represents a thorough transformation in the treatment of steel powder from companies in this sector located in the Basque Country. At present, these wastes, with high zinc content (on occasions more than 22%), are stored in the open air once inert.

Aser, headquartered in Erandio (Biscay) and participated by the Befesa group, has reached an agreement with Oñeder to roll out new supply lines. 40% of Oñeder is held by steel mills headquartered in Euskadi, the majority of which are owned by the multinational Arcelor, which in turn belongs to Acerlía.

Established in 1987, Aser has focused on importing steel powders, some 90% of which came from Germany. Towards the end of last year, it reached an agreement with Oñeder to treat the wastes from the Basque mills. This strategy resulted in the company recycling some 8,000 tons in the last two months of the year.

Strategy change

The increase in the volume of steel powders collected from mills in the Basque Country has resulted in Aser cancelling the contracts it had with foreign companies. The Basque company imported the powders and following treatment, converted them into zinc briquettes. The only commitment the company is keeping for the time being is that with the Arcelor group to treat the wastes from its mill in Bayonne (France).

So far this year, Aser has managed 18,000 tons of steel mill waste and the volume is expected to reach 47,500 tons following the agreement reached with Oñeder. According to the conditions of the Agreement, the tonnage will increase to 62,500 tons/year in 2003, and will eventually reach 77,500 tons. The latter figure will represent recycling of 80% of the steel powder generated by Basque companies which is currently around the 100,000 ton mark.