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Kuusakoski backs new steel recycling facility

Photography by Sune Grabbe

Scandinavia’s recycling major Kuusakoski has announced another big investment with EUR 25 million being pumped into a new steel recycling plant near Kemi on the Bothnia Gulf in northern Finland. The company says the facility will be a carbon-neutral operation.

The investment is a response to growing demand for recycled metals in both Finland and Sweden and will increase Kuusakoski’s annual recycling capacity by 150 000 tonnes or 25%.

The plant will be built on an industrial site at Veitsiluoto with links directly to sea, rail and road transport. ‘In Veitsiluoto we are close to our largest end customers and can offer superior, smart delivery models and competitive delivery times,’ says Kuusakoski’s president Mikko Kuusilehto.

He sees the steel industry moving more towards carbon-free production. ‘Our new plant will bring with it 100% carbon-free processing, enabling our customers to further reduce their climate impact throughout the value chain.’

‘Ideal’ conditions

With the investment, Kuusakoski’s customers such as steelmaker Outokumpu will have the opportunity to use even more precise carbon footprint calculations and cleaner recycled steel in their production, which can further reduce the carbon footprint of steel products.

‘Outokumpu is committed to ambitious climate goals and we already use mainly recycled steel in our production,’ comments group vice president Juha Erkkilä. ‘The recycling plant is built in a logistically ideal location from the perspective of our Tornio steel mill. In addition to carbon-free operations and their proximity, the quality of materials and the traceability of the entire supply chain are key to us as a responsible operator.’

Up and running by 2025

The new plant will produce significantly higher levels of purity in its recycled raw materials and it will have improved separation capabilities. This is possible because of new technology in the pre-treatment and analysis of the material. The pre-treatment technology, for example, has been developed with leading experts and there is said to be nothing similar being used elsewhere.

The total value of the investment is EUR 25 million of which EUR 2.8 million will be financed by Business Finland. Construction of the plant will start early 2024 and it is expected to be operational in 2025.

The carbon free steel recycling plant is part of Kuusakoski´s multi-year green investment programme. Kuusakoski has set a target of carbon-neutral operations by 2035.

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