Patrick Craenhals, president of one of Europe’s leading metal scrap recycling companies, has died at the age of 72. Third generation in the Belgian Scrap Terminal family business, Craenhals led BST’s major expansion.
His daughter and company ceo Caroline Craenhals says on LinkedIn: ‘With great respect and love, I sadly announce the passing of my father, a pioneer in the metal recycling industry. With unwavering dedication and visionary leadership, he transformed the metal recycling landscape with inspiring sustainable practices. Patrick’s legacy will continue to shine, and his memory will forever be cherished by all those whose lives he touched.’
Patrick Craenhals took over BST in the 1980s. Under his leadership, the company developed into a global player with seven yards in Belgium and France handling a total of 1.5 million tonnes of metal scrap per year. He directed its international expansion from new headquarters in the port of Antwerp. In 2022, BST celebrated its centenary.
A man with a vision
Craenhals was the third generation within the family business that started with textile sorting in Willebroek, Belgium more than 100 years ago. He proved to be a visionary when he moved to Antwerp, BST Group’s director Vincent Quidousse tells the Belgian website Flows.be.
‘He played a role during the decline of the Belgian and European steel industry and from Antwerp he was able to export internationally with large sea-going vessels. All locations such as those in Willebroek, Liège and northern France are alongside water because road transport was experiencing increasing problems.’