New Zealand – A Bahrain-based company is targeting the expansion of its dross recycling operations throughout the world after opening a multi-million-dollar plant at Tiwai Point in New Zealand.
The Taha Asia Pacific (TAP) recycling plant at New Zealand Aluminium Smelters is recycling aluminium dross as well as the 40 000 tonnes-plus stored in landfills at Tiwai.
Frank Pollmann, Managing Director of TAP’s parent company Taha International, said at the opening ceremony that a similar plant had been running in Bahrain for the past seven years but that Tiwai represented its first overseas installation. The latter had been expected to cost US$ 5 million to build but the final tally was ‘well in excess of that’, he confirmed.
Mr Pollmann expressed the hope that the plant in New Zealand would serve as a launch-pad for export market development. The corporation was already in talks with a rolling mill in Soha, Oman, where construction could begin next year, while it was also bidding to process dross in Australia, he noted. Meanwhile, TAP’s General Manager Mark Egginton said the company employed 22 people to process the dross but that the number was expected to rise to around 30 as production increased. The metal recovered through the recycling process will be returned to the smelter and the rest is used in the manufacture of phosphate fertiliser. Taha is setting up a fertiliser plant in Invercargill and hopes to have it completed in late November.
Dross is delivered to the plant from the smelter and transported to a crusher where it is broken down. Wet dross from the smelter’s landfill is first dried and then put through a separation process; metal is returned to the smelter and the rest is stored to be used to make fertiliser.