China / USA – Harsco Corporation and China’s Taiyuan Iron & Steel (Group) Co. Ltd (TISCO) have announced a new 25-year joint venture covering the environmentally beneficial processing and metal recovery of the latter’s stainless and carbon steel slag production by-products across a range of potential commercial applications. This is the largest-ever joint venture for both companies.
Harsco says the link-up has the potential to generate new revenues of an estimated US$ 30 million per year at first, ramping up to approximately US$ 50-60 million when fully operational. Harsco and TISCO assume shares of, respectively, 60% and 40% in the new venture; definitive agreements on operations, technology licensing and land leasing are still to be reached, while final Chinese government approval is yet to be granted. These issues are expected to be finalised in the first half of 2011 such that the joint venture will commence operations in early 2012.
The new entity will be known as TISCO Harsco Environmental Protection Enterprise Co. Ltd and is expected to process up to 1 million tonnes of stainless steel slag and as much as 500 000 tonnes of carbon steel slag per year. The joint venture company plans to market these materials for ‘zero waste’ commercial reuse in such applications as metallurgical additives, recyclable stainless steel scrap, agricultural/turf fertiliser, and road-making and construction materials.
With an annual stainless production of more than 2 million tonnes, TISCO became the world’s largest producer of stainless flat products in 2009 – the first Chinese company in history to reach the top of the rankings.