Switzerland/Thailand – Switzerland-based Global Steel Dust (GSD) is investing up to US$ 35 million to build Thailand’s first steel dust recycling plant on the eastern seaboard. The facility, GSD’s first outside the USA, will collect dust from steel mills in Thailand and recover zinc for subsequent sale, explains GSD’s Chief Executive Russ Robinson.
Electric arc furnace (EAF) dust is considered hazardous under the regulations of many countries, including Thailand. EAF mills in Thailand produced 4 million tonnes of steel which generated 90 000 tonnes of dust last year. Once Global Steel Dust (Thailand) begins its operations, Thailand-based steel mills will no longer have to pay landfill costs or a premium to export the dust to be processed in other countries, according to Mr Robinson. ‘Demand for steel dust recovery and recycling is currently high and will be increasing as the steel industry in Thailand continues to grow,’ he states. ‘We do not intend to import hazardous steel dust from other countries to recycle here.’
GSD’s plant will have the capacity to recycle as much as 110 000 tonnes of steel dust and produce up to 40 000 tonnes of Waelz Kiln zinc oxide per year. ‘In the US, steel mills pay large sums to recycle the dust but we do not intend to do it here,’ clarifies Mr Robinson.
Apart from Thailand, GSD has entered into an agreement with a Saudi Arabian partner to build a similar facility in the Middle Eastern country, with construction scheduled to begin in the first quarter of next year. A third plant will also be located in Asia but Mr Robinson has declined to disclose the destination country.