Even without obsolete autos, Chinese processors are starting up shredding plants.
For several decades, Scott Newell has helped install scrap shredding equipment to recyclers around the world. China has now joined the roster of nations where Newell is spending his time.
Newell, chairman of The Shredder Co. LLC, described one noteworthy installation in particular for the Fenglin Group in Xuzhou, China, to attendees of the World Scrap Metal Congress.
The 10,000 hp 124-inch mill is “capable of processing more than 1 million tons of shredded scrap per year,” said Newell.
The shredding plant sits on nearly 100 acres of 10-inch-thick concrete and is served by 17 truck scales and 35 hydraulic scrap-handling cranes. Side-by-side split downstream systems help capture nonferrous metal.
Newell said he is aware that some skeptics have questioned whether enough obsolete scrap will be generated in the region, but he said that at recent mornings he has been at the site he sees “3,000 to 4,000 tons waiting to be s shredded.”
Auto bodies and appliances are not what arrives, said Newell, but rather loose manufacturing scrap and scrap from demolition and construction sites, and other forms of scrap procured by a small army of peddlers and small recycling companies.
In North America, the company is supplying both large shredders to national and multi-national recycling firm as well as smaller 60-inch shredders to regional companies that wish to shred just 3,000 to 4,000 tons per month.
Newell says the smaller installations are a natural reaction to the consolidation that has occurred within the scrap industry. “Under our free market system, consolidations tend to create wider margins because of lower levels of competition; [then] wider margins tend to encourage new companies to enter into the economic condition.”
In every country, says Newell, shredded material will be in demand as a grade of scrap. “The introduction of shredded steel scrap into electric furnaces is very popular all around the world,” said Newell.
He cited the high density of the grade as a furnace charge and its ability to allow electrodes in to do their work without breakage as important reasons. “The experience of North American steel scrap utilization indicates that a much higher percentage of the world’s total scrap supply, in the future will be shredded as compared to sheared or baled,” said Newell.
Makers of equipment such as The Shredder Co. like that possibility, since just 20 percent of ferrous scrap melted in Europe is shredded, and only 111 percent in Japan, compared to more than 35 percent in the United States.
The World Scrap Metal Congress, organized by Terrapinn Pte Ltd., was held in Shanghai Nov. 3-4, 2008.