Abengoa Acquires 55 Percent Stake in South Korean Firm

New enterprise is building a plant to recycle steel dust.

September 17, 2012
Recycling Today Staff

Befesa, a division of Abengoa, based in Seville, Spain, has acquired a 55 percent stake in the South Korean company Hankook R&M, which specializes in recycling steel dust. The acquisition is valued at €60 million (US$77.45 million). Hankook is building a plant in Gyeongju, South Korea, that is expected to come on line in 2013. Abengoa will be responsible for operating the plant.

This investment represents Abengoa’s first foray into the South Korean market. When fully operational, the plant, which will serve steelmakers in the country, will be capable of recycling 110,000 tons per year of steel dust, the company says, bringing Abengoa’s steel dust recycling capacity to 750,000 tons per year by 2013. Abengoa estimates that South Korea, the fourth largest producer of steel dusts in the world, produces an estimated 500,000 tons of steel dusts per year.

Abengoa has steel dust recycling plants already operational in Germany, France, Sweden and Spain. The company says its recycling process uses an advanced patented technology which achieves higher levels of zinc recovery while minimizing waste.

In a statement, Abengoa says it will hold an option to purchase an additional 25 percent of the company after the first year and the remaining 20 percent between the third and the fifth years once the agreement has been signed, which will be carried out by Abengoa’s German industrial waste recycling division.

Abengoa recently began to develop two new steel dust recycling projects in Turkey, where it will have three plants by 2014, in addition to those that are already operational in Germany, France, Sweden and Spain.