Arizona approves permit for aluminum smelter

Arizona approves permit for aluminum smelter

Alliance Metals plans to spend $30 million to build an aluminum recycling plant.

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December 2, 2019

According to local press reports, the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality has approved Alliance Metals’ application for an air quality permit for its proposed $30 million secondary aluminum smelting plant in La Paz County, Arizona.

According to an article at AZcentral.com, Loren Barton, vice president of Miami-based Alliance Metals USA, released a statement that the smelter will include "state-of-the-art technology, infrastructure and mitigation controls to contain emissions and protect air and water quality."

At a Dec. 5 meeting in Wenden, Arizona, the site of the proposed facility, the county planning commission will consider Alliance Metals' request to rezone the land, the site of an old cotton gin, from a “rural area” to an “industrial planned development” area, AZcentral.com reports. 

The facility would consume aluminum scrap to produce aluminum ingots for the auto, aerospace or military industries.

Barton adds that the company is planning to open the La Paz smelting facility toward the end of 2020 or the beginning of 2021.

Although some individuals in the La Paz community have expressed concerns about the proposed smelting facility, Barton says the company has reached out to community members to alleviate concerns and dispel any misinformation that has been shared online. The company also has reached out to the county’s board of supervisors to inform them more about the proposed smelting facility.

“With newer technology we have and better emission capture devices, we’re informing [the community] of our practices and how they’re environmentally sound,” he says. “We’ve hosted job fairs to educate people, and those have gone very well with great turnouts. People are now understanding of our processes.”

Other expansions

Alliance Metals also is planning to open a smelting plant in either March or April in Leighton, Alabama. Barton says the northwest Alabama site is already developed and ready to move equipment in. He adds that the company is still waiting to receive an air quality permit for that site.

“We need to make a few final touches around that property to make it fit our business appropriately,” Barton says.

He says the Leighton facility is expected to consume around 120 million pounds of aluminum per year during the start of that facility. Also, he adds that the Leighton smelting facility will be set up to accept a variety of scrap metals, including aluminum, brass and copper with some of the technologies the company’s adding to that site.