Levitated Metals has begun operations at its heavy media plant in New Caney, Texas, which is near Houston. The company also has expanded its executive team with the addition of David Burlison and Glenn Gunter.
Burlison has joined the company as director of marketing. He is responsible for purchasing zorba from domestic automobile shredder operators.
Prior to his new role at Levitated, Burlison was a senior metals trader at Real Alloy. He also has worked for Custom Alloys in California and has been in the scrap industry for more than 25 years.
“Levitated has become a valued partner to nearby suppliers in our first months of operations,” Burlison says. “I look forward to providing the same competitive pricing and easy logistics as we expand beyond Texas.”
Gunter is director of operations and leads the Levitated team in producing high-quality low-magnesium twitch for the secondary aluminum industry. He has been providing operations leadership at Levitated since the first piece of equipment was installed.
“Every equipment design decision and operational choice is driven by our primary goal: to provide our customers the superior aluminum twitch that only a dual-stage heavy media flotation plant can generate,“ Gunter says.
Prior to joining Levitated, Gunter served as operations manager for Upstate Shredding, which is headquartered in New York, and as general manager for SA Recycling’s Mobile, Alabama, facility, where he oversaw auto shredder operations.
The New Caney facility was constructed during the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in many unexpected challenges, according to the company.
“Our supply partners worked tirelessly to ensure a safe and healthy startup,” says Ronak Shah, the company’s president. “We navigated equipment supply chain disruptions and the difficulties of international travel for overseas technical experts.”
Levitated Metals held a groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020, to mark the start of construction of its heavy media flotation plant in the East Montgomery County Industrial Park about 35 miles northeast of Houston.
Shah most recently worked with Alter Trading Corp., St. Louis, as the company’s vice president of strategy and technology, a position he held for roughly six years. Prior to that, he was the company’s senior director of operations strategy. Shah also worked for Portland, Oregon-based Schnitzer Steel Industries as director of continuous improvement.
The plant is expected to produce 10 million pounds per month when operating at full scale.
The Houston-area location is close to suppliers and consumers and offers a busy container port and strong workforce, Shah said when construction on the facility was announced. Interstate Highway 10, I-45 and I-69 also are main thoroughfares for aluminum shipments into the Southeast United States. “We are centrally located to a number of large auto shredders,” he told Recycling Today, “and on the main thoroughfare that feeds the automotive industry in the Southeast with aluminum from Monterrey, Mexico.”