Hydro adds to US expansion plans - Recycling Today

2022-08-08 08:10:01 By : Mr. Richard Wang-Tyre Supplier

Aluminum producer says it will invest more than $50 million to expand scrap melting capacity in Pennsylvania.

Norway-based aluminum producer Norsk Hydro ASA says it will make a $51.3 million investment in its extrusion plant in Cressona, Pennsylvania, to “expand the site’s recycling capabilities, which include remelt and extrusion billet casting, producing low-carbon aluminum products.”

The announcement follows quickly on the heels of other capacity expansion projects in the United States, in Henderson, Kentucky, and in Cassville, Michigan.

The Cressona project is expected to be fully operational in late 2024 and will expand Cressona’s casting capacity by more than 50,000 metric tons, Hydro says. “The investment will allow for a significant increase in use of pre- and post-consumer aluminum scrap and will support the plant in achieving a 5 percent reduction in the average carbon footprint of its extrusion billet,” states the firm.

“The ability to cast our own extrusion billet is extremely important,” says Paul Warton, an executive vice president with Hydro Extrusions. “This investment will strengthen our ability to produce innovative alloys and offer our customers products with a high recycled content and lower carbon footprint. We anticipate strong demand for these locally supplied greener products in the future and are excited to help drive the circular economy in North America,”

In addition to pointing to the Cassville project, Hydro Extrusions says it has recently invested $27.7 million to upgrade its scrap-melting extrusion plant in The Dalles, Oregon. Part of that upgrade was tied to meeting emissions standards set by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality.

Canada-based electronics recycler acquired by JX Nippon Mining & Metals Corp.

Tokyo-based JX Nippon Mining & Metals Corp. says it has acquired full ownership of Mississauga, Ontario-based eCycle Solutions Inc. JX has acquired eCycle from Montreal-based Horizon Capital Holdings.

JX describes eCycle as a collector and processor of electronic scrap and provider of information technology asset disposal (ITAD) services “with eight operating sites in Canada [and] strong collection networks.” JX says eCycle is Canada’s “largest e-waste recycler in terms of market share.”

The company adds, “ECycle facilitates effective use of a wide variety of resources by providing services including ITAD and processing of discarded plastics. ITAD, in particular, offers good prospects for growth, fueled by an anticipated increase in demand for appropriate disposal of used household appliances and electronic devices.”

Although California-based ERI Inc. remains a large-volume player in North America’s electronics recycling and ITAD space, considerable capacity also is in the hands of overseas firms. Singapore-based TES (itself now owned by South Korea-based SK ecoPlant) has considerable market share in the U.S., as does Australia-based Sims Ltd. via its Sims Lifecycle Services subsidiary. Last month, South Korea-based Korea Zinc purchased a majority stake in e-scrap smelter operator Igneo Technologies of White Plains, New York, which has an electronics recycling business that operates under the name Evterra .

Regarding its entry into the North American e-scrap market, JX says it is part of a strategy to make its metals and recycling operations more competitive and to realize “sustainable copper.” The firm continues, “In order to be able to do this, we undertake ‘green-hybrid smelting,’ whereby the ratio of recycled materials incorporated during copper smelting is dramatically increased. As competition to obtain recycled raw materials intensifies globally, the company's entry into the recycling business (involving collection, dismantling and sorting of waste) through its acquisition of eCycle’s shares will play a major role in ensuring the company can continue to procure recycled materials reliably over the long term.”

JX adds, “Going forward, the company aims, together with eCycle, to create a recycling supply chain with manufacturers of electric and electronic devices and utilizes eCycle’s network to collect even more recycled materials from North America.”

The company says the functionality provides recyclers and ITAD service providers with secure and automated data sanitization capabilities for Chromebook devices.

Extreme Protocol Solutions (EPS), a data erasure and computer life cycle services company based in Uxbridge, Massachusetts, has updated its EPS License Server used for network boot erasure on laptops, desktops and servers. The server now supports Chromebook sanitization, diagnostics and automated ChromeOS updating.

The company says the functionality provides various organizations, including corporations, recyclers and information technology asset disposition (ITAD) service providers secure and automated data sanitization capabilities for Chromebook devices.

“We’ve seen a huge shift to Chromebooks at not only the academic level but also as a cost-effective alternative for corporations whose remote workforces require the connectivity and collaboration capabilities that Chromebooks are built for,” says Brent Burkholder, an EPS vice president. “As the market for these devices grows, so will the need to handle their end-of-use case before reuse or resale.”

The automation of the process reduces touches and time spent erasing each device, EPS says. It also allows for automated updating of the current ChromeOS to the latest available without the need for complete reimaging. Once data has been sanitized, a secure, signed certificate of erasure is automatically generated. The same data can be automatically uploaded to any database or enterprise resource planning (ERP) system as digital proof of sanitization.

“Because this is so configurable, the process could range between a minute or two to thirty minutes once developer mode is entered and the solution is launched,” says Roger Gagnon, president of EPS.  

Gagnon says the new service not only erases data but also tests the CPU, memory, battery and storage device to ensure that the device meets all the expectations of its next home.  In addition, EPS now offers integrated R2v3 certificiation-compliant cosmetic grading that provides information needed to weed out damaged systems and it does this with the same licenses used for its network-based erasure solution.

Pricing is dependent on the volume of licenses purchased. The same license can erase a laptop, desktop, server, networking device or Chromebook. Since the new offering uses the same licensing model as these other asset types, no additional investment is required until those licenses run out, says EPS. For new clients, the service cost varies based on the volume of licenses purchased and what capabilities are used.

“All of our solutions and services are designed around the concept of reuse,” Burkholder says. “We strive to provide our customers with every tool possible to keep technology in the hands of users and out of landfills.”

The company has reported what it calls record financial performance, though shipments are down slightly.

Novelis Inc., Atlanta, has reported financial results for the first quarter of its 2023 fiscal year, saying net income and net sales have increased though shipments have decreased slightly. 

"Novelis once again delivered record financial performance in the first quarter, following our record performance last fiscal year," says Steve Fisher, president and CEO of Novelis Inc.   

According to the report, net income attributable to its common shareholder increased 28 percent compared with a record $307 million in the previous year. Net income from continuing operations increased 1 percent to $307 million. Excluding special items in both years, in the first quarter of fiscal year 2023, net income from continuing operations increased 18 percent compared with the previous year largely because of higher underlying adjusted earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA), unrealized derivative gains and a lower tax provision in the current year, partially offset by a tax litigation gain benefiting prior year net income.  

Net sales increased 32 percent to $5.1 billion for the first quarter of Novelis' 2023 fiscal year compared with $3.9 billion in the prior-year period. This was primarily driven by higher average aluminum prices and local market premiums. Total flat-rolled product shipments were 962,000 metric tons, 1 percent lower than prior-year shipments of 973,000 metric tons, mainly owing to supply chain constraints.  

Adjusted EBITDA increased 1 percent to a record $561 million in the first quarter of its fiscal 2023 compared with $555 million in the prior-year period, which included a $47 million gain related to a favorable decision in a Brazilian tax litigation. The underlying increase in adjusted EBITDA is primarily from higher product pricing, including some higher cost pass-through to customers, favorable product mix on improved automotive and aerospace shipments and lower metal costs arising from improved recycling performance, partially offset by high-cost inflation and unfavorable foreign exchange translation, according to the company.  

Adjusted free cash flow from continuing operations was an outflow of $72 million in the first quarter of its fiscal 2023, higher than the $30 million the previous year. This is primarily because of a less favorable metal price lag. Novelis reports that it had a net leverage ratio of 2.2x at the end of the first quarter of the fiscal year 2023 compared with 2.5x the prior year period.  

“In a strong demand but capacity-constrained environment, we continue to focus on delivering high-quality, high-recycled-content products to customers while continually optimizing our operations and portfolio,” says Devinder Ahuja, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Novelis Inc. “Given the growing market, we are vigorously allocating capital to continue to grow alongside our customers, with more than $4.5 billion of investment opportunities on our horizon.”

Earlier this year, Novelis broke ground on its $365 million investment in a highly advanced recycling center in Guthrie, Kentucky, that will be able to cast 240,000 tons of sheet ingot for its automotive customers per year. It also announced a strategic partnership with Sortera Alloys Inc. of Fort Wayne, Indiana, designed to help the company increase its use of prime and obsolete scrap. 

The company says it continues to maintain a strong total liquidity position of $2.4 billion as of June 30. 

Packaging producer looks to modernize its Greenville County paper mill and increase production capacity.

Greif has announced it is investing $13 million over the next five years to expand operations at its Greenville County paper mill in South Carolina and increase production capacity. The Delaware, Ohio-based packaging producer expects the expansion to be complete in November.

The paper mill, located in Taylors, South Carolina, utilizes recycled paperboard to produce spiral tubes and cores, and the company says the expansion will modernize the facility.

"We are excited to offer increased capabilities within our Taylors facility," says Tim Bergwall, senior vice president and group president, paper packaging and Soterra LLC. "Greif's investment in South Carolina enables us to support our tube and core plants and our customers' growth in this thriving region of the country."

Greif produces more than 2 million tons annually of 100-percent-recycled paperboard and has three specialty converting facilities: Wisconsin, Austell No. 1 and Taylors.

"This announcement further proves that South Carolina's talented workforce and pro-business environment allow our companies to thrive," Gov. Henry McMaster says.