CMC to acquire Gerdau assets

Commercial Metals Co. (CMC), Irving, Texas, has agreed to acquire certain U.S. rebar steel mill and fabrication assets from Brazil-based Gerdau S.A. for $600 million.

CMC operates more than 120 recycling centers, steel mills, fabrication plants, marketing and distribution offices, construction-related product stores, heat-treating plants and related operations globally.

The acquisition includes 33 rebar fabrication facilities in the U.S. and electric arc furnace (EAF) steel mills in Knoxville, Tennessee; Jacksonville, Florida; Sayreville, New Jersey; and Rancho Cucamonga, California. Combined, the mills have annual rolling capacity of 2.5 million tons.

Adding Gerdau’s melt shop capacity increases CMC’s global melt capacity to 7.2 million tons.

“This acquisition aligns with our strategy to focus on our strength in concrete reinforcing products and leverages CMC’s core competencies in rebar production and value-added fabrication services to nonresidential construction customers,” says Barbara Smith, president and CEO of CMC. “In addition, these assets provide us the opportunity to optimize our product mix more fully in the U.S.”

CMC will use its expertise “to increase throughput, lower costs and improve the customer experience in our new operations,” she adds.

Liberty House completes acquisition of steel mill in US

London-based Liberty House Group, part of the GFG Alliance operated by British industrialist Sanjeev Gupta, has completed its acquisition of the Georgetown steelworks in South Carolina. The idled mill was purchased from Luxembourg-based ArcelorMittal in a move Liberty House calls “the first in a series of strategic North American acquisitions and new projects.”

The 600,000-square-foot plant includes a 540,000-metric-ton-per-year electric arc furnace (EAF) and a 680,000-metric-ton-per-year rod mill designed to serve the construction and automotive sectors. Liberty House indicates it plans to restart melting and rolling in the spring of 2018 “as the first step in GFG’s ambitious investment plans for the American steel industry.”

The company says it is in discussions regarding the acquisition of other steel assets in the U.S. and is researching new greenfield projects, which it expects to announce in 2018.

Liberty House says it initially will rehire 125 former employees at Georgetown and then build the workforce to 250 in the medium term. The group is targeting a major share of the U.S. market for domestically produced wire rod, demand for which is projected to grow substantially during 2018, according to the firm.

Completion of the Georgetown deal follows successful negotiations between Liberty and several stakeholders, including the United Steelworkers of America (USW), Georgetown’s City Council and the South Carolina state government.

The mill site was a pivotal part of the state’s industrial infrastructure for nearly 70 years until it was shuttered in 2015, according to Liberty House, which indicates it “now aims to restore it to its former position of prominence and bring hundreds of skilled jobs back to the plant and to the local and state economy.”

Under an agreement with the USW, the company says it expects key roles on the furnace, casters and rolling mill to be filled by experienced former employees of the plant. The company also indicates it is discussing training programs to prepare a new generation of workers for the industry with Georgetown’s City Council.

“Securing the Georgetown furnace and mill is a major milestone for us, marking our first major step in the U.S.,” says Gupta, executive chairman of the GFG Alliance. “The melting and rolling facilities here give us a formidable entry to the American market and provide a strong platform for expansion. We see major prospects for the metals industry here and we want to apply the same ‘Greensteel’ sustainable strategy to our American plants as we are already delivering in the United Kingdom and Australia. We’re grateful for the support we’ve had from the council, the state government and the union, and we look forward to rebuilding the business and bringing quality industrial employment back to the site and to the local and regional supply chain.”

He continues, “We’ve already had customers contacting us about placing orders, so we’re keen to get back up and running as quickly as possible.”

John Brett, president and CEO of ArcelorMittal USA, says, “Throughout the process, ArcelorMittal has been steadfast in our goal of maintaining the Georgetown steelmaking operation to preserve jobs and maximize the value of the property for our shareholders. While bittersweet for ArcelorMittal, we are hopeful that today’s announcement is a celebration for Liberty Steel and GFG Alliance, the United Steelworkers and the Georgetown community. We appreciate the patience of all of our stakeholders while we finalized this important transaction.”

ISRI praises the resumption of US Mint’s coin recycling program

The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI), Washington, has applauded the decision by the U.S. Mint to resume the Mutilated Coin Redemption Program after a nearly three-year suspension. The program is worth millions of dollars to the recycling industry, which recovers coins left in end-of-life products turned over for processing, ISRI says in a news release announcing its support for the program.

Robin Wiener, president of ISRI, says the U.S. Mint worked closely with the recycling industry to better understand the sorting and separating technologies used in scrap facilities, among other industry topics.

“The resumption of the U.S. Mint’s Mutilated Coin Redemption Program is a significant victory for the many recyclers that rely on the recovery of coins as part of their business,” Wiener says. “ISRI is extremely grateful to the Mint, which worked closely with the industry to better understand the sorting and separating technologies used in scrap facilities, global trade flows and other critical issues that will allow it to effectively implement this program.”

For decades recycling facilities across the United States have been recovering coins from scrap such as automobiles, vending machine and coin-operated laundry machines, ISRI says. During shredding or other forms of processing, the coins fall free or are purposefully recovered. As recycling technology has advanced, the ability to accumulate coins in significant quantities has grown quickly and is an integral part of many recycling companies’ operations and product lines.

“The recycling industry is committed to working closely with the Mint on the success of this program,” Wiener continues. “We share the common goal of the recovery and recycling of coins while protecting the integrity of the program.”

Along with the resumption of the coin recycling program, ISRI says the U.S. Mint also announced a number of program revisions, including the establishment of procedures for certifying participants based on submission amounts and frequency, sampling submissions to authenticate material, conducting site visits for certain participants and requiring information about how the submissions came to be bent or partial.

Reserve Management Group to invest $20 million in new Ohio location

Reserve Management Group (RMG), a metals and electronics recycling firm, reportedly will consolidate its northern Ohio operations in a 540,000-square-foot building in Stow, Ohio.

According to an online news report from Ohio-based Gatehouse Media, the Stow City Council has endorsed an income tax sharing grant agreement with RMG to entice it to relocate to a former 500,000-square-foot adhesives manufacturing facility.

If the agreement goes through, RMG may invest $20 million to make the space suitable for some 350 employees engaged in scrap metal and electronics recycling activities. Those employees currently work in one of two RMG sites in Solon and Twinsburg, Ohio. RMG also operates locations in Toledo, Ohio, and Chicago, as well as in Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, New York and Wisconsin.

Gatehouse Media quotes a Stow economic development official as saying RMG anticipates having “450 people working full time in Stow by [its] third year of operation, with an estimated annual payroll of $17 million.”

SA Recycling acquires Tennessee Valley Recycling

Orange, California-based SA Recycling has acquired Decatur, Alabama-based Tennessee Valley Recycling (TVR), a 110-year-old metal recycling company with five facilities in Alabama and one in Tennessee.

Long-time TVR executive Joel Denbo, part of the family that had long owned the company, indicates in an online article by the Decatur Daily that the company does not anticipate laying off any of its 190 employees.

Denbo also says in the article, “It will be the first time in more than a century that there won’t be Denbos in the scrap business in Decatur, Alabama,” referring to the family business’ roots that trace back to 1907.

He also refers to SA Recycling as a company that would act as “good business citizens here in the community,” indicating he would remain in Decatur for several months during a transition period before moving to Atlanta to undertake an advisory position with SA Recycling.

Denbo cites an uncertain succession strategy as one reason for the sale of the family business. He tells the newspaper he hopes the Denbo family would be remembered in Decatur as “fair people, honest traders and hard workers.”

In a follow-up article by the Decatur Daily, Tom Knippel of SA Recycling confirms that no immediate personnel changes are planned. Knippel says the company expects to invest in technology to retain and grow SA Recycling’s new locations in Alabama and Tennessee.

Spectro Alloys to invest $5.5M in aluminum recycling facility

Spectro Alloys Corp., Rosemount, Minnesota, has announced it will invest $5.5 million to expand recycling capabilities at its Rosemount aluminum recycling facility.

The investment will add jobs, expand recycling capabilities and improve melting safety and efficiency, reducing gas and electricity needed in the recycling process, according to Spectro Alloys.

The project, which will be implemented by mid-2018, includes a new building addition that will house a 21-ton rotary furnace capable of melting a wide range of aluminum scrap. It will incorporate new technology, including a filtration plant that will reduce emissions from the recycling process, the company says.

“We are now hiring to fill 10-plus new full-time production and maintenance positions as a result of this expansion,” says Spectro Alloys. “Spectro plant employees average over $50,000 in gross wages, with excellent health benefits, 401(k) matching and profit sharing bonuses. The planned expansion has received support from the state of Minnesota’s Job Creation Fund, which provides a grant once investment and job creation goals are met.”

“This investment will allow us to recycle a wider range of locally and regionally sourced aluminum products, improving the environmental footprint of recycling in Minnesota even further,” Spectro Alloys President Luke Palen says.

“We are committed to investing in programs and technology that support the domestic aluminum supply chain, build value for our customers and suppliers, and improve our environment,” Palen continues. “This is phase one of a multiyear investment plan aimed at achieving those goals. Much more [is] to come.”

Aluminum recycled at Spectro Alloys is then shipped to regional die casters and foundries and made into new products, including lawn mower engines, ATV components, car parts and other products, the company says.