Pittsburgh, PA., – American Zinc Recycling LLC, the leading provider of environmental services to the U.S. steel industry, today announced the restart of production at its updated facility in Rutherford County, N.C. The facility, which is designed to produce Special High Grade (SHG) zinc using recycled steel mill dust, has officially restarted and is producing SHG grade zinc metal products. It is expected to produce 155,000 tons of SHG zinc annually.
American Zinc Recycling Corp. (AZR) takes zinc-bearing steel mill dust, a hazardous waste that would otherwise be disposed of in landfills, and recycles it using their waelz kiln technology into Waelz Oxide (WOX), a zinc-based feed that it uses to produce zinc metal at the Rutherford County plant. This year alone, AZR will recycle more than 500,000 tons of dust across its four recycling facilities. Coupled with the work of subsidiary INMETCO, a leading recycler of stainless steel dust and household batteries, AZR is the largest hazardous waste recycler in the United States.
AZR re-engineered the Rutherford County plant, which had been idled since early 2016, with upgrades to its best-in-class solvent extraction and metals refining technology. After an initial restart in April of 2019, the Rutherford County facility experienced an accidental fire that caused damage to one area of production. The cause of this fire was thoroughly investigated and as a result, modifications were made in the plant design prior to restart.
AZR’s Rutherford County plant will extend the recycling value chain by refining the WOX into SHG zinc, which is used in common products including galvanizing steel for automobiles, various infrastructure applications, die cast components for appliances and toys. Zinc is also added to soil, vitamin supplements and sunscreen for its health improvement properties. The Rutherford County facility is the only plant in the Western World that produces zinc solely from recycled sources.
“At American Zinc Recycling, our vision is to be the preferred partner in maximizing the recovery and reuse of valuable metals. The successful operation of our Rutherford County facility makes it possible for us to close the recycle loop and maximize the value chain through production of Special High Grade zinc metal,” said Wayne Isaacs, Board Chairman of American Zinc Recycling. “AZR now has a unique position in the world, and we will continue to grow and generate value for all our stakeholders.”
“I am extremely proud of the commitment and tenacity of our team who has worked tirelessly to get this facility back in full working order not once, but twice, and has now safely completed the restart of zinc production in a sustainable way,” said Robert Williamson, Vice President & General Manager of the Rutherford County plant. “We are committed to operating the facility to the highest safety and environmental standards. The contributions and commitment of each employee cannot be overstated, and we are optimistic about the production we will see throughout the remainder of 2020 and beyond. This is a generational facility that will provide good sustainable jobs to the Rutherford County community for years to come.”
“We are fortunate to have this unique operation in Rutherford County, which provides skilled labor opportunities that can impact quality of life for our residents,” said Clarke Poole, Director of the Rutherford County Chamber of Commerce. “We are grateful for the investment that American Zinc Recycling has made in this community and look forward to their continued success.”
About American Zinc Recycling:
American Zinc Recycling LLC is the leading provider of environmental services to the U.S. steel industry. Headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pa., American Zinc Recycling LLC through its operating subsidiaries employs approximately 700 people, and has six state-of-the-art facilities throughout the U.S. Visit azr.com for more information.
The information in this notice contains forward-looking statements, including statements about operational developments and future operating levels and production rates. These statements are based on current assumptions, estimates and information, are not guarantees of future performance, and are subject to certain risks, trends and uncertainties. Our actual results, performance or achievement could differ materially from those expressed in, or implied by, the forward-looking statements. We can give no assurances that any of the events anticipated by the forward-looking statements will occur or, if any of them do, what impact they will have on our results of operations and financial condition. We undertake no obligation to revise or update this press release to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof.