Tata harnesses sewage bacteria to help the environment, Azovstal Steel Plant latest, recycling records beaten
Defending the Azovstal steel works in the besieged city of Mariupol has become ‘priority number one’ for Ukraine. The plant is the last place Ukrainian resistance is holding out in the city. The area has become the heart of the war and efforts continue to defend it, as well as evacuate the remaining civilians. Now, Russia’s fierce aerial bombardment has given way to ground offensives. Against this sombre backdrop, here’s the latest news from your favourite UK metal suppliers.
Rio Tinto and ArcelorMittal predict disruption over sanctions on Rusal
As trusted suppliers of popular alloys and forms like 2011 aluminium round bar, ally plate and 6262 aluminium round bar, we keep our finger on the global metal supply pulse. This time there’s news from Down Under. The Russian giant Rusal is a ‘very big’ exporter of aluminium, to Europe in particular. Over in Australia, the mining giant Rio Tinto has predicted that any sanctions on Rusal will significantly disrupt the aluminium market and drive prices up.
The war is also impacting ArcelorMittal, the world’s second biggest steel producer. They expect steel consumption to fall as the global economic outlook turns darker. They say the war in Ukraine and China’s Covid outbreak will slow down the expected pandemic rebound.
Prices of copper and aluminium have already fallen to a three month low thanks to covid lockdowns in China, rocketing interest rates, and worries that demand is about to plummet.
Liberty Steel in trouble
The UK’s accounting watchdog has kicked off new investigations into the audits of four companies under the Liberty Steel banner. The Financial Reporting Council is investigating statutory audits of the businesses carried out by King & King after MPs asked the FRC to refer the auditors for investigation. It’s one more problem for troubled Liberty, which has struggled since the collapse of its most important financial backer, Greensill Capital, in 2021.
Tata Steel converts CO2 emissions to chemicals using sewage bacteria
As steel suppliers in the UK we’re always interested in what’s going on at Tata. It’s good to hear Carbon emissions from Tata Steel blast furnaces are being converted into chemicals, an experiment that might help other big polluters reduce their carbon footprint.
The company’s Port Talbot steelworks is mixing gases from the works with bacteria from sewage farm samples. The sewage bacteria transform the gases into acetic acid, which is in turn used to manufacture vital chemicals. The process under trial could ultimately lead to a sharp drop in the CO2 billowing from factory chimneys across a multitude of industries.
Because Tata Steel is the biggest emitter of CO2 in the UK, it matters. They’ve already taken steps to reduce their impact. This potentially adds an extra layer to their efforts to reduce their footprint. For now, the CO2 emitted by the two Tata blast furnaces at Port Talbot remains ‘considerable’.
Aluminium keeps getting greener…
The private sector metal producer Vedanta Aluminium is going to be sourcing 380 MW of renewable energy for its aluminium smelters, dedicating itself to the fight against climate change in the long term. At the same time the UK’s aluminium packaging recycling rate keeps on going up.
The Environment Agency says over 156,000 tonnes of the metal was collected for recycling in 2021. This represents a record breaking 68%, an impressive 3% rise on 2020, and means more than 4 out of 5 drinks cans were recycled in 2021. More than 88% was recycled in the UK and EU, with 12% exported for processing.
The vast majority of was gathered via kerbside collections, maximising the potential for closed-loop recycling. The industry hopes the trend will continue. The ultimate aim is a 100% recycling rate for aluminium packaging in the UK.
Keeping calm and carrying on
Against this tricky landscape, we’re keeping calm and carrying on. We are still supplying 7075 aluminium square bar, aluminium 6082, aluminium plate and the rest. We remain popular aluminium extrusion stockists, UK wide. We still deliver the best deals and the best quality metals. How can we help you?
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