Stena x Sverdrup Steel

Recycling material through Stena Over the years, the industry’s focus on cost-effective and sustainable solutions has increased. As a global […]

Stena containers used for recycling

Recycling material through Stena

Over the years, the industry’s focus on cost-effective and sustainable solutions has increased. As a global steel supplier, we want to be a part of the solution. Therefore, we strive towards making our business more sustainable. Fortunately, most of these solutions go hand in hand. Especially within our industry, as steel is 100 % recyclable and lasts a lifetime.

A pioneer within the recycling industry is Stena Recycling. Stena Recycling has a long tradition of creating value from what other industries might call scrap. Like our waste materials: metal scrap and steel chips. That is why we, through several years, have built a solid partnership. Stena Recycling helped us develop practical solutions for sorting and recycling our waste material and gives us the most value in return for our material.

Øyvind Sandve and Leif Inge Abrahamsen from Stena Recycling visited our warehouse in Stavanger to examine our waste material and the recycling containers they provided. They also took the time to answer some questions.

– You have gained a greater focus on sustainability in recent years. Is this encouraged by your own initiative?

Stena Recycling has focused on sustainability since it was established in 1939. Sten A. Olsson collected scrap, which he processed and sold to smelters as secondary raw materials. But it would take many years before we realized it was the word sustainability we were going to use. Our focus has increased in line with the rest of society’s focus on sustainability. Our goal is to be at the forefront and help develop sustainable solutions for our customers. That is why in 2017, we invested approximately 1 billion SEK in «Stena Nordic Recycling Center». This is Europe’s – perhaps the world’s most modern recycling plant. The plant is located in Halmstad, Sweden, and is the size of 40 football fields. Here complex fractions are sorted into different types of metal all the way down to milligram grains. As an example, we can recycle 95 % of a car and 98 % of a refrigerator.

– After our metal scrap is transported to you, how does the process continue?

When the metal scrap comes to us, it is first sorted into fractions in containers. Then our operators check that it is pure quality according to the sorting descriptions you use. If there is any misplaced material in a container, we take pictures of the analysis and send you an improvement proposal. Next, metal scrap mixed with several fractions we deliver to smelters that melt on yield so that all the additives / precious metals are used as a new additive to make other metals. If it is entirely pure fractions, the metal scrap is temporarily stored together with the same type of fractions, such as Inconell 625. Finally, we sell it to a smelter that can melt it into new steel materials or other items of the same quality.

– How much of our metal scrap is recycled?

100 % of the metal scrap is recovered. Preferably one to one from one fraction to the same fraction. If the metal scrap is from mixed sources/alloys, we can still recycle 100 %. However, suppose an error has been made in sorting the metals, which creates a mixture that will be “poisonous” against the various metals in the melt. In that case, we will run it through several processes in Stena Nordic Recycling Center. Through this process, we are left with pure fractions that can be melted separately.

– Can you tell us a little about your role in the circular economy?

“We are circular economy in practice,” we tend to say. Our role is significant, as we constantly research new solutions to recycle even more. Stena Recycling annually recycles 6 million tonnes, which are turned into new raw materials. We have our own research department in Stena Recycling with 16 employees who are constantly working on new solutions. We also develop solutions together with our customers, such as ABB. The idea is to use ABB’s latest electric motor type and recycle old electric motors. This means that if all electric motors in ABB’s portfolio are replaced and recycled, we will reduce Norway’s energy consumption by approximately 3 %, Øyvind explains.

Another example is our latest investment of 250 million SEK in a new recycling factory. The purpose of this factory is to recycle batteries from electric vehicles. As a result, we will recycle 95 % of a car battery. All this and more is done in close dialogue with our customers and partners. Stena Recycling is – and must be – a proactive contributor to the circular economy.

– What can other companies like us and we do to improve in this field?

We can help customize solutions focusing on sorting into pure fractions or optimizing blends of different fractions. Having the right containers for your waste gives trouble-free handling, not interfering with your daily business. Together, we continuously work with new downstream solutions and complete traceability in the entire value chain from scrap to new products. In this way, companies can be sure that we use smelters with new greener technology for cleaner emissions and focus on green transport solutions from A to Z. We run courses on sorting, optimizing signage for fractions in the workshop and on machines. In addition to this, we have ongoing follow-up meetings at the companies. Then we have a customer portal where all deliveries can be read in detail, everything from price to quantity, sorting rate, and CO2 savings on remelting to extracting new virgin iron and metals.

As Øyvind and Leif Inge explain, we save tonnes of carbon emission yearly by recycling. Only simple steps are required to make an impact. We appreciate how convenient Stena Recycling has made the process.

Container for Super Duplex steel chip

Published: 03 Dec 21

By: Elisabeth Kruiderink