ArcelorMittal acquires third steel scrap recycler this year

ArcelorMittal is to acquire Riwald Recycling, a Netherlands-based ferrous scrap metal recycling business, the steelmaker announced Dec. 6.

This will be ArcelorMittal’s third scrap processing business acquisition this year, as it seeks to reinforce the role that scrap steel can play in its efforts to decarbonize. The steelmaker, Europe’s largest, is working towards meeting a target to reduce the carbon intensity of the steel it produces in the region by 35% by 2030, it said.

Steelmaking using ferrous scrap produces significantly fewer carbon emissions than steel produced using primary raw materials, including coking coal and iron ore.

Steelmaking — a hard to abate industry — is held responsible for around 9% of total global carbon emissions, although the percentage varies by region.

The parties signed a transaction for the Riwald acquisition Dec. 5, with closing — subject to customary regulatory approvals — expected by the end of January, ArcelorMittal said.

Riwald Recycling was founded in 1989 and processed over 330,000 mt of ferrous scrap metal in 2021. It operates two fully certified scrap metal yards in Almelo and Beverwijk in the Netherlands, both of which have direct port access, and sources material from a wide range of suppliers, including industrial companies, OEMs, demolition companies, traders, car dismantling companies and regional and national government, ArcelorMittal said.

Geert Van Poelvoorde, ArcelorMittal Europe CEO, said the steelmaker looks forward to working with Riwald’s CEO, Gert Huzink, and the scrap producer’s employees, to further develop its business.

“Although it is ultimately the various low-carbon emissions steelmaking technologies which we are developing and deploying which will take us to net-zero, given the urgent need to make progress this decade we are working hard to move forward on all fronts,” van Poelvoorde said. “Therefore, securing access to the raw materials — scrap steel and direct reduced iron — required for low-carbon emissions steelmaking has a very important role to play.”

Earlier this year ArcelorMittal announced the acquisition of several metal recycling facilities from ALBA International Recycling and the acquisition of Scotland-based John Lawrie Metals. Together with Riwald, these three businesses processed over 1 million mt of scrap steel in 2021.

In its second Climate Action report, published in July last year, ArcelorMittal outlined five levers that will enable the company to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, one of which was increased use of scrap steel. As well as using scrap in an electric arc furnace, the company noted that it can increase the use of low-quality scrap in the blast furnace-basic oxygen furnace steelmaking process by improving steel scrap sorting and classification, installing scrap pre-melting technology and adjusting the steelmaking process to accommodate scrap.

Turkish import deepsea scrap prices continued to rise Dec. 6, as purchasing for prompt and January shipments persisted, amid reports of market tightness.

Platts, part of S&P Global Commodity Insights, assessed Turkish imports of premium heavy melting scrap 1/2 (80:20) at $382/mt CFR Dec. 6, up $2/mt on the day. The assessment has increased $45.50/mt from a recent low of $336.50/mt CFR in mid-November.

— Diana Kinch