The Valmet project, undertaken in late 2014, is coming to fruition. It involves the industrial redeployment needed to revive the Group’s recycling channel on a promising European market.

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In Europe, regulations encourage the rollout of highly structured industrial recycling channels from waste collection and processing through to the marketing of new products. This is the case for batteries, catalysts (refinery diesel purifiers) and metal oxides, with the eventual aim of zero landfilling and 100% recovery in Europe. ERAMET, a recognised player for its know-how in pyrometallurgy of metal waste alloys through its subsidiary Valdi, overhauled its industrial assets to create an exemplary circular economy loop while reviving its battery recycling activity.

In addition to the construction of an outstanding recycling channel, the new setup improves competitiveness at the Commentry steelworks, where the furnace has been adapted to alkaline and saline batteries for more cost-efficient use of melting and refining furnaces. The furnace can now refine high speed steels and recycle batteries. In early June, the first truck of batteries for recycling arrived on site. The first melting run will take place in February 2017.

  • 38,000 tons
    of batteries, spent oil catalysts and metal oxides can be recycled in Commentry from 2017.

Sorting and recycling batteries is easy and useful. With Valdi, France now has a European-level industrial asset that can meet the challenge of 100% recovery, zero landfilling!

Stéphane Chorlet, VP Sales & Marketing, Valdi

A model

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ERAMET assigned 40% of the €24 million invested in the Valmet project to the environmental performance of new facilities on the Commentry site. Major work was done to install a setup for capturing fumes from recycling alkaline and saline batteries and the doghouse, the huge structure built around the arc furnace to reduce noise and capture at least 99% of the dust from the melting process. The Group supported the employees concerned by the transfer of activity to make moving easier and maintain skills.

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