Raw material, instead of waste: circularity in practice

This year, Aperam’s stainless steel plant in Chatelet, Belgium, conducted major maintenance work. On one installation, the entire 45-ton (45,000 kg) cardan shaft had to be replaced. Aperam chose to have it recycled sustainably. The entire project was contracted out to specialist Krommenhoek Metals.

At Krommenhoek, our circular philosophy consists of keeping metals and other valuable raw materials in the chain for as long as possible. In this instance, Krommenhoek returned the cardan shaft to Aperam in ‘bite-sized chunks’, which it can now use these as a raw material in its stainless steel production operations.

After weeks of preparation, the day had finally come, mid-October. A heavy crane had been installed at the Aperam plant in Chatelet, especially for this purpose. It lifted the old cardan shaft on a truck of Arjen Kandt, which specialises in the transport of heavy and special objects. At Krommenhoek Metals, the cardan shaft was lifted off the truck in one go, using our own 4 x 25 Mt overhead cranes, and unloaded in the shed.

The cardan shaft with a thickness of 600 to 1140 mm was cut up with a cutting torch in just three days. Krommenhoek returned the 15 sections, weighing 3 tons each, to Aperam. They have since been melted down in the factory into a new product.

“Krommenhoek Metals and Aperam save 33 kilotons of CO2 by recycling scrap’’

By using its own production waste as a raw material for production, the Belgian company has achieved enormous CO2 savings, in collaboration with Krommenhoek Metals. Compared with the extraction of primary raw materials from the earth, this amounts to a saving of 33 kilotons of CO2 MRF calculation tool

About sustainable recyclers Aperam and Krommenhoek Metals
Aperam is a global player and one of the largest and most innovative producers of stainless steel, steel and specialty steel. The group has customers in over 40 countries, producing 2.5 million tons of stainless steel each year. Aperam has six production facilities in Brazil, Belgium and France. The group’s products are used in countless industries, including the automotive, petrochemical, maritime, biogas and water industry. One of the group’s main priorities in coming years is the sustainable production of steel. Aperam’s goal is to reduce energy and water consumption even more by 2030. By 2050, the company aims to be carbon-neutral.

Krommenhoek Metals is a Rotterdam-based family business, specialising in the recycling of old iron and old metals. Collection at source, processing into finished product, and efficient distribution to Dutch and international smelters is the core business of this nearly 100-year-old company. Corporate Sustainable Entrepreneurship is a cornerstone of the company’s philosophy. Krommenhoek aims to reduce its emissions by 49% in 2030. The company is also working hard on a fair and safe metal processing chain. Various international projects with NGOs are underway for this.