Times they are a-changing, and nowhere is that more true than in the steel industry. This sector maintains approximately 50 million jobs worldwide and generates about 1.6 billion tons of crude steel a year. That being said, scarcity of resources and the accompanying rise of price in raw materials are forcing the industry to look at how we interact with steel – and begin to close off the economic loop by tying the ends with sustainable development.
And the leader in recycled steel is certainly found in a strange place. Ecuador’s Adelca is the forerunner in using steel’s capabilities – that is to be 100% recycled – to its advantage. Ecuador only supplies 1% of the world’s steel, but that small scale makes it easier to differentiate the pros and cons of using environmentally friendly methods of producing steel products. In 2008, Adelca invested in an electric arc furnace (EAF), technology that was created in the US, and allows Adelca to repurpose nearly every ounce of steel it produces.
While the EAF was a significant financial investment, the expected returns from no longer having to go outside of the company to acquire more resources, paid in full and then some. Adelca was also put 8 months behind in production, with surrounding communities fearing heat, radiation, and power affecting daily life. However, after a significant time investment in community education, those fears were assuaged. Adelca can now also claim that it is a leader in environmental sustainability, a huge marketing benefit.
Florida Pipe & Steel is keeping its eyes peeled for new technologies that allow this industry to lead a more environmentally conscious and fiscally responsible life. Contact us today for all of your steel buying and selling needs.