PITTSBURGH Gerdau Long
Steel North America is planning a second-quarter restart of its
idled Wilton, Iowa, auto shredding operations in response to
improved demand at the steelmaking facility, a company
spokeswoman told AMM.
The restarted shredder, out of
commission for three years, will include a new in-feed system
and updated automation and controls when in comes online by May
1, Tampa, Fla.-based Gerdau said. Favorable weather conditions
have put the construction timetable ahead of its original
schedule, it added.
"The restart and upgrade of the
Wilton shredder is part of our commitment to captive scrap
utilization throughout North America," Matthew Yeatman, vice
president of raw materials, said in a statement. "Utilizing the
synergy of scrap production and steelmaking on one site is core
to our business model."
The 3,000-horsepower shredder is
located at Gerdaus Wilton steelmaking complex, which
produces merchant bars, rebar, light structurals and special
bar quality (SBQ) products, according to the Association for
Iron and Steel Technology directory.
The spokeswoman declined to
specify the shredders hourly operating rate, citing
reasons of "competitiveness in the market," but said Wilton
recalled two workers in January and plans to hire about 10 more
over the next few weeks due to the restart.
Scrap market players said it was
too early to tell how the restart might impact regional demand,
but several local recyclers told AMM that they have
been selling their shredder feed to a major scrap recycler in
the region during the down time.
"This (restart) may have some
impact because it brings a shredder closer to everyone in my
area," according to one Iowa auto recycler, who had been
selling his feed elsewhere.
Another recycler said he has
been advised that Gerdau plans to resume buying feedstock from
suppliers in March.