PITTSBURGH The first load of scrap metal out of an Alaskan port has left for Asia, demonstrating that the material doesnt have to be rerouted through the continental United States.
Tri Metal International LLC shipped the 8,000 tonnes of scrap from Port MacKenzie, near Anchorage, on a vessel bound for South Korea, according to Alaskas Matanuska-Susitna Borough.
The initial shipment will result in a net loss, but Tri Metal managing director Syed Hussain said he needs to prove that shipping from Alaska is possible. Ice concerns can impact efficiency at the port but dont impact operations.
Traditionally, scrap generated in Alaska has been sent to Seattle. Exporting directly from Alaska shortens the shipping time by 10 days and can add up to an annual savings of $280,000 to $400,000.
Hussein estimates he can export between 50,000 and 100,000 tonnes of scrap from the port each year, according to the borough.
The new export avenue has drawn interest from East Asia, with numerous Japanese buyers visiting the port to watch the loading in progress.
Wasilla, Alaska-based Tri Metal established a 34-acre scrap processing yard in 2011 and transports scrap generated from the region 25 miles to the port (amm.com, Oct. 24, 2011).