NEW YORK Turkey is ramping up efforts to boost domestic collections of ferrous scrap in order to reduce its dependence on scrap imports, according to the Turkish Iron and Steel Producers Association.
The country remains the worlds largest importer of ferrous scrap, and though that scenario is unlikely to change for some years, the Turkish government and steel industry will look to boost domestic scrap collections and processing through measures like incentives, said Veysel Yayan, general secretary of the trade association.
Speaking to AMM on the sidelines of the recent Steel Success Strategies XXVIII conference in New York, Yayan said that the country has already made some progress in improving flows from domestic scrap companies directly into steel mills.
"Now there are big scrap collectors," he said, citing incentives from the Turkish government that have helped improve scrap collections in the country over the past five years. "Theyre collecting, processing and delivering to the steel producers."
Namik Ekinci, chairman of the Turkish Steel Exporters Association, called it a work in progress but said the efforts have delivered some positive results to date.
"Were talking with the government on (how to improve domestic scrap generation and collection). In different parts of Turkey, there will be (better) scrap collection," Ekinci told AMM.
Yayan said several international scrap companies have also set up collection facilities in Turkey with more recyclers from Europe expected to establish Turkish collection and processing bases in the coming months.
Government regulations and incentives triggered the "more intensive" collection of scrap in Turkey, he said. "The rate of scrap collection increased from 22 percent to 30.2 percent during the past five years. The domestic scrap volume is now at around 10 million (tonnes), and its increasing every year," he said.
The country hopes that current measures will push domestic scrap collection rates to around 40 percent in the next year or two, he added.
Turkey will take a two-pronged approach to reduce its reliance on scrap imports, the executives said. In addition to improving domestic scrap recycling, Turkeys mills have also increased their interest in scrap alternates.
"Were willing to look at additional inputs, such as HBI (hot-briquetted iron), pellets, alternate irons, steel nuggets and existing non-utilized iron ore reserves," Yayan said.
Discussions are also underway on projects aimed at improving the purity of iron ore produced in Turkey, he said.
"Some projects (on alternate irons) are under consideration. There are some steel nugget projects (and) some to increase of the purity of the iron ore. (Purity) is at around 40 to 45 percent today. Theyre trying to increase it to 60 to 65 percent," he said.
Ekinci noted that Turkish mill will consume domestic alternates "as long as theyre economically viable."
At the same time, some Turkish companies are studying the feasibility of partnerships with other countries that have available raw material resources, Ekinci said.