Upstate Shredding signs lease for NY port facility

NEW YORK — Upstate Shredding LLC-Ben Weitsman & Son Inc. has signed a lease for a proposed port facility in Albany, N.Y., moving it a step closer to selling scrap directly to overseas markets, a company executive said.

The facility, which the recycler expects to open by April 1, will ship scrap to such countries as Turkey, India and China, as well as to domestic mills, president Adam Weitsman told AMM. The facility will receive and ship scrap from three rail lines, he told AMM.

The Owego, N.Y.-based company previously exported scrap through competitors like Sims Metal Management Ltd. and Schnitzer Steel Industries Inc., a strategy that Weitsman said wasn’t ideal for a growing recycler.

"We’re a financially strong company, but when we had to go through the competition to get to the water my biggest weakness was known to everyone," he said. "It just gives me that one last weapon in the arsenal."

The company is also filing for permits to add a 122-inch, 10,000-horsepower shredder to the port facility, Weitsman said, putting employment at the shredder at about 35 and between 30 and 40 at the port facility. This will bring Upstate Shredding’s total processing capability to more than 1 million tons per year.

The Albany port site is part of its reinvestment of record third-quarter profits, he said.

"We’re definitely in a mode to expand. Our whole model here is based on volume," he said. "For me to grow, I have to grow into other peoples’ territories. It’s not like I go against Sims head on. I find out who Sims’ biggest suppliers are and I go after them."

The facility will cost $12 million, while the additional shredder and related equipment will be about $25 million.

Construction at the port is set to begin immediately, Weitsman said.

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