A new facility to recycle waste materials generated by the aluminium smelting process into products used by other industries has signaled a new era in environmental sustainability.
Minister for Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, Mr Tony Burke was on site at Hydro Aluminium Kurri officially open the Spent Potliner Reprocessing Facility.
The facility is a joint initiative between mineral processing company Regain Services Pty Ltd and Hydro Aluminium Kurri.
According to Regain Director, Bernie Cooper, the initiative represents a new era in environmental sustainability with gains for the environment, for end-users of products and for the aluminium industry. He said that “The approach is a major win for the environment, with 100% beneficial use of smelter by-products.”
The management of Spent Potliner waste is an important issue for the aluminium industry worldwide. Mr Cooper said that “Regain has developed world leading technology to make SPL safe and recover minerals from it, which can then be used to make valuable products used in other industries such as brick, cement and steel making.”
SPL Reprocessing is part of Hydro’s program to further improve environmental performance. “The commitment to SPL Reprocessing is part of Hydro’s commitment to further improve environmental performance and achieve a zero waste smelter, at a time of significant financial challenges,” Hydro Technical Manager, Hubert Lehman, said.
In addition, the products made by Regain offer many environmental benefits for the cement and brick making industries, as they include properties that reduce emissions and save energy in the manufacturing process.
Following 10 years success within the Australian market strong demand for the product is now coming from Asia, with Regain recently obtaining approval to export to China.
Mr Cooper said that “By expanding our customer base to Asia, Regain can continue to grow its operations in Australia, providing many environmental and economic benefits.”