Compared to primary aluminium production starting from scrap eliminates the costs of opening and operating bauxite mines. There is no need for alumina production together with its significant auxiliary material requirement and red mud emission destroying the environment. The really high energy costs (13.5-15 [kWh/kg]) and high quality auxiliary materials (anode carbon) of aluminium electrolysis as well as the emission of pollutants loading the environment are omitted just to mention the major savings.
Aluminium referred to as an energy bank can countlessly be recycled, reappearing in various forms. This is the first case providing for a full range of recycling enabling the production of beverage cans from used beverage cans.
Recognising the above benefits the structural reorganisation of worlds aluminium industry is experienced. Primarily the ever increasing demand of the automotive industry for aluminium castings made secondary aluminium production a self standing sector of the industry.
Opposing this the atrophy of the domestic automobile industry cut down the production of aluminium castings in the 60’s. Besides the ample quantity of metal generated by the Hungarian Soviet Alumina Aluminium Treaty the sole scrap processing company was close to starving.
Contrary to world trends the oversupply of metal and the lack of demand for castings delayed the evolution of the Hungarian secondary aluminium industry. The increasing export demands kept the collecting network alive.
In the period of political changes the receding of primary metal supplies and foundry activities becoming virulent as a consequence of privatisation resulted a significant change of circumstances.
Liberating the trading conditions as well as the widening fiscal and financial possibilities of ventures at the end of the 80’s favoured the formation of metal collecting and trading companies. Parallel to this ingot casting started in small units which sped up the liquidation of Qualitál despite the bad quality produced by these workshops.
The privatisation of MÉH Trust strengthened the decentralisation of scrap collection. In the meantime foreign investors appeared in the scene first as sleeping partners promoting export and providing working capital later undertaking full privatisation and investments. New companies are established also because of the increasing employment problems in the metallurgical industry as well as the enforcement environmental protection ideas.
Till the middle of the 90’s a multi person collecting system evolved. Due to the gradually increasing competition the preparation of scrap receives more consideration. Quality is being concentrated on. The leading scrap collecting and processing companies are interested in trading with a secondary raw material rather than scrap. All these processes have positively been influenced by the development of the domestic foundry activities.
The condition of alloy production can be characterised by similar trends. As a result of privatisation the small companies established on the background of domestic metallurgical know-how, at the beginning generally with a minimum amount of capital are now gaining power. At present there are 10 alloy producers with a production capacity in the range of 1,000 – 7,000 tpy, each.
Summarising it can be stated that in the past few decades a decentralised sector of secondary aluminium industry evolved characterised by small unit capacities. To avoid the isolation and/or to promote the collective thinking of these units has to a great extent been backed up by the alliance of interested in skill (Hulladékhasznosítók Országos Szövetsége = National Alliance of Scrap Processing, Fémszövetség = Metal Alliance). As a result of this secondary aluminium processing as well as alloy production have gone through a great development considering the product quality.
Copyright © 2000