An interesting press release came across my desk this morning.
A trio of companies has announced an agreement to manufacture and market green collector bars to aluminium smelters around the world.
For those of you who are not familiar with what goes on underneath the electrolytic cell that generates pure aluminium, a collector bar is a steel rod that helps transfer the electrical current on to the next pot in the sequence. The feature image shows some collector bars that have been installed inside a cathode block. (It’s upside down, the working face of the cathode block is on the bottom in this picture, but it gives you a good look at the bar.
Again for those of you who don’t know your collector bars from your cocktail bars, a green collector bar does not mean it is painted green.
I am being flippant, but this news is a small but important step for aluminium smelters. Smelters by their very nature cast a big footprint on their local environment. Management at these smelters are constantly looking for any way to reduce their impact on the local environment. Collector bars are made of steel and are usually sourced from some of the big steel companies around the world, though only a handful make the special shape, size and quality needed. At the end of the pot’s life, that steel might be sold off as scrap or otherwise disposed of as part of the Spent Pot Linings (SPL).
Geothermal Metal Recycling (“GMR”), has changed all that. It manufactures a bar which according to their press release is “sustainably produced and environmentally friendly.” GMR’s collector bars are made from recycled metal and therefore have a smaller impact on the environment. GMR, based in Iceland, says it has already won 100% of the collector bar market in that country.
But to get its bars out to the rest of the world, GMR has joined forces with two well-known companies in our circles – Aminco and Simonsen. The two companies will market GMR collector bars to all smelters outside Iceland, though the press release does not detail how the two companies will divide up the territory.
There’s a lot of synergy in this deal for all parties. GMR gets its collector bars out to the world. Simonsen add an important item to their product list, which covers most other items used in the bottom of the pot. And Aminco adds to its product range, which to date has had more to do with the top side of the pot. And between them, Aminco and Simonsen probably sell to or call on every smelter in the world.
If you would like more information about this topic, please contact either: Michael J. Wrotniak at +1 914 949 4400 ext. 225 (M.Wrotniak@Aminco.biz) or Morten Simonsen at + 45 9669 1312 (Morten@Simonsen.eu)