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Middle East getting to grips with ELVs

Middle East recycling Conference and ELV workshop
The middle East is a fast growing market for cars and with that comes a growing need for end of life vehicle processing.
The 2014 Middle East Metals Recycling Conference and the End-of-Life-Vehicle Workshop took place recently in Dubai. Here we take a look at the conference from this fast growing corner of the world, Courtesy of the Recycling Today Media Group.


The nations comprising the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) include several with living standards that have risen sharply in the past 30 years, resulting in a far greater number of cars and trucks on the road. At an End-of-Life Vehicle Workshop held in conjunction with the 2014 Middle East Metals Recycling Conference, attendees heard from presenters who are helping to handle the growing number of salvaged and scrapped vehicles.

Speaker Subhash Joshi of Frost & Sullivan, Dubai, said the number of vehicles on the road in the GCC has grown from 7.8 million in 2007 to 12.9 million in 2013 and is expected to leap to 19.4 million in 2020. By 2020, Frost & Sullivan estimates that there will be 1.7 end-of-life vehicles (ELVs) generated annually in the GCC, with an estimated 77 percent of those emanating from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

While this will present an opportunity for recyclers and those in the auto salvage business, Joshi also said there is a lucrative export trade of old vehicles to Nigeria. He added though, that should anti-vehicle export regulations be introduced, it would “create a business model for recyclers.”

Two representatives from the Dubai Municipality government gave an overview of that emirate’s program to take possession of abandoned vehicles and, if they go unclaimed, offer them through a bid system to recyclers.

Once in the possession of an auto salvage shop owner or recycler, ELVs require careful attention to fluids, batteries and other potential hazards, Andreas Rieser of Austria-based SEDA told attendees.

Rieser showed attendees video clips of unsafe and environmentally unsound ELV recycling practices from around the world. The clips included spilled fluids, ELVs bursting into flames and small explosions caused by ill-advised puncturing techniques. “An ELV has up to 22 litres of fluids,” said Rieser. While these fluids can be hazardous and flammable, in most cases they are also are recyclable if collected properly and directed toward re-refiners.

Rieser said if the Middle East is generating 11,000 ELVs each month, which is enough to yield 6,600 metric tons of metal, 114,000 litres of reusable fuel and 78,000 litres of waste oil that can be re-refined.

Mike Taylor, from JMC Recycling and Vortex Depollution and Recycling Equipment, said some vehicle makers are increasingly designing for easier recycling and also getting more involved in the auto recycling process. He said the General Motors in the U.K. has a “sustainability team that signs off on the recyclability of each component.”

Nonetheless, said Taylor, in all parts of the world (including the Middle East) there are a number of factors affecting the way vehicles are salvaged and recycled, including market conditions, the value of materials and compliance costs. It amounts to a calculation of “capital investment for available technology and processes versus recovery revenue,” said Taylor. He offered attendees a look at several JMC and Vortex products that can help recyclers collect fluids, upgrade the value of their catalytic converters and process the wire harnesses and other wire and cable found in the ELV stream.

Salam Al Sharif and UAE-based Sharif International Metals have been operating auto shredders in Saudi Arabia and the UAE for several years. Sharif told attendees that previously, when ELVs were baled instead of shredded, “There was a lot of ambiguous contamination in those old bales.” When researching a shredder, “Only plant visits and conversations with users of the equipment can really indicate what is taking place,” Sharif told ELV Workshop attendees.

Keegan Vas of Metso Recycling is among the manufacturers competing for the attention of recyclers like Sharif. Vas told attendees the average ELV consists of 70 percent iron and steel, 8 percent nonferrous metal, 9 percent plastics and 3 percent glass. Vas said the largest shredders can handle up to 1,000 vehicles per day. Shredders of all sizes produce a ferrous shredded scrap grade and typically a mixed “zorba” nonferrous grade that may consist of about 60 percent aluminum, 20 percent copper and 5 percent zinc.

“Courtesy of the Recycling Today Media Group, www.RecyclingToday.com.” www.RecyclingToday.com

April 2014

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