The steel is 100% recyclable. Its useful life starts over with each new application, without losing quality. Therefore, recycling steel is an important economic activity: it reduces the use of new natural resources and generates employment and income opportunities.
Companhia Siderúrgica do Pecém (CSP) started in 2022 to purchase iron scrap from a recycling company of Pecém for the production of steel plates. With this, the steel mill cooperates with the generation of income for more than 100 families of employees in this segment. The Pecém recycling company is the first in the region to become a supplier of this raw material to CSP and sells up to 80 tons of material per month.
Olímpio Souza, CSP’s Raw Materials Purchasing analyst, explains that the volume of scrap purchased locally is increasing. “The capacity of the Pecém recycling company is still small, if compared to the needs of CSP. Even so, the steel mill prioritizes the purchase in Pecém, with the purpose of qualifying the local company and generating regional development. Several trainings were carried out for the Pecém recycling company to start serving the CSP”, he reported.
Evanice Martins, who works in the administrative area of Pecém Recycling, tells the company’s advances after becoming a supplier to CSP. “It was really good for us. Serving CSP opened doors for us to get other contracts. In addition, we had to hire more employees. Today, we have 15 people, before there were seven. And God willing, we will increase the number of employees. We value helping people here in the region. We increased the number of scrap dealers that serve us from 50 to 100 and managed to improve the amount paid to them for the material”, Evanice listed.
Service to the steel mill tripled the recycling company’s production. “We’ve been looking for a partnership with CSP for a while. We got all the licenses to start, and it was very good It was a dream. CSP is a large, well-known and well-recognized company here in the region”, celebrated Evanice.
15 suppliers from Ceará
CSP currently buys scrap exclusively from Brazilian recycling companies. In Ceará, the plant has more than 15 suppliers, which guarantee 40% of the entire demand for steel production. The remaining volume is purchased from other states, such as Piauí, Maranhão, Rio Grande do Norte and Pernambuco. “The goal is to buy less and less scrap from other states and buy more from Ceará, especially from Pecém”, highlights Olímpio Souza.
Pecém Recycling is attentive to the possible expansion of the local market. “We are taking courses with our employees in order to better serve our customers who arrive here and the trash pickers as well. Our expectation is to grow more, to cover more, to bring in new customers and recycling companies as well. There is still room for growth here, in the Pecém market”, shares Evanice.
Priority for local entrepreneurs
By 2023, the steel mill wants to meet the goal of purchasing products and services in nine categories exclusively from SGA and Caucaia suppliers. They are: feeding; office supplies; computer material; uniforms; bar/profile/angle; vehicle washing; construction material; graphics/reprographics and wood.
The general manager of Institutional Relations and Communication at CSP, Ricardo Parente, explains that the steel mill’s guideline is to ensure the company’s social role in the community, acting as one of the catalysts for regional development. “By purchasing from suppliers in the region, we not only contribute to the local economy, but also cooperate with the improvement of their business models. With this, we help to increase the competitiveness of these regional companies, and, above all, we fulfill an important social role in the community”, he explained.
Co-products for other industrie
Sustainability, which is present throughout the steel production and use chain, is a value for CSP. Co-products are another proof of this. The operation of an integrated steel mill, such as CSP, generates a series of leftovers from the steel creation process, which are called co-products. They have high value and usability both for internal consumption at the plant and for sale to other companies. In other words, everything in the steel production process is used.
They are oils, gases, slag and steel aggregate that serve the paint, detergent, plastic, paving and agricultural industries. Businesses developed from steel co-products are important from a financial and, above all, environmental point of view, since a few years ago, many of these by-products did not have the most appropriate destination. Now, there are well-developed markets and developing ones.
In line with its strategic business vision, CSP adopts state-of-the-art processes and equipment so that these co-products are properly managed and disposed of, with the least possible environmental impact. As a result, the company manages to reuse 97% of the solid waste generated, a rate higher than the average for the steel sector in Brazil, which is 95%.