This is part of the multi-year investment program which aims to increase capacity, enhance material yield, and deliver cleaner end products.
2023 will see the completion of Kuusakoski’s new copper centre. The new centre will be able to effectively process copper and aluminium containing cables and separate the metals before the aluminium fractions proceed to a smelter. The facility is intended to process cables, radiators, transformers, and other copper containing fractions nationwide. Until now, the company has only had similar operations in Skelleftehamn, Sweden.
“Our new copper centre is unique in Finland. With this investment, we are able to serve our customers more locally, which is not only more sustainable for the environment but also financially profitable – both for us and for our customers”, says President and CEO Mikko Kuusilehto.
The facility consists of a pre-crushing line and a separation line. In the pre-crushing line, the material is crushed and separated using magnetic separators, and a wind screen. With a wind screen, for example, paper can be removed from the transformer copper. Some of the materials are already end products after having completed the pre-crushing process.
In the separation line, the material is granulated into small particles to enable separation. For example, based on the weight of the particles, aluminium, copper, and plastic can be separated and collected from cables and radiators.
“By producing cleaner copper and aluminium fractions, we provide our customers with a higher utilisation rate of recycled material. The whole of society benefits from this. Emission savings achieved by Kuusakoski´s products, our carbon handprint, is over ten times more than the emissions caused, our carbon footprint”, reminds Mikko Kuusilehto.
With a production capacity of about 2.5 tons per hour, about 40 tons of copper can be produced per week. This corresponds to the amount of copper used in approximately 500 electric cars.
The investment under construction will be integrated into Kuusakoski’s recycling plant in Heinola. The renovation work at the property and the construction of the infrastructure began last spring. The copper centre is expected to be fully operational by March 2023.