Spain’s Abengoa reached an agreement, through its industrial waste recycling division Befesa, to acquire 55% of the South Korean company Hankook R&M. The stake was valued at €60 million. The firm specialises in recycling steel dusts and is constructing a plant in the city of Gyeongju, in the south eastern part of the country, which will come into operation in the first quarter of 2013. Abengoa will be responsible for operating the plant.
Abengoa will hold an option to purchase an additional 25 % of the company after the first year and the remaining 20 % between the third and the fifth years once the agreement has been signed, the corporation explained in a public note. The full acquisition would be carried out by Abengoa’s German industrial waste recycling division.
The new plant is set to serve the principal steelmakers in the region, with a capacity of recycling 110,000 tons/year of steel dusts, which will bring Abengoa’s capacity to 750,000 tons/year by 2013.
The plant will use advanced SDHL technology, developed and patented by Abengoa, which the Spanish firm introduced to achieve higher levels of zinc recovery and is more energy efficient, minimising waste and improving the recycling process.
“The South Korean market represents an excellent business opportunity for the company, as the world’s fourth larger producer of steel dusts with an estimated volume of 500,000 tons/year,” Abengoa said.
It added that “the new investment represents an important milestone in Abengoa’s global development.” The international expansion plans for its industrial waste division seek consolidating the Spanish company’s position as a leader in the sector in new countries.
The company recently began to develop two new steel dust recycling projects in Turkey, where it will have three plants by 2014, in addition to those that are already operational in Germany, France and Sweden.