Business in Brief – 23/09/21

Ward opens new metal processing site in Barking

Derbyshire-based metal recycling and waste management company, Ward, has opened a new rail-connected metal processing facility in Barking, East London. The site will facilitate the movement of bulk material from the south of England to its other facilities across the country for processing and onward export.

The site in Barking is the result of a long-term partnership with DB Cargo UK, marking the next stage in the expansion of the firm’s bulk metal processing and export capabilities. It follows the opening of a new deep-sea port facility at Redcar Bulk Terminal earlier this year, and a deep-sea dock at Immingham in North Lincolnshire in 2018 with Associated British Ports.

Enabling Ward to move bulk ferrous metal by rail, the site eventually aims to transport a number of trains each month, each carrying over 1,000 tonnes of material on each movement. Ward states that this forms part of its broader sustainability plans to reduce road cargo and handle bulk material to rail wherever feasible to do so.

Donald Ward, Operations Director at Ward, said: “Following a pilot exercise in Pinns Wharf, where we were transporting scrap by barge up to Immingham, we established the potential for buying metals from other London-based merchants and cost-effectively transporting them via rail to our other sites, for recycling and export.

“We’ve worked with DB Cargo UK to upgrade the site, installing a new weighbridge, radiation detectors, site accommodation facilities, new walls, gates and on-site security. We’ve also invested in new equipment including Liebherr material handlers and a CAT wheel loader. At the moment it has created five new jobs, but we are expecting to grow the team further in the coming months.”

DS Smith invests €7.5m in biogas boost for Rouen paper mill

Sustainable packaging company DS Smith has invested €7.5 million in expanding the anaerobic treatment facility at its Rouen paper mill in northern France. The investment, the company states, will enable the site to generate green energy from 100 per cent of its wastewater, as well as improving the quality of discharged water.

The process uses microorganisms, working in the absence of oxygen, to create biogas, which is then converted into sustainable energy by the mill’s partner IDEX. This is then used to provide electricity to homes and businesses throughout the Normandy region.

The expansion is expected to boost the total biogas production of the mill from 26,000 MWh to 39,000 MWh annually, delivering potential savings of up to 2,600 tonnes of CO2 per year, DS Smith says.

Bruno Šteh, Cluster Energy Coordinator for DS Smith, commented: “We are very proud to have increased our green energy credentials with the expansion of our wastewater treatment facilities at Rouen Paper Mill.

“We are not only treating the wastewater onsite but extracting a naturally produced resource that is converted into green electricity. This investment was a key driver in our overall strategy to reduce the impact of our operations here in France and contribute to providing green power to the region.”

New BBIA members highlight growing role of the bioeconomy

The Bio-based and Biodegradable Industries Association (BBIA) recently announced a growth in its membership, the organisation expanding to 31 members.

The BBIA was founded in 2015 by seven original members. Several large industrial biopolymer producers were among the founders, including BASF, BIOTEC and Novamont, NatureWorks and FKUR.

Andy Sweetman, Chair of the BBIA since it was founded in 2015, said: “I am delighted to see our association grow and contribute to the debate in the UK on how biobased materials can help our transformation to a low carbon economy and support the drive towards Net Zero, using materials that are benign to the environment.

“I am particularly pleased to see exciting innovation in new materials, products and know-how and look forward to seeing a UK economy becoming more receptive to the benefits they offer, such as circularity and improved soil regeneration.

“Currently, we are lagging behind several countries in the adoption and production of innovative biobased and biodegradable products. We believe that upcoming reforms in the ways we manage our resources can be significant drivers for the use of biobased and biodegradable products and make the UK a production hub for them”.