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UAE Recycles 5 Million Tonnes Of Scrap Metal Annually
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UAE Recycles 5 Million Tonnes Of Scrap Metal Annually

The UAE’s position as a major hub for the global multi-billion dollar scrap metal recycling industry will be a key feature of the inaugural Green Middle East exhibition and conference, to be held from 17-19 October 2011 at Expo Centre Sharjah.

Both the UAE and Saudi Arabia have established themselves as regional centres of activity for the sector, with industry sources estimating total volume for the UAE at five million tonnes per annum, closely followed by Saudi Arabia with three million tonnes.

The UAE also refines and re-exports some 70,000 to 100,000 tonnes of non-ferrous metals every month, with an annual turnover of US$4.5 billion.

With sustainability presenting a major challenge - and opportunity - for local and regional governments committed to fast-tracking infrastructure development over the next five years, the economic and environmental benefits of metal recycling are highly appealing.

The aluminium re-melting and refining process uses just five per cent of energy requirements, and produces a mere five per cent of carbon dioxide emissions as compared to primary production, while also helping to reduce the amount of landfill waste. Scrap metal recycling can also be repeated without the degradation of base properties, unlike other recyclable materials such as paper and plastic.

“The Gulf region is a hub for scrap metal recycling, with the UAE and Saudi Arabia the main centres of activity. The UAE is ideally placed, geographically, to import scrap from Africa and Europe, refine or sort it and then re-export it within the region, as well as into China, India and Pakistan,” said Neil Hickman, Sales & Marketing Director, Expo Centre Sharjah.

For each tonne of steel recycled, 113 kilogrammes of iron ore, 454 kilogrammes of coal and 18 kilogrammes of limestone are preserved, while recycling one kilogramme of aluminium saves up to six kilogrammes of bauxite, four kilogrammes of chemical products and 14KW of electricity.

According to the Bureau of International Recycling (BIR), the Middle East scrap metals market differs from its international counterparts with a predominant focus on trading and processing, yet BIR regional membership is second only in size to Europe.

“Cheaper energy prices have also been propelling the trade in the UAE, which has seen an increasing number of domestic buyers entering the fray. This is a clear indication of the growth potential of the industry led by economic diversification across the region, and tied to renewed impetus on the construction and development front,” said Hickman.

The scrap metal trade and recycling segment of the Green Middle East exhibition and conference will provide a strategic platform for regional scrap metal processors, recyclers and traders to meet related equipment and technology suppliers. The conference will also assess the scrap metals industry and provide an understanding of the current environmental concerns and opportunities for the region’s recycling industry.

The emerging markets’ role in supplying scrap metals, the current market demand and trends in scrap supply from Asian and Middle Eastern countries will be other topics under discussion.

Green Middle East, which is being held in conjunction with Bee’ah, is one of the region’s leading integrated environmental and waste management organisations, will also addresses regulatory, legal and commercial issues facing the industry and the wide-ranging environmental issues affecting Sharjah, the UAE and the broader Middle East. Along with scrap metal recycling, it will also cover wastewater, solid waste, air pollution, alternative energy and green buildings.


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