Scrap metal company begins exporting to Asia from Port of Longview

By Shari Phiel, September 12, 2014, The Daily News

The Port of Longview ushered in a new era Monday when it began exporting scrap metal through a partnership with Pacifc Northwest Metal Recycling (PNW).

 

The scrap metal will be shipped to steel mills in Korea, where it will be melted down and made into new steel products.

 

Laurie Nelson-Cooley, business development manager for the port, said the project is a good fit with the port’s long-term development plans.

 

“The port recently completed a market analysis report and scrap metal exports came back as one of the top commodities for export that the Pacific Northwest is viable for,” Nelson-Cooley said by phone Friday. “U.S. scrap accounts for somewhere between 60 to 70 percent of the world’s volume.”

 

Port staff have been working on the scrap metal export project since mid 2013. Nelson-Cooley said adding scrap metal to the list of commodities the port can handle is important when it comes to attracting other new businesses.

 

“It just gives us that much more diversity,” Nelson-Cooley said. “And (shows) that we’re flexible.”

 

PNW is a joint venture between R.S. Davis Recycling out of Clackamas, Ore., and Rivergate Scrap Metals in Portland and was formed in August 2013. The business, which has 15 employees, officially opened its doors at its Longview Mint Farm Industrial Park site in April.

Scrap metal is loaded into a bucket which is lifted by a crane and then onto a waiting ship Wednesday at the Port of Longview. The port and Pacific Northwest Metal Recycling are working together to export the scrap metal to steel mills in Korea.

 

“We were both selling to other companies that exported, and so this was the next step — bring our tonnages together and load a cargo ship,” PNW Finance and Marketing Director Hank Doane said in a statement released by the port Friday.

 

The scrap metal is purchased from the public and industrial accounts at five collection yards in Washington and Oregon operated by the three companies — R.S. Davis, Rivergate Scrap and PNW Metal. It consists of three grades: shredded steel, heavy-melt scrap and plate and structural scrap. PNW did not have estimates for how much scrap metal would be shipped through the port or estimates of the amount of revenue it expects to generate.

 

Doane said the company has been working for years to export scrap metals and company officials are excited about the arrangement.

 

“We have intentions of growing our business with a solid working relationship with the longshore, Port of Longview and Pasha Stevedoring,” Doane said.

 

Pasha Stevedoring & Terminals (PST) oversees and directs the cargo loading using longshore labor. Pasha Stevedoring vice president Tim Tess said the work required about 20 longshore jobs. In addition to the recycling and longshore jobs, the project also required roughly 20 truckers to haul the scrap to the port.

 

When the first ship began loading at the port Monday, one of the port’s two mobile harbor cranes had already been outfitted with a special scoop called a “skip pan” to load the scrap metal into the ship’s hold.

 

Formed from sheet steel, the skip pan was fabricated by Wayron, LLC, of Longview on a rush order, taking only six weeks rather than the usual six months. Wayron also made the spreader bars, and Woods Logging of Longview made the rigging and load-tested the pan and spreader bars. The skip pan and rigging weigh a combined 18 metric tons.

 

Both the port and PNW Metal Recycling said they are taking pains to ensure the export project is safe for the environment, as well as successful. According to the port, dust was controlled with water and a special machine. The scrap was kept in a containment area at Berth 7, and all water runoff was captured and piped into holding tanks.

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