A new recycling facility is set to turn the Finnish town of Heinola into an aluminium and copper processing hub. The plant, whose construction costs are estimated at 7 million euros, will begin operating next year.
The facility consists of a pre-crushing line and a separation line. The operations will have a production capacity of about 2.5 tons per hour, which means that around 40 tons of copper can be produced per week. This, according to the company, corresponds to the amount of copper used in approximately 500 electric cars. The size of the venture means that it will be able to process all cables discarded in Finland.
The Copper Centre will form part of Kuusakoski’s broader recycling operations in Heinola. Large-scale renovations are in progress at the site after construction began last spring. According to the company, the processing plant is expected to be fully operational by March 2023.
Kuusakoski, Northern Europe’s leading recycling services provider, will complete construction on the new Copper Centre next year. According to a recent press release from the company, the site will largely process copper from cables, radiators, transformers and other products from all over the country. This is the first venture of its kind in Finland, and sees the company add a second recycling hub to its portfolio, alongside operations in Skelleftehamn, Sweden.
“Our new copper centre is unique in Finland,” explained Mikko Kuusilehto, president and CEO of Kuusakoski. “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.”
Why it matters
This is a significant boost to Finland’s recycling capacity, and will aid in the transition to a circular economy as part of society’s efforts to fight climate change and pollution. The reduction in demand for recently extracted copper has a downstream benefit of lowering imports and their associated emissions. Recycling metals in particular also provides major cost savings in the light of recent supply chain complications that have sent commodity prices skyrocketing. Copper is no exception here, with prices almost double what they were two years ago.