Swiss based Global Steel Dust (GSD) is considering pulling out of its EAF dust treatment project in Thailand following 15 months of delay in gaining permits from Thai government agencies

The US$38M facility was planned to start building a Waelz kiln to treat the dust in October 2011 but is yet to receive approval from the Thai Board of Investment due to a combination of the change in government and the floods which took place in October last year.

The aim was to recycle up to 85kt/y of EAF dust to recover its zinc content. Thailand’s EAF operators produce around 4.3Mt/y of steel.

GSD has already purchased the land and spent over 200M baht ($6.5M) for equipment. The planned plant was to have the capacity to treat 100kt/y of dust and produce 40kt/y of zinc oxide concentrate for treatment in a Waelz kiln

GSD Executive VP, Ron Crittendon was hopeful for a decision by December but also said the company was looking at South Korea as an alternative location. However, a competitor process using a rotary kiln is already being commissioned in South Korea by ZincOx and they have already signed agreements with all but one of the Korean EAF steel plants for supply of their dust.
Under the Basel Convention, EAF dust cannot be exported by signatories of the convention for treatment elsewhere.