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Scrap metal processor steps up productivity

Copyright 2014 Singapore Press Holdings Limited
 All Rights Reserved

A NEW plant built by scrap metal processor Kim Hock will allow the firm to dramatically increase productivity.

The Shipyard Crescent factory, which is fuelled by biomass wood waste, has doubled overall processing capacity with only 12 per cent more staff.

"This pales in comparison to the past, where 200,000 tonnes of metal scrap a year were handled by 160 men," said general manager Lim Teck Siang at the opening ceremony yesterday.

Mr Lim said that in 2011, the company was "sailing against the tide" of increasing business costs, limited labour availability and intense competition.

Its plight prompted it to invest in the new factory, built with help from JTC, the Economic Development Board and National Environment Agency (NEA).

The $51 million plant - one of five the firm runs - operates continuously under computer control as it scraps old vehicles to recover clean steel using rotating electromagnets while other magnets separate and recover the non-ferrous parts such as aluminium and copper.

It can shred 100 tonnes of metal scrap an hour.

Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said at the opening ceremony that maintaining high-quality waste treatment capacity is crucial to achieving Singapore's target of a 70 per cent recycling rate by 2030, and the long-term aspiration of moving towards zero waste.

"The Government is committed to... supporting progressive companies in their efforts to become more technology and skills-focused," he said.

Spring Singapore is playing a role as well with a grant supporting a project between Kim Hock and the Supply Chain Management Centre of Innovation that aims to help the company automate job assignment and scheduling. This should enable its waste collection fleet to take on more jobs each day.

The NEA launched the Singapore Standards on waste management terminology last month, said Mr Shanmugaratnam, who is also Finance Minister.

"JTC will continue to render strong support to quality projects by companies that make productive use of scarce industrial land, transform industry practices or set new industry benchmarks, through land allocations or lease extensions," he added.

RENNIE WHANG

Last Updated on : 30 Jan 2015

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