Last updated at: (Beijing Time) Thursday, January 24, 2002

Baoshan Group Buys Steel Debris from WTC

The Baoshan Iron and Steel Company Group has bought 50,000 tons of steel debris from the World Trade Center destroyed by terrorists on September 11 last year.
The company plans to feed the debris, purchased for 120 US dollars per ton, into a furnace to make new steel.


The Baoshan Iron and Steel Company Group has bought 50,000 tons of steel debris from the World Trade Center destroyed by terrorists on September 11 last year.

A cargo vessel carrying the steel debris is due to arrive at Shanghai Port this Friday, Beijing Youth Daily reported Wednesday.

The newspaper quoted sources from the conglomerate as saying that the steel debris was purchased for 120 US dollars per ton.

The Shanghai-based conglomerate plans to feed most of the debris into a furnace to make new steel.

Cut, melted, reforged
At least 400,000 tons of steel debris has resulted from the destruction of the twin towers.

A New York-based iron and steel administrative company has been selling most of the steel debris globally, and New York City is said to keep part of the WTC debris to commemorate the innocent people killed in the terrorists' attack.

The charred steel girders from the World Trade Center - cut, melted and reforged - will soon end up in hundreds of thousands of soup cans, appliances, car engines and buildings across the world, according a recent report by New York Daily news.

About 60,000 tons of steel from the twin towers' once-magnificent skeleton have been cut into manageable 3- to 5-foot lengths and loaded onto barges.

While mostly bound for mills in South Korea, shipments also have made their way to Malaysia, Chicago and Florida.

The steel's swift journey from the smoldering piles at Ground Zero to recycling furnaces is the result of a controversial decision by the city to send the girders, columns and beams to scrap yards in New Jersey - which then put them up for sale.

Disgrace, profit, memorial?
"This is a disgrace to the memory of the nearly 3,000 people killed," said Sally Regenhard, the mother of Firefighter Christian Regenhard, who died Sept. 11.

She is part of a group of victims' families, structural engineers and fire-safety experts who want the recycling halted until the steel can be examined more thoroughly.

Metal Management Northeast of Newark and Hugo Neu Schnitzer East of Jersey City won the initial bidding for the city contracts to recycle the Trade Center steel - and continue to bid on subsequent portions of the nearly 300,000 tons of steel at Ground Zero. Few details have been released.

Industry experts estimated the steel is being sold by the city Design and Construction Department to the recyclers for $75 to $100 a ton. Once cut and reforged, it can sell for $220 to $600 a ton. Still, the companies say their profit has been modest.

The recycling process is so quick, industry experts said, that little more than four months after the terrorist attacks, tons of the steel probably have been mixed with virgin ore, melted and reused.

Amid the piles on the firm's dock is a charred boulder pierced with steel rods. The chunk of concrete and steel, which Metal Management workers call The Meteorite, contains three to four floors of a building compressed into a 5-by-7-foot ball.

Marked "For PA" in chalk, it will one day be part of a Port Authority memorial in honor of the nearly 3,000 people killed at Ground Zero.

However, the vast majority of the steel Metal Management receives - generally the larger pieces from the disaster site - is being recycled. Barges containing up to 1,200 tons of steel regularly leave piers in lower Manhattan and head to the Newark scrap yard.

US recyclers are increasingly turning to Asian markets, where mills pay from 5% to 10% more than domestic firms.

The recycling work will likely take up to a year to complete.

Metal Management has donated several pieces of wreckage to organizations seeking to establish WTC memorials. Less than half a mile from its dock, two 8-foot I-beams form a replica of the towers in an unfinished shrine at Stella Maris Seamen's Church.

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