E-Crane, the backbone of the scrapyard at the ArcelorMittal stainless steel mill

Ever since 2005 E-Cranes have been the backbone of the state-of-the-art scrapyard at the ArcelorMittal stainless steel mill in Châtelet (near Charleroi), Belgium. The scrapyard at this facility was built and is operated by Harsco Metals, one of the leading steel mill service providers in the world. It is also one of the last steel mill greenfield projects of its kind in Europe.

Balanced design for scrap handling

When Harsco received the contract to build and operate, among other things, the scrapyard, it set out to look for a reliable partner who could deliver the same quality Harsco is known for. Harsco management earlier realized balance type cranes are the only logical solution for scrap handling inside a steel mill while excavator based hydraulic material handlers cannot provide the required outreach, nor the long machine life and reliability essential in a steel mill operation. As a result of the previous points a balanced type crane also has a much lower OPEX per ton of material handled, a just as important criterium when selecting material handling equipment.

The E-Crane Solution

That’s why Harsco turned to E-Crane to come up with a reliable and cost effective crane to suit their needs. Harsco and E-Crane worked closely together to come to an optimum scrap yard lay-out as well as a machine to manage it. Many different scenarios and lay-outs were studied and simulated by the two project teams utilizing state-of-the-art computer software until the perfect scarp yard took shape.

The E-Cranes in detail

The 3 rail mounted E-Cranes have a 10 ton lifting capacity in grab operation and a maximum outreach of 38,2 m. Their primary function is to load the gigantic baskets with the correct mix of scrap materials to feed the EAF. In addition the machines are also used for ship unloading, railway wagon unlading as well as truck unloading.The harshness of the working environment as well as the low overall operating cost was one of the main reasons Harsco selected E-Crane Worldwide to supply the scrap handling cranes for this project.

Its high crane classification guarantees a long problem free operation while the equilibrium principle assures dramatically reduced power consumption and maintenance cost. Another major advantage was that E-Crane could provide a full maintenance contract to service the machines enabling Harsco to focus on its core business.

The E-Cranes now each have well over 20.000 working hours and continue to give Harsco the reliability and cost effective operation it needs. As a result of this succesful cooperation Harsco also choose E-Crane for it’s Acindar Project in Argentina where another two E-Cranes have been operating since 2007.


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Bureau of International Recycling
The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Inc. (ISRI)