Scrap metal site reopens after sale

John Laurie Group said they would continue to invest in its Lerwick facility. A material handler has now been relocated from one of the company's mainland sites. Photo: Neil Riddell/Shetland News

AT LEAST four jobs are set to be created at the former 60 North Recycling site at Lerwick’s Rova Head as the site opened for business again on Monday after it was taken over by scrap metal specialist John Lawrie Group in December last year.

The Aberdeen based company, which processes more than a quarter of a million tonnes of metal every year, said investment in the Lerwick site was ongoing.

Operations director Dave Weston said the company was now offering up date scrap metal processing services to clients in Shetland including decommissioning.

“We have relocated a material handler from one of our sites in the mainland, estimated value of about £250,000, and we have got a new shear for compressing and cutting material into manageable pieces, again a £250,000 piece of kit, which will be arriving very early next week,” he said.

Site manager Lyndon Leask. Photo: Neil Riddell/Shetland News

The company decided to temporarily close the facility to allow for clearance of the site and repairs.

They have now employed a local manager to run the site and expect to employ three or four more people later this month.

“We have always bought material from Shetland and we always have had a desire to open a facility in Shetland as we felt we could bring metal recycling to the next level on the island,” he said.

Scrap metal recycling and the budding decommissioning sector go hand in hand, he added.

“Decommissioning is the buzzword at the moment, and one or two projects have started but it is still a long way to go,” he said.

“We are there, and we have a mobile decom squad that can tool up anywhere. Our aim is that if we became busier on the island we would employ to work alongside our decom squad and eventually we would have a decom squad on the site, but at the moment it is for metal recycling and anything else that comes along.”

Rather than selling local scrap metal on to another dealer, Weston said the material would from now on be directly shipped to steel mills in Europe for recycling.

He said it was cheaper and environmentally more sustainable to ship material to steel mills in northern and southern Spain than move metal by road to Wales, where the nearest UK steel mill is located.