Horsehead Holding Corp. has completed a preliminary feasibility study for construction of a new 150,000-st/y zinc plant based on state-of-the-art “green” technology. The new plant would replace the company’s existing plant at Monaca, Pennsylvania. Numerous potential sites are under consideration for the plant site in multiple states, including the current Monaca site. Some of the company’s criteria for site selection include electric power costs, environmental permitting process and requirements, labor costs and the value of incentives provided by state and local government.

Initial work has commenced on basic design and engineering. Horsehead’s goals are to produce zinc at much lower costs, to significantly reduce air emissions, and to provide opportunities for the company to serve not only its traditional hot-dip galvanizing and zinc oxide markets but also both the broader market for Special High Grade zinc and the continuous galvanizing market.

The proposed new facility would utilize a lower-cost, environmentally-friendly solvent extraction and electrowinning technology to convert electric arc furnace-based feed and other recycled materials into Special High Grade zinc and other zinc products. Successful execution of the initiative would result in the sustainable production of zinc from recycled sources.

Horsehead’s site selection process is expected to continue through the spring of 2011. If the project is approved by its board of directors and financing is secured, the company hopes to begin construction of the new facility before the end of the year.