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News

Steel-cored copper a defence mechanism against copper theft?

Fushi Copperweld : 15 August, 2013  (Special Report)
Some utility companies are making power stations more physically secure, while others are choosing to use Copperweld wiring instead. This bimetallic electrical conductor has a steel core and copper on the outside. Copperweld costs more, but doesn't have the same scrap value as regular copper wire, so companies hope its use will cut back on thefts.

Despite a perception that copper theft has slowed down after the recession, incidents have got worse. But owners of electrical power substations and others are fighting back.

A recent report on CNBC.com quotes Mike Adelizzi, president of the American Supply Association, a non-profit group representing distributors and suppliers in the plumbing, heating, cooling and industrial pipe industries. "There was a perception that copper theft slowed down after the recession, and the rise in commodity prices seemed to ease off," Adelizzi said. "But that's not the case. The theft has only been growing."

A national bill, the bipartisan Metal Theft Prevention Act, S. 394, passed the US Senate in June, but passage by the House is uncertain. The bill would make it a federal crime in the USA to steal certain metals, including copper, punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Scrap dealers would be required to keep detailed records of metal purchases, and sellers would have to prove they own the material or have the legal right to dispose of it.

Reference: Copper Theft Continues Utilities Fight Back

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