FYI: September 2002 Page 2
|FYI — September 2002|
|By Brad Dunn|
When the Euro became the official currency of the European Union earlier this year, millions of national coins were taken out of circulation. Since then scrap metal smelter Elmet, based in Bilbao, Spain, has been breathing new life into the old money by recycling coins into basic industrial equipment, including propellers, computer chips, copper tubing, and electrical cables.
Apparently there's plenty of profit in flipping coins into something more useful. Elmet picked up tons of business--35,290 tons, to be exact--last spring by melting down and extracting the copper from millions of Irish pennies.
Scrap coins are not only easy to find in the newly minted Europe, they also promise to yield a pretty good profit, with copper prices hovering around $1,700 per ton. Other smelters are vying to secure deals to purchase old coins in France and Portugal, where millions of tons of retired money are available.
Though the coin-recycled propellers have not yet hit the recreational boating market, there's no telling how far this trend will go. The boat you buy in a few years may be literally propelled by money.
Underscoring the marine industry's support of the event, a dinner dance was held the night before in a section of the covered shed at Broward Marine. According to benefit director John Weller of the Allied Richard Bertram Marine Group, the dinner helped boost interest in the tournament.
In June more than 300 Zodiac dealers across the country received a letter from the manufacturer informing them that the FBI was concerned that terrorists may try to use inflatable boats to transport weapons of mass destruction.
"Zodiac has been mentioned, specifically and by name, in intelligence reports supplied to U.S. security agencies," says Ed Washburn, Zodiac's vice president of leisure sales, in the letter sent to dealers. "The FBI has requested that we contact our dealer network with this information and ask that you be on the alert regarding any requests that might be suspicious in nature."
letter also states that the FBI has reason to believe terrorists were
planning to attack areas of the marine environment in the United States,
with bridges, barges, and ships as possible targets. The agency says RIBs
are attractive to terrorists because they can carry heavy payloads, have
a low profile, and are easy to hide and launch.
This article originally appeared in the January 2003 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.