Norwegian End-of-Life-Tyres (ELT) recycling company Wastefront has received a boost to its Sunderland plant project as it entered a strategic partnership with Dutch energy company VTTI. The deal will see Wastefront receive up to $43 million investment which will be ploughed into the first phase of Sunderland build, and VTTI also has ‘an agreement to reach a final investment decision for eight (jointly owned VTTI-Wastefront) global sites within a five year period’.
The Wastefront Sunderland tyre recycling plant is a £100 million project which plans to be fully open operational by 2025. Wastefront uses pyrolytic reactors that utilise thermal depolymerisation known as ‘pyrolysis’ to break down a tyre’s materials at elevated temperatures thus producing recovered carbon black (rCB). The South Tyneside plant will produce rCB from a supply of 20% of the UK’s yearly total of ELTs. By integrating Wastefront’s rCB into new tyres, the emissions for each tyre subsequently produced will be reduced by 80%.
It has been noted that 'given the European sanctions limiting imports of carbon black from Russia. A sizable amount of the carbon black utilised in Europe is produced in Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus (around 700,000 tonnes of carbon black is exported from Russia alone each year)'. The market it expected to grow from $13 billion in 2022 to $18 billion by 2029 according to a report by Fortune Business Insight.
“Our mission to create a Green Global Industrial Platform to solve the end-of-life tyre problem, requires buy-in from major industrial companies. VTTI is a leading infrastructure company with a clear mission to grow in the energy transition and I am delighted to announce our partnership. This is the first time that our Wastefront Blueprint solution for circularity will be licensed on a global stage. VTTI has opted to go a step further and not just deploy our solution but also invest in Wastefront and in future plants. The investment will immediately enable us to scale our work at the Port of Sunderland, and to grow our market reach with the development of eight plants at VTTI sites worldwide,” says Vianney Vales, CEO, Wastefront.
“We are pleased to enter into a strategic partnership with Wastefront on this exciting journey to jointly develop tyre recycling plants at our locations around the globe. We are looking forward to working together with Wastefront in making this important contribution to the circular economy. Wastefront is a complementary partner of VTTI that brings in a fully developed and technologically proven tyre recycling offering, an experienced team, an extensive network in feedstock markets and recognition from tyre manufacturers. Our combined efforts will be able to turn a current large and growing global waste problem into products like pyrolysis oil and recovered carbon black, which are highly sought after in the ongoing energy transition,” says Guy Moeyens, CEO, VTTI.