Enespa AG, headquartered in Appenzel, Switzerland and Biofabrik Technologies in Germany have announced plans to build what they claim will be one of the biggest - if not the biggest - chemical recycling facilities in the world.
The two companies have joined forces on the realisation of a technology designed to thermally process mixed plastic waste into paraffin oil and gas, Biofabrik as the technology provider and Enespa as the financier and operator of the plant. Interestingly, among the ways Enespa is raising capital is through the issuance of ‘green’ bonds, which are available for purchase by citizens and institutions from Switzerland, Germany, Austria and Liechtenstein from an amount of EUR 1,000. The annual distribution is 4.5% p.a. for 4 years, after which the capital will be repaid.
A key feature of the project is the modular structure of the new installation: instead of one large plant, it will consist of numerous WASTX P units, the containerised, fully-automated units designed and built by Biofabrik.
The first pilot module with a capacity of 250 kg/day was delivered in August 2020 and series production of the recycling modules has now started. Test operation of the first continuous-feed WASTX Plastic P 1000 unit, capable of converting up to 1000kgs of plastic waste into 1000 litres of pyrolysis oil per day, started in January 2021.
According to the partners, the goal is to commission a plant consisting of 5 modules in the first half of 2021 and then, taking advantage of the modular concept, to gradually expand capacity. Five modules with a processing capacity of 5000 kg/day form a unit.
“With the operation of 40 units, an economic optimum is then achieved,” said Cyrill Hugi, CEO and owner of Enespa.
Next to being almost infinitely scalable, the concept also has the advantage of being better equipped against system failure, as if one module goes down the others keep processing.
This first plant, which is located near Dresden in Germany, will ultimately process up to 60,000 tons of plastic waste per year.
And, as Hugi points out: “Everybody can participate. Do something for the future of your kids. Do something for yourself. Invest in plastic recycling.“