Polypropylene recycler PureCycle Technologies Inc. has a deal with the Port of Antwerp-Bruges, Belgium, to locate the company's first plant in Europe.
The Orlando, Fla.-based company now has to figure out financing and feedstock sourcing for the site at the port's NextGen District, a former General Motors parcel that's being repurposed for circular economy projects.
PureCycle plans an initial annual processing capacity of 130 million pounds, or 59,000 metric tons, with the opportunity to ultimately expand to approximately 500 million pounds, or 240,000 metric tons. The company will utilize about 35 acres (14 hectares) of 217-acre (88-hectare) former automotive site.
"Being in NextGen District will enable us to capitalize on existing efficiencies, collaborate with other innovators in the space and forge new partnerships," said Wiebe Schipper, PureCycle's vice president of European operations, in a statement. "The announcement of our first location in Europe marks the next phase in executing PureCycle's global growth strategy."
PureCycle is nearing startup of the company's first plant in Ironton, Ohio, and has plans for a second facility in Augusta, Ga. The firm also has a deal with SK Geo Centric to bring its solvent-based technology to South Korea.
The port is located in Flanders, Belgium's northern region. "PureCycle's purification technology is a game changer within the circular economy and will have a major impact on making plastics — and pre-eminently the chemical cluster around the Port of Antwerp-Bruges — even more sustainable," Flanders Minister-President Jan Jambon said in a statement.
PureCycle, which uses solvents to purify used PP, expects to create 65 to 70 new jobs at the facility during an initial phase. The company licenses technology developed by Procter & Gamble Co.
Funding for the project could include traditional financing as well as grants and subsidies available through the European Union for circular projects. PureCycle expects to have a project timeline in place by the middle of this year with the permitting process beginning in 2024.