Named ‘Polynate’, the company’s “main operation” will be to supply Quantafuel’s existing facilities in Norway and Denmark and its planned facilities in the UK, waste fuel specialist Geminor said this morning (25 January).
Quantafuel, which owns a 40% stake in Geminor, said last year it hoped to have its 12-acre chemical recycling plant in Sunderland operational in 2024, subject to planning permission (see letsrecycle.com story).
Kjetil Vikingstad, chief executive of Geminor, said: “Polynate will be an important contributor in the sustainable treatment and handling of international plastic waste.
“Establishing Polynate together with Quantafuel is strategically important for Geminor. Our ambition is to increase our market share and secure new downstream solutions for plastics.
“It is becoming increasingly important to sort plastics from residual waste, both to secure more feedstock for new plastic products, but also to reduce the fossil content in the waste that is sent to energy recovery.”
The new company will be led by Geminor’s Ralf Schöpwinkel, who the company says has 25 years of industry experience. Mr Ralf Schöpwinkel will leave his position as chief strategic officer of Geminor but remains a shareholder.
Mr Schöpwinkel said: “I am very motivated to take on the new role. With Polynate, we will take a leading position in the value chain for plastics in the Nordics and the UK.
He added: “We see great potential here. Chemical recycling of plastics complements mechanical recycling and significantly increases the overall recycling rate. Thanks to chemical recycling, it will be easier for many countries to reach their ambitious recycling targets.
“I am really excited and look forward to focusing exclusively on plastics and supporting the industrialisation of Quantafuel.”
Quantafuel has an operational 20,000 tonnes per year capacity plastics sorting and mechanical recycling plant in Kristiansund, Norway, and a chemical recycling plant of the same capacity in Skive, Denmark.
Polynate will first focus on supplying these plants, but Geminor says the company will enter the UK market too, so it can supply the Sunderland facility once it becomes operational.
Polynate will also supply plastic waste to ReSource, Quantafuel’s joint project with French investment fund Eurazeo in Esbjerg. Geminor says the plant will be Denmark’s largest plastic sorting facility, capable of processing 160,000 tonnes of mixed plastic waste annually, and will be ready to receive waste from early 2024.
Quantafuel’s core business is chemical recycling, which means that plastic waste is broken down into its original building blocks, consisting of carbon and hydrogen chains, in a pyrolysis process. The chemicals are reassembled into an oil that can be used to produce new high-quality products such as food packaging.