Chemical plastics recycling company Quantafuel ASA announced today (13 January) it has acquired a 40% stake in fellow Norwegian business Geminor AS.
Quantafuel acquires the shares from Geminor Invest AS, the holding company owned by waste fuel specialist Geminor’s CEO Kjetil Vikingstad and COO Ralf Schöpwinkel.
It was just last March that Mr Vikingstad and Mr Ralf Schöpwinkel secured 100% ownership of Geminor, having bought out bought out their Danish partner Gemidan for an undisclosed fee (see letsrecycle.com story). After the deal with Quantafuel, Geminor Invest retains 60% of company shares.
In a joint statement the two Nowegian companies said the acquisition made them “industry partners” and “leading players” in the development of chemical plastics recycling in Europe. Quantafuel’s CEO Kjetil Bøhn said he saw the partnership with Geminor as an “important new step” for his company.
“The supply of plastic volumes with the right quality will be very important for us in the years to come,” he said. “Geminor’s presence and network throughout Europe, in addition to knowledge and experience of the waste industry, will be important in order to streamline the process of chemical recycling of plastics.”
Quantafuel develops, designs and operates plants for the production of chemicals and synthetic fuel products based on non-recyclable waste products.
The chemical recycling process sees unrecyclable plastics turned into an oil which can be used to re-create virgin material or as a cleaner fuel. Chemical recycling has proved controversial in the past, and in December 2019 FEAD, the European Federation of Waste Management and Environmental Services, said more research into the technology was needed before it could be classed as recycling (see letsrecycle.com story).
Mr Vikingstad said plastic would now become “more important” for Geminor. “With Quantafuel as a partner we hope to achieve our goal of becoming a leading player in material recycling and energy recovery in Europe. In collaboration with Quantafuel we want to increase the proportion of plastic for material recycling, and by this actively contribute to a circular economy for plastics in Europe.”
Quantafuel currently operates a production plant for chemical recycling in Skive in Denmark, which opened last year. In December 2019, Geminor announced that it would deliver 20,000 tonnes-a-year of waste plastics to the plant. The former company said in May 2020 it was to begin supplying the facility with low-density polyethylene (LDPE) plastic (see letsrecycle.com story).
Geminor was established in 2004 on the island of Karmøy in Norway. With an estimated annual turnover of €180 million, its activities focus on refuse derived fuel (RDF), solid recovered fuel (SRF), recycled waste wood, hazardous waste for energy recovery, and paper and cardboard, plastic and other types of waste for material recycling in the European market.
The company says it handled more than 2 million tonnes of feedstock in 2020, and holds contracts with more than 350 waste producers and 180 energy from waste (EfW) and recycling facilities.
Mr Vikingstad says a large proportion of Geminor’s turnover will still come from EfW.
“We will continue to develop more sustainable waste fractions and at the same time extract more waste plastic for chemical recycling,” he said. “A good combination of energy recovery and material recycling will be important in our strategy for further growth and development.”