Michelin building world first tyre recycling plant in Chile
Michelin is investing US$30 million in building its first tyre recycling plant in the world in Chile. The project is the result of Michelin’s ongoing collaboration with Enviro, a Swedish company that has developed a patented technology to recover carbon black, oil, steel and gas from end-of-life tyres.
Located in Chile’s Antofagasta region, the plant will be able to recycle 30,000 tons of earthmover tyres a year, or nearly 60 per cent of such tyres scrapped every year nationwide. Work will begin this year, with production scheduled to get underway in 2023.
According to the company, the recycling plant will support the circular economy with “innovative recycling processes”. Scrap tyres will be collected directly from customer premises, then transported to the plant to be cut up and recycled.
Enviro’s technology, which produces new, high-quality reusable materials like carbon black, pyrolysis oil, gas and steel, will enable everything in an end-of-life tyre to be recovered for reuse.
Current plans call for 90 per cent of the recovered materials to be reused in a variety of rubber-based products, such as tyres, conveyor belts and anti-vibration products. The remaining 10 per cent will be reused directly by the plant to generate its own-use heat and power.
This initial recycling plant will enable Michelin to offer a comprehensive recycling solution, from collecting end-of-life tyres to reusing the recovered raw materials in the manufacture of new products.
“Thanks to this joint venture with Enviro, we are very proud to announce the construction of the Michelin Group’s first recycling plant,” said Sander Vermeulen, Vice President, Marketing & Business Development, Strategy and New Business for the High-Tech Materials business line. “This is a major milestone that will enable us to offer customers a new-generation recycling solution, while developing new business for the Group. We are currently in talks with several Chilean mining customers to sign long-term contracts. By scaling up Enviro’s technology, we are offering them a solution that will support their environmental objectives and enables the development of a circular economy.”