Scandinavian Enviro Systems and Antin Infrastructure Partners, through its NextGen platform, announced the formation of a joint venture to create the world’s first large-scale tire recycling group. Supported by Michelin, this new innovative European player will accelerate the circular economy in the tire industry.
The JV plans to establish end-of-life tires recycling plants across Europe, with a total capacity to recycle up to 1 million tons of end-of-life tires annually by 2030. The first plant, located in Sweden, is expected to be fully operational by 2025.
The JV will combine Enviro’s unique and patented technology for the extraction of carbon black and pyrolysis oil from end-of-life tires with Michelin’s leading position in sustainable tires and Antin’s expertise in developing and scaling tomorrow’s infrastructure platforms to enable the industrial development of this innovative recycling technology.
The JV has secured a multi-year supply agreement with Michelin for the first plants established. The agreement with Michelin includes delivery of recovered carbon black and tire pyrolysis oil (TPO).
The initial investment in the JV will be funded by Antin’s NextGen platform, which will be the majority owner of the JV. Enviro’s ownership in the joint venture will ultimately correspond to approximately 30%. As part of the JV, Enviro’s patented technology will be licensed to the JV on an exclusive basis throughout Europe.
The first full-scale commercial plant will be built in Uddevalla, Sweden, with initial capacity to recycle 34,500 tons of disposed tires, equal to 40% of the annual volume of end-of-life-tires in Sweden. Plant construction is scheduled to start in the first half of 2023, subject to a final investment decision by the JV, and the plant is expected to be fully operational by 2025.
Following successful commissioning of the Uddevalla plant, acceleration of the European roll-out will commence. Site selection in other European countries has been initiated to ensure a rapid roll-out, with an aim to build recycling capacity for up to approximately one million tons of end-of-life tires by 2030, corresponding to a third of all tires being disposed of in Europe each year.
Sustained by Michelin, this new innovative European player will accelerate the circular economy in the tire industry
The volume of disposed end-of-life tires has been steadily growing to reach 3.5 million tons per year in Europe alone. The joint venture will develop, with the support of Michelin, end-of-life tire recycling plants throughout Europe to produce sustainable raw materials. These include reclaimed carbon black and oils that can be reused in the tire and petrochemical industries. By replacing virgin carbon black with Enviro’s recycled carbon black, carbon emissions can be reduced by more than 90%, compared to using conventional carbon black. Based on the target volume of one million tons of end-of-life tires, carbon dioxide emissions would be reduced by 670,000 tons.
Alf Blomqvist, Chairman of Enviro, commented: “I am very proud and pleased with the announcement which represents a significant recognition of Enviro’s technological and market leadership in recycling of tires. With Antin’s successful track record in scaling infrastructure platforms and its strong industrial understanding, and Michelin’s leading position in sustainable tires, we have found excellent partners to jointly accelerate our pan-European plant expansion and contribute to making the tire industry circular. Enviro will now be able to focus on our core business and competencies such as technology and material development, optimisation and quality control.”
Anand Jagannathan and Rodolphe Brumm, NextGen Partners at Antin Infrastructure Partners, commented: “Antin is very excited to partner with Enviro and Michelin to create the world’s first large scale tire recycling business. Enviro’s patented pyrolysis technology and its highly experienced management team, combined with Michelin’s world leading position in sustainable tires, makes this an ideal platform. Antin has always been at the forefront of identifying key areas of tomorrow’s infrastructure and we believe this JV will play a critical role in accelerating Europe’s circular economy. We look forward to working with Enviro, Michelin and the JV’s management team to quickly scale the JV to its full potential.”
Maude Portigliatti, Executive Vice President, High Tech Materials – Member of the Group Executive Committee at Michelin, commented: “Today’s announcement is a significant step in our ambition to achieve a circular and more sustainable tire production. This is further proof of Michelin’s ability to step up to achieve its 2050 strategic ambitions and reduce the tire’s overall environmental impact by forging innovative partnerships for an ever more circular industry.”