Michelin has established its first tyre recycling plant under a joint venture (JV) with Swedish company Enviro to extract raw materials from earthmover tyres.
The plant will be based in the Antofagasta region of Chile, and is capable of recycling 27,000 tonnes of earthmover tyres, which makes up 60 per cent of the nation’s tyres sent to landfill.
Enviro is capable of recovering an entire end-of-life tyre for reuse, with the plant supporting a circular economy by producing recycled rubber-based products including new tyres, conveyor belts and anti-vibration products.
This will be achieved through Enviro’s patented technology that enables the recovery of raw materials including carbon black, oil, steel and gas.
Works for the plant are scheduled for this year, with production to commence in 2023 through a $30 million investment to commission the plant.
Michelin marketing and business development and new business, high-tech materials business line vice president Sander Vermeulen said the company was looking to create new contracts with Chilean mining customers through the recycling plant.
“This is a major milestone that will enable us to offer customers a new-generation recycling solution, while developing new business for the group,” he said.
“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.”
The recycling plant ties in to Michelin’s aim of increasing the amount of sustainable materials used in its tyres.
Michelin operates 69 tyre facilities worldwide and produced around 200 million tyres globally in 2019.
Headquartered in France, the company operates cross 170 countries and employs 127,000 people.
The company’s partnership with Enviro represents its goal of developing new recycling systems for end-of-life tyres and plastic waste.