Re-Gen Waste, has invested £5m in the development of its existing processing facility, to produce a high specification replacement for traditional fossil fuels, for use in cement kilns and power stations.
Located at Carnbane Industrial Estate in Newry, the plant expansion has generated 20 construction jobs in the build phase and will create a further 30 permanent positions when up to full production, upon completion in early November.
Re-Gen provides mixed dry recycling and municipal solid waste collection and processing services for public authorities and private companies across the island of Ireland and the UK. It also recovers energy from unrecyclable household waste, that is sent by many councils, to landfills.
Prepared waste in the form of solid recovered fuel (SRF), is exported to Waste to Energy (WtE) plants in Europe, where it is incinerated to generate electricity for home heating.
The company already exports 80,000 tonnes of solid recovered fuel annually, but will manufacture higher calorific value pellets and baled material for the cement and steel industries, which will be shipped to Europe through local ports.
Joseph Doherty, Managing Director of Re-Gen Waste said: “This is an incredibly important area of our work, as our ‘throw-away’ society is generating in excess of 27 million tonnes of mixed household waste per year, in the UK.
“All the materials that come into our lives will be one day discarded and there are ultimately two choices we can make; they can be treated as waste and end up in landfills or be treated as a resource and reprocessed to find a home in our economy.”
Worldwide substitution of coal and oil, in the Cement Industry now averages 13%, in Europe that figure is 26% and 60% in Germany and Austria, respectively. There is also significant growth potential in Africa, South America and East Asia.
Mr Doherty said; “We’re helping local councils find a positive outcome to their landfill problem. We all generate waste and we all, especially recyclers, have to work out the right way of handling it, so that it does not end up in landfills or suffocating our rivers and oceans.
“Finding at least a second life for every type of waste material, is what we are striving for.”