Vitol partners with Wastefront to market liquid hydrocarbons made from recycled tyres
Vitol and Wastefront AS, the Norwegian waste tyre recycling company, today announced a 10-year offtake agreement for the production of liquid hydrocarbons and certain non-liquid products due to be produced at Wastefront’s first waste tyre recycling plant in Sunderland, on its completion in 2023.
In addition to the offtake agreement, Vitol and Wastefront have also established a framework agreement for the 10-year offtake from future waste tyre recycling plants to be developed and built by Wastefront.
Vitol will buy all available liquid hydrocarbons, including naphtha, distillates and bunker oil, from the first plant in Sunderland – which is expected to have an annual processing capacity of 60,000 metric tonnes of waste tyres – from which it is expected that Vitol will buy a volume of up to 30,000 metric tonnes of products per annum. The agreements are constructed to incentivise both parties to optimise sustainability elements in the value chain and to utilise existing and future national and supranational emission reduction schemes.
Wastefront’s plant will be the first to combine conventional methods with the company’s own proprietary process, which will minimise the environmental impact typically associated with traditional tyre pyrolysis. The company’s pyrolytic reactors comply with all local environmental regulations and the technology meets with the emissions levels and specifications established by the European standards. The gas purification system removes pollutants, organic compounds and harmful solid particles without releasing unwanted by-products into the environment.
The estimated 29 million metric tonnes of vehicle tyres which reach the end of their lifespan each year represent an underreported but major cause of pollution due to their non-biodegradability. By converting tyre waste into usable commodities, Wastefront offsets carbon emissions, with the alternative to recycled commodities being crude oil.
Wastefront’s Director and Co-Founder, Christian A. Hvamstad, comments: “Our ambition is to create a new circular economy for dealing with waste issues, and partnering with Vitol in this offtake agreement is a key step in our journey.
“Together, we can contribute to a cleaner future by dealing with a specific waste problem, where end-of-life tyres no longer end up in landfill, but instead are converted into viable commodities that can be used again.
“Both the Vitol and Wastefront teams have been cooperating closely in the development and configuration of the first plant in Sunderland to ensure it adheres to the current market climate and environmental standards, as well as position the plant to comply with foreseeable changes in regulation and to ensure that the plant will have the flexibility to adapt to future shifts in the commodities market.”
Chris Bake, Head of Origination at Vitol, comments: “Wastefront’s business model sits at the intersection of waste reduction and decarbonisation, both key to addressing current environmental challenges. With the appropriate expertise, we believe these new fuels can be successfully integrated into the energy system.
“We are pleased to be partnering with Wastefront as they implement their proprietary technology to produce sustainable energy products, with a reduced environmental impact.”
About Vitol Group
Vitol is an energy and commodities company; its primary business is the trading and distribution of energy products globally – it trades 8 million barrels per day of crude oil and products and, at any time, has 250 ships transporting its cargoes. Vitol’s clients include national oil companies, multinationals, leading industrial and chemical companies and the world’s largest airlines. Founded in Rotterdam in 1966, today Vitol serves clients from some 40 offices worldwide and is invested in energy assets globally including: circa 16mm3 of storage globally, 480kbpd of refining capacity and 7,000 service stations across Africa, Australia, Brazil, Eurasia and in Northwest Europe. Revenues in 2019 were $225 billion. (www.vitol.com)
Wastefront is a Norwegian waste tyre recycling company, founded in Oslo in 2019 by its CEO Inge Berge, CSO and Director Christian Armand Hvamstad, and CFO Vegard Bringsjord. The company combines conventional methods with its own proprietary process to minimise the environmental impact typically associated with traditional tyre pyrolysis. Its first full-scale plant in Sunderland will have an annual capacity to process 60,000 metric tonnes of ELT waste, and convert it into useful commodities, including liquid hydrocarbons and carbon black. (www.wastefront.com)
Wastefront recently received funding from the Norwegian state-owned company and national development bank, Innovation Norway and it is supported by government agency, The Research Council of Norway (Skattefunn). The company will be raising investment from UK, Nordic and International investors in Q1 2021, in order to facilitate the construction of the plant.
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