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Million-euro 2nd line at oil-from-plastic plant in Flanders

In Ostend (Flanders), a state-of-the-art recycling plant converts, among other things, plastic waste into oil. Going by the name of Renasci, which is Latin for ‘being reborn’, the plant is now already being expanded, barely a year after the world’s first oil-from-plastic-waste installation went operational at the site. The expansion project involves an investment of tens of millions of euros.

Based on a patented process

It was striking news in 2017 when Luc Desender, the former strongman of green energy company Electrawinds, announced a comeback with the construction of a large, innovative waste processing plant in Ostend, Flanders. Today, the plant is fully up and running. An important part of the plant is the installation developed by Dutch company BlueAlp to make oil from plastic waste that cannot be recycled in any other way. This oil can then be reused by oil or chemical firms.

The patented BlueAlp process was developed by Eindhoven-based engineering firm Petrogas and its technology director Chris van der Ree. Together with Dutch oil distributor Den Hartog and Renasci, they are the main shareholders of BlueAlp.

1,000,000 kg and counting

After a small pilot plant in Switzerland as well as testing project in Flanders, the BlueAlp installation went operational in 2020. The installation can process 1,400 kilograms of waste per hour and convert almost 80% of the waste into oil – a high yield, according to industry standards. As such, BlueAlp demonstrates that the process can be used on a larger scale and therefore has a competitive edge.

Since its go-live, over 1 million kilograms of plastic have been recycled at the Ostend-based plant. That represents a total of 975,000 liters of oil: more than 6,000 barrels. But it’s just the beginning, as BlueAlp already sees room to build a second production line and amp up the recycling capacity to 2,800 kilograms of waste per hour.

The expansion will also create additional jobs. The new installation is planned to start running in the second half of 2022 – and there is room for further expansion later.

Scale matters!

Experiments with technologies like the process used at Renasci are taking place all over the world. According to Ton Hafkamp, CEO of BlueAlp, what makes the Ostend-based plant in Flanders so special is that it can work ‘on an industrial scale’. “This is a must,” he says, “because companies such as the big oil corporations think in very different quantities than are currently being produced.”

In the quest for greater sustainability, the oil industry has shown a lot of interest in BlueAlp and its know-how to build similar installations like the one in Flanders.

Many parties are interested in purchasing these installations. We are even making offers to some of the world’s largest oil and chemical companies.

Ton Hafkamp
CEO of BlueAlp

Renasci may also be able to capitalize on some of the industry’s interest. Luc Desender, managing director of Renasci in Ostend, says he is “working on a lot of projects around the world”. He hopes to jump on BlueAlp’s bandwagon and build integrated waste treatment plants in various locations.

More info

Renasci
Reported by
De Tijd newspaper
7 July 2021

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