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World’s 1st oil-from-plastic-waste installation in Flanders

At the Port of Ostend, one of Flanders’ four seaports, an installation was recently started up that can distill oil from plastic waste. This technological ‘tour de force’ is considered a world first. On 17 September 2020 at 5 o’clock in the morning, the first oil emerged. The project was realized through a joint venture between Flanders-based waste processing company Renasci and Dutch consortium partners BlueAlp, Mourik, Petrogas and Den Hartog.

Enormous potential

On an annual basis, the new installation at the Port of Ostend should be able to produce some 20 million liters of oil. “Large oil and chemical companies are following our investment closely,” says Luc Desender of Renasci. “They’re very interested in both the end product and the engineering aspect of the installation.”

“We are already receiving requests from abroad to install and operate similar installations,” says Desender. “This could lead to a significant boost that we can’t even begin to fully assess right now. The investment also fits within the EU’s Horizon 2030 plans, which focus on circular solutions and an enhanced waste policy.”

Rethinking and repurposing waste

Meanwhile, on the same site at the Port of Ostend, Renasci’s new facility is being constructed. The plant is part of the plastic-to-chemicals process and will give a second life to industrial waste. The factory is now performing test runs, but once it is at cruising speed, 120,000 tons of waste will be processed. The ultimate goal is to work 100% circularly, but that is not yet the case today. “Technologically, however, this goal is feasible through additional investments,” says Desender.

The Renasci team has been preparing the project for around ten years, investing a total amount of about EUR 65 million. The factory also serves as an exemplar in energy management and sustainability. For instance, all waste water is recycled and the plant is completely energy independent.

Circular recycling

According to Luc Desender, the Renasci concept has a great future, mentioning “a lot of foreign interest. “Our ambition is simple,” he concludes. “We seek to steer the waste management industry toward circular recycling.”

More info

Reported by
website Made in West-Vlaanderen
7 October 2020

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