South Africa’s Mathe Group recycles 100,000 truck tyres
South African Mathe Group recently celebrated recycling its 100,000th truck tyre at its Hammarsdale facility. Dr Mehran Zarrebini, head of British investment group PFE International, which is one of the major shareholders in Mathe Group, said that the tyres had been processed into approximately 4,800-tonnes of rubber crumb.
A large portion of Mathe Group’s rubber crumb goes to the Van Dyck Floors factory in Prospecton where it is used to manufacture rubber flooring and paving and acoustic underlays for different types of floor covering, which are then exported.
The factory has also provided rubber crumb for use as infill for sports fields utilising artificial grass in South Africa, Namibia, Zambia, Botswana, Tanzania and the Congo. It is also used for the retreading of tyres, in modified bitumen for road resurfacing and for the manufacture of non-slip paint by the coating industry.
Zarrebini says that Mathe Group only recycles used radial truck tyres. These are sorted and then go through a three-phase crushing process. Separators produce different sized particles for different applications.
Approximately 30 per cent of each truck tyre comprises hi-tensile steel, which is removed and exported to Korea and Australia. Each week, Mathe Group despatches two to three 40-foot containers.
The R20m plant in Hammarsdale, which came on stream at the beginning of February 2016, processed 65,000 tyres last year and is on track to recycle approximately 150,000 this year. It currently runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Due to strong demand, it will run over the December/January festive period.
“We have a full manufacturing programme for the next 10 months. Because we currently sell all the crumb we produce, our objective is to increase capacity,” Zarrebini explains.
He says Mathe’s client base has grown considerably since it started out producing rubber crumb in limited quantities from a small factory in New Germany in 2012. The joint venture with PFE International was intended to ensure off take of the majority of product for Van Dyck.
The plant is extremely flexible when it comes to meeting different product requirements. However, Zarrebini explains, a great deal of product development is needed in the early phases to ensure that the rubber crumb produced matches the specific needs of a particular customer. He says that Mathe is currently working on trials for a new product which will be used as an aggregate for mixing concrete.
To further improve efficiency and output, the company plans to continue to invest in its Hammarsdale factory.
(Source: Biz Community SA)