It comes as no surprise that the two companies that signed first are both real game changers. The Antwerp-based company Triple Helix is set to build a factory to convert polyurethane foam from, among others, discarded mattresses, insulation panels and car seats, along with used PET from the retail and food industries, into polyols. These pure chemicals can then be reused, for example in the production of new polyurethane products. The factory will be fully circular and self-sufficient in terms of energy.
Bolder Industries, the pioneer of advanced sustainable chemical manufacturing sourced from end-of-life tyres, delivers dramatic environmental savings to the global rubber and plastics industry and their customers. The company’s proprietary material science process repurposes the chemicals in end-of-life tyres to create BolderBlack® and BolderOil™ for rubber, plastic, and petrochemicals supply chains and their new product outputs. In this recovery process, 98% of the tyre's materials are utilised and 75% of the solids and liquids make their way back into new tyres, manufactured rubber goods, and plastics.
The total investment value of these two new players amounts to approx. 100 million euros and will generate at least 70 new jobs. After applying for the necessary permits, the objective is to be operational by 2023-2024.
Jacques Vandermeiren, CEO Port of Antwerp said; "The signing of these first two concessionaires represents a milestone for NextGen District and for Port of Antwerp. Several teams within our organisation have pulled out all the stops in recent months to achieve this milestone."
Steven Peleman, CEO Triple Helix commented; “To drastically reduce emissions and waste pollution, we want to show the principle of material reincarnation to the world. In our plant at NextGen District, we want to recover polyurethane foams at the end of their life and transform them into their main components to be used again in new products. This is innovative and challenging, but with Port of Antwerp, BlueChem and our industrial and knowledge partners, we are ready to fight this battle. Not words but deeds!”
Tony Wibbeler, CEO Bolder Industries, who hinted at this development in the recent Podcast with Tyre and Rubber Recycling added; “Since 2015, we have delivered material solutions that are now in thousands of rubber, plastics, and petrochemical products globally and with some of the world’s most recognised brands. We are very proud to join the Port of Antwerp NextGen District, which is strategically situated, allowing Bolder Industries to better serve our global customers and make a meaningful contribution to the circular economy.”