The company Greentech is going to invest EUR 5 million in the construction of a new PET bottle-to-bottle recycling plant. In that way, for the first time in Serbia, waste PET bottles will be used to produce R-PET granules, technologically the most advanced final product of the recycling process. The future plant will be equipped with the state-of-the-arts Vacurema technology, and it should be put into operation in spring 2013, Mihail Mateski, director of Novi Sad-based Greentech, says to eKapija.
The new plant will be built within Greentech's factory in Backa Palanka's village of Mladenovo, and it will employ about 50 workers. In this way, Greentech will double the number of its employees.
- We are currently waiting to get a building permit. Construction of a new production facility should start very soon. With the introduction of the bottle-to-bottle technology, Greentech will complete its assortment of final products, which already includes polyester fibers and polyester tapes - says our interlocutor.
- Preliminary designs are completed, and we have already provided all the required equipment and paid an advance for it. The new plant will include a hot-wash line, with the annual capacity of 10,000 tonnes, as well as a bottle-to-bottle line, with the capacity of about 5,000 tonnes of R-PET granules per year. Our Green Group now ranks second in Europe in the waste PET bottle recycling capacity, and we may even climb into first place thanks to this this investment.
R-PET granules are used as a substitute for original granules used in the production of PET tubes, that is, PET bottles, enabling users of such packaging to make large savings, increase energy efficiency and directly contribute to the preservation of healthy environment.
(Vacurema R-PET production line)
- We will use domestic raw materials to produce domestic granules, which we now import. Serbian PET packaging manufacturers as well as companies using PET packaging for their products will be offered to substitute a portion of original granules with the recycled ones. R-PET has the same characteristics as original granules, and it will also be attested as required. As recommended by an EU directive, the mix currently in use consists of 75 percent of original PET granules and 25 percent of recycled R-PET granules. However, the share of recycled granules is expected to grow in the future.
Greentech is an export-oriented company marketing over 90 percent of its products abroad. Although R-PET will also be offered to domestic companies, even after the opening of the new plant, Greentech will continue to export most of its products. Director Mateski says that Greentech is satisfied with how the construction permitting process is going so far, adding that the company has an excellent cooperation with the municipality of Backa Palanka and provincial authorities.
The Green Group, part of which is Greentech, plans to commission two bottle-to-bottle lines in Romania in addition to the one in Mladenovo, Serbia. Our interlocutor reveals that they also plan to make new investments in the field of plastics recycling in the future.
EE waste recycling
Although the Green Group announced a year or so ago that it would invest about EUR 7 million in an electrical and electronic (EE) waste recycling plant, that investment is "on hold" for now, says our interlocutor.
- This project was in the pipeline for 2012, but, unfortunately, legislation in Serbia in this field is still incomplete and full of obscurities, so that we've decided to wait until a complete legal framework is defined for further development of EE waste recycling. The economic crisis, which has deepened in the meantime, and a drop in the purchasing power of citizens, which also affects the quantity of EE waste that can be collected in the market under these circumstances, have provided us with an additional assurance that this is not the right time for one such investment. We hope that these unfavorable conditions will be eliminated in the future and that we will have a chance to implement our plans for the recycling of electrical and electronic waste - Mateski explains.
Participating in Ecofair for the fifth time
This year again, Greentech has worked to expand its network of partners, which currently includes about 100 companies. According to rough estimates, that system employs about 1,000 people.
The company participated in this year's International Energy and Environmental Fair Ecofair at the Belgrade Fair for the fifth time.
- Ecofair is a good opportunity for making new contacts, but primarily for meeting with existing partners. We intend to partake again next year – says Mateski.