Michelin acquires Lehigh Technologies
Greenville, South Carolina – Michelin has acquired US scrap tire and rubber recycling company Lehigh Technologies, Michelin North America announced 18 Oct. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Based in Tucker, near Atlanta, Georgia, Lehigh has developed a patented cryogenic turbo mill technology, which it uses to transform rubber from end-of-life tires and industrial goods into materials for new tires and other products.
The 'micronised' powder (MRP) end-product is offered as a low-cost, sustainable substitute for conventional oil- and rubber-based materials. Applications encompass tires, plastics, asphalt and construction materials, and customers are said to include some of the world’s largest tire companies.
Michelin is "always looking for ways to achieve more sustainable mobility, including by using high-technology recycled materials, without compromising safety or other performances,” Selleck commented.
“This acquisition demonstrates Michelin’s strategic intent to… foster the use of advanced rubber recycled materials in the tire and non-tire industries,” added Christophe Rahier, senior VP of strategic planning materials for Michelin Group.
Acquisition by Michelin provides Lehigh with an "incredible opportunity" to continue its growth, expects Alan Barton, CEO of Lehigh.
“With the full backing of Michelin, we can continue to expand our capabilities, execute our global growth strategy and pursue new market opportunities,” Barton stated.
According to Lehigh, its US facility in Tucker is the world’s largest MRP manufacturing plant, with 140 million pounds (around 64 kilotonnes) of annual production capacity.
The company has also set up a factory in Murillo el Fruto, in northern Spain to serve markets in Europe. The facility was originally due for start-up in 2016 and then early 2017, though there has been no recent announcement about its status.
The Spanish facility is said to be equipped with a 10,000-tonne a year capacity cryogenic turbo mill to produce MRP from end-of-life tires, buffings and post-industrial scrap.