London – Malaysian conglomerate Petra Group is to invest £30 million (€35 million) to establish a Green Rubber business in the UK, according to a UK government announcement.
One of the Kuala Lumpur-based group’s flagship entities, Green Rubber offers DeLink technology for devulcanising used rubber tires to provide sustainable raw materials.
The project will involve “the development of a production facility creating 110 jobs,” and was among a series of climate-focused inward investments – together worth £9.7 billion – announced 19 Oct by the UK government.
In response to ERJ’s enquiries, Steve Nieto, senior vice president, global sales at Green Rubber, provided further details and background information about the project:
We had already made extensive plans to set up a Green Rubber plant in the UK and had initially chosen a site just outside Newcastle to be our facility servicing the wider European market.
Unfortunately, a few months later the Brexit referendum happened and the uncertainty of the situation forced us to delay going ahead. There is now far more clarity and we are confident of the UK market and will be proceeding.
A site is yet to be chosen though we have shortlisted a few areas. We hope to be able to make a decision on the location by the first quarter of next year.
The first plant may be closer to our existing Petra Modular plant outside Birmingham.
The facility we set up will include our patented De-Link based automated devulcanisation process capable of producing 24,000 metric tonnes of GR compound a year – each line can produce 12,000t per annum.
We will also be setting up a rubber crumbing line to support our facility, as tire-based rubber crumbs is our main raw material.
ERJ will report further on this project in the November/December issue of European Rubber Journal magazine.