Tyre recycling giant aiming for the ‘Michelin’ stars

Genan wants to recycle ten percent of all scrap tyres in the world by the end of 2020

Genan, the world’s largest scrap tyre recycler, aims to process ten percent of all scrap tyres in the world before the end of year 2020 and is looking to the US to complete that vision.

The Viborg-based company is on the brink of opening a tyre-recycling plant north of Toulouse that will cost an estimated 400 million kroner and allow it to recycle 10 percent of all discarded tyres in Europe.

Last year, Genan opened the world’s largest tyre-recycling plant in Houston, Texas at a cost of almost 760 million kroner, and it’s looking to keep expanding in the US market and elsewhere this year.

“We are counting on pushing the button on the next American plant,” Bent Nielsen, Genan’s billionaire owner told Børsen newspaper. “We need to ensure the supply flow and that we can sell the products that we produce from our processes.”

READ MORE: Danish grass taking seed globally

Waving goodbye to tyre-burning
The 100,000-tonne tyre-recycling facility employs 60 full-time employees. Founded in 1990, it earns money by recycling old tyres from cars, trucks and construction machines into rubber that can be used in other industries, such as for artificial turf sports fields.

Nielsen argues that getting tyres in the US is much more difficult than back home because of strict bans on the burning of old tyres and national tyre-collecting initiatives that exist in Denmark.

“The idea is that we will have four to five plants in the USA and gain ten percent of the market there,” Nielsen said.

Thomas Becker, the head of the European Wind Energy Association who isa former Genan director, predicted that Genan’s recycling of tyres could have a massive impact globally and replace the burning of tyres in a few short years.