Green Distillation Technologies Corporation (GDT) says it will not proceed with its proposed plant in Tasmania if the local council revokes the permit for a tyre storage area next to its site.
Northern Midland Council has said it will revoke Tyre Recycle Tasmania’s temporary planning permit in March 2016 for the storage area in Longford, where it has a stockpile of 1.3 million tyres.
GDT had planned to start work on an $8.5 million plant, which is adjacent to that site, this month and to have the facility operating in June 2016.
Craig Dunn, GDT’s CEO, said that the move by the council will make the proposed plant unviable, as the combination of stockpile and annual regular volume is necessary to make the economics work.
“We have been doing the preparation work for the development application for the plant, but this requires that we lodge a non-refundable fee of $25,000, which will be lost if we don’t proceed,” said Mr Dunn. “Clearly, unless we get a written undertaking from the council that the tyre storage ban will be lifted, it would not make commercial sense for us to build the plant without long term access to supply of end-of life-tyres.”
“The reason we were attracted to Tasmania is entirely due to the work of Tim Chugg of Tyre Recycle Tasmania, so the move to rescind his licence to store tyres from March 2016 is a real slap in the face after all his hard work and his dedication to the cause of recycling old tyres,” added Mr Dunn.
GDT’s CEO also questioned the $25,000 fee to lodge the development application, which he said is much higher than for other regions.
“The Council does not seem to understand that we are developing a world first Australian technology that is complex to build and will take several years of production to provide a return on the investment,” he said.
Mr Chugg said he was uncertain what would happen if his licence was revoked earlier than the orogonal December 2016 expire date.
“By revoking the permit, I will then have to clear the site by 2020 but no one has explained to me what I am supposed to do with 1.3 million tyres,” he said.
“This entire situation has not been thought through and I only hope some wise heads prevail to come up with a solution before we reach a locked in stalemate position.”
It was reported last week that independent MLC, Greg Hall, was planning to introduce a notice of motion to put pressure on the Tasmanian Government to attract a tyre processor to the state following ongoing concerns about the Longford tyre stockpile.