GDT to build tyre recycling plant in Tasmania

Craig Dunn of GDTC
An award-winning Australian company has announced plans to build an $8.5 million plant to process end-of-life car and truck tyres (ELTs) in Tasmania.

Melbourne-based Green Distillation Technologies Corporation (GDT) expects to start work on the site in Longford, just south of Launceston, in mid-November and to have the facility operating in June 2016. It will operate 24/7 and provide permanent employment for 12 people.

This is the company’s first new plant announcement since becoming the first Australian company to win an Edison Award for innovation in April for its destructive distillation technology.

GDT is currently commercialising its pioneering process, which recycles ELTs into saleable commodities of carbon, oil and steel. It will be moving to full production with an $8 million upgrade to its plant in Warren, NSW, with plans for six more plants in Australia.

Tasmania generates about 500,000 end-of-life car and truck tyres each year. Longford already has a stockpile of 1.3 million tyres waiting to be processed.
The proposed plant will handle 658,000 tyres each year.

GDT CEO Craig Dunn said that finance is the major hurdle to be overcome, but is confident that investors will make funds available when the Warren plant is operational.

“We are open to discussing any investment initiatives from Tasmanian interests, but if that is not forthcoming we believe we will be in a position to cover all the costs ourselves,” said Craig.

“We have leased the site we require, with an option to purchase, and believe that it will take four months to complete the necessary permits to allow construction to commence in mid-November.”

GDT’s income will come from selling the oil, carbon and steel achieved through the process, plus a percentage of the recycling fee motorists pay to retailers when buying new tyres.

Tasmanian tyre dealer Tim Chugg, of Tyre Recycle Tasmania, is very supportive of the venture, having visited GDT’s Warren plant to see the process.

“I was very impressed with what I saw and believe that this is the best way of disposing of end of life tyres,” said Tim.

“I have been morally troubled for some time by the prospect of shipping our old tyres to Vietnam or China to be burnt as furnace fuel with the smoke polluting the atmosphere. An alternative for Tasmania, like shipping ELTs to the mainland, is not an economic option.”

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