Sims Resource Renewal (SRR) aims to have 11 resource renewal facilities operating globally by 2030, with the first facility proposed for Campbellfield, Victoria.
A research and development focused pilot facility is also proposed at SRR’s existing metals recycling site at Rocklea, Queensland.
SRR, a division of Sims Limited, will undertake research and innovation at both facilities to further advance the technology needed to support a more circular economy.
The sites were chosen following a global selection process.
Through the global program, more than one million tonnes of shredded material left over from metal recycling will be diverted from landfill each year, according to a Sims Limited ASX statement.
The program will transform shredded material – known as ASR – into new, quality products such as construction materials, electricity and recycled plastics.
Sims Metal Management Group Chief Technology Officer Brendan McDonnell said Sims will invest in research and development to create the best available technology to support the facilities.
“Our first resource renewal site in Victoria will be an environmentally state-of-the art facility,” he said.
“We will use a process called plasma gasification which uses high temperatures in a controlled manner to break down the ASR into its basic compounds – producing synthesis gas and a glass like product.”
“Importantly, this process does not involve the incineration of ASR.”
According to McDonnell, SRR will use the synthesis gas to produce electricity, with the glass like product to be used as an aggregate for construction materials.
“The electricity produced will power our resource renewal facility, as well as neighbouring metals recycling facility, with any remaining electricity put back into the grid,” he said.
“As our technology advances, we will shift to producing other types of products from the synthesis gas which will include the building blocks of recycled plastics.”
McDonnell added that modern plasma gasification technology is used safely around the world, with SRR’s designs to be based on European emissions standards.
“We’ve chosen InEnTec as the technology partner for our first resource renewal facility,” he said.
“The technology has operated safely throughout the US and Asia since 1997.”
Sims Limited Group Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director Alistair Field said a key priority for Sims is to take care of today’s waste, so it is not left for future generations to manage.
“In addition to the environmental benefits created through Sims Resource Renewal, our resource renewal facilities will create new jobs and industry development opportunities in local communities, which will be particularly important as we work together to recover from the economic impacts of COVID-19,” he said.
Subject to necessary environmental and planning approvals, construction is expected to commence in late 2021, with the facilities operational by late 2022.