In this edition of the newsletter, we take a look at developments in the GDT-Volco Power South African deal, GDT CEO Craig Dunn’s statement on tyre recycling’s coronavirus resistance, news about rolling out our first plants in the US and exciting updates from our NZ technology partners, CarbonScape.
GDT formalises agreement with Volco Power to build tyre recycling plants in South Africa
GDT has formalised its memorandum of understanding with energy company Volco Power to build five new tyre recycling plants in South Africa. The project will use innovative technology developed by GDT to turn end-of-life tyres into high quality oil, carbon, and steel.
Details of the agreement remain commercial in confidence as of the moment. However, GDT and Volco Power are keen on pushing through with the deal. The companies are now preparing the initial paperwork to secure the permission to operate.
GDT and Volco Power are eyeing the Special Economic Zone near Cape Town as a potential site for the first tyre recycling plant. They are finalising an agreement to supply the plant with 30,000 tonnes of tyres every year.
As with any enterprise trying to do business in a foreign country, there are a number of local rules and conditions that need to be accommodated. South Africa has many such conditions and GDT is working through them to ensure that we can commence operation in a free and fair environment.
These things, of course, take time and we are confident that with the enthusiasm of Volco Power and the project coordinator Wilson Machekanyanga we will achieve the best outcomes possible.
Tyre recycling is coronavirus resistant, says CEO Dunn
GDT CEO Craig Dunn assured stakeholders that the business plan for tyre recycling is coronavirus resistant.
Since people still drive their cars and trucks, they need spare tyres to replace their worn out threads. Because of this, Dunn believes there will still be a need for environmentally sensitive recycling.
“In addition, the Federal Government’s ban on the export of whole tyres that comes into effect from the end of 2021 will create an excess in the Australian market far beyond existing capacity and will cause increased demand for our tyre recycling services,” tthe chief executive said.
“It is also important in this current environment of pandemic risk to understand the health risk associated with the inappropriate management of end-of-life tyres.
Tyre Stewardship Australia states in its Annual Report that less than 1 in 10 tyres is recycled in Australia. Invariably Australian end of life tyres are exported whole to poorer Asian Countries where they become a breeding ground for Dengue Fever, Ross River Fever and other diseases. It is globally important that management of end of life tyres is addressed by Governments and industry to deal with these health risk issues.”
GDT welcomes MTA Queensland as a valued investor
GDT announced that the Motor Trades Association of Queensland is now one of its valued investors.
The investment came about after the Chairman, CEO and CFO of the Association completed rigorous due diligence. This included a visit to the Warren plant in early February to gain first-hand experience of the process in action.
This enabled a more detailed presentation to their board who, thankfully, ratified the investment proposal.
MTAQ is more than just an investor. They represent an industry that has a number of recycling issues from whole cars to batteries and tyres.
By taking this step, MTAQ demonstrates their commitment to responsible, economically sustainable and environmentally sound recycling practice and confirms their support of the Queensland State Government’s commitment to a circular economy.
CarbonScape continues carbon to graphite development amid COVID-19 pandemic
CarbonScape, like everyone in New Zealand, has been in lockdown as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, even before shutdown, the team was already busy testing two focus feedstocks: sawdust and GDT carbon.
The process for sawdust is at a much more advanced stage than that for GDT carbon. The team achieved some fantastic results with average purity in excess of 90% and a top figure of 99.9985%.
Samples of this product have been forwarded to various international battery manufacturers for evaluation. CarbonScape succeeding in their testing thanks to keen observation of the examination process. The team also engaged with new employees who specialise in graphite.
The project has led to several new patents. It also helped us gain a better understanding of what needs to be done with the GDT product. There are indications that the team could still reduce costs and processing time at the Carbonscape end.
We are still awaiting the results of ongoing experimentation at CarbonScape. Once we receive them, we will be able to make the necessary changes and try again.
Team confidence remains very high. Despite the virus shutdown, we will continue to develop a high grade, high purity graphite made from GDT carbon.
GDT plans to build three plants in US
Our US associates have started raising the money required to commence the GDT journey into the USA.
GDT’s first target is to build and commission three plants within the next two years. But ultimately, we want to have a total of 10 new plants over the next five years.
We have already identified a possible site for our first US-based plant. As soon as we complete the paperwork on the Joint Venture, we will start applying for the necessary permits.
That will allow time for the engineering checks required to comply with US standards to be completed while the final details are signed off and then construction can begin.
In the meantime, we sent carbon samples from the Warren plant to at least five different parties in the US. Researchers will evaluate the sustainability of the samples in their raw state. So far,we have receive positive feedback from the testings.
Global carbon markets waking up to ‘Recovered Carbon Black’
After ten years of being told we could never sell our carbon as anything other than a heat source, the global carbon markets are waking up to rCB (Recovered Carbon Black).
Several groups have contacted CarbonScape to ask about rCB. They want to know how we were able to make our carbon product different from the ‘normal’ pyrolysis recovered carbon already available in Asia and Europe.
Consequently, tyre manufacturers and other industries are conducting research into the matter. CarbonScape is in talks with at least 10 interested parties to supply samples of the carbon product. This is just one of the many exciting developments we have in our team.