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Brightmark narrows search for next US advanced plastic recycling plant locations

In the United States (US), global waste solutions provider Brightmark LLC (previously Brightmark Energy LLC) has announced that while it has nationwide development plans, it is prioritizing its search for locations for its next advanced plastic recycling plants to key regions in Florida, Georgia, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, and Texas. The company plans to make its final site selection decisions by Q3/2020 and plans to have at least two sites shovel-ready by 2021.

Brightmark’s commercial-scale advanced plastics recycling facility is under construction in Ashley, northeast Indiana. When it comes online in late 2020, it will convert 100 000 tons of mixed plastic waste each year into useful products like transportation fuel and wax (photo courtesy Brightmark).

The announcement represents Brighmark’s move into the second phase of its nationwide site search across the United States (US) for locations suitable for its next set of plastics renewal facilities.

The company’s plastics renewal technology takes single-stream, post-use plastics and converts them into ultra-low sulfur diesel, naphtha, and wax, at a scale never achieved before. The process is also capable of creating the building blocks for new plastics, thus enabling a circular economy in the plastics industry.

The United States is facing a major plastics recycling shortfall. We’ve got a proven, unique, market-ready solution, which we are scaling up nationally to meet this demand. Communities are struggling with a deluge of contaminated plastics, and we have been overwhelmed with the level of interest in our solution from communities across the states. With recent events affecting all of our communities, we are excited to be investing in jobs and economic activity in our partner communities. I have spoken with multiple community leaders who have been enthusiastic to partner with Brightmark as we expand our plastics renewal locations, explained CEO Bob Powell.

A US$500 million or more investment

Brightmark expects to make investments of approximately US$500 million to US$1 billion at each site location, directly creating hundreds of new jobs in each host community selected through this process, with significant additional indirect economic activity anticipated to occur in each chosen community as a result of the projects.

Each plant will process hundreds of thousands of tons of plastics each year.

We’ve built an excellent partnership with the folks in Steuben County, Indiana at our first plastics renewal facility, and we’re now deeply engaged with other communities in our target states to determine where we can put down roots and work, hand in hand to expand local recycling infrastructure and create a significant number of new jobs, said Zeina El-Azzi, Chief Development Officer of Brightmark.

During the first phase of Brightmark’s site search process, more than 100 communities nationwide participated in an open “indication of interest” process. CBRE partnered with Brightmark to research these locations, as well as other localities nationwide.

CBRE has been an incredibly valuable partner to us, ensuring we connect with all interested localities in the most effective manner. We feel confident to be moving forward in a strategic fashion that will lead to the successful development of our projects making a positive impact on local communities, said Gale Clark, VP of Business Development and Origination at Brightmark.

The next phase of Brightmark’s selection process will include a deeper dive into potential key regions and specific site locations in Florida (FL), Georgia (GA), New Jersey (NJ), New York (NY), Pennsylvania (PA), Louisiana (LA), and Texas (TX).

Ideal locations are those able to offer strong local, regional, and state support for project development through incentives and improved plastic recycling programs; access to at least 200 000 tons per year of co-mingled plastic waste (types one to seven); access to 30 to 100 acres of suitable land with excellent access to rail and highways; and natural gas and electric utility support for such a project.

Brightmark Ashley facility nearing completion

Brightmark is currently completing construction of a US$260 million plastics renewal facility in Northeast Indiana (IN), which will accept 100 000 tons of plastics each year for conversion into new products – significantly more than any other facility of its kind.

The plant is expected to begin producing fuels and wax later this year and will be operating at full capacity in early 2021. The feedstock for the Ashley plastics renewal facility will be sourced from Indiana, Ohio (OH), and the Chicago metro area.

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