Home News MBA Polymers, Müeller-Guttenbrunn Form Joint Venture

MBA Polymers, Müeller-Guttenbrunn Form Joint Venture

Nonferrous, Electronics, Legislation & Regulations, Auto Shredding, Metallics, Additional Commodities

Companies to build mixed plastics processing plant in Austria.

October 28, 2004

MBA Polymers Inc. (MBA), Richmond, Calif., and Müeller-Guttenbrunn GmbH (MG) of Amstetten, Austria, have formed a joint venture company to build and operate a plastics recycling plant in Kematen, Austria.

MBA Polymers Austria – Kunststoffverarbeitung GmbH, the new company, will process highly mixed plastics resulting from the legislated take-back and recycling of durable goods, such as appliances and electrical equipment, which takes place on a large scale in Europe, where producer-responsibility legislation has been implemented.

Standing in front of durable goods ready to be recycled are K.R. Herbert, MG chairman and managing director; Christian Mueller-Guttenbrunn, CFO of MG; Mike Biddle, CEO of MBA; and Richard McCombs, president and CFO of MBA.

MBA and MG expect the processing plant, with a capacity of 40,000 tons per year, to come on line shortly after the August 2005 mandated implementation of the EU-wide WEEE (Waste Electrical and Electronics Equipment) take-back and recycling legislation.

MBA Polymers owns 51 percent of the joint venture and MG owns 49 percent. MBA brings technology, customers and suppliers to the joint venture, while MG provides raw material, local and national experience working in Europe, important government contacts and relations and a metal recycling background, according to a release from MBA Polymers.

This plant will complement a similar plant that is being constructed in Guangzhou, China, through a join venture MBA formed earlier this year with Guangzhou Iron and Steel Enterprises.

The plant will be located next door to MG’s advanced metal recycling operations METRAN, which will provide some feedstock for the new plant, in Kematen, Austria, about 100 km west of Vienna. The new plant will be situated between large feedstocks from the durable goods recycling infrastructure developing in Western Europe and the growing manufacturing and plastics molding base in Eastern Europe, according to MBA.

Mike Biddle, CEO of MBA, notes that this year marked the 10th anniversary of MBA Polymers’ founding and the 50th anniversary of MG’s founding. “It is quite fitting that both companies are commemorating these important company milestones with such an exciting new opportunity that will benefit so many,” he says.

“MBA has worked for over 10 years and invested over $28 million to develop its highly advanced technology and this new plastics business,” Biddle continues. “Over those 10 years, MBA has worked with government agencies and trade organizations around the world, the plastics industry and the largest computer, electronics, appliance and automobile companies in the world to provide a better home for the plastics from end-of-life durable products and to provide the manufacturers with ‘green’ materials for their new products. These efforts help create more sustainable manufacturing activities in all of the connected industries: automotive, appliances, computers and business equipment, electronics and plastics.”

Herbert Müeller-Guttenbrunn, MG’s chairman, says, “We invested significantly in advanced nonferrous metal recovery about 20 years ago so we could recover a higher percent of the material from our recycling activities. This is the next logical step in recovering more material from these streams, especially because the plastics have become such a significant portion of the goods we recycle, such as automobiles, appliances and electronics. Not only does this make good economic sense, it will help our country and suppliers meet the legislated recycle rate targets.”

MBA Polymers is headquartered in Richmond, Calif., where it carries out R&D and operates a large pilot plastics recycling facility.

Müller-Guttenbrunn is the largest metal recycling company in Austria. Its headquarters and largest recycling plant are in Amstetten, Austria, but it also operates businesses in Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania and Liechtenstein.


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