European company opens tire recycling plant in Houston

European company opens tire recycling plant in Houston

Genan plans to open four additional tire recycling plants in the United States.

May 5, 2014
Recycling Today Staff
Legislation & Regulations Tires
The Danish firm Genan has opened a tire recycling facility in Houston, which, the company says, is the largest of its type in the world. The facility will be able to process 100,000 metric tons of tires yearly. The company invested about $140 million at the plant.

Genan says the factory is the first step in the company’s U.S. strategy, with Genan seeking to ultimately gain a 10 percent share in the U.S. market for used tires. The site is completely new, including a brand new building that was built to the needs of the Genan processing equipment.

To ensure an adequate amount of old tires are sent to the facility, Genan has set up a U.S. sales organization to grow its network of customers and to foster knowledge of Genan’s products within recycled rubber powder and granulate. Additionally, while scrap tires will come from Texas, the facility's proximity to a large port will allow the comapny to transport its finished product to customers both in the United States and abroad.

The company, which will use the Houston facility as its U.S. headquarters, has plans to add four more tire recycling facilities throughout the United States.

Lars Raahauge, Genan director of business development, says, “We are currently performing due diligence on a number of states across the country. Exact locations will depend on the long-term reliability of available tire supplies as well as a business setting, community support and a legislative and regulatory approach that is compatible with Genan’s environmentally and climate-friendly tire recycling concept.”

The company adds that the recycling technology used at the location is highly advanced and fully automated. Scrap tires are separated into their basic components: rubber powder and granulate, steel and textile. The result is end products are uniform, clean and well-suited for high-quality substitution applications, such as asphalt and bitumen modifications, Genan says.

Raahauge adds that the company did not receive any financial assistance, subsidies or incentives from Texas. However, "We did receive excellent assistance and business friendly cooperation from the Governor's Office, through the State of Texas Economic Development and Tourism, the Greater Houston Partnership, Harris County, TCEQ (Texas Commission on Environmental Quality), the North Channel Area Chamber of Commerce, etc."

In addition to the U.S. facility, Genan operates four tire recycling facilities in Europe: three in Germany and one in Denmark.