Indiana to be home to plastics recycling, fuel project

Indiana to be home to plastics recycling, fuel project

GEP Fuel & Energy Indiana plans to build two plants that process auto shredder fluff.

November 29, 2016

GEP Fuel & Energy Indiana has announced plans to build a recycling center and a scrap-plastics-to-fuel facility in Camden, Indiana. A number of Indiana government officials joined GEP officials for the announcement.

GEP Fuel & Energy Indiana is a joint venture between U.S. Energy Logistics, Toledo, Ohio, and GEP Fuels. The company says it plans to invest $100 million to build a 450,000-square-foot recycling facility in Camden. Construction on the project is expected to commence by the first quarter of 2017, GEP Fuel & Energy says, and the facility will process recyclable and nonrecyclable plastics into a host of commercially viable end products.

In addition to a recycling center, the companies plan to build an adjacent facility for $200 million that will convert low-value plastic scrap that cannot economically be recycled into a fuel for the transportation sector. 

The facilities will be serviced by U.S. Rail Corp., which is expected to transport about 1,500 tons of plastics per day.

Don Willis, who will be heading up the recycling part of the project, says the high value plastic scrap will be processed and shipped to end markets such as the auto industry. The low value and no-value plastic processed at the recycling center will be transported to the renewable energy facility via conveyor. 

In deciding to build the facility in Indiana, Steve Hogan, president of GEP Fuel & Energy Indiana, says, “Carroll County made sense because of its close proximity to consumer plastic. There was also a logistics advantage in locating the project on railroad operated by U.S. Rail Corp. Thirdly, state and local officials offered strong support.”

The combined capital investment for the project is $303 million to $410 million. The Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) offered GEP Fuel & Energy Indiana up to $2 million in conditional, performance-based tax credits based on the company’s job creation plans.

The majority of the plastics that will be processed and used at the recycling center will be recovered from auto shredder residue (ASR). Hogan estimates that the recycling center will accept 1 million tons of ASR per year, roughly 40 rail cars per day. Willis says the majority of the ASR will be shipped on rotary dump cars.

The recycling center will include magnets and eddy current separators. Green Machine will be the manufacturer of the sorting line.

Hogan says about half of the plastic scrap will go toward making fuel, with the other half, as well as other material found in the ASR, being processed and marketed to other consumers, including the auto industry. He estimates that the ASR will contain, on average between 80-83 percent plastic, with rubber, metal and other material making up the rest of the material.

In a statement, Jim Schellinger, president of the IDEC, says, “We are pleased GEP Fuel & Energy Indiana chose to locate here in a state that works. As the Crossroads of America, Indiana offers companies a central location and an infrastructure that ranks best in the nation, supporting companies like GEP Fuel & Energy as they ship their products across the country."

Schellinger continued, “Indiana’s low-cost, low-tax, limited-regulation business climate is why the state is recognized as one of the best for business, and as we enter our state’s third century, I am confident we will build on this momentum by advancing talent attraction and workforce development, allowing job creators like GEP Fuel & Energy to thrive.”

Hogan adds that it has taken the company 3-and-a-half years to get the right technology for the facility, which is supplied by Australian company Foy Group Ltd., a partner on the renewable energy project.