Lehigh Technologies, a specialty chemicals company in Tucker, Georgia, that produces raw materials from end-of-life tires and postindustrial rubber, has announced production has started at its new Murillo el Fruto micronized rubber powder (MRP) plant in Navarra, Spain. The plant is the first for Lehigh Technologies outside of the United States and was constructed in partnership with Lehigh’s Spanish partner Hera Holding, Barcelona, Spain. The Murillo plant incorporates Lehigh’s proprietary cryogenic turbo mill technology and has the capacity to produce 10,000 metric tons of MRP per year. The plant will produce Lehigh’s PolyDyne and MicroDyne range of MRP.
The production line is co-located with Indugarbi NFU, a tire recycler in Spain operated by Hera Holding, which will ensure efficient supply of granulate feedstock for the MRP manufacturing process. The construction of the Navarra plant was managed by Lehigh and executed by U.K.-based Jex Engineering, with support from the Dennis Group, Springfield, Massachusetts, and Air Products, Trexlertown, Pennsylvania. The plant was commissioned at the end of June and employs the same layout and equipment as Lehigh’s Tucker plant.
“I’m very proud of the international team that made this project successful,” Jason Stravinski, Lehigh’s vice president of operations, says. “Engineers from Lehigh U.S., Lehigh Spain and Hera Holding all worked together with the Jex project team to complete the project on time and on budget. We expect this plant will be a crucial component to meeting the rising demand for green chemicals in Europe and beyond.”
The plant in Navarra will supply the growing demand for Lehigh’s MRP product range from the tire, bitumen, coatings, construction and polyurethane industries in Europe and the Middle East.
“Demand for Lehigh’s products is increasing rapidly, and this new plant comes at the perfect time to support the growth,” Lluís Molina, general manager of Lehigh Spain, says. “The Murillo plant is the next step in Lehigh’s mission to commercialize MRP for customers in a wide range of performance driven markets.”
Lehigh Technologies became a subsidiary of Michelin in late 2017. Lehigh supports Michelin’s recently announced goal that new tires will contain 80 percent sustainable materials by 2048.