Kuusakoski announces first composite treatment plant in Finland
The Finnish recycling company Kuusakoski announced plans to build a new composite shredding and treatment plant at its Hyvinkää site in Southern Finland. The new composite treatment plant will shred composites safely and effectively. The investment includes the renovation of a building that currently exists at the Kuusakoski Hyvinkää site, as well as the construction of the new processing line. The value of the investment will be over 4 million €, of which 35 % will be financed by Business Finland from RRF (Recovery and Resilience Facility) funding.
“Our investment brings the circular economy solution piloted in Germany to Finland. With it, we can provide the best industrial scale recycling process for composite materials locally,” says Mikko Kuusilehto, President and CEO. “The demand for a recycling solution for composites is rising already, as the amount of composite waste will increase: wind turbines, airplanes, boats and other vehicles contain considerable and increasing amounts of composites.”
Composites are utilised in cement
The composite waste is supplied as a raw material by Kuusakoski to the cement industry. The shredded composite material is co-processed in cement production, where it can be efficiently utilised without residual ash. Composite material contains both fibres and polymers. In this co-processing, the fibres are substituting limestone and the polymers are substituting fossil fuel. The utilisation of composite lowers the CO2-emissions significantly.
Kuusakoski CEO highlights a common misconception about the shredded composite material that this new plant will produce: “It is good to understand that the shredded composite materials are not mixed with concrete. They are used in the production of clinker – the pre-product that is used to prepare cement – and no trace of fibres is left in the cement that is then used for preparing concrete,” reminds Mikko Kuusilehto.
Two industrial shredders ensure effectiveness
The new facility will improve the efficiency of the process that was piloted in the award winning KiMuRa project. The processing line is planned to be in full production by the end of 2025. The new plant will consist of two shredders, several covered conveyors, a magnet, and a dust control system. The dust control system is especially important, as the processing of composites creates large amounts of fine, harmful dust.