Lehigh Technologies, a specialty chemicals company that produces sustainable raw materials from end-of-life tires and post-industrial rubber, has begun production at its new Murillo el Fruto micronized rubber powder (MRP) plant in Navarra, Spain.
The factory is the company’s first outside the USA and was constructed in partnership with Lehigh’s Spanish partner Hera Holding.
Lehigh’s cryogenic turbo mill technology is installed at the facility, which has the capacity to produce 10,000 metric tons of MRP a year. This will include Lehigh’s PolyDyne and MicroDyne ranges already used by customers in more than 18 countries around the world.
The production line is co-located with Indugarbi NFU, a leading tire recycler in Spain operated by Hera Holding, which will ensure efficient supply of granulate feedstock for the MRP manufacturing process.
Construction of the Navarra plant was managed by Lehigh and executed by UK-based Jex Engineering, with support from the Dennis Group and Air Products. It employs the same layout and equipment as Lehigh’s Tucker, Georgia, plant in the USA, ensuring consistent quality and product specification across all locations.
“I’m very proud of the international team that made this project successful,” said Jason Stravinski, Lehigh’s VP of operations.
“Engineers from Lehigh US, Lehigh Spain and Hera Holding all worked together with the Jex 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.”
Lehigh Spain general manager Lluís Molina said, “Demand for Lehigh’s products is increasing rapidly and this new plant comes at the perfect time to support the growth. 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 and is an important platform in supporting the tire maker’s goal that all new tires will contain 80% sustainable materials by 2048.