€54m earmarked for six plastic processing plants

An Irish company has announced plans for a €54m investment which would see six processing plants constructed with the creation of up to 180 jobs.

At a European Parliament seminar in Brussels last week, Trifol Resources Limited unveiled plans to build six plants which, once fully operational, would process 42,000 tonnes of plastic waste each year generating 40m litres of fuel valued at €28m, excluding taxes and duties.

Trifol holds the exclusive Irish franchise for the technology which was developed by Cynar Plc, a UK-registered, Irish-owned company.

The pyrolysis technology used in Cynar’s plants is unique to the company, according to Trifol chief executive and Cynar board member, Patrick Alley.

“There’s no other competing technologies around that’s [using pyrolysis] today. As regard for Ireland Inc its [impact on the country’s energy needs] is small enough but nonetheless its a very formidable start.

“It has the potential to create quite a number of jobs. There’s no other competitor of ours that has a successful reference site producing product,” said Mr Alley.

There are two operational sites — in Bristol, England and Almeira, Spain — using the same technology earmarked for the six Irish plants.

The company that operates the Spanish plant, Plastic Energy, has ordered another in the southern city of Sevilla and has taken out exclusivity rights for eight plants in Spain and Portugal as well as 20 more across South America.

Cynar currently has a demonstration plant in Portlaoise which is likely to be one of the six sites with others set for Munster, Leinster and Northern Ireland.

“You can take it that [Portloaise] would certainly be a basis on which to start and thereafter I suppose we would be looking to Munster and probably north-Leinster and the North of Ireland,” said Mr Alley.

The plants could create 180 jobs across the island with each plant creating 25 to 30 jobs on average.

Ireland South MEP Sean Kelly who, along with newly appointed EU agriculture commissioner Phil Hogan was in attendance at the European Parliament seminar where the announcement was made, heralded the move as good news for farmers and rural communities in particular.

“This is an enormous undertaking and will be of immense value to farmers and rural communities and the Irish economy in general,” said Mr Kelly.

The latest accounts filed for Cynar Plc show that the auditor, Grant Thornton, considered its accumulated losses of £12.1m (€15.3m) as indicating “a material uncertainty about the company’s ability to continue as a going concern”. Mr Alley said the losses arose from R&D expenditure and were typical of start-up technology companies which have no revenue to begin with.