Brightmark, a San Francisco-based waste and energy development company, announced it is launching a nationwide site search for U.S. locations suitable for its next set of advanced recycling facilities, which will convert hundreds of thousands of tons of post-consumer plastics into new products, including fuels, wax and other products. The nationwide search will kick off on November 19 with a webinar and formal indication of interest submission for interested communities.
Brightmark expects to make investments of approximately $500 million to $1 billion at each site location and plans to create more than a hundred jobs in each host community selected through this process, with significant additional indirect economic activity anticipated to occur in each chosen community as a result of the projects. The company’s plastics renewal technology takes single stream, mixed used plastics and converts the material into ultra-low sulphur diesel, naphtha and wax. The process is also capable of creating the building blocks for new plastics, thus enabling a circular economy in the plastics industry.
“The United States is facing a major plastics recycling shortfall,” said Brightmark CEO Bob Powell in a statement. “Imagine a world without plastic waste. We’ve got a proven, market-ready solution, which we will be scaling up nationally to meet this demand. Communities are struggling with a deluge of contaminated plastics, much of which ends up in incinerators or landfills. We have a viable, profitable alternative that solves many of the challenges historically associated with plastics recycling.”
Brightmark is currently completing construction of a $260 million plastics renewal facility in Northeast Indiana, which will accept 100,000 tons of plastics each year for conversion into new products. The plant is expected to begin producing fuels and wax in second quarter 2020 and will be operating at fully capacity by fourth quarter 2020. The feedstock for the Ashley, Ind., plastics renewal facility will be sourced from Indiana and the Chicago metro area.
“Our team has successfully developed billions in power and energy plants, and we’re ready to go big on our next plastic conversion sites,” said Zeina El-Azzi, chief development officer of Brightmark, in a statement. “We’ve built a tremendous partnership with the folks in Steuben County, Ind., and we’re now searching for other communities where we can put down roots and work hand-in-hand to expand local recycling infrastructure and create jobs.”
For consideration during the open solicitation, communities must provide: strong local, regional and state support for project development through incentives and improved plastic recycling programs; access to at least 200,000 tons per year of comingled plastic waste (types 1-7); access to 30 to 100 acres of suitable land with excellent access to rail and highways; and natural gas and electric utility support for such a project. Other criteria will be detailed in a forthcoming request for proposal. Brightmark anticipates completing its site selection by second quarter 2020.
Interested municipalities should plan to attend Brightmark's November 19 webinar and visit Brightmark’s website to learn more about the solicitation process, indication of interest, selection criteria and the project schedule.