Building work on pioneering metal recovery facility completed
REMEX Mineralstoff GmbH, a company based in the German city of Düsseldorf, recently completed the construction of a state-of-the-art recycling facility in Singapore to process incinerator bottom ash (IBA) and recover the metals contained in the material. The plant was officially opened by Singapore’s Minister for the Environment, Masagos Zulkifli, and Norbert Rethmann, honorary chairman of the supervisory board of the RETHMANN Group, to which REMONDIS and REMEX belong. The new metal recovery plant was commissioned in July this year after having been built within a period of just eight months. Equipped with cutting edge technology, it is a showcase project for the whole of the Asian region.
REMEX founded REMEX Minerals Singapore Pte. Ltd. to build and manage the facility, its first ever branch operating outside Europe. This local company is running the plant on behalf of the country’s National Environment Agency (NEA), which had put this project out to tender as part of its long-term plan to improve resource efficiency in Singapore. REMEX, a REMONDIS subsidiary, has extensive know-how of recycling mineral waste and already operates similar facilities in the Netherlands and Germany. Minister for the Environment, Masagos Zulkifli, commented: “REMEX is well established on the European market as a specialist recycling business for recovering metal from incinerator bottom ash. I am confident that the company’s experience will ensure this plant will be a success over the coming years.”
The plant, which is able to recover both ferrous and non-ferrous metals, is located on grounds covering 1.4 hectares in the Tuas district of Singapore. REMEX will be able to process around 600,000 tonnes of IBA generated by Singapore’s four household waste incineration plants every year. A good 90 percent of the ferrous metals found in the IBA and over three quarters of the valuable non-ferrous metals, such as aluminium and copper, will be able to be recovered and recycled. These high recycling rates are possible thanks to the plant’s innovative technology that will make it possible for even the smallest pieces of metal, such as paper clips and bottle caps, to be picked out. A variety of systems have been installed including special magnets, eddy current separators and multi-stage screening equipment. Set up in the best possible way, this modern technology will ensure that the ferrous and non-ferrous metals can be removed separately from the incinerator bottom ash.
REMEX’s new recycling plant will not only be promoting metal recycling, which is so important to Singapore. The NEA is also looking ahead and is intending to make the most of the largest material fraction: the ash itself. If processed correctly, this material can be used to make building supplies or as aggregate for road and earthworks projects. Recycled IBA is already being used as secondary aggregate in Europe. This helps to conserve primary raw materials, such as sand and gravel, and provides an alternative to sending such material to landfill. Minister for the Environment, Masagos Zulkifli, concluded: “The opening of this first facility of its kind in Singapore marks a significant milestone in our efforts towards becoming a Zero Waste Nation.”