Kuusakoki to build new composite treatment plant in Finland

Shredding and treatment plant will recycle composite materials safely and effectively, at an industrial scale

Kuusakoski, the Finnish recycling services company, has announced plans to build a new composite shredding and treatment plant at its Hyvinkää site in Southern Finland.

In a statement, the firm said that the new composite treatment plant will shred composites safely and effectively. The total value of the investment will be in excess of €4 million. The investment will include 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 four million euros, 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", said 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,” he added.

Utilising Composite Waste in the Cement Industry

Kuusilehto explained that the composite waste is then supplied to the cement industry as a raw material. The shredded composite material is co-processed in cement production, where it can be effectively utilised without residual ash.

The 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, he continued.

"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,” stated Kuusilehto.

The new facility will improve the efficiency of the process that was piloted in the company’s KiMuRa project, which focused on a solution for recycling the blade materials of wind turbines. The processing line is planned to be in full production by the end of 2025, the statement added.

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. It is part of Kuusakoski’s multi-year green investment program, which was launched last year and aims to enable the company’s continued competitiveness and growth over the coming years.

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