CarbonLite Industries LLC has changed plans for its large PET recycling facility in Texas, moving the project to Dallas from its original site lined up in Abilene.
CarbonLite announced Feb. 6 that it plans to spend $62 million on the Dallas operation, due to come on stream in the second quarter of this year.
Chairman and CEO Leon Farahnik said in a phone interview that Dallas has better transportation logistics. Dallas has better highway access for materials transportation and a more efficient airport for personnel travelling to and from CarbonLite's upcoming facility.
Construction has begun on a new 230,000-square-foot facility in Dallas that will be able to recycle about 100 million pounds of post-consumer PET bottles per year into pellets that are targeted to make more PET bottles. CarbonLite claims the new operation will make it the world's largest producer of food-grade PET resin derived from post-consumer beverage containers. The Dallas facility will double the company's annual capacity of food-grade PET to 200 million pounds, building on CarbonLite's capacity in the Riverside, Calif., plant it built in 2011.
CarbonLite in 2014 signed contracts to buy recycling equipment destined to be installed in a 200,000-square-foot facility in Abilene. At that time it earmarked its investment there at more than $60 million.
Farahnik said Nestle Waters North America and Pepsico are CarbonLite's major customers as they strive to boost recycled content in their beverage bottles. Nestle has two bottling plants in Dallas, another reason to locate the recycling operation there, Farahnik added.
Farahnik said the Dallas operation will exclusively use “green electrical power” mainly generated from wind turbines. Although such power is more expensive than conventional electricity rates, the recycling plant should still be cost competitive, he said.
CarbonLite is negotiating with local government for supportive funding but Farahnik said he couldn't say much about the discussions since they are ongoing.
CarbonLite has lined up Bulk Handling Systems of Eugene, Ore., for front-end machinery and sorting equipment, Amut SpA of Novara, Italy, for washing and grinding equipment, Erema Recycling Systems of Linz, Austria, for purification and pelletizing equipment, and Pelletron Corp. of Lancaster, Pa., for pneumatic materials conveyors. National Recovery Technologies LLC of Nashville, Tenn., is supplying 10 optical sorting machines.