A financial boost and successful trial runs have encouraged Re-Match to commence operations at its new synthetic turf recycling plant in Tiel, the Netherlands.
The new building was completed in March 2022, after which the recycling equipment was installed. That process finished late last year, and then a series of trial runs was started.
Now, the synthetic turf that Re-Match had collected in the Netherlands over the past four years and stored at several sites is about to be processed.
It will take approximately six months before the factory will run at full capacity. Once that is the case, the plant should process approximately 50 kton of synthetic turf per annum.
The ramping up of production comes at a time when it has been announced that the synthetic turf recycler has completed the financing for its equipment. Oost NL and the National Green Fund will financially support the activities in Tiel. “This funding helps us take an important step. Setting up a factory of this size is not easy. We are therefore very happy to be able to collaborate with Oost NL and the National Green Fund, who want to invest in circular solutions,” says Nikolaj Magne Larsen, CEO of Re-Match.
Re-Match is said to have spent more than 8 million euros on the machines. Its recycling process doesn’t use water for cleaning and reclaiming the processed turf components. Instead, it uses multiple sieves to recover and sort the various components and sizes.
Joka Bosch, Investment Manager Energy & Circular at Oost NL explains: “Re-Match contributes to the objectives of the province of Gelderland to reduce CO2 emissions and the use of fossil raw materials.”
According to Eelco Blonk, Asset Manager at the National Green Fund, new initiatives such as those of Re-Match are often difficult to finance. “We compile an appropriate risk and return profile to make financing possible,” he notes. He regards the financing a good thing for the circular processes in the Netherlands and for current and future generations.
The plant in Tiel is viewed as a blueprint for future activities. The new plant, for which construction started in February, will be fitted with the same equipment and in the same configuration, while the plant in North America is taking shape.
Parallel to the developments, Re-Match has also aligned itself with new developments. Although the aim is still to return the various recovered components to the market for outdoor sports surfaces so that it can be used in the production and installation of various new synthetic turf pitches, the recycler now also seems to be drawing attention from other industries.
An agreement with a producer of sound-absorbing panels seems to be so financially attractive that many of the recycled synthetic turf components now serve as raw materials for the production of these types of panels. Both parties are even considering collaborating more closely in the future when new synthetic turf recycling plants will be considered. The Danish synthetic turf recycler still has the ambition to set up more than 20 plants worldwide.
In Tiel, Re-Match has a lease agreement for a minimum period of 20 years.
The plant in the Netherlands is now the second synthetic turf recycler in one of the world’s most densely covered countries. GBN-AGR has already been recycling reclaimed synthetic turf since 2020.