Plastics-to-fuel project to be built in Indiana

30 November 2016

GEP Fuel & Energy Indiana has announced plans to build a recycling center and a scrap-plastics-to-fuel facility in Camden, Indiana. Along with representatives of GEP, a number of Indiana government officials were at the announcement.

GEP Fuel & Energy Indiana is a joint venture between U.S. Energy Logistics and GEP Fuels. The company plan on investing around $100 million to build a 450,000-square-foot recycling facility in Camden, Indiana. Construction on the project is expected to commence by the first quarter of 2017. When operational the facility will refine both recyclable and non-recyclable waste plastics into a host of commercially viable end products.

The company also announced that along with the recycling center, the companies are planning on building an adjacent facility that will take in much of the scrap plastics handled at the recycling center and convert the low-value plastic scrap into a renewable energy.

The second building, to cost around $200 million, will convert the low value and no value plastic scrap into a fuel that can be used in the transportation sector.

The facilities will be serviced by U.S. Rail Corp., which is expected to transport about 1,500 tons of plastics per day to the facility.

Don Willis, who will be heading up the recycling part of the project, says that the high value plastic scrap will be processed and shipped to end markets such as the auto industry. The low value and no-value plastic processed at the recycling center will be shipped to the renewable energy facility that will be built adjacent to the recycling center.

Plans call for a conveyor line to run between the two plants, which will cut down the transportation costs of shipping the material.

In deciding to building the facility in Indiana, Steve Hogan, president of GEP Fuel & Energy Indiana, says, “Carroll County made sense because of its close proximity to consumer plastic. There was also a logistics advantage in locating the project on railroad operated by U.S. Rail Corp. Thirdly, state and local officials offered strong support.”

The combined capital investment for the project is $303-$410 million. The Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) offered GEP Fuel & Energy Indiana up to $2 million in conditional, performance-based tax credits based on the company’s job creation plans.

The majority of the plastics that will be processed and used at the recycling center will be auto shredder residue (ASR), which is generated at auto shredders. Hogan estimates that the recycling center will be taking in around 1 million tons of ASR per year. He estimates that the recycling center will be taking in around 40 rail cars per day.

Willis says that because of the amount of ASR that will be shipped to the recycling center the majority of the material will be shipped on rotary dump cars that can quickly deliver the material. The recycling center will include equipment that will be used for processing material, including magnets and eddy current separators. Green Machine will be the manufacturer of the sorting line.

Hogan says that about half of the plastic scrap will go toward making the fuel, with the other half, as well as other material found in the ASR, will be processed and marketed to other sources, including the auto industry. He estimates that the ASR will contain, on average between 80-83 percent plastic, with rubber, metal and other material making up the rest of the ASR. The company expects to market the other parts of the ASR as well.

In a statement, Jim Schellinger, president of the IDEC, says, “We are pleased GEP Fuel & Energy Indiana chose to locate here in a state that works. As the Crossroads of America, Indiana offers companies a central location and an infrastructure that ranks best in the nation, supporting companies like GEP Fuel & Energy as they ship their products across the country.

“Indiana’s low-cost, low-tax, limited-regulation business climate is why the state is recognized as one of the best for business, and as we enter our state’s third century, I am confident we will build on this momentum by advancing talent attraction and workforce development, allowing job creators like GEP Fuel & Energy to thrive.”

Hogan adds that it has taken the company around 3-1/2 years to get the right technology for the facility. The company found it with the Australian company Foy Group Ltd., which is a partner on the renewable energy project.


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