He is one of five winners of thecall for projects governmental “critical metals” of France 2030, intended to improve the ” resilience supply chains of French industry in critical metals”. In Tourville-les-Ifs, near Fécamp (Seine-Maritime), the company WEEECycling, created in 2019, is investing 20 million euros over three years to increase its production capacity for platinoids, silver, copper and gold from scrap or waste that may contain these metals. It is aiming for a tenfold increase in this production.
“PGMs, including palladium, represent small volumes but are in high demand by the electronics, luxury and pharmaceutical industries for the manufacture of chemical catalysts [utilisés pour produire des médicaments, NDLR]. Especially since the deposits are largely in Russia,” observed Serge KimbelCEO and Founder of WEEECycling.
The quest for energy self-sufficiency
The company, which in 2021 carried out a turnover of 20 million euros with 70 employeesrecruited 30 employees in 2022 and expects 50 additional hires by 2024. Wholly-owned by Serge Kimbel, it coexists on the same site with Morphosis, which prepares electronic waste for processing by WEEECycling. Also created by Serge Kimbel, this structure, which employs 60 people, generated 15 million euros in turnover in 2021.
The WEEECycling project consists of an extension of the premises with the acquisition of new melting, chemical treatment and mechanical process equipment. It also aims to broaden the type of waste that can be treated, including batteries. “This will require specific pre-treatment upstream to bring this waste into our industrial processes”, says the manager. The company also seeks energy self-sufficiency. To do this, she will use the fatal heat it produces, to convert it into electricity and to produce heat (steam) and cold (refrigerants).
What triggered the investment – financed by a loan and a capital increase – was the strong demand from the semiconductor and pharmaceutical industry, electronics and surface treatment (metallization of parts) . ” We will arrive at the saturation of our facilities from 2025 when it should have arrived in 2027”, notes Serge Kimbel.
The company benefits, according to him, from being “the only one in the world to offer 100% waste metals », its competitors refining mixtures of mining and waste resources. In addition to being traceable and presenting a impact much lower carbon than those from mines, these 100% recycled materials are sold “at the same price as those from mining”, ensures the company, with “the same characteristics of purity”. An emblematic adventure of the circular economy.
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Recycling: WEEECycling wants to produce ‘100% waste’ metals
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