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EBRD and EU improve efficiency of recycling company in Tunisia

By Nibal Zgheib

  • EBRD and EU celebrate the inauguration of a new recycling facility owned by Tunisian recycling company Elec’Recyclage
  • Investment will increase the company’s recycling capacity by 39 per cent and reduce CO2 emissions by 2,647 tonnes a year
  • Elec’Recyclage benefited from financing and business advisory services

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the European Union and Elec’Recyclage have officially inaugurated a non-hazardous industrial waste recycling facility in Tunisia.

Elec’Recyclage Tunisie received an EBRD loan of up to €1.1 million to finance the construction of an industrial building in Utique in 2019, in addition to an EU grant of €85,000 for technical assistance.

The company used the financing to invest in new equipment to expand its recycling capacity, including a shredding workshop of 135 m² and a conditioning, shredding and compacting facility, which have increased the company's thermal treatment capacity from 700 metric tonnes/month to 2,000 metric tonnes/month.

The new technology has not only made the recycling process more productive and efficient, but it has also reduced the amount of waste that is sent to landfill or openly dumped. Elec'Recyclage has been able to increase the volume of recycled materials it sells by 40%, from 6,270 tonnes per year in 2017 to 8,745 metric tonnes/year expected by the end of 2023. The company is also expected to indirectly reduce its CO2 emissions by 2,647 tonnes a year by the end of 2023.

As well as the financing, the company benefited from EBRD business advisory support to implement Occupational Health and Safety management system (OHS) to obtain an ISO 45001 accreditation which boosts the company’s competitiveness as it provides wider market access.

The investment also helped the company to improve the working conditions of its 100 employees, 35 of whom are women, by reducing noise levels and introducing more efficient workflows.

The inauguration ceremony was attended by EBRD First Vice President and the Head of its Client Services Group, Jürgen Rigterink, EBRD Head of Tunisia, Nodira Mansurova, EU ambassador to Tunisia, Marcus Cornaro and French ambassador to Tunisia, André Parant.

Jürgen Rigterink commented:  “We are very proud to inaugurate this facility with our partners Elec’Recyclage and the EU. This modern facility has helped to increase recycling capacity through greener and more energy-efficient operations, while enhancing the working environment of its employees. We are delighted to be able to support the company with both financing and business advice to boost its competitiveness and widen its markets!”

Marcus Cornaro, Ambassador of the EU in Tunisia, added: “As a major actor of the global transition agenda, especially since its communication entitled ‘The European Green Deal’, the EU has set out a new growth strategy aimed at protecting, conserving and enhancing the Union’s natural capital, and to protect the health and well-being of citizens from environment-related risks and impacts. This upgraded facility is an encouraging illustration of the economic and environment benefits that can derive from supporting actions in the circular economy at global level. The EU remains committed to support such initiatives as part of its sustainable growth agenda with Tunisia.”

Elec’Recyclage is a Tunisian company specialising in industrial waste recycling, offering waste-handling solutions to more than 100 companies in Tunisia. The firm also sells sorted waste products to foreign customers for further processing.

Since the start of its operations in Tunisia in 2012, the EBRD has invested more than €1.9 billion across 61 projects in the country, in both the private and public sectors.

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