Sunday, January 6, 2008

EER to build waste treatment plants around the world

According to Reuters and Globes, Environmental Energy Resources Ltd. (EER), an environmentally-friendly waste management company based in Ramat Gan, will set up Romania's first plasma waste treatment facility under a 25-year BOT (build, operate, transfer) project. The facility will cost $30 million.

"The company expects to treat some 30,000 tonnes of waste, and no less than 80 tonnes a day for about 150 euros per tonne," Moshe Stern, president at EER said. EER also said it had recently received multi-million dollar orders to build plants in China.

The company has a working protocol with Samstar, a state-owned company in China, according to which it will order the planning and construction of medical waste and radioactive waste plants from EER.

EER uses molten gas at temperatures between 1,400 and 7,000 degrees Celsius in a process called plasma gasification melting (PGM) to melt down municipal, household, medical and low-level radioactive waste.

The system was developed by Israeli and Russian scientists at the Technion Israel Institute of Technology. Unsorted municipal and solid waste is placed in a reactor. Metal particles are separated by magnets and the remaining waste is sent to containers where it is broken down by high heat.

The organic material is converted into gases, and the remaining waste turns into black gravel that can be used in infrastructure projects. The system can also handle medical and radioactive waste, thereby providing a waste treatment solution for nuclear power stations.

In May 2007, Reuters reported that EER planned to invest up to $60 million in four waste treatment facilities to dispose of low-level radioactive waste at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, to treat some 500,000 tonnes of waste.

"We expect to make about $145 million a year from the four waste treatment plants," Stern said, noting that each plant had about a 25-year life cycle.

"Our project in China is much greater ... We intend to build around 800 small (medical waste treatment) plants at about $6 million a plant," Stern said, noting that the local development of plant parts and units cut down on costs.

EER has also created subsidiaries in two target markets, Japan and Korea, through which it is marketing its waste treatment technology.

In October 2007, EER raised $3.5 million in a private placement that valued the company at $130 million. It has already constructed a demonstration facility near Haifa.

EER's shareholders include Urdan Industries Ltd.; Shrem Fudim Technologies Ltd.; Makoto Takahashi's Tokyo Financial Group; the Canada-Israel Opportunity Fund; Leon Recanati, chairman of GlenRock Israel; and Shlomo Nehama, former chairman of Bank Hapoalim.