NEDERWEET, Netherlands—Dutch tire pyrolysis company Black Bear Carbon has completed a first closing of $8.9 million as part of a fundraising campaign for its $93-million flagship plant in Limburg, southern Netherlands.
The investment round was led by Capricorn Partners from the Capricorn Sustainable Chemistry Fund, with support from Invest-NL and joined by current investors, Brightlands Venture Partners, Siam Cement Chemicals and others, Black Bear Carbon said in a recent statement.
The new flagship plant, to be constructed at the Chemelot Industrial Park in Limburg, is expected to become operational by mid-2023.
The factory at Chemelot will operate under the name Recovered Carbon Black Nederland (RCBNL) as a 100-percent subsidiary of Black Bear Carbon.
With this new investment, Black Bear said it is dropping earlier plans to establish a tire pyrolysis factory in Rotterdam.
"In the course of 2020, timely realization of RCBNL (in Rotterdam) proved difficult to achieve due to the nitrogen problem," the company said in a March statement without elaborating further.
In close cooperation with Chemelot, it said, Black Bear looked at the alternatives and decided to establish itself in south Limburg.
The Chemelot plant will focus on recovering "high-quality raw materials from the (almost) steel- and textile-free rubber granulate from car and truck tires."
The storage, shredding and pre-processing of tires will be carried by suppliers.
The project is part of Black Bear's plan to build a series of tire recycling units globally, as it recovers from a devastating fire that destroyed its first demo-plant in Nederweert in February 2019.
Since then, the company said it has improved its technology and commercialized its end products.
"BBC (Black Bear Carbon) is a text-book example of a promising scale-up which got into stormy waters and had to reinvent itself," said Ruud Zandvliet, senior investment manager at Invest-NL.
The company, he said, "has strengthened its team, improved its technology and business plan and was successful in raising funds for its flagship plant."