The foreign capital company AGR Catalyst Recovery (AGRCR) reinforces its presence in Asturias and will install in Carreño a plant dedicated to the valorization of metals contained in exhausted catalysts.
The plant, a pioneer facility in Spain, will create eight jobs in two years. This operation is part of the Asturias RIS3 Intelligent Specialization Strategy and fits into the circular economy model promoted by the European Union.
The technological process of valorization of metals contained in exhausted catalysts resulting from chemical processes has been developed by one of AGCR’s partners, the Asturian company Aprochim-Getesarp-Rymoil, S.A. (AGR). AGRCR’s 65% is owned by AGR, which in turn has 27% of French capital (APROCHIM).
The Sociedad Regional de Promoción del Principado (SRP) is financing this AGRCR initiative with 700,000 euros. The support of SRP ensures a global project of 2.5 million euros. The investment will be mainly devoted to the acquisition of ancillary equipment and systems.
Reduction of resource consumption and greenhouse gas emissions
The metal concentrate obtained in the process will be reintroduced into the life-cycle of the catalysts, which will lead to a more sustainable management by avoiding landfilling. This will reduce consumption of primary mineral resources as well as energy and greenhouse gas emissions associated with mining.
Catalysts are substances that have the ability to alter the speed of a chemical reaction, increasing or decreasing it, in a process known as catalysis. They are used in a multitude of industrial processes to optimize them, increasing the speed of the reactions they need.
Since 1998, the Asturian company AGR has been treating oils and equipment contaminated with PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls), a toxic chemical compound.
This company was the first of its kind implemented in Spain and currently has the country’s largest capacity and Europe’s second largest. Its facilities are located in the Logrezana Business Park, in Carreño, on a plot of 8,500 square metres and pending an extension of 5,000 square metres.
AGR is an authorized manager for all types of catalysts out of use, both for those which it is not profitable or possible to recover metals from and must be managed environmentally, as well as those whose metals can be recovered and returned to the owner, or valued and paid according to the price of the metal exchange.
Together with AGR, the majority shareholder, AGRCR includes the British company BMJS Investments Limited, made up of two firms with extensive experience in the management and treatment of spent catalysts and the international marketing of metals from these catalysts.
Circular economy project supported by IDEPA
This initiative of sustainable treatment and valorization of metals is a brilliant circular economy project that was born from another Research and Development (R&D) project launched by AGR and financed by the Economic Development Institute of the Principality of Asturias (IDEPA). After studying its viability, the company is now moving to the productive investment stage, accompanied by international partners and with the support of the regional administration, through the SRP.
The project is part of the Asturias RIS3 Intelligent Specialization Strategy, which includes among its priority lines the commitment to sustainable materials. It also fits into the circular economy model promoted by the European Union to improve resource efficiency and reduce dependence on imports of raw materials.