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UNTHA shredder at the heart of new Columbian Energy-from-Waste plant

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An UNTHA CR2000 shredder is set to drive forward Geofuturo’s Energy-from-Waste (EfW) operations in Columbia – converting the country’s waste into Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) for the cement industry.

The equipment – which represents a shredding first for the waste management organisation – will be processing approximately 2,200 tonnes of materials per month at the firm’s new EfW plant, Geoparque, in Cartagena.

The plant will be inaugurated on Tuesday 23 August, and approximately 100 industry experts and officials will be attending – including the Columbian environment authorities, Austrian Chamber of Commerce, cement producers, and waste management companies.

The shredder will process a variety of materials, including waste wood, textiles, plastics, and leather, which would have previously been sent to landfill.

Commenting upon the rationale behind the investment, Olga Lucia Gaviria, manager and founder of Geofuturo, said: “Our mission is to promote the circular economy by providing sustainable options for waste management.

“The shredder will not only support our operations, but it will contribute to helping our country reach its sustainability goals.”

The Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development of Colombia launched the Carbon Neutral Columbia strategy in 2021, with the aim of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.

“This project will help us to harness the resource potential of waste that is currently being landfilled in our country – creating a valuable and alternative energy source which helps to reduce our nation’s use of ever-depleting fossil fuels,” continued Olga.

The firm expects to decrease the amount of waste sent to local landfill in Cartagena by almost 6%, by the third year of the plant’s operation.

Hector Montellano, Latin America sales and business development director at UNTHA Ibérica, said: “We’re extremely proud to be working alongside Geofuturo, on a project that will help to boost the sustainable development of the country.

“With its high-torque electric drive technology, our CR2000 shredder will allow Geoparque to achieve high performance and maximum throughput – producing a high-demand homogenous 50mm fuel for the cement industry.”

“Following lots of research, we decided on an UNTHA machine because of the firm’s strong international presence and renowned experience and reliability in this complex field,” continued Olga.

“We visited existing plants to see the shredders in action – and also spoke to customers – which gave us peace of mind that we would receive the right amount of operational and commercial assistance and local support from UNTHA Ibérica, to make our project a success.”

Geofuturo is aiming to use the CR2000 to demonstrate the viability of the RDF-production project, with the intention to install an even bigger UNTHA shredder in 2023 to expand operations further.

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