Revalyu Resources broke ground on its first PET recycling facility in the United States. (revalyu photo)
After announcing in December 2022 that it would locate a plant in Statesboro, Ga., Revalyu Resources, a German plastics recycling company, broke ground at the 43-acre site Oct. 4 in the city's Gateway Regional Industrial Park.
Executives from Revalyu also said that the original planned investment of $50 million was now more than $200 million to build a plant capable of recycling 200 million pounds of polyethylene terephthalate, or PET, plastic each year.
PET is used to make plastic bottles for water and other beverages. According to company officials, Revalyu's Statesboro plant will recycle 100 percent post-consumer material at a rate of about 25 million bottles each day.
A news release from the recycler noted that construction of the facility's first phase is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2025 and will employ 71 people, with another 50 employees added in Phase 2.
"Our first plant in the U.S. is a very important step for the expansion of our company," said Jan van Kisfeld, managing director of Revalyu. "Our existing and future U.S. customers have a huge demand for our 100 percent recycled pellets, which are equivalent in quality to conventional oil-based PET pellets. This advanced recycling plant will serve our customers directly from the U.S., enabling quicker transportation time, lower cost, and a smaller [carbon] footprint."
Revalyu has been supplying its product — chemically recycled PET "chips" or pellets that can be made into new consumer products — to manufacturers in the United States for more than six years.
Speaking to the Herald in January, van Kisfeld said the company's choice of the Statesboro/Bulloch County site followed "three months of intensive search" as well as some serious negotiations with the Development Authority of Bulloch County (DABC).
"Revalyu has a respected reputation for their plastics recycling process and the positive effects it will have on the environment," said Benjy Thompson, CEO of the Development Authority. "We are thrilled that our region will host the first U.S. site for Revalyu and their truly innovative technology. In addition, we look forward to the positive impacts that Revalyu will have on our community."
Thompson added that Revalyu is the first German-owned company to locate in the county.
Originally called perPETual, Revalyu was founded in 2007 by Vivek Tandon, who attended the Statesboro groundbreaking.
The company's processing plant is in India and is being expanded to recycle 240 metric tons of PET a day. The new southeast Georgia plant will be able to process 100 metric tons daily, Tandon said earlier in the year.
"Used PET plastic can now be efficiently, profitably, and easily recycled again and again without degradation of quality," he explained. "Our already commercialized revolutionary process will transform the PET plastic industry as we know it. In the years to come, less and less PET will be manufactured from oil as it is replaced by high quality recycled material.
"We thank Bulloch County for their incredible support; we could not have chosen a better partner for our international expansion," he said at the groundbreaking.
Boom Times in Bulloch County
The proposed Revalyu facility is one of five Bulloch County industrial plant site selections announced by the DABC in the past 20 months. Together, the five companies have promised to eventually create more than 1,500 jobs at the sites.
The other four plants coming to Bulloch County are:
- Massachusetts-based Aspen Aerogels announced last year that it would build a $325 million plant to make aerogel insulation, which is used in and around electric vehicle batteries. Construction is currently under way on the 90-acre site in Bruce Yawn Commerce Park.
- Ecoplastic America Corp., a supplier of injection-molded plastic automotive body parts to Hyundai Motor Group, intends to build a $205 million plant with a promise to create 456 jobs, phased in over eight years. The facility will go up on a site owned by the DABC south of Statesboro. Site preparation for the factory is already under way.
- Ajin USA, a supplier of metal auto body parts to Hyundai, has committed to invest $317 million and eventually employ 630 people at its Joon Georgia plant. The site encompasses 83 acres next door to the beside the Aspen Aerogels site in Bruce Yawn Commerce Park.
- Hanon Systems will have a $40 million manufacturing plant for producing a variety of automotive air control equipment. The company's products include air conditioners, heaters, cooling modules, compressors, radiators, fans, evaporators, and condensers and will be a tier-one supplier to the Hyundai Metaplant that is building EV cars northwest of Savannah. The Hannon facility will be constructed in Gateway Industrial Park and create 160 jobs.
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