Energy and Pyrolysis
In 2017, in order to diversify the business, Brio Group started the ENERGY division, first acquiring two disused electricity production plants in Bastia Umbra (PG) and Mapello (BG), putting them back into operation, with a technical revamping activity. Since 2018, it has launched an important investment plan in Research & Development aimed at creating end-of-life tyre treatment plants, from which, through the chemical process of PYROLYSIS it is possible to produce: fuel oil, metals, a black powder used for the textile and technology industry.
Brio Group takes its first steps in the ‘Pyrolysis’ division by acquiring in 2018 a stake in Impuls Industri Sha, owner of the only authorised tyre treatment plant that has been in operation continuously for 5 years in the Balkans.
This plant recovers waste materials (end-of-life tyres) transforming them into products with high commercial value and high resaility: through a chemical process of pyrolysis, out-of-use tyres are obtained:
- pyrolysis oil (synoil) that has obtained the certificate of sustainability from ISCC (International Sustainability & Carbon Certification) and therefore has the requirements to be included in the list of new raw materials set out in Annex IX of RED in the future, thus acquiring an even higher commercial value;
- Recycled carbon black (rcb): it is a compound much in demand by the textile industry (garment coloring), the electronics industry (lithium battery production), the technology industry (printer toner). Not being obtained directly from oil but from waste products, the rcb responds better to the needs of less environmental impact and circular economy;
- Steel: although present in low quantity in the tyres, it has an excellent quality and a very high resale;
- Gas: the pyrolysis plant also generates important quantities of gas, which are used to feed the plant.
Brio Group, thanks to the Albanian partnership, has acquired significant know-how in the field of pyrolysis and, at the same time, has started an investment plan in Research & Development thanks to the concessionary contribution received by Simest (Cassa Depositi e Prestiti group).
The vision of Brio Group has been shared with an engineering company in Rome, Exen Srl, which has facilitated the inclusion in foreign markets, in particular in Azerbaijan. The various R&D projects concerned the research of competitors, industrial partners, relations with local governments, followed by the engineering and design phase, after having identified in the industrial area Balakhani the most suitable site for the establishment.
In March 2019 the project was presented to the Ambassador in Azerbaijan Augusto Massari, and to the Azerbaijani authorities, who welcomed him with great favor, because it represents an opportunity of great national interest because it provides a solution to the long-standing problem of thousands of tonnes of end-of-life tyres on its territory, which are the subject of continuous and numerous fires, with consequent serious and irreversible environmental damage.
The construction of the Baku plant starts in summer 2019 with a planned duration of 18-24 months. Unfortunately, the Covid-19 epidemic, with its worldwide impacts for almost 2 years, has caused periods of downtime due to lockdowns, difficulties in moving personnel and vehicles, as well as missed or delayed deliveries of materials and equipment. Finally, the Russia-Ukraine war delayed the final stages of testing, also because some workers and engineers are Russian citizens, a country with which Azerbaijan borders to the north.
At the end of 2022 the Baku plant was completed and in February 2023 went into production. For Brio Group the total investment was about € 2,500,000.
The pyrolysis plants in Albania and Azerbaijan are powered with Tyre Out of Use, a waste material often disposed of by open combustion, resulting in the release into the atmosphere of toxic and highly polluting substances, as well as harmful leachate seepage underground.