SOUTH AFRICA – Averda, a leading waste management company in the emerging world, has secured US$30 million loan from International Finance Corporation (IFC) to construct a new plastics recycling plant in Gauteng, South Africa.
Averda provides waste management services to more than 60,000 private and public sector clients, covering around 12 million residents across eight countries in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia.
The company is increasingly focusing on sustainable solutions that extract value from waste, reducing the use of the planet’s limited natural resources and driving the circular economy.
The loan is expected to help deliver climate-changing benefits through private-sector-led integrated waste management services.
Part of this loan is already in use and supporting several of Averda’s existing sustainable waste management projects in South Africa, Oman and Morocco, the company says.
“Locally, most of the investment has been put to use in the construction of a new plastics plant in Rosslyn, creating 50 new jobs,” says Averda South Africa director Chris O’Neill.
The loan will help Averda to significantly accelerate other sustainability projects, allowing Averda to reduce the waste sent to landfills while increasing the volumes of waste composted, recycled and transformed into energy, and progressing South Africa towards a more circular economy, he adds.
“Through the new plant, which will be operating by the end of the year, we aim to process up to 12 000 tons per year of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and low-density polyethylene (LDPE) by converting them back to reusable A-grade plastic pellets, with volume production starting in the first quarter of 2023,” O’Neill notes.
These pellets will be used by Averda’s customers to remold or extrude new products.
The plastic waste is collected from the waste sectors, and this may include Averda’s landfill sites.
This recycling and re-using minimize the impact on carbon emissions, as the Averda process essentially shreds the plastic waste and thereafter extensively washes it before extruding the plastic.
Averda will also operate a material recovery facility where source-separated recyclables will be further segregated and from where some of the input plastics will derive, which will be used for the plastic plant, adds O’Neill.
According to a World Bank report, waste generation is expected to triple in sub-Saharan Africa and double in North Africa.
The investment aligns with the World Bank Group’s Climate Change Action Plan of 2021-2025 to boost climate finance to developing countries and IFC’s commitment to supporting cross-border investments.