TAMPA, Fla. (March 10, 2004) — Tire pyrolysis company EarthFirst Technologies Inc. (EFTI) is scheduled to open its first operational facility in Mobile, Ala., at the end of the month, according to EFTI President Leon Toups.
The plant will have the capacity of processing 20 tons of tires daily. Turner Industries Inc., an engineering firm in Baton Rouge, La., built the Mobile plant and has global rights to build and operate others for EFTI.
Also, Proveedor Especilzado en Productos Ecologios Reciciables International LLC has signed a licensing agreement for the sole right to own EFTI recycling plants in Mexico. However, “the other plants are dependent on the successful demonstration of this (the Mobile) one,” Mr. Toups said.
Tampa-based EFTI claims to have improved the pyrolysis process by developing a method to produce tire-grade carbon black from the breakdown of tires. In September 2002, it said it agreed to a joint venture with Tire Recyclers Inc. to build a pyrolysis facility at TRI headquarters in Charles City, Va., but the plant was never built.
Mr. Toups, who became president of EFTI in November 2003, said he knew nothing of the TRI agreement. “Right now we're just concentrating on the Mobile plant,” he said.
M. Charles White, executive vice president of TRI, said the agreement with EFTI's previous management simply withered away. “We brought them to our technical center, and they said they were impressed with our operations, but then we never heard another word from them,” he said.
Meanwhile, TRI has signed another agreement for a pyrolysis plant with Svedala Pyro Systems. “We are in the final processing of arranging financing, and we hope to break ground in the next 30 to 60 days,” Mr. White said.