A metallurgical firm in France wished to diversify into recycling metal and batteries, pooling the equipment from two of its industrial sites.
This decision to enter the recycling market coincided with the creation of a French and European recycling initiative for catalysts and batteries, in connection with circular economy principles. The objective of the battery recycling programme in France is to recycle 20,000 tonnes of batteries per year, equating to one in every three batteries collected for recycling in Europe.
About the project
Ramboll was commissioned by the Eramet group to help it obtain the necessary environmental authorisations for the modification of its site in the centre of the city of Commentry.
To enable recycling of spent catalysts used in oil refining, other metal oxides, and alkaline and saline batteries, the plant was upgraded to a ‘Seveso high threshold’ classification under the Classified Installation for Environmental Protection Regulations.
In 2016, one of the three existing rolling mills at the Commentry site was closed down with the loss of workforce. By embracing the opportunities presented by the circular economy, the Commentry site was resurrected as a recycling plant with the creation of new jobs.
The project has seen strategic investment of about €25 million, of which 42% is dedicated to environmental issues such as the creation of a flue gas filtration system and containment of the arc furnace, a wastewater treatment plant, and installation of anti-noise walls.
Ramboll was chosen by the client for our ability to bring wide expertise to a complex project.
The project team prepared various sections of the application file – including risk assessment, impact assessment, health risk assessment and analyses of best available techniques. The multidisciplinary team brought together Ramboll experts in Site Solutions, preparing the baseline soil and groundwater report, and modelling experts from our Air Quality team, to carry out the atmospheric dispersion modelling.
Authorisation from the regulatory authorities to operate the plant was granted ten months after the application was submitted.