Contec S.A., the Polish startup recovering industrial raw materials from used tyres, has raised EUR 10 million in their latest funding round.
These funds will be used to expand the efficiency of Contec’s plant (Szczecin, Poland) almost threefold. Two investors are providing the funds: HiTech ASI, the corporate venture capital fund of Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego, and the Warsaw Equity Group, which is the majority shareholder.
The lead investor of the round is HiTech ASI, managed by VINCI – a subsidiary of Bank Gospodarstwa Krajowego. The second investor is Contec’s major shareholder, the Warsaw Equity Group. The funds obtained (EUR 8 million – HiTech ASI and EUR 2 million – Warsaw Equity Group) will be used to increase the processing capacity of Contec’s Szczecin plant. Once completed, the plant will be able to nominally process 33,000 tons of used tires per year – three times more than today. In addition, the modernisation will increase the production capacity of post-pyrolysis oil and recovered carbon black.
The expansion of the Szczecin plant is due in the first half of 2024. In addition, Contec is currently searching for optimal locations for the construction of further plants in Europe.
Contec reduces its carbon footprint
Contec recovers industrial materials from used tyres using their unique protected technology, Molten, a proprietary pyrolysis. Molten, a mixture of liquid salts to heat up the reactor in which the pyrolysis process takes place, is a unique solution capable of expansion on a global scale.
The development of this solution took five years, and the company engaged in research work with Warsaw University of Technology, among others. Contec is the first manufacturer in the world to use molten salts in pyrolysis. This is because the technology allows the process continuity under optimal conditions, making pyrolysis a safer, more efficient, and economical process.
Contec recycles used tyres to source recovered carbon black (RCB), post-pyrolysis oil, and steel. Contec products reduce the carbon footprint more than five times, when comparing them to the conventional fossil fuel-based raw materials
Unfortunately, nearly two-thirds of used tyres are – often illegally – burned or buried. Contec‘s unique technology, however, gives used tyres a new life in a resourceful, effective, and safe way, turning them into raw materials that can be used in the production of new tyres and other rubber products.
The acquisition of financing is an important step in the company’s development. The interest in our products significantly exceeds the current production capacity, and the acquired capital will allow us to expand production and respond more efficiently to the reported demand.
“For many years, we have been supporting the manufacturing sector’s climate actions towards closing the loop and circularity. The implementation of sustainable solutions that reduce a company’s environmental impact is an important pillar in the status of a modern and competitive company, following implementation of the goals described in ESG strategies worldwide. We, as Contec, are a partner enabling the decarbonisation of supply chains and the use of sustainable raw materials, especially in the plastics and rubber industry”, says Krzysztof Wróblewski, CEO of Contec S.A.
“The mission of HiTech ASI is to support Poland’s sustainable socio-economic development by building the value of project companies at various levels of their development and strengthening the innovativeness of the Polish economy, increasing its competitiveness in the international arena. Involvement in Contec S.A. is the implementation of the HiTech’s mission. It will have a positive impact on the development of the circular economy and increase the specialist competence of the Polish company “, says Piotr Woliński, CEO of VINCI.
The new investor confirms that 2023 is a breakthrough year for Contec. In January this year, thanks to the support of the Warsaw Equity Group, the company completed the installation of the back end in its technological process. As a result, sales of the recovered carbon black to customers began.
“Contec is a venture-building project of the Warsaw Equity Group, which has been implemented since 2015. After a period of intensive R&D, which resulted in stable and scalable technology, the company has entered the intensive commercialisation phase. Therefore, Contec’ needs funds and partners to increase its production capacity and, consequently, be able to respond to the demand reported by companies from the chemical and rubber sectors. I am glad that Contec has acquired such a partner as BGK. Thanks to this cooperation, our portfolio company will be able to strengthen its position on the European market”, comments Przemek Danowski, Managing Partner at Warsaw Equity Group.