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Reporting period: 2015-08-01 to 2015-10-31

At least one in three Europeans can be still exposed to Asbestos at work and in the environment, and the European Commission urges Member States to work for an Asbestos-free Europe. REACMIN will help to achieve this challenge, which is one of the five time-bound targets to improve people’s health from the Fifth Ministerial Conference on Environment and Health, recently reviewed and ratified in Haifa (April 2015).
The REACMIN solution developed by TIESSEPI envisions a treatment plant which will allow the thermally induced inertization of 400,000 tonnes of Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM) in 5 years. TIESSEPI’s system will thus place in the market a completely transformed asbestos-free product suitable to be used as a Secondary Raw Material (SRM) for other industrial uses such as concrete production, road building or environmental restoration.
REACMIN is funded under the SME instrument phase 1 and this feasibility study aims to give an answer to all those technical, economical and financial gaps that we found in our path to a successful commercialization of our system, according to the work plan that was set in phase 1. Thus, the objective of this feasibility study is to obtain a technical plan that outlines next steps to reach TRL9 for our technology, a Commercial and Business Plan that shows next steps to reach our target markets and a Financial Plan that assure the viability of the project.
In this Feasibility Study we carried on a full cost/benefit analysis by defining, according to current regulatory issues, the technical adjustments and operations that should be done to reach TRL9 and the quality and security features and standards to be checked in final products produced using the obtained secondary raw material. Regarding to security issues we have sketched the main security rules within the operational plan and we have outlined the index for a training program for workers.
From a commercial and financial point of view, we have identified market drivers and barriers, mainly related with Freedom to Operate (FtO) and regulatory issues identifying those countries with action plans or especial support to asbestos removal and treatment and we have set the minimum treatment fee to assure the financial viability of the project in the future. In addition, a study of key commercial stakeholders has been done including both asbestos removal companies and possible end-users markets for the SRM and we have planned future contacts in line with the market penetration plan.
All this activity has allowed us to conclude that the project is technically and financially viable and our decision is to follow with our technical plan. In this plan we have also included the collaboration with MEC as end user to demonstrate the technology.
In Europe, more than 40% of residential buildings were constructed before the 1960s and from then to the 1990s a large boom in construction took place, being this a period during which asbestos was widely used. Asbestos was produced in the European Union but most important, it was widely consumed, mainly in United Kingdom, Germany and Italy.
Today millions of ships, homes, schools, and business are still contaminated with asbestos, which is still killing people and means about M€ 1,600 in costs per year in Europe. Moreover, yet in 2012, rather than falling, worldwide asbestos production increased as it is still used in large quantities in many parts of Asia, Eastern Europe and South America. We can affirm that 2 million tonnes of asbestos are still being produced and commercialized worldwide annually being Russia, China, Brazil and Kazakhstan the biggest producers, posing a real risk that asbestos reach European Markets and arising again the need of safety and cost-effective technologies to treat ACM.
REACMIN offers a high competitive solution for Asbestos Containing Materials (ACM) treatment which in addition results in a valuable product. The final target of REACMIN is to construct and operate a treatment plan with a capacity of treatment up to 100,000 tonnes per year. REACMIN also targets to the introduction of the treated ACM as a Secondary Raw Materials suitable for silica and sand based manufacturing process.