June 9, 2022

Quantafuel chooses Ramboll as Owner’s Engineer for first-of-its-kind plastic sorting plant

Pyrolysis company Quantafuel is planning to build a plastic sorting plant in Esbjerg, Denmark, with the capacity to process most of the country’s plastic waste. As the Owner’s Engineer, Ramboll will handle design, tendering, and construction of the plant. 

Denmark produces more than 350,000 tonnes of plastic waste every year. Most of this waste is incinerated while about 100,000 tonnes is sent to sorting plants in Europe where it is not possible to trace where and how the plastic is used.
The situation is set to change with a new plastic sorting plant that Norway’s Quantafuel plans to build in Esbjerg, on Denmark’s west coast. The plant has the capacity to handle up to 160,000 tonnes of plastic waste annually.
Clean fractions for resale and processing
“The imminent goal of the plant is to sort plastic waste from Danish households, service and industrial companies into clean fractions for resale and processing by both mechanical and chemical recycling industries. This combination will lead to a very high recycling rate in compliance with the ambitions of both Denmark and the EU,” says Erik Rynning, Project Director at Quantafuel.
He continues: “Ramboll has shown that, with their broad palette of advisory services, they are the right partner to also aid us in that journey, so that we in unison can help promote recycling, reduce CO2 emissions, and promote the circular economy.”
Quantafuel has collaborated with Ramboll since the preliminary design stage. As the Owner’s Engineer, Ramboll will handle detailed design, tendering and construction management of the plant, which is scheduled for operation at the end of 2023.
International investment company Eurazero recently also joined the project as an investor.
Standard design for scaling in Europe
During the preliminary design phase, it has been Quantafuel and Ramboll’s ambition to carry out a standard design for the plant in Esbjerg, which can be used to build more plants of a similar design for recycling of plastic waste in Europe in the future.
“That’s been a goal from the beginning, and we now look forward to implementing the plant in Esbjerg,” says Søren Eg Hansen, Project Director in Ramboll’s global Energy division. “There’s no doubt that a plastic sorting plant of the scale Quantafuel is constructing, which also includes plans to recycle plastic waste based on catalytic technology, will be a significant part of the solution to get rid of plastic waste for good, in Denmark and Europe.”
The plant is currently in the construction development phase. Quantafuel’s ambition is to construct a sustainable plant where they, in cooperation with Ramboll, aim for a DGNB
Gold Certification. This certification is commonly recognised internationally as the global benchmark for sustainability in construction.
Quick facts: Why plastic needs to be recycled
  • The world is producing twice as much plastic waste as two decades ago.
  • Plastic waste generated annually per person varies from 221 kg in the United States and 114 kg in European OECD countries to 69 kg, on average, for Japan and Korea.
  • The bulk of plastic waste ends up in landfill, is incinerated or leaks into the environment.
  • Only 9% is successfully recycled.Source:
Global Plastics Outlook, OECD, Feb 2022