Page 52 - RB-107-2023-4
P. 52

  OTR RETREADING PLANT LAUNCHES IN KYRGYZSTAN COUNTRY REPORT -KYRGYZSTAN   Kumtor is the largest gold mining company in Kyrgyzstan Photo: Kumtor Kumtor Gold Company, a Kyrgyz gold firm, has launched an off-the-road (OTR) retreading and recycling plant in the Chui region, Kyrgyzstan. The plant, one of the biggest in its kind in Central Asia and the post-Soviet space, was commissioned in August 2023 in test mode and is slated to begin full operation in 2024. The investment cost is $19.2 million, the Kyrgyz government said, adding that the project was partly funded by a national environmental initiative titled “Turning Waste into Money.” The government disclosed that casings not fit for retreading will be recycled. From the secondary materials, the authorities plan to manufacture plastic, textiles and pressed materials. Akylbek Zhaparov, the Kyrgyz Prime Minister, who visited the plant, said that its products are due to be sold not only within the country, but also in the neighbouring Central Asian states of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. Kumtor Gold Company is developing the country’s largest gold deposit, Kumtor, in the Issyk-Kul region and recently got government approval to develop the Togolok gold deposit. The company plans to use German te- chnology at its new plant, Alexander Smetanin, director of the plant, said. Similar operations retreading OTR tyres exist only in Germany, the US and Indonesia, he stated, not elaborating. The new facility is expected to employ 180 workers. Smetanin unveiled that a part of the staff passed training in Germany, where some workers showed such high skills that they got job offers from local tyre retreading companies. After reaching the full designed production performance, the plant will recycle 2 tonnes of used tyres per hour and retread 2,000 OTR tyres and around 8,000 truck tyres per year, Smetanin added. As a result, Kumtor will save 30% to 40% of the costs associated with tyre replacement. Basi- cally, OTR tyres can be retreaded up to three times, he estimated. “In Germany, up to 60% of tyres ending up at the retreading plant are re- treaded. In the USA - up to 80%. In our country, only 1% are fit for retrea- ding so far; the rest being disposed of. This is because we are accustomed to using the tyres to the last. But this is going to change soon. I think we will soon understand that tyres need to be retreaded, and that this is pro- fitable,” said Smetanin. Tyres that cannot be retreaded are cut at the factory, which involves the separation of steel frames. During the following recycling, the plant pro- duces rubber crumb and high-alloy steel. The plant is expected to repay the investments within five years. It will be primarily focused on serving the needs of the Kumtor Gold Company, but several other Kyrgyz mining companies have already expressed an inte- rest in retreading their OTR tyres. Smetanin stated that once the plant starts operating in full, it will accept orders from foreign customers too.  P.52 

   50   51   52   53   54