10/12/2020 - 10:59 am

The Ocean Cleanup partners with MHE-Demag

The Ocean Cleanup, a Dutch non-profit developing advanced technologies to rid the oceans of plastic, and Konecranes, a world-leading group of Lifting Businesses, have announced that MHE-Demag is the chosen partner to design, manufacture, and service The Ocean Cleanup’s Interceptor to extract plastic from rivers before entering the ocean. This is an important step as the non-profit organization prepares to tackle the world’s 1000 most polluting rivers.

Deploying Interceptors on a large scale is necessary to rapidly address the urgent problem of ocean plastic pollution. The Ocean Cleanup is partnering with MHE-Demag, a Konecranes company, because of their expertise and worldwide footprint. Laying the groundwork for global scaleup, Interceptors 005 and 006 are currently being manufactured simultaneously at MHE-Demag’s facility in Klang, Malaysia and are expected to be completed in May 2021. Moving forward, MHE-Demag will handle Interceptor manufacturing, installation, and maintenance; local partners will oversee operations, and The Ocean Cleanup will continue to act as the technology and best practices provider as well as lead business development for upcoming Interceptor projects.

Founder and CEO of The Ocean Cleanup, Boyan Slat said, “At the end of a very challenging year, I am happy to see series production begin for the Interceptor. This is a necessary step for us to tackle the global flow of plastic pollution to our oceans at scale. I believe Konecranes is well-suited for the job and I look forward to seeing them build many more Interceptors in the coming years. I am thankful for their commitment to clean oceans”

Karl Tilkorn, senior vice president of Industrial Cranes and Products, Asia Pacific said, “Headquartered in Singapore, for 48 years MHE-Demag has built our brand through outstanding engineering capabilities with the best people in the industry. Our abilities to design and manufacture engineered or customised solutions have won us many landmark projects in the region, and we are still servicing these projects today. We are proud to collaborate with The Ocean Cleanup on the design and manufacturing of the Interceptor, in order to help the good cause of addressing river pollution across the globe.”

Konecranes is known for its leading technology and service in material handling and lifting products. Its engineering and design expertise, along with its global service network, will enable the company to assemble and install Interceptors around the world. Through this global footprint, helped especially by the design and manufacturing strengths of MHE-Demag, Konecranes can service and maintain Interceptors throughout their lifetime.

The Ocean Cleanup’s Interceptor was unveiled in late 2019 and there are currently three deployed in Klang, Malaysia; Jakarta, Indonesia; and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. A fourth Interceptor, in Vietnam, has been delayed for deployment and is expected to be launched early in 2021. Over the last year and a half, The Ocean Cleanup has used the insights from these pilot systems to understand and further develop the technology for more efficient mass production. These upgrades include changes to the conveyor, shuttle, dumpsters, and barge. Working together with MHE-Demag, these changes have been incorporated into the third generation design, which is the blueprint for the Interceptors being manufactured in 2020 and 2021.

The Ocean Cleanup develops advanced technologies to rid the world’s oceans of plastic. It aims to achieve this goal by taking a two-pronged approach: stemming the inflow via rivers and cleaning up what has already accumulated in the ocean. For the latter, The Ocean Cleanup is developing large scale systems to efficiently concentrate the plastic for periodic removal. This plastic will then be used to create durable products and fund continued cleanup, making cleanup itself circular. In 2019, the organisation launched the other half to their solution, the Interceptor, to extract plastic in rivers before reaching the ocean.

Founded in 2013 by Boyan Slat, The Ocean Cleanup now employs approximately 95 engineers and researchers. The foundation is headquartered in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

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LHA December 2022

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