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Mumbai: India’s largest metal scrap processor MTC Group and e-waste recycler Exigo Recycling Private Limited have formed a joint venture company MTC-Exigo Recycling Pvt. Ltd (MERPL) to process e-wastes and ramp up recycling capacity.

The joint venture company will be headquartered in Mumbai and its plants will be operational in Bengaluru and Chennai by March 2022.

The MERPL plan to invest nearly $25 million in a phased manner in developing MERPL that will leverage MTC’s position as a global market leader in ferrous and non-ferrous scrap business and Exigo’s expertise in setting up low-cost modular recycling and refining plants in different waste streams and maximizing resource recovery in a cost-effective manner.

MERPL targets to process over 2 lakh tons of e-waste annually, ramping up the recycling capacity in a phased manner across 10 cities in India, including NCR, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, and Lucknow.

MERPL will also include pre-processing and recycling of Lithium-Ion Batteries and EV Batteries of different chemistries, Solar PV Module recycling, Plastic recycling, and Waste to Energy (W2E).

“The exponential increase in the manufacturing and obsolescence of Electronic and Electrical Equipment which are laden with metals and rare earth elements has necessitated the adoption of a circular economy approach to save these valuable resources for future generations and to reduce the effective carbon footprint. This Joint Venture is a small step by the MTC Group towards ensuring resource security maximization and environmental sustainability," said Sanjay Mehta, director, MTC Group.

MERPL aims to augment the government’s efforts in promoting and boosting the circular economy in the country.

The worldwide e-waste generation in 2019 was 53.6 million metric tonnes. India is the third-largest contributor at 3.2 million metric tonnes.

The extended producer responsibility (EPR) rules, introduced in 2016 and amendments in 2018, have included only 21 EEE products and many more will be added. The government has implemented a graded target collection plan for producers and the targets will increase in the years to come.

“Exigo is a decade old key player in the Indian Ewaste Management & Recycling industry. With substantial investments in in-house R&D, we have developed cost effective recycling and refining processes for multiple WEEE and other product categories to extract Base/Critical/Precious and Rare earth metals. We have also established a transparent, auditable upstream & downstream ecosystem and follow high global standards and benchmarks in the recycling domain," said Raman Sharma, Managing Director, Exigo Recycling.

MERPL will create direct and indirect employment opportunities for over 1,000 people per plant and intends to be a 360-degree player in e-waste ecosystem right from skill development, awareness creation, encourage technopreneurs, collaborate with young start-ups with tech incubation and be a trusted player in government’s efforts to boost circular economy.

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