Photo: NKT

NKT puts power cable recycling into fifth gear

NKT has reused all materials from its medium- and high-voltage power cable scrap for new applications as part of its journey towards zero waste.

After entering a partnership with the Norwegian recycling specialist KMT, scrap materials from NKT’s production are being transformed into flowerpots, cable drums, and construction supplies.

The Danish company said it is now practicing open and closed-loop recycling where waste is collected, recycled and produced into new products. The waste does a full circle without having a negative impact on the environment by becoming a new material instead.

“We have taken a significant step in reducing the environmental impact of our power cables as we have now developed a process that makes it possible for us to reuse our scrap by 100%. This is the result of a long-term focus on strengthening our recycling and waste handling to constantly reduce the carbon footprint of our power cables,” said Anders Jensen, CTO at NKT.

NKT divested its specialized recycling center to KMT and entered a partnership to solve the challenges of recycling the mixed waste fraction consisting of 30 material fractions proven hard to recycle. 

“This is a game-changer in connecting a greener world through more environmentally sound processes. By finding a solution to the mixed fraction of our cable scrap reaches full recyclability as we have successfully proven that metals and cable plastics can be reused in other industrial applications,” Jensen added.

NKT’s next step is to increase the recycled volumes until all production scrap goes to either internal or external recycling. The plan is to keep all products and materials in use for as long as possible by reusing, reselling, or recycling as much production materials as possible.

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To remind, earlier this year, the cabling specialist announced it is investing more than €150 million in the expansion of its high-voltage power cable production sites and logistics to execute on a record high order backlog.

The investment program will see a new high-voltage power cable test center in Cologne, Germany, and the construction of a new extrusion tower for the production site in Karlskrona, Sweden.