NKT Reduces Environmental Footprint by Mechanical Recycling of XLPE Material

NKT recycles the material cross-linked polyethylene (XLPE) used for insulation of power cables. For NKT, this is significant step in the ambition to reduce the carbon footprint of its low-, medium- and high-voltage power cable solutions.

February 5, 2020

NKT now recycles XLPE material from its low-medium and high-voltage pr6duction of power cables on its facility in Denmark.

Cabling company NKT is recycling cross-linked polyethylene (XLPE) that is used for insulation of its power cables. Power cables are the backbone of the global power grids being crucial to the transition to renewable energy and the focus on sustainability in the power cable industry is constantly increasing.

As a leading power cable provider, NKT is continuously working to develop the sustainability in the life cycle of the company’s portfolio. Now, NKT has successfully recycled XLPE material as one of the first power cable companies minimizing the carbon footprint of its solutions. The recycling process has been developed in a research project with the Swedish research institute RISE IVF, AXJO Plastic and material specialist Borealis.

Alexander Kara, President and CEO in NKT said, ”I am proud that NKT leads the way in recycling of material from power cable production showing that recycling of XLPE is possible in an industrialised scale at our specialized recycling facility in Stenlille, Denmark. With the recycling of XLPE from production sites in Sweden, Denmark and Germany, we are taking a significant step in our ambition to decrease the carbon footprint and ensure a sustainable lifecycle of our power cable portfolio.”

During the past years, NKT has successfully industrialized
the process of recycling XLPE in close collaboration with AXJO Plastic which is now manufacturing robust cable drums from the recycled XLPE material. The benefits of the recycling are clear. The material costs are significantly reduced compared to new raw materials and approximately two tonnes of CO2 are saved for every tonne of recycled XLPE.

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For NKT, the mechanical recycling of XLPE is an initiative within the company’s focus on driving sustainability in the power cable industry. As the XLPE insulation often accounts for a substantial part of its power cables, NKT is working closely with material supplier Borealis to discover and develop sustainable solutions with XLPE material for the power cable industry.

”A stronger focus on sustainability in our supply chain is a natural step when reducing the overall carbon footprint of our power cables. With XLPE being an important material for our high-performing power cables, I am satisfied to see a closer collaboration with our key supplier Borealis to continue to drive sustainable XLPE solutions,” says Alexander Kara.

Besides the focus on material recycling, NKT is running all its high-voltage factories on 100 % green electricity minimizing the overall carbon footprint of its portfolio of power cable solutions.