Mullingar business Soltec reveals multi-million-euro investment in new 5-acre waste treatment and recovery facility.
Soltec was established in 1994 by local Mullingar businessman Michael Corcoran. Michael recognised the potential to recycle and repurpose hazardous waste that was, at the time, being shipped outside of the country.
Starting from the premise of sustainability, Soltec has become an industry leader in providing environmentally sound and sustainable solutions to businesses that produce hazardous waste across Ireland.
“Soltec is an excellent example of an Irish green innovator”
In 2011, his son David Corcoran, who has a background in environmental science, was appointed to the role of Operations Director. David took the lead in developing and project managing the new facility.
He emphasised that central to the investment programme was ‘the need to reduce the national reliance on the exporting of hazardous waste’ and that the ‘future of waste treatment in Ireland has to be focused on responsible ways to recycle and repurpose the waste we generate’.
Alongside the investment in infrastructure, Soltec has doubled its workforce over the last five years, diversifying its skills base across the fields of QC chemistry, manufacturing and Engineering.
Green vision realised
Both Michael and David Corcoran’s vision resulted in the opening this week of a state-of-the-art 5-acre waste treatment and recovery facility that represents the culmination of a multi-million investment programme that began in 2016.
The newly opened facility has become the primary treatment, processing, storage and distribution facility for Soltec. Soltec continues to invest in sustainability. The company is in the process of constructing a new distillation plant, further increasing capacity for treatment and recovery.
This phase of investment also includes a €150,000 investment in renewable energy production using a solar array on the roof of the facility and modern energy efficient equipment. This will reduce our own carbon footprint generated through our production process, further supporting our commitment to environmental sustainability. The new facility is due to open in 2023.
“Soltec not only puts Mullingar on the national stage but on an international platform, with years of development and investment by the company resulting in innovative technology, making them leaders in sustainable waste management to the benefit of their customers and our environment,” said Peter Burke, TD, Minister of State for Local Government and Planning.
“Their growth is the result of hard work, resilience and ambition and I know they will continue to build on their success in the coming years.”
Soltec has become an industry leader in providing environmentally sound and sustainable solutions to the Irish hazardous waste industry. In fact, 93% of the hazardous waste that Soltec accepts from companies across the country ends up being recycled and repurposed into new products. The newly opened facility can manage 20,000 tonnes of waste on an annual basis, an increase of 300% on previous capacity.
“Soltec is an excellent example of an Irish green innovator,” said Mark Christal, manager of Food, Sustainability and Climate Change at Enterprise Ireland.
“Delivering sustainable solutions to the waste management industry for over 25 years now, Soltec’s cutting-edge technology has made a significant contribution to circular economy principles in the sector. The opening of this new facility is really great news, and will allow the team to increase capacity, further expand its operations and investment in sustainability and renewable energy production.
“A key goal for Enterprise Ireland is to support enterprise with building innovation capability, and in the transition to the low-carbon, resource-efficient economy of the future. We are proud to have worked closely with Soltec over the years and we look forward to continuing to support the team in this ambitious new phase of growth.”
Corcoran commented that the investment in the new facility was based on ‘industry needs in providing local and responsible solutions to waste treatment’ and that ‘the new facility and the investment in world-class technology positions the company to greatly expand our domestic waste management operations’.
Soltec is the only Irish-based provider of solvent distillation (recycling) services. It is one of only five companies that are licensed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to manage hazardous waste. Its clients include a wide range of businesses, from multinational pharmaceutical companies to local Mullingar garages and bodyshops.
Soltec has the capacity to recycle waste chemicals into reusable solvents products such as paint thinners, hand sanitiser and industrial fuels. 83% of the liquid hazardous waste Soltec accepts is distilled into reusable solvents or blended into a sustainable fuel that is then supplied to commercial industry.
Soltec has been providing sustainable solutions for over 25 years, long before the global awareness of the need to manage waste responsibly. In 2021, Soltec’s recovery and repurposing programme resulted in 4,597 tonnes in net carbon dioxide reduction. To put these carbon savings into perspective, it would take 218,904 trees to absorb the same amount of carbon dioxide that is saved through Soltec’s recovery process.
Main image at top: Eoghan O’Briain, Senior Development Advisor, Sustainability Department, Enterprise Ireland, Michael Corcoran, Managing Director and David Corcoran, Operations Director, Soltec, Rowena Dwyer, Manager Sustainability Department and Mark Christal, Divisional Manager Food & Sustainability, Enterprise Ireland, Peter Burke TD, Minister of State for Local Government and Planning.