Government prepares partnership for plastic transformation

Wed. 03 of April of 2019, 10:55h

The Government of Timor-Leste is preparing a memorandum of understanding with Mura Technology and Armstrong Energy Ltd for the development of an emerging and revolutionary technology called Cat-HTR, invented by Professor Thomas Maschmeyer at the University of Sydney.

CAT-HCR uses water at high pressure and high temperature to convert plastic waste into high value products. This technology allows for the reduction of plastic waste in the oceans and the reduction of the problems due to the carbon dioxide emissions caused by the plastic burning. It also creates a source of revenue with the transformation of this waste into synthetic fuels.

The objective of this partnership is to establish a national non-profit entity called RESPECT, which will be able to buy plastic waste from community groups such as schools and sell the products resulting from the processing of waste. The sale of processed products will finance the purchase of plastic waste, and it is expected that a significant surplus will be generated to help finance community projects.

The Secretary of State for the Environment, Demétrio de Amaral de Carvalho, will coordinate the terms of the memorandum of understanding between the Government of Timor-Leste and Mura, which will be submitted for analysis to the Council of Ministers with a view to beginning studies of feasibility and funding. RESPECT will also work with government entities to implement policies to reduce the use of plastic and to process the remaining plastic waste generated in Timor-Leste. The Cat-HTR plant will be able to process about twenty thousand tons of plastic waste annually and generate about seventeen thousand tons of synthetic fuels. Allowing Timor-Leste to become a country of "Neutral Plastic", by transforming all the plastic into a circular economy without waste. The long-term objective will be to cleanse the country of plastic waste, which is currently polluting land and sea, especially damaging Timor-Leste's marine heritage.

Payments for the collection of plastic waste will help to promote alternative livelihoods and provide essential financial support to schools and other organizations. These funds can help provide safe and clean drinking water in schools and improve sanitation, provide essential resources for education, and provide low-cost energy from renewable energy sources in rural areas.

London-based Mura Technology owns this technology and belongs to the same group as Armstrong Energy, one of the UK's leading renewable energy companies, and Licella, which developed the technology in Australia. Robin Chamberlayne, a director of Mura Technology and Armstrong Energy, visited Dili this week along with his colleagues George Woodman, Simon Christopher and John Da Costa for meetings with the Government and presentation of the project at the Cabinet meeting of 3 of April 2019.