The Ocean Cleanup, the Dutch non-profit developing advanced technologies to rid the oceans of plastic, and Konecranes, a world-leading group of Lifting Businesses, announced today that MHE-Demag is the chosen partner to design, manufacture, and service The Ocean Cleanup’s Interceptor to extract plastic from rivers before entering the ocean. This is an important step as the non-profit organization prepares to tackle the world’s 1000 most polluting rivers.
In Malaysia, 5% of river basins are considered severely polluted and 42% polluted – leaving only 53% classified as ‘clean’. The Ocean Cleanup first introduced the Interceptor in 2019 and piloted one of the first devices in Malaysia last year in the Klang River in a bid to resuscitate the state’s polluted rivers and to clear them of garbage.
Deploying Interceptors on a large scale is necessary to rapidly address the urgent problem of ocean plastic pollution. The Ocean Cleanup is partnering with MHE-Demag, a Konecranes company, because of their expertise and worldwide footprint. Laying the groundwork for global scaleup, Interceptors 005 and 006 are currently being manufactured simultaneously at MHE-Demag’s facility in Klang, Malaysia and are expected to be completed in May 2021. Moving forward, MHE-Demag will handle Interceptor manufacturing, installation, and maintenance; local partners will oversee operations, and The Ocean Cleanup will continue to act as the technology and best practices provider as well as lead business development for upcoming Interceptor projects.
Founder and CEO of The Ocean Cleanup, Boyan Slat remarked on this new partnership by saying, “At the end of a very challenging year, I am happy to see series production begin for the Interceptor. This is a necessary step for us to tackle the global flow of plastic pollution to our oceans at scale. I believe Konecranes is well-suited for the job and I look forward to seeing them build many more Interceptors in the coming years. I am thankful for their commitment to clean oceans.”
Karl Tilkorn, Senior Vice President, Industrial Cranes and Products, Asia Pacific said, “For 48 years, MHE-Demag has built our brand through outstanding engineering capabilities with the best people in the industry. Our abilities to design and manufacture engineered or customised solutions have won us many landmark projects in the region, and we are servicing these projects until today. We are proud to collaborate with The Ocean Cleanup on the design and manufacturing of the Interceptor, in order to help the good cause of addressing river pollution across the globe.”
Konecranes is renowned for its market-leading technology and service in material handling and lifting products. Its engineering and design expertise, along with its global service network, will enable the company to assemble and install Interceptors around the world. Through this global footprint, helped especially by the design and manufacturing strengths of MHE-Demag, Konecranes can service and maintain Interceptors throughout their lifetime.
The Ocean Cleanup’s Interceptor was unveiled in late 2019 and there are currently three deployed in Klang, Malaysia; Jakarta, Indonesia; and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. A fourth Interceptor, in Vietnam, has been delayed for deployment and is expected to be launched early in 2021. Over the last year and a half, The Ocean Cleanup has used the insights from these pilot systems to understand and further develop the technology for more efficient mass production. These upgrades include changes to the conveyor, shuttle, dumpsters, and barge. Working together with MHE-Demag, these changes have been incorporated into the 3rd generation design, which is the blueprint for the Interceptors being manufactured in 2020 and 2021.