Collect, crush and resell. What was previously waste – difficult to be managed and stored – is transformed into a treasure (a real treasure: gold, silver, platinum and palladium).
Montalbano Recycling – a company specialized in technologies for the treatment and recycling of waste materials – was established in 2002 and in just fourteen years of existence, it has not only been achieving several records but it is also entering a business (that of recycling and re-use), whose future can still be shaped.
Starting, perhaps, from the awareness that the raw materials we use are not limitless and their cost increases day by day, the small Sicilian business has transformed what was considered a global concern into a great resource. Emanuele Montalbano – a young entrepreneur from the province of Palermo – explains the success of his business as follows, with a few figures: “In 2015, our turnover amounted to two and a half million Euro. Forecast turnover for 2016 is of over five million Euro. In 2015, we were exporting around 80% of our products; in 2016, we expect to export over2% of our machinery abroad”.
In addition to the name, Mr. Montalbano seems to share with the famous inspector created by the pen of Andrea Camilleri also the famous Sicilian stubbornness: to take action, embark on new challenges and grow. In spite of everything. He is a great example of renewed Sicilian entrepreneurial dynamism, which is also reflected in the activities undertaken by SACE during this last year: the Palermo office alone dealt with over seven hundred businesses seeking to look abroad for their products and business ideas.
Montalbano Recycling was one of the first businesses to obtain the funds (400 thousand Euro) made available by the initiative "Programma 2i per l'Impresa" of Cassa depositi e prestiti, SACE and EIF (European Investment Bank Group)*. This initiative – which relies on the resources made available to SMEs by the Juncker Plan – is precisely intended to support the internationalization and innovation of businesses.
In short, the credit line guaranteed by SACE and issued by the Iccrea BancaImpresa banking group and Banca Don Rizzo Credito Cooperativo della Sicilia Occidentale, will allow Montalbano Recycling to pay for the costs incurred for machinery renewal and plant update: these innovations are pivotal to the company’s growth in Europe, the United States, Mexico and the Gulf states.
The Sicilian company currently operates in twelve countries, but is already looking beyond. “We want to establish a site in the Arab Emirates”, Montalbano explains, “because there is huge environmental sensitivity. By 2020, the National development plan launched by Abu Dhabi (2020 Vision, editor’s note) plans to invest in environmental sustainability programmes and projects for an impressive total of 200 billion dollars”.
The Emirates office will also serve as a launching pad towards all the other Gulf states, like Qatar, where Montalbano Recycling is already involved in the development of a large plant for the management, disposal and recovery of urban waste.
This is a project worth 40 million Euro that may represent the best opportunity with which to propose our solutions to other cities, including perhaps Rome. Our mission is extremely clear: to show (including to our fellow countrymen) that waste does not only give rise to management and storage concerns, but also to important resources and raw materials that can immediately be resold at premium prices.
To crush and recover precious metals from computer and mobile telephone boards, for example, is worth a fortune: from 3,500 kilograms of electronic boards duly treated, we can obtain forty kilograms of precious metals, with an average value per kilogram of 20/22 thousand Euro. Not bad at all for technological waste that we are producing at an incredible rate!
This first project of financial support involving SACE-CdP-EIF with Iccrea and Banca Don Rizzo will enable the Sicilian business to “buy new machinery to cope with the growing demands of our clients. We will continue to focus on Italy, but at the same time we will also ensure to our clients across the globe the local assistance and management support they need for their plants”.
Indeed, the internationalization process of Montalbano Recycling appears to be faster than expected. “We are also looking to India”, Mr. Montalbano admits, “and we hope to do business in Iran too, now that the economic barriers appear to be less rigid”.
* The loan, in the case in point, benefits from the “InnovFin” guarantee issued by the European Investments Fund (“EIF”), with the financial backing of the European Union in compliance with the Horizon 2020 programme and the European Fund for Strategic Investments (“EFSI”). The purpose of the EFSI is to help grant access to finance and implement production investments in the European Union, as well as ensure greater access to finance.