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Ocean Cleanup partnering with MHE-Demag to tackle the world’s 1,000 most polluting rivers

two men stand next to a table with The Ocean Cleanup banner in background

Konecranes and The Ocean Cleanup, a Dutch non-profit developing technologies to rid the oceans of plastic, have picked MHE-Demag as the chosen partner to design, manufacture, and service The Ocean Cleanup's interceptor which extracts plastic from rivers before entering the ocean. This is an important step as the non-profit organization prepares to tackle the world's 1,000 most polluting rivers.

Deploying interceptors on a large scale is necessary to rapidly address the urgent problem of ocean plastic pollution. 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." 

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.