The SeeElefant

The SeeElefant is a concept for maritime recycling, which has been awarded by the Ministry of the Environment, the Federal Environment Agency, and the German Sustainability Award. It is a 2nd-hand cargo ship converted into a recycling and energy ship, which will begin its operations in stationary deployment along the coasts of polluted metropolitan regions.

The Concept

SeeElefant 2023

Since 2022, the concept has been extensively revised, expanded, and detailed. Under the title “SeeElefant 2023,” the so-called “Initial Design” was completed in 02/2023 with a team of specialists in plant engineering and shipbuilding.

The process ship – a bulk carrier with 4 cranes – is now planned to be 180 meters long, with a capacity designed for 60,000 tons per year. In addition to maritime plastic waste, a large amount of land-based waste will be processed, which will be brought on board via a transfer terminal.

The expansion of capacities goes hand in hand with leveraging economies of scale in operations.

SeeElefant 2019

As part of a 220-page feasibility study, the SeeElefant concept was examined in 2019 and its implementation recommended. The 2019 system was based on a 100 m bulk carrier and, in terms of waste processing, essentially on proven recycling plant technology: an automatic NIR plastic sorting plant and a downstream waste-to-energy plant for non-materially recyclable plastic waste fractions.

In this process, the SeeElefant should exclusively take over the marine waste collected by specialised waste collection catamarans type SeeKuh, using on-board cranes and subsequently process it. The total processing capacity was planned to be 10,000 tons per year.

Plastic waste is separated by type using the LVP sorting system integrated into the cargo hold, compressed into plastic bales, and fed into the recycling cycles on land. A waste-to-energy plant, which complies with the highest international emission standards through sophisticated filter technology, generates electrical energy from the thermally recoverable sorting residues, which can largely be sold and fed into the respective national grid.

A large research hall on deck provides space and opportunities for further plastic and waste analysis as well as processing experiments, such as waste-to-fuel technology.

Currently, the OEOO team is assembling the future stakeholder network for investment, financing, chartering, and operation. At the same time, the market is being closely monitored to acquire a suitable ship in the short term. The goal is to commission a German shipyard to convert the bulker by the end of 2023, to begin trial operations in the North or Baltic Sea by mid-2025, and to anchor in a metropolis in Southeast Asia in 2026 to strengthen local waste management infrastructure and reduce marine pollution.

With music we take on plastic!

A Million Miles Away

With "A Million Miles Away," we are taking the fight against plastic waste to a musical level, aiming to raise awareness and spread our message through our song.

Take a moment to listen!