It was Johan Thorbeck and Kjell Fredriksen who first established Mepex. – Johan had already established his own business and wanted me to come on board. I felt like the time was right in 1988, explains Kjell. Together, they established Mepex. Frode Syversen joined Mepex in 1991 and he has been CEO since 2005.

Johan established his own business in 1983. He was engaged by Oslo Renholdsverk (the waste management authority of Oslo municipality) as a Project Manager which included the technical responsibility for the total rebuilding and modernization of the energy recovery plant at Haraldrud.

Many people have wondered what lies behind the company name Mepex. In Norwegian the letters stand for environment, energy, project management, and expertise.

Work on energy recovery plants in Norway and abroad

Since then he has largely been involved in building and development projects at home and abroad, and mostly related to energy recovery plants. For 2 years in the 90s he moved the family to Switzerland to work on an energy recovery plant for a daughter company to ABB.

In previous years, Johan has executed a range of large projects for the same authority where he started off, for the waste management authority, later called EGE, or Fortum Oslo Heating as it is now called.

– There has been a fantastic technological development. We have worked on new plants but also worked on optimizing the old plants; increasing capacity, reducing emissions, and finding ways to increase the energy output from each ton of waste entering the plant. We have had a handful of very steadfast clients over the years. They deserve credit for the knowledge and experience we have gained over the last 30 years, says Johan.

Retirement has been postponed indefinitely

Providing specialised and technical advice and project management services within construction has been central work for Kjell. His first large-scale project in Mepex included the development of a waste management plan for 76 municipalities in Eastern Norway.

– The first 15 years of Mepex history consisted mostly of energy and energy recovery from waste and gas treatment plants for industries. Projects over the last 15 years have mostly involved sorting and material recycling, explains Kjell, and admits that he had not anticipated this development.

– This change has happened very quickly. When I started working in this industry, all sorting was manual. At the sorting plants there were 6-7 people along a conveyor belt picking out drink cartons and cardboard from the newspaper. TOMRA’s NIR technology prototype came in 1995.

The sorting plant in Norway was ready for operation in 2005, and since then I have worked on equivalent sorting plants in Norway and abroad, says Kjell, who hasn’t planned on retiring any time soon:

– No, retirement has been postponed indefinitely. I enjoy this job too much to quit now, he laughs.

The future is bright

When Frode joined the company in 1991, he brought solid planning and investigation expertise to the team.

– This combination of practical and theoretical knowledge and experience acquired over 30 years in this market has given us a unique knowledge base. I hope that we, together with our clients, have contributed to a more environmentally friendly waste management sector and made a difference, says Frode. He is experiencing an ever-increasing demand for the company’s expertise, and is looking forward to the future.

– We are excited for the years to come and to continue this important work together with new and established stakeholders in this market within the framework of the circular economy.

When we ask Kjell and Johan on how they picture Mepex in 10 years, they both agree in their reply:

– Still an independent company with employees with expertise within waste management and recycling, says Kjell.

– And we want to remain a company with experience in different waste treatment plants, adds Johan.