pet bottles
Photo courtesy of Indorama Ventures Public Co. Ltd.

Indorama progresses toward 2025 goal to recycle 50 billion bottles annually

The company has mentioned the importance of recycling to its future growth.

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Global chemical company and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) recycler Indorama Ventures Public Co. Ltd. (IVL), headquartered in Bangkok, has announced its second-quarter 2021 financial results, reporting record core earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) of $477 million. This is a 30 percent quarter-over-quarter increase. The company says it is forecasting similar growth in the second half of 2021 and in 2022 as global vaccination programs spur positive sentiment.

“During the pandemic we doubled down on our transformation and development programs as we build towards a future-ready organization, and we are now starting to see the results of these initiatives as global vaccination programs spur a recovery,” Aloke Lohia, group CEO, says. “We will continue to benefit from the economic tailwinds as all three of our business segments—Combined PET, Fibers and Integrated Oxides & Derivatives (IOD)—experience strong demand and margins. At the core of our platform is an ongoing focus on innovation-led products and a commitment to achieving our ambitious ESG [environmental, social and corporate governance] and sustainability targets. All of our investments in these important areas will continue to drive IVL’s growth into the second half of 2021 and beyond as a world-class sustainable chemical company.”

In its “2019 Annual Report,” Lohia says social and political pressure on single-use plastics “creates a tremendous opportunity for IVL to enlarge our recycling investments and create a positive impact on global circular economy initiatives.” The company also set a goal that it would recycle 50 billion bottles per year by 2025.

Its recent acquisition of CarbonLite’s PET recycling asset in Texas got the company 3 billion bottles closer to reaching that target, while its announced greenfield recycling facility in Karawang, Indonesia, will further its progress toward that goal by almost 2 billion bottles annually. Also in the second quarter of the year, the company launched its Deja Carbon Neutral PET pellet that is made with renewable energy, locally sourced materials and low-impact water transport.

IVL says demand for its products remained “robust” across all segments and all regions in the second quarter. “We achieved higher margins along our portfolio, leveraging on our integrated operating model and regional supply chain advantage offsetting headwinds in the ecosystem such as shortages of key raw materials and logistics constraint."

The company says it expects similar performance in the remainder of 2021, though integrated PET margins likely will adjust to an increase in supplies as container movement eases toward year-end. Additionally, the semiconductor shortage is tempering some customers’ demand in the Fibers segment, and the steep cost increase of polypropylene is leading to a lag in pass-through mechanisms for the company’s hygiene vertical.