Shell Ventures invests in plastic scrap-to-chemicals company

The investment will help Shell reach its goal of recycling 1 million metric tons of plastic scrap per year in its global chemicals plants by 2025.

September 11, 2021

Shell Ventures BV, a global oil and energy company headquartered in the Netherlands, has formed a partnership with BlueAlp Holding BV to develop, scale and deploy BlueAlp’s plastic scrap-to-chemical feedstock technology. According to Shell Ventures, the technology transforms plastic scrap into a recycled feedstock (such as pyrolysis oil) that can be used to make “sustainable” chemicals. Shell says it has taken a 21.25 percent equity stake in BlueAlp as part of the agreement.

“With BlueAlp’s innovative technology and Shell’s size and experience, we can advance the plastic waste recycling technology needed to meet growing customer demand for sustainable chemicals,” says Robin Mooldijk, executive vice president of Shell Chemicals and Products. “This partnership is one of the important steps Shell is taking to reach our ambition of recycling 1 million [metric tons] of plastics waste a year in our global chemicals plants by 2025.”

Mooldijk adds that the company also is working across the value chain to provide its customers with a secure supply of high-quality circular products, including collaborating with industry partners to drive the development of the infrastructure needed to collect and sort plastic scrap.

Under the partnership agreement, Shell and BlueAlp will form a joint-venture company to build two new conversion units in the Netherlands, which are forecast to convert more than 30,000 metric tons of plastic scrap per year, Shell Ventures reports in a news release on the partnership. The units are planned to be operational in 2023 and will supply 100 percent of their pyrolysis oil as feedstock to Shell’s Moerdijk and Rhineland crackers. Shell Ventures says it is considering licensing two more units for deployment within Asia to supply the Shell Energy and Chemicals Park Singapore.

“BlueAlp’s aim is to efficiently transform plastic waste into a useable and economic product, and we have developed an exciting and innovative technology. With Shell as a strategic partner, I believe BlueAlp has a great opportunity to grow into a global leader in the pyrolysis market,” says Chris van der Ree, chief technology officer of BlueAlp. “Our immediate focus is to increase the technology’s current processing capacity and then license our technology to third parties. This I expect will help communities worldwide put hard to recycle plastic waste to better use.”

Shell Ventures reports that BlueAlp’s technology has been developed to a commercial scale and that Shell’s technology team, based in Amsterdam, will work with BlueAlp to improve and scale up the technology’s capacity to recycle larger volumes of plastic scrap. Shell says it plans to deploy its own technology to upgrade the purity of the pyrolysis oil at its assets.