SABIC invests in chemical recycling

Company partners with Plastic Energy to build a plant in the Netherlands to refine and upgrade TACOIL from mixed plastic scrap.

SABIC, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, a global leader in the chemical industry, has announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with U.K.-based Plastic Energy Ltd., a chemical plastics recycling company. Under the MoU, Plastic Energy will supply TACOIL, a patented product from Plastic Energy, to support SABIC’s petrochemical operations in Europe. The companies intend to build a commercial plant in the Netherlands to refine and upgrade TACOIL, which will be produced from the recycling of low-quality, mixed plastic scrap otherwise destined for incineration or landfill.

The plant, which is expected to enter commercial production in 2021, helps SABIC achieve its commitment to establishing a circular economy and its sustainability goals, according to a news release from the company.

“Sustainability is a core value at SABIC, and the circular economy is a cornerstone of our strategy as evidenced by this unique agreement,” says Frank Kuijpers, general manager for corporate sustainability at SABIC. “SABIC is proud to be the first petrochemical company to implement a project for the chemical recycling of challenging plastic waste into feedstock for steam crackers. This exciting project is testament to our commitment to scale up advanced chemical recycling processes of plastics back to the original polymer.”

“We are delighted to be working with SABIC on this exciting project to support their petrochemical operations in Europe,” says Carlos Monreal, founder and CEO of Plastic Energy. “We have already two industrial plants in Spain operating 24/7 and a technology team with more than 10 years of experience developing this patented technology. Our advanced expertise will promote this new opportunity to turn plastic back into plastic as part of the circular economy.”

Plastic Energy has commercialized a patented thermochemical conversion technology for a wide range of end-of-life, dirty and contaminated plastics. Plastics are melted in an oxygen-free environment and then broken down into synthetic oils, which require refining and upgrading for use as feedstock for traditional petrochemical uses.

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