SABIC signs MoU with chemical recycler Plastic Energy for supply of waste recyclate

Photo by SABIC SABIC global headquarters in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

SABIC has announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding with UK-based chemical plastics recycler Plastic Energy Ltd., for the supply of feedstock to support SABIC’s petrochemical operations in Europe.

SABIC and Plastic Energy are planning a first commercial chemical recycling plant in the Netherlands to produce the patented Tacoil product. The plant, which is expected to come online in 2021, will use low-quality mixed plastic waste that would otherwise be incinerated or go to landfill.

The plant will be a major step towards SABIC's goal of establishing a circular economy and its related sustainability goals.

“Sustainability is a core value at SABIC and the circular economy is a cornerstone of our strategy as evidenced by this unique agreement”, said 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.

Plastic Energy has successfully commercialised a patented thermochemical conversion technology to convert a wide range of plastics. The waste material is melted in an oxygen free environment and then broken down into synthetic oils. These are then refined and upgraded as feedstock for traditional petrochemical uses.

“We are delighted to be working with SABIC on this exciting project to support their petrochemical operations in Europe”, said Carlos Monreal, founder and CEO of Plastic Energy. “We already have two industrial plants in Spain operating 24-hours a day, seven days a week, 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.”