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Plastic Energy and SKGC to establish advanced recycling plant in Korea

Source:Adsale Plastics Network 2023-06-07

Plastic Energy, a global leader in advanced recycling, and SK Geo Centric (SKGC), SK Innovation’s subsidiary for its green chemicals business, plan to build an advanced recycling plant in Ulsan, South Korea.


This announcement follows the signing of an HOA (Heads of Agreement) by both companies on the 16 November in Seoul. According to the agreement, this plant is expected to have an annual capacity of 66,000 tonnes of plastic waste and will be located within SKGC’s recycling cluster in Ulsan.


The Ulsan recycling plant will be the largest in Asia and is expected to be operational by the end of 2025. In addition to the project in Ulsan, the two companies are also considering expansion of advanced recycling operations to the Gyeonggi province in Korea, in the metropolitan area of Seoul.


This follows a meeting that Carlos Monreal, CEO of Plastic Energy, had with Kim Dong-yeon, the governor of the province, to discuss Plastic Energy’s unique recycling solution for end-of-life plastics and how it can fit into the Gyeonggi province’s plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030.


Combined, the two plants would have the capacity to process over 100,000 tonnes of waste plastic per year into a feedstock that would be used by SKGC to make new plastics.


Left to right: Carlos Monreal, Plastic Energy Founder and CEO and Na Kyung-soo, CEO of SKGC.

Plastic Energy, whose mission is to reduce plastic pollution, is already operating two advanced recycling plants in Spain; one in Almeria and the other in Seville. The company also has three plants currently under construction in the Netherlands and France, an MoU for a project in Malaysia, and several other projects in Europe and the US. This will be Plastic Energy’s first project in Korea.


“Korea is an important market for advanced recycling of end-of-life plastics,” said Carlos Monreal. “SKGC has a truly unique vision to deploy different technologies to recycle many types of plastic, and Plastic Energy is excited to play a role in realising this vision.”


TACOIL is a feedstock that is obtained through Plastic Energy’s patented TAC process, which heats mixed post-consumer plastic waste in the absence of oxygen.


From this process, hydrocarbon vapours are produced and condensed into TACOIL which can be used by petrochemical companies as a replacement for fossil oils in the production of virgin-quality plastics.


Na Kyung-soo, CEO of SKGC, commented, “We are pleased to work with Plastic Energy who is a leader in advanced recycling technology to establish the largest advanced recycling plant in Asia.” He added, “SK Geo Centric will remain committed to expanding our cooperation for achieving the circular economy.”


Through Plastic Energy’s recycling technology, resource depletion is reduced, and plastic waste is diverted from landfill, incineration, and from leakage into the environment. Deploying this technology in Asia is an important step to reducing plastic pollution in the region and making plastics more sustainable.


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