Attention to the environment, the circular economy and waste materializes in the analysis of solutions that can really use waste of waste , ie those products that leave the mechanical recycling plants as waste and that would be destined for landfill or incineration. Chemical recycling is certainly a way to reuse these waste by transforming it, as Sabic and Plastic Energy in the Netherlands will do, creating a value chain in sustainable polymers.
At the end of 2018, the Saudi petrochemical group Sabic signed a memorandum of understanding with British Plastic Energy to build a plastic recycling unit in the Netherlands. The project was to be completed in 2021.
Although it's a bit late, work is underway on its implementation. The two partners have just created a joint venture, Spear (Sabic Plastic Energy Advanced Recycling BV), of which they own in equal shares, to start construction of this site in Geleen , an important petrochemical center, near Maastricht, where Sabic is already present. It is expected to be operational in the second half of 2022. with the support of the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs.
Sabic and Plastic Energy have been collaborating since 2019 to produce and market “circular” polymers, included in Sabic's Trucircle catalog.
The Saudi group was thus able to collaborate with processors, consumer goods groups and / or retail chains to produce various packaging: among these first users we they are, in particular, Albéa, Aptar, Avery Dennison, Berry Global, Huhtamaki, Sealed Air, Walki, Tupperware, Unilever and Tesco.
“The new unit will allow Sabic to significantly increase production of certified circular polymers in order to provide customers with a better access to sustainable materials that have been recycled, reused and produced in a way that can help protect our planet's natural resources by acting as a back-up solution, ”said Fahad Al Swailem, Sabic's vice president of polyethylenes and polymers sales.
Thermal anaerobic conversion
Plastic Energy has developed a patented anaerobic thermal conversion technology (TAC) that transforms a wide range of end-of-life plastics , dirty or contaminated and difficult to recycle using conventional processes, in synthetic oils by pyrolysis which, once refined, make it possible to produce polymers with properties identical to those of the original materials.
The company already operates two chemical recycling plants for plastics in Seville and Almeria, Spain, since 2014 and 2017. The new unit will produce both this oil what resins.