Circular economy pact with BP in Germany / New plastics from recyclate
Saudi Arabian chemicals and plastics giant Sabic (Riyadh; and UK energy multinational BP (London; have agreed to cooperate on creating a circular economy at Gelsenkirchen / Germany, where both play a prominent role as producers. BP operates a 2m t/y cracker and other upstream units for plastics at the site – starting point for the chemical industry’s value chain in the northern Ruhr area – while Sabic makes polyethylene and polypropylene. The companies, which are continuing a long-term cooperation, said their collaboration will help increase production of certified circular products that have mixed plastics as feedstock, thus reducing the amount of fossil resources needed in the petrochemical process.

The partners will build on Sabic’s portfolio of certified circular polymers that it markets under the name “Trucircle” – its polycarbonate resin based on renewable feedstock (see of 17.10.2019). In the process, it leverages advanced recycling technology to convert low-quality plastics waste into pyrolysis oil, which it then employs as an alternative feedstock for polymers. The Saudi giant said the end product has identical properties to virgin polymer and can be recycled multiple times without losing its properties or characteristics. After successful trials in December 2020, Sabic began producing new plastics from pyrolysis oil at the German petchems campus early this year.

To produce the polymers, Sabic is working with British chemical recycler Plastic Energy (London; on using chemically recycled plastics waste as feedstock at its production facilities in Europe (see of 14.12.2018). The Saudi group claims to be the first to launch an industrial project for this type of chemical recycling, which it said represents an important step in its commitment to the EU’s drive to create a circular economy. “Sabic is committed to helping to create a new circular economy where plastic never becomes waste,” said Fahad Al Swailem, VP for PE and sales at Sabic. “Advanced recycling has a crucial role to play in the current recycling mix, as it can capture value from plastic waste streams that have traditionally been ignored or discarded,” he added.

For the UK energy group, the pact with Sabic is an important milestone in its vision of achieving up to 30% of its ethylene and propylene production from sustainable and recyclable raw materials by 2030. “This is what BP’s recently announced Net Zero strategy is all about,” said Wolfgang Stückle, VP, refining and specialities solutions, Europe and Africa. BP’s certified base chemicals and Sabic’s certified circular polymers are recognised through the “ISCC Plus” scheme that certifies content and standards across the value chain. Under the scheme’s mass balance system, for each tonne of the alternative feedstock fed into the cracker, one tonne of the output can be classified as circular.
09.03.2021 [247164-0]
Published on 09.03.2021

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