South Africa-headquartered AECI and Clariter, an international cleantech company have joined forces on the production of crude oil-free oils, solvents and waxes derived from the upcycling of waste plastics using technology developed by Clariter.
Specifically, AECI has invested €2.5 million in a strategic collaboration with Clariter, in the form of a convertible loan. The deal includes the option to participate in further rounds of funding of up to €10 million as well as distribution and offtake agreements for Clariter’s range of oils, solvents and waxes.
While the funding will be used to scale up Clariter’s technology to commercial level, the two companies will also explore the development and construction of Clariter’s full-scale plants across parts of AECI’s existing geographic footprint, specifically South Africa, Germany and the USA.
In addition, both companies will work together on the research & development of new specialty chemical applications and blends of advanced high-value industrial products. This includes blending products to create new products with a green premium as well as AECI’s off-take agreement and distribution of Clariter’s oils, solvents and waxes.
“Since our upcycling technology utilises plastic waste as a feedstock for green petrochemicals, we address a key global issue. Processes and products that are green and more circular have a meaningful role to play in the global trend towards sustainability and ultimately a net-zero carbon future,” said Clariter’s President and CEO, Ran Sharon, in a statement announcing the agreement,
Clariter has developed a continuous, proprietary and proven chemical upcycling process that treats the main types of plastic waste - polyethylene, polypropylene and some polystyrene - in mixed quantities. The process involves a thermal cracking step to convert plastic waste into a wide range of liquid hydrocarbons, which is followed by hydro-refining to remove impurities and to form naphthenic and paraffinic hydrocarbons. The third step consists of distillation and separation to distil the fractions into pure products that are drop-in ready replacements for existing product manufacturers. Current results show that Clariter’s green products meet FDA purity standards and exceed the benchmarks of petrochemical equivalents.
In a statement announcing the agreement, AECI Chief Executive, Mark Dytor, said that AECI was well-positioned for this partnership, given its extensive chemical application expertise, industrial experience, market access in key geographies and product development capabilities. The partnership fits well with the Group’s internationalisation strategy and ambitions for growth in terms of hard currency earnings, he added, and allows’ AECI to be an early mover in the waste plastics-to-products industry’.
Founded in 2003, Clariter is privately owned, headquartered in Luxembourg and has operations in Israel, the Netherlands, Poland and South Africa. Its technology has been proven at Clariter’s R&D pilot plant in Gliwice, Poland since 2006 and at its industrial-scale plant (ISP) in East London, South Africa, since 2018. Part of Clariter’s strategy is to welcome partners like AECI, specifically to develop collaborations that can range from off-take agreements to building plants together.
The company’s target is to roll out the first full-scale plants in Israel, the Netherlands and Poland.