Brazil-based petrochemical Braskem and Swiss-based energy trading company Vitol have announced an agreement for the supply of pyrolysis oil derived from plastic waste. Under the agreement, Vitol will start to supply Braskem Netherlands B.V. with pyrolysis oil, which Braskem will use to develop sustainable solutions for its customers and increase the circularity of its products. The companies did not disclose how much pyrolysis oil Vitol will supply to Braskem Netherlands, or for how long.
The feedstock will be produced in the chemical recycling facilities of Waste Plastic Upcycling (WPU) in Fårevejle, Denmark. WPU is a newcomer to the chemical recycling business, having started to convert plastic oil into naphtha at its new facility in April 2023. The Fårevejle facility consists of six reactors capable of handling 42,000 tonnes of plastic waste per year, producing approximately 30,000 tonnes of pyrolysis oil a year.
The company’s technology is based on pyrolysis and leverages a propriety batch technology that reportedly makes the reactor easier to construct and the process easier to operate. Its batch technology is purportedly extremely tolerant to various types and grades of plastic wate, it supports indiscriminate intake of polluted plastic waste, and it does not require any sorting of plastic waste before sorting. WPU claims its technology entails substantially lower costs than competing tech, producing ISCC Plus certified feedstock.
Vitol invested in WPU in July 2023, bringing its shareholding from approximately 9.4% to 24.7%. The companies also renegotiated their offtake agreement, granting Vitol the right to offtake all WPU products. WPU is building two new chemical recycling facilities in Nakskov and Esbjerg, Denmark, which are expected to be fully operational in 2025 and 2026, respectively. The Danish recycler will supply Vitol with pyrolysis oil from each facility for 10 years, having delivered its first batch in June 2023.
For Braskem, the supply agreement with Vitol will help it increase the circularity of its products around the world. This January, the Brazilian giant also entered into a 10-year offtake agreement with Nexus Circular for the supply of circular feedstocks. By 2030, Braskem plans to sell 1 million tons of products with recycled material and recover 1.5 million tons of plastic from the environment.
“We believe that Vitol's infrastructure and expertise combined with WPU's plastic waste recycling technology will enable Braskem to take an important step towards developing sustainable solutions for our clients", said Walmir Soller, VP of olefins and polyolefins at Braskem Europe & Asia.