A new collaboration between Neste, Covestro and South Korean petrochemical company SK geo centric is enabling the production of a major polyurethane raw material based on renewable raw materials via mass balance.
The cooperation will see Neste provide SK geo centric with renewable Neste RE, an ISCC certified feedstock for polymers and chemicals made from 100% renewable raw materials such as waste and residue oil and fats. This feedstock will be processed at SK geo centric’s facilities in South Korea into benzene and supplied to Covestro to use as raw material for methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI), a key raw material for the manufacture of rigid polyurethane foam, at its site in Shanghai, China. Replacing traditional fossil-based feedstock with Neste RE provides a significant reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. It also reduces the carbon footprint of the polyurethane raw materials produced by Covestro and of downstream industries.
The cooperation marks the start of possible future collaborations between the three companies, aiming at replacing fossil feedstocks by more sustainable ones in the production of polymers and chemicals in the APAC region and beyond.
As renewable solutions become more available, their usage n the chemical industry can now start to be scaled up, noted Mercedes Alonso, Executive Vice President, Renewable Polymers and Chemicals at Neste. "To make this ramp-up a success, we’ll need to establish collaborations along the value chain – and this one between three sustainability-minded partners is a prime example of how the industry can do just that,” she said.
The ability to supply customers in the Asia Pacific with more sustainable MDI based on mass-balanced raw materials is a step forward for Covestro. Using such materials can help customers achieve their climate goals. Yet another core benefit is the fact that it is a technical drop-in solution. Customers can use it immediately without a major changeover in their plants, said Sucheta Govil, Chief Commercial Officer of Covestro.
The first renewable benzene based on Neste Re renewable feedstock has already been produced and shipped by SK geo centric. That company plans to actively continue the cooperation. “We remain committed to expanding this cooperation,” Woohyuk-Choi, Vice President of SK geo centric’s Aromatic Business Unit said.