At the recent CES 2023, SK Innovation subsidiary SK Geo Centric signed a contract with British chemical recycling company Plastic Energy under which Plastic Energy will supply the pyrolysis technology to be used for the third chemical recycling plant SK Geo Centric is planning to build in the new plastic recycling complex in Ulsan (South Korea). Na Kyung-soo, CEO of SK Geo Centric, Bruno Guillon, Chief Commercial Officer of Plastic Energy, and others attended the signing ceremony.
SK Geo Centric will start construction of the pyrolysis plant this year. The plant, with a capacity of some 66,000 tonnes of end-of-life plastic waste, will be the largest in Asia. SK Geo Centric also plans to build a pyrolysis oil post-treatment plant based on proprietary technologies designed to improve the quality of the pyrolysis oil produced.
The two companies also signed an MOU to establish a strategic partnership aimed at promoting the development of advanced recycling, following the construction of the plant in Ulsan, in selected countries across Asia. To that end, they propose to create a joint venture to fast-track the construction of new advanced recycling facilities in China, Japan and other key markets.
Plastic Energy’s patented TAC process enables currently unrecyclable plastics to be converted into a feedstock called Tacoil. This can be used to create virgin-quality plastics that are suitable for use in numerous consumer packaging products, including food and cosmetics applications.
The official name of the Ulsan plastic recycling complex - the world’s first such complex – was announced at the signing. Called the Ulsan Advanced Recycling Cluster (ARC), it will boast three advanced chemical recycling plants based on different technologies at a single site. In that context, SK Geo Centric has partnered with global companies such as PCT (US), Loop (Canada), and now, Plastic Energy (UK) to achieve this.
SK Geo Centric is cooperating with PureCycle Technologies in the US to implement the Ultra PP supercritical extraction technology developed by that company. The technology makes it possible to remove pollutants from waste plastics. SK has signed a contract to create a joint venture following an equity investment of 55 million dollars. It has also secured exclusive sales rights in Korea and the rights to conduct business in China and Southeast Asia.
With Loop Industries, the company has formed a partnership to make use of that company’s depolymerisation technology, which allows previously unrecyclable PET plastic and polyester fibre waste to be broken down into their base building blocks, dimethyl terephthalate (DMT) and monoethylene glycol (MEG), using low heat and no added pressure. These DMT and MEG monomers are then purified and polymerised (or re-combined) into Loop™ branded PET plastic and polyester fibre. The end product is made from 100% recycled content.SK Geo Centric has made an equity investment of 10% and holds exclusive rights to conduct business in Asia.