SK geo centric, a subsidiary of SK Innovation, signed a licensing contract with British company Plastic Energy to jointly build a plastic waste recycling plant in Ulsan.
Under the deal inked at the CES tradeshow in Las Vegas, the factory will have an expected capacity of 66,000 metric tons of end-of-life plastic waste input.
The pyrolysis plant will be situated in the Ulsan plastic recycling complex, called the Ulsan Advanced Recycling Cluster. Construction of the plant will begin this year and is to be completed in 2025.
"Securing the cutting-edge technology for plastic recycling at CES is an important step for reducing carbon and building a greener industry. We will be committed to the Ulsan ARC project and maintain global partnerships," SKGC CEO Na Kyung-soo said.
SKGC plans to set up a post-treatment plant for its part of the project. Plastic Energy will provide its patented TAC process that recycles plastics that cannot be mechanically recycled. The technology converts plastics into a feedstock called "tacoil" that is used to create virgin-quality plastics for packaging for food, cosmetics and other consumer goods.
“We are excited to participate in the Ulsan ARC to develop advanced recycling projects across Asia. SKGC has a unique vision for a more sustainable business model in the petrochemicals industry," Plastic Energy Chief Commercial Officer Bruno Guillon said.
The two companies also signed a memorandum of understanding for a "strategic partnership to expand the advanced recycling business across Asia." They plan to respond preemptively to growing global demand by establishing recycling facilities in other key Asian markets.
The collaboration with Plastic Energy is one of three that SKGC has secured for advanced chemical recycling technologies. It will also cooperate with American company PureCycle Technologies on Ultra PP supercritical extraction and Canadian company Loop Industries on depolymerization.