A Texas company is proposing a $1.1 billion plant to create chemicals from used plastics in central Pennsylvania.
Encina Development Group LLC revealed plans April 7 for the Point Township Circular Manufacturing Facility in Northumberland, Pa., that would use pyrolysis to create benzene, toluene, xylenes and propylene from plastics diverted from disposal.
The proposed location would create 300 jobs and has attracted attention from state officials who commented as part of the company's announcement, including Gov. Tom Wolf. "Not only will they be creating new, good-paying jobs, but they're committed to doing it with an innovative approach that will lessen their impact on the climate," he said in a statement.
Construction is expected to begin this fall, The Woodlands, Texas-based company said, with operations in full swing by late 2024 at the location about 55 miles north of Harrisburg..
"Increasingly, customers are demanding sustainable practices across the product supply chain and life cycle. The feedstocks we manufacture reduce waste, offset the need to produce virgin materials and help manufacturers achieve carbon neutral goals as we transition to a circular economy," Encina CEO David Roesser said in a statement.
Encina indicated the company had raised $55 million to help fund commercialization of the business.
The Pennsylvania location will have the capacity to process 450,000 tons of post-consumer plastics each year. These materials would be primarily diverted from landfills and incineration, the company said.
Pyrolysis uses heat and pressure in the absence of oxygen to break down plastics into their chemical components for reuse.