The collaboration between global chemical company SK geo centric and PureCycle is now starting to assume a more definite form. In August 2021, the two companies announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding, which represented a first step towards building and operating an advanced recycling plant based on PureCycle’s patented technology.
In a statement released today, the companies say they have signed a non-binding head of agreement - also known as a HOA or - term sheet - to open Asia's first waste polypropylene (PP) purification plant in Ulsan, South Korea. The facility is expected to have an annual capacity of 60,000 tons and is expected to be completed the end of 2024.
PP is widely used in applications ranging from consumer products and food packaging to automotive interior materials. However, it is often used in combination with other materials and additives, thus limiting its potential for successful mechanical recycling. PP waste is today for the most part considered unrecyclable and incinerated.
PureCycle’s solvent-based purification recycling technology, developed by Procter & Gamble, makes it possible to separate contaminants, odors, and colors from recycled feedstock, transforming this into ultra-pure recycled (UPR) plastic that can be used for commercial production in any PP market. The cooperation between the two companies is aimed at creating a joint venture that will not only recycle plastic waste and provide South Korea with ultra-pure recycled PP, but also be able to develop diverse consumer products. This latest agreement follows after Na Kyung-soo, president and CEO of SK geo centric, visited PureCycle's R&D facility and demonstration plant in Ohio in November 2021. It was signed, say the companies, on January 6 at CES 2022 in Las Vegas after agreeing the key terms that will be included in the joint venture agreement to be negotiated between the two companies.
SK geo centric is a global leader in PP production and has deep technological capabilities, and wide marketing reach in Asia. The partnership between the two companies will combine SKGC's strengths with PureCycle's PP waste purification technology to supply a premium recycled plastic resin to the growing market.