Neste has received a positive grant decision from the EU Innovation Fund for up to EUR 135 million for its plans to expand chemical recycling capacities at its Porvoo refinery in Finland.

According to Neste, Project PULSE (Pretreatment and Upgrading of Liquefied Waste Plastic to Scale Up Circular Economy) aims to implement the company’s proprietary technologies that pre-treat and upgrade liquefied waste plastic. The company is looking to upgrade its capacities by 400,000 tonnes per year, contributing to its goal of processing over 1 million tonnes of plastic waste per year from 2030 onwards.

Neste adds that Project PULSE plays an important role in commercialising the chemical recycling of waste plastic, as it targets the quality gap between unprocessed liquefied waste plastic and the petrochemical industry’s raw material requirements.

The company says that it has received a positive grant decision from the EU Innovation Fund, which means it could be awarded funding of up to EUR 135 million for Project PULSE. This year, the EU Innovation Fund is set to invest more than EUR 1.8 billion in 17 large-scale projects deemed to be contributing to a low-carbon society.

Following the positive grant decision, individual grant agreements will be prepared with the European Climate, Environment and Infrastructure Executive Agency (CINEA) in charge of the Innovation Fund.

Mercedes Alonso, executive vice president of renewable polymers and chemicals at Neste, comments: “We are excited to be among the projects selected by the EU Innovation Fund.

“While showing recognition for and faith in our work on chemical recycling, the funding also highlights the importance of the approach itself. If we want to move towards a circular economy for polymers and chemicals, chemical recycling will have a major role to play.”

Neste announced a feasibility study evaluating investments related to Project PULSE in March 2022. The company adds that investment decision readiness is targeted for 2023 with gradual implementation expected to start in 2024.

In January this year, Neste concluded a series of industrial-scale processing trials at its Porvoo refinery. The company claims to have successfully processed around 800 tonnes of liquefied waste plastic at its Finnish refineries as part of the trials.