SABIC and Plastic Energy are set to commence construction on the first commercial unit to produce SABIC’s flagship “certified circular” polymers, which are made from the upcycling of mixed and used plastic.

Diversified chemicals specialist SABIC, along with Plastic Energy, a pioneer in chemical plastics recycling, says that the plant, which will be based in the Netherlands, is expected to become operational in the second half of 2022.

The project will be realized under a 50-50 joint venture called SPEAR (SABIC Plastic Energy Advanced Recycling BV) and is being executed with a Top Sector Energy Subsidy from the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs.

As part of the project’s market foundation stage, SABIC has worked together with Plastic Energy and customers and converters to produce and commercialise “certified circular” polymers since early 2019. SABIC hopes that the new unit will enable it to significantly upscale the production of its polymers.

“Advancements in this pioneering project take us one step closer to driving the change needed to become a circular global industry,” says Fahad Al Swailem, vice president, PE and sales at SABIC.

“We have overcome significant external, global challenges to reach this important milestone and remain fully committed to closing the loop on used plastic. We are continuing to collaborate on an unprecedented level with our partners upstream and downstream to achieve this.”

“It has been an exciting journey in making our vision of building advanced recycling plants come to life, and we are delighted to announce the construction of this new facility with SABIC,” adds Carlos Monreal, founder and CEO of Plastic Energy.

“We have worked jointly with SABIC towards our common goal of making plastics more sustainable and moving towards a more circular economy for plastics.”

SABIC’s polymers are produced using Plastic Energy’s advanced recycling technology to convert low quality, mixed, and used plastic, otherwise destined for incineration or landfill, into TACOIL. The TACOIL produced in the new commercial unit will be used by SABIC in their production process as an alternative to traditional fossil materials to create new circular polymers.