MOSCOW (MRC) -- SK Geo Centric Co. (formerly SK Global Chemical), a chemical materials unit of South Korean conglomerate SK Group, said Monday it will build a plastic waste recycling factory in South Korea jointly with a US startup as part of efforts to advance its green business, according to The Korea Herald.
SK Geocentric said it signed an initial terms agreement with Purecycle Technologies Inc., a Florida-based plastic recycling company, to construct a polypropylene (PP) recycling factory in the industrial city of Ulsan, about 400 kilometers southeast of Seoul.
The signing took place on the sidelines of the Consumer Electronics Show in Los Angeles last week, attended by Purecycle Technologies CEO Mike Otworth and Kim Jun, CEO of SK Innovation Co., Geo Centric's parent firm.
Under the deal, the construction will break ground this year and is aiming for completion by 2024. It will have an annual capacity to process about 60,000 tons of recycled PP using Purecycle's technologies, and SK Geocentric will hold exclusive domestic sales rights to the materials.
Purecycle specializes in recycling PP waste into ultra-pure PP resin by removing contaminants, which can be re-used in various consumer goods, automotive and construction materials.
In August 2021, the two companies agreed to set up a joint venture to build a plastic waste recycling plant in South Korea. SK Geocentric has also been working with other American and Canadian plastic recycling companies to boost related production in its Ulsan complex.
As MRC reported earlier, Korea’s SK Global Chemical has changed its name to SK Geo Centric with effect from Sep. 1 as it adopts a strategy centered on recycling and eco-friendly materials. The company’s primary goal is to establish facilities to process 900,000 t/y of plastic waste, which is equal to its annual domestic plastic production, by 2025, ramping up to 2.5 million t/y by 2027. It plans to invest about 5 trillion Korean won by 2025, both in South Korea and internationally, which will also include expanding capacity for green materials.
According to MRC's ScanPlast report, PP shipments to the Russian market were 1,363,850 tonnes in January-November, 2021, up by 25% year on year. Supply of homopolymer PP and block-copolymers of propylene (PP block copolymers) increased, whereas supply of injection moulding PP random copolymers decreased significantly.