MOSCOW (MRC) -- Eastman is targeting for a 2023 groundbreaking on its proposed plastics recycling project in France, Mark Costa, CEO of the US-based producer, said in an update during the company’s Q4 earnings call.
The company has yet to decide where in France the project will be built.
The methanolysis-based project, first announced on 17 January, will process up to 160,000 tonnes/year of hard-to-recycle polyethylene terephthalate (PET) waste. Startup of production is expected in 2025.
With the plant located in France, Eastman will have a competitive advantage as it will offer customers there a “circular economy benefit”, Costa said.
“The circular economy is a very regional concept, so when we build plants in Europe or in the US, it is a significant advantage relative to Asian competitors,” he added.
Regarding site selection, Eastman has identified three locations that all offer attractive renewable energy supply.
In making a final decision on location, logistics will be very important, as the plant will be moving a lot of material, both inbound and outbound, he said.
While the plant’s output includes PET, for use in packaging applications, the USD1bn project does not mean that Eastman intends to return to the traditional PET business, he added. Eastman exited hydrocarbon-based PET more than 10 years ago.
The French project’s PET will be sold under long-term offtake contracts with cost-pass through structures, meaning that Eastman will not take on the spread risk between price and feedstock costs, he said.
The methanolysis-based plant would provide a reliable source of high-quality recycled product that commands a premium, he said.
Eastman's methanolysis process comes under chemical recycling, which is an umbrella term for a variety of methods that use different production routes to create new material from waste. Common chemical recycling methods include pyrolysis, gasification, glycolysis, hydrolysis, methanolysis, and enzymatic hydrolysis.
Costa also said that Eastman it is looking at licensing its technology, which would create an additional revenue stream for the company.
As MRC reported earlier, Eastman Chemical Co. (Kingsport, Tenn.) has completed the acquisition of the business and assets of Matrix Films, LLC and its UK affiliate, PremiumShield Limited, marketer of PremiumShield performance films, including its extended line of automotive film patterns.
We remind that Eastman is increasing capacity for its Naia-brand cellulosic filament yarn at its plant in Barcelona, Spain. Eastman is increasing its capacity to produce Naia cellulosic filament yarns at its plant Barcelona, by 30% by mid-2021, and by more than 50% by the end of 2022.
According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PET consumption remained steady in December 2021 year on year. December estimated PET consumption totalled 67,880 tonnes (67,710 tonnes in December 2020).
Eastman is a multinational chemical company serving customers in approximately 100 countries. Sales in 2015 amounted to around USD9.6 Billion. The company is headquartered in Kingsport, Tennessee, USA. The company employs approximately 15 thousand people around the world.