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6 February 2019

Braskem and Haldor Topsoe start up demo unit for developing renewable MEG

The mechanical completion of the innovative first process step of the demonstration plant is the first milestone to be achieved by Braskem and Haldor Topsoe’s partnership to validate the MOSAIK™ sugar-to-biochemicals solution for production of cost-competitive bio-based MEG (monoethylene glycol). Currently, MEG is made from fossil-based feedstocks, such as naphtha, gas or coal. The demonstration plant is expected to produce more than 100 tons per year of glycolaldehyde, the precursor for MEG, when it begins operation on March 1, 2019. MEG is a key component of PET plastic used for food packaging, especially bottles, and polyester fabrics. The global MEG market represents a value of 25 billion dollars.

In recent years InKemia has developed a new biofuel (S-50) with characteristics similar to those of diesel and biodiesel. The S-50 has crude glycerin as one of its main raw materials. The S-50 has been totally developed within the European Union and thoroughly tested, both in laboratory environment and in engines.

The company selected Portugal – ZILS, adjacent to the harbor of Sines – to locate the first industrial facility in the world to produce and market the S-50. The total investment will amount to nearly 24 million euros, generating 23 FTE and inducing between 15 to 20 indirect jobs.
The project will positively impact Portuguese exports, since it is estimated that over 70% of its annual 30,000 metric tons production will be for the Spanish, Italian, German, Dutch and UK markets.

The industrial facility will take up about one hectare of Lot E, Zone 1 of ZILS, a petrochemical industrial site managed by aicep Portugal Global: