Neste and Ravago aim to establish a joint venture to build an industrial facility for chemical recycling in North Sea Port in Vlissingen, the Netherlands. The facility is intended to be the starting point of joint global chemical recycling (often also called “advanced recycling”) activities, built upon the advancement of the thermochemical liquefaction technology of US-based Alterra Energy, an innovative chemical recycling technology company. With this, Neste, the world’s leading producer of renewable diesel, sustainable aviation fuel, and drop-in renewable feedstocks and solutions for the polymers & chemicals industry, and Ravago, the world’s leading distributor and recycler of polymers, plan to demonstrate and advance the commercialization of chemical recycling. The transaction is awaiting for and subject to regulatory approval.
Combining expertise along the value chain
This strategic partnership combines Ravago’s expertise in the mechanical preparation of plastic waste, Alterra Energy’s proprietary liquefaction technology, and Neste’s expertise in the processing of hydrocarbons. Neste and Ravago are aiming for a first industrial chemical recycling site in North Sea Port in Vlissingen with an annual processing capacity of about 55,000 tons of mixed plastic waste, corresponding to the plastic packaging waste generated by some 1.7 million average EU citizens* per year. The long-term aspiration of the partners is to significantly increase the processing capacity on a global scale and continuously develop the joint venture into a global leader for chemical recycling of mixed plastic waste.
“We are truly excited about the progress of our joint project work. By fixing the investment location and scope, we are again one step closer to turning our dream into reality,” says Theo Roussis, CEO at Ravago. “Together with Neste, we have the necessary ingredients for a successful recipe to create scalable solutions, converting non-recyclable waste streams into valuable end products.”
“Chemical recycling has been a promising technology to accelerate the creation of a circular economy for quite a while,” says Mercedes Alonso, Executive Vice President, Renewable Polymers and Chemicals at Neste. “Now, it is time to take it to the next level and turn the promise into an industrial solution. By combining the expertise of Ravago and Neste, we have the means to rapidly implement the technology to start production at commercial scale. With joint and dedicated efforts, we can bring together the know-how along the entire value chain to turn waste into valuable resources. Our ambition is clear: to be a global leader in renewable and circular solutions.”
Logical next step in cooperation between Ravago and Neste
This targeted investment is the consistent continuation of the fast-paced progress in the cooperation between the partners. In 2019, Neste and Ravago set a joint target to reach the capacity to process over 200,000 tons of mixed waste plastic per year by 2030. Ever since, the companies have evaluated technologies, the raw material market, and built joint business cases to develop chemical recycling capacities. Already in 2020, Neste also successfully conducted the first of several industrial trial runs with liquefied waste plastic at its oil refinery in Finland.
*) The average EU citizen generated 33kg of plastic packaging waste in 2018. Source: Eurostat
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