SABIC pioneers first production of certified circular polymers

SABIC, a global leader in the chemical industry, has announced another major milestone in its ground-breaking project to pioneer the production of certified circular polymers using a feedstock from mixed plastic waste.

The latest achievement – the production of the first certified circular polymers – is part of what is known as a ‘market foundation stage’. Launched in January, this stage is an important step towards creating a new circular value chain for plastics, during which, initial volumes of pyrolysis oil from plastic waste are introduced as feedstock at SABIC’s Geleen production site in The Netherlands. The patented pyrolysis oil has been produced by PLASTIC ENERGY Ltd from the recycling of low quality, mixed plastic waste otherwise destined for incineration or landfill.

As part of the market foundation stage, SABIC has begun to produce and commercialize the first monthly volumes of certified circular polymers – polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP)-, prior to the projected start-up in 2021 of the commercial plants planned by SABIC and PLASTIC ENERGY in the Netherlands to manufacture and process the alternative feedstock.

Jeroen Castelijn, General Manager Geleen site and Frank Kuijpers, General Manager Corporate Sustainability celebrate the certified circular polymers produced in the Netherlands

“Certified circular polymers are a disruptive innovation and SABIC’s market foundation stage is a critical phase in their development”, said Frank Kuijpers, General Manager Corporate Sustainability at SABIC. “It will act as a bridge moving from a linear economy to a circular one and will enable the value chain to become familiar with the products and consider how they can best be implemented in their own markets. It will allow confidence in this pioneering product to grow before SABIC goes into full scale production.”

The polymers are certified through the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification plus (ISCC+) scheme that certifies circular content and standards across the value chain from source to end product. The ISCC+ certification works on what is known as a “mass balance system”, meaning that for each tonne of circular feedstock fed into the cracker and substituting fossil-based feedstock, a tonne of the output can be classified as circular.

Certified circular polymers will help SABIC’s customers to meet consumer demand for more sustainable products and will contribute to closing the loop on reutilizing plastic waste.

SABIC is a global leader in diversified chemicals headquartered in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. We manufacture on a global scale in the Americas, Europe, Middle East and Asia Pacific, making distinctly different kinds of products: chemicals, commodity and high performance plastics, agri-nutrients and metals.

We support our customers by identifying and developing opportunities in key end markets such as construction, medical devices, packaging, agri-nutrients, electrical and electronics, transportation and clean energy.

SABIC recorded a net profit of SR 18.4 billion (USD 4.9 billion) in 2017. Sales revenues for 2017 totalled SR 149.8 billion (USD 39.9 billion). Total assets stood at SR 322.5 billion (USD 86 billion) at the end of 2017. Production in 2017 stood at 71.2 million metric tons.

SABIC has more than 34000 employees worldwide and operates in more than 50 countries. Fostering innovation and a spirit of ingenuity, we have 11,534 global patent filings, and have significant research resources with innovation hubs in five key geographies – USA, Europe, Middle East, South Asia and North Asia.

The Saudi Arabian government owns 70 percent of SABIC shares with the remaining 30 percent publicly traded on the Saudi stock exchange.

www.sabic.com