Technological watch

Malaysia’s Petronas looks to chemical recycling to tackle plastic waste problem

Malaysia’s Petronas Chemicals Group (PCG) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with UK company Plastic Energy Ltd, a chemical recycling company, to collaborate in addressing plastic waste that cannot be recycled by conventional means in Malaysia. The strategic collaboration marks the first step towards a circular economy which maximizes the plastics value chain.

The Petronas/ Plastic Energy deal could see a chemical recycling plant constructed at the former’s new complex in the state of Johor, Malaysia.PCG and Plastic Energy will jointly carry out a feasibility study to establish a facility to convert plastic waste into Tacoil, Plastic Energy’s feedstock to create recycled virgin-quality plastics from low quality, mixed plastic waste otherwise destined for incineration or landfill. Depending on the outcome of the study, PCG and Plastic Energy may consider building a commercial plant in Malaysia.

The collaboration will enable PCG to utilize Tacoil produced by Plastic Energy for polymer production in its petrochemical complex in Pengerang Integrated Complex and obtain circular polymer certification from International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC). ISCC is a leading and globally applicable certification system that ensures compliance with high ecological and social sustainability requirements, greenhouse gas emissions savings and traceability throughout the supply chain.

Plastic Energy has successfully commercialized a patented thermochemical conversion technology to convert end-of-life, contaminated plastics and plastics that are hardly recyclable for conventional processes into usable feedstock. Currently, Plastic Energy has established two commercial plants in Seville and Almeria, Spain.

If materialized, PCG will be the first petrochemical company in Southeast Asia to invest in a chemical recycling project which converts mixed plastics waste into a virgin-quality polymer.

Commenting on the partnership, PCG Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer Datuk Sazali Hamzah said, “Our partnership with Plastic Energy is in line with our purpose towards becoming a progressive energy and solutions partner that enriches lives for a sustainable future. As a responsible business entity, we have embedded our sustainability agenda within our operations as a critical driver for business growth and in creating value for our stakeholders. We believe in balancing our business goals against sustainability development obligations”.

“As a responsible corporate citizen, PCG has recently established a dedicated team to pursue an active role in the implementation of the New Plastic Economy initiative in addressing the issues arising from plastics waste and provide a sustainable solution for the environmental preservation,” added Sazali.

Founder and CEO of Plastic Energy, Carlos Monreal said, “Malaysia has shown that it is serious about tackling the challenge of plastics waste. We are excited to be part of the solution, and to collaborate with PCG in changing the paradigm and turning plastics waste into a valuable resource, thereby contributing to the creation of a circular economy. Working together can help reduce plastics pollution, which is becoming a vital objective for world governments and companies.”

Plastic Energy is the only operator in the world to have continuously and successfully converted domestic end-of-life plastics at a commercial level. Its team of technology experts has a combined experience of more than 50 years in developing the unique Thermal Anaerobic Technology (TAC) recycling process.

The partnership is PCG’s initial step towards a circular economy. The Company is determined to continuously minimize its impact on the environment through a best-in-class approach, and sustain its operations in an economically, environmentally and socially responsible manner.



Publication date: 04/07/2019

Plastics Today

This project has been co-funded with the support of the LIFE financial instrument of the European Union [LIFE17 ENV/ES/000438] Life programme

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Last update: 2020-07-14