SK Global Chemical, a global petrochemical company in South Korea, and Brightmark, the global waste solutions provider, today announced the two sides have signed a memorandum of understanding to create a partnership that aims to take the lead in the circular economy of plastic by construction of a commercial scale plastics renewal plant in South Korea.
- SK Global Chemical and Brightmark sign MOU aimed at construction of plastics renewal plant in South Korea.
- Partnership with Brightmark supports SK Global Chemical’s ESG program and its pursuit of the circular economy of plastic waste.
The two sides will jointly utilize Brightmark’s plastics renewal technology and confirm its commercial viability with aim of forming a joint venture to develop, finance, construct, and operate a plastics renewal facility in South Korea with 100,000 tons of annual capacity in pursuit of “plastics-to-plastics” circular economy.
Plastics renewal is Brightmark’s proprietary type of pyrolysis, an advanced form of recycling with a unique ability to recycle all types of plastic waste that has reached the end of its useful life – including the most difficult to recycle plastics. The MOU makes SK Global Chemical the partner for Brightmark in South Korea to help resolve the plastic waste issue, which is a rising global concern. The world produces 385 million tons of plastic each year and 91% of that plastic never gets recycled. The rest ends up in an incinerator, a landfill, or as litter in the natural environment, where will remain for thousands of years.
“Pyrolysis is an essential technology to resolve plastic issue,” said Na Kyung-soo, CEO of SK Global Chemical. “This partnership with Brightmark will help establish us as leaders on this important challenge. In addition to our cooperation with Brightmark, SK Global Chemical’s Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) initiatives will continue to support the circular economy of plastic.”
Both parties will carry out a feasibility study during 2021 and plan to cooperate by combining experience of pyrolysis and post treatment in South Korea. By the end of this year, the two parties will complete evaluation of the most optimal methods to operate, scale and develop Brightmark’s technology within South Korea prior to finalization of a joint venture agreement for the plant development and operation.
“Brightmark is pleased to be able to partner with a leading global petrochemical company like SK Global Chemical that shares Brightmark’s focus on circular solutions to eliminate waste,” said Bob Powell, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Brightmark. “Brightmark recognizes that the plastic waste issue is a global problem and we need global solutions to tackle it. South Korea is ready to tackle the plastic waste crisis by supporting circular, scalable solutions, and has established plastic waste collection systems and readily available plastic waste feedstock streams, which makes it an exceptional location for expansion.”
In past, the continuous operation of pyrolysis plants was difficult due to lack of technical and economic viability. Brightmark overcame these constraints, and its plastics renewal plant in Ashley, Indiana, with a capacity of 100,000 tons of plastic waste per year, which is the largest site in the world, will achieve full commercial scale in 2021.
SK Global Chemical is closely working together with SK Innovation, its holding company, in developing a post treatment process to remove impurities and to convert pyrolysis oil into plastic.
“It is very important to strengthen technological competitiveness in related industries”, said Dr. Seong Jun Lee, Head of SK Innovation’s Environmental Technology Institute. “In this regards, SK Innovation is developing core technologies such as improving yield of plastic conversion and removing impurities to secure the quality of pyrolysis oil from waste plastic.”
When the commercial scale pyrolysis plant is operated continuously and successfully in Korea, the recycling rate of flexible packaging waste will be noticeably increased. Moreover, it is expected that this business will make it easier to reach the goal of building the plastic circular economy after SK Global Chemical succeeds in using this oil in its own plastic feedstock plant.
For Brightmark the partnership with SK Global Chemical in South Korea represents an important part of its commitment to globally scale solutions to the most pressing environmental challenges. Brightmark is delivering on its mission through the deployment of disruptive, breakthrough waste solutions focused on plastics renewal (plastic waste-to-fuel) and renewable natural gas (organic waste-to-fuel).
About SK Global ChemicalSK Global Chemical is a subsidiary of SK Innovation. The company supplies a diverse array of products from advanced materials for automobiles, electronics, and telecommunications to consumer goods. It focuses on packaging & automotive material business with eco-friendly, high value-added products, and tries to develop “Circular Economy” throughout the value chain base on “Green Strategy”. Recently the company has made a new slogan called “Green for Better Life” to illustrate its business goal of solving plastic related environmental issues proactively.
About BrightmarkBrightmark is a global waste solutions company with a mission to reimagine waste. The company takes a holistic, closed loop, circular economy approach to tackling the planet’s most pressing environmental challenges with imagination and optimism for the future. Through the deployment of disruptive, breakthrough waste-to-energy solutions focused on plastics renewal (plastic waste-to-fuel) and renewable natural gas (organic waste-to-fuel), Brightmark enables programs specifically tailored to environmental needs in order to build scalable project solutions that have a positive impact on the world and communities in which its stakeholders live and work.
Source: Brightmark, press release, 2021-01-28.