SK Geo Centric delivers first shipment of renewable benzene to Covestro

By Lim Chang-won Posted : June 20, 2022, 14:03 Updated : June 20, 2022, 14:03

[Courtesy of SK Geo Centric]

SEOUL -- SK Geo Centric, a chemical company affiliated with South Korea's SK Group, has delivered the first shipment of renewable benzene that was produced with renewable naphtha from Neste, a leading biodiesel producer based in Finland. Neste's bio-based raw materials are produced from vegetable oils. 

Naphtha is produced from petroleum distillates, natural gas condensates and the distillation of coal and peat. Renewable naphtha is created using vegetable oils. SK Geo Centric has used Neste's renewable naphtha to produce renewable benzene and other eco-friendly products at a plant in the southern port city of Ulsan. 

Benzene is a widely used chemical feedstock without an alternative in polymer and high energy density liquid fuel production. SK Geo Centric said it has exported 2,000 tons of renewable benzene that will be used by Covestro's Chinese plant to produce eco-friendly polyurethane. Covestro, a German producer of high-quality polymer materials, aims to make its value chains more sustainable by gradually transitioning its production to alternative raw materials.

"We will make efforts to create great synergy through cooperation between global companies for eco-friendly polyurethane production by creating renewable benzene with renewable naphtha," SK Geo Centric's aromatics business division head Choi Woo-hyuk said in a statement on June 20.

The South Korean company received the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC) from the European Union on October 14. All petroleum products made using renewable naphtha can be sold as ISCC Plus-certified products.

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