​SK Chemicals acquires Chinese recycled material maker targeting global eco-friendly material market

By Park Sae-jin Posted : March 7, 2023, 13:48 Updated : March 7, 2023, 13:48

[Courtesy of SK Chemicals]

SEOUL -- SK Chemicals, the chemical unit of South Korea's SK Group, has acquired a Chinese raw materials company specializing in recycled materials in a bid to expand its presence in the global recycled materials market. The global market for recycled plastics is predicted to grow at an average annual growth rate of 9.3 percent to reach $43.5 billion by 2026, according to global market research firm Markets and Markets.
Plastics can be recycled in many forms. They can be cleaned and pulverized into pallets or powder to be used as the raw material for other eco-friendly products or they can be processed using the pyrolysis technique to extract oil and carbon black, carbon material which can also be used as the main raw material for various carbon-based products.
SK Chemicals said in a conference call on March 6 that the company held a board meeting to decide the acquisition of Shuye, the Chinese raw materials maker, for 130 billion won ($176.8 million). The acquisition will include Shuye's depolymerization factory and facilities for the production of recycled raw plastic material-based polyethylene terephthalate (PET).
The South Korean chemical giant said that through the acquisition, the company will be able to have a chemically recycled plastic raw material production facility and gain a head start compared to its domestic rivals. While mechanical recycling involves the cleaning and physical processing of collected plastics, chemical recycling involves processes such as pyrolysis.
"We will strive to become a leading company in the global recycled plastic market through global expansion and the development of a recycling business model," SK Chemicals CEO Ahn Jae-hyun said in a statement on March 6.
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