SK geo centric partners with Canada's Loop Industries to build plastic recycling factory

By Kim Joo-heon Posted : May 3, 2023, 14:04 Updated : May 3, 2023, 14:04

[Courtesy of SK geo centric]

SEOUL -- Through a joint venture with Canadian plastic technology company Loop Industries, SK geo centric, a chemical company affiliated with South Korea's SK Group, will build a plastic recycling factory in South Korea's southern industrial city of Ulsan. The joint venture will establish the plant capable of recycling 70,000 tons of plastic every year using the Canadian firm’s depolymerization technology.
Depolymerization is a process that decomposes the polymerization of large molecules that make up polyethylene terephthalate plastic and polyester fiber and returns them to plastic raw materials. According to SK geo centric, it's been difficult to recycle sportswear items and banners made of polyester due to technological limitations. Most of them were incinerated and buried.
SK geo centric said the plastic recycling factory would be built by 2025 after the establishment of the joint venture in 2023. The South Korean company will own 51 percent of the venture and its Canadian partner will secure 49 percent. "We will strive for the successful completion of the advanced recycling complex in Ulsan, which will function as a significant steppingstone for a future expansion throughout Asia," SK geo centric CEO Na Kyung-soo said in a statement.
The joint venture will also secure the exclusive right to commercialize depolymerization technology in the Asian market. The two companies aim to build at least three depolymerization-based factories in Asia by 2030.
"By expanding Loop’s manufacturing footprint into Asia, our global CPG (consumer packaged good) brand customers who use polyester fiber for textiles will have the opportunity to incorporate Loop branded material into their products and create circularity for their textile waste by recycling it at our manufacturing facilities," said Loop Industries CEO Daniel Solomita.    
The two companies are also working with SUEZ, a France-based water and waste management company, to build a plastic recycling factory in Saint-Avold some 318.8 kilometers (198 miles) east of Paris. The factory with an annual production capacity of 70,000 tons will be completed in 2027.
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