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Plastic Energy Signs Agreement with SK Geo Centric to establish large-scale advanced recycling plants in Korea

Left to right: Carlos Monreal, Plastic Energy Founder and CEO and Na Kyung-soo, CEO of SKGC

  • Announcement follows the signing of an HOA in Seoul, South Korea on 16 November
  • Both companies will collaborate on an advanced recycling plant in SK Geo Centric’s Ulsan Advanced Recycling Cluster with a capacity of 66,000 tonnes of plastic waste per annum, with a second plant in the metropolitan area of Seoul to be considered for early 2023
  • The two recycling plants will use Plastic Energy’s patented recycling technology, and the first plant in Ulsan is expected to be operational by the end of 2025

London, 22 November 2022 – Global leader in advanced recycling, Plastic Energy, and SK Innovation’s subsidiary for its green chemicals business, SK Geo Centric (SKGC), plan to build an advanced recycling plant in Ulsan, South Korea. This announcement follows the signing of an HOA (Heads of Agreement) by both companies on the 16th of November in Seoul, South Korea. According to the agreement, this plant is expected to have an annual capacity of 66,000 tonnes of plastic waste and will be located within SKGC’s recycling cluster in Ulsan. Na Kyung-soo, CEO of SKGC, and Carlos Monreal, CEO of Plastic Energy, attended the ceremony last week, and each signed the agreement on behalf of their respective companies.

The Ulsan recycling plant will be the largest in Asia and is expected to be operational by the end of 2025. In addition to the project in Ulsan, the two companies are also considering expansion of advanced recycling operations to the Gyeonggi province in Korea, in the metropolitan area of Seoul. This follows a meeting that Carlos Monreal had with Kim Dong-yeon, the governor of the province, to discuss Plastic Energy’s unique recycling solution for end-of-life plastics and how it can fit into the Gyeonggi province’s plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030.

Combined, the two plants would have the capacity to process over 100,000 tonnes of waste plastic per year into a feedstock that would be used by SKGC to make new plastics.

Plastic Energy, whose mission is to reduce plastic pollution, is already operating two advanced recycling plants in Spain; one in Almeria and the other in Seville. The company also has three plants currently under construction in the Netherlands and France, an MoU for a project in Malaysia, and several other projects in Europe and the US. This will be Plastic Energy’s first project in Korea.

“Korea is an important market for advanced recycling of end-of-life plastics,” said Carlos Monreal, Founder and CEO of Plastic Energy. “SKGC has a truly unique vision to deploy different technologies to recycle many types of plastic, and Plastic Energy is excited to play a role in realising this vision.”

TACOIL™ is a feedstock that is obtained through Plastic Energy’s patented TAC™ process, which heats mixed post-consumer plastic waste in the absence of oxygen. From this process, hydrocarbon vapours are produced and condensed into TACOIL™ which can be used by petrochemical companies as a replacement for fossil oils in the production of virgin-quality plastics.

Na Kyung-soo, CEO of SKGC said, “We are pleased to work with Plastic Energy who is a leader in advanced recycling technology to establish the largest advanced recycling plant in Asia.” He added, “SK Geo Centric will remain committed to expanding our cooperation for achieving the circular economy.”

Through Plastic Energy’s recycling technology, resource depletion is reduced, and plastic waste is diverted from landfill, incineration, and from leakage into the environment. Deploying this technology in Asia is an important step to reducing plastic pollution in the region and making plastics more sustainable.


About Plastic Energy

Plastic Energy is a global leader in advanced (or chemical) recycling, offering a sustainable solution to help prevent plastic waste, transforming previously unrecyclable plastic waste into a valuable resource. Our patented and proven advanced recycling technology converts end-of-life plastic waste into an optimal feedstock (TACOIL™) for making virgin-quality recycled plastics. Plastic Energy currently has two advanced recycling plants that are in constant operation in Spain and is one of the few companies worldwide that has sold TACOIL™ from the conversion of end-of-life plastic waste to replace fossil oils in the manufacturing of new plastics. We are leading our field in the transition to a low-carbon circular economy for plastics.

Learn more on our website, and follow us on Twitter and Linkedin.

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About SK GC

In 1972, SK Geo Centric laid the foundation for the development of the petrochemical industry by operating the first naphtha-cracking facility in Korea. SK Geo Centric provides various automotive & packaging products and solutions that customers and markets require. Furthermore, SK Geo Centric is growing into a technology-based global chemical company through continuous R&D efforts and global expansion. SK Geo Centric will achieve its vision, “Green for Better Life”, by establishing a plastic based circular economy by collaborating with various partners and stakeholders. SK Geo Centric will expand its portfolio of eco-friendly products and will continuously recycle beyond the amount of plastics produced in order to realize and leverage the sustainability efforts that will benefit our planet.