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SK Geo Centric signs MoU at CES 2023 with Plastic Energy to complete a plan for “Ulsan ARC”

Signing at CES 2023 in Las Vegas, USA. Left to right: Head of Corporate Development Ying Staton, Plastic Energy Chief Commercial Officer Bruno Guillon, CEO of SK Geocentric Na Kyung-soo, Leader of SK Geo Centric Green Business Group Lee Jong-hyuk.

  •  License contract between SKGC and Plastic Energy signed on site at CES
  • Secures the three major chemical recycling technologies along with PCT (US), Loop (Canada), and Plastic Energy (UK)
  • World’s first plastic recycling complex completed in 2025 is named “Ulsan ARC”

10 January 2023 – SK Geo Centric, a subsidiary of SK Innovation’s, has signed a contract with British company Plastic Energy, which specializes in chemical recycling of plastic waste, completing the “last puzzle” of the world’s first plastic recycling complex to be built in 2025. Amid a surge in demand for plastic recycled products worldwide, SK Geo Centric’s green business is building momentum.

SK Geo Centric announced on the 6th January (local time) at CES 2023 that it had signed a contract with Plastic Energy to introduce the technology to build a pyrolysis plant in the Ulsan plastic recycling complex. Na Kyung-soo, CEO of SK Geo Centric, Bruno Guillon, Chief Commercial Officer of Plastic Energy, and others attended the signing ceremony.

SK Geo Centric will start the construction process for its pyrolysis plant this year. By introducing Plastic Energy’s advanced pyrolysis technology in Ulsan, South Korea, it will promote an annual capacity of 66,000 tonnes of end-of-life plastic waste input, the largest capacity in Asia. SK Geo Centric plans to improve pyrolysis oil to an even higher quality by creating a pyrolysis oil post-treatment plant that implements the company’s own technologies.

The two companies also signed an MOU for the “strategic partnership to expand the advanced recycling business in selected countries across Asia.” They agreed to respond preemptively to growing global demand by establishing a joint venture to develop opportunities to establish new advanced recycling facilities following Ulsan in the Seoul metropolitan area, China, Japan and other key markets. Plastic Energy’s patented TAC™ process recycles plastics that normally cannot be mechanically recycled, converting them into a feedstock called TACOIL™, used to create virgin-quality plastics that have been deployed in numerous consumer packaging products including for food and cosmetics.

SK Geo Centric announced the official name of the Ulsan plastic recycling complex as the “Ulsan Advanced Recycling Cluster (ARC).” SK Geo Centric gathered the three advanced chemical recycling technologies in one place through strategic collaboration with global companies such as PCT (US), Loop (Canada), and Plastic Energy (UK). This action is expected to enable efficient plastic recycling.

SK Geo Centric is cooperating with PureCycle Technologies in the US on Ultra PP supercritical extraction technology that removes pollutants from waste plastics, and has signed a contract to create a joint venture following an equity investment of 55 million dollars It has also secured exclusive sales rights in Korea and the rights to conduct business in China and Southeast Asia.

With Loop Industries, the company has formed a partnership on depolymerization technology, which dissolves plastic (PET) molecule blocks used in colored plastic bottles and polyester fibers and returns them to raw materials. SK Geo Centric has made an equity investment of 10% and holds exclusive rights to conduct business in Asia.

Na Kyung-soo, CEO of SK Geo Centric, said, “It is very meaningful to have secured the key technology for recycling plastic, which can contribute to greenness and carbon reduction at CES 2023, a competition for cutting-edge technologies.” He added, “We will do our best to continue strategic partnerships with global companies with core capacities and create Ulsan ARC smoothly.”

Bruno Guillon, Chief Commercial Officer of Plastic Energy, said, “We are excited to have been chosen to be part of the Ulsan ARC, and to have established this strategic partnership with SK Geo Centric to develop advanced recycling projects in Korea and across Asia. SK Geo Centric has a unique vision for the role that plastic recycling can play in the petrochemicals business, and is leading the way building a greener and more sustainable business model for this industry in Asia. We are very pleased to join them on this important journey.”


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.

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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.