TotalEnergies, Aramco, and SABIC turn plastic waste into circular polymers

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In a significant breakthrough for the Middle East and North Africa, TotalEnergies, Aramco, and SABIC have successfully converted plastic waste into ISCC+ certified circular polymers for the first time.

This innovative process, which took place at the SATORP refinery in Jubail, Saudi Arabia, involves turning plastic pyrolysis oil or plastic waste derived oil (PDO) into a feedstock for the production of certified circular polymers by Petrokemya, a SABIC affiliate.

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This project is designed to establish a local value chain for advanced plastic recycling into circular polymers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The method allows for the use of non-sorted plastics, traditionally hard to recycle mechanically, which helps address the issue of end-of-life plastics.

A significant step for the project was achieving the ISCC+ certification, which ensures the traceability and transparency of the recycled origin of the feedstock and products. Three industrial plants—SATORP refinery, Aramco’s Ju’aymah NGL Fractionation Plant, and Petrokemya—were all involved in the process and successfully obtained the ISCC+ certification, thereby facilitating the production of circular materials.

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Mohammed Y. Al Qahtani, Aramco’s President of Downstream, stated, “This achievement illustrates the importance of the petrochemical sector in creating more sustainable products and solutions.” Bernard Pinatel, President, Refining & Chemicals, TotalEnergies, expressed that this advanced plastic recycling initiative signifies TotalEnergies’ ambition to address the challenge of end-of-life plastics.

Both TotalEnergies and SABIC are founding members of the non-profit organization, Alliance to End Plastic Waste (AEPW), which aims to utilize collective knowledge, resources, and experience to tackle current waste management challenges.

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