Plastics, chemicals and refining company LyondellBasell, with European headquarters in Rotterdam, Netherlands, and the French resource management company Suez have announced the completion of the transaction that makes each company an equal partner in Quality Circular Polymers (QCP), a plastics recycling company in Sittard-Geleen, Netherlands. The companies announced their plans to partner in QCP in late November of 2017.
"Partnering with Suez allows us to contribute to the circular economy in a way that no plastics company has before," says LyondellBasell CEO Bob Patel, who is based out the company’s world headquarters in Houston. "For several years, we have seen increased demand for recycled and reused plastics, especially in Europe. With QCP, we have combined our respective expertise with Suez to create an innovative system that can be scaled as the circular economy grows."
Suez CEO Jean-Louis Chaussade says, "The circular economy will increasingly develop into a critical part of the plastic value chain. Moving forward, we will bear in mind the economics of operating our businesses must be balanced with environmental awareness. As we move towards becoming value players in the circular economy, we will continue to seek opportunities for future growth."
The joint business will leverage the two partners' strengths, according to a news release that LyondellBasell issued about the completion of the transaction. Suez plans to use its technology solutions to improve the identification, separation and preparation of materials to be used as feedstock at QCP, and LyondellBasell plans to apply its leadership in plastic production technology, experience in product development and knowledge of key end markets, such as consumer goods, where the company has a strong presence.
The QCP plant in Sittard-Geleen will transform used plastic material into virgin-replacement-quality high—density polyethylene (HDPE) and polypropylene (PP) materials, LyondellBasell says. The plant currently has the capacity to convert postconsumer scrap into 25,000 tons of PP and HDPE annually, with the goal to increase production to 35,000 tons later in 2018 and to 100,000 tons by 2020. The production capacity of the plant will address a growing need for improving the sustainability profile of high-quality plastics in Europe, LyondellBasell says.
LyondellBasell will add QCP's recycled products to its range of existing PE and PP materials to help meet increasing customer demand and to align with the EU's Plastics Strategy.
Plastics recycling is also a key market for Suez, which operates nine dedicated facilities in Europe. In 2017, Suez processed 400,000 tons of plastic scrap and produced 150,000 tons of new plastic resources. The company has set an objective of increasing its processing capacity by 50 percent to 600,000 tons in 2020.