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ORLANDO – PureCycle Technologies, has signed non-binding head of agreement (HOA) with SK geo centric (SKGC) to open Asia’s first recycled polypropylene (PP) plant in Ulsan, South Korea.

The facility is expected to have an annual capacity of 60,000 tons and be completed the end of 2024.

The HOA progresses the business relationship between the two companies, which initiated in August 2021 with the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU).

Na Kyung-soo, president and CEO of SK geo centric, visited PureCycle’s Feedstock Evaluation Unit, an R&D facility and demonstration plant in Ohio, in November 2021, to evaluate its solvent extraction technology and discuss collaboration plans to deepen the relationship.

On January 6 at CES 2022 in Las Vegas, the two companies agreed the key terms that will be included in a joint venture.

“SK Geo centric will play a major role in SK Innovation’s Carbon to Green strategy, along with our battery business,” said Kim Jun, vice chairman and CEO of SK innovation. “We will continue to innovate existing business models and further expand cooperation with global companies with eco-friendly technologies to build a pure plastic environment.”

“I’m thrilled PureCycle and SKGC are progressing towards opening a recycling facility in Ulsan over the next three years,” added PureCycle CEO Mike Otworth. “Combining SK geo centric’s expertise and knowledge of the industry in South Korea with our patented technology that transforms plastic waste into a renewable resource, we can work towards tackling the plastic waste crisis that has impacted every corner of the world.”

PureCycle holds a global license to commercialise the only patented solvent-based purification recycling technology for restoring waste PP into ultra-pure recycled (UPR) resin, developed by Procter & Gamble.

The technology can be used for commercial production and to recycle waste such as nonwoven fabrics, contaminated food storage containers, coloured detergent bottles and automotive interior plastics – which are mostly incinerated because they are difficult to recycle – into UPR.

Because of the common practice of combining PP with other materials and additives, there have been limitations in traditional mechanical recycling to separate contaminants and produce a like-new recycled plastic. The cooperation between the two companies is designed to create a joint venture that will not only recycle plastic waste and provide South Korea with UPR, but also be able to develop diverse consumer products.

SK geo centric is a global leader in PP production with a wide marketing reach in Asia.

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