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BP and SABIC sign agreement to drive a circular economy
Petrochemicals | 01 March 2021

BP and SABIC have signed a new agreement in order to work together and to drive the circular economy in the petrochemical activities at the Gelsenkirchen chemical complex in Germany. Initiating a long-established relationship between the two companies at the production site, the new coordinated effort will help to increase the production of certified circular products that take utilized mixed plastics to use as feedstock, consequently lessening the measure of fossil resources required in the petrochemical plants at the site.

Certified circular polymers are important for SABIC'S TRUCIRCLE portfolio and are created utilizing advanced recycling to change over low-quality mixed and utilized plastic, in any case, destined for incineration or landfill, into pyrolysis oil. The oil, which acts as an alternative feedstock to traditional fossil materials, will be prepared at bp's Gelsenkirchen refining site and afterward will be utilized by SABIC in its Gelsenkirchen polymer plants to deliver certified circular items. The final material has indistinguishable properties to virgin-based polymers and permits plastics to be reused again and again, with no deficiency of properties or attributes. After successful trials in December 2020, polymer production utilizing the alternative feedstock began at the site early this year.

Fahad Al Swailem, Vice President at PE and Sales at SABIC said that SABIC is always committed to helping “to create a new circular economy where plastic never becomes waste. Advanced recycling allows us to increase the production of more sustainable materials and use our planet’s resources wisely, whilst reducing the use of conventional approaches such as landfills and combustion. Advanced recycling has a crucial role to play in the current recycling mix as it can capture value from plastic waste streams that have traditionally been ignored or discarded”. He further added, “We continue to increase our collaborations with upstream suppliers and downstream customers, and this new initiative with our long-term partner bp takes us one step further to achieving our vision.”

BP and SABIC have a collaboration going back decades in petrochemicals at the Gelsenkirchen site, which is the beginning stage for the value chain of the chemical industry’s network in the northern Ruhr Area. The refining and petrochemicals site in Gelsenkirchen assumes a significant part within the chemical industry in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany's most crowded state. BP works one of the biggest olefin plants in Germany, with a production capacity of around 2 million.

Wolfgang Stückle, Vice President Refining and Specialities Solutions Europe & Africa at BP said that this is “an important milestone in our vision of achieving up to 30% of our ethylene and propylene production from sustainable, recyclable raw materials by 2030”. Furthermore, he said that it is going to be a fantastic achievement “on the part of the Gelsenkirchen team, after more than a year’s preparation, to set up the new initiative with our partners at SABIC. At the same time, it is what BP’s recently announced ‘Net Zero’ strategy is all about.”

The certified base chemicals from BP and the certified circular polymers from SABIC are recognized through the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification plus (ISCC+) scheme that certifies content and standards across the value chain from source to finished result. The ISCC+ certification deals with what is known as a 'mass balance system’, implying that for every t of circular feedstock fed into the cracker and substituting fossil-based feedstock, a huge load of the output can be classified as circular.The circular polymers structure part of SABIC's TRUCIRCLE portfolio and services for circular advancements and innovations. The TRUCIRCLE portfolio spans a plan for recyclability, mechanically recycled products, certified circular products from feedstock recycling of utilized plastic, certified renewable products from the bio-based feedstock, and closed-loop initiatives to reuse plastic back into great applications.

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