Finnish plastic and chemical company Neste is working to help commercialise the chemical recycling of plastic waste in Finland.

The company is exploring the possibility of investing in capacity for processing liquefied waste plastic at its refinery in Porvoo.

Neste plans to implement proprietary technologies to pretreat and upgrade liquefied waste plastic to increase its processing capabilities for the material.

This will expedite the company’s efforts to process more than one million tonnes of waste plastic a year from 2030.

In its initial step, Neste aims to increase its pretreatment and upgrading capacity to 400,000t a year.

Neste Renewable Polymers and Chemicals executive vice-president Mercedes Alonso said: “By scaling up our processing capabilities, we enhance our ability to process hard-to-recycle waste plastics and help enable our value chain partners to deliver substantial volumes of high-quality materials from recycled feedstock.”

The project comes after Neste successfully completed its first series of trial runs processing liquefied waste plastic at the Porvoo facility in January this year.

The company plans to carry out additional trial runs with larger volumes this year.

Prior to developing and increasing the facility’s capabilities, Neste will assess options for innovation funding and collaborate with local authorities on various aspects of the investment.

The firm plans to start implementing the project by 2024.

Neste Oil Products executive vice-president Markku Korvenranta said: “We are excited to continue to develop liquid waste plastic processing capabilities at our Porvoo refinery.

“The planned new pretreatment and upgrading capabilities are part of our target to be the most sustainable refinery in Europe by 2030 while supporting the transition to circular polymers.”

In December 2020, Neste announced it had successfully processed 400t of liquefied plastic waste at its refinery. 

The company upgraded the packaging and mixed waste plastics into recycled feedstock for use in the petrochemical industry.