SABIC, TotalEnergies and Aramco have joined forces to convert oil derived from plastic waste into ISCC+certified circular polymers.

The plastic pyrolysis oil, also called plastic waste-derived oil, was processed at the SATORP refinery, jointly owned by Aramco and TotalEnergies, in Jubail, Saudi Arabia. It was then used as a feedstock by Petrokemya, a SABIC affiliate, to produce certified circular polymers.

The project aims to pave the way for the creation of a domestic value chain for the advanced recycling of plastics to circular polymers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The process allows the use of non-sorted plastics, which can be difficult to recycle mechanically and is said to solve the challenge of end-of-life plastics.

The first milestone for the project was obtaining ISCC+ certification to assure transparency and traceability of the recycled origin of feedstock and products. ISCC is a globally applicable sustainability certification system.

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Three industrial plants were involved in the process: SATORP refinery, Aramco’s Ju’aymah NGL Fractionation Plant and Petrokemya. All successfully obtained the ISCC+ certification, enabling the production of circular materials.

The project exemplifies the need for stakeholders to collaborate across various value chains to achieve a successful circular plastic economy.

SABIC and TotalEnergies are also founding members of the non-profit organisation Alliance to End Plastic Waste (AEPW), which aims to bring collective knowledge, resources and experience to address current waste management challenges. AEPW recently partnered with Lombard Odier Investment Managers to launch a fund to target plastic waste.