Suez and LyondellBasell have entered an agreement to form a joint venture that will focus on the production of high-quality circular polymers (QCP).

Both companies will leverage their combined expertise to provide recycled secondary raw material to European plastic industry.

Under the terms of the agreement, LyondellBasell will be the equal partner with SUEZ in QCP, a high-standard plastics recovering company located near Maastricht in the Netherlands.

Established in 2014, the plant produces quality raw materials for the plastics industry with its Sittard-Geleen facility converting consumer waste into 25,000t of polypropylene (PP) and high-density polyethylene (HDPE) a year.

“This acquisition positions LyondellBasell to actively participate in the circular economy.”

The company manufactures two grades of HDPE and eight grades of PP copolymer.

LyondellBasell olefins and polyolefins for Europe, Asia and International senior vice-president Richard Roudeix said: “As the circular economy continues to grow, we also believe that demand for recycled materials will grow as well.

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“This acquisition positions LyondellBasell to actively participate in the circular economy, marrying LyondellBasell’s European market presence and technical capabilities with Suez’s ability to reclaim and manage recoverable waste products.”

Subject to regulatory approval, the transaction enables LyondellBasell to market QCP materials while Suez will feed post-consumer plastic waste to the plant.

The regulatory approvals are expected by the end of this year.

Both partners plan to produce 35,000t of recycled plastics next year and aim for 50,000t before 2020.

In Europe, Suez Group operates nine specialist facilities, which have a combined annual processing capability of 400,000t and produce 150,000t of new plastic resources.

Approximately 50Mt of plastic waste are produced every year; of which around 25% is recycled.

By 2025, the European Union aims to increase the recycling rate to 55%.