ExxonMobil to Build Plastic Recycling Plant in Texas

ExxonMobil to Build Plastic Recycling Plant in Texas
The new facility follows validation of the initial trial of ExxonMobil's proprietary process for converting plastic waste into raw materials.

ExxonMobil (NYSE: XOM) has announced plans to build its first, large-scale plastic waste advanced recycling facility in Baytown, Texas.

Upon completion of the facility, which is expected to start operations by year-end 2022, the operation in Baytown will be among North America’s largest plastic waste recycling facilities and will have an initial planned capacity to recycle 30,000 metric tons of plastic waste per year, ExxonMobil highlighted.

The company said the new facility follows validation of the initial trial of its proprietary process for converting plastic waste into raw materials. To date, the trial has recycled more than 1,000 metric tons of plastic waste, the equivalent of 200 million grocery bags, and has demonstrated the capability of processing 50 metric tons per day, ExxonMobil said.

“We’ve proven our proprietary advanced recycling technology in Baytown, and we’re scaling up operations to supply certified circular polymers by year-end,” Karen McKee, the president of ExxonMobil Chemical Company, said in a company statement.

“Availability of reliable advanced recycling capacity will play an important role in helping address plastic waste in the environment, and we are evaluating wide-scale deployment in other locations around the world,” McKee added in the statement.

ExxonMobil is developing plans to build approximately 500,000 metric tons of advanced recycling capacity globally over the next five years. Under this plan, the company is collaborating with Plastic Energy on an advanced recycling plant in Notre Dame de Gravenchon, France, which is expected to process 25,000 metric tons of plastic waste per year when it starts up in 2023. ExxonMobil is also assessing sites in the Netherlands, the U.S. Gulf Coast, Canada and Singapore. 

In February this year, ExxonMobil announced that it had completed the initial phase of a plant trial of a proprietary advanced recycling process for converting plastic waste into raw materials for the production of high-value polymers. In a company statement at the time, the trial, which took place at the company’s existing facilities in Baytown, was said to mark another step in ExxonMobil’s efforts to help reduce plastic waste in the environment and maximize resource recovery.

ExxonMobil is a founding member of the Alliance to End Plastic Waste, which also includes Chevron Phillips Chemical Company, Shell, TotalEnergies and Eni, as well as companies like PepsiCo and Veolia. In a statement posted on its website in January this year, ExxonMobil stated that it shares society’s concern about plastic waste in the environment. 

“They should not end up as litter, either in our oceans or anywhere else in the environment,” ExxonMobil notes in the statement. “Industry, governments, nongovernmental organizations and consumers must work collaboratively to encourage appropriate recycling, reuse and recovery of plastic waste,” the company adds.

In the statement, ExxonMobil warned that demand for plastics is increasing around the world at rates greater than GDP “due to the rapid growth in the global middle class and the many benefits that plastics bring to society”.

To contact the author, email andreas.exarheas@rigzone.com


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