KUALA LUMPUR (June 26): Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd (PetChem), the petrochemical arm of Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas), is collaborating with Plastic Energy Ltd, a chemical recycling company, to address plastics waste that cannot be recycled by conventional means in Malaysia.
The two inked a memorandum of understanding on Tuesday to jointly perform a feasibility study to establish a facility to convert plastics waste into tacoil, which is Plastic Energy's optimal feedstock to create recycled virgin-quality plastics from low quality, mixed plastics waste that are otherwise destined for incineration or landfill.
"Depending on the outcome of the study, PetChem and Plastic Energy may consider building a commercial plant in Malaysia," read a joint statement from the companies today.
"Once materialised, PetChem will be the first petrochemical company in Southeast Asia to invest in a chemical recycling project which converts mixed plastics waste into virgin quality polymer," it added.
Under the collaboration, PetChem will use tacoil produced by Plastic Energy for polymer production in its petrochemical complex in Pengerang Integrated Complex and obtain circular polymer certification from the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification, a globally applicable certification system that ensures compliance with ecological and social sustainability requirements, greenhouse gas emission savings and traceability throughout the supply chain.
The statement also noted that Plastic Energy, which has two commercial plants in Seville and Almeria, Spain, has successfully commercialised patented thermochemical conversion technology to convert end-of-life, contaminated plastics and plastics that are hardly recyclable for conventional processes into usable feedstock.
PetChem Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Datuk Sazali Hamzah said the partnership with Plastic Energy is in line with PetChem's purpose towards becoming a progressive energy and solutions partner that enriches lives for a sustainable future.
"As a responsible business entity, we have embedded our sustainability agenda within our operations as a critical driver for business growth and in creating value for our stakeholders. We believe in balancing our business goals against sustainability development obligations.
“As a responsible corporate citizen, PetChem has recently established a dedicated team to pursue an active role in the implementation of the New Plastic Economy initiative in addressing issues arising from plastics waste and provide a sustainable solution for environmental preservation,” Sazali added.
Malaysia, said Plastic Energy's founder and chief executive officer Carlos Monreal, has shown that it is serious about tackling the challenge of plastics waste.
"We are excited to be part of the solution, and to collaborate with PetChem in changing the paradigm and turning plastics waste into a valuable resource, thereby contributing to the creation of a circular economy. Working together can help reduce plastics pollution, which is becoming a vital objective for world governments and companies,” Monreal added.