South Korean petrochemical company SK Global Chemical (Seoul; www.skchem.com
) has changed its name to SK Geo Centric (www.skgeocentric.com
) with effect from 1 September 2021 as it focusses on the circular economy.
SK Geo Centric CEO Na Kyung-soo announced the deep change in corporate identity and details of its plans at the companys Brand New Day event on 31 August. The plastic waste problem could turn into an opportunity, he said. We will grow into the worlds largest urban oilfield company that converts plastic waste back into oil.
Company plans centre on securing next-generation recycling technology, building a recycling cluster, developing 3R (reduce, replace, recycle) solutions and expanding eco-friendly materials. The Seoul-based group intends to invest about KRW 5 tr (EUR 3.6 bn) by 2025, both in South Korea and internationally, which will also include expanding capacity for green materials.
By 2025, SK aims to establish facilities for processing 900,000 t/y of plastic waste, which is equal to its annual domestic plastic production, and the company is considering an expansion to 2.5m t/y by 2027. It also hopes to recycle 2.5m t/y of plastic waste and has signed agreements with undisclosed domestic and international partners while it develops its own pyrolysis post-processing technology.
The companys intention is to invest in plants, both in South Korea and overseas, based on partnerships with foreign companies that own chemical recycling technologies such as solvent extraction, depolymerisation and pyrolysis. Furthermore, by working with the South Korean government and SMEs throughout the recycling chain, SK Geo Centric intends to establish a recycling cluster for processing PE, PP, PET and other complex materials.
The plastic recycling market will grow by 12% by 2030, and the plastic waste market size is expected to reach KRW 600 tr by 2050, Na noted. This implies that there is much room for growth. In the year 2025, we will create KRW 600 bn won in EBITDA from the eco-friendly and recycling sector to offset existing businesses, and also become a completely green company, even from a financial standpoint.
SK Geo Centric said it will also expand production of eco-friendly materials from 500,000 t/y to 1.9m t/y by 2025 and use bio-oil and pyrolysis oil in resin production rather than petroleum-based materials.