RIYADH: In a step that could open up new possibilities for plastic recycling, Saudi Aramco TotalEnergies Refining and Petrochemical Co. has introduced a pioneering process that enables chemical recycling of plastic waste-derived oil as a feedstock to the refinery.
A part of the Circular Economy initiative, which aligns with the Kingdom’s 2030 vision, the development is set to unlock new possibilities for recycling of low-quality mixed plastic including single-use plastics, according to a statement.
“Our company’s commitment to the welfare of our planet and fellow humans is set in stone. Our team works relentlessly in providing a reliable, affordable energy source to our customers while engaging in a breadth of sustainability initiatives to safeguard our environment,” said Abdullah S. Suwailem, president & CEO of SATORP, a joint venture between Aramco and TotalEnergies.
In July of 2022, SATORP obtained the International Sustainability & Carbon Certification Plus credential, which represents an important milestone in testing the value chain of integrating plastic waste-derived oil into refinery processes. This certification makes SATORP the first refinery in the Middle East and North Africa to be certified for recycling plastic waste.
SATORP Vice President and Chief Transformation Officer Mohammed Al-Ghamdi said, “SATORP is well positioned to be a part of the solution in our region’s sustainability journey. Our world-class assets and engineering expertise combined with environmental stewardship help us to address complex environmental challenges.”
He added: “This initiative is pursued in alignment with our partners at Aramco and SABIC to produce the first circular polymers in the MENA region, utilizing a novel processing route starting from SATORP refinery and passing through Aramco and SABIC assets, where the first in-Kingdom circular polymers will be produced.”
Al-Ghamdi revealed that their cross-functional technical teams worked collaboratively to evaluate and de-risk the new processing route for this sustainable feedstock.
ISCC+ is a globally recognized standard for recycled and biobased materials. Obtaining an ISCC+ certification provides traceability along the supply chain and verifies that companies adhere to environmental and social standards, the release added.
An ISCC+ certification ensures that criteria such as good practices to protect soil, water, and air are met. It also ensures that safe working conditions, compliance with human, labor, and land rights and good management practices are followed.
The certificate holders need to make sure continuous improvement in the initiatives while ensuring that compliance with local, regional, and international laws is done. Through the entire chain of custody, from the raw material producer to the final brand owner, these requirements are maintained.
SATORP’s innovative circular business model allows plastic waste-derived oil to be integrated into its refinery’s processing units and converted into raw material intermediates for the petrochemical industry.