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Chemical recycling tie-up looks to European expansion

Neste, the Finnish specialist in renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel, has acquired a minority stake in Alterra Energy, a US innovator in chemical recycling.

Alterra, based in Akron, Ohio, transforms waste plastic into petrochemical products that can be further refined into fuels, waxes and new plastic production. It licenses its technology to those seeking to recycle challenging plastics or develop more sustainable products.

Neste says the partnership will help to commercialise the Alterra Energy proprietary technology in Europe and it supports Alterra’s goal of launching a state-of-the-art liquefaction site in Europe during 2021.

Alterra’s existing industrial-scale plant in Akron produces commercial volumes that can already be refined and upgraded into high-quality feedstock for plastics and chemicals.

‘Collaboration with Alterra Energy strengthens Neste’s ecosystem of partnerships that are aimed at accelerating the transition to a circular plastics economy,’ says Mercedes Alonso, executive vice-president, renewable polymers and chemicals at Neste. ‘It demonstrates our commitment to continue developing the chemical recycling industry by supporting some of the leading companies in commercialising promising technologies.

Alterra’s ceo Frederic Schmuck says the partnership will unlock the full potential of the circular economy. ‘Neste is a world leader in renewable and circular solutions and its endorsement of Alterra’s proprietary process is both extremely rewarding and validating.’

Over the past decade, Neste has refocused its operations from refining and delivering oil as petrol into renewable fuels, which now generate the bulk of the its profits.

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