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Infinite Loop site makes ‘circular plastics’ a reality

SK Geo Centric, SUEZ, and Loop Industries have selected the location for their first European ‘Infinite Loop’ chemical recycling facility.

The industrial hub to recycle low-value plastics will be established in Saint-Avold, France. The site will produce 100% recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET) plastic resin and polyester fibre and has a planned capacity of 70 000 tonnes per year.

A total of EUR 450 million will be invested in the venture, which will create more than 200 new jobs. Construction work is scheduled to begin in early 2025 with plant commissioning slated for 2027.

The business partners say the new facility will help to meet the growing demand for rPET. They expect demand to surge further because of European legislation regarding recycled content in packaging. At full capacity, the facility could save over 255 000 tonnes of CO2 annually. It will target low quality waste typically sent to landfill.

The international project is supported by the French ministries of industry and ecology. It is said to leverage the joint expertise of SKGC in petrochemical processes, SUEZ in resource management and Loop in depolymerisation technology.

SK Geo Centric ceo Na Kyung-Soo says the French plant is part of a global commercialisation strategy of Loop’s technology. The two companies are preparing to build the first Infinite Loop manufacturing facility in Ulsan, South Korea, which is expected to break ground later this year.

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