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Italian partners drive PET chemical recycling

Saipem and Garbo have signed an agreement to develop the chemical recycling of PET, with a focus on treating PET-based waste that is currently not recoverable.

The Italian pair will collaborate on what they say is the first chemical plastic recycling plant in Italy on an industrial scale, at Cerano in the province of Novara.

The technology, named ChemPET, is Garbo’s proprietary technology. Through a chemical reaction, the PET becomes bis-hydroxy-ethylene-terephthalate which, once it has been purified, can be returned for PET production. PET based materials recoverable with the ChemPET process include thermoforming scraps and multi-layer trays, opaque bottles (containing fillers such as TiO2, CaCo3, Silica), black trays, PET/PP strapping and polyester/cotton blends.

Fabrizio Botta, Saipem’s Chief Commercial Officer, says: ‘This agreement is in line with Saipem’s strategy in the low carbon industrial segments and it enables us to enrich our portfolio of technologies and solutions for the circular economy and the sustainable chemical industry’.

Guido Fragiacomo, ceo of Garbo, adds: ‘It allows ChemPET to consolidate its technology leadership in crPET through the immediate industrialisation of the two 22.5 kTA units in Cerano and the licensing of the technology on a global scale’.

Saipem is one of the largest global companies serving oilfield operations. Garbo began 25 years ago recovering silicon carbide and polyethylene glycol, both of which are key products for the cutting of silicon wafers used in the production of semiconductors or photovoltaic panels.

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