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Indorama moves into European rPET sector with Wellman acquisition

Thailand/Germany – Thailand-owned polyester manufacturer Indorama Ventures Public Co Ltd (IVL) is to acquire Wellman International’s recycling business in Europe and an associated company, MJR Recycling BV, from investment group Aurelius.

Wellman International is Europe’s largest recycler of PET (polyethylene terephthalate) bottles and a leading producer of polyester staple fibre products and recycled PET (rPET). The company’s three production facilities in Europe – a polyester fibre plant at Mullagh in Ireland and recycling plants at Spijk in the Netherlands and Verdun in France – have a combined output of more than 150 000 tonnes per year.
A pioneer in bottle-to-bottle and bottle-to-fiber recycling, Wellman’s advanced technology is capable of producing very high quality materials. Post consumer recycled bottles are flaked and processed with other secondary material to produce bottles and fibres that can be used in a variety of premium applications, such as for the hygiene sector.
IVL expects to complete the deal this year, subject to the necessary regulatory approvals. The company said the acquisition would give it access to proven recycling technology that it could transfer to its Asian operations, reducing its global environmental impact and and better meeting customers’ demand for more recycling of post-consumer products.
‘This is a very exciting project for us,’ said IVL Group CEO Aloke Lohia. ‘The target acquisition has the know-how to blend recycled PET (rPET) and industrial waste and will potentially contribute to making Indorama Ventures a “zero-waste” company with a low carbon footprint, able to serve both beverage and fibre customers. The project will act as a springboard to launch IVL into rPET following our ongoing construction of recycling plants in Decatur, USA and Rayong, Thailand.’
Acquiring the largest recycling capability in Europe would give IVL economies of scale and help the group’s customers achieve their sustainability goals cost-effectively throughout the continent, Mr Lohia added.
‘With a comprehensive European network for bottle sourcing and good supply chain efficiencies, we feel that it will contribute as an attractive platform for strong future growth in the sustainable recycling business with the potential to expand this business further around the world.’

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