ExxonMobil has started production at its first commercial scale chemical recycling plant in Baytown, Texas. The facility will process more than 36 000 tonnes of scrap per year.
ExxonMobil’s new site to process plastics went operational in December and the company is looking at options in three more locations in the US and others in Canada, Belgium, the Netherlands and Singapore.
‘We have a lot of ambition in this space,’ says company president Karen McKee. ‘We have the ambition to have more of these facilities around the world as we go forward with 500 000 tonnes per year of (chemical) recycling capacity installed by the end of 2026.’
McKee says the ‘exciting’ thing about the technology is as a solution for tackling hard-to-recycle plastics. ‘We can process everything from artificial grass all the way through to the humble chip bag and everything in between. It is a really good complement to mechanical recycling, and we’re excited to be able to grow this.’
ExxonMobil is seeing interest from a growing number of customers for its certified circular raw material. This is in part thanks to the company’s ‘favourable’ carbon footprint profile, according to McKee.
She cites various studies showing there is a 20% or more reduction in emissions associated with plastics production.