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PureCycle to Build Europe’s First Polypropylene Recycling Facility

PureCycle Technologies continues to expand its global reach. The advanced recycling company and the Port of Antwerp-Bruges jointly announced today plans to build PureCycle’s first polypropylene (PP) recycling facility in Europe at the port’s fast-growing NextGen District in Belgium.

The new plant is expected to have annual capacity of 59,000 metric tons (130 million pounds), with plentiful expansion opportunities. The 14-hectare (35-acre) plot can support up to four processing lines with an anticipated total capacity of approximately 240,000 metric tons (500 million pounds) per year.

PureCycle is currently engaged in feedstock sourcing and financial planning with the intent to secure a final project timeline by mid-2023. Plant construction is expected to begin in 2024 once the permitting process has been completed.

PureCycle holds a global license to commercialize a solvent-based purification recycling technology developed by Procter & Gamble. The proprietary process removes color, odor, and other contaminants from recycled feedstock, resulting in ultra-pure PP suitable for any market, said PureCycle.

NextGen District is described as a global hub for businesses seeking to advance the circular economy. The district is located at the Port of Antwerp-Bruges, Europe’s second largest seaport, in proximity to Europe’s largest integrated petrochemical cluster. PureCycle was awarded a “concessionaire” contract during NextGen’s competitive bidding process.

PureCycle said it is already in active negotiations with potential feedstock and off-take partners. The new PP purification plant will supply not only the European market with PureCycle’s resin but is also expected to create 65 to 70 new jobs for local residents during the initial phase of the project. This project represents one of the largest investments announced in the NextGen District to date. Various funding options are currently being considered, including traditional financing sources as well as grants/subsidies for circular projects that are uniquely available in the European Union.

A little over a year ago, PureCycle announced that it would build Asia’s first PP recycling plant in collaboration with South Korean PP producer SK geo. That facility, located in Ulsan, South Korea, is expected to be completed by the end of 2024 and is projected to produce 60,000 tons of “ultra-pure recycled plastic” annually.

The company’s flagship recycling plant in Ironton, OH, is expected to start pellet production in Q1 of 2023, and a second plant in Augusta, GA, is under construction.

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