Plastic waste successfully converted into oil at SATORP refinery
TotalEnergies, Aramco and SABIC have successfully converted oil derived from plastic waste into ISCC+ certified circular polymers for the first time in the Middle East and North Africa.
The plastic pyrolysis oil, also called plastic waste derived oil (PDO), was processed at the SATORP refinery jointly owned by Aramco and TotalEnergies, in Jubail, Saudi Arabia. It was then used as a feedstock by Petrokemya, a SABIC affiliate, to produce certified circular polymers.
The project aims to pave the way for the creation of a domestic value chain for the advanced recycling of plastics to circular polymers in Saudi Arabia. The process allows the use of unsorted plastics, which can be difficult to recycle mechanically.
A first milestone for the project was obtaining ISCC+ certification to assure transparency and traceability of the recycled origin of feedstock and products. Three industrial plants were involved in the process: SATORP refinery, Aramco’s Ju’aymah NGL Fractionation Plant and Petrokemya. All successfully obtained the ISCC+ certification, enabling the production of circular materials.
“This achievement illustrates the importance of the petrochemical sector in creating more sustainable products and solutions. Our aim is to create circular solutions for plastic waste, while also making progress on our ambition to achieve net-zero Scope 1 and Scope 2 greenhouse gas emissions across our wholly-owned operated assets by 2050,” said Mohammed Y. Al Qahtani, president, Downstream, Aramco.
“By leveraging spare capacity of existing infrastructure, we aim to produce circular products that could be scaled up at low cost. Aramco is considering multiple ways of tapping into new technologies and leveraging existing assets to support the deployment of circular, more sustainable and lower-carbon products.”
“This advanced plastic recycling initiative reflects TotalEnergies’ ambition to concretely contribute to addressing the challenge of end-of-life of plastics. Several other circular economy projects are being studied, leveraging the partners’ technical expertise and experience to further contribute to plastics recycling. It is a major pathway towards TotalEnergies’ target to produce 30% of recycled plastics by 2030, and its strategy to build a multi-energy company with the ambition to get to net zero by 2050, together with society,” said Bernard Pinatel, president, Refining & Chemicals, TotalEnergies.
“This project is aligned with SABIC’s commitment to avoid landfill and incineration through its innovation competencies and advanced technology. This project shows collaboration across the petrochemical value chain to overcome upstream and downstream challenges in circular plastics,” said Sami Al-Osaimi, EVP, Petrochemicals, SABIC.