By Fabiana Negrin Ochoa
Royal Dutch Shell PLC on Tuesday broke ground on a new project in Singapore to make an oil product from plastic waste otherwise destined for landfills.
The treated pyrolysis oil will be used to produce so-called circular chemicals--chemicals used in products intended to be reused or repurposed with minimal waste, the oil major said.
Shell unit Shell Eastern Petroleum (Pte) Ltd. will process the waste and didn't provide financial details of the investment.
Once the pyrolysis oil upgrader unit starts production in 2023, it will be the largest in Asia, Shell said. It will have a capacity of 50,000 tons a year and is the company's first such unit.
The announcement comes as waste-derived pyrolysis oil gains traction against a background of companies coming under increased pressure to reduce waste and transition to low-carbon energy. The pyrolysis oil market is still in the early stages, but analysts say it shows promise as companies ramp up R&D and investment in the technology to produce it.
In September, Shell Ventures BV formed a partnership with BlueAlp Holding to develop the latter's plastic waste-to-chemical feedstock technology.
Recent moves by other companies include Honeywell UOP and Swedish refiner Preem AB's collaboration on biomass-based pyrolysis oil; German chemical group BASF SE's $18 million investment in Pyrum Innovations, which specializes in the pyrolysis of used tires; and SK Innovation, which in September said it will be the first company in South Korea to use waste plastic pyrolysis oil to make petrochemical products.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires