Borealis AG (Vienna, Austria) is designing a first-of-its-kind commercial-scale advanced mechanical recycling plant to be located in Schwechat, Austria. The plant will be based on Borealis’ own Borcycle M technology, which transforms polyolefin-based post-consumer waste into high-performance polymers suitable for demanding applications. This represents another tangible step forward on Borealis’ path to net zero.
The new plant will have capacity to produce over 60,000 metric tons per year (m.t./yr) of advanced mechanical recycled polyolefin solutions and compounds. For customers and end-consumers, this will mean an increase in the availability of high-quality recycled plastic products.
The decision was based on positive feedback from the market on recycled polyolefins delivered by a demonstration plant based on the same technology. This plant was located in Lahnstein, Germany, and was operated by Borealis, Tomra and Zimmerman.
Mechanical recycling plays a key role in Borealis’ approach to achieving circularity, as shown in the integrated cascade model. The new plant will expand Borealis’ capabilities in this area, following on from the acquisitions of plastic recyclers mtm plastics in 2016, and Ecoplast Kunstoffrecycling in 2018.
The front-end engineering design (FEED) stage for the plant will be carried out by Nextchem, specialists in the field of green chemistry and technologies for the energy transition. Upon successful completion of FEED phase, Borealis expects to take a final investment decision in the second half of 2023 and start construction by the end of 2023. The first volumes of recycled polyolefin products are expected in 2025.
The plant will support Borealis to deliver on its sustainability commitments, which target a supply capacity of 600 kilotonnes of circular products and solutions globally by 2025, further increased to 1.8 million tonnes by 2030.
“With our purpose to reinvent essentials for sustainable living, Borealis is committed to rapidly increasing the share of recycled content across a wide range of high-performance polyolefins. Proof-in-point of the EverMinds mindset, this step demonstrates how innovative technology continues to advance circularity,” says Lucrèce Foufopoulos-DeRidder, Borealis Executive Vice President of Polyolefins, Circular Economy Solutions and Innovation & Technology.