SUEZ, Loop Industries, Inc. and SK Geo Centric announced that the Chemesis industrial platform in Saint-Avold, located in the Grand Est region of France, has been selected as the site for their planned manufacturing facility in Europe.
This international project, supported by the French Ministries of Industry and Ecology, the Grand Est region and the Saint-Avold Synergy region community, leverages the experience of SKGC in petrochemical processes, the expertise of SUEZ in the area of resource management and the innovative depolymerization technology of Loop. The facility will manufacture 100% recycled and infinitely recyclable virgin-quality PET resin and has a planned capacity of 70,000 metric tons per year. This facility will help address the demand for recycled PET, which has continued to grow due to European regulations and requirements and will provide European-based global brands with a solution to their sustainability objectives of increasing the use of recycled content in their packaging and products.
The Saint-Avold Chemesis industrial platform is strategically situated in the heart of Europe and provides an efficient industrial and infrastructure network (access to energy notably via existing heat networks, road and rail logistics, suppliers, etc.) making it the optimum environment for the manufacturing facility. This project, which represents a projected overall investment of €450 million, will contribute to the sustainable revitalization of the local industrial base and enable the direct creation of 200 new jobs.
Loop’s depolymerization technology utilizes low heat and no added pressure to upcycle low to no value feedstocks (that will otherwise go to incineration or landfill) into the highest purity, virgin-quality PET plastic. At full capacity, the facility could save over 255,000 tonnes of CO2 annually, when compared to virgin PET resin made from fossil fuels1. The entry flows of feedstock will be collected, sorted and prepared by SUEZ, leveraging its knowledge of the European plastics market, its partnerships with industrial players and its dense treatment infrastructure network coverage. By leveraging low value waste that is currently destined for landfill or incineration, this facility offers a solution to the global plastic waste challenge.
A local consultation process will be launched in the coming weeks to present the project to the general public. The three partners aim to start construction work in early 2025 with plant commissioning slated for 2027.
The facility in Europe is part of the global commercialization strategy of Loop’s technology. Loop and SKGC are currently focused on the planning of the projected first Infinite Loop™ manufacturing facility in Ulsan, South Korea, which is expected to break ground in 2023.
Roland Lescure, French Minister of Industry said: “I welcome the decision of SUEZ, Loop and SKGC to choose France and the Saint-Avold chemical platform to set up their first European chemical plastics recycling unit. This pioneer process will close the plastic cycle by recycling packaging indefinitely with no loss of quality and low CO2 emissions thanks to France's highly decarbonized electricity mix. This project shows how the industry can provide solutions for the ecological transition, as it contributes to the development of a circular economy that saves natural resources and secures France's supply of plastics. The establishment of this plant in France shows how the government's climate ambition can be a lever for green reindustrialization.”
“The Grand Est region is particularly proud to welcome and support SUEZ, Loop and SKGC on its territory. This considerable investment, which will create jobs, represents a further decisive step in the environmental transition of the Saint-Avold Carling chemical platform. It is another success story that testifies to the attractiveness of our region. The Grand Est region and its agency, Invest Eastern France, has devoted significant resources to this project and has been able to make the difference with SUEZ and its Canadian and Korean partners. The challenge is simple: the environment creates jobs and reindustrializes our territories. We want to become the reference region for the circular economy." said Franck Leroy, President of the Grand Est Region.
Salvatore Coscarella, President of the urban community of Saint-Avold said: "TThis industrial project is a real opportunity for the development of the Chemesis platform, which is part of a decarbonization and circular economy dynamic that I support and promote within the agglomeration community. This project will bring a brownfield site back to life and will also enable the consolidation of the dense network of industrial subcontractors present locally. I am very pleased that this plant will be set up, which strengthens the territory's historical industrial activity thanks to the joint and coordinated action of the Saint-Avold Synergie agglomeration, “Moselle attractivité”, the Grand Est region and the state."