Finnish oil firm Neste announced on July 13 that it has received a grant approval for up to EUR 135 million from the EU Innovation Fund to build chemical recycling capacities at its Porvoo refinery in Finland.
Project PULSE (“Pretreatment and Upgrading of Liquefied Waste Plastic to Scale Up Circular Economy”) aims to implement Neste’s proprietary technologies to pre-treat and upgrade liquefied waste plastic and integrate the technologies into the refinery operations.
The PULSE project targets pre-treatment and upgrading capacities of 400,000 tons per year, contributing to Neste’s goal of processing over 1 million tonnes of waste plastic per year from 2030 onwards. A feasibility study evaluating the investments related to PULSE was announced in March 2022. Investment decision readiness is targeted for 2023 and gradual implementation is expected to start in 2024.
Project PULSE is said to play an important role in commercialising chemical recycling of waste plastic as it allows the scaling up of chemical recycling and bridging the quality gap between unprocessed liquefied waste plastic and the petrochemical industry’s raw material requirements. Once scaled up, chemical recycling can contribute to combating waste plastic pollution by increasing recycling rates for plastics and reducing dependence on virgin fossil resources.
“We are excited to be among the projects selected by the EU Innovation Fund,” said Mercedes Alonso, Executive Vice President Neste Renewable Polymers and Chemicals. “While showing recognition for and faith in our work on chemical recycling, the funding also highlights the importance of the approach itself. If we want to move towards a circular economy for polymers and chemicals, chemical recycling will have a major role to play.”
The EU Innovation Fund is one of the world’s largest funding programmes for the demonstration of innovative low-carbon technologies. This year, the Fund granted more than EUR 1.8 billion to 17 large-scale projects contributing to a low-carbon society. Following the positive grant decision, individual grant agreements will be prepared with the European Climate, Environment and Infrastructure Executive Agency (CINEA) in charge of the Innovation Fund.
Image credit Neste
Published by Suzanna Hayek