Green tie-ups: Neste/Marubeni/Resonac Corporation to cooperate on renewable chemicals in Japan; Origin/Bachmann to produce rPET caps/closures

Neste/Marubeni/Resonac Corporation to cooperate on renewable chemicals in Japan

Chemical firms Neste, Marubeni Corporation and Resonac Corporation have entered into a cooperative agreement to enable the production of renewable olefins and derivatives. The cooperation involves Neste RE, a Neste-produced renewable raw material, being used to manufacture products at leading Japanese chemical company Resonac’s Oita Complex in Japan. Marubeni, a major Japanese general trading and investment conglomerate, will coordinate all logistical arrangements from Neste to Resonac.

Renewable Neste RE is a bio-based feedstock used in steam crackers. It is made from 100% renewable raw materials such as waste and residue oils and fats. Consisting of pure hydrocarbons, Neste RE can be used to replace conventional feedstock such as fossil naphtha in chemicals value chains, contributing to a reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

“Replacing fossil resources in the production of plastics is one of the major challenges the industry faces. We are excited to team up with Marubeni and Resonac in tackling this challenge. The sustainability transformation requires committed frontrunners and that is exactly what Marubeni and Resonac are,” says Carrie Song, Senior Vice President, Commercial, Renewable Products at Neste.

"We are excited to embark on a project to build the value chain for renewable chemicals, partnering with Neste, the world's leading renewable feedstock supplier, and Resonac, a leading chemical company in Japan. We aim to contribute to the carbon neutrality of the petrochemical industry by establishing a trade flow of diverse renewable feedstocks in addition to conventional raw materials,” says Yoshiaki Yokota, CEO Energy & Infrastructure Solution Group at Marubeni.

“We are very happy to work cooperatively with Neste and Marubeni to cater to the need for renewable olefins and derivative products in the market. Resonac’s Oita Complex has been ISCC PLUS certified. The Oita Complex will continue providing the market with renewable olefins and derivative products by applying a mass balance method based on the ISCC system,” states Hirotsugu Fukuda, General Manager of the Olefins & Derivatives Business Unit at Resonac Corporation.

Origin/Bachmann to produce rPET caps/closures

In other news, Origin Materials, a carbon negative materials company, and Swiss packaging firm Bachmann Group are in a strategic partnership to mass produce rPET caps and closures.

In Bachmann’s existing European manufacturing facilities, Bachmann and Origin will operate the lines to convert virgin and recycled PET into caps, including tethered caps, using high-speed equipment and automation. Origin’s caps are positioned to be the first commercially viable PET closures to reach the mass market.

“Today we are announcing our partnership with Bachmann Group, who will assist in the end-to-end operation and automation of our PET cap mass production lines,” said Origin Co-CEO/Co-Founder John Bissell. “Bachmann Group will help us produce billions of caps, taking pellet or flake all the way to finished closures. We share a commitment to sustainability and look forward to a productive partnership.”

Bissell added: “Bachmann Group, based in Switzerland, is a more than 50-year-old group of companies with deep expertise in logistics, quality assurance, and packaging production, including high-volume, sophisticated products like coffee capsules requiring high-precision manufacturing. They provide innovative technology services to some of the world’s leading food, beverage, and healthcare companies. We are thrilled with this partnership and look forward to bringing our sustainable PET caps and closures to the market starting later this year.”

Reto Bachmann, CEO of Bachmann Group, stated, “This development represents a significant change for the industry, marking a sustainability breakthrough that emphasises our commitment to environmental stewardship. Our innovative approach enhances product quality and aligns with our goal of reducing environmental impact, revolutionising the industry's achievement in PET cap and closure production. This milestone showcases Bachmann Group's exceptional expertise as a leading manufacturing company committed to providing innovative solutions that adhere to the highest standards of quality and sustainability. In line with our commitment to sustainability, we are proud to operate our facilities on 100% renewable energy, ensuring our production processes are as environmentally friendly as our products.”

Origin’s PET caps and closures are a transformative leap forward in packaging, improving recyclability including through cap tethering, enabling light-weighting, and extending product shelf-life while addressing a greater than US$65 billion market. In conjunction with world-class partners like Bachmann Group, we are solving the most difficult sustainability challenges, in alignment with our core mission to help transition the world to sustainable materials.

Origin’s PCO 1881-compatible caps, which can be made with virgin or recycled PET, will be available beginning in Q4 2024, with PCO 1881-compatible tethered caps and other cap types to follow afterward.

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