Singapore government/Shell to study feasibility of chemical recycling of waste

LG Chem’s world-first “biodegradable” material

Singapore’s National Environment Agency (NEA) and Anglo-Dutch multinational oil/gas company Shell are jointly studying the feasibility of chemically recycling plastic waste in Singapore.

The study will look into waste segregation facilities and plastic pyrolysis plants to recycle Singapore’s plastic waste. Pyrolysis is a chemical process to convert plastic waste into higher-value products such as pyrolysis oil, which can be upgraded as feedstock to manufacture plastics and chemicals.

“Chemical recycling will enable the recycling of contaminated plastics that are recovered from our general waste. This feasibility study is part of NEA’s efforts to develop our local plastic recycling capabilities, improve our plastic recycling rates and enhance the resilience of our overall waste management infrastructure. The joint study with Shell will help NEA gain a better understanding of the technical and commercial aspects of a chemical recycling value chain in Singapore, and bring us one step closer to realising our goal of a circular economy for plastics,” said Tan Meng Dui, CEO of NEA.

Packaging, including plastics, is one of NEA’s three priority waste streams for closing the resource loop and working towards our vision of a Zero Waste Nation.

In Singapore’s domestic waste stream, plastics make up more than half of the packaging waste disposed of. In addition to diverting plastics from incineration, chemical recycling will help reduce carbon emissions, close the plastic waste loop, and create new jobs and capabilities as part of a more circular approach towards resource management in the longer term. The joint study with Shell will complement NEA’s consultancy study on the feasibility of developing a pilot Plastic Recovery Facility (PRF) in Singapore, which will be awarded by end 2020 and run parallel to the feasibility study between NEA and Shell.

“As part of Shell’s energy transition ambition, we aspire to transform our business here to become more sustainable and circular. That is why we are committed to work with NEA and other partners in the ecosystem to develop a new circular supply chain to support both Singapore’s and Shell’s chemical recycling ambitions,” said Aw Kah Peng, Chairman of Shell Companies in Singapore.

In 2019, Shell announced its ambition to use 1 million tonnes/year of plastic waste as feedstock in its global chemicals plants - across Asia, Europe and North America by 2025. Since Nov 2019, the Shell Norco facility in Louisiana, US, has started using pyrolysis oil from plastic waste as feedstock.


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