Neste will provide Alterra Tech distribution in Europe

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Finland-based Neste Oyj will supply plastic scrap liquefication technology throughout Europe.

The European rights to the plastic trash liquefaction technology created by Ohio-based Alterra Energy have reportedly been acquired by Neste Oyj of Finland. It will “further consolidate” Neste’s “efforts to enhance chemical recycling,” the company claims.

Alterra, according to the Finnish petrochemical company with a growing presence
in sustainable energy, has created a unique thermochemical method for liquefying difficult-to-recycle plastic. The company already has an industrial-scale facility in Akron, Ohio, that converts used plastics into intermediate goods that can then be further processed into raw materials for new plastics and other petrochemical products, according to Neste.

Neste bought a small portion of Alterra Energy in 2020, and the Finnish company claims that since then it has further processed liquefied plastic scrap obtained from Alterra Energy and other sources in a number of test runs at its refinery in Finland.

woman standing in front garbage
Photo by Vivianne Lemay on Unsplash

According to Neste, a joint venture will be established with Ravago of Belgium to use the Alterra Energy technology in Vlissingen, the Netherlands. In order to expand the processing capacities for liquefied plastic scrap at its Porvoo refinery in Finland, Neste says it is conducting a feasibility study to investigate the possibility of investing in proprietary pretreatment and upgrading capabilities.

Heikki Färkkilä, vice president of Neste Renewable Polymers and Chemicals, says, “Acquiring the rights to Alterra Energy’s technology in Europe enables us to offer a holistic solution to our partners. Neste will be able to offer the complete chemical recycling solution, including high-quality drop-in feeds for the synthesis of new polymers and chemicals.

From 2030 on, Neste plans to process more than 1 million tons of plastic annually. According to the company, “Neste is confident that the Alterra Energy technology is among the winning solutions for the liquefaction of waste plastic material due to the ongoing joint technology development between Neste and Alterra Energy and the continued processing of mixed plastic feeds in the Akron facility.

“We are thrilled that Neste, a global leader in sustainability, has chosen Alterra Energy’s sophisticated recycling technology to further accelerate its efforts toward the circularity of plastics throughout Europe,” says Frederic Schmuck, CEO of Alterra Energy. We will continue to assist petrochemical industry participants around the globe in fulfilling their sustainability commitments to brand owners and customers.

Alterra claims that it will carry on independently in the rest of the globe while Neste has obtained the European rights to the technology with the intention of commercializing it through licensing.

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