Saipem and Garbo in Chemical Recycling Collaboration

21.03.2023 - Italian companies Saipem and Garbo have agreed to collaborate to commercialize the latter’s proprietary depolymerization technology, called ChemPET. The process converts waste PET into high-quality, high-value PET that can be reused in the chemical and food industries.

As part of the agreement, the partners will construct an industrial-scale chemical recycling plant in Cerano, Novara — the first of its type in Italy, according to the companies.

“This agreement allows ChemPET to consolidate its technology leadership in chemically recycled PET through the immediate industrialization of the two 22,500 t/y units in Cerano and the licensing of the technology on a global scale,” said Garbo CEO Guido Fragiacomo.

The partnership is the second that Saipem has embarked on to commercialize plastic recycling technology. Last August, the Milan-based company signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Norway’s Quantafuel to collaborate on the industrialization and construction of chemical recycling plants for waste plastics, using the latter’s pyrolysis technology.

However, last month UK-based waste management company Viridor made a formal offer to buy Quantafuel for about £90 million, as well as providing additional capital to support the Oslo-based firm’s development projects.

Quantafuel announced last October that it would undertake a strategic review to secure long-term financing in preparation for the large-scale roll-out of chemical recycling plants.

In October 2019, BASF announced it had bought a stake worth €20 million in Quantafuel. Under the terms of the deal, BASF had the right of first refusal to all the pyrolysis oil and purified hydrocarbons from Quantafuel’s chemical recycling plant that started up in Skive, Denmark, in late 2019.

Author: Elaine Burridge, Freelance Journalist