Shell and BlueAlp Partner on Chemical Recycling

14.09.2021 - Shell Ventures is partnering BlueAlp Holding to develop, scale and deploy the latter’s chemical recycling technology that converts plastic waste into pyrolysis oil. As part of the agreement, Shell has taken a 21.25% stake in BlueAlp.

“With BlueAlp’s innovative technology and Shell’s size and experience we can advance the plastic waste recycling technology needed to meet growing customer demand for sustainable chemicals. This partnership is one of the important steps Shell is taking to reach our ambition of recycling one million tonnes of plastics waste a year in our global chemicals plants by 2025,’’ said Robin Mooldijk, executive vice president of Shell Chemicals and Products.

Under the terms of the agreement, Shell and BlueAlp will form a joint venture to build two new units in the Netherlands, which they expect will convert more than 30,000 t/y of plastic waste. The facilities are planned to be operational in 2023, supplying all their pyrolysis oil as feedstock to Shell’s crackers in Moerdijk, the Netherlands, and its Rhineland cracker in Germany.

Shell is also exploring licensing a further two units for deployment within Asia to supply its facilities in Singapore.

“With Shell as a strategic partner, I believe BlueAlp has a great opportunity to grow into a global leader in the pyrolysis market,” said Chris van der Ree, BlueAlp’s chief technology officer. “Our immediate focus is to increase the technology’s current processing capacity and then license our technology to third-parties.”

BlueAlp’s technology has already been developed to commercial scale. Shell’s technology team in Amsterdam will now work with BlueAlp to further improve and scale-up the technology’s capacity to recycle larger volumes of plastic waste. Production of larger volumes of pyrolysis oil are hindered by inconsistent purity of feedstocks, so Shell plans to deploy its own technology to upgrade the oil at its assets.

The partnership follows a successful pilot using pyrolysis oil at Moerdijk in August 2021, as well as the increased use of recycled feed at Shell’s Norco petrochemical complex in Louisiana, USA, since November 2019.

Author: Elaine Burridge, Freelance Journalist