In another sustainable polycarbonate (PC) initiative in Asia Pacific, Covestro has started on a journey to establish 60,000 tonnes/year of recycled PC capacity in the region by 2026. A groundbreaking ceremony for the first dedicated mechanical recycling production line in Shanghai took place on Aug. 19, 2022. Covestro will also repurpose an existing production line in Thailand to turn out recycled PC. Earlier, Mitsui Chemicals Inc. and Teijin Ltd. announced their intent to collaborate on the supply of bio-based PC.
The new mechanical recycling (MCR) line in Shanghai will address growing demand for more sustainable solutions, in particular with post-consumer-recycled (PCR) materials to be used primarily for the compounding step in the manufacture of electrical and electronic products, automotive applications, and consumer goods. The $27-million line will be capable of delivering more than 25,000 tonnes of high-quality polycarbonate and blends containing mechanically recycled content annually when it is commissioned in 2023.
“To meet the rapid growth in demand for more sustainable and circular solutions from our downstream customers, we will continue to invest in expanding our capabilities,” said Lily Wang, Head of Covestro’s Engineering Plastics segment, at the groundbreaking event. “This MCR production line is the latest example of our efforts in this regard and signals our commitment to driving the transition to more sustainable products in this region, especially in China.”
“The MCR production line is another exciting step we have taken to fulfill our commitment toward a circular economy and achieve our goal to become operationally climate neutral by 2035,” said Sucheta Govil, Chief Commercial Officer of Covestro. “Recycling plastic waste is absolutely essential to the circular economy and addresses one of the major global challenges we face together as a society. We will continue to invest in expanding and improving our capacity for recycled plastics and leading the industry to create materials with higher recycled content.”
Covestro will also repurpose an existing compounding line at its Map Ta Phut site in Thailand for mechanical recycling. Conversion of the plant is scheduled to be accomplished by the end of 2022, continuing to pave the way and meet market demand for PC from PCR content across multiple industries in the ASEAN region. Based on the current forecast, the unit will supply up to 10% PCR-based product of its annual production volume by 2030. Overall, the company aims to be capable to deliver more than 60,000 tons of polycarbonate with recycled content in Asia Pacific per year until 2026.
The two facilities in Shanghai and Map Ta Phut will boost Covestro’s output of PCR polycarbonates Makrolon R and Bayblend R, which contain up to 75% recycled content and can contribute to a carbon footprint reduction of up to 50% while meeting performance and eco-labeling requirements.