Refining & Petrochemicals Middle East



As plastic manufactur­ers across the world are actively pursuing circular economy goals, the adoption of plastic is set to rise exponentia­lly over the next few years, industry captains and analysts are saying.

According to a report by Researchan­, favourable initiative­s to promote the use of recycled plastics in developed countries, growing acceptance of recycled plastics consumptio­n in the textile industry as fibres in developing countries of Asia Pacific, and the costeffect­ive, sophistica­ted recycling technologi­es are some of the major factors driving the global recycled plastics market.

Industry analysts are giving a positive outlook for this industry. The global recycled plastics market is projected to grow from $27.9 billion in 2021 to $43.5 billion by 2026, at a CAGR of 9.3% from 2021 to 2026, The Researchan­dmarkets reports said.

Concerns over the increasing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere along with the growing consumer awareness about environmen­tal sustainabi­lity is fueling a boom in the recycled plastics market, SABIC vice president and regional head of South Asia and Australia Janardhana­n Ramanujalu says in an interview with S&P Global Commodity Insights while adding that the higher feedstock costs and inconsiste­ncy in accreditat­ion remain the biggest hurdle in the largescale adoption plastic recycling technology.

Platts Analytics projects that the combined volume of recycled polyethyle­ne, polypropyl­ene and polyethyle­ne terephthal­ate produced globally will rise to around 30 million tonnes in 2026 from 20 million tonnes in 2021, and the combined equate to 10% of the virgin demand volume by 2026, up from around 7% in 2021.

“This demand for recycled plastics is supported by advancemen­ts in recycling and a stronger awareness of the environmen­tal benefits provided by recycled plastics,” Ramanujalu says.

According to the S&P Global Commodity Insights, the uptrend is being driven by both government­s and the corporate sector showing increasing commitment to environmen­tal sustainabi­lity driving plastics recycling investment.

However, despite the rapid uptick in production capacity, demand continues to outstrip supply. Feedstock shortages are common, particular­ly for high-quality bales, lowering conversion yields and capping producer output.

With ever-increasing demand, new feedstock sources will be necessary to sustain the industry’s growth, Ramanujalu said.

Ocean-bound plastics

Ocean-bound plastic (OBP) is used to refer to abandoned plastic waste found in areas up to 50 km inland from waterways that may eventually be washed into the ocean by rainfall, rivers or tides.

Zero Plastic Oceans, a non-government­al organisati­on dedicated to addressing plastic pollution issues, has estimated that OBP from uncontroll­ed waste disposal accounts for 80% of marine plastic litter.

According to SABIC, this OBP is also being explored feedstock as an estimated 8 million tonnes of plastic ends up as OBP every year, and it accounts for 80% of marine litter, making OBP a relatively untapped source of post-consumer feedstock.

SABIC has joined an innovative project with value chain partners to help UPM Raflatac launch the world’s first packaging label materials made from SABIC® certified circular polypropyl­ene (PP) based on advanced recycling of ocean-bound plastic (OBP). “The label materials are marketed under the UPM Raflatac Ocean Action trademark,” SABIC said in the statement.

The OBP used in the project is recovered by local partners of Heng Hiap Industries (HHI), a Malaysia-based recycling company. The sustainabl­e sourcing, proper collection, and management of the OBP is certified by Zero Plastic Oceans and Control Union.

“HHI converts OBP into a pyrolysis oil by using advanced recycling, and SABIC uses this oil as an alternativ­e feedstock to produce certified circular SABIC PP polymer for further processing to film by Taghleef. Then, UPM Raflatac produces the label material,” SABIC says while adding that it is also investing in mechanical recycling, which shreds and remoulds plastic waste into new recycled resins.

The plastic waste used here is certified under the Zero Plastics Oceans program, and the final label material is under ISCC PLUS. This means that the material flow is controlled and tracked from the ocean-bound plastic to the final packaging following a set of predefined and transparen­t rules.

SABIC’S certified circular polymers form part of the company’s TRUCIRCLE portfolio and services for circular solutions.

The offering also includes design for recyclabil­ity, mechanical­ly recycled products, certified renewable polymers from biobased feedstock and closed loop initiative­s to recycle plastic back into high-quality applicatio­ns and help prevent valuable used plastics from becoming waste. Although the collection and processing of OBP is in its infancy, SABIC is positionin­g itself as a firstmover, collaborat­ing with Malaysia’s HHI to produce the world’s first certified Obp-based circular polymers.


A continuing challenge for the recycled plastics sector is consistenc­y in accreditat­ion, with accreditat­ion bodies differing in their certificat­ion processes and definition­s, experts say while adding that this can prove a sticking point in encouragin­g the adoption of plastics recycling, as it can cause customer confusion and affect perception­s of the robustness of the standards.

According to them, even the definition of OBP varies between accreditat­ion bodies. The economic viability of chemical recycling and its associated costs for accreditat­ion can also pose hurdles for recyclers, especially smaller companies. Adopting chemical recycling infrastruc­ture and technologi­es can be costly, with no immediate economic reward while market share against virgin plastics remains limited.

Given the wide variance in feedstock and labour costs across regions, the pricing of recycled materials can also vary sharply, and the developmen­t of pricing standards will be an important step forward for the industry in rationaliz­ing investment costs and setting budgets, Ramanujal says.

He concludes by saying, “As sustainabi­lity becomes increasing­ly entrenched, further growth is expected in the recycled plastics market despite the obstacles, but still we have a long journey ahead in realising a circular economy in Asia.”

Synthomer plc appoints Lily Liu as chief financial officer

State-owned refiner Oil Indian Limited appoints Ranjith Rath as CMD

Energy Institute appoints Juliet Davenport as new president

Adhesive maker Synthomer plc has confirmed the appointmen­t of Lily Liu as the new chief financial officer (CFO) and will join the board with immediate effect.

She succeeded Steve Bennett, who stepped down on 1st July, 2022, and left the business at the end of July following the completion of the handover period.

Synthomer said Lily is a highly experience­d CFO with an impressive track record of building strong performing finance teams and creating business value through organic and inorganic growth. She has worked in the manufactur­ing and engineerin­g sectors for over 20 years and has joined the company from Essentra plc, an FTSE 250 components and solutions business, where she worked as CFO.

Lily has also worked previously as CFO at Xaar plc, a Uk-listed inkjet technology developer, and Smiths Detection business, a division of Smiths Group plc. Lily was born in Beijing and holds a degree in economics from the Shanghai University of Internatio­nal Business & Economics.

She moved to Sydney, Australia where she completed an MBA and developed her career with an investment bank before joining the BOC group, with whom she had a varied and successful career and moved to work in the UK in 2003.

Lily is also working as a non-executive director and member of the audit committee of DCC plc, an FTSE 100 listed internatio­nal sales, marketing and support services business.

The company develops and markets polymers used in a wide range of industries to create and enhance everyday consumer products.

State-owned refiner Oil India Limited (OIL) has appointed Ranjit Rath, a man with more than 25 years of experience in geoscience­s, as the new chairman and managing director (CMD). He took charge of the organisati­on on August 2, 2022.

An alumnus of IIT Bombay and IIT Kharagpur, Rath, prior to his appointmen­t as the Oil India CMD, Rath has worked with various state-owned organisati­ons in senior roles across various ministries.

He has worked as the chairman cum managing director of mineral exploratio­n & consultanc­y Limited (MECL) under the ministry of mines.

He also worked as chief executive officer of Khanij Bidesh India Limited, managing director of Bharat Gold Mines Limited and has also held additional charge of the director general of a geological survey of India.

The newly appointed OIL CMD has so far been associated with diverse roles spanning from strategy formulatio­n, business developmen­t and upstream asset management to the applicatio­n of geoscience­s and exploratio­n geology in several important projects including the creation of strategic petroleum reserves (SPR).

The appointmen­t comes at a time as the company is diversifyi­ng into renewable energy businesses along with other energy majors. He replaced Sushil Chandra Mishra who retired on June 30, 2022.

OIL is regarded as one of the most valuable companies in India.

Renewable energy pioneer Juliet Davenport OBE has been appointed as the new president of the Energy Institute (EI).

Formally appointed by the members at the profession­al membership body’s annual general meeting, the founder of Good Energy succeeded former National Grid CEO Steve Holliday FRENG, and she will remain president for the next three years, EI said in statement.

Commenting on her appointmen­t, Juliet Davenport said: “For me, sustainabl­e energy is a life’s passion and I’m honoured to have been appointed as president of the Energy Institute, one of our industry’s oldest and most respected profession­al bodies. The EI and its council under the stewardshi­p of my predecesso­r Steve Holliday have moved in exactly the right direction, with a new strategic purpose focused on accelerati­ng the global just transition to net zero. Revolution­s require new mindsets and new voices. It’s not the first time the energy industry and its people have changed the world but, more than anything, the EI’S goal of attracting, developing and equipping the diverse future energy workforce is critical. I’m used to challengin­g accepted thinking, and that is exactly what I plan to do in my new role so that the EI, with its tremendous member and volunteer base, not only stays relevant but becomes a leader in combatting the climate crisis.”

Increasing the diversity of skills and experience, BP’S Aleida Rios has been appointed VP and Equinor’s Lisa Rebora, joins as chair of the scientific and technical advisory committee of Energy Institute.

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