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SK Geocentric Breaks Ground on World’s First Advanced Recycling Plant for Challenging Plastics

SK Geocentric pioneers Ulsan ARC, a groundbreaking $1.8 trillion plastic recycling plant, targeting 2025 completion, utilizing cutting-edge technologies for challenging plastic waste
South Korea
s 096770.KO Mid and Small Cap 2000
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SK Geocentric, a subsidiary of SK Innovation, has embarked on an unprecedented venture by commencing the construction of the world’s first comprehensive plant dedicated to transforming hard-to-recycle waste plastics into reusable materials. The company held a groundbreaking ceremony for the ‘Ulsan ARC (Advanced Recycling Cluster),’ situated on a 215,000㎡ site within the SK Innovation Ulsan Complex. With a staggering cost of 1.8 trillion won, equivalent to about 22 international standard soccer fields, the project is slated for completion by the end of 2025.

Despite a reported domestic plastic recycling rate of 70%, the majority is reclaimed as heat energy during incineration. The actual rate of converting plastic back into usable products is approximately 18%, often limited to mechanical recycling methods involving cutting and melting. SK Geocentric’s innovative approach focuses on transforming plastics that would typically be burned or buried, such as ramen bags, plastic bottles, used clothes, sneakers, and discarded home appliances.

Partnering with global leaders like Loop Industries, Pure Cycle Technology, and Plastic Energy, SK Geocentric introduces Ulsan ARC, the world’s sole recycling complex employing three distinct technologies: pyrolysis for artificial crude oil creation, high-purity PP extraction, and depolymerization for colored PET breakdown. The initiative aligns with SK Geocentric’s commitment to environmental responsibility and the production of high-performance, value-added plastics, marking a significant shift from traditional plastic raw material production.

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