Sector News

TotalEnergies acquires Spanish recycling player Iber Resinas to boost feedstock access

May 12, 2023
Chemical Value Chain

TotalEnergies has announced it is acquiring Spanish mechanical recycling specialist Iber Resinas. Through the transaction, TotalEnergies hopes to increase its production of circular polymers in Europe, extend its range of recycled products and enhance its access to feedstock through Iber Resinas’s network of suppliers.

Iber Resinas recycles plastics (PP, PE and PS) from household and industrial waste in its two plants near Valencia, Spain. The company also has a large network of direct customers to whom it sells its products for manufacturing packaging, automotive parts and building materials.

“This acquisition is a further step toward achieving our ambition of increasing the share of circular polymers in our plastics production to 30% by 2030,” says Nathalie Brunelle, senior vice president of Polymers, Refining & Chemicals, at TotalEnergies.

“We are pleased to welcome Iber Resinas’ teams and combine their recycling know-how with TotalEnergies’ polymers expertise.”

Innova Market Insights pegged “Plastics Circularization” as its top trend for 2023, noting that 61% of global consumers believe increased plastic packaging is necessary.

Moreover, more stringent legislation like plastic packaging taxes, mandatory recycling goals and EPR and DRS schemes incentivize the circular economy transition, although recycled plastic remains expensive worldwide.

TotalEnergies recycling growth
The acquisition will help TotalEnergies achieve weight reduction in end-use applications for plastics, which means reduced waste and emissions rates.

Moreover, producing plastics from recycled materials meets the challenge of managing their end-of-life. TotalEnergies is currently working on a range of recycling technologies:

  • In mechanical recycling, its subsidiary Synova is the French leader in producing recycled PP for sustainable applications for the automotive and construction industry, with a capacity of 45,000 tons at the end of last year. In 2022, the company also announced constructing a new hybrid production line of 15,000-ton recycled PP for automotive applications at its Carling platform in France
  • In advanced recycling, TotalEnergies announced in September 2020 the construction of one of France’s first advanced recycling plants at its Grandpuits zero-crude platform southeast of Paris in partnership with Plastic Energy. In 2022, TotalEnergies signed additional offtake agreements with Plastic Energy and Honeywell for pyrolysis oil to pursue its development in advanced recycling in Europe and the US.
  • In bioplastics, TotalEnergies has a joint venture with Corbion, which operates a plant in Thailand producing 75,000 tons per year of polylactic acid (PLA), a 100% bio-based, recyclable bioplastic.

Renewable polymers
This year, TotalEnergies joined forces with Portuguese packaging player Intraplás to create commercial products with TotalEnergies RE:newable polymer – a range of the RE:clic portfolio, which uses renewable sources to lower carbon footprint.

TotalEnergies’ biorefinery in La Mède, France, allows direct access to renewable feedstock for its drop-in RE:newable polymer range derived from bio-based products. The company claims these polymers retain virgin-like properties.

The company also signed a long-term commercial agreement with Paprec to develop a French value chain for advanced recycling of plastic film waste. The deal is set to secure the materials supply from TotalEnergies’ future advanced plastic recycling plant in Grandpuits, France.

The advanced recycling plant will be able to process 15,000 metric tons of waste annually and is scheduled to be operational in 2024.

Edited by Louis Gore-Langton


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