Polymer producer MOL Group aims to become a regional leader in recycling after it signed a strategic cooperation agreement with German recycler APK AG, which includes supporting the latter in the completion of its Merseburg plant.
APK’s new plant will serve as a pilot for the solvent-based process Newcycling, which enables the recovery of high-quality materials from complex multilayer packaging.
Commenting on the deal, MOL Group’s EVP for Downstream, Ferenc Horvath, said: ”In line with MOL 2030 strategy, we are taking steps to grow our petrochemicals business and enter knowledge intensive industries together with strategic partners. We see a growing demand from our customers for recycled plastics and at the same time we are also fully committed to the idea of circular economy and sustainability. We aspire to become leaders in recycling in Central and Eastern Europe and with today’s agreement we are marking the first milestone on this journey.
“MOL, as an established polymer player in CEE, together with an innovative partner as APK will work on further developing the Newcycling technology and bringing it to our core region where the need and the potential for plastics waste recycling is significant.”
APK’s Newcycling technology is currently reaching market maturity and the company has several joint projects with firms in the packaging and FMCG industries, including one with Royal DSM for multilayer PE/PA6 packaging film that was confirmed last month.
Klaus Wohnig, APK’s speaker of the management board, said: “There is expected to be a strong trend from landfill and incineration towards recycling and a truly circular plastics economy. And with MOL’s strong roots in this region, we think MOL is the perfect partner to step into CEE.”
One of the cornerstones of the MOL Group 2030 strategy is to expand the company’s petrochemicals value chain. As such MOL Group plans to invest around $4.5 billion until the end of the next decade into petrochemical and chemical growth projects. As part of this growth strategy it intends to build up its recycling capabilities.
Plastics packaging is one of the key strategic segments defined in MOL’s 2030 Enter Tomorrow Strategy and a sector where both partners recognise a growing demand for recycled materials.