Shell Ventures BV announced today that it has entered into a strategic partnership with BlueAlp Holding BV to develop, scale, and deploy its plastic waste to chemical feedstock technology. BlueAlp's technology transforms difficult-to-recycle plastic waste into pyrolysis oil, which can be used to make sustainable chemicals. Shell has taken a 21.25% equity stake in BlueAlp as part of the agreement.
Under the agreement, Shell and BlueAlp will form a joint-venture company to build two new conversion units in the Netherlands, which are forecast to convert more than 30 KT of plastic waste per year. The units are planned to be operational in 2023 and will supply 100% of their pyrolysis oil as feedstock to Shell’s Moerdijk and Rhineland crackers. Shell is exploring licensing a further two units for deployment within Asia to supply its operations in Singapore.
With Shell as a strategic partner, BlueAlp is confident that it can achieve its goal of leveraging its technology to grow into a global leader in the pyrolysis market. “Our immediate focus is to increase the technology’s current processing capacity and then license our technology to third parties,” said Chris van der Ree, CTO of BlueAlp. “This, I expect, will help communities worldwide put hard-to-recycle plastic waste to better use.”
BlueAlp said that its technology has already been developed at a commercial scale. Shell’s Amsterdam-based technology team will now work with BlueAlp to further improve and scale up capacity to recycle larger volumes of plastic waste. Production of larger volumes of pyrolysis oil often is hindered by inconsistent purity of feedstocks. Shell plans to deploy its own technology to upgrade the purity of pyrolysis oil. These technology developments are pivotal to achieving circularity by turning hard-to-recycle plastic waste into sustainable chemicals, said the companies.
This announcement follows a successful pilot using pyrolysis oil at Shell’s Moerdijk petrochemicals plant in August 2021 and the increased use of recycled feed at Shell’s Norco petrochemical complex in the United States since November 2019.
“This partnership [with BlueAlp] is one of the important steps Shell is taking to reach our ambition of recycling one million tonnes of plastics waste a year in our global chemicals plants by 2025,’’ said Robin Mooldijk, Executive Vice President, Shell Chemicals and Products. “We are also working across the value chain to provide our customers with a secure supply of high-quality circular products, including collaborating with industry partners to drive the development of the infrastructure needed to collect and sort plastic waste.”