AECI and Clariter join forces to transform plastic waste into sustainable petrochemicals
31 August 2021
AECI and Clariter, an international cleantech company with a unique innovative upcycling technology, announced today AECI’s investment of EUR 2,5 million in Clariter’s capital raising round and strategic collaboration to reduce the negative global effects of plastic pollution by producing sustainable high-value industrial products made from 100% plastic waste.
The investment takes the form of a convertible loan. AECI also has the option to participate in further funding rounds for a maximum amount of EUR 10 million.
The funding will be used to scale up the technology to the commercial level.
As part of the partnership, both companies will explore the development and construction of Clariter’s full-scale plants across parts of AECI’s existing geographic footprint, specifically South Africa, Germany and the USA.
In addition, both companies will work together for the Research & Development (R&D) of new specialty chemical applications and blends of advanced high-value industrial products. This includes blending products to create new products with a “green” premium as well as AECI’s off-take agreement and distribution of Clariter’s oils, solvents and waxes.
Plastic waste is a global challenge. Of the 370 million tonnes of plastic produced annually, only 16% is recycled, 25% of plastics are currently incinerated (releasing harmful CO2 into the atmosphere) and 59% are landfilled or discarded in an uncontrolled way. With plastics demand growing at 3% per annum, global volumes will reach 515 million tonnes of production by 2029. In this context, the current associated waste trajectory is unsustainable. More needs to be done to address the circularity of this
Clariter utilises a continuous, proprietary and proven chemical upcycling process that overcomes the challenges faced by traditional mechanical plastics recycling, namely being highly sensitive to the types of plastics suitable for their processes and limitations on the number of times plastics can be mechanically recycled before their properties begin to degrade. Clariter’s process treats majority of all types of plastic waste (including polyethylene, polypropylene and some polystyrene) in mixed quantities and converts plastics back to their constituent forms to deliver pure products that are drop-in ready replacements for existing product manufacturers.
The process comprises three steps, namely:
1. Thermal cracking to convert plastic waste into a wide range of liquid hydrocarbons
2. Hydro-refining to remove impurities and to form naphthenic and paraffinic hydrocarbons
3. Distillation and separation to distil fractions into stable products which can be blended into diverse product families
Since Clariter’s products are decoupled from crude oil and refinery value chains, they ensure long-term business continuity. Current results show that Clariter’s green products meet FDA purity standards and exceed the benchmarks of petrochemical equivalents.
AECI Chief Executive, Mark Dytor, said: “We’re well-positioned for this partnership given AECI’s extensive chemical application expertise, industrial experience, market access in key geographies and product development capabilities. Besides the opportunity to positively impact South Africa as well as other international markets, the partnership also fits well with the Group’s internationalisation strategy and ambitions for growth in terms of hard currency earnings. The opportunity also allows AECI to be an early mover in the waste plastics-to-products industry and position the company as a formidable sustainable industrial player.”
“This is significant in terms of commitments formalised in our recently released Sustainability Framework. ‘Better Chemistry’ is one of the key focus areas and includes making the manufacture, packaging and consumption of products more sustainable.”
Clariter’s President and CEO, Ran Sharon, added: “Since our upcycling technology utilises plastic waste as a feedstock for green petrochemicals, we address a key global issue. Processes and products that are green and more circular have a meaningful role to play in the global trend towards sustainability and ultimately a net-zero carbon future. We believe that AECI joining our strategy is a win-win for both companies.”
“Part of Clariter’s strategy is to welcome partners like AECI, specifically to develop our cooperation on many levels from off-take agreements to building plants together.”
Founded in 2003, Clariter is privately owned, headquartered in Luxembourg and has operations in Israel, the Netherlands, Poland and South Africa. The company has international patents in key geographies, 100 employees of 15 nationalities and a strong management team with extensive expertise in the chemicals industry. The technology has been proven at Clariter R&D Pilot Plant in Gliwice, Poland since 2006 and at Industrial-scale Plant (ISP) in East London, South Africa since 2018. During this
time, detailed information has been gathered and there have been key learnings on elements such as core technology, debottlenecking, feedstock variability, mass energy balances, process flows, scaled engineering parameters and total carbon emissions. The target is to roll out the first full scale plants in Israel, the Netherlands and Poland.
Clariter works with REYL & Cie and RSF Capital Partners LLP as its financial advisors.
For and on behalf of AECI:
T +27 10 823 2209
C +27 83 421 9683
For and on behalf of Clariter:
T +48 222257537
C +48 500143331