world’s first PET & BHET chemical recycled production systems via acquisition

SK chemicals ( South Korea) signed an asset transfer agreement related to the chemically recycled BHET* and chemically recycled PET* business division of Shuye, a Chinese company specializing in green materials. The acquisition price for this deal is approximately $100 million. This accelerates its entry into the global market and business expansion with the world’s first chemically recycled BHET (r-BHET) of 70,000MT and chemically recycled PET (CR-PET) of 50,000MT production systems.

The acquisition of Shuye’s assets includes a depolymerization plant that chemically decomposes waste plastics to produce recycled BHET and a CR-PET production facility that uses the r-BHET produced to make PET again, which can be sold separately. As a result, SK chemicals has secured the world’s first commercially available polyester chemically recycled raw materials and production facility, which can be sold separately.

SK chemicals has obtained a commercial production system for chemically recycled BHET and products that utilize depolymerization technology about 1-2 years ahead of other domestic companies. By producing recycled plastic raw materials such as waste PET in China, where there is abundant supply, SK chemicals is expected to gain a high level of price competitiveness.

Through this investment SK chemicals has completed a recycled plastic value chain that extends to chemically recycled BHET, chemically recycled PET, and chemically recycled copolyester (CR-Copolyester), securing the sustainability of copolyester, which is its core business, and laying the groundwork for new growth.

SK chemicals’ strategy is to supply chemically recycled PET to the domestic and foreign food and beverage bottle markets, as well as the food packaging market. In addition, the company plans to enter high-value-added markets, such as industrial specialty fibres, where the use of physically recycled PET is difficult, and take the lead in the global $7.6 billion market. The company also plans to sell the chemically recycled BHET as a standalone product to polyester manufacturers who want to produce recycled products.


* PET (polyethylene terephthalate) is a type of resin and a form of polyester; it is commonly labelled with the code on or near the bottom of bottles and other containers.
*(BHET), hydroxyethyl terephthalate formed by hydrolysis, is used in PET-bottle production.