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SK Geo Centric exports benzene made from recycled chemical

By Lee Seung-ku

Published : June 21, 2022 - 14:35

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SK Geo Centric employees hold up a banner at the Ulsan CLX SK Port on June 14 marking the first shipment of renewable benzene to Covestro factories in China. (SK Geo Centric) SK Geo Centric employees hold up a banner at the Ulsan CLX SK Port on June 14 marking the first shipment of renewable benzene to Covestro factories in China. (SK Geo Centric)
South Korean petrochemical company SK Geo Centric said Monday that it has started exporting renewable benzene from last week, as part of its cooperation with European firms in creating a regional value chain for renewable chemicals.

Benzene is an organic compound used to make plastic, resin and synthetic fiber. It is traditionally produced by processing fossil fuel-based feedstocks.

Finnish oil company Neste Corp. provided its Korean counterpart with feedstock made from recycled materials. SK Geo Centric processed the feedstock into benzene which was then exported to Chinese factories operated by German chemical materials company Covestro.

This cooperation “will be crucial in replacing the vast amounts of fossil resources the industry is currently depending on,“ said Mercedes Alonso, executive vice president of Neste.

”To make this ramp-up a success, we’ll need to establish collaborations along the value chain, and this one between three sustainability-minded partners is a prime example of how the industry can do just that.“

SK Geo Centric also said it hopes the new material would allow companies to achieve its climate goals. The use of renewable benzene significantly reduces greenhouse gas emissions, according to experts.

“It is meaningful that the renewable benzene, created from eco-friendly sources, is being realized in line with SK Geo Centric’s continued ‘Green for better life’ strategy,” said Choi Woo-hyuk, an SK Geo Centric executive.

The strategy outlines the company’s expansion into renewable products to achieve its goal of becoming a “net-zero” company by 2050.

“SK Geo Centric will actively work with Covestro and Neste as we mark the first collaboration of this kind in the Asia-Pacific region,” added Choi.

By Lee Seung-ku  (seungku99@heraldcorp.com)