US Eastman considers building PET chem-recycling complex in Texas

Al Greenwood


HOUSTON (ICIS)–Eastman is considering developing a chemical recycling project in Texas that would break down polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and repolymerise the resulting monomers into plastic, according to an application for a tax break.

Eastman would develop the project at its complex in Texas City. It would include a processing unit that would sort out PET from plastic waste, according to an application it made with the Texas City school district.

Another unit would break down the recovered polyester resin into monomers by using methanolysis, according to the application. A third unit would repolymerise the monomers to produce PET.

The project could produce more than 150,000 tonnes/year of plastic from recovered polyesters and mixed textiles, it said in the application. The value of the investment could be $850m.

Eastman estimates that the board of the school district could ratify a final agreement on the tax break in the fourth quarter of 2022. Construction could start in the fourth quarter of 2024. Commercial operations could start in the fourth quarter of 2026.

If Eastman builds the project, it would be similar to the one it is building in Kingsport, Tennessee. It should complete that project by the end of the first quarter of 2023.

Eastman said its decision to develop the Texas City project would be heavily influenced by the tax break.

The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday afternoon.

Thumbnail shows PET bottles. Image by Rungroj Yongrit/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Additional reporting by Stefan Baumgarten


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