LyondellBasell Circular and Low Carbon Solutions to take multi-pronged approach for growth – EV

8 June 2023

LyondellBasell will take a multi-pronged approach to boost production and sales of recycled and bio-based plastics as demand accelerates through 2030, the head of its Circular and Low Carbon Solutions business said.

The company is targeting the production of 2m tonnes/year or more of recycled and renewable-based plastics by 2030, with this business generating at least $1bn of incremental earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) by that time. It expects to reach an intermediate EBITDA target of $500m by 2027.

For the 2m tonne/year production target by 2030, recycled plastics will dominate the volumes, said Yvonne van der Laan, executive vice president, Circular and Low Carbon Solutions at LyondellBasell, in an interview with ICIS.

LyondellBasell on 1 June announced a major step to decarbonise its operations with a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Technip Energies and Chevron Phillips Chemical to potentially build a demonstration unit using Technip’s electric steam cracking furnace technology at its Channelview, Texas, site.

Electric cracking would involve the use of renewable energy to heat cracker furnaces rather than natural gas, allowing up to a 90% reduction in furnace greenhouse gas emissions (GHG).

“This is very much related to our GHG reduction ambitions and also very helpful [in creating] a platform for the products coming out of Channelview to improve their carbon footprint,” said van der Laan.

This would include chemically recycled plastics produced downstream from the Channelview cracker which can process pyrolysis oil from plastic waste.

LyondellBasell is targeting a 42% reduction in Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions, and a 30% reduction in Scope 3 emissions by 2030 versus a 2020 baseline.

Meanwhile, the company’s recent announcement to postpone the closure of its Houston refinery to the end of Q1 2025 versus a previous target of the end of 2023 in no way delays plans or targets for its Circular and Low Carbon Solutions business, the executive said.

“This has been carefully analysed, and it actually provides for a great transition to prepare the site for some of the repurposing we are looking at,” said van der Laan.

The Houston refining site will play a key role in the Circular and Low Carbon Solutions business as a regional hub. The company sees the extension enabling a smoother transition between the shutdown of the refinery and the implementation of retrofitting and plastics recycling projects.