SK Geo Centric signs an MOU with French company Veolia to expand plastic waste recycling in Asia

■ Signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Veolia, France-based world champion of the ecological transformation.


■ SK Geo Centric prepares to go beyond the Ulsan cluster by preparing the foundation needed for expanding the circular economy business in the Asian market.


■ CEO Na Kyung-soo promises that the company will contribute to the country’s efforts to lead the circular economy business in line with the global trend for eco-friendliness.


SK Geo Centric partnered with Veolia to build the circular economy business and capitalize on the Asian market. SK Geo Centric is a subsidiary of SK Innovation for eco-friendly chemical businesses, while Veolia is a French company specializing in ecological transformation and resource management business.


On July 22nd (KST), SK Geo Centric and Veolia Asia held a video conference in the SK Jongno Tower in Jongno-gu, Seoul, to sign the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the activation of a circular economy within the Asian market. Executives of both sides, including CEO Na Kyung-soo of SK Geo Centric, Senior Executive Vice President and Director of Asia & Pacific Christophe Maquet of Veolia, and CEO and Representative Director Herve Peneau of Veolia Korea attended the signing ceremony.


Veolia, established in 1853, designs and provides game-changing solutions for water, waste and energy management. With approximately 220,000 employees worldwide, it is a global benchmark of ecological transformation with a consolidated revenue of €28.508 billion (about KRW 39 trillion) last year.


Beside its strong commitment in the field of mechanical recycling, Veolia has signed this “first of a kind” MOU with SKGC for the implementation of complementary solutions for the plastics that have no other recycling options today. It supports SKGC’s eco-friendly business, which has secured technological capability toward the goal of recycling the equivalent of its global plastic production by 2027.


Following the signing of the MOU, the two companies promised to cooperate in terms Veolia’s global eco-friendly business capabilities, as well as PET-polypropylene (PP) recycling, pyrolysis, and other circular economy businesses for plastics in line with SK Geo Centric’s project to build a recycling cluster in Ulsan. Moreover, the two companies will turn this strategic cooperation into a stepping-stone to branch into China, Japan, and Southeast Asian regions, where the interest in plastic recycling is growing.


The chemical recycling that the two companies plan to focus on in this project is the way in which waste plastics not eligible for mechanical recycling, that are today incinerated or landfilled, and then put back into the plastic product process.


The usage and waste amount of plastic is growing every year across the globe. The annual plastic waste reaches over 360 million tons, and more than half the amount is incinerated or sent to landfills. The whole world is faced with the assignment to reduce the amount of plastic burned or buried, and increase the recycling rate. Europe and the United States are already increasing the recycling rate by investing more in collecting, sorting, and recycling businesses and applying new technologies. From the environmental issue and corporate management perspective, plastic recycling and the circular economy are inevitable changes.


According to the United Nations, plastic waste in the Asia-Pacific region is expected to reach 140 million tons by 2030. As for South Korea, once the landfill in the capital area becomes forbidden by 2026, waste incineration and recycling expansion will be needed.


The MOU is significant as SK Geo Centric’s recycling technology and Veolia’s long-standing waste business know-how, with the goal of driving a global ecological transformation. It is expected to create great synergy by combining SK Geocentric’s 60 years of experience in chemical product production and marketing with the eco-friendly know-how of Veolia, the largest resource management company worldwide.


CEO Na of SK Geo Centric said, “We are pleased to take the first step in the circular economy based on the eco-friendly competencies both countries own here in the Asian market which has great potential.” He emphasized, “In keeping with the global trend for green businesses, we will take our part in aiding South Korea to lead the circular economy business, starting with the recycling cluster in Ulsan and targeting the Asian market.”


Mr. Christophe MAQUET, Senior Executive Vice- president, Asia-Pacific, “The signing of this Memorandum of Understanding with SKGC fully aligns with Veolia’s Purpose and supports our commitment towards plastic recycling and carbon reduction. I am looking forward to further collaboration with SKGC to drive ecological transformation in Korea and in Asia for a sustainable and low-carbon future.



Na Kyung-soo, CEO of SK Geo Centric (left), Christophe Maquet, Senior Executive Vice President for Veolia’s Asia region (on the screen), and Herve Peneau, CEO & Representative Director of Veolia Korea (right) take a commemorative photo at the MOU signing ceremony on July 22, 2022 (KST)


Author | SKinno News