Repsol: Construction of Spain's first PU foam recycling plant
Repsol announced that it plans to build Spain's first plant for chemical recycling of polyurethane foam at its Puertollano Industrial Complex. According to the company, the new recycling facility is expected to be completed by the end of 2022 and will entail an investment of approximately EUR 12 million. Once operational, the plant will be capable of processing around 2,000 metric tons of polyurethane foam per year, the equivalent of 380 linear kilometers of mattresses placed side by side. Repsol plans on using this circular economy project to produce circular polyols from recycled polyurethane foam.
The company said that integrating this new recycling plant into the Puertollano petrochemical complex will ensure the quality of this circular product by allowing the maximisation of synergies with the facility’s standard processes. This investment marks yet another step forward in Repsol’s commitment to the transformation of its industrial area. It involves turning production centres into multi-energy hubs capable of generating products with a low, zero, or even negative carbon footprint. Repsol has already announced investments totalling EUR 700 million in decarbonisation and circular economy projects to be carried out through 2025 at the Puertollano Industrial Complex alone. This helps ensure a competitive future for the industrial facility, said the company.
In the words of José Luis Bernal, executive director of Repsol Chemicals: "The polyurethane foam recycling plant represents a chance to create new business models that reflect Repsol’s environmental commitment while also helping our customers meet their sustainability objectives and respond to the growing need to recycle and extend the useful life of our products."
Repsol said it has adopted the circular economy as a tool for using resources more efficiently, thus, enabling the company to reduce CO2 emissions. In December 2019, Repsol became the first company in its sector to announce it was reorienting its strategy to reach carbon neutrality by 2050. The company’s circular economy strategy dates back to 2016. Today, it includes over 200 initiatives applied throughout the value chain, from obtaining raw materials to marketing of products and services. All industrial complexes are being adapted to use waste from a variety of sources as raw materials in new products, with the aim of using a total of 2 million t of waste by 2030. With this strategy based on new recycling processes, Repsol said it has positioned itself as one of the petrochemical companies with the strongest commitments to sustainability and with one of the most extensive catalogs of circular products, ranging from polyolefins recovered through mechanical recycling processes to polyolefins, styrene, and other chemically recycled products.