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LyondellBasell buys into Houston recycling project with Exxon

October 27, 2023

LyondellBasell said Thursday it acquired a 25% stake in a joint venture with Exxon Mobil as the companies advance their plans for a $100 million recycling project in Houston.

The move gives the chemicals company level footing with Exxon, which also has a 25% percent stake. Oregon-based advanced recycling company Agilyx owns the remaining 50%, the companies said.

The companies are developing a Houston-area facility, Cyclyx Circularity Center, which they say will bridge a gap in the growing plastics recycling industry. The project aims to better connect curbside waste collection with advanced recycling technologies capable of breaking down waste plastic to make new plastic.

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Exxon and Lyondell are frontrunners in a race to create new ways to recycle plastic and to keep pace with soaring consumer demand for sustainable packaging. Driving that demand is a wave of pledges made by retail brands, which are promising their customers that more of their products will use recycled plastic instead of new plastic. The companies said the Houston facility would be unique among plastic recovery facilities because it will use new technologies to analyze plastics, sort them and process them into feedstock for Exxon and LyondellBasell to use in recycled plastic production. 

The facility, expected to open in 2024, could produce as much as 150,000 metric tons of plastic feedstock per year.

By Amanda Drane, Houston Chronicle