NextChem, a subsidiary of Maire Tecnimont which operates in green chemistry and transition technologies, has signed an agreement with Biorenova to acquire, develop and industrialize the proprietary CatC technology. It is a continuous chemical recycling process for the recovery of high purity monomers from differentiated plastic waste, in particular from polymethylmethacrylate: Pmma, also known as Plexiglas.
«It is an operation that expands the technological portfolio of the group. Today we are able to create intermediate and finished products for the plastics industry, starting with mechanical-chemical recycling with MyReplast: the Bedizzole (Brescia) plant processes 40,000 tons of plastic waste a year. In January we acquired Conser, a Roman company that sells licenses to arrive at biodegradable polymers. Today, with the acquisition of the CatC thermo-catalytic technology – with a demonstration plant in Abruzzo – we have expanded the range of recycling with the depolymerization of Plexiglas. By 2025 we will build a bigger, industrial one, also in Italy. And then we will sell licenses, engineering services, critical machinery all over the world, until the plant is built. America and Europe are the most interested in technologies for the transition, but also India, as well as South-East Asia», says Fabrizio Di Amato, president of Maire Tecnimont, today present in 45 countries, with 50 operating companies and a workforce of about 9,300 people.
From plexiglass all polyolefine
NextChem plans to industrialize the CatC technology in the Plexiglas market, to then expand its use to other plastics such as polystyrene, a widely used material, from food packaging to electronics and automotive, up to applying this depolymerization process to the maximum large market for polyolefins. «We use waste as a resource. By reducing plastic to monomers, we are able to create a valid product – we know in fact that it works – equivalent to the virgin one, without further treatments, recovered, convenient. Also in view of the Plastic Tax, the plants that recover recycled plastic will become more competitive from an economic point of view», says Di Amato.
The first industrial prototype based on CatC technology, with an authorized treatment capacity of 5 tons per day of incoming plastic waste, is located at the Biorenova headquarters in Montorio al Vomano (Teramo). NextChem will hold 51% of the capital of the new company owning the CatC technology. Biorenova will keep the remaining 49%. The finalisation, subject to the conditions typical of this type of transaction, is scheduled for April 30th. Revenues are expected to reach a total of 30 million euros by 2028. After this period, a turnover of around 15-20 million euros per year is expected. «We export Italian technology: revenues of this type drive important investments by customers, in the order of one billion euros, with important repercussions on the Italian supply chain, and therefore on the GDP», recalls Di Amato.
Alessandro Bernini, CEO of the Maire Tecnimont group, comments: «With this agreement, we further expand the portfolio in depolymerization technologies, following our experience in chemical recycling. We will gradually apply this innovative technology to other value-added markets. This is a further step forward for NextChem’s circular district model, which integrates technologies for decarbonisation and recycling, leveraging our leadership in the plastic value chain».