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Corporate rebranding

SK Global Chemical rebrands as plastic recycler SK Geocentric

Production of eco-friendly plastics and the creation of new materials from used plastic will be at the core

By Aug 31, 2021 (Gmt+09:00)

SK Geocentric CEO Na Kyung-soo speaking on the plastic value chain and circular economy.
SK Geocentric CEO Na Kyung-soo speaking on the plastic value chain and circular economy.

SK Innovation Co.’s petrochemical unit SK Global Chemical Co. has undergone a corporate name change to SK Geocentric Co., in a move to reidentify itself as a plastic upcycling company.

“We will virtually become the world’s largest ‘urban oil company’ that produces petrochemical materials by recycling used plastics,” said SK Geocentric CEO Na Kyung-soo at the corporate event on Aug. 31.

SK Geocentric is South Korea’s leading petrochemical company that operated the first naphtha cracking center (NCC) in the country from 1972. The company said that the corporate rebranding away from the traditional petrochemicals was made in line with the global shift towards carbon neutrality.

SK Geocentric added that the new company name highlights its long-term vision to put the Earth at the core of its business. Its business model will center around various types of eco-friendly businesses with plastic recycling at the core.

The company added that it will invest 5 trillion won ($4.3 million) by 2025 to set up plastic recycling plants with an annual capacity of 900,000 tons. The company will ramp up its capacity by 2027 to 2.5 million tons.

CEO Na Kyung-soo sharing the 5 trillion won investment plan at the corporate event on Aug. 31.
CEO Na Kyung-soo sharing the 5 trillion won investment plan at the corporate event on Aug. 31.

“The industry outlook is extremely positive, with the recycled plastic market expected to grow to about 600 trillion won ($520 million) by 2050,” said SK Geocentric CEO.

SK Geocentric will also extend partnerships with domestic and global firms to further advance its plastic recycling technologies. The company is currently in the development of a technology that can produce petrochemical materials by thermally decomposing used plastics.

“Recycling is our next core business rather than a duty or a social responsibility effort. Our strategy and the amount of investment will be fundamentally different from industry peers,” said the company.

Other than plastic recycling, SK Geocentric will partner with local governments and small companies to create a cluster that incorporates a long plastic value chain from the collection of used plastic to the production of the recycled plastic-based materials. The company said it will also ramp up its current eco-friendly plastic production capacity from 500,000 tons a year to 1.9 million tons by 2025.

“The environmental issue posed by the used plastic materials can best be solved by a petrochemical company like us with deep knowledge in the field. SK Geocentric will lead the agenda of circular economy and green business,” said the CEO.

Write to Jeong-min Nam at peux@hankyung.com

Daniel Cho edited this article.

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