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BP deal will help RES Polyflow open first commercial plastics-to-fuel plant

March 21st, 2018

By Frank Esposito | Platics News

Plastics-to-fuel recycling firm RES Polyflow LLC will sell all of the output of its first production-scale plant to British Petroleum plc.

Chagrin Falls, Ohio-based RES Polyflow and BP of London have entered into an off-take agreement for RES Polyflow's plant in Ashley, Ind., officials said in a March 20 news release. The plant is set to open in 2019 and will be able to convert more than 200 million pounds of plastics waste into 16 million gallons of ultra-low-sulfur diesel fuel and naphtha blend stocks per year.

The facility also will produce commercial-grade industrial waxes. The plant will employ 136 when fully completed.

Under terms of the agreement, BP will purchase all of the diesel fuel and naphtha blend stocks produced by the RES Polyflow facility for distribution in the regional petroleum market.

BP executive Carey Mendes said in the release that, as a global energy business, BP "is focused on the dual challenge of meeting society's needs for more energy, while at the same time working to reduce carbon emissions."

"Agreements like this one highlight our commitment to helping drive the transition to a low-carbon future, which is embedded in the core of our business strategy," added Mendes, who serves as head of BP's Global Oil Americas marketing and trading business in Chicago.

RES Polyflow CEO Jay Schabel said the off-take agreement demonstrates that the company's proprietary process "delivers a viable business model for energy recovery in North America."

"We provide communities with an alternative to traditional methods of plastic disposal that complement current recycling practices," he added.

Once on line, the Indiana plant is expected to create a new market for the growing stream of complex plastics film, flexible packaging and other low-value plastics waste that typically ends up going to landfills or fouling local waterways, officials said.

Polyflow's pyrolysis technology melts down any type of plastic scrap at nearly 1,000° F. The vapor is then condensed into a liquid slurry that contains aromatic chemicals.

RES Polyflow plans additional facilities for surrounding Midwestern states. The new locations will be anchored by the Indiana facility as the primary post-processing site for the BP offtake agreement.

Polyflow has operated a smaller-scale unit in Perry, Ohio, since early 2013. Company officials previously said that the cost of the Ashley plant would be $90 million.

Ashley, a small town of almost 1,000 in northeast Indiana, and surrounding Steuben County are providing Polyflow with an economic development package worth $4.4 million. The Indiana Economic Development Commission also is offering $900,000 in tax credits and $100,000 in training grants.

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