Product Reviews

PureCycle now planning April startup for PP recycling plant

PureCycle Technologies Inc. is again pushing back the expected start date of the company’s polypropylene recycling plant in Ohio while indicating the ultimate price for the facility will be higher than originally anticipated.

The Orlando, Fla.-based company is now saying the firm’s first location in Ironton, Ohio, will be producing recycled PP pellets by the end of April. The company, at one point, had expected to begin production by the end of last year before later saying by the end of the first quarter of 2023.

PureCycle, in providing an update on company operations on March 16, further revealed that the Ironton location could end up costing as much as $361 million to build, nearly 50 percent more than the original $241.1 million budget. But the final cost has yet to be determined.

PureCycle had invested $280.9 million through the end of last year in Ironton and indicated 2023 investment could range from $55 million to $80 million depending on “various contract contingencies and their ultimate resolution,” the company said in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

“PCT expects to successfully negotiate at least some of these contingencies, which would reduce the remaining 2023 investment to the lower end of the range,” the filing said.

The company spent about $30 million in January and February, but expects that expenditure rate to fall in March.

PureCycle will use solvents to purify PP to create what the company calls a virgin-like recycled resin. The technology was developed by consumer products company Procter & Gamble Co. and is being used under license by PureCycle.

“Over the last six months we have encountered and worked our way through several speed bumps and are now in control of our destiny,” CEO Dustin Olson said on a conference call. “It is now time for PureCycle to change the landscape of plastic recycling.”

“The whole company has worked hard to overcome various challenges and like many of you who have followed our progress we cannot wait to start up operations in Ironton,” Olson said. “Finishing a project of this scale and complexity has proven difficult. But I’m excited to report that our flagship facility in Ironton, Ohio, is at its final stages of construction and is expected to be mechanically complete in early April,” Olson said.

While the production time frame has taken longer than expected, the company indicated that ramping up production is still expected to occur within the nine-month time frame it previously anticipated.

“Our goal still remains to produce 55 [million] to 75 million pounds of ultrapure recycled resin in 2023,” Olson said.

PureCycle indicated three of the facility’s six extruders are fully commissioned and the other three are in the commissioning process.

“During the fourth quarter and early this year, we experienced delays related to engineering rework extruder component deliveries and extruder electric equipment damaged during commissioning. Adjusting for these delays, we now expect pellet production in April,” Olson said.

“One of our extruders, doing the commissioning phase, had an electrical part damaged,” he further explained. “It’s effectively a six- to eight-week delay on the overall project because we had to find, replace the electrical component and start commissioning over again.”

The Ironton plant is also currently being checked for leaks as part of its commissioning process and in preparation for introduction of solvents, Olson said.

“PCT expects to successfully negotiate at least some of these contingencies, which would reduce the remaining 2023 investment to the lower end of the range,” the filing said.


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Donovan Larsen

Donovan is a columnist and associate editor at the Dark News. He has written on everything from the politics to diversity issues in the workplace.

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