BOREALIS Plans to acquire German plastics recycler mtm plastics

Borealis Plans to acquire German plastics recycler mtm plastics / Recyclate to be blended with virgin polymer output / Few new opportunities in polyolefins

The German recycler is currently raising its capacity to 40,000 t/y (Photo: mtm plastics)
As part of a newly minted strategy to make bolt-on acquisitions in new polymer fields, polyolefins specialist Borealis (Vienna / Austria; has agreed to acquire all of German plastics recycler mtm plastics (Niedergebra / Germany; and mtm compact (Fürstenwalde / Germany). The German recycler is one of Europe's largest producers of post-consumer polyolefin recyclate drawn from national collection systems and other bulk plastics waste. It processes around 30,000 t/y of regrind into mostly injection moulded new products for a wide range of end-uses. An expansion to 40,000 t/y is due to be completed by the end of this year.

“Plastics are simply too valuable to be disposed of in landfills. Plastic recycling provides a circular business opportunity in a growing market within a broader sustainability agenda,” said Alfred Stern, Borealis’ executive vice president, Polyolefins and Innovation & Technology. "There are many areas in which mechanical recycling of post-consumer waste make business and ecological sense,” he said.

In an interview with the news agency Bloomberg, Borealis CEO Mark Garrett said the company is “searching for new opportunities” after the opening of three petrochemical complexes with Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc, Abu Dhabi / UAE; Its latest project, Borouge 3, is close to being completed. As the polyolefins field is dominated by much larger players, Borealis does not have sizeable opportunities, Garrett told the news agency. This means, he said, that other than bolt-on purchases in plastomers, ethylene derivatives and elastomers, any future expansion in polymers would be investment projects.

Borealis’ plans for the new acquisition focus on converting the recyclate into near-pure streams of polymers that can be blended with output from its existing plants. Garrett said the company sees the volume of recycled polyolefins in Europe nearly doubling to 6m t/y by the end of the decade, due to tougher waste legislation. He added that Borealis may invest in some companies to raise the purity of the recycled material.
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