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Licella partners with KBR on Australia’s first commercial-scale ELP recycling plant

Licella partners with KBR on Australia’s first commercial-scale ELP recycling plant
An artist's rendering of the proposed Advanced Recycling Victoria Pty Ltd (ARV) planned to be built in Altona (image courtesy Licella).

In Australia, bioprocess technology developer Licella Holdings Ltd (Licella) has announced that KBR Inc., a global provider of science, technology, and engineering solutions, has been selected for the design of Licella's first full-scale commercial Cat-HTR facility in Australia and New Zealand (ANZ).

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According to a statement, Licella will collaborate with KBR to develop this advanced recycling facility, under Licella’s subsidiary Advanced Recycling Victoria Pty Ltd (ARV).

The ARV facility, which will utilize Licella’s proprietary Catalytic Hydrothermal Reactor (Cat-HTR) technology, will be located in Altona, Victoria (VIC), and is planned to commence construction in 2023.

Mura Technology (Mura), who holds the exclusive license to the Cat-HTR technology for plastic outside of ANZ, has been engaged with KBR as their exclusive global licensing partner since January 2021.

Licella retains the rights to its Cat-HTR platform in ANZ, as well as remaining the largest single shareholder in Mura (with over 30 percent ownership).

This relationship made KBR the natural choice of engineering partner for our first full-scale commercial Cat-HTR facility in Australia. The combination of game-changing advanced recycling technology, with KBR’s modular and scalable engineering expertise, places Licella at the forefront of the Australian plastics circular economy, commented Dr Len Humphreys in a statement.

Deploy HTL technology

Licella’s Cat-HTR platform is a leading hydrothermal liquefaction technology, the next generation of advanced recycling.

It uses supercritical water to convert waste plastics, otherwise destined for landfill, into recycled petrochemical feedstock (in the form of oil) that integrates within the plastics supply chain.

In doing so, advanced recycling of waste plastic with the Cat-HTR unlocks an economically and environmentally sustainable circular economy for plastic that currently goes to landfill or incineration.

The ARV facility

The Dow Chemical site at 541-583 Kororoit Creek Road, Altona was selected as the preferred site for the proposed ARV facility.

A development license application to the Environment Protection Authority of Victoria has been submitted, and the proposal will also require a planning permit from Hobsons Bay City Council.

The proposed ARV facility will be considered by the Government in 2022 and if approved, Licella will commence building the plant in 2023.

Construction is estimated to take approximately 12 months, with operations commencing at the end of 2023.

The proposed ARV facility will initially process 20 000 tonnes per annum of End-of-Life plastics (ELP), with a plan to expand to 120 000 tonnes per annum.

It will produce 17 000 tonnes per annum of oil that could be used back in the local plastic supply chain increasing to over 100 000 tonnes per annum.

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