Eastman secures US$ 375 million investment for second molecular recycling project from DOE
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Eastman secures US$ 375 million investment for second molecular recycling project from DOE

Selected by the Department of Energy (DOE) as one of 33 companies for award negotiations to support Eastman’s second U.S. molecular recycling facility

  • By ICN Bureau | March 26, 2024

Eastman’s second U.S. molecular recycling project has been selected by the Department of Energy (DOE) to begin award negotiations for up to $375 million in Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act funding as part of the Industrial Demonstrations Program (IDP). The DOE announcement led to Eastman announcing the intent to build a second U.S. molecular recycling facility at its location in Longview, Texas.

The company selected the Longview site due to synergies with existing infrastructure and operations, favorable energy supply and footprint, and access to western and central U.S. feedstock pools. The location also provides enough space for onsite renewable energy. The investment includes operations that will prepare mixed plastic waste for processing, Eastman’s next-generation molecular recycling unit to depolymerize waste, and a polymer facility to create virgin-quality materials for packaging and textiles. The Longview molecular recycling facility will have the capacity to recycle approximately 110,000 metric tonnes of hard-to-recycle plastic waste.

The investment is expected to bring over 200 full-time, high-paying jobs to the Longview community in addition to approximately 1,000 temporary construction jobs during site development and building of the facility. Eastman has operated in the Longview community for over 70 years and currently has over 1,500 team members at the location.

“We are excited to build our second U.S. world-scale molecular recycling facility at our existing site in Texas,” said Mark Costa, Board Chair and CEO. “The plant will remove significant waste from the region, enable true circularity and set a new benchmark for decarbonization. We have decades of history successfully operating in Longview, and this will be a great investment for the local community.”

Incentives from the U.S. Department of Energy and the State of Texas

The company was selected by the DOE to accelerate the demonstration of industry-leading low-carbon intensity recycled PET with this project. Reaching a collaborative agreement with the DOE enables expanding the project to include the deployment of thermal heat batteries and onsite solar power. This, combined with Eastman’s next-generation methanolysis technology, achieves a step-change improvement in decarbonizing PET production resulting in recycled PET with greater than 70 percent reduced carbon emissions compared to fossil virgin production, and approximately 90 percent reduced carbon emissions when including avoided emissions.

“We are honored to be selected by the DOE to help fund this important project,” Costa continued. “The commitment helps us to further invest in the local community with a comprehensive community benefits plan. The support of these partners is a testament to our technology and the difference we can make for future generations.”

Eastman also obtained significant state and local tax incentives in support of the project totaling approximately $70 million.

“Texas is where businesses flourish and people prosper,” said Texas Governor Greg Abbott. “With our highly skilled workforce, unmatched business climate, and reasonable regulations, it is no surprise businesses from around the globe continue to choose to grow in Texas. This additional facility by Eastman in Longview will bring hundreds of good-paying jobs to hardworking Texans and millions in capital investment to East Texas. I thank the members of the Texas Legislature and local leaders for their tireless work to attract world-class business investments to our great state. Together, we will continue to create a bigger, better Texas for generations to come.”

“We also deeply appreciate the support of Governor Abbott and the State of Texas for its continued collaboration as we announce this large investment at our Longview facility,” Costa added. ‘We are excited to work with the state and local leaders to continue our legacy in Texas for generations to come.”

In addition to this newly announced facility in Texas, Eastman has recently completed its first molecular recycling facility in Kingsport, Tennessee, and plans to invest in another location in France.

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