Finnish Firm Expands in its Sustainable Fuels from Waste Capabilities

Neste Acquires Minority Stake in Waste Plastics to Energy & Fuels Firm Alterra Energy

Neste has acquired a minority stake in Alterra Energy, a chemical recycling technology company specialised in waste plastics.

Alterra’s industrial-scale waste plastics liquefaction unit in Akron, Ohio. Photo: Alterra

Neste, a Finnish renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel and a specialist in delivering drop-in renewable and circular chemical solutions, has acquired a minority stake in Alterra Energy, an innovative chemical recycling technology company.

Alterra’s technology enables a broad range of plastic waste streams from diverse post-consumer sources to be liquefied into a material similar to crude oil. Such material can be flexibly processed and upgraded by companies like Neste into high-quality feedstock for polymers and chemicals production.

Neste said that its equity investment supports Alterra Energy’s expansion. The collaboration between the companies will include joint technology development and global technology licensing, enabling the partners to collaborate in commercialising Alterra’s proprietary thermochemical liquefaction technology in Europe. 

The companies are working together towards a global rollout of Alterra’s liquefaction technology with a strong initial focus on Europe, a leading market in the global transition towards making plastics value chains fully circular.

With this, the companies said that they aim to accelerate the adoption of chemical recycling and develop capacity to turn hard-to-recycle plastic waste into high-quality, high-performance polymers and chemicals. The collaboration of the companies supports Alterra Energy’s target of commencing the construction of a state-of-the-art liquefaction site in Europe during 2021.

Alterra’s existing industrial-scale waste plastics liquefaction plant in Akron, Ohio produces commercial volumes that can already be refined and upgraded into high-quality feedstock for plastics and chemicals. This, together with Neste’s refining capability, enables sustainability-oriented brands globally to start introducing recycled content into their products and offerings.

“Collaboration with Alterra Energy strengthens Neste’s ecosystem of partnerships that are aimed at accelerating the transition to a circular plastics economy. It demonstrates our commitment to continue developing the chemical recycling industry by supporting some of the leading companies in commercialising promising technologies. This partnership also supports Neste’s aim of building new business growth based on chemical recycling, while marking another significant step towards our target of processing more than one million tonnes of plastic waste from 2030 onwards,” said Mercedes Alonso, Executive Vice President, Renewable Polymers and Chemicals at Neste. 

“The Neste-Alterra partnership will unlock the full potential of the circular economy, bringing our technology to more partners around the world, creating a cleaner planet,” added Alterra’s CEO Frederic Schmuck. “Neste is a world leader in renewable and circular solutions and its endorsement of Alterra's proprietary process is both extremely rewarding and validating.”