Yokogawa Electric Corporation has signed an investment and partnership agreement with JEPLAN, INC., a polyester material recycling company with a unique chemical recycling technology*1. The two companies will partner in a business that makes use of this leading-edge recycling process.
Driven by population growth and rising living standards in emerging countries, global demand for polyester resin, a material used in the production of bottles, packaging, clothing, and other products, is expected to grow. Recently, as the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) suggests, there is a shared interest around the world in addressing environmental issues by means such as the recycling and reuse of resources. For that reason, companies that use polyester resins as materials are increasingly looking to increase the ratio of recycled material in their products.
Polyester resin produced using JEPLAN's BRING Technology™ is of equal quality to conventional petroleum-based polyester resin. In addition to enabling the repeated recycling and reuse of polyester resins, this technology is able to remove impurities, which is difficult in general recycling processes. JEPLAN has conducted tests at a pilot plant that successfully demonstrated the use of this recycling technology on a near commercial scale, and is now planning to launch large-scale production and supply of recycled plastic resins.
One of Yokogawa's three sustainability goals for the year 2050 is to make the transition to a circular economy. Through this capital and business partnership with JEPLAN, Yokogawa will make progress toward its goal of fostering the creation of a resource-circulating society. As part of its rollout of this new technology, JEPLAN is pursuing the introduction of information technology that will convert existing production facilities into smart plants, thereby enhancing productivity. Through this partnership, Yokogawa will provide its latest measurement, control, and information technologies and products for use at these plants, thus enabling state-of-the-art resource circulation operations.
On the subject of this partnership, Tetsuya Murai, a Yokogawa vice president who serves also as chief executive for Japan and Korea and president of Yokogawa Solution Service Corporation, commented that "Yokogawa is creating value together with customers under its corporate brand slogan of Co-innovating tomorrow™. This partnership will lead to significant co-innovation in the circular economy field. Yokogawa will be able to contribute in establishing a sustainable society by proposing a variety of solutions, creating new business opportunities and value for customers by driving forward digital transformation."
Masaki Takao, JEPLAN's CEO and co-founder, contributed the following thoughts on this partnership: "JEPLAN has a pilot plant for the recycling of polyester used in clothing, and our group company has a commercial plant that recycles plastic bottles. I'm convinced that this partnership will strengthen the production systems at both plants and expand our business opportunities, and I believe that it will ensure steps are taken toward the realization of our vision of "Circulate Everything." In addition, we will act to create a circular economy, a goal that both companies seek to achieve as swiftly as possible by making the best use of the knowledge that we have accumulated in our respective fields."