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June 4, 2019

Far Eastern New Century buys US recycled PET firm

By Leonie Barrie

Far Eastern New Century Corporation, one of Taiwan’s leading polyester fibre and textile businesses, has acquired a US-based polyethylene terephthalate (PET) recycling company to tap into rising demand for eco-friendly, recycled feedstocks.

Ohio based Phoenix Technologies International has an annual capacity of 36,000 tons (80m pounds) and is the third production site FENC has acquired in the US over the last 18 months. In early 2018 it bought a plant in West Virginia and a research and development centre in Ohio, and obtained approval to invest in a plant in Texas at the end of the year.

“Due to strong demand for green products in the US market, this acquisition is targeting to meet the sustainable development goals from FENC’s downstream global beverage brand and consumer product clients,” the company says.

“The acquisition not only attests to FENC’s strategic commitment to sustainable product development and circular economy, but will also enable the company to further solidify its synergy with its subsidiary in West Virginia and secure its competitiveness in the industry.

The move comes as international brands are increasingly setting goals to switch to eco-friendly, recycled feedstocks, and governments around the world enact regulations that require enterprises to increase the proportion of recycled raw materials in their products and establish recycling systems.

FENC claims to be the world’s second largest recycling producer and third largest PET resin supplier, with consolidated revenue and net income of NTD217.8bn (US$6.9bn) and NTD14.201bn (US$451.5m) respectively.

Green products account for a quarter of its production business revenue. This includes ‘TopGreen Ocean’ filament made from recycled ocean waste PET bottles and turned into high-quality yarns for products from Adidas and Parley for the Oceans.

Last year the company launched a chemical recycling process for mixed-stream post-consumer polyester textiles, which dissolves polyester, filters out the mixed polymers or dyestuffs, and converts cellulose into fuel rods.

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