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SK Geo Centric Pioneers Sustainable Synthetic Fiber Production with Global Partners

South Korea‘s SK Geo Centric Co. announced a groundbreaking collaboration with leading global companies in the petrochemical, textile, and apparel sectors from Japan, Finland, India, and Thailand to produce polyester based on recycled materials. This initiative marks a significant advancement in sustainable synthetic fiber production.

On Friday, SK Geo Centric revealed that it has successfully produced polyester using renewable naphtha, which is extracted from bio-based byproducts such as palm fatty acid distillate and waste cooking oil. This milestone was achieved in partnership with six prominent companies, including Finland’s largest oil company Neste, Thai petrochemical giant Indorama Ventures, and Japanese sports apparel brand Goldwin.

Last year, SK Geo Centric formed a consortium with these international partners to develop and supply sustainable polyester. This endeavor represents the first time SK Geo Centric has produced renewable p-xylene (PX)—a key raw material for synthetic fiber polyester—derived from recycled materials.

The renewable PX is processed through the consortium’s petrochemical and textile production lines to create polyester. This eco-friendly polyester is then utilized in products by Goldwin’s outdoor brand, The North Face, showcasing a practical application of sustainable materials in high-quality apparel.

Significantly, the production of final apparel products from renewable naphtha results in a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 80-85% compared to traditional fossil fuel-based methods. This substantial decrease underscores the environmental benefits of adopting renewable resources in synthetic fiber production.

Looking ahead, the consortium companies plan to explore further applications for sustainable polyester, aiming to expand its use across various industries and contribute to a more sustainable future.

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