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V59 N15 – 19 April 2021

CNOOC & Shell JV Starts Up New Units At Its Nanhai Petrochemicals Complex

Beijing—
CNOOC and Shell Petrochemicals Co., a 50-50 joint venture
of CNOOC Oil & Petrochemicals Co. (CNOOC) and
Shell Nanhai BV, announced the start-up of several new
petrochemical units at its Nanhai petrochemicals complex
in Huizhou, Guangdong Province, China (PCN, 25 May
2020, p 1).
The first new unit, based on Shell’s SMPO process
technology, is producing up to 630,000 t/y of styrene monomer
(SM) and 300,000 t/y of propylene oxide (PO). It is the
“largest” of its type in China and the second of its kind
built at the complex, Shell noted.
Three additional new plants that started up process PO
into up to 600,000 t/y of polyols, utilizing Shell’s advanced
polyols technologies.
The start-up of the new units concludes the phase two
expansion of the complex, which now supplies customers
with up to 6-million t/y of diverse, high-quality intermediate
and performance chemicals, including polyols, ethylene
glycol, polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene.
A third phase is already being planned for the complex
and will include a 1.5-million-t/y ethylene plant, as well as
14 units for the production of propylene, butadiene, ethylene
oxide/ethylene glycol, SM/PO, linear alpha olefins,
metallocene PE, and other products. No schedule was
given.

 

Sumitomo Awards Toyo Contract to Build Ethanol-to-Ethylene Pilot Plant in Japan

Tokyo—
Toyo Engineering has been awarded an engineering, procurement
and construction contract by Sumitomo Chemical
for an ethylene pilot plant at Sumitomo’s Chiba site in Japan
that utilizes waste-derived ethanol as raw material
(PCN, 21-28 Dec 2020, p 2).
The facility will use Axen’s Atol technology to transform
the ethanol into polymer-grade ethylene that will be polymerized
into polyolefins. Pilot production is scheduled to
begin from fiscal year 2022, with full-scale market launch
of the production in fiscal 2025.
Last year, Sumitomo and Sekisui Chemical agreed to
form a strategic alliance that combines Sekisui’s production
technology for converting waste into ethanol with Sumitomo’s
technological know-how in manufacturing polyolefins.
Sekisui will provide the ethanol feedstock for the
project.
Toyo was also responsible for the basic design of the pilot
facility.

 

ExxonMobil Lets Contract to Sinopec For Proposed Huizhou Chem Project

Beijing—
Sinopec Engineering (Group) Co. said it has received a contract
from ExxonMobil (Huizhou) Chemical Co. for the construction
of phase one of ExxonMobil’s planned Huizhou
chemical complex project in Guangdong, China (PCN, 27
Apr 2020, p 1).
The proposed project, to be located in the Daya Bay
Petrochemical Park, will include a 1.6-million-t/y ethylene
flexible feed steam cracker, two performance polyethylene
lines and two differentiated performance polypropylene
lines. ExxonMobil earlier said the project was expected to
start up in 2023.
The main scope of services under the multibillion-dollar
contract includes the basic design, engineering, procurement
and construction of all the process units, utilities and
infrastructures.

 

Enter Selects Grace’s Unipol Technology For Jizzakh’s Planned Uzbek PP Plant

Tashkent—
W.R. Grace & Co. has licensed its Unipol PP (polypropylene)
process technology to Enter Engineering for a new PP
line to be built as part of Jizzakh Petroleum’s new methanol-
to-olefins gas chemical complex n the Bukhara region
of Uzbekistan (PCN, 8 Feb 2021, p 1).
The PP unit, expected to start up by 2025, will have the
capacity to produce 257,000 t/y of PP. Enter is acting as
licensee on behalf of Jizzakh, who will own and operate the
gas chemical complex.
The Unipol process provides a broad range of PP homopolymers,
random copolymers, and impact copolymers.
Earlier this year, Versalis licensed its low-density polyethylene
(LDPE)/ethyl vinyl acetate (EVA) technology to
Enter for a new LDPE/EVA swing unit to be built as part
of the complex. The plant will be designed for a maximum
EVA-equivalent production capacity of 180,000 t/y.
Jizzakh previously said the complex would process 1.5-
billion cu m/yr of natural gas for the production of 500,000
t/y of olefins. No other details were available.

 

Samsung Wins EPC Contracts from AGIC For New PDH Plant at Jubail Complex

Jubail—
Advanced Petrochemical’s Advanced Global Investment Co.
(AGIC) subsidiary has awarded engineering, procurement
and construction (EPC) contracts to Samsung Engineering
Co. and Samsung Saudi Arabia Co. for a new propane dehydrogenation
(PDH) unit for propylene production in
Jubail, Saudi Arabia (PCN, 4 Jan 2021, p 3).
Under the contracts, valued at a total of $1.198-billion,
Samsung will build the PDH unit for the production of
843,000 t/y of propylene, which will be used for the production
of polypropylene (see related story, page 2).
The PDH plant will utilize Catofin technology from
Lummus Technology. Commercial operations are expected
by the second half of 2024.

 

AGIC Selects Tecnimont’s Subsidiaries To Build Two New PP Units in Jubail

Jubail—
Advanced Global Investment Co. (AGIC) has awarded a
contract to Tecnimont SpA and Tecnimont Arabia Ltd.,
subsidiaries of Maire Tecnimont, to set up two new polypropylene
(PP) units as part of a project being implemented
in Jubail Industrial City II, Saudi Arabia (PCN, 4
Jan 2021, p 3).
Valued at around $500-million, the contract involves
the construction of two 400,000-t/y PP units, which will be
part of an integrated propane dehydrogenation/PP complex.
The project is expected to be completed by the second
quarter of 2024 (see related story, page 1).
The scope of work involves complete engineering services,
equipment and out-of-kingdom material supply (to be
performed by Tecnimont) and in-kingdom material supply,
erection and construction activities up to start-up and
guarantee test run (to be performed by Tecnimont Arabia).
AGIC is building the project with SK Gas Petrochemical,
through their Advanced Polyolefins Co. joint venture.
AGIC is a subsidiary of Advanced Petrochemical Co., while
SK Gas Petrochemical is a subsidiary of SK Gas Co.

 

Sinopec Yizheng Boosting PET Capacity As Part of Planned Expansion in China

Shanghai—
Sinopec Yizheng Chemical Fibre plans to add 1.5-million
t/y of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) capacity to its recently
announced expansion project in Jiangsu Province,
China, reported Argus Media.
In January, Invista Performance Technologies said it
would license its PTA P8++ technology to Sinopec Yizheng
for a third purified terephthalic acid (PTA) line to be installed
at the site with a nameplate capacity of 3-million
t/y (PCN, 25 Jan 2021, p 1).
The PET expansion involves adding three 500,000-t/y
PET production lines. Construction is planned to begin on
the first PET line in the fourth quarter of this year, while
construction on the PTA plant is expected to start in the
middle of this year, with completion anticipated in 2023,
according to Argus.

 

NextDecade and Mitsubishi Execute ESA For Carbon Capture at Rio Grande LNG

Houston—
NextDecade and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries America
(MHIA), part of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI), have
signed an engineering services agreement (ESA) for a carbon
capture and storage (CCS) project planned at NextDecade’s
proposed Rio Grande LNG (liquefied natural gas)
project in Brownsville, Texas (PCN, 22 Mar 2021, p 3).
The Rio Grande project is expected to include five LNG
trains with a total capacity of 27-million t/y of LNG. A final
investment decision (FID) is anticipated on a minimum
of two trains in 2021, and the FID on the CCS project “soon
after,” NextDecade recently said.
NextDecade’s Next Carbon Solutions subsidiary will
help develop the CCS project, which is expected to enable
the capture and permanent geologic storage of more than
5-million t/y of carbon dioxide.
MHIA will provide the design, license and performance
guarantee of the KM CDR Process, a post-combustion carbon
capture technology, developed by MHI, to be used in
the CCS project.

 

KBR Agrees to License K-PRO Technology For JS Energy’s PDH Plant in Pakistan

Islamabad—
KBR has signed an agreement with JS Energy Ltd. to license
its proprietary K-PRO propane dehydrogenation
(PDH) technology for JS Energy’s planned PDH unit in
Pakistan.
The project, scheduled for commissioning in 2024, will
convert propane into propylene. No other information was
available.
“KBR offers various sustainable technologies that are
energy efficient and environmentally-friendly,” said Doug
Kelly, president of technology at KBR. “K-PRO is based on
an innovative catalyst that does not contain costly precious
metals or environmentally-sensitive chromium and is a
continuous process with efficient energy integration, heat
recovery and high conversion.”
PCN recently reported that Engro Polymer & Chemicals
plans to spend $31.4-million to study the feasibility of
building a new PDH unit for the production of polypropylene
in Pakistan (PCN, 12 Apr 2021, p 1).
According to the report, Engro’s PDH unit would be the
“first of its kind in Pakistan.”

 

Ultranav, Navigator Ink Non-Binding LoI To Merge Ultragas Assets into Navigator

London—
Naviera Ultranav Ltda. (Ultranav) has signed a nonbinding
letter of intent (LoI) with Navigator Holdings to
merge Ultragas ApS’ fleet and business activities with
Navigator.
The combined entity would remain Navigator Gas with
a total fleet of 56 vessels. Ultragas will provide its seven
modern 22,000-cu m semi-refrigerated vessels, five 12,000
cu m ethylene vessels and six gas carriers in the 3,770-
9,000 cu m range.
The transaction, expected to close by the end of the second
quarter of this year, is subject to the execution of a
definitive share purchase agreement, approval by the
board of directors of both Navigator and Ultragas, regulatory
approvals and other customary closing conditions.
“The combination will result in a LPG [liquefied petroleum
gas] and petrochemical shipping company with unmatched
scale and diversification,” said David Butters,
executive chairman of the board of Navigator.
“The Ultragas fleet will significantly strengthen our position
in the handy sized sector and provide our customers
with greater flexibility in transporting smaller parcels in a
cost-advantaged basis.”

 

Hexpol to Acquire Rubber Firm Unica

Malmö—
Hexpol AB has entered into an agreement to purchase Union
de Industrias C.A. (Unica), a rubber compounder based
in Spain, from private equity firm Espiga Capital.
The acquisition, valued at €48-million on a cash and
debt free basis, will close following receipt of regulatory
approval, expected in the second quarter of 2021.
“Through the acquisition of Unica, we will strengthen
our position in rubber compounds for demanding customers
in Spain and other EU [European Union] countries,”
noted Ralph Wolkener and Carsten Ruter, presidents of
Hexpol Compounding Europe/Asia.
“Unica will be a perfect complement to our existing operations
in Spain, mainly active in other sectors.”

 

Air Products Buys Remaining 50% Stake In Gasification Technology JV in China

Shanghai—
Air Products has purchased the remaining 50% stake in its
Chinese gasification technology joint venture with China
Shenhua Coal to Liquid and Chemical Co., a subsidiary of
China Energy Group, for an undisclosed amount (PCN, 12-
19 Aug 2019, p 3).
“Our latest investment is another step to support our
gasification growth strategy that addresses the world’s
energy and environmental challenges,” noted Seifi
Ghasemi, chairman, president and chief executive at Air
Products.
“We continue to execute several megaprojects in China
and around the world. The acquisition further strengthens
our position to leverage our complete gasification technology
portfolio to serve our customers.”
Air Products acquired its initial 50% interest in the
joint venture in 2019, as part of its purchase of GE’s gasification
business from GE Power.

 

Sojitz & Jeplan Agree to Jointly Promote PET Chem Recycling Business in Japan

Tokyo—
Sojitz and Japan Environment Planning (Jeplan) have
formed a partnership to jointly promote a polyethylene
terephthalate (PET) chemical recycling business, in Japan
and overseas, that utilizes Jeplan’s chemical recycling
technology.
Jeplan, using its proprietary BRING technology, is able
to selectively extract bis (2-hydroxyethyl) terephthalate
from PET. It can then recover high-purity monomers in
order to manufacture recycled PET resin at an industrial
scale that meets strict bottle-grade quality standards, the
companies noted.
Equipment upgrades are currently being made at Jeplan’s
facility. Once the plant restarts this summer, the
company will be able to produce about 22,000 t/y of recycled
PET resin.
The partners will also promote the establishment of a
system to collect used PET bottles for use as raw material,
and the construction of new production facilities.

 

Dialog Completes and Opens Phase 3A Of Pengerang Deepwater Terminals

Johor—Dialog
Group has completed and officially opened Phase 3A of the
Pengerang Deepwater Terminals (PDT) development in
Malaysia (PCN, 20 May 2019, p 3).
The first parcel of Phase 3 consists of storage tanks
with a capacity of 430,000 cu m for clean petroleum products,
common tankage facilities (including shared infrastructure)
and deepwater marine facilities.
“I believe the continued development of Phase 3 has the
potential to attract more refining and petrochemical complexes,
as well as downstream petrochemical manufacturing
plants, and spur increased trading activities, which
could potentially bring multi-million Ringgit investments
to Johor,” said Haji Hasni bin Mohammad, Mentari Besar
of Johor YAB Dato.
“Such continued investments to develop Pengerang will
create more economic value add, catalyze long-term economic
activity and create high value, skilled jobs for both
Johor and Malaysia.”

 

New Hope Energy and CPChem Enter Deal For Certified Renewable Chem Feedstock

Tyler—
New Hope Energy said it has signed a long-term agreement
with Chevron Phillips Chemical Co. (CPChem) to
provide ISCC Plus certified renewable chemical feedstock
produced through pyrolysis.
New Hope Energy builds advanced recycling plants that
process scrap plastic and municipal solid waste into renewable
chemical feedstocks. It will supply CPChem from
its Trinity Oaks Tyler Phase I facility in Texas, which is
the first of many plants to be built by New Hope Energy
and is now operating 24/7, New Hope noted.
New Hope Technologies, an affiliate of New Hope Energy,
has entered into a joint development and commercialization
agreement with Green Circle, a division of
Lummus Technology, to scale and license New Hope proprietary
processes and equipment on a world-wide basis
(PCN, 19 Oct 2020, p 1).
New Hope Fabrication, a subsidiary of New Hope Energy,
will be the exclusive manufacturer of the equipment
and Lummus will provide a production and quality guarantee
on the equipment and output.
In the future, New Hope Energy plans to create sustainable
trade zones to co-locate eco-friendly businesses to
facilitate the circular economy.

 

WV Resources Picks Honeywell Technology For Carbon Capture & Storage Project

Indianapolis—
Wabash Valley (WV) Resources has selected a range of
Honeywell UOP technologies for a carbon capture and
storage project at West Terre Haute, Ind.
The project, expected to be “one of the largest” carbon
sequestration initiatives in the U.S. to date, will capture
and sequester up to 1.65-million t/y of carbon dioxide (CO2)
and produce clean hydrogen energy from a repurposed
gasification plant, Honeywell explained.
UOP will provide technology licenses, basic engineering
and specialty equipment, including a modular MOLSIV
molecular sieve dehydration unit, modular Ortloff CO2
Fractionation unit, and Polybed pressure swing adsorption
unit to sequester CO2 and process synthesis gas from the
gasification unit.
“This project will allow for market access to clean hydrogen,
as well as support the domestic growth of the hydrogen
economy,” said Dan Williams, managing director of
Wabash Valley.

 

Synthomer Opens Asia Innovation Center

Johor—
Synthomer recently launched its new state-of-the-art Asia
Innovation Center at iPark near Johor Bahru, Malaysia, to
provide leadership in research and development for both
performance elastomers and functional solutions business
units.
The RM 35-million center has sufficient expansion capacity
to meet the future anticipated needs of the business,
the company noted. It will ensure Synthomer stays at the
forefront of nitrile latex product development and applications
know-how, it added.
“This is the first phase of what we expect to be an ongoing
investment in innovation in Asia, supporting all divisions
of the company,” said Dr. Zhenli Wei, vice president
of innovation for the Performance Elastomers Division.

 

Chemours Announces Goal to Achieve Net Zero GHG Emissions by 2050

Wilmington—
Chemours announced its “ambitious” goal to achieve net
zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050, and has
improved it 2030 climate goal by switching from a relative
to absolute goal.
“Chemours is driving to achieve a 60% absolute reduction
of operations-related greenhouse gas emissions by
2030, putting the company on the path to net zero greenhouse
gas emissions by 2050,” the company noted.
To address direct emissions from operations (Scope 1),
the company will continue to enhance emissions control
technologies at its manufacturing sites and improve energy
efficiency across its operations.
In order to address indirect emissions from electricity
and other energy sources (Scope 2), Chemours will increase
the amount of electricity and other energy generated from
renewable resources.
The company is also in the process of defining goals related
to indirect emissions from its value chain (Scope 3)
and will announce them at a later date.
Sheryl Telford, previously vice president of environment,
health, safety and corporate responsibility, has been
appointed to the newly created position of chief sustainability
officer.

 

Saudi Petrochem Projects Expected to Drive Oil & Gas Projects by ‘25, Says GlobalData

Riyadh—
Petrochemical projects are expected to drive the start of
upcoming projects across the oil and gas value chain in
Saudi Arabia, accounting for about 61% of the total projects
expected to start operations during the period of
2021-2025, according to a new report from data and analytics
firm GlobalData.
The report, Middle East Oil and Gas Projects Outlook to
2025 – Development Stage, Capacity, Capex and Contractor
Details of All New Build and Expansion Projects, reveals
that among these projects, new builds dominate with 84%,
while the rest are expansion projects.
“Petrochemical projects will be the highest with 50, followed
by midstream with 18, refinery at eight, and upstream
(fields) at six,” said the report.
“Saudi Arabia’s aggressive investments in the petrochemicals
sector is part of its 2030 vision plan, where the
country aims to reduce its dependence on the upstream
sector and diversify into other segments,” noted Soorya
Tejomoortula, an oil and gas analyst.

 

Borealis Launches Feasibility Study For New Chemical Recycling Unit

Stenungsund—
Borealis has begun a feasibility study for a new chemical
recycling plant to be established at its production site in
Stenungsund, Sweden, which has been ISCC Plus certified
since February 2021.
The unit would be part of a project to secure an additional
supply of chemically recycled feedstock for the production
of more circular based chemicals and polyolefinbased
products.
The study, being funded in part by the Swedish Energy
Agency, is being carried out with Borealis’ project partner
Stena Recycling. The study will evaluate the best technology
for the unit and its integration in the cracker at the
site. Subject to a successful feasibility study and final investment
decision, operations are planned to begin in 2024.
Stena would recover plastic waste and, after sorting to
remove materials suitable for mechanical recycling, would
deliver it to the new chemical recycling unit. It plans to
invest in its own plants to produce plastic waste feedstock
for Borealis.
In addition, Fortum Recycling and Waste is looking into
funding for a feasibility study for the production of feedstock
from plastic waste for Borealis’ proposed unit.
“The integration of waste management and processing
directly into a steam cracker would be one of the first of its
kind,” Borealis noted.

 

PetroChemical News Briefs

BASF has launched new plasticizers based on renewable
and chemically recycled feedstock. The biomass balanced
(BMB) plasticizers are sold under the names Hexamoll
DINCH BMB, Palatinol N BMB, Palatinol 10-P BMB
and Plastomoll DOA BMB.
Worley has been awarded multiple master services
agreements by subsidiaries of Cheniere Energy to provide
engineering, procurement, construction and construction
management services to Cheniere’s liquefied natural gas
facilities based on the U.S. Gulf Coast.
LyondellBasell announced the launch of its new Circulen
suite of polymer products to advance circular solutions.
CirculenRecover polymers are made from plastic
waste through a mechanical recycling process, CirculenRevive
polymers are made using an advanced (molecular)
recycling process, and CirculenRenew polymers are made
from renewable feedstocks such as used cooking oil.

V59 N14 – 12 April 2021

Jinzhou Lets Lummus Novolen Contract For New Polypropylene Unit in China

Beijing—Jin
Guo Tou (Jinzhou) Petrochemical Co. has awarded a contract
to Lummus Technology’s Novolen business for a new
polypropylene (PP) unit in Jinzhou City, Liaoning Province,
China.
The PP unit will consist of a 600,000-t/y line and a
300,000-t/y line, the “largest” single-line capacity that has
been licensed in the market today, Lummus Technology
noted. Value of the contract and an expected completion
date were not given.
Lummus’ scope includes the technology license for the
PP unit, as well as basic design engineering, training and
services, and catalyst supply.

 

KMG, Tatneft Ink Cooperation Agreement For Planned Kazakh Butadiene Facility

Atyrau—
KazMunayGas (KMG) and Tatneft have signed a basic cooperation
agreement to jointly implement a new butadiene
rubber project in the Atyrau region of Kazakhstan.
The project, expected to be implemented by 2025, will
include a facility with a production capacity of 186,000 t/y
of butadiene rubber and 170,000 t/y of isobutene.
Approximately 2,000 jobs are expected to be created
during construction and 400 jobs once operational.
Tengizchevroil LLP will supply butane feedstock to the
facility.

 

AmSty & Agilyx Launch Feasibility Study For Second Advanced Recycling Facility

St. James—
AmSty and Agilyx announced an agreement to explore the
development of a second jointly-owned advanced recycling
facility and have already begun a feasibility study for the
project.
The initial scope of the project will be a 50-t/d to 100-t/d
advanced recycling facility at AmSty’s styrene production
plant in St. James, La. Feedstock will be supplied by Cyclyx,
Agilyx’s feedstock management company. A schedule
for construction and commissioning will be announced as
progress continues.
The new facility will be a next generation expansion of
Agilyx advanced recycling technology already in use at the
partners’ Regenyx joint venture in Tigard, Ore., where
post-use polystyrene products are converted back into virgin-
equivalent styrene monomer (PCN, 22 Mar 2021, p 3).
“Development of this technology has picked up over the
past decade, and it is time to reach a larger scale,” said
Agilyx Chief Executive Tim Stedman.
“We have been operating Regenyx with AmSty since
2019 and are pleased to expand our relationship toward a
much larger facility at St. James. Joining AmSty as a coinvestor
underlines our commitment to accelerating the
implementation of Agilyx advanced recycling technology
and our licensing model.”

 

Engro Achieves Commercial Operation Of Integrated PVC Facility in Pakistan

Karachi—
Engro Polymer & Chemicals Ltd. (EPCL) announced that
it recently began commercial operation of its new integrated
polyvinyl chloride (PVC) facility in Pakistan (PCN,
3 Sept 2018, p 2).
The 100,000-t/y PVC plant increases the company’s total
PVC production capacity to 295,000 t/y.
Separately, EPCL plans to spend $31.4-million to study
the feasibility of building a new propane dehydrogenation
(PDH) unit for the production of polypropylene, Argus Media
reported.
The PDH unit would be the “first of its kind in Pakistan,”
the report said. A final investment decision will be
based on the results of the study.

 

Acron Boosting Ammonia Production With Revamp of Two Existing Units

Moscow—Acron
Group announced it is revamping two ammonia units at its
Veliky Novgorod site in Russia to increase ammonia
production (PCN, 12 Oct 2020, p 4).
The $190-million project will raise ammonia output by
375,000 t/y. Completion is expected in 2023.
Acron Engineering will act as chief designer of the project,
with KBR providing the process license, base design
package and licensed equipment.
“Upgrading the units and expanding their capacity will
allow us to increase our output of all ammonia-based products,
while reducing both consumption of natural gas and
nitric and carbon oxides emissions,” said Alexander Popov,
chairman of the board of directors of Acron.
The company currently operates three ammonia units
with a total capacity of 2.2-million t/y.

 

Tamilnadu Investing in Series of Projects To Increase Petrochemical Production

Chennai—
Tamilnadu Petroproducts Ltd. (TPL) said it is investing a
total of Rs 435 crore on expansion and modernization projects
that will increase petrochemical production in India.
The company plans to spend about Rs 30 crore to build
a new propylene recovery unit in the same complex as it
manufactures propylene oxide. The new unit, with an initial
capacity of 21,000 t/y, will utilize technology developed
in-house. The project will be implemented in around 12-18
months following regulatory approvals.
TPL will invest around Rs 165 crore to modernize its
caustic soda and chlorine unit by replacing the existing
mono-polar membrane technology with a more advanced
bipolar membrane technology. Once complete, about 18
months after obtaining approvals, caustic soda production
capacity will increase to 250 t/d from 150 t/d currently.
Finally, TPL will increase linear alkyl benzene capacity
to 145,000 t/y from 120,000 t/y currently. The project, estimated
to cost Rs 240 crore, would be commissioned in
about 24 months, following receipt of regulatory approvals.

 

Trinseo and BASF Expanding Partnership For Styrene Based on Circular Feedstock

Berlin—
Trinseo and BASF announced their intention to enhance
their business collaboration with the production of styrene
based on circular feedstock.
The partnership aims to increase efforts by both companies
in the development and management of styrene
featuring an improved environmental profile.
Trinseo has recently been procuring first supplies of the
synthetical chemical styrene based on circular feedstock
from BASF for use in its solution-styrene butadiene rubber
and polystyrene products.
“By creating synergy across the value chain, the Trinseo-
BASF collaboration is an important move towards
helping our customers reach their sustainability goals, as
well as the development of a truly circular economy,” noted
Nicolas Joly, vice president, Plastics & Feedstocks at Trinseo.
“CO2 emission reduction and a circular economy are
BASF’s paramount targets,” said Klaus Ries, vice president
for BASF’s Styrenic Business Europe.
“Using circular feedstocks instead of virgin fossil resources
contributes directly or indirectly to an improved
CO2 footprint of subsequent products. While our customer,
Trinseo, procures biomass balanced (BMB) styrene
for their downstream business already, styrene Ccycled
will be available in the near future.”
To produce BMB styrene, BASF replaces fossil resources
with renewable feedstocks derived from organic
waste or vegetable oils. When manufacturing Ccyled products,
BASF uses pyrolysis oil derived from plastic waste
that is not recycled mechanically, e.g., mixed household
waste or end-of-life tires, as a feedstock.

 

Novonor Resumes Sales Process to Divest Up to Its Full Equity Stake in Braskem

São Paulo—
Novonor, formerly known as Odebrecht, has restarted the
process to sell its interest in Braskem, reported Reuters,
citing a source with knowledge of the matter.
Last August, Braskem said it had received notification
from Odebrecht, its controlling shareholder, that Odebrecht
was preparing to structure a process for the private
sale of up to its total equity ownership in Braskem (PCN,
17 Aug 2020, p 1). In December 2020, Odebrecht changed
its name to Novonor.
Novonor owns a 38% stake in Braskem, including 50.1%
of the voting shares.

 

IRSG Schedules World Rubber Summit As Virtual Event from 8-11 June ‘21

Singapore—The
International Rubber Study Group (IRSG) has decided to
hold its World Rubber Summit 2021 as a virtual event
from 8-11 June 2021.
The summit will be based on the theme “Facing the Future:
Inclusiveness, Sustainability and Growth for the Next
Normal.”
The World Rubber Summit allows producers, users,
traders, financial institutions, research and development
organizations, non-governmental organizations and academia
to meet, together with governments’ representatives,
and exchange views on the major challenges confronting
the rubber economy.

 

Gulei Refining Integrated Project Achieves On-Spec Production of PP at Zhangzhou

Beijing—
Gulei Refinery, a 50-50 joint venture of Sinopec and
Xuteng, has achieved on-spec production of polypropylene
(PP) at its refining integrated project in Zhangzhou, Fujian
Province, China, according to Argus Media.
The new 350,000-t/y PP plant, which is fed with merchant
propylene from the local market, utilizes Sinopec’s
ST-III technology.
The PP facility is the first unit to begin operations. The
project also includes a 1-million-t/y ethylene cracker; an
integrated 100,000-t/y ethylene oxide/700,000-t/y ethylene
glycol unit; a 600,000-t/y styrene monomer plant, and a
300,000-t/y ethylene vinyl acetate facility, all expected to
start-up in the third quarter of 2021.

 

OLCV & Cemvita to Build Pilot Plant For CO2-to-Bioethylene Technology

Houston—Oxy
Low Carbon Ventures (OLCV), a subsidiary of Occidental,
and Cemvita Factory, a bio-engineering start-up, are planning
to build and operate a new bioethylene pilot plant
that uses their jointly developed technology to produce bioethylene
from carbon dioxide (CO2).
The one ton per month facility will scale up the process
that was successful in laboratory tests. Start-up of the
plant is expected in 2022.
“Today bioethylene is made from bioethanol, which is
made from sugarcane, which in turn was created by photosynthesizing
CO2,” said Moji Karimi, co-founder and chief
executive of Cemvita.
“Our bio-synthetic process simply requires CO2, water
and light to produce bioethylene, and that’s why it saves a
lot of cost and carbon emissions.”

 

DSM Concludes Divestment to Covestro Of Its Resins & Functional Materials

Heerlen—Royal
DSM said it has completed the sale of its Resins & Functional
Materials and associated businesses to Covestro for
an equity value of €1.6-billion (PCN, 5 Oct 2020, p 4).
The sale included all of DSM’s Resins & Functional Materials
businesses, including DSM Niaga, DSM Additive
Manufacturing, and the coatings activities of DSM Advanced
Solar.

 

People on the Move

Clariant—Gunter von Au has been appointed chairman
of the board of directors, succeeding Hariolf Kottmann. Au
has been a member of the board of directors since 2012 and
served as vice chairman from 2012 to 2018.
Novonor—Jose Mauro Carneiro, most recently chairman,
has become chief executive of Novonor, previously
known as Odebrecht. He succeeds Ruy Sampaio.
Kraton Corp.—Marcello Boldrini, senior vice president
and chemical segment president, has been appointed
to the expanded role of chief sustainability officer.
Birla Carbon—Dr. Ann Schoeb has been named chief
research and development officer. She was previously chief
technology officer at AdvanSix.

 

Inter Pipeline Receives Alberta Grant For New Integrated PDH/PP Facility

Calgary—Inter
Pipeline has won $408-million under the Alberta Petrochemicals
Incentive Program (APIP) to support its Heartland
Petrochemical Complex (HPC), an integrated propane
dehydrogenation (PDH) and polypropylene (PP) production
facility being built in Strathcona County, Canada (PCN, 15
Mar 2021, p 2).
The complex, scheduled to be operational in early 2022,
will convert 22,000 b/d of locally sourced propane into approximately
525,000 t/y of PP.
APIP is an incentive program introduced by the Government
of Alberta to attract investment into the development
of local petrochemical plants.
“HPC’s construction has created thousands of well-paid
technical, manufacturing and construction jobs over its
multi-year build and has been a symbol of hope during difficult
economic times for the province,” said Christian
Bayle, president and chief executive of Inter Pipeline.
The company said it expects HPC to generate hundreds
of permanent “high-quality” full-time jobs.
Inter Pipeline was earlier approved to receive $200-
million of royalty credits for the project under the Petrochemicals
Diversification Program, but has decided to resign
the credits in favor of the APIP grant.
The grant will be paid in equal installments over a period
of three years, once the complex is operational.

 

IOCL Awards Technip Energies Contract For BR9 Expansion Project in Barauni

Barauni—
Technip Energies said it has received a “significant” engineering,
procurement, construction and commissioning
contract from Indian Oil Corp. Ltd. (IOCL) for its BR9 Expansion
Project in Barauni, Bihar, India.
The project, for which a schedule was not given, will expand
refinery capacity to 9-million t/y from 6-million t/y
currently. It will also add petrochemicals, such as polypropylene,
into the refinery’s product portfolio.
Technip Energies’ contract covers the installation of a
new 1-million-t/y once-through hydrocracker unit, a fuel
gas treatment unit and associated facilities.
For Technip Energies, a “significant” contract is valued
at between €50-million and €250-million.

 

Mitsubishi Merges U.S. Companies Into Mitsubishi Chemical America

Charlotte—
Mitsubishi Chemical America Inc. announced it has
merged with seven of its U.S. subsidiaries to form an expanded
and integrated company, headquartered in Charlotte,
N.C.
The merging companies include Dianal America, Lucite
International, MC Ionic Solutions US, Mitsubishi Chemical
Composites America, Mitsubishi Chemical Imaging
Corp., Mitsubishi Chemical Performance Polymers and
Mitsubishi Polyester Film.
The core businesses of the merging companies include
acrylic monomers, polyester film, specialty resins, performance
polymers, imaging materials, battery materials
and metal composites.
This regional integration is part of a global Mitsubishi
Chemical initiative that is also underway for selected subsidiaries
in Germany and the UK.

 

Baltic Gets OK for Gas Chem Complex; Construction Will Begin This Month

Moscow—Baltic
Chemical, a subsidiary of RusGazDobycha, has received
approval from the Committee for State Construction Supervision
and State Expertise of the Leningrad Region to
build a gas chemical facility in Ust-Luga, Russia, and construction
will start this month (PCN, 22 Mar 2021, p 1).
The facility will include two 1.4-million-t/y ethane
cracking plants and six polyethylene reactor lines, each
designed to have a capacity of 500,000 t/y. Completion is
expected in 2024.
Gazprom and RusGazDobycha are setting up a gas
processing complex in Ust-Luga that will process 45-billion
cu m/yr of gas and produce 13-million t/y of liquefied natural
gas, as well as ethane fraction, liquefied petroleum gas
and pentane-hexane fraction.
The gas chemical facility will be technologically interconnected
with the gas processing complex to process ethane
generated by the complex.

 

Sinochem & ChemChina Get Consent To Undertake Joint Restructuring

Beijing—Sinochem
Group and China National Chemical Corp. (ChemChina)
have obtained approval from the state council to carry out
a joint restructuring of the two companies to assist in the
development of the chemical industry in China.
Under the restructuring plan, the equity interests of
both Sinochem and ChemChina will be owned by a newlyincorporated
company (the holding company), which will be
established and wholly-owned by the state-owned Assets
Supervision and Administration Commission on behalf of
the state council.
Sinochem and ChemChina will become the whollyowned
subsidiaries of the new holding company. They will
proceed with the joint restructuring in compliance with
relevant laws and regulations.
“This joint restructuring will create synergy, build up a
world-class chemical company, and promote a high-quality
development of the chemical industry in China,” Chem-
China noted.

 

LyondellBasell’s European Polymer Sites Obtain New Sustainability Certification

Rotterdam—
LyondellBasell has received the International Sustainability
and Carbon Certification (ISCC) PLUS certification for
its Wesseling, Germany, cracker and European polymer
sites.
As a result of the certification, the company will offer
mass balance certificates for its advanced (molecular) recycled
and renewable-based Circulen polymers.
LyondellBasell can also offer a Carbon-14 analysis for
certain products, a “reliable” method to determine the percentage
of renewable content in a physical product, the
company noted.
“This ISCC PLUS certification . . . is another milestone
on our path to becoming an industry leader in the production
and marketing of recycled and renewable-based polymers,”
said Richard Roudeix, senior vice president of olefins
and polyolefins for Europe, Middle East, Africa and
India at LyondellBasell.
The company plans to broaden the ISCC PLUS certification
to its sites in other regions and expects to obtain it
for its North American plants later this year.

 

Kuraray Resumes Production in Texas At La Porte, Bayport, Pasadena Sites

Houston—
Kuraray announced that production has resumed at its La
Porte, Bayport and Pasadena, Texas, sites, where it had
been suspended following the cold wave in mid-February
2021 (PCN, 15 Mar 2021, p 3).
Although operations remain suspended at certain lines,
production has resumed for all products, including vinyl
acetate monomer and Poval resin at La Porte; Poval resin
at Bayport, and ethylene vinyl alcohol resin and thermoplastic
elastomer at Pasadena.

 

MISC Takes Delivery of Sixth VLEC From HHI Shipyard in South Korea

Kuala Lumpur—
MISC Berhad has taken delivery of Seri Elbert, its sixth
very large ethane carrier (VLEC), from the Hyundai Heavy
Industries (HHI) shipyard in Ulsan, South Korea (PCN, 11
Jan 2021, p 4).
Seri Elbert, Seri Everest, Seri Erlang, Seri Emei, Seri
Emory and Seri Emperor are a series of second generation
VLECs – all of which were acquired by MISC from Zhejiang
Satellite Petrochemical Co. Ltd. (STL) in July 2020.
The 98,000-cu m Seri Elbert and her five sister vessels
are on a long-term charter to STL. They signify MISC’s
entry into China and its position as the “largest” operator
of VLECs in the niche and growing market of moving ethane
globally, MISC noted.
Eaglestar is the appointed ship manager of all six
VLECs.

 

SABIC to Begin Marketing Aramco’s Allocation of Products from Sadara

Riyadh—SABIC
will start marketing Saudi Aramco’s allocation of products
from Sadara Chemical, a joint venture of Aramco and Dow
Chemical, beginning 1 July 2021.
The change is the result of an agreement between
SABIC, Aramco, Sadara and Dow, and aligns with SABIC’s
strategic position as the chemicals arm of Aramco.
Aramco last year acquired a 70% interest in SABIC
from the Public Investment Fund for a total purchase price
of $69.1-billion (PCN, 22 June 2020, p 1).
“By marketing Aramco’s allocation of Sadara products,
SABIC expects to drive further supply chain efficiencies,
strengthen its brand and combined product and services
offering, and help to maintain competitive preference in
the global chemicals industry,” SABIC noted.

 

Kem One to Receive €15-Million Subsidy To Modernize Electrolysis Technology

Paris—Kem
One said it would receive €15-million of government funding
to support the conversion of its electrolysis technology
at its chlorine, caustic soda and hydrogen production unit
in Fos-sur-Mer, France.
The project, estimated to require a total investment of
over €100-million, will involve replacing the existing diaphragm
process with a membrane process, which will make
the site “one of the most” high performance sites in Europe
in energy terms, the company noted. Start-up is expected
in 2024.
The conversion of the process is part of Kem One’s energy
performance strategy, which aims to reduce energy
consumption by 30% and gas emissions by 50% by 2030,
compared with its 2013 baseline year.

 

Hexion Gives Update on Transaction To Divest Phenolic Specialty Resins

Columbus—
Hexion plans to complete the divestment of its phenolic
specialty resin, hexamine and European-based forest products
resins businesses to Black Diamond Capital Management
and Investindustrial on 30 Apr. 2021 (PCN, 25 Jan
2021, p 3).
The transaction, valued at around $425-million, involves
11 manufacturing facilities worldwide and approximately
900 employees.
Hexion is working to complete a limited number of the
necessary government approvals and other customary closing
conditions to complete the sale. It earlier said the divestment
was expected to be finalized in the first quarter
of 2021.

 

Sadara Signs New Long-Term Agreements To Supply Feedstock to SADIG-ILCO JV

Jubail—
Sadara Chemical and SADIG-ILCO, a joint venture of
SADIG Industries and ILCO Chemicals, have signed new
long-term agreements, in which Sadara will supply feedstock
to the joint venture’s future specialty chemical manufacturing
plant in PlasChem Park in Jubail, Saudi Arabia.
Under the terms of the agreement, SADIG-ILCO’s new
facility will offtake ethylene oxide and propylene oxide
from Sadara through new pipelines being built by Sadara.
PlasChem Park is adjacent to Sadara’s chemical complex
and is “uniquely” positioned to enable and support
downstream opportunities in numerous market segments,
including the chemicals intermediates, ethylene oxide/
propylene oxide, polyurethanes and polymers clusters,
Sadara noted.

 

V59 N13 – 29 March-5 April 2021

BASF, SABIC and Linde Sign Agreement To Develop Electrically Heated Furnace

Berlin—
BASF, SABIC and Linde announced the signing of a joint
agreement to develop and demonstrate solutions for the
“world’s first” electrically heated steam cracker furnace.
Subject to a positive funding decision, the project aims
to offer a promising solution to “significantly” contribute to
the reduction of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions within the
chemical industry, the parties noted.
The companies are evaluating construction of a multimegawatt
demonstration plant at BASF’s Ludwigshafen
site in Germany, which is targeted for start-up as early as
2023.
By using electricity from renewable resources to power
the process, the fundamentally new technology has the
potential to reduce CO2 emissions by as much as 90%.
The partners have applied for grants at the EU Innovation
Fund and the funding program Decarbonization in
Industry, a new program of the Germany Federal Ministry
for the Environment.
“To be able to drive a timely scale-up and industrial
implementation of this technology, investment support and
competitive renewable energy prices will be important prerequisites,”
said Dr. Martin Brudermüller, chairman of the
board of executive directors of BASF SE.

 

Celanese to Begin Utilizing Recycled CO2 To Boost Clear Lake Methanol Capacity

Dallas—
Celanese announced that it will begin using recycled carbon
dioxide (CO2) as an alternative feedstock in methanol
production at its integrated chemical manufacturing facility
in Clear Lake, Texas.
This carbon capture and reuse process is expected to
produce sustainable methanol with a high capital efficiency
at competitive pricing via an expansion of Fairway Methanol
LLC, a manufacturing joint venture between Celanese
and Mitsui & Co., Celanese noted.
Once fully operational, the 1.62-million t/y plant is expected
to displace around 180,000 tons of CO2. Furthermore,
an estimated 60% of currently vented process CO2
from the entire site will be transformed into sustainable
methanol. A completion date was not given.

 

KBR Commissions NH3 Plant Revamp At Acron’s Dorogobuzh Site in Russia

Moscow—KBR
said it has successfully commissioned an ammonia revamp
project for Acron at Acron’s Dorogobuzh site in Russia
(PCN, 26 Mar-2 Apr 2018, p 2).
The plant was revamped using KBR’s KRES technology
to enhance ammonia production capacity to 2,100 t/d from
1,360 t/d and reduce energy consumption. Value of the
contract was not given.
KBR supplied the technology license, basic engineering
design package, proprietary equipment, post-engineering
and commissioning services.

 

Celanese Boosting UHMW-PE Capacity With New Production Unit in Europe

Dallas—
Celanese announced plans to expand its GUR ultra-high
molecular weight polyethylene (UHMW-PE) production
capacity in Europe with construction of a new plant.
The facility, planned to have a nameplate capacity of
about 34,000 t/y, would be located at either an existing or
greenfield location. Site selection is underway and the unit
is scheduled to be online beginning in 2024.
The company recently announced it was expanding
GUR capacity by about 15,000 t/y with construction of a
new plant at its manufacturing facility in Bishop, Texas
(PCN, 26 Oct 2020, p 1). Production is planned to begin
next year.

 

Invista Concludes Technology Upgrade At Its Adiponitrile Plant in Victoria

Victoria—Invista
has completed a project to upgrade its adiponitrile (ADN)
facility to use the company’s most advanced ADN technology
at its site in Victoria, Texas (PCN, 29 June 2020, p 2).
The project, earlier estimated to cost $250-million, was
completed as part of the site’s regularly planned maintenance
turnaround. The site will manage a controlled startup
and ramp-up of ADN production.
“We’re pleased this ADN retrofit will bring additional
production capacity online in Victoria and are looking forward
to how this will support growth in downstream nylon
6,6 applications,” said Bill Greenfield, president, Invista
Intermediates.
The technology brings “improved product yields, reduced
energy consumption, lower greenhouse gas emissions,
enhanced process stability and reduced capital intensity
compared to existing technologies,” Invista noted.

 

Lummus Technology Gets Contract For Ethylbenzene Project in China

Beijing—Lummus
Technology has been awarded a contract from an unidentified
customer for its EBOne technology for an ethylbenzene
project in Jiangsu Province, China.
Once complete, the unit will produce 508,000 t/y of
ethylbenzene. Cost and a schedule for the project were not
disclosed.
Lummus’ scope for the project includes the technology
license, basic engineering, training and related site services.
Its technology and catalyst offer “high product yield,
low operating costs, and operational reliability throughout
the plant’s life cycle,” Lummus noted.

 

Celanese Raising Acetyl Chain Capacities With Investments in China & Germany

Dallas—
Celanese announced a series of investments to expand its
acetyl chain capacities through plant expansions, new unit
builds and key debottlenecking projects in Nanjing, China,
and Frankfurt, Germany.
The company is initiating an expansion of its vinyl acetate
monomer (VAM) production unit at its chemical industrial
park in Nanjing.
Production capacity is initially expected to increase to
60,000 t/y from 50,000 t/y, with a phased approach of up to
90,000 t/y. When complete, VAM nameplate capacity at
the facility is expected to increase to nearly 400,000 t/y
from 300,000 t/y.
Celanese is planning a 10,000-t/y expansion of acetic
anhydride production at Nanjing. The project will bring
the total acetic anhydride nameplate capacity at the site to
about 130,000 t/y by 2022.
In addition, the company plans to build two new vinyl
acetate ethylene (VAE) reactors by 2023—one in Nanjing
and one at the Frankfurt site.
The reactors will increase VAE capacity at Nanjing by
about 65,000 t/y and VAE capacity at Frankfurt by approximately
45,000 t/y.
Finally, Celanese said debottlenecking efforts are already
underway at its European powders facilities to increase
redispersible polymer powders capacity by about
20,000 t/y by 2023.
The planned expansions are subject to regulatory approvals
in their respective countries of operation.

 

Sadara Shuts Down Mixed-Feed Cracker For Maintenance After Technical Issue

Jubail—
Sadara Basic Services Co. announced that its parent company,
Sadara Chemical Co., has shut down its mixed feed
cracker in Jubail, Saudi Arabia, for immediate maintenance
due to a technical failure of a gas compressor on 16
Mar. 2021.
“As repairs are currently underway, the company will
temporarily experience non-availability or limited availability
of ethylene and propylene which will, as a result,
impact production of related downstream products for an
estimated period of 30 days,” Sadara noted.
“The company is working diligently to mitigate the impact
to its customers.”

 

Acron Group Awards Contracts to KBR For Revamp of Russian NH3 Facilities

Moscow—KBR
has been awarded contracts by Acron Group for revamping
two ammonia units at Acron’s Veliky Novgorod site in Russia
(PCN, 12 Oct 2020, p 4).
The project will expand ammonia production capacity
by over 30% to 2,300 t/d each, increase energy efficiency
and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Completion of the
first revamp, including commissioning and start-up is expected
in 2023.
KBR will supply the process technology license, basic
engineering design package and proprietary equipment,
including its KRES technology and Horizontal Ammonia
Convertor.
Acron announced last year that it had started a “major”
overhaul of its ammonia, urea, ammonium nitrate and nitric
acid production facilities at the site.

 

Lotte GS Chemical Selects Technologies For Yeosu Phenol, Acetone Production

Yeosu—Lotte
GS Chemical has selected Honeywell UOP Q-Max, Phenol
3G, and Evonik MSHP technologies for the production of
over 565,000 t/y of phenol and acetone at Lotte’s petrochemicals
facility in Yeosu, South Korea.
UOP will provide a license for the technology, as well as
basic engineering design services, key equipment, catalysts
and adsorbents, and technical services.
As part of the project, UOP will supply cumene and
phenol units with alpha-methylstyrene (AMS) hydrogenation.
The Evonik MSHP process hydrogenates AMS to cumene
to be recycled back to oxidation.
The UOP Phenol 3G unit converts cumene into phenol
and acetone with high yields and product quality, and low
utility consumption.
The combined technologies allow Lotte to produce phenol
and acetone derivatives from benzene and polymergrade
propylene. A schedule for the project was not given.
“Global demand for plastics and resins, such as polystyrene,
styrenic resin, polycarbonate and phenolic resin is
driving the need for aromatic derivatives,” said Bryan
Glover, vice president and general manager of Honeywell
UOP’s Process Technologies business.
“By increasing the production of phenol and acetone,
Lotte raises its market position in high-margin petrochemicals
and contributing to the global supply.”

 

Nauticol & Enhance Energy Partnering To Capture CO2 from Blue Methanol

Calgary—
Nauticol Energy and Enhance Energy have entered into an
agreement to collaborate for the capture and sequestration
of up to 1-million t/y of carbon dioxide (CO2) from Nauticol’s
blue methanol facility planned near Grande Prairie,
Alberta, Canada (PCN, 15 Mar 2021, p 2).
Nauticol and Fortrec recently announced the launch of
a new Singapore-based company, Nauticol Singapore, to
develop, build and operate the world-scale, net zero blue
methanol plant.
The multibillion-dollar facility would utilize natural
gas, combined with carbon capture and sequestration, to
produce 3-million t/y of blue methanol. Commercial operation
is scheduled for 2025.
The partnership between Nauticol and Enhance will accelerate
project development for both companies and help
create up to 5,000 jobs during construction and hundreds
more during operation.

 

People on the Move

Gevo—Dr. Paul Bloom has joined the company has
chief technology officer and chief innovation officer. He
was most recently vice president of sustainable materials
at ADM.
Indorama Ventures (IVL)—Kim Hoyt, previously
lead project management officer at Indorama Ventures
Oxides LLC, has been named site director for IVL’s Integrated
Oxides and Derivatives plant in Port Neches, Texas.
PetroChina Co.—Huang Yongzhang, most recently a
non-executive director of the company, has become president
and executive director. He succeeds Duan Liangwei,
who has become a non-executive director.

 

JM’s Process Chosen for ‘World’s First’ Climate Neutral Methanol Facility

Santiago—Johnson
Matthey (JM) said it has agreed to supply technologies,
equipment and advisory services to the Haru Oni project in
Patagonia, Chile, the “world’s first” climate neutral methanol
plant, which will harness energy from wind.
The project, being developed by Siemens Energy, in
partnership with JM and several other corporations, including
Porsche, will involve an integrated and commercial
large-scale facility to produce e-methanol and e-gasoline.
In the initial pilot phase, the unit will be capable of
producing about 900,000 liters/yr of e-methanol, as early as
2022. In two further phases, capacity will be increased to
about 55-million liters/yr of e-fuels by 2024 and around
550-million liters/yr of e-fuels by 2026.
The JM designed unit will take atmospheric carbon dioxide
(CO2) as feedstock for the conversion to e-methanol.
This CO2 will be recovered by direct air capture and combined
with green hydrogen.
“We are very excited to be collaborating again with
Siemens Energy for this pioneering project to convert wind
energy into clean, green, net-zero chemicals and fuels for a
cleaner, healthier world,” said JM Managing Director John
Gordon,

 

Evonik Finalizes “Significant” Expansion Of Sodium Methylate Capacity in U.S.

Santiago—Johnson
Matthey (JM) said it has agreed to supply technologies,
equipment and advisory services to the Haru Oni project in
Patagonia, Chile, the “world’s first” climate neutral methanol
plant, which will harness energy from wind.
The project, being developed by Siemens Energy, in
partnership with JM and several other corporations, including
Porsche, will involve an integrated and commercial
large-scale facility to produce e-methanol and e-gasoline.
In the initial pilot phase, the unit will be capable of
producing about 900,000 liters/yr of e-methanol, as early as
2022. In two further phases, capacity will be increased to
about 55-million liters/yr of e-fuels by 2024 and around
550-million liters/yr of e-fuels by 2026.
The JM designed unit will take atmospheric carbon dioxide
(CO2) as feedstock for the conversion to e-methanol.
This CO2 will be recovered by direct air capture and combined
with green hydrogen.
“We are very excited to be collaborating again with
Siemens Energy for this pioneering project to convert wind
energy into clean, green, net-zero chemicals and fuels for a
cleaner, healthier world,” said JM Managing Director John
Gordon,

 

Evonik Finalizes “Significant” Expansion Of Sodium Methylate Capacity in U.S.

Mobile—
Evonik announced the completion of a “significant” capacity
expansion at its sodium methylate production facility in
Mobile, Ala.
The facility, which has a production capacity of up to
90,000 t/y, will mainly support the growing demand driven
by renewable energy, such as biodiesel, and will strengthen
the company’s position serving the performance chemicals
and life science markets.
“In addition to the importance of the improved offering
in North America, the new capacity in the U.S. also contributes
to Evonik’s global positioning as a key player in
the alkoxides market and supports our global supply chain
network,” said Alexander Weber, vice president and global
head of marketing and sales.
Evonik also produces sodium methylate in Germany
and Argentina.

 

Celanese Plans Investments at Asia Sites For Engineered Materials Compounding

Shanghai—
Celanese said it intends to initiate a three-year plan to
expand engineered materials compounding capacities at
three of its manufacturing facilities in Asia.
In Suzhou, China, the company plans to increase nylon
compounding capacity at the facility by approximately
7,000 t/y by the second quarter of 2022.
At Celanese’s Nanjing integrated chemical complex in
China, about 52,000 t/y of compounding and long-fiber
thermoplastics capacity will be added by the second half of
2023.
Finally, in Silvassa, India, the company plans to increase
compounding capacity by around 7,000 t/y by the
first quarter of 2022.
Celanese is planning these projects to support the expected
demand growth for compounded polymers.

 

Plastic Energy, ExxonMobil Collaborating On Advanced Recycling Project in France

Paris—
Plastic Energy and ExxonMobil have agreed to work together
on an advanced recycling project that will convert
post-consumer plastic waste into raw materials for the
manufacturing of virgin-quality polymers.
Under terms of the agreements with affiliates of
ExxonMobil, Plastic Energy will build, own and operate an
advanced recycling facility adjacent to ExxonMobil’s Notre
Dame de Gravenchon petrochemical complex in France.
The plant will convert difficult-to-recycle mixed plastic
waste into raw materials that can be transformed into certified
circular polymers and other high-value products at
the petrochemical complex.
The new unit will have an initial capacity of 25,000 t/y
of plastic waste, with plans to scale up to 33,000 t/y in the
future. It is expected to be “one of the largest” advanced
recycling plants in Europe, Plastic Energy noted.
A final investment decision is expected in mid-2021
with start-up anticipated in 2023. The project has received
financial support from the French government, as part of
their Plan de Relance and Regional Planning Grant
Scheme.

 

ReNew Selects Wood as EPC Contractor For Teesside Plastic Recycling Plant

Teesside—
Advanced recycling firm ReNew ELP said it has named
Wood as engineering, procurement and construction contractor
for the “world’s first” commercial-scale plastics recycling
plant in Teesside, UK, using an advanced recycling
process.
The multi-million pound project will be based on Mura
Technology’s HydroPRS (Hydrothermal Plastic Recycling
Solution) process technology to recycle end-of-life plastic
waste into hydrocarbon feedstocks, for use in new plastic
products and other materials.
In the first phase, Wood will construct four HydroPRS
recycling lines, each able to process 20,000 t/y of plastic
waste. The three remaining lines will follow soon after.
Once complete, the facility will recycle 80,000 t/y of plastic
waste. Operations are planned to begin in late 2022.
Mura, the parent company of ReNew, has a goal of seeing
a 1-million t/y global recycling capacity in operation or
development by 2025.
“On completion, this plant will make it possible to not
only reduce the plastic pollution in our natural environment,
but will help to reduce both CO2 [carbon dioxide]
emissions and the requirement for single-use plastic,” said
Craig Shanaghey, president of Wood’s operations business
across Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

 

SI Expanding French Tackifier Capacity

Paris—SI Group said it has decided to double tackifier resin capacity
at its manufacturing site in Bethune, France.
The investment, scheduled for completion later this
year, addresses an increasing demand for Novolac tackifiers
in one of the company’s core regions. No other details
were available.
“We have taken the decision to further grow capacity as
another step forward in reinventing our business model,”
noted Robert Kaiser, vice president of Rubber & Adhesives
Solutions.

 

Topsoe & Nel Enter MoU for End-to-End Green Ammonia, eMethanol Solutions

Lyngby—
Haldor Topsoe and Nel have signed a memorandum of understanding
(MoU) to offer customers complete renewable
electricity to ammonia and methanol solutions using their
existing technologies.
Under the MoU, Topsoe intends to supply the license,
engineering, proprietary hardware, catalyst and technical
service for its ammonia and eMethanol technologies, as
well as system integration engineering. Nel plans to supply
its alkaline or PEM electrolysis technology and proprietary
hardware, and subsystem engineering.
“We are very excited to join forces with Haldor Topsoe,
who offers world-leading ammonia and methanol technologies
that can add tremendous value together with our electrolysis
technologies,” said Nel Chief Executive Jon Andre
Lokke.
“Our vision is all about ‘Empowering generations with
clean energy forever.’ We see much promise in adding the
possibility of processing hydrogen into eMethanol and
green ammonia, which are widely regarded as important
low-carbon fuels of the future.”

 

Engie Enters Deal to Supply Green Power To Covestro’s Antwerp Site in Belgium

Antwerp—
Engie and Covestro have concluded a power purchase
agreement covering the supply of wind energy from Engie
to Covestro’s site in Antwerp, Belgium.
Effective 1 Apr. 2021, Engie will supply Covestro with
about 45% (39 megawatts) of the electricity demand of the
Antwerp site. The energy will be supplied from 15 wind
turbines in four newly constructed onshore wind farms.
The deal will reduce Covestro’s carbon footprint in Belgium
by more than 38,500 tons of carbon dioxide. Value of
the contract was not disclosed.
“The new supply agreement is a milestone in the conversion
of our production to the use of renewable energies,”
said Georg Wagner, managing director at Covestro in Antwerp.
“Wind energy, together with the use of sustainable raw
materials and innovative recycling technologies, are important
steps towards realizing our vision of becoming fully
circular and achieving the climate goals of the European
Green Deal.”
Covestro already signed a contract with Orsted to cover
a “significant” portion of the electricity requirements of its
German sites, the company noted.

 

Maire Tecnimont Group, Adani Ink MoU For Green Hydrogen Projects in India

New Delhi—
Maire Tecnimont Group’s NextChem, Stamicarbon and
MET Development subsidiaries have signed a memorandum
of understanding (MoU) with Adani Enterprises Ltd.
(AEL) to explore the development of green hydrogen projects
in India.
Under the MoU, AEL, part of the Adani Group, and
Maire Tecnimont Group’s subsidiaries would jointly explore
integrated opportunities for the valorization of the
renewable feedstock by using NextChem and Stamicarbon’s
technologies for chemicals, ammonia and green hydrogen
applied to the chemicals value chain.
“Adani Group is at the forefront of India’s energy transition,
and green hydrogen is a natural extension of our
globally leading renewable portfolio,” said Jayant Parimal,
advisor to the chairman at Adani.
“Scaling up of the green hydrogen economy will require
multiple use-cases, including green ammonia and green
chemicals. They may present a significant benefit not only
from the environmental perspective, but also in terms of
supply chain resilience for India. AEL is pleased to partner
with Maire Tecnimont to explore these opportunities.
“This partnership brings Maire Tecnimont’s formidable
technical and project management expertise in ammonia
and green chemistry, with Adani’s world-class execution
and scale in renewables. We are entering a new phase,
whereby global synergies will play a vital role in optimally
harnessing renewable energy for powering future energy
and industrial needs.”

 

Technip Energies, Nipigas to Create JV To Drive Energy Transition in Russia

Moscow—
Technip Energies and Nipigas announced plans to create
Nova Energies, a joint venture to drive the energy transition
journey in Russia.
Nova Energies will provide a wide range of expertise,
including engineering and design project documentation
and CAPEX estimates, as well as engineering, procurement,
construction, installation and commissioning for
carbon dioxide removal, carbon capture, clean hydrogen
production, bio-energies, bio-refineries, bio-chemistry,
ammonia, as well as other energy transition related
themes, Technip noted.
“The general global trend for decarbonization has become
one of the key factors in the modernization of existing
and creation of new industries in Russia,” said Nipigas
Chief Executive Dmitry Evstafiev.
“With the participation of Nipigas, the best environmentally-
friendly and safe design solutions are implemented,
corresponding to the best world standards within
the framework of the country’s largest projects.”

V59 N12 – 22 March 2021

AGC Plans to Integrate and Reorganize Chlor-Alkali Subsidiaries in Thailand

Bangkok—AGC
plans to integrate and reorganize its three consolidated
chlor-alkali subsidiaries in Thailand and form a new company
to promote its chlor-alkali business there, and in the
Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam (CLMV) markets.
The subsidiaries involved include Vinythai Public Co.
Ltd. (VNT), owned 58.78% by AGC, 24.98% by PTT Global
Chemical (GC) and 16.24% by others; AGC Chemicals
(Thailand) Co. (ACTH), owned 100% by AGC; and AGC
Chemicals Vietnam Co. (ACVN), owned 78.11% by AGC,
15% by Mitsubishi Corp, and 6.89% by Vung Tau Shipyard.
Following completion of the reorganization, expected by
the first half of 2022, VNT will be delisted from the stock
exchange of Thailand. AGC will not tender its shares and
will remain a majority shareholder of VNT.
AGC will implement procedures to make ACVN a subsidiary
of ACTH. VNT and ACTH will then merge to form
a new company, which has not yet been named.
GC has the right to increase its stake in the new company
up to 35% through a third-party allotment of new
shares to GC.
The plan is subject to approval from shareholders of
VNT and fulfillment of all the merger conditions, such as
delisting of securities of VNT from the stock exchange.
“Through this decision, we will further strengthen our
chlor-alkali business base in Thailand and CLMV markets
and aim for further growth by deepening our partnership
with [GC], a shareholder in the newly integrated company
and a leading petrochemical manufacturer in Thailand,”
said AGC.

 

EPC Contract for Ust-Luga Gas Complex Terminated to Optimize Project Costs

Moscow—
Gazprom, RusGazDobycha and Nipigaz, in an effort to improve
project costs, have decided to terminate the engineering,
procurement and construction (EPC) contract
awarded earlier to Nipigaz for the Ust-Luga gas processing
complex planned in Russia (PCN, 15 June 2020, p 3).
RusKhimAlyans, a joint venture company formed by
Gazprom and RusGazDobycha to operate the complex,
awarded the EPC contract to Nipigaz in 2020.
The complex will process 45-billion cu m/yr of gas and
produce 13-million t/y of liquefied natural gas, as well as
ethane fraction, liquefied petroleum gas and pentanehexane
fraction.
Baltic Chemical, a subsidiary of RusGazDobycha, is setting
up a new gas chemical facility that will be technologically
interconnected with the gas processing complex to
process ethane generated by the complex.
The chemical facility will include two 1.4-million-t/y
ethane cracking plants and six polyethylene reactor lines,
each designed to have a capacity of 500,000 t/y. Completion
is expected in 2024.
Termination of the contract will have no affect on the
project’s schedule. A new EPC contract is planned to be
awarded in the “near future,” Gazprom noted.

 

NextChem and Agilyx Sign Deal to Deploy Advanced Chem Recycling Units Globally

Milan—
NextChem and Agilyx Corp. have entered into an agreement
to support the global development of advanced
chemical recycling facilities, worldwide, utilizing Agilyx’s
advanced pyrolysis technology in the conversion of mixed
waste plastic into circular olefins and fuels.
Under the agreement, NextChem, a subsidiary of Maire
Tecnimont SpA, will act as a technology and EPC (engineering,
procurement and construction) partner for Agilyx.
The scope of the partnership, in its first phase, is to develop
a series of chemical recycling projects for third parties.
The initial focus will be on two already identified projects—
one in Europe and one in South America.
The agreement will also represent an opportunity for
co-investments in specific projects in order to accelerate
the overall commercial pipeline.
“We are proud to include this new partnership with Agilyx
into our portfolio, and further develop our basket of
technological solutions for the circular economy that already
include upcycling, waste-to-chemicals, waste-tofuels,
polymerization and now also thermochemicals conversion
(pyrolysis),” said Pierroberto Folgieri, chief executive
of Maire Tecnimont Group and NextChem.
“We are strongly committed to finding solutions for
plastics sustainability along its life-cycle and to enabling a
new circular, low carbon economy.”

 

Olin Announces Capacity Reduction At Chlor-Alkali Facility in Alabama

Montgomery—
Olin announced plans to permanently shut down around
50% (200,000 tons) of its diaphragm-grade chlor-alkali capacity
at its facility in McIntosh, Ala., by 31 Mar. 2021.
“This is yet another step in Olin’s efforts to right-size
our asset base and achieve reinvestment economics across
our complete Electrochemical Unit portfolio,” said Olin
President and Chief Executive Scott Sutton.
“Shareholders can expect Olin to continue to take highcapital,
non-accretive assets off our balance sheet as existing
contractual supply obligations end, focusing our Olin
teammates and resources toward unleashing Olin’s true
value potential.”

 

Total Purchases BASF’s 60% Interest In Port Arthur Condensate Splitter

Houston—Total
Petrochemicals & Refining USA announced the acquisition
of BASF’s 60% stake in a condensate splitter the two companies
jointly own in Port Arthur, Texas, making Total
sole owner.
“Located within the Total Port Arthur refinery perimeter,
this acquisition will allow Total to immediately capitalize
on its access to competitively-priced U.S. light crudes
and reinforce the synergies within the refinery,” Total
noted.

 

Borealis Lifts Declaration of Force Majeure On Its Stenungsund Cracker Operations

Vienna—
Borealis recently lifted the force majeure declared last May
on its cracker operations in Stenungsund, Sweden (PCN,
18 Jan 2021, p 1).
The company shut down the cracker and declared force
majeure on 11 May 2020, after a fire broke out at the
cracker two days earlier. The fire started because of a
technical incident in the compressor.
According to Borealis’ website, the Stenungsund
cracker is “one of the most flexible in Europe.” Its main
products are ethylene, propylene, polyethylene (PE), highdensity
PE, low-density PE and Borstar products. It can
use naphtha, ethane, propane and butane as raw materials
in the cracking process.

 

Guangxi Huayi Anticipates Q2 Start-Up Of Methanol Facility at Qinzhou Port

Beijing—
Guangxi Huayi Energy Chemical expects to start up a new
1.8-million-t/y coal-fed methanol plant at China’s Qinzhou
port in May or June of this year, reported Argus Media.
The facility, which will be the “largest” methanol plant
along China’s coastal regions, will source around 2.7-
million t/y to 3-million t/y of coal to feed the plant, the report
said.
Guangxi Huayi also expects to start up a 500,000-t/y
downstream acrylic acid (AA) unit around the same time as
the methanol plant, and a 700,000-t/y AA unit at the end of
2021. The AA plants will use the methanol as feedstock.

 

Dow Updates on Gulf Coast Operations After Assets Affected by Winter Storm

Houston—Dow,
during the recent J.P. Morgan 2021 Industrials Conference,
said that all of its U.S. Gulf Coast crackers, with the
exception of Sabine River, are now operational after being
impacted by Winter Storm Uri.
The company expects all of the assets affected by the
storm to continue to ramp up through the end of March,
and into April, as it is still dealing with a few raw material
constraints and continuing to do some freeze damage repairs.
Sabine River will restart later this month.
Also, while many of Dow’s businesses declared force
majeure on products following the storm, its teams are
working to mitigate the operational and customer impact
as much as possible, Dow noted.
Separately, the company said it also recently started up
a new polyethylene glycol unit on the U.S. Gulf Coast. No
details are available.

 

Daelim Starts Up New LLDPE Unit

Yeosu—Daelim
Industrial has begun production at a new linear lowdensity
polyethylene (LLDPE) plant at its complex in
Yeosu, South Korea, reported Argus Media.
The 200,000-t/y metallocene LLDPE unit increases total
LLDPE capacity at the site to 410,000 t/y. Daelim also
operates two 150,000-t/y high-density PE lines at the complex.
The complex receives feedstock from YNCC, a 50-50
joint venture between Daelim Industrial and Hanwha
Chemical.

 

PureCycle Technologies, Roth CH Merge; New Company Using PureCycle Name

Ironton—
PureCycle Technologies Inc. has completed the previously
announced business combination with Roth CH Acquisition
I Co. (Roth CH), following the approval by Roth CH’s
stockholders at a meeting held last week (PCN, 23-30 Nov
2020, p 4).
Upon completion of the transaction, for which a value
was not given, the combined company changed its name to
PureCycle Technologies Inc. Michael Otworth is continuing
as chief executive and chairman of the board.
PureCycle uses proprietary technology licensed from
Procter & Gamble to recycle waste polypropylene (PP) into
virgin-like recycled PP from myriad applications. The
company is currently building its first commercial-scale
plant in Ironton, Ohio.
The facility is expected to have a nameplate capacity of
about 107-million lbs/yr of ultra-pure recycled PP when
fully operational. Production is planned to begin in late
2022, with full capacity expected to be reached in 2023.
PureCycle plans to have 30 commercial lines operational
by 2030 and 50 by 2035, globally.
“The consummation of this transaction represents yet
another major milestone for PureCycle, demonstrating
broad market validation of our value proposition,” Otworth
noted. “Most importantly, we now have the increased capital
market access to support the accelerated scaling required
to revolutionize the transformation of waste polypropylene
into sustainable products.”

 

People on the Move

Chevron Phillips Chemical Co.—Mitch Eichelberger,
currently senior vice president of polymers and specialties,
has been named executive vice president, polymers and
specialties, effective 1 Apr. 2021.
Benjamin (Benny) Mermans has been appointed vice
president of sustainability, effective 1 Apr. 2021. This is
the first time the company has appointed an executive to
focus exclusively on its sustainability strategy. He is currently
general manager for EAME (Europe, Africa and
Middle East).
European Petrochemical Assn. (EPCA)—Christian
Kohlpaintner, chief executive of Brenntag SE, has been
elected to the board of directors of EPCA.
Agilyx—Shellie Gasaway has been appointed vice
president of business development, Americas and Asia-
Pacific. She was previously with Powell Industries, where
she was global strategic account and business segment
leader.
PureCycle Technologies—Brett Hafer has become
vice president of manufacturing operations. He was previously
site operations manager, Houston refining, at LyondellBasell.
Jim Haw, most recently vice president of operations at
Surge Engineering, has joined PureCycle as vice president
of automation and digital strategy.
Mike Weber was recently appointed vice president of
technology.
Inter Pipeline—Margaret McKenzie, currently chair of
the Special Committee, has been appointed chair of the
board of directors. She succeeds Richard Shaw, who has
retired.

 

EC Okays Proposed Industrial Gases JV Of Sipchem and Linde in Saudi Arabia

Jubail—The
European Commission (EC), under the European Union
Merger Regulation, has approved the planned 50-50 joint
venture between Sahara International Petrochemical Co.
(Sipchem) and Linde GmbH for developing industrial gases
projects and networks in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Under a 20-year contract, signed last year, the joint
venture plans to develop a “world-class” industrial gases
network in Jubail Industrial City by connecting, via pipeline,
existing hydrogen and syngas plants owned and operated
by the partners (PCN, 21-28 Dec 2020, p 3).
The main focus of the partnership will be on the development
of new production facilities in order to supply carbon
monoxide, hydrogen, syngas ammonia and associated
gases, as well as efficient solutions for the decarbonization
of downstream production in industrial clusters in the
kingdom.
The commission concluded that the proposed joint venture
would raise no competition concerns because it would
only have negligible actual or foreseen activities in the
European Economic Area.

 

Sojitz Mulls Investment in Indonesia To Develop Methanol, NH3 Industry

Jakarta—Sojitz
Corp. of Japan has expressed interest in investing about
$5-billion in the development of the methanol and ammonia
industry in Bintuni Bay Industrial Area in Indonesia,
reported Antara News citing Industry Minister Agus Gumiwang
Kartasasmita.
The project would involve construction of a new methanol
plant, which would be considered a National Strategic
Project, making it eligible to get facilities and various incentives
from the government.
“With domestic demand for methanol reaching around
2-million tons, the construction of a new methanol plant is
direly needed,” Kartasasmita noted.
Sojitz’s Kaltim Methanol Industry business in Bontang,
East Kalimantan, is currently the only methanol producer
in Indonesia. The plant has a production capacity of
660,000 t/y.
The two countries will continue discussions this coming
May. If the project is approved, production is planned to
begin in 2024.

 

NextDecade Forms Next Carbon Solutions To Reduce Emissions at Rio Grande LNG

Houston—
NextDecade Corp. said it has formed Next Carbon Solutions
LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary that will develop a
carbon capture and storage (CCS) project at NextDecade’s
planned Rio Grande LNG (liquefied natural gas) project in
Brownsville, Texas (PCN, 8 Feb 2021, p 3).
The Rio Grande project is expected to include five LNG
trains with a total capacity of 27-million t/y of LNG. A final
investment decision (FID) is anticipated on a minimum
of two trains in 2021, and the FID on the CCS project “soon
after,” NextDecade noted.
The CCS project is expected to reduce permitted carbon
dioxide emissions at Rio Grande LNG by over 90%, without
major design changes to the LNG project. As a result, Rio
Grande LNG is expected to be the “greenest LNG project in
the world,” the company added.

 

Aquamarine and Topsoe Enter into MoU For Green Ammonia Plant in Germany

Berlin—
Aquamarine and Haldor Topsoe have signed a memorandum
of understanding (MoU) for the construction of a new
green ammonia facility in northern Germany.
Aquamarine, through its company HydrGEN, is developing
a large-scale green ammonia facility to be built in
multiple stages.
In the first phase, the proposed plant will use Topsoe’s
proprietary solid oxide electrolyzer cells (SOEC) to produce
green hydrogen from 100 megawatt of renewable electricity.
The hydrogen will be further processed into 300 t/d of
green ammonia, also using Topsoe’s technology. Operations
are expected to begin in 2024.
The plant will be located near existing offshore wind
farms, where the product can be sold to the marine shipping
industry.

 

AFPM Schedules Annual Meeting To Be Held Virtually Next Month

Washington—The
American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM)
will hold a virtual edition of its Annual Meeting on 12-13
Apr. 2021.
The meeting will address both significant opportunities
and challenges for U.S. refiners and petrochemical manufacturers,
and will include live streamed sessions, panel
discussions, interactive content and numerous networking
opportunities in video rooms.
“This year it may seem the challenges outweigh the opportunities,
but we are an optimistic group and we are excited
to deliver a program designed to arm you with critical
information to help you achieve more, go farther, and improve
your company’s performance,” said AFPM.
For more information, or to register online, visit AFPM
at https://www.afpm.org/events/AM21.

 

AmSty Joins Cyclyx as Founding Member; Barnette Joins Executive Advisory Board

Tigard—
Cyclyx International announced that AmSty, the “largest”
polystyrene producer in the Americas, has joined Cyclyx as
a founding member.
Agilyx and ExxonMobil established Cycylx on 1 Jan.
2021 to help scale up the supply of qualified plastic waste
for the plastics recycling industry (PCN, 1 Mar 2021, p 3).
The joint venture combines Agilyx’s expertise in plastic
waste conversion with ExxonMobil’s technology expertise
and large-scale petrochemical manufacturing network.
As a member of the Cyclyx consortium, AmSty will have
access to the Cyclyx platform, which includes chemical
characterization of plastics and predictive modeling of feed
sources to product pathways, custom feedstock recipes, and
customized supply chains, in order to deliver waste plastic
feedstocks appropriate for all existing and new mechanical
and advanced recycling pathways.
As part of AmSty’s membership, the Regenyx chemical
recycling facility, a joint venture of AmSty and Agilyx, will
contract with Cyclyx to source feedstock for plastic waste
conversion. AmSty will also have access to the Cyclyx platform
for other future potential advanced recycling plants.
Tim Barnette, vice president of polymers and sustainability
at AmSty, has been appointed to Cyclyx’s executive
advisory board.

 

Synova and Technip Energies Cooperate To Commercialize Recycling Technology

Rotterdam—
Synova and Technip Energies have entered into a joint
development and cooperation agreement to commercialize
Synova’s advanced plastic waste-to-olefins technology, in
combination with Technip’s steam cracking technology.
Synova’s thermochemical recycling technology takes
dirty and mixed plastic waste and breaks it down to its
basic building blocks, such as olefin monomers and coproducts,
to produce circular plastics.
The patented process has a low-carbon footprint, displaces
the need for virgin polymers and reduces the need
for intensive plastic waste sorting, Synova noted. Technip
will cooperate with Synova in the optimization and improvement
of the technology.
The technology was invented by the Netherlands Organization
for Applied Scientific Research, and independent
research organization. Together with Synova, the
technology has been further developed, tested and piloted
over a 15-year period.
“Chemical recycling is going to be a big business and we
have a technological advantage in the race,” said Synova
Chief Executive Van Morris. “Partnering with Technip
Energies brings the expertise, skill and reputation to
achieve the last mile of commercialization and allow this
technology to provide a path to a more sustainable future.”

 

Clariant Opens One Clariant Campus, Strengthening Its Position in China

Shanghai—
Clariant said it has strengthened its position in China with
the official opening of its CHF 45-million One Clariant
Campus in Shanghai (PCN, 2 May 2016, p 4).
The campus, located in the XinZhuang Industrial Park,
is home to Clariant’s Greater China operational headquarters,
as well as its regional innovation center.
“As an integral part of the One Clariant Campus, the
new innovation center will foster Clariant’s research and
development capabilities in China,” said Clariant Chief
Technology Officer Martin Vollmer.
“While the new facilities will greatly enhance the abilities
of our own teams, we will also step up our cooperation
with local key customers and key suppliers by inviting
them to co-locate in our center for the joint development of
next generation products.
“Supported by additional cooperation with academic
partners and other industrial partners, the center will be
the beating heart of our innovation efforts in China.”

 

Repsol Planning to Build Spain’s ‘First’ Polyurethane Foam Recycling Plant

Madrid—Repsol
announced plans to build Spain’s “first” chemical polyurethane
foam recycling facility at its Puertollano industrial
complex.
The project, requiring an investment of around €12-
million, will be capable of processing over 2,000 t/y of polyurethane
foam waste, the equivalent of 200,000 mattresses,
for the production of circular polyols. Operations
are expected to begin by the end of next year.
“Integrating this new recycling plant into the Puertollano
petrochemical complex will ensure the quality of this
circular product by allowing the maximization of synergies
with the facility’s standard processes,” Repsol noted.
The company is planning investments totaling €700-
million in decarbonization and circular economy projects to
be carried out through 2025 at the complex, ensuring a
competitive future for the industrial facility.

 

Air Liquide Signs Its First Long-Term PPA For Renewable Energy in the Netherlands

Paris—Air
Liquide said it has signed its first power purchase agreement
(PPA) with Vattenfall to purchase a total of 25
megawatts of offshore wind capacity in the Netherlands,
over a period of 15 years.
The contract will enable Air Liquide to supply renewable
energy to some of its industrial and medical gas production
assets in the Netherlands. This includes the “first”
world-scale oxygen production plant fit to accommodate
renewable energy in the grid, which the group is building
in the port of Moerdijk, Air Products noted.
The offshore wind farm is currently under development
and scheduled to be operational by 2023. It will be the
“first” subsidy-free and “world’s largest” offshore wind
farm, saving Air Liquide up to 750,000 tons of carbon dioxide
emissions over the duration of the contract.

 

Grace Restarts All Units Affected by Uri

Columbia—
W. R. Grace & Co. announced that all of its sites in Louisiana
and Texas that were impacted by Winter Storm Uri
have resumed operations.
Grace manufactures polyolefin and other catalysts at
its sites in Baton Rouge, Lake Charles, and Norco, La., and
its site in Pasadena, Texas. All sites had experienced interruptions
as a result of the storm.
“Winter Storm Uri . . . caused widespread manufacturing
disruption across the region because of freezing temperatures
and loss of electricity, gas, water and other utilities,”
Grace explained. “Most polyolefin manufacturers
and refineries were forced to shut down or operate at reduced
rates following the storm.”

V59 N11 – 15 March 2021

AGIC Gets Ministry Approval to Establish New Petchem Complex in Saudi Arabia

Jubail—
Advanced Global Investment Co. (AGIC), a subsidiary of
Advanced Petrochemical Co., has received approval from
Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Energy for allocating the necessary
feedstock to set up a new petrochemical complex in
Jubail Industrial City, Saudi Arabia.
The project will include the production of 1.15-million
t/y of ethylene, 850,000 t/y of propylene and 400,000 t/y of
aromatics and fuels, and their derivatives. Start-up is
scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2025.
AGIC will select “leading and most efficient” technologies
in energy and feedstock consumption, Advanced noted.
Cost of the project was not disclosed.

 

Air Liquide E&C to Supply Technology To Brass Fertilizer Methanol Project

Nigeria—Air
Liquide Engineering & Construction (E&C) has entered
into an agreement with Brass Fertilizer and Petrochemical
Co. Ltd. (BFPCL) to provide its technology for BFPCL’s
planned methanol plant in Odioma, Brass Island, Bayelsa
State, Nigeria (PCN, 8 Feb 2021, p 1).
The $3.5-billion integrated methanol and gas project,
which will utilize Air Liquide E&C’s proprietary Lurgi
MegaMethanol process, will be able to produce up to
10,000 t/d of methanol. Operations are expected to begin
in 2024.
Nigeria National Petroleum Co., Nigeria Content Development
and Monitoring Board, and DSV Engineering
are responsible for building the project, which will be the
“largest” methanol plant in Africa, Air Liquide E&C noted.
Shell Petroleum Development Co. will provide the gas
under a purchase agreement.

 

McDermott Acquires Minority Stake In Lummus Technology Holdings

Houston—Mc-
Dermott International announced it has completed a minority
investment in Lummus Technology Holdings I LLC,
a holding company of Lummus Technology, for an undisclosed
amount (PCN, 6 July 2020, p 1).
Under the terms of a share and asset purchase agreement
for the sale of Lummus Technology—entered into on
21 Jan. 2020 with a joint partnership between Haldia Petrochemicals
and Rhone Capital—McDermott was given the
option to purchase a minority common equity ownership
interest in the entity purchasing Lummus. McDermott
recently exercised that right.
On 30 June 2020, McDermott finalized the sale of
Lummus Technology to the partnership for a base purchase
price of $2.725-billion.
McDermott and Lummus have continued to work together
through their strategic agreement to bring customers
technology solutions through the entire plant life cycle,
McDermott noted.

 

IOCL and IDCO Enter MoU to Develop Planned Paradip Plastic Park in India

Paradip—
Indian Oil Corp. Ltd. (IOCL) and Odisha Industrial Infrastructure
Development Corp. (IDCO) have signed a memorandum
of understanding (MoU) to develop the Paradip
Plastic Park in Odisha, India.
The park is expected to enhance the petrochemicals and
plastic infrastructure, as well as auxiliary industries and
micro, small and medium enterprises in Odisha and Eastern
India. It is estimated that about 26 units will be located
in the park, generating direct and indirect employment
of about 6,000.
“Keeping the enterprise and employment generation
potential of the plastic sector in mind, [the] government of
India has initiated the cluster development of the industry
through its Plastic Park scheme,” said Minister of Petroleum
& Natural Gas and Steel Dharmendra Pradhan.
“Currently six such parks have been approved by the
government of India, with Paradip Plastic Park being one
of them.”
To attract investments in the downstream polymer industries
at the park, IOCL announced a special strategic
incentives scheme until 31 Mar. 2030. It will offer an incentive
of Rs 2000 per ton on polypropylene (PP) granules
to manufacturing units located in the park.
IOCL has a 680,000-t/y PP facility in Paradip, which
began operating in December 2018.

 

ADNOC and Petronas Ink Deal to Explore Opportunities in Upstream, Downstream

Abu Dhabi–
Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. (ADNOC) and Petronas have
signed a strategic framework agreement to explore opportunities
for collaboration across the upstream and downstream
sectors, as well as in technology and trading.
Under the terms of the agreement, the parties will
jointly explore opportunities to partner in the exploration,
development and production of conventional and unconventional
hydrocarbon resources in Abu Dhabi, United
Arab Emirates.
ADNOC and Petronas also agree to explore potential
partnership opportunities in trading, including optimization
of crude and feedstock supply and refined products
offtake.
In addition, they will look to team up to identify technology
solutions, as well as on hydrogen and research and
development in areas of mutual interest, including enhanced
hydrocarbon recovery and carbon capture utilization
and storage.

 

Clarification

In the 8 Mar. 2021 issue of PetroChemical
News, we reported that SCG had set aside around $53,000
for research and development this year, under its Accelerate
Innovation Plan. The company has, in fact, allocated
about $53-million. We apologize for any confusion we have
caused.

 

Inter Pipeline BOD Urges Shareholders To Reject Brookfield’s Takeover Offer

Calgary—Inter
Pipeline announced that its board of directors (BOD)
unanimously recommends that shareholders reject the hostile
takeover bid by Brookfield Infrastructure Partners to
acquire all outstanding common shares of the company
(PCN, 1 Mar 2021, p 2).
Last month, an affiliate of Brookfield offered to acquire
all outstanding common shares of Inter Pipeline for
C$13.5-billion.
The board determined that Brookfield’s hostile bid is
not in the best interests of the company or its shareholders,
and believes it “significantly” undervalues the company’s
standalone plan.
“Our business continues to perform strongly and we
continue to expect that our nearly completed Heartland
Petrochemical Complex, the largest growth project in our
history, will deliver a step change in cash flow starting
next year,” said Margaret McKenzie, chair of the special
committee.
“We have launched a comprehensive strategic review
process focused on maximizing value for shareholders and
we believe superior offers or other alternatives may
emerge.”

 

Nauticol & Fortrec Partnering to Build New Blue Methanol Plant in Alberta

Alberta—
Nauticol Energy and Fortrec have launched a new Singapore-
based company, Nauticol Singapore, to develop, build
and operate a world-scale, net zero, blue methanol plant in
Alberta, Canada.
The multibillion-dollar facility will utilize abundant and
competitively priced natural gas from Western Canada,
combined with carbon capture and sequestration, to produce
3-million t/y of the blue methanol, which will be distributed
through the partners’ Singapore trading platform.
Commercial operation is planned for 2025.
Approximately $25-million of development activity has
already been completed. A development site has been secured
and key regulatory, environmental and water permitting
has been obtained. Critical technology, construction
and commercial partners have been selected for all
essential project elements, Nauticol noted.

 

Biffa Expanding Recycling Capacity For HDPE at Washington Facility

London—Biffa is
investing £13-million to increase recycling capacity for
high-density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic at its plant in
Washington, Sunderland, England.
The project will allow the company to recycle an additional
14,000 t/y of HDPE, increasing its total capacity to
39,000 t/y. A schedule was not given.
“The extended capacity of HDPE recycling will benefit
packaging producers in the UK, who from 2022 will be required
to use at least 30% recycled plastic in their products
to avoid the new plastic packaging tax,” Biffa noted. “It is
estimated an extra 36,000 tons of recycled HDPE will be
needed to meet demand.”
Last year, the company started up its £27.5-million
plastics recycling facility at Seaham, UK (PCN, 11 Feb
2019, p 4). Biffa originally said the project would cost £15-
million.

 

Clariant & India Glycols to Establish New Renewable EO Derivatives JV

Kashipur—
Clariant and India Glycols Ltd. (IGL) announced a strategic
partnership to establish a joint venture in renewable
ethylene oxide (EO) derivatives in India.
Under the terms of the proposed agreement, Clariant
would contribute its local Industrial and Consumer Specialties
business in India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal,
held by Clariant India., while IGL would contribute its
renewable Bio-EO Derivative business, which includes a
multipurpose production facility, as well as an alkoxylation
unit in Kashipur, Uttarakhand, India.
In addition, IGL has agreed to a long-term supply
agreement for EO made from bio-ethanol, as well as further
utilities.
“By working closely together and leveraging the unique
capabilities of both parties, we see opportunities for profitable
growth based on strong local organic demand, as well
as the global megatrend for renewable products,” said
Christian Vang, global head of Clariant’s Industrial &
Consumer Specialties business unit.
Subject to customary regulatory approvals, the joint
venture would be owned 51% by Clariant International and
49% by IGL. U.S. Bhartia would be the designated chairman
of the joint venture, which is expected to have around
200 employees at its inception.

 

Braskem Forms Partnership with Maersk To Open New Singapore Logistics Hub

Singapore—
Braskem has entered into a strategic partnership with integrated
container logistics firm A.P. Moller – Maersk
(Maersk) to establish a new logistics hub in Singapore that
will give customers in Asia regular access to Braskem’s
polymer products.
Singapore has served as the headquarters of Braskem’s
Asian operation for over 10 years through a regional commercial
office, with the addition of a logistics hub now allowing
it to fully account for growing demand from markets
such as China, India, Japan, Indonesia and Thailand,
Braskem noted.
“This new development comes off the back of Braskem’s
existing partnership with PSA, whose specially curated
Forward Hubbing Scheme allows Braskem to use PSA Singapore
– the world’s largest container trans-shipment hub
– as a regional distribution focal point,” said Braskem.
“This offers it the fastest lead time to market and comprehensive
access to PSA Singapore’s inventory details.”

 

People on the Move

Royal Dutch Shell—Andrew Mackenzie has been appointed
chair of the company, with effect from the conclusion
of Shell’s annual general meeting, scheduled for 18
May 2021. He will succeed Chad Holliday, who will step
down. Mackenzie has been on Shell’s board of directors
since October 2020.
Mitsui Chemicals—Sakata Akinori has been named
director of the PTA (purified terephthalic acid) Dept. in the
PTA & PET (polyethylene terephthalate) Division of the
basic materials business sector, effective 1 Apr. 2021. He
is currently general manager of the Marketing Division at
Mitsui Chemicals & SKC Polyurethanes.

 

BASF Completes New Production Line For Acrylic Dispersions in Malaysia

Pasir Gudang—
BASF has started up a new acrylic dispersions production
line in Pasir Gudang, Malaysia, doubling its capacity there
(PCN, 8 Oct 2018, p 2).
The state-of-the-art facility, originally scheduled to be
completed by early 2020, complements the existing set up.
It allows the production of new dispersions technologies
under Acronal Edge, Acronal Plus, Joncryl and Acronal Eco
product ranges. Capacity was not given.
“With proximity to three world-class ports, the expansion
will be a key supply point for our customers in Malaysia,
Singapore and other ASEAN countries, also in Australia
and New Zealand (ANZ),” said Peter van der Zwan, director
of ASEAN & ANZ Dispersions & Resins at BASF.
“The first commercial quantities will be produced for
our customers in March this year.”
The company began operating its first acrylic dispersions
production line at the site in 2015.

 

Uniper Enters Partnership to Develop Green Methanol as a Maritime Fuel

Berlin—Uniper
announced it is collaborating with shipping service provider
Liberty Pier Maritime Projects and engineering firm
SDC to establish green methanol on the market as a sustainable
and carbon-neutral marine fuel.
The parties have joined forces to form an open collaboration—
the Green Methanol Corp. (GMC). The GMC will
develop the infrastructure and logistics framework needed
to supply methanol in Europe and establish the relevant
shipping requirements.
A medium-term goal of GMC is to build ships that can
burn green methanol. The project will initially focus on
European coastal shipping using vessels with a load capacity
of 5,300 tons and 8,300 tons, and container feeders.
Green methanol is produced using hydrogen from renewable
sources and carbon dioxide from the atmosphere,
and is easier to transport and store than green hydrogen.
It is seen as a “sensible” solution for decarbonization,
both for European coastal shipping and international deep
sea shipping. It can also be used for specialist applications,
such as cruise ships and inland navigation, Uniper
noted.
“All three partners are certain that green methanol will
play an important role in the maritime fuels sector in the
future.”

 

Ascend Names Snetor a Distributor For PA Range in Europe & Africa

Paris—Snetor has
become Ascend Performance Material’s official distributor
for the polyamide (PA) range in parts of Europe and Africa.
Snetor will be responsible for distribution of Ascend’s
Vydyne PA66 and Hidura PA610 and PA612; Poliblend’s
Polimid PA6 and PA66 compounds and Secomid PA6 and
PA66 compounds from recycling plastics; and EuroStar’s
Starflam and Staramide PA6 and PA66 compounds.
The distribution agreement covers France, Spain, Portugal,
Italy, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, the
UK, Ireland, Poland, Hungary, Romania, Czech Republic,
Bulgaria, Norway, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Turkey,
North Africa and South Africa.

 

Kuraray Provides Update on Texas Sites Impacted by Last Month’s ‘Cold Wave’

Houston—
Kuraray Group said last month’s “cold wave” caused a partial
restriction in the supply of raw materials and a service
interruption in some utilities, affecting production at several
sites in Texas operated by its Kuraray America subsidiary.
In La Porte, vinyl acetate monomer production and
Poval resin production have been under scheduled operational
suspension since mid-February 2021.
In addition, EVOH (ethylene vinyl alcohol) resin and
thermoplastic elastomer production at Pasadena, and
Poval resin production at Bayport have also been suspended.
Relevant facilities and infrastructure are currently undergoing
inspection to confirm there status in preparation
for the resumption of operations.

 

Technip Energies, IBM & Under Armour Form JV to Advance Plastics Recycling

Paris—
Technip Energies, IBM and Under Armour have entered
into a joint venture agreement to build and commercialize
a new recycling framework and circular economy for polyethylene
terephthalate.
The joint venture will combine Technip’s abilities in
technology development, engineering studies and licensing
experience; IBM Research technologies and expertise; and
Under Armour’s technical apparel, footwear and global
textile supply chain capabilities. Work is set to begin later
this year.
“We are very proud to collaborate with two global leaders:
IBM and Under Armour,” said Technip Energies Chief
Executive Arnaud Pieton. “This initiative reflects our
commitment to energy transition and aims to strengthen
Technip Energies’ position in the circular economy and
sustainable chemistry.
“We look forward to initiating this work and exploring
how technology can help to advance the expanded recycling
of plastics and fibers across different industries.”

 

PetroChemical News Briefs

Celanese began starting up units on 6 Mar. 2021 at
its Clear Lake, Texas, facility, which were suspended after
last month’s cold weather.
TPC restarted a plant at its Houston, Texas, site on
11 Mar. 2021, also shut down by the recent winter weather
in the area. The company did not disclose which unit was
restarted.
On 10 Mar. 2021, LyondellBasell said it was currently
in a “unit startup modes” at its site in La Porte,
Texas. More updates will become available.
Alterra Energy has been certified ISCC Plus as a pyrolysis
plant and collection point for mixed plastic waste.
The plant processes 60 t/d of plastic waste in Akron, Ohio.
Solvay has completed a new high-purity hydrogen
peroxide plant at its site in Bernburg, Germany, to serve
the semiconductor industry.
Exmar has been awarded an approval in principle for
its 40,000-cu m ammonia-fueled, mid-size gas carrier, a
“significant” milestone for the progression of alternative
fuels in shipping, the company noted.

 

BASF to Use 100% Renewable Electricity For Plants at Guangdong Verbund Site

Zhanjiang—
BASF said it will use 100% renewable electricity to power
the first plants of its approximately $10-billion smart
Guangdong Verbund project in Zhanjiang, China (PCN, 9
Dec 2019, p 4).
The plants will produce thermoplastic polyurethanes
and 60,000 t/y of engineering plastics to serve the needs of
various growth industries in the South China market, and
throughout Asia. Construction began in November 2019,
with the first unit scheduled to be operational by 2022.
The whole site is planned to be completed by 2030.
“By collaborating with local partners and the local
community, we will bring forward more initiatives on carbon
reduction and circular economy in the near future,
thereby contributing to China’s carbon reduction goal,”
said Haryono Lim, senior vice president, senior project new
Verbund site China at BASF, and general manager, BASF
Integrated Site (Guangdong) Co. Ltd.
BASF Integrated Site (Guangdong) is a wholly-owned
subsidiary of BASF to oversee the operations of the new
Verbund site, which will be the company’s “largest” investment,
BASF stated.

 

KIST Research Team Develops Technology To Boost Ethylene Production Efficiency

Seoul—A
research team at the Korea Institute of Science and Technology
(KIST) has developed a carbon dioxide (CO2)-based
ethylene technology to enhance the efficiency of ethylene
production, reported BusinessKorea.
The team, led by Dr. Oh Hyung-suk, Hwang Yoon-jung
and Lee Woong-hee, developed an echinoid-like copper
catalyst, which can produce a large quantity of ethylene in
an electrochemical CO2 conversion system.
An analysis of the chemical properties of the catalyst,
under various circumstances, found that the basic substance
in the catalyst results in increased copper hydroxide
and copper oxide components, as well as an increase in
CO2 conversion efficiency.
“This means that higher hydroxide and oxide ratios in
the reaction are a key to higher ethylene production efficiency
and this fact can suggest a direction of catalyst design
in future researches,” the team explained.
According to the team, the catalyst is capable of improving
ethylene production capacity by at least 50%. They
have already confirmed the possibility of its commercial
use.

 

OCI Inks Two Separate Deals Supporting Ammonia, Methanol as Shipping Fuels

Amsterdam—
OCI NV has signed an agreement with MAN Energy Solutions
(MAN) and Hartmann Gas Carriers, and a separate
agreement with MAN and Eastern Pacific Shipping (EPS),
to begin the commercialization of ammonia and methanol
as the shipping fuels of the future by 2023/24.
Under the memorandum of understanding (MoU) with
MAN and Hartmann, OCI plans to charter ammonia vessels
built, owned and operated by Hartmann and its commercial
arm, GasChem Services, that are operated using
ammonia engines designed by MAN.
The partnership with MAN and Hartmann aims to
drive the commercialization of ammonia-fueled ships and
accelerate the energy transition and decarbonization of the
shipping industry.
Under the MoU with MAN and EPS, the parties will
target retrofitting existing vessels from EPS’ tanker fleet
to methanol and ammonia; new-build methanol and ammonia-
fueled tankers to drive the commercialization of
these fuels, and provide a path for the current conventional
fuel vessel fleet to decarbonize.
The technology to retrofit a vessel to accept methanol
as a fuel is already available and, in the next two years,
OCI intends to charter the “first” retrofitted methanolfueled
vessel operated by EPS using already in-service
MAN engines and technology, OCI noted.
According to OCI, converting all long-distance shipping
fuel to ammonia would require about 750-million t/y to
900-million t/y of ammonia by 2050, which is four to five
times the current total global ammonia production.
Switching all long-distance shipping fuel to methanol
would require around 650-million t/y to 720-million t/y by
2050, six to seven times the current total global methanol
production.

 

Solvay Names Nevicolor as Distributor For Sulfone-Based Polymers in Italy

Rome—Solvay
has appointed Nevicolor to distribute its sulfone-based
polymers in Italy, effective 1 May 2021.
The agreement covers Solvay’s Udel polysulfones, Adel
polyphenylene sulfones and Veradel polyether sulfones;
Amodel polyphthalamides, Ryton polyphenylene sulfides,
Ixef polyarylamides, and Omnix and Kalix highperformance
polyamides.
It also includes Solvay’s Ketaspire polyetheretherketones,
and AvaSpire polyaryletherketones; Hyflon perfluoropolymers/
MFA, Solef polyvinylidene fluorides, Halar
ethylene chlorotrifluoroethylenes and Tecnoflon fluoroelastomers,
as well as Xencor long-fiber thermoplastics compounds.

 

V59 N10 – 8 March 2021

OQ Chemicals & Rohm Enter into MoU For New U.S. Gulf Coast MMA Plant

Berlin—OQ
Chemicals and Rohm have signed a memorandum of understanding
(MoU) to evaluate construction of a new
methyl methacrylate (MMA) production facility on the U.S.
Gulf Coast.
The proposed 250,000-t/y MMA unit would be based on
Rohm’s ethylene-based LiMA (‘Leading in Methacrylates’)
technology. Commissioning is expected in 2023.
Under the MoU, OQ will integrate the plant into its existing
site in Bay City, Texas, and provide raw materials,
utilities and site services to Rohm.
“We are very pleased to have found in OQ a very competent
and reliable partner,” said Rohm Chief Executive Dr.
Michael Pack. “This project will strengthen the reliability
of our supply chain towards our valued customers in the
Americas and globally.
“Basic engineering for this C2-based technology has
been under way for some time already and will allow us to
decide on the final investment in the first half of 2021.”

 

ExxonMobil Announces Job Reductions At Singapore Manufacturing Complex

Singapore—
ExxonMobil announced that it will cut around 300 positions
at the company’s integrated refining and petrochemical
manufacturing complex in Singapore.
“Unprecedented market conditions resulting from the
COVID-19 pandemic accelerated ongoing reorganization
and work-process changes that will improve the company’s
long-term cost competitiveness and ability to manage
through near-term challenges,” the company noted.
The complex, which includes a 592,000-b/d refinery and
1.9-million-t/y ethylene plant, continues to be a strategic
location for ExxonMobil. The company currently has over
4,000 employees there.
“This is a difficult but necessary step to improve our
company’s competitiveness and strengthen the foundation
of our business for future success,” said Geraldine Chin,
chairman and managing director of ExxonMobil Asia Pacific
Pte.

 

Yankuang Group Selects Eurotecnica For New Chinese Melamine Facility

Beijing—
Eurotecnica, the technology arm of Proman, has been
awarded a contract by Yankuang Group for the licensing,
engineering and procurement of a single-train melamine
plant in China.
The new 60,000-t/y unit, which will utilize Eurotecnica’s
proprietary Euromel technology, will increase
Yankuang’s total licensed nameplate capacity to 860,000
t/y. No other details were available.
“The project also confirms Euromel Melamine as the
leading melamine technology in Asia, the Middle East and
the Americas,” Proman noted.

 

Braskem Idesa Signs Deal With Pemex For Ethane Supply to Etileno XXI Unit

Mexico City—
Braskem Idesa has entered into a memorandum of understanding
(MoU) with Mexico’s state-owned oil and gas firm,
Pemex, to discuss the supply of ethane to its Etileno XXI
complex in Mexico, and the development of an import terminal
for the raw material (PCN, 11 Jan 2021, p 1).
The MoU establishes terms and conditions to discuss
potential addenda to the supply agreement. Braskem
Idesa said it is “unable to predict the outcome of the discussions,”
but will keep the market informed of relevant
developments. The ethane supply agreement between
Braskem Idesa and Pemex remains in force and valid until
any possible amendment.
In addition, Braskem Idesa has signed a 15-year gas
transportation agreement with state-owned agency Cenagas.
The duration of the deal is conditional on signing the
final negotiation with Pemex.
As a result of the agreements, the complex has started
receiving natural gas transported by Cenagas, which had
unilaterally suspended deliveries in December 2020.
The Etileno complex includes an ethylene cracker with
the capacity to produce over 1-million t/y of low- and highdensity
polyethylene.

 

Methanex, NGC ‘Wholly Refute’ Statements In Report of the Parties Going to Court

Couva—
Methanex and the National Gas Co. (NGC) of Trinidad and
Tobago have released a joint announcement wholly refuting
the “erroneous” statements published in the Trinidad
Guardian, claiming that Methanex has taken NGC to
court.
“The claim that NGC has confirmed the status of any
matters that may or may not be before the court of arbitration
is deceptive and therefore misleading,” said the parties.
“NGC’s practice is to never make public statements
on its customers and takes seriously all confidentiality
clauses.”
In December 2019, Methanex and NGC entered into an
interim agreement, in which NGC would supply natural
gas to Methanex’s Titan methanol facility in Point Lisas,
Trinidad, from 1 Jan. 2020 to 31 Jan. 2020. The short
term deal enabled Methanex to continue operations at Titan,
while continuing negotiations with NGC for a longer
term supply agreement (PCN, 23-30 Dec 2019, p 4).
Methanex idled the facility on 16 Mar. 2020, in anticipation
that methanol demand could be impacted by the
COVID-19 pandemic.
This past January, Methanex said it has not been successful
reaching an agreement for a longer-term natural
gas agreement and given that the economic recovery path
remains uncertain, the plant would remain idled indefinitely
(PCN, 11 Jan 2021, p 1). It continues to operate its
Atlas methanol plant in Point Lisas.
NGC and Methanex said they remain committed to
working together to find solutions for the long term.

 

BP and SABIC Announce New Agreement To Drive Circular Economy in Germany

Berlin—BP
and SABIC have signed an agreement to work together to
drive a circular economy in the petrochemical activities at
the Gelsenkirchen, Germany, chemical complex.
Building on a long established relationship between the
parties at the site, the new collaboration will help to boost
production of certified circular products that use mixed
plastics as feedstock, thereby reducing the amount of fossil
resources needed in the petrochemical plants at the site.
Circular polymers, part of SABIC’s Trucircle portfolio,
are produced using advanced recycling that converts lowquality
mixed and used plastic, otherwise destined for incineration
or landfill, into pyrolysis oil.
The oil will be processed at BP’s local refining site and
then used by SABIC in its Gelsenkirchen polymer plants to
produce the certified circular products.
Following successful trials last December, polymer production
using the alternative feedstock began early this
year. The final material has identical properties to virginbased
polymers and allows plastics to be recycled over and
over, with no loss of properties or characteristics, the companies
noted.
“This is an important milestone in our vision of achieving
up to 30% of our ethylene and propylene production
from sustainable, recyclable raw materials by 2030,” said
Wolfgang Stuckle, vice president, refining and specialties
solutions, Europe & Africa at BP.

 

Dow Enters MoU With Zhanjiang EDZ For New South China Specialties Hub

Zhanjiang—
Dow has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU)
with the Zhanjiang Economic and Technological Development
Zone Administrative Committee (Zhanjiang EDZ) to
build the Dow South China Specialties Hub at Donghai
Island, Zhanjiang, China.
The new manufacturing hub is a multi-year project providing
customers local access to the company’s portfolio of
high value products and innovative technologies, Dow
noted. It would extend the company’s local reach, further
enhancing supply reliability, responsiveness to market
needs and customized innovation.
Under the MoU, Dow would invest approximately $250-
million to build specialty polyurethanes and alkoxylates
facilities with a total capacity of around 250,000 tons. The
site also offers the opportunity for future development and
expansion at the hub.
“We are committed to turning our petrochemical park
at the Donghai Island into a world-class one, providing a
modern infrastructure and necessary supportive policies to
Dow and the park’s other companies,” said Zhangjiang
EDZ Party Secretary Liang Pei.

 

Corbion Launching Expansion Projects To Further Boost Lactic Acid Capacity

Amsterdam—
Corbion is launching a series of expansion projects at four
global sites to increase its production capacity for lactic
acid and its derivatives.
The projects, which are expected to produce a combined
additional output roughly equivalent to a new production
site, will take place at Corbion’s production sites in Gorinchem,
the Netherlands; Rayong, Thailand; Campos, Brazil;
and Montmelo, Spain. No schedule was given.

 

Daelim Finalizes Separation of Company Into Three New Stand-Alone Businesses

Seoul—
Daelim Industrial recently completed a split of the company
into three firms in order to concentrate on each separate
area (PCN, 14 Sept 2020, p 4).
The new organization includes DL E&C, a spin-off of
Daelim’s construction business, and DL Chemical, which is
a split-off of Daelim’s petrochemical business. The remaining
holding company, formerly Daelim Industrial, is now
named DL Co.
Separately, DL E&C is planning to pursue new business
opportunities in hydrogen energy and carbon capture
and sequestration/storage, according to BusinessKorea.
“An entry into the ESG (environmental, social and governance)
business is an essential survival strategy for
companies at the moment,” said the report quoting DL
E&C Chief Executive Ma Ching-min. “DL E&C will actively
move into areas where it has secured competitiveness.”

 

OMV Building ‘Glycerin2Propanol’ Unit At Its Schwechat Refinery in Austria

Vienna—OMV is
planning to invest around €30-million in the construction
of a new glycerin-to-propanol (‘Glycerin2Propanol’) pilot
facility at its Schwechat Refinery in Austria.
The plant, with a planned capacity of about 1.25-million
liters/yr, will use a patented process developed by OMV to
produce the propanol, which will then be utilized as a bioadditive
for gasoline. It can also be used in the chemical
industry as a replacement for fossil-based propanol.
OMV’s Glycerin2Propanol plant will be located next to
its ReOil plant so that both units can utilize a single measuring
station. Construction is expected to start in the
second quarter of this year, with operations scheduled to
begin in 2023.
Future plans involve commercializing the process in order
to produce around 125-million liters/yr of propanol and
reduce carbon dioxide emissions by about 180,000 tons.

 

People on the Move

Chevron Phillips Chemical Co.—Bruce Chinn has
been named chief executive. He is currently president of
Chevron Chemicals.
B.J. Hebert, currently executive vice president and chief
operating officer, will become president and chief operating
officer.
The chief executive and president roles are currently
held by Mark Lashier, who is retiring from Chevron Phillips
Chemical. Both appointments are effective 1 Apr.
2021.
Nova Chemicals—Ahmed Yahia Al Idrissi has been
appointed chairman of the board of directors, succeeding
Musabeh Al Kaabi, who was named chief executive of UAE
investments at Mubadala Investment Co. Al Idrissi is also
chief executive of direct investments at Mubadala.
Phillips 66—Mark Lashier will join the company as
president and chief operating officer, effective 1 Apr. 2021.
He began his career at Phillips Petroleum Co. in 1989 as a
research engineer.
ExxonMobil Global Projects Co.—Jon Gibbs, currently
senior vice president, has been named president to
replace Neil Duffin, who is retiring, effective 1 Apr. 2021.

 

Air Liquide’s ALMTG JV to Purchase Industrial Gas Units in Kazakhstan

Atyrau—Air Liquide
Munay Tech Gases (ALMTG), a joint venture of Air
Liquide and KazMunayGas (KMG), has entered into an
agreement to invest up to €86-million to acquire and modernize
hydrogen and nitrogen production units from KMG’s
Atyrau refinery.
Within the framework of the agreement, Air Liquide
will bring its technical know-how, digital and energy optimization
expertise to modernize the assets and improve
the overall carbon dioxide footprint of the site.
The units will be connected to Air Liquide’s Smart &
Innovative Operations Center to optimize energy consumption,
flexibility and reliability.
ALMTG will operate the plants to supply industrial
gases to the Atyrau refinery. The units will produce up to
200-million normal cu m/yr of hydrogen and up to 50-
million normal cu m/yr of nitrogen.
ALMTG is owned 75% by Air Liquide and 25% by KMG,
the state owned oil and gas company of Kazakhstan.

 

Aker Clean Hydrogen, Mainstream Partner On Green Hydrogen, Low-Cost Ammonia

Santiago—
Aker Clean Hydrogen and Mainstream Renewable Power
recently signed a letter of intent (LoI) to jointly explore the
development of green hydrogen and low-cost ammonia production
in Chile.
The parties will collaborate on developing a complete
and commercially viable green value chain in Chile, using
Aker Clean Hydrogen’s hydrogen project development capabilities
and Mainstream’s portfolio of wind and solar
park projects in the country. Over 1-gigawatt has been
earmarked for this partnership.
“Chile has stated an ambition to produce the most costefficient
green hydrogen in the world by 2030,” Mainstream
noted. “The green ammonia will be utilized by several
industrial end-users locally in South America, and
also exported to other markets.”
Aker Clean Hydrogen was formed by Aker Horizon, the
renewable platform of Aker ASA, to develop, build, own
and operate clean hydrogen production plants.
This past January, Aker Horizons announced an
agreement to acquire a 75% stake in Mainstream. The
transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of
2021, subject to customary approvals and financial closing.

 

Cerberus and Koch Agree to Purchase PQ Performance Chems for $1.1-Bn

New York—
Cerberus Capital Management, together with its affiliates,
and Koch Minerals & Trading announced a partnership
that has agreed to acquire the PQ Performance Chemicals
business of PQ Group Holdings for about $1.1-billion.
PQ Performance Chemicals is a “leading” global producer
of sodium silicates, specialty silicas and zeolites, the
companies noted. Following completion of the transaction,
expected in 2021, the business will continue to operate under
the PQ brand.
“We are looking forward to joining forces with Cerberus
in this exciting partnership with the PQ Performance
Chemicals team,” said Vance Holtzman, senior vice president
at Koch Minerals & Trading. “We are eager to invest
and execute on management’s growth plans, leveraging the
complementary capabilities of the partnership.”

 

Topsoe Plans SOEC Manufacturing Plant To Meet Demand for Green Hydrogen

Lyngby—
Haldor Topsoe is building a new large-scale, highly efficient
solid oxide electrolyzer (SOEC) manufacturing facility
to meet customer demand for green hydrogen production.
The new plant, which will be the “largest of its kind”
will have an electrolyzer production capacity of 500 megawatt
per year, with the option to expand to 5 gigawatt per
year, Topsoe noted. Construction will begin next year and
operations will commence by 2023.
“With efficiencies above 90%, Topsoe’s proprietary
SOEC electrolyzers offer superior performance in electrolysis
of water into hydrogen, when compared to today’s standard
alkaline or PEM electrolyzers,” stated the company.
“This new manufacturing facility is a concrete step to
take a leading role in the ongoing energy transition towards
a low carbon future,” said Haldor Topsoe Chief Executive
Roeland Baan.
“We strongly believe that one of the most viable routes
to this goal lies in the efficient utilization of renewable
electricity to produce green hydrogen, fuels and chemicals.”

 

Aramco & HHIH Sign Non-Binding MoU For Blue Hydrogen, NH3 Opportunities

Dhahran—
Saudi Aramco and Hyundai Heavy Industries Holdings
(HHIH) have signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding
(MoU) to collaborate on research and development
opportunities to demonstrate the use of blue hydrogen
and ammonia.
Through the agreement, Hyundai Oilbank, the oil refinery
unit of HHIH, plans to cooperate with Aramco on
the realization of a “carbon zero” process, Hyundai noted,
while Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering, the
shipbuilding unit of HHIH, plans to develop the “world’s
first” combined ship capable of carrying both liquefied petroleum
gas (LPG) cargoes and captured carbon dioxide.
Under a MoU, Hyundai Oilbank will import liquefied
petroleum gas from Aramco, which it will then convert into
blue hydrogen. The hydrogen will be used at desulphurization
facilities at Hyundai Oilbank refineries, and be sold to
the market.
Also, Hyundai Oilbank plans to receive blue ammonia
from Aramco and use it as fuel for LPG boilers that are
scheduled to be established in 2024. Blue ammonia as a
power plant fuel would “significantly” reduce carbon dioxide
emissions, the companies said.

 

TPC Reaches Deal for C4 Processing

Houston—TPC
Group said it has “successfully” reached a C4 processing
agreement with a third-party crude C4 toll processor.
The agreement uses TPC Group’s logistic and storage
facilities, along with its commercial agreements for feedstock
and product sales, to supply a steady stream of crude
C4s to the processor.
Available butadiene extraction capacity will be used to
process the crude C4 and return the finished butadiene
and raffinate products to TPC for distribution.
“This agreement provides us access to significant capabilities
to consume our committed crude C4 volumes, as
well as meet the requirements of our long-term butadiene
product sales agreements,” noted Charlie Graham, senior
vice president, commercial.

 

Neste Completes Acquisition of Bunge’s Refinery Facility in the Netherlands

Rotterdam—
Neste has finalized the purchase of Bunge Loders Croklaan’s
refinery plant that is located next to Neste’s existing
biorefinery in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, for an undisclosed
amount.
The plant consists of a pretreatment facility, tank farm,
jetties and pipeline connection to Neste’s site. The transition
of operations and employees will be implemented in
phases with the refinery plant’s full and modified pretreatment
capacity available for processing Neste’s feedstock
by the end of 2024.
“The completion of this acquisition is an important step
forward in delivering on Neste’s global growth strategy in
renewables,” said Neste President and Chief Executive
Peter Vanacker.
“It allows us to accelerate the scaling up of our renewable
raw material pretreatment capacity, which is an important
driver for expanding the use of waste and residue
feedstocks and increasing our feedstock flexibility.
“We are committed to increasing the share of waste and
residues to 100% of Neste’s total renewable raw material
inputs at the latest by 2025, and growing our production
platform to help customers reduce greenhouse gas emission
by 20-million tons annually by 2030.”

 

Ineos, Engie Cooperate in Pilot Project To Replace Nat Gas with Hydrogen

Antwerp—Ineos
Phenol and Engie have partnered in a pilot project for the
gradual replacement of natural gas by hydrogen at Ineos’
commercial-scale cogeneration plant in Doel, Belgium.
Initially, 10% of the gas feed will be replaced by hydrogen.
If successful, the feed will be increased to 20%. This
is the “first” time that such tests have been carried out on
an industrial scale in Belgium, Ineos noted.
“The commercial-scale project plays a pioneering role in
the energy transition of the chemical industry,” said Ineos.
“This practical exploration by Engie and Ineos will provide
both partners with valuable insights and data in the
use of hydrogen in industrial facilities, such as monitoring
efficiency and measuring emissions during combustion,
which is essential in the development of a next generation
of burners.”
Engie is responsible for the design, installation and operation
of the technology at the site. Ineos has the necessary
permits for the project and expertise in handling hydrogen.

 

SCG Announces Three ‘Strategic’ Plans For Long-Term Growth, Sustainability

Bangkok—
SCG announced three “strategic” plans toward a “Chemicals
Business for Sustainability,” in order to gain a higher
competitive edge in the global stage, and to build long-term
growth with sustainable development.
The company has set a target to achieve 200,000 tons of
green polymer sales volume by 2025, and to increase the
proportion of sales of high value-added products by 50%
within 2030, while integrating digital technology to enhance
operations throughout the supply chain.
The three business strategies include: Accelerate Circularity,
Accelerate Innovation and Accelerate Digital Technology.
Under the Accelerate Circularity plan, SCG will promote
resource use efficiency and mitigate global warming.
It will offer solutions catered to the needs of brand owners
and eco-conscious customers through design for recyclability,
post-consumer recycled resin, chemical recycling and
bioplastics.
This year, under the Accelerate Innovation plan, the
company has set aside around $53,000 for research and
development. In 2019, it established the i2P (Ideas to
Products) Center, which offers a product prototype development
unit for customers, and facilitates product development
at about three times the normal pace, SCG noted.
Finally, as part of the Accelerate Digital Technology
plan, digital technology is implemented to enhance business
capabilities with regards to speed and efficiency.
With these three strategies, “SCG is fully equipped to
deliver solid and sustainable growth,” while also meeting
sustainable development goals and ESG (environmental,
social, governance) targets, the company added.

 

PetroChemical News Briefs

Chevron Phillips Chemical notified the local community
that it will be preparing equipment for operation at its
Baytown, Texas, facility, after last month’s extreme
weather caused the plant to suspend operations (PCN, 22
Feb 2021, p 4).
Targa Resources reported a fire incident at its facility
in Galena Park, Texas, on 4 Mar. 2021. No other details
are currently available.
Enterprise Products Partners said its PDH 2 (propane
dehydrogenation ) plant being built in Mont Belvieu,
Texas, remains on schedule, and on budget, to come on line
in the second quarter of 2023 (PCN, 6 July 2020, p 2). The
unit will have the capacity to upgrade 35,000 b/d of propane
into 1.65-billion lbs/yr of polymer-grade propylene.

V59 N09 – 1 March 2021

Braskem Boosting Production Capacity Of Green Ethylene at Triunfo Facility

Triunfo—
Braskem announced plans to invest $61-million to increase
production capacity of green ethylene for biopolymer production
at its plant in Triunfo, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.
The project, scheduled to begin this year, will increase
green ethylene capacity at the site to 260,000 t/y from
200,000 t/y currently. Completion is planned in the fourth
quarter of next year.
Green ethylene, the main feedstock derived from sugarcane
ethanol, is used to produce renewable thermoplastic
resins.
“The increase in biopolymer capacity and production reflects
healthy growth in demand from society and our
partners for sustainable products, which has increased
significantly in recent years,” said Marco Jansen, global
biopolymers leader at Braskem.
“It’s also a strong signal of Braskem’s commitment towards
sustainable development, which reflects the values
of our supply chain partners and our customers.
“Our business expansion aims to consolidate Braskem’s
leadership of the biopolymers market.”

 

Hengyi Selects Honeywell Technologies For Brunei Petchem Expansion Project

Brunei Bay—
Hengyi Industries has chosen advanced reforming and aromatics
technologies from Honeywell UOP for the second
phase of its integrated refinery and petrochemical complex
in Pulau Muara Besar, Brunei (PCN, 8 Feb 2021, p 1).
The second phase involves expansion of the complex’s
existing cracker plant and aromatics facility, as well as
expansion of the refinery’s crude processing capacity.
Honeywell has agreed to provide a range of technology
licenses, engineering design, key equipment and state-ofthe-
art catalysts and adsorbents, operator training, and
technical services for start-up and continuing operations.
The complex will include an aromatics block consisting
of Honeywell UOP’s CCR Platforming technology, and a
Light Desorbent Parex aromatics complex, which will produce
up to 2.3-million t/y of high-purity paraxylene.
In addition, Honeywell will supply a UOP naphtha hydrotreating
unit; an Olefin Removal Process unit; Sulfolane
technology; Isomar technology, and Tatoray technology.
It is also providing a second Sulfolane unit for pygas
extraction, and a VGO Unicracking unit and Diesel
Unicracking unit targeting maximum naphtha production.
Once complete, Hengyi will have the capacity to produce
a total of over 3.8-million t/y of paraxylene.

 

KOS Chooses Sumitomo’s Technology To Expand PE Production in Russia

Kazan—Sumitomo
Chemical has signed an agreement with Kazan Organichesky
Sintez (KOS) to license its high-pressure polyethylene
(PE) process to boost KOS’s PE capacity and diversify
its product mix at KOS’s site in Kazan, Tatarstan,
Russia.
As part of the project, KOS is removing part of the existing
manufacturing facilities and installing a state-of-theart
facility, which will utilize Sumitomo’s technology for
the production of 100,000 t/y of low-density PE (LDPE) and
ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA). A schedule for the project
was not given.
Sumitomo’s high-pressure PE process is a proprietary
autoclaving process, which is switchable between LDPE
and EVA production in one manufacturing facility.
“The technology is also energy efficient because of its
high monomer reaction efficiency, and offers excellent operational
stability,” Sumitomo noted.

 

Stamicarbon Wins Henan Xinlianxin Contract For Ultra-Low Energy Urea Plant in China

Beijing—
Henan Xinlianxin Chemicals Group has awarded licensing
and equipment supply contracts to Stamicarbon for a second
ultra-low energy grassroots urea facility to be built in
China.
The new 2,334-t/d urea plant will feature Stamicarbon’s
innovative ultra-low energy design, allowing for heat to be
used three times. Start-up is expected in 2023.
Stamicarbon will deliver the process design package
and the proprietary high pressure equipment in Safurex
and associated services for both the urea melt unit and
finishing by prilling.
Jiujiang Xinlianxin Fertilizer Co., a subsidiary of Henan
Xinlianxin, is currently commissioning the first plant
ever designed with Stamicarbon’s Launch Melt ultra-low
energy design in Jiangxi Province.
“The ultra-low design is not only suitable for new
plants, it can also be used as a powerful revamp tool for
both CO2 [carbon dioxide] stripping and conventional urea
plants,” Stamicarbon noted.

 

Equinor Resumes Methanol Production At Tjeldbergodden Facility in Norway

Oslo—Equinor
announced that its methanol plant is back in operation in
Tjeldbergodden, Norway, after being decommissioned
following a fire on 2 Dec. 2020 (PCN, 7 Dec 2020, p 3).
The methanol plant, which the company said is the
“world’s largest,” has around 900,000 t/y of capacity. It is
owned 82.01% by Equinor and 17.99% by ConocoPhillips
Scandinavia.
The fire broke out in a compressor unit, resulting in the
shut down of the methanol facility and an air separation
plant. The incident is still under investigation.

 

Pertamina Rosneft JV Lets Shell Contract For Indonesian Refinery & PC Complex

Tuban—PT
Pertamina Rosneft Pengolahan dan Petrokimia (PRPP), a
joint venture of Pertamina and Rosneft, has awarded a
contract to Shell Catalyst & Technologies to supply its proprietary
technologies for a grassroots refinery and petrochemical
complex being built in Tuban, Indonesia (PCN, 14
Dec 2020, p 1).
The complex, expected to be completed in 2025, will
consist of a 300,000-b/d refinery and plants for the production
of over 1-million t/y of ethylene, 1.3-million t/y of aromatic
hydrocarbons and 650,000 t/y of polyethylene.
Under the contract, Shell will provide licensing and basic
engineering for state-of-the-art technologies, including
it Omega Process for the production of monoethylene glycol,
as well as distillate hydrotreating process for the catalytic
removal of sulfur and/or nitrogen and/or hydrogenation
of aromatics from diesel fractions of certain crude oils.
“Our comprehensive agreement with Shell Catalysts &
Technologies will provide PT Pertamina Rosneft Pengolahan
dan Petrokimia with the technology and engineering
needed in order for the integrated refinery and petrochemical
complex to be one of the most competitive in the Asia-
Pacific region,” noted Carlos Mondolfi, project director at
PRPP.

 

Haldia Petrochemical Proposes Project To Increase Plant’s Polymer Capacity

Haldia—Haldia
Petrochemicals is considering expanding capacity of its
700,000-t/y polymers plant in Haldia, West Bengal, India,
by 50%, reported Telegraph India.
The proposed Rs 8,500 crore project would increase
polymer capacity by 345,000 t/y to a total of over 1-million
t/y. A schedule was not given.
The Calcutta Port Trust has allotted six acres for the
project for the import of 300,000 tons of additional naphtha
feedstock.

 

ExxonMobil Concludes Initial Phase of Trial To Test Its Advanced Recycling Process

Baytown—
ExxonMobil has completed the initial phase of a plant trial
at its Baytown, Texas, facilities to test its proprietary advanced
recycling process for converting plastic waste into
raw materials for high-value polymers.
The company plans to use the results from the trial to
scale up advanced recycling capabilities at other plants
around the world, targeting a circular solution for converting
difficult-to-recycle plastic waste into feedstock for virgin-
quality plastic.
ExxonMobil recently formed a joint venture with Agilyx,
which will help supply plastic waste feedstocks to
ExxonMobil’s advanced recycling projects (see related story,
pg. 3).
“ExxonMobil is taking action to help address the issue
of plastic waste,” said ExxonMobil Chemical President
Karen McKee.
“This advanced recycling initiative brings together the
strength of ExxonMobil’s integrated petrochemical facilities
and our deep technology expertise in chemical processing
to capture value from plastic waste and meet our customers’
growing demand for high-performance, certified
circular polymers.”

 

Inter Pipeline Advises Shareholders Not to Act on Recent Takeover Bid

Calgary—Inter
Pipeline Ltd. is urging shareholders to take no action with
respect to the recent unsolicited bid by an affiliate of
Brookfield Infrastructure Partners LP to acquire all outstanding
commons shares of the company (PCN, 22 Feb
2021, p 2).
The offer, valued at C$13.5-billion, was reviewed by the
company’s special committee of independent directors
formed by the board of directors on 18 Feb. 2021. On 22
Feb. 2021, the company said the board has 15 days to provide
shareholders with a recommendation regarding the
offer.
Inter Pipeline reminds shareholders that the board of
directors has initiated a comprehensive review of strategic
alternatives to maximize shareholder value.
“Inter Pipeline is a high-quality energy infrastructure
business with a diversified asset portfolio that generates
long-term predictable cash flows, all of which understandably
make it attractive,” said Margaret McKenzie,
chair of the special committee.
“It is the board’s duty to not only review this offer, but
to pursue all available opportunities to unlock maximum
value for our shareholders.”

 

SK Innovation Looking to Sell Stake In SK Global Chemical Subsidiary

Seoul—SK Innovation
is planning to divest a 49% interest in its SK Global
Chemical subsidiary and retain the remaining 51%, reported
the Korea Herald citing SK Innovation.
The decision is part of SK Innovation’s strategy to focus
its investments on green businesses. J.P. Morgan is financial
advisor.
“SK Global Chemical is reviewing a partnership with
global strategic investors and setting up a joint venture is
one of the options,” said the report quoting an SK Innovation
official.
“To accelerate the Green Balance 2030 campaign based
on a robust financial story, SK Innovation seeks to shore
up funds for future growth and support SK Global Chemical
to create synergies (with global partners).”
In 2019, SK Innovation declared Green Balance 2030 as
a goal, as well as a tool for ESG (environmental, social and
governance) management, for the company’s sustainable
growth and development, according to the company’s website.
To achieve this goal, SK Innovation is promoting
portfolio transformation in accordance with three strategic
directions: Green, Technology and Global.

 

People on the Move

Mubadala—Mansoor Mohamed Al Hamed, previously
chief growth officer, has been appointed chief executive of
Mubadala Petroleum, a wholly-owned subsidiary of
Mubadala Investment Co. He succeeds Dr. Bakheet Al
Katheeri, who has been appointed to an executive leadership
position in the newly formed UAE Investments platform
of Mubadala.
Recyclex—Jacky Gofflot has been named chief executive
to succeed the current chairman and chief executive,
Sebastian Rudow, effective 1 Mar. 2021.
Thomas Huser, an economic and public affairs expert,
will take over as chairman.

 

Mitsubishi Chem Taking Series of Actions To Strengthen Global MMA Operations

Tokyo—
Mitsubishi Chemical Corp. (MCC) announced a number of
changes planned for its global methyl methacrylate (MMA)
business to strengthen its operations.
In Japan, MCC will establish Mitsubishi Chemical
Methacrylates Japan Co. on 1 Apr. 2021 to serve the domestic
market in Japan.
On the same date, Lucite International Singapore will
be renamed Mitsubishi Chemical Methacrylates Singapore;
Huizhou MMA will be called Mitsubishi Chemical
Methacrylates (Huizhou).; Lucite International (China)
Chemical Industry will go by the name Mitsubishi Chemical
Methacrylates (Shanghai), and Mitsubishi Chemical
Lucite Group will be renamed Mitsubishi Chemical
Methacrylates Ltd.
“To date, headquarter functions have been carried out
in Japan and the UK, but going forward, these functions,
including global supply chain management, will be consolidated
at Mitsubishi Chemical Methacrylates Singapore to
achieve a stronger MMA operations management base that
enables centralized and speedy decision-making, and the
appointment and advancement of a diverse workforce,”
MCC explained.
MCC’s MMA operations involve 11 monomer plants and
six polymer facilities in growth markets around the world.

 

Gevo & HCS Ink Strategic Agreement For Renewable Hydrocarbon Facility

Frankfurt—
Gevo and HCS Group have signed a memorandum of understanding
for a project to develop and build a plant to
produce renewable hydrocarbons, advanced renewable fuels
and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) in Speyer, Germany.
The new approximately 60,000-t/y facility, which would
utilize Gevo’s low-carbon SAF technology, will be located at
HCS Group’s manufacturing site. Production is anticipated
to begin by the end of 2024.
HCS’ site is operated by the Haltermann Carless brand
and strategically located in Central Europe.
“Using our existing infrastructure in Speyer, including
our new hydrogenation plant, allows us to minimize timeto-
market, certification and approval processes, and costs
for this first-of-its-kind project,” noted HCS Group Chief
Executive Henrik Krupper.

 

Borealis Installing New RTO in Finland To ‘Significantly’ Lower CO2 Emissions

Porvoo—
Borealis announced it is investing €17.6-million to install a
new regenerative thermal oxidizer (RTO) for its polyolefins
plants in Porvoo, Finland, to “significantly” lower the site’s
carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.
The RTO – a piece of air pollution control equipment
designed to treat exhaust air – will also reduce flaring by
around 6,000 t/y and save about 60 gigawatt hours of energy
per year, said Borealis. Completion is planned for
2023.
The installation of the RTO, along with the requisite
piping for the polyolefins plants, will generate about 16 bar
steam. This newly-won steam will replace around 50% of
the heat energy currently required for the Porvoo polyolefins
operations in a cleaner and more efficient way, the
company noted.

 

Agilyx & ExxonMobil Form Cyclyx JV To Increase Plastic Waste Recycling

Tigard—Agilyx
and ExxonMobil recently established Cyclyx International
LLC to help scale up the supply of qualified plastic waste
for the plastics recycling industry.
The joint venture, formed on 1 Jan. 2021, combines Agilyx’s
expertise in plastic waste conversion with ExxonMobil’s
technology expertise and large-scale petrochemical
manufacturing network.
Cyclyx will collect and pre-process plastic waste to meet
the technical requirements of a wide range of recycling
processes, while ensuring a reliable supply of feedstock to
its customers, Agilyx noted.
The joint venture’s goal is to transform the current
supply chain and help accelerate the growth of the advanced
recycling industry by connecting companies seeking
plastic waste solutions with customers engaged in recycling
initiatives.
Also, as part of the joint venture agreement, Cyclyx will
help supply plastic waste feedstocks for ExxonMobil’s advanced
recycling projects (see related story, pg. 2).
“We see Cyclyx as helping to fill an important missing
link in the plastics recycling value chain that is needed for
advanced recycling solutions to scale,” said ExxonMobil
Chemical President Karen McKee.
The new joint venture, owned 75% by Agilyx and 25%
by ExxonMobil, invites other companies to join as members,
such as petrochemical companies, retailers, brand
owners, waste management companies, municipalities and
others looking for solutions to address plastic waste in the
environment.

 

MOL Updates Its Long-Term Strategy To Include New Sustainability Goals

Budapest—
MOL’s board of directors has approved “MOL Group
2030+,” an update of the company’s long-term strategy,
fully integrated with a new sustainability strategy and
complemented with a longer-term vision and ambitions
beyond 2030.
“The . . . [original] strategy has so far proved to be progressive,
credible and directionally correct,” said Zsolt
Hernádi, chairman and chief executive. “Accordingly, MOL
has taken important strategic steps in the right direction
over the past five years. However, we have observed an
unprecedented pace of changes around us recently, including
rapid progress in the green energy transition.
“Our updated strategy seeks to accelerate our transformation
process to enhance MOL’s resilience and our
ability to shape a sustainable future. We will sharpen our
focus, increase our efficiency further, while seeking new
opportunities with a new determination.”
MOL will continue and step up its fuel-to-chemicals
transformation in the downstream business, aiming to become
a leading sustainable chemicals company in Central
and Eastern Europe [CEE].
In the next five years, the company plans to spend $1-
billion on new, low-carbon and sustainable projects in
CEE, including investments in new businesses, such as
waste integration and utilization, recycling, carbon capture,
utilization and storage, advanced biofuels and potentially
hydrogen-related opportunities.
In addition, the company has made significant carbon
reduction targets by 2030, and shares the European Union’s
ambition to be climate-neutral by 2050.

 

TPC Progresses in Multi-Phase Start-Up Of Port Neches Terminal Operations

Houston—TPC
Group announced the successful start-up of the second
phase of its Port Neches terminal operations in Texas, part
of a three-phased start-up process to serve current and
future customers and supplier needs.
On 27 Nov. 2019, TPC experienced an explosion and
fire in a butadiene processing unit at the Port Neches petrochemicals
complex (PCN, 2 Mar 2020, p 1).
Early last year, TPC said it would transition operations
to only a terminal and services organization, and reduce
workforce, while it rebuilds the parts of the complex that
were affected by the incident. It estimated rebuild would
take a “number” of years.
“We are pleased with the progress we continue to make
on reestablishing butadiene, crude C4 and raffinate terminalling
capabilities at the . . . site,” said TPC Group President
and Chief Executive Ed Dineen.
TPC has made “substantial” progress in site mitigation
and recovery at the site, reestablishing terminal operations,
and positioning the site for future C4 capacity
growth, the company noted.

 

Arkema Raising Chinese PVDF Capacity

Shanghai—
Arkema is investing in a further expansion of its Kynar
polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) production facility at its
Changshu site in China (PCN, 21 Oct 2019, p 4).
The project, which will increase PVDF production capacity
at the site by 35%, is scheduled to come on stream
before the end of 2022.
In late 2019, the company announced it was expanding
PVDF capacity at Changshu by 50%. The expansion was
completed in December 2020. Total capacity of the plant
was not given.

 

Vinnolit to Offer ‘Green’ Caustic Soda

Berlin—Vinnolit
said it will launch certified climate-friendly “green”
caustic soda in 2021, in order to reduce its carbon dioxide
(CO2) footprint and in turn enable customers to reduce
their own carbon footprint.
The low-carbon caustic soda, marketed under the brand
name GreenVin, is produced at the company’s sites in
Gendorf and Knapsack, Germany.
The CO2 footprint of the caustic soda is reduced by over
30% compared to Vinnolit’s conventional caustic soda.

 

CVC Exploring Offer for Synthomer; Companies Not Yet in Discussions

Essex—Private equity
firm CVC Capital Partners is considering a bid for
Synthomer, reported Bloomberg quoting people with
knowledge of the matter.
The companies aren’t currently holding any negotiations;
however, CVC made an initial approach to Synthomer
to determine its interest, according to the people,
who asked to remain anonymous because the information
is private.
“Deliberations are ongoing, and there’s no certainty
they will lead to a transaction,” the sources said.

 

PetroChemical News Briefs

LSB Industries has begun a phased restart of its
Pryor, Okla., facility, that was taken out of service on 12
Feb. 2021, after extreme cold weather caused a surge in
natural gas prices in the region (PCN, 22 Feb 2021, p 4). It
has also restarted ammonia production at its El Dorado,
Ark., plant, and is ramping up to full rates.
Chandra Asri Petrochemical has received a $60-
million structured trade facility from DBS Bank for its
Chandra Asri Trading Co. subsidiary. It will be used to
expand export growth of petrochemical products from Indonesia.
On 26 Feb. 2021, ExxonMobil said its Baytown,
Texas, Olefins facilities are progressing through a safe restart.
The facility was taken out of service after the recent
severe cold weather.
Flint Hills Resources is restarting its chemical plant
in Houston, Texas, following recovery from the recent
freezing weather.
BayPort Polymers said on 25 Feb. 2021 that it would
begin the start-up process for its Pasadena, Texas, facility,
affected by the winter weather.
Braskem announced on 24 Feb. 2021 that its facility
in La Porte, Texas, will be starting up one of its production
units. No other details were given.
Elix Polymers has launched E-Loop brand for its circular
economy activities. The company said it will continue
to develop a more sustainable product portfolio. It is
currently working on several mechanically recycled products
that have the same level of functionality in the final
customer applications as virgin materials.
Michelin announced that by 2050, its tires will be
made entirely from renewable, recycled, bio-sourced or otherwise
sustainable materials.

V59 N08 – 22 February 2021

Tecnicas Reunidas Win Sasa Contract To Build New PTA Plant in Turkey

Adana—Sasa
Polyester has awarded a contract to Tecnicas Reunidas for
the construction of a new purified terephthalic acid (PTA)
facility in Adana, Turkey (PCN, 31 Aug 2020, p 3).
The $935-million project, based on Invista Performance
Technologies’ P8 process technology, will have a capacity of
1.5-million t/y of PTA. PCN earlier reported that completion
was expected in 2022.
The scope of Tecnicas Reunidas’ contract includes engineering,
procurement and construction supervision and
management.
“Tecnicas Reunidas is uniquely placed to leverage on its
engineering and technical expertise and its solid petrochemical
track record to play a significant role in the
growth of this industry in Turkey,” said Tecnicas Reunidas
Chairman Juan Llado.
“We look forward to delivering this project safely and
sustainably and we are extremely honored to participate in
this significant development for Turkey, a country where
our company is fully committed.
“We also look forward to participating in the economic
development of the Adana province, boosting the local supply
chain, optimizing distribution and therefore achieving
a significant reduction in the carbon footprint.”

 

Repsol Enters Accord with Chinese Firm To License PO/SM & Polyols Processes

Nanjing—
Repsol has entered into a technology licensing agreement
with an unnamed company for a project that involves construction
of a propylene oxide(PO)/styrene monomer (SM)
co-production plant, as well as two polyol plants, in Jiangsu
Province, China.
The plants will have a production capacity of 200,000
t/y of PO, 450,000 t/y of SM and an aggregated production
capacity of 125,000 t/y of polyether polyols. Value of the
contract and a schedule for the project were not given.
Repsol said it plans to continue collaborating with the
licensee in additional initiatives to strengthen its positioning
in the Chinese market.

 

DIC Announces Agreement to Exit Kangnam Chemical Joint Venture

Seoul—DIC Corp.
said that Kangnam Chemical, its polyurethanes and phenolic
resins joint venture with Kangnam Jevisco, will purchase
all of the shares currently held by DIC, and DIC will
exit the joint venture.
Kangnam Chemical was formed in 1971 for the manufacture
and sale of general-purpose polyurethanes and
phenolic resins. The joint venture agreement, under which
Kangnam Chemical was created, will be dissolved in early
March 2021.
Kangnam Chemical is currently owned by DIC (50%),
Kangnam Jevisco (41.3%), Kangnam Corp. (5.7%), Ik-Jun
Hwang (1.5%) and Joong-Ho Hwang (1.5%).

 

TechnipFMC Completes Separation Into Two Independent Companies

Paris—Technip-
FMC announced the conclusion of its spin-off transaction
to create two industry leading, independent, publicly
traded companies, TechnipFMC and Technip Energies
(PCN, 11 Jan 2021, p 3).
TechnipFMC is now a fully-integrated technology and
services provider, while Technip Energies is “one of the
largest” engineering and construction pure-plays.
“I am delighted to announce the successful completion
of the separation transaction,” said TechnipFMC Chairman
and Chief Executive Doug Pferdehirt.
“As the market leader and industry’s only fully integrated
pure-play, we are uniquely positioned to transform
our clients’ project economics, helping them to unlock traditional
and new energy resources, while reducing carbon
intensity and supporting their energy transition ambitions.”
TechnipFMC earlier said that, as part of the transaction,
it would distribute 50.1% of the outstanding shares in
Technip Energies to existing TechnipFMC shareholders on
a pro rata basis. TechnipFMC will retain ownership of the
remaining 49.9% of Technip Energies’ outstanding shares
as of the distribution date.

 

SCG to Start Up Thailand’s ‘First’ Plant To Demonstrate Chemical Recycling

Bangkok—The
Chemicals Business of SCG said it recently unveiled its
new chemical recycling technology that can turn postconsumer
plastics into renewable feedstock for petrochemical
plants, and is set to start-up Thailand’s “first” demonstration
plant.
Located in SCG’s Rayong complex, the demonstration
unit will produce approximately 4,000 t/y of renewable
feedstock, with plans for future expansion. Start-up is expected
by the second half of this year.
SCG’s advanced technology utilizes catalyst to promote
energy savings and environmental friendliness for the recycling
process, such as lower process temperature.
The plant is intended to offer a sustainable solution for
post-consumer plastic management and harness renewable
feedstock for SCG’s petrochemical facilities, SCG noted.
SCG has partnered with a technology start-up to codevelop
the recycling technology and establish a new joint
venture, Circular Plas Co. Ltd., which will operate the
plastic recycling business. SCG’s Chemicals Business will
hold a 60% stake in Circular Plas, while the partner will
hold the remaining 40% interest.

 

ET Signs Definitive Merger Agreement To Buy Enable for Around $7.2-BN

Dallas—Energy
Transfer LP (ET) and Enable Midstream Partners LP announced
that they have entered into a definitive merger
agreement, whereby ET will acquire Enable in an allequity
transaction valued at approximately $7.2-billion.
Enable owns, operates and develops strategically located
natural gas and crude oil infrastructure assets in the
U.S., the companies noted.
The assets include around 14,000 miles of natural gas,
crude oil, condensate and produced water gathering pipelines;
about 2.6-billion cu ft/d of natural gas processing capacity;
approximately 7,800 miles of interstate pipelines
(including Southeast Supply Header of which Enable owns
50%); about 2,200 miles of intrastate pipelines, and seven
natural gas storage facilities comprising 84.5-billion cu ft
of storage capacity.
ET’s purchase of Enable will increase its footprint
across multiple regions and provide increased connectivity
for ET’s natural gas and natural gas liquid (NGL) transportation
businesses, said ET.
The deal will “strengthen” ET’s NGL infrastructure by
adding natural gas gathering and processing assets in the
Anadarko basin in Oklahoma and integrate “high-quality”
assets with ET’s existing NGL transportation and fractionation
assets on the U.S. Gulf Coast.
The acquisition will also provide gas gathering and
processing assets in the Arkoma basin across Arkansas
and Oklahoma, as well as the Haynesville Shale in East
Texas and North Louisiana.
In addition, Enable’s transportation and storage assets
“enhance” ET’s access to core markets with consistent
sources of demand and bolster its portfolio of customers
anchored by large, investment-grade customers with firm,
long-term contracts.
Finally, the purchase will further enhance ET’s connectivity
to the global LNG market and the growing global
demand for natural gas, as the world transitions to cleaner
power and fuel sources.
The transaction is expected to close in mid-2021, subject
to the satisfaction of customary closing conditions, including
Hart Scott Rodino Act clearance.

 

Lanxess Enters Into Binding Agreement To Acquire Emerald Kalama Chemical

Cologne—
Lanxess has signed a binding agreement to acquire 100%
of the shares in U.S.-based specialty chemicals manufacturer
Emerald Kalama Chemical for around $1.04-billion.
Emerald, which is majority owned by affiliates of U.S.
private equity firm American Securities LLC, has production
sites in Kalama, Wash.; Rotterdam, the Netherlands;
and Widnes, UK., and approximately 500 employees. Subject
to approval by relevant authorities, the transaction is
scheduled to be completed in the second half of 2021.
“We are gaining further momentum on our growth
course,” noted Matthias Zachert, chairman of the board of
management of Lanxess AG. “The businesses of Emerald
Kalama Chemical are an ideal fit for us.
“We will further strengthen our consumer protection
segment and open up new application areas with strong
margins, for example in the food industry and animal
health sector. “In addition, we will also enlarge our presence
in the growth region of North America. All this will
make us even more profitable and stable.”

 

Inter Pipeline Initiates Strategic Review Following Unsolicited EoI for Company

Calgary—
Inter Pipeline Ltd. announced that the board of directors
has initiated a comprehensive review of strategic alternatives
to maximize shareholder value, after receiving an
unsolicited expression of interest (EoI) for the company.
“Acting in the best interests of the company and its
shareholders, the board, consistent with its fiduciary duties,
will evaluate a broad range of options, including exploring
a possible corporate transaction, while continuing
to seek a partner for a material interest in the Heartland
Petrochemical Complex,” Inter Pipeline explained.
“The company has not set a timetable for the conclusion
of the strategic review nor has it made any decisions related
to strategic alternatives at this time. There can be
no assurance that the . . . review will result in any transaction
or, if a transaction is undertaken, as to the terms or
timing of such a transaction.”
Being built in Alberta, Canada, the complex is an integrated
propane dehydrogenation and polypropylene (PP)
facility that will convert 22,000 b/d of propane into about
525,000 t/y of PP (PCN, 18 Jan 2021, p 1). Start-up is expected
in early 2022.

 

Axens Selected to License Technologies To NRL’s Refinery Expansion Project

Assam—Numaligarh
Refinery Ltd. (NRL) has chosen Axens to supply advanced
technologies in gasoline block for its refinery expansion
project in Numaligarh, Golaghat, Assam, India
(PCN, 15 Feb 2021, p 2).
NRL plans to expand the refinery capacity to 9-million
t/y from 3-million t/y currently, by implementing in parallel
a new refinery with downstream grassroots facilities at
the same location as the existing refinery. Value of the
contract and an expected completion date were not given.
Axens’ scope of work includes the supply of basic engineering
design package, catalysts and adsorbents, proprietary
equipment, training and technical services.
As part of the project, Axens will license the following
technologies: naphtha hydrotreating unit; Octanizing continuous
catalytic reforming unit; C5-C6 isomerization unit,
and a Prime-G+ fluid catalytic cracking gasoline selective
desulfurization unit.

 

People on the Move

SK Capital Partners—Daniele Ferrari has joined the
private investment firm as senior director. He was most
recently chief executive of Versalis.
American Chemistry Council (ACC)—Dr. Kimberly
Wise White has been named vice president of regulatory
and technical affairs, effective 22 Feb. 2021, succeeding
Michael Walls, who has retired. She previously served as a
senior director within ACC’s Chemical Products and Technology
Division.
Bolder Industries—Michael Murray has become
president/director of Bolder Industries Europe.
Steve Renegar, previously vice president of sales at Pyrolyx
USA, has joined Bolder as strategic sales director.
Halliburton—Bhavesh V. (Bob) Patel, chief executive
of LyondellBasell, has been named to Halliburton’s board
of directors.

 

Yara, Statkraft and Aker Horizons Ink LoI For Large-Scale Green Ammonia Project

Oslo—Yara
International said it has signed a letter of intent (LoI) with
Statkraft and Aker Horizons to establish “Europe’s first”
large-scale green ammonia project at Yara’s existing ammonia
plant in Porsgrunn, Norway.
The partners will target green hydrogen and green
ammonia opportunities within shipping, agriculture and
industrial applications, by electrifying and decarbonizing
Yara’s ammonia facility with the aim of fully removing
carbon dioxide emissions from ammonia production.
‘This is not just a unique decarbonization project, but a
strategic investment that can establish new value chains
for green hydrogen and green ammonia,” said Yara President
and Chief Executive Svein Tore Holsether.
“Yara is a world leader in ammonia, with long experience
and leading position within global ammonia production,
logistics and trade. With Statkraft and Aker Horizons
onboard, we gain key expertise within renewable electricity,
power markets, industrial development and project
execution, giving us a unique opportunity to realize the
project.”
The project could be realized within five to seven years,
provided power is available at the site and the required cofunding
is secured. The partners also have future plans to
explore the potential for green ammonia production in
Northern Norway.

 

Cities of Antwerp, Bruges to Merge Ports; Will Operate as ‘Port of Antwerp-Bruges’

Brussels—
The City of Antwerp and the City of Bruges, Belgium, have
reached an agreement to merge their respective ports and
operate under the name ‘Port of Antwerp-Bruges.
As a result of the merger, which is expected to be finalized
within a year, the ports will be able to strengthen
their positions within the global supply chain and continue
towards sustainable growth, the Port of Antwerp noted.
Port of Antwerp-Bruges will be more resilient to the
challenges of the future and will take a lead in the transition
towards a low-carbon economy, it added.
“The merged port will become the most important container
port (157-million t/y), one of the largest break bulk
ports and the largest port for the throughput of vehicles in
Europe.
“Furthermore, the port will account for more than 15%
of Europe’s liquid natural gas transited and it will of
course remain Europe’s most important chemical hub.
“Finally, it will be the largest port for cruise ships in
the Benelux. With a throughput of 278-million tons per
year, the unified port will be able to consolidate its leading
position in the world.”

 

Oiltanking & Operail Form Partnership For Transport of Chemicals in Finland

Kotka—
Oiltanking has signed a partnership agreement with Operail
Finland concerning the transport of chemicals along
the Vainikkala-Kotka route to Oiltanking’s terminal facilities
in Kotka, Finland.
The partners agreed that Operail will be responsible for
the safe, reliable and efficient rail transport of the chemicals,
as well as other logistical services at the terminal.
The freight volume of the new cooperation is estimated
to exceed 1-million t/y.

 

Howard Energy Completes Acquisition Of Javelina Facility in Corpus Christi

San Antonio—
Howard Energy Partners has finalized the acquisition of
the Javelina refinery services facility in Corpus Christi,
Texas, from a subsidiary of MPLX LP, for an undisclosed
amount.
Javelina is a treating and fractionation plant that extracts
olefins, hydrogen and natural gas liquids from gas
streams produced by local refineries, creating purity products
that are sold to local markets on behalf of its refinery
customers.
The facility produces a wide range of product streams
including ethane, ethylene, propane, propylene, mixed butane
and other pentanes+ for use in the petrochemical and
energy markets. It is connected to all of the major refineries
in Corpus Christi via pipeline.

 

Gulf Navigation and EGC Enter MoU For the Purchase of Various Vessels

Athens—Gulf
Navigation Holding has signed a memorandum of understanding
(MoU) with Empire Navigation and Empire Bulkers,
collectively called the Empire Group of Companies
(EGC), involving the acquisition of a group of petrochemical
and dry bulk carriers by Gulf Navigation.
As part of the MoU, the companies will form a strategic
partnership, in which Gulf Navigation will purchase the
vessels from EGC for an undisclosed amount. The new
vessels will be utilized for hire with local and GCC (Gulf
Cooperation Council) customers. An expected closing date
was not given.
EGC, headquartered in Athens, Greece, manages a diversified
and modern fleet of 20 petrochemical tankers and
16 dry bulk vessels.
The agreement is expected to be the start of a larger
scope of partnership and on a wider scale, Gulf Navigation
noted.

 

Flint Hills and Encina Development Plan Texas Unit for Renewable Chems/Fuels

Austin—Flint
Hills Resources and Encina Development Group have
signed a non-binding term sheet to build a plant to produce
renewable chemicals and fuels from waste plastic in Texas.
If the parties decide to enter into a definitive agreement,
Flint Hills would market the renewable aromatic
products at Encina’s Corpus Christi facility, as well as
work with its affiliates to market renewable aromatic products
from other Encina U.S.-based plants. No other details
were available.
“Our work with Encina is an exciting addition to our
growing portfolio of renewable product and technology investments,”
said Francis Murphy, senior vice president of
chemicals at Flint Hills.
“Renewable aromatics and bioplastics are playing an
increasingly import[ant] role in the product value chain
and reducing environmental impacts, while still delivering
on all the various products that make modern life possible.”
Flint Hills owns and operates refineries in Corpus
Christi, which are “major” suppliers of fuels for the Texas
market. In addition, the refineries produce various commodity
chemicals.

 

Extreme Winter Weather Causes Upset At Several U.S. Gulf Coast Chem Units

Houston—
Severe weather conditions affecting the U.S. Gulf Coast
have resulted in the shut down of numerous chemical facilities
and refineries.
ExxonMobil has shut down its manufacturing units
across the Beaumont area, citing freezing weather conditions,
coupled with the curtailment of natural gas supplies.
Formosa Plastics Corp. U.S.A said its production facilities
in Point Comfort, Texas, and Baton Rouge, La.,
have been temporarily shut down or are operating at reduced
capacity. This affects all olefins, polyethylene, polypropylene
(PP), polyvinyl chloride, caustic soda and bleach
products.
Celanese has declared force majeure with respect to
the following products to its customers in the Americas and
EMEA: acetic acid, vinyl acetate monomer, ethyl acetate,
acetic anhydride, methyl acetate, vinyl and acrylic emulsions,
redispersible powders, ethylene vinyl acetate, dimethylamine
and trimethylamine, methyl isobutyl carbinol
and methyl isobutyl ketone, and paraformaldehyde.
Indorama Ventures announced that the weather conditions
facing the U.S. Gulf Coast and parts of Mexico have
lead to “significant” supply chain issues, including natural
gas supplies. Production at its integrated oxides and derivatives
plants in Texas has been temporarily halted.
OQ Chemicals said it has been forced to temporarily
shut down its Bay City, Texas, plant. As a result, it has
provided notice of force majeure and suspension of performance
of its supply obligations for oxo alcohols, aldehydes,
acids and esters.
Royal Dutch Shell shut its 318,000-b/d refinery joint
venture in Deer Park, Texas, and adjoining chemical plant,
reported Reuters citing the company.
Total Petrochemicals has declared force majeure on
all PP produced at its LaPorte, Texas, facility, reported
Argus Media, adding that LyondellBasell declared force
majeure on PP from its Bayport, Texas, and Lake Charles,
La, units, and Ineos Olefins & Polymers on its PP plants
in Chocolate Bayou, Texas, and Deer Park. In addition,
Flint Hills Resources declared force majeure on PP in
Longview, Texas.
Chevron Phillips Chemical reported an unplanned
operational issue in Baytown, Texas, resulting in flaring.
TPC Group had operational issues at its Houston
plant, resulting in flaring. The event has been resolved.
LSB Industries temporarily took its Pryor, Okla., facility
out of service, as a result of the recent surge in natural
gas prices in the region due to the weather.

 

OMV, Kommunalkredit to Jointly Invest In Austria’s ‘Largest’ Electrolysis Plant

Vienna—
OMV and Kommunalkredit Austria announced they will
jointly invest a total of €25-million in the construction of
what will be Austria’s “largest” electrolysis plant.
The 10 megawatt PEM (polymer electrolyte membrane)
electrolysis plant, to be located at OMV’s Schwechat refinery,
will produce up to 1,500 t/y of green hydrogen. Startup
is expected in the second half of 2023.
The green hydrogen will be used to hydrogenate biobased
and fossil fuels, substituting traditional hydrogen in
the refinery. This would reduce OMV’s carbon footprint by
up to 15,000 t/y of fossil carbon dioxide (CO2), OMV noted.
“We deliberately opted for green hydrogen production
on an industrial scale as we see the potential it holds – for
lower-carbon road use, as well as for reducing CO2 emissions
in industrial operations,” said OMV Chief Downstream
Operations Officer Thomas Gangl.

 

IHS Markit’s 36th World PC Conference To Be Held Virtually From 8-12 March

London—IHS
Markit announced it will hold the 36th annual World Petrochemical
Conference (WPC) virtually from 8-12 Mar.
2021 (PCN, 9 Mar 2020, p 2).
Originally scheduled to take place from 9-13 Mar. 2021
in New Orleans, La., the expanded five-day event will be
based on the theme Chemical Renaissance: Building Resilience,
Agility and Innovation in an Enhanced Global Role.
The conference will focus on a variety of topics including
the renewed importance of chemicals in the global
economy, highlighted by the recent COVID-19 pandemic,
as well as accelerating moves toward sustainability, circular
economy and energy transition, and the implications for
petrochemicals supply and demand.
Keynote speakers include: Jim Fitterling, chief executive
of Dow Chemical; Karen McKee, president of Exxon-
Mobil Chemical; Mark Lashier, president and chief executive
of Chevron Phillips Chemical; Celanese Chief Executive
Lori Ryerkerk; Shell Chemicals Executive Vice President
Thomas Casparie; Bob Patel, chief executive and
chairman, management board of LyondellBasell; Petronas
Chemicals Group Managing Director and Chief Executive
Datuk Sazali Hamzah; Eelco Hoekstra, chief executive and
chairman of the executive board of Royal Vopak; and Agilyx
Chief Executive Tim Stedman.
For more information, visit wpc.ihsmarkit.com or email
wpc@ihsmarkit.com.

V59 N07 – 15 February 2021

Honeywell Gets Shandong Yulong Contract For Integrated Chinese Petchem Project

Beijing—
Honeywell announced that Shandong Yulong Petrochemical
Co. has selected Honeywell UOP’s advanced platforming
and aromatics technologies for its 20,000-t/y integrated
refining and petrochemical complex in Longkou, Shandong
Province, China (PCN, 23-20 Nov 2020, p 1).
The complex will include a UOP naphtha Unionfining
unit and CCR Platforming technology to convert naphtha
into high-octane gasoline and aromatics. It will also include
a UOP Olefin Removal Process, UOP Sulfolane technology
for aromatics extraction, Isomar isomerization
technology and Tatoray technology for toluene disproportionation.
Once complete, the complex will produce 3-million t/y of
mixed aromatics. Value of the contract and a schedule for
the project were not given.
UOP will provide a range of technology licenses, engineering
design, key equipment and state-of-the-art catalysts
and adsorbents, operator training, and technical services
for start-up and continuing operations.
The complex will also include two mixed feed ethylene
crackers, two polypropylene lines, and ethylbenzene and
styrene monomer plants.

 

SIDPEC Selects Honeywell Technology To Support Expansion of PC Complex

Alexandria—
Honeywell Process Solutions announced that Sidi Kerir
Petrochemicals Co. (SIDPEC) has chosen Honeywell technology
to upgrade the production capabilities of SIDPEC’s
flagship petrochemical complex in Alexandria, Egypt,
which produces ethylene and polyethylene.
The upgrade is part of an expansion of the complex to
incorporate propylene and polypropylene (PP) production
and increase the supply of products to domestic and international
customers (PCN, 1 Oct 2018, p 1).
Honeywell migrated SIDPEC’s Honeywell TotalPlant
Solution (TPS) production system with the latest version of
its Experion Process Knowledge System solution at the
complex in just 10 days, allowing SIDPEC to resume production
as quickly as possible, Honeywell noted. The process
automation improvements will support collective
production at the site, once the expansion is complete.
“We selected Honeywell for this important upgrade because
of the reliability and performance of our previous
Honeywell TPS system in ethylene and polyethylene, and
our success with other Honeywell technologies at the site,”
said SIDPEC Utility Project Manager Mohamed Zayan.
“Honeywell’s ability to upgrade the production system
in such a short timeframe minimized disruption to our operations.”
In 2018, SIDPEC selected Honeywell UOP’s C3 Oleflex
technology for a new 500,000-t/y propylene plant, and W.R.
Grace & Co.’s Unipol process technology for a new 450,000-
t/y PP facility in Egypt. Anticipated completion dates were
not given.

 

Linde Starts Up Two ASUs to Supply Wanhua’s Integrated Chemical Site

Yantai—Linde
said it has successfully started up two new air separation
units (ASUs) to supply gaseous oxygen and nitrogen to
Wanhua Chemical’s integrated chemical site and production
center at the Yantai Industrial Park in China (PCN,
29 Jan 2018, p 1).
Wanhua launched a first phase polycarbonate facility at
the site in early 2018 with 70,000 t/y of production capacity.
No details were given on the planned second phase.
The new ASUs join two existing units, also built and
operated by Linde, to support phase one and two of the
project.
“Linde’s advanced technology and operational expertise
will enable all four ASUs to run at a greater scale and
achieve synergies through improved energy efficiency and
operational flexibility, resulting in higher reliability and
lower venting of the plants,” Linde noted.

 

EuroChem Group Okays Construction Of Northwest 2 Ammonia Expansion

Moscow—
EuroChem Group has approved the construction of the
EuroChem Northwest 2 ammonia expansion project in
Kingisepp, Russia (PCN, 17 Feb 2020, p 2).
The new 1.1-million-t/y ammonia and 1.4-t/y urea plant
will be built adjacent to the company’s 1-million-t/y Euro-
Chem Northwest ammonia facility, which was launched
last September.
The expansion project, for which cost and a schedule
were not given, will be financed by a long-term nonrecourse
syndicated project finance loan.
“The new plant will contribute to the rise of the group’s
market share in the nitrogen segment and expand its presence
in export markets,” EuroChem noted.

 

Celanese Extends Agreement with Linde For CO Supply to Singapore Acetyls Site

Singapore—
Celanese Singapore has extended its long-term contract
with Linde Gas Singapore for the supply of carbon monoxide
(CO) to its acetyls chemical facility on Jurong Island in
Singapore (PCN, 11 Jan 2016, p 3).
The extended contract will provide the site with an ongoing,
reliable and strategically advantaged supply of CO
for Celanese’s 600,000-t/y acetic acid plant and acetyls
production processes, Celanese noted.
Linde has been supplying the Singapore site with CO
since 2004, when it acquired a gasification facility and air
separation unit there.
“Our close cooperation with Linde has enabled Celanese
to enhance our operational flexibility in support of our
long-term strategy based upon low cost, flexible production
designed to meet our customers’ needs in all regions of the
world,” noted John Fotheringham, senior vice president of
acetyls at Celanese.

 

Lummus Wins FCC Technology Award For NRL’s Refinery Expansion Project

Houston—
Numaligarh Refinery Ltd. (NRL) has awarded a contract to
Lummus Technology to supply its Indmax fluid catalytic
cracking (FCC) technology for NRL’s refinery expansion
project in Numaligarh, Golaghat, Assam, India (PCN, 8
Feb 2021, p 2).
The FCC unit will increase crude processing capacity at
the refinery to 9-million t/y from 3-million t/y currently.
The refinery produces feedstock for petrochemicals.
Lummus’ scope includes the technology license, basic
engineering and related services. Once complete, the Indmax
unit will process 1.96-million t/y of mixed hydrotreated
VGO (vacuum gas oil) feed with flexibility to
operate in gasoline mode, as well as maximum propylene
production mode, Lummus noted.
Earlier this month, Chevron Lummus Global (CLG) received
a contract from NRL for its CLG LC-FINING technology
for the project.
“We are grateful that NRL selected Lummus and Chevron
Lummus Global as the licensors for their refinery expansion,
which is a testament to the superior performance
of our technology and the tremendous relationship we
have,” said Leon de Bruyn, president and chief executive of
Lummus Technology.
“This award is also recognition of the industry’s confidence
in our Indmax FCC technology as the world is shifting
from fuels to petrochemicals, and it adds to our dominant
market share in the high-propylene FCC arena both
in India and worldwide.”

 

SNF Investing in Plaquemine Facility To Increase Polyacrylamide Capacity

Plaquemine—
SNF announced it will invest $300-million to boost polyacrylamide
(PAM) capacity at its production plant in
Plaquemine, La., to meet demand.
The company plans to increase acrylamide capacity at
the site by 100,000 t/y and powder-grade PAM capacity by
30,000 t/y. Completion is expected in late 2022.
This year, SNF said it will finalize construction of a
new 50,000-t/y Adame monomer plant in Georgia; a new
30,000-t/y powder PAM line in Louisiana, and seven powder
PAM grinders.

 

Sumitomo to Set up Base in Poland For Production of PP Compounds

Poznan—Sumitomo
Chemical said it has decided to establish Sumika Polymer
Compounds Poland (SPCP), a new production base in Poland
to further enhance its polypropylene (PP) compounds
business.
The company, planned to be formed in March 2021, will
be located in Poznan and have a production capacity of
around 30,000 t/y of PP compounds. Commercial production
is expected to begin in the spring of 2022.
“As the EU’s [European Union] Circular Economy Action
Plan heightens the need for recycled products, Sumitomo
Chemical intends to increase the market share of
GFPP [glass fiber reinforced PP compounds] containing
60% to 100% recycled PP by starting production in SPCP,
following the lead of Sumitomo Chemical’s bases in the
United Kingdom and France,” the company noted.

 

QP Makes FID to Build ‘World’s Largest’ Liquefied Natural Gas Facility in Qatar

Doha—Qatar
Petroleum (QP) said it has taken the final investment decision
(FID) to develop the North Field East liquefied natural
gas (LNG) project, the “world’s largest” LNG project, in
Ras Laffan, Qatar (PCN, 10 Aug 2020, p 2).
The $28.75-billion project, involves the construction of
four “mega” LNG trains, each with a capacity of 8-million
t/y, as well as facilities for the production of condensate,
liquefied petroleum gas, ethane, sulfur and helium. QP
earlier said operations were scheduled to start in 2025.
It will also include a carbon dioxide (CO2) carbon capture
and sequestration unit, leading to more than a 25%
reduction of green house gas emissions, when compared to
similar LNG facilities.
CTJV, a joint venture between Chiyoda and Technip
Energies, was awarded the engineering, procurement, construction
and commissioning contract for the project.
“The execution of this . . . contract marks the commencement
of the construction of the . . . project, and is a
significant landmark in Qatar Petroleum’s strategic
growth journey in a sustainable manner,” said Minister of
State for Energy Affairs Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi.
QP is also planning a second phase, known as the North
Field South project, which involves construction of two additional
mega LNG trains, each with a capacity of 8-million
t/y, and associated offshore and onshore facilities. Production
is planned to start in 2027.
Ethane from the projects will feed a new world-scale
petrochemical complex that QP is planning with Chevron
Phillips Chemical Co. at Ras Laffan.
That complex would include a 1.9-million-t/y ethane
cracker, as well as two high-density polyethylene units
with a combined capacity of 1.68-million t/y. Start-up is
planned in late 2025.

 

IG Petrochemicals Gets Board Approval For PA Expansion Project in Gujarat

Mumbai—IG
Petrochemicals Ltd., in a stock exchange filing, announced
it has received approval from the company’s board of directors
for a greenfield expansion of phthalic anhydride (PA)
and its derivatives in Gujarat, India.
The project, estimated to cost around Rs 600 crores, will
involve expanding PA capacity by up to 80,000 t/y and increasing
derivatives capacity. The expansion is expected to
take about three years.
IG currently has a production capacity of 220,110 t/y of
PA, 8,000 t/y of maleic anhydride, 1,300 t/y of benzoic acid
and 8,400 t/y of plasticizers.
The demand for PA in the domestic market is expected
to grow due to the government’s focus on infrastructure
spending and demand growth in downstream products like
polyvinyl chloride, plasticizers, unsaturated polyester resins,
paints and others, led by good gross domestic product
growth in India, the company noted.

 

People on the Move

PureCycle Technologies—Tamsin Ettefagh has
joined the company as vice president of industry relations.
She was previously senior consultant both in an independent
capacity and for major consulting firms in the plastics
recycling space, focusing on strategy and implementation
to advancements in process, primarily in polyolefins.

 

Metafrax Expects to Complete, Commission Ammonia-Urea-Melamine Complex in ‘21

Perm—
Metafrax said it is “putting forth its best effort” to complete
construction and begin commissioning this year of its
ammonia-urea-melamine (AUM) complex, which has been
delayed from the pandemic (PCN, 25 May 2020, p 1).
The project, for which Casale is technology licensor and
engineering, procurement and construction management
contractor, includes the production of 308,000 t/y of ammonia,
575,000 t/y of urea and 41,000 t/y of melamine. Casale
last year said the project was expected to come on stream
within the end of 2020.
“With the launch of the AUM complex, we will start
producing our own urea and melamine, which are the components
necessary for the production of various grades of
resins,” Metafrax noted.
“There is not enough melamine being produced in Russia.
At the same time, we are a major consumer, using
almost 40,000 tons of this product at two sites. After putting
the urea and melamine plants into operation, we will
cover our demand for these products.”

 

JGC Awarded Contract from KazMunayGas For Gas Separation Unit in Kazakhstan

Atyrau—
KazMunayGas has awarded a front-end engineering and
design contract to JGC Corp. for a new gas separation
plant project being planned in Kazakhstan by KazMunay-
Gas and its KLPE subsidiary.
The project involves KLPE building a gas separation
plant with a capacity of 957-million cu ft/d adjacent to a
plant operated by Tengiz Oilfield development firm Tengizchevroil.
The separated ethane will be supplied as raw
material for a planned polyethylene facility.
“Amid the accelerating worldwide trend toward low
carbon and decarbonization, natural gas, which among fossil
energy sources has a low environmental impact, is expected
to experience an expansion in demand in the future
as a primary energy source and as a raw material for gas
chemicals,” JGC said.
Tengizchevroil is a joint venture of KayMunayGas,
ExxonMobil, Chevron and others).

 

DuPont Gets Contract from Orlen Lietuva For Stratco Alkylation Plant in Lithuania

Vilnius—
Orlen Lietuva has awarded a contract to DuPont Clean
Technologies to supply a Stratco alkylation unit and MECS
spent acid regeneration (SAR) unit to its Mazeikiai refinery
in Lithuania.
Under the contract, DuPont will provide licensing, engineering,
and technical services for the new 240,000-t/y
alkylation unit and 75,000-t/y SAR unit, in order to increase
refinery complexity and flexibility of the refinery,
DuPont noted. Start-up of both units is expected in 2025.
The alkylation unit will utilize liquefied petroleum gas
in the conversion to alkylate, and therefore upgrade refinery
profitability, while the SAR unit will provide the refinery
with a consistent supply of sulfuric acid, which is utilized
as the catalyst for the alkylation unit.
DuPont’s Stratco alkylation technology is a sulfuric
acid-catalyzed process that converts low-value, straightchain
olefins (propylene, butylenes, amylene) into alkylate
that meets the criteria of the Euro VI standard.

 

Bodal Enters Into Agreement to Acquire Siel Chemical Complex from Mawana

New Delhi—
Bodal Chemicals Ltd. has entered into a business transfer
agreement with Mawana Sugars Ltd. to acquire the Siel
Chemical Complex (SCC) in Rajpura, Punjab, India, for Rs
137 crore.
According to Bodal, SCC is “one of the largest” players
in the chlor-alkai segment in North India with a current
caustic soda capacity of 82,500 t/y. The facility also has an
installed capacity of 73,095 t/y of chlorine, 2,063 t/y of hydrogen,
66,000 t/y hydrochloric acid, 23,100 t/y of sodium
hypochlorite and 18,000 t/y of stable bleaching powder. An
expected closing date was not given.
After the transaction is finalized, Bodal plans to upgrade
the technology of the SCC, which will lead to a “substantial”
reduction in power costs, annual repair and maintenance
costs and in increase in caustic soda production
capacity to 99,000 t/y, Bodal noted.

 

Borealis Confirms Force Majeure at Kallo On Certain PP Grades and Compounds

Kallo—
Borealis confirmed to PCN that it declared force majeure
on 5 Feb. 2021 on certain polypropylene (PP) grades and
related compounds produced at its site in Kallo, Belgium.
The force majeure was caused by a technical incident
outside the scope of Borealis’ control, said a company
spokeswoman. Affected customers have been notified.
“At this point, we are unable to predict when exactly
the force majeure can be revoked,” she stated.

 

Borealis Inks 10-Year PPA with Gasum To Power Its Stenungsund Operations

Stockholm—
Borealis has entered into a 10-year power purchase agreement
(PPA) with Gasum to source an estimated 2,000 gigawatt
hours of wind-generated renewable electricity from
a local onshore wind farm for its operations in Stenungsund,
Sweden.
The Kronoberget wind farm, owned and operated by
Stena Renewable, began supplying Borealis on 1 Jan.
2021. The wind-generated energy will reduce Borealis’
indirect carbon dioxide emissions at Stenungsund by
around 10,000 t/y.
This PPA is the fourth and “largest” to date, Borealis
noted. “It marks a significant step forward towards the
achievement of strategic energy and climate targets: by
2030, the Borealis Group aims to source 50% of its energy
needs for its Polyolefins and Hydrocarbon & Energy business
areas from renewable sources.”

 

Yara Establishing Clean Ammonia Unit

Oslo—Yara,
in its fourth quarter 2020 results, said it taking further
steps to enable the hydrogen economy by forming a new
global business unit, Yara Clean Ammonia.
Yara Clean Ammonia is being established to capture
growth opportunities within carbon-free food solutions,
shipping fuel and other clean ammonia applications, “leveraging
Yara’s unique existing positions within ammonia
production, trading and shipping,” noted Yara President
and Chief Executive Svein Tore Holsether.

 

BASF & EDF Energy Enter Contract For Wind Power to Two Texas Sites

Freeport—BASF
and EDF Energy North America have signed a wind power
purchase agreement in which EDF will supply two of
BASF’s sites in Texas with a total of 35 megawatts of wind
power.
Under the contract, EDF will supply 25 megawatts of
wind power to the Verbund site in Freeport and 10 megawatts
of wind power to the Pasadena site. Value of the
contract was not disclosed.
BASF recently announced a power purchase agreement
for the supply of 55 megawatts of power to the Freeport
site from EDF Renewables’ Space City Solar project.
“The agreements underline BASF’s commitment to sustainability,”
said Chris Witte, senior vice president and
general manager for the Freeport site.
“Manufacturing products for sustainable solutions, reducing
emissions from our processes and using non-fossil
fueled energy sources – all of these efforts help lead us on
our continuing journey of sustainability.”
Approximately 70% of the energy supply to the Pasadena
site and over 90% of the power purchased in addition
to the energy produced at [the] Freeport site will be supplied
from renewable resources.

 

Uniper and Port of Rotterdam Begin Study For Green Hydrogen Unit at Maasvlakte

Rotterdam—
Energy firm Uniper and the Port of Rotterdam Authority
have initiated a feasibility study for the large-scale production
of green hydrogen at the Maasvlakte area in Rotterdam,
the Netherlands.
The parties plan to install the hydrogen plant on Uniper’s
site with a capacity of 100 megawatts, which can be
expanded to 500 megawatts, by 2025. The study is scheduled
to be completed this summer.
“Our location at Maasvlakte is the perfect place for
large-scale production of green hydrogen,” said Uniper
Chief Executive Andreas Schierenbeck. “This is where
everything comes together: large amounts of renewable
energy, the required infrastructure, and industrial customers.
A better place for green hydrogen production is hardly
imaginable.”
In the future, it will be possible to supply major industrials
complexes in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany,
through pipelines, Uniper noted, adding that its project
team is also looking into options for import, export and
storage at Maasvlakte.

 

Posco & OCI JV Begins Construction On HP Production Plant in S. Korea

Seoul—P&O
Chemical, a joint venture of Posco Chemical and OCI, recently
began construction on a 50,000-t/y hydrogen peroxide
(HP) production unit at OCI’s facility in Gwangyang,
South Korea (PCN, 2 Mar 2020, p 1).
PCN earlier reported that Posco would supply coke
oven gas to the plant and be responsible for business management,
while OCI would be in charge of construction and
product sales. Cost of the project was not given.
Completion is scheduled for the second quarter of 2022,
with trial production expected to begin in the second half of
2022.
P&O Chemical is owned 51% by Posco Chemical and
49% by OCI.

 

Lanxess Inaugurates Plant in Antwerp To Reduce Nitrous Oxide Emissions

Antwerp—
Lanxess announced the inauguration of a new nitrous oxide
reduction plant at its site in Antwerp, Belgium, which
breaks down nitrous oxide generated during the production
of caprolactam and neutralizes it completely.
The €10-million project breaks down about 500 t/y of nitrous
oxide, which is equivalent to the climate impact of
150,000 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2). A second plant is
scheduled to start up in 2023 and is expected to eliminate
a further 300,000 tons of CO2 equivalents.
“We are committed to the Paris Agreement to limit
global warming to less than two degrees Celsius,” said
Hubert Fink, member of the board of management.
“The new nitrous oxide reduction plant in Antwerp is a
key building block in Lanxess becoming climate-neutral by
2040.”

 

Energy Transfer Establishes New Group To Develop Alternative Energy Projects

Dallas—
Energy Transfer (ET) has created a group within the partnership
that is focused on increasing the partnership’s efforts
to develop alternative energy projects, in order to continue
to reduce its environmental footprint.
The new Alternative Energy Group, led by Tom Mason,
will continue to focus on renewable energy projects such as
solar and/or wind farms, either as a power purchaser, or in
partnership with third-party developers, and will also look
to develop renewable diesel and renewable gas opportunities
when they make economic sense, ET noted.
The potential project could involve the utilization of existing
pipelines throughout ET’s extensive pipeline system,
which consists of over 90,000 miles of pipelines crossing 38
states.
Mason will continue in his role as ET’s general counsel,
a position he’s been in for 14 years.

V59 N06 – 8 February 2021

Hengyi Picks Univation’s Unipol Process For New PE Plant at Brunei Complex

Brunei Bay—
Hengyi Industries has selected Univation’s Unipol
polyethylene (PE) process for a new world-scale PE plant
that will be built at Hengyi’s site in Palau Maura Besar,
Brunei (PCN, 21 Sept 2020, p 2).
The 600,000-t/y PE unit will be integrated into a larger
refinery and petrochemicals project, which includes a
280,000-b/d refinery and downstream production of ethylene,
benzene, paraxylene, ethylene glycol, purified
terephthalic acid, polypropylene and polyethylene
terephthalate.
The Unipol technology will allow Hengyi to produce a
broad range of high-density PE and linear low-density PE
products. A schedule for the project was not given.
Hengyi also selected Univation’s advanced software
platforms for both process control capability and virtual
process training for the PE facility.
“This Hengyi Industry project represents Brunei’s firstever
world-class oil refinery and petrochemical complex
and also marks and important milestone as our company’s
second significant capital investment for the Palau Muara
Besar site,” said Chen Lian Cai, chief executive of Hengyi.

 

Shintech to Increase Production Capacity At Integrated PVC Unit in Plaquemine

Houston—
Shintech, a U.S. subsidiary of Shin-Etsu Chemical, announced
plans to invest $1.25-billion to further increase
production capacity at its integrated polyvinyl chloride
(PVC) manufacturing facility in Plaquemine, La. (PCN, 17
Feb 2020, p 1).
As part of the project, production capacity for vinyl
chloride monomer (VCM) will be increased by 580,000 t/y
to 2.95-million t/y, PVC capacity will be expanded by
380,000 t/y to 3.62-million t/y and caustic soda capacity
will be increased by 390,000 t/y to a total of 1.95-million
t/y. Construction is expected to be finalized by the end of
2023.
In 2018, the company broke ground on a $1.49-billion
project at the site to develop a new chlor-alkali and VCM
production facility and expand existing PVC production
units at the site. The project is scheduled to be completed
in the middle of this year.

 

Braskem Resumes Chlor-Alkali Production At Idled Production Facility in Alagaos

Alagaos—
Braskem has resumed chlor-alkali and dichloroethane production
at its plant in the Pontal da Barra district of Maceio,
Alagaos, Brazil, which has been idled since May 2019.
“To restart the chlor-alkali plant, the company concluded
the project to produce brine as raw material
through the acquisition of imported salt, which enables the
company to produce PVC [polyvinyl chloride] and caustic
soda on an integrated basis,” Braskem noted.

 

Nigeria Makes Final Investment Decision For Brass Fertilizer Methanol Project

Nigeria—
Nigeria National Petroleum Co. (NNPC) recently announced
in a tweet that a final investment decision has
been made for Brass Fertilizer & Petrochemical Co.’s
(BFPCL) planned methanol plant in Odioma, Brass Island,
in Bayelsa State, Nigeria.
The $3.5-billion integrated methanol and gas project,
which NNPC said will be the “first” methanol plant in Nigeria,
involves a 10,000-t/d methanol unit to be built by
NNPC, Nigeria Content Development and Monitoring
Board, and DSV Engineering.
“When completed, the BFPCL project will bring about
$3-billion foreign direct investment, generate employment
of 30,000 jobs during construction period and 5,000 during
operations,” said NNPC. Operations are expected to begin
by 2025.
Shell Petroleum Development Co. will provide gas under
a purchase agreement.

 

Versalis Licenses Technology to Enter For Uzbek LDPE/EVA Swing Facility

Milan—Eni’s
Versalis has licensed its low-density polyethylene (LDPE)/
ethyl vinyl acetate (EVA) technology to Enter Engineering
for a new LDPE/EVA swing unit to be built as part of Jizzakh
Petroleum’s methanol-to-olefins (MTO) project in the
Karakul region of Uzbekistan.
The plant will be designed for a maximum EVAequivalent
production capacity of 180,000 t/y. Value of the
contract and an expected completion date were not available.
Enter Engineering will act as licensee on behalf of Jizzakh,
who will own and operate the entire gas-to-chemical
complex once it is complete.
Jizzakh earlier said the methanol project involved
building a state-of-the-art chemical complex based on MTO
technology, which is expected to process 1.5-billion cu m/yr
of natural gas for the production of 500,000 t/y of olefins.

 

Braskem Begins Polypropylene Exports From New Global Export Hub in S.C.

Charleston—
Braskem announced the first international shipment of
polypropylene (PP) from its new Global Export Hub in
Charleston, S.C. (PCN, 29 June 2020, p 1).
The facility, with 204,000 t/y of export capacity, provides
packaging, warehousing and export shipping services
to support Braskem’s six U.S. PP production plants.
“Given the current tight North American market, we
are prioritizing our domestic clients, but over time, the hub
will allow us to leverage our feedstock advantaged, polymer
production assets in the U.S. Gulf Coast, Pennsylvania,
and West Virginia, to best meet our international
client’s needs,” said Alexandre Elias, vice president of Olefins
& Polyolefins North America.

 

NRL Lets Technology Contract to CLG For Numaligarh Refinery Expansion

Numaligarh—
Chevron Lummus Global (CLG) has received a technology
contract from Numaligarh Refinery Ltd. (NRL) for a refinery
expansion project in Numaligarh, Golaghat, Assam,
India (PCN, 11 May 2020, p 1).
The refinery, which produces feedstock for petrochemicals,
is being expanded to 9-million t/y from 3-million t/y
currently. PCN last year reported that completion was
expected by 2024.
CLG’s scope includes technology license, process design
package, proprietary equipment, catalyst supply, training
and technical services. Contract value was not given.
The new plant will employ CLG’s LC-FINING technology
with an integrated VGO [vacuum gas oil] hydrotreater
to upgrade vacuum residue and clarified oil from existing
and new units. Start up is planned in 2025.
“Combining the two technologies gives NRL the ability
to produce feedstock for petrochemicals with a low investment,”
CLG noted. “The process involves upgrading residue
to make feed for high propylene FCC [fluidized catalytic
cracking] with ease, safety and reliability.”
Last year, NRL awarded an Rs 300 crore contract to
Thyssenkrupp to supply engineering, procurement and
construction management services for a new petrochemical
FCC unit with 2-million t/y of capacity, units for liquefied
petroleum gas treatment, gasoline desulphurization, MS
blocks having naphtha hydrotreating, continuous catalytic
reforming and isomerization units.

 

OMV Gets Supervisory Board Approval To Establish New Chemicals Division

Vienna—OMV
announced it has received supervisory board approval for a
reorganization of the OMV Group that involves splitting
and expanding the current area of Refining & Petrochemical
Operations into two areas: Refining and Chemicals &
Materials.
In addition, Alfred Stern has been appointed executive
board member for Chemicals & Materials. The changes
are effective 1 Apr. 2021.
“This structural change facilitates the forward integration
in the chemicals sector that has been underway ever
since OMV acquired a majority stake in Borealis,” the
company noted.
Last October, OMV purchased an additional 39% interest
in Borealis from Mubadala Investment Co., increasing
its stake in Borealis to 75% (PCN, 2 Nov 2020, p 1). Mubadala
holds the remaining 25% stake.

 

Ube Temporarily Suspends Production At Ube-Fujimagari Ammonia Facility

Tokyo—Ube
Industries has temporarily suspended ammonia production
at its Ube-Fujimagari factory in Yamaguchi, Japan, following
the discovery of equipment problems.
The shutdown, which began on 25 Jan. 2021, is also expected
to affect the production of downstream products
that utilize ammonia as a raw material.
“We extend our sincere apologies for any inconvenience
or concern this situation may cause our customers and
business partners, and offer our assurance that we continue
to work to ensure the quick and reliable restoration
of production operations,” the company noted.

 

Ineos Styrolution & Polystyvert Agree To Advance Circular Economy for PS

Montreal—
Ineos Styrolution and Polystyvert said they have entered
into a joint development agreement to collaborate on converting
post-consumer polystyrene (PS) plastic into a new
“high-quality” PS raw material resin.
Polystyvert uses a patented dissolution technology to
process PS waste into the recycled PS. The dissolution
method of advanced recycling takes plastic waste in its
solid form and dissolves it in a solvent.
Once dissolved, the process can mechanically and
chemically separate contaminants and additives, before
finally separating the original polymer from the solvent.
The end-product is then a cleaned polymer that may be
used as new raw material resin, the partners explained.
Polystyvert’s in-depth purification technology is able to
treat all types of feedstock, from industrial waste to postconsumer
streams. It can eliminate a wide range of hardto-
remove contaminants, such as pigments and brominated
flame-retardants. Recycled PS pellets can then be used to
manufacture various categories of PS products, including
food-grade applications.
Using the dissolution technology, recycled PS is produced
at a “competitive” price, “opening up the full potential
for a circular economy,” noted Polystyvert Chief Executive
Solenne Brouard.
In 2018, Polystyvert opened a new PS dissolution recycling
facility in Montreal, Canada, which, at the time, it
said was the “world’s very first” (PCN, 27 Aug 2018, p 4).

 

Stepan Finalizes Purchase of Invista’s Aromatic Polyester Polyol Business

Chicago—Stepan
announced it has acquired Invista’s aromatic polyester
polyol business and associated assets for an undisclosed
amount.
The transaction includes two manufacturing sites located
in Wilmington, N.C., and Vlissingen, the Netherlands,
and intellectual property, customer relationships,
inventory and working capital.
“We are excited to add Invista’s polyester polyol capabilities
to Stepan,” said F. Quinn Stepan Jr., chairman and
chief executive of Stepan.
“This acquisition expands our manufacturing capability
in both the United States and Europe, enhances our business
continuity capabilities for the market and supports
the growth of our global rigid polyol business.
“We expect that Invista’s available spare capacity, plus
debottlenecking opportunities in both plants, will allow
Stepan to support market growth in a capital efficient
way,” he noted.

 

People on the Move

Borealis—Thomas Gangl, currently executive board
member of OMV AG, has been named chief executive of
Borealis, effective 1 Apr. 2021. He will succeed Alfred
Stern, who has been appointed executive board member for
Chemicals & Materials of OMV AG.
ExxonMobil Corp.—Tan Sri Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin
has joined the company’s board of directors. He was
previously president and group chief executive of Petronas
from 2015 to 2020.

 

NextDecade Decides Not to Proceed With Galveston Bay LNG Facility

Houston—Next-
Decade Corp. said it has completed an evaluation of the
Galveston Bay site in Texas City, Texas, for a planned liquefied
natural gas (LNG) facility and determined that the
site is not suitable for development of the project.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Galveston
District, has advised the company that a portion of the site
is under Federal Navigation Servitude and serves as an
active Dredged Material Placement Area (DMPA) for the
Texas City Ship Channel Federal Project.
In order for the LNG project to be built, the USACE
would have to request that congress, via the Water Resources
Development Act or other legislation, authorize the
release of its constitutional right of Navigation Servitude
over this DMPA.
Due to the potential for prolonged uncertainty around
the prospect of release of Federal Navigation Servitude by
USACE, NextDecade has decided to forfeit the site and
cease all related activities.
The company continues to work on remaining commercial
agreements needed to achieve a final investment decision
on its proposed Rio Grande LNG project (PCN, 12 Oct
2020, p 4).
The Rio Grande facility was originally planned to include
six LNG trains, each capable of producing 4.5-million
t/y of LNG for export.
Last July, the company said it can now produce 27-
million t/y of LNG with just five trains and decided to vacate
the sixth train. A final investment decision is expected
this year.

 

Borealis Decides to Initiate Process To Sell Its Nitrogen Business Unit

Vienna—Borealis
has decided to start a sales process to divest its nitrogen
business unit, including fertilizer, technical nitrogen and
melamine products.
The company operates fertilizer production plants in
Austria and France. With around 60 warehouses across
Europe and approximately 5-million t/y of products supplied
in Western, Central and Southeastern Europe via the
Borealis L.A.T. distribution network, Borealis is one of
Europe’s leading fertilizer producers, the company noted.
Borealis’ share in fertilizer production sites in the
Netherlands and Belgium are currently not being considered
within the potential sales process.
The company is also “one of the global market leaders”
in melamine, with operations in Austria and Germany,
Borealis stated.
“Borealis will continue to focus on its core activities of
providing innovative solutions in the fields of polyolefins
and base chemicals, thus extending OMV’s value chain
towards higher value chemical products and the transformation
towards a circular economy.”

 

Proman, Partners Reach Financial Close On Varennes Carbon Recycling Project

Calgary—
Varennes Carbon Recycling, a planned waste-to-biofuels
plant in Varennes, Quebec, has reached financial close,
with investment agreements signed by partners Enerkem,
Shell, Suncor, the Govt. of Quebec and Proman (PCN, 11
Jan 2021, p 2).
The C$875-million facility is expected to ramp up to a
production capacity of 100,000 t/y of bio- and circular
methanol, using Enerkem’s technology that converts nonrecyclable
waste into sustainable methanol. The methanol
can then be converted to other low-carbon biofuels, such as
ethanol and gasoline.
As part of the investment agreement, Proman will be
entitled to market the methanol, which, once the plant is
in operation, could make Proman the largest marketer of
bio-methanol globally, Proman noted. Commissioning of
the first phase is scheduled for 2023.

 

Univar Reaches Agreement with Sasol For Alcohol, Surfactants Distribution

Chicago—
Univar Solutions and Sasol Chemicals have reached an
agreement, in which Univar will become the primary national
distributor of Sasol’s alcohol and surfactant products
in the U.S. and Canada.
Univar Solution’s offering will be expanded to include
Sasol’s ALFOL alcohols and ALFONIC/NOVEL/SAFOL
surfactants.
“Univar Solutions’ warehousing, distribution, logistics
network, and digital marketplace leadership will enable
Sasol to enhance our customer service and help meet our
sustainability goals,” noted Victoria Stolarski, director of
marketing and sales, global alcohols and U.S. surfactants
at Sasol.
“Through Univar Solutions, we will gain packaging and
shipping efficiencies that will help us reduce both plastic
use and fuel consumption.”

 

Bilfinger & Umincorp Form Partnership To Build Plastic Recycling Facilities

Mannheim—
Bilfinger and recycling tech company Umincorp have
signed a letter of intent for a long-term engineering, procurement
and construction (EPC) partnership to jointly
construct several plastic recycling plants.
The facilities will be based on Umincorp’s new, patented
magnetic density separation (MDS) technology,
which has a “40% higher” recovery of plastics and a “10%
higher” output quality than currently used recycling processes,
Bilfinger noted.
After the successful commissioning of the first industrial-
scale MDS recycling facility in Amsterdam, the Netherlands,
Bilfinger said it will now support Umincorp in
standardizing their plant concept for international expansion.
Bilfinger’s Dutch subsidiary, Bilfinger Tebodin, will
execute the EPC for the realization of the MDS plants.
The German subsidiary, Bilfinger Greylogix, will support
them with their expertise in plant automation and process
control in implementing remote control technologies in the
recycling units to establish cost-effective maintenance solutions.

 

Dow CEO Fitterling Becomes Chairman Of American Chemistry Council Board

Washington—
Jim Fitterling, chairman and chief executive of Dow, has
become chairman of the American Chemistry Council’s
(ACC) board of directors.
“It is a privilege to serve in this capacity during such a
pivotal time,” said Fitterling. “The chemical industry has a
unique and critical role in solving some of the greatest
problems facing our world, including a global health crisis,
economic and societal challenges, and climate change.
“At the same time, our opportunity and our responsibility
to unite and collaborate across businesses, government,
and society to drive transformative change and lasting solutions
has never been greater.”
Prior to Fitterling’s role as chairman, he served as
chairman of the executive committee, preceded by his role
as vice chairman of the board and chair of the council’s
board finance, audit and membership committee. He currently
co-chairs ACC’s board sustainability committee.

 

U.S. Chemical Production Ends Year On a ‘High Note,’ Says ACC Report

Washington—The
U.S. Chemical Production Regional Index (U.S. CPRI) rose
1.2% in December 2020, following a 0.6% gain in November
and a 1.2% increase in October of the same year, ending
2020 on a “high note,” according to the American Chemistry
Council (ACC).
“Compared with December 2019, U.S. chemical production
was off 2.7%, the nineteenth consecutive month of
year-over-year declines, but reflecting improvement versus
earlier in the year,” the report stated. “Chemical production
remained lower than a year ago in all regions, with
the largest year-ago declines seen in the Northeast, Mid-
Atlantic and West Coast regions.”
According to the ACC, since almost all manufactured
goods are produced using some form of chemistry, manufacturing
activity is an “important” indicator for chemical
demand.
The manufacturing recovery continued for a sixth
straight month in December 2020, with overall factory activity
up 1.1%. The trend in production rose in nearly all
key chemistry end-use industries, with the strongest gains
seen in plastic products, iron and steel, appliances, aerospace,
construction supplies, foundries, tires, paper, structural
panels and apparel.
The U.S. CPRI is measured on a three-month moving
average.

 

Covestro Plans PUD Production Unit At Its Integrated Site in Shanghai

Shanghai—
Covestro expects to build a new production facility for
polyurethane dispersions (PUDs) at the Covestro Integrated
Site in Shanghai, China.
In addition, the company will also build a further line
for polyester resins, which are produced from PUDs. The
plants, for which capacities were not given, are due to be
completed in 2024.
“With these investments, we are preparing for the continued
growth in demand for these products and expanding
our leading global position,” said Michael Friede, global
head of the coatings, adhesives, and specialties segment.

 

Iran’s NPC Interested in Developing New Petrochemical Hub in Makran

Tehran—The National
Petrochemical Co. (NPC) of Iran is looking to turn
the country’s Makran region into a new petrochemical hub,
reported the Tehran Times citing NPC Head Behzad
Mohammadi.
“Due to the strategic position of Makran, development
of the petrochemical industry in this region and creating a
petrochemical hub would be a smart move,” he said.
Developing the region would bring new jobs and also
turn the port in Chabahar into a trade and industrial port
of Iran. In addition, the region is close to substantial gas
reserves that could provide feedstock to the petrochemical
facilities.

 

Clariant Enters Agreement to Cooperate With ETH Zurich on Catalysis Research

Muttenz—
Clariant said it has signed a cooperation agreement with
the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH
Zurich) to support research in catalysis and sustainable
chemistry with a “significant” financial contribution over
an initial period of 10 years.
The partnership’s goal is, firstly, to advance the understanding
of catalyst properties – from nano- to macroscale
– and their performance. Secondly, together with the ETH
Foundation, Clariant will sponsor and collaborate in fundamental
chemical research projects, promoting “talented”
ETH scientists and students, Clariant explained.
“We are honored to announce our research agreement
with the prestigious ETH Zurich,” said Hans Bohnen,
member of Clariant’s executive committee.
“The partnership, like those with other academic institutions,
underscores our commitment to fostering innovation
and R&D to develop groundbreaking products and solutions
that add value to people, industries and the environment.”

V59 N05 – 1 February 2021

LyondellBasell & Sinopec Firm Agreement To Form JV to Produce PO, SM in China

Beijing—
LyondellBasell and China Petroleum & Chemical Corp.
(Sinopec) have signed an agreement to form the previously
announced 50-50 joint venture to produce propylene oxide
(PO) and styrene monomer (SM) in China (PCN, 6 Jan
2020, p 1).
The joint venture, which will operate under the name
Ningbo ZRCC LyondellBasell New Material Co., will build
a new facility in Zhenhai, Ningbo, that will produce
275,000 t/y of PO and 600,000 t/y of SM.
Based on LyondellBasell’s PO/SM technology, the plant
is expected to start up at the end of this year. Products
will be marketed equally by both parties.
Formation of the joint venture is subject to relevant
government approvals, including antitrust review by the
State Administration for Market Regulation.
“As China’s economy continues to grow, so will demand
for propylene oxide and styrene monomer,” said Torkel
Rhenman, executive vice president of intermediates and
derivatives, and refining.
“We are excited to expand our relationship with Sinopec
through this joint venture in order to better serve China’s
domestic market. Sinopec’s outstanding operational capabilities
combined with LyondellBasell’s leading technology
is a win-win.”

 

RIL Completes Spin-Off of OTC Division Into New Unit to Expand Downstream

New Delhi—
Reliance Industries Ltd. (RIL) has concluded the spin-off of
its oil-to-chemicals (OTC) business into a separate subsidiary
that will move further downstream (PCN, 20 July
2020, p 1).
The OTC business includes the refining, petrochemicals
and fuels marketing businesses of RIL. This past July,
RIL said the business had an enterprise value of $750-
billion.
“The reorganized structure will facilitate holistic and
agile decision making and enable us to pursue attractive
new opportunities for growth with strategic partnerships
with the best and the biggest in this business globally,”
said RIL Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh D.
Ambani.
Also in July, RIL said that due to unforeseen circumstances
in the energy market and the COVID-19 situation,
it plan to divest a 20% stake in the OTC business to Saudi
Aramco had not progressed per its original timeline. No
update was given.

 

Celanese Resumes Project to Enhance Acetic Acid Capacity at Clear Lake

Irving—Celanese,
in reporting its full year 2020 and fourth quarter earnings,
said it has resumed a project to increase acetic acid capacity
at Clear Lake, Texas (PCN, 4 May 2020, p 1).
Last April, Celanese announced that it was deferring
construction on the new acetic acid production unit, and
the associated incremental expansion of its joint venture
methanol unit at Clear Lake, by about 18 months.
Acetic acid capacity at the site is being expanding to 2-
million t/y from 1.3-million t/y currently. Completion is
expected by the middle of 2023.
Fairway Methanol, a joint venture of Celanese and Mitsui
& Co., is increasing methanol production capacity at
the complex to 1.7-million t/y from 1.3-million t/y currently.
The report did not mention the methanol portion of the
project.

 

SK Global Chem, Brightmark Sign MoU For Plastics Renewal Plant in S. Korea

Seoul—SK
Global Chemical and global waste solutions provider
Brightmark have signed a memorandum of understanding
(MoU) to form a partnership that aims to build a commercial-
scale plastics renewal facility in South Korea.
Under the MoU, the parties will jointly utilize Brightmark’s
plastics renewal technology and confirm its commercial
viability with the intention of forming a joint venture
to develop, finance, construct and operate the plant.
The proposed facility is planned to have a capacity of
100,000 t/y. Both companies will perform a feasibility
study during 2021 and intend to cooperate by combining
experience of pyrolysis and post treatment. A planned
schedule for the project was not available.
By the end of this year, they will complete an evaluation
of the most optimal methods to operate, scale and develop
Brightmark’s technology prior to finalization of a
joint venture agreement for the plant development and
operation.
Brightmark is currently building a $260-million plastics
renewal facility in Ashley, Ind., which will initially convert
about 100,000 t/y of plastic waste into new products. It is
scheduled to achieve full commercial scale this year (PCN,
20 Apr 2020, p 3).

 

Hanwha Solutions Increases Production Of Phthalate-Free Plasticizer in Ulsan

Ulsan—Hanwha
Solutions announced it has tripled the production of
its ECO-DEHCH phthalate-free plasticizer in Ulsan, South
Korea, to respond to growing demand, reported the Korea
Herald.
The $40.7-million project expanded ECO-DEHCH production
capacity at the site to 65,000 t/y from 15,000 t/y
currently.
The company first started producing the plasticizer in
Ulsan in 2017 (PCN, 12 June 2017, p 2).

 

Taiwan’s CPC Planning to Construct New Naphtha Cracker in Kaohsiung

Taipei—CPC
Corp. of Taiwan is planning to build a new cracker in
Kaohsiung, Taiwan, to replace its older No. 4 cracker,
which cannot meet customer demand, according to several
local media reports.
The new $2.94-billion cracker is expected to produce 1-
million t/y of ethylene. CPC plans to break ground in 2025
and begin production 2028.
CPC’s No. 4 cracker has been in operation for 37 years
and has a production capacity of 380,000 t/y of ethylene.
Once the new plant is built, the older cracker can be dismantled.

 

Methanex’s Geismar 3 Facility Remains On ‘Temporary Care and Maintenance’

Geismar—
Methanex, in its fourth quarter 2020 results, said its 1.8-
million-t/y Geismar 3 methanol project in Geismar, La.,
remains on “temporary care and maintenance” (PCN, 2
Nov 2020, p 2).
Early last year, Methanex announced it was deferring
about $500-million of capital spending on the facility for up
to 18 months, citing uncertainty in the global economy
from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The company expects to spend around $80-million on
the project over the next nine months. This amount reflects
costs that were already committed and the completion
of activities that preserve flexibility to complete the
project in the future, including key engineering activities
and procurement of critical path equipment, Methanex
explained.
“We have a robust decision making process for evaluating
the project and before deciding whether to restart construction,
management and our board will need to carefully
consider many factors, including the global economic recovery
and methanol industry outlook,” the company noted.

 

ET Loads First Very Large Ethane Carrier Under Orbit Gulf Coast NGL Exports JV

Dallas—
Energy Transfer (ET) has loaded the first very large ethane
carrier (VLEC) under its Orbit Gulf Coast NGL Exports
(Orbit) joint venture with Satellite Petrochemical
USA Corp. (PCN, 8 Apr 2019, p 1).
Seri Everest, the “world’s largest” VLEC, departed from
Orbit’s newly built export facilities at ET’s terminal in
Nederland, Texas, ET noted. It was loaded with over
911,000 bbls of ethane destined for Satellite’s Lianyungang
ethane cracker in China.
The Nederland terminal includes a 1.2-million bbl ethane
storage tank and an estimated 180,000-b/d ethane refrigeration
plant. ET’s facility in Marcus Hook, Penn., is
also capable of handling VLECs. The combination of the
two terminals represent over 50% of the U.S. waterborne
export capacity, ET explained.
Under the Orbit joint venture, ET is the operator of Orbit’s
assets, which also include a newly built 20-inch pipeline
originating at ET’s fractionation and storage facilities
in Mont Belvieu, Texas, for ethane deliveries to the Nederland
terminal as well as domestic markets in the region.
ET, under an earlier announced long-term, demandbased
agreement, will export about 150,000 b/d of ethane
to Satellite’s ethane cracking units in China. It will also
provide storage and marketing services to Satellite.

 

Fujian Billion Commences Operation Of New PTA Facility in Quanzhou

Shanghai—Fujian
Billion has started up its new purified terephthalic acid
(PTA) unit in Quanzhou, Fujian Province, China, reported
Argus Media.
The 2.5-million-t/y PTA unit, based on Invista Performance
Technologies’ latest P8 PTA process technology, was
originally scheduled to start up in August 2020 (PCN, 27
Aug 2018, p 1).
The $882-million project had been delayed because of
disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the report
stated.

 

Air Liquide Completes ‘World’s Largest’ PEM Electrolyzer at Becancour Plant

Becancour—Air
Liquide said it has concluded construction of the “world’s
largest” proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolyzer for
the production of low-carbon hydrogen at its facility in Becancour,
Quebec, Canada (PCN, 4 Mar 2019, p 4).
The new 20-megawatt electrolyzer, equipped with
Cummins technology, increases the current capacity of the
hydrogen facility by 50%. Around 27,000 t/y of carbon dioxide
emissions will be avoided.
Becancour’s proximity to major industrial markets in
Canada and the U.S. will help ensure North America’s
supply of low-carbon hydrogen for both industry and mobility,
the company noted.
“The fight against climate change is at the heart of the
Air Liquide Group’s strategy,” said Susan Ellerbusch, chief
executive of Air Liquide North America and group executive
committee member. “The inauguration of the Becancour
site . . . marks an important step in the implementation
of this strategy.
“With this world’s first, Air Liquide confirms its commitment
to the production of low-carbon hydrogen on an
industrial scale and its ability to effectively deploy the related
technological solutions. Hydrogen will play a key
role in the energy transition and the emergence of a lowcarbon
society.”

 

LG Hosting Global Innovation Contest For New Sustainable Technologies

Seoul—LG Chem
announced it will host the 3rd Global Innovation Contest
(GIC) for leading universities and research institutions
worldwide.
The contest invites organizations to discover innovative
ideas for sustainable technologies in the following categories:
energy, sustainability, advanced materials and digital
transformation. Entries can be submitted from 25 Jan.
2021 to 31 Mar. 2021.
LG will form a judging panel of internal experts to
evaluate the research proposals based on the company’s
sustainability strategies and business plans. The panel
will also consider the technological innovativeness, marketability,
and price competitiveness to draw up a shortlist.
Nominees will be notified this July.
The nominees will be granted up to $150,000 of research
and development expenses per year during their
projects, as well as opportunities for research dispatch and
technology exchange to support them.
Proposals can be submitted through GIC’s website at
www.rnd.lgchem.com/global/gic.

 

Eastman to Build New World-Scale Facility For Plastic-to-Plastic Molecular Recycling

Kingsport–
Eastman Chemical Co. said it plans to build “one of the
world’s largest” plastic-to-plastic molecular recycling facilities
at its site in Kingsport, Tenn.
The company will invest around $250-million in the
plant, which will utilize the company’s polyester renewal
technology. The facility will convert over 100,000 tons of
polyester waste into premium, high-quality specialty plastics,
creating an optimized circular economy, Eastman
noted. Mechanical completion is expected by the end of
next year.
“This process of using plastic waste as the main feedstock
is a true material-to-material solution and will not
only reduce the company’s use of fossil feedstocks, but also
reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 20% to 30% relative
to fossil feedstocks.”

 

Celanese & Calpine Extend Supply Deal To Include Solar Energy at Clear Lake

Dallas—
Celanese said it has entered into a 15-year contract extension
with Calpine Energy Solutions to incorporate a solar
power component into the electricity supply mix for its acetyl
intermediates chemical manufacturing facility at its
site in Clear Lake, Texas.
Calpine is expected to supply the facility with 45 megawatts
of peak solar contracted capacity. The contract
equates to about 33% of Celanese’s annual electricity consumption
at the site and about 65% of the site’s daytime
electricity usage during summer months.
Celanese, which owns the Clear Lake site, will extend
this solar power supply to other site partners, such as
Arkema, which owns and operates the acrylic acid and
acrylic esters units at the site, and has expressed an interest
in solar power supply.
“Solar power energy is growing in relevance and significance
as a source of renewable electricity and we are seeing
that the resource availability is providing a better
match to meet demand during critical times of the year
versus other large, fast-growing, renewable sources,” noted
Jon Mortimer, vice president of global manufacturing at
Celanese.
“Additionally, solar power generation to the Clear Lake
facility acts as a natural hedge to help offset high electricity
prices during peak hours in the summer months.”

 

GPCA Decides to Cancel Special Edition Of Annual Forum Planned This Month

Dubai—The
Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Assn. (GPCA) said
that after careful consideration of the circumstances related
to the COVID-19 pandemic, it has decided not to hold
the special edition of the 15th Annual GPCA Forum, which
had been scheduled to take place from 10-11 Feb. 2021 in
Dubai, United Arab Emirates (PCN, 2 Nov 2020, p 4).
The next edition of the Annual GPCA Forum is set to
take place on 7-9 December 2021 in Dubai.
“The health and safety of our members, sponsors and
exhibitors, partners, as well as employees are paramount
to any decision we take,” it noted. “Therefore, considering
the ongoing concerns about the pandemic in the region and
globally, we felt this was the best way to proceed during
such unprecedented times.”

 

CPChem Touts Developments in Program That Converts Waste Plastics into PE

Baytown—
Chevron Phillips Chemical Co. (CPChem) announced two
“significant” developments in its advanced recycling program
that converts waste plastics into circular polyethylene
(PE) in Baytown, Texas.
The company has received certification through the International
Sustainability and Carbon Certification PLUS
(ISCC PLUS) process for its Marlex Anew circular PE, and
signed a long-term supply agreement with Nexus Fuels for
pyrolysis oil, which is needed to produce the PE.
In October 2020, CPChem said it had completed the
“first” U.S. commercial-scale production of the circular PE
using advanced recycling technology (PCN, 12 Oct 2020, p
2).
Nexus converts difficult-to-recycle waste plastics into
pyrolysis oil and has already begun supplying its highquality
feedstock to CPChem to produce the circular PE.
Nexus ISCC PLUS certification, combined with CPChem’s
certification, establishes Marlex Anew circular PE as an
end-to-end certified circular product.
CPChem is targeting a production volume of 1-billion
lbs/yr of the circular PE by 2030.

 

ACC Supports U.S. President Biden’s Decision to Rejoin Paris Agreement

Washington—The
American Chemistry Council (ACC) released a statement
supporting U.S. President Biden’s executive action to rejoin
the Paris Agreement.
“The American Chemistry Council and its members
welcome President Biden’s executive decision to rejoin the
Paris Agreement,” said the ACC.
“America’s chemical and plastics manufacturers – a
primary driver of the American economy, American innovation
and the creation of emissions-reducing technologies
– support meaningful efforts to reduce emissions for the
health of our planet and future generations.
“In order for the opportunities afforded by the Paris
Agreement to be fully realized the administration, congress
and the private sector must work together to develop and
implement a national, comprehensive, market-based system
to drive emissions reductions,” it stated.
“Climate change is a global challenge that requires
long-term commitment and action by every segment of society.
ACC members stand ready to play a constructive
role in the development of climate solutions that will support
a healthy, thriving nation for generations to come.”

 

OQ Places Sales Control on Intermediates

Houston—
OQ Chemicals has announced sales control on oxo intermediate
products in the U.S., effective immediately, due to
recent increased demand and current shortages of supply
for those products produced at its Bay City, Texas, site.
Formerly Oxea, OQ Chemicals will be allocating global
supply for all unfilled and future purchase orders among
its contract customers for whom it has received forecasted
demand and its internal demand until the third quarter of
2021.
The company is a global manufacturer of oxo intermediates
and oxo derivatives, such as alcohols, polyols, carboxylic
acids, specialty esters and amines.

 

Trinseo Finalizes Construction of Italian Thermoplastic Elastomers R&D Center

Veneto—
Trinseo has completed an expansion of its thermoplastic
elastomers (TPE) research and development (R&D) center
in Mussolente, Italy.
Located on the site of the company’s main TPE manufacturing
facility, the expanded R&D center enables Trinseo
to further develop its portfolio of custom engineered
TPE and thermoplastic urethanes, along with its “leading“
bioplastics portfolio, Trinseo noted.
The center is led my Marco Meneghetti, global TPE T&I
leader, and is supporting both of the company’s manufacturing
sites for soft plastics in Mussolente and in Hsinchu,
Taiwan.

 

Sumitomo to Set Up Strategy Council To Achieve Carbon Neutrality by ‘50

Tokyo—Sumitomo
Chemical, as part of its strategy to achieve carbon
neutrality by 2050, has decided to establish a Carbon Neutral
Strategy Council, effective 1 Feb. 2021.
The new council will formulate strategies and set milestones
for the Sumitomo Chemical group based on four
approaches:
To minimize greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated
with the group’s production activities
through innovation, and provide and deploy new
technologies, globally.
To drive innovations for GHG emissions reduction
regarding materials used in society, and provide
products and solutions that contribute to carbon
neutrality from a Life Cycle Assessment perspective.
To actively engage in the development of technologies
for recovery, separation, use and storage of
GHG emitted from other industries and from communities,
and help the process by becoming part of
a system that implements such technologies in society.
To take on the long-term challenge of developing
carbon negative technologies to reduce the absolute
volume of GHG in the atmosphere.
Along with the council, the company has established a
Carbon Neutral Strategy Cross-Functional Team as an
administrative office for the council. This is a crosssectoral
team led by executive officers supervising research
planning and coordination, responsible care, and related
functions.

 

Braskem Inks Deal with Casa dos Ventos For the Purchase of Renewable Energy

São Paulo—
Braskem, in line with its strategy to expand the use of
clean energies in industrial operations, has signed an
agreement with Casa dos Ventos for the purchase of renewable
energy.
Casa dos Ventos will study the feasibility of building a
new wind farm in the state of Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil,
which will ensure the supply of energy to Braskem for a
period of 20 years.
Subject to approval by the competent governance levels,
Braskem will have the option to acquire an equity interest
in the wind farm, which would enable a self-production
model, Braskem noted.
This is Braskem’s fourth agreement for the purchase of
renewable energy, which is estimated to result in over 1.5-
million tons of avoided carbon dioxide emissions, contributing
to the company’s goal of becoming carbon neutral by
2050.
Braskem describes Casa dos Ventos as one of Brazil’s
“pioneering and largest” investors in the development of
renewable energy projects.

 

DIC, Jindal Poly Films Reach Agreement To Team Up in Functional CPP Films

New Delhi—
DIC Corp. and Jindal Poly Films Ltd. have agreed to
collaborate in the area of functional cast polypropylene
(CPP) film in India.
The two companies are considering entering into a
technology licensing agreement, whereby DIC would extend
packaging technologies to Jindal; developing and
mass-producing functional CPP film using DIC technologies
at Jindal’s Indian plant; and conducting joint sales of
functional CPP film manufactured by Jindal in India with
a view to establishing a joint venture.
“Amid growing sustainability-related needs, DIC aims
to expand its films business by capitalizing on this collaboration
with Jindal Poly Films to introduce advanced technologies
cultivated in Japan to the Indian market, which is
expected to see significant growth going forward,” DIC
noted.

V59 N04 – 25 January 2021

OMV Investing in Burghausen Refinery To Boost Ethylene, Propylene Capacity

Berlin—OMV
is investing in a project to modernize and expand its
cracker units and petrochemical cold section at its
Burghausen refinery in Germany with the aim of increasing
ethylene and propylene production capacity.
The work, which is being done during a planned turnaround,
will increase ethylene and propylene capacity by
around 50,000 t/y. Start-up is expected in the third quarter
of 2022.
“By expanding the cracker, OMV is consistently delivering
on its petrochemical strategy for a future-proof refinery,”
said OMV Chief Downstream Operations Officer
Thomas Gangl. “This goes hand in hand with the growth
in the chemical industry and serves as a response to
increasing customer demand.
“At the same time, this 40-million-euro investment will
provide key economic stimulus for the region and for
OMV’s Burghausen site.”

 

Sinopec Yizheng Picks Invista Technology For Third PTA Line in Jiangsu Province

Shanghai—
Invista Performance Technologies (IPT) has agreed to license
its PTA P8++ technology to Sinopec Yizheng for a
third purified terephthalic acid (PTA) line to be installed in
Jiangsu Province, China.
The new line will have a nameplate capacity of 3-
million t/y. Cost of the project and schedule were not disclosed.
Sinopec Yizheng utilized IPT’s P6 PTA technology for
the 450,000-t/y second PTA line.
“Following the experience of working directly with the
Sinopec Yizheng team on the second PTA line in 2003, I
am excited by this new chapter in the partnership between
our organizations,” said Adam Sackett, vice president of
PTA at IPT.

 

Koyuncu Selects Inovyn Technology For Chlor-Alkali Project in Turkey

Ankara—Inovyn
has been chosen by Koyuncu Group to supply its chloralkali
technology for a new €16-million production facility
Koyuncu is building in Konya Province, Turkey.
Invoyn will provide its state-of-the-art Bichlor bipolar
electrolyzers for the 50,000-t/y facility that will produce
chlorine, caustic, sodium hypochlorite and hydrochloric
acid. Koyuncu may invest in derivatives production in the
future.
Vespro A.S. will be responsible for the engineering, construction
and start-up for the project. Production is scheduled
to start by the beginning of next year.
“When selecting the technologies for our investment,
choosing environmentally-friendly, sustainable and energyefficient
cutting-edge technology was essential,” said Ibrahim
Koyunco, chairman of the executive board of Koyuncu.

 

NWIW Methanol Project Encounters Snag With Dept. of Ecology’s Permit Decision

Kalama—
Northwest Innovation Works (NWIW) said the Washington
State Dept. of Ecology will not issue the company a Shoreline
Conditional Use permit for its planned methanol project
at the Port of Kalama in Washington, despite granting
the permit for the same project over three years ago (PCN,
21 Sept 2020, p 1).
The facility, estimated to cost over $2-billion, would
convert regionally-sourced natural gas into about 3.6-
million t/y of methanol for export to Asia as feedstock for
olefins.
“While we are disappointed by this ruling and evaluating
our options for an immediate appeal, we feel confident
that science and reason will prevail,” noted Kent Caputo,
general counsel for NWIW.
“Given the strong scientific findings and multiple reviews
over the last six years, it is difficult to understand
why the original vision for both economic and environmental
security has been bypassed,” said NWIW Chief Development
Officer Vee Godley.
“The Kalama project will achieve a substantial overall
global emissions reduction and will mitigate any in-state
emissions; the plan is that simple, that clear.”
NWIW earlier expected to project to be completed in
2019; however, in late 2017, its shoreline permit was reversed
because of complaints from several conservative
groups about the greenhouse gas emissions from the proposed
facility. The permit was restored in 2018.

 

SABIC, Plastic Energy to Begin Building Commercial Unit for Circular Polymers

Geleen—
SABIC and Plastic Energy, under their 50-50 SPEAR
(SABIC Plastics Energy Advanced Recycling BV) joint venture,
said they are set to start construction on the “first”
commercial unit to produce certified circular polymers in
Geleen, the Netherlands (PCN, 4 Feb 2019, p 3).
The certified circular polymers, which form part of
SABIC’s Trucircle portfolio, are produced using Plastic Energy’s
advanced recycling technology to convert lowquality,
mixed and used plastic, otherwise incinerated or
sent to landfills, into Tacoil (patented pyrolysis oil).
The Tacoil produced in the new commercial unit will be
used by SABIC in their production process as an alternative
to traditional fossil materials to create new circular
polymers. Operations are expected to begin in the second
half of 2022.
“Advancements in this pioneering project take us one
step closer to driving the change needed to become a circular
global industry,” noted Fahad Al Swailem, vice president
of polyethylene and sales at SABIC.
“We have overcome significant external, global challenges
to reach this important milestone and remain fully
committed to closing the loop on used plastic. We are continuing
to collaborate on an unprecedented level with our
partners upstream and downstream to achieve this.”

 

Ineos Styrolution Building Demo Plant To Produce ABS from Recycled Plastic

Antwerp—
Ineos Styrolution announced plans to construct a new
demonstration polymerization facility to test the production
of acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) plastic from
recycled feedstock at its site in Antwerp, Belgium (PCN, 14
Dec 2020, p 2).
The plant is intended to complement a demonstration
unit planned by Ineos Styrolution’s project partner, Indaver,
making Antwerp the “leading” European center for
recycling of styrenics, Ineos Styrolution noted.
Plans for the new plant are part of the “ABSolutely Circular”
project, which is supported by the EU LIFE program,
the European Union’s funding instrument for the
environment and resource efficiency.
“Together with our project partners, we share the vision
to turn plastic waste into valuable resources,” said Bart
van der Zee, technical research and development project
lead at Ineos Styrolution.
“I am proud to be part of this project and I invite technology
providers to join us on our mission. We are in fact
still open for new partners to start working with us on the
demonstration plant project in Antwerp.”

 

Stolt Tankers to Help Design and Build ‘Innovative’ Low Water Ship for BASF

Berlin—Stolt
Tankers said it has been commissioned by BASF to help
design and build an “innovative” new tanker that can operate
at “extreme” low water levels in the river Rhine, a
key waterway for the transport of chemicals in Europe.
During dry weather, barges are not able to fully load,
increasing transport costs and delaying products; however,
the new barge will still be able to pass the critical point in
the Rhine near Kaub, carrying 650 tons of cargo even at a
water depth of 1.60 meters, which is “significantly” more
than any other tanker currently available.
The ship, to be built by Mercurius Shipping Group and
operated exclusively by Stolt, will have a transport capacity
of around 2,500 tons at average water depths, twice
that of conventional inland vessels. Delivery is scheduled
next year.
“Following our experience with the low water levels of
the Rhine in 2018 and based on our assessment that such
events may occur more frequently in the future, we have
taken a whole range of measures at the Ludwigshafen site
[in Germany] to increase the security of supply for production,”
noted Dr. Uwe Liebelt, BASF European site and
Verbund management.

 

DCM Shriram Receives Approval to Invest In Several Downstream Chem Projects

New Delhi—
DCM Shriram, in its most recent financial results, said it
has received board approval for several new downstream
chemical projects to be implemented over the next 24
months at its site in Bharuch, Gujarat, India.
The projects include a 51,000-t/y epichlorohydrine facility,
along with a glycerin purification unit; a 52,500-t/y
hydrogen peroxide plant; expansion of anhydrous aluminum
chloride capacity by 32,850 t/y; and a new multipurpose
product research and development center.
The company expects to invest Rs 1,000 crore in the
projects.

 

Lotte Chemical Planning to Purchase JSR’s Elastomer Production Plants

Seoul—Lotte
Chemical Co. is planning to acquire the Elastomer Division
of JSR Corp. for an undisclosed amount, reported Business
Korea.
JSR has solution styrene butadiene rubber (S-SBR)
production facilities in Japan, Thailand and Hungary with
a total production capacity of 170,000 t/y, and produces a
total of 600,000 t/y of synthetic rubber.
According to JSR’s website, its synthetic rubber production
includes styrene butadiene rubber, polybutadiene rubber,
ethylene propylene rubber, and compounded products.
JSR is seeking up to 1-trillion won for the Elastomer
Division, but that amount is expected to change to reflect
the affects of COVID-19 on the division, the report said.

 

Corbion Expanding Lactic Acid Capacity To Meet Rising Demand in N. America

Blair—Corbion
is increasing production capacity for lactic acid in North
America by about 40% to meet the growing demand of its
customers.
Lactic acid capacity will be increased at the company’s
plant in Blair, Neb., in the most sustainable way possible,
Corbion noted. It will employ technology designed to enable
a “significant” boost in efficiency, while avoiding an
increase in emissions. No other details were available.
“At Corbion, we enable brand owners to commercialize
safe, high-performing products using our lactic acid-based
products and technology,” said Marco Bootz, president of
Lactic Acid & Specialties.
“Given the growth our customers in North America are
experiencing, and the increased demand for our products,
we believe this expansion is the right thing to do for our
customers and for Corbion. We’re committed to further
strengthening those relationships by enabling more
growth.”

 

Kureha Completes PPS Plant in Japan

Tokyo—
Kureha has completed construction of an additional polyphenylene
sulfide (PPS) production facility at its Iwaki
factory in Japan (PCN, 9 Apr 2018, p 3).
The new ¥10.1-billion PPS plant increased capacity at
the site to 15,700 t/y from 10,700 t/y. Commercial production
is scheduled to begin next month.
With completion of this additional unit, the company
said it will “further enhance its stable and efficient supply
of differentiated and quality PPS resins and aims to
strengthen its position in the global market.”

 

People on the Move

Orbia—Sameer Bharadwaj has been named chief executive
of the Mexican petrochemical company. Previously
in the compounds business unit, he succeeds Daniel Martinez-
Valle, who has resigned.
Wood—Ann Rosenberg has joined Wood as senior vice
president of sustainable development.
Anne Williamson, previously client account manager
and regional sector leader within the company’s Americas
business, has been appointed vice president in Wood’s consulting
business.

 

CGCL JV Begins Commercial Operations At New Methanol/DME Facility in T&T

La Brea—
Caribbean Gas Chemical Ltd. (CGCL), a joint venture of
Mitsubishi Gas Chemical (MGC), Mitsubishi Corp. (MC),
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Engineering (MHIENG), the
National Gas Co. of Trinidad and Tobago (NGC) and Massy
Holdings have begun commercial operations of a new
methanol and dimethyl ether (DME) plant in La Brea,
Trinidad & Tobago (PCN, 7 Sept 2015, p 2).
The facility, which required a total investment of approximately
$1-billion, has a production capacity of 1-
million t/y of methanol and 20,000 t/y of DME. It was
originally scheduled to begin commercial production in
March 2019.
MHIENG was responsible for plant design and construction,
while MGC, MC and Massy are responsible for
marketing the methanol production.
“Currently, the global demand for methanol is approximately
81-million tons per year, and that is expected
to increase steadily in step with GDP [gross domestic product]
growth,” said a release from MGC, MC and MHIENG.
“Through this business, MGC, MC and MHIENG are
aiming to help meet that demand and provide a boost to
economic growth in the Caribbean.”
CGCL is owned 26.25% each by MGC and MC, 20% by
NGC, 17.5% by MHIENG and 10% by Massy.

 

Huntsman Completes Acquisition Of Gabriel Performance Products

The Woodlands—
Huntsman Corp. has completed the purchase of Gabriel
Performance Products, a North American specialty chemical
manufacturer, from Audax Private Equity for $250-
million (PCN, 14 Dec 2020, p 3).
Gabriel has three manufacturing facilities located in
Ashtabula, Ohio; Harrison City, Penn., and Rock Hill, S.C.,
where it produces specialty additives and epoxy curing
agents for the coatings, adhesives, sealants and composite
end-markets.

 

Clariant and Casale Develop New Catalyst For More Efficient Ammonia Production

Munich—
Clariant and Casale recently announced the joint development
of a new ammonia synthesis catalyst, AmoMax-
Casale, that makes ammonia production “more efficient
and less polluting than ever before.”
The catalyst’s higher activity allows operation of the
ammonia synthesis loop with “considerably” less pressure.
This means the plant consumes less energy to produce
ammonia, and therefore generate less carbon dioxide (CO2)
emissions.
Also, the higher catalyst activity means higher conversion,
so the plant will consume less energy for the recirculation
of the process gas in the reactor loop. Again, less
CO2 is emitted.
The catalyst has already been proven in its first industrial
reference at an ammonia plant in the Americas. It
resulted in an expected annual reduction of $700,000 in
costs, and 6.148 tons in CO2 emissions.
Clariant and Casale plan to continue their collaboration
on other ammonia projects, we well as technologies that
will help their customers achieve net zero CO2 targets.

 

Black Diamond, Investindustrial Gets OK For Hexion’s Phenolic Specialty Resins

Brussels—
The European Commission (EC) has approved the proposed
acquisition of Hexion’s Phenolic Specialty Resins
business by Black Diamond Capital Management and Investindustrial
(PCN, 5 Oct 2020, p 2).
Late last September, Hexion signed a definitive agreement
with Black Diamond and Investindustrial to sell its
Phenolic Specialty Resins business, Hexamine and European-
based Forest Products Resins businesses to the two
firms for around $425-million.
The agreement included 11 manufacturing facilities
worldwide and around 900 employees. The sale is expected
to be finalized during the current quarter, subject to customary
closing conditions.
“The transaction results in a vertical relationship between
the companies, due to the production of unsaturated
polyester resins by Polynt-Reichhold, a portfolio company
of Black Diamond and Investindustrial, and the production
of dry granular thermoset compounds using the above
polymers as their input by Hexion’s Phenolic Specialty
Resins business,” the EC noted.

 

Olin Decides to Discontinue Operations Of Tric and AnHCl Units in Freeport

Freeport—Olin
Corp. has decided to cease operations of its trichloroethylene
(Tric) and anhydrous hydrogen chloride (AnHCl) liquefaction
plants in Freeport, Texas, before the end of 2021.
“The actions taken today further our efforts to ensure
we purposefully allocate capital spending and Olin people
assets towards lifting ECU (electrochemical unit) returns,”
said President and Chief Executive Scott Sutton.
“As Olin transitions our industry-leading feedstock position
to supply next-generation, environmentally sustainable
refrigerants, we will exit the production of Tric, which
is used to produce traditional refrigerants.
“For AnHCl, we remain interested in serving key highvalue
end-use applications; however, current returns do
not justify the operating costs and required reinvestment
capital.”

 

KBR Awarded Contract from SK E&S For New Hydrogen Project in Korea

Seoul—SK E&S
has awarded a contract to KBR to provide technical advisory
solutions to SK for its hydrogen development project
in South Korea.
Under the terms of the contract, KBR will supply technical
solutions to support SK’s plan to build a 30,000-t/y
liquefied hydrogen plant and supply the hydrogen to various
metropolitan areas in the country. In the initial phase
of the project, KBR will review key licensor technologies. A
completion date was not given.
“We are delighted to be part of this strategic project and
to support SK’s philosophy of sustainable growth in the
hydrogen sector,” said Jay Ibrahim, president of Technology
Solutions at KBR.
“This contract award aligns with KBR’s strategic decision
to provide differentiated and sustainable solutions to
our customers. As a premier provider of technologies, value-
added design and project integration capability, KBR
will leverage its hydrogen and cryogenic domain expertise
to support SK in this critical phase of the project.”

 

Greenergy Plans Advanced Biofuels Project; Will Turn Waste Tire to Fuel, Carbon Black

London—
Greenergy said it plans to invest in advanced biofuels utilizing
a combination of technologies to create low carbon
fuels and recovered carbon black from waste tire feedstock.
The plant, expected to be built near London, UK, will
utilize pyrolysis and hydrotreating technologies to convert
waste tires into renewable drop-in advanced biofuels that
can be used in diesel and gasoline. The carbon black can
be used to produce new tires and other industrial rubber
products.
Currently in the front-end engineering design stage, the
project is expected to process up to 300 t/d of shredded tires
in the first phase. Commercial production is planned to
begin in 2025.
Thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions will provide its advanced
thermal treatment technology, while Haldor Topsoe
will supply its HydroFlex renewable fuels technology.

 

Dow Chemical to Reduce Air Pollution From Four U.S. Manufacturing Plants

Washington—
The Dept. of Justice, the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency and the Louisiana Dept. of Environmental Quality
(LDEQ) announced a settlement with Dow Chemical Co.
and its Performance Materials NA and Union Carbide subsidiaries,
which will eliminate thousands of tons of air pollution
from four of Dow’s manufacturing facilities.
The settlement resolves a complaint that Dow and its
subsidiaries violated the Clean Air Act by failing to properly
operate and monitor industrial flares at their petrochemical
plants, which resulted in excess emissions of air
pollution.
Dow, Performance Materials and Union Carbide will
spend about $294-million to install and operate air pollution
control and monitoring technology to reduce flaring
and the resulting emissions from 26 industrial flares at
their facilities in Hahnville and Plaquemine, La., and
Freeport and Orange, Texas.
The pollution controls are estimated to reduce harmful
air emissions of volatile organic compounds by more than
5,600 t/y. The settlement is also expected to reduce toxic
air pollutants, including benzene, by nearly 500 t/y.
In addition, the LDEQ will receive $675,000 of a $3-
million civil penalty Dow has agreed to pay, and Dow will
perform three state-authorized “beneficial environmental
projects” in Louisiana that were negotiated by Louisiana,
said the report.

 

Air Liquide Gets Stake in H2V Normandy To Support Renewable Hydrogen Project

Paris—Air
Liquide said it has acquired a 40% stake in H2V Normandy,
a French company that plans to build a large-scale
electrolyzer complex of up to 200 megawatts for the production
of renewable and low-carbon hydrogen in France.
Located in the industrial zone of Port-Jerome in Normandy,
the project will supply the hydrogen for industrial
applications, as well as future heavy mobility applications.
The project is part of an “ambitious” program to develop
new energies to decarbonate industrial activities in the
refining and chemical sectors on the Seine Valley axis in
Normandy, noted Air Liquide. It will help to avoid 250,000
t/y of carbon dioxide emissions.

 

Linde Inks Agreement with BorsodChem For Long-Term Gas Supply in Hungary

Paris—Air
Liquide said it has acquired a 40% stake in H2V Normandy,
a French company that plans to build a large-scale
electrolyzer complex of up to 200 megawatts for the production
of renewable and low-carbon hydrogen in France.
Located in the industrial zone of Port-Jerome in Normandy,
the project will supply the hydrogen for industrial
applications, as well as future heavy mobility applications.
The project is part of an “ambitious” program to develop
new energies to decarbonate industrial activities in the
refining and chemical sectors on the Seine Valley axis in
Normandy, noted Air Liquide. It will help to avoid 250,000
t/y of carbon dioxide emissions.

 

Linde Inks Agreement with BorsodChem For Long-Term Gas Supply in Hungary

Budapest—
Linde has signed a long-term agreement with BorsodChem
for the supply of nitrogen, oxygen and compressed air to
BorsodChem’s chemical complex in Kazincbarcika, Hungary.
Under the agreement, Linde will build “one of the largest”
air separation units in Hungary to support Borsod-
Chem’s expansion and provide additional nitrogen, oxygen
and compressed air to meet the increasing demand for industrial
gases in Hungary and surrounding countries,
Linde noted. Completion is expected by the end of 2021.
“We are proud of our track record of safely and reliably
supplying industrial gases to BorsodChem and are excited
to have the opportunity to further support the company’s
growth,” said Andreas X. Muller, head of Hungary and
Austria at Linde.
“In addition, by building significant new capacity in
Hungary we have the opportunity to broaden our supply of
industrial gases to other regional customers in response to
increasing demand from resilient end markets.”

 

Teijin Establishes Innovation Center To R&D Sustainable Technologies

Arnhem—Teijin
said it has created the European Sustainable Technology
Innovation Center (ESTIC), a research and development
facility in Arnhem, the Netherlands, for developing technologies
for a more sustainable world.
The ESTIC will facilitate collaboration among researchers
across borders to strengthen development initiatives
in the company’s various business units.
The center also aims to develop all-new businesses that
leverage the lifecycle capabilities of Teijin’s core materials
and the development of green materials to support the
global circular economy. This includes efforts to reduce
carbon dioxide emissions and to stimulate the hydrogen
economy.
In addition, a new satellite office at the Brightlands
Chemelot Campus in Sittard-Geleen in the Netherlands
will be set up to further activate communication with external
innovation communities and research institutes.

 

V59 N03 – 18 January 2021

Wood Receives EPC Contract from Sinopec For Ethylene Expansion in South China

Hainan—
Sinopec has awarded an engineering, procurement and
construction (EPC) contract to Wood for an ethylene expansion
in the Hainan Free Trade Zone in China.
The contract, valued at over $120-million, is for an ethylene
renovation and expansion project, which, once complete,
will produce up to 1-million t/y of ethylene derivatives
and refined oil to serve demand across China and
globally. A schedule for the project was not given.
Wood’s local engineering and project management
teams will deliver EPC services for the sitewide pipe rack
and associated pipework, cables for power, telecommunications
and lighting.
“We are delighted to win this new contract with
Sinopec, which demonstrates the strength of our longstanding
relationship with the client and their confidence
in our extensive EPC expertise in the petrochemical sector,”
said Mike Collins, executive president of projects at
Wood.

 

KBR and Mura Enter Alliance Agreement For Advanced Plastics Recycling Process

Houston—
KBR announced the signing of an alliance agreement with
Mura Technology to offer Mura’s Cat-HTR, an “innovative”
advanced plastics recycling process.
Cat-HTR converts end-of-life plastic, such as thin plastic
packaging, which would otherwise be combusted, sent
to landfills or leaked into the environment, into an immediate
hydrocarbon feedstock that can be further refined to
produce virgin polymers and chemicals.
The technology is based on a patented hydrothermal
upgrading process that utilizes supercritical water to produce
stable hydrocarbon products from a wide range of
mixed plastic waste.
Under the terms of the agreement, KBR will be the exclusive
licensing partner for Mura and will provide studies,
basic engineering, technical services, proprietary equipment
and modules for the technology to customers across
the world.
“We believe that aligning with KBR will make it possible
to meet the strong global demand for a superior plastic
recycling process,” said Mura Chief Executive Dr. Steve
Mahon.
“Cat-HTR offers an . . . advanced recycling solution to
one of the largest global pollution issues we face today, and
we look forward to the commercial roll-out of our gamechanging
technology with KBR.”

 

Borealis Starting Stenungsund Cracker After Being Shut Down Since May Fire

Stockholm—
Borealis is in the process of starting up its Stenungsund
cracker in Sweden after being offline since a fire broke out
at the cracker on 9 May 2020.
The fire started because of a technical incident in the
compressor of the cracker resulting in the shutdown and a
declaration of force majeure (FM) on the cracker operations
on 11 May 2020.
“Start-up of the cracker is ongoing,” a company spokesperson
told PCN. “This is a complex process that takes
time. For the time being, the FM on our cracker . . . is still
in place. This is all that we can say at the moment.”
A low-density polyethylene (LDPE) plant was successfully
restarted on 2 June 2020, ahead of plan. Subsequently,
supply of certain LDPE film, masterbatch and
wire and cable products, which was constrained after the
shutdown, is now gradually improving.
The cracker is “one of the most flexible in Europe,” according
to the company’s website. Its main products are
ethylene, propylene, PE, high-density PE, LDPE and Borstar
products. It can use naphtha, ethane, propane and
butane as raw materials in the cracking process.

 

Inter Pipeline Awards Contract to Worley For Heartland PC Complex in Alberta

Calgary—
Worley has been awarded a three-year master site services
and supply contract by Inter Pipeline Ltd. for its Heartland
Petrochemical complex in Alberta, Canada (PCN, 23-30
Nov 2020, p 3).
Located in Strathcona County, the complex is an integrated
propane dehydrogenation and polypropylene (PP)
facility that will convert 22,000 b/d of locally sourced propane
into about 525,000 t/y of PP. Start-up is expected in
early 2022.
Under the contract, Worley will provide commissioning
support, direct hire maintenance, small capital construction,
turnaround, engineering and consulting services.
PP produced at the complex is expected to have a
greenhouse gas emissions footprint that is 65% lower than
the global average and 35% lower than the North American
average, Worley noted.

 

ADNOC & Japan Agree to Cooperate On Carbon Recycling Technologies

Abu Dhabi—Abu
Dhabi National Oil Co. (ADNOC) and Japan’s Ministry of
Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) have decide to partner
on carbon recycling technologies and fuel ammonia.
As part of the agreement, they will work together to accelerate
the development of these technologies to reduce
carbon emissions.
The decision to partner on technologies was made while
ADNOC and METI were discussing opportunities that
could enhance the speed of the post-COVID recovery for
both the United Arab Emirates and Japan.

 

Grace to Evaluate 40 North’s Proposal To Acquire All Outstanding Shares

Columbia—W. R.
Grace & Co. said it has received a revised proposal from 40
North Management, a shareholder in Grace, to purchase
all outstanding shares of Grace for $65 per share in cash,
subject to certain conditions (PCN, 16 Nov 2020, p 1).
This past November, Grace received an unsolicited offer
from 40 North to acquire all outstanding shares of Grace
for $60 per share; however, Grace’s board of directors
unanimously agreed that the proposal undervalued the
company and was not a basis for further discussion.
The board will carefully review and evaluate the latest
proposal to determine the course of action it believes is in
the best interest of the company and its shareholders,
Grace noted.
As part of the review, the board will consider the proposal
in the context of the company’s ongoing review of
potential strategic alternatives to maximize shareholder
value, it added.

 

Nouryon Announces Decision to Rename Industrial Chems Business to Nobian

Amersfoort—
Nouryon said it has chosen to rename its wholly-owned
industrial chemicals business to Nobian as the next step in
its growth and branding strategy.
The branding change will enable Nobian to develop its
integrated European value chain for essential base chemicals
under its own name and brand, while Nouryon will
continue to focus on growing its “leading” position in specialty
chemicals, Nouryon explained.
Headquartered in Amersfoort, the Netherlands, Nobian
is a European “leader” in salt, chlor-alkali and chloromethanes
production.
“The safe and reliable production of our essential base
chemicals for the European industry has only increased in
importance over the past year,” said Nobian President
Knut Schwalenberg.
“We will continue to be owned by Nouryon as we grow
our business under the new name, Nobian, starting with
the ongoing expansion of chloromethane production in
Frankfurt, Germany, to better serve customers in the
pharmaceutical and construction industries.”

 

Celanese to Construct New World-Scale LCP Polymerization Plant in China

Shanghai—
Celanese announced it will build a new world-scale, multiphase
liquid crystal polymer (LCP) polymerization facility
at either an existing or greenfield site in China.
The plant is anticipated to have an LCP production capacity
of around 20,000 t/y, with the first phase of the project
expected to come online in 2024.
The new plant will support the company’s “significant”
growth in its high-value Vectra and Zenite LCP product
lines, Celanese noted.
“China continues to be a quickly growing manufacturing
base for many global electronics and automotive customers
and is home to more than 50% of current global
demand for LCP,” said Stefan Kutta, vice president of engineered
materials.
“This investment will allow Celanese to continue innovating
with our customers in this key geography and meet
the rapidly growing demands for our LCP products.”

 

Covestro Receives ISCC Plus Certification For Antwerp & Krefeld-Uerdingen Sites

Berlin—
Covestro said it has received ISCC (International Sustainability
and Carbon Certification) Plus mass balance certification
for its Antwerp, Belgium, and Krefeld-Uerdingen,
Germany, sites.
The company is now able to offer large product volumes
of high-performance plastic polycarbonate made from renewable
attributed raw materials with qualities comparable
to fossil-based polycarbonate.
Methylene diphenyl diisocyanate from the Krefeld-
Uerdingen site and its precursor aniline from the Antwerp
plant are now also available with ISCC Plus certification.
“With the mass balance certification across the entire
value chain, we want to achieve complete transparency,
also for our customers,” said Covestro Chief Commercial
Officer Sucheta Govil.
“At the same time, we are helping them to reduce their
own carbon footprint and are offering them a drop-in solution
that they can instantly implement in their existing
production processes without the need for technical
modifications.”

 

Total & Engie Ink Agreement to Develop France’s ‘Largest’ Green Hydrogen Site

Paris—Total
said it has entered into a cooperation agreement with Engie
to design, develop, build and operate France’s “largest”
renewable hydrogen production site at Total’s La Mede
biorefinery in Chateauneuf-les-Martigues in the Provence-
Alpes-Cote d’Azur South region.
The Masshylia project, which will be powered by solar
farms, involves a 40-megawatt electrolyzer that will produce
5 t/d of green hydrogen to meet the needs of the biofuel
production process at the biorefinery.
“Beyond this first phase, new renewable farms may be
developed by the partners for the electrolyzer, which has
the capacity to produce up to 15 tons of green hydrogen per
day,” Total noted.
Construction is anticipated to begin in 2022, following
completion of an advanced engineering study. Production
is expected in 2024, subject to necessary financial support
and public approvals.
“Innovation and sustainability are at the heart of this
joint project,” said Philippe Sauquet, president of Gas, Renewables
and Power at Total.
“As demonstrated by our commitment to the European
Clean Hydrogen Alliance, we believe in the future of renewable
hydrogen, and we are working with our partner
Engie to make it happen.
“This renewable hydrogen production facility, combined
with our expertise in solar energy, is a further step in our
commitment to get to net zero by 2050.”

 

People on the Move

LSB Industries—Damien Renwick has joined the company
in the newly created position of chief commercial
officer, effective 11 Jan. 2021. He was most recently president
of Cyanco International from 2017 to 2019, and in
2018 took on the additional role of chief commercial officer.
GTC Technology—Matthew Viergutz, previously chief
executive of Butamax Advanced Biofuels, has become head
of GTC Technology U.S.

 

Borealis and Tomra Open Demo Plant For Advanced Mechanical Recycling

Berlin—Borealis
and Tomra have begun operations at their new demo plant
for post-consumer plastic waste sorting and advanced mechanical
recycling in Lahnstein, Germany.
“The state-of-the-art plant processes both rigid and
flexible plastic waste from households,” Borealis noted.
“And unlike many current recycling plants, it will produce
the advanced solutions necessary for use in highdemanding
plastic applications in various industries, including
automotive and consumer products.
“With high purity, low odor, high product consistency
and light color fractions, these grade recycled polymers will
meet customer quality requirements across the value
chain.”
The goal of the demo plant is to generate material for
brand owners and converters to qualify, validate and prove
fit for use in their highly demanding applications. Technical
success will set the groundwork for a commercial-scale
facility.
Borealis, Tomra and Zimmermann, a waste management
company, will jointly operate the demo unit.

 

Linde to Build Green Hydrogen Facility At Leuna Chem Complex in Germany

Leuna—Linde
announced it will build, own and operate the “world’s largest”
proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolyzer plant
at the Leuna Chemical Complex in Germany for the production
of green hydrogen.
The new 24-megawatt electrolyzer will produce the
green hydrogen to supply Linde’s industrial customers
through the company’s existing pipeline network. It will
also distribute liquefied green hydrogen to other customers
in the region, as well as to refueling stations. Production
is expected to begin in the second half of 2022.
ITM Linde Electrolysis GmbH, a joint venture of ITM
Power and Linde, will build the electrolyzer using highefficiency
PEM technology.
“Clean hydrogen is a cornerstone of the German and
EU [European Union] strategies to address the challenge
of climate change,” said Linde President Region Europe
West Jens Waldeck. “It is part of the solution to help reduce
carbon dioxide emissions across many industries, including
chemicals and refining.
“This project shows that electrolyzer capacity continues
to scale up and it is a stepping stone towards even larger
plants.”

 

CPI Plans 63rd PU Technical Conference In Person from 4-6 Oct. 2021 in Denver

Washington—
The Center for the Polyurethanes Industry (CPI) of the
American Chemistry Council (ACC) has scheduled its 63rd
Polyurethanes Technical Conference to be held in person
from 4-6 Oct. 2021 in Denver, Colo.
The conference, the “longest running” polyurethanes
conference in North America, will highlight the latest innovative
polyurethanes technologies and discuss the most
pressing issues facing the industry today, the ACC noted.
CPI is currently accepting submissions for technical
paper and poster abstracts for the 2021 conference. The
deadline for submitting paper abstracts is 3 Feb. 2021, and
the deadline for submitting poster abstracts is 6 Aug. 2021.

 

McDonald’s Commits to Worldwide Ban Of PFAS in Food Packaging Materials

Washington—
McDonald’s announced a new global sustainable packaging
commitment banning per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances
(PFAS) from food packaging.
The company, which has already eliminated bisphenol
A, bisphenol S, and phthalates from its packaging, has
committed to removing all added fluorinated compounds
from its packaging materials globally by 2025.
“Because McDonald’s is the largest fast-food chain in
the world, this action will help drive PFAS out of food
packaging,” said Mind the Store Campaign Director Mike
Schade.
“Over the last year, tens of thousands of McDonald’s
customers have raised their voices calling on the company
to act on this. We appreciate McDonald’s taking this important
action and heeding our call. However, four years is
too long for their customers and frontline communities to
continue to be polluted by these unnecessary forever
chemicals.
“We urge McDonald’s to phase these chemicals out by
2022 and ensure substitutes are safe and reusable. Other
major fast-food chains like Burger King and Wendy’s
should join them in driving PFAS out of food packaging.”

 

Total Not Renewing API Membership

Paris—Total
announced its decision not to renew its American Petroleum
Institute (API) membership for 2021, following a detailed
analysis of API’s climate positions.
Following the 2019 and 2020 reviews, API’s positions
were assessed as “partially aligned” with those of Total.
Certain divergences, which have been discussed within the
association, remain today:
Regarding the role of natural gas, API maintains
its support for the rollback of the U.S. regulation on
methane emissions, which Total opposed in November
2019;
Regarding transport decarbonization, API is part of
the Transportation Fairness Alliance, which is opposed
to subsidies for electric vehicles;
On the matter of carbon pricing principle, API expresses
differing positions to those of Total.
Moreover, API gave its support during the recent election
to candidates who argued against the U.S.’ participation
in the Paris Agreement.

 

Teijin Introduces New ICP System

Tokyo—Teijin Ltd.
has introduced an internal carbon pricing (ICP) system to
apply to all future capital investment plans throughout the
group that are expected to impact the group’s carbon dioxide
(CO2) emissions.
The ICP system creates economic incentives to reduce
CO2 emissions by quantifying CO2 emissions as costs that
the company can consider when making investment decisions,
ultimately to held address the problem of climate
change, Teijin explained.
The company’s goals for lowering its group wide environmental
impact include, among others, reducing CO2
emissions in fiscal 2030 by 20% compared to fiscal 2018
level, and then achieving net zero emissions by 2050, Teijin
noted.

 

Fluor Updates Organizational Structure; Intends to Sell Maintenance Services

Irving—Fluor
Corp. announced an updated organizational and reporting
structure, beginning in the first quarter of this year, that it
said better aligns its business with identified growth markets
and the company strategy.
Under the new structure, Fluor will conduct its operations
in three business segments: Energy Solutions, Urban
Solutions and Mission Solutions.
Energy Solutions will be focused on energy transition,
chemicals and traditional oil and gas opportunities, and
will be led by Jim Breuer.
Urban Solutions, led by Terry Towle, will look for opportunities
in mining, metals, advanced technologies,
manufacturing, life sciences, infrastructure, and will include
Fluor’s professional staffing unit.
Mission Solutions will mainly focus on delivering solutions
to federal agencies across the U.S. government and to
select international opportunities.
In addition, the company has established two newlyconsolidated
functional organizations: Project Execution,
led by Mark Fields, and Corporate Development and Sustainability,
which will be led by Al Collins.
“As a result of our strategic review, we have determined
that Maintenance Services no longer fits within Fluor’s
core service portfolio,” Fluor noted. “Therefore, the company
is initiating plans to sell Stork.”

 

Solvay Creates Hydrogen Platform; Joins Hydrogen Council Initiative

Brussels—Solvay
said it has launched a hydrogen platform that will bring
together all the innovative material and chemical solutions
the group has to offer to advance the emerging hydrogen
economy.
The company’s polymer membrane technology, under
the name Aquivion, will be at the heart of the platform and
constitutes a necessary component in the process of hydrogen
production. It will be a key contributor to the electrolyzer
and fuel cell markets.
Solvay also intends to bring other hydrogen applications
and components to the market, such as hydrogen
tanks.
In addition, the company has joined the Hydrogen
Council, a global chief executive-led initiative that brings
together leading companies with a united vision and longterm
ambition for hydrogen to foster the clean energy transition,
Solvay noted.

 

Rice University Engineers Develop Reactor To Produce Liquid Acetic Acid from CO

Houston—
Engineers at Rice University have developed a continuous
catalytic reactor that turns carbon monoxide (CO) directly
into acetic acid using renewable electricity.
The electrochemical process, by the labs of chemical
and biomolecular engineers Haotian Wang and Thomas
Senftle of Rice’s Brown School of Engineering, resolves issues
with previous attempts to reduce CO into acetic acid.
Those processes required additional steps to purify the
product.
“We’re upgrading the product from a one-carbon chemical,
the formic acid, to two-carbon, which is more challenging,”
said Wang.
The environmentally-friendly reactor uses nanoscale
cubes of copper as the primary catalyst along with a
unique solid-state electrolyte. Computational models by
Senftle and his team helped refine the cubes’ form factor.
“We were able to show there are types of edges on the
cube, basically more corrugated surfaces, that facilitate
breaking certain C-O bonds that steer the products one
way or the other. Having more edge sites favors breaking
the right bonds at the right time,” he explained.
“The next step in development of a scalable system is to
improve upon the system’s stability and further reduce the
amount of energy the process requires,” Wang added.
Wang was recently named a Packard Fellow to win a
$2-million grant from the National Science Foundation to
continue exploring the conversion of greenhouse gases into
liquid fuels.

 

Ineos Styrolution Joins Plastics Division Of the American Chemistry Council

Washington—
Ineos Styrolution America LLC has become the newest
member of the American Chemistry Council’s (ACC) Plastics
Division.
“Our company is committed to improving and increasing
the recovery of post-consumer polystyrene waste,” said
Ricardo Cuetos, vice president of Americas standard products
at Ineos Styrolution America.
“Joining the ACC’s Plastics Division supports both our
company’s strong sustainability goals, and strengthens our
industry’s commitment and drive for innovation and a circular
economy in all market segments.”

V59 N02 – 11 January 2021

Braskem Resumes Partial Operations At Etileno XXI Complex in Mexico

Mexico City—
Braskem announced that its Braskem Idesa subsidiary has
partially resumed polyethylene (PE) production, based on
an experimental business model, at its Etileno XXI petrochemical
complex in Mexico’s Veracruz state (PCN, 7 Dec
2020, p 2).
Braskem Idesa completely suspended processes last
month at the ethylene cracker, after Centro Nacional de
Control del Gas Natural (Cenegas) blocked gas supply to
the facility.
The Etileno complex includes an ethylene cracker with
the capacity to produce over 1-million t/y of low- and highdensity
PE.
The company has initiated legal measures, as established
in an ethane supply agreement between Braskem
Idesa and Petróleos Mexicanos, and by Braskem Netherlands,
Braskem Idesa’s direct shareholder, to enforce legal
and contractual rights of Braskem Idesa and its parent
company, and to protect its investment in Mexico.
Such measures include a remediation and negotiation
period, during which it will seek a resolution between the
parties.
Braskem Idesa said it remains committed to Mexico
and to coming up with constructive alternatives to resolve
Mexico’s ethane shortage. It will keep the market informed
of developments to the extent required by law.

 

Sasol Successfully Concludes Sale to Ineos Of Its Stake in Their Gemini HDPE JV

La Porte—
Sasol announced that it has successfully completed the
divestment of its 50% interest in the Gemini high-density
polyethylene (HDPE) joint venture with Ineos Olefins &
Polymers (O&P) USA to Ineos Gemini HDPE LLC for a
consideration of $404-million (PCN, 7 Dec 2020, p 1).
The joint venture, previously known as Gemini HDPE
LLC, produces bimodal HDPE products at its 470,000-t/y
facility located within Ineos’ Battleground manufacturing
complex in La Porte, Texas.
Ineos O&P USA, a subsidiary of the Ineos Group, has
operated the unit since its start-up in 2017. The unit utilizes
Ineos’ proprietary INNOVENETM S technology.

 

OMV’s Has Entered Commissioning Phase Of Iso C4 Project at Burghausen Refinery

Munich—
OMV announced that the new Iso C4 plant at its Burghausen
refinery in Germany is in its commissioning phase
(PCN, 22 July 2019, p 2).
The 60,000-t/y unit will utilize a new technology developed
through a collaboration by OMV and BASF for the
production of high-purity isobutene.
OMV integrated the Iso C4 plant into an existing metathesis
facility that is responsible for the energy-efficient
manufacturing of propylene.

 

Methanex Gives Update on Titan Plant; Will Restructure Trinidad Operations

Point Lisas—
Methanex said it expects that its 875,000-t/y Titan methanol
facility in Point Lisas, Trinidad, will remain idled indefinitely
(PCN, 23 Mar 2020, p 1).
As a result of the decision, the company has decided to
restructure its Trinidad operations to support a one-plant
operation and will reduce workforce there by about 60 positions,
including employees and long-term contractors.
Methanex idled the Titan facility on 16 Mar. 2020, in
anticipation that methanol demand could be impacted in
the second quarter of 2020 by a substantial reduction in
manufacturing activities in countries that had significant
outbreaks of COVID-19.
“To date, we have not been successful reaching an
agreement for an economic longer-term natural gas agreement
and given that the economic recovery path remains
uncertain, we believe it is prudent to reduce costs while
continuing our efforts to secure longer-term gas supply,”
the company noted.
“We remain committed to doing business in Trinidad
and Tobago and we believe that we will be able to secure
an economic longer-term natural gas agreement for Titan
in the coming years,” said Chief Executive John Floren.

 

Air Products Wins Gas Supply Contract For Binhua’s Chem Project in Binzhou

Beijing—Air
Products has signed a long-term contract with Shandong
Binhua New Material Co. (Binhua) to supply gas to Binhua’s
propane and butane integrated utilization project in
Beihai Economic Development Zone of Binzhou City,
Shandong Province, China (PCN, 9 Dec 2019, p 1).
The $7.5-billion two-phase project will involve “worldleading”
technologies and green production, and will comply
with China’s latest environmental regulations, Air
Products noted.
Under the contract, Air Products will build, own and
operate several onsite gas production facilities in the Binzhou
Port-centered Chemical Industry Park in phases, including
an energy-efficient air separation unit (ASU) to
meet Binhua’s gaseous oxygen and nitrogen demand.
The ASU will provide liquid products to other customers
in the park and the growing merchant market in the
province. The facilities are planned to be fully operational
in 2022.
In December 2019, Binhua selected Honeywell UOP’s
C3 Oleflex technology for a new 600,000-t/y polymer-grade
propylene production plant in China.

 

L&T Awarded Two EPCC Contracts For HRRL’s Refinery, PC Complex

Barmer—HPCL
Rajasthan Refinery Ltd. (HRRL) has selected L&T hydrocarbon
Engineering (LTHE) for the engineering, procurement,
construction and commissioning (EPCC) of a dual
feed cracker unit and a petrochemical fluidized catalytic
cracking unit for its integrated refinery and petrochemical
complex in Rajasthan, India (PCN, 15 Apr 2019, p 3).
Earlier estimated to cost around Rs 43,129 crore, the
project involves a 9-million-t/y refinery, as well as facilities
to produce petrochemicals. Start-up was originally scheduled
for 2017. A new schedule was not given.
The dual feed cracker unit, with a capacity of 890,000
t/y, will convert refinery naphtha and offgases to produce
polymer-grade ethylene and propylene, as well by-products
such as butadiene, benzene, toluene and gasoline, through
a thermal cracking process. The ethylene and propylene
will be used as feedstock for a polyethylene and polypropylene
unit.
The 2.9-million-t/y petrochemical fluidized catalytic
cracking unit will convert heavy hydrocarbons from the
vacuum distillation unit to produce gasoline, diesel, propylene
and lighter products by the process of catalytic
cracking.

 

Saudi Kayan Gets Government’s Nod For an Increase in Ethane Allocation

Jubail—Saudi
Kayan Petrochemical Co. said it has received approval
from Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Energy on its request to
increase ethane allocation to the company to support petrochemical
production.
Ethane allocation will be increased by a maximum of
30-million standard cu ft/d, based on the availability of
ethane from future gas production projects.
Saudi Kayan must submit a plan to implement conversion
projects, substitute crude oil with sales gas and coordinate
with SABIC to maximize the benefits of feedstock.

 

Equipolymers Improves Viridis PET Grade, Now Made With 30% Recycled Feedstock

Ahmadi—
Equate’s Equipolymers (EQP) subsidiary has launched Viridis
30, a food-grade polyethylene terephthalate (PET)
manufactured with 30% chemically recycled PET as feedstock.
The Viridis grade was started in 2009, with the support
of the Coca-Cola Co., when EQP launched Viridis 10, made
with 10% chemically recycled PET. Last January, it produced
its first successful batch of Viridis 25, which uses up
to 25% chemically recycled PET (PCN, 27 Jan 2020, p 3).
Viridis 30 is expected to be commercially available to
the European market from the first quarter of 2021.
“Viridis 30 is a significant achievement for EQP and for
the petrochemical industry,” said Muayad Al Faresi, global
business director for PET at EQP.
“As global demand increases, the transformation of our
industry is necessary to create new products that are more
sustainable in the long term.
“The development of Viridis 30 is aligned with the EU’s
[European Union] target to achieve 25% rPET [recycled
PET] in packaging by 2025, and 30% by 2030. It highlights
our commitment towards innovation – this is a breakthrough
that will have far reaching environmental, social
and business benefits.”

 

Shell to Invest in New Varennes Project For Biofuels & Renewable Chemicals

Calgary—Shell
Canada has signed commercial agreements to invest in
Varennes Carbon Recycling (VCR), the first waste-to-low
carbon fuels plant for the production of biofuels and renewable
chemicals planned in Quebec, Canada.
Shell will have a 40% stake in the approximately
C$875-million facility, which will produce the low-carbon
fuels and renewable chemicals products from nonrecyclable
waste using Enerkem’s proprietary technology.
Commissioning of the first phase is scheduled for 2023.
Once complete, the plant will treat more than 200,000
t/y of non-recyclable waste and wood waster with an annual
production of nearly 125-million liters of low-carbon
fuels.
“Critical investment in the plant comes from Shell, Enerkem,
Suncor, Proman and Hydro-Quebec, as well as from
the Quebec and Canadian governments,” Shell noted.
Over 500 jobs will be created during construction and
about 100 permanent direct skilled jobs during operations.

 

KBR Receives MSA from LanzaTech For Carbon Recycling Tech Projects

Houston—KBR
has won a Master Services Agreement (MSA) from LanzaTech
to provide engineering services for global carbon
recycling technology projects.
Under the contract, KBR will provide engineering design
services and technical support for LanzaTech’s projects
in several locations. The work is expected to be performed
over a five-year period. Value of the contract was
not given.
“We are excited and proud to take part in LanzaTech’s
carbon capture projects and help build on their sustainable
solutions to reduce, recycle and reuse carbon,” said Jay
Ibrahim, president of technology solutions at KBR.
“This win is indicative of KBR’s commitment to sustainability
and aligns with our robust sustainability action
plan, which includes reducing carbon footprints around the
world.”

 

SOCMA Elects Polysciences’ Mike Ott As Board of Governor’s Chairman

Arlington—The Society
of Chemical Manufacturers & Affiliates (SOCMA)
said it has named Mike Ott, president and chief executive
of Polysciences Inc., as chairman of the board of governors
for a period of two years.
Ott, succeeding Gene Williams of Optima Chemical
Group, will lead the board in providing strategic guidance
and value creation in alignment with the organization’s
mission, the association noted.

 

People on the Move

Univar Solutions—James B. Holcomb has joined the
company as president of North America chemical distribution.
He was previously chief operating officer for
Brenntag North America.
Kuraray Co.—Hitoshi Kawahara has become president
and representative director of the company, effective
1 Jan. 2021. He succeeds Masaaki Ito, who is now chairman
and director.

 

TechnipFMC Continues Activities Toward Planned Separation into Two Companies

London—
TechnipFMC announced the resumption of activities toward
its planned separation into two independent, industry-
leading, publicly traded companies: TechnipFMC and
Technip Energies (PCN, 23 Mar 2020, p 2).
This past March, TechnipFMC said that the market environment
created because of the COVID-19 pandemic was
not at that time conducive to the separation, and decided
to shelve its plans.
“We are very excited to announce the resumption of activities
related to the separation and the creation of two
industry-leading diversified pure-play companies poised to
capitalize on the energy transition,” noted Doug Pferdehirt,
chairman and chief executive of TechnipFMC.
“The increased clarity we now have in the market outlook,
coupled with our demonstrated ability to successfully
execute projects in this most challenging period, give us
confidence to move forward with the separation. We continue
to believe this action would allow both businesses to
thrive independently within their sectors, enabling each to
unlock significant shareholder value.”
Once separated, TechnipFMC will be a fully-integrated
technology and services provider, while Technip Energies
will be one of the “largest” engineering and construction
pure-plays.
The transaction is expected to be structured as a spinoff
of a majority stake in TechnipFMC’s Technip Energies
segment. Subject to customary conditions, regulatory approvals
and final board approval, completion is scheduled
for the first quarter of this year.
Bpifrance, a substantial shareholder of TechnipFMC,
intends to invest $200-million in Technip Energies. Shares
received by Bpifrance for the new investment would be in
addition to those it will receive as a current stakeholder of
TechnipFMC.
TechnipFMC intends to distribute 50.1% of the outstanding
shares in Technip Energies to existing TechnipFMC
shareholders on a pro rata basis. TechnipFMC
will retain ownership of the remaining 49.9% of Technip
Energies’ outstanding shares as of the distribution date. It
plans to sell its stake in Technip Energies over time.

 

Jindal Films Europe Agrees to Acquire All DFS Shares from Domo Chemicals

Rome—Jindal
Films Europe, part of Jindal Group, has signed an agreement
to purchase 100% of the shares in Domo Films Solutions
(DFS) SpA from Domo Chemicals.
DFS, a nylon film specialist based in Italy, is one of
Europe’s major producers of both biaxially-oriented polyamide
and coextruded cast non-oriented nylon films for
flexible packaging, Domo noted. Subject to regulatory approvals,
the sale is expected to close around the end of the
first quarter of this year.
“Combining the two companies’ leadership in sustainability
will enable the Jindal Group to stay ahead of customer
and regulator expectations even more effectively,
further minimizing their environmental impact,” said DFS
Managing Director Attilio Annoni.
“DFS currently operates at a progressively improving/
reducing carbon footprint, sourcing 100% of renewable
energy and developing with upstream chemistry recycled/
recyclable nylon resins for its green product range
NYLEEN.”

 

Ascend Performance Materials Purchases Eurostar Engineering Plastics in France

Houston—
Polyamide 66 resin producer Ascend Performance Materials
said it has acquired Eurostar Engineering Plastics, a
compounder based in Fosses, France.
This is Ascend’s third acquisition in less than a year
and further expands its portfolio of high-performance plastics.
Value of the transaction was not disclosed.
Last year, the company purchased Poliblend and Esseti
Plast, both of Italy, as well as a compounding facility in
China (PCN, 7 Sept 2020, p 1).
“We are following through on our strategy of becoming
a more global, diversified and reliable supplier to our customers,”
said Ascend President and Chief Executive Phil
McDivitt.
“While the past 10 months have been challenging, we
have remained focused on providing our customers with
the solutions and support they need to continue growing.”

 

Momentive Signs Definitive Agreement To Acquire KCC’s Silicones Business

Albany—
Momentive Performance Materials has reached a definitive
agreement to purchase the silicones business of KCC
Corp., Momentive’s majority shareholder.
The acquisition includes KCC’s silicones business in
Korea and the UK, as well as its sales operations in China,
which are expected to further enhance Momentive’s global
capabilities in advanced silicones and specialized applications,
Momentive noted.
“Momentive recently announced a series of strategic
steps to transform the company into a leading specialty
silicones business, including the recent sale of its consumer
sealants business to Germany-based company, Henkel, and
its phased exit from commodity-based products at the Waterford,
New York, site, while committing to a $15-million
investment in advanced electronic materials production,”
Momentive explained.

 

India Plans to Sell 10% Stake in RCFL

New Delhi—
The government of India intends to divest a 10% stake in
Rashtriya Chemical and Fertilizers Ltd. (RCFL), reported
the Press Trust of India citing a notice from the Dept. of
Investment and Public Asset Management.
The government currently holds a 75% interest in
RCFL and plans to sell 10% of the paid up equity capital
through an offer for sale.
India has invited bids from merchant bankers and legal
firms to manage the share sale process.

 

Yara Sells LIFECO Stake to Libya’s NOC

Oslo—Yara
said it has entered into an agreement with Libya’s National
Oil Corp. (NOC) and the Libyan Investment Authority
(LIA) to divest its 50% interest in Libyan Norwegian
Fertiliser Co. (LIFECO) to NOC.
Under the transaction, which was completed as of 31
Dec. 2020, Yara transferred its full legal ownership interest
in LIFECO, together with all economic rights and all
obligations and liabilities.
LIFECO is now owned 75% by NOC and 25% by LIA.
Value of the transaction was not disclosed.

 

Gevo Selects Koch Project Solutions To Execute Its Expansion Projects

Englewood—Gevo
said it has engaged Koch Project Solutions, a subsidiary of
Koch Industries, to provide front-end engineering, design
and project execution management services for the expansion
projects that Gevo is in the process of financing with
Citigroup Global Markets.
Gevo is planning construction of up to three production
facilities and capacity expansions for its renewable jet fuel
and renewable isooctane, which are needed to provide the
product required under its existing and expected, future
take-or-pay, off-take agreements.
“The world is changing rapidly,” said Gevo Chief Executive
Patrick Gruber. “We appreciate being able to tap into
Koch Project Solutions . . . and their vast experience.”

 

Alterra Divests Minority Stake to Neste; Planning Liquefaction Site in Europe

Espoo—Neste
announced it has acquired a minority interest in Alterra
Energy, an “innovative” chemical recycling technology company
in Akron, Ohio.
Alterra has an industrial-scale waste plastics liquefaction
plant in Akron that produces commercial volumes that
can be refined and upgraded into high-quality feedstock for
plastics and chemicals.
The companies are working together toward a global
rollout of Alterra’s proprietary liquefaction technology with
an initial focus on Europe. They aim to accelerate the
adoption of chemical recycling and develop capacity to turn
hard-to-recycle plastic waste into high-quality, highperformance
polymers and chemicals, Neste explained.
Alterra is planning to build a state-of-the-art liquefaction
site in Europe later this year. No other details of the
project were shared.
“Collaboration with Alterra Energy strengthens Neste’s
ecosystem of partnerships that are aimed at accelerating
the transition to a circular plastics economy,” said Mercedes
Alonso, executive vice president, renewable polymers
and chemicals at Neste.
“It demonstrates our commitment to continue developing
the chemical recycling industry by supporting some of
the leading companies in commercializing 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 tons of plastic waste
from 2030 onwards.”

 

MISC Takes Delivery of Second VLEC For Long-Term Charter to Zhejiang

Kuala Lumpur—
MISC Berhad has taken delivery of Seri Erlang, the second
of six very large ethane carriers (VLEC) purchased from
Samsung Heavy Industries and Hyundai Heavy Industries
for long-time charter to Zhejiang Satellite Petrochemical
(PCN, 20 July 2020, p 3).
Under the earlier purchase agreements, Samsung
Heavy Industries and Hyundai Heavy Industries were to
each build three of the approximately 98,000-cu m VLECs
at a total cost of around $726-million. The first two were
delivered from Samsung’s shipyard in Geoje, South Korea.
MISC, through its vessel-owning entity Portovenere
and Lerci (Singapore) Pte., entered into 15-year time charter
parties with Satellite for operations in international
waters.
MISC took delivery of the first VLEC, Seri Everest, in
October 2020. The vessels will transport ethane from the
U.S. to China to support Zhejiang Satellites’ ethane
cracker facility in China.
The 1.25-million-t/y ethylene facility, estimated to cost
$4.2-billion, is being set up in Lainyungang.

 

Mitsui Chem Reveals Plans for 2021

Tokyo—Mitsui
Chemicals President and Chief Executive Osamu Hashimoto,
in his new year’s greeting, revealed measures aimed
at preparing the company for this year.
“Dependent on the outcomes of vaccine development, we
will likely see new values and visions for society emerge as
we either learn to live with COVID-19 or bring the spread
of infection to a halt,” Hashimoto noted.
In order to prepare for the new normal, Mitsui will
move with the following measures: it will review its longterm
business plan and redefine its vision with an eye to
the world of 2030; establish a dedicated organization
within the company to promote digitalization in all fields
in an integrated manner; accelerate efforts throughout the
whole company to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions
by 2050; and reform its work style.

 

Sipchem’s Al-Saadoon Joins GPCA

Dubai—Abdullah
Al-Saadoon, chief executive of Sahara International Petrochemical
Co. (Sipchem), has joined the board of directors of
the Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Assn. (GPCA), effective
immediately.
Al-Saadoon replaces Saleh Bahamdan, former chief executive
of Sipchem, who served as a member of the GPCA
board from August 2019 until December 2020.
“I am pleased to welcome Abdullah Al-Saadoon to the
GPCA board of directors and wish him every success in his
new role,” said GPCA Secretary General Adbulwahab Al-
Sadoun.
“His leadership skills and valuable experience, acquired
both through his positions within SABIC and Sipchem, will
undoubtedly help him to steer the company in the right
direction and make a meaningful contribution to GPCA’s
strategic objectives and future plans.”

V59 N01 – 4 January 2021

Ineos Finalizes Acquisition of BP’s Global Petrochemicals Business

London—Ineos announced
it has completed the purchase of BP’s global petrochemicals
business, which mainly consists of BP’s aromatics
and acetyls businesses, for a consideration of $5-
billion (PCN, 28 Sept 2020, p 1).
“Ineos is already one of the world’s leading petrochemical
companies and this acquisition will extend both the
portfolio and the geographic reach of the business,” Ineos
noted. The businesses will be known as Ineos Acetyls and
Ineos Aromatics.
The acquisition consists of 15 sites, worldwide, as well
as 10 joint ventures.
Ineos Aromatics is a global “leader” in purified
terephthalic acid and paraxylene technology with six sites
and supplies the global polyester business, which includes
polyester fiber, film and polyethylene terephthalate packaging,
said Ineos.
Ineos Acetyls produces acetic acid and a range of derivatives
from its nine sites, supplying a wide range of
downstream industries.
“We are delighted to have been able to acquire these
top-class businesses from BP, extending our position in
global petrochemicals and providing good scope for expansion
and integration with our existing business,” said Jim
Ratcliffe, founder and chairman of Ineos.

 

Sibur & Sinopec Complete Transaction To Set Up JV at Amur GCC in Russia

Moscow—Sibur
Holding and China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. (Sinopec)
have finalized their previously announced deal to establish
a new joint venture at the Amur Gas Chemical Complex
(GCC) being built in Svobodny, Russia (PCN, 21-28 Dec
2020, p 1).
Amur GCC, the downstream expansion of Gazprom’s
Amur Gas Processing Plant (GPP), will process ethane
fraction from the GPP for the production of 2.3-million t/y
of polyethylene and 400,000 t/y of polypropylene. The
budget for the chemical complex is tentatively estimated at
between $10-billion and $11-billion.
Construction of Amur GCC proceeds in synch with the
gradual ramp-up of the Amur GPP to its full capacity.
Completion of construction and commissioning is scheduled
for 2024.
“Sibur and Sinopec have a long track record of jointly
delivering on large-scale investment projects and implementing
advanced production technologies,” noted Dmitry
Konov, chairman of the management board of Sibur Holding.
“Creating a joint venture is a major milestone in our
Amur GCC project. With Sinopec’s involvement, we will be
able to maximize the project’s efficiency, in particular optimizing
and balancing the facility’s future debt portfolio,
while also enhancing its expertise in distribution across
Asian markets.”
The joint venture is owned 60% by Sibur and 40% by
Sinopec.

 

IOCL Lets EPCC Contract to Tecnimont For AA, Butyl Acrylate Units in Dumad

Vadodara—
Tecnimont SpA, a subsidiary of Maire Tecnimont, through
its Indian entity Tecnimont Pvt. Ltd., has been awarded an
engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning
(EPCC) contract by Indian Oil (IOCL) for new acrylic acid
(AA) and butyl acrylate units in Dumad, Gujarat State,
India (PCN, 30 Apr 2018, p 2).
The project involves implementation of a 90,000-t/y AA
plant and a 150,000-t/y butyl acrylate facility. Mechanical
completion is expected to be reached after 26 months.
Under the lump-sum contract, valued at about $255-
million, Tecnimont will perform the EPCC activities up to
the performance guarantees test run.
In 2018, IOCL agreed to license Mitsubishi Chemical
Corp.’s proprietary technology for the new units.
“After the recent announcement of the MoU [memorandum
of understanding] with IOCL to support the industrialization
of green chemistry and circular economy in India,
we consolidate a strategic relationship with such a prominent
client also in the petrochemical business,” said Maire
Tecnimont Group Chief Executive Pierroberto Folgiero.
“Our technology-driven strategy enabled us once again
to seize opportunities in a market with a very promising
downstream investment cycle, thanks to the growing demand
for petrochemical products.”
In the MoU signed by IOCL and Maire Tecnimont’s
NextChem subsidiary, the parties agreed to use Next-
Chem’s technologies to develop projects focused on plastics
recycling, producing biofuels from renewable feedstock,
and circular fuels and chemicals from non-recyclable waste
(PCN, 9 Nov 2020, p 2).

 

Enterprise & Navigator Start Service On Ethylene Storage Tank in Texas

Houston—
Enterprise Products Partners and Navigator Holdings announced
that service has begun on a new ethylene storage
tank at their 50-50 joint venture ethylene export terminal
at Morgan’s Point, Texas (PCN, 22 June 2020, p 3).
The 30,000-ton refrigerated tank “will facilitate faster
loading, increasing efficiency for the terminal’s customers
and enabling the terminal to reach an annual nameplate
export capacity of 1-million tons per year,” the partners
noted.
The new tank is supplied by a 600-million-lb ethylene
storage cavern at Enterprise’s Mont Belvieu, Texas, complex.
Enterprise has the capability to further expand its
underground caverns to accommodate additional ethylene
storage.
“Our fully commissioned . . . ethylene export facility is
the largest and most reliable supply source for waterborne
ethylene in the world,” said A.J. “Jim” Teague, co-chief executive
of Enterprise’s general partner.
“The terminal is backed by the supply of the entire U.S.
Gulf Coast via our growing ethylene midstream services,
which include our open access storage and market hub in
Mont Belvieu.”

 

Sumitomo Studying Possible Combination Of PDH & CO2 Utilization Technologies

Singapore—
Sumitomo Chemical said it has begun exploring a potential
combination of a propane dehydrogenation (PDH) technology
with a carbon dioxide (CO2) utilization technology at
its petrochemical complex in Singapore.
The PDH technology converts propane gas into propylene,
while the CO2 utilization technology uses hydrogen
and CO2, by-products from PDH, to “efficiently” synthesize
methanol, the company noted.
The project, supported by the Singapore Economic Development
Board (EDB), can increase economic activity
and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, said Sumitomo.
“The EDB is supportive of Sumitomo Chemical’s plans
to integrate the two technologies and implement them in
Singapore,” stated EDB Executive Vice President Damian
Chan.
“It is aligned, not only with EDB’s interests in increasing
propylene supply to grow high-value petrochemicals
manufacturing on Jurong Island, but also in enabling a
low-carbon energy industry and chemicals industry in Singapore.
“We are heartened that an industry leader such as Sumitomo
Chemical has chosen Singapore as the location to
commercialize these innovative technologies.”
Sumitomo recently announced it is partnering with
Shimane University on the CO2 utilization technology
(PCN, 14 Sept 2020, p 2).

 

JM & Thyssenkrupp Extend Partnership For Ammonia Process, Catalyst Supply

Essen—
Johnson Matthey (JM) and Thyssenkrupp have entered
into an agreement to renew their collaboration around
ammonia process and catalyst supply.
As part of the partnership, which was formed two decades
ago, Thyssenkrupp has exclusive use of JM’s “worldclass”
catalysts for its uhde ammonia process, JM noted.
Since the partnership was formed, Thyssenkrupp has
built over 20 ammonia plants with a total capacity of
40,000 t/d using JM catalysts.
“We are extremely proud of our ongoing partnership
and are thrilled with the opportunity to continue to apply
our deep knowledge in catalysis, pushing the boundaries in
energy efficiency and higher capacity,” said JM Managing
Director John Gordon.
“It has been fantastic to see our world-class catalysts
deliver optimum reliability with the lowest operating expense
for the Thyssenkrupp uhde ammonia process for five
of the world’s largest scale ammonia plants.”

 

NextChem and JFE Engineering Ink Deal To Produce Low Carbon Chem Products

Rome—
NextChem, a subsidiary of Maire Tecnimont Group, and
JFE Engineering Corp. have signed a commercial agreement
for the production of low carbon chemicals products.
The alliance will strengthen the partners’ ongoing collaboration
to provide an integrated and enhanced technological
platform for waste-to-chemicals projects, starting
from economic and technical feasibility studies up to turnkey
construction, NextChem noted.

 

Sibur and Gazprom Neft Sign Agreements To Invest in Expanding Shurtan Complex

Moscow—
Sibur and Gazprom Neft are considering investing in expanding
capacity of the Shurtan Gas Chemical Complex in
Uzbekistan and have signed agreements of intent with Uzbekneftegaz,
operator of the complex, Reuters reported.
The companies will also study a joint project to construct
another gas chemicals complex in the country with a
capacity of up to 3-billion cu m/yr of gas. No other details
were given.
This past October, Lummus Technology was awarded a
contract to design and supply four Short Residence Time
ethylene cracking furnaces for the Shurtan Gas Chemical
Complex, which will be used to more than double ethylene
capacity (PCN, 12 Oct 2020, p 2). The complex also produces
polyethylene.

 

EC Implements New Rules on Limiting Importing/Exporting of Plastic Waste

Brussels—The
European Commission (EC) has adopted new European
Union (EU) rules on the export, import and intra-EU
shipment of plastic waste.
The rules, which entered into force on 1 Jan. 2021, ban
the export of plastic waste from the EU to non-OECD (Organization
for Economic Co-operation and Development)
countries and imports in the EU will also be more strictly
controlled.
“In the last decade, uncontrolled trade in plastic waste
has increased, damaging both the environment and public
health,” the EC noted. “The new rules should end the export
of problematic plastic wastes to third countries that
often do not have the capacity and standards to manage it
sustainably.
“This is also a key commitment of both the European
Green Deal and the new circular economy action plan. In
parallel, today’s decision contributes to the EU plastics
strategy, which aims to reduce plastic waste and encourage
better sorting and recycling.”

 

People on the Move

Lotte Chemical Titan—Park Hyun Chul has been
named president and chief executive, effective 1 Jan. 2021,
to replace Lee Dong Woo. Chul joined the parent company,
Lotte Chemical Corp., in 1991 and has held several positions.
Versalis—Adriano Alfani has joined the company as
chief executive, effective 1 Jan. 2021, succeeding Daniele
Ferrari, who has decided to retire. He comes from Dow,
where he served as senior global business director and
strategy director.
Mitsui & Co.—Kenichi Hori, currently senior executive
managing officer and a representative director, has been
appointed president, chief executive and representative
director, effective 1 Apr. 2021. He succeeds Tatsuo Yasunaga,
who will become chairman and representative director
at the same time.
Azelis Americas—Eduardo Salinas has been named
managing director of Latin America. He was previously cofounder
of High Chem Specialties Mexico, a specialty
chemical distributor in Mexico.

 

AGIC Signs Three Off-Take Agreements For PP Produced by APOC JV in Jubail

Jubail—
Advanced Global Investment Co. (AGIC) has entered into
three long-term offtake agreements for the sale of polypropylene
(PP) produced by Advanced Polyolefins Co. (APOC),
a joint venture of AGIC and SK Gas Petrochemical, in
Jubail, Saudi Arabia (PCN, 14 Dec 2020, p 2).
APOC is planning to build a propane dehydrogenation
(PDH) and PP complex that will include an 843,000-t/y
PDH unit and two 400,000-t/y PP plants, which will use
Spheripol and Spherizone technologies licensed by Basell
Poliolefine. Construction is expected to begin next year,
with commercial operations planned to start by the second
half of 2024.
Under the offtake agreements, AGIC will sell 250,000
t/y of PP to Vinmar International in the U.S., 250,000 t/y of
PP to Tricon Dry Chemicals in the U.S. and 120,000 t/y of
PP to Mitsubishi Corp. of Japan. The agreements are effective
from the date of commercial operations of APOC
until 31 Dec. 2028.
AGIC is a subsidiary of Advanced Petrochemical Co.,
while SK Gas Petrochemical is a subsidiary of SK Gas Co.

 

Agilyx Supports the U.S. EPA’s Strategy To Boost Recycling Rate to 50% by ‘30

Tigard—Agilyx
Corp. said it applauds the National Recycling Strategy that
was recently announced by the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA), along with EPA’s goal of increasing the
national recycling rate to 50% by 2030.
The company supports EPA Administrator Andrew
Wheeler’s call for a “revival of the U.S. recycling system,
which faces significant challenges, ranging from consumer
confusion to reduced international markets and old recycling
infrastructure that has not kept pace with modern
materials streams.”
Agilyx also encourages congress to work with the industry
to prioritize recycling legislation in 2021, including accelerating
the circular economy for plastics.
Progress is already being made. In the last three years,
64 projects in mechanical and advanced recycling in the
U.S. have been announced, according to the American
Chemistry Council. Together these projects have the potential
to divert over 4-million t/y of waste from landfills.
Agilyx Corp., a subsidiary of Agilyx AS, advanced recycler
of difficult-to-recycle post-use plastic streams, has become
a signatory to the National Recycles Pledge.

 

Mitsubishi Chem Decides to Establish New CFRTP Pilot Facility in Japan

Tokyo—Mitsubishi
Chemical Corp. (MCC) said it will set up a new pilot
facility for carbon fiber reinforced thermoplastic (CFRTP)
in Fukui Prefecture, Japan.
MCC, with support from the Industrial Technology
Center of Fukai Prefecture and leveraging technological
synergy within the MCC Group, recently established technology
that enables “highly efficient” manufacturing of “extremely
high-quality” CFRTP, MCC noted.
In the future, MCC will market the product as a new
series in its Kyron thermoplastic composite brand and offer
it to the Japanese CFRTP market, which until now has
relied mainly on imports.

 

Huntsman Finalizes Sale of Venator Shares To Funds Advised by SK Capital Partners

Houston—
Huntsman Corp. has completed the sale of approximately
42.4-million ordinary shares of its pigments and additives
business, Venator Materials, to funds advised by SK Capital
Partners (PCN, 14 Dec 2020, p 3).
The transaction, valued at around $100-million, included
a 30-month option for the sale of the remaining approximate
9.7-million ordinary shares that Huntsman
holds in Venator for $2.15/share.
The finalized sale enables Huntsman to reduce its current
tax obligations by $150-million, said Huntsman
Chairman and Chief Executive Peter Huntsman.

 

VTT Develops Technology to Produce Bio-PEF Plastics Using Citrus Peel

Helsinki—The
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland has developed a
new technology that enables the use of pectin-containing
agricultural waste, such as citrus peel and sugar beet pulp,
as raw material for bio-based polyethylene furanoate (PEF)
plastics.
The patented technology has “significant” advantages
for making bio-based PEF plastics, VTT noted. It uses a
stable intermediate for the production of FDCA (2,5-
furandicarboxylic acid), one of the monomers of PEF, which
enables a “highly efficient” process.
“Replacing fossil-based PET [polyethylene terephthalate]
with plant-based PEF polymers can lower the carbon
footprint of the products by 50%.”

 

Bioplastics Company Danimer Scientific Completes Combination with Live Oak

Bainbridge—
Meredian Holdings Group, doing business under its founding
name, Danimer Scientific (Legacy Danimer), a nextgeneration
bioplastics firm, and Live Oak Acquisition
Corp., announced they have completed their planned business
combination.
In connection with the closing of the transaction, Live
Oak changed its name to Danimer Scientific. The combined
company will use its increased capital base to “significantly”
increase production of its Nodax polyhydroxyalkanoate
(PHA), a 100% biodegradable, renewable and sustainable
plastic produced using canola oil as its primary
feedstock, the companies noted.
Nodax PHA is the “first” PHA polymer to be certified as
marine degradable. It will fully degrade in ocean water
without leaving behind microplastics. It can replace the
80% of plastics that are never recycled or incinerated.
Danimer Scientific produces the PHA at its commercialscale
facility in Winchester, Ky. Based on signed and
pending contracts, the company is completely sold out of all
its production. The planned expansion is expected to meet
the current and long-term demand of its customers.
Legacy Danimer’s senior management team will continue
to lead the combined company.
Stephen E. Croskrey, chief executive of Danimer Scientific,
has also become chairman of the board. Live Oak
Chief Executive Rick Hendrix has joined the board of Danimer
Scientific, and John Amboian, non-executive chairman
of Live Oak, has joined the board as lead independent director.

 

Perdaman Firms Deal with Saipem To Build Australian Urea Facility

Canberra—Saipem,
in a 50-50 joint venture with Clough, has been awarded a
contract from Perdaman Chemical and Fertilizers for development
of the Burrup urea project, northwest of Karratha
in Australia (PCN, 6 July 2020, p 2).
The $4.5-billion project will involve the “world’s largest”
single-line ammonia plant, which will utilize Haldor Topsoe’s
SynCor technology, and a 2.14-million-t/y urea unit,
based on Saipem’s proprietary Snamprogetti Urea technology,
Saipem noted.
The contract, valued at approximately $2.4-billion, includes
the engineering, supply of equipment and materials,
construction, pre-commissioning and commissioning for the
urea plant.
Also included in the scope of work is a water treatment
plant, power plant, as well as urea storage, loading and
unloading facilities. A schedule was not given.
Around 2,000 jobs will be created during the construction
phase and, once complete, the plant will provide 200
permanent jobs.

 

Suez & SCG Form Strategic Partnership To Offer PCR Plastic in Southeast Asia

Bangkok—
Suez recently entered into a strategic partnership with
chemicals business SCG to address the growing demand
for high-quality post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastic in
Southeast Asia.
Suez produces 30,000 tons of PCR from its circular
polymer plant in Bang Phli, Thailand. The facility produces
recycled plastics that are comparable to virgin plastic
in color, impact and resistance, Suez noted. The plant
started up in December 2020.
The partnership allows SCG to leverage its marketing
and business management experience to help distribute
the PCR to brand owners and manufacturers in Southeast
Asia.
“Suez is delighted to partner with SCG, an industry
leader in integrated petrochemicals, who shows a consistent
commitment to excellence,” said Antoine Grange, chief
executive of Recycling & Recovery at Suez Asia.
“Together with SCG, we are confident that PCR can deliver
a long-term sustainable solution to tackling plastic
waste for customers in Southeast Asia. Suez will fully
support the Thailand government in achieving its plastic
waste reduction goal with its technological expertise and
compliance excellence.”

 

Braskem & Petrobras Renew Supply Deal For Naphtha, Ethane, Propane in Brazil

São Paulo—
Braskem and Petrobras have concluded the renewal of
feedstock supply agreements, in which Petrobras will supply
naphtha to Braskem’s industrial plant in São Paulo,
Brazil, and ethane and propane to its industrial unit in Rio
de Janeiro, Brazil.
The agreements, which will run for about five years beginning
this month, involves the supply of up to 2-million
t/y of naphtha and up to 580,000 t/y of ethylene equivalent.
The previous agreements were due to expire at the end of
December 2020.

 

Agilyx Joins Chemical Recycling Europe

Oslo—
Chemical Recycling Europe (ChemRecEurope) announced
that Agilyx AS, a leader in advanced recycling of post-use
plastics, has become a new member of the association.
“ChemRecEurope’s aim is to deepen a positive industrywide
relationship throughout the whole chemical recycling
value chain in Europe to accelerate the creation of a circular
economy for plastics,” according to ChemRecEurope.
Agilyx operates a fully commercial polystyrene chemical
recycling facility at Tigard, Ore., through its Regenyx joint
venture. It has several chemical recycling projects underway
with partners in Europe, the U.S. and Japan.

V58 N48 – 21-28 December 2020

Pembina & PIC Indefinitely Suspend CKPC’s PDH, PP Project in Canada

Calgary—Canada
Kuwait Petrochemical Corp., a joint venture of Pembina
Pipeline and Petrochemical Industries (PIC) of Kuwait, is
indefinitely shelving its propane dehydrogenation (PDH)
and polypropylene (PP) project planned to be built in Canada
(PCN, 13 Jan 2020, p 1).
The project, expected to cost around C$4.5-billion, includes
a complex that would process about 23,000 b/d of
propane from Pembina’s Redwater Fractionation Complex
and other local facilities to produce over 550,000 t/y of PP,
including random and impact copolymers.
“While Pembina continues to believe in the strategic rationale
of this project, the significant risks arising from the
ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, most notably with respect to
costs under the lump-sum contract for construction of the
PDH plant, which remains under force majeure condition,
require CKPC to suspend execution of the project indefinitely,”
Pembina explained.
“CKPC is working through a process to manage, defer
or cancel existing agreements with, among others, the
lump-sum consortium, lenders, and technology licensers, in
order to minimize the need for additional capital contributions.”
Commercial service had been expected to be in the second
half of 2023.

 

Ineos Styrolution Starts Construction On World-Scale ABS Plant in Ningbo

Ningbo—Ineos
Styrolution has broken ground for a new world-scale acrylonitrile
butadiene styrene (ABS) plant in Ningbo, China
(PCN, 13 Jan 2020, p 3).
The 600,000-t/y ABS unit will be located adjacent to a
polystyrene plant that Ineos acquired from Total in February
2019. Operations are scheduled to begin by 2023.
“The location of the new site was selected because of its
extensive access to feedstock supply options and excellent
supply chain connection to customers,” Ineos noted.

 

Sipchem to Mothball PBT, EVA Facilities Owned by Two of Its Saudi Affiliates

Jubail—Sahara
International Petrochemical Co. (Sipchem), in a filing with
the Saudi Stock Exchange, said it plans to mothball a
polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) facility and an ethylene
vinyl acetate (EVA) film plant in Saudi Arabia, each owned
by an affiliate of Sipchem.
The PBT unit, owned by Sipchem Chemical Co., is located
in Jubail Industrial City, while the EVA film plant,
owned by Saudi Specialized Products Co., is located in Hail
Industry City.
Sipchem plans to begin mothballing the facilities on 1
Jan. 2021. “Steps to give effect to this decision are underway,”
it noted.
The plan is in line with Sipchem’s strategy to improve
profitability and efficiency of its operations.

 

Sibur Chooses LyondellBasell Technology For PP Unit at Amur Gas Chem Complex

Moscow—
Sibur Holding has selected LyondellBasell’s Spheripol
technology for a new polypropylene (PP) plant, being built
as part of its Amur Gas Chemical Complex (GCC) project
in Svobodny, Russia (PCN, 2 Nov 2020, p 1).
The facility will have a production capacity of 400,000
t/y of PP. Commissioning of the project is planned in 2025.
Value of the project was not given.
“LyondellBasell’s technology will help to achieve the
highest level of diversification at Amur GCC and expand
Sibur’s mostly homopolymer-oriented portfolio with a few
PP random copolymers by adding a wide array of other
copolymers, e.g. high-impact polypropylene-ethylene copolymers,
and thermoplastic grades,” said Pavel Lyakhovich,
management board member and managing director
of the Basic Polymers Division at Sibur.
Total design capacity of the Amur GCC is 2.7-million t/y
of polyethylene and PP products.

 

BASF Begins Operation of First Phase Of New Geismar MDI Synthesis Unit

Geismar—BASF
said that the first phase of a new methylene diphenyl
diisocyanate (MDI) synthesis unit at its Verbund site in
Geismar, La., is now complete and has begun operations,
and an older MDI synthesis unit is no longer in service
(PCN, 5 Feb 2018, p 1).
The MDI capacity increase program, announced 2016,
is progressing on schedule. Over time, the company plans
to double MDI capacity from 300,000 t/y currently.
In the second phase, which is under construction, BASF
will expand several upstream units. Start-up is scheduled
for the second half of 2021 and will raise MDI capacity by
around one third.
The proposed final phase, which could increase MDI
capacity to around 600,000 t/y, is targeted for completion
by the middle of the decade.
“The Geismar site is ideally suited for this investment
thanks to its existing infrastructure, competitive raw materials
and ongoing strong business support from state and
local government,” noted Stefan Doerr, head of BASF’s
monomers business in North America.
“With this integrated facility, BASF will continue to be
a leading MDI supplier in North America, as well as globally.”

 

West Coast Olefins Chooses Original Site For NGL Recovery and Olefins Project

Calgary—
West Coast Olefins Ltd. (WCOL) said it has abandoned its
decision to relocate its Canadian natural gas liquids (NGL)
recovery and olefins project to McLeod Lake and will instead
build it on a site in Prince George, as originally
planned (PCN, 18 May 2020, p 2).
The proposed $5.6-billion project would include a 1-
million-t/y ethylene plant, a polyethylene facility, an NGL
recovery plant, associated offsite units and infrastructure,
and potentially a monoethylene glycol unit.
WCOL was planning to relocate the project to accommodate
concerns raised by a local advocacy group regarding
the impacts on the bowl area of the Prince George airshed,
noted WCOL President and Chief Executive Ken
James.
“However, the ‘Too Close to Home’ group renewed their
objections to the new project location, despite the fact that
they had suggested we consider a location north of Prince
George and we now realize that anything short of canceling
our project will not appease this group.”
The company has restarted the regulatory process for
the ethylene plant with the Environmental Assessment
Office and is initiating steps with BC Oil & Gas Commission
for the NGL recovery unit.
Last year, WCOL said the project was expected to take
three years to construct.

 

Ultrapar Considering Sale of Oxiteno To Focus on Oil and Gas Business

São Paulo—
Ultrapar announced that it is evaluating strategic alternatives
for its Oxiteno business, which includes a potential
divestment of the company.
Consistent with Ultrapar’s growth strategy, it plans to
focus its investments on existing opportunities in the oil
and gas value chain in Brazil, where it operates three
businesses and has structural competitive advantages.
Evaluating strategic alternatives for the Oxiteno business
is also expected to allow the continuous expansion and
strengthening of Oxiteno, Ultrapar noted.

 

Sumitomo Chooses Axen’s Atol Technology For Waste-to-Polyolefins Project in Japan

Tokyo—
Sumitomo Chemical and Axens have signed a license
agreement for Axens to supply its Atol ethanol-to-ethylene
technology for Sumitomo’s waste-to-polyolefins project in
Japan (PCN, 2 Mar 2020, p 1).
Axens’ Atol technology will transform ethanol produced
from waste into polymer-grade ethylene that will be polymerized
into polyolefins.
“At full roll-out, the project will enable the production of
waste-based polyolefin at industrial scale, which will represent
a leapfrog towards a sustainable economy based on
renewable carbon,” Axens noted.
Earlier this year, Sekisui Chemical and Sumitomo agreed
to form a strategic alliance that combines Sekisui’s
production technology for converting waste into ethanol
with Sumitomo’s technological know-how in manufacturing
polyolefin.
Pilot production is scheduled to begin in fiscal 2022,
with full-scale market launch of the production method
expected in fiscal 2025.

 

ACC’s Jahn Responds to Announcement Of Regan as U.S. EPA Admin Nominee

Washington—
President-Elect Joe Biden has nominated Michael Regan,
current secretary of the North Carolina Dept. of Environmental
Quality, to serve as administrator of the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA).
“We congratulate Michael Regan for his nomination to
be the next administrator of EPA,” said Chris Jahn, president
and chief executive of the American Chemistry Council
(ACC).
“Our industry looks forward to engaging with him and
the dedicated civil servants at the agency to help ensure
the nation’s key environmental statues are administered in
a way that protects human health and the environment,
especially among the most vulnerable people and places in
America.
“We would also like to thank Administrator Andrew
Wheeler and the dedicated staff at EPA—both political and
civil servants—for all they have accomplished over the past
four years.
“As one of the most heavily regulated manufacturing
industries in the U.S., the business of chemistry has an
interest in a broad range of the agency’s activities. ACC
and its members have a particular interest in the full, effective
and efficient implementation of the 2016 amendments
to the Toxic Substances Control Act as congress envisioned.
“We have been and remain committed to working constructively
with EPA and other federal agencies under
every presidency, and we look forward to engaging with
the incoming administration on key regulatory issues.”

 

Borealis Confirms Phenol, Acetone FM

Porvoo—
Borealis confirmed to PCN that it declared force majeure
(FM) on 15 Dec. 2020 on phenol and acetone production at
its Porvoo site in Finland.
The decision was made following a power outage, an incident
outside the scope of its control, according to the
company spokeswoman.
“At this point in time it is unclear when the FM will be
lifted. Affected customers have been informed accordingly.”

People on the Move

Sahara International Petrochemical Co.—Abdullah
S. Al-Saadoon has been appointed chief executive, effective
1 Jan. 2021, to succeed Saleh M. Bahamdan, who is
retiring. Al-Saadoon has been chief operating officer since
2019.
BASF SE—Dr. Melanie Maas-Brunner, head of BASF’s
Nutrition & Health Division, has been appointed chief
technology officer and a member of the board of executive
directors, effective 1 Feb. 2021. She will succeed Dr. Martin
Brudermüller, who will remain as chairman of the
board of executive directors.
Michael Heinz, currently responsible for South America,
will take over the additional responsibility of North
America from Wayne T. Smith, after a transition period on
1 June 2021. Smith will continue to be responsible for the
Monomers, Performance Materials, Petrochemicals, Intermediates,
and Process Research & Chemical Engineering
Divisions.

 

Braskem & Agilyx Partner on Project To Produce PP from Plastic Waste

Philadelphia—
Braskem and Agilyx have initiated a feasibility study to
explore the development and construction of an advanced
plastics recycling project in North America to produce
polypropylene (PP) using difficult-to-recycle mixed waste
plastic.
The project aims to examine an efficient pathway to
produce the PP using Agilyx’s advanced recycling technology.
The mixed waste plastics would be sourced through
Cyclyx, Agilyx’s feedstock management company.
“As the North American leader in polypropylene,
Braskem is committed to evolving its feedstock portfolio to
leverage more sustainable input sources and is currently
evaluating various supply agreements and innovative projects
to drive this shift,” said Braskem America Chief Executive
Mark Nikolich.
“Our collaboration with Agilyx is just the most recent
example of Braskem’s efforts to more holistically address
the limited availability of propylene feedstock derived from
post-use plastic in the market today.
“Looking forward, Braskem intends to explore direct investment
options as needed to help accelerate this transition
to more circular and sustainable feedstock and production
technologies.”

 

Bionerga Starts Up Waste-to-Energy Plant, Will Deliver Steam, Electricity to Borealis

Brussels—
Bionerga and Borealis announced the joint commissioning
of Biostoom, a new waste-to-energy plant in Beringen, Belgium,
which will deliver steam and electricity to Borealis’
local operations.
The waste-to-energy plant, built and operated by Bionerga,
generates steam and electricity from non-hazardous,
non-recyclable household waste collected from nearby Limburg,
exclusively for Borealis.
The facility has enabled Borealis to move closer to its
goal of sourcing 50% of its total electricity consumption
from renewable sources for operations in its major business
areas by 2030, Borealis noted.
“By reducing its dependency on fossil fuel-based sources
of energy, Borealis is lowering its direct and indirect carbon
dioxide emissions by 20% at its Beringen operations,”
said Borealis. The intake of natural gas will be reduced by
around 40%.
Earlier this year, Borealis began producing renewable
polypropylene at its production facilities in Beringen and
Kallo, Belgium, using Neste’s 100% renewable propane as
feedstock (PCN, 16 Mar 2020, p 1).

 

PQ Group Holdings Finalizes Divestment Of Its Performance Materials Business

Berwyn—PQ
Group Holdings has completed the sale of its performance
materials business to an affiliate of The Jordan Co. for
$650-million, subject to customary closing adjustments.
“With the sale of performance materials at an attractive
valuation, we take a significant step in reshaping the PQ
portfolio toward a higher-margin, higher-growth-potential
business,” said Belgacem Chariag, chairman, president
and chief executive of PQ.
The Jordan Co. is a middle-market private equity firm
based in the U.S.

 

Arkema Considering Sale to Trinseo Of Polymethyl Methacrylate Assets

Paris—Arkema
announced the proposed sale of its polymethyl methacrylate
(PMMA) business to Trinseo for an enterprise value of
€1,137-million.
The PMMA activity is an integrated business, from the
production of methyl methacrylate to PMMA, marketed
under the names Plexiglas and Altuglas. The business
employees around 860 people and operates four production
sites in Europe and three in North America.
The planned sale, expected to be completed in the middle
of next year, is subject to approval from relevant antitrust
authorities and to an information and consultation
process involving Arkema’s employee representative bodies.
“This proposed divestment is fully in line with the
group’s strategy presented at our Capital Markets Day last
April,” said Thierry Le Henaff, chairman and chief executive
of Arkema.
“It will allow Arkema to continue to significantly reduce
the share of its intermediates segment and to consolidate
its foothold in specialty materials with high technological
content.”

 

Sipchem & Linde Sign Agreement to Form Industrial Gases Venture in Saudi Arabia

Jubail—
Sahara International Petrochemical Co. (Sipchem) and
Linde GmbH have entered into an exclusive partnership
agreement to form a 50-50 joint venture for developing industrial
gases projects and networks in the Kingdom of
Saudi Arabia.
Under the 20-year contract, the joint venture plans to
develop a “world-class” industrial gases network in Jubail
Industrial City by connecting, via pipeline, existing hydrogen
and syngas plants owned and operated by the partners,
Sipchem noted.
“The main focus will be on the development of new production
facilities in order to supply carbon monoxide, hydrogen,
syngas ammonia and associated gases, alongside
efficient solutions for the decarbonization of downstream
production in industrial clusters in the kingdom,” said Sipchem
in a letter to the Saudi Stock Exchange.
The partnership is expected to lead to approximately
$500-million in investment opportunities over the next five
years, subject to the economic viability.

 

Repsol Inks Agreement with Berry Global To Supply Reciclex Circular Polyolefins

Madrid—
Berry Global Group announced an agreement with Repsol,
in which Repsol will supply Berry with ISCC Plus certified
circular polyolefins from the Repsol Reciclex range.
Berry will initially use the materials in manufacturing
at its European packaging facilities, procuring food-grade
polypropylene for food and healthcare packaging.
Repsol has certified all its petrochemical complexes to
produce circular polyolefins under the ISCC Plus certification.
This certification guarantees the traceability of the
plastic waste used at the source.
Repsol uses the latest, innovative technology to ensure
that the circular polyolefins have the same quality and
functionality as virgin polyolefins, Berry noted.

 

Ineos, RWE Sign Green Energy Deal To Power Belgian Production Sites

Antwerp—Ineos
and RWE have entered into a long-term agreement, in
which RWE will supply renewable power to Ineos’ sites in
Belgium for a period of 10 years.
Ineos has agreed to purchase 56-megawatts of offshore
wind power from RWE Supply & Trading, produced at the
Northwester2 wind park in the Belgian North Sea.
The renewable electricity will reduce Ineos carbon footprint
in Belgium by a further 745,000 tons of carbon dioxide
over the length of the contract.
This is Ineos’ second renewable power deal. In September,
it announced that it had finalized a 10-year agreement
with Engie for the purchase of 84-megawatts of renewable
electricity for its Belgian sites from Engie’s Norther offshore
wind farm in the North Sea (PCN, 28 Sept 2020, p 2).
“This agreement with RWE is another important step
as we further reduce our carbon emissions from our energy
consumption in Belgium,” said Ineos Trading Chief Executive
David Thompson.
“Combined with our earlier agreement in September,
the deals reduce our carbon footprint by nearly 2-million
tons of carbon dioxide.
“We will continue to look at the options for further expanding
the use of renewable energy, as agreements such
as this support our roadmap towards a reduction in carbon-
based energy across our sites.”

 

KBR Awarded Contract from Monolith To Supply Process for Fertilizer Plant

Lincoln—
Monolith Materials has selected KBR’s ammonia synthesis
loop (synloop) for a new fertilizer project in Hallam, Neb.
Under the terms of the contract, KBR will provide a
technology license, basic engineering design package, proprietary
equipment and catalyst for a 930-t/d ammonia
synloop project.
The project will consume hydrogen feedstock from an
emission-free, commercial-scale facility developed by Monolith
to produce both carbon black and ammonia from natural
gas, air and 100% renewable power.
Monolith’s process converts natural gas into carbon and
hydrogen. The carbon is used to produce carbon black.
“KBR’s energy-efficient ammonia technology is the first
choice of ammonia producers globally,” said Doug Kelly,
president of technology at KBR. “Our sustainable process
technology solutions are leading the energy transition industry
globally.”

 

TNO-Led Consortium Gets Grant to Study Steel Gas Emissions for Urea Production

Brussels—A
consortium, led by the Dutch Research Institution TNO,
has been given a €21-million grant from the European
Commission, under the Horizon 2020 Framework Program,
to study and develop the potential industrial symbiosis to
convert residual steel gas emissions into resources for urea
production.
The INITIATE (Innovative Industrial Transformation
of the steel and chemical industries of Europe) Project will
demonstrate a novel symbiotic and circular process at
Swerim’s facilities in Lulea, Sweden.
The core of the process is a modular carbon capture,
utilization and storage technology, integrating the flexible
conditioning of time dependent and carbon-rich steel gases
with the synthesis of ammonia.
Stamicarbon, MET Development and NextChem, all
subsidiaries of Maire Tecnimont Group, will participate in
the consortium of chemical, steel and energy transition
companies, research institutions, universities and industrial
partners active in both the steel and fertilizer industries.
The main goal of the demonstration unit is to justify the
viability and prove the capability to produce ammonia. In
the next phase, the project will focus on a commercial implementation
plan to establish an industrial scale INITIATE
plant reference for urea production.
Stamicarbon will be responsible for the commercial implementation
plan, with the support of MET Development
for the development of the project and NextChem for the
design and engineering, together with the other consortium
partners.
Successful demonstration of the technology will allow
for construction of a “first-of-a-kind” plant, with 150 t/d of
urea capacity, within a five-year timeframe, Stamicarbon
noted.

 

One Rock Affiliate Signs Deal with BASF To Buy Specialty Chemicals Businesses

Chicago—An
affiliate of One Rock Capital Partners has entered into a
definitive agreement to acquire BASF’s manufacturing site
in Kankakee, Ill., and the associated specialty chemicals
businesses there, for an undisclosed amount.
The businesses include esters, anionic surfactants,
vegetable oil-based raw material sterols and natural vitamin
E. The transaction is expected to close in the first half
of next year, subject to customary closing conditions, including
regulatory approval.

V58 N47 – 14 December 2020

Sinochem Quanzhou Successfully Starts Up New Ethylene Plant in Fujian Province

Beijing—KBR
announced that Sinochem Quanzhou Petrochemical Co.
has successfully commissioned a new ethylene facility in
Quanzhou, Fujian Province, China, utilizing KBR’s
SCORE (Selective Cracking Optimum Recovery) technology
(PCN, 21 Sept 2020, p 3).
The 1-million-t/y ethylene plant is part of Sinochem’s
grassroots integrated refining and petrochemical complex,
which also includes a 400,000-t/y high-density polyethylene
facility, which recently achieved on-spec production, as
well as an 800,000-t/y paraxylene plant, a 350,000-t/y
polypropylene unit and an aromatics extraction unit with
300,000 t/y of capacity.
Sinochem is also expanding its existing refining capacity
by 60,000 b/d to 300,000 b/d.
In addition to SCORE technology, KBR also supplied
key proprietary components of the SCORE SC-1 furnaces,
which deliver high product yields, KBR noted.

 

Lummus and CLG Win Multiple Awards For PRPP’s Refinery & PC Complex

Tuban—
Pertamina Rosneft Pengolahan dan Petrokimia (PRPP) has
awarded multiple technology contracts to Lummus Technology
and Chevron Lummus Global (CLG) for a grassroots
refinery and petrochemical complex at PRPP’s site in
Tuban, Indonesia (PCN, 16 Nov 2020, p 1).
Earlier this year, Rosneft said the project would include
a refining capacity of up to 15-million t/y, over 1-million t/y
of ethylene and 1.3-million t/y of aromatics, and was expected
to be commissioned in 2024.
Lummus will provide the license and basic engineering
for the following: ethylene technology, including pyrolysis
gas hydrogenation, C4 total hydrogenation and BASF
SELOP selective hydrogenation technology; ethylbenzene/
styrene technology; and CDMtbe technology.
As part of the award, Lummus will also offer its Short
Residence Time heaters at a later stage in the project.
CLG will provide the license and basic engineering for
its residue desulfurization technology, and will later be
providing ISOMIX-e proprietary reactor internals to optimize
its state-of-the-art catalyst system for higher yields
and longer run lengths.
Last month, PRPP awarded a contract to W.R. Grace &
Co. to supply its Unipol polypropylene (PP) process technology
for a new PP facility, as part of the project.
The plant will include two lines, each with a production
capacity of 580,000 t/y of PP.

 

Formosa Plastics U.S.A Begins Operation Of New LDPE Unit at Point Comfort Site

Austin—
Formosa Plastics Corp. U.S.A. announces the start-up of a
new low-density polyethylene (LDPE) plant at its facility
in Point Comfort, Texas (PCN, 27 Jan 2020, p 1).
The 400,000-t/y LDPE plant, based on technology from
ExxonMobil Catalysts and Licensing, joins a 400,000-t/y
high-density PE unit and a 400,000-t/y linear LDPE facility,
which are already in operation.
“The LDPE unit significantly expands the portfolio of
products we provide to our customers,” said Formosa Executive
Vice President Ken Mounger.
“The range and versatility of our product line is extensive.
We’re looking forward to continuing to supply highquality
resins and enhancing the value we provide to consumers
through our newest line of LDPE products.”

 

Sinopec Approves Project to Invest In New Ethylene Facility in Tianjin

Beijing—Sinopec
announced it has received board of directors’ approval to
invest in the construction of a new 1.2-million-t/y ethylene
cracker in Tianjin, China.
The ethylene and downstream high-end new materials
industrial cluster project will require an investment of
around 28.8-billion yuan. Implementation of the project is
subject to approval by relevant administrative departments,
Sinopec noted. No other details were available.

 

Mitsubishi Chem Decides on Location Of Proposed Gulf Coast MMA Plant

Geismar—
Mitsubishi Chemical said it has acquired a greenfield
property at an integrated site in Geismar, La., for its
planned 350,000-t/y methyl methacrylate (MMA) facility
(PCN, 30 Mar 2020, p 2).
The project, to be based on Lucite’s ethylene-based Alpha
technology, is currently in the early engineering stage
and a final investment decision is expected in early 2022.
If approved, the plant would begin production in 2025.
The Geismar site has readily available major raw materials,
logistics infrastructure, integrated services, and
skilled workforce, the company noted.
“We are pleased to announce that we have acquired this
property and are continuing with our study to build and
operate . . . [the] plant in the United States, taking advantage
of the favorable feedstock position,” said Hitoshi Sasaki,
chief operating officer of Mitsubishi Chemical’s global
MMA business.
“The addition of this asset, which will be fully owned
and operated by Mitsubishi Chemical, strengthens our
global leadership in the MMA merchant market and demonstrates
our commitment to continue providing reliable
and competitive supply to our customers in the U.S. and in
all the regions of the world.”
Lucite was selected earlier this year to design and build
the MMA unit.

 

Advanced Polyolefins Gets Loan Approval To Build New PDH, PP Project in Jubail

Jubail—
Advanced Polyolefins Co. (APOC) has obtained approval
from Saudi Industrial Development Fund for a SR 3-billion
loan to finance construction of a planned propane dehydrogenation
(PDH) and polypropylene (PP) complex in Jubail,
Saudi Arabia (PCN, 12 Oct 2020, p 4).
The project will include an 843,000-t/y PDH unit, based
on Lummus Technology’s Catofin technology, and two
400,000-t/y PP plants, which will use Spheripol and Spherizone
technologies licensed by Basell Poliolefine. Construction
is expected to begin next year, with commercial operation
planned to start by the second half of 2024.
APOC is a joint venture of Advanced Petrochemical
Co.’s Advanced Global Investment Co. and SK Gas Petrochemical,
a subsidiary of SK Gas Co.
In October 2020, the companies said they have decided
to include a 700,000-t/y isopropanol unit in the project.

 

Belneftekhim Investing in Development Of Belarusian Petrochemical Industry

Minsk—
Belarusian state petrochemical concern Belneftekhim
plans to spend around $8.8-billion until 2030 to develop
the petrochemical industry in Belarus, reported a local
news report citing Vladimir Sizov, deputy chairman of the
board of Belneftekhim.
“As for the development of the industry, we see the
main efforts will be focused on transition to a higher oil
conversion ratio,” Sizov noted. “Naftan will be the key enterprise
in these efforts. The oil refinery will gradually
shift its profile from fuel to petrochemical products.”
Investments will be made in a new ethylene and propylene
facility at Naftan, which is expected to be commissioned
in 2026.
The plant will allow for new facilities to manufacture
high-added-value products, such as acrylonitrile butadiene
styrene and polycarbonate.

 

Ineos Styrolution and Indaver Plan Project To Produce ABS from Recycled Feedstock

Berlin—
Ineos Styrolution and Indaver, a “leader” in sustainable
waste management, announced plans to become technology
partners in a project that will demonstrate the production
of acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) based on recycled
feedstock.
The four-year project, called “LIFE ABSolutely Circular,”
is funded by the EU LIFE program, the European Union’s
funding instrument for the environment and resource
efficiency, and aims to demonstrate the environmental and
economic benefits of using advanced recycling technologies
to close the loop of plastic recycling.
The initial focus of the project will be to demonstrate
the first time production of ABS based on recycled feedstock,
with plans to demonstrate scaling of the solution
from lab scale to demo plant and ultimately to commercialization.
“We are excited about this project, as we believe there is
intrinsic value in plastics products after usage,” said Dr.
Alexander Gluck, president of EMEA [Europe, Middle East
and Africa] at Ineos Styrolution. “We share the vision with
Indaver to turn plastic waste into valuable resources instead
of letting it end up in landfills.”

 

Mitsubishi Chemical Planning to Integrate Subsidiaries in the U.S., UK and Germany

Tokyo—
Mitsubishi Chemical Corp. said it will integrate subsidiaries
at the national level in three countries: the U.S., UK
and Germany, effective 1 Apr. 2021.
“By sharing and integrating expertise and resources,
this integration will enhance cooperation and further
strengthen overall business capabilities in each of these
three countries,” the company noted.
In the U.S., Mitsubishi will combine Mitsubishi Chemical
America, Lucite International, Mitsubishi Chemical
Performance Polymers, Dianal America, Mitsubishi
Chemical Imaging, Cleanpart USA, Mitsubishi Polyester
Film, Mitsubishi Chemical Composites America and MC
Ionic Solutions US into a new integrated company, which
will be named Mitsubishi Chemical America.
Mitsubishi Chemical UK, Lucite International Trading,
Lucite International Specialty Polymers & Resins, Nippon
Gohsei and MC Ionic Solutions UK, all in the UK, will be
integrated into a new company, Mitsubishi Chemical UK.
Finally, In Germany, Mitsubishi Chemical Carbon Fiber
and Composites, Mitsubishi Chemical Europe, Cleanpart
Group, Cleanpart and MCPP Europe will be integrated
into a new company named Mitsubishi Chemical
Europe.

 

People on the Move

Rabigh Refining and Petrochemical Co.—Othman
Ali Al-Ghamdi has been appointed chief executive and a
member of the board of directors, effective 1 Jan. 2021. Al-
Ghamdi, currently chief executive of Saudi Aramco Mobile
Refinery, will succeed Nasser Damascus Al-Mahasher, who
is retiring.
Clariant—Conrad Keijzer will become chief executive
on 1 Jan. 2021, replacing Executive Chairman ad interim
Hariolf Kottman, who will return to his position as chairman
of the board. Keijzer was most recently chief executive
of AkzoNobel’s Performance Coatings Division and a
member of AkzoNobel’s executive committee.
Total Corbion PLA—Thomas Philipon, previously
with DuPont, recently joined Total Corbion PLA as chief
executive. He succeeded Stephane Dion, who became managing
director of Total Lubricants China Co.
Uralchem JSC—Alexander Prygunkov, most recently
first vice president and chief operating officer of PIK Group
of Companies, has become chief executive of Uralchem.
Wacker Chemie—Christian Hartel has been appointed
chief executive to succeed Rudolf Staudigl, who
will retire at the end of the next annual shareholders’
meeting, scheduled for 12 May 2021. Hartel is currently
an executive board member.
SK Capital Partners—Randy Dearth will join the
company as senior director in January 2021. He was most
recently president and chief executive of GCP Applied
Technologies.
Mitsui O.S.K. Lines—Takeshi Hashimoto, currently
representative director, executive vice president and an
executive officer, will become president and chief executive,
as well as a representative director, effective 1 Apr. 2021.
He will succeed Junichiro Ikeda, who has been appointed
representative director, chairman and executive officer.

 

Celanese & Mitsubishi Gas Sign MoU To Restructure KEP Joint Venture

Seoul—Celanese
and Mitsubishi Gas Chemical (MGC) have signed a memorandum
of understanding (MoU) confirming their intent to
restructure their Korea Engineering Plastics (KEP) polyoxymethylene
(POM) joint venture in Seoul, Korea.
Under the terms of the MoU, KEP would focus on
manufacturing, developing, producing and supplying highquality
products to its shareholders, who would then independently
market the products globally, without restrictions,
the partners explained. In addition, they have committed
to increasing KEP’s production capacity.
The MoU aims to modernize the original scope of the
joint venture, which was formed in 1987 to manufacture
and market POM in Asia, with a particular focus on serving
domestic demand in Korea.
The restructuring is expected to be completed before the
end of next year, subject to customary closing conditions
and necessary regulatory approvals.
KEP is owned 50% by Celanese, 40% by MGC and 10%
by Mitsubishi Corp.

 

Nova Chemicals, Revolution Ink Agreement For Nova to Sell Recycled LDPE, LLDPE

Calgary—
Nova Chemicals and Revolution have entered into an agreement
for Nova to sell recycled low- and linear lowdensity
polyethylene (r(L)LDPE) produced by Revolution.
“The agreement marks Revolution’s exclusive partnership
with a resin manufacturer and builds Nova Chemicals’
portfolio of post-consumer resin offerings for its customers,”
Nova noted. Nova will begin to provide these resins
in January 2021.

 

Commission Clears Planned Purchase Of Venator Materials by SK Capital

Brussels—The
European Commission, under European Union Merger
Regulation, has approved the acquisition of Venator Materials
by SK Capital (PCN, 7 Sept 2020, p 4).
This past August, Huntsman Corp. said it had signed a
definitive agreement with funds advised by SK Capital
Partners to sell 42.5-million shares in its pigments and
additives business, Venator, for around $100-million.
The agreement included a 30-month option for the sale
of the remaining approximate 9.5-million shares that
Huntsman holds in Venator at $2.15 per share. The transaction
is expected to close “near year-end.”

 

Huntsman Enters Deal to Acquire Gabriel Performance Products

The Woodlands—
Huntsman has agreed to purchase specialty chemical
manufacturer Gabriel Performance Products from funds
owned by Audax Private Equity for $250-million.
Based in the U.S., Gabriel produces specialty additives
and epoxy curing agents for the coatings, adhesives, sealants
and composite end-markets. It has three manufacturing
facilities located in Ashtabula, Ohio; Harrison City,
Penn; and Rock Hill, S. Carolina.
Subject to regulatory approvals, the transaction is expected
to close in the first quarter of next year.

 

L&T Technology Selected by ‘O&G Major’ As Primary Engineering Partner in U.S.

Bangalore—
L&T Technology Services (LTTS) said it has been chosen
by a global “O&G major” to be the primary engineering
partner for two integrated refining and chemical manufacturing
facilities in the U.S.
Under the five year agreement, with a potential value
of over $100-million, LTTS will provide multi-discipline
plant engineering activities, including site sustenance, discipline
engineering and control automation support for
both plants.
“LTTS will leverage its in-house digital engineering
tools and new age technology and solutions to optimize project
execution and drive efficiency improvements for the
customer,” LTTS noted.
“The two sites covered under LTTS’ scope are integrated
refining, chemical and polymer complexes and are
currently among the top 10 biggest downstream sites in the
U.S.”

 

Agilyx and A.Eon Enter MoU to Evaluate Building Waste Plastics-to-Energy Unit

Melbourne—
Agilyx and A.Eon, developer of sustainable energy solutions,
have initiated a memorandum of understanding
(MoU) to evaluate the construction of a commercial-scale
waste plastics-to-energy facility in Melbourne, Australia.
The planned 50-t/d facility would use Agilyx’s proprietary
advanced plastics recycling technology to convert
mixed waste plastics to Agilyx Synthetic Crude Oil
(ASCO).
The output ASCO would be used by A.Eon to generate
electricity for the Victorian state government’s redeveloped
Footscray hospital, local industry, as well as to supply peak
energy demand.
With the project, up to 20,000 t/y of plastic waste will be
diverted from landfills and converted into more than
60,000 mw/hr of electricity.
The MoU includes an option for additional commercialscale
facilities to be developed in Australia by A.Eon.

 

Recycling Partnership Awards Grants To Improve PP Recycling in the U.S.

Richmond—The
Recycling Partnership has awarded nearly $2-million in
catalytic grants to advance polypropylene (PP) recycling in
the U.S. through its Polypropylene Recycling Coalition.
In the initial round of funding, the partnership’s PP Recycling
Coalition is providing four grants to materials recovery
facilities across the U.S. that will improve and increase
sortation of PP and support targeted consumer education
efforts.
The coalition’s investments will increase total nationwide
acceptance of PP in curbside recycling programs by
about 1.7% to an additional 4-million people, resulting in
the recovery of a larger supply of PP that could be made
into new products, such as consumer packaging and automotive
parts, the partnership explained.
After a “strong” response to its original request for proposals,
the coalition is continuing to accept grant applications
to further its efforts to improve PP curbside recycling,
the partnership noted. The next round of proposals is due
by 31 Mar. 2021.
Grants are awarded to candidates that are not currently
recycling PP.

 

LyondellBasell, Suez Announce Purchase Of Belgian Plastics Recycler TIVACO

Brussels—
LyondellBasell and Suez jointly announced the acquisition
of TIVACO, a plastics recycling company is Blandain, Belgium.
TIVACO has five production lines capable of processing
about 22,000 t/y of recycled plastic. It will become part of
Quality Circular Polymers (QCP), the existing 50-50 plastics
recycling joint venture of LyondellBasell and Suez.
With the transaction, for which a value was not given,
QCP will increase its production capacity for recycled materials
to approximately 55,000 t/y.
“We are thrilled to take a step forward with our longterm
partner LyondellBasell,” noted Suez Group Chief Operating
Officer Jean-Marc Boursier.
“With the new acquisition, we will together speed up
the use of quality circular polymers in Europe and support
industrial manufacturers’ efforts to reach their environmental
targets.”

 

Skovgaard Invest, Vesta & Topsoe to Develop Commercial-Scale Green Ammonia Plant

Egtved—
Haldor Topsoe announced that Skovgaard Invest, Vestas
and Topsoe, are jointly investing in the construction of the
“world’s first” commercial-scale green ammonia facility in
Western Jutland, Denmark.
The plant will produce over 5,000 t/y of green ammonia
from renewable power, preventing 8,200 t/y of carbon dioxide
from being emitted into the atmosphere. Production
could start as soon as 2022.
“The cost of green ammonia is currently significantly
higher that that of comparable ammonia from fossil fuel,”
Topsoe noted. “To improve the business case and increase
the attractiveness of green ammonia as a substitute for
fossil fuels, Haldor Topsoe and Vestas are developing a
dynamic, scalable and cost-optimized solution.
“Haldor Topsoe will design the plant’s fully dynamic
ammonia technology to secure optimal production and
adapt to the inherent fluctuations in power output from
wind turbines and solar panels.”
The plant will interface to a green hydrogen solution
developed by Vestas, integrating electrolysis with wind and
solar in one smart control system. Also, the renewable energy
generation will be connected directly to the national
grid, so surplus power can be sold to the grid.
The partnership has applied for public co-funding for
the project.

 

Braskem America & Encina Partner To Produce Circular, Recycled PP

Philadelphia—
Braskem America and Encina Development Group announced
their intention to develop a long-term relationship
enabling the production of circular, recycled polypropylene
(PP).
Encina is planning to begin construction on a new facility
in the second half of 2021 that will process 175,000 t/y
of plastic waste, converting it into more than 90,000 t/y of
recycled chemicals. The plant, based on Encina’s technology,
will be designed to able to process 350,000 t/y of plastic
waste in the future.
As part of the collaboration, Braskem will work with
Encina to develop the necessary logistics, product quality
and certifications for a recycled propylene feedstock that
Braskem will use in the production of recycled PP materials
in applications. The parties plan to develop a formal
supply agreement prior to the project’s financing approval
in 2021.
“Encina’s technology and this important project will divert
thousands of tons of hard-to-recycle plastic from landfills,”
said Braskem America Chief Executive Mark Nikolich.
“As the North American leader in polypropylene,
Braskem is actively looking to purchase sustainable propylene
feedstock that will allow us to increase both recycled
and renewable-sourced products in our portfolio – as
stated in our new Circular Economy commitments.
“This agreement is an important step in our next phase
of growth as a company, aimed at realizing our vision of a
carbon neutral circular economy and helping our clients
meet their aggressive recycled content goals in the years to
come.”

 

NuStar Energy Finalizes Sale to BWC Of Its Texas City NuStar Terminal

San Antonio—
NuStar Energy has completed the sale of its terminals in
Texas City, Texas, to BWC Terminals for $106-million.
The Texas City terminals store a diverse array of liquids,
including chemicals, hydrocarbons and agricultural
products.
“We are excited to finalize the acquisition of the Texas
City NuStar Terminal,” said BWC Terminals Chief Executive
Michael Suder. “This terminal complements our network
of high-quality terminal storage of hydrocarbons,
chemicals, renewables and agricultural products across
North America.
“The addition provides increased growth opportunities
in the Gulf Coast region to optimize and further develop
our operational capabilities in support of the supply chain
needs of our customers.”
NuStar said it will use the proceeds from the sale to
improve its debt metrics and self-fund a larger proportion
of its capital program.

V58 N46 – 7 December 2020

LyondellBasell Acquires Interest from Sasol In Lake Charles Base Chemicals Business

Houston—
Sasol said it has concluded the sale of a 50% stake in its
base chemicals business at Lake Charles, La., to Lyondell-
Basell, and the planned 50-50 Louisiana Integrated Polyethylene
(PE) joint venture (JV) of the two companies has
now been established (PCN, 23-30 Nov 2020, p 1).
Through the new joint venture, LyondellBasell acquires
a 50% stake in Sasol’s 1.5-million-t/y ethane cracker,
900,000-t/y low- and linear low-density PE plants and associated
infrastructures on the U.S. Gulf Coast.
LyondellBasell will operate the three assets on behalf of
the JV and market the PE products on behalf of the two
shareholders of the JV. Both partners will provide pro-rate
shares of ethane feedstocks and will offtake pro-rate shares
of cracker and PE products at cost.
“The formation of this JV is part of our approach to
growing our core businesses, while positioning the company
to benefit from improving economic conditions,” said
LyondellBasell Chief Executive Bob Patel.
“This transaction accelerates the transformation of our
chemicals business toward a focus on specialty chemicals,”
noted Fleetwood Grobler, president and chief executive of
Sasol.
“We’re proud of the world-scale assets we’ve built in
Southwest Louisiana and look forward to working with
LyondellBasell to realize their full potential and create
value for all our shareholders. We also extend our best
wishes and gratitude to our colleagues who are transferring
to LyondellBasell to operate the joint venture assets.”
Approximately 400 Sasol employees have transferred to
LyondellBasell.

 

Ningbo Kingfa Awards Lummus Contract For Two Catofin PDH Units in Ningbo

Ningbo—
Lummus Technology has been awarded a contract from
Ningbo Kingfa Advanced Materials Co. to supply two Catofin
propane dehydrogenation (PDH) units to Ningbo
Kingfa’s site in Ningbo, China.
The units will each have a production capacity of
600,000 t/y of propylene. Value of the contract and a
schedule for the project were not given.
Lummus’ scope includes technology licensing, process
design package and technical services, and catalyst supply
from Clariant.
“Due to its superior thermodynamic operating conditions
of vacuum and lower temperature for reactors, Catofin
provides the highest conversion and selectivity for conversion
of paraffins to olefins,” Lummus noted. “Even
when co-producing propylene and isobutylene, high conversions
can be maintained.
“The Catofin process employs multiple reactors operating
in a cyclic manner with an automated program so that
the flow of process streams is continuous.”
Lummus licensed its Catofin technology for Ningbo
Kingfa’s first PDH unit at the same site in 2011.

 

Kaijin Blue Sky Energy Picks LyondellBasell To Supply Process for Chinese PP Project

Beijing—
LyondellBasell announced that Kaijin Blue Sky Energy
(Zhejiang) Co. has chosen its polypropylene (PP) technology
for a new world-scale facility to be built in Wenzhou,
Zhejiang Province, China.
The project will include a 600,000-t/y PP plant using
LyondellBasell’s Spheripol technology, as well as a
300,000-t/y PP unit based on LyondellBasell’s Spherizone
technology. Value of the contract and a schedule for the
project were not given.
“The selected polyolefin technology . . . gives us the ability
to deliver cost effectively recognized bulk polymers
through the Spheripol technology and to supply differentiated
high margin polymer products through the Spherizone
technology allowing us to build up our organization on
a solid basis,” said Yang Xuanjian, general manager of Kaijin
Blue Sky.
Both plants will begin operations using Lyondell-
Basell’s Avant ZN catalyst.

 

Sarawak Chooses Samsung Engineering To Build Malaysian Methanol Facility

Sarawak—
Samsung Engineering has received a letter of intent from
Sarawak Petchem for a contract to build a new methanol
production plant in Bintulu, Sarawak, Malaysia (PCN, 3
Aug 2020, p 2).
The 5,000-t/d methanol unit, which will be based on Air
Liquide E&C’s Lurgi MegaMethanol technology, is expected
to be completed in late 2023.
The licensor, engineering, procurement, construction
and commissioning contract, valued at $1.07-billion, follows
the front-end engineering design contract awarded to
Samsung in April 2019 and the first early work contract
that Samsung received in November 2019.
“Moreover, Samsung Engineering has the opportunity
to develop the market in Sarawak, which has large gas
reserves in Malaysia, and therefore can create a promising
position for future projects in the region,” Samsung noted.

 

Ineos Agrees to Buy Sasol’s 50% Stake In Their Gemini HDPE JV in Texas

La Porte—Ineos
will acquire Sasol’s 50% interest in their Gemini highdensity
polyethylene (HDPE) joint venture in La Porte,
Texas, for $404-million.
Gemini produces bimodal HDPE products at its facility
located within Ineos’ Battleground manufacturing complex.
Operated by Ineos, the plant has a nameplate capacity of
470,000 t/y (PCN, 1 Sept 2014, p 1).
Subject to financing and other customary adjustments,
the transaction is scheduled to close by the end of this
year. Once complete, Ineos will become sole owner of Gemini.

 

Braskem Suspends Etileno XXI Plant After Mexico Blocks NatGas Supply

Mexico City—
Braskem Idesa has completely suspended processes at its
Etileno XXI ethylene cracker in Mexico, after Centro Nacional
de Control del Gas Natural (Cenegas) blocked gas
supply to the facility a day after informing Braskem that it
would not renew the firm-based contract for the transportation
of natural gas to Etileno.
“Cenagas’ actions have caused the total suspension of
the plant’s processes, with the consequent and negative
repercussions not only for us, the plant, our customers,
suppliers and employees, but also for the hundreds of
businesses that depend on this supply chain affecting the
national petrochemical industry and the economy as a
whole,” Braskem noted.
“Braskem Idesa will take applicable legal measures to
protect its rights and find a solution for the issue, and it
cannot estimate, at this time, the date for the return of its
activities.”
The Etileno facility produces low- and high-density
polyethylene.

 

Baofeng Selects JM Technology for Five Single-Train Methanol Plants in China

Beijing—
Johnson Matthey (JM) announced it has won a multiple
license award from Ningxia Baofeng Energy Group for five
of the “largest” single-train methanol units in the world to
be built in China.
The new plants, located at Baofeng’s complex in Ordos
City in Inner Mongolia, will each have the capacity to produce
7,200 t/d of methanol for use in the production of olefins.
A completion date was not disclosed.
Under the agreement, JM will be the licensor of all five
methanol facilities and supplier of associated engineering,
technical review, commissioning assistance, and catalyst.
The plants will be feed with synthesis gas and utilize
JM’s radial steam converters in a patented Series Loop.
Within the design, there is potential for 1% to 2% more
feedstock efficiency over the life of the catalyst, JM noted.
“We are deeply proud that Ningxia Baofeng Energy has
selected JM yet again as methanol technology provider at
their newest and grandest complex,” said John Gordon,
managing director for JM.

 

Arcanum Announces Successful Operation Of Butene-1 Production Plant in Houston

Houston—
Arcanum Infrastructure said it has started up its new Raven
butene-1 production facility in Houston, Texas, and
has been successfully operating and producing 1-butene
(PCN, 15 Jan 2018, p 1).
The plant, based on Axen’s AlphaButol technology, is
the “first” asset under the Arcanum platform. Arcanum
earlier said the facility was supported by long-term, feebased
offtake agreements for substantially all of its nameplate
capacity, without disclosing capacity.
“We initiated the start-up activities late last year and
reached full performance around mid-year,” noted Raven
Butene-1 LLC’s General Manager Nicholas Stewart.
“Starting a new process during normal times is challenging,
but COVID-19 made it even more complicated.
The whole Raven team, including Axens, really pulled together
well to insure [sic] a safe, efficient operation.”

 

Perstorp Planning Facility to Produce Renewable Methanol in Stenungsund

Malmö—
Perstorp announced “Project AIR,” a proposed project that
would involve building a “first-of-a-kind,” large-scale,
commercial carbon capture and utilization (CCU) unit in
Stenungsund, Sweden, to produce sustainable methanol.
“The methanol plant will be unique in the sense that it
is a combined CCU and gasification process where CO2
[carbon dioxide], residue streams, renewable hydrogen and
biomethane will be converted to methanol,” Perstorp noted.
In cooperation with Fortum, Uniper and Nature Energy,
Project AIR aims to substitute the 200,000 t/y of fossil
methanol that Perstorp uses as a raw material for chemical
products in Europe, and will reduce carbon emissions by
about 500,000 t/y.
Fortum and Uniper would supply the renewable hydrogen
from a new electrolysis plant, while Nature Energy
expects to supply biogas to the project. Subject to receipt of
required funding, production is planned to begin in 2025.

 

Braskem Building New Recycling Line To Transform Plastic Waste into PCR

São Paulo—
Braskem, in partnership with Valoren, will invest R$67-
million in the construction of a recycling line in Indaiatuba,
São Paulo, Brazil, that will convert waste plastic into
post-consumer resin (PCR).
The new recycling line, which will utilize Valoren’s
technology, is expected to transform around 250-million
pieces of packaging into 14,000 t/y of high-quality PCR.
Operations are expected to begin in the fourth quarter of
next year.
“Waste recovery rates have been growing gradually
over recent years, and we believe that, among the challenges
the sector still faces, increasing the quality of PCR,
which expands its potential applications, is key to driving
this market’s development,” said Fabiana Quiroga, circular
economy director for South America at Braskem.
“We are very pleased to announce this partnership with
Valoren, which will combine its expertise in waste management
and developing recycling technologies with our
business to benefit the entire plastics value chain.”

 

People on the Move

Stepan Co.—Scott Behrens has been named president
and chief operating officer, effective 1 Jan. 2021. He was
previously vice president and general manager of surfactants
at Stepan, and currently serves as vice chair of the
American Cleaning Institute’s board of directors.
Agilyx—Mark Barranco, most recently senior strategy
advisor at ExxonMobil Chemical, has been appointed senior
vice president of engineering and execution at Agilyx.
Renewable Energy Group—Brad Albin has been
promoted to senior vice president, Manufacturing & Engineering.
He has been with the company since 2006.
Natalie Merrill, who joined the company in 2007, has
been named senior vice president of business development.
Air Products—Brian Galovich has joined the company
as senior vice president and chief information officer. He
most recently served as vice president, digital technology
and chief information officer at Collins Aerospace.

 

Braskem, Topsoe Achieve Production Of Bio-Based Monoethylene Glycol

Lyngby—Braskem
and Haldor Topsoe said they have achieved their “firstever”
demonstration-scale production of bio-based monoethylene
glycol (MEG) at the demonstration unit in
Lyngby, Denmark (PCN, 11 Feb 2019, p 1).
The plant, started up in 2019, was built to validate the
MOSAIK sugar-to-biochemicals process for MEG production.
Since then, the remaining process units of the facility
have been built and put into operation and the production
process has been optimized.
In the next phase, samples will be provided to strategic
partners for testing and validation. The results of the
plant’s operations and validation of products will be essential
in the decision to deploy the technology on a commercial
scale. A commercial plant is expected in 2023.
In addition to MEG, the technology will co-produce a
smaller quantity of monopropylene glycol.
“This first-ever production of MOSAIK MEG is a major
step forward in our project and underlines Braskem’s
commitment to the circular economy through renewable
chemicals,” said Gustavo Sergi, executive officer of renewable
chemicals and specialties at Braskem.
“This technology has the potential to revolutionize the
PET [polyethylene terephthalate] market. That’s why we
are increasingly closer to start building this new value
chain, so we can deliver the sustainable solution that society
is looking for.”

 

Clariant to Adapt, Refocus Organization, Will Result in Reduction of 1,000 Jobs

Muttenz—
Clariant announced plans to adapt and refocus its company,
post divestments, and is transforming itself towards
a higher-value specialty portfolio.
The new specialty portfolio will focus on the company’s
core business areas: care chemicals, catalysis, and natural
resources.
Clariant plans to rightsize regional organizations and
service units in order to avoid remnant cost. The rightsizing
program is expected to result in a reduction of around
1,000 positions in service and regional structures. Approximately
one-third of the cuts will be included in divestment
transfers.
Clariant sold its healthcare packaging business in October
2019 and its masterbatches business in July 2020,
and expects to divest its pigments business.

 

Venture Global Awards Contract to KBR For Plaquemines LNG Export Facility

Arlington—
KBR has been awarded an engineering, procurement and
construction (EPC) contract from Venture Global LNG for
Phase 1 of the Plaquemines liquefied natural gas (LNG)
export facility under development in Plaquemines Parish,
La. (PCN, 18 Mar 2019, p 2).
KBR will integrate highly modularized, ownerfurnished
equipment for the facility, which will have a
nameplate capacity of 10-million t/y of LNG. An expected
completion date was not disclosed.
Venture Global LNG has entered into binding 20-year
offtake agreements with PGNiG for 2.5-million t/y of the
project’s capacity and with EDF for 1-million t/y of the project’s
capacity.

 

Equinor Shuts Down Methanol Facility Following Fire at Tjeldbergodden Site

Oslo—Equinor
said a 2 Dec. 2020 fire at its methanol plant at Tjeldbergodden
in Norway, has caused the methanol facility and an
air separation plant to shut down.
The methanol plant, which is Europe’s “largest,” has a
capacity of around 900,000 t/y, according to Reuters. The
fire was extinguished shortly after starting.
“Nobody was injured in the fire,” the company stated.
“We are working to get an overview of the consequences
and the cause of the fire.” An expected restart date for the
facilities was not given.

 

Neste to Supply Bio-Based Hydrocarbons For DSM’s High-Performance Polymers

Heerlen—
Neste and Royal DSM have entered into a strategic partnership,
in which DSM will use Neste’s bio-based hydrocarbons
in the production of high-performance polymers.
In the new collaboration, DSM Engineering Materials
will start replacing a “significant” portion of the fossil feedstock,
used to date in its high-performance polymers portfolio,
with feedstock produced from recycled waste plastics
and/or 100% bio-based hydrocarbons, the companies noted.
Over the short term, the partnership aims to replace
several thousand tons of fossil feedstock in the production
of polymers with the sustainable feedstock.
Neste produces its bio-based hydrocarbons entirely from
renewable raw materials, such as waste and residue oils
and fats. For the production of waste plastic derived feedstock,
Neste focuses on plastics that cannot be mechanically
recycled and have previously been directed to incineration
and landfilling.
“We have a long history of delivering tangible proof
points of our commitment to sustainability,” noted DSM
Engineering Materials President Shruti Singhal. “As a
next step, we are going to even further reduce our footprint
and will offer a full alternative range of our existing portfolio
based on bio- and/or recycled-based materials by 2030.”

 

MCHC Establishes New Subsidiary

Singapore—
Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corp. (MCHC) has established
Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Asia Pacific Pte.
(MCHAP), a new wholly-owned subsidiary in Singapore.
Scheduled to start operations in January 2021, MCHAP
will be responsible for regional representation, risk management,
and compliance in the Asia Pacific region.

 

DSM Improving European Distribution

Geleen—DSM
Engineering Materials will advance its distribution set-up
by shifting to a two-channel distribution model per country
from 1 Jan. 2021.
Under the new distribution model, Resinex will act as
DSM’s distributor in all countries in Europe.
Nexeo Plastics will be distributor in the Benelux, Great
Britain, Ireland, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Denmark,
Sweden, Finland, Norway, CIS/Russia and the Ukraine.
TER Plastics will act as DSM’s distributor in Germany,
Austria, Switzerland, and Central and Eastern Europe
(including Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania,
Slovakia, Bulgaria, Slovenia and Croatia).

 

Trinseo Starts Up New ‘State-of-the-Art’ TPE Pilot Facility at Site in Hsinchu

Taipei—Trinseo
said it has inaugurated its new “state-of-the-art” thermoplastic
elastomers (TPE) pilot plant at its existing manufacturing
site in Hsinchu, Taiwan (PCN, 14 Oct 2019, p 1).
The pilot facility will enable the company to locally produce
custom-engineered TPE and thermoplastic polyurethanes
(TPU), together with its bioplastics portfolio, for
key customers in the Asia-Pacific region. Capacity of the
plant was not given.
“The pilot plant will play a significant role in helping
Trinseo achieve its 2030 sustainability goals, which specify
that sustainably sourced materials will form the basis of
40% of Trinseo’s portfolio within a decade,” Trinseo noted.
“Trinseo’s bio-based and biodegradable TPE and TPU
materials comprise a significant portion of the company’s
environmentally-friendly portfolio, and the pilot facility is
expected to accelerate adoption and development of these
solutions.”

 

MOL Opens New R&D Center in Hungary; Enters Polyols Deal with Thyssenkrupp

Budapest—
MOL has started up a new €10-million polyol research and
development (R&D) center at its Danube refinery in Szazhalombatta,
Hungary, to develop polyol products that meet
the needs of its customers.
The center, named after MOL’s late Chief Executive
Gyorgy Mosonyi, houses the “most modern” experimental
reactor system in the world, supplied and commissioned by
Thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions, MOL noted. The center
will fund up to 12 engineers and seven technicians.
In addition, MOL and Thyssenkrupp have entered into
a joint R&D agreement to facilitate the entry of both parties
into the polyol market: Thyssenkrupp as a technology
service provider and engineering, procurement and construction
contractor, and MOL as a manufacturer and
seller of various polyol products.
The polyol products will be developed at MOL’s €1.2-
billion polyols complex in Tiszaújváros, Hungary, which
MOL earlier said is expected to begin operations by the
second half of 2021 (PCN, 27 May 2019, p 1).
The complex will include a hydrogen peroxide-topropylene
oxide (PO) plant with 200,000 t/y of PO capacity.
The PO will be converted into polyether polyol and propylene
glycols.
MOL expects to develop at least 10 polyol grades by
July 2022.

 

Cargill, IFPEN and Axens to Advance Lactic-to-Acrylic Acid Technology

Minneapolis—
Cargill, IFP Energies nouvelles (IFPEN) and Axens are
collaborating to further develop and scale up Procter &
Gamble’s lactic-to-acrylic acid technology, which Cargill
licensed earlier this year (PCN, 18 May 2020, p 3).
“More than 6-million tons of petro-based acrylic acid
will be produced this year,” said Dr. Jill Zullo, vice president
of biointermediates in Cargill’s bioindustrial business.
“By leveraging Cargill’s processing technology and IFPEN/
Axens’ know-how in catalysis and scale-up, we’re aiming
to produce acrylic acid from renewable sources, thereby
reducing greenhouse gas emissions by more than 50%.”
The partners are advancing the technology according to
staged milestones. Test samples could be available for potential
customers within the next 12 months; however, it
will be several years before the technology is ready to be
deployed at commercial scale.

 

Odfjell to Buy Lindsay Goldberg’s Stake In Odfjell Terminals Korea for $19-Mn

Ulsan—Odfjell
SE has reached an agreement with Lindsay Goldberg (LG)
to purchase LG’s indirect 24.5% interest in Odfjell Terminals
Korea (OTK) for $19-million.
Following completion of the transaction, expected this
month, Odfjell will control 50% of OTK’s shareholding
alongside Korea Petrochemical Industry Co., the local joint
venture partner.
“We are pleased to have reached an agreement with LG
to acquire their stake in OTK,” said Kristian Morch, chief
executive of Odfjell.
“OTK is a high-quality terminal and represents a good
fit with our strategy for Odfjell’s terminal division. As
such, this is another milestone in completing the restructuring
of our terminal portfolio and our strategy to focus on
chemical terminals where we can harvest synergies with
Odfjell Tankers or have another angle for further value
creation by Odfjell.
“The acquisition will have a positive effect on results,
return and cash flow for Odfjell SE, and also ensure a simple
and efficient governance structure for OTK.”

 

Vopak, BlackRock JV Completes Purchase Of Three Gulf Coast Terminals from Dow

Houston—
Vopak Industrial Infrastructure Americas, a new joint venture
of Royal Vopak and BlackRock’s Global Energy &
Power Infrastructure Fund, has finalized the acquisition of
three industrial terminals on the U.S. Gulf Coast from
Dow (PCN, 21 Sept 2020, p 2).
The $620-million transaction includes the marine and
storage terminal operations and assets at Dow’s sites in
Plaquemine and St. Charles, La., and in Freeport, Texas.
Total capacity of the three terminals is 852,000 cu m,
and includes 16.4 hectares of expansion land, 36 vessel
berths, multiple pipeline connections, rail and truck racks.
In addition, Vopak Industrial Infrastructure Americas
has entered into long-term service agreements with Dow
for storage and infrastructure services.

V58 N45 – 23-30 November 2020

Sasol Concludes Louisiana Chem Complex With Beneficial Operation of LDPE Unit

Westlake—
Sasol said its Lake Charles Chemicals Project (LCCP) is
now 100% complete, following beneficial operation of its
new 420,000-t/y low-density polyethylene (LDPE) unit
(PCN, 5 Oct 2020, p 1).
The LCCP also includes a 1.5-million-t/y ethane
cracker, a 470,000-t/y linear LDPE plant, a 100,000-t/y
ethoxylates facility, Guerbet and Ziegler alcohol units and
a combined 300,000-t/y ethylene oxide and 250,000-t/y ethylene
glycol plant, all which have begun operation.
“This milestone safely brings our Lake Charles Chemicals
Project to a close and sets the stage for the next step in
the evolution of our chemicals business,” note Sasol President
and Chief Executive Fleetwood Grobler.
“The completion of this unit, and its impending transition
to our joint venture with LyondellBasell, will accelerate
our transformation to a more specialty chemicalsfocused
company with a strong presence of base chemicals
in our portfolio.”
Sasol and LyondellBasell recently entered into a definitive
agreement to form a 50-50 integrated polyethylene
joint venture, which will be named Louisiana Integrated
PolyEthylene JV LLC.
Through the new joint venture, LyondellBasell will acquire
a 50% interest in Sasol’s new Lake Charles ethane
cracker, LDPE and linear LDPE plants, and associated
infrastructure on the U.S. Gulf Coast for a total consideration
of $2-billion.
LyondellBasell has agreed to operate the U.S. Base
Chemicals assets on behalf of the venture. Subject to customary
regulatory approvals and approval by Sasol shareholders,
the transaction is expected to be finalized by the
end of the year.

 

Lummus Wins Master Licensor Contract For Shandong Yulong’s Petchem Project

Beijing—
Shandong Yulong Petrochemical Co. has awarded a contract
to Lummus Technology to provide master licensor
services for six units at its 20,000-t/y refining and petrochemical
integrated project to be located in Shandong,
China.
The contract is for two “mega” mixed feed ethylene
crackers, two “large” polypropylene (PP) lines, and “large”
ethylbenzene (EB) and styrene monomer (SM) plants,
Lummus noted. Capacities of the units and a schedule for
the project were not given.
Lummus’ scope includes technology licensing, process
design package, training and advisory services, master
licensor integration services and catalyst supply for the PP
plant.
The mixed feed crackers will utilize Lummus’ ethylene
technology incorporating the SRT (Short Residence Time)
VII cracking heaters, the PP plant will be based on Lummus
Novolen technology, and the EB/SM units will utilize
the Lummus/UOP EBOne and Classic SM technologies.

 

BASF Petronas Realigning Portfolio; Will Close BDO Facility in Malaysia

Kuantan—BASF
Petronas Chemicals (BPC), a joint venture of BASF and
Petronas Chemicals Group (PCG), announced it is realigning
its product portfolio to focus on long-term growth.
As part of the partner’s ongoing review of their product
portfolio and a result of the realignment, BASF Petronas
will be shutting down its butanediol (BDO) and derivatives
unit in Kuantan, Malaysia, next March. Other plants
within the facility will not be impacted.
“The decision to close the BDO plant will have longterm
strategic benefits to BPC and its stakeholders, given
the shift in business landscape, as well as its unfavorable
long-term prospect,” said PCG Managing Director and
Chief Executive Sazali Hamzah.
“In line with PCG’s own expansion plans, which include
developing a specialty chemicals segment, we are looking
forward to producing new high-value products using advanced
technologies. This would enable us . . . access to
new markets and customers, thus further enhancing our
growth for business sustainability.”
Deciding to close the unit is also a result of “significant
overcapacities in the region due to recent investments into
new coal-based BDO production sites,” noted Marko Murtonen,
managing director of BPC.

 

Nexus, Shell Ink Supply Deal to Expand Production of Plastic Waste-to-Chems

Norco—Nexus
Fuels and Shell have signed an agreement, in which Nexus
will supply pyrolysis liquid made from plastic waste to
Shell to scale-up commercial production of chemicals at
Shell’s facility in Norco, La (PCN, 25 Nov-2 Dec 2019, p 2).
Nexus has agreed to supply Shell with 60,000 tons of
pyrolysis liquid made from plastic waste for a period of four
years. Nexus will supply the ISCC Plus-certified product
from its plant in Atlanta, Ga.
“This enhanced collaboration follows a year of continuous,
high-quality supply to Shell’s chemical plant in Norco .
. . where it has been used in the liquid cracker to make
chemicals that are raw materials for everyday items,” the
parties explained.
“The new agreement builds on that success and on a
common desire to find solutions to plastic waste pollution
and progressing a low-carbon future. It is a next step towards
Shell’s ambition to use 1-million tons of plastic
waste a year in its global chemical plants by 2025.”

 

Invista Completes Nylon 6,6 Expansion At Shanghai Chemical Industry Park

Shanghai—
Invista has concluded an expansion of nylon 6,6 polymer
capacity at its facility in the Shanghai Chemical Industry
Park (SCIP) in China (PCN, 24 Feb 2020, p 1).
The 40,000-t/y expansion brings Invista’s total nylon 6,6
capacity at the plant to 190,000 t/y. It is the company’s
fourth continuous polymerization line at SCIP where the
company now has 30,000-t/y autoclaves and 160,000-t/y
continuous process nylon 6,6 capacity.
“This new polymer capacity is part of Invista’s strategic
investments to supply the strong local demand for highquality
nylon products,” said Angela Dou, Asia-Pacific regional
business director, nylon polymer.
Invista also has a 215,000-t/y hexamethylene diamine
unit at the site and is currently building a 400,000-t/y adiponitrile
(ADN) plant there (PCN, 22 June 2020, p 1).
The ADN project, expected to cost over $1-billion, is
planned to start up in 2022.

 

TNO Launches New Spin-Off Company For the Production of Bio-Aromatics

Rotterdam—
TNO has launched Relement, a new spin-off company of
Biorizon that creates chemical building blocks based on
bio-residuals instead of oil.
Founded in Bergen op Zoom, the Netherlands, Relement
was established for the development, production and
marketing of bio-aromatics developed by TNO within the
Biorizon Shared Research Center.
Currently, 40% of all chemical building blocks consist of
aromatics, which can only be produced from fossil raw materials,
TNO noted. “Relement wants to replace the current
fossil aromatics with special bio-aromatics, which are
both much more sustainable and, above all, higher quality,”
it explained.
“The next step is to bring the products to market in a
strategic relationship with a toll manufacturer. As soon as
we achieve commercial sales, we will continue by designing
a commercial plant. Our ultimate dream is to be able to
construct a number of commercial plants for our specialty
aromatics.”

 

Genomatica, Aquafil Plan Demo-Scale Unit For ‘Largest’ Amounts Ever of Bio-Nylon

San Diego—
Genomatica said it signed a “first-of-its-kind” deal with
Aquafil to build a demonstration-scale facility in Slovenia
to produce the “largest” quantity ever available of 100%
renewable nylon 6, in response to “surging” customer interest
in sustainable products (PCN, 3 Feb 2020, p 1).
Under the multi-year agreement, Aquafil will build and
operate the downstream operations of the demonstration
facility, where it will convert Genomatica’s bio-based precursor
to commercial-quality bio-nylon 6 yarns, films and
engineered plastics. Initial volumes of the products will be
available in the second half of 2021.
The first production runs are expected to create 50 tons
of bio-nylon for pre-commercial use by Genomatica’s committed
brand partners, with the demonstration plant to
continue supporting product needs until commercial-scale
plants are in operation.
In January 2020, the companies partnered to produce
the world’s “first” ton of bio-nylon 6 precursor at pilot scale.

 

PTTGC America Puts End to Rumors Of Ohio PC Project Being Shelved

Belmont—PTT
Global Chemical America (PTTGCA), following media reports
that it was considering a review of its plans for a
proposed petrochemical plant in Ohio, said the project remains
its “top priority” (PCN, 28 Sept 2020, p 1).
The project would include a 1.5-million-t/y ethane
cracker for the production of ethylene, linear low-density
polyethylene and high-density polyethylene. A final investment
decision is expected early next year.
“PTTGCA is working to move the project forward, continuing
to invest its time and resources with the goal of
creating thousands of jobs and transforming the regional
economic landscape,” PTTGCA noted.
“The project has not at any point been put on hold.
PTTGCA looks forward to making announcements of the
project’s progression in the weeks and months ahead.”

 

Covestro Begins Operating Pilot Plant Based on New AdiP MDI Technology

Berlin—Covestro
has inaugurated a pilot plant based on AdiP (adiabaticisothermal
phosgenation) technology for the industrialscale
production of diphenyl methane diisocyanate (MDI).
The new technology reduces energy consumption and
carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in MDI production. Up to
40% steam and 25% electricity can be saved per ton of MDI
produced — and CO2 emissions are thus reduced by up to
35%, the company noted.
“Another advantage of the innovative method is that
the production output increases by 50% compared to the
technology currently in use,” said Covestro. “As a result,
future MDI production plants based on AdiP technology
can be smaller than in the past.”
The company intends to base all of its operations on the
principles of circular economy and is pursuing the longterm
goal of climate-neutral production.

 

AIChE Names New President for 2021

New York—The
American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) announced
that Deborah L. Grubbe will become president of
AIChE in 2021.
Grubbe, owner and president of Operations and Safety
Solutions LLC, will succeed Monty M. Alger, professor of
chemical engineering at Pennsylvania State University.
Christine Grant, professor of chemical and biomolecular
engineering and the inaugural associate dean of faculty
advancement at North Carolina State University’s College
of Engineering, will become 2021 president-elect of AIChE
and will succeed Grubbe as president in 2022.

 

People on the Move

Westlake Chemical—Roger Kearns, executive vice
president of vinyls chemicals, will become executive vice
president and chief operating officer, effective 1 Jan. 2021.
He will be responsible for all of the company’s chemical
businesses and manufacturing operations in North America,
Europe and Asia.
Separately, Kearns has been elected chairman of the
Vinyl Institute for 2021. He served as vice chairman in
2020.

 

Inter Pipeline Still Looking for Partner To Buy Interest in Heartland Complex

Calgary—Inter
Pipeline said its process to secure a partner to purchase a
material interest in its Heartland Petrochemical Complex
in Canada is ongoing and is expected to conclude in the
first half of 2021 (PCN, 28 Sept 2020, p 3).
In late 2019, the company launched the process to find
a partner in the estimated $4-billion project, currently under
construction in Strathcona County.
The complex, expected to start up in early 2022, will
convert 22,000 b/d of propane into about 525,000 t/y of
polypropylene.
“While there can be no certainty that a definitive
agreement will be reached, a partner would benefit from
joining a well-developed, world-scale petrochemical project
that has substantial commercial advantages,” Inter Pipeline
noted.

 

Braskem Clarifies Reports in the Media Regarding Ethane Supply in Mexico

São Paulo—
Braskem, in light of recent news reports, informed its
stakeholders and the market that the ethane supply
agreement in Mexico remains in force and valid, and that,
to date, it has not received any formal notification saying
otherwise.
Braskem Idesa, a joint venture of Braskem and Idesa,
earlier signed a 20-year agreement with Pemex for the
supply of 66,000 b/d of ethane to Braskem Idesa’s Ethylene
XXI complex in Veracruz, Mexico (PCN, 2 Mar 2020, p 3).
The complex consists of an approximately 1-million-t/y
ethane-based cracker, two high-density polyethylene (PE)
plants with a combined capacity of 750,000 t/y, and a
300,000-t/y low-density PE unit.
“Furthermore, as already informed in other opportunities,
the company reinforces its commitments to seek constructive
solutions to the lack of ethane in Mexico,” the
company noted.

 

Wood, Cognite Form Partnership to Create AI Solutions for Industrial Operations

Houston—
Wood and Cognite, a global industrial artificial intelligence
(AI) software company, announced an agreement to form a
strategic partnership to create AI solutions that enable
more connected, sustainable and data-driven operations for
heavy-asset, infrastructure and industrial clients.
The partners will combine Cognite’s flagship product,
Cognite Data Fusion, an industrial data operations and
contextualization platform, with Wood’s multi-sector domain
knowledge, data extraction and technology integration
expertise.
“Wood and Cognite will leverage physics-based models
and AI to quickly provide advanced analytics that drive
more profitable and sustainable industrial operations,”
said Mark House, president of automation and control at
Wood.
“Through the partnership, we are addressing a familiar
challenge in industry when operational and information
technology converge. By combining Wood’s world-leading
process optimization platforms like Virtuoso, and our endto-
end asset and delivery know-how, into packaged and
scalable solutions with Cognite’s technology, we can unlock
significant value for clients.”

 

Koch Modular Gets Contract to Build PureCycle’s New Recycled PP Plant

Columbus—
PureCycle Technologies has selected Koch Modular Process
Solutions to design and build its Phase II commercial recycled
polypropylene (PP) facility in Ironton, Ohio (PCN, 25
May 2020, p 2).
The recycling plant is designed to recycle 119-million
lbs of waste PP, which will be used to produce over 105-
million lbs/yr of new “virgin-like” quality PP, PureCycle
earlier noted (see related story, pg. 4). Construction is underway
and the plant is expected to come online in 2022.
“This award includes the supply of a complete rawmaterial-
in-finished-product-out process system, modularly
constructed, in a controlled indoor environment, and
shipped to the plant site via roadway,” said Koch Modular.

 

Shell Cutting Processing Capacity, Jobs At Pulau Bukom Refinery in Singapore

Singapore—
Royal Dutch Shell said it will reduce crude processing capacity
by half and cut 500 jobs by 2023 at its refinery in
Pulau Bukom, Singapore, Reuters reported.
Shell recently announced a “major” restructuring process,
in which it would only retain its refineries that are
essential to the company and integrate them with its
chemical business, which it plans to grow (PCN, 9 Nov
2020, p 1). It currently has 14 refineries.
The company also plans to cut between 7,000 and 9,000
jobs by 2022 in its refineries, chemical sites, and onshore
and offshore production facilities. These moves are part of
Shell’s goal to be net-zero by 2050.

 

Lummus & TCG Digital Form New JV To Accelerate Digital Transformation

Houston—
Lummus Technology (Lummus) and TCG Digital, both
portfolio companies of The Chatterjee Group, have formed
a joint venture called Lummus Digital to accelerate digital
transformation of the refining, petrochemical and gas processing
sectors.
Lummus Digital will work with Lummus’ existing and
potential customers to provide big data, advanced analytics,
artificial intelligence, process simulations, proprietary
know-how and “24/7” advisory services.
“Lummus Digital’s solutions are designed to: maximize
economic benefit through digitalization; ensure operators
and technicians have the insight to maximize efficiency
and reliability of their operations and assets; improve
safety and decision making of management and operating
staff, and provide flexibility to quickly adapt operations to
take advantage of changing market dynamics,” the partners
explained.

 

Muntajat Successfully Integrated into QP

Doha—
Qatar Petroleum (QP) announced the successful integration
of Qatar Chemical and Petrochemical Marketing and
Distribution Co. (Muntajat) into QP, as part of QP’s strategic
efforts to strengthen Qatar’s downstream capabilities
and enhance its global competitive position in the downstream
sector (PCN, 15 June 2020, p 3).
With this integration, Muntajat will continue to exist as
a legal entity, while QP has been appointed as its marketing
agent.

 

Roth CH & PureCycle Agree to Combine; Will Establish a New Holding Company

Ironton—
Roth CH Acquisition I Co. (Roth CH) and PureCycle Technologies,
an innovator in polypropylene (PP) recycling,
have entered into a definitive merger agreement to combine
the two companies.
Upon closing of the transaction, expected in the first
quarter of next year, a newly created holding company will
be renamed PureCycle Technologies Inc.
PureCycle is building its first commercial-scale plant
for recycling waste PP into “virgin-like” resin in Ironton,
Ohio, the parties noted (see related story, pg 3).
The facility is expected to have a nameplate capacity of
around 107-million lbs/yr of ultra-pure recycled PP (UPRP)
when fully operational. Production is scheduled to begin in
late 2022, with full capacity expected to be reached in
2023.
PureCycle plans to have 30 commercial lines operational
by 2030 and 50 by 2035, globally. It expects to announce
its next location in Europe, and to start production
in 2023 with a nameplate capacity of about 107-million lbs
of UPRP when fully operational.
Additional expansion in the U.S. is planned to include
five scaled-up commercial lines capable of producing over
165-million lbs each of UPRP. Pre-engineering for the design
and installation of five commercial lines in a single
“cluster” site is currently underway and will result in a
combined capacity of over 825-million lbs/yr.
Roth CH is a special purpose acquisition company
backed by Roth Capital Partners and Craig-Hallum Capital
Group.

 

Braskem Concludes $10-Million Expansion Of U.S. Innovation & Technology Center

Pittsburgh—
Braskem announced the successful completion of a $10-
million investment towards an expansion of its U.S. Innovation
and Technology Center in Pittsburgh, Penn.
The expansion, which added eight new research and
development labs with state-of-the-art equipment, is focused
on catalysis and petrochemical process technology
capabilities, expanding 3D printing research capabilities,
and also contains advanced polymer characterization laboratories.
Braskem scientists and researchers in Pittsburgh will
also use the labs to test new ways to convert a mixed, postconsumer
plastics stream back into raw materials that can
be used to produce new plastics.

 

Al-Hejailan and Dow Forming JV to Build PAA, Emulsion Polymers Plant in Jubail

Jubail—Al
Hejailan Group and Dow have agreed to form a joint venture
to design, build and operate a new polyacrylic acid
(PAA) and emulsion polymers facility at Plaschem Park in
Jubail, Saudi Arabia.
The unit, to be built and operated by Al-Hejailan, is
planned to have a capacity of 40,000 t/y, utilizing Dow’s
technologies. Construction is expected to begin in 2021
with production anticipated to come on stream in 2023.
Dow will be responsible for marketing the production from
the plant.
The joint venture will be owned 75% by Al-Hejailan and
25% by Dow.
“At Al-Hejailan Group, we are excited about this investment,
which fulfills an important milestone in our
group’s overall strategy and drives towards the development
of more robust and expansive downstream manufacturing
capabilities in the Kingdom,” said Al-Hejailan Chief
Executive Faisal Al-Hejailan.
“It further strengthens our strategic partnership with
Dow, as we work jointly to capture downstream opportunities
that align with the Kingdom’s localization program
and the overall Vision 2030 program.”

 

Vynova Launches ‘World’s First’ Range Of Circular-Attributed PVC Resins

Geleen—Vynova
said it has launched the “world’s first” range of certified
circular-attributed polyvinyl chloride (PVC) resins, which
are produced using circular ethylene produced from mixed
plastic waste.
The circular ethylene, made using pyrolysis oil, is supplied
to Vynova from SABIC’s production facilities in Geleen,
the Netherlands. The new range of PVC resins will
initially be manufactured at Vynova’s sites in Beek, the
Netherlands, and Mazingarbe, France.
The circular-attributed PVC resins will be marketed
under the VynoEcoSolutions brand, Vynova’s new portfolio
of circular and renewable products, which currently also
includes the company’s bio-attributed PVC range (PCN, 24
Feb 2020, p 3).
“With the launch of our new generation of PVC resins,
we have reached another milestone in our journey towards
circularity,” noted Jonathan Stewart, vice president of PVC
business management at Vynova.
“By using circular feedstock in the production of PVC,
we are enabling our customers to achieve their sustainability
goals and helping to address the issue of plastics waste
management.”

V58 N44 – 16 November 2020

Oriental Energy Adding Fourth Chinese PDH Unit Based on C3 Oleflex Process

Beijing—
Honeywell UOP announced that Oriental Energy will utilize
its C3 Oleflex technology for a fourth propane dehydrogenation
(PDH) unit China.
The unit, being built in Maoming, Guangdong, will produce
polymer-grade propylene and is scheduled to start up
in 2022. A production capacity was not available.
Oriental previously licensed three C3 Oleflex units,
each with 660,000 t/y of capacity. Two are in operation,
with the third expected to begin production this year.
In 2017, Honeywell UOP and Oriental signed a memorandum
of understanding to cooperate on five new PDH
projects in China, with a combined total production capacity
of 3-million t/y of propylene (PCN, 13 Nov 2017, p 4).
They were to be located along coastal cities, including
Ningbo and Lianyungang.
“Longtime customers, such as Oriental Energy, continue
to invest in UOP’s Oleflex technology because of its
strong record for operational reliability and cost efficiency
compared to other dehydrogenation technologies,” said
Bryan Glover, vice president and general manager of
UOP’s process technologies business.
“We continue to see significant growth in China with
the immense demand for propylene.”

 

PRPP Picks Grace to Supply Technology For New Polypropylene Plant in Tuban

Tuban—W. R. Grace & Co. has been awarded a contract to supply its
Unipol polypropylene (PP) process technology to Pertamina
Rosneft Pengolahan dan Petrokimia (PRPP), a joint venture
of Pertamina and Rosneft, for a PP facility at PRPP’s
site in Tuban, Indonesia (PCN, 24 Feb 2020, p 2).
The new facility, part of PRPP’s proposed grassroot refinery
and petrochemical complex, will include two PP
lines, each with a production capacity of 580,000 t/y.
The agreement includes a long-term catalyst supply
contract and a license for Grace’s Unipol PP Unippac Process
Control Software.
Grace’s Unipol PP technology and Consista 6th generation
catalyst and donor technology provide a broad range of
PP homopolymers, random copolymers and impact copolymers
from a single catalyst, Grace noted.
In February, Rosneft said it expects to make a final investment
decision on the planned complex next year, which
would include a refining capacity of up to 15-million t/y,
over 1-million t/y of ethylene and 1.3-million t/y of aromatics.
Commissioning is planned for 2024.

 

Grace Gets Unsolicited Offer from 40 North  To Buy Company’s Outstanding Shares

Columbia—
W. R. Grace & Co. said it has received an unsolicited proposal
from 40 North Management, a shareholder in Grace,
to purchase all outstanding common shares in the company
for $60 per share in cash, subject to certain conditions.
“Grace has a portfolio of high-value, specialty businesses
and while end markets have been significantly impacted
by the pandemic, the fundamentals of its businesses
remain strong and demand trends continue to improve,”
Grace noted.
“Given the company’s strong prospects and its ongoing
review of the alternative opportunities available, Grace’s
board of directors unanimously believes that 40 North’s
$60 per share proposal significantly undervalues the company
and is not a basis for further discussion.”

 

McDermott Selected to Support Next Phase Of Baltic’s Russian Ethane Plant Project

Moscow—
McDermott International said it has secured the next
phase of Baltic Chemical’s ethane cracking project in Russia
from China National Chemical Engineering & Construction
Corp. Seven Ltd. (PCN, 9 Nov 2020, p 2).
The project, the “largest” ethylene integration project in
the world, will be located near Ust-Luga and include two
ethylene cracking trains with a capacity of 1.4-million t/y
each, McDermott noted. A schedule was not available.
Last year, McDermott was awarded a contract for the
extended basic engineering on the project. The contract
has now been expanded to include the provision of the engineering
and procurement early works package for all
schedule critical equipment.
Lummus Technology was previously awarded the process
design package engineering on the project and the license
for its olefin production and recovery technology.
The project will also include six polyethylene plants
with about 500,000 t/y of capacity each and two sets of linear
alpha olefin units with 137,000 t/y of capacity.

 

US Methanol Resumes Construction On Its Liberty One Methanol Plant

Institute—US
Methanol last month said it would restart full construction
activities on its Liberty One methanol project in Institute,
W. Va., in October 2020 (PCN, 16 Dec 2019, p 1).
Liberty One is planned to have an initial production capacity
of 200,000 t/y and will later be expanded to 350,000
t/y. Completion is anticipated in the third quarter of 2021.
This past March, the company implemented reduced
construction efforts in response to the COVID-19 situation.
During that time, essential work continued to prepare the
site and equipment for a safe restart of full construction
and operational activities.
As of PCN’s press deadline, US Methanol had not responded
to a request for confirmation that construction
had restarted.

 

Evonik Begins Commissioning First Unit Of New Polyamide 12 Complex in Marl

Marl—Evonik
recently completed and is currently commissioning the first
plant of its new polyamide 12 (PA12) production complex
at the Marl Chemical Park in Germany (PCN, 23 Sept
2019, p 1).
Estimated to cost over €400-million, the complex will
increase PA12 capacity at the site by more than 50%. It is
the company’s “biggest” single investment made in Germany,
Evonik earlier said.
Further units will be completed in early 2021, with full
completion expected in the first half of 2021.
“With the new plant complex, we are consolidating our
position as a market leader for this high-performance
polymer,” the company noted.

 

DRPIC Postpones Duqm PCs Project; Plans to Assess Impact of COVID-19

Duqm—Duqm
Refinery and Petrochemical Industries Co. (DRPIC) is suspending
front-end engineering design (FEED) work for its
planned Duqm Petrochemical Project (DPP) in Duqm,
Oman, according to Oman News Agency.
DPP, the second phase of DRPIC’s integrated refineries
and petrochemicals project, includes a 48-million-cu m/d
natural gas-to-liquids unit, a 1.6-million-t/y ethylene facility,
a 480,000-t/y polyethylene line, a 161,000-t/y butadiene
extraction unit, a CDMtbe unit with 145,000 t/y of methyl
tertiary butyl ether capacity and a 1-butene separation
plant with 51,000 t/y of capacity (PCN, 9 Nov 2020, p 1).
DRPIC’s board of directors concluded that suspending
the FEED work is in the interest of the company during a
time of unprecedented global economic uncertainty due to
the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, depressed demand,
and highly volatile commodity prices, said the report citing
a statement issued by the company.
Shareholders plan to reassess the project, taking into
account the current global market environment and looking
for opportunities to enhance the value of the project.
Construction continues on the 230,000-b/d refinery being
built adjacent to the DPP, which will provide feedstock
for petrochemicals production.
DRPIC is a joint venture of OQ SAOC and Kuwait Petroleum
Europe BV.

 

Covestro Expanding Production Capacity For Vulkollan Elastomers in Thailand

Bangkok—
Covestro has broken ground on a new plant for the production
of Vulkollan high-performance elastomers in the Map
Ta Phut industrial zone in Thailand.
The facility, which requires an investment in the high
mid double-digit million-euro range, is intended to meet
the growing demand for high-performance elastomers.
Production is scheduled to start at the end of 2022.
“Due to its extremely high mechanical strength and dynamic
load capacity, the elastomer is the engineering material
of choice for demanding applications,” said Dr. Thomas
Braig, head of elastomers.
“In addition, its long-term functional reliability optimizes
the total cost of ownership compared to other elastomers.
This makes Vulkollan the perfect material not
only in the material handling industry, but also for a growing
number of engineering applications.”

 

U.S. Army Temporarily Suspends Permit For FG LA’s Louisiana Sunshine Project

St. James—
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has temporarily suspended
FG LA LLC’s (FG) construction permit for its
world-scale ethylene complex, known as The Sunshine Project,
in St. James Parish, La. (PCN, 9 Nov 2020, p 2).
The complex, estimated to cost $9.4-billion, will include
the production of ethylene, propylene, high-density polyethylene
(PE), low-density PE, ethylene glycol, propylene
and utility plants. It will be built in two phases.
Earlier this month, the Corps asked the U.S. District
Court in Washington, D.C., to pause current litigation
deadlines over one of FG’s permits for the project so that
the Corps could further review certain portions of its permit
analysis.
On 13 Nov. 2020, the Corps informed FG that activities
under the permit are temporarily suspended during this
period of reevaluation.
FG recently said it was deferring major construction on
the project until the global pandemic had subsided and/or a
vaccine was widely available, but that it was continuing
with preconstruction activities.

 

Easton Energy to Acquire ExxonMobil’s South Texas Pipeline System for PCs

Houston—
Houston-based midstream firm Easton Energy has entered
into an agreement to purchase ExxonMobil Pipeline Co.’s
South Texas petrochemical pipeline system for an undisclosed
amount.
The 720-mile pipeline system runs from ExxonMobil’s
Clear Lake and Katy gas plants at the northern end of the
system, to Energy Transfer’s King Ranch gas plant and the
Port of Corpus Christi at the southern end, plus several
surface facilities.
It connects growing petrochemical markets in South
Texas, Easton’s large salt dome storage position in Markham
and Easton’s distribution pipelines in the Houston
Ship Channel and Mont Belvieu areas.
Easton’s interconnected system will range from Corpus
Christi to Houston, Mont Belvieu, Texas City and Lakes
Charles, La., all supported by rights to 50-million bbls of
liquid hydrocarbon storage at Markham.
Easton said it expects to offer pipeline transport optionality
to an increasing petrochemical customer base.
The acquisition is expected to be finalized early next year.
The pipeline system has most recently been in refinerygrade
propylene service.

 

QP Establishes LNG Trading Company

Doha—Qatar
Petroleum (QP) announced the establishment and start of
operations of QP Trading, its dedicated liquefied natural
gas (LNG) trading arm based in Doha, Qatar.
Wholly-owned by QP, the new trading company is mandated
to build a globally diversified portfolio of third-party
and equity LNG. It will also manage the price risk exposure
of its portfolio through physical and derivatives trading.
QP Trading has completed its first long-term LNG sales
and purchase agreement with Pavilion Energy Trading &
Supply, under which QP Trading will supply up to 1.8-
million t/y of LNG to Pavilion in Singapore for a period of
10 years.

 

Maire Tecnimont’s NextChem Introduces Waste-to-Chem Technologies Subsidiary

Rome—
NextChem, Maire Tecnimont’s company for energy transition,
has launched MyRechemical, a new subsidiary dedicated
entirely to chemical valorization of non-recyclable
plastics and waste-to-chemical technologies.
The chemically converted waste is used for the production
of hydrogen, methanol, ethanol and “circular” derivatives,
products with a lower carbon content than those from
fossil sources, Maire Tecnimont noted.
“Through MyRechemical, today NextChem is able to offer
a concrete and immediately available platform for the
conversion of traditional industrial sites through green
chemistry,” said Pierroberto Folgiero, chief executive of
NextChem and Maire Tecnimont Group.
“The great availability of municipal solid waste and
non-recyclable plastics makes them a ‘new oil’ with great
potential: thanks to our engineering in waste chemistry, it
is possible to recreate carbon chemistry without starting
from hydrocarbons.”

 

Ineos Styrolution, Ferrero to Explore Use of Advanced Recycling Concepts

Frankfurt—
Ineos Styrolution has entered into an agreement with Ferrero
to explore the feasibility of using its advanced recycling
concepts, such as depolymerization, for future packaging
solutions.
Ineos aims to develop a process to convert complex plastic
waste back to fully recyclable materials that comply
with food contact regulations.
“We are pleased to work with Ineos Styrolution to explore
opportunities for future packaging solutions that,
today, are not available in practice and at scale,” said Ferrero.
“We are interested to see whether Ineos Styrolution’s
approach can offer a circular solution and support the Ferrero
commitment to make all its packaging 100% reusable,
recyclable or compostable by 2025.”

 

Siemens & Linde Partner to Accelerate Decarbonization of Petchem Industry

Berlin—
Siemens Energy and Linde Engineering have entered into
a strategic partnership, in which they aim to step up decarbonization
efforts in the petrochemical sector.
As part of the agreement, the companies will leverage
their complementary portfolios and competencies to investigate,
develop and optimize technology and equipment
packages to enhance the sustainability and performance of
petrochemical plants.
They will study decarbonization of the facilities through
emission reductions and increases in energy efficiency,
such as optimizing the consumption of power and steam.
Specific areas that will be evaluated, but are not limited
to, include the use of Siemen’s products, including gas turbines,
steam turbines, compressors and generators with
Linde’s steam cracker technology and related processes for
olefin production, purification and separation.
The parties will also explore how renewable technologies
and energy storage can be leveraged to support customers’
decarbonization initiatives, and look to improve
plant availability and uptime, maintenance, operating expense
and capital expenditures, and regulatory compliance.

 

Braskem Outlines Latest Commitment To Achieve Carbon Neutrality by ’50

São Paulo—
Braskem has announced its latest sustainability commitments
to “significantly” expand its efforts to eliminate
plastic waste in the environment by 2030 and to achieve
carbon neutrality by 2050.
By 2025, the company will expand its I’m green portfolio
to include sales of 300,000 t/y of recycled content products,
and by 2030, will continue to expand the portfolio to
include sales of 1-million t/y.
By 2030, Braskem will work to divert 1.5-million tons of
plastic waste away from incineration, landfill or the environment,
and will deliver a 15% reduction in carbon emissions
from its operations.
By 2050, carbon neutrality will be achieved for
Braskem’s global operations.
The company strategy to achieve carbon neutrality focuses
on three pillars of reducing, offsetting and capturing
emissions.
The efforts to reduce emissions will concentrate on improving
energy efficiency in existing operations, as well as
the increased use of low carbon and renewable energy in
current operations.
Additionally, Braskem will continue to explore and invest
in low carbon intensity process technologies, and will
focus on accelerating its investments in renewable feedstock
based chemicals and polymers.
Lastly, its efforts around capturing emissions are being
supported through the research and development of opportunities
in using carbon dioxide emissions as feedstock for
conversion to value-added chemicals.

 

A&R Logistics Opens New Export Facility To Serve Chem Industry in S. Carolina

Charleston—
A&R Logistics said its new “world-class” export facility in
the West Branch Commerce Park in Moncks Corner, S.C.,
is fully operational and will serve the chemical industry.
The facility, located near Port of Charleston, packages,
exports and imports plastic resin and other products for
some of the world’s “largest” chemical companies, A&R
noted.
“With two high-speed packaging lines, sea bulk operations,
liquid transload capability, rail service via CSX and
proximity to the Port of Charleston, we provide supply
chain solutions specifically engineered for the chemical
industry,” said Chris Ball, president.

 

Repsol Selects Axens Vegan Technology For Its ‘First’ Advanced Biofuels Plant

Madrid—
Axens said it has been chosen by Repsol to supply its Vegan
technology for Repsol’s “first” production plant for advanced
biofuels in Spain.
The 250,000-t/y facility, located at Repsol’s Cartagena
refinery, will include the production of biodiesel, biojet,
bionaphtha and biopropane. A start-up date was not
given.
Axens’ scope of work includes the supply of process
books, catalysts and adsorbents, proprietary equipment,
training and technical services.
“This advanced biofuels plant is a step forward in Repsol’s
commitment to become a net zero carbon company in
2050,” noted Repsol.

 

Invista Gets Final Construction Permit For Adiponitrile Facility in Shanghai

Shanghai—
Invista Nylon Chemicals (China) Co. said it has received
the final construction permit for its new adiponitrile (ADN)
plant at the Shanghai Chemical Industry Park (SCIP) in
Shanghai, China (PCN, 22 June 2020, p 1).
The 400,000-t/y ADN unit, which will cost over $1-
billion, is based on Invista’s most-advanced, energyefficient
technology. The project remains on track to start
production in 2022.
“Construction has been progressing well for several
months in part of the plant and will now commence in the
remaining areas,” Invista noted.
When complete, the ADN plant will be integrated with
the company’s existing hexamethylene diamine and polymer
facilities to directly supply domestic customers.

 

Agilyx Launches New European Hub To Expand Technology Partnerships

Zurich—Agilyx,
developer of an advanced recycling technology for post-use
plastics, has opened a European hub outside of Zurich,
Switzerland, reinforcing its commitment to accelerate
technology partnerships.
“Following months of planning, we are pleased to expand
our physical presence in Europe,” said Agilyx Chief
Executive Tim Stedman. “This is an important step in
providing more accessibility to Agilyx’s technology and
know-how in Europe, a region where circularity is set high
on the agenda.”
The company’s technology converts mixed plastic waste
to new virgin-equivalent plastics, as well as chemical products
and fuels.

 

Inter Pipeline Finalizes Sale to CLH Group Of Most of Its European Storage Business

Calgary—
Inter Pipeline has completed the divestment of a majority
of its European storage business to CLH Group for cash
consideration of £420-million (PCN, 28 Sept 2020, p 3).
The sale includes 18-million bbls of storage capacity
across 15 storage terminals located in the UK, Ireland, the
Netherlands and Germany.
Inter Pipeline will continue to operate eight remaining
terminals in Sweden and Denmark, which have around 19-
million bbls of aggregate storage capacity.

 

SABIC and Vopak Enter Partnership Deal To Sell 20% Stake in Chemtank to JYIC

Jubail—
SABIC and Vopak Holding Terminals BV, joint venture
partners in Jubail Chemicals Storage and Services Co.
(Chemtank), have signed a partnership agreement with
Jubail and Yanbu Industrial Cities Co. (JYIC), owned by
the Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu, under which
JYIC will acquire a 20% stake in Chemtank.
Located in Jubail, JYIC has a newly built 568,000-cu m
tank terminal in the King Fahd Industrial Port and serves
“one of the biggest” petrochemical complexes in the world,
according to Vopak’s site.
It provides storage solutions for import and export
through vessel, truck, rail and pipeline to all its clients,
based on long- and short-term contracts.
Under the new agreement, SABIC will have a 58% interest
in Chemtank, with Vopak and JYIC holding the remaining
22% and 20%, respectively. The transaction is
subject to regulatory approvals. An expected completion
date was not given.
“The entry of JYIC cements a partnership, in which the
Royal Commission, SABIC and Vopak have jointly collaborated
over the past 20 years to create a world-class supply
chain infrastructure in Jubail and Yanbu,” said Royal
Vopak Chief Executive Eelco Hoekstra. “This sets a great
platform to deliver further growth and efficiency in the
Kingdom.”

 

SOCMA Releases Statement in Response To Newly Elected President, Congress

Arlington—
The Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Affiliates
(SOCMA) has pledged to work with the newly elected
presidential administration and congress to advance issues
important to its members and the specialty chemical industry.
“The extraordinary events of 2020 and the COVID-19
pandemic have significantly altered life as we know it,”
said SOCMA President and Chief Executive Jennifer Abril.
“SOCMA welcomes the opportunity to highlight the important
role specialty chemical manufacturers play in the U.S.
recovery with President-elect Biden and other newly
elected leaders.
“SOCMA members are creating lifesaving vaccines and
pharmaceuticals, as well as consumer and industrial products
essential in mitigating the impact of the disruption to
American lives. To continue our vital role, SOCMA will
advocate for business certainty and relief from regulatory
burdens that could impede this goal.”
SOCMA, expecting a greater federal oversight under
the new administration, said it will provide an impact assessment
from the election and is ready to begin establishing
relationships with newly appointed staff, reinforcing
connections with longtime allies, and focusing on key priorities
the could impact the growth of the industry.

V58 N43 – 9 November 2020

DRPIC Selects Unipol PE Technology For New Petrochem Project in Oman

Duqm—Duqm
Refinery and Petrochemical Industries Co. (DRPIC) has
selected the Unipol polyethylene (PE) process from Univation
Technologies for a new PE line to be built as part of its
planned Duqm Petrochemicals Project in Duqm, Oman
(PCN, 28 Sept 2020, p 1).
The 480,000-t/y PE line will utilize Univation’s Acclaim
high-density PE (HDPE) technology for the manufacture of
high-performance unimodal HDPE resins.
The petrochemicals project also includes a 48-million-cu
m/d natural gas-to-liquids unit, a 1.6-million-t/y ethylene
facility, a 161,000-t/y butadiene extraction unit, a CDMtbe
unit with 145,000 t/y of methyl tertiary butyl ether capacity
and a 1-butene separation plant with 51,000 t/y of 1-
butene capacity, PCN earlier reported.
DRPIC is a joint venture of OQ SAOC and Kuwait Petroleum
Europe BV.
The company is also building a 230,000-b/d refinery adjacent
to the petrochemicals complex, which will provide
feedstock for petrochemicals production. Completion dates
for the projects were not given.
“We value the collaborative relationship already established
with Univation Technologies on this new project,”
said DRPIC Chief Executive Dr. Salim Al Huthaili.
“Furthermore, we look forward to achieving our objective
of becoming a significant player in the region by satisfying
evolving customer demand in both domestic and key
international markets. A key component of DRPIC realizing
that strategy will be accessing the flexible production
capabilities of our Unipol PE process line.”

 

Neste & LG Chem Forming Partnership To Produce Biopolymers, Biochemicals

Yeosu—Neste
and LG Chem announced plans for a strategic long-term
partnership to develop and grow the biopolymers and biochemicals
market globally, namely in South Korea.
In the “upcoming months,” LG will begin replacing traditional
feedstock used in the production of polymers and
chemicals with Neste renewable hydrocarbons at LG’s complex
in Yeosu, South Korea, Neste noted.
The renewable hydrocarbons, which are produced entirely
from traceable, bio-based raw materials, such as
waste and residue oils and fats, will allow LG to produce
renewable polymers and chemicals to meet the increasing
sustainability requirements and expectations of its customers.
“We are delighted to start collaborating with LG Chem,
a company with one of the most diverse polymers and
chemicals offerings in the world, to make an increasing
impact on the global industry’s transformation towards a
circular bioeconomy,” said Mercedes Alonso, executive vice
president, renewable polymers and chemicals at Neste.
“This cooperation enables us to further expand the portfolio
of applications that can benefit from Neste’s renewable
drop-in solutions.”

 

Hengli Chooses Invista’s Technology For Two New PTA Lines in Huizhou

Beijing—Invista
Performance Technologies, the technology and licensing
group of Invista, has been selected by Hengli Petrochemical
to supply its P8 technology for two new purified
terephthalic acid (PTA) lines in Huizhou City, Guangdong
Province, China (PCN, 12 Oct 2020, p 2).
The PTA lines, expected to cost $1.69-billion, will each
have a production capacity of 2.5-million t/y. Subject to
governmental approvals, start-up is scheduled for the end
of next year. Once complete, Hengli’s total PTA production
capacity will increase to 16.6-million t/y.
Hengli is also operating five PTA lines at its site on
Changxing Island, Dalian, China. All five existing lines
utilize Invista’s technology.

 

BASF, Borealis, ADNOC & Adani Shelf Proposed Petrochems Project in India

Gujarat—
BASF, Borealis, Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. (ADNOC) and
Adani, following completion of a joint feasibility study,
have decided to suspend plans for a chemical complex at
Adani’s site in Mundra, India (PCN, 21 Oct 2019, p 1).
The project was to involve a world-scale propane dehydrogenation
unit, polypropylene production and an acrylics
value chain complex.
“The global economic uncertainties caused by the pandemic
have led the partners to review the timing for undertaking
this investment,” the parties noted. “Despite all
attempts to optimize the scope and the configuration, the
project has been put on hold.
“The partners remain convinced about the strong fundamentals
represented by the Indian market and agreed to
periodically explore market conditions and discuss any opportunity
that may arise over time.”

 

Shell Closing Convent Refinery in U.S.

Baton Rouge—
Royal Dutch Shell will shut down its 211,000-b/d refinery
in Convent, La., next month, after the company failed to
find a buyer, Reuters reported.
“After looking at all aspects of our business, including
financial performance, we made a difficult decision to shut
down the site,” said the report quoting Shell Spokesman
Curtis Smith.
Once the refinery is closed, the company will resume
looking for a buyer. It plans to sell all but six refineries
and chemical plants worldwide and is considering closing
facilities that it cannot divest.
Shell recently announced a “major” restructuring process
in which it would only retain its refineries that are essential
to the company and integrate them with its chemicals
business, which it plans to grow (PCN, 5 Oct 2020, p
1). It will keep sites in key locations that have the flexibility
to adapt.

 

U.S. Army to Reevaluate FG LA’s Permit To Build St. James Petrochemical Plant

St. James—
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, in a court filing, said it
would reevaluate a construction permit for FG LA LLC,
part of Formosa Plastics Group, which is planning to build
a world-scale ethylene complex in St. James Parish, La.,
according to several media reports.
The estimated $9.4-billion complex is planned to include
the production of ethylene, propylene, high-density
polyethylene (PE), low-density PE, ethylene glycol, polypropylene
and utility plants. It will be built in two phases
(PCN, 26 Oct 2020, p 2).
Last year, environmental groups sued the Army Corps
over its decision to issue FG LA the permit. The Army
Corps was to file court documents defending its decision,
but instead asked the court to allow it time to reevaluate
the permit.
FG LA recently said it was deferring major construction
on the project until the global pandemic has subsided
and/or a vaccine was widely available, but that it was continuing
with preconstruction activities.

 

ACC’s Plastics Division Announces Leaders of Operating Committee

Washington—The
American Chemistry Council (ACC)’s Plastics Division has
elected a new chair and vice chair for its Operating Committee.
Beginning in January 2021, John Thayer, senior vice
president of sales and marketing for Nova Chemicals, will
chair the committee. He currently serves as member and
vice chair of the committee.
At the same time, Christine Bryant will become vice
chair of the committee. She is senior vice president of,
polyurethanes – North America at Covestro, and also participates
in ACC’s Center for the Polyurethanes Industry
and its Sustainability and Market Outreach Committee.
They will serve in these capacities for one year.

 

NextChem & IndianOil Sign Agreement To Develop India’s Circular Economy

New Delhi—
Maire Tecnimont’s NextChem subsidiary and Indian Oil
Corp. (IndianOil) have signed a memorandum of understanding
to foster the industrialization of circular economy
in India using NextChem’s technologies.
The companies plan to develop projects focused on plastics
recycling, producing biofuels from renewable feedstock,
and circular fuels and chemicals from non-recyclable
waste.
“We are really proud to be partner of choice in the first
industrial initiative in India’s circular economy sector with
such an historical and prestigious player as Indian Oil Corporation,”
said Pierroberto Folgiero, chief executive of
Maire Tecnimont Group and NextChem.
IndianOil is working to develop a sustainable business
model of closed loop ecosystem of waste plastics under its
Plastic Neutrality Initiative and is looking for partners
who can contribute to addressing the end-life management
of plastic waste in the country, Maire Tecnimont noted.
Furthermore, IndianOil plans to introduce recyclates as
a new line in its product portfolio in addition to its existing
virgin polymers business.

 

Lummus to Supply 14 Cracking Furnaces To Baltic’s Russian Gas Chem Complex

Moscow—
Lummus Technology has been awarded a contract to supply
14 ethylene cracking furnaces to Baltic Chemical’s ethane-
rich gas processing complex being built near Ust-Luga,
Russia (PCN, 21 Sept 2020, p 1).
The complex will include two ethane cracking plants
with an ethylene capacity of 1.4-million t/y each, as well as
six polyethylene (PE) reactor lines, each designed to have a
capacity of 500,000 t/y. Completion is anticipated in 2024.
The contract was awarded within the framework of an
engineering, procurement and construction contract between
China National Chemical Engineering & Construction
Corp. and Baltic Chemical.
Lummus’ scope of work includes engineering and supply
of its Short Residence Time VI cracking furnaces,
which will be supplied under an ethylene technology license
contract awarded to Lummus in 2019.
Axens was recently awarded a contract to provide its
AlphaButol technology for the production of 120,000 t/y of
high-purity 1-butene by ethylene dimerization and its AlphaHexol
technology for the production of 50,000 t/y of
high-purity 1-hexene by ethylene trimerization. Both comonomers
will be used in various types of PE.
Axens is also responsible for the transfer of license, the
process book, several chemicals, proprietary equipment,
technical support and training.

 

MCC Ending MMA, MAA Production At Lucite Subsidiary in Beaumont

Beaumont—Mitsubishi
Chemical Corp. (MCC) has decided to discontinue
production of methyl methacrylate (MMA) and methacrylic
acid (MMA) at the site of its Lucite International subsidiary
in Beaumont, Texas.
The site, which began operations in 1992, has an annual
production capacity of 135,000 t/y. Production is
scheduled to end on 28 Feb. 2021, and the site will be shut
down.
MCC said it was closing the site to boost competitiveness
and optimize supply chain in keeping with demand
and supply trends for raw materials.

 

People on the Move

Mitsubishi Chemical—Jean-Marc Gilson has been
appointed chief executive to succeed Hitoshi Ochi, who will
step down next year. Gilson is presently chief executive of
Roquette.
Fluor Corp.—David E. Constable, a member of the
board of directors, has been appointed chief executive, effective
1 Jan. 2021. He will replace Carlos Hernandez, who
will retire at the end of this year. Constable was chief executive
of Sasol from 2011 to 2016.
Linde plc—Sanjiv Lamba, currently executive vice
president of Asia-Pacific, has been named chief operating
officer, effective 1 Jan. 2021.
Asahi Glass Co.—Yoshinori Hirai has been appointed
president and chief executive, effective 1 Jan. 2021, to replace
Takuya Shimamura, who will become chairman at
the same time. Hirai is currently executive vice president
and chief technology officer.

 

Supreme Petrochem Planning Project To Boost PS Capacity in Nagothane

Nagothane—
Supreme Petrochem is planning to implement a project to
expand polystyrene (PS) production capacity in Amdoshi,
Nagothane, Maharashtra, India, according to a local news
report.
The project involves building an additional PS line with
80,000 t/y of capacity. Completion is anticipated by December
2021.
In addition, the company is revamping its expandable
PS unit, which will increase production capacity by 20,000
t/y. The revamp is also expected to be completed in December
2021.

 

Ineos Makes Commitment to Achieve Net Zero Emissions at Antwerp Sites

Antwerp—Ineos
said it has committed to staying ahead of European Union
(EU) climate and energy targets in the drive to net zero
greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across its businesses in
Antwerp, Belgium.
To achieve its goals, it will implement further fuel
switching and green electricity; optimize its existing carbon
capture activity at Zwijndrecht; collaborate in industrial
waste heat and steam networks in the region; increase
use of hydrogen in chemical processes and power
plants, and further invest in electrification.
The company is also involved in the ‘Power to Methanol’
project for sustainable methanol production at Lillo (PCN,
1-8 June 2020, p 4).
In addition, Ineos said it plans to further invest in hydrogen
technology, which it sees as a “game changer” and a
core part of its future business, and switch to recycled or
bio-feedstock where appropriate.
Ineos’ commitment to emission reduction means all
sites in Antwerp will be climate-neutral by 2050 at the latest.
It also takes into account the EU’s ambition to cut
GHG emissions to at least 55% below 1990 levels by 2030.
“We believe that this package of actions will bring substantial
benefits to our customers, to the communities in
which we operate, and to all our stakeholders, and help
ensure that Ineos remains competitive and sustainable in
the light of evolving societal needs,” the company noted.

 

Evonik Finalizes Purchase of Porocel To Expand Its Catalysts Portfolio

Houston—Evonik
said it has expanded its catalysts portfolio with the acquisition
of Porocel Group for $210-million (PCN, 31 Aug
2020, p 3).
Porocel, based in Houston, Texas, will add activities in
the area of desulfurization catalysts and absorbents to
Evonik’s portfolio. Approximately 300 employees from
Porocel and the corresponding production facilities will be
integrated into Evonik’s Smart Materials Division.
“The catalysts business line is an important driver of
growth and sustainability within Evonik’s Smart Materials
Division,” noted Claus Rettig, head of the division.
“With the targeted acquisition, we expand our competencies
with new technologies and products. In this way,
we enable our customers to make their processes and
products more efficient and resource-saving.
“The global presence of Porocel, along with its available
production capacities, will further strengthen the worldwide
presence of Evonik’s catalyst activities.”

 

B&F PLA Starts Up China’s ‘First’ New Fully Integrated PLA Plant

Beijing—Sulzer
Chemtech announced that B&F PLA has begun operating
China’s ‘first’ fully integrated sugar-to-PLA (polylactic
acid) facility in Bengbu, Anhui Province, to support the
growing bioplastic market.
The 30,000-t/y PLA plant, based on Sulzer’s distillation,
crystallization and polymerization technologies, uses glucose
from locally sourced corn to produce lactic acid and
PLA of different grades.
B&F is now able to deliver plant-based polymers with
different molecular weights and L(+)/D(-) ratios to provide
“suitable” materials for a wide variety of applications, Sulzer
noted.
In addition to technologies, Sulzer also provided extensive
remote assistance during pre-commissioning, commissioning
and start-up.

 

Sibur Touts ‘Unique’ Digital Technology That Models Gas Chemical Reactions

Moscow—Sibur
said it has rolled out a “unique” digital technology that
makes it possible to accurately model physical and chemical
processes at petrochemical plants.
The pilot was launched at Sibur’s Tomskneftekhim facility
in Tomsk, Russia, where a low-density polyethylene
reactor was digitally modeled to deliver a “considerable”
reduction in related operational expenses.
The digital model of the Tomsk reactor has already
helped test 139 combinations of process parameters and
rate of consumption for the feedstock and reaction initiators.
As a result, the “best possible” mode of operation was
determined, reducing the rate of consumption of costly additives
by 12% without compromising quality, Sibur noted.
The expected annual savings could reach RUB 50-
million to RUB 60-million facility-wide.
“While the model is unique for each unit, our successful
experience in Tomsk can be leveraged to plan digital models
for Sibur’s other production facilities, including those
operating on a large scale,” noted Sergey Tutov, head of
Sibur’s research and development function.
“In addition, Sibur operates both new and older plants,
with some of them dating back to the last century (1193 in
the case of the Tomsk reactor). Digital models are a way
for those facilities to aim for alignment with global petrochemical
benchmarks without a major renovation.”
The digital model can potentially be used to determine
process parameters for new product grades in the future.

 

EPS Gets Order from Zhejiang Satellite For 4 New Very Large Ethane Carriers

Singapore—
Eastern Pacific Shipping (EPS) has won a 15-year time
charter from Zhejiang Satellite Petrochemical (Satellite)
for four new very large ethane carriers.
EPS will purchase, build and operate the 98,000-cu m
ethane carriers. They will be built by Hyundai Heavy Industries
and Samsung Heavy Industries in South Korea.
Delivery is scheduled in the first half of 2022.
All four carriers will feature dual fuel ethane propulsion,
which will reduce greenhouse gas emissions when
compared to conventional marine fuels. Ethane will be
carried from the U.S. Gulf Coast to Satellite’s facility in
Lianyungang, China.

 

North-C-Methanol Project to Produce Green Methanol in North Sea Port

Ghent—Ten private
and public-sector partners have signed a collaborative
agreement for the North-C-Methanol project, which will
turn carbon dioxide (CO2) into green methanol in the
North Sea Port in Belgium.
The “world-class” project, which is expected to have the
“largest” renewable hydrogen-to-methanol complex in the
world, will reduce CO2 emissions by 140,000 tons and generate
44,000 tons of green methanol to be used as feedstock
for the chemicals and renewable industries, as well as fuel
for ships and trains, Oiltanking noted.
Currently estimated to cost €140-million, North-CMethanol
is the “first” large-scale demo plant that is part
of the North-CCU-Hub program.
The project involves construction of a 65-megawatt
(MW) electrolyzer at Engie’s site on the Rodenhuize peninsula,
which will convert water into green hydrogen and
oxygen using wind power.
A second plant, a methanol facility owned by Proman
on the Rodenhuize peninsula, will use the green hydrogen
to convert the collected CO2 emissions of local companies,
such as Yara, ArcelorMittal and Alco Bio Fuel, into green
methanol.
North-CCU-Hub expects a gradual increase of the
North-C-Methanol capacity from 65 MW in 2024 to 600
MW in 2030, as part of a program whereby new technologies,
markets and products, such as ammonia, formic acid,
fatty acids, esters and proteins will be developed and integrated.
“A new, circular economy will be created in North Sea
Port: waste from one enterprise will be used as a raw material
by another one,” said Oiltanking. “All by-products of
the methanol production process . . . will also be recycled
locally. This will ensure a unique and far-reaching industrial
and circular integration.
“Of course, this will fully go hand in hand with the
building of much supporting infrastructure, such as new
pipelines and storage tanks, in order to transport raw materials,
by- and finished products to the correct location.”
Oiltanking and Fluxsys will be responsible for this, with
Mitsubishi Power overseeing the integration and coordination
of the entire construction process.
The North-CCU-Hub was formed in 2019, following an
initial feasibility study, when 20 private- and public-sector
partners shared the common goal of carbon neutrality and
carbon capture and utilization (CCU).
It includes players from various sectors: steel, power,
new raw materials, chemicals, logistics and transport.

 

LyondellBasell Lifts Force Majeure Event On PO and Derivatives in the Americas

Houston—
LyondellBasell, in a letter to its customers, said it has
ended the force majeure event for all products within its
Americas propylene oxide (PO) and derivatives portfolio,
effective 1 Nov. 2020.
The products include PO, P-glycols, allyl alcohol, BDO
(1-4, butanediol) and derivatives, P-series glycol ethers and
P-specialties glycol ether, which will be under sales control.

 

Sarawak Inks MoU with Sumitomo, Eneos To Produce Green Hydrogen in Bintulu

Bintulu—
SEDC Energy Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of Malaysia’s Sarawak
Economic Development Corp., has signed a memorandum
of understanding (MoU) with Sumitomo Corp. and
Eneos to study the feasibility of building a green hydrogen
production plant in Bintulu, Sarawak, Malaysia, Bernama
reported.
The facility, planned to be located at the Bintulu Petrochemical
Park, would produce zero-carbon hydrogen for
export to Japan and other countries. Start-up is expected
by 2023. Cost of the project and a capacity were not given.

 

NEDO Picks Marubeni, JGC Holdings To Study CO2 Minimization Project

Beijing—The New
Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization
(NEDO) has selected Marubeni Corp. and JGC Holdings
Corp. to perform a feasibility study on the minimization
of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by the utilization of
by-product hydrogen in China.
Marubeni and JGC will conduct the study, together
with Juhua Group Corp., at Juhua’s chemical facility in
Quzhou City, Zhejiang Province.
The study will evaluate the usage of Japanese technologies
(hydrogen mixed combustion engine and polymer
electrolyte fuel cell) for the “local production for local consumption
business model” by utilizing by-product hydrogen,
Marubeni noted.
Results of the study will be available within fiscal year
2021, at which time the partners will move to the demonstration
phase.

 

V58 N42 – 2 November 2020

OMV Acquires Additional Borealis Stake From Mubadala at a Cost of $4.68-BN

Vienna—OMV
has completed the acquisition of an additional 39% interest
in Borealis from Mubadala Investment Co. at a purchase
price of $4.68-billion (PCN, 17 Aug 2020, p 1).
OMV now owns a 75% interest in Borealis, with
Mubadala holding the remaining 25% stake.
“This transaction is another milestone in the implementation
of our strategy,” said Rainer Seele, chief executive
and chairman of the executive board of OMV. “We are
thus establishing an integrated and sustainable business
model extending OMV’s value chain towards higher value
chemical products and recycling, thereby repositioning the
group for a lower carbon future.”
OMV earlier said that OMV and Borealis aim to be a
“leader” in the circular plastics economy and will invest €1-
billion in “innovative” solutions by 2025 (PCN, 3 Aug 2020,
p 3).
Borealis’ activities in plastics recycling, through its
subsidiaries Ecoplast and mtm plastics, Project STOP and
the Design For Recycling initiative are a “perfect” addition
to OMV’s ReOil technology for the chemical recycling of
post-consumer plastic, OMV noted.
The proprietary ReOil technology converts hard-torecycle
plastic waste into “high-quality” feedstock for its
refineries, substituting the need for crude oil.

 

AGCC Selects Univation’s PE Process For Gas Chemical Project in Russia

Svobodny—Amur
Gas Chemical Complex LLC (AGCC) has chosen Univation
Technologies’ Unipol PE (polyethylene) process for three
new PE lines, as part of AGCC’s world-scale integrated gas
chemical complex under construction in Svobodny, Russia
(PCN, 24 Aug 2020, p 1).
The technology will be used in two 600,000-t/y lines for
high-density PE (HDPE) and linear low-density PE production,
and one 600,000 t/y single line focused on a broad
range of both bimodal and unimodal HDPE production.
AGCC’s project will process ethane fraction from Gazprom’s
Amur Gas Processing Plant, also under development,
for the production of ethylene. The project will also
include the production of 400,000 t/y of polypropylene.
Construction is expected to be completed in 2024 with
commissioning planned in 2025.
Univation will also supply its advanced software platforms
for both process control capability and virtual process
training tools.
“The Amur GCC project represents a significant step
towards Sibur’s transformation into a global-level petrochemical
company,” said Sergey Komyshan, management
board member – executive director of petrochemicals at
Sibur.
“This strategic project signifies a key investment commitment
directed at creating new world-scale polyolefin
manufacturing capabilities and contributing to unlocking
Russia’s huge non-commodity export potential.”

 

DGR Picks Grace’s Unipol PP Process To Expand PP Capacity in Dongguan

Shanghai—
W. R. Grace & Co. has again licensed its Unipol PP (polypropylene)
process technology to Dongguan Grand Resource
Science & Technology Co. (DGR) to increase PP
production capacity at DGR’s site in Dongguan, Guangdong
Province, China (PCN, 20 July 2020, p 1).
The new 600,000-t/y PP facility, scheduled for completion
in 2023, is the same size and located on the same site
as the first PP plant, which was completed last year.
In addition to the technology license, the deal includes a
long-term catalyst supply agreement between Grace and
DGR, giving DGR the ability to produce a wide range of
resin grades and provide more PP options to its customers.
DGR recently awarded a contract to Clariant to provide
its Catofin catalyst for a second propane dehydrogenation
(PDH) unit at Dongguan.
The new 600,000-t/y PDH plant will increase propylene
capacity to 1.2-million t/y and is expected to be commissioned
in 2022.

 

ExxonMobil Plans Additional Job Cuts, Will Primarily Affect Houston Offices

Irving—
ExxonMobil, which recently announced job cuts across a
number of its European sites, is now planning to reduce
staffing levels in the U.S., mainly at its management offices
in Houston, Texas (PCN, 12 Oct 2020, p 1).
The company anticipates that around 1,900 employees
will be affected through voluntary and involuntary programs,
as a result of ongoing reorganizations and workprocess
changes to improve efficiency and reduce costs.
“These actions will improve the company’s long-term
cost competitiveness and ensure the company manages
through the current unprecedented market conditions,”
ExxonMobil explained. “The impact of COVID-19 on the
demand for ExxonMobil’s products has increased the urgency
of the ongoing efficiency work.”
In the beginning of October, the company said it anticipated
that up to 1,600 positions would be impacted across
several of its affiliate’s sites in Europe by the end of 2021.

 

Balaji Amines Receives Board Approval To Set Up New Methylamines Facility

New Delhi—
Balaji Amines is planning to build a new methylamines
plant in Solapur, Maharashtra, India, and has received
approval from the company’s board of directors.
The project, for which a cost and schedule were not
given, will have between 40,000 t/y and 50,000 t/y of methylamines
capacity. Balaji has already got environmental
clearance.
Separately, the company said it has begun an expansion
of acetonitrile capacity to about 18-20 t/d from its current
capacity of around 9 t/d. Production will be gradually
ramped up by the end of this fiscal year.

 

Methanex Concludes Geismar 1 Expansion; In Process of Restarting Chile IV Plant

Vancouver—
Methanex, in its third quarter 2020 results, said it has
completed an expansion of its Geismar 1 methanol facility
in Louisiana and expects to ramp up to full production over
the “coming weeks.”
The expansion project will increase the company’s production
capacity by about 10%, or 100,000 t/y. The Geismar
2 methanol facility is also being expanding as part of
the project (PCN, 4 Nov 2019, p 2). Capacities of the
plants were not given.
Methanex also said it is in the process of restarting its
800,000-t/y Chile IV methanol unit in Puenta Arenas,
Chile, which had been idled due to the uncertainty in the
global economy from the COVID-19 pandemic (PCN, 6-13
Apr 2020, p 1).
In addition, the company announced that no decision
has been made at this time on whether to restart its 1.8-
million-t/y Geismar 3 project, located next to its Geismar 1
and Geismar 2 plants.
Earlier this year, Methanex decided to defer about
$500-million of capital spending on Geismar 3 for up to 18
months. Construction activity and procurement of noncritical
equipment and bulk materials have been suspended
until market conditions allow the project to restart.
“We are encouraged by recent early signs of economic
recovery, including improvement in methanol demand and
methanol prices,” noted President and Chief Executive
John Floren.
“However, in this unprecedented environment impacted
by both COVID-19 and challenging commodity prices, the
path and pace for global economic recovery and methanol
demand remains uncertain.”

 

Wanhua Chemical Begins Operations At New Methanol Facility in Yantai

Yantai—Wanhua
Chemical has started up a new coal-based methanol plant
at its site in Yantai, Shandong Province, China, Argus Media
reported.
The methanol plant has a nameplate capacity of
600,000 t/y and is capable of producing up to 670,000 t/y.
It will replace an older 200,000-t/y methanol unit at the
site that has been mothballed.
Wanhua plans to initially use the methanol mainly as
feedstock for its diphenylmethane diisocyanate, methyl
methacrylate and methyl tertiary butyl ether units.

 

Eneos Ending Petrochem Production At Chita Facility by Next October

Tokyo—Eneos Holdings,
formerly known as JXTG Holdings, will discontinue
production at its petrochemicals plant in Chita, Japan, by
October 2021, reported an industry source citing the company.
Ending production at the facility would reduce Eneos’s
paraxylene capacity by 400,000 t/y giving the company a
total paraxylene production capacity of over 3-million t/y.
“We have decided to end production at Chita as the
plant is expected to stay in loss-making conditions due to
[the] slumping paraxylene market,” said the report quoting
Eneos Executive Vice President Junichi Iwase (see related
story, pg. 3).

 

Shell to Transform Refining Portfolio; Will Integrate Refining & Chemicals

London—Royal
Dutch Shell announced further details of its plan to integrate
its refining portfolio with chemicals, as part of its
goal to be net-zero by 2050 (PCN, 5 Oct 2020, p 1).
“For us, the strategic value of refining is in its integration,”
said Shell Chief Executive Ben van Beurden. “That
means integration with trading and optimization of course.
But it also means integration with chemicals and increasingly
integration with low-carbon fuels, like biofuels, hydrogen
and synthetic fuels.
“And, to that end, we will concentrate our portfolio in
six positions that we call energy and chemicals parks,
mainly around the U.S. Gulf Coast, Northwest Europe and
in Singapore.”
Shell recently announcing a “major” restructuring process,
in which it would cut between 7,000 and 9,000 jobs by
2022 in its refineries, chemical sites, and onshore and offshore
production facilities. Shell currently has 14 refineries.

 

Brenntag Plans Transformation Program; Will Cut About 1,300 Jobs, Close Sites

Essen—
Brenntag announced a new comprehensive transformation
program, Project Brenntag, that is expected to bring a sustainable
annual contribution of additional operating
EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and
amortization) of €220-million by 2023.
Beginning in January 2021, the company will be
steered in two global division with a focus on changing customer
needs and supplier needs: Brenntag Essentials and
Brenntag Specialties.
The new operating model is expected to lead to a reduction
of around 1,300 jobs. In addition, about 100 sites
across all regions are expected to close; however, the group
will invest in existing and new sites, create regional hubs,
and close “white spots” in the network, Brenntag noted.

 

Aliplast Chooses Nextchem Technology For Waste Plastic-to-Polymers Plant

Milan—Maire
Tecnimont’s Nextchem subsidiary and Aliplast, a subsidiary
of Hera Group, have signed a strategic agreement, in
which Aliplast will use Nextchem’s MyReplast upcycling
technology for a new facility to produce polymers from
plastic waste.
Nextchem will provide technology and engineering, procurement
and construction services for the plant, which
will be located at one of Hera’s sites in Europe.
The facility, once fully operational, will be capable of
producing up to 30,000 t/y of polymers. It will be equipped
with processes automation and high digitalization for data
analytics, the companies noted. A schedule for the project
was not given.
“The partnership with Nextchem will allow Aliplast to
exploit recycling and compounding opportunities in order
to expand into the sector of rigid plastics like PP [polypropylene],
HDPE [high-density polyethylene] and ABS [acrylonitrile
butadiene styrene], which are difficult to recycle
effectively with mechanical processes,” said the parties.
Aliplast operates 90 facilities in France, Spain and Poland.

 

Alberta Announces Start Up of New Petrochemicals Incentive Program

Alberta—The government
of Alberta said its new Alberta Petrochemicals
Incentive Program (APIP) is “open for business” (PCN, 13
July 2020, p 4).
Part of Alberta’s Recovery Plan, the APIP will help attract
billions in petrochemical project investments and continue
to diversify the province’s economy, while drawing
directly on Alberta’s abundant reserves of natural gas, the
government explained.
Projects eligible for the program must have a minimum
$50-million in capital investment; consume natural gas,
natural gas liquids or petrochemical intermediaries; create
new and permanent jobs in Alberta, and meet the federally
set definition of a manufacturing and processing facility.
Key features include: a 10-year program, during which
eligible projects must be built and operational; every project
that meets the program’s criteria will receive funding
once built and operational; instead of royalty credits,
grants will be issued after projects are operational, and the
government will make the funds available throughout the
program’s duration once the facilities are in service, in order
to align with typical business investment cycles.

 

Mitsui to Form JV with Veolia, Seven & I To Build PET Recycling Plant in Japan

Tokyo—
Mitsui & Co. has signed a shareholders’ agreement with
Veolia Japan and Seven & i Holdings to establish a joint
venture for setting up a new polyethylene terephthalate
(PET) recycling facility in Japan.
The plant, expected to have around 25,000 t/y of recycled
PET resin capacity, is planned to begin operations in
2022. The parties are expected to make a final investment
decision by the end of this fiscal year, after which the joint
venture company would be formed.
Veolia would contribute its advanced technology and
know-how accumulated through regular exchange of technical
information among the group’s plants to handle lowgrade
waste plastic bottles. It operates 10 recycling plants
worldwide.
Seven & i would supply waste plastic bottles to the recycling
facility and use the recycled PET materials in some
of its containers.
As a follow on from this project, Mitsui would contribute
its wide range of business assets and global network to
study and promote similar projects.

 

Nexeo Plastics Enters Deal with STFG To Distribute PA6 Products in Europe

Houston—
Nexeo Plastics and STFG Filamente GmbH, an affiliate of
KuibyshevAzot, have signed an agreement, in which Nexeo
will distribute STFG’s polyamide 6 (PA6) products
throughout Europe.
Nexeo has agreed to carry and distribute the Volgamid
Eco-line series, which includes the Eco-G6A, a mostly
prime/recycled material mix, and the Eco-G6B line with
100% recycled materials.
“The agreement with KuibyshevAzot extends our reach
in EMEA [Europe, Middle East and Africa] and improves
the selection of standard and eco-friendly thermoplastics to
those requiring solutions for a variety of applications,” said
Nexeo Plastics President and Chief Executive Paul Taylor.

 

Idemitsu Kosan Considering Purchase Of Eneos’ Chita Paraxylene Facility

Tokyo—Idemitsu
Kosan said it has concluded a basic memorandum with
Eneos to acquire Eneos’ 400,000-t/y paraxylene manufacturing
plant and ancillary facilities in Chita City, Aichi
Prefecture, Japan, for an undisclosed amount (see related
story, pg. 2).
“To prepare for the structural decline in demand for
domestic petroleum products and the future growth of the
Asian market, the company has been setting up an optimal
production and supply system,” Idemitsu Kosan noted.
“On the other hand, the demand for gasoline fraction is
declining, and the company’s utilization of such gasoline
fraction more than ever has been a significant issue for
improving the overall group refineries’ competitiveness and
maximizing their value.
“Under these circumstances, the company was informed
that Eneos has decided to stop the Chita plant’s manufacturing
function and thought it would be more efficient for
the company to purchase the petrochemicals manufacturing
equipment located at the Chita plant than to build new
equipment. Therefore, the company has agreed with Eneos
to proceed with the consideration thereof.”

 

CF Board Approves Green NH3 Project As Part of Clean Energy Commitment

Deerfield—CF
Industries has received board of directors’ approval for a
green ammonia (NH3) project at its Donaldsonville, La.,
nitrogen complex, to support its clean energy commitment.
CF will install a state-of-the-art electrolysis system at
the site to generate carbon-free hydrogen from water that
will then be supplied to an existing plant to produce about
20,000 t/y of green ammonia.
The company is also developing carbon capture and sequestration
and other carbon abatement projects across its
production facilities, which will enable CF to produce lowcarbon
ammonia.
CF estimates that over time it could produce approximately
3.5-million t/y of low-carbon ammonia, which represents
around one-third of its annual ammonia production
capacity, without affecting its current product mix.
To carry out these initiatives, the company said it is
partnering with “leading” technologies companies and has
signed memorandum of understandings with Haldor Topsoe
and ThyssenKrupp.

 

Celanese Extends Terminal Service Contract With Dragon Crown for Nanjing Facility

Nanjing—
Celanese (Nanjing) Chemical Co., a subsidiary of Celanese
Corp., has extended a contract with Nanjing Dragon Crown
Liquid Chemical Terminal Co. to provide terminal services
to Celanese’s integrated chemical facility in the Nanjing
Chemical Industrial Park, Nanjing City, China.
Extending this “critical” contract will provide the facility
with ongoing and “reliable” terminal services for the
company’s acetyls chemical products, Celanese noted.
“Dragon Crown has consistently provided Celanese with
safe, compliant and reliable terminal services in China for
more than a decade,” said John Fotheringham, senior vice
president of acetyls at Celanese.
“The renewal of this contract is a representation of the
collaboration between the two parties and further
strengthens our long-term business relationship.”

 

Lucite and Mitsubishi Join Agilyx To Deliver Fully Circular PMMA

Tigard—Lucite International,
with the support of its parent company Mitsubishi
Chemical Corp. (MCC) said it plans to pursue a commercial-
scale trial for the recycling of polymethyl
methacrylate (PMMA) at Agilyx’s facility in Tigard, Ore.,
to deliver fully circular PMMA.
The decision follows the success of an initial smallerscale
trial using Agilyx’s molecular recycling technology.
The companies expect commercial production of recycled
PMMA by 2023.
“The results of the trial were so encouraging that we
asked Agilyx to run a full-scale plant trial to further prove
and optimize their technology,” said David Smith, circular
economy program lead at Lucite.
“The MMA yield and purity figures of the first trial
surpassed our expectations, so we are excited to see how
well PMMA can be recycled at full production levels. Most
encouragingly, when we tested a wide variety of PMMA
feedstocks during the initial trial; we purposely included a
number of containments and the Agilyx technology handled
them with no issues.”

 

Trinseo and TRS Form Partnership To Increase Use of Recycled Tires

Berwyn—Trinseo
has reached a definitive agreement with Tyre Recycling
Solutions (TRS) on a commercial collaboration to accelerate
the development of sustainable synthetic rubber tire formulations
through the increased use of recycled tires.
The partners will collaborate on research and development,
utilizing their combined technology expertise to help
global tire manufacturers develop the formulations.
As part of the definitive agreement, Trinseo will make
an equity investment in TRS. Subject to customary closing
conditions, the transaction is expected to close later this
quarter. No other details were disclosed.
“This collaboration is extremely important for developing
real circular solutions for the tire and technical rubber
goods industries,” said Francesca Reverberi, vice president
of engineered materials and synthetic rubber at Trinseo.
“As a leading supplier of synthetic rubber to the tire industry,
we are committed to helping our customers achieve
their sustainability goals and believe that the most successful
way to do this is through collaboration across the
value chain. The partnership with TRS will provide us
with high-quality recycled tire feedstock to serve customers
globally.”

 

GPCA Reschedules 15th Annual Forum; Will Take Place in February in Dubai

Dubai—The
Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Assn. (GPCA) has decided
to reschedule its 15th Annual GPCA Forum, originally
planned to be held from 7-9 Dec. 2020; and will now
hold it from 10-11 Feb. 2021 at the Madinat Jumeirah in
Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
With the theme “Leadership in the new reality – Catalyzing
sustainable growth in the chemical industry,” the
conference agenda will examine strategies to drive recovery
and recalibrate for sustainable growth. GPCA will announces
speakers at a later date.
“The health and safety of our colleague is of supreme
importance and we will ensure that the necessary precautions
are taken when we welcome you to the 15th Annual
GPCA Forum,” the association noted.
For more information on the forum, visit GPCA’s website
at https://gpcaforum.net/about.

 

Lubrizol & Grasim Partner to Develop India’s ‘Largest’ CPVC Resin Facility

New Delhi—
Lubrizol Advanced Materials and Grasim Industries announced
they have entered into a definitive agreement to
build India’s “largest” chlorinated polyvinyl chloride
(CPVC) plant in India.
The state-of-the-art facility, which will be located at
Grasim’s site in Vilayat, India, will have close to 100,000
t/y of CPVC production capacity. The project will take part
in two phases, with the first phase of production expected
to be operational in late 2022.

 

IVL Finalizes Acquisition of 100% Stake In Polish PET Recycler IMP Polowat

Warsaw—
Indorama Ventures (IVL) has completed the purchase of a
100% equity interest in Industrie Maurizio Peruzzo Polowat
spolka z ograniczona odpowiedzialnoscia (IMP Polowat),
a polyethylene terephthalate (PET) recycler in Poland
(PCN, 10 Aug 2020, p 3).
IMP Polowat has two production sites located in Bielsko-
biala and Leczyca, close to Krakow and Warsaw, respectively.
The sites have a combined capacity of 23,000
tons of recycled PET (rPET) and 4,000 tons of rPET pellets.
Value of the transaction was not disclosed.

V58 N41 – 26 October 2020

SABIC and Aramco to Re-Evaluate Scope Of Planned Crude Oil-to-Chems Project

Jubail—
SABIC and Saudi Aramco announced their intention to reevaluate
the scope of their proposed project to develop an
industrial complex to convert crude oil to chemicals in
Yanbu, Saudi Arabia (PCN, 5 Nov 2018, p 1).
The complex, announced in 2017, is expected to process
400,000 b/d of crude oil for the production of about 9-
million t/y of chemicals and base oils. Operations are
scheduled to begin in 2025.
The scope will now be expanded to include continuing
the advancement of crude-to-chemicals technologies
through existing development programs with the goal to
increase efficiency, competitiveness and value creation opportunities
for petrochemicals.
The partners will study the integration of Saudi
Aramco’s existing refineries in Yanbu with a world-scale
mixed-feed steam cracker and downstream olefin derivative
units.

 

Huntsman Announces Official Start-Up Of New Terol Polyols Plant in Taiwan

Taipei—Huntsman
said it has officially opened its new Terol aromatic
polyester polyols facility at its systems house in Kuan Yin,
Taiwan.
The 22,000-t/y polyols plant uses the company’s proprietary
process that upcycles polyethylene terephthalate
(PET) bottles. This is the “first” time Huntsman has
manufactured its Terol polyols outside the U.S., the company
noted.
Huntsman manufactures Terol polyols for the Americas
and European regions from its plant in Houston, Texas,
where it upcycles the equivalent of 1-billion PET bottles
per year. It also manufactures polyols from scrap PET bottles
at its Huntsman Building Solutions site in Boisbriand,
Canada.

 

LG Develops Biodegradable Material With Properties Equivalent to PP

Seoul—LG Chem
said it has successfully developed the world’s “first” biodegradable
material that has mechanical properties that are
equivalent to synthetic resins, such as polypropylene (PP).
The new material is manufactured using 100% biobased
contents, including corn-based glucose and crude
glycerol, and has “significantly improved” flexibility and
transparency compared to existing biodegradable materials,
the company noted.
LG recently received confirmation from the German
biodegradable materials international certification agency,
Din Certco, that more than 90% of the newly developed
material was decomposed within 120 days.
The company is scheduled to conduct prototype evaluations
for client companies in 2022 with the goal of mass
production in 2025.

 

Total Denies Reports of Possible Sale Of Its Resins Business at Carling

Paris—Total, in response
to information published by certain media, confirmed
there is no process underway to sell the Societe
Cray Valley resins business at its Carling, France, facility.
The company said it reaffirms its commitment made in
2013, during Carling’s restructuring, and will continue to
develop the C4 resin (Ricon and Krasol) and RW resin
(Cleartrac) businesses.
“Since the 2013 investment, the Carling platform has
grown by focusing on specialty resins, value-added polymers
intended primarily for the automotive industry and
by also consolidating its position as Total’s main polystyrene
production site in Europe,” Total noted.
In addition, an agreement signed with the French government,
the Grand Est region and local communities, has
enabled several third-party industrial projects to be set up
at Carling. The four projects, representing a total investment
of €125-million, are led by Metex, Afyren, SNF Coagulants
and Quaron.

 

Celanese Adding New Line in Texas For Production of GUR UHMW-PE

Dallas—Celanese
is planning to build a new GUR ultra-high molecular
weight polyethylene (UHMW-PE) production line at its
manufacturing facility in Bishop, Texas.
The UHMW-PE line is expected to add around 15,000
t/y of GUR capacity by the start of 2022. Cost of the project
was not available.
Celanese said it continues to be the “only truly” global
producer of UHMW-PE in Asia, North America and
Europe.
In June 2019, the company completed an expansion of
GUR capacity by about 15,000 t/y at its Nanjing, China,
integrated chemical complex (PCN, 7 May 2018, p 1).

 

Nippon Shokubai, Sanyo Chemical Terminate Earlier Agreement to Combine Businesses

Tokyo—
Nippon Shokubai and Sanyo Chemical, at their respective
board of directors’ meetings, have decided to cancel their
previously announced business integration agreement
(PCN, 16 Mar 2020, p 3).
The companies executed the final agreement late last
year to conduct the integration by way of a joint share
transfer. They planned to combine into a new business
named Synfomix Co.
Their decision was due to “significant” changes in raw
material prices and product prices, as well as “heightened”
uncertainty about product demand in the future, Nippon
Shokubai noted.
The companies also determined that, in light of the current
business environment, exerting their respective
strengths as independent companies will lead to “enhancing”
the companies’ corporate value.

 

Hengyi Industries Lets Lummus Contract For New PP Plant at Brunei Complex

Brunei Bay—
Lummus said it has been awarded a contract by Hengyi
Industries for a new large-scale polypropylene (PP) facility
to be built in Brunei.
The 1-million-t/y PP unit is part of Hengyi’s second
phase expansion of its refinery and petrochemical complex
at Palau Muara Besar (PCN, 21 Sept 2020, p 2).
PCN earlier reported that the project would involve increasing
capacity of the 160,000-b/d oil refinery and adding
an ethylene facility, paraxylene unit and a purified
terephthalic acid plant. Construction is expected to last
three years.
The first phase was started up last year and included
the oil refinery, a 1-million-t/y aromatics facility and a
500,000-t/y benzene unit.
Lummus’ scope includes technology license, basic design
engineering, training and technical services. Value of
the contract was not given.
The new PP unit will be “one of the largest” PP units in
the world and will offer a complete product range, Lummus
noted, adding that the unit is its “largest” PP license to
date.

 

Nova Enters Agreement with Alpek To Divest Its Styrenics Business

Pittsburgh—Nova
Chemicals has signed an agreement to sell its expandable
styrenics business to a subsidiary of Alpek for an undisclosed
amount.
Alpek will acquire a 100% stake in Nova’s BVPV Styrenics
business, which owns and operates a facility in
Monaca, Penn., with a capacity of 123,000 t/y of expandable
polystyrene (EPS), 36,000 t/y of Arcel resin, and a research
and development pilot plant, as well as a plant in
Painesville, Ohio, with 45,000 t/y of EPS capacity.
The sale, which is expected to close this quarter, is an
“important” step in Nova’s plan to focus on its olefin and
polyethylene (PE) business, which includes additional investments
to advance a global circular economy for plastic,
Nova noted.
“This transaction provides us with immediate cash generation
to further strengthen our balance sheet and focus
on the safe and successful completion and start-up of our
world-class Advanced Sclairtech technology facility, under
construction in Ontario, Canada,” said Nova President and
Chief Executive Luis Sierra (PCN, 20 Apr 2020, p 1).
The Sclairtech facility will have around 450,000 t/y of
PE capacity and is being built adjacent to the company’s
Corunna cracker, which is being expanded. The expanded
cracker will supply ethylene feedstock to the new PE plant.
Both projects are scheduled to be completed in late 2021.

 

Rosneft Touts Development of Process To Obtain Hydrogen and Aromatics

Moscow—Rosneft
said it has developed an “innovative” methane aromatization
technology that can obtain hydrogen and aromatics
from natural and associated petroleum gas (APG).
With the new process, 1-billion cu m of hydrogen and
500,000 tons of aromatic hydrocarbons can be produced
from 1-billion cu m of natural gas or APG.
The technology offers a reduction in carbon dioxide
emissions, lower unit capital costs, increased product yield
and economic efficiency, the company noted.

 

FG Says Its Deferring ‘Major’ Construction On Sunshine Project in St. James Parish

St. James—
FG LA LLC, part of Formosa Plastics Group, told PCN it is
deferring major construction on its world-scale ethylene
complex, known as The Sunshine Project, being built in St.
James Parish, La. (PCN, 3 Aug 2020, p 1).
The estimated $9.4-billion complex is being built in two
phases and will include the production of ethylene, propylene,
high-density polyethylene (HDPE), low-density PE,
ethylene glycol (EG), polypropylene and a utility plant in
the first phase.
The second phase will include a second ethylene cracker
and utility plant, as well as the production of low-density
PE, HDPE and EG. An expected completion date was not
disclosed.
“The widespread impacts of a global pandemic, including
the challenge it creates in evaluating construction costs
and the restrictions it has placed on international travel,
are being felt across all industries and businesses, including
FG,” said Janile Parks, director of community and government
relations at FG. “As a result, FG has deferred
major construction until the pandemic has subsided and/or
an effective vaccine is widely available.”
FG is continuing with preconstruction activities for the
project.

 

Shell, NEA to Jointly Study Feasibility Of Chemical Recycling in Singapore

Singapore—Shell
and the National Environment Agency (NEA) have decided
to jointly explore the feasibility of chemically recycling
plastic waste in Singapore.
The study will look into waste segregation facilities and
plastic pyrolysis plants to recycle plastic waste via pyrolysis,
a chemical process that converts plastic waste into
higher-value products such as pyrolysis oil. The oil can be
upgraded as feedstock to manufacture new plastics and
chemicals.
“Chemical recycling will enable the recycling of contaminated
plastics that are recovered from our general
waste,” said NEA Chief Executive Tan Meng Dui.
“This feasibility study is part of NEA’s efforts to develop
our local plastic recycling capabilities, improve our plastic
recycling rates and enhance the resilience of our overall
waste management infrastructure.
“The joint study with Shell will help NEA gain a better
understanding of the technical and commercial aspects of a
chemical recycling value chain in Singapore and bring us
one step closer to realizing our goal of a circular economy
for plastics.”
The study with Shell will complement NEA’s consultancy
study on the feasibility of developing a pilot Plastic
Recovery Facility in Singapore, which will be awarded by
the end of this year and run parallel to the study between
Shell and NEA.

 

People on the Move

BioLogiQ—Steven Sherman, most recently president
and chief operating officer, has become chief executive to
lead the company through its next stage of growth.
Bryce Esplin has become chief operating officer to succeed
Sherman. He was previously vice president of manufacturing
operations.

 

West Virginia Methanol Selects Site For New $350-MN Methanol Plant

Charleston—West
Virginia Governor Jim Justice announced that West Virginia
Methanol has selected a site in Pleasants County, W.
Va., to build a new $350-million methanol facility.
The 900-t/d high-purity methanol plant is expected to
begin operations as early as mid-2023. A final investment
decision is anticipated in the first half of 2021.
The company is currently working on permitting and
final design details and has selected Haldor Topsoe for the
supply of the main methanol units’ engineering, procurement,
fabrication and assembly.
West Virginia Methanol plans to use three MeOH-To-
Go plant units, based on Topsoe’s technology, in collaboration
with Modular Plant Solutions.
“The MeOH-To-Go process is based on proven, robust
and safe technology,” said Amy Hebert, deputy chief executive
of West Virginia Methanol.
“It features a modularized design that is fabricated offsite
and transported to the site where it is assembled. This
lowers cost and shortens the time from investment decision
to first methanol production. The MeOH-To-Go technology
is the fastest route to monetizing the rich natural gas resources
in West Virginia.”

 

Borealis Opens New Naphtha Cavern To Utilize for Its Porvoo Operations

Porvoo—Borealis
has commissioned its new naphtha cavern in Porvoo,
Finland, which it said it will use to source and store naphtha
for its local operations from the global market in a
more “flexible, cost-efficient and secure” way.
The 80,000-cu m facility can also accommodate renewable
naphtha so that customers may, in the future, draw
on certified renewable polypropylene and polyethylene, as
well as renewable base chemicals, ethylene propylene and
phenol, Borealis noted.
Furthermore, naphtha can now be delivered by large
marine vessels in addition to rail. The project required an
investment of around €25-million.
“The innovative cavern in Porvoo improves our commercial
flexibility and will make a valuable contribution to
the achievement of our sustainability goals and the circularity
of our products,” said Martijn van Koten, executive
vice president of base chemicals and operations.

 

Nouryon, Atul Get Environmental Clearance To Set Up New MCA Facility in Gujarat

Mumbai—
Anaven, a 50-50 joint venture of Nouryon and Atul, has
received environmental clearance for a new monochloroacetic
acid (MCA) plant to be built in Gujarat, India (PCN,
22-29 Apr 2010, p 3).
The facility, which will become the “largest” MCA unit
in India, will have an initial production capacity of 32,000
t/y of MCA and has been designed for future expansion to
60,000 t/y, the companies noted.
Construction and testing of the plant is scheduled to be
completed this year and full production capacity is expected
to be reached in the first half of 2021.
Atul will supply chlorine and hydrogen to the new facility.
It will consume a portion of the MCA directly in its
own production and the remaining MCA will be supplied to
the Indian market.

 

AOC Reaches Agreement to Purchase Spolchemie’s Czech UPR Operations

Prague—Resins
and specialty materials supplier AOC has reached an
agreement with Spolchemie and Kaprain to acquire Spolchemie’s
unsaturated polyester resin (UPR) manufacturing
operations in Usti nad Labem, Czech Republic.
The plant, which has already been supplying resins to
AOC on a contract basis, features state-of-the-art UPR
production equipment and has “unique” capabilities for
manufacturing green resins based on recycled polyethylene
terephthalate, AOC noted.
The transaction, for which a value was not given, is expected
to be finalized in the fourth quarter of this year.
“This acquisition will give AOC a major leverage for
strengthening our market position in Central and Eastern
Europe, as well as in Germany,” said AOC Chief Executive
Joe Salley. “It enables us to ensure continued competitiveness
in the region.
“The acquisition proves our commitment to this industry,
helping us and our customers to build even stronger
relationships through supply security and continued technical
collaboration.”
Kaprain, a Czech investment group, is a majority shareholder
in Spolchemie.

 

AmSty’s PS Food Packaging Products To Contain 25% Recycled Content

The Woodlands—
AmSty has made a commitment that all products designed
for foodservice and food packaging applications will contain
25% recycled content by 2030.
The company plans to reach this goal utilizing a circular
recycling process, which is operating commercially at
Regenyx, its joint venture with Agilyx (PCN, 28 Sept 2020,
p 2).
Amsty and Ineos Styrolution recently announced plans
to build a joint facility for the advanced recycling of PS in
Channahon, Ill.
Engineering design is underway for the new 100-t/d
plant, which will utilize Agilyx’s advanced recycling technology.
An expected completion date was not given.
Agilyx will source and supply plastic waste feedstock to
the facility through its Cyclyx International subsidiary.

 

Clariant and Tianjin University to Partner On Research & Development of Catalysts

Tianjin—
Clariant Catalysts and Tianjin University (TJU) recently
announced a long-term strategic partnership that will focus
on the research and development of new catalysts for
the Chinese market.
The partnership, with an initial commitment of four
years, will establish the Clariant-TJU Academy.
“This pioneering academy offers our students opportunities
to gain industrial experience with Clariant’s scientists
and it enhances the industrial catalysis knowledge of
our researchers and faculties,” said Donghan Jin, president
of TJU.
“The cooperation also provides a way for us to commercialize
the joint research results using Clariant’s established
infrastructure.”
TJU is ranked number one in China in the field of
chemical engineering and technology by the Chinese Ministry
of Education.

 

Covestro Receives a ‘First’ Delivery Of Renewable Phenol from Borealis

Berlin—Neste
announced that Covestro, as part of a strategic cooperation,
has received a “first” delivery of 1,000 tons of renewable
phenol from Borealis (PCN, 1-8 June 2020, p 1).
The ISCC Plus mass balance certified phenol is manufactured
using ISCC Plus certified hydrocarbons produced
by Neste, which are produced entirely from renewable raw
materials. Covestro will use the phenol to produce polycarbonate
– as a replacement for part of the phenol previously
manufactured from purely fossil resources.
“We are delighted to see our renewable feedstock helping
Covestro to achieve this new milestone,” said Neste
President and Chief Executive Peter Vanacker. “It highlights
the drop-in nature of our product replacing fossil
crude and its fit for a continuously increasing number of
demanding applications.
“Furthermore, it clearly demonstrates how sustainability-
focused collaboration among frontrunner companies –
Neste, Borealis and Covestro – can make a positive impact
even within a complex value chain.”
Neste’s renewable hydrocarbons are suitable for existing
infrastructures and enable customers to produce more
sustainable products using their existing processes.

 

Ineos Styrolution Obtains Flemish Funding For ‘Remove2Reclaim’ Research Project

Berlin—
Ineos Styrolution said it is joining the research project “Remove2Reclaim
– Recycling of plastics and titanium dioxide
via advanced dissolution and separation techniques for
plastic additive removal,” and has received funding from
the Flemish Agency of Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
Working together with European research institutes,
the project aims to develop innovative solvent-based extraction
routes to remove additives, such as titanium dioxide,
from different polymer matrices and to reuse both the
titanium dioxide and polymer in new products, Ineos explained.
For Ineos, this dissolution route complements the existing
mechanical and depolymerization recycling projects.
Polymers targeted in the project include polystyrene (PS),
high impact PS and acrylonitrile butadiene styrene.
The Remove2Reclaim project is organized under the
umbrella of the Flemish spearhead cluster Catalisti. Research
partners include Ghent University, Katholieke Universiteit
Leuven, the Flemish Institute for Technological
Research in Mol, and Centexbel.

 

Elix Polymers, Repsol Reach Agreement For the Supply of Recycled Styrene

Madrid—Elix
Polymers and Respol have signed a circular economy partnership
agreement, in which Repsol will supply ISCC Pluscertified
recycled styrene to Elix on a regular basis from
2021.
The ISCC Plus certification, which Repsol obtained late
last year on all of its production centers for polyolefins and
other circular petrochemical products, will enable Repsol to
guarantee the traceability of the waste used.
In addition to the regular supply of the recycled styrene,
the agreement includes the possibility of developing
joint projects within the scope of the circular economy for
developing more sustainable solutions, Elix noted.
The deal with Repsol is part of Elix’s sustainability
strategy, which includes forming partnerships with raw
material suppliers that allow it to integrate increasingly
more renewable raw materials into its products, in addition
to high-quality, mechanically-recycled acrylonitrile
butadiene styrene and monomers from chemical recycling.

 

Huntsman Chooses Univar to Distribute Polyurethane Additives in the Americas

Chicago—
Univar Solutions has been selected by Huntsman’s Performance
Products Division as distributor of polyurethane
additives for the Americas.
Effective 19 Oct. 2020, Univar is distributor for Huntsman’s
JEFFADD Aldehyde Scavenger and JEFFCAT Catalyst
product brands.
“We are excited to build on our existing partnership
with Univar Solutions Inc., which will bring first-class experience
to our customers and help enable their success,”
said David Ming, vice president of Huntsman’s Performance
Products Americas business.

 

MOL Completes Rubber Bitumen Unit

Budapest—
MOL said it has completed a new $10-million rubber bitumen
plant at its site in Zala, Hungary, to meet increasing
demand.
The facility, based on MOL’s patented technology, is capable
of producing about 20,000 t/y of rubber bitumen using
3,000 t/y of rubber scrap (about half a million used
tires).
The Zala refinery produces regular, polymer-modified
and rubber bitumen.

V58 N40 – 19 October 2020

Arlanxeo Subsidiary Agrees to Divest Its Olefins Business to Mitsubishi

Sarnia—Arlanxeo
Canada, a subsidiary of Saudi Aramco, has executed an
agreement with Diamond Petrochemicals Canada, a subsidiary
of Mitsubishi Corp., in which Arlanxeo will divest
its olefins business to Mitsubishi.
Arlanxeo’s olefins business produces butadiene and raffinate
at the Bio-Industrial Park Sarnia in Ontario, Canada.
Current employees of Arlanxeo’s olefins business will
be transferred to Mitsubishi, which plans to continue operations
at the Sarnia site.
The transaction, for which a value was not given, is
subject to customary closing conditions, including required
regulatory approvals. Closing is expected in the first half
of next year.

 

Lummus Establishes New Green Business For Energy Transition, Circular Economy

Houston—
Lummus Technology announced it has formed a new business
entity, Green Circle LLC, to concentrate and expand
its capabilities and capture new opportunities in the energy
transition and circular economy.
“Green Circle will build on Lummus’ role as a leading
licensor of process technology for the refining and petrochemicals
industries,” the company noted.
“The business will leverage the experience gained in designing
and integrating plants with modern olefins production
facilities, to deliver technology that converts a wide
range of end-of-life plastics derived from solid waste to
value-added fuels or circular polymers for a true plasticsto-
plastics formula.”
Several options will be available for lowering the carbon
footprint of existing facilities, including through the production
of renewable fuels, bio-based chemicals and polymers;
technology for carbon dioxide capture, utilization and
storage, and sustainable hydrogen production.
Green Circle will cooperate with technology providers in
these areas and serve Lummus’ customers that are looking
to develop a comprehensive roadmap of sustainable process
solutions.

 

Tatneft Obtains Construction Permit For Normal Butane Processing Unit

Moscow—Tatneft
said it has received a permit for the construction of a
planned normal butane (n-butane) processing unit and associated
off-site facilities at its Minnibayevo gas processing
plant in Russia.
The 50,000-t/y n-butane unit, which will be used for the
production of solid maleic anhydride for polymers, is scheduled
for commissioning in 2023.
“Taking into account the current situation at the petroleum
market, gas processing and petrochemicals are becoming
the most important work area for our entire company,”
noted Azat Bikmurzin, director of the oil, gas and
petrochemical complex of Tatneft.

 

Shell and Linde Decide to Collaborate On E-ODH Technology for Ethylene

Berlin—Shell and
Linde GmbH said they have entered into an exclusive collaboration
agreement on ethane-oxidative dehydrogenation
(E-ODH) technology for ethylene production that will enable
the accelerated deployment of the technology across
the wider chemicals sector.
The catalytic process is an alternative route to ethane
steam cracking, offering the potential of economic advantages,
acetic acid co-production and a “significantly” lower
overall carbon footprint through electrification of power
input.
The companies have each been developing E-ODH for a
number of years. With this collaboration, the partners will
combine their complementary patent positions, expert
know-how and commitment to a lower-carbon future, the
companies noted.
Linde will be responsible for marketing the technology
to customers under the name EDHOX.

 

PCC Rokita Gets Additional EIB Funds To Support Its Planned Investments

Wroclaw—The
European Investment Bank (EIB) has granted PCC Rokita
an additional €22.5-million in financing, which PCC Rokita
will use towards its investment project that includes the
modernization and extension of its chemical installations
(PCN, 28 Jan 2019, p 1).
Its planned investments, estimated to cost €110.5-
million, include the further expansion and modernization
of chemical plants, such as a pilot plant for the development
of polyols and a pilot plant for the production of
phosphates and phosphites.
PCC Rokita will also use the financing for the expansion
and optimization of electrolysis production and a propylene
oxide plant, the construction of the Process Innovation
and Scaling Centre, and other investments aimed at
adapting existing infrastructure to increase its scale of operations.
At the beginning of 2019, the EIB granted PCC Rokita €45-million in financing for the projects.

Huntsman Cuts Geismar MDI Production

Geismar—
Huntsman announced it is experiencing a partial outage at
its diphenylmethane diisocyanate (MDI) facility in Geismar,
La., which is estimated to last about five weeks.
The outage is due to a mechanical failure at a thirdparty
raw material supplier, the company noted. An update
will be provided on Huntsman’s third quarter earnings
conference call on 29 Oct. 2020.
It is expected that the reduced operating rates will affect
the company’s fourth quarter adjusted EBITDA (earnings
before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization)
by around $15-million.

 

Shell Canada Decides to Cancel Plans To Sell Sarnia Manufacturing Centre

Sarnia—Shell
Canada has called off plans for the potential sale of its
Sarnia Manufacturing Centre in Canada, reported Reuters
citing a company spokeswoman.
“We have decided to stop actively marketing the Sarnia
Manufacturing Centre and its associated infrastructure,
which includes the refinery, chemicals plant, Sarnia and
Hamilton Distribution terminals and Shell’s 45% interest
in Sun-Canadian Pipeline,” the spokeswoman said.
“Shell will continue to operate these assets while maintaining
our market presence in Ontario and continuing to
honor branded supply and wholesale agreements.”
Shell announced in January 2019 that it was looking
for qualified buyers for its 75,000-t/y Sarnia refinery and
chemical plant (PCN, 14 Jan 2019, p 4).
According to Shell Canada’s website, the Sarnia Manufacturing
Centre makes propane, butane, pure chemicals,
benzene, toluene, xylene, liquefied petroleum gas, lowsulfur
gasoline, distillates, diesel, furnace oils, jet fuel and
heavy oils.

 

Sinopec Begins Ethylene Production At Zhanjiang Refinery, PC Complex

Zhanjiang—
Sinopec Zhongke Zhanjiang Petrochemical has achieved
on-spec production of ethylene, propylene and butadiene at
its integrated refinery and petrochemical complex in Zhanjiang,
Guangdong Province, China, reported Argus Media.
The complex includes facilities for the production of
800,000 t/y of ethylene, 400,000 t/y of propylene and
120,000 t/y of butadiene, as well as downstream units for
the production of 350,000 t/y of high-density polyethylene,
250,000 t/y/400,000 t/y of ethylene oxide, 100,000 t/y of
ethylene vinyl acetate and 200,000 t/y of polypropylene.
The $6.2-billion complex also includes a 200,000-b/d
crude oil refinery, which began operations this past June
(PCN, 22 June 2020, p 4).

 

Poseidon Plastics Gets Grant from UKRI To Construct Waste PET Recycling Unit

London—
Poseidon Plastics has received a £2.6-million grant from
UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), the national science
and research funding agency, to fund construction of a
waste polyethylene terephthalate (PET) recycling facility
at Teesside, UK (PCN, 18 Nov 2019, p 1).
The grant will be used to commercialize Poseidon’s
chemical recycling technology through the new plant,
which will initially be capable of processing 10,000 t/y of
waste PET. Construction is planned to begin in the second
quarter of 2021 and will be completed in 2022.
The recycling facility will redirect the equivalent of over
1-billion bottles per year out of landfills and the environment,
to instead be repurposed into consumer packaging
and other end-uses by Poseidon’s commercial partners.
Poseidon’s partners include Alpek Polyester, Biffa
Polymers and DuPont Teijin Films.
“By completing the supply chain from waste collection
and sorting to feedstock production and PET manufacture
through to consumer end-use goods, Poseidon and its partners
will achieve a UK-first, a fully circular economy for
PET plastic,” Poseidon noted.

 

Carbios Regrouping All of Its Activities To Michelin Site in Clermont-Ferrand

Paris—Carbios
recently announced it will move all of its activities to a single
site owned by Michelin near Carbios’ headquarters in
Clermont-Ferrand, France.
The facilities at the site will accommodate all of Carbios’
teams, which are currently spread over several locations.
They will include the development laboratory, the
pilot facility and the demonstration plant of the company’s
enzymatic recycling technology for polyethylene terephthalate
plastics and fibers (PCN, 6 July 2020, p 2).
Carbios’ demonstration plant was originally planned to
be built in Saint-Fons, France, and become operational in
June 2021. The project is now expected to be operational
in September 2021.
This collaboration with Michelin will support Carbios’
corporate and operational synergies to advance project development
and ensure technological and economic optimization,
Carbios noted.

 

Abu Qir Expanding Urea Production

Cairo—Abu Qir
Fertilizers (ABUK) is planning to increase the daily production
capacity of its ABUK-3 urea line in Egypt by 6% to
8%, according to Daily News Egypt.
The project, estimated to cost $80-million to $90-
million, will increase urea production capacity to 2,370 t/d
from 1,925 t/d currently. The expansion is planned to begin
at the end of this year and take about 24 months to
complete.
PCN recently reported that ABUK was proceeding with
feasibility studies for a new methanol facility in Ain Sokhna,
Egypt (PCN, 12 Oct 2020, p 2).
The $2.6-billion project would be implemented in two
phases and include the production of 1-million t/y of
methanol and 400,000 t/y of ammonia in the first phase. A
schedule was not given.

 

People on the Move

Cefic (European Chemical Industry Council)—
Martin Brudermüller, chief executive of BASF, has been
elected president of Cefic, effective immediately. He succeeds
Versalis Chief Executive Daniele Ferrari, who has
served as president of Cefic since October 2018.
Toray Plastics (America)—Christopher Voght has
been named general manager of the Torayfan Division. He
was most recently senior director of sales in that division.
Ingevity Corp.—Erik Ripple has become chief growth
and innovation officer and has joined the company’s leadership
team. He was previously president, Asia/Pacific,
and will continue to serve in that position until a permanent
replacement is named.
David Newton, most recently vice president of commercial
and growth, performance materials, has been named
vice president of strategy.
Spartech—John Inks, previously chief operating officer,
has been appointed chief executive.
Renewable Energy Group—Bob Kenyon has joined
the company as vice president of Sales & Marketing to replace
Gary Haer, who has decided to retire. Kenyon had
been president of Atlas Oil Co.

 

Borealis Signs Long-Term PPA with Eneco To Supply Production Plants in Belgium

Brussels—
Borealis has entered into a long-term power purchase
agreement (PPA) with sustainable energy supplier Eneco
to source renewable electricity from the newly built offshore
wind farm Mermaid for use in Borealis’ production
plants in Belgium.
The agreement, which begins in January 2021, involves
the purchase and supply of over 1,000 gigawatt hours of
wind power over the next 10 years.
By increasing the share of renewable power at its Belgian
production facilities, Borealis moves closer to its goal
of sourcing at least 50% of its electricity consumption from
renewable sources for its Polyolefins and Hydrocarbon &
Energy business areas by 2030.
The renewable electricity generated within the framework
of the PPA will reduce Borealis’ indirect carbon dioxide
emissions at its Belgian operations by about 20,000 t/y.
Eneco has an exclusive agreement with Mermaid to
procure the green energy it generates. Mermaid will be
fully operational at the end of 2020.

 

Wacker Investing in New Production Plants For Polymer Products at Its Nanjing Site

Nanjing—
Wacker Chemie plans to invest about $100-million in the
construction of a reactor for vinyl acetate ethylene copolymer
(VAE) dispersions and a spray dryer for VAE dispersible
polymer powders at its Nanjing, China, site.
The project, which will more than double Wacker’s production
capacity in Nanjing, is expected to come on stream
in the second half of 2022. Once complete, the plants will
be the “largest” of their kind in the world, the company
noted.
“China is the largest building market in the world, accounting
for 20% of all construction investment,” said
Wacker Chief Executive Rudolf Staudigl. “Our capacity
expansion in Nanjing strengthens our position as the
global leader for vinyl acetate ethylene dispersions and
polymer powders.”
Wacker also produces polyvinyl acetate solid resins at
the Nanjing site.

 

TechnipFMC, McPhy Ink MoU to Jointly Develop Green Hydrogen Technology

Paris—
TechnipFMC has entered into a memorandum of understanding
(MoU) with McPhy, a manufacturer and supplier
of carbon-free hydrogen production and distribution
equipment, to collaborate on technology development and
project implementation to accelerate green hydrogen.
Through the MoU, TechnipFMC’s Technip Energies
segment and McPhy will jointly address commercial opportunities,
work on integrating their respective offerings and
research and develop hydrogen technology. TechnipFMC
will also make an equity investment in McPhy.
The MoU established a collaboration framework for the
manufacturing and commercialization of hydrogen electrolysis
production systems for large industry, renewable
energy storage and large mobility projects, and hydrogen
distribution systems for large mobility projects.
Technip Energies has offered proprietary steam reforming
technology for over 270 hydrogen production plants
worldwide.

 

Recycling Technologies and Partners Agree To Further Develop Chemical Recycling

London—
Recycling Technologies, Neste and Unilever are combining
their expertise to further develop and harness chemical
recycling to recover and reuse plastic packaging that is
either incinerated, buried in landfills or exported from the
UK.
Recycling Technologies is currently building its first
commercial-scale chemical recycling plant in Scotland, UK,
that will use its RT7000 scalable patented technology that
recycles plastic waste into petrochemical feedstocks and
waxes, trademarked as Plaxx, for new plastic production
(PCN, 16 Mar 2020, p 4).
The three partners have been awarded a £3.1-million
grant from UK Research and Innovation, which will help
assist, support and refine the testing and any improvement
of Recycling Technologies’ new recycling facility.
In a three-year project, Recycling Technologies will
process plastic waste into Plaxx and deliver it to Neste to
analyze and test the quality and suitability for further upgrading
into high-quality drop-in feedstock for the production
of new, virgin-quality plastics.
Earlier this year, Neste and investor Mirova announced
a combined €10-million investment into Recycling Technologies
to allow for construction of the new Scotland recycling
plant.
At the same time, Neste said it had signed a joint technology
agreement and a Plaxx offtake agreement with Recycling
Technologies.

 

Dow, JM Win Lawsuit Against Shanjun Related to Their LP Oxo Technology

Beijing—Dow
announced that the Jiangsu High People’s Court in China
ruled that Shanjun Clean Energy Technology Co. (the defendant)
infringed the trade secrets of LP Oxo technology,
jointly owned by affiliates of Dow and Johnson Matthey.
The court ruled that defendant illicitly obtained and infringed
trade secrets owned by Dow Global Technologies, a
subsidiary of Dow Chemical, and Johnson Matthey,
through its Johnson Matthey Davy Technologies Ltd. subsidiary.
“Dow thanks the Jiangsu High People’s Court for its final
decision on this case,” said Yoke Loon Lim, president of
Dow Greater China. “The ruling demonstrates fair enforcement
of trade secret rights and commitments of the
U.S. and China’s Phase One Agreement and China’s commitment
to improve intellectual property rights.
“This enforcement is critical to protect the legitimate
operations and economic resiliency of domestic manufacturers
in China, the U.S. and around the globe. Dow will
continue to vigorously exercise our full legal rights to protect
our intellectual property in all countries.”
LP Oxo technology is a catalyzed low pressure process
for the production of oxo alcohols.

 

Lummus Picked by New Hope Technologies To License Waste Conversion Technology

Houston—
Lummus Technology has entered into a cooperation agreement
with New Hope Technologies, in which Lummus’ new
Green Circle business will be the exclusive licensor of New
Hope’s plastic waste conversion technology (see related
story, pg. 1).
“This partnership between Lummus and New Hope will
help reduce plastic waste through integrated processing
solutions for turning end-of-life plastics into pyrolysis oil,”
said Leon de Bruyn, president and chief executive of Lummus
Technology.
Under the terms of the agreement, Green Circle will be
the exclusive licensing party for this technology and will be
responsible for providing studies, basic engineering, technical
services, and proprietary equipment as part of the
technology transfer package.
New Hope has been operating a plastic waste conversion
plant for over five years in Tyler, Texas, with a design
capacity of 150 t/d.
“New Hope is excited to partner with Lummus to create
industrial scale waste plastic to circular chemicals plants
to address the over 1-million tons of plastic impacting the
environment daily,” noted Johnny Combs, chief executive
of New Hope.

 

Distributor Barentz Acquiring Maroon To Expand into Specialty Chemicals

Avon—Life science
ingredients distributor Barentz has entered into a
definitive agreement to acquire Maroon Group, a North
American specialty chemicals and life science ingredients
distributor.
The acquisition, expected to close this quarter, will expand
Barentz’s activities and is aligned with its strategy to
become a global leader in the life science and broader specialty
chemical industries. A purchase price was not disclosed.
“Our product portfolios are very complementary,” said
Barentz Chief Executive Hidde van der Wal. “We have no
conflicts of interest and we can learn a lot from each other.
“Maroon Group has significant scale in North America –
the biggest economy of the world, where we were small
until today. The combination will immediately make Barentz
a leading global distributor with an excellent opportunity
to establish new business segments in North America.
It is a natural combination that enables us to offer
quality and expertise to our combined customer base.”

 

Gevo Inks Deal with Total Cray Valley To Develop Renewable Isoamylene

Englewood—Gevo
and Total Cray Valley, a part of Total’s Polymers Division,
have signed a joint development agreement to upgrade fusel
oils from ethanol production into renewable isoamylene.
“This collaboration is a spin-off of Gevo’s chemicalbased
catalytic processes that selectively converts lowvalue
fusel oils, a mixture of alcohols that are byproducts
from fermentation processes such as ethanol or isobutanol
production, into renewable isoprene, ketones, aldehydes or
olefins,” said Gevo Chief Executive Patrick Gruber.
“Fusel oil from the ethanol industry alone equate to
about 2.5-million tons of potential bio-based waste feedstock
and this alliance will be another move towards the
delivery of low carbon sustainable chemicals.”
No other details of the partnership were given.

 

ADM & Spiber Announce Deal to Expand Spiber’s Bio-Based Polymers Production

Chicago—
ADM and Spiber said they have agreed to partner on expanding
the production of Spiber’s “innovative” Brewed
Protein brand bio-based polymers.
The polymers will be produced at ADM’s site in the U.S.
using plant-based dextrose as a feedstock, and then
shipped to Spider’s downstream facilities, where they will
be processed into an array of materials—primarily fibers—
for use in a variety of applications such as apparel, lightweight
auto parts, high-performance foams, and more.
The collaboration will combine Spiber’s structural protein
fermentation technology with ADM’s expertise in
large-scale fermentation technologies, engineering, operations
and extensive agricultural supply chain.
In 2019, ADM provided technical, engineering and
process support, along with access to production resources,
to help develop and test Spiber’s process at scale.

V58 N39 – 12 October 2020

Celanese Concludes Sale to Daicel Of 45% Interest in Polyplastics JV

Dallas—Celanese
announced it has finalized the sale of its 45% stake in the
Polyplastics joint venture to Daicel Corp. for $1.575-billion
(PCN, 27 July 2020, p 2).
Headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, Polyplastics manufacturers
and sells various types of engineering plastic and
polymers, including polybutylene terephthalate, acetal copolymer,
fiberglass reinforced polyethylene terephthalate,
cyclic olefin copolymer, liquid crystal polymer and polyphenylene
sulfide.
“The sale of Polyplastics is an intentional departure
from a legacy relationship to a more contemporary approach
to independently drive future growth, advance application
development with customers, and pursue highreturn
expansion opportunities for the benefit of Celanese
and its customers,” Celanese noted.

 

Shrieve Completes Acquisition of CLP’s Styrene Business Unit, Other Assets

The Woodlands—
Shrieve Chemical has completed the purchase of the styrene
business unit and other assets from CLP Chemicals
for an undisclosed amount.
Based in Houston, Texas, CLP specializes in the distribution
of styrene, acrylates, acetic acid, glycerin and other
niche chemicals. CLP’s glycerin business unit was not included
in the sale.
“The combination with Shrieve is an exciting inflection
point for the platform CLP has built in styrene, acrylates
and acetic acid,” said CLP President Chris Parker.
“With Shrieve’s support, we are excited to offer our customers
a substantially expanded product slate and serve
new customers with the same leading customer service the
market has come to expect from CLP. We are excited for
the growth opportunities this combination presents for our
customers, employees and suppliers.”

 

Pesco Wins Project Management Contract For BCC’s Russian Gas-Chem Complex

Moscow—
China National Chemical Engineering & Construction
Corp. Seven Ltd. has awarded a project management services
contract to Pesco for Baltic Chemical Co.’s (BCC) gaschemical
complex being built in Russia (PCN, 25 Nov – 2
Dec 2019, p 1).
The gas-chemical complex, which Pesco said will be the
“largest” in Russia, will be comprised of two ethylene
cracking facilities with a capacity of 1.4-million t/y each,
and will also include six polyethylene plants with 480,000
t/y of capacity and two sets of linear alpha olefin units with
137,000 t/y of capacity, PCN earlier reported.
Under the contract, Pesco will provide project management
for early works, LLI procurement and supply. Value
of the contract and a schedule for the project were not
given.

 

Lummus Awarded Technology Contract For Lukoil’s New PP Plant in Bulgaria

Burgas—
Lukoil Burgas has awarded a technology contract to Lummus
Technology’s Novolen business for a new polypropylene
(PP) facility to be built in Burgas, Bulgaria.
Lummus’ scope includes the technology license for a
280,000-t/y PP unit, as well as basic design engineering,
training and services, and catalyst supply. A schedule for
the project was not given.
Lukoil recently awarded a similar contract to Lummus
for a new PP plant in Kstovo, Russia, with 500,000 t/y of
provisional capacity for export (PCN, 7 Sept 2020, p 1).

 

ExxonMobil Plans Up to 1,600 Job Cuts Across Several European Affiliates

Irving—Exxon-
Mobil said it is anticipated that up to 1,600 positions would
be impacted across a number of European affiliates, as
part of its extensive global review announced earlier this
year (PCN, 23 Mar 2020, p 2).
In March, the company said it was looking to “significantly”
reduce spending as a result of current market conditions
caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and commodity
price decreases.
“Europe remains an important market for ExxonMobil,
as evidenced by recent major investments,” the company
noted. “However, significant actions are needed at this
time to improve cost competitiveness and ensure the company
manages through these unprecedented market conditions.”
The jobs would be impacted by the end of 2021. Country-
specific impacts will depend on the company’s local
business footprint and market conditions.

 

CAP & Vopak Setting Up JV Company For Industrial Terminal in Indonesia

Cilegon—
Chandra Asri Petrochemical (CAP) and Royal Vopak have
signed a letter of intent (LoI) to set up a joint venture company
for collaboration in the industrial infrastructure
business in Cilegon, Banten Province, Indonesia.
As part of the LoI, the two companies will explore storage
opportunities in supply networks to help grow existing
petrochemical value chains and lay the foundation for an
expanded industrial cluster in Cilegon.
Finalization of the LoI and setting up the joint venture
company are subject to final terms and conditions, including
customary regulatory and shareholder approvals.
The proposed partnership is part of CAP’s plan to develop
its second petrochemical complex in Cilegon (PCN, 27
Jan 2020, p 2).
The new complex would double CAP’s production capacity
from 4-million t/y to 8-million t/y with products ranging
from polyethylene, polypropylene, aromatics, mixed C4 and
pygas. Commercial operations are scheduled to begin in
2024.

 

CPChem Completes ‘First’ U.S. Production Of Circular PE on a Commercial Scale

Houston—
Chevron Phillips Chemical (CPChem) said it has “successfully”
completed the “first” U.S. commercial-scale production
of circular polyethylene (PE) using advanced recycling
technology.
The technology converts post-use plastics, including
many difficult to recycle plastics, into building blocks for
new chemicals. Circular polymers have the potential to be
repeatedly recycled into new materials, the company noted.
Following two years of exploring the technical viability
of creating circular polymers, CPChem is now working on
scaling up its production of circular PE to meet its production
plans.
Plans include working with several proven suppliers of
pyrolysis oil, the feedstock made from waste plastics, and
pursuing certification for the new PE through the International
Sustainability and Carbon Certification Plus approach
using their mass balance certification methodology.
“We are exceptionally proud to be the first company to
announce production of a circular polyethylene on this
scale in the U.S.,” said Jim Becker, vice president of polymers
and sustainability.
“The successful production run marks a huge step for
CPChem on our path to being a world leader in producing
circular polymers.”

 

Hengli Planning to Boost PTA Production With Two New Units at Site in Huizhou

Beijing—
Hengli Petrochemical plans to build two new purified
terephthalic acid (PTA) production plants in the Daya Bay
petrochemical park in Huizhou, Guangdong Province,
China, reported Argus Media.
The units, requiring an investment of $1.69-billion, will
each have 2.5-million t/y of PTA production capacity. Subject
to governmental approvals, operations are scheduled to
begin at the end of 2021. Once complete, Hengli’s total
PTA production capacity will increase to 16.6-million t/y.
The company recently started up a fifth PTA line at its
site on Changxing Island, Dalian, China, making Hengli
the “largest” PTA producing site in the world (PCN, 10 Aug
2020, p 1). All five PTA lines at Dalian utilize Invista’s
technology.

 

Lummus Gets Contract to Design, Supply Ethylene Cracking Furnaces for SGCC

Tashkent—
Lummus Technology has been awarded a contract by Enter
Engineering to design and supply four Short Residence
Time (SRT) ethylene cracking furnaces for the Shurtan
Gas Chemical Complex (SGCC) in southern Uzbekistan
(PCN, 3 July 2017, p 1).
The project will more than double ethylene production
at Shurtan’s facility, Lummus noted. No other details
were available.
“Our advanced SRT ethylene furnaces optimize reliability
in capacity, yield, run-length and energy efficiency,”
said Leon de Bruyn, president and chief executive of Lummus
Technology.
“We are grateful to continue our partnership at Shurtan
and look forward to working with Enter Engineering to
expand the ethylene production while reducing relative
emissions and operating costs at the Shurtan Gas Chemical
Complex.”

 

Abu Qir Fertilizers to Study Feasibility Of New Methanol Plant in Ain Sokhna

Cairo—Abu
Qir Fertilizers is moving forward with feasibility studies
for a new methanol facility planned to be built in Ain Sokhna,
Egypt, according to local news reports.
The $2.6-billion project, which would be implemented in
two phases, would include a production capacity of 1-
million t/y of methanol and 400,000 t/y of ammonia in the
first phase.
In the second phase, the company would add production
units for acetic acid, MTO and calcium ammonium nitrate.
A schedule for the proposed project was not given.
The facility is expected to be owned by Abu Qir Fertilizers,
Helwan Fertilizers and Al Ahly Capital Holding.

 

OTAGT Commissions Europe’s ‘Largest’ LPG Storage Tank for Ineos in Antwerp

Antwerp—
Oiltanking Antwerp Gas Terminal (OTAGT) announced
the opening of Europe’s “largest” liquefied petroleum gas
(LPG) storage tank, designed to store butane on behalf of
Ineos (PCN, 13 Mar 2017, p 4).
The 135,000-cu m fully refrigerated tank, located at the
OTAGT terminal, doubles OTAGT’s storage capacity. A
second tank with similar storage dimensions is currently
under construction at the terminal.
The new tank allows Ineos to import butane from the
U.S. and world markets to supply competitive raw material
to its plants at Koln, Germany. It will also provide Ineos
Trading & Shipping with options to trade butane in
Europe.
Oiltanking GmbH acquired OTAGT in 2016, as part of
its strategy to further expand its chemicals and gas assets
portfolio. The terminal is heavily integrated with the surrounding
industry and connected to all major pipeline networks,
Oiltanking noted.

 

People on the Move

Chevron Phillips Chemical Co.—B.J. Hebert will
join the company in the newly created role of executive vice
president and chief operating officer, effective 1 Nov. 2020.
He was most recently president of Occidental Chemical.
European Petrochemical Assn. (EPCA)—Hartwig
Michels, president of petrochemicals at BASF SE, has become
president of EPCA. He succeeds Arkema Chief Operating
Officer Marc Schuller, who will retain his seat on the
board.
TechnipFMC—Arnaud Pieton has been named president
and chief executive-elect of Technip Energies, effective
immediately. He was most recently president of Subsea
at TechnipFMC.
Energy Transfer—Mackie McCrea has been appointed
co-chief executive, effective 1 Jan. 2021. He has been serving
as president and chief commercial officer, and is a
member of the board of directors.
Tom Long, most recently chief financial officer, has
been named co-chief executive alongside McCrea, effective
1 Jan. 2021. He also serves on the board of directors.
Loop Industries—Sheila Morin has joined the company
as chief marketing officer. She was previously with
Cirque du Soleil Group as executive vice president and
chief marketing officer, Brands and Consumer Experience.

 

Aramco Partnership Produces and Ships ‘Blue’ NH3 from Saudi Arabia to Japan

Dhahran—
Saudi Aramco and the Institute of Energy Economics, Japan,
in partnership with SABIC, have successfully demonstrated
the production and shipment of “blue” (carbon free)
ammonia from Saudi Arabia to Japan for use in zerocarbon
power generation.
The Saudi-Japan blue ammonia supply network demonstration
spanned the full value chain; including the conversion
of hydrocarbons to hydrogen and then to ammonia,
as well as the capture of associated carbon dioxide (CO2)
emissions, Aramco noted.
SABIC will use 30 tons of captured CO2 in its methanol
production at its Ibn-Sina facility, while Aramco will utilize
20 tons of captured CO2 for enhanced oil recovery at its
Uthmaniyah field.
“At SABIC, we can economically leverage our existing
infrastructure for hydrogen and ammonia production with
CO2 capture,” said Dr. Fahad Al-Sherehy, vice president of
energy efficiency and carbon management at SABIC.
“Our experience in the full supply chain along with integrated
petrochemicals facilities will play an important
role in providing blue ammonia to the world.”

 

UPM Begins Construction in Germany On State-of-the-Art Biochems Facility

Leuna—UPM
has started construction on its new state-of-the-art biorefinery
in Leuna, Germany, that will produce a range of
100% wood-based chemicals (PCN, 3 Feb 2020, p 1).
The €550-million industrial-scale facility will convert
solid wood into 220,000 t/y of bio-based monoethylene glycol
and lignin-based renewable functional fillers, as well as
bio-based monopropylene glycol and industrial sugars.
Start-up is anticipated by the end of 2022.
“The biorefinery in Leuna will be the nucleus for an entirely
new and high-value growth business and opens totally
new markets for UPM with large growth potential for
the future,” noted Jyrki Ovaska, executive vice president of
technology at UPM.

 

Ube, Ebara Ink Deal with JGC to License Process for Gasification Chem Recycling

Tokyo—Ube
Industries, together with co-licensor Ebara Environmental
Plant Co., has signed an agreement to license their Ebara
Ube Process (EUP) to JGC for gasification chemical recycling
of waste plastics (PCN, 2 Sept 2019, p 4).
Developed in 2000, the EUP gasifies plastic waste using
partial oxidation with oxygen and steam to produce synthesis
gases that can be utilized in the synthesis of ammonia,
olefins and other chemicals.
A 70,000-t/y gasification facility utilizing EUP has been
operating at Showa Denko’s (SDK) Kawasaki, Japan, plant
since 2003.
Last year, Ube, Ebara, JGC and SDK began a study of
collaboration for an engineering, procurement and construction
business for plastic waste gasification facilities
using the EUP.
“The Ube Group is aiming to achieve an 80% reduction
of GHG [greenhouse gas] emissions by 2050, as part of its
mandate to engage in corporate activities that are in harmony
with nature, as outlined in the Ube Group Environmental
Vision 2050,” Ube noted.

 

Antwerp@C Partners Get CEF Grant To Reduce CO2 at Port of Antwerp

Antwerp—
Antwerp@C, a project being carried out by a consortium of
Port of Antwerp, Air Liquide, BASF, Borealis, ExxonMobil,
Ineos, Fluxys and Total, has been awarded a Connecting
Europe Facility (CEF) grant from the European Union for
a project to cut carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions at the Port
of Antwerp, Belgium.
Late last year, the partners signed a collaboration
agreement to study the feasibility of developing carbon
capture, utilization and storage infrastructure in the port
(PCN, 23-30 Dec 2019, p 4).
The CEF grant was awarded to carry out studies for a
liquid CO2 export terminal, a CO2 backbone within the
port and a CO2 cross border pipeline to connect to the
Netherlands.
The consortium aims to reduce CO2 emission within the
port potentially by half between now and 2030, the Port of
Antwerp noted.

 

Indian Government Extends Deadline Of EoI Submissions for BPCL Stake

New Delhi—The
government of India has extended the submission deadline
to 16 Nov. 2020 for expressions of interest (EoI) in acquiring
its 52.98% stake in Bharat Petroleum Corp. Ltd.
(BPCL), reported The Times of India.
This is the fifth deadline extension for submitting EoIs.
The first deadline was set for 7 Mar. 2020. A notification
from the Dept. of Investment and Public Asset Management
cited “requests from interested bidders and the prevailing
situation arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic” as
the most recent reason for the deadline extension.
The BPCL stake is valued at around Rs 50,000 crore.
The winning bidder will have to invest an additional Rs
30,000 crore for making an open offer, the report said.
BPCL operates four refineries located in Kochi, Mumbai,
Bina and Numaligarh, India, with a combined capacity
of 38-million t/y.

 

Yara, Orsted to Make Renewable Hydrogen For Producing Green Ammonia at Sluiskil

Antwerp—
Yara and offshore wind developer Orsted are planning a
project to develop a wind powered electrolyzer plant to replace
fossil hydrogen with renewable hydrogen for green
ammonia production at Yara’s Sluiskil plant in Zeeland,
the Netherlands.
The renewable hydrogen would be used to produce
around 75,000 t/y of green ammonia, approximately 10% of
the capacity of one of the ammonia plants in Sluiskil.
The project has the potential to abate more than
100,000 t/y of carbon dioxide, Yara noted. Subject to securing
public co-funding and a confirmed business case, a final
investment decision could be reached in late 2021 or early
2020, with operations planned to begin in 2024/2025.
“Green ammonia can be essential to enable sustainable
food production, in addition it is emerging as the most
promising carbon neutral energy carrier for several energy
applications, such as decarbonized shipping fuel,” said
Terje Knutsen, executive vice president and head of farming
solutions at Yara.
“Teaming up with Orsted in this project in the Netherlands
represents a major step forward in enabling Yara to
deliver on its strategic ambitions.”

 

AGIC and SKGP Adding IPA Facility To Proposed Saudi PDH, PP Project

Jubail—
Advanced Petrochemical Co.’s Advanced Global Investment
Co. (AGIC) subsidiary and SK Gas Petrochemical (SKGP),
a subsidiary of SK Gas Co., have decided to include an isopropanol
(IPA) plant to its planned propane dehydrogenation
(PDH) and polypropylene (PP) complex in Jubail Industrial
City, Saudi Arabia (PCN, 25 May 2020, p 1).
The project, now estimated to cost around $1.88-billion,
will include an 843,000-t/y PDH unit, based on Lummus
Technology’s Catofin technology, two 400,000-t/y PP
plants, which will utilize Spheripol and Spherizone technologies
licensed by Basell Poliolefine, and a 70,000-t/y IPA
unit.
Construction is scheduled to begin next year, with
commercial operations expected to begin by the second half
of 2024.
AGIC and SKGP signed a shareholder’s agreement this
past March to form a joint venture company, named Advanced
Polyolefins Co., which will build and operate the
new complex. Advanced Polyolefins will be owned 85% by
AGIC and 15% by SKGP.
SK Engineering and Construction will be responsible
for the front-end engineering design of the project, while
Fluor has been named project management consultant.

 

Covestro Launches New Production Line For Polycarbonate Films in Thailand

Bangkok—
Covestro has begun operating a new production line for
polycarbonate films at the Map Ta Phut Industrial Estate
in Thailand.
The project, which cost over €100-million, is based on
state-of-the-art technology and also included an expansion
of associated infrastructure and logistics to shorten delivery
times. It is the first step in a global expansion of the
company’s plastic film production, Covestro noted.
“The new production line is important to us because it
enables faster market launches and at the same times expands
our market access in Asia-Pacific,” said Dr. Thorsten
Dreier, global head of specialty films.
“Our most important goal is to intensify our cooperation
with customers in the region and to increase our efficiency.
We intend to drive growth in the plastic film business with
innovations and a stronger customer focus.”
Covestro is also expanding films production in Dormagen,
Germany. The project is scheduled for completion by
the end of this year.

 

Acron Revamping Veliky Novgorod Site; Will Boost Capacity of Four Urea Units

Moscow—
Acron Group said it has started a “major” overhaul of its
ammonia, urea, ammonium nitrate and nitric acid production
facilities at its Veliky Novgorod site in Russia.
The project will include upgrading four urea units at
the facility (units 1-4) to reach 2,000 t/d. An expected completion
date was not given.
Acron is also investing $34-million to expand its Ammonia-
4 unit at the site to increase output to 2,500 t/d
(PCN, 27 July 2020, p 1). Operations are scheduled to begin
in late 2020.

 

NextDecade Targeting Zero Emissions At Proposed Rio Grande LNG Facility

Houston—
NextDecade Corp. said it has developed proprietary processes
using proven technology to cut carbon dioxide equivalent
(CO2e) emissions by about 90% at its planned Rio
Grande LNG facility, and is exploring options to address
the remaining emissions to enable Rio Grande LNG to
achieve carbon-neutrality (PCN, 20 July 2020, p 4).
NextDecade has determined that carbon capture and
storage, in conjunction with its proprietary processes, is
the most feasible technical solution for the project.
The project had been planned to include six liquefied
natural gas (LNG) trains, each capable of producing 4.5-
million t/y of LNG for export.
This past July, NextDecade said it can now produce 27-
million t/y of LNG with just five trains instead of six.
Train 6 will be vacated. A final investment decision is expected
in 2021.

OQ Raises INA Capacity at Oberhausen

Berlin—OQ
Chemicals, formerly Oxea, has completed an expansion of
isononanoic acid (INA) production capacity at its site in
Oberhausen, Germany.
The project, which increased the company’s global INA
capacity by 30%, is part of its previously announced carboxylic
acid expansions.
“The additional volume will further enhance the flexibility
of our production platforms and improve reliability of
supply, allowing our customers to grow their business
across the whole acid portfolio for the next decade,” said
OQ Chief Operating Officer Dr. Oliver Borgmeier.

V58 N38 – 5 October 2020

LyondellBasell & Sasol Sign Agreement To Form Integrated PE Joint Venture

Houston—
LyondellBasell and Sasol have entered into a definitive
agreement to form a 50-50 integrated polyethylene (PE)
joint venture, which will operate under the name Louisiana
Integrated PolyEthylene JV LLC.
Through the new joint venture, LyondellBasell will acquire
a 50% stake in Sasol’s 1.5-million t/y ethane cracker,
its 900,000-t/y low and linear-low density PE plants and
associated infrastructure on the U.S. Gulf Coast for a total
consideration of $2-billion.
LyondellBasell will operate the U.S. Base Chemicals
assets on behalf of the venture. Both partners will provide
pro-rate shares of ethane feedstocks and will offtake prorate
shares of cracker and PE products at cost.
Sasol’s Lake Charles Research and Development complex,
Lake Charles East Plant ethane cracker and U.S.
Performance Chemicals Business assets in Lake Charles
are not included in the joint venture.
The agreement includes customary rights for each party
regarding the potential future sale of its ownership interest.
Subject to customary regulatory approvals and approval
by Sasol shareholders, the transaction is expected to
close by the end of 2020.
“This transaction represents a significant step for Sasol
in achieving its financial and strategic objectives by reducing
net debt and rapidly shifting the company’s portfolio
towards specialty chemicals,” the companies noted.

 

AOC Materials Concludes Purchase Of Ashland’s MA Business, Facility

Wilmington—
Ashland Global Holdings has closed the sale of its maleic
anhydride (MA) business and manufacturing facility to
AOC Materials for $100-million (PCN, 3 Aug 2020, p 1).
The business has a manufacturing plant in Neal, W.
Va., and was previously excluded from Ashland’s sale to
Ineos Enterprises of its composites business and butanediol
manufacturing plant in Marl, Germany.
“This sale furthers Ashland’s strategic focus on specialty
ingredients and improved margins,” said Ashland
Chairman and Chief Executive Guillermo Novo.

 

Polyplex Planning to Add Second Line For BOPET Film at Site in Decatur

Decatur—Polyplex
Thailand announced it plans to expand its U.S. operations
with an additional thin biaxially oriented polyethylene
terephthalate (BOPET) film line at its site in Decatur, Ala.
The $103-million project will involve installing a
50,000-t/y BOPET film line adjacent to the existing film
line and debottlenecking its resin plant to increase capacity
to 86,000 t/y from 58,000 t/y currently.
Construction is scheduled to begin in the first half of
2021 with production expected to begin in about 24 months
from now.

 

Shell Expects to Cut Up to 9,000 Jobs by ’22 As Part of ‘Major’ Restructuring Process

London—
Shell, as part of its goal to be net-zero in all its operations
by 2050, has announced a “major” restructuring process
that will affect its refineries, chemical sites, onshore and
offshore production facilities, and will result in a reduction
of between 7,000 and 9,000 jobs by the end of 2022.
The upstream business will be run to ensure a “strong”
cash flow. The company will continue to invest, but it will
not be about the quantity of oil or gas, it will be about how
much it adds to the bottom line. Upstream will be “critical”
to Shell, as it will provide the financial strength to invest
further in lower-carbon projects, Shell noted.
Refining will also be refocused. Shell will retain only
what is strategically essential to the company and integrate
those refineries with its chemicals business, which it
plans to grow. It will keep sites in key locations that have
the flexibility to adapt.
“It is also worth noting that, if we want to be a large
player in biofuels, a lot of the biofuel capability will be
built within our refining infrastructure,” said Ben van
Beurden, chief executive of Shell.
“We will end up with fewer than 10 refineries, compared
to 55 around 15 years ago, but they will be set up to
serve the changing needs of society.”
The company also plans to expand its integrated gas
business as the market grows.

 

IQ Receives Approval from Shareholders To Acquire Remaining QAFCO Interest

Doha—
Industries Qatar (IQ), at a virtual Extraordinary General
Assembly, received shareholders’ approval for the proposed
purchase of the remaining 25% stake in Qatar Fertilizer
Co. (QAFCO) from Qatar Petroleum (QP) for $1-billion,
according to a local news report.
The acquisition, which would make IQ sole owner, is
subject to regulatory and customary approvals. An expected
completion date was not available (PCN, 31 Aug
2020, p 2).
Also, as part of the same transaction, the board of directors
recently approved QAFCO’s purchase of QP’s 40%
interest in Qatar Melamine Co. (QMC), effective 1 July
2020.
In addition, QAFCO has entered into a new gas sale
and purchase agreement with QP from 1 Aug. 2020 until
31 Dec. 2035, that covers all of QAFCO’s gas requirements
for trains one through six and the facilities of QMC.
QAFCO, based in Mesaieed, Qatar, produces about 3.8-
million t/y of ammonia and around 5.7-million to 5.8-
million t/y of urea.
“The 25% ownership in QAFCO will return back to
Qatar Petroleum at the end of the term [31 Dec. 2035] for a
nil consideration,” said the report quoting Mohammed Jaber
Al Sulaiti, manager of the Privatized Companies Affairs
Dept. at QP.

 

Dow Shutting Down Several Facilities As Part of Its Restructuring Program

Midland—Dow
recently announced it is implementing a restructuring program
to reduce its global workforce costs by about 6% and
to rationalize certain manufacturing assets.
Dow will shut down certain amines and solvents plants
in the U.S. and Europe, as well as select small-scale downstream
polyurethanes manufacturing units.
It will also close mainly small-scale coatings reactors,
and will rationalize its upstream asset footprint in Europe,
the U.S. and Canada by adjusting the supply of siloxane
and silicon metal.
These actions are expected to result in total annualized
EBITDA savings of more than $300-million by the end of
2021.
Separately, Dow said it would complete the sale of its
rail infrastructure assets at six North American sites to
Watco on 30 Sept. 2020 (PCN, 13 July 2020, p 3).
The transaction, valued at over $310-million, includes
rail infrastructure assets and related equipment at Dow’s
sites in Plaquemine and St. Charles, La; Freeport and
Seadrift, Texas, and Ft. Saskatchewan and Prentiss in Alberta,
Canada.

 

TPPI Increasing Aromatics Capacity At Its Tuban Complex in Indonesia

Tuban—Trans-
Pacific Petrochemical Indotama (TPPI), a subsidiary of
Pertamina, is expanding production capacity for paraxylene
and benzene at its complex in Tuban, East Java, Indonesia,
according to Argus Media.
The project, part of a planned $180-million renovation
and maintenance program, will increase paraxylene capacity
from 600,000 t/y currently to 780,000 t/y and will boost
benzene capacity to 490,000 t/y from 360,000 t/y. TPPI will
also expand an upstream platforming unit at the site, increasing
reforming capacity to 55,000 b/d.
Existing equipment at the site has reached the end of
its lifespan and will be replaced with more efficient equipment,
which will result in the additional production capacity,
the report said. Production is expected to begin in
early 2022.

 

Hexion Agrees to Sell 3 of Its Businesses To Black Diamond and Investindustrial

Columbus—
Hexion has signed a definitive agreement with Black Diamond
and Investindustrial, in which Hexion will sell its
Phenolic Specialty Resins, Hexamine and European-based
Forest Products Resins businesses to the two firms for
about $425-million.
The transaction involves 11 manufacturing plants
worldwide and around 900 employees. Subject to regulatory
approvals and other customary closing conditions, including
consultation with the Works Council, the sale is
expected to be finalized in the first quarter of next year.
“We continue to strategically manage our portfolio providing
us the ability to further strengthen our balance
sheet and maintain a strong business going forward,” said
Hexion Chairman, President and Chief Operating Officer
Craig Rogerson.
“As we proceed, we will leverage our differentiated
technology and global manufacturing footprint to serve the
diversified customers of our remaining businesses.”

 

TechnipFMC Wins Shell Contract to Install New Ethylene Furnaces at Moerdijk Site

Moerdijk—
Shell has awarded a contract to TechnipFMC to install
eight new ethylene furnaces at Shell’s Moerdijk complex in
the Netherlands (PCN, 7 Sept 2020, p 4).
Under the contract, valued at between $75-million and
$250-million, TechnipFMC will be responsible for the engineering,
procurement and module fabrication for proprietary
equipment and related services for the furnaces.
Based on TechnipFMC’s innovative multi-lane radiant
coil design, the energy-efficient furnaces will replace 16
older units without reducing capacity at the site. Completion
is scheduled for 2025.
“We continue to invest in innovation, even in difficult
economic times,” said Shell Moerdijk General Manager
Richard Zwinkels.
“This investment . . . contributes to the reduction of
carbon emissions from our manufacture of chemicals and
to Shell’s ambition of becoming a net-zero emissions energy
business by 2050 or sooner. We aim to achieve our ambition
in step with society.”
The upgrade is expected to reduce Shell Moerdijk’s carbon
dioxide emissions by about 10% a year.

 

Cargill and Virent Partner to Evaluate Process to Produce Biofuels, Biochems

Madison—
Cargill and Virent announced that they are working together
to study the use of Cargill’s corn dextrose as a feedstock
to Virent’s BioForming technology for the production
of “drop-in” low-carbon biofuels and biochemicals.
The technology uses sugars found in plants as feedstock
to produce renewable gasoline and jet fuel, as well as lower
carbon biochemicals, including bio-paraxylene.
“We are working to scale up the BioForming process
and are very pleased to announce our work with Cargill to
study the availability of corn dextrose as feedstock,” said
Virent President Dave Kettner.
Once the study is complete, Virent will use the findings
to evaluate options for scale-up and the development of a
first commercial plant utilizing the BioForming process.
“The long-term objective is to use commercially available
feedstocks today as a bridge to next-generation lignocellulosic
feedstocks in the future,” the parties noted.

 

People on the Move

Toray Plastics (America) Inc.—Christopher Roy has
been has been named executive vice president and will
oversee the company’s Torayfan and Lumirror Divisions.
In addition, his role in providing support to Toray Films
Europe will be expanded. He was most recently senior vice
president and general manager of the Torayfan Division.
Matt Brown, general manager of the Lumirror Division,
has taken on the additional role of vice president of that
division.
Chris Nothnagle has been appointed senior director of
sales and marketing of the Lumirror Division. He has
been senior director of corporate marketing since 2017.
Sibur—Pavel Lyakhovich, previously head of the Plastics,
Elastomers and Organic Synthesis Division, has been
name head of the Basic Polymers Division. He will be succeeded
by Alexander Petrov, who was the former managing
director for economics and finance.

 

JJC, SVAP, Shenzhen Qianhai Gatsway End Jiangsu Jurong Petrochem Deal

Beijing—SunVic
Chemical Holdings’ Jiangsu Jurong Chemical (JJC) subsidiary,
SunVic Asia Pacific Investments Holdings (SVAP)
and Shenzhen Qianhai Gatsway Petrochemical have terminated
a framework agreement, in which Shenzhen Qianhai
would acquire a 100% equity interest in Jiangsu Jurong
Petrochemicals (JJP) from JJC and SVAP (PCN, 5
Sept 2016, p 3).
The agreement was terminated due to financial constraints
of Shenzhen Qianhai, and because of an explosion
last year in the chemical zone where JJP’s plants are located
in Yancheng City, China, which led to a government
shutdown of the chemical zone.
The transaction, which had an aggregate cash consideration
value of RMB 388-million, was to include a methyl
tertiary butyl ether facility and a jetty at JJC’s site in
Xiangshui, China.
JJC holds a 69% interest in JJP, while SVAP, an associated
company of SunVic Chemical Holdings, holds a 31%
stake.
With the continued shutdown of the chemical zone, the
management team of JJC doesn’t expect to be able to dispose
of JJP in the foreseeable future.

 

ABB Awarded Contract by MOL to Improve Asset Integrity Across Downstream Assets

London—
ABB said it has won a contract from MOL to transform
Asset Integrity Management (AIM) across four of MOL’s
key chemical and refinery sites in Hungary, Slovakia and
Croatia, in a move to drive production efficiency, improve
safety and reduce risk.
As part of the three-year project, ABB and Metegrity
Visions will integrate a common digital platform at the
Danube, Slovnaft, MOL petrochemicals plants and INA
chemical unit. The new solution will provide advanced risk
analysis of assets with a key aim of reducing unplanned
outages and lowering maintenance costs, ABB noted.
With the new AIM procedures, processes and systems,
ABB estimates that MOL will increase availability and
reduce turnaround duration leading to savings and production
improvements of around €10-million a year across
MOL’s downstream assets.
“The adoption of AIM will increase efficiency and transparency,
identifying the critical assets and focusing inspection
and remediation of risk with respect to safety and production,”
said Zied Ouertani, global technology manager
for Chemicals & Refining at ABB Energy Industries.
“This will enable MOL to base asset integrity investment
decisions on the equipment’s current condition, and
to make the switch from reactive to proactive maintenance.”

 

BASF Concludes Divestment to Lone Star Of Its Construction Chemicals Business

Berlin—
BASF has finalized the sale of its Construction Chemicals
business to an affiliate of global private equity firm Lone
Star for €3.17-billion (PCN, 3 Aug 2020, p 2).
The business, which has approximately 7,500 employees
and operates production sites and sales offices in more
than 60 countries, now forms the newly founded MBCC
Group, headquartered in Mannheim, Germany.

 

LyondellBasell Reports ‘Ambitious’ Targets, Focuses on Three Transformational Areas

Houston—
LyondellBasell has released its annual Sustainability Report,
in which it sets “ambitious” goals for the next decade
and focuses on three transformational areas, including
plastic waste, climate change, and thriving societies.
Specifically, the company aims to produce and market
2-million t/y of recycled and renewable-based polymers;
increase its investment in the recovery and recycling of
plastic; accelerate solutions to end plastic waste, and reduce
carbon dioxide emissions by 15% per ton of product
produced relative to 2015 levels by 2030.
It also plans to join the American Chemistry Council
and Plastics Europe industry peers to ensure 100% of plastic
packaging is reused, recycled or recovered by 2040.
In addition, LyondellBasell plans to advance diversity,
inclusion and equity in the workplace.
“LyondellBasell has been on a multi-year journey to advance
the circular economy and we have made strides in
mechanical and advanced recycling, as well as producing
renewable-based products,” said Jim Seward, senior vice
president, research and development, technology and sustainability.
“Our goals underscore what we see possible in the next
decade, and our sustainability ambitions require us to
adapt our business models. When viewed through the lens
of technology and innovation, our track record demonstrates
our capacity to advance new collaborations and
partnerships for the benefit of society.”

 

Mitsubishi Chemical America Completes Gelest Intermediate Holdings Purchase

New York—
Mitsubishi Chemical America, the U.S. subsidiary of Mitsubishi
Chemical Corp. (MCC), has concluded the acquisition
of all issued and outstanding shares of Gelest Inc.
from New Mountain Capital (PCN, 4 May 2020, p 4).
Headquartered in Morrisville, Penn., Gelest is a manufacturer
and supplier of specialty monomers, silicones, organosilanes
and metal-organics. Value of the transaction
was not disclosed.
“New Mountain Capital has been a terrific partner and
helped us to significantly grow the company over the past
three years,” said Gelest Chief Executive Ken Gayer. “We
now look forward to joining MCC where their capabilities
and breadth will allow Gelest to create even more value for
customers and opportunities for employees.”

 

Topsoe Changes Organization to Accelerate Development of Carbon-Neutral Processes

Lyngby—
Haldor Topsoe is establishing a new organization to support
its vision to be recognized as a global leader in carbon
emission reduction technologies by 2024.
“We have designed an organization with a clear focus
on accelerating the development of carbon-neutral technologies,
and it will be funded by continued delivery of
Topsoe’s globally leading solutions for energy-efficient production
of conventional fuels and chemicals,” said Topsoe
Chief Executive Roeland Baan.
The new organization, which will be effective 1 Nov.
2020, will result in approximately 200 job cuts. Many employees
will have new responsibilities as departments and
business areas are refocused.

 

Itochu, Borealis and Borouge to Jointly Study Uptake of Renewable PP in Japanese Market

Tokyo–
Itochu, Borealis and Borouge announced their intent to
jointly evaluate how to enable uptake of renewable polypropylene
(PP) in Japan.
“The developments of climate change are attracting attention
in Japan and overseas, and countermeasures are
urgently required,” the partners noted. “Under these circumstances,
Japan has formulated a basic plan to introduce
approximately 2-million tons of renewable plastic
products by 2030.”
This past March, Borealis began producing certified renewable
PP at its facilities in Kallo and Beringen, Belgium,
using Neste’s renewable propane as feedstock (PCN,
16 Mar 2020, p 1).
Itochu will move ahead with an expansion of the global
renewable plastics business, particularly in Japan and in
Asia. It plans to commercially launch Japan’s “first” food
containers, packaging materials and other products made
of renewable PP by the end of 2020.
“Itochu will actively use its group networks in Japan
and overseas to create a new business model in the domain
of renewable plastics and to accelerate actions towards
achieving a society for sustainable global development,”
the parties noted.

 

Toyota Tsusho Forms New Recycling Company To Turn Used PET Bottles into Raw Material

Tokyo–
Toyota Tsusho Corp., along with Utsumi Recycle Systems,
Chuo Warehouse and other firms, have established a company
in Japan that will sort, shred and wash used polyethylene
terephthalate (PET) bottles and recycle them into
raw material for new PET bottles.
The new company, Toyotsu PET Recycling Systems, is
expected to start operations in 2022. It is owned 65% by
Toyota Tsusho, 15% by Utsumi Recycle Systems, 12.5% by
Chuo Warehouse, and 7.5% by other partners.
“PET bottles disposed in Japan amount to 650,000 t/y,
with most exported overseas or recycled in Japan,” said
Toyota Tsusho. “However, due to import restrictions imposed
recently by China and Southeast Asian countries,
retention of used PET bottle [s] in Japan is expected to increase.
“With the announcement of PET bottle recycling policies
by Japanese beverage manufacturers, the creation of a
sustainable used PET bottle recycling system in Japan has
become an important issue.”

 

DSM Reaches Deal with Covestro to Divest Resins & Functional Materials Businesses

Heerlen—
Royal DSM said it has agreed to sell its Resins & Functional
Materials and associated businesses to Covestro AG
for an equity value of €1.6-billion.
The sale involves all of DSM’s Resins & Functional Materials
businesses, including DSM Niaga, DSM Additive
Manufacturing and the coatings activities of DSM Advanced
Solar. Completion is expected in the first half of
2021, subject to customary conditions and approvals.
“This sale builds on our approach of actively managing
our businesses, as DSM continues to evolve as a purposeled,
science-based company operating in the fields of nutrition,
health and sustainable living,” said Geraldine Matchett
and Dimitri de Vreeze, co-chief executives of DSM.
“The deal delivers strong value to DSM and is strategically
attractive for all parties.”

 

Agilyx Joins AmSty, Ineos and Trinseo To Explore Recycling Options for PS

Tigard—Agilyx
has decided to partner with AmSty, Ineos Styrolution and
Trinseo as technology partner to explore and optimize advanced
recycling technologies for polystyrene (PS), such as
depolymerization (PCN, 21 Sept 2020, p 2).
The parties, which have signed a non-disclosure agreement,
will develop and identify the best design and supply
chain approach to produce new high-value recycled products
from PS waste.
“We hope to signal to the industry, in particular to
companies along the value chain in a circular economy,
that we are very serious about circularity for polystyrene,”
said Dr. Randy Pogue, president and chief executive of
AmSty.
“Since 2018, AmSty and Agilyx have already worked
together in our joint facility in Tigard, Ore., using Agilyx’s
breakthrough pyrolysis technology. We are delighted to
see Agilyx join our program and couldn’t imagine a better
person.”

 

Affiliate of SK Capital Finalizes Purchase Of Baker Hughes’ Specialty Polymers

New York—
Funds advised by SK Capital Partners has concluded the
acquisition of the specialty polymers business of Baker
Hughes for an undisclosed amount (PCN, 3 Aug 2020, p 2).
The business, which has been renamed NuCera Solutions,
produces specialty low molecular weight olefin polymers,
including a range of differentiated functional polymers
and premium, high melting point polyethylene waxes.
It has manufacturing operations in Barnsdall, Okla.
Steve McKeown, most recently president and chief executive
of Galata Chemicals, has been appointed chief executive
of NuCera.

V58 N37 – 28 September 2020

EC Approves Ineos’ Planned Acquisition Of BP’s Chemicals Business for $5-Bn

Brussels—The
European Commission (EC) has cleared the proposed acquisition
of sole control of BP’s chemicals business by the
Ineos Group, both of the UK, for a total consideration of $5-
billion (PCN, 6 July 2020, p 1).
The sale, mainly consisting of BP’s aromatics and acetyls
businesses, includes assets, technology and licenses, as
well as related assets. The transaction is expected to be
finalized by the end of the year.
BP’s aromatics business produces paraxylene and purified
terephthalic acid (PTA). Its largest manufacturing
plants are in China, the U.S. and Belgium, and it licenses
PTA production technology worldwide.
The acetyls business produces acetic acid and derivatives.
It has a diverse base with manufacturing facilities
in the U.S., UK, China, Korea, Taiwan and Malaysia. The
sale includes related interests, such as the chemical recycling
technology, BP Infinia, and BP’s stake in acetylated
wood developer Tricoya.
The commission concluded that the transaction would
raise no competition concerns given the presence of several
other well-established competitors in all of those markets.

 

IndianOil Expanding Gujarat Refinery; Will Add Petrochemicals Production

Gujarat—Indian
Oil Corp. (IndianOil) has received board approval to implement
a project that will increase capacity of its Gujarat
refinery in India and involves building new petrochemical
units there (PCN, 9 Mar 2020, p 3).
The project, expected to cost around Rs 17,825 crore,
will boost refining capacity to 18-million t/y from 13.7-
million t/y currently.
In addition, IndianOil will build a new 500,000-t/y polypropylene
plant at the site, as well as a 235,000-t/y lube oil
base stock unit.
PCN earlier reported that the project was expected to
take two years to complete.

 

PTTGCA Secures Ethane for Proposed Olefins Cracker Project with Daelim

Belmont—PTT
Global Chemical America (PTTGCA) has signed a longterm
ethane supply agreement with Range Resources for
its proposed world-scale olefins cracker project with
Daelim Chemical USA in Belmont County, Ohio (PCN, 4
May 2020, p 2).
Under the agreement, contingent upon PTTGCA and
Daelim reaching a final investment decision, Range will
supply 15,000 b/d of ethane to the multi-billion dollar project,
which would include a 1.5-million-t/y ethane cracker
for the production of ethylene, linear low-density polyethylene
(PE) and high-density PE.
Technip and Ineos earlier agreed to supply technologies
for the new plants. A final investment decision is expected
early next year.

 

Lummus Wins Master Licensor Contract For DRPIC’s New PC Complex in Oman

Duqm—
Duqm Refinery and Petrochemical Industries Co. (DRPIC),
a joint venture of OQ SAOC and Kuwait Petroleum Europe
BV, has awarded Lummus Technology a master licensor
contract for its planned Duqm Petrochemicals Project in
Duqm, Oman (PCN, 21 Sept 2020, p 1).
Under the contract, Lummus will be responsible for
technology licensing, process design package, training and
advisory services, and proprietary catalyst and equipment
supply.
The project includes a 48-million-cu m/d natural gas-toliquids
unit licensed by Lummus to Oman Oil Facilities
Development, a wholly-owned subsidiary of OQ, a 1.6-
million-t/y ethylene plant, a 161,000-t/y butadiene extraction
unit, a CDMtbe unit with 145,000 t/y of methyl tertiary
butyl ether capacity and a 1-butene separation plant,
licensed to DRPIC, with 51,000 t/y of 1-butene capacity.
Duqm Petrochemicals Project is the second stage of
DRPIC’s integrated refinery and petrochemical complex.
Value of the contract and an expected completion date
were not available.

 

Hengli Starts Up 7 Polybed PSA Units At Its Fully Integrated Site in Dalian

Dalian—Honeywell
UOP announced that Hengli Petrochemical Co. has
begun operating seven new UOP Polybed pressure swing
adsorption (PSA) units for the supply of high-purity hydrogen
for petrochemical production at its fully integrated site
in Dalian, Liaoning, China.
Hengli will use the PSA units in downstream hydrotreating
to create feedstock for petrochemical products
(plastics and other chemicals), producing about 1.4-million
normal cu m/hr of hydrogen.
The skid-mounted, modular units use UOP’s proprietary
adsorbents to remove impurities at high pressure from
hydrogen-containing process streams, allowing hydrogen to
be recovered and upgraded to more than 99.9% purity.
In addition to recovering and purifying hydrogen from
steam reformers and refinery off-gases, the Polybed PSA
system can be used to produce hydrogen from other sources
such as ethylene off-gas, methanol off-gas and partialoxidation
synthesis gas.

 

SIIG, Petrochem Get Board Ok to Discuss Potential Merger of the Two Companies

Riyadh—
Saudi Industrial Investment Group (SIIG) and National
Petrochemical Co. (Petrochem) have both received approval
from their board of directors to begin initial talks to study
the economic feasibility of merging the two companies.
SIIG, which own a 50% interest in Petrochem, said an
agreement has not yet been reached on the final structure
of the potential deal, and that entering into the study does
not necessarily mean a deal will take place.

 

AmSty, Ineos Styrolution Plan to Build New PS Recycling Facility in Illinois

Joliet—AmSty
and Ineos Styrolution announced plans to build a joint facility
for the advanced recycling of polystyrene (PS) in
Channahon, Ill.
The new 100-t/d plant, which will utilize Agilyx’s advanced
recycling technology, will recycle post-use PS products
back into virgin-equivalent styrene monomer. Engineering
design is already under way. Cost of the project
and an expected completion date were not given.
In 2018, AmSty and Agilyx formed their Regenyx joint
venture to advance the development of a similar facility in
Tigard, Ore., using Agilyx’s pyrolysis technology (PCN, 1-8
June 2020, p 2). The Channahon plant will be engineered
on a larger-scale.
Agilyx has agreed to source and supply plastic waste
feedstock for the new facility through its recently formed
Cyclyx International subsidiary (PCN, 6 July 2020, p 4).
“In addition to the technology, we have developed a feedstock
management system, which is just as important as
the technology in developing the supply chain for this new
market,” said Cyclyx President Joe Vaillancourt.
“The overreaching goal of Cyclyx is to dramatically increase
the recyclability of post-use plastics with a priority
for fully circular pathways, as well as assisting in the development
of new supply chains that will aggregate and
preprocess larger volumes of post-use plastics than current
systems.”

 

Ineos Signs Deal to Purchase Green Energy To Power Its Production Sites in Belgium

Antwerp—
Ineos has finalized a 10-year agreement with Engie for the
purchase of renewable electricity from the Norther offshore
windfarm in the North Sea to be used at Ineos’ production
sites in Belgium.
Under the contract, Engie will supply Ineos with 84
megawatts of renewable energy from 1 Jan. 2021, which
will initially be used by existing Ineos production sites and
later by Project One, Ineos’ planned investment in two
state-of-the-art plants in Antwerp for the production of
ethylene and propylene (PCN, 8 July 2019, p 1).
Project One, estimated to cost €3-billion, will include an
ethane cracker and a propane dehydrogenation unit, based
on McDermott’s Lummus Catofin technology, with a
nameplate capacity of 750,000 t/y of propylene. Commissioning
is expected in 2023.
The deal with Engie will reduce the company’s carbon
footprint in Belgium by more than 1-million tons of carbon
dioxide, Ineos noted.

 

BASF-YPC JV Concludes NPG Expansion At Its State-of-the-Art Site in Nanjing

Nanjing—
BASF-YPC, a 50-50 joint venture of BASF and Sinopec,
has expanded production capacity for neopentyl glycol
(NPG) at its state-of-the-art Verbund site in Nanjing,
China (PCN, 30 Sept 2019, p 3).
The project increased NPG capacity at the site to 80,000
t/y from 40,000 t/y, further strengthening BASF-YPC’s
market position, BASF noted.
BASF also has NPG production sites in Ludwigshafen,
Germany; Freeport, Texas, and Jilin, China.

 

MPL Gets Board Approval to Increase Indian Propylene Glycol Capacity

Chennai—Manali
Petrochemicals Ltd. (MPL) has received board of directors’
approval to increase propylene glycol (PG) production capacity
at its existing facilities in India.
The two-phase project, estimated to cost around Rs 150
crore, would increase PG production capacity by 48,000 t/y
to a total of 70,000 t/y.
In the first phase, the company will add 24,000 t/y of
PG capacity. Subject to regulatory approvals, completion
is expected to take 18 to 21 months.
The second phase, for which a schedule was not available,
will involve increasing PG capacity by an additional
24,000 t/y.
“The demand for PG in India is about 1 lakh t/y, which
is estimated to grow by 5% annually,” MPL noted. “Since
the current shortfall is met through imports, addition of
the above new capacity is expected to increase the domestic
market share of MPL and improve its operations,” said
Ramades Kothandaraman, company secretary.

 

Vinnolit Closing Schkopau PVC Facility

Berlin—
Vinnolit GmbH & Co. has begun consultations with the
works council at its site in Schkopau, Germany, regarding
shutting down the site’s paste polyvinyl chloride (PVC)
plant.
“The decision was driven by the plant’s lack of economic
viability and long-term competitive sustainability,” the
company noted.
Vinnolit will continue to supply customers from its larger,
backward-integrated sites at Burghausen, Gendorf
and Cologne, Germany.

 

Unipetrol Completes PE3 Unit in Litvinov

Prague—
Unipetrol announced the completion of its new highdensity
polyethylene (PE3) project at the Litvinov site in
the Czech Republic (PCN, 6-13 Apr 2020, p 3).
The first part of the 270,000-t/y facility, the line producing
natural PE, began operation in April 2020. The second
part of the plant, which produces black polyethylene, has
now been completed.
PE3 replaces the existing 120,000-t/y PE1 unit at the
site. Operations of the 200,000-t/y PE2 plant will continue.

 

People on the Move

Yara International—Lair Hanzen, currently executive
vice president of Yara Americas, has been appointed
special advisor to the president and chief executive.
Chrystel Monthean has been named executive vice
president of Yara Americas. She is presently executive
vice president, Yara Africa & Asia.
Fernanda Lopes Larsen, currently senior vice president
of indirect procurement, has been appointed executive vice
president, Yara Africa & Asia. All three appointments are
effective 1 Oct. 2020.
Venture Global LNG—Michael Sabel, a founder, cochairman
and co-chief executive of the company, has been
named chief executive.
Robert Pender, also a founder, co-chairman and co-chief
executive, will assume the new role of executive cochairman.
The new positions are effective 1 Oct. 2020.

 

Air Liquide Building New ASU in Tianjin For Growing Chemical, Steel Industries

Tianjin—Air
Liquide China said it will build, own and operate a new air
separation unit (ASU) in Tianjin, China, to supply oxygen,
nitrogen and argon to the growing chemical and steel industries.
The approximately €60-million project will have a production
capacity of over 2,000 t/d of oxygen utilizing stateof-
the-art technology, and is secured by a new long-term
supply agreement with a “major” customer, the company
noted. Operations are planned to begin in 2022.
Air Liquide already operates seven ASUs in Tianjin, as
well as a network of multi-sourced pipelines that supply
oxygen, nitrogen and hydrogen to nearby customers.

 

BASF Investing in Pyrum Innovations For Pyrolysis Oil from Waste Tires

Berlin—BASF SE
said it will invest €16-million into Pyrum Innovations, a
German technology company specialized in the production
of pyrolysis oil from waste tires.
The investment will support the expansion of Pyrum’s
pyrolysis plant in Dillingen, Germany, and the further roll
out of Pyrum’s technology.
Pyrum plans to add two production lines to its 10,000-
t/y pyrolysis facility by the end of 2022. BASF will uptake
most of the pyrolysis oil and process it into new chemical
products by using a mass balance approach, as part of its
ChemCycling project.
Furthermore, Pyrum intends to build additional tire
pyrolysis plants, together with interested partners, with
production capacities of up to 100,000 t/y.

 

Inter Pipeline Inks Deal with CLH to Sell Most of Its European Storage Business

Calgary—
Inter Pipeline has entered into a definitive agreement to
divest a majority of its European bulk liquid storage business
to CLH Group, a European bulk liquid product logistics
company, for approximately $715-million.
The sale includes all of Inter Pipeline’s bulk liquid storage
and handling assets in the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands
and Germany, which includes 15 storage terminals
and about 18-million bbls of storage capacity.
Subject to satisfaction of closing conditions and customary
regulatory approvals, the transaction is expected to be
concluded in the fourth quarter of 2020.
Inter Pipeline will retain its eight terminals in Sweden
and Denmark, comprising around 19-million bbls of aggregate
storage capacity.
“This is a very positive transaction for Inter Pipeline,”
said Christian Bayle, president and chief executive of Inter
Pipeline. “Monetizing a significant portion of our European
asset base enables us to focus resources on developing
our higher growth Canadian businesses.
“As such, proceeds from the sale will be used to reduce
debt, strengthen our balance sheet and assist with financing
our large capital expenditure program, including the
Heartland Petrochemical Complex.”
The estimated $4-billion complex, currently under construction
in Strathcona County, Canada, will convert
22,000 b/d of propane into about 525,000 t/y of polypropylene
(PCN, 11 May 2020, p 1). Start-up is expected by early
2022.

 

Borealis to Receive €250-Mn EIB Loan To Boost Plastics Circularity Efforts

Vienna—The
European Investment Bank (EIB) has granted a €250-
million loan to Borealis to support Borealis’ multi-year investment
program in the area of plastics circularity.
The loan will allow Borealis to intensify the development
of novel, polyolefins-based circular solutions at its
Innovation Centres in Austria, Sweden and Finland.
“Borealis has been at the forefront of industry efforts to
accelerate the transformation to a circular economy of plastics,”
the company noted.
“Its proprietary Borstar, Borlink and Borceed technologies
have recently been enriched by Borcycle, an evolving
technology that enables the production of high-quality recycled
polyolefins (rPOs), and the Bornewables, a portfolio
of circular polyolefins produced with renewable feedstock
derived entirely from waste and residue streams.”
“The promotion of circular solutions in the polyolefins
industry is aligned with our goals to accelerate the transition
to a circular economy, including for plastics, and to
support cutting-edge innovation,” said EIB Vice President
Ambroise Fayolle.
“We are happy to continue and intensify our collaboration
with Borealis AG by signing our largest transaction
together so far. As the EU’s climate bank, we are eager to
support private sector partners that are committed to environmental
sustainability.”

 

Solvay to Curtail H202 in Western Europe Under Peroxides for the Future Program

Brussels—
Solvay has launched its new Peroxides for the Future
(P4F) program, a multi-year plan to adapt its industrial
footprint to meet customers’ needs, and said it plans to
curb hydrogen peroxide (H202) production capacity in
Western Europe.
Under the P4F program, H2O2 production capacity in
Western Europe will be curtailed by 70,000 t/y, as of 1 Jan.
2021. The company will make H202 capacity available in
new areas using Solvay’s proprietary technologies, in particular
its My H202, which involves mini satellite plants on
customers’ sites.
“The EMEA [Europe, Middle East and Africa] hydrogen
peroxide market has been developing at an accelerated
pace during the COVID-19 crisis,” Solvay noted. “While
the overall market remains strong, market segments and
sub-regions reacted differently to the crisis.
“Our traditional segments . . . are accelerating their decline,
whereas other applications’ growth has been boosted.
As a result, the H2O2 demand footprint is changing rapidly,
with significant additional volume of H2O2 needed in
new geographical areas and encouraging signs of a healthy
global peroxides demand for the years ahead.”

 

Evonik Considering Sale of SAP Business

Berlin—
Evonik is planning a possible sale of its superabsorbents
(SAP) business in about six to nine months, reported
Reuters citing the company.
“After an organizational carve-out, Evonik would put
the business up for sale, seek a partner or restructure it
further,” said the report citing a spokesman.
The SAP business is part of Evonik’s Nutrition & Care
Division.

 

Total Converting Grandpuits Refinery Into Platform for Biofuels, Bioplastics

Paris—Total
announced it is investing over €500-million to turn its
Grandpuits refinery in Seine-et-Marne, France, into a zerocrude
platform for biofuels and bioplastics.
Specifically, the new platform will focus on four new industrial
activities: the production of renewable diesel, the
production of bioplastics, plastics recycling, and the operation
of two photovoltaic solar power plants, which will contribute
to Total’s ambition to provide green electricity to all
of its industrial sites in Europe.
Total will build a new renewable diesel unit, primarily
for the aviation industry, which will be able to process
400,000 t/y, with potential production of 170,000 t/y of
aviation fuel, 120,000 t/y of renewable diesel and 50,000 t/y
of naphtha for use in bioplastics.
Total Corbion PLA, a 50-50 joint venture of Total and
Corbion, will construct Europe’s “first” polylactic acid
manufacturing plant with 100,000 t/y of production capacity.
Operations are expected to begin in 2024.
The new plastics recycling facility, which will be built
by Total (60%) and Plastic Energy (40%), will convert plastic
waste into Tacoil through a pyrolysis melting process.
The Tacoil will then be used for the production of polymers
with identical properties to virgin polymers. The unit will
help Total meet its goal of producing 30% of its polymers
from recycled materials by 2030.
The decision to end oil refining at Grandpuits follows a
audit conducted on the Ile-de-France pipeline (PLIF),
which carries crude oil from the Port of La Havre to the
refinery.
Last year, a leak on the PLIF forced the refinery to shut
down for over five months, following an earlier leak in
2014. The PLIF’s maximum working pressure was reduced
to guarantee safe operation. As a result, the refinery could
only operate at 70% capacity, threatening its long-term
financial viability, the company explained.
In order to restore normal operations at the refinery the
company would have to spend nearly €600-million, therefore,
Total has decided to end oil refining at Grandpuits in
the first quarter of 2021 and transform the site. Storage of
petroleum products will be discontinued in late 2023.
“With the industrial repurposing of the Grandpuits refinery
into a zero-crude platform focused on energies of the
future connected with biomass and the circular economy,
Total is demonstrating its commitment to the energy transition
and reaffirming its ambition to achieve carbon neutrality
in Europe by 2050,” said Bernard Pinatel, president
of Total Refining & Chemicals.

 

Stepan Finalizes Purchase of Clariant’s Mexican Surfactant Business, Assets

Santa Clara—
Stepan Co., through subsidiaries in Mexico, has completed
the acquisition of Clariant (Mexico) SA de CV’s anionic
surfactant business and associated sulfation equipment in
Santa Clara, Mexico, for an undisclosed amount (PCN, 20
July 2020, p 4).
“This acquisition supports Stepan’s growth strategy in
Latin America and enhances our ability to support our customers’
growth in the Mexican consumer and functional
markets for surfactants,” noted F. Quinn Stepan Jr.,
chairman, president and chief executive of Stepan.
“We look forward to transitioning customers’ supply to
Stepan’s Ecatepec and Matamoros, Mexico, facilities over
the coming months.”

 

Messer Building New ASU in Vila-Seca To Supply Oxygen, Nitrogen & Argon

Tarragona—
Messer will invest over €35-million to construct a new air
separation unit (ASU) in Vila-seca, Spain, to supply customers
with oxygen, nitrogen and argon.
The 2,400-t/d plant, scheduled for commissioning in December
2021, will be connected to the Messer pipeline network
to meet the growing oxygen and nitrogen demand of
the chemical industry in Tarragona.
The ASU will be based on the “most advanced” technology,
noted Stefan Messer, owner and chief executive of
Messer Group GmbH.

 

PetroChemical News Briefs

Fateh Kimia Petrochemical will build a new 120,000-
t/y methanol to propylene plant in Iran, NIPNA reported.
Petrochemical Research and Technology Co. plans to sign
and agreement with Fateh for license transfer, process engineering
and basic engineering for the project. No other
details were given.
Indorama Ventures updated that its site in Port
Neches, Texas, was not damaged due to Hurricane Laura’s
landfall on 27 Aug. 2020. Utility supplies are largely reinstated
in the area from its suppliers and it has already restarted
most operating units.
ICIS and Tecnon Orbichem have scheduled a World
Chlor-alkali Virtual Conference on 21-22 Oct. 2020. For
more information, contact ICIS by phone at 44 (0) 20 8652
4659, email events.registration@icis.com or visit online at
www.icisevents.com/worldchloralkali.
Sasol has completed damage assessments from Hurricane
Laura at its Lake Charles Chemical Complex in
Louisiana. There is no apparent damage to major process
equipment, utilities or infrastructure. This will be confirmed
once power is completely restored and all systems
are tested.
Air Products announced a new sustainability goal,
“Third by ’30,” to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions intensity
by one-third by the year 2030 from a 2015 baseline.

 

 

V58 N36 – 21 September 2020

Baltic Chemical Selects Axens’ Technology For New Russian Gas Chemical Facility

Moscow—
Baltic Chemical, a wholly-owned subsidiary of RusGaz-
Dobycha, has entered into an agreement with Axens to
utilize its technology for a new gas chemical complex near
Ust-Luga, Russia (PCN, 15 June 2020, p 3).
The gas chemical complex, part of an ethane-containing
gas processing complex, will include two ethane cracking
plants with a capacity of 1.4-million t/y of ethylene each, as
well as six polyethylene (PE) reactor lines, each designed
to have a capacity of 500,000 t/y. Completion is scheduled
for 2024.
Under the deal, Axens will provide AlphaButol technology
for the production of 120,000 t/y of high-purity 1-
butene by ethylene dimerization and it will supply Alpha-
Hexol technology for the production of 50,000 t/y of highpurity
1-hexene by ethylene trimerization. Both comonomers
are used in various types of PE.
Axen will also be responsible for the transfer of the license,
the process book, several chemicals (catalysts and
adsorbents), proprietary equipment, training for Baltic
employees and technical support.
“Conclusion of an agreement for the supply of technology
for the production of alpha-olefins is the completion of
the next significant stage in the project,” said Konstantin
Makhov, general director of Baltic Chemical.

 

Hafnia & Partner Investing in NWIW’s Methanol Export Plant in Washington

Kalama—
Hafnia, part of international shipping group BW Group,
together with a strategic joint venture partner, is investing
$10-million in Northwest Innovation Works’ (NWIW)
methanol production and export facility planned at the
Port of Kalama in Washington (PCN, 22 June 2020, p 2).
Estimated to cost more than $2-billion, the plant will
convert regionally-sourced natural gas into approximately
3.6-million t/y of methanol for export to Asia.
Hafnia will provide and operate purpose-built, nextgeneration
methanol dual-fueled ships to transport onethird
of the methanol volume produced by the facility. The
vessels will be on 19-year charters with a satisfactory
guaranteed return during the period, Hafnia noted.
Methanol produced by the facility will displace more
carbon-intensive, coal-based methanol, resulting in greenhouse
gas (GHG) reductions globally. NWIW will offset
100% of its GHG emissions from both direct and indirect
sources within Washington state.

 

Clariant Building ‘State-of-the-Art’ Site For Catalysts Production in Jiaxing

Shanghai—
Clariant announced plans to build a new “state-of-the-art”
catalyst production site at the Dushan Port Economic Development
Zone in Jiaxing, Zhejiang Province, China.
The facility will be primarily responsible for producing
Catofin propane dehydrogenation catalysts for olefins production.
Construction is scheduled to start this quarter,
with full production capacity expected by 2022.
“The Jiaxing Catofin plant is a key component of our
China strategy and further improves our commitments to
the country’s growing PDH market,” noted Stefan Heuser,
senior vice president and general manager at Clariant
Catalysts.

 

DRPIC Chooses OQ Chemicals’ Technology For Ethylene, Propylene Derivatives Units

Duqm—
OQ Chemicals, formerly Oxea, will license its advanced
proprietary technology to Duqm Refinery and Petrochemical
Industries Co. (DRPIC) for the production of ethylene
and propylene derivatives at a planned grassroots petrochemical
complex in Duqm, Oman (PCN, 31 Aug 2020, p 1).
OQ has entered into the design phase for five worldscale
units for the production of propanol, butyraldehyde,
neopentyl glycol, 2-ethylhexanol (2EH) and 2EH acid. Capacities
of the plants were not given.
As part of the agreement, OQ will supply a process design
package and support contractors during the design
and construction phases. Once the units are commissioned,
it will provide support for operations, maintenance,
troubleshooting, training, and ongoing process optimization
at the site.
The petrochemical complex, the second phase of
DRPIC’s integrated refinery and petrochemical complex,
will include a mixed-feed steam cracker with a production
capacity of 1.6-million t/y of ethylene, production units for
hydrogen, syngas, methanol and other petrochemicals and
associated facilities. A schedule was not available.

 

Nan Ya Plastics Increasing EG Production With Construction of New Unit in Texas

Houston—
Nan Ya Plastics, a subsidiary of Formosa Plastics Group,
announced it is building a new plant to boost ethylene glycol
(EG) production at its site in Point Comfort, Texas.
The third-phase project, requiring an additional investment
of $160-million, will increase EG capacity to
800,000 t/y from 360,000 t/y currently, according to Taipei
Times. Construction is already underway and operations
are scheduled to begin in December 2020.
Nan Ya Plastics had expected to complete the project in
the first half of this year; however, construction was delayed
due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The company has invested a total of $437-million in the
project.

 

Hengyi Petrochem Plans Second Phase Of Brunei Refinery and PC Complex

Brunei Bay—
Hengyi Petrochemical Co., in a recent stock exchange filing,
announced plans to invest $13.65-billion in the second
phase of a refinery and petrochemical complex at Palau
Muara Besar, Brunei, Reuters reported.
The project will include a 280,000-b/d crude oil refinery,
a 1.65-million-t/y ethylene facility, a 2-million-t/y paraxylene
plant and a 2.5-million-t/y purified terephthalic acid
facility. Construction is expected to last three years. A
completion date was not available.
The first phase, which began operations at the site last
year, included a 160,000-b/d crude oil refinery, a 1-milliont/
y aromatics facility and a 500,000-t/y benzene unit (PCN,
16 Sept 2019, p 3).
Hengyi Industries is a joint venture of Zhejiang Hengyi
Group (70%) and Damai Holdings, a subsidiary of the
Brunei government’s Strategic Development Capital Fund
(30%).

 

Dow Strikes Deal with Vopak JV to Divest Certain U.S. Marine and Terminal Assets

Midland—
Dow said it has entered into a definitive agreement with
Vopak Industrial Infrastructure Americas, a joint venture
of Royal Vopak and BlackRock’s Global Energy & Power
Infrastructure Fund, to sell certain marine and terminal
operations and assets on the U.S. Gulf Coast.
The $620-million transaction includes the marine and
storage terminal operations and assets at Dow’s sites in
Plaquemine and St. Charles, La., and in Freeport, Texas.
In addition, Dow and Vopak Industrial Infrastructure
Americas have entered into long-term service agreements,
ensuring “reliable and cost-advantaged” services for Dow’s
existing businesses at the in-scope site, Dow noted.
Planned to close in the fourth quarter of 2020, the sale
is subject to customary regulatory approvals and other
closing conditions in the U.S. and European Union.
“The transaction will enable Dow to deploy cash towards
value-enhancing opportunities in our core businesses
consistent with our capital allocation priorities, including
ensuring safe and reliable operations and paying
down additional debt,” said Dow Chairman and Chief Executive
Jim Fitterling.

 

ALPLA Acquires Site in Mexico to Build Facility for Recycling High-Density PE

Toluca—
ALPLA Group, a family-owned firm specializing in packaging
solutions and recycling, is planning to construct a new
high-density polyethylene (HDPE) recycling facility at a
site in Toluca, Mexico.
The project, estimated to cost around €15-million, is expected
to produce 15,000 t/y of HDPE recycled material for
non-food applications. Construction will begin this autumn,
with start-up scheduled for the second half of 2021.
ALPLA’s target markets are primarily Mexico, Central
America and the U.S.
“ALPLA has been demonstrating forward-looking action
in the field of recycling for many years,” said Georg Lasser,
head of recycling. “We invest in regions where the demand
for recycled material is not yet that high. In doing this, we
give used plastics value and act as role models for the
achievement of the circular economy.”

 

Ineos Styrolution, Trinseo & AmSty Join To Advance Circularity of Polystyrene

Paris—Ineos
Styrolution, Trinseo and AmSty have signed a joint development
agreement (JDA) to explore recycling options for
polystyrene (PS).
“This JDA represents the first global combined effort to
explore advanced recycling technologies, optimize them for
commercial use and call for all contributors along the value
chain to make circularity of polystyrene a reality,” the
partners said in a joint statement.
Each company has done its own independent research
and has invested in various projects to further the commercialization
of advanced recycling capacity. The partnership
will allow all parties to share best practices and
optimize recycling technologies for large-scale commercial
use (see related story, pg. 3).
“I am thrilled to see the industry coming together globally
to work on a common goal to realize true circularity for
styrenics,” noted AmSty President and Chief Executive Dr.
Randy Pogue. “This is a true win-win for all participants
in this joint effort and finally for our customers, for consumers
and for society.”

 

Thyssenkrupp to Supply PLAneo Process For New Polylactide Facility in China

Nanjing—
Thyssenkrupp has won an order from an unnamed client to
build a new polylactide (PLA) plant in South China based
on its patented PLAneo technology.
The facility, scheduled to begin operation in fall of 2021,
will produce 30,000 t/y of PLA, a compostable bioplastic
made from 100% renewable biomass, making it an “ecofriendly,
low-carbon dioxide and economic alternative” to
conventional oil-based plastics, Thyssenkrupp noted.
Thyssenkrupp will be responsible for designing the
plant and supplying the key components. Value of the contract
was not given.

 

People on the Move

Chevron Phillips Chemical Co.—Justine Smith has
joined the company as senior vice president of petrochemicals,
replacing Ron Corn, who is retiring. She was most
recently at BASF Corp., where she served as vice president
of intermediates, amines and specialties.
Borealis—Christopher McArdle has become vice president
of Polyolefins Strategy & Business Development. He
was previously EMEAI (Europe, the Middle East, Africa
and India) commercial director of Dow Consumer Solutions.
Dow—John Sampson, executive vice president of business
operations at Olin Corp., has been named senior vice
president, Operations, Manufacturing & Engineering at
Dow, effective 1 Oct. 2020. He succeeds Peter Holicki, who
will retire next year.
Venture Global LNG—Brian Cothran has joined the
company as chief operating officer. He had been chief executive
of The Flexitallic Group.
Euro Chlor—Wouter Bleukx has been appointed chairman
of the management committee for a period of two
years. He is also business unit manager for chlor alkali at
Inovyn.

 

Balmoral Funds’ Affiliate to Buy & Operate FHR’s Expandable PS Business in Illinois

Peru—An
affiliate of Balmoral Funds LLC has entered into a definitive
agreement to purchase and operate Flint Hills Resources’
(FHR) expandable polystyrene (EPS) business in
Peru, Ill., through a management buyout led by industry
veteran Brad Crocker.
“Flint Hills Resources made meaningful and critical investments
in the Peru EPS business over the years, which
allowed us to grow and improve,” said Chris Eager, plant
manager at Flint Hills Resources Peru.
“We are excited about this transaction, which gives us
the opportunity to invest further in the business and expand
on its substantial growth potential.” The deal, for
which a value was not given, is expected to close in the fall
of 2020.
Crocker will serve as chief executive of Flint Hills Resources
Peru, which is one of North America’s “leading”
producers of EPS resin, according to FHR.

 

Sumitomo Establishes New PP Compounds Production Plant at Sumika’s Wuxi Site

Beijing—
Sumitomo Chemical has established a new polypropylene
(PP) compounds production facility on the site of Sumika
Electronic Materials (Wuxi) Co. in Wuxi, China.
The new facility, named Zhuhai Sumika Polymer Compounds
Co. (Wuxi plant), along with a production facility
already set up in Chengdu City, is planned to begin operations
at the beginning of next year.
Sumitomo’s Chengdu production and sales facility,
which was established in October 2016, is currently manufacturing
trial products for evaluation by customers.
“Setting up the Wuxi plant as our fifth production facility
in China, we aim to further increase our presence
through a widespread supply chain for Chinese automobile
manufacturers and home appliance makers in the region
and by making the best of our timely response to customers,”
the company said.

 

Petronas Set to Enter Oxyalkylates Market With Purchase of 50% Stake in PCC-OM

Kertih—
Petronas Chemicals Group Berhad (PCG) has entered into
a shares sale and purchase agreement with PCC SE to acquires
50% of PCC’s shares in PCC Oxyalkylates Malaysia
(PCC-OM), marking PCG’s entry into the growing oxyalkylates
market.
With the acquisition, PCG and PCC SE plan to build a
new oxyalkylates facility within the Kertih Integrated Petrochemical
Complex in Terengganu, Malaysia, to produce
ethoxylates and polyether polyols. Construction is scheduled
to begin next year, with production anticipated in
2023.
The partners also plan to establish a joint venture research
and development center at PCC-OM to ensure a
“high-level” of innovation and fulfillment of individual customer
needs, said PCG.
“The Kertih site is ideal due to raw materials availability
and excellent infrastructure with a direct seaport access,
thus ensuring competitive production and logistics
costs,” noted Waldemar Preussner, chairman of the administrative
board of PCC SE.

 

Sinochem Quanzhou Achieves On-Spec HDPE Production at Unit in China

Beijing—Sinochem
Quanzhou Petrochemical has achieved on-spec production
of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) at its expansion project
in Quanzhou, China, Argus Media reported.
The HDPE plant, the “first” derivative unit to start operations
under the expansion project, has a nameplate capacity
of 400,000-t/y.
The project also includes a new 1-million-t/y ethylene
cracker, which is expected to start up this month, an
800,000-t/y paraxylene plant, a 350,000-t/y polypropylene
unit and an aromatics extraction unit with 300,000 t/y of
capacity (PCN, 6 Jan 2020, p 1).
In addition, Sinochem is expanding its existing refinery
capacity by 60,000 b/d to 300,000 b/d.

 

Trinseo, Ineos Styrolution Advancing Plans For ‘First-of-Its-Kind’ PS Recycling Plant

Paris—
Trinseo and Ineos Styrolution said their planning process
is progressing to build the “first-of-its-kind” commercialscale
polystyrene (PS) recycling facility in Wingles, France
(PCN, 13 Jan 2020, p 3).
The proposed plant, based on depolymerization technology,
will be capable of processing up to 50 t/d of postconsumer
PS feedstock. Full operations are expected by
mid-2023.
The technology converts PS food packaging waste directly
back into its original liquid monomer, which can
then be repolymerized into recycled PS for the same highquality
end applications, including food contact applications
much like virgin PS.
The partners will evaluate two technology concepts
from Agilyx and Recycling Technologies with regards to
quality, efficiency and adaptation to different waste
streams.
“Our collaboration between Trinseo and Ineos Styrolution
is a significant commitment of capital and resources
and a major milestone in truly closing the loop with food
grade recycled content,” said Sven Riechers, vice president,
business management, Standard Products EMEA at Ineos
Styrolution.
“It forms part of Ineos Styrolution’s and Trinseo’s commitments
to use, on average, 30% recycled content in products
destined for polystyrene packaging in Europe by
2025.”
Trinseo, Ineos Styrolution and AmSty recently agreed
to accelerate the introduction of circularity for PS (see related
story, pg. 2).

 

Polyplastics Building New Facility in Leuna To Meet Growing Demand for Topas COC

Leuna—
Polyplastics announced plans to set up a new cyclic olefin
copolymer (COC) production plant in Leuna, Germany, to
support the growing global demand for its Topas COC polymers.
The facility, which will be operated by Polyplastics’ Topas
Advanced Polymers GmbH subsidiary, will have a production
capacity of 20,000 t/y, more than double the company’s
current output. Operations will begin by mid-2023.
Polyplastics already has a COC production unit at its
site in Oberhausen, Germany.

 

Sasol Seeking Partners for Development Of New CO2 Utilization Technologies

Secunda—Sasol
is inviting interested parties to participate in a Request for
Information (RFI) process regarding the development and
demonstration of carbon dioxide (CO2) utilization technologies
at its operations in South Africa.
“We are currently exploring different initiatives and
projects with the intent of enabling technology development
deployment to achieve large-scale greenhouse gas
(GHG) reductions,” the company noted.
“Carbon dioxide utilization has been identified as a
promising lever to reduce GHG emissions globally and has
the potential to increase the implementation of carbon capture
and utilization technologies.”
Sasol is looking to partner with other companies to reduce
GHG emissions at its site in Secunda and Sasolburg.
The scale of application for potential projects can range
from demonstration level to commercial level.
Interested parties may apply for access to the RFI by
forwarding their company profile together with contact
details to CO2utilisation@sasol.com. The closing date for
submissions is 30 Sept. 2020.

 

VTT, Partners to Explore PS Recycling, Will Focus on Collection and Handling

Helsinki—VTT
Technical Research Centre of Finland and its partners,
during their new two-year MoPo project, will explore how
recycling of polystyrene (PS) could be “substantially” increased
by reshaping its collection and handling.
The goal is to convert waste into pure PS or styrene
monomers, as the bulk of collected expandable PS and
other PS waste still ends up incinerated, VTT noted.
“In the new MoPo project our target is to offer a technically
and economically feasible solution to the recycling of
polystyrene waste in Europe,” said Muhammad Saad
Qureshi, senior scientist at VTT and leader of the MoPo
project.
“We will explore the state of polystyrene production,
consumption and recycling in Finland and in selected
European countries. We will also develop a logistics model
for collecting polystyrene waste and methods for its mechanical
and chemical recycling.
Led by VTT, the project has a total budget of €964,000,
which will be covered by Business Finland, VTT and its
research and business partners: Aalto University, L&T,
HSY, Finnfoam, PS Processing, CH-Polymers, Pohjanmaan
Hyotyjatekuljetus and Suomen Uusiomuovi.

 

Brunei Fertilizer Gives Schedule Update For Ammonia, Urea Project in SE Asia

Belait—Brunei
Fertilizer Industries expects first urea production by the
second quarter of next year at its ammonia and urea complex
under construction in the Sungai Liang Industrial
Park in Brunei, according to a report on the company’s
website (PCN, 20 Aug 2018, p 1).
The state-of-the-art complex, which will be “one of the
largest” in Southeast Asia, includes a 2,200-t/d ammonia
unit, as well as a urea plant and urea granulation unit
with a combined capacity of 3,900 t/d, based on Stamicarbon
technology. Cost of the project was not given.
Thyssenkrupp is responsible for engineering, supply of
equipment, erection, supervision of construction and commissioning,
and various offsite and related utility systems
for the project.

 

Trinseo and Fernholz Develop New Grade Of Post-Consumer Recycled Polystyrene

Berwyn—
Trinseo, together with German packaging manufacturer
Fernholz, has developed a new grade of post-consumer recycled
polystyrene (r-PS) for food packaging.
Using Trinseo’s technology, the latest Form Fill Seal
(FFS) formulations incorporate 40% r-PS, depending on
final application.
Fernholz is working closely with Trinseo to incorporate
r-PS into sheet production, which can be used for food
packaging applications. To date, full-scale field tests have
shown that r-PS can be readily processed on classic FFS
machines, eliminating the need for expensive upgrades.
The new material grade is being trialed by several
European dairy companies, some of which have already
launched new products using the r-PS food packaging.
Trinseo has the capacity to supply the dairy industry and
related sectors with several thousand tons of the material.

 

PetroChemical News Briefs

Estonia’s Eesti Energia is considering construction of
a new methanol production complex in Ida-Viru County,
according to local reports. The proposed project is estimated
to cost €280-million. No other details were given.
Borealis has launched the Bornewables portfolio of
circular polyolefin products. Produced with renewable
feedstock derived entirely from waste and residue streams,
the polyolefins offer the same material performance as virgin
polyolefins, but with a reduced carbon footprint.
Rohm GmbH has announced sales control, with immediate
effect, for Meracryl methyl methacrylate in the
Europe region. The company cited increased demand and
limited availability of raw material.

V58 N35 – 14 September 2020

Braskem Begins Commercial Production At New ‘World-Class’ PP Plant in Texas

La Porte—
Braskem announced that it has successfully launched commercial
production at its newest, “world-class” polypropylene
(PP) production line in La Porte, Texas (PCN, 24 August
2020, p 1).
The $750-million line, which has a production capacity
of over 450,000 t/y, has the capability to produce the entire
PP portfolio, including homopolymer, impact copolymer
and random copolymers.
“The start-up of our new production line comes at a
time when the North American polypropylene industry
needs it most,” said Alexandre Elias, vice president, polypropylene
North America.
“The market has adapted to the COVID pandemic and
demand in North America has recovered to pre-COVID
levels. This demand, coupled with recent operating challenges
in the industry, has created a situation where clients
in North America need our support.”

 

Jiatong Energy Picks Invista Technology For Two New PTA Lines in Nantong City

Nantong—
Invista Performance Technologies has reached an agreement
with Jiangsu Jiatong Energy Co. (Jiatong Energy), a
subsidiary of Tongkun Group, to provide its latest P8 process
technology for two new purified terephthalic acid (PTA)
lines to be installed in China.
The lines, for which capacities were not given, will be
located in Rudong, Nantong City, Jiangsu Province. They
will deploy Invista’s “largest” twin stream design using the
PTA technology, Invista noted. Start-up of the first line is
targeted for the fourth quarter of 2022.
“Building on the demonstrated performance of the P8
technology platform, the variable cost, capital productivity
and environmental performance is expected to set new
benchmarks within the industry,” said Invista.

 

IFC Providing $39-Mn Financing Package To Engee for New Nigerian PET Plant

Lagos—IFC, a
member of the World Bank Group, announced a $39-
million financing package to help Engee Manufacturing
Ltd., based in Nigeria, to build a continuous polymerization
polyethylene terephthalate (PET) resin facility in
Ogun State.
The new PET plant would source more than 20% of its
raw materials from local, waste plastics, strengthening
Nigeria’s recycling and manufacturing sectors, IFC noted.
Through the new facility, Engee could double the number
of plastic bottles recycled in Nigeria through a process
of collecting, cleaning and processing up to 30,000 t/y of
used plastic bottles. The plant is expected to be fully operational
within the next 24 months.
IFC will also provide Engee with advisory services support
to implement a plastics waste recycling program specifically
for bottle-grade resins.

 

Zhenhua Chooses Honeywell Technology To Boost Chinese Propylene Production

Beijing—
Zhenhua Petrochemical Co. has selected Honeywell UOP’s
C3 Oleflex technology to increase propylene production at a
proposed plant in Dongying City, China.
The project, which will be carried out in two phases,
will use the propane dehydrogenation technology to process
1-million t/y of polymer-grade propylene. Cost and a
schedule for the project were not available.
“With this project, we will have licensed capacity to
generate more than 15-million metric tons per year of
polymer-grade propylene in China,” noted Bryan Glover,
vice president and general manager, UOP Process Technologies.
Zhenhua is a joint venture of Zhenhua Import and Export
Corp. and Dongying Yatong Petrochemical Co.

 

KBR & JM Ink Alliance Pact to License NH3-Methanol Co-Production Process

Houston—KBR
and Johnson Matthey (JM) announced they have signed an
alliance agreement to license a “groundbreaking” ammonia
(NH3)-methanol co-production process that combines their
ammonia and methanol technologies.
The co-production of ammonia and methanol in a single
plant offers many advantages, including reduced capital
expenditure (CAPEX) and lower operating costs (OPEX),
the partners noted.
The co-production process utilizes KBR’s proprietary
Purifier ammonia process and JM’s methanol process. It
maximizes the savings in CAPEX and OPEX, while offering
the highest levels of safety, flexibility and reliability,
they added.
“I am excited to announce the alliance agreement combining
market leading technologies from KBR and JM into
a new offering for our clients,” said Doug Kelly, president
of technology solutions at KBR.
“KBR’s ammonia technology is known for its lowest energy
consumption resulting in reduced carbon footprint,
highest reliability and safety and outstanding financial
performance.”

 

LG Chem Raising Acrylic Acid Capacity; Chooses Sulzer’s Crystallization Process

Yeosu—
Sulzer has installed acrylic acid crystallization equipment
at LG Chem’s complex in Yeosu, South Korea, to accommodate
higher production volumes of acrylic acid and associated
superabsorbent polymers.
Sulzer’s processes can remove impurities at low process
temperatures, while avoiding the use of solvents and
eliminating the risk of acrylic acid polymerization that can
occur during distillation.
To realize the planned production increase to 160,000
t/y of high purity acrylic acid, Sulzer delivered the equipment
onsite in less than 14 months and supported the
commissioning and start-up activities.

 

Air Liquide, Sasol Ink Purchase Agreement For Oxygen Production Site in Secunda

Secunda—
Air Liquide has entered into a business purchase agreement
with Sasol, in which Air Liquide will buy and operate
the “biggest” oxygen production site in the world owned by
Sasol in Secunda, South Africa (PCN, 3 Aug 2020, p 1).
Under the terms of the agreement, Air Liquide would
operate the 16 air separation units of the site, with an installed
capacity of 42,000 t/d, in addition to the unit Air
Liquide already operates at the site. Subsequent to the
acquisition, Air Liquide will supply various gases to Sasol’s
operation under a long-term supply agreement with an
initial term of 15 years.
Air Liquide intends to initially invest around €440-
million to modernize the facilities in coordination with
Sasol, which would allow a targeted reduction of 30% to
40% in carbon dioxide emissions by 2030.
The agreements are subject to customary approvals, including
the South African Competition Authority’s approval,
which is not expected to be received before December
2020.

 

CAP Commences Commercial Operations At MTBE, Butene-1 Plants in Cilegon

Cilegon—
Chandra Asri Petrochemical (CAP) has started operation of
its new methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) and butene-1
production units at its existing petrochemical complex in
Cilegon, Batan, Indonesia (PCN, 4 June 2018, p 1).
The project involved a 128,000-t/y MTBE plant and a
43,000-t/y butene-1 unit, the “first of their kind” in Indonesia,
the company noted. Both facilities are based on technology
from Lummus.
Toyo Engineering was in charge of the engineering and
offshore supply services, while Inti Karya Persada Tehnik,
Toyo’s Indonesian subsidiary, was responsible for engineering,
domestic procurement and construction work and
commissioning support.
The plant operations are in line with the Indonesian
government’s target to substitute imports by 35% until
2022, noted CAP.

 

Chemetry Selects Zeton to Build Modular Demo Plant for Its New EDC Technology

Ontario—
Zeton has been chosen by Chemetry to build a modular
demonstration unit based on Chemetry’s new eShuttle ethylene
dichloride (EDC) technology to prove the commercial
viability of the process (PCN, 24 Aug 2020, p 4).
Based in Ontario, Canada, Zeton will provide detailed
engineering, procurement, fabrication and factory testing
of the new modular unit at its facility. Once complete, the
plant will be shipped to Braskem’s vinyls site in Maceio,
Alagoas State, Brazil.
After reassembly, the unit will be prepared for operation
and commissioned by Braskem and Chemetry with
assistance from Zeton. The plant will operate for about one
year to adequately demonstrate the performance and reliability
of the new process.
The eShuttle technology uses a “unique” metal halide
ion process to produce high-purity EDC without generating
chlorine gas, Chemetry earlier noted. The process uses
25% to 50% less power than current industrial processes.

 

Aker Solutions & Kvaerner to Combine; Kvaerner to be Dissolved Upon Merger

Oslo—Aker
Solutions ASA and Kvaerner recently announced plans to
merge the two companies and combine their solutions and
technologies.
Upon completion of the proposed merger, it is anticipated
that Aker Solutions will absorb all the assets, rights
and obligations of Kvaerner and Kvaerner will be dissolved.
Kvaerner is expected to hold an extraordinary general
meeting on or about 25 Sept. 2020, where approval of the
merger is on the agenda.
The combine company would have about 15,000 employees
in over 50 locations worldwide, with operations in
around 25 countries.

 

Sumitomo & Shimane to Accelerate Research On Methanol Synthesis from Carbon Dioxide

Tokyo–
Sumitomo Chemical and Shimane University announced a
decision to accelerate joint research on a “highly effective”
method of synthesizing methanol from carbon dioxide.
By combining carbon dioxide generated from the incineration
of waste with hydrogen derived from renewable
energy, the partners can create methanol that can be used
to produce useful industrial products, while also reducing
greenhouse gas emissions, they explained.
In addition, since methanol can also be produced from
syngas, it is possible to convert used plastics and biomass
resources from a region into syngas, and use that gas as
the raw material for methanol production, thereby creating
a complete carbon cycle.
“Challenges for the practical implementation of methanol
synthesis using carbon dioxide as a raw material are
the low yield of methanol and catalyst degradation due to
the presence of water vapor as a byproduct,” noted the parties.
However, a novel process technology that can increase
reaction yield, developed by professor Kohji Omata
of the Interdisciplinary Faculty of Science and Engineering
at Shimane University, has recently gathered attention as
a technology that may overcome these challenges.”
In this joint research, Shimane will continue basic research
into catalysts and reaction processes, while Sumitomo
will work on industrial applications of the catalysts
and processes developed in Shimane’s basic research.

 

People on the Move

EuroChem Group—Vladimir Rashevskiy, most recently
chief executive of SUEK, has been appointed chief
executive of EuroChem to succeed Petter Ostbo.
SK Capital Partners—Christopher Fraser has joined
the private investment firm as senior director. He was
previously chairman and chief executive of KMG Chemicals.
SNC-Lavalin—William L. Young has become chairman
of the board to succeed Kevin G. Lynch. He is also
chairman of Magna International, and a corporate director
on the board of Intact Financial.
Techmer PM—Michael McHenry, most recently president,
chief executive and board director of Master Fluid
Solutions, has joined Techmer as chief operating officer.

 

Axens, IFPEN and Jeplan Agree to Partner In New PET Monomer Recycling Process

Tokyo—
Axens, IFP Energies nouvelles (IFPEN) and Jeplan announced
they have signed a joint development and commercialization
agreement to develop, demonstrate and
commercialize an “innovative” polyethylene terephthalate
(PET) monomer recycling process for all types of waste
PET-based materials.
The new process, Rewind PET, involves an optimized
glycolysis-based PET depolymerization combined with specific
purification steps aimed at removing all organic and
inorganic compounds present in waste PET. The resulting
product is a purified BHET (bis(2-hydroxyethyl) terephthalate)
monomer, which is ready to be manufactured into any
type of PET product, from fibers to food-grade resins.
The partners will utilize Jeplan’s 2,000-t/y demonstration
plant in Japan to accelerate the development and
demonstration of Rewind PET. Worldwide licensing by
Axens of the new process is expected at the end of 2022.
“This flexible, high-performance process will answer the
PET packaging and textile industries’ needs to reach their
ambitious recycling targets at the 2025-2030 horizon,”
noted Axens Chief Executive Jean Sentenac.
“Beyond licensing, Axens will propose to Rewind PET
customers a global offer, from the delivery of turn-key
modular units to a full support for the operation of this
new process.”

 

Eni and Pequiven Restart Production At JV Methanol Plant in Venezeula

Caracas—Eni and
Pequiven have restarted methanol production at their 50-
50 Supermetanol joint venture in the Jose industrial complex
in Venezuela, reported Argus Media citing industry
sources.
The 800,000-t/y methanol facility had been shut down
in the second quarter of last year to repair leaks to a natural
gas line and a steam valve.
PdV Gas supplies natural gas feedstock to the Supermetanol
complex, as well as to Mitsubishi’s 1.6-million-t/y
Meteor methanol complex, also located at Jose.

 

LyondellBasell Starts Up Small-Scale Pilot Molecular Recycling Facility

Ferrara—
LyondellBasell said it has successfully started up its new
small-scale MoReTec molecular recycling plant at its site in
Ferrara, Italy (PCN, 21 Oct 2019, p 4).
The company’s proprietary technology aims to convert
typically difficult to recycle plastic waste, such as multilayer
films, returning them to their molecular state to be
used as feedstock to produce new plastic for all applications.
While the process is based on chemical recycling, it
also includes a proprietary catalyst-based approach.
The pilot plant has the capacity to process between 5
kg/hr and 10 kg/hr of household plastic waste. The goal is
to understand the interaction of various waste types in the
molecular recycling process, test the various catalysts, and
confirm the process temperature and time needed to decompose
the waste into molecules.
Completion is anticipated in the “next couple of years,”
the company noted, at which time LyondellBasell will plan
for an industrial scale unit.
New plastic materials produced by the MoReTec technology
can be used in food packaging and healthcare items.

 

EPCA Details 54th Annual Meeting Being Held Virtually This October

Brussels—The
European Petrochemical Assn.’s (EPCA) 54th annual meeting,
originally planned to be held in Budapest, Hungary,
will be held virtually this year on 5-7 Oct. 2020, due to the
COVID-19 pandemic (PCN, 4 May 2020, p 2).
Based on the theme “Building a Smarter, Circular and
More Inclusive Post-Pandemic World,” this year’s conference
will ask the question: how can we contribute to an
economic re-emergence? and how should we proactively
face the new political and social winds, accelerated by the
pandemic?
The three-day program overview involves: Navigating
Towards Future; C-Suite Leadership Forum; Standing
Strong, Moving Fast; Logistics & Supply Chain Panel;
Sharing New Perspectives, and Keynote Address & Conversation.
Some of the speakers include EPCA Chief Executive
Caroline Ciuciu; Marc Schuller, chief operating officer of
Arkema and president of the EPCA; Dow Chairman and
Chief Executive Jim Fitterling; Martin Brudermüller,
chairman of the board of directors and chief technology
officer of BASF SE; Shell Chemicals Executive Vice President
Thomas Casparie; Bernard Pinatel, president of Refining
& Chemicals and member of the executive committee
of Total SA, and Integra Petrochemicals Chief Executive
Gina Fyffe.
For further details, contact EPCA by phone at 32 (0) 2
741 86 60 or email meetings@epca.eu. You can also register
online at my.epca.eu.

 

Wood Forms Partnership with AspenTech To Offer Performance Solutions to Clients

Bedford—
Wood and Aspen Technology (AspenTech) formed a new
partnership that will offer Wood’s clients Aspen Mtell asset
performance management technology for predictive and
prescriptive maintenance.
Aspen Mtell analyzes historical and real-time operational
and maintenance data to discover the precise failure
signatures that precede asset degradation and breakdowns,
predict future failures, and prescribe detailed actions
to mitigate problems.
“Aspen Mtell is part of our connected operations and
maintenance programs that will allow our clients to detect
patterns in operating data, allowing them to take prescriptive
action and avoid unplanned downtime,” said Wood
Chief Technology Officer Darren Martin.
“Together, our vision is to drive value through digital
twins across the full asset lifecycle, working to optimize
asset performance, monitoring, and control across any environment.”

 

Lordegan Starts Up New Urea Unit

Tehran—Iran’s
Lordegan Petrochemical Co., a subsidiary of Iranian Investment
Petrochemical Group, has begun operation of a
new urea unit at its complex in Lordegan City, Chaharmahal
and Bakhtiari Province, Iran, reported Shana.
The 3,250-t/d urea plant is the third and final phase of
a project that included utility and ancillary units in the
first phase, and a recently launched 677,000-t/y ammonia
facility in the second phase (PCN, 22 June 2020, p 3).
Lordegan’s latest urea unit brings the company’s total
urea production capacity to over 1-million t/y.

 

Loop & Suez Form Strategic Partnership To Build Infinite Loop Recycling Plant

Montreal—
Loop Industries and Suez said they plan to build the “first”
Infinite Loop recycling facility in Europe for the production
of virgin quality, food grade, 100% recycled and infinitely
recyclable polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic (PCN,
7 Sept 2020, p 3).
The new facility, which will be dedicated to PET plastic,
will be the “largest in the world,” the companies noted.
Final site selection and engineering are targeted to be
completed by mid-2021. Commissioning is anticipated in
2023.
By leveraging Loop’s patented and proprietary lowenergy
technology and Suez’s expertise, the new facility
will be able to save 180,000 t/y of carbon dioxide, compared
with virgin PET produced from traditional processes.
According to the partners, Europe consumes about 5.5-
million t/y of PET plastic, less than 7% of which makes its
way back into bottles. European governments are imposing
new regulation on single use plastics and have set
minimum recycled content laws for packaging. The new
plant will directly increase recycling rates in the country.

 

MOL & Meraxis Sign MoU to Cooperate In Recycled Polyolefin Plastic Blends

Budapest—
MOL said it has signed a memorandum of understanding
(MoU) with Meraxis Commercial Group to cooperate in the
development, manufacturing and distribution of “highquality,”
recycled polyolefin compounds.
Swiss distributor Meraxis will supply MOL with “highquality”
recycled plastic from municipal waste, which will
be mixed with MOL’s primary polyolefin products.
Utilizing the combined expertise of both companies, the
partners will develop a new product portfolio at Aurora
Kunststoffe in Germany, a member of the MOL Group.
Both parties will be responsible for distribution.
“MOL Group is a key strategic partner for us,” said
Meraxis Chief Executive Dr. Stefan Girschik. “As one of
Europe’s leading polymer producers, MOL has been committed
to the closed-loop circular economy for many years.
“Our goal is to use the combined expertise of the two
companies to meet the growing demand for high-quality
recycled plastics in the automotive, construction and packaging
industries. There are still many untapped opportunities
in the production of quality recycled materials.
However, strategic collaborations like this allow us to take
a key step towards optimizing recycling.”

 

Daelim Gets Approval to Split Company; Will Spin Off Petchems into New Firm

Seoul—Daelim
Industrial Co. has received board approval to split the company
into three firms in order to concentrate on each separate
specialty area, according to several local reports.
The new organization will include a holding company,
tentatively named DL Co., a construction firm named DL
E&C, and DL Chemical, which will be formed from the
spin-off of Daelim’s petrochemical business. DL Chemical
will be wholly-owned by DL Co.
Daelim’s plan to split the company is subject to shareholder
approval, which is expected 4 Dec. 2020. The three
new companies are planned to be launched on 1 Jan. 2021.

 

Ineos Expands Recycl-IN Product Range To Include Flexible Packaging Solutions

London—
Ineos Olefins & Polymers has expanded its Recycl-IN
range of products to include flexible packaging solutions
with over 60% recycled content (PCN, 17 Feb 2020, p 4).
The company has entered into a partnership with waste
management firm Saica Natur for the supply of recycled
low-density polyethylene (LDPE) and linear LDPE, which
will help Ineos serve the growing demand for increased
levels of recycled product in sustainable, virgin quality
flexible packaging, Ineos noted.
Ineos first launched the Recycl-IN range of polymers in
2019 to address consumer needs for high recycled content
resins, which match the performance of virgin resins in
terms of quality and processability.
“Through this partnership, Ineos Olefins & Polymers
has been able to develop high-performance polyethylene
Recycl-IN resins to meet the needs of converters, brand
owners and retailers, to use more than 60% recycled plastics
in very demanding applications, such as stretch and
lamination films typically used in flexible pouches for detergent
and personal care products,” said Ineos.

 

Orlen Aims for Carbon Neutrality by ’50

Plock—PKN
Orlen has set a goal of becoming emission neutral by 2050
at its petrochemical, refining and power generation operations
in Central Europe.
In order to reach this goal, by 2030 the company plans
to invest more than PLN 25-billion in over 60 new projects
to increase the energy efficiency of its existing assets.
It will reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from its
current refining and petrochemical assets by 20%, and
emissions from power generation by 33% CO2/mwh.
The carbon neutrality strategy is based on four pillars:
energy efficiency in production, zero- and low-emission
power generation, alternative fuels and green financing.

V58 N34 – 7 September 2020

LyondellBasell & Bora Announce Start-Up Of New JV Polyolefin Complex in China

Panjin—
LyondellBasell and Liaoning Bora Enterprise Group (Bora)
have started up their new 50-50 joint venture polyolefin
complex in Panjin, Liaoning Province, China (PCN, 9 Mar
2020, p 1).
The facility, which will operate under the name Bora
LyondellBasell Petrochemical Co., includes a 1.1-milliont/
y flexible naphtha/liquefied petroleum gas cracker, the
production of 800,000 t/y of polyethylene (PE) and 600,000
t/y of polypropylene (PP).
The new facility will use LyondellBasell’s Hostalen ACP
PE technologies and its Spheripol and Spherizone PP technologies.
Materials produced at the complex will be sold
within China.
“Demand for polyolefins has returned in China after the
pandemic-related economic slowdown earlier in the year
and the long-term growth trends are very favorable for this
project,” noted LyondellBasell Chief Executive Bob Patel.
The parties are planning medium-to-long term collaboration
on additional petrochemical projects that could be
deployed in multiple phases over the next decade.

 

Huayi Picks Honeywell Oleflex Technology For Production of Propylene in Qinzhou

Beijing—
Guangxi Huayi New Material Co., a subsidiary of Shanghai
Huayi, has chosen Honeywell UOP’s C3 Oleflex technology
to produce propylene at its facility in Qinzhou,
Guangxi, China.
The propane dehydrogenation technology will be used
for the production of 750,000 t/y of polymer-grade propylene,
which will be used in its acrylic acid plant, as well as
its cumene and phenol units.
UOP will provide services, catalysts and adsorbents for
the facility. Value of the contract and a schedule for the
project were not given.
The project marks the 38th award for C3 Oleflex technology
in China, which continues to see increased growth
and demand for propylene, Honeywell noted.

 

Ascend Finalizes Purchase from D’Ottavio Of Italian Firms Poliblend & Esseti Plast

Como—
Ascend Performance Materials has completed the acquisition
of Poliblend and Esseti Plast, both of Italy, from D’Ottavio
Group (PCN, 17 Feb 2020, p 3).
“Our experience as a large-scale, fully integrated polyamide
[PA] 66 manufacturer coupled with Poliblend’s portfolio
of recycled and virgin PA66, PA6 and POM [polyoxymethylene],
and Esseti Plast’s extensive masterbatch operations
will offer our customers more choices for quality,
high performance materials on a global scale,” said John
Saunders, vice president of Europe at Ascend.
As part of the purchase, Ascend establishes a second
production facility in Europe. The acquisition also includes
Poliblend Deutschland, a German distribution facility.

 

Lummus Novolen Wins Lukoil Contract For New Polypropylene Unit in Kstovo

Moscow—
Lukoil NNOS has awarded a technology contract to Lummus
Novolen Technology for a new polypropylene (PP) facility
to be built in Kstovo, Russia (PCN, 29 July 2019, p 1).
The PP plant will have a provisional capacity of 500,000
t/y, which will be intended for exports, PCN earlier reported.
Cost of the project and an expected completion
date were not given.
Lummus’ scope of works includes the technology license
for the PP unit, as well as basic design engineering, training
and services, and catalyst supply.
This is the “largest” Novolen PP unit licensed in Russia
to date, Lummus noted.
Lukoil currently produces PP at its Stavrolen refinery
in Budennovsk, Russia, and its Netrokhim Burgas refinery
in Burgas, Bulgaria.

 

Bua Group Selects Axens Technology For Nigerian Refinery & PC Project

Lagos—Bua
Group has chosen Axens as the technology provider for a
new 200,000-b/d integrated refinery and petrochemical
plant in Lagos, Nigeria.
The multibillion-dollar greenfield project plans to produce
Euro-V fuels and polypropylene for the domestic and
regional market.
Axens will provide its advanced technology licenses, basic
engineering, catalysts and adsorbents, proprietary
equipment, training and technical services.
“Once completed, this RFCC [residue fluid catalytic
cracking]-based complex will produce high-quality gasoline,
diesel, jet fuel meeting Euro-V specifications for the
Nigerian market and the larger region,” said Bua Group
Chairman and Chief Executive Abdul Samad Rabiu. The
plant will also produce propylene.
“This large complex will help in reducing Nigeria’s dependence
on imported fuels and petrochemicals.”

 

CCI Gives OK to SABIC’s Acquisition Of Additional Stake in Clariant AG

New Delhi—The
Competition Commission of India (CCI) has cleared SABIC
BV’s incremental acquisition of a 6.51% shareholding in
Clariant AG (PCN, 9 Mar 2020, p 2).
The transaction, which will raise SABIC’s stake in
Clariant to 31.5%, is part of SABIC’s growth strategy in
specialties.
In September 2018, the companies signed a memorandum
of understanding to merge their specialty chemicals
businesses into a new high-performance materials specialty
chemicals business, following SABIC’s purchase of a
24.99% interest in Clariant, which was completed the same
month.
Last July, the parties agreed to temporarily postpone
discussions of merging the businesses, attributing the delay
to unfavorable market conditions.

 

GSFC Restarts Vadodara Methanol Unit After Being Shut Down for Six Years

Gujarat—
Gujarat State Fertilizers & Chemicals (GSFC) said it resumed
methanol production on 31 Aug. 2020 at its facility
in Vadodara, India, which had been closed for six years.
The 525-t/d methanol facility is expected to help substitute
imports from Middle East countries. Currently, Gujarat
Narmada Valley Fertilizers & Chemicals and Rashtriya
Chemicals and Fertilizers are the only other companies
producing methanol in India.
“The restart of GSFC’s methanol plant will increase
[the] company’s turnover by Rs 150 crore in the current
financial year,” noted GSFC Managing Director Arvind
Agrawal.
GSFC’s methanol unit was first commissioned in 2013
and, after operating for less than a year, it was considered
non-viable and shut down in April 2014.
The plant is expected to reach 470 t/d of methanol production
by 10 Sept. 2020.

 

Braskem Returns to Normal Capacity At Its Brazilian Petchem Facilities

São Paulo—
Braskem announced that its petrochemical plants in Brazil
have returned to normal capacity utilization rate to meet
the high demand for thermoplastic resins (PCN, 1-8 June
2020, p 1).
In May 2020, Braskem announced it was reducing ethylene
production in Brazil to about 65% of its total capacity,
citing the coronavirus outbreak’s impact on the company’s
operations.
At the same time, it said it was cutting U.S. polypropylene
production to around 85% of its total capacity, and
lowering the company’s planned investments for 2020 to
$600-million from $721-million.
“Our facilities in Brazil have prioritized supplies to the
domestic market, which has already been stabilizing,”
noted Edison Terra, vice president of olefins and polyolefins
for South America. “Never, we continue to serve strategic
export markets.”
“In recent weeks, the entire chemical and plastic chain
has clearly recovered, which is very positive news, as it
signals a strong rebound by industry in the midst of a pandemic
and its developments,” said Isabel Figueiredo, vice
president of vinyls and specialties.

 

Energy Transfer Completes Project To Expand Lone Star Express PL

Dallas—Energy
Transfer (ET) said it has concluded its Lone Star Express
Pipeline (PL) expansion project ahead of schedule and on
budget (PCN, 17 Aug 2020, p 3).
The new 352-mile, 24-inch pipeline adds over 400,000
b/d of natural gas liquids (NGL) capacity from the Permian
Basin to ET’s existing Lone Star NGL pipeline system
south of Fort Worth, Texas.
The Lone Star pipeline system ultimately connects into
ET’s Mont Belvieu, Texas, facility, an integrated liquids
storage and fractionation facility along the U.S. Gulf Coast
with strategic connectivity to over 25 petrochemical plants,
refineries, fractionators and third-party pipelines.
Lone Star Express was a “major” part of ET’s 2020 capital
program, the company noted.

 

Air Liquide to Build New ASU & POX To Supply Eastman’s Longview Site

Longview—Air
Liquide will invest over $160-million to modernize existing
assets and build an air separation unit (ASU) and partial
oxidation unit (POX) to supply Eastman Chemical’s Longview,
Texas, site.
Under a long-term supply agreement, Air Liquide will
supply Eastman with gaseous oxygen, nitrogen and syngas
from the new units, which will be integrated into the existing
facilities. Production is expected to begin late 2021.
The new POX will use Air Liquide’s patented Lurgi
technology and will capture and recycle carbon dioxide,
reducing the carbon intensity of operations, in line with
the group’s 2025 Climate Objectives.
“Air Liquide is pleased to further its longstanding relationship
with Eastman with another significant investment
at its Longview site in east Texas, the world’s single
largest production facility of its type, and to further demonstrate
Air Liquide’s ongoing commitment to deliver innovative
technologies and safe, reliable and sustainable
solutions for the industry,” said Michael J. Graff, executive
vice president and executive committee member at Air
Liquide.

 

Japan Polyethylene Shutting Down LDPE Production Line at Kashima

Tokyo—Japan
Polyethylene, a joint venture of Japan Polychem and Japan
Polyolefine, has decided to stop production of low-density
polyethylene (LDPE) at its Kashima site in Japan, according
to Argus.
The 62,000-t/y LDPE line, which was built in 1971, has
caused increased financial “burden” on Japan Polyethylene,
said the report. The unit will be shut down in May
2021.
The company also expects to end production and sales
of ethylene vinyl acetate copolymers at its Kawasaki, Japan,
facility.
Japan Polyethylene also owns a 95,000-t/y LDPE plant
in Kawasaki, a 65,000-t/y LDPE facility in Mizushima, Japan,
and a 125,000-t/y unit at its Oita, Japan, site.
In addition, Japan Polypropylene, a group company of
Japan Polyethylene, plans to end polypropylene production
next January at its Goi facility in Japan, due to raising
global competition.

 

People on the Move

Nexeo Plastics—Paul Tayler has become chief executive,
succeeding Michael Modak, who had been serving as
interim chief executive and will remain a member of the
company’s board of directors. Tayler was most recently
vice president, Europe Division.
EuropaBio—Andrew Topen has been appointed
chairman of the association to replace Tjerk de Ruiter. Topen
leads the overall public affairs strategy and strategic
relationships within Region Europe at Novartis.
Bharat Petroleum Corp. Ltd. (BPCL)—Padmakar
Kappagantula, director of human resources, has assumed
the additional responsibility of chairman and managing
director of BPCL. He had been a director on the board
since 2018.

 

U.S. Dept. of Treasury Sanctions 6 Firms For Enabling the Sale of Iranian PCs

Washington—
The U.S. Dept. of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control
has sanctioned six entities for their support to Trilliance
Petrochemical Co.’s continued involvement in the sale
of Iranian petrochemical products.
The entities, based in Iran, the United Arab Emirates
and China, helped efforts by Hong-Kong based Trilliance to
hide or otherwise obscure its involvement in sales contracts.
Trilliance was designated by the Treasury this past
January.
“Iranian petrochemical sales remain a key revenue
source for the Iranian regime, helping to finance its destabilizing
support to corrupt regimes and terrorist groups
throughout the Middle East and, more recently, Venezuela,”
said the Treasury.
Additionally, the U.S. Dept. of State has imposed sanctions
on five entities for knowingly engaging in a “significant”
transaction for the purchase, acquisition, sale, transport,
or marketing of petroleum or petroleum products
from Iran, the Treasury added. It also sanctioned three
individuals who are principal executive officers of the sanctioned
entities.

 

Eurotecnica Awarded Contract to Supply Melamine Technology for Chinese Unit

Shaanxi—
ShaanXi Qing Shui Yin Quan Coal Industry Development
Co. has selected Eurotecnica’s melamine technology for a
new melamine plant in China.
The 60,000-t/y single-train facility will use Eurotecnica’s
4th generation Euromel technology, which features
the traditional total-zero-pollution concept. No other details
were available.

 

PolyQuest Plans to Build Additional Line For Recycled PET Resins in S. Carolina

Wilmington—
PolyQuest, a polymer resin distributor and recycler, said it
will construct at least one additional recycled polyethylene
terephthalate (rPET) manufacturing line at its PET recycling
operation in Darlington, S.C., to meet the growing
demand for post-consumer recycled content.
Since 2006, PolyQuest has been producing recycled PET
resins at the Darlington facility. Using either postindustrial
or post-consumer recycled PET feedstocks,
PolyQuest can manufacture amorphous, crystallized and
solid state rPET resins that are either non-FDA or FDA
approved for food contact.
The new line, scheduled to be operational by the third
quarter of 2021, will be used to produce “high-quality”
resin that is suitable for use in the vast majority of PET
applications, the company noted.
“Our total corporate thermoplastics recycling capacity is
approximately 150-million pounds per year, which includes
post-consumer washed bottle flake plus post-consumer pelletizing
and solid stating plus post-industrial pelletizing,”
said PolyQuest Chief Executive John Marinelli.
“Even though the amount of post-consumer PP [polypropylene]
recycled pales in comparison with PET at present,
the rapid growth of PolyQuest’s virgin PP distribution
business requires that we intensively study and consider
investing in post-consumer recycled PP in the near
future.”

 

Loop and Chemtex Enter into Agreement To Accelerate Infinite Loop Technology

Montreal—
Loop Industries announced a deal with Chemtex Global, in
which it will leverage Chemtex and Invista Performance
Technologies polymerization know-how, in support of its
plan to accelerate the commercialization of its Infinite Loop
depolymerization process (PCN, 30 Mar 2020, p 1).
Infinite Loop enhanced recycling technology breaks
down waste polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic and
polyester fiber into its base petrochemical building blocks,
or monomers: dimethyl terephthalate (DMT) and monoethylene
glycol (MEG).
After depolymerization, the monomers are purified back
into their original form. Invista’s polymerization knowhow
is then used to rebuild the DMT and MEG into brand
new PET resin or polyester fiber, Loop explained. Chemtex
will provide its engineering and design support for Invista’s
know-how.
Infinite Loop also shows a 60% reduction in global
warming potential when compared to virgin PET produced
from fossil fuels.
“Infinite Loop manufacturing facilities will transform
the way PET plastic and polyester fiber is made in the future,
as the world continues its transition away from fossil
fuel-based plastics and into the circular economy,” said
Loop Founder and Chief Executive Daniel Solomita.
“All of the waste plastic processed through our manufacturing
technology is now infinitely recyclable, without
compromising quality, which our customers demand. The
ability to transform a worn-out polyester sweater into a
pristine water bottle or a brand-new pair of jeans is a great
example of the endless possibilities of Infinite Loop manufacturing.”

 

PCG, PT AKR Subsidiaries to Form JV To Distribute Chemicals in Indonesia

Jakarta—
Petronas Chemicals Marketing and PT AKR Niaga Indonesia,
subsidiaries of Petronas Chemicals Group (PCG) and
PT AKR Corporindo (PT AKR), respectively, have agreed to
form a joint venture to distribute methanol and other
chemicals across Indonesia.
PCG and logistics and supply chain firm PT AKR will
work together to deliver innovative customer solutions to
customers’ diverse needs, noted Petronas. Methanol will
be the first product delivered to Indonesian customers.
“Southeast Asia is an important market for us,” said
PCG Chief Executive and Managing Director Datuk Sazali
Hamzah. “Having an established local partner in Indonesia
with a strong logistical infrastructure and market presence
would enable us to grow our network and serve our
customers more effectively.
“PT AKR’s experience in serving the methanol market
is synergistic to PCG’s business. Beyond distributing
methanol, we also aspire to extend the chemical range to
include other chemical products in the future.”

 

Stolt Tankers Enters Accord with CTG To Purchase Five Chemical Tankers

London—Stolt
Tankers BV, a subsidiary of Stolt-Nielsen Ltd., has agreed
to purchase five chemical tankers from Chemical Transportation
Group (CTG) for trading in the Stolt Tankers Joint
Service.
The 26,000-dwt carriers, built in China in 2016 and
2017, have stainless steel cargo sections. The acquisition
of the ships is expected to be finalized between December
2020 and February 2021. Value of the transaction was not
given.
“This acquisition is an excellent opportunity for Stolt
Tankers to replace ships being retired in the next few
years, lowering our fleet age profile with competitively
priced ships that can trade in any of our deep-sea lanes,”
said Stolt Tankers President Lucas Vos.
“Newer, fuel-efficient ships help us reduce our carbon
footprint, while buying existing tonnage means capacity is
not added to a market that doesn’t need it.”

 

Nova Partnering with Merlin to Increase Supply of PCR for Consumer Packaging

Calgary—
Nova Chemicals has entered into a long-term agreement
with Merlin Plastics Supply to boost the supply of highquality,
post-consumer recyclate (PCR) for consumer packaging,
marking Nova’s entry into the PCR market.
The partners will turn high-density polyethylene
(HDPE) plastic recyclate into resin for use in everyday
products and packaging, including food applications.
As part of the agreement, Nova will provide financing
for a multimillion-dollar project to accelerate Merlin’s expansion
into PCR for food contact applications and, in turn,
will secure a reliable supply to offer its customers.
“We expect demand for PCR to increase tenfold in the
next five years based on brand owner sustainability commitments,”
noted Greg DeKunder, vice president of marketing
at Nova.
This is one of several collaborations Nova is pursuing to
build its PCR offerings with commercial quantities beginning
in 2021. Ultimately, Nova plans to offer 100% PCR
PE and PCR blended with its virgin grades, including linear
low-density PE, low-density PE, and HDPE.
“Plastic has great value and is essential to modern life,”
said Nova President and Chief Executive Luis Sierra.
“Nova Chemicals is committed to finding new ways to capture
its value beyond its first use to drive a plastics circular
economy.”

 

SDK Licensed to Process Industrial Waste Into Raw Materials for Chem Production

Tokyo—
Showa Denko (SDK), which has been operating a plastic
chemical recycling business in Kawasaki, Japan, since
2003, recently obtained a license to process industrial
waste into raw materials for chemicals and has begun accepting
used plastics, which have been crushed or molded.
“We gasify used plastics under high temperature and
decompose them to the level of molecules,” SDK noted.
“The gasified plastics are converted into hydrogen (lowcarbon
hydrogen) and carbon dioxide (CO2). We use lowcarbon
hydrogen as raw material to produce ammonia, and
CO2 as raw material to produce dry ice and carbonated
drinks,” it explained.
“These days, social needs for high-technology based recycling
of used plastics as a countermeasure against plastic
debris problems, including [the] marine plastic problem,
have been increasing.”

 

Huntsman Enters into Agreement to Sell Remaining Shares in Venator Materials

Houston—
Huntsman Corp. has signed a definitive agreement with
funds advised by SK Capital Partners to divest 42.5-
million shares in its pigments and additives business, Venator
Materials, for approximately $100-million.
The agreement includes a 30-month option for the sale
of the remaining approximate 9.5-million shares its holds
at $2.15 per share. Subject to regulatory approvals, the
transaction is expected to close near year-end.

 

PetroChemical News Briefs

Shell will install eight new ethylene steam cracker
furnaces at its Moerdijk petrochemicals complex in the
Netherlands in place of 16 older units, without reducing
capacity. The furnaces will be shipped in modules, allowing
the cracker to continue operating throughout the upgrade.
Completion is expected in 2025.
Chandra Asri Petrochemical signed a head of agreement
with Kilang Pertamina Internasional, a subsidiary of
Pertamina (Persero), to cooperate in developing the Indonesian
petrochemical business. Indonesia’s president, Joko
Widodo, has encouraged the development of petrochemical
plants to reduce imports.
Borealis has successfully completed the purchase of a
controlling interest in South Korean compounder DYM
Solution Co., for an undisclosed amount.
Chevron Phillips Chemical (CPChem) has declared
force majeure on its polyethylene (PE) products after assessing
the impact of Hurricane Laura, which made landfall
on 27 Aug. 2020, said S&P Global Platts citing a letter
from the company. CPChem plans to return to full PE deliveries
“as soon as possible.”
Phillips 66 has resumed operations at its Beaumont
terminal in Nederland, Texas, which was impacted by
Hurricane Laura. Operations remain limited by electric
power curtailments. Timelines for other operational restarts
mainly depend on resources, including access to electricity
and other utilities.

V58 N33 – 31 August 2020

Majority of Gulf Coast Producers Report Minimal Impact from Hurricane Laura

Houston—As
of PCN’s press deadline, most U.S. Gulf Coast producers
reported no major impacts from Hurricane Laura, which
made landfall on 27 Aug. 2020.
While most petrochemical plants and refineries are still
being assessed for damage, the following companies provided
brief updates:
ExxonMobil said its Beaumont, Texas, refinery,
chemical plant and polyethylene plant remain safely shutdown.
The company is conducing a preliminary assessment
to determine the impact of the storm on its facilities.
The Baytown, Texas, and Baton Rouge, La., units continue
to operate safely and reliably.
Shell tweeted that its Deer Park, Texas, plant is running
normally. Hurricane Laura had only a minimal operational
impact as of 27 Aug. 2020. No additional update
will be issued by the company.
BASF is maintaining normal operations at its Geismar,
La., facility “with no impact from Hurricane Laura to
date,” reported Argus Media citing the company.
LyondellBasell said there is widespread power outages
in the Lake Charles, La., area. It is assessing limited
damage to the site, but the extent is unknown at this time.
Westlake Chemical, following initial facility assessments,
believes it has incurred limited physical damage.
Restart of the units will primarily depend upon the availability
of electricity, industrial gases and other feedstocks.
Covestro said that its Baytown and Channelview,
Texas, plants were not significantly impacted, and the
Baytown site is returning to normal operations.
AmSty is operating its styrenics plant in St. James,
La., according to Argus.
Motiva Enterprises reported a leak at its Port Arthur,
Texas, refinery that resulted in an emission release of hundreds
of pounds of chemicals, reported Beaumont Enterprise.
The leak occurred on a process line during the shutdown
process. An initial assessment has been conducted
and the company is working toward a complete restart of
its refinery and chemical plant.
Energy Transfer, based on an initial assessment, determined
there was no major damage to its operations in
the Houston, Texas, area and along the Gulf Coast.
Venture Global LNG reported that its Calcasieu Pass
liquefied natural gas facility under construction in Cameron,
La., has sustained minimal impacts.
Golden Pass LNG, a joint venture of Qatar Petroleum
and Exxon Mobil, announced that an initial assessment
revealed no significant storm-related impacts.
Additionally, The Port of Houston began reopening to
commercial shipping on 27 Aug. 2020, Reuters reported.
The Port of Galveston, Texas, also reopened to tug and
barge traffic, and the Ports of Freeport, and Texas City,
Texas, reopened on 27 Aug. 2020 with draft restrictions.
The Port of Beaumont, Orange, Port Arthur and Sabine,
Texas, remained closed on 27 Aug. 2020, as did ports
in Lake Charles and Cameron, according to a notice from
the U.S. Coast Guard.

 

Baofeng Energy Awards Contracts to KBR For Chinese Methanol-to-Olefins Project

Beijing—
Ningxia Baofeng Energy Group Co. (Baofeng Energy) has
selected KBR’s proprietary cracker technology for its new
methanol-to-olefins (MTO) project to be built in Ningxia,
China (PCN, 10 Aug 2020, p 1).
Under the contracts, KBR will provide process technology
licensing and process design packages for Baofeng Energy’s
500,000-t/y coal-to-olefins facility and its 500,000-t/y
C2-C5 comprehensive utilization project.
Once complete, the complex will be the “largest” singletrain
MTO plant in the world, KBR noted. Value of the
contracts and a project schedule were not given.
“KBR will use a combination of its best-in-class SCORE
steam cracking and MTO recovery technologies to achieve
Baofeng Energy’s project objectives of highest yields and
lowest capital investment,” said KBR.
“The SCORE steam cracking unit will convert the ethane
and propane feedstock into ethylene and propylene,
which are later separated and further purified in the MTO
recovery section to ensure the quality needed to produce
polymer-grade ethylene and propylene.”
Johnson Matthey was recently chosen to be the licensor
and supplier of associated engineering, technical review,
commissioning assistance, catalyst and equipment supply
for a new methanol synthesis unit for the project.

 

DRPIC Picks LyondellBasell Technologies For New PP and HDPE Plants in Oman

Duqm—
LyondellBasell announced that Duqm Refinery and Petrochemical
Industries Co. (DRPIC) has chosen its polypropylene
(PP) and high-density polyethylene (HDPE) technologies
for a new facility to be built in Al Duqm, Oman.
LyondellBasell will supply its Spheripol process technology
for the 280,000-t/y PP plant and its Hostalen ACP
process technology for the 480,000-t/y HDPE unit. No
other details were given.
“The Spheripol and Hostalen technology licenses forms
part of 12 technology license packages awarded by DRPIC
to international technology providers, advancing the frontend
engineering and design [FEED] progress toward
achieving shareholders’ final investment decision in 2021,”
said DRPIC Chief Executive Dr. Salim Al Huthaili.
In June 2019, DRPIC said it awarded a FEED contract
to Wood for a planned petrochemical facility in the Special
Economic Zone Authority at Duqm (PCN, 17 June 2019, p
1).
The facility, the second phase of DRPIC’s integrated refinery
and petrochemical complex, will include a mixedfeed
steam cracker with a production capacity of 1.6-
million t/y of ethylene, production units for hydrogen, syngas,
methanol, and other petrochemicals and associated
facilities. Completion was expected in the third quarter of
2020. An update was not available.
DRPIC is a 50-50 joint venture of Oman Oil Co. and
Kuwait Petroleum International.

 

Kazakhstan Petrochemical to Commission Its ‘First’ PP Facility in 2nd Half of ’21

Atyrau—
Kazakhstan Petrochemical Industries (KPI) expects to
commission the country’s “first” polypropylene (PP) plant
in August 2021, according to the company’s website.
The new 500,000-t/y PP facility is being built within the
“first” Integrated Gas-Chemical Complex Construction Project
in the Atyrau region (PCN, 21 Oct 2019, p 4).
Estimated to cost $2.6-billion, the majority of the
plant’s PP output will be exported to Western and Central
Europe, Turkey, China and a few post-Soviet countries,
reported Caspian News. Tengizchevroil, operator of the
Tengiz oil field, will supply raw material to the facility.
KPI is owned 99% by state-owned United Chemical Co.
and 1% by Kazakhstan investment group ALMEX.

 

Turkmengaz Reaches Full Production Of PE and PP at Its Kiyanly Complex

Kiyanly—
Turkmenistan’s Turkmengaz has achieved full production
rates of polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) at its
Kiyanly gas chemical complex in the Gyanly settlement in
the Turkmenbashi district of Turkmenistan (PCN, 22 Oct
2018, p 1).
The $3.4-billion facility, which was commissioned in October
2018, has a production capacity of 381,000 t/y of PE
and 81,000 t/y of PP.
A consortium of Hyundai Engineering, Toyo Engineering
and LG International was responsible for the engineering,
procurement and construction for the project.
Along with the plant reaching full capacity, Turkmengaz
increased exports of polymer products during January
through July 2020.

 

Mitsubishi Forms Alliance with Refinverse In Efforts to Pursue a Circular Economy

Tokyo—
Mitsubishi Chemical Corp. (MCC), as part of its efforts to
pursue a circular economy, has entered into a capital and
business alliance with Refinverse, operator of an industrial
waste collection, treatment and recycling business.
Refinverse, which started out collecting and transporting
construction-related waste for treatment, has built an
integrated system extending from waste treatment to production
of resin, thereby supplying a diverse range of recycled
resources.
The alliance will enable MCC to combine Refinverse’s
know-how regarding all aspects of industrial waste with its
own technologies and knowledge to promote appropriate
recycling and effective use of waste.
It will also allow MCC to further its understanding of
final disposal methods for its products and leverage that
understanding to design materials that are more environmentally
friendly, MCC explained.
Refinverse has granted stock to MCC through thirdparty
allotment to raise capital, and the two companies
have signed an outsourcing agreement.
Accordingly, on 1 Apr. 2020, MCC established a Circular
Economy Dept. to promote the proposal and commercialization
of solutions relating to the circular economy and
proactively pursuing tie-ups with external parties including
customers, academic institutions and start-ups to contribute
to the creation of a sustainable society.

 

Repsol to Convert Tarragona Facility To Produce Specialized Polymers

Tarragona—Repsol
said it will invest €32-million in a project that involves
adapting one of its existing polypropylene units at its industrial
complex in Tarragona, Spain, to manufacture
polymers with high resistance to impact.
The plant, which will be converted by installing a second
reactor, will be the “first” of its kind in the Iberian
Peninsula, Repsol noted.
It will produce highly specialized polymers with “great”
added value for the automotive sector due to their “extraordinary”
resistance to impacts, “positively” affecting
safety. Operations are scheduled to begin in 2021.
“This new range of polymers has a lower density than
other alternative materials, contributing to decreasing the
total weight of the vehicles and, thus, reducing emissions
and extending their autonomy,” said the company.

 

Industries Qatar Gets Board Approval To Acquire 25% Interest in QAFCO

Doha—The board
of directors of Industries Qatar (IQ) has approved IQ’s proposed
purchase of the remaining 25% stake in Qatar Fertiliser
Co. (QAFCO) from Qatar Petroleum (QP) for $1-
billion, making IQ the sole owner.
QAFCO, registered in Mesaieed, Qatar, produces approximately
3.8-million t/y of ammonia and around 5.7-
million to 5.8-million t/y of urea.
The transaction is subject to shareholders’ approval, as
well as other regulatory and customary approvals. An expected
completion date was not given.
IQ has scheduled a virtual Extra Ordinary General Assembly
meeting on 13 Sept. 2020 to get approval from its
shareholders for the transaction.
“The purchase of QP’s stake in QAFCO is consistent
with IQ’s strategy to build its presence and create value
across the downstream sector,” IQ noted.
“This transaction specifically enhances the shareholder
value by transforming IQ into a 100% owner of the world’s
largest single site urea producer and expanding its footprints
in a well-established fertilizer business, with a
proven track record of operational excellence and market
positioning, along with resilient cash flow generation capabilities
spurred by synergistic opportunities.”
Also, as part of the same transaction, the board of directors
approved QAFCO’s purchase of QP’s 40% stake in
Qatar Melamine Co. (QMC), effective 1 July 2020. QMC
has a design capacity of 60,000 t/y of melamine.
QP, which owns 51% of IQ, recently acquired the 25%
interest in QAFCO from Yara for $1-billion (PCN, 16 Mar
2020, p 1).

 

People on the Move

Reliance Industries Ltd.—Sanjiv Singh, previously
chairman of Indian Oil Corp., has joined Reliance Industries
as group president of the company’s oil-to-chemicals
business (PCN, 6 July 2020, p 2).
Ingevity Corp.—John C. Fortson has been named
president and chief executive, effective 1 Sept. 2020, and
will join the board of directors. He succeeds Richard Kelson,
who has been serving as interim president and chief
executive since earlier this year (PCN, 24 Feb 2020, p 2).

 

Sasa, Invista Finalize License Agreement For Sasa’s Planned Turkish PTA Plant

Adana—Sasa
Polyester said it has signed a license and technical service
agreement with Invista, an affiliate of Koch Industries, for
a new purified terephthalic acid (PTA) facility to be built in
Adana, Turkey (PCN, 18 May 2020, p 2).
The $935-million project includes a new 1.5-million t/y
PTA plant based on Invista Performance Technologies’ P8
process technology. A schedule for the project was not
given; however, according to a local news report, completion
is expected in 2022.
In addition, Sasa said negotiations regarding the Yumurtalik
terrain are also continuing.
Earlier this year, Sasa announced that its Environmental
Impact Assessment application requesting land
allocation for new petrochemical facilities in the Yumurtalik
district had been approved.
The projects, which include the PTA plant, also involve
the production of monoethylene glycol, polyethylene, polypropylene,
polyvinyl chloride, superabsorbent polymers
and polyester chips, as well as construction of a port.

 

Topsoe Joins Sustainable Fuels Project; Will Contribute Technology Know-How

Copenhagen—
Haldor Topsoe said it recently became a partner in an
“ambitious” sustainable fuels project to develop a “groundbreaking”
hydrogen and sustainable fuel facility based on
electrolysis in Copenhagen, Sweden.
The project is expected to be executed in three stages,
with completion planned by 2030.
The first stage, which could be operational by 2023, will
comprise a 10-megawatt electrolysis plant producing renewable
hydrogen.
By 2027, the stage two facility, equipped with a 250-
megawatt electrolysis plant, will combine the production of
renewable hydrogen with capture of carbon dioxide (CO2)
from combustion of municipal waste or biomass to produce
renewable methanol.
Stage three will upgrade the electrolysis plant’s capacity
to 1.3 gigawatt and capture additional CO2.
“For sustainable fuels to become competitive with fossil
fuels, technologies must be matured and ultimately become
available and proven on an industrial scale,” said Topsoe
Chief Executive Roeland Baan.
“Partnerships like this are the way to achieve that.
Topsoe contributes to this transition with the necessary
carbon emission reduction technologies, particularly within
efficient hydrogen production from solid oxide cell electrolysis
(SOEC) and proven technologies to produce sustainable
fuels like jet fuel, ammonia and methanol, which
are in focus in this project.”
The partners, which cover the whole value chain for renewable
hydrogen and sustainable fuels, include A.P.
Moller – Maersk, Orsted, Copenhagen Airports, DSV Panalpina,
DFDS, SAS, Nel and Everfuel.

 

Evonik to Grow Catalysts Business With Acquisition of Porocel Group

Houston—Evonik
announced it is buying the Porocel Group for $210-million
in order to accelerate the growth of its catalysts business.
Based in Houston, Texas, Porocel will give Evonik access
to “highly-efficient” rejuvenation of desulfurization
catalysts, Evonik noted. In addition, Porocel has available
production capacity technology, enabling Evonik to speed
up expansion of its existing business with fixed-bed catalysts.
Rejuvenation reduces carbon dioxide emissions by more
than 50% compared with the production of new desulfurization
catalysts and facilitates a circular economy. The
transaction is expected to close by the end of this year, subject
to approval by the relevant authorities.
“This acquisition is the next logical step in the strategic
development of our portfolio,” said Christian Kullmann,
chairman of the executive board of Evonik.
“Our focus is on stable and high-margin specialty
chemicals. We are systemically expanding the share of our
specialty businesses – and that at an attractive valuation.”

 

Tringen and NewGen Sign MoU to Study Feasibility of Green Hydrogen for NH3

Point Lisas—
Trinidad Nitrogen Co. (Tringen) and NewGen Energy Ltd.
have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to
conduct a feasibility study for the use of carbon-neutral
and green hydrogen in Tringen’s ammonia production facilities,
reported the Trinidad & Tobago Guardian citing a
joint release from the two companies.
Currently, all hydrogen used in ammonia production in
Trinidad & Tobago (T&T) is generated solely from the
steam methane reforming of natural gas.
The NewGen project would generate hydrogen from a
non-hydrocarbon source—via the process of the electrolysis
of a comparable amount of water that an existing ammonia
or methanol plant is currently using on the Point Lisas
Estate.
Waste heat from the country’s power plants would also
be used to produce the hydrogen and is expected to improve
the energy efficiency of T&T’s existing power generation
sector. The proposed project, currently estimated to
cost approximately $300-million, is expected to start up in
2023.
NewGen is in the process of identifying and exploring
commercially available electrolysis technologies to choose
the optimum technology for its hydrogen production unit.

 

Zhejiang Satellite Orders Four VLECs To Be Built in Korea by HHI & SHI

Seoul—Zhejiang
Satellite Petrochemical, through several subsidiaries in
Hong Kong, has ordered four very large ethane carriers
(VLECs) from Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) and Samsung
Heavy Industries (SHI), both of South Korea, according
to several industry sources.
Pangtian (Hong Kong) Co. and Pangxin (Hong Kong)
Co. each ordered one ship from HHI, while Xinren (Hong
Kong) Co. and Xinxiu (Hong Kong) Co. each ordered one
ship from SHI. The total value of the four vessels is $441-
million.
The ships from HHI and SHI are scheduled for delivery
starting from the second quarter of 2022.

 

Evonik Plans Debottlenecking Efforts To Grow Its C4 Production Network

Marl—Evonik
said it is investing around €15-million in its C4 production
network in Marl, Germany, to increase local production
capacity for isobutene derivatives by over 50%.
The project, which will be achieved through targeted
debottlenecking measures, will increase capacity of tertbutanol,
di-isobutene and 3,5,5-trimethylhexanal with 96%
purity.
Logistics will also be further expanded to offer more
flexibility of supply to its customers in terms of quantities
requested and delivery times. Completion of the project is
expected by December 2021.
“The background to the investment in the performance
intermediates business line is the ongoing development of
so-called petrochemical specialties,” Evonik noted.
“These supplement the well-known classics, such as
MTBE [methyl tertiary butyl ether], 1,3-butadiene or
DINP [diisononyl phthalate] and make a significant contribution
to meeting the requirement of 100% material use
of all raw material flows and thus to our sustainability
strategy.”

 

Aramco Establishes New Organization To Optimize the Company’s Portfolio

Dhahran—
Saudi Aramco has established an integrated Corporate
Development organization to support rapid and effective
decision-making on the company’s portfolio and corporate
development activities.
The organization, which will become operational starting
13 Sept. 2020, is mandated to create value, assess existing
assets and secure greater access to growth markets
and technologies through portfolio optimization and strategic
alignment.
It is expected to strengthen Aramco’s resilience, agility
and ability to respond to changing market dynamics, the
company noted.
“We continue to leverage our capabilities in assessing
our existing portfolio, identifying new opportunities and
adapting to a rapidly evolving global landscape,” said
Aramco President and Chief Executive Amin H. Nasser.
“The Corporate Development organization will focus on
growth opportunities as we further sharpen and
strengthen our strategic focus to optimize our portfolio,
and, in doing so, maximize value for our shareholders.”
The new organization will be led by Aramco Senior Vice
President Abdulaziz M. Al-Gudaimi.

 

Meghmani Begins Commercial Production Of Hydrogen Peroxide at Dahej Complex

Dahej—
Meghmani Finechem Ltd. (MFL) has started commercial
production of its new integrated hydrogen peroxide plant
at its existing chlor-alkali and derivatives complex in Dahej,
Gujarat, India, reported a local news source.
The 60,000-t/y hydrogen peroxide facility required a total
investment of Rs 180 crore.
Late last year, TechnipFMC announced it had signed
its “first” Epicerol technology license agreement with MFL
for the production of epichlorohydrin (ECH) from glycerin
at the Dahej complex (PCN, 4 Nov 2019, p 4).
TechnipFMC earlier said the 50,000-t/y ECH plant was
expected to start up in 2021. According to the local source,
the project is now expected to be commissioned by the
fourth quarter of fiscal year 2022.
MFL is a subsidiary of Meghmani Organics Ltd.

 

Commission Chooses Linde as Member Of European Clean Hydrogen Alliance

Brussels—
Linde announced that it has been selected by the European
Commission (EC) as a new member of the European Clean
Hydrogen Alliance.
The EC founded the alliance this past March, as part of
the new industrial strategy for Europe. It aims to support
the scaling up of production and demand for renewable and
low-carbon hydrogen, coordinate action, and provide a
broad forum to engage civil society. It brings together top
European industrial companies, representatives from politics,
and civil society.
Linde will contribute its long-standing expertise in hydrogen
mobility, production, processing and distribution,
as well as its “leading” position in the clean hydrogen industry,
Linde noted.

 

Petronas Chemicals & LG Chem Ink Deal To Construct New NBL Facility at PIC

Johor—
Petronas Chemicals Group (PCG) and LG Chem have
signed an agreement to build a nitrile butadiene latex
(NBL) manufacturing plant at the Pengerang Integrated
Complex (PIC) in Johor, Malaysia.
The new plant will have a production capacity of
200,000 t/y of NBL. Construction is scheduled to begin
next year, with production expected to start in 2023. Cost
of the project was not disclosed.
“This collaboration further strengthens the pursuit of
our growth agenda, having acquired a silicone player last
year,” said Datuk Sazali, chief executive and managing
director of PCG. “With more specialty chemicals in our
portfolio, we are moving into segments with higher growth
potential.”

V58 N32 – 24 August 2020

Sibur Announces Start of Construction On New Amur Gas Chemical Complex

Svobodny—
Sibur said it held an official ceremony to mark the start of
construction of its Amur Gas Chemical Complex (AGCC) in
Svobodny, Russia (PCN, 10 Aug 2020, p 4).
The project would process ethane fraction from Gazprom’s
Amur Gas Processing Plant (AGPP) for the production
of 1.5-million t/y of ethylene, and the further production
of 2.3-million t/y of polyethylene and 400,000 t/y of
polypropylene. Construction is expected to be completed in
2024, with commissioning expected in 2025.
The AGCC will be launched in sync with the gradual
ramp up of the AGPP to its full capacity.
Tecnimont SpA, a subsidiary of Maire Tecnimont, was
selected as leader of a consortium for the development of
the AGCC.
Under the contract, valued at approximately €1.2-
billion, Tecnimont, MT Russia LLC, Sinopec Engineering
Inc. and Sinopec Engineering Group Co. will provide engineering,
procurement and site services.
AGCC, once in operation, will give a “major boost” to
the growth of non-commodity exports, as AGCC’s polymer
production capacity is 1.35 times higher than total polymer
exports in 2019, Sibur noted.

 

LTHE Enters MoU with NTPC to Build CO2-to-Methanol Demo Plant in India

Mumbai—L&T
Hydrocarbon Engineering (LTHE), a wholly-owned subsidiary
of Larsen & Toubro (L&T), signed a memorandum
of understanding (MoU) with NTPC Ltd. to build a carbon
dioxide (CO2)-to-methanol facility in NTPC Power Station
in India.
Under the MoU, LTHE will be responsible for the engineering,
procurement and construction management of the
demonstration plant. Value of the contract and a completion
date were not given.
The facility will comprise of three sub-units—CO2 capture
from flue gas, hydrogen production by electrolysis of
water and catalytic conversion of CO2 and hydrogen to
methanol.
The partners will also further collaborate to accelerate
the development and subsequently commercialize CO2-tomethanol
plants.
“This development towards establishing CO2-tomethanol
plants in an important step towards India’s
commitment to combat climate change,” said Subramanian
Sarma, whole time director and senior executive vice
president of energy at L&T.

 

Braskem America Launches New PP Designed as Replacement for PET

Philadelphia—
Braskem America has introduced its new Inspire polypropylene
(PP) grade designed to replace polyethylene
terephthalate (PET) in consumer packaging.
The new grade has optical properties that come close to
PET, with “improved” thermal properties over PET and
traditional random copolymer PP, the company explained.
Inspire PP is also suitable for thermoformed applications,
which demand a great balance of clarity and heat
resistance, such as store and restaurant pre-prepared and
ready-to-heat meals.
This past June, Braskem completed construction on its
new 450,000-t/y Delta PP production facility in La Porte,
Texas (PCN, 29 June 2020, p 1).
The plant has the capability to produce the entire PP
portfolio, including homopolymer, impact copolymer and
random copolymers. Initial production test runs began last
month with the first full-scale commercial production activity
expected in the third quarter of this year.

 

Idemitsu Kosan Ending JV with BASF For the Production and Sale of BDO

Tokyo—Idemitsu
Kosan has decided to terminate its joint venture agreement
with BASF regarding the production and sales of 1,4-
butanediol (BDO) by BASF Idemitsu Co., and withdraw
from the BDO business.
BASF Idemitsu, located at Idemitsu’s Chiba complex in
Japan, has a production capacity of 25,000 t/y of BDO.
Operations will end in December 2020. The joint venture
is owned 67% by BASF and 33% by Idemitsu.
BASF will take over BASF Idemitsu’s BDO business
and continue supplying customers in Japan going forward.
“The business environment has deteriorated in recent
years due to a decline in domestic demand and an oversupply
caused by the expansion of facilities in Asia,” Idemitsu
Kosan noted. “After considering our future strategy, we
concluded that it would be difficult to continue the business
going forward.”

 

PTT Global Chem Completes Purchase Of 41.5% Interest in Dynachisso Thai

Bangkok—PTT
Global Chemical (GC) said it recently concluded the acquisition
of a 41.5% stake in Dynachisso Thai Co. from Dynachem
(Hong Kong) Ltd. (PCN, 13 July 2020, p 3).
Located in the Amata Industrial Estate in Chonburi
Province, Dynachisso Thai has an installed capacity of
30,000 t/y of polypropylene (PP) compounds. Value of the
transaction was not disclosed.
GC earlier said the acquisition of Dynachisso Thai
would advance its PP compound engineering plastic business,
and help it meet the needs of customers in both regional
and global markets, especially Thailand, China and
Southeast Asia.

 

Repsol and Acteco Plan Project to Boost Recycled Polyolefins Capacity in Spain

Alicante—
Repsol and waste management firm Acteco will develop a
project to increase the production capacity of high-quality
recycled polyolefins at Acteco’s plant in Ibi, Alicante,
Spain.
The recycled products from the facility will be included
in the polyolefins of the Repsol Reciclex range, designed for
high-value applications and those with high technical requirements,
Repsol noted. Cost and a schedule for the project
were not given.
The partnership with Acteco is one of more than 200
circular economy initiatives that Repsol has launched to
contribute to its carbon intensity reduction objectives. It
will benefit from Acteco’s experience in the collection, processing
and mechanical recycling of plastics.
“This is a strategic alliance that allows us to collaborate
in boosting the circular economy and solutions for decarbonization,
to reach our commitments regarding recycled
plastics and offer our customers a complete range of highquality
circular polyolefins that will allow them to increase
the amount of recycled materials in their products,” said
Repsol Chemicals Executive Director Jose Luis Bernal.

 

ADNOC Makes ‘Significant’ Progress On $3.5-Bn Crude Flexibility Project

Ruwais—Abu
Dhabi National Oil Co. (ADNOC) announced it has made
“significant” progress on its $3.5-billion Crude Flexibility
Project (CFP), its ongoing upgrade of refining capabilities
in Ruwais, United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The CFP will allow ADNOC to process up to 420,000
bbl/sd of heavier and sourer grades of crude oil, as part of
the 840,000-bbl/sd refinery in Ruwais. Completion is expected
in mid-2022.
The project, announced in 2018, is a core driver of ADNOC
Downstream’s 2030 smart growth strategy, ADNOC
noted. The CFP upgrade initiative will increase the value
ADNOC derives from every barrel of oil, both by boosting
refining margins and by leaving more high-value Murban
crude available for export.
“ADNOC continues to deliver on the expansion of its
downstream business in the UAE, which will see the Ruwais
industrial hub transformed into a globally competitive
chemicals cluster, leveraging the UAE’s close geographic
proximity to global growth markets, access to competitive
feedstocks, streamlined utilities and services offer, as well
as Abu Dhabi’s attractive fiscal and regulatory environment,”
the company said.

 

Bahri Subsidiary Orders Chemical Tankers From Hyundai MIPO Dockyard in Japan

Riyadh—
National Chemical Carriers Co., a subsidiary of the National
Shipping Co. of Saudi Arabia (Bahri), has signed a
contract with Hyundai MIPO Dockyard Co. for new chemical
tankers.
The order, valued at $410-million, involves the construction
of 10 chemical tankers, each with a capacity of
49,999 dwt. The ships are expected to be delivered in
groups, beginning the first quarter of 2022 until the first
quarter of 2023.
Hyundai MIPO Dockyard is a subsidiary of Korea Shipbuilding
& Offshore Engineering Co.

 

Aramco to Drop Out of Partnership For Chinese Refinery, PC Complex

Beijing—Saudi
Aramco has suspended plans to invest in building a refining
and petrochemical complex in China with Norinco
Group and Panjin Sincen, due to the uncertain market outlook,
reported Bloomberg citing people familiar with the
matter.
The estimated $10-billion project, to be built in Panjin,
will include a 300,000-b/d refinery, a 1.5-million-t/y ethylene
cracker and a 1.3-million-t/y paraxylene unit (PCN, 25
Feb 2019, p 1). Operations are expected to begin in 2024.
In February 2019, Aramco signed an agreement with
Norinco and Panjin Sincen to form a new joint venture
company to develop the project.
The company, Huajin Aramco Petrochemical Co., was to
be owned 35% by Aramco, 36% by Norinco and 29% by
Panjin Sincen. The Chinese partners are expected to proceed
with the project.
Aramco earlier agreed to supply up to 70% of the crude
feedstock for the complex.

 

Ameropa and OQT Enter Off-take Deal For Some of OMIFCO’s Urea Output

Brasília—OQ
Trading (OQT) and Ameropa have entered into a threeyear
off-take agreement for a portion of granular urea from
Oman India Fertiliser Co.’s (OMIFCO) fertilizer facility in
Oman.
“This ground-breaking deal with OQT . . . further solidifies
our role as the leading urea trading company in the
world and helps us gain additional market share in strategic
regions,” Ameropa noted, adding that its first vessel
completed loading on 2 Aug. 2020 with 49,500 tons of
granular urea and is on its way to Brazil.
The world-scale, two-train ammonia/urea plant of
OMIFCO is located at the Sur Industrial Estate in the Sultanate
of Oman. It has the capacity to produce a total of
3,500 t/d of ammonia and a total of 5,060 t/d of urea.
OMIFCO is owned 50% by Oman Oil (OQ), 25% by Indian
Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Ltd. and 25% by
Krishak Bharati Cooperative Ltd. OQT is a wholly-owned
subsidiary of OQ.

 

People on the Move

American Chemistry Council—Joshua Baca has
been named vice president of plastics, succeeding Steve
Russell, who retired earlier this year. Baca is presently
senior vice president of public affairs at the American Beverage
Assn.
Bechtel—Justin Siberell has been appointed president
of the Europe and Middle East regions. He was most recently
in the U.S. Foreign Service as the U.S. ambassador
to the Kingdom of Bahrain.
Aker Solutions—Kjetel Digre has become chief executive
officer.
Chemtrade Logistics Income Fund—Scott Rook,
currently chief operating officer, has been appointed president
and chief executive to replace Mark Davis, who is retiring
in 2021.
Odfjell SE—Oistein Jensen has been appointed as the
company’s first chief sustainability officer. He is currently
chief of staff, a position that will be eliminated.

 

GC Adjusting Its Business Strategies To Turn ‘Crisis into Opportunities’

Bangkok—PTT
Global Chemical (GC) said it is adjusting its business
strategies to turn “crisis into opportunities” by implementing
strategic steps into its business operations in response
to the COVID-19 pandemic, fluctuating oil prices and the
“trade war.”
GC will increase competitiveness through operational
excellence, increasing feedstock flexibility, and the development
of the High Value Product business.
It will grow externally through its mergers and acquisitions
strategy for new businesses to support high value
businesses, such as High Performance Polymers & Composites
and Coating & Adhesives by turning the COVID-19
pandemic into an opportunity to negotiate purchases and
secure more attractive prices.
Also, the company plans to elevate sustainability in its
business by implementing a climate strategy and clear targets
to cut gas emissions as follows: a reduction in greenhouse
gas (GHG) emissions by 20% by 2030, and a reduction
in GHG emissions intensity by 52% by 2050.
Presently, GC is focusing on extending operating results
and reducing GHG emissions through the supply
chain, for example, reducing traffic by promoting a workfrom-
home policy among employees.
GC is also integrating the principles of the circular
economy into its business by exploring new ways of doing
business by using technology to develop and improve
manufacturing processes that reduce the use of natural
resources and maximize circular usage.
The company plans to develop eco-friendly products
that promote sustainability and reduce the use of resources
ensuring that products are long-lasting. It has set a firm
target to increase the proportion of performance products
and green chemicals to 30% from 10% currently by 2030.
Finally, GC is partnering with all associates in the
value chain to continue implementing socially responsible
projects that use resources efficiently and reduce the
amount of waste by transforming them into value-added
products.

 

Lanxess Launches Adiprene Green MDI Polyether Prepolymers Line

Cologne—Lanxess
announced the launch of Adiprene Green, a new range of
diphenylmethane diisocyanate (MDI) polyether prepolymers
containing renewable, bio-based raw materials.
Adiprene Green products are suitable as a replacement
for existing fossil-based polyether prepolymers to manufacture
“durable” polyurethane elastomers, Lanxess noted.
Depending on the system, a reduction of carbon dioxide
between 20% to 30% is possible compared to traditional
prepolymers due to the use of polyether polyols based on
starch, the company noted. The percentage of bio-based
raw materials varies between 30% to 90% depending on
the targeted system hardness.
“At Lanxess, we have a clear sustainability strategy,”
said Dr. Markus Eckert, head of the Lanxess Urethane
Systems Business Unit.
“With the goal to be climate neutral until 2040, we are
building on our established and successful commitment to
climate protection. The first major projects have already
been launched. By using our new Adiprene Green products,
customers can benefit from our journey to climate
neutrality.”

 

NEDO Selects Ube & Nagoya University For Advanced Separation Technology

Tokyo—Ube
Industries and Nagoya University have been commissioned
by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development
Organization (NEDO) to develop advanced separation
technology for composite waste plastics.
The commissioned technology will enable the separation
of composite plastics, such as multilayer films for
packaging, into their constituent components, Ube noted.
It will potentially enable a low-energy and low-cost separation
process and will “substantially” conserve resources
and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
The partners submitted a proposal to NEDO, after
NEDO issued a public call for projects to develop chemical
recycling technology that allows waste plastics to be efficiently
used as chemical raw materials. The project is to
be completed by 19 Mar. 2021.
Researchers will examine the types of waste that the
technology can be used for and conduct life cycle assessments
for application of the treatment process.
“The Ube Group is aiming to achieve an 80% reduction
of GHG emissions by 2050, as part of its mandate to engage
in corporate activities that are in harmony with nature,
as outlined in the Ube Group Environmental Vision
2050,” Ube noted.

 

Mitsui O.S.K. Completes ‘LNG Phecda,’ Third of Four Vessels for Yamal LNG

Tokyo—Mitsui
O.S.K. Lines (MOL) said construction has been completed
on “LNG Phecda,” the third out of four liquefied natural
gas (LNG) carriers jointly ordered by MOL and China Cosco
Shipping Corp. (PCN, 3 July 2017, p 2).
The 174,000-cu m LNG vessels will serve the Yamal
LNG project in Russia, which was completed in 2018 (PCN,
3 Dec 2018, p 3).
Yamal LNG, owned 50.1% by Novatek, 20% by China
National Petroleum Corp., 20% by Total and 9.9% by
China’s Silk Road Fund, has three liquefaction trains with
a total nameplate capacity of 16.5-million t/y.
The first two vessels, “LNG Dubhe” and “LNG Merak,”
were delivered in November 2019 and January 2020, respectively.
The last tanker is scheduled to be delivered
this year.

 

DuPont Clean Technologies Wins Contract To Supply Hengyi with Alkylation Unit

Muara—
Hengyi Industries has awarded a contract to DuPont Clean
Technologies for the licensing and engineering of a Stratco
alkylation unit at Hengyi’s refinery and petrochemical
complex in Pulau Muara Besar, Brunei.
The 800,000-t/y alkylation unit will enable Hengyi to
generate low-sulfur, high-octane, low-Rvp alkylate with
zero olefins that meets the criteria of the China VI standard.
Start-up is planned in 2023. Value of the contract
was not given.
The Stratco technology is a sulfuric acid, catalyzed
process that converts low-value, straight-chain olefins
(propylene, butylene and amylene) into alkylate.
Hengyi’s Pulau Muara Besar refinery and petrochemical
plant has the capacity to refine 8-million t/y of crude
oil, DuPont noted.

 

Braskem & Chemetry Sign Agreement To Build Brazilian EDC Demo Plant

São Paulo—
Braskem and Chemetry, a company focused on developing
lower energy technologies for the chemical industry, have
entered into an agreement to build and operate an ethylene
dichloride (EDC) demonstration unit in Brazil.
The plant, to be built at Braskem’s Maceio chlor-alkali
facility in Alagoas State, Brazil, will use Chemetry’s
eShuttle EDC technology.
The eShuttle process uses a “unique” metal halide ion
process to produce high-purity EDC without generating
chlorine gas, Chemetry noted. The process “significantly”
reduces electrical power consumption and production costs
compared to the latest generation chlor-alkali processes.
Chemetry’s technology uses the same feedstocks as conventional
processes and produces the same products. It
also offers EDC producers the ability to increase production
within the same cellroom footprint and power requirements.
“Through this collaboration with Braskem, along with
our engineering scale-up partnership with TechnipFMC,
we will validate the commercial viability of the . . . technology,”
said Chemetry Chief Executive Dr. Ryan Gilliam.
“This will well position the company and technology to
meet the growing need for new EDC capacity.”
In 2016, TechnipFMC (formerly Technip), signed an exclusive
cooperation agreement with Chemetry for the licensing
and engineering of Chemetry’s eShuttle technology
for EDC production (PCN, 19-26 Dec 2016, p 3).
Last year, TechnipFMC and Chemetry entered into a
similar agreement for Chemetry’s eShuttle technology for
the production of propylene oxide (PCN, 25 Nov-2 Dec
2019, p 1).

 

Odfjell’s Bow Explorer Begins Sea Trial; Fleet Renewal Program in Final Stages

Bergen—Bow
Explorer, expected to enter the Odfjell fleet later this year,
has set sail for sea trials, marking the final chapter of the
company’s fleet renewal program (PCN, 18 Nov 2019, p 4).
Built by Hudong-Zhonghua shipyard in Shanghai,
China, Bow Explorer is one of two final 38,000-dwt
stainless steel tankers “soon” ready to enter Odfjell’s fleet,
Odfjell noted.
The fleet renewal program was initiated in 2016. Since
then, Odfjell has added 30 new chemical tankers. The
ships have the most recent design and technology, but the
individual sizes, tanks and features vary.

 

Fluor JV Completes and Hands Over MAB2 Facilities to KNPC in Kuwait

Kuwait City—
Fluor announced that its joint venture with Daewoo Engineering
& Construction and Hyundai Heavy Industries has
achieved final provisional turnover of the facilities for Kuwait
National Petroleum Co.’s (KNPC) Mina Abdullah
Package 2 (MAB2) Clean Fuels Project in Kuwait (PCN, 10
Apr 2017, p 4).
The Clean Fuels Project is being executed on the three
KNPC-owned and operated refineries in Kuwait. As part
of the program, KNPC plans to retire existing processing
facilities at the Shuaiba Refinery and perform a major upgrade
and expansion of the MAB and Mina Al-Ahmadi refineries
to integrate the refining system into one complex
with full conversion operations.
Following commissioning, the two refineries will have a
total refining capacity of 800,000 b/d.
MAB2 is comprised of a world-scale hydrogen plant
(steam reformers), sulfur block (sour water stripper, amine
regeneration unit and sulfur recovery unit) and utilities,
off-sites and non-process buildings. It also covers extensive
modifications to the existing MAB refinery units.
The Clean Fuels Project was originally expected to be
complete in 2017.

 

IRSG’s Latest Rubber Report Available

Singapore—
The International Rubber Study Group (IRSG) announced
that its April-June 2020 edition of the Rubber Industry
Report has been published.
The Secretariat of the IRSG publishes data on production,
consumption, trade and prices—covering both natural
rubber and synthetic rubber—on a quarterly basis in its
flagship documents, the Rubber Statistical Bulletin and
the Rubber Industry Report.
Annual subscriptions and single copies can be purchased
by non-members at www.rubberstudy.com.

V58 N31 – 17 August 2020

EC Approves OMV’s Planned Acquisition Of Additional 39% Interest in Borealis

Brussels—The
European Commission (EC) has approved, under the European
Union Merger Regulation, OMV’s planned purchase
of an additional 39% stake in Borealis from Mubadala Investment
Co. (PCN, 3 Aug 2020, p 3).
OMV currently holds a 36% interest in Borealis, with
Mubadala holding the remaining 64%. Once the acquisition
is complete, OMV will own a 75% stake and Mubadala
will hold a 25% stake in Borealis. The transaction is expected
to close by the end of this year.
OMV has agreed to pay Mubadala $2.34-billion at closing
of the transaction and $2.34-billion no later than 31
Dec. 2021, at a market interest rate from closing.
The commission concluded that the proposed transaction
would raise no competition concerns given that Borealis
is already jointly controlled by OMV and because of the
limited horizontal and vertical overlaps between the activities
of the two companies.

 

Bolder Industries Holds Groundbreaking For Maryville BolderBlack Expansion

Maryville—
Bolder Industries, a manufacturer of recovered carbon
black and other petrochemicals from end-of-life tires, has
broken ground on a second train to produce BolderBlack, a
carbon black alternative, in Maryville, Missouri (PCN, 1-8
June 2020, p 2).
BolderBlack, produced from 100% post-consumer or
post-industrial tires and rubber scrap, replaces petroleumderived
carbon black. The production process uses about
90% less water and emits around 90% fewer greenhouse
gases than traditional carbon black.
The second BolderBlack train, expected to cost $14-
million, will increase production to 60 t/d from 24 t/d currently.
A scheduled completion date was not given.
Thomas Swan & Co. was recently appointed as the key
North American distributor partner for BolderBlack.

 

ZPC to Begin Trial Runs in 4th Quarter At Second Phase of Zhoushan Complex

Shanghai—
Zhejiang Petroleum & Chemical Co. (ZPC), a subsidiary of
Rongsheng Petrochemical, is expected to commence trial
runs in the fourth quarter of this year at the second phase
of its refining complex in China, according to Argus Media.
PCN earlier reported that the project, located in Zhoushan,
would include a production capacity of 2.8-million t/y
of ethylene, 6.6-million t/y of aromatics and 20-million t/y
of crude oil in the second phase (PCN, 29 June 2020, p 1).
The first phase of the project, which started up late last
year, included a production capacity of 1.4-million-t/y ethylene,
5.2-million t/y of aromatics and 20-million t/y of
crude oil.
ZPC is owned by Rongsheng (51%), Juhua Investment
(20%), Tongkun Investment (20%), and Zhoushan Marine
Comprehensive Development and Investment Co. (9%).

 

Odebrecht Initiates Private Sale to Divest Up to Its Full Equity Share in Braskem

São Paulo—
Braskem said it has received notification from Odebrecht
SA, its controlling shareholder, that Odebrecht is preparing
to structure a process for the private sale of up to its
total equity ownership in Braskem.
Odebrecht, which owns a 38.3% stake in Braskem, including
50.1% of the voting shares, is selling its stake in
order to fulfill commitments assumed before Odebrecht
Group’s bankruptcy and non-bankruptcy creditors (PCN,
24 June 2019, p 3).
In June 2019, Odebrecht SA announced that it, together
with its parent companies and certain subsidiaries, filed
for court-supervised reorganization with the Judicial District
of the Capital of São Paulo State in Brazil.
The reorganization filing involved R$51-billion in
claims, excluding loans between the group’s companies and
first priority claims.

 

Phillips 66 to Commission New Fracs At Its Sweeny Hub in Old Ocean

Houston—Phillips 66,
in a conference call discussing its second quarter 2020 financial
results, said it will begin commissioning fracs 2
and 3 at its Sweeny Hub in Old Ocean, Texas (PCN, 18 Jun
2018, p 3).
The Sweeny Hub currently has 100,000 b/d of fractionation
capacity. Fracs 2 and 3, which will add a total of
300,000 t/y of fractionation capacity, will start being commissioning
in the third quarter of 2020 and begin operations
in the fourth quarter of 2020.
Also at the Sweeny Hub, Phillips 66 Partners recently
completed a storage expansion at Clemens Caverns. The
project increased natural gas liquids storage capacity to
16.5-million bbls from 9-million bbls currently.
Phillips 66 Partners is currently constructing the C2G
Pipeline, a 16-inch ethane pipeline that will connect Clemens
Caverns to petrochemical facilities in Gregory, Texas,
near Corpus Christi. Completion is scheduled for mid-
2021.

 

Sinopec Combines Guangdong Refineries; Creates Zhongke Refining and Chemical

Zhanjiang—
Sinopec last month merged two subsidiary refineries in
Zhanjiang, Guangdong Province, China, and named the
combined entity Zhongke Refining and Chemical Co.,
Reuters reported.
The merged companies include the newly launched
Zhongke refinery complex and the neighboring Dongxing
Petrochemical (PCN, 22 June 2020, p 4).
Zhongke Refining and Chemical has 300,000 b/d of
crude oil capacity and is expected to start up a new
800,000-t/y ethylene complex next month, the report said.
The Dongxing Petrochemical plant operates a 100,000-
b/d crude oil unit.

 

Shell Rumored to Be Eyeing 50% Interest In Nayara’s Planned Vadinar PC Project

Mumbai—
Royal Dutch Shell is expected to acquire a 50% stake in
Nayara Energy’s new petrochemical project planned in
Vadinar, Gujarat, India, reported Reuters citing sources
familiar with the matter.
The petrochemical complex, which will be located at the
site of Nayara’s 20-million-t/y Vadinar refinery, will include
a 1.8-million-t/y ethylene cracker and downstream
petrochemical units.
It will also include an expansion of the refinery by
520,000 b/d. The project is expected to take five years to
complete and cost a total of around $17.39-billion, according
to the report.
Shell and Nayara recently signed a memorandum of
understanding, and late last year discussed creating an
equally owned joint venture for building the project, one of
the sources said.
Last year, PCN reported that the project, which will
mark Nayara’s entry into the petrochemical sector, would
include a 450,000-t/y propylene recovery unit, a 450,000-t/y
Unipol polypropylene plant, a 200,000-t/y methyl tertiary
butyl ether unit and associated off-sites and utility facilities
(PCN, 21 Oct 2019, p 1).
Thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions was awarded a contract
to provide project management consultancy services
for the complex.

 

Sealed Air Invests in Plastic Energy Global; Signs Deal to Collaborate on Technology

Charlotte—
Packaging solutions company Sealed Air said it has made
an equity investment in Plastic Energy Global, parent
company of Plastic Energy, a developer of advanced recycling
technology.
In addition, Sealed Air has signed a collaboration
agreement with Plastic Energy to spearhead technology
advancements to enhance circularity of plastics.
Plastic Energy has a technology platform that enables
the diversion of waste plastic away from landfills, with the
goal of processing 300,000 tons of plastic by 2025.
The technology transforms post-consumer plastic waste
into new recycled oil that can be used in the manufacturing
of packaging, including protective packaging for food.
“We’re excited to join forces with Plastic Energy to innovate
faster and accelerate the development of new technology
that eliminates waste and ensures a circular economy
for plastics,” said Sealed Air President and Chief Executive
Ted Doheny.
“This collaboration will help us meet our 2025 sustainability
pledge and lead the way in transforming our industry.”
Established in 2012, Plastic Energy Global has two operations
in Spain and projects under development in Western
Europe and Asia, with a vision for 50 new facilities
over the next 10 years.

 

BPCL Delays PDPP, Polyols Projects Due to India’s Travel Restrictions

Kochi—Bharat Petroleum
Corp. Ltd. (BPCL) has indefinitely postponed commissioning
of its new propylene derivatives project, and construction
of a planned polyols facility in Kochi, India, due to the
country’s bar on international travel, Argus Media reported.
The Propylene Derivatives Petrochemical Project, which
was due to start up between April and September of this
year, includes the production of acrylic acid acrylates and
oxo alcohols (PCN, 8 Oct 2018, p 1).
The project is mechanically complete, but cannot be
commissioned until the European technology licensors can
be physically present during commissioning. It is expected
to take three months from the start of foreign travel to
commission the plant, said the report quoting BPCL.
BPCL’s polyols project, which is still in the design
stage, will include units for propylene oxide, propylene glycol,
polyols, ethylene oxide/monoethylene glycol, ethylene
recovery and cumene (PCN, 3 Feb 2020, p 1).
Early this year, BPCL awarded Fluor a project management
consultancy services contract for the polyols project.
Value of the contract was not disclosed.

 

ABB Launches Analytics and AI Software To Help Producers Optimize Operations

Zurich—
ABB said it has launched its new ABB Ability Genix Industrial
Analytics and AI Suite, a scalable advanced analytics
platform with pre-built, “easy-to-use” applications
and services, to help producers optimize operations in demanding
market conditions.
ABB Ability Genix collects, contextualizes and converts
operational, engineering and information technology data
into actionable insights that help industries improve operations,
optimize asset management and streamline business
processes safely and sustainably, the company noted.
The new solution is composed of a data analytics platform
and applications, supplemented by ABB services, that
help customers decide which assets, processes and risk profiles
can be improved, and assists customers in designing
and applying those analytics.
Featuring a library of applications, customers can subscribe
to a variety of analytics on demand, as business
needs dictate, speeding up the traditional process of requesting
and scheduling support from suppliers.
“We have designed this modular and flexible suite so
that customers at different stages in their digitalization
journey can adopt ABB Ability Genix to accelerate business
outcomes while protecting existing investments,” said Rajesh
Ramachandran, chief digital officer for ABB Industrial
Automation.

 

People on the Move

Motiva Enterprises—Georganne Hodges was recently
appointed executive vice president of supply, trading and
logistics to succeed Todd Fredin, who has retired. Hodges
was previously chief financial officer and executive vice
president of finance, supply chain management and information
technology.
The Plaza Group—Jose Flores has been named executive
vice president of the petrochemical marketing company.
He was most recently vice president of basic chemicals.

 

IVL’s Recently Struck Ethylene Cracker Could Take a ‘Few’ Months to Recover

Westlake—
Indorama Ventures Ltd. (IVL) said that its Lake Charles
ethylene cracker, which was hit by lightning on 1 Aug.
2020, might take a “few” months to recover (PCN, 10 Aug
2020, p 1).
The incident, which happened at IVL’s Indorama Ventures
Olefins LLC facility, resulted in the plant going offline.
Damage assessment is being done and the company
said it doesn’t see any impact on downstream production,
as spot ethylene is covered to ensure uninterrupted feedstock
supply.
The ethylene cracker began commercial operations earlier
this year after being completely refurbished with additional
debottlenecking, increasing ethylene capacity to
440,000 t/y.
Integrated with the U.S. Gulf Coast ethylene pipeline
infrastructure, the cracker is “strategically” positioned for
long-term captive supply to the Indorama Ventures Oxide
and Glycols facility in Clear Lake, Texas, and the integrated
ethylene oxide and propylene oxide assets acquired
from Huntsman in Port Neches, Texas, IVL earlier said.

 

India Considers Anti-Dumping Duty On PET Resin Imports from China

New Delhi—India’s
commerce and industry ministry has suggested a provisional
anti-dumping duty on polyethylene terephthalate
(PET) from China, the Economic Times reported.
Reliance Industries and IVL Dhunseri Petrochem Industries
earlier filed an application claiming injury resulting
from the alleged dumping.
“Having initiated and conducted the investigation into
dumping, injury and casual link in terms of the provisions
laid down under the anti-dumping rules, the authority is of
the view that imposition of provisional duty is required to
offset dumping and injury, pending completion of the investigation,”
said the report quoting the Directorate General
of Trade Remedies.
The investigation began on 1 Oct. 2019. The finance
ministry makes the final decision on imposing duties.

 

Vinmar Selects Agilis Chemicals to Help Implement Its Digitalization Strategy

Houston—
Vinmar International, a global marketing and distribution
company for petrochemicals, announced it is partnering
with technology firm Agilis Chemicals to implement key
pillars of Vinmar’s digitalization strategy.
Agilis has agreed to design, develop and deploy digital
solutions to meet Vinmar’s business needs. No other details
were given.
“With a modern commerce solution like Agilis, Vinmar
will streamline operations further, increase efficiency and
improve engagement among internal and external stakeholders,
while maintaining the highest data privacy and
security standards,” Vinmar noted.
“The chemical distribution market is only at the beginning
stages of a digital transformation journey, and we are
happy to be joining Vinmar to help them execute on their
digital roadmap,” said Agilis Chief Executive and Founder
Jay Bhatia.

 

ET Places Frac VII into Service in 1st Q; Lone Star Expansion Near Completion

Houston—
Energy Transfer (ET) said it placed its seventh natural gas
liquids (NGL) fractionation facility (Frac VII) into service
in the first quarter of this year at its Lone Star NGL subsidiary
in Mont Belvieu, Texas (PCN, 12-19 Aug 2019, p 4).
Frac VII has 150,000 b/d of capacity and is fully subscribed
by multiple long-term contracts. All seven of the
company’s NGL fractionators are now running at full capacity.
ET is currently building an eighth NGL fractionator
with a capacity of 150,000 b/d, which will bring the company’s
total fractionation capacity at Mont Belvieu to over
1-billion b/d. Operations are expected to begin in the second
quarter of 2021.
The Mont Belvieu facility has connectivity to over 35
petrochemical plants, refineries, fractionators and thirdparty
pipelines.
In addition, ET announced it is in the final stages of
construction on its 24-inch, 352-mile Lone Star Express
expansion. It will add over 400,000 b/d of NGL pipeline
capacity from the Permian Basin to the Lone Star Express
30-inch pipeline south of Fort Worth, Texas. It is expected
to be in service in the fourth quarter of this year.

 

LG to Commercialize Upcycling Process To Turn Used ABS into White Plastic

Seoul—LG
Chem plans to commercialize an upcycling technology that
converts waste acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) into
white plastic for value-added application, according to
Pulse News.
“The company confirmed possibility for commercial production
of the recycled ABS after completing development
in June, and is now focusing on marketing,” said the report
citing Kim Chang-sul, head of the product planning team
at LG.

 

Cameron LNG Starts Commercial Operation Of Third Train at Liquefaction Facility

Houston—
McDermott International announced that Train 3 of the
Cameron LNG liquefaction project in Hackberry, La., has
begun commercial operations (PCN, 25 May 2020, p 3).
McDermott and its joint venture partner, Chiyoda International,
provided the engineering, procurement and
construction for the project, which includes three liquefaction
trains with a projected export capacity of more than
12-million t/y of liquefied natural gas (LNG).
Cameron LNG is owned by Sempra LNG, Total SE,
Mitsui & Co. and Japan LNG Investment, a company
jointly owned by Mitsubishi Corp. and Nippon Yusen Kabushiki
Kaisha.

 

SRF Commissions New BOPET Line

Budapest—SRF
Ltd. announced that its SRF Europe Kft subsidiary has
begun operations at a new biaxially oriented polyethylene
terephthalate (BOPET) film line in Jaszfenyszaru, Hungary.
The approximately €80-million facility, approved in
2018, is capable of producing 40,000 t/y of BOPET film.
According to SRF’s website, this is the company’s “first”
packaging films plant in Europe.

 

Topsoe & BASF Enter Partnership to Offer Optimization Solutions to NH3 Producers

Lyngby—
Haldor Topsoe and BASF have agreed to collaborate to offer
ammonia (NH3) producers new optimization possibilities
with ClearView connected services (PCN, 20 May
2019, p 4).
The partners will combine Topsoe’s ClearView Ammonia
connected service with BASF’s simulation tool, OASE
connect, which processes near real-time data from BASF
carbon dioxide removal sections. This will enable Clear-
View Ammonia to give customers complete insight into the
status and optimization potential of their ammonia plant
operations.
“This agreement is a great step forward for ClearView,
enabling us to offer a complete connected services solution
that adds even more value for ammonia producers,” said
Topsoe Connected Services Director Michael Fjording.
Launched last year, ClearView is a complete connected
service that offers plant owners “improved asset utilization,
energy savings and less unplanned downtime,” Topsoe
noted. Based on a stream of comprehensive data from
the plant, modelling and analytical software continually
suggest optimization opportunities and proactively alerts
plant personnel of operational issues.

 

BASF Strengthens R&D in Asia-Pacific With Purchase of Solvay’s PA Business

Singapore—
BASF said it has enhanced its research and development
(R&D) capabilities in Asia-Pacific with the recent acquisition
of Solvay’s polyamide (PA) business (PCN, 10 Feb
2020, p 1).
BASF’s existing portfolio was broadened with new technologies,
technical expertise, and capabilities for advanced
materials and part testing.
The company is planning to integrate the R&D centers
from Solvay into its existing R&D facilities in Shanghai,
China, and Seoul, South Korea.
“Pursuing innovation in new products and applications
is our goal,” noted Andy Postlethwaite, senior vice president
of performance materials, Asia-Pacific. “We will leverage
the extensive know-how of the combined business to
develop advanced customer-oriented material solutions, as
well as to drive more projects with our customers.
“Our offering will be further supported by additional
production capacity and a more extensive product portfolio,
which includes high-temperature grades.”
BASF acquired Solvay’s PA business this past February
for €1.3-billion on a cash and debt-free basis.

 

Clariant Develops New Dark Colorants That Eliminate Need for Carbon Black

Milan—
Clariant has developed a range of deep, dark colors using
its CESA-IR technology, that eliminate the need for carbon
black typically used to make black and other dark colors,
making dark plastic materials more recyclable.
The typical use of carbon black pigments in dark colors
makes them undetectable by the near-infrared (NIR) sensors
used in automated polymer sorting systems at recycling
centers.
“In most automatic sortation systems, infrared light is
beamed onto plastic materials and, because different polymers
reflect that light differently, the system can sort the
different materials,” Clariant explained.
“Unfortunately, the carbon black pigments . . . absorb
all or most of the NIR light shone at them and, as a result,
the sensors cannot even see the black packaging, much less
sort one polymer from another.”
Late last year, the company introduced CESA-IR, a
masterbatch range that makes black plastics visible to NIR
radiation, but designers wanted more choices than pure
black.
To address this need, Clariant undertook a project to
develop dark colors without the use of carbon black. It has
initially created “a dark umber, a deep velvety green, and a
regal dark blue,” the company noted. All three are very
saturated so they are almost black, but the colors come
through.
Development is progressing in polyethylene terephthalate,
high-density polyethylene and polypropylene in both
virgin and post-consumer recycled forms.

 

V58 N30 – 10 August 2020

Ningxia Baofeng Picks JM Technology For Single-Train Methanol Facility

Beijing—Johnson
Matthey (JM) said that its technology has again been selected
by Ningxia Baofeng Energy Group for a third methanol
synthesis plant at their coal-to-olefins complex in
Ningxia Province, China, which, once complete, will be the
“largest” single-train methanol facility in the world.
The project, with a planned capacity of 7,200 t/d of
methanol, follows the recent commissioning of a 6,600-t/d
methanol unit at the complex (PCN, 29 June 2020, p 1).
Value of the contract and an expected completion date
were not disclosed.
Under the agreement, JM will be the licensor and supplier
of associated engineering, technical review, commissioning
assistance, catalyst and equipment supply.
The methanol plant will be fed with synthesis gas and
will utilize JM’s radial steam raising converters in a patented
Series Loop, together with JM catalysts, to produce
stabilized methanol for use in the production of olefins.
“The plant will provide enhanced energy efficiency,
along with low OPEX [operating expense], CAPEX [capital
expenditures] and emissions,” JM noted.

 

IndianOil Gets Board Nod to Implement Integrated PX/PTA Complex in Paradip

New Delhi—
The board of Indian Oil Corp. (IndianOil) has given its approval
for the company to set up a paraxylene (PX)/purified
terephthalic acid (PTA) project to be integrated with IndianOil’s
Paradip refinery in Odisha, India.
The complex, expected to cost around Rs 13,805 crore,
will include the production of 800,000 t/y of PX and 1.2-
million t/y of PTA. Completion is planned by early 2024.
IndianOil is currently building an estimated Rs 4,221
crore ethylene glycol (EG) plant at Paradip, based on technology
from Scientific Design, which will have 357,000 t/y
of capacity (PCN, 4 Feb 2019, p 1). Operations will begin
towards the end of 2021.
PTA from the new complex will be used as feedstock in
the EG plant.

 

Iran Opens 2 New Methanol Facilities, Including Catalysts Production Plant

Tehran—
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani recently inaugurated
three new petrochemical projects in the country, including
two methanol plants and a facility for catalysts production,
according to several local media reports.
The projects, which required an investment of $1.57-
billion, involve the 7,000-t/d Kaveh methanol plant and the
5,000-t/d Kimia Pars methanol unit in Bushehr, and a
catalyst facility in Lorestan.
In a video conference held during the inauguration,
Rouhani said his administration has come up with plans to
reduce exports of crude oil and natural gas, and plans to
produce more petrochemical products instead, reported
Tasnim News Agency.

 

CPChem and QP Postpone Making FID On U.S. Gulf Coast Petrochem Project

Houston—
Phillips 66 announced that Chevron Phillips Chemical Co.
(CPChem), in which Phillips 66 has an equity investment,
and Qatar Petroleum (QP) have deferred final investment
decision on a project to develop a new petrochemical facility
on the U.S. Gulf Coast (PCN, 15 July 2019, p 1).
The estimated $8-billion U.S. Gulf Coast II petrochemical
project (USGCII) would include a 2-million-t/y ethylene
cracker and two 1-million-t/y high-density polyethylene
units. A specific location has not been chosen.
The partners originally expected a FID on the facility
no later than 2021, with start-up targeted for 2024. A new
schedule was not available.
CPChem, which would hold a 51% share in the project,
would provide project management and oversight and be
responsible for the operation and management of the plant.
QP would hold the remaining 49% stake.
“CPChem is closely monitoring economic developments,”
said Phillips 66 in its second quarter 2020 financial
results.

 

Hengli Petrochem Starts Up Fifth Line For PTA Production at Its Dalian Site

Dalian—Hengli
Petrochemical announced the start-up of its fifth purified
terephthalic acid (PTA) line at its site on Changxing Island,
Dalian, China (PCN, 16 Mar 2020, p 2).
The 2.5-million-t/y PTA line, which utilizes Invista’s
advantaged PTA technology, increases PTA capacity at the
site to a total of 11.6-million t/y, making Hengli the “largest”
PTA producing site in the world, Hengli noted.
The company operates four other PTA lines at the site
that are based on Invista’s technology. The fourth line was
started up this past January.
“The successful start-up of Hengli’s fifth PTA line yet
again highlights the quick ramp-up capability of PTA
plants utilizing our technology,” noted Adam Sackett, vice
president for PTA at Invista Performance Technologies.
“Fast project execution, trouble-free and stable operation
at low variable cost, enables our licensees to achieve a
good return on their PTA investment.”

 

IVL’s Westlake Ethylene Cracker Offline After Lightning Strike Trips Facility

Westlake—
Indorama Ventures Ltd. (IVL), in a notification to the
Stock Exchange of Thailand, said that its ethylene cracker
in Westlake, La., was hit by lightning on 1 Aug. 2020 and
the plant is currently offline.
The incident happened at the company’s Indorama Ventures
Olefins LLC facility, which has a production capacity
of 440,000 t/y of ethylene.
The lightning strike caused a plant trip and subsequent
flaring. The plant is currently being assessed.
“There is no danger to the site, employees or surrounding
community,” the company noted.

 

Air Products to Provide AP-X Technology For QP’s North Field East LNG Project

Doha—Air
Products has been chosen to provide its proprietary AP-X
natural gas liquefaction process technology and equipment
to Qatargas for the first phase of Qatar Petroleum’s (QP)
North Field East liquefied natural gas (LNG) expansion
project in Ras Laffan, Qatar (PCN, 1 Oct 2018, p 3).
The project, scheduled to begin operations in 2025, includes
four “mega” LNG trains, each with a production capacity
of 7.8-million t/y of LNG, Air Products noted.
“The proven AP-X process is an elegant solution that
enables significantly higher LNG production, without requiring
individual equipment items to be significantly larger,
and provides an efficient and flexible operation over a
wide range of production capacities,” it added.
QP earlier said the project would also include 4,000 t/d
of ethane, 260,000 b/d of condensate, 11,000 t/d of liquefied
petroleum gas and about 20 t/d of pure helium.
Ethane from the North Field LNG project, as well as existing
gas projects, will feed a new world-scale petrochemical
complex QP is planning at Ras Laffan with Chevron
Phillips Chemical Co. (PCN, 1 July 2019, p 1).
Last year, QP and Chevron Phillips Chemical signed an
agreement to pursue the development, construction and
operation of the petrochemicals facility.
The project would include a 1.9-million-t/y ethane
cracker, as well as two high-density polyethylene units
with a combined capacity of 1.68-million t/y. Start-up is
planned in late 2025.

 

Nouryon Raising MCA Capacity at Delfzijl; Plans to Free up Capacity for Chlorine

Delfzijl—
Nouryon said it has been investing in technology and efficiency
improvements to increase monochloroacetic acid
(MCA) production capacity at its site in Delfzijl, the Netherlands.
The expansion, scheduled for completion by the end of
this year, will help satisfy market growth, as well as the
company’s own increased consumption of MCA since its
recent acquisition of J.M. Huber’s carboxymethyl cellulose
business (PCN, 6 July 2020, p 3).
In addition, Nouryon has initiated a study to free up
more capacity for chlorine, the key raw material for MCA.

 

NextChem & GranBio Partner to License GranBio’s Cellulosic Ethanol Technology

Brasília—
NextChem, a subsidiary of Maire Tecnimont, and Brazilian
industrial biotechnology firm GranBio, have signed a strategic
partnership agreement for licensing GranBio’s patented
2G Ethanol technology for the production of cellulosic
ethanol.
The technology converts lignocellulosic, non-food biomass
to renewable, low carbon intensity biofuels. It has
already been implemented at GranBio’s plant in Sao Miguel
dos Campos, Alagoas, Brazil.
The partnership combines GranBio’s technology and
knowledge in second generation biomass and biofuels with
NextChem’s engineering expertise, EPC (engineering, procurement
and construction) capabilities and global presence,
to offer integrated services, feasibility studies, integration
projects, engineering and construction of manufacturing
facilities around the world.

 

BASF Acquires Assets, Land from Sinopec To Boost Chinese Alkoxylates Capacity

Shanghai—
BASF said it purchased Sinopec Shanghai Petrochemical
Co.’s assets, land and buildings related to alkoxylates production
in Jinshan, China, to support growing demand in
Asia Pacific.
The newly acquired assets, adjoined with BASF’s site,
will help double BASF’s local alkoxylates capacity from the
end of 2020.
“We are seeing a rising demand for high-quality alkoxylates
in the Asia Pacific market, especially in China,” noted
Dr. Jianwen Mao, vice president, Business Management
Greater China, Home Care, Industrial & Institutional, and
Industrial Formulators, Care Chemicals at BASF Asia Pacific.
“This strategic expansion will double our alkoxylates
capacities in Jinshan and increase our overall capacity in
Asia Pacific. We will focus on maximizing synergies between
the existing and new operations and supporting the
growth of our customers and the market.”

 

Omega Partners III Completes Purchase Of Oiltanking Joliet Terminal in Illinois

Chicago—
Omega Partners III, through its Omega Partners Illinois
subsidiary, has finalized the acquisition of Oiltanking
North America’s Oiltanking Joliet terminal in Channahon,
Ill. (PCN, 15 June 2020, p 4).
The Joliet terminal, which is mainly dedicated to the
storage of specialty chemicals, has a capacity of approximately
281,000 bbls. It includes connections for rail, tank
truck and barge transport.
Omega Partners III owns and operates U.S.-based bulk
liquid petroleum terminals in Illinois, Florida, Georgia,
South Carolina, Nevada and Kentucky.

 

People on the Move

AmSty—Dr. Randy Pogue, who has been serving as interim
chief executive since this past April, has been named
president and chief executive to succeed Brad Crocker
(PCN, 16 Mar 2020, p 2). Pogue was previously senior vice
president of feedstocks, styrene and corporate services.
Bechtel—Paul Marsden has been appointed president
of the company’s Oil, Gas & Chemicals business, effective 8
Sept. 2020, to succeed Alasdair Cathcart, who is stepping
down after 31 years at Bechtel. Since 2018, Marsden has
been senior project manager for the company’s Pennsylvania
Chemicals Project.
Univar Solutions—Jennifer McIntyre will assume the
position of senior vice president, chief streamline officer
and head of North American operations.
Brian Herington has been named senior vice president,
chief commercial officer and head of North American
chemical distribution.
Nick Powell will take on the role of senior vice president,
president of EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa)/
APAC (Asia Pacific) and global head of consumer and
industrial solutions.
With these new appointments, Mark Fisher has stepped
down as the company’s president of U.S. and Canada to
pursue other opportunities.

 

Ineos Styrolution, Recycling Technologies Sign JDA for Recycling of PS in Europe

London—
Ineos Styrolution and Recycling Technologies, a specialist
plastic recycling technology provider, have signed a joint
development agreement (JDA) to further advance the development
of recycling of polystyrene (PS) in Europe.
Recycling Technologies has already completed a detailed
research and trial process with Ineos, which included
scientific research and processing of PS on Recycling
Technologies’ Mark II test reactor producing “excellent”
results, the companies noted.
The partners will now further advance this depolymerization
solution based on Recycling Technologies’ fluidized
bed technology, currently used for mixed plastics, to adapt
it for the commercial recycling of PS.
“This partnership creates the basis for a more circular
economy in polystyrene, allowing its users to achieve their
challenging recycling targets set by all their stakeholders,”
said Adrian Griffiths, chief executive and founder of Recycling
Technologies.

 

ADNOC L&S, Wanhua Chemical Form JV For Shipping LPG and Other Products

Abu Dhabi—
Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. (ADNOC) announced that its
ADNOC L&S shipping and maritime subsidiary has
formed a joint venture with Wanhua Chemical Group to
transport liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) cargoes and other
petroleum products.
The new company, AW Shipping Ltd., is based in the
United Arab Emirates (UAE) and will own and operate a
fleet of very large gas carriers and modern product tankers.
It will be responsible for shipping the LPG and other
petroleum products, sourced from the ADNOC Group and
global suppliers, to Wanhua Group’s manufacturing sites
in China and worldwide.
The joint venture follows a 10-year LPG supply contract
signed between ADNOC and Wanhua in November 2018
(PCN, 19-26 Nov. 2018, p 2).
“This creative win-win partnership strengthens our
growing relationship and will deliver greater value and
efficiency for both our organizations,” said UAE Minister of
Industry and Advanced Technology and ADNOC Group
Chief Executive Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber.
“Importantly, the joint venture further solidifies ADNOC
L&S’ position as the largest, fully integrated logistics
and shipping company in the UAE and paves the way for
the transportation of greater LPG volumes in China, in
line with market demand.”

 

Metafrax to Invest in Production Plants For Paraformaldehyde, Formaldehyde

Moscow—
Metafrax announced plans to invest RUB 5-billion in new
plants for the production of paraformaldehyde and formaldehyde
in Gubakha, Russia, and has signed a memorandum
of understanding with Altex-Stroy for construction of
the units.
The project will include a 30,000-t/y paraformaldehyde
plant, based on technology from GEA Process Engineering,
and a 180,000-t/y formaldehyde facility that will utilize
Dynea’s technology. Operations are scheduled to begin at
the end of 2021.

 

DOE Lets Grant to Univ. of Louisiana To Develop CO2-to-Ethylene Process

Lafayette—The
U.S. Dept. of Energy (DOE) has awarded a $1-million
grant to an interdisciplinary team of researchers at the
Univ. of Louisiana at Lafayette (UL Lafayette) to develop a
process to convert carbon dioxide (CO2) into ethylene.
The technology under development at the university
produces ethylene by breaking down CO2 with low pulses
of electricity, UL Lafayette noted.
“If we can produce ethylene by using electricity coming
from renewable resources, then we could, theoretically,
reduce carbon dioxide production by 200% because we are
not producing it. We are consuming it,” explained Dr. Xiao-
Dong Zhou, executive director of UL Lafayette’s Institute
for Materials Research and Innovation and the Stuller endowed
chair of chemical engineering.

 

IVL Enters into Definitive Agreement To Buy Polish PET Recycling Facility

Warsaw—
Indorama Ventures Ltd. (IVL) has signed a definitive
agreement to purchase Industrie Maurizio Peruzzo Polowat
spolka z ograniczona odpowiedzialnoscia (IMP Polowat),
a polyethylene terephthalate (PET) recycling plant in
Poland.
The acquisition includes two production sites located in
Bielsko-Biala and Leczyca, close to Krakow and Warsaw,
respectively. The sites have a combined capacity of 23,000
tons of recycled PET (rPET) flakes and 4,000 tons of rPET
pellets.
Subject to regulatory approvals, the transaction is expected
to close in the third quarter of this year. Value of
the deal was not given.
“This acquisition is consistent with IVL’s ambitious target
in scaling its recycling capacity to reach 750,000 tons
by 2025,” IVL noted.
“It also adds an attractive recycling platform for IVL in
Eastern Europe, and will open up new opportunities to
meet the increasing rPET demand for more sustainable
packaging solutions.”
IVL, which has an integrated PET plant in Wloclawek,
said that IMP Polowat will bring synergies and a circular
business model to its Polish operations.

 

Versalis and Forever Plast Ink Agreement To Produce PS from Recycled Packaging

Rome—
Eni’s Versalis and Forever Plast SpA, an Italian company
in the recovery and recycling of post-consumer plastic in
Europe, have signed an agreement to develop and market a
new range of solid polystyrene (PS) products made from
recycled packaging.
The new Versalis Revive PS – Series Forever products,
PS-based compounds that contain up to 75% recycled solid
PS, are able to meet the requirements of multiple applications
such as thermal insulation, non-food packaging and
household items.
Versalis is already producing and marketing Versalis
Revive EPS (expandable PS) and Versalis Revive PE (polyethylene).
The recycled PS comes from separate household waste
collection, including yogurt cups and disposable dishes that
will be supplied by the COREPLA network, the National
Consortium for the Collection, Recycling and Recovery of
Plastic Packaging.

 

Sibur and Sinopec Sign Shareholder Deal For Amur Gas Chem Complex in Russia

Moscow—
Sibur Holding and Sinopec recently signed a shareholder
agreement with respect to Sibur’s planned Amur Gas
Chemical Complex (AGCC) in Svobodny, Russia (PCN, 11
May 2020, p 1).
AGCC, the downstream expansion of Gazprom’s Amur
Gas Processing Plant (AGPP) being built in Svobodny,
would process ethane fraction from AGPP for the production
of 1.5-million t/y of ethylene, which would be further
transformed into polyethylene grades. The project, currently
under review by regulatory authorities, is planned
to be completed within 2024.
If the project is implemented, Sinopec is expected to
have a 40% share in the AGCC.
Tecnimont SpA, a subsidiary of Maire Tecnimont, has
been selected as leader of a consortium for the development
of AGCC.
Under the contract, valued at around €1.2-billion, Tecnimont,
MT Russia LLC, Sinopec Engineering Inc. and
Sinopec Engineering Group Co. will provide engineering,
procurement and site services.

 

Vinmar Forms Partnership with Agilis To Realize Its Digitalization Strategy

Houston—
Vinmar International, a global marketing and distribution
firm for petrochemical products, is partnering with Agilis
Chemicals, a technology company, to help implement its
digitalization strategy.
“We work closely with our petrochemical suppliers to
develop tailored business solutions and marketing programs
that work for them,” said Vishal Goradia, senior vice
president at Vinmar.
Agilis has agreed to design, develop and deploy digital
solutions to meet Vinmar’s business needs, allowing Vinmar
to streamline operations further, increase efficiency
and improve engagement among internal and external
stakeholders, while maintaining the highest data privacy
and security standards, Vinmar noted.
“Vinmar has a set of complex business challenges, and
we are excited about working with them on implementing
an elegant, technologically-advanced commerce solution,”
said Agilis Founder and Chief Executive Jay Bhatia.
“The chemical distribution market is only at the beginning
stages of a digital transformation journey, and we are
happy to be joining Vinmar to help them execute on their
digital roadmap,” Bhatia added.

 

BP Announces New 10-Year Strategy To Become Integrated Energy Firm

London—BP has
announced a new strategy for the next decade that will
help it achieve its net zero ambition and pivot it from an
international oil company to an integrated energy company
(PCN, 17 Feb 2020, p 4).
Within 10 years, the company aims to have increased
its low carbon investment 10-fold to around $5-billion a
year, building out an integrated portfolio of low carbon
technologies, including renewables, bioenergy and early
positions in hydrogen and carbon capture and storage.
By 2030, it aims to have developed around 50 gigawatts
of net renewable generating capacity – a 20-fold increase
from 2019 – and to have doubled its consumer interactions
to 20-million a day.
Over the same period, BP expects emissions from its
operations and those associated with the carbon in its upstream
oil and gas production to be lower by 30-35% and
35-40%, respectively.
“Energy markets are fundamentally changing, shifting
towards low carbon, driven by societal expectations, technology
and changes in consumer preferences,” said BP
Chairman Helge Lung. “And in these transforming markets,
BP can compete and create value, based on our skills,
experience and relationships.
“We are confident that the decisions we have taken and
the strategy we are setting out . . . are right for BP, for our
shareholders, and for wider society.”
BP’s board has also introduced a new distribution policy,
part of its new financial frame, that comprises two elements:
• a “resilient” dividend of 5.25 cents per share per
quarter, with an intention that this level will remain
fixed, subject to the board’s decision each
quarter; and
• a commitment to return at least 60% of surplus
cash flow to shareholders via share buybacks once
net debt is reduced to $35-billion and subject to
maintaining a “strong” investment grade credit rating.
“I want to acknowledge the impact the reset dividend
will have on many – whether individual retail investors or
large holders,” said BP Chief Executive Bernard Looney.
“However, it is a decision that we wholeheartedly believe is
in the long-term interest of our stakeholders.”

V58 N29 – 3 August 2020

Air Liquide Agrees to Purchase & Operate World’s ‘Biggest’ Oxygen Production Site

Secunda—
Air Liquide and Sasol have signed an exclusive negotiation
agreement for Air Liquide to acquire and operate the “biggest”
oxygen production site in the world in Secunda,
South Africa.
In addition to an air separation unit (ASU) Air Liquide
already operates at the site, it would operate the 16 ASUs,
with an installed capacity of 42,000 t/d. Air Liquide originally
built and sold the 16 ASUs to Sasol.
Air Liquide intends to launch a multi-year plan to modernize
the facilities at an initial investment of around
€440-million. Final agreements are expected to be negotiated
within the “next months,” subject to approval by relevant
authorities, said Air Liquide.
Modernizing the ASUs, in coordination with Sasol,
would increase the safety, reliability and efficiency of the
units, and would allow a targeted reduction of 30% to 40%
in carbon dioxide emissions arising from the oxygen production
by 2030, Air Liquide noted.
“We have embarked on a journey to reposition Sasol of
the future as a more resilient and sustainable enterprise,”
said Sasol President and Chief Executive Fleetwood
Grobler.
“In the short-term, a number of measures [have] been
developed and one of these measures is the acceleration of
our asset divestment program to streamline our portfolio
by focusing on core assets.
“While this transaction is in line with this review and
has important commercial benefits, there are very clear
and compelling strategic objectives — one of the most significant
being the pursuit of decarbonization not only for
the ASU operations, but for the whole of Sasol’s Secunda
operations.”

 

Ashland Inks Definitive Deal to Sell Maleic Anhydride Business to AOC

Wilmington—
Ashland Global Holdings announced it has entered into a
definitive agreement to divest its maleic anhydride business
to AOC Materials for $100-million.
The maleic anhydride business has a manufacturing facility
in Neal, W. Va. The transaction is scheduled to close
prior to the end of 2020, subject to customary regulatory
approvals and closing conditions.
Ashland previously excluded the business from the sale
of its composites business and a butanediol manufacturing
plant in Marl, Germany, to Ineos Enterprises (PCN, 9 Sept
2019, p 1).
“Today’s announcement furthers Ashland’s strategic focus
to streamline our portfolio and to focus on specialty
ingredients and improved margins,” said Ashland Chairman
and Chief Executive Guillermo Novo.
“The maleic business and its respective employees have
made important contributions to Ashland, and AOC will
take a strategic view of the business to drive growth and
continue their success.”

 

FG Gets Okay to Continue Activities On Its St. James Ethylene Project

St. James—A federal
court in Washington, D.C., has approved an agreement
between the federal government, FG LA LLC and
plaintiffs suing to stop FG from building a world-scale ethylene
complex in St. James Parish, La., that allows FG to
continue with planned activities (PCN, 13 Jan 2020, p 2).
The estimated $9.4-billion complex, known as The Sunshine
Project, will be built in two phases and will include
the production of ethylene, propylene, high-density polyethylene
(HDPE), linear low-density PE, ethylene glycol
(EG), polypropylene and a utility plant in the first phase.
In the second phase, the project will include a second
ethylene cracker and utility plant, as well as the production
of low-density PE, HDPE and EG. An expected completion
date is not available.
FG had adjusted its schedule to postpone construction
of its contractor dock until at least February 2021, prior to
the preliminary injunction being filed. At the same time,
plaintiffs agreed to dismiss their motion for preliminary
injunction and established an orderly schedule for resolution
of the pending lawsuit.
“FG has always taken great care to protect and not disturb
the known burial area,” said Janile Parks, director of
community and government relations for FG. “For example,
the Buena Vista burial site has been fenced off and
protected since remains were discovered.
“FG has always taken great care to honor all of its
commitments regarding wetlands. As part of this agreement,
FG will flag sensitive areas and provide monthly
activity reports to the plaintiffs.”

 

Hanwha Submits Bid for 50% Interest In Sasol’s Lake Charles Ethane Plant

Westlake—
Hanwha Solutions, a newly formed company with the
merger of Hanwha Chemical, Hanwha Q Cells and Hanwha
Advanced Materials, participated in a tender for a
50% stake in Sasol’s Lake Charles ethane cracking center
(ECC) in Louisiana, according to several Korean new reports.
The 1.5-million-t/y ethane cracker, which began operations
in 2019, is part of a project that includes units for the
production of ethylene oxide/ethylene glycol, low-density
polyethylene (LDPE), linear LDPE, ethoxylates, and Guerbet
and Ziegler alcohol units (PCN, 27 July 2020, p 1).
“Sasol had invested more than 10-trillion won in the
ECC, but decided to sell the facilities as its financial conditions
deteriorated due to the economic downturn and a
plunge in oil prices,” reported BusinessKorea.
Hanwha Group, whose petrochemical business currently
focuses on naphtha cracking centers, formed a consortium
with Daishin Private Equity to take part in the
tender.
The transaction is estimated to cost between 2-trillion
won and 4-trillion won, said the Korea Herald citing industry
sources.

 

KIPIC Makes Progress on Planned Petrochemical Complex in Kuwait

Al Zour—Kuwait
Integrated Petroleum Industries Co. (KIPIC) has completed
the front-end engineering design (FEED) for its
planned $10-billion petrochemical complex to be built near
the Al-Zour refinery in Kuwait, reported Zawya, citing the
Kuwait News Agency.
The Petrochemical Refinery Integration Project, which
will be developed as part of the Al Zour complex, will have
the capacity to produce 330,000 t/y of polymer-grade propylene
using refinery by-product streams (PCN, 18 Nov
2019, p 1).
“We have completed FEED and this will allow us to
avoid any delay in the timetable for the execution of the
project,” said the report quoting KIPIC Project Manager
Abdullah Al-Osaimi.
Expected to be completed by the end of 2026, the project
would produce olefins, aromatics, polypropylene, gasoline
and other fuels.

 

SK Enters into Agreement to Acquire Baker Hughes’ Polymers Business

New York—Funds
advised by SK Capital Partners, a private investment firm,
has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the specialty
polymers business of Baker Hughes, for an undisclosed
amount.
The business, which has manufacturing operations in
Barnsdall, Okla., produces specialty low molecular weight
olefin polymers, including a range of differentiated functional
polymers and premium, high melting point polyethylene
waxes. The transaction is expected to be finalized in
the second half of 2020.
“SK has extensive corporate carveout expertise and we
look forward to partnering with management to transform
the business into a world-class independent specialty
chemical company with an intense focus on operational
excellence,” said Jonathan Borell, a managing director at
SK Capital.
“As an independent company, the specialty polymers
business will be able to build upon and enhance its reputation
as a reliable provider of innovative and high-quality
polymers.”

 

Hexion and D&R Cooperate to Produce Silane Polymer at Commercial Scale

Columbus—
Hexion has decided to collaborate with D&R Dispersions
and Resins, based in Poland, to produce silane resins at
commercial scale using Hexion’s VeoVa silane technology.
The patented technology “enables the creation of costeffective,
high-performance, moisture-curable resins,” Hexion
noted. The system is free of isocyanates and provides
the ability to balance hardness and flexibility, pot life and
cure speed.
“We see this new and unique technology as a real
breakthrough in the resin industry, and we are honored to
work with Hexion to make this resin available to the coatings
industry,” said Arkadiusz Kowalczyk, vice president of
D&R Dispersions and Resins.
“We are continuously exploring alternative monomeric
raw materials and technologies; this collaboration allows
us to create truly innovative and sustainable binder solutions
for the coatings industry.”

 

Samsung Wins Contract for Second Phase Of Sarawak PetChem’s Methanol Plant

Sarawak—
Samsung Engineering Co. said it has received a $55.5-
million contract from Sarawak PetChem to conduct the
second phase of its planned methanol facility in Malaysia,
Yonhap News Agency reported.
The 5,000-t/d methanol project, to be built in Bintulu,
will be based on Air Liquide E&C’s Lurgi MegaMethanol
technology (PCN, 8 Apr 2019, p 1). Operations are planned
to begin in 2023.
Samsung and Air Liquide E&C entered into a partnership
to carry out the front-end engineering design (FEED)
study for the project in April 2019. At the time, Air Liquide
said the FEED contract would be exclusively converted
to a licensor, engineering, procurement, construction
and commissioning contract at the end of the year,
subject to a final decision.

 

BASF Receives EC Approval to Divest Its EB Business to Lone Star Funds

Brussels—The
European Commission (EC) has approved, under the European
Union Merger Regulation, the acquisition of sole control
of BASF’s construction chemicals (EB) business in
Germany by Lone Star Funds of the U.S.
The EB business produces and distributes chemical
based admixtures and construction systems in the European
Economic Area. Value of the transaction and an expected
completion date were not given.

 

Celanese Compounding Center of Excellence To Be Established in Europe at Forli Site

Forli—
Celanese is establishing a European Compounding Center
of Excellence at its Forli manufacturing facility in Italy;
and plans to consolidate compounding operations from
other company sites in Europe to the Forli site.
“Forli is a viable choice for this model, not only due to
having the largest existing infrastructure and capabilities
for specialty compounding, but also because of its physical
layout, which allows for future expansion, paired with existing
knowledge and expertise of the company’s extensive
engineering polymers portfolio,” Celanese explained.
Compounding production operations will be consolidated
from sites in Kaiserslautern and Wehr, Germany,
and Ferrara Marconi, Italy. Celanese plans to transfer
respective engineered materials product items to Forli, depending
on customer needs and logistical considerations.
The consolidation and transfer are expected to be completed
in the next 12 to 24 months.

 

People on the Move

Bechtel Group—Craig Albert has been appointed
president and chief operating officer to succeed Jack
Futcher, who plans to retire at the end of the year. Currently
president of the infrastructure business unit, Albert
will also chair Bechtel’s operating committee.
Futcher will serve as the company’s vice chairman until
his retirement and then afterwards as a non-executive director
of the company’s board. The appointments are effective
8 Sept. 2020.

 

Rubis Terminal Purchasing TEPSA, A Bulk Liquid Storage Operator

Madrid—Rubis Terminal,
a joint venture of Rubis and I Squared Capital, said
it has signed an agreement to acquire TEPSA, a “leading”
bulk liquid storage operator based in Spain.
Controlled by Petrofrance, TEPSA operates four coastal
terminals located in Barcelona, Bilbao, Tarragona and Valencia
with 912,000 cu m of storage capacity dedicated to
chemical, biofuel and petroleum products.
The sale agreement was signed on 21 July 2020, with a
planned completion upon approval from the Spanish administrative
and antitrust authorities, Rubis noted. Once
finalized, the size of Rubis Terminal will increase by approximately
30%.
“This is a strategic transaction for Rubis Terminal, creating
a platform to capture product flows in the Mediterranean
region, as well as to explore an entrance into highgrowth
markets in Latin America,” said Rubis.
“In addition to diversifying Rubis Terminal’s geographic
footprint, this acquisition also increases the relative weight
of the growing chemical sector, where commercial synergies
are expected with Rubis Terminal’s existing positions
in France and in the Amsterdam/Rotterdam/Antwerp
area.”

 

OMV Sets Additional Climate Targets, Plans to Reach Net-Zero Emissions

Vienna—OMV,
having already reached its 2025 carbon intensity targets
last year, has set a new climate target to reach net-zero
greenhouse gas emissions in its operations by 2050 or
sooner.
The goal is planned to be achieved through energy efficiency
measures, new technologies such as carbon capture,
carbon storage/utilization and hydrogen, as well as renewable
electricity and portfolio optimization measures.
By 2025, a reduction of at least 60% for upstream and
at least 20% for refining will be achieved, the company
noted, while carbon intensity groupwide (excluding Borealis)
is to be reduced by at least 30%.
Between 2020 and 2025, OMV intends to cut its carbon
dioxide-equivalent emissions in operated assets by at least
1-million tons, and low/zero-carbon products is envisaged
to make up at least 60% of the company’s product portfolio
by 2025.
With OMV’s planned acquisition of an additional stake
in Borealis, expected to be finalized later this year, OMV
said it is transforming its product portfolio towards a
higher share of non-energy products and repositioning itself
for a low-carbon future (PCN, 30 Mar 2020, p 2).
OMV and Borealis aim to be a “leader” in the circular
plastics economy, and will invest €1-billion in “innovative”
solutions by 2025, OMV noted.
The company also plans to use its equity oil in petrochemical
and chemical production and applying circular
plastics economy solutions, will increase the share of alternative
feedstocks for its products and will focus on hydrogen
technologies to identify large-scale commercial applications
for the future.
Earlier this year, OMV and Mubadala Investment entered
into a deal, in which OMV will acquire an additional
39% interest in Borealis. OMV currently owns a 36%
stake. After completion of the transaction, OMW will hold
a 75% share and Mubadala hold a 25% stake.

 

Enterprise’s Eleventh NGL Fractionator Expected to Start Up in Third Quarter

Houston—
Enterprise Products Partners, in its financial results for
the three months ended 30 June 2020, said that its eleventh
natural gas liquids (NGL) fractionator in the Mont
Belvieu, Texas, area, is scheduled to begin initial service in
the third quarter of 2020 (PCN, 5 Nov 2018, p 2).
Once operational, the new 150,000-b/d fractionator will
increase Enterprise’s NGL fractionation capacity to 1-
million b/d in the Mont Belvieu area, and around 1.5-
million b/d companywide, Enterprise earlier said.
The project had originally been expected to be completed
in the second quarter of 2020.
“While we are encouraged by efforts to reopen the
global economy, the pace and the scope of reopening is uncertain
at this time and may extend well into 2021,” said A.
J. “Jim” Teague, co-chief executive of Enterprise’s general
partner.
“In addition, the energy industry is going through a period
of significant financial restructuring that has been
accelerated by the impacts of the pandemic. With our integrated
system and business diversification, we believe Enterprise
is well positioned to navigate this period.”

 

Brightmark Calling for Post-Use Plastics To Power Advanced Recycling Plants

Sacramento—
Brightmark is seeking post use-plastics (one through
seven) from municipalities, companies and organizations
across the Eastern U.S. to be used in its advanced recycling
facilities it plans to build nationwide (PCN, 20 Apr
2020, p 3).
The company’s advanced renewal technology takes single-
stream, post-use plastics and converts them into naphtha,
ultra-low sulfur diesel and wax, and is also capable of
creating the building blocks for new plastics.
“Our first advanced recycling plant, located in Northeast
Indiana, is now in testing and will be operating at
production-scale early next year,” the company noted.
“”We are now in the final phases of determining the locations
of our next recycling facilities in Florida, Georgia,
New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, or Texas.
We plan to have at least two sites shovel-ready by 2021.”
Interested suppliers must be located in the Eastern
U.S. and must be able to consistently provide Brightmark
with a minimum of 1,000 t/y of plastic waste.
Suppliers must be contracted with Brightmark by 15
Nov. 2020 to be included in this round. Visit their website
at www.brightmark.com for more details.

 

Total Selling Lindsey Refinery to Prax

London—Total
has signed an agreement to sell its Lindsey refinery and
associated logistic assets in the UK, as well as related
rights and obligations, to the Prax Group.
The refinery, located in Immingham, England, has a
production capacity of 5.4-million t/y. The transaction, for
which a value was not given, is expected to be closed by the
end of 2020, once conditions of the sale have been satisfied.
“This transaction is in line with our forward-looking
strategy for Total’s European refining base, which involves
focusing our investments on integrated refining and petrochemical
platforms,” said Bernard Pinatel, president of
Total Refining & Chemicals.

 

SABIC Inks PPA with Iberdrola to Build Renewable Energy Plant at Cartagena

Madrid—
SABIC and Iberdrola have entered into a power purchase
sale agreement (PPA), in which Iberdrola will build and
operate the world’s “largest” onsite self-consumption photovoltaic
plant at SABIC’s Cartagena complex in Spain.
Through the PPA, Iberdrola will supply the complex
with green electricity for the next 25 years. It will be the
“first” large-scale chemical production facility that operates
with 100% renewable electricity, Iberdrola noted.
With an investment of around €70-million, the new renewable
installation will have an installed capacity of 100
megawatts and will be made up of 263,000 solar modules.
An expected completion date was not given.
“The commissioning of the solar plant will mean access
to 100% polycarbonate solutions produced with renewable
electricity for SABIC’s clients in markets that include the
automotive and construction sectors, thus responding to
their demand for more sustainable products for a world to
achieve carbon neutrality,” said Iberdrola.
“The new photovoltaic plant will offer an annual reduction
of 80,000 tons in indirect CO2 [carbon dioxide] emissions,
and reinforces our support and contribution to
broader climate change initiatives, such as Europe 2030
and our alignment with the United Nations Sustainable
Development Goals, where we can have the biggest impact,”
stated Bob Maughon, European vice president for
Technology & Innovation at SABIC.

 

Tristar Begins Construction on Additional Storage Tanks at JAFZA Chem Terminal

Dubai—
Tristar said it has started building 10 new chemical storage
tanks for its chemical terminal in Jebel Ali Free Zone
(JAFZA) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
The terminal, taken over from Shell in 2019, currently
has nine above ground storage tanks with a capacity of
5,505 cu m, a jetty with three pipeline connections to the
tanks, a truck loading gantry and a drumming facility.
With the new tanks, storage capacity at the terminal
will increase to 25,000 cu m.
“The upgraded facility will be a turnkey and fully integrated
distribution center that has the ability to handle
bulk imports and packed chemical products at high volumes,”
noted Tristar Group Chief Executive Eugene
Mayne.
Under terms of the agreement, Shell will remain a customer.

 

PGN Considers Entering Petchem Market; May Convert Natgas to Methanol, DME

Jakarta—
Indonesia’s PGN is planning to tap into the petrochemical
market and is looking to convert natural gas into methanol
and dimethyl ether (DME), helping to reduce the country’s
reliance on imports of fossil fuels, the Jakarta Post reported.
PGN, along with Indonesian refiner Kilang Pertamina
Indonesia, will complete a feasibility on the project between
2022 and 2023. The project could be operational by
2025 at the earliest.
The project would be limited to 5% to 10%, or a maximum
of 15%, of PGN’s portfolio, since it is not its main
business, said the report citing PGN President Director
Suko Hartono.

 

Sibur Begins Using Rail Transportation To Export Polymer Products to China

Moscow—Sibur
recently diversified its export supplies of polyethylene and
polypropylene to China by using Russia’s rail transportation
infrastructure.
Until this year, Sibur mainly relied on sea transportation
to ship its polymer products to China. Citing China’s
One Belt, One Road initiative, the company said products
from its Tobolsk and Tomsk sites are now also supplied to
Chongqing and Chengdu by rail.
“Shipments by rail allow Sibur to deliver products to
customers in just 10 days compared to 30 days required for
shipments by sea, while also helping to mitigate the risks
of negative macro developments and expand our customer
base in the central and western regions of China,” the
company noted.

 

Huntsman & Azelis Expand Partnership For Distribution of Advanced Materials

Austin—
Huntsman’s Advanced Materials business has agreed to
expand its Pan-American business relationship with its
distribution partner, Azelis Americas CASE in the U.S.
and Azelis Canada.
With the agreement, Azelis will lead the distribution
arm of the Coatings, Adhesives, Sealants & Elastomers
(CASE) business for Advanced Materials, both in the U.S.
and Canada.
The distribution agreement includes all of Huntsman’s
legacy CASE business and the CVC Thermoset Specialties
product lines, which it acquired from Emerald Performance
Materials in April 2020 (PCN, 25 May 2020, p 3).
Formal agreements are expected to be completed in the
“coming weeks” and Azelis will be fully prepared to service
the expanded territory by 1 Oct. 2020, Huntsman noted.

V58 N28 – 27 July 2020

ADNOC and ADQ to Form Joint Venture For Projects at Ruwais Derivatives Park

Ruwais—
Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. (ADNOC) and ADQ signed a
joint venture agreement to create a new investment platform
to fund and oversee the development of industrial
projects within the planned Ruwais Derivatives Park in
the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Under the agreement, the parties will conduct a comprehensive
feasibility study to further develop potential
anchor chemicals projects and expects to announce the results
of the study before the end of the year.
Subject to required approvals, the joint venture will be
incorporated in Abu Dhabi Global Markets with both companies
jointly determining the joint venture’s management
team and board. ADNOC will hold a 60% stake, with ADQ
holding the remaining 40%.
“The range, scale and caliber of resources ADNOC and
ADQ each bring to this new chemicals investment platform
underscore Abu Dhabi’s position as a leading global destination
for international investors and industrial partners,”
said UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology
and ADNOC Group Chief Executive Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al
Jaber.
“In line with ADNOC’s commitment to smart, responsible
investment in the current market environment, as well
as our unwavering focus on stretching the margin of every
barrel of oil produced, our partnership with ADQ will expand
on existing efforts to maximize the value of our assets
in Ruwais, to kickstart the development of the UAE’s
downstream derivatives sector, support the transformation
of Ruwais into a global hub for industry and attract additional
foreign direct investment.”
ADNOC earlier said the park would act as a prime catalyst
for the next stage of its petrochemical transformation
by inviting partners to invest in and produce new products
and solutions from the growing range of feedstocks that are
available in Ruwais (PCN, 24-31 Dec 2018, p 3).

 

Sasol Again Delays Beneficial Operation Of Its New Lake Charles LDPE Unit

Lake Charles—
Sasol said beneficial operation (BO) of its new low-density
polyethylene (LDPE) plant, the last remaining unit to come
online at its Lake Charles Chemicals Project (LCCP), has
been further delayed (PCN, 29 June 2020, p 2).
The 420,000-t/y LDPE unit, which was damaged during
a fire in January 2020, has had ongoing repair work done
and is expected to reach BO before the end of October
2020.
“Some challenges were experienced in the completion of
the restoration process, resulting in a slight delay to the
previous market guidance of a BO date before September
2020,” the company noted.
The LCCP also includes a 1.5-million-t/y ethane
cracker, a 470,000-t/y linear LDPE plant, a 100,000-t/y
ethoxylates facility, Guerbet and Ziegler alcohol units and
a combined 300,000-t/y ethylene oxide and 250,000-t/y ethylene
glycol plant, all which have reached BO.

 

QGPC Selects LyondellBasell Technology For New Polypropylene Plant in China

Beijing—
Quanzhou Grand Pacific Chemical Co. (QGPC), a whollyowned
subsidiary of Grand Pacific Petrochemical Corp.
(GPPC) of Taiwan, has chosen LyondellBasell’s Spheripol
technology for a new 450,000-t/y polypropylene (PP) facility
to be built in Quanzhou, Fujian Province, China.
“With the selection of LyondellBasell’s polypropylene
technology, we see us in a position to respond best to customers’
needs to deliver benchmark polypropylene products
on a competitive basis based on the selected Spheripol
technology,” said Pin-Cheng Yang, chairman of QGPC and
GPPC.
This past March, PCN reported that GPPC expected to
spend $1.67-billion to build a propane dehydrogenation
(PDH) unit and PP project in Quanzhou (PCN, 9 Mar 2020,
p 1).
The PDH unit would have a production capacity of 1-
million t/y of propylene, while the PP plant would have a
total of 900,000 t/y of production capacity. The first phase
is expected to begin production in 2023.
According to GPPC’s website, QGPC was established in
2020 mainly to produce propylene by PDH, PP and hydrogen
in Fujian Province.

 

Socar & BP Receive Approval to Form JV Company for Planned PC Complex

Aliaga—Socar
and BP have received Turkish Competition Council approval
to form a new joint venture company to build and
operate the proposed Mercury petrochemical complex in
Aliaga, Turkey, reported AzerNews citing local media reports.
The complex, expected to cost about $1.8-billion, would
include the production of 1.25-million t/y of purified
terephthalic acid, based on BP’s proprietary technology,
840,000 t/y of paraxylene and 340,000 t/y of benzene (PCN,
20 Apr 2020, p 1).
Construction was originally planned to begin this year;
however, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its affects on
oil prices, the partners have postponed the project implementation
until 2021.

 

Acron Boosting Ammonia Production At Its Ammonia-4 Facility in Russia

Moscow—Acron
Group has begun an expansion of its Ammonia-4 unit in
Veliky Novgorod, Russia, to increase ammonia output to
2,500 t/d (PCN, 10 Dec 2018, p 3).
The $34-million project, announced in 2018, is scheduled
to begin operations in late 2020. Start-up had originally
been scheduled for mid-2020.
A new heat exchange reformer, which will be based on
Haldor Topsoe technology, has been installed at the site. It
will consume up to 20% of the gas feedstock and “significantly”
increase the productivity of the conversion department,
Acron noted.

 

Celanese Agrees to Sell 45% Interest In Polyplastics to JV Partner Daicel

Tokyo—Celanese
has reached a definitive agreement to sell its 45% stake in
Polyplastics to its joint venture partner Daicel for $1.575-
billion, making Daicel sole owner.
The transaction is expected to be finalized in the second
half of this fiscal year, subject to necessary regulatory approvals
and customary closing conditions.
“We plan to use this opportunity to monetize a historically
passive investment and allocate significant capital to
higher growth businesses within Celanese,” said Celanese
Chairman and Chief Executive Lori Ryerkerk.
“This definitive agreement with Daicel is an intentional
departure from a legacy relationship to a contemporary
approach, which will drive future growth and greater customer
development and expansion opportunities,” Celanese
noted.
“Celanese will continue to compete with Polyplastics
(Daicel) in markets and regions where there is overlapping
product lines.”

 

CCEP Investing in CuRe Technology To Convert Plastic Waste into rPET

London—Coca-
Cola European Partners (CCEP) said it has decided to invest
in CuRe Technology, a recycling start-up that transforms
difficult to recycle plastic waste to high-quality recycled
polyethylene terephthalate (rPET).
CuRe will initially apply its end-to-end partial depolymerization
recycling process to convert opaque and difficult
to recycle food grade PET to rPET that can be used again
for food and drink packaging in one continuous process on
the same site.
Funding from CCEP, through its innovation investment
fund, CCEP Ventures, will allow CuRe to accelerate its
technology from pilot plant to commercial readiness. Once
commercialized, CCEP will receive the majority of the output
from a CuRe licensed, new-build plant.
The investment is part of CCEP’s ambition, in partnership
with The Coca-Cola Co. in Western Europe, to eliminate
virgin oil-based PET from its bottles within the next
decade, CCEP noted.
CCEP and Coca-Cola have pledged that by 2025, Coca-
Cola will collect a can or bottle for every one it sells and
ensure that all its packaging is 100% recyclable. It has
committed to using at least 50% rPET by 2023.
“Polyester is one of the world’s most reversible plastics
and should not go to waste,” said CuRe Technology Chief
Commercial Officer Josse Kunst.

 

Total SA Becomes European Company; Listed as Total SE on Stock Markets

Paris—Total SA
announced it has become a European company, following
its registration with the Trade and Companies Register of
Nanterre, and is now listed as Total SE on stock markets
trading its shares and American Depositary Shares.
The registration as a European company, which occurred
on 16 July 2020, was approved at the company’s
shareholder’s meeting on 29 May 2020, and follows negotiations
with employees’ representatives in 25 countries of
the European Economic Area.
Total’s ISIN codes and mnemonics remain unchanged,
the company noted.

 

PTTGCA Selects Mountaineer to Provide Storage, Transportation for PC Complex

Belmont—
PTTGC America (PTTGCA) has executed an agreement
with Mountaineer NGL Storage for the development of a
natural gas liquids (NGLs) storage facility to provide storage
and transportation services for PTTGCA’s proposed
petrochemical complex in Belmont County, Ohio (PCN, 20
July 2020, p 1).
The $250-million facility, which will be the “first” underground
NGL storage site in the “heart” of the Marcellus
and Utica shale formation, will be located in Dilles Bottom
on a site owned and operated by Mountaineer, PTTGCA
noted. A pipeline will be built to connect the storage facility
to the petrochemical complex.
The project will be developed in two phases and will include
multiple caverns. Each cavern will have the capacity
to store around 500,000 bbls of NGLs, including propane,
butane, ethane and ethylene.
Mountaineer has already obtained the required permits
to begin construction of the first phase, which will include
1.5-million bbls of storage capacity and will take two to
three years to complete.
An additional 1.5-million bbls of storage capacity is
planned in a second phase. Additional expansion capabilities
are available, subject to market demand.

 

SK Capital Decides to Invest in Techmer To Allow Techmer to Grow Its Business

Clinton—An
affiliate of New York-based private investment firm SK
Capital Partners has decided to acquire a majority interest
in Techmer PM and invest in the growth of the company.
Based in Clinton, Tenn., Techmer is a materials design
company specializing in modifying and fine-tuning the
properties of technical polymers. It operates six manufacturing
plants in the U.S. and one in Mexico.
SK will recapitalize Techmer in partnership with
Techmer Chairman and Chief Executive John Manuck,
who will continue to retain a “significant” ownership stake
in the company, Techmer noted. Specific terms of the deal
were not disclosed.
“Techmer is taking this step with SK to satisfy growing
demands from brand owners and international clients who
want to see the company expand its footprint to allow it to
better serve customers no matter where they are in the
world,” noted Manuck.

 

HRC Using Honeywell’s Chlorsorb Process In Its Revamped CCR Platforming Unit

Seremban—
Hengyuan Refining Co. (HRC) has begun using Honeywell
UOP’s modular Chlorsorb technology in its revamped UOP
CCR Platforming unit in Port Dickson, Malaysia.
The Chlorsorb unit is the “first” retrofit in the world involving
such a modular unit into an existing CCR Platforming
unit, Honeywell noted. The project will help HRC
comply with new clean air regulations.
Chlorsorb technology achieves up to 99% chloride removal
efficiency, eliminates the need for caustic scrubbing,
and reduces operating cost of a CCR Platforming unit,
stated Honeywell.
HRC, formerly known as Shell Refining Co., produces
naphtha, liquefied petroleum gas, mixed aromatics, gasoline,
gas oil, jet kerosene and fuel oil components.

 

Siemens, Bentley Systems to Develop Digital Twin for CAP’s PC Complex

Jakarta—Siemens
announced that it, along with Bentley Systems, has been
selected to build the “first” petrochemical digital twin in
Indonesia for Chandra Asri Petrochemical’s (CAP) integrated
petrochemical complex in Cilegon.
Development and implementation of the project will
take place in phases, from 2020 to 2025. FKA Global, the
systems integration partner, will provide digitalization
services, maintenance and further enhancement of the solution
after it is implemented. Cost of the project was unavailable.
“The digital twin of Chandra Asri’s integrated petrochemical
complex in Cilegon City will show and visualize
digitalized data about the plant assets and the engineering
data,” Siemens noted. “Therefore, analog plant data are
transformed into an automated digital twin framework.
This reduces risk of error.
“The information will henceforth be accessible through
one integrated digital platform, ensuring data accuracy,
consistency and integrity, as well as ease-of-maintenance.”
According to CAP’s website, it operates the country’s
only naphtha cracker plant, which includes the production
of olefins, polyolefins, pygas and mixed C4.
CAP is planning to double capacity in the next five
years, increasing production capacity to 8-million t/y from
4-million t/y (PCN, 27 Jan 2020, p 2).

 

Pennsylvania Governor Wolf Signs Bill To Offer Tax Credits for PC Projects

Pittsburgh—
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf has signed into law a
new tax incentive bill, which would provide tax credits for
new petrochemical plants that use dry natural gas produced
in Pennsylvania, according to several local news reports.
Under the new House Bill 732, the Local Resource
Manufacturing Tax Credit Legislation, companies would be
eligible for tax credits if they agree to invest a minimum of
$400-million in the new petrochemical project, employ at
least 800 local workers, and pay prevailing wages and
benefits to all construction workers.
The new plants will be required to use carbon capture
and sequestration technologies to reduce their impact on
the climate.
“Attracting and retaining natural gas synthesis manufacturing
should be a priority of policymakers at the state
and federal level to ensure this prosperity occurs in our
commonwealth, as opposed to a competitor state or country,”
said the Pennsylvania Business Report quoting David
Taylor, president and chief executive of the Pennsylvania
Manufacturers’ Assn.
“These types of investments drive long-term and sustained
tax revenue with exponential growth, as additional
downstream companies and associated industries cluster to
create a manufacturing hub.”

 

NextChem and LanzaTech Sign Agreement To Advance Circular Ethanol Production

Rome—
NextChem and LanzaTech have entered into an agreement
to license a new ‘waste-to-ethanol’ process line to accelerate
the transition to an inclusive circular bioeconomy.
The basic process involves the chemical conversion of
hydrogen and carbon contained in plasmix (non-recyclable
waste from plastics separate collection) and refuse derived
fuel, from which a circular gas is obtained to be used as a
base to produce various chemical products.
Using LanzaTech’s biological syngas fermentation
technology, ethanol is produced by bacteria, transforming
the gas at low temperature and low pressure, improving its
overall sustainability.
NextChem will exclusively license the new technology
in Italy and, on a project basis, in some international markets.
It has already developed circular hydrogen and circular
methanol production technologies.
“We are expanding our technology portfolio from a strategic
perspective: our circular district model and our wasteto-
chemicals technology platform are the answers both to
the problem of reliance on foreign supplies of chemical
products, and to the recovery of currently non-recyclable
waste fractions, and to the problem of decarbonization,”
noted Pierroberto Folgiero, chief executive of NextChem
and Maire Tecnimont.
“NextChem aims to provide the market with technological
solutions to completely replace traditional fossil-based
chemistry with biochemistry and waste chemistry. We
want to rebuild coal chemistry, excluding coal entirely; an
extremely ambitious goal, which today has become possible.”

 

Hengli Starts up Stratco Alkylation Unit At Its New Refinery Complex in China

Dalian—
DuPont Clean Technologies announced the “successful”
start-up and performance test of a new Stratco alkylation
unit at Hengli Petrochemical’s refinery complex in Changxing
Island Harbor Industrial Zone, China.
Licensed by DuPont, the 300,000-t/y unit enables
Hengli to produce high-quality alkylate from a 100% isobutylene
feed stream. It uses the latest innovative patented
XP2 technology by DuPont in the Stratco Contactor reactor.
The Stratco alkylation technology is a sulfuric acid,
catalyzed process that converts low-value, straight-chain
olefins into high-value, alkylate.

 

Green Petrochem Expanding Facilities To Meet Growing Demand in the UAE

Sharjah—
Green Petrochem, a provider of products and solutions for
the petroleum and petrochemical industries, announced
plans to increase storage capacity in the Hamriyah Free
Zone, United Arab Emirates (UAE), to meet the growing
demand for its services, TradeArabia reported.
With a current total refining capacity of 2.1-million
bbl/yr, the company offers a range of refined products, including
naphtha, kerosene, gasoil, fuel oil and specialty
solvents, and other specialty chemicals.
According to the report, Green Petrochem also has
plans to expand into the U.S. market. No other details
were given.

 

Air Liquide Building New Oxygen Unit To Accommodate Renewable Energy

Moerdijk—Air Liquide
announced it is investing in the “first” world-scale air
separation unit (ASU) for oxygen production with an energy
storage system that will help facilitate more renewable energy
on the electricity grid in the Netherlands.
The €125-million plant, to be located in the Port of Moerdijk,
will utilize 10% less electricity, and will have a production
capacity of 2,200 t/d of oxygen. Operations are
scheduled to begin in 2022.
The new ASU will produce oxygen, nitrogen and argon
for industrial, food and medical markets. It will be connected
to the company’s extensive pipeline network.
“Fighting climate change is central to the mission of Air
Liquide and we are developing a wide range of solutions,”
said Francois Jackow, executive vice president of the company
and a member of the executive committee.
“This investment in a strategic industrial basin, with a
first-of-its kind innovation, illustrates our capacity to modernize
industry with solutions to support a renewable energy
compatible grid.”

 

Total Inks Project Financing Agreement For New Mozambique LNG in S. Africa

Paris—Total
has signed a $14.9-billion senior debt financing agreement
for the planned Mozambique LNG liquefied natural gas
project on the Afungi Peninsula in northern Mozambique,
South Africa (PCN, 7 Oct 2019, p 3).
The $20-billion project includes the development of the
Golfinho and Atum natural gas fields located in Offshore
Area 1 concession, and the construction of a two-train liquefaction
plant with a total capacity of 13.1-million t/y.
The project financing, the “biggest ever in Africa,” Total
noted, includes direct and covered loans from eight export
credit agencies, 19 commercial bank facilities, and a loan
from the African Development Bank.
The Export-Import Bank of the U.S., which provided
$4.7-billion in financing, said the project would support an
estimated 16,700 American jobs over the five-year construction
period.
Total E&P Mozambique Area 1, a wholly-owned subsidiary
of Total, operates Mozambique LNG with a 26.5%
participating interest, alongside ENH Rovuma Area Um
(15%), Mitsui E&P Mozambique Area 1 (20%), ONGC
Videsh Rovuma (10%), Beas Rovuma Energy Mozambique
(10%), BPRL Ventures Mozambique (10%) and PTTEP Mozambique
Area 1 (8.5%).

 

ExxonMobil Researching New Material That Could Capture Over 90% of CO2

Irving—
Scientists from ExxonMobil, University of California,
Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
have discovered a new material that could capture more
than 90% of carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted from industrial
sources.
The patent-pending materials, known as tetraaminefunctionalized
metal organic frameworks, capture CO2
emissions up to six times more effectively than conventional
amine-based carbon capture technology, ExxonMobil
noted. Using less energy, the material has the potential to
reduce the cost of the technology and ultimately support
commercial applications.
“By manipulating the structure of the metal organic
framework material, the team . . . demonstrated the ability
to condense a surface area the size of a football field, into
just one gram of mass — about the same as a paperclip —
that acts as a sponge for CO2,” ExxonMobil explained.
Additional research and development will be needed to
progress the technology to a larger scale pilot plant and
eventually to industrial scale.

 

ToAZ Resumes Using River-Sea Vessels To Deliver Urea from Togliatti Facility

Moscow—
Togliattiazot (ToAZ) has resumed shipping urea by riversea
vessels from its Togliatti site in Russia to customers in
southern regions of the country.
In 2015, the company suspended shipments of urea by
river-sea vessels. A decision to resume such shipments
was made to increase commercial efficiency, in line with
the corporate development strategy until 2025, which was
adopted last year.
ToAZ may also use harbors in the south of Russia for
urea transportation, if it increases its pool of customers
and ensures demand for river/sea transportation to such
destination, the company noted.
“The new logistics channel is also of utmost importance
for the future, since Togliattiazot is currently building its
third urea plant,” said Danil Podoplekin, sales director.
In 2018, ToAZ awarded a contract to Casale for construction
of the third urea plant with a capacity of 2,200 t/d
(PCN, 7 Jan 2019, p 3). Completion is expected in 2021.

 

BASF & VCS Ink Agreement to Develop Aliphatic Isocyanate Isotainer Depot

Memphis—
BASF and Vertrauen Chemie Solutions (VCS) have signed
an agreement for a new storage location for manufacturing
material of BASF’s dispersions and resins business, as well
as a finished goods distribution center in Memphis, Tenn.
VCS, which specializes in toll blending, compounding
and packaging solutions for chemical and industrial markets,
will be responsible for development of the project.
“The additional storage and repackaging services provided
by VCS will improve our aliphatic isocyanate supply
chain and deliver additional benefits to our customers,”
said Vuk Milojkovic, business director, automotive and
industrial coatings, BASF Dispersion and Resins, North
America.

V58 N27 – 20 July 2020

DGR Picks Clariant’s Catofin Catalyst For Second PDH Plant in Dongguan

Shanghai—
Clariant has been awarded a contract from Dongguan
Grand Resource Technology (DGR) to provide its Catofin
catalyst for a second propane dehydrogenation (PDH) unit
in Dongguan, China (PCN, 20 Feb 2017, p1).
The new 600,000-t/y PDH plant will increase propylene
capacity to 1.2-million t/y and is expected to be commissioned
in 2022. Clariant supplied its catalyst for the first
plant, which successfully started up last year, Clariant
noted. Value of the contract was not available.
“We are honored to have been selected by DGR for this
second propylene project,” said Stefan Heuser, senior vice
president and general manager at Clariant Catalysts.
“Continuous catalyst innovation, together with ongoing
advancements in Lummus Technology’s process, demonstrate
why Catofin is one of the most productive and reliable
solutions on the market.”
The catalyst provides “reliable” operation at high onstream
conditions (typically above 98%) and enables production
“significantly” beyond design capacity (up to 110%
on average), Clariant noted.

 

RIL’s Plan to Sell Stake in O2C Business To Saudi Aramco Has ‘Not Progressed’

Mumbai—
Reliance Industries Ltd. (RIL) said that due to unforeseen
circumstances in the energy market and the COVID-19
situation, plans to divest a 20% stake in its Oil to Chemicals
(OTC) Division to Saudi Aramco have “not progressed”
as per its original timeline.
The O2C Division, which has an enterprise value of
$750-billion, includes the refining, petrochemicals and fuels
marketing businesses of RIL (PCN, 26 Aug 2019, p 3).
“Our equity requirements have already been met,”
noted RIL Chairman and Managing Director Mukesh Ambani.
“Nevertheless, we at Reliance value our over twodecade
long relationship with Saudi Aramco and are committed
to a long-term partnership.
“We will approach NCLT [National Company Law Tribunal]
with our proposal to spin off our O2C business into
a separate subsidiary to facilitate this partnership opportunity.
We expect to complete this process by early 2021.”

 

Yuntianhua to Acquire Majority Stake In Chinese Ammonia Producer Dawei

Shanghai—
China’s Yunnan Yuntianhua Co. plans to purchase a
93.89% interest in Yunnan Dawei Ammonia Co. from Yunnan
Coal Chemical Industry Group for $134-million, reported
a local media source citing a company filing with
the Shanghai Stock Exchange.
As part of the transaction, Yuntianhua will pay off
Dawei’s $59-million debt to Yunnan Coal Chemical Industry
Group. An expected closing date was not given.
Dawei mainly produces liquid ammonia, sodium carbonate
and sulfur.

 

Daelim Decides to Withdraw as Partner In Ohio Petchem Project with PTTGCA

Belmont—
Daelim Chemical USA has decided to drop out as equity
partner in a proposed joint venture ethane cracker project
with PTTGC America (PTTGCA) in Belmont County, Ohio
(PCN, 15 June 2020, p 1).
The world-scale, multi-billion dollar complex would include
a 1.5-million-t/y ethane cracker for the production of
ethylene, linear low-density polyethylene (PE) and highdensity
PE, based on technologies from Technip and Ineos.
The companies last month announced they would delay
making a final investment decision on the complex by six
to nine months, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and recent
oil price volatility.
“The Ohio petrochemical facility continues to be a top
priority for PTTGC America,” said PTTGCA President and
Chief Executive Toasaporn Boonyapipat. “We are in the
process of seeking a new partner, whilst working toward a
final investment decision.”

 

EC Fines Celanese, Orbia and Clariant For Plotting to Lower Ethylene Value

Brussels—The
European Commission (EC) said it has fined Celanese, Orbia
and Clariant for breaching European Union (EU) antitrust
rules by taking part in a cartel and colluding to lower
the value of ethylene, to the detriment of suppliers.
Unlike in most cartels, where companies conspire to
raise their sales prices, the companies coordinated their
price negotiation strategies before and during bilateral
Monthly Contract Price (MCP) settlement negotiations
with ethylene sellers to push the MCP down to their advantage.
They also exchanged price-related information,
practices which are prohibited by EU competition rules.
Westlake, which confirmed that one of its subsidiaries
was also involved in the anti-competitive practices, was not
fined as it revealed the cartel to the Commission and fully
cooperated with the related investigation.
Celanese, Orbia and Clariant agreed to pay a total of
€260-million to settle the case.

 

Enterprise Co-Loads NGLs & Olefins On Same Vessel for the ‘First’ Time

Houston—
Enterprise Products Partners announced it has successfully
loaded combination cargoes of natural gas liquids
(NGLs) and olefins on the same vessel for the “first” time
at its Houston Ship Channel terminals.
This month, Enterprise completed the simultaneous
loading of propane and polymer-grade propylene into separate
compartments on a VLGC (very large gas carrier) at
the Houston Ship Channel terminal, as well as the simultaneous
loading of ethane and ethylene on a vessel at its
Morgan’s Point facility in Texas.
“Both vessels were the first export cargoes of their kind
from the U.S.,” Enterprise noted.

 

EC OKs Orlen’s Acquisition of Lotos Subject to Commitments by Orlen

Brussels—The
European Commission (EC) has approved the acquisition
of Grupa Lotos by PKN Orlen, subject to full compliance
with a commitments package offered by Orlen (PCN, 9 Mar
2020, p 3).
Last August, Orlen, Lotos and the Polish State Treasury,
which holds 53.19% of the voting rights of Lotos,
signed an agreement defining the framework structure of
the planned transaction.
Following an in-depth investigation into the acquisition,
the commission had concerns that the transaction, as
initially notified, would have harmed competition. To address
the EC’s concerns, Orlen offered a set of commitments,
including divestitures.
The commission determined that the commitments
package would enable the purchasers of the divested businesses,
as well as other competitors, to compete effectively
with the merged entity in the relevant markets.
Value of the transaction and an expected completion
date were not disclosed.

 

Nova Declares Force Majeure at Joffre On Butene Linear Low-Density PE

Joffre—Nova
Chemicals confirmed reports that it has declared force majeure
on all butene linear low-density polyethylene
(LLDPE) at its Joffre facility in Alberta, Canada.
“Over the past several days, we have experienced mechanical
failures beyond our reasonable control at our two
butene linear low-density polyethylene reactors in Joffre,”
said Jennifer Nanz, director of corporate communications.
“As the result of the repair timing and current inventory
levels, we have declared force majeure on all butene
LLDPE. This event does not affect any of our other polyethylene
products.
“We are committed to safely resolving these issues as
quickly as possible. However, we do not yet know the expected
length of the force majeure.
“There were no injuries or impact to the environment as
a result of this event,” she noted.

 

Thyssenkrupp, BASF Expand Cooperation On STAR Dehydrogenation Technology

Essen—
Thyssenkrupp and BASF have signed a joint development
agreement to widen their cooperation on Thyssenkrupp’s
proprietary Steam Active Reforming (STAR) dehydrogenation
technology.
The STAR process produces propylene from propane
feedstocks, or isobutylene from isobutane feedstocks, using
an “exceptionally stable” catalyst, Thyssenkrupp noted.
To “significantly” increase the resource and energy efficiency
of the process through targeted improvements in
catalyst and plant design, ThyssenKrupp will focus on
process development, while BASF will focus on catalyst
development, Thyssenkrupp explained.
In the future, plant operators can benefit from lower investment
and operating costs, as well as lower carbon dioxide
emissions.
“With our combined know-how we can further reduce
consumption of energy and resources,” said Uwe Boltersdorf,
chief sales officer of Thyssenkrupp’s Chemical & Process
Technologies business unit.

 

NEDO Selects Japanese Group to Develop Technologies to Produce PX from CO2

Tokyo—The
New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization
(NEDO) said it has chosen a group of Japanese
companies for its project to develop the world’s “most advanced”
technology for the production of paraxylene (PX)
from carbon dioxide (CO2).
The group, which includes Mitsubishi Corp., the University
of Toyama, Chiyoda Corp., Nippon Steel Engineering
Co., Nippon Steel Corp. and HighChem Co., will improve
the innovative catalyst to produce PX from CO2, develop
a way to mass-produce the catalyst, and develop the
process while studying its feasibility, including its overall
efficiency and CO2 reduction effect, the group explained.
“Global demand for paraxylene is approximately 49-
million t/y,” the group noted. “Assuming that the feedstock
for paraxylene of the current demand level is entirely converted
from fossil fuels to CO2, theoretically 160-million
tons of CO2 could be fixed in the paraxylene per year.”
The project is scheduled to run from fiscal year 2020 to
2023. The contract is valued at ¥1.99-billion.

 

LanzaTech Utilizing TechnipFMC’s Hummingbird Technology for SAF

Atlanta—
LanzaTech has selected TechnipFMC’s Hummingbird
ethanol-to-ethylene technology to be used in a key application
which, when combined with LanzaTech’s Alcohol-to-
Jet technology, can be used to manufacture sustainable
aviation fuel (SAF).
LanzaJet, LanzaTech’s spin-off sustainable aviation
fuel company, will use the technologies in its commercial
demonstration-scale integrated biorefinery at LanzaTech’s
Freedom Pines site in Soperton, Ga.
Hummingbird technology is based on a simple low-cost
process for dehydrating ethanol to ethylene. Its proprietary
catalyst results in a lower temperature, higher pressure,
and more selective process compared to traditional
ethanol dehydration processes that use alumina-based
catalysts, TechnipFMC noted.
For TechnipFMC, this is the “first” commercial-scale
application of the technology.

 

People on the Move

McDermott International—Tareq Kawash has become
senior vice president for the Europe, Middle East and
Africa region. He had been senior vice president for the
Europe, Africa, Russia and Caspian region, which has been
combined with the Middle East North Africa region.
Saudi Industrial Investment Group—Abdul Rahman
Saleh Al-Ismail has been appointed chief executive,
effective 1 Jan. 2021. He is currently a member of the
board of directors.
Olin Corp.—Scott M. Sutton, currently president and
chief executive of Prince International, and a member of
Olin’s board of directors, has been named president and
chief executive of Olin. He will succeed John E. Fischer,
who has been named executive chairman. Both appointments
are effective 1 Sept. 2020.
Sutton is expected to be appointed chairman of the
board immediately following Olin’s 2021 annual meeting of
shareholders, at which time Fischer is expected to retire.

 

MISC & Zhejiang Satellite Ink Deals For Six Korean Newbuild VLECs

Kuala Lumpur—
MISC Berhad has entered into purchase agreements with
six indirect wholly-owned subsidiaries of Zhejiang Satellite
Petrochemical (Satellite) for six newbuild very large ethane
carriers (VLECs) to be built in South Korea.
The 98,000-cu m VLECs, costing about $726-million,
will be built by Samsung Heavy Industries and Hyundai
Heavy Industries. They will construct three vessels each.
At the same time, MISC, through its vessel-owning entity,
Portovenere and Lerici (Singapore) Pte., has entered
into 15-year time charter parties with Satellite for the time
charter of the tankers for operations in international waters.
The charters are expected to begin in the fourth
quarter of 2020.
“A new chapter is in the making as we make our entry
into the global ethane market with these six VLECs and a
new alliance in China,” said MISC President and Group
Chief Executive Yee Yang Chien.
“Today, by entering into this agreement, Satellite and
MISC have just started a new venture, in which the two
parties will build a global logistics supply chain for chemicals
together,” said Satellite Chairman and President Yang
Weidong. “This supply chain is going to safeguard the
world-leading ethylene cracker that is being built by Satellite.”
The 1.25-million-t/y ethylene facility, estimated to cost
$4.2-billion, is being set up in Lianyungang, China (PCN, 2
Sept 2019, p 2).
PCN earlier reported that construction on the project
was expected to begin in September 2019 and take about
one year to complete.

 

Aramco Launching New Operating Model To Enhance Its Downstream Operations

Dhahran—
Saudi Aramco announced it is reorganizing its downstream
business to support and enhance integration across the
hydrocarbon value chain and better position the company
to drive financial performance, value creation and global
growth.
The downstream operating model will consist of four
commercial business units: Fuels (refining, trading, retail
and lubes); Chemicals; Power, and Pipelines, Distribution
& Terminals.
The units will be supported by three corporate functions:
Manufacturing; Strategy & Marketing and Affiliates
Affairs. The reorganization is expected to be complete by
the end of the year.
“This reorganization is yet another step in Aramco’s
strategy to develop a global integrated downstream business
that enhances our competitiveness by maximizing our
value capture across the hydrocarbon value chain,” said
Abdulaziz M. Al Gudaimi, senior vice president of Aramco
Downstream.

 

Polynt-Reichhold Makes Decision to Build New Maleic Anhydride Plant in the U.S.

Morris—
Polynt-Reichhold Group said it has decided to build a new
greenfield maleic anhydride unit at its site in Morris, Ill.,
the group’s “largest” site for unsaturated polyester resins.
The 50,000-t/y facility will serve the company’s consumption
for composites and other maleic derivatives already
produced in Europe and Asia. Cost of the project
and a schedule were not given.
The site benefits from cost-efficient logistics through its
access to a rail spur and a dock for barges on the Illinois
River, and has space for expansion.
“For maleic anhydride, we evaluated options for purchasing
an existing plant, but this proved to not be feasible,”
noted Polynt-Reichhold Group President and Chief
Executive Rosario Valido. “Therefore, we decided to go
ahead and build our own . . . plant.”
The group is also evaluating its integration strategy for
phthalic anhydride. It is considering integration with existing
operations or construction of a new greenfield unit.
A final decision is expected before the end of the year.
“For phthalic anhydride, we are in an earlier stage and
different options are still on the table,” said Valido. “We
are committed to progress in integrating intermediates and
resins. An investment in phthalic anhydride will strengthen
our competitive position in the Americas, while leveraging
our proprietary technologies and deep experience operating
intermediates facilities in Europe and Asia.”

 

Kem One & Polyloop Enter Partnership To Develop PVC Recycling Solutions

Balan—Kem
One and Polyloop, a start-up specializing in the development
of compact recycling units, have partnered to develop
new solutions for polyvinyl chloride (PVC) recycling.
A pilot plant will be located at Kem One’s site in Balan,
France, where Polyloop will continue to work on its selective
dissolution and precipitation process, intended to recycle
PVC composite materials, such as technical textiles. It
will perform tests on end-of-life materials and manufacturing
scrap.
Polyloop will utilize Kem One’s analytical skills, expertise
in the various types of PVC and their applications, and
knowledge of the markets.
The aim is to eventually design a small, decentralized
modular recycling unit that can be integrated into a factory.
PVC compounds obtained from the process could
then be reused on the same site by manufacturers and
transformers.

 

Cariflex Boosting Polyisoprene Capacity

Paulinia—
Cariflex said it will build a new large-scale polyisoprene
latex plant at its facility in Paulinia, Brazil, to meet the
current strong demand for medical protective equipment.
The project, estimated to cost approximately $50-
million, will be identical to the current unit at the site and
will double isoprene latex capacity there. Operations are
expected to begin in the first quarter of 2021.
Daelim Industrial recently acquired the Cariflex isoprene
rubber business from Kraton for $530-million (PCN,
16 Mar 2020, p 3).

 

Stepan Agrees to Purchase Clariant’s Mexican Surfactant Business, Assets

Santa Clara—
Stepan Co., through its Mexican subsidiaries, has entered
into an agreement to acquire Clariant’s anionic surfactant
business and associated sulfation equipment in Santa
Clara, Mexico.
The transaction, for which financial details were not
disclosed, is expected to close in the third quarter of this
year, subject to regulatory approvals and satisfaction of
certain other requirements.
“The purchase of Clariant’s surfactant business in Mexico
will enhance our ability to support our customers’
growth in the Mexican consumer and functional markets
for surfactants,” said F. Quinn Stepan, Jr., chairman, president
and chief executive of Stepan.
“We plan to transition manufacturing from Clariant’s
Santa Clara site to Stepan’s Mexican sites located in
Ecatepec and Matamoros over the coming months.”

 

NextDecade Optimizing RGLNG Project To Reduce Its Environmental Impacts

Houston—
NextDecade Corp. announced it is optimizing its Rio
Grande LNG (RGLNG) project to reduce carbon dioxide
equivalent (CO2e) emissions and reduce the environmental
impacts of the project (PCN, 24 Feb 2020, p 4).
The original front-end engineering and design was
based on six LNG trains, each capable of producing 4.5-
million t/y of LNG for export. The technologies originally
selected have since evolved over the five-year permitting
period; the LNG trains are now “more efficient” and will
produce more LNG with lower total CO2e emissions.
“Multiple optimizations have been identified that will
lead to the delivery of a world-class LNG project capable of
producing 27-million t/y with just five LNG trains instead
of six,” the company noted. Train 6 will be vacated.
The benefits of these optimizations include approximately
21% lower CO2e emissions; a shortened construction
timeline for the project; reduced facility footprint, and
an expected reduction in traffic on roadways.
In the first quarter of this year, NextDecade sold its
100% stake in Rio Bravo Pipeline Co. to Enbridge.
Enbridge was to assume all responsibility for the Rio
Bravo Pipeline, while NextDecade would continue to be
responsible for the Rio Grande LNG export facility.
NextDecade has retained rights to the natural gas firm
transportation capacity on the pipeline for at least 20 years
to supply the LNG export facility.

 

KBR Awarded Contract from Kutch For Indian Nitrobenzene Project

New Delhi—Kutch
Specialities Pvt. Ltd. has chosen KBR to supply its proprietary
Plink adiabatic nitrobenzene solutions for a new nitrobenzene
project in India.
Under the terms of the contract, KBR will provide basic
and detailed engineering design, equipment, and related
advisory services to Kutch for its grassroots facility. No
other details were given.
“KBR’s proven process, patented equipment design, and
material selection ensure plant availability and reliability
to produce a high-purity nitrobenzene with a focus on high
energy efficiency and environmental sustainability,” KBR
noted.

 

Loop Provides Updates on Operations; Spartanburg Start-Up to be Delayed

Montreal—Loop
Industries, in its fourth quarter consolidated financial results
of fiscal 2020, provided updates on its business developments.
On 11 May 2020, Loop restarted full operations at its
pilot plant in Terrebonne, Quebec, Canada, which is being
used for the development of its depolymerization technology
for the production of sustainable polyethylene
terephthalate.
Operations had been reduced in late March 2020 to
comply with the Quebec provincial government’s order to
minimize all non-priority services and activities until 13
Apr. 2020, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic (PCN,
30 Mar 2020, p 1).
Over the period, Loop’s team in Canada continued to
optimize its technology and make engineering design improvements,
reducing both capital and operating costs,
Loop noted.
In Spartanburg, S.C., Loop, and its joint venture partner,
Indorama Ventures, are building a 40,000-t/y facility
to commercialize the depolymerization technology. The
company is engaging Worley as construction contractor.
Loop expects commissioning of the Spartanburg plant
to be delayed by about three to six months, assuming there
are no further delays.
“In order to move forward expeditiously with the . . . facility
and its overall commercialization plans, and in light
of the continuing improvements which have been achieved,
we have expressed our desire to and are exploring joint
venture structures and financing alternatives to increase
our equity participation in the project,” said Loop.
“Indorama has reiterated to the joint venture its commitment
to maintaining an investment in the . . . project,
which is strategically important to support the sustainability
objectives of its customers. Discussions on the joint
venture structure and financing are on-going.”

V58 N26 – 13 July 2020

KNM and ADAP Capital to Establish JV For Oil, Gas & PC Projects in Sarawak

Sarawak—
KNM Process Systems and ADAP Capital have entered
into an agreement to set up a joint venture company to
undertake oil, gas and petrochemical projects in Sarawak,
Malaysia.
Under the agreement, KNW would hold a 51% stake in
the new company, while ADAP would hold the remaining
49% interest. The agreement is valid for 12 months from
the date of execution and may be extended for another period,
subject to written approval by both parties.
The parties will partner on engineering, procurement
and construction contracts for oil, gas and petrochemical
plants; the manufacture and supply of process equipment,
tanks, piping and structures for oil, gas and petrochemical
plants, and, subject to feasibility and a separate agreement,
they may build, own and operate strategic projects.

 

Linde Starts Up New Hydrogen, CO Plant To Supply Celanese, Customers in Texas

Houston—
Linde announced it has begun operations at a new “stateof-
the-art” carbon monoxide (CO) and hydrogen facility in
Clear Lake, Texas, and an air separation unit (ASU) in La
Porte, Texas, to supply Celanese and other customers
(PCN, 27 Feb 2017, p 2).
The plants will supply oxygen, nitrogen and high-purity
CO to Celanese, under a previously announced long-term
agreement with Praxair, a wholly-owned subsidiary of
Linde, and hydrogen to other customers via Linde’s U.S.
Gulf Coast pipeline system.
The new ASU is also connected to Linde’s nitrogen and
oxygen pipeline network, enabling “safe and reliable” supply
to Celanese and other customers in the area. Linde
noted.

 

Air Products & ACWA Power Join Neom For Green NH3 Facility in Saudi Arabia

Neom—Air
Products, ACWA Power and Neom have signed an agreement
for a world-scale green hydrogen-based ammonia production
facility in the northwest corner of Saudi Arabia.
The $5-billion plant, to be located in Neom’s industrial
cluster, a new model for sustainable living, will produce
1.2-million-t/y of green ammonia for export to global markets.
The project, to be equally owned by the three partners,
is scheduled to come on stream in 2025.
The project will include the integration of over four gigawatts
of renewable power from solar, wind and storage;
the production of 650 t/d of hydrogen by electrolysis using
Thyssenkrupp technology; the production of nitrogen by air
separation utilizing Air Products technology, and the production
of green ammonia using Haldor Topsoe technology.
Air Products will be the exclusive off-taker of the ammonia
and plans to transport it around the world to be dissociated
to produce green hydrogen for the transportation
sector.

 

Dastur and Lummus to Evaluate Feasibility Of Petcoke Gasification at BPCL Refinery

Kochi—
Dastur International, along with two affiliates, and Lummus
Technology have been chosen to study the feasibility
of petcoke gasification and the production of value-added
petrochemicals and clean fuel products at Bharat Petroleum
Corp. Ltd.’s (BPCL) Kochi refinery in India.
Funded by the U.S. Trade and Development Agency
(USTDA), the study will evaluate various options to arrive
at the most appropriate and techno-economically viable
project blueprint and technology design for the gasification
of petcoke produced at BPCL Kochi.
The study is part of the USTDA’s mission to promote
the development of sustainable infrastructure projects and
foster economic growth in partner countries like India.
“Refinery capacity and output is rapidly growing in India,”
said Murali Madhavan, executive director of BPCL
Kochi. “With the increasing use of heavier and sour crudes,
sustainable utilization of petcoke from refineries is a
concern.
“This project promises to reduce emissions by turning
petcoke into a feedstock for producing value-added clean
energy products based on gasification. We are excited to
partner with Dastur and Lummus, given their proven experience
and expertise in the area of gasification, clean
energy and related low-carbon technologies.”

 

Maroon Group Concludes Purchase Of Chemicals Distributor Holland

Avon—Maroon
Group announced that it has acquired Holland Chemicals,
a distributor of specialty chemicals and ingredients headquartered
in Illinois, for an undisclosed amount.
Now part of Maroon, Holland will continue to focus on
its core markets, while leveraging Maroon’s North American
footprint, broad product offering, operational infrastructure,
and digital capabilities, Maroon noted. Holland’s
management team will continue to actively manage
the business on a day-to-day basis.
“The business further strengthens our presence in several
core end-markets and geographies, and adds depth to
our technical and formulary teams,” said Maroon Chief
Executive Terry Hill.

 

Chemours Closing First Chemical Site

Pascagoula—
Chemours announced that it will shut down its First
Chemical site in Pascagoula, Miss., by the end of 2020.
“As a result of a business review, we determined that
aniline business is not core to our future strategy and we
have made the difficult decision to exit the business and
cease production at the site by the end of this year,” the
company said it a statement.
“We value every employee and the customers they
serve, and we will support them through this time of transition.
We will entertain options for productive reuse of
the site.”

 

Clariant, Ineratec to Develop Technologies For Producing Renewable Chems & Fuels

Munich—
Clariant and Ineratec, a spin-off of the Karlsruhe Institute
of Technology, have entered into a partnership to develop
and commercialize novel technologies for the production of
renewable chemicals and fuels.
Clariant will provide its extensive catalysis expertise
and broad portfolio of syngas conditioning and upgrading
catalysts to support Ineratec’s gas-to-liquids technology.
Ineratec’s entire chemical process is realized in transportable
container units. The process combines hydrogen
generated from renewable power, with greenhouse gases
such as carbon dioxide (CO2), to form CO2-neutral synthetic
hydrocarbons and fuels.
Clariant will supply its HyProGen R-70 catalyst to produce
renewable syngas via reverse water-gas-shift; its
MegaMax methanol catalyst, which generates renewable
methanol, and its METH 134 catalyst for the production of
renewable synthetic natural gas.
“The microstructured core of the modular Ineratec reactors
provides a large surface for heat and mass transport,”
Clariant noted. “Highly exothermic reactions, such as
methanol synthesis or CO2 hydrogenation, can be operated
efficiently and safely in compact container-sized plants.
This enables outstanding reactor productivity, with high
conversion per reactor pass.”

 

Sulzer Supplying Mass Transfer Technology For Dangote’s Refinery and PC Complex

Lekki—
Dangote Group has selected Sulzer Chemtech’s mass transfer
technology for its integrated oil refinery and petrochemical
complex in Lekki Free Trade Zone near Lagos,
Nigeria (PCN, 18 Mar 2019, p 1).
The grassroots refinery will have the capability to process
650,000 b/d of crude oil and is expected to be operational
by the end of 2022.
“The plant will not only help Nigeria meet its own fuel
demand and become self-sufficient, but will also add Nigeria
to the list of top global exporters of gasoline, diesel,
aviation jet fuel, as well as other petrochemicals and petroleum-
based products, such as polypropylene,” Sulzer noted.
PCN earlier reported that the project includes a fertilizer
plant consisting of two trains, each with a capacity of
1.5-million t/y of ammonia and urea, which was expected to
start up last year, as well as a petrochemical plant and a
subsea pipeline.

 

Birla Carbon Restructuring Company To Transition to Global Organization

Mumbai—
Carbon black producer Birla Carbon announced it will
transition to a global functional organization from one
which previously operated in five global geographic regions
having responsibility for all business operations.
The global restructuring will allow Birla Carbon to focus
on customers, innovation and operations, the company
noted.
Along with the organizational changes, John Davidson,
president of the Europe and Africa region, will become
chief sales and marketing officer; Sanjeev Sood, president
of the South Asia region has been named chief manufacturing
officer for Asia, and Dale Clark will become chief
manufacturing officer for Americas, Europe and Africa. He
is currently chief technology officer.

 

The Recycling Partnership Touts Launch Of Coalition for PP Recovery, Recycling

Arlington—
The Recycling Partnership announced the launch of its
Polypropylene Recycling Coalition, an industry collaboration
to improve polypropylene (PP) recovery and recycling
in the U.S. and further develop the end-market of highquality
recycled PP.
Part of The Recycling Partnership’s Pathway to Circularity
Initiative, the Polypropylene Recycling Coalition is
supported by funders representing all segments of the material’s
value chain, including founding members Braskem,
Keurig Dr Pepper, and the Walmart Foundation.
Other inaugural members include LyondellBasell, the
American Chemistry Council, Danone North America, EFS
Plastics, KW Plastics, Procter & Gamble, St. Joseph Plastics
and Winpak. The coalition has set an initial funding
target of $35-million over five years and is seeking additional
supporters.
The coalition’s first action is to open a Request for Proposals
for Material Recovery Facilities to apply for financial
grants to enable improved sorting of PP and widen
acceptance through consumer education programs.
“Together we can stimulate a systemwide shift to increase
the capture of polypropylene and demand for recycled
content,” said Keefe Harrison, chief executive of The
Recycling Partnership. “We encourage all companies that
use polypropylene to be part of the solution.
“The Polypropylene Recycling Coalition’s work to improve
and increase the recovery of polypropylene will support
jobs, preserve natural resources, and help build a circular
economy in the United States.”
For more details on the Polypropylene Recycling Coalition,
visit recyclingpartnership.org/polypropylene-coalition.

 

People on the Move

Nova Chemicals—Luis Sierra has been appointed
president and chief executive, effective 1 Aug. 2020, to succeed
Todd Karran, who is retiring. Sierra was most recently
chief executive of BP’s aromatic chemicals business.
Agilyx—Tim Stedman, who has been serving as senior
vice president of strategy and corporate development at
Trinseo, has been named chief executive, effective 17 Aug.
2020. He will replace Joe Vaillancourt, who will assume
the role of president of Cyclyx International, a recently
launched affiliate of Agilyx (PCN, 6 July 2020, p 4).
Peter Norris, chairman of Virgin Group, has assumed
the position of chairman at Agilyx. He has served on the
board of Agilyx since 2014.
MOL Group—Gabriel Szabo has been named executive
vice president of Group Downstream, effective 15 July
2020, succeeding Ferenc Horvath, who will become special
envoy to the chairman.
BP—Simon Yang has been appointed president of
China operations to replace Yang Xiaoping. He was previously
president of the company’s Asian acetyls business.
Evonik—Sanjeev Taneja, most recently president and
managing director of Evonik India, has become head of
Evonik’s catalysts business line. He succeeds Steffen Hasenzahl,
who has been named managing director of Evonik
Creavis GmbH.
Togliattiazot—Petr Ordzhonikidze was recently
elected chairman of the board.

 

New SOCMA Census Indicates Optimism Among Specialty Chemical Companies

Arlington—
The Society of Chemical Manufacturers & Affiliates
(SOCMA) said that findings from its inaugural Specialty
Chemicals Industry Census indicate that specialty chemical
companies remain “bullish” despite the uncertain landscape.
“Through the census, we captured demographic and operations
data that not only points to sustained business
confidence, but also builds upon SOCMA’s industry intelligence
repository, providing more clarity and insight than
you would get from peer-to-peer discussions,” said Paul
Hirsh, senior vice president of Industry Development &
Partnerships.
“This data establishes key benchmarks that are critical
to companies as they reassess their business plans and
reevaluate outlooks for the remainder of 2020.”
SOCMA developed the census in collaboration with
Vault Consulting. The resulting data will be disseminated
through SOCMA’s ChemSectors program, a tailored information
network for analysis and trends impacting the
value chain.
Key findings of the 2020 census include: approximately
93% of respondents anticipate an increase in revenue
growth, and 83% expect an increase in capacity in the next
three years; over 67% have capital expansion plans in
place; nearly 35% of companies view sustainability in the
context of business continuity, and around 61.5% train
employees in-house, with 38.6% using both in-house and
external sources.
The census also showed that markets driving revenue
growth within the next three years include: performance
materials (81%), agrochemicals (49%) and APIs/excipients
(47%).
“Despite the pandemic and other crucial factors impacting
the specialty and fine chemical sector in 2020, the
SOCMA census reinforces the significance of the specialty
chemicals industry to economic growth, both on the national
and international stages,” noted SOCMA President
and Chief Executive Jennifer Abril.

 

Air Products & Thyssenkrupp Sign Deal For Plants to Produce Green Hydrogen

Harrisburg—
Air Products and Thyssenkrupp Uhde Chlorine Engineers
have signed a strategic cooperation agreement to set up
world-scale water electrolysis facilities to generate green
hydrogen.
The companies will collaborate exclusively in key regions
using their complementary technology, engineering
and project execution expertise to develop the projects.
Air Products will build, own and operate the plants,
while Thyssenkrupp will deliver its technology and supply
specific engineering, equipment and technical services for
the electrolysis units.
“We are proud to cooperate with Air Products in making
value chains for fuels, chemicals and industry feedstocks
sustainable,” said Denis Krude, chief executive at
Thyssenkrupp Uhde Chlorine Engineers.
“Matching the need for low-CAPEX, low-OPEX, reliable
technology and solid project execution to make the worldscale
green hydrogen projects feasible, Air Products and
Thyssenkrupp are committed to deploying economic green
hydrogen plants in the gigawatt size,” Air Products noted.

 

Borealis ‘Significantly’ Boosting Share Of Renewable Energy at Porvoo Site

Porvoo—Borealis
said it will “significantly” increase the share of renewable
energy used for its operations in Porvoo, Finland, under
two new long-term power purchase agreements with Ilmatar
Energy, a Finnish wind farm operator and developer.
The agreements, made jointly with Neste, Borealis’
long-term partner in Porvoo, is for the supply of over 20
megawatts of wind power from Ilmatar over the next decade.
This will enable Borealis to increase its share of renewable
power in its overall electricity consumption at the
facility to 13%.
The deal also brings Borealis closer to its goal of sourcing
at least 50% of Borealis Group’s electricity consumption
from renewable sources for its Hydrocarbon & Energy
and Polyolefins businesses by 2030.
Delivery of electricity by Ilmatar is expected to begin
around mid-2022.

 

Dow Signs Definitive Agreement to Sell Rail Assets from Six N. American Sites

Midland—
Dow has signed a definitive agreement with Watco Companies
to divest its rail infrastructure assets and related
equipment at six major sites in North America in a transaction
valued at over $310-million.
The assets being sold are located at Dow’s sites in
Plaquemine and St. Charles, La.; Freeport and Seadrift,
Texas; and Ft. Saskatchewan and Prentiss in Alberta,
Canada. Subject to customary closing conditions, the
transaction is expected to be finalized in the fourth quarter
of this year.
Dow and Watco will enter into initial long-term service
agreements to provide “reliable and cost-advantaged” services
for existing Dow businesses at the sites, Dow noted.
“Today’s announcement is part of an on-going review of
our ownership of non-product producing assets and is
driven by our commitment to apply a best-owner mindset
to everything we do,” said Dow Chairman and Chief Executive
Jim Fitterling.

 

GC Enters Agreement with Dynachem For 41.5% Stake in Dynachisso Thai

Bangkok—PTT
Global Chemical (GC) signed a shareholders agreement
with Dynachem (Hong Kong) Ltd. for a 41.5% interest in
Dynachisso Thai Co. to advance the polypropylene (PP)
compound engineering plastic business.
Dynachisso Thai, located in the Amata Industrial Estate
in Chonburi Province, Thailand, has an installed capacity
of 30,000 t/y of PP compounds. The transaction is
expected to be finalized in the third quarter of 2020.
“The collaboration with Dynachisso Thai to produce PP
compounds serving various industry platforms will rapidly
enhance GC Group’s market expansion in the automotive
and E&E industries,” said GC President Patiparn Sukorndhaman.
“Furthermore, this collaboration will result in having
high-value products for PP resins and fully meet the needs
of customers in both regional and global markets, especially
in Thailand, China and SEA [Southeast Asia].”

 

Hanwha Total Using Smart Management At Its Integrated PC Complex in Daesan

Daesan—
Hanwha Total Petrochemical Co., a 50-50 joint venture of
Hanwha General Chemicals Co. and Total S.A., has deployed
a “big-data” system for smart petrochemical processing
at its integrated refining and petrochemical complex
in Daesan, South Korea, according to Pulse News.
The new Asset Information Portal system contains information
on more than 300,000 units at the complex, including
design blueprints, qualifications and maintenance
history.
Employees now have access to a wide range of information
on a single portal site, which is expected to “significantly”
increase safety and operational efficiency, said the
report citing Hanwha Total. The system is expected to
save 32,000 working hours and reduce costs by $1.84-
million per year.

 

ANOPC Awards Contract to TechnipFMC For Egyptian Hydrocracking Complex

Assiut—
TechnipFMC has been awarded an engineering, procurement
and construction contract by Assiut National Oil
Processing Co. (ANOPC) to build a new hydrocracking
complex for the Assiut refinery in Egypt.
The complex will convert lower-value petroleum products
from Assiut Oil Refining Co.’s nearby refinery into
about 2.8-million t/y of cleaner products, including Euro 5
diesel, noted TechnipFMC. Also included in the project are
other process units, interconnecting, offsites and utilities.
The contract, valued at over $1-billion, includes a vacuum
distillation unit, diesel hydrocracking unit, delayed
coker unit, distillate hydrotreating unit, as well as a hydrogen
production plant using TechnipFMC’s steam reforming
technology.
TechnipFMC was also responsible for the front-end engineering
design of the project.

 

Nouryon Opens New North America Integrated Services Office in Texas

Houston—Nouryon
has opened a new integrated services office in Houston,
Texas, for its North America business.
About 50 employees will initially be located in the office,
covering logistics, customer service, engineering, procurement,
manufacturing support and sustainability. A
total of over 100 employees will move there.
The company has three major chemical production sites
and employs nearly 700 people in the Houston area.

 

Alberta Announces New Grant Program To Attract Petrochemical Investments

Alberta—The
Alberta government said it is launching the Alberta Petrochemicals
Incentive Program to bring multibillion-dollar
investments to petrochemical projects throughout Alberta
to help strengthen and diversify the province’s economy
and create new jobs.
Compared to previous government petrochemical programs,
the new incentive program, part of Alberta’s Recovery
Plan, will cut “red tape” and increase certainty and
flexibility for investors. The government will no longer
select winners and losers through a private evaluation
process.
Key features include: a 10-year program, during which
eligible projects must be built and operational; every project
that meets the program’s criteria will receive funding
once built and operational; instead of royalty credits,
grants will be issued after projects are operational, and the
government will make the funds available throughout the
program’s duration once the facilities are in service, in order
to align with typical business investment cycles.
The government will work with industry over the summer
to finalize the program guidelines. Further details
about eligibility, process, governance and reporting requirements
will be available when the program is officially
launched in early fall 2020.
“While Alberta is already a Canadian leader in petrochemicals
manufacturing, the sky is the limit for this sector’s
benefits to our province,” noted Dale Nally, associate
minister of natural gas and electricity.
“Over the last 10 years, petrochemical investment in
the United States reached $250-billion, more than 10 times
what was invested in Canada. With our affordable 300-
year supply of natural gas, technically skilled and educated
workforce, and respected innovation and research sectors,
Alberta is ready to seize the opportunity to become a global
destination for petrochemical manufacturing, benefiting all
Albertans.”

V58 N25 – 6 July 2020

BP Agrees to Sell to Ineos Its Global Petrochemicals Business for $5-BN

London—BP announced
an agreement to divest its petrochemicals business
to Ineos for a total consideration of $5-billion, subject
to customary adjustments.
The petrochemicals business is focused on two main
businesses, aromatics and acetyls. Combined, the businesses
have interests in 14 manufacturing plants in Asia,
Europe and the U.S., and last year produced 9.7-million
tons of petrochemicals.
The sale agreement includes the whole of BP’s aromatics
and acetyls businesses, including assets, technology and
licenses, as well as related assets. Subject to regulatory
and other approvals, the transaction is expected to be finalized
by the end of this year.
BP’s petrochemicals business currently employs over
1,700 staff worldwide, which are expected to transfer to
Ineos upon completion of the sale.
“This is another significant step as we steadily work to
reinvent BP,” said BP Chief Executive Bernard Looney.
“These businesses are leaders in their sectors, with worldclass
technologies, plants and people. In recent years they
have improved performance to produce highly competitive
returns and now have the potential for growth and expansion
into the circular economy.”
BP’s aromatics business produces paraxylene and purified
terephthalic acid (PTA). Its largest manufacturing
plants are in China, the U.S. and Belgium, and it licenses
its PTA production technology worldwide.
The acetyls business produces acetic acid and derivatives.
It has a diverse base with manufacturing facilities
in the U.S., the UK, China, Korea, Taiwan and Malaysia.
The sale includes related interests, such as the chemical
recycling technology BP Infinia and BP’s stake in acetylated
wood developer Tricoya.
BP has petrochemical assets at Gelsenkirchen and Mulheim,
Germany, which are highly integrated with its refinery
there and are not included in the sale.
In connection with the transaction, Ineos has an option
to acquire a research complex from BP at Naperville, Ill.,
for an additional consideration or to enter into a lease or
other arrangement for the same.
With this announcement, BP has met its $15-billion
target for agreed divestments a full year ahead of schedule,
demonstrating the range and quality of options available to
it, noted Brian Gilvary, chief financial officer at BP.

 

Iran Launches New Polyethylene Plant At Miandoab Petrochemical Complex

Tehran—
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani officially launched a
new polyethylene (PE) facility at the Miandoab petrochemical
complex in West Azerbaijan Province, Iran.
The 175,000-t/y plant will produce high-density PE, linear-
and low-density PE using 140,000 t/y of ethylene via
the West Ethylene Pipeline. Cost of the project was not
given.

 

McDermott Divests Lummus Technology To Chatterjee Group & Rhone Capital

Houston—
McDermott has finalized the sale of Lummus Technology
to a joint partnership between Haldia Petrochemicals,