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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, a
flagship company of The Chatterjee Group, and Rhone
Capital (PCN, 16 Mar 2020, p 1).
As previously agreed upon, Chatterjee and Rhone acquired
Lummus for a base purchase price of $2.725-billion
from subsidiaries of McDermott.
“This new and notable chapter starts with Lummus being
a standalone company, as we will be the only major
process technology licensor that is independent and privately
held,” noted Leon de Bruyn, president and chief executive
of Lummus Technology.
The sale was part of McDermott’s comprehensive restructuring
process, which is now complete and includes a
newly constituted board of directors.
“We will continue executing on our significant backlog,
with a new capital structure to match and support the
strength of our operating business, and we emerge wellpositioned
for long-term growth and success, even amid
this period of global uncertainty,” said McDermott President
and Chief Executive David Dickson.
“We look forward to continued delivery on customer
projects. Finally, we congratulate our Lummus colleagues,
and look forward to continuing our working partnership
with Lummus as we move into the future,” Dickson added.

 

Air Products Begins Supplying Huntsman With Gases from New Geismar Facility

Geismar—Air
Products announced that its new steam methane reformer
(SMR) and cold box in Geismar, La., is on stream and supplying
Huntsman’s neighboring operations with hydrogen,
carbon monoxide (CO) and steam (PCN, 9 Apr 2018, p 2).
The plant, owned and operated by Air Products under a
long-term agreement, produces around 6.5-million standard
cu ft/d of CO, 50-million standard cu ft/d of hydrogen
and up to 50,000 lbs/hr of steam. It is capable of being expanded
to support additional demand in the future.
Air Products’ SMR is also connected to its Gulf Coast
hydrogen pipeline and network system, which is the
“world’s largest” hydrogen plant and pipeline network system,
Air Products noted.
“The facility is state-of-the-art and offers high reliability
and sustainability, with enhanced energy efficiency and
reduced emissions,” noted Dr. Samir J. Serhan, chief operating
officer at Air Products.

 

Enterprise Agrees to Supply Marubeni With Propylene from PDH 2 Facility

Houston—
Enterprise Products Partners said that one of its affiliates
has entered into a long-term agreement with Marubeni for
the supply of polymer-grade propylene (PGP) from Enterprise’s
second propane dehydrogenation plant (PDH 2),
under construction in Texas (PCN, 30 Sept 2019, p 2).
PDH 2, being built at Enterprise’s complex near Mont
Belvieu, will have the capacity to upgrade 35,000 b/d of
propane into 1.65-billion lbs/yr of PGP. Based on Honeywell
UOP’s Oleflex process, the facility is expected to begin
service in the second quarter of 2023.
Once complete, Enterprise will have the capacity to produce
a total of up to 11-billion lbs/yr of PGP, making it the
“largest” PGP complex in the world, the partnership noted.
“We are very pleased to expand our relationship with
one of the world’s premier providers of olefins logistics services
for the petrochemical industry,” said A.J. “Jim”
Teague, co-chief executive of Enterprise’s general partner.
“Reliable production of PGP from our new PDH 2 facility
complements our current export business with Marubeni
and extends our integrated midstream network to
meet the needs of their customers around the globe.”

 

Odfjell Concludes Project at Antwerp To Expand Chem Storage Terminal

Antwerp—Noord
Natie Odfjell Antwerp Terminal (NNOAT), a subsidiary of
Odfjell, has increased storage capacity for the European
chemical market at the Port of Antwerp, Belgium.
The company has added seven new tanks with a total
storage capacity of 12,700 cu m and, with its ongoing expansion
program, plans to increase current capacity by
130,000 cu m. A 45,000-cu m tank pit is planned for mid-
2022.
“NNOAT is a leader in the European Chemical storage
market with its capacity of 390,000 cu m and 236 tanks
divided over 16 interconnected tank pits,” Odfjell noted.
“The extensive mooring capacity of 2,500 meters at the
terminal allows for simultaneous handling of several vessels
and barges.”

 

Eni and NextChem Extend Partnership For New Circular Gas Production Unit

Rome—Eni
and NextChem have expanded their existing partnership
to include construction of a new circular gas production
plant in Taranto, Italy (PCN, 17 June 2019, p 2).
The partnership will conduct research for the project,
which will be in addition to ongoing engineering studies for
a waste-to-hydrogen plant in Venice, Italy, and a waste-tomethanol
facility at Eni’s refinery in Livorno, Italy.
The three plants will be based on NextChem’s technology
for the chemical recycling of plastic waste (plasmix)
and dry waste (see related story, page 4).
Gas from the Taranto unit will be refined and produced
through two separate channels: hydrogen, which can be
used by the Eni refinery to assist the fuel hydrodesulphurization
process; gas with a high carbon monoxide content
that can be used by the steel mill both in blast furnace
processes and the new Direct Reduced Iron technologies.
NextChem is working on the industrial application of
the project, and an Eni-NextChem joint team will assess
the technical and economic feasibility and plants’ streams.

 

Perdaman Inks HoA With Saipem, Clough For EPC Work on Karratha Urea Project

Canberra—
Perdaman Industries has signed a binding heads of agreement
(HoA) with a 50-50 joint venture of Saipem and
Clough for the engineering, procurement and construction
of its urea facility in Karratha, Australia (PCN, 8 Apr
2019, p 2).
The $4.5-billion project will produce 2-million t/y of
urea using natural gas from Woodside under a 20-year
supply agreement. Construction is expected to take three
years to complete.
Haldor Topsoe will supply its SynCor technology for the
ammonia plant, while the urea unit will use Stamicarbon’s
Launch Melt pool condenser design.
Perdaman earlier said construction was expected to begin
in late 2019 or early 2020. An updated schedule was
not available.
Approximately 2,000 jobs will be created during the
construction phase and, once complete, the plant will provide
200 permanent jobs.

 

Carbios Launches Construction on Plant To Demo Enzymatic Recycling Process

Lyon—Carbios
said construction has begun on a new industrial demonstration
facility near Lyon, France, for Carbios’ enzymatic
recycling process for plastics (PCN, 20 Apr 2020, p 2).
The technology uses proprietary enzymes to recycle
waste polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastics into
monomers ready for repolymerization into PET with the
same technical and physical properties as virgin PET.
TechnipFMC was recently awarded a contract to provide
advisory, engineering, procurement and construction
supervision services for the project. The first phase of operations
is expected to begin in the second quarter 2021.
The plant will validate the technical, environmental
and economic performance of Carbios’ technology. It will
also produce batches of monomers for technical and regulatory
validation of recycled PET by future licensees.

 

People on the Move

Ineos Styrolution—Rob Buntinx has been appointed
president, Asia-Pacific. He is currently president of
Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA).
Alexander Gluck, president of Americas, has been
named president, EMEA, to succeed Buntinx.
Greg Fordyce will replace Gluck as president of Americas.
He is currently vice president of supply, Americas.
All three appointments are effective 1 Aug. 2020.
Indian Oil Corp. (IndianOil)—Shrikant Madhav
Vaidya, most recently director of refineries on the IndianOil
board, has become chairman to succeed Sanjiv
Singh. Concurrently, Vaidya will serve as chairman of
Chennai Petroleum, a refining subsidiary of IndianOil and
Indian Oiltanking Ltd. In addition, Vaidya will take over
as chairman of the board of Ratnagiri Refinery & Petrochemicals,
and will be director on the board of Petronet
LNG.
GAIL—E.S. Ranganathan has become director of marketing.
He was previously managing director of Indraprashtha
Gas and executive director of corporate operations
and management at GAIL.

 

Borealis & Partners Ink MoU for Project To Capture, Utilize CO2 as a Resource

Vienna—
Borealis, OMV, Lafarge Zementwerke and Verbund have
signed a memorandum of understanding for the joint planning
and construction of a full-scale plant to capture carbon
dioxide (CO2) and process it into synthetic fuels, plastics
and other chemicals.
The aim of the project, ‘Carbon2ProductAustria,’ is to
create a cross sectorial value chain and operate a full-scale
facility by 2030, which will eventually capture nearly all of
the 700,000 t/y of emitted CO2 at Lafarge’s cement plant in
Mannersdorf, Austria, and use the CO2 as a resource.
The captured CO2 will be converted by OMV to renewable
based hydrocarbons, which in turn can be used to produce
the renewable based fuels or be utilized by Borealis as
a feedstock to manufacture value-add plastics.
The partners are currently evaluating and developing a
joint strategy to implement the project. Based on the results
of the evaluation, a cluster of industrial pilot plants
could be technically developed and realized in the Eastern
part of Austria until 2023.
“Climate protection requires innovation and cooperation,”
said Rainer Seele, chief executive and chairman of
the executive board of OMV. “With this project we aim to
do both, and it shows that economic viability and climate
protection go hand in hand based on new technologies.
“CO2 is not just a greenhouse gas that we have to reduce.
It is also a valuable raw material from which we can
produce synthetic fuels and feedstock for the chemical industry.”

 

Nova Develops New Resin Technology For Biaxially Oriented PE Market

Calgary—Nova
Chemicals, in pursuit of a plastics circular economy, has
developed a new high-density resin technology for the biaxially
oriented polyethylene (BOPE) market.
HD-BOPE technology enables the manufacture of all-
PE, recyclable multilayer film structures with “significantly”
improved physical performance compared to blown
film, the company noted. The technology can be used in
food packaging, heavy duty bags, e-commerce and other
demanding applications.
“Brand owners and consumers are looking for easy-torecycle
packaging that prevents contamination and extends
the shelf life of their products,” said Alan Schrob,
consumer and industrial films group manager at Nova.
“Our HD-BOPE technology provides an additional
building block for converters to make recyclable multilayer
films that perform as well as traditional mixed-material
structures.”

 

Nouryon Buys J.M. Huber’s CMC Assets

Amsterdam—
Nouryon has completed the acquisition of the carboxymethyl
cellulose (CMC) business of J.M. Huber Corp. for
an undisclosed amount (PCN, 3 Feb 2020, p 3).
The newly-purchased business manufacturers a complete
line of CMC grades and serves customers in over 80
countries. It includes a manufacturing plant and advanced
research and development facility in Aanekoski, Finland,
as well as 248 employees, which will be transferred to
Nouryon.

 

R Plus Japan to Invest in Anellotech’s Plas-TCat Plastics Recycling Process

New York—
Anellotech announced that R Plus Japan Ltd., a newlyformed
Japanese joint venture company, will invest in the
development of its “cutting-edge” Plas-TCat plastics recycling
technology (PCN, 16 Dec 2019, p 3).
The technology uses a one-step thermal-catalytic process
to convert single-use plastics directly into basic chemicals,
such as benzene, toluene, xylenes, ethylene and propylene,
which can then be used to make new plastics. The
process efficiency has the potential to “significantly” reduce
carbon dioxide emissions and energy consumption.
“With the engagement of various industries throughout
the value chain, from raw materials manufacturers, and
packaging suppliers to beverage companies, the newly established
R Plus Japan, together with Anellotech, will advance
the development and commercialization of this ecoefficient
plastic recycling technology by 2027,” said Anellotech.
R Plus Japan is a joint venture of Suntory Monozukuri
Expert Ltd., Toyobo Co., Rengo Co., Toyo Seikan Group
Holdings Ltd., J&T Recycling Corp., Asahi Group Holdings
Ltd., Iwatani Corp., Dai Nippon Printing Co., Toppan
Printing Co., Fuji Seal International Inc., Hokkaican Co.
and Yoshino Kogyosho Co.

 

Equinor Announces Project in the UK To Produce Hydrogen from Nat Gas

London—Equinor
said it is leading a project to develop one of the “world’s
first” at-scale facilities to produce clean hydrogen from
natural gas in combination with carbon capture and storage
in the UK.
The project, Hydrogen to Humber Saltend (H2H Saltend),
will be located at Saltend Chemicals Park near Hull.
It will initially comprise of a 600 MW auto thermal reformer
with carbon capture, enabling customers in the
park to completely switch over to hydrogen, and the power
plant to move to a 30% hydrogen to natural gas blend.
As a result, emissions from the park will be reduced by
nearly 900,000 t/y of carbon dioxide. H2H Saltend can be
expanded in later phases to serve other industrial users in
the park and across the Humber, contributing to the cluster
reaching net zero by 2040.
Equinor and its partners expect a final investment decision
during 2023 with possible first production by 2026.

 

Saudi Polymers Closing PS Facility

Jubail—National
Petrochemical Co. (Petrochem) of Saudi Arabia, in a notice
to Tadawul, announced that its subsidiary, Saudi Polymers
Co., has decided to suspend polystyrene (PS) production at
its facility in Saudi Arabia.
The decision was made due to the difficulty of achieving
profits in light of the global PS market situation, Petrochem
noted. PS production represented less than 2% of
the total production of the project during the past two
years.
Saudi Polymers, located in Jubail, also manufactures
polyethylene, polypropylene and 1-hexene products. It is
jointly owned by Petrochem and Arabian Chevron Phillips
Petrochemical Co., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Chevron
Phillips Chemical Co.

 

Agilyx Creates New Subsidiary Company For Post-Use Plastic Feed Management

Concord—
Agilyx announced it is leveraging its existing post-use plastic
feedstock management system to create a new subsidiary
company, Cyclyx International.
The 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 collect and reprocess larger
volumes of post-use plastics than current systems can support,
Agilyx explained.
Last year, Agilyx formed a partnership with General
Electric (GE), through its Licensing and Research divisions,
to develop artificial intelligence, machine learning
and predictive modeling and optimization tools that utilize
Agilyx’s extensive data and domain knowledge to “significantly”
increase plastic recycling rates for all post-use plastics
and create new recycling pathways.
The Cyclyx platform has been developed to be an industry
consortium comprised of partners across the value
chain, enabling Agilyx and GE to have a broader impact
across industry sectors with its plastic recycling solutions.
“We initially developed Cyclyx to help source plastic
feedstocks appropriate for facilities we are currently developing
on three different continents,” said Agilyx Chief Executive
Joe Vaillancourt.
“We quickly discovered that our process was greatly
needed by others in the advanced recycling, as well as mechanical
recycling industries. As a result, we have created
Cyclyx so that Agilyx and many other companies can work
together to help bridge that gap.”

 

PolyOne Gets Clariant Masterbatch; Announces Name Change to Avient

Cleveland—
PolyOne has completed the acquisition of Clariant’s color
masterbatch businesses at a combined net purchase price
of $1.44-billion (PCN, 23-30 Dec 2019, p 3).
The transaction includes Clariant’s global color masterbatches
business and Clariant Chemicals India’s color and
additive masterbatches business.
The acquired business includes 46 manufacturing operations
and technology centers in 29 countries and around
3,500 employees.
In addition, PolyOne announced that it has changed its
name and will now be called Avient. The assets from Clariant
will become part of Avient’s color, additives and inks
segment.

 

Eni, Versalis and COREPLA Decide To Jointly Recover Mixed Plastics

Milan—Eni, Versalis
and the National Consortium for the Collection, Recycling
and Recovery of Plastic Packaging (COREPLA) have
signed an agreement to combine their expertise to collect
and recycle plastic packaging, with a particular focus on
“plasmix.”
Plasmix, mixed post-consumer plastics that are not
suitable for mechanical recycling, now mainly ends up in
cement plants, where it replaces fossil fuels, while some is
used for energy recovery and the rest sent to landfills.
The agreement aims to launch a study plan that will
exploit all the plasmix fractions available in the COREPLA
chain. The partners will pool their respective expertise in
the fields of gasification and chemical recycling by means
of pyrolysis.
Versalis is currently designing a “first” chemical recycling
plant in Mantua, Italy, using pyrolysis technology,
and is also spearheading various mechanical recycling initiatives.
Additionally, Eni and COREPLA signed an agreement
to establish the feasibility of recovering end-of-life plastics
at the facilities that Eni is planning for the biorefinery in
Porto Marghera, Italy, and the Livorno, Italy, refinery, for
the production of hydrogen and methanol obtained through
gasification, respectively (see related story, page 2).

 

Dow & Atlas Renewable Sign Agreement For Solar Energy Supply to Aratu Site

São Paulo—
Dow has signed a large-scale solar energy contract with
Atlas Renewable Energy to supply Dow’s Aratu petrochemical
production site in Brazil.
Under the agreement, Atlas will develop, build and operate
the Jacaranda solar plant in Juazeiro, Brazil. The
facility is expected to supply over 440 GWh/yr that will
mainly be used to serve Dow under a 15-year contract.
Offtake will begin in the first half of 2021.
The Jacaranda plant will avoid an approximate 35,000
t/y of carbon dioxide emissions based on the GHG (green
house gases) Protocol, and is aligned with Dow’s Global
Emissions Inventory.
This contract to secure renewable power capacity contributes
to achieving one of Dow’s 2025 Sustainability
Goals—a commitment to obtain 750 MW of its power demand
from renewable sources by 2025.

V58 N24 – 29 June 2020

Braskem Completes New 450,000-T/Y PP Production Facility in La Porte

La Porte—Braskem
has concluded construction on its new 450,000-t/y
Delta polypropylene (PP) production facility in La Porte,
Texas (PCN, 8 Apr 2019, p 3).
The plant, which is currently being commissioned, has
the capability to produce the entire PP portfolio, including
homopolymer, impact copolymer and random copolymers.
Initial production test runs are planned to begin in the
next month with the first full-scale commercial production
activity currently expected in the third quarter of 2020.
“Braskem will position the new facility’s domestic production
capabilities to replace imported polypropylene volumes,
which are currently addressing the shortfall in the
United States’ domestic market,” said Braskem America
Chief Executive Mark Nikolich.
“Commercial production activity at the facility, in conjunction
with our new global export hub in Charleston,
South Carolina, will also directly support Braskem’s global
export capability to its clients throughout North America,
South America, Europe and Asia” (see related story, pg. 3).
Despite the impacts of COVID-19, Braskem is “wellpositioned”
to start up the new “world-class” PP production
line in the current market, noted Alexandre Elias, vice
president, Polypropylene North America at Braskem.

 

ZPC Selects Axens’ Catalysts for Phase 2 Ethylene Plant at Zhoushan Complex

Shanghai—
Zhejiang Petroleum and Chemical Corp. (ZPC) has chosen
Axens’ selective hydrogenation catalysts for a new ethylene
cracker in the second phase of ZPC’s integrated refining
and petrochemical complex in Zhoushan City, China (PCN,
6 Jan 2020, p 1).
The two-train ethylene facility will increase ZPC’s total
ethylene capacity to 4.2-million t/y. When completed, the
plant will be the “largest” steam cracker in China, Axens
noted. Cost and a schedule for the project were not given.
Axens will supply catalysts for the methylacetylene and
propadiene, and phenylacetylene hydrogenation units, as
well as the catalysts for the pygas first and second stage
units.
ZPC recently started up the first phase of the project,
which included a production capacity of 20-million t/y of
crude oil, 5.2-million t/y of aromatics and 1.4-million t/y of
ethylene.
Along with the expanded ethylene capacity, the second
phase will include an additional 20-million t/y of crude oil
and 6.6-million t/y of aromatics.

 

Ningxia Baofeng ‘Successfully’ Starts Up New Methanol Unit in Ningxia Province

Beijing—
Johnson Matthey (JM) announced that Ningxia Baofeng
Energy Group has “successfully” commissioned a new
methanol plant at Ningxia Baofeng’s 600,000-t/y coal-toolefins
complex in Ningxia Province, China.
The 6,600-t/d methanol unit, based on technology from
JM, utilizes syngas feedstock and combines advanced JM
catalysts to produce stabilized methanol, which is used to
produce olefins in a downstream facility.
“This project has incorporated processing technologies
from the most advanced international and domestic coal-tochemical
units,” said Liu Yuanguan, president of Baofeng
Energy.
“The unit is the largest methanol plant for a single
train with comprehensive advantages of high synthesis
and energy efficiency and low OPEX and emissions, benefiting
both our society and providing long-term value.”

 

Agilyx, TechnipFMC Agree to Partner On Process for High-Purity Styrene

Portland—Agilyx
and TechnipFMC have agreed to an exclusive collaboration
to develop a process to purify Agilyx’s styrene oil to highpurity
styrene.
Following over a year of evaluation, the collaboration
will leverage the expertise of each company enabling a new
production path of styrene via post-use polystyrene (PS)
products. The recycled styrene is expected to retain all the
properties and functionality of traditionally manufactured
styrene.
The developed purification process will bolt on to Agilyx’s
existing depolymerization technology and accelerate
the presence of recycled styrene and recycled PS in the
market, Agilyx noted.
“Demand for recycled content is increasing globally
driven by legislation, as well as sustainability goals by major
brand owners,” said Agilyx Chief Executive Joe Vaillancourt.
“We are excited to work with TechnipFMC, a company
focused on advancing sustainable technologies and
increasing plastic recovery.”

 

Invista’s ADN Retrofit Project in Texas bScheduled to Come Online Next Year

Victoria—
Invista said that construction on its adiponitrile (ADN)
upgrade project at its site in Victoria, Texas, is scheduled
for completion in early 2021 (PCN, 28 May 2018, p 2).
One of the modified process areas is nearing completion
and the company expects all pre-turnaround construction
will be concluded later this year. Final tie-ins are to be
installed during a regularly scheduled maintenance outage
in early 2021 with additional ADN coming online at that
time.
Invista earlier said the project would cost $250-million
and would include deploying the company’s most advanced
ADN technology.

 

Sasol Achieves Beneficial Operations At Lake Charles Alcohols Facilities

Lake Charles—
Sasol announced that it reached beneficial operations at its
Guerbet and Ziegler alcohol units, part of its Lake Charles
Chemicals Project (LCCP) in Louisiana (PCN, 22 June
2020, p 4).
The LCCP also includes a 1.5-million-t/y ethane
cracker, a 470,000-t/y linear low-density polyethylene
plant, a 100,000-t/y ethoxylates unit and a combined
300,000-t/y ethylene oxide and 250,000-t/y ethylene glycol
unit, all which have already been completed.
A 420,000-t/y low-density polyethylene plant, the last
remaining unit to come online, is on track to reach beneficial
operations by the end of September 2020.
“The beneficial operations of these LCCP facilities progresses
Sasol’s seven-unit U.S. Gulf Coast mega project to
the cusp of completion,” said Sasol President and Chief
Executive Fleetwood Grobler.
The 30,000-t/y Guerbet unit, the “largest” in the world,
is the company’s second Guerbet alcohol plant. The other
unit is located in Brunsbuttel, Germany.
The LCCP Ziegler unit is an extension of an existing
Ziegler plant in Lake Charles and is the “largest” of its
kind in the world, adding nameplate capacity of 173,000 t/y
of alcohol and 32,000 t/y of alumina.

 

Eastman Produces New Copolyester With Up to 50% Recycled Content

Kingsport—
Eastman has introduced Tritan Renew, a new copolyester
made with up to 50% recycled content derived from plastic
waste.
“Tritan Renew is a significant step forward for Eastman
as the first product to market using molecular recycling
made possible by Eastman’s Advanced Circular Recycling
technologies,” said Mark Costa, chairman of the board and
chief executive of Eastman.
“We have made considerable progress over the past
year to create sustainable solutions that convert millions of
pounds of waste into new materials.”
Eastman’s recycling technologies reduce consumption of
fossil fuel and have a “significantly” lower carbon footprint
than production processes for products made from fossil
fuel-based raw materials, the company noted.

 

Azelis’ Megafarma to Distribute Celanese Emulsion Polymers Products in Mexico

Mexico City—
Megafarma, an Azelis company, has entered into a nonexclusive
distribution agreement with Celanese to distribute
its emulsion polymers in Mexico.
The agreement includes Celanese’s Resyn, Tufcor, Vinac,
Dur-O-Set, Avicor, Celvolit, EcoVAE and Flexbond
products.
“Celanese and Azelis have a terrific working relationship,”
said Dan Gruber, managing director, new business
development, Azelis Americas CASE.
“We have partnered together for many years in the U.S.
and Canada CASE [coatings, adhesives, sealants and elastomers]
market. Expanding this relationship to Mexico is
a great opportunity for both of us. The emulsion polymer
technology from Celanese is best in class and we look forward
to growing the CASE business in Mexico.”
Azelis acquired Magafarma earlier this year to expand
into the Latin American CASE market.

 

Celanese Extends Contract with Chengzhi To Supply Feedstock for Acetic Acid Unit

Nanjing—
Celanese (Nanjing) Chemical Co. recently extended its
long-term feedstock contract with Nanjing Chengzhi Clean
Energy Co. (Chengzhi) for the supply of carbon monoxide
to Celanese’s acetic acid plant in Nanjing, China.
Located in the Nanjing Chemical Industrial Park, the
acetic acid facility has 1.2-million t/y of production capacity.
Details of the contract were not disclosed.
“Chengzhi has been a valued partner of Celanese for
many years, and this extension will continue to provide
Celanese with a flexible and reliable supply of carbon monoxide
supporting the acetyl chain in the region,” said John
Fotheringham, senior vice president of acetyls at Celanese.
“I am delighted that our close cooperation with Chengzhi
has enabled Celanese to lower its manufacturing cost
in China, while enhancing our operational flexibility in
support of our long-term growth strategy.”

 

SK Innovation, Jeju Clean Energy Agree To Cooperate in Upcycling Technology

Seoul—SK
Innovation Co. and Jeju Clean Energy have entered into a
contract to partner in developing upcycling technology to
produce pyrolysis oil from plastic waste, Pulse News reported.
The pyrolysis oil is intended to be used as feedstock in
SK’s refining and petrochemical processing units at its Ulsan
complex in South Korea. No further details were
available.

 

DSM Launches Trosar UHMWPE

Geleen—DSM, in line
with the growing demand for materials solutions that deliver
higher strength and durability, has introduced
Trosar, a new material grade of ultra-high molecularweight
polyethylene (UHMWPE).
“While, in the past, UHMWPE materials such as DSM’s
Dyneema were used for select, highly demanding applications,
an increasingly wide range of manufacturers are now
looking to leverage the unique chemical and mechanical
properties of these materials for a broader range of applications,”
said DSM.
“Trosar will address this market need and make the use
of UHMWPE more accessible than ever.”

 

People on the Move

Ineos Styrolution—Kevin McQuade, who has served
as chief executive since 2015, has been appointed chairman,
effective 1 July 2020. He will be succeeded by Steve
Harrington, who is currently president of global styrene
monomer and Asia-Pacific.
Evonik—Andreas Fischer has been named chief innovation
officer, effective 1 July 2020, to succeed Ulrich Kusthardt,
who is retiring. Fischer has been a member of the
board of management of Evonik Resource Efficiency GmbH
since 2019.
PlasticsEurope—Dr. Markus Steilemann, chief executive
of Covestro, has been named president of PlasticsEurope,
the association of plastics manufacturers in Europe.
He succeeds Dow Chemical’s Javier Constante.

 

Dow Announces New Sustainability Targets To Tackle Plastic Waste, GHG Emissions

Midland—
Dow has set new targets to stop plastic waste, reduce
greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and drive toward a circular
economy.
The new commitments, which align to build upon its
2025 sustainability goals, include:
• Protect the Climate: By 2030, Dow will cut its net
annual carbon emissions by 5-million tons, or 15%
from its 2020 baseline. It also intends to be carbon
neutral by 2050, in alignment with the Paris Agreement.
Dow is committed to implementing and advancing
technologies to manufacture products using
fewer resources.
• Stop the Waste: By 2030, Dow will help “stop the
waste” by enabling 1-million tons of plastic to be
collected, reused or recycled through its direct actions
and partnerships. It is investing and collaborating
in key technologies and infrastructure to
significantly increase global recycling.
• Close the Loop: By 2035, Dow will help “close the
loop” by having 100% of its products that are sold
into packaging applications be reusable or recyclable.
In addition, the company confirmed it has entered into
new renewable power agreements for its manufacturing
plants in Argentina, Brazil, Texas and Kentucky. The
agreements are expected to result in a reduction of more
than 225,000 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent.
Dow also announced a new line of mechanically recycled
plastic resins for flexible and rigid plastic packaging
applications, which have the potential to reduce carbon
and energy footprints of applications by up to 20-30%.
“Reducing the impact of climate change and eliminating
plastic waste are societal challenges that are closely
linked,” said Mary Draves, vice president and chief sustainability
officer at Dow.
“As a producer of technologies that are essential to a
low carbon economy, we are developing and investing in
new production processes that are low-emission and optimally
efficient. And we are now looking at waste as a resource
that will enable us to continue to innovate sustainable
materials.”

 

Eastman, IMCD Distribution Agreement To Include Specialty Plastics in EMEA

Rotterdam—
Eastman Chemical B.V. will expand and reinforce its strategic
partnership with IMCD Group for the distribution of
Eastman’s specialty plastics in EMEA (Europe, Middle
East and Africa).
Under the expanded agreement, which begins 1 Aug.
2020, IMCD will start supplying the EMEA market with
Eastman’s specialty polymers and compounds, including
Eastman Tritan copolyester, Eastar copolyesters, DuraStar
polymers and Eastman Treva engineering bioplastic,
among others.
IMCD currently distributes the products in Spain and
Portugal. Under the new deal it will supply Algeria, Austria,
Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, the
Czech Republic, Demark, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, France,
Germany, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia,
Montenegro, Morocco, the Netherlands, Norway,
Poland, Portugal, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia,
Spain, Sweden, Tunisia, Ukraine and the UK.

 

Braskem Growing Export Center Network With U.S. Logistics & Distribution Unit

Columbia—
Braskem announced it will expand its export center network
with the opening of a new logistics and distribution
unit on the U.S. East Coast in the Port of Charleston,
South Carolina.
The facility, with 204,000 t/y of export capacity, will offer
packing and storage services to support the company’s
polypropylene (PP) production plants in the U.S., especially
its Delta PP plant in La Porte, Texas (see related
story, page 1).
Construction on the export unit is expected to be concluded
in the third quarter of this year. Cost of the project
was not given.

 

Nouryon Completes Capacity Expansion For Organic Peroxides at Itupeva Site

São Paulo—
Nouryon has more than doubled production capacity for
organic peroxides at its plant in Itupeva, São Paulo, Brazil
(PCN, 18 Feb 2019, p 3).
The project will add capacity for products including
methyl ethyl ketone peroxides, as well as dibenzyl peroxide
pastes and waxes. Cost of the project and capacity were
not disclosed.
“This investment in Itupeva has transformed our site
into a state-of-the-art production facility and gives our
composites customers greater supply reliability across our
entire organic peroxides product portfolio,” said Alain
Rynwalt, vice president of polymer catalysts.

 

Total & Sonatrach Renew Agreement For LNG Supply to French Market

Paris—Total and
Sonatrach have renewed their partnership in liquefied
natural gas (LNG) and have extended existing supply contracts
for an additional three years to provide Algerian
LNG to France.
Under the agreement, Sonatrach will supply 2-million
t/y of LNG, primarily through an LNG terminal at Fos
Cavaou, France. The agreement also includes the subcharter
of an LNG tanker of Total by Sonatrach.
“This agreement is part of the long history of cooperation
between Total and Sonatrach,” said Laurent Vivier,
president of gas at Total. “Thanks to the quality of our
relationship, we were able to conclude it in an extremely
volatile market environment.”

 

Hitachi Chemical Plans Name Change

Tokyo—Hitachi
Chemical Co., a consolidated subsidiary of Showa Denko
(SDK), has decided to change its name to Showa Denko
Materials Co., effective 1 Oct. 2020.
The new name represents Hitachi’s determination to
open a new chapter as a consolidated subsidiary of SDK,
noted SDK.
Hitachi and SDK have agreed to offer their customers
and society “optimum solutions” by combining Showa
Denko Group’s wide-ranging material technology with Hitachi’s
material design technology, utilizing characteristics
of raw materials, ability to evaluate functions, and ability
to design functions leading to process technology, including
module segmentation, SDK explained.

 

Outlook for ’20 One of ‘Poorest’ in Decades, Says ACC in its Mid-Year 2020 Outlook

Washington—
The American Chemistry Council (ACC), in its Mid-Year
2020 Chemical Industry Situation and Outlook, said data
suggests that the global recession may have bottomed out,
yet the 2020 outlook is one of the “poorest” in decades.
According to ACC’s projections, production volumes,
shipments and capital spending will drop due to economic
and business disruption caused by COVID-19. A rebound
in 2021 is projected; however, significant uncertainty remains.
Global gross domestic product (GDP) will contract 4.6%
this year before expanding 5.3% in 2021; while global industrial
production will contract 3.8% in 2020 before increasing
by 5.3% next year.
In the U.S., GDP will decline by 6% in 2020 before expanding
by 4.1% in 2021. Consumer spending will drop
6.4% in 2020, then rise 4.6% in 2021. Unemployment will
fall steadily to below 5% by 2023.
“U.S. industrial activity started the year on a weak note
even before COVID-19-related supply disruptions emerged
in February,” said ACC Chief Economist Kevin Swift. “After
suffering the sharpest pullback on record in April,
many industrial sectors are showing signs of recovery. Industrial
production is set to fall 10.5% in 2020 before increasing
by 3.1% in 2021,” he noted.
“As key end-use and export markets struggle, U.S.
chemical volumes will contract as well,” stated Martha
Moore, senior director of policy analysis and economics at
ACC.
“Chemical volumes will fall 9.3% this year, while shipments
will decline by 13.5%. In 2021, volumes will rebound
12.3% and shipments will increase by 14.5%. Capital
spending will fall 17.6% to $29-billion in 2020, then
increase by 15.7% to $33.5-billion in 2021.”
After seven consecutive years of gains, U.S. chemical
industry employment is set to drop by nearly 20,000 in
2020. Pre-COVID levels are not expected until 2024.
Total U.S. chemicals trade will decrease by 16.4% in
2020, to $199-billion, and U.S. chemical exports will decline
“sharply,” dropping by 14.5% this year before rising
10.9% in 2021. “The industry will maintain its net exporter
position: By 2025, net exports of chemicals will
reach $37-billion.
U.S. chemical imports will fall 19.1% in 2020 and then
grow by 11.9% in 2021. Full recovery is expected in late
2022 or 2023.
To view the full outlook, please visit ACC’s website at
www.americanchemistry.com.

 

Braskem to Purchase Renewable Energy For Use in Industrial Units in Brazil

São Paulo—
Braskem has entered into a long-term solar power purchase
agreement with Canadian Solar, which assures the
supply of renewable energy for 20 years to Braskem’s industrial
plants in Brazil.
The deal will enable the construction of a solar power
plant in Minas Gerais, Brazil, with an installed capacity of
152 MWp (mega watt peak). Construction is scheduled to
start next year. A completion date was not disclosed.
With the agreement, the company estimates the avoidance
of 500 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions over two
decades.
Earlier this year, Braskem formed a partnership with
Voltalia for the purchase of solar power over the next 20
years, which will enable construction of the Serra do Mel
solar complex in Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil, with nominal
capacity of 270 MW.
In 2018, the company signed an agreement with EDF
Renewable to buy wind power for a period of 20 years with
an estimated reduction in CO2 emissions of 325,000 tons.
“The world industry is completely transforming from
the technological and environment standpoints,” said
Braskem Energy Director Gustavo Checcucci.
“We have a target to continue making progress in expanding
our renewable energy portfolio, reinforcing our
role as a national reference in the topic.”

 

Stepan Chooses Azelis as Distributor For All Surfactants in Scandinavia

Stockholm—
Stepan has entered into a new distribution agreement with
Azelis, in which Azelis will take over the distribution activities
for Stepan’s full surfactants products portfolio in
Scandinavia.
The new distribution agreement is in line with Stepan’s
global strategy to consolidate its distribution network, Azelis
noted. The long-lasting and “fruitful” relationship in
other EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) regions was
a reason for Stepan to now entrust Azelis with the distribution
of its surfactants in the new region.
In addition, Azelis showed “excellent” market presence,
knowledge and technical development skills to optimally
serve and expand Stepan’s customer base in Scandinavia.

V58 N23 – 22 June 2020

Aramco Finalizes Purchase of 70% Interest In SABIC from Public Investment Fund

Riyadh—
Saudi Aramco has completed the acquisition of a 70% stake
in SABIC from the Public Investment Fund (PIF) for a total
purchase price of $69.1-billion (PCN, 27 Apr 2020, p 4).
“This is a significant milestone for three of Saudi Arabia’s
most important entities,” said Yasir Othman Al-
Rumayyan, governor of PIF.
“It provides capital for PIF’s long-term investment
strategy as it drives the economic transformation and
growth of Saudi Arabia, further benefiting the people of
our country; it supports Aramco’s continued growth in
downstream and enhances its international footprint; and
it provides SABIC a new strategic energy industry focused
shareholder with the ability to support growth projects.”
A Corporate Collaboration and Integration Committee
has been established to make recommendations on collaboration
and integration matters expected to create value for
SABIC and for the Aramco Group as a whole.
The committee will be chaired by the SABIC chief executive
and will include two other members from SABIC
and three members from Aramco.
As majority shareholder of SABIC, Aramco has the
right to elect the majority of SABIC’s directors.

 

IndianOil Building Panipat PP Facility; Plans to Nearly Double PP Capacity

Panipat—Indian
Oil Corp. (IndianOil) is building a new polypropylene (PP)
plant in Panipat, Haryana State, India.
The facility will have 450,000 t/y of PP capacity and will
utilize LyondellBasell’s Spheripol technology. Cost of the
project and an expected completion date were not given.
IndianOil currently has a total of 1.3-million t/y of PP
capacity from existing plants at its Panipat and Paradip
sites, also based on LyondellBasell’s Spheripol technology,
and aims to almost double PP production capacity in the
next five years.

 

Clariant Develops Phthalate-Free Olefin Polymerization Catalysts

Munich—Clariant
announced it is launching its new next-generation, phthalate-
free PolyMax 600 series performance catalysts for
polypropylene (PP), developed in partnership with McDermott’s
Lummus Novolen technology.
The PolyMax 600 series catalysts “significantly” boosts
plant productivity, while at the same time improving
polymer properties. It is expected to result in an economic
benefit of over $8-million a year due to higher catalyst productivity,
said Clariant citing a “major” PP producer.
“The improved performance is due to a new proprietary
technology that increases catalyst activity up to 25% compared
to phthalate-based catalysts,” Clariant noted.
The catalysts are designed to suit a broad range of
process requirements in applications ranging from food
packaging to engineered automotive parts.

 

Invista Announces Start of Construction On New ADN Plant at SCIP in China

Shanghai—
Invista Nylon Chemicals (China) Co. has begun construction
on its new adiponitrile (ADN) facility at the Shanghai
Chemical Industry Park (SCIP) in Shanghai, China (PCN,
27 Apr 2020, p 2).
The project, costing over $1-billion, involves a 400,000-
t/y ADN plant based on Invista’s “most-advanced, energy
efficient” ADN technology, the company noted. Start-up is
expected in 2022.
When complete, the unit will be integrated with Invista’s
existing hexamethylene diamine (HMD) plant and
polymer facilities to directly supply domestic customers.
Invista currently has a 215,000-t/y HMD facility and a
150,000-t/y nylon 6,6 plant at the site.
“The growing demand for high-quality nylon products
in China and the Asia-Pacific region, and the continued
optimization of the business environment in Shanghai
have given us the confidence to continue investment here,”
noted Invista Chairman and Chief Executive Jeff Gentry.

 

Lotte Enters PTA Supply Deal with Hanwha; Will Convert PTA Plant to PIA Production

Seoul—
Lotte Chemical and Hanwha General Chemical have entered
into an agreement, in which Hanwha will supply
450,000 t/y of purified terephthalic acid (PTA) to Lotte,
effective next month.
In order to meet its supply obligation, Hanwha will restart
PTA production at its No. 2 plant in Ulsan, S. Korea,
which has been idle. Hanwha owns Korea’s “largest” PTA
facility with a capacity of 2-million t/y, Lotte noted.
Lotte will transform its 600,000-t/y PTA facility in Ulsan
to produce purified isophthalic acid (PIA), beginning
this July. It has 520,000 t/y of PIA production capacity.
“This agreement is a case to expand profitability and
business competitiveness through the voluntary cooperation
of the two companies, who are competitors in the petrochemical
industry, and it is meaningful in that they
came together for the bigger goal of developing the domestic
chemical industry,” said Lotte.

 

KBR and L&T Hydrocarbon Sign MoU To Team Up on Refinery, PC Projects

Houston—KBR
has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with
L&T Hydrocarbon Engineering to work together on refinery
and petrochemical projects.
Under the MoU, the parties will collaborate to develop
business opportunities for which KBR will license proprietary
technology and engineering services and L&T will be
the engineering, procurement and construction provider.
L&T will exclusively bid for projects globally, with specific
focus in India, Southeast Asia, the Middle East and
Africa, involving KBR’s solid acid alkylation technology,
solvent de-asphalting technology and catalytic olefins
technology.

 

Dow, Shell Agree to Develop Technology To Electrify Ethylene Steam Crackers

Midland—Dow
and Shell have signed a joint development agreement to
accelerate technology to electrify ethylene steam crackers.
“As the energy grid becomes increasingly renewables
led, using renewable electricity to heat steam cracker furnaces
could become one of the routes to decarbonize the
chemicals industry,” Dow noted. “The challenge is to develop
a technologically and economically feasible solution.”
The partnership has innovation project teams in Amsterdam,
Terneuzen, the Netherlands, and Texas, which
are already working on designing and scaling ‘e-cracker’
technologies.
They will work in the coming years to first prove out
process technology innovations in laboratory and pilot operations
and to then scale to commercial crackers.
“Significant technological breakthroughs are needed to
reduce our industry’s energy use and greenhouse gas emissions,
which will require companies to step out of their
comfort zones and work together to achieve bold and ambitious
new goals,” said Keith Cleason, vice president of Dow
Olefins, Aromatics and Alternatives.
“This new work with Dow has the potential to contribute
to the reduction of carbon emissions from the manufacture
of chemicals and to Shell’s ambition of becoming a netzero
emissions energy business by 2050 or sooner,” noted
Thomas Casparie, executive vice president of Shell’s global
chemicals business.

 

Technoleasing Selects JM Technology For New Russian Methanol Facility

Moscow—Johnson
Matthey (JM) has been awarded a contract by Technoleasing
to provide its combined reforming methanol technology
for a new methanol plant in Skovorodino, Russia.
The 3,000-t/d methanol unit will be based on JM’s Advanced
Series Loop technology, which utilizes an “innovative
synthesis loop arrangement together with existing reactor
technology to achieve a significant improvement in
natural gas efficiency,” JM explained.
The project, for which cost and a schedule were not
given, is subject to a final investment decision.
JM’s contract also includes the associated engineering,
proprietary equipment and catalyst supply.
“Our new . . . technology will provide energy efficiency
and significant economic benefits in gas consumption per
ton of methanol over conventional loops for the Amur facility
for many years to come,” said JM Managing Director
John Gordon.

 

SDK Nearly Doubles Production Capacity For VE and EM at Subsidiary in China

Shanghai—
Showa Denko (SDK) has expanded production lines for
vinyl ester resin (VE) and synthetic resin emulsion (EM) at
its Shanghai Showa Highpolymer Co. subsidiary in China
to about twice as much as the previous capacity.
“We will continue providing the growing Chinese market
with products and services of high social value, thereby
expanding our business in China and establishing our
functional chemicals business as a Koseiha business,” SDK
noted.
The company describes a Koseiha business as one that
can maintain profitability and stability at high levels over
a long period.

 

MOL to Invest in Northwest Innovation; Will Supply Ships for Methanol Plant

Kalama—
Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) has decided to invest in Northwest
Innovation Works (NWIW), which plans to build a
methanol facility in Kalama, Wash., and will provide and
operate purpose-built next-generation ships to serve the
new plant (PCN, 14 May 2018, p 1).
The project, estimated to cost over $2-billion, will convert
regionally-sourced natural gas into about 3.6-million
t/y of methanol for export to Asia as feedstock for olefins.
“Currently, our regulators are working on an expedited,
cooperative, multi-jurisdictional process to conclude regulatory
review,” a company spokesman told PCN. “Following
that, once permitting is finalized, we would make a
final investment decision and move to construction, which
should take roughly 36 months to complete.”
Methanol produced by NWIW will displace more carbon-
intensive, coal-based methanol, resulting in greenhouse
gas (GHG) reductions globally, NWIW noted. In addition,
NWIW will offset 100% of its GHG emissions from
both direct and indirect sources within Washington state.
NWIW earlier expected the project to be completed in
2019; however, in late 2017, the company’s shoreline permit
was reversed because of complaints from several conservative
groups about the GHG emissions from the proposed
plant. The permit was restored in 2018.

 

People on the Move

Equate—Naser Aldousari, currently senior vice president
of the company, has been appointed chief executive,
effective 1 Oct. 2020. He will succeed Dr. Ramesh
Ramachandran, who will be retiring, effective 30 Sept.
2020.
Sudhir Shenoy will replace Aldousari as senior vice
president of Equate, effective 1 Oct. 2020. He was previously
country president and chief executive of Dow Chemical
International Pvt. Ltd. (Dow India).
BASF SE—Dr. Kurt Bock has been elected as the new
chairman of the supervisory board to succeed Dr. Jurgen
Hambrecht. The term runs until the end of the Annual
Shareholders’ Meeting in 2024.
Petronas—Tengku Muhammad Taufik Tengku Aziz,
currently executive vice president and group chief financial
officer, has been appointed president and group chief executive,
effective 1 July 2020. He will replace Tan Sri Wan
Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin, who is the leaving the company to
become chairman of Malaysia Airlines.
SABIC—Khalid Al-Dabbagh has been named chairman
of the board. He is currently senior vice president of finance,
strategy and development at Saudi Aramco.
OCI NV—Nassef Sawiris, currently chief executive,
will assume the position of executive chairman of the board
of directors. He will be succeeded by Ahmed El-Hoshy, who
is currently chief operating officer. The appointments are
effective 1 Aug. 2020.
Air Products—Imtiaz Mahtab has been appointed
president of Air Products Middle East, Egypt and Turkey,
and was also named chief executive of Air Products Qudra.
He has been serving as managing director of the Middle
East, Africa, CIS, Central Asia and APAC regions for Sky-
Power Global, and has held several senior leadership positions
within Air Liquid over a span of 20 years.

 

German LNG Terminal & RWE to Explore Opportunities to Develop Green Hydrogen

Essen—
German LNG Terminal GmbH and RWE have signed a
memorandum of understanding to jointly explore green
hydrogen opportunities via German LNG’s planned liquefied
natural gas (LNG) terminal in Brunsbuttel, Germany
(PCN, 22 Jan 2018, p 2).
German LNG is a joint venture formed by Vopak LNG
Holding BV, Oiltanking GmbH and Gasunie LNG Holding
BV to build, own and operate the terminal.
“RWE’s interest in jointly exploring the import of hydrogen
in Brunsbuttel proves the strategic importance of
the site and the project,” said Rolf Brouwer, managing director
of German LNG Terminal. “Hydrogen produced
from renewable energy sources is in line with Germany’s
goal to become climate-neutral by 2050.”
In Sept. 2018, German LNG and RWE signed a longterm
agreement for a considerable part of the planned terminal’s
LNG import capacity.
The parties are currently in the final phase of negotiating
fully binding legal contracts for the LNG imports and
expect to be finished by the end of 2020, which will put
German LNG in a position to reach a positive investment
decision. An expected completion date was not given.

 

India May Impose Anti-Dumping Duties On PS Imports from Several Countries

New Delhi—
India’s Designated Authority has recommended imposing
anti-dumping duties on imports of polystyrene (PS) of all
types, except expandable PS, from Iran, Malaysia, Singapore,
Chinese Taipei, United Arab Emirates and the U.S.
(PCN, 22 July 2019, p 3).
Last July, the authority announced it would launch an
investigation, initiated by Ineos Styrolution and Supreme
Petrochem, into injury from the imports.
The authority has completed the review and concludes
that the PS has been exported to India from the subject
countries below its associated normal value, thus resulting
in dumping.
It also determined that the domestic industry has suffered
material injury, due to the dumping of the product
under consideration, and that the imposition of definitive
anti-dumping duties is necessary to offset dumping and
injury.

 

Domo to Suspend BOPA Production Beginning This Summer at Leuna

Leuna—Domo
Chemicals said it plans to stop and close its third biaxially
oriented polyamide (BOPA) films line at its site in Leuna,
Germany, effective this August, as a result of permanent
global overcapacity of nylon films.
“In these extraordinary circumstances of high business
volatility, we have opted to continue to focus on quality and
flexibility through cautious and smart asset management,
rather than reacting with short-term volume strategies,”
said Attilio Annoni, managing director at Domo Film Solutions.
Domo will continue to operate its BOPA and cast nonoriented
polyamide plants in Cesano Maderno, Italy, in
order to serve the market without impacts to customers
and suppliers.

 

TechnipFMC and Clariant to Collaborate On Catalyst for Acrylonitrile Production

Boston—
TechnipFMC and Clariant Catalysts announced that they
have entered into a joint development agreement for the
demonstration and commercialization of Clairant’s new
“state-of-the-art” AcryloMax propylene ammoxidation catalyst
for the production of acrylonitrile.
The collaboration will bring together Technip Energies’
expertise in fluid bed technologies and process development
with Clariant’s experience and knowledge in the development,
manufacturing and supply of catalysts for the
petrochemical industry.
A large demonstration reactor will “soon” be commissioned
at Technip Energies’ research center in Weymouth,
Mass., to test the technology, the companies noted.
“We are delighted to work with TechnipFMC and to
contribute our expertise in ammoxidation,” said Stefan
Heuser, senior vice president and general manager at
Clariant Catalysts.
“For producers of acrylonitrile, this combination of catalyst
and process technology know-how will open the door to
exciting new opportunities.”

 

Enterprise Increases Ethylene Exports At Its JV Terminal in Morgan’s Point

Houston—
Enterprise Products Partners said that its 50-50 joint venture
ethylene export terminal with Navigator Holdings at
Morgan’s Point, Texas, has exceeded design interim loading
capacity and expects to export over 175-mllion lbs for
the month of June (PCN, 23 Mar 2020, p 3).
This past January, the partners began operations at the
terminal, which has the capacity to load around 2.2-billion
lbs/yr of ethylene. A refrigerated storage tank for 66-
million lbs of ethylene is also being built on-site to increase
the capability to load ethylene up to a rate of 2.2-million
lbs/hr by the end of 2020.
Enterprise also expects to complete three additional
connections by the end of the year, linking its system to a
majority of ethylene production capacity in Texas.
“To meet the growing demand for petrochemical products,
Enterprise built the world’s first fully open access
global hub for polymer grade propylene; now, we have developed
the first global hub for ethylene,” noted A.J. “Jim”
Teague, co-chief executive of Enterprise’s general partner.
“These hubs are transforming how ethylene and propylene
markets transact and will create a true marketplace
for the world’s primary petrochemical producers, consumers
and traders. These hubs provide the essentials for an
efficient market: reliable supplies, price transparency and
access to domestic and global markets.”

 

Lordegan Starts Up Ammonia Unit

Tehran—Lordegan
Petrochemical Co., a subsidiary of Iranian Investment Petrochemical
Group, has begun operation of a new ammonia
plant in Lordegan City, Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari Province,
Iran, reported Shana.
The unit has the capacity to produce 677,000 t/y of ammonia,
which will mainly be used for the production of
about 1-million t/y of urea, beginning next month.
“With the full opening of this petrochemical plant, 600
people will be directly employed and 2,000 people will be
hired indirectly,” said the report quoting Mohsen Mahmoudi,
chief executive of Lordegan Petrochemical.

 

Sasol Provides Update on Operations; Details Future ‘Sasol 2.0’ Business

Sandton—Sasol
has provided an update on its response to oil price volatility
and the COVID-19 pandemic, as lockdown restrictions
are being eased in South Africa and elsewhere (PCN, 27
Apr 2020, p 2).
This past April, Sasol announced a 25% reduction in
production rates at Secunda Synfuels Operations (SSO)
and a phased suspension of production at its Natref refinery,
both in South Africa, due to a reduction in demand
because of COVID-19.
The company has been ramping up production at SSO,
since restrictions were eased on 1 June 2020, and production
is expected to restart at the Natref refinery by the end
of this month.
At Sasolburg, the ammonia, chlorvinyl and nitric acid
plants, which had also been suspended in April 2020,
started up last month.
In Ras Laffan, Qatar, Train 1 at Oryx GTL’s gas-toliquids
complex came back into operation at the beginning
of this month. Train 2 is expected to be back in production
in the second quarter of financial year 2021, following the
extended planned shutdown of the plant.
The Lake Charles Chemicals Project in Louisiana is
also progressing with the Ziegler unit achieving beneficial
operation on 16 June 2020. The Guerbet unit’s beneficial
operation is “imminent,” Sasol noted.
“Remediation work on the low-density polyethylene unit
is progressing according to plan and we expect to bring this
unit into production before the end of the third quarter of
calendar year 2020.”
The company also gave details on the future Sasol
business, “Sasol 2.0,” which will be focused on two core
businesses, chemicals and energy.
The chemicals business will focus on its specialty
chemicals activities, where it has differentiated capabilities
and “strong” market positions that can be expanded over
time.
Sasol’s energy business will comprise the Southern African
value chain and associated assets, and will pursue
greenhouse gas emission reduction, through focus on gas
as a key feedstock and renewables as a secondary energy
source.
“A focused and robust review of the business, and the
associated workforce structures, is underway and a detailed
update will be provided to stakeholders alongside
the full year results,” the company noted.
As a result of Sasol 2.0, the company has decided to discontinue
all oil growth activities in West Africa.

 

Sinopec Begins Operations at $6.2-Bn Integrated Refinery and PC Complex

Zhanjiang—
Sinopec has started up its new $6.2-billion integrated refinery
and petrochemical complex in Zhanjiang, China,
Reuters reported.
The complex comprises a 200,000-b/d crude oil refinery
and an 800,000-t/y ethylene plant (PCN, 18 May 2020, p 3).
It will help meet both domestic and international demand.
Sinopec recently put Sinopec Zhongke Refinery Port
into operation. Part of the integrated complex, it features
eight terminals, including a 300,00-ton crude oil berth,
100,000-ton oil berth and supporting facilities, providing a
total capacity of 34-million t/y.

 

Kima Completes Fertilizer Project With Start-Up of New Urea Plant

Aswan—Egyptian
Chemical Industries (Kima) has begun operation of the
urea portion of its ammonia-urea complex in Aswan,
Egypt, marking completion of the project (PCN, 5 Aug
2019, p 3).
The complex consists of a 1,200-t/d ammonia unit, using
KBR’s Purifier ammonia technology, and a urea melt unit
and urea granulation unit, both with 1,575 t/d of capacity,
based on Stamicarbon’s Pool Reactor technology and
Granulation Design. Ammonia production began last year.
“With this project, Stamicarbon now has 10 urea plants
licensed and in operation in Egypt and the next one is already
being designed,” Stamicarbon noted without providing
details.

 

Quantafuel, Gront Punkt Norge Sign Deal For Supply of Plastic Waste for Recycling

Skive—
Gront Punkt Norge has agreed to supply Quantafuel with
up to 10,000 tons of plastic waste to be chemically recycled
into feedstock for BASF (PCN, 14 Oct 2019, p 3).
Quantafuel has a full-scale, plastic-to-fuel plant in
Skive, Demark, which uses its innovative technology to
process unrecyclable plastic from local producers to produce
hydrocarbons.
Last year, BASF announced it would invest €20-million
into Quantafuel to further develop the technology, consisting
of an integrated process of pyrolysis and purification,
towards optimizing the output for use as a feedstock in
chemical production.
BASF will feed the raw material into the Verbund production
at its Ludwigshafen site in Germany.

V58 N22 – 15 June 2020

BP Takes Action to Reduce Spending; Will Eliminate Close to 10,000 Jobs

London—BP announced
steps it is taking to reduce spending, as the widespread
economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic has
affected its net debt.
“The oil price has plunged well below the level we need
to turn a profit,” noted BP Chief Executive Bernard
Looney. “We are spending much, much more than we
make – I am talking millions of dollars, every day. And as
a result, our net debt rose by $6-billion in the first quarter.”
Among the actions being taken, BP will now initiate a
process that will see close to 10,000 people leaving BP,
most of them by the end of this year and a majority of them
in office-based jobs.
In addition to “substantial” severance packages, the
company will help people launch new careers, sharpen
their job-seeking skills, and provide laptops and support by
building BP’s alumni network, and more.
BP is also working to bring down its capital expenditure
by 25% this year, a reduction of around $3-billion, and cut
operating costs by $2.5-billion in 2021.

 

Orbia Suspends Efforts to Examine Options for Vestolit Vinyl Business

Mexico City—
Orbia Advance Corp. announced that in light of the
COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the global economy
and capital markets, it has decided to pause efforts relating
to a possible divestiture or other strategic alternative
with regard to its polymer solutions business group, Vestolit
(PCN, 20 Jan 2020, p 1).
“The company is prepared to wait for the right environment
to maximize shareholder value in any transaction
involving its Vestolit business,” Orbia noted.
This past January, Orbia, formally known as Mexichem,
said it was studying options for the vinyl business,
in line with its long-term strategy.

 

JM to Cut Approximately 2,500 Jobs As Part of New Cost Savings Target

London—Johnson
Matthey (JM) estimates that around 2,500 jobs will be lost,
globally, as the company targets further annualized cost
savings needed to remain competitive.
“COVID-19 has brought unprecedented challenges to
the world and Johnson Matthey,” noted JM Chief Executive
Robert MacLeod.
“We have delivered nearly £120-million of our previously
announced cost savings. However, we recognize the
need to be even more efficient in order to maintain our
competitiveness and, in addition, some of our end markets
have been affected by COVID-19. Therefore, we are targeting
additional annualized cost savings of at least £80-
million by the end of 2022/23.
“We regret that this will lead to some job losses . . . over
the three-year period,” he added.

 

PTTGCA Provides Update on Timeline For Proposed Ethane Cracker Project

Belmont—
PTTGC America (PTTGCA) expects to make a final investment
decision in six to nine months on its proposed
joint venture ethane cracker project with Daelim in Belmont
County, Ohio (PCN, 9 Mar 2020, p 2).
The world-scale, multi-billion complex would include a
1.5-million-t/y ethane cracker for the production of ethylene,
linear low-density polyethylene and high-density polyethylene,
based on technologies from Technip and Ineos.
“While the pandemic has prevented us from moving as
quickly as we would like within our previous timeline, our
best estimate is for a final investment decision by the end
of this year or in the first quarter of next year,” said
PTTGCA President and Chief Executive Toasaporn Boonyapipat.
Responding to project speculation, PTTGCA said it is
still progressing with the project and at no point put the
project on indefinite hold.
This past March, the company said it expected to make
a final investment decision in the first half of this year.

 

Pertamina & CPC Sign HoA to Develop Integrated PC Complex in Indonesia

Jakarta—
Pertamina and CPC of Taiwan have entered into a heads of
agreement (HoA) to develop an $8-billion integrated petrochemical
complex in Indonesia (PCN, 22 Oct 2018, p 3).
The project, to be built at Pertamina’s Balongan refinery,
will involve a naphtha cracker for the production of
around 1-million t/y of ethylene. Operations are targeted
to begin in 2026.
The two companies signed a memorandum of understanding
for the project in 2018, followed by the signing of
the framework agreement and joint feasibility studies since
mid-2019.
Pertamina is committed to creating a “strong” petrochemical
industry in Indonesia, so that it can meet domestic
needs and help reduce imports of petrochemical products,
noted Pertamina President Director Nicke Widyawati.

 

Indorama Acquires 100% Equity Stake In Brazilian PET Recycling Facility

Brasília—
Indorama Ventures (IVL), through its indirect subsidiary
Indorama Ventures Polimeros, has purchased a 100% equity
interest in AG Resinas, a polyethylene terephthalate
(PET) recycling facility in Brazil.
The recycling plant, located in Juiz de Fora, processes
post-consumer PET into recycled PET flakes and pellets
with a combined capacity of about 9,000 t/y. It is located
near a large supply of recovered PET bottles, IVL noted.
“This acquisition is strategically in line with IVL’s longterm
sustainability objectives and will complement IVL’s
PET business in Brazil and provide a unique opportunity
to create an immediate recycling presence with further
expansion opportunity,” said IVL.

 

Celanese Enters Tri-Party Agreement For Acetic Acid Route to Acrylic Acid

Beijing—
Celanese (Nanjing) Chemical Co., a subsidiary of Celanese
Corp., has entered into a tri-party agreement with Southwest
Institute of Chemical Co. (SWCHEM) and Yankuang
Lunan Chemical Co. (Lunan) to build a pilot scale-up unit
to test industrial-scale production of acrylic acid from acetic
acid in China.
Celanese and SWCHEM are jointly developing an innovative
technology for the production of acrylic acid with the
process of acetic acid formaldehyde condensation, based on
Celanese’s original proprietary research in this field.
Under the terms of the agreement, Lunan will be responsible
for building the industrial-scale pilot plant in
Teng Zhou. Financial details were not disclosed.
“I am delighted that the collaboration between Celanese
and SWCHEM has enabled us to reach such a critical
milestone in the development of this new technology to
produce acrylic acid from acetic acid,” said John Fotheringham,
senior vice president of Celanese’s acetyls business.
“This could create additional demand for acetic acid,
while also improving the supply options for acrylic acid
consumers.”

 

Former IISRP Executive McGraw Passes After 40-Year Career in Rubber Industry

Houston—
James (Jim) McGraw, former chief executive and managing
director of the International Institute of Synthetic
Rubber Producers (IISRP), passed away on 8 June 2020,
after a 40-year career in the synthetic rubber industry.
McGraw began his career in 1975 at American Synthetic
Rubber Corp. (ASRC) where he served for 23 years
in various positions.
He served the IISRP for 36 years, both as an IISRP
chair and active committee member, while employed by
ASRC, and subsequently as both deputy and managing
director and chief executive for over 17 years.
In 2015, he began his transition to retirement and was
advisor to the IISRP executive committee. He was succeeded
by Juan Ramon Salinas, the current chief executive
and managing director of IISRP.
“We are deeply saddened by his loss,” said Salinas.
“Jim was a visionary leader, who had a true passion for the
rubber industry and an exceptional commitment to our
members. His energy, drive and leadership will be
missed.”

 

BASF Decides to Cease Operations in Erie At Process Catalysts Manufacturing Unit

Erie—BASF
announced it will shut down its process catalysts manufacturing
facility next year in Erie, Penn.
The majority of production operations will discontinue
by the end of 2020; however, the facility will continue to
fulfill confirmed customer requests through the first quarter
of 2021. Final decommissioning and demolition work
are anticipated through mid-2022.
“Despite significant investments to improve assets,
long-term profitable operations are no longer possible in
Erie,” the company noted. “The decision to exit operations
in Erie is based on longer-term business considerations
and customer needs.”

 

Altivia Affiliate Purchases KMCO, Associated Ethoxylation Facilities

Houston—Altivia
Oxide Chemicals, an affiliate of Altivia Petrochemicals, has
completed the acquisition of KMCO and its associated
chemical ethoxylation manufacturing assets in Crosby,
Texas, for an undisclosed amount.
The facilities include 31 reaction and distillation trains
with capacity for ethylene and propylene oxide reactions,
as well as a broad range of organic reactions, including
polymerization, neutralization and condensation.
Altivia is planning a $25-million process safety and control
systems upgrade to the plants and will begin production
in two new oxide reactors by the end of 2020.
“The market for oxylation tolling and custom manufacturing
services will now have available a state-of-the-art
facility in the U.S. Gulf Coast,” noted Altivia Chief Executive
J. Michael Jusbasche.

 

Hyundai Engineering, Partner Ink Deal To Invest in Police Polymers Project

Police—Hyundai
Engineering and Korea Overseas Infrastructure & Urban
Development Corp. have signed an agreement with Grupa
Azoty and Grupa Lotos to invest in a planned polypropylene
(PP) plant in Poland, reported Yonhap News Agency.
PDH Polska, a special purpose vehicle of Grupa Azoty,
is planning to build a propane dehydrogenation (PDH)
unit, based on Honeywell UOP’s Oleflex PDH technology,
for the production of 400,000 t/y of polymer-grade propylene,
as well as a 400,000-t/y PP facility that will use W. R.
Grace & Co.’s Unipol PP process technology (PCN, 20 May
2019, p 1).
Commercial operation of the approximately €1.5-billion
project was earlier estimated to begin in 2022. An updated
schedule was not available.

 

INA Begins Trial Production on $81-Mn Propane/Propylene Splitter in Croatia

Zagreb—
Croatian oil and gas firm INA has started trial production
at a new $81-million propane/propylene splitter facility at
its Rijeka refinery in Croatia, reported SeeNews.
The splitter, with a capacity of 84,000 t/y of propylene,
is expected to boost the company’s competitiveness by expanding
its product portfolio.
“In June, we expect the first commercial quantities of
propylene, which will create new value for the whole company,”
said the report quoting Sandor Fasimon, head of
INA’s management board.

 

People on the Move

Evonik Corp.—Bonnie Tully has become president, effective
1 June 2020, succeeding John Rolando, who decided
to retire. Tully was most recently chief financial officer for
North America at Evonik.
Tatneft—Azat Bikmurzin has been appointed director
of Tatneft’s petrochemical complex. He was previously director
general of Nizhnekamskneftekhim.
Indorama Ventures Pcl—Srinivasan Prabhushankar
has assumed the position of chief executive of the recycling
segment, effective 1 June 2020. He had been senior vice
president of Indorama Ventures Xylenes & PTA.

 

Gazprom Signs Several Key Contracts For Russian Gas Processing Complex

Moscow—
Gazprom said it has signed supply contracts and an engineering,
procurement and construction (EPC) contract for a
natural gas processing and liquefaction project planned
with RusGazDobycha near Ust-Luga, Russia (PCN, 25 May
2020, p 2).
The project, to be operated by RusKhimAlyans, a joint
venture company formed by the partners, 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
gases and pentane-hexane fraction.
Baltic Chemical, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Rus-
GazDobycha, is setting up a new gas chemical facility that
will be technologically interconnected with the gas processing
complex.
The chemical facility will include two ethane cracking
plants with a capacity of 1.4-million t/y of ethylene each, as
well as six polyethylene reactor lines, each designed to
have a capacity of 500,000 t/y. Completion is expected in
2024.
Under the new contracts, Gazprom and RusKhimAlyans
have agreed to the 20-year supply of feed gas and sales
gas, securing raw materials for the long term.
Gazprom will supply the ethane-containing natural gas
to RusKhimAlyans, who in turn will supply ethane fraction
to Baltic for further processing at the gas chemical facility.
In addition, RusKhimAlyans has awarded the EPC contract
for the gas processing complex to Nipigaz. Under a
separate contract signed last year, Nipigaz has already
completed a set of engineering surveys and developed basic
technical solutions.

 

Mitsui Chemicals Launches Operations At New European PP Compounds JV

Limburg—
Mitsui Chemicals and Prime Polymer have begun operations
at Mitsui Prime Advanced Composites Europe (ACE),
a new joint venture polypropylene (PP) compounds business
established with Mitsui & Co. in the Netherlands
(PCN, 4 June 2018, p 2).
Located within Chemelot Industrial Park in Limburg,
ACE has the capacity to produce 30,000 t/y of PP compounds.
It is Mitsui Chemicals Group’s “first” PP compounding
site in Europe, Mitsui Chemicals noted.
ACE is owned 75% by Mitsui Chemicals, 15% by Mitsui
& Co. and 10% by Prime Polymer, a joint venture owned by
Mitsui Chemicals (65%) and Idemitsu Kosan (35%).

 

Arkema Completes Sale to SK Global Of Functional Polyolefins Business

Paris—Arkema
has finalized the divestment of its functional polyolefins
business to SK Global Chemical at an enterprise value of
€335-million (PCN, 30 Mar 2020, p 1).
Part of the polymethyl methacrylate business unit,
functional polyolefins comprises ethylene copolymers and
terpolymers.
The divestment is fully in line with Arkema’s strategy
to become a pure player in specialty materials by 2024,
centered around three “complementary and highly innovative”
segments of adhesive solutions, advanced materials
and coating solutions, Arkema noted.

 

Ingevity Plans Cost-Reduction Initiative In Response to Lower Product Demand

Columbia—
Ingevity announced a cost-reduction initiative to realign its
cost structure in response to reduced demand for some of
its products as a result of the coronavirus.
The company will reduce and restructure headcount
through an early retirement initiative and other employment
reductions; streamline manufacturing processes, including
the temporary furlough of certain production employees;
decrease outside spending on consultants and services,
and reduce certain benefits for salaried employees.
“We’re working from a platform of financial strength,
and we’re working to control what we can control in a tumultuous
environment,” said Rick Kelson, chairman of the
board, interim president and chief executive.
“These steps – in combination with the focused execution
by our businesses – in the long run will make Ingevity
a more efficient, and more profitable company coming out
of the current economic downturn.”

 

Omega Partners Inks Deal to Purchase Oiltanking Joliet Terminal in the U.S.

Chicago—
Omega Partners III, through its Omega Partners Illinois
subsidiary, has signed an agreement with Oiltanking
North America for the acquisition of the Oiltanking Joliet
terminal in Channahon, Ill.
Mainly dedicated to the storage of specialty chemicals,
the terminal has a capacity of around 281,000 bbls. It has
connections for rail, tank truck and barge transport.
The transaction, for which a value was not given, is
subject to customary external approvals, as well as transitional
processes at the operations, which are scheduled for
completion during the third quarter of 2020.
“As part of Oiltanking’s Strategy 2025, the organization
is continuously evaluating and optimizing its global terminal
portfolio,” Oiltanking noted. “Notwithstanding its efforts
to further expand its business in the U.S., Oiltanking
North America has decided to sell the Joliet terminal due
to its location and scale in the context of the overall network.”

 

APLA Reschedules 40th Annual Meeting

São Paulo—
The Latin American Petrochemical and Chemical Assn.
(APLA) has rescheduled its 40th Latin American Petrochemical
Annual Meeting, originally planned to be held
this November in São Paulo, Brazil.
The meeting is now scheduled from 6-9 Nov. 2021 at the
Sheraton WTC in São Paulo. This year, between 7-10 November,
APLA will be holding the conferences, which were
planned virtually.

 

Muntajat Being Integrated into QP

Doha—Qatar Petroleum
(QP) announced its decision to integrate Qatar
Chemical and Petrochemical Marketing and Distribution
Co. (Muntajat) into QP, as part of QP’s ongoing efforts to
strengthen its global competitive position in the downstream
sector.
During the integration process, Muntajat will continue
to deliver its commitments and contractual obligations to
all its customers without interruption. Completion is expected
within the next few months.

 

QXTD Selects Dow, JM’s LP Oxo Process For INA Manufacturing Plant in China

Zibo City—
Zibo Qixiang Tengda Chemical Co. (QXTD) has chosen LP
Oxo technology, jointly developed by Dow and Johnson
Matthey (JM), to produce isononyl alcohol (INA) at its new
manufacturing facility in China.
The plant, to be built at QXTD’s integrated petrochemical
complex in Zibo City, will produce 200,000 t/y of INA.
Operations are expected to begin in 2023.
“This technology requires a smaller manufacturing
footprint and less energy consumption compared to typical
INA production processes, without a loss in efficiency and
throughput,” said Donna Babcock, global business director
for Dow’s industrial solutions business segment.
“This will be our 56th license of LP Oxo technology in
partnership with Dow, building on our current portfolio
with our new INA process,” noted John Gordon, managing
director for JM.
“We are committed to bringing value to QXTD and look
forward to working with them through the design phase
and commissioning of this innovative technology.”

 

Braskem Chooses Port of Charleston For New Global Export Hub Facility

Charleston—
Braskem has selected the Port of Charleston in South Carolina
as the location of a new global export hub to provide
packaging, warehousing and shipping services to its international
customers.
The hub, which will support Braskem’s U.S. polypropylene
(PP) production plants, will have the capacity to
enable shipments of up to 450-million lbs/yr of PP and specialty
polymers. The design and development phase is well
underway and completion is expected by the third quarter
of this year.
The company will continue to leverage its existing international
export capabilities out of Houston, Texas, and
will maintain the Houston facility following the opening of
the new hub.
Braskem is partnering with the Port of Charleston and
warehouse provider Frontier Logistics, which will construct,
lease and provide services to Braskem under a fiveyear
agreement.
“With excellent access to national rail and highway networks,
this important new logistics and distribution facility
. . . significantly enhances Braskem America’s international
export capability,” noted Braskem America Chief
Executive Mark Nikolich.

 

Avantium Lets FEED Contract to Worley For Proposed FDCA Facility in Delfzijl

Delfzijl—
Worley has been awarded a front-end engineering design
(FEED) contract by Avantium for a 100% plant-based furandicarboxylic
acid (FDCA) unit planned at the Chemie
Park Delfzijl in the Netherlands (PCN, 13 Jan 2020, p 4).
The 5,000-t/y facility, which would be located near
Avantium’s plant-based monoethylene glycol demonstration
plant, will produce FDCA using the company’s YXY
plant-to-plastics technology.
Worley expects to complete the FEED phase at the end
of this year, enabling Avantium to take a final investment
decision for construction of the project at the end of 2020.
Start-up in scheduled for 2023.
FDCA is a building block for many chemicals and plastics,
such as the next-generation plastic material polyethylene
furanoate (PEF).
“PEF is a novel, fully recyclable, bio-based polymer with
improved barrier performance and thermal properties,”
Worley noted. “It has the potential to make a significant
impact on the packaging, textile and film industries.”

 

Ascend Enters Agreement to Purchase Assets of NCM & Tehe in Changshu

Shanghai—
Polyamide 66 resin producer Ascend Performance Materials
said it has signed an agreement to acquire the assets of
NCM (Changshu) Co. and Tehe Engineering Plastic
(Suzhou) Co., located in the Changshu Yushan High-Tech
Industrial Park in China.
The acquisition, Ascend’s “first” in China, gives Ascend
a flexible footprint for growth in the region, the company
noted. Ascend expects to take final ownership this August.
Ascend’s master plan includes an expansion of compounding
assets at the site, along with a global research
and development center with a focus on existing applications
in the automotive, electrical and electronics, and consumer
and industrial areas, among others.

 

Braskem, Petrobras Extend Agreement For Naphtha Supply to Braskem Units

São Paulo—
Braskem and Petrobras have entered into an agreement, in
which Petrobras will continue to supply naphtha to
Braskem’s industrial units in Bahia and Rio Grande do
Sul, Brazil, for about five years.
The agreement calls for the supply of a minimum of
650,000 t/y of naphtha, with Petrobras having the option to
supply an additional volume of up to 2.8-million t/y. The
new contract will take effect when the current agreement
expires.
In addition, to guarantee access to the naphtha logistics
system in Rio Grande do Sul, Braskem also renewed a
storage agreement with Petrobras and a transport and
storage agreement with Petrobras Transporte.

 

 

V58 N21 – 1-8 June 2020

Weilian Chemical Using BP’s Technology For New PTA Unit to be Built in China

Beijing—
Weilian Chemical, a subsidiary of Dongying United Petrochemical
Co., has entered into an agreement with BP for
the license of BP’s technology for a new purified
terephthalic acid (PTA) plant to be constructed in China’s
Dongying Port Economic Development Zone.
The facility will utilize BP’s latest generation technology,
bpPTAg5, for the production of 2.5-million t/y of PTA.
The design phase is underway and is expected to be completed
during the first half of this year. First production is
anticipated by the second quarter of 2022.
“Adding a PTA production facility is an important step
for our company to accelerate industrial transformation,
while improving quality and efficiency,” said Li Zhanchen,
chairman of Dongying United Petrochemical Co.
“We are delighted to work together with BP, providing
us with leading technology and services. With BP’s support,
we believe our PTA project will start up successfully,
showcasing the fruitful cooperation between us.”

 

Encina Awards EPC Contract to Worley For BTX Facility Planned in the U.S.

Houston—
Worley has been selected by Encina Development Group to
provide engineering, procurement and construction (EPC)
services for Encina’s new benzene-toluene-xylene (BTX)
processing plant to be built at one of several potential sites
in the U.S. (PCN, 30 Apr 2018, p 4).
The facility, which will be the company’s “first” commercial-
scale plant, will use a process developed by Encina
that extracts BTX from plastic waste through catalytic pyrolysis.
Construction is expected to start in the fourth
quarter and take 18 months to complete. Planned capacity
was not given.
Encina originally planned to build the project in Wyoming;
however, last year decided it would use plastic waste
as feedstock rather than refining coal into chemicals. The
change in plans delayed the company’s groundbreaking
timeline in order to handle the additional engineering
work. It also reduced construction time by about six
months.
“The plant is the first of many planned facilities across
the world – with future sites in Europe, Asia, Latin America
and Africa,” Worley noted.

 

Braskem Cuts Ethylene, PP Production; Reduces Planned Investments for 2020

São Paulo—
Braskem announced measures it has taken in view of the
progression of the coronavirus outbreak and its impact on
the company’s operations, including a reduction in ethylene
and polypropylene (PP) production, and cuts in
planned investments.
Specifically, in Brazil, ethylene production was reduced
to about 65% of its total capacity, while in the U.S. PP production
was cut to around 85% of its total capacity.
In addition, the company said it has lowered its
planned investments for 2020 to $600-million from $721-
million.

 

Manali Restarts Production at All Plants After Earlier Lockdown by Government

Chennai—
Manali Petrochemicals announced the restart of both facilities
(Plant 1 and Plant 2) in Manali, Chennai, India, of
which operations were suspended this past March due to a
complete lockdown by the central and state governments to
help fight against COVID-19 (PCN, 20 Apr 2020, p 1).
Last month, the company resumed propylene oxide (PO)
production at Plant 1 and restarted propylene glycol production
at both units.
Manali has now restarted PO production in Plant 2 and
resumed production of polyols and other products in both
facilities. The plants will be operated based on market
conditions, the company noted.

 

Neste and Covestro Partner to Promote Renewable Raw Materials in Plastics

Espoo—Neste
and Covestro have agreed to a strategic cooperation in
Europe to promote the use of sustainable raw materials in
plastics production.
Over the short term, Neste will supply Covestro with
raw materials produced with Neste’s renewable hydrocarbons
with the aim to replace several thousand tons of fossil
raw materials in the production of polycarbonates.
Neste produces its renewable hydrocarbons entirely
from renewable raw materials, such as waste and residue
oil and fats. Neste’s product is suitable for existing infrastructures
and enables customers to produce more sustainable
products using their existing processes.
The companies plan to later expand the scope of their
partnership, also with regard to other types of polymers.
They are inviting other stakeholders along the value
chains to cooperate.
“We are fully committed to working with many partners
to manage the transition to a circular economy, the great
overall social project of the coming years and decades,” said
Covestro Chief Executive Dr. Markus Steilemann. “To this
end, we are also cooperating with upstream partners, such
as Neste, to meet our own raw material requirements from
renewable sources to an even greater extent.”

 

Pertamina & Aramco No Longer Partnering To Develop Cilacap Refinery in Indonesia

Jakarta—
Pertamina will develop its Cilacap refinery in Central
Java, Indonesia, independently, dropping plans of a joint
venture with Saudi Aramco, reported Reuters citing Pertamina.
In 2017, Pertamina and Aramco signed a joint venture
development agreement to jointly own, upgrade and operate
the refinery (PCN, 2 Jan 2017, p 3).
Part of Pertamina’s Refinery Development Master Plan,
the project involves expanding the refinery to 400,000 b/d
from 348,000 b/d. It will also include the production of basic
petrochemicals and refined products, among others.
Operations are planned to begin in 2025.
Pertamina will look for a new partner, while moving
forward with the project.

 

Celanese Seeking Anti-Dumping Duties On UHMWPE from S. Korea into EU

Brussels—
Celanese said it has filed a petition with the European
Commission’s Directorate-General for Trade requesting
anti-dumping duties on imports of ultra-high molecular
weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) from Korea Petrochemical
Industry Co. (KPIC) of South Korea into the European
Union.
“After successfully filing an anti-dumping case in the
U.S., which the U.S. authorities voted unanimously to continue
an investigation into, and in order to further ensure
Celanese is able to operate in fair and sustainable industry
conditions globally, we were compelled to also file an antidumping
case against KPIC in Europe to address their destructive
pricing practices in that region, which have
caused Celanese’s UHMWPE business to suffer significantly
over the last several years, since KPIC began selling
in the region,” said Tom Kelly, senior vice president of engineered
materials at Celanese.
This past March, Celanese filed a petition with the U.S.
Dept. of Commerce and the U.S. International Trade
Commission seeking anti-dumping duties on imports of
UHMWPE from KPIC (PCN, 23 Mar 2020, p 3).

 

Agilyx Collaborating with Oregon Metro To Pilot PS Foam Collection Program

Portland—
Agilyx announced a collaboration with Oregon Metro, a
regional government group, to pilot a polystyrene (PS)
foam collection program for the purpose of recycling the
foam back to new material using Agilyx’s technology.
The PS foam will be aggregated at the Metro South
Transfer Station in Oregon. Agilyx will preprocess the collected
expanded PS foam and ship it to Regenyx’s advanced
recycling facility in Tigard, Ore.
“The pilot program will provide residents of greater
Portland an opportunity to participate in the circular economy
for plastics by enabling end-of-life plastics to be converted
back to new plastics and diversion from the landfills,”
noted Agilyx.
New PS products produced using the recycled EPS at
Regenyx have up to a 70% lower carbon footprint when
compared to virgin plastics, it added.
Regenyx is a joint venture between Agilyx and Americas
Styrenics.

 

Toho Titanium Lets Chiyoda Contract For New PP Catalysts Plant in Japan

Tokyo—Chiyoda
Corp. has been awarded an engineering, procurement and
construction contract by Toho Titanium Co. for a new polypropylene
(PP) catalysts production facility to be built at
Toho’s Chigasaki site in Japan (PCN, 6-13 Apr 2020, p 4).
Estimated to cost around ¥7.3-billion, the project involves
expanding capacity for the company’s THC (Toho
High Efficiency Catalyst) catalysts that are used for the
polymerization of propylene monomer into PP. Completion
is expected at the end of August 2022.
Toho recently said construction would begin in May
2020, with commercial operations scheduled to start in November
2022.

 

Recovered Carbon Black Producer Bolder Plans Investments, Names Distributor

Boulder—
Bolder Industries, manufacturer of recovered carbon black
(rCB) and other petrochemicals from end-of-life tires, said
that based on the success of its pilot programs it has increased
investment in technical expertise, physical laboratory
space, and its leadership team.
“The Maryville, Missouri, Bolder Industries plant fully
commercialized the solution, accepting end-of-life tires at
the gate and extracting steel, BolderBlack [Bolder’s rCB
brand], gas and petrochemicals with a 98% recovery rate
and a net-positive energy facility,” the company explained.
The net effect is around a 90% reduction of environmental
impact across the board when considering greenhouse
gas emissions, electricity, and water usage, and at a
lower price, Bolder noted.
“We have been able to prove our uptime, quality, consistency,
operational costs, and sales of all products over the
past 18 months at full commercial scale,” said Bolder Chief
Technology Officer Nate Murphy.
BolderBlack has been used in over 300 products ranging
from tires to construction materials to waste containers.
Nearly anything that is black plastic or rubber can
use BolderBlack as a sustainable alternative to virgin carbon
black.
Separately, Bolder has appointed Swan Chemical, a
subsidiary of Thomas Swan & Co., as the key North
American distribution partner for BolderBlack.

 

People on the Move

BP America—David C. Lawler has been named
chairman and president, effective 1 July 2020, to replace
Susan Dio, who is retiring. Lawler is currently chief executive
of BPX Energy.
Borealis—Erik van Praet has become vice president,
Innovation & Technology, succeeding Maurits van Tol, who
decided to leave the company. Van Praet was most recently
director of strategy and portfolio.
Air Products—Dr. Samir J. Serhan, who has been
serving as executive vice president of the company, has
been appointed chief operating officer.
Encina Development Group—Carlo Badiola was recently
named senior vice president of Engineering & Technology.
He had been serving as director of Engineering &
Technology since 2017.

 

A ‘Difficult’ Year Lies Ahead for Germany Despite Production Increase, Says VCI

Frankfurt—In
the first quarter 2020, Germany’s chemical production increased
by 3.2% against the previous quarter and grew by
0.9% over the first quarter 2019; however, a “difficult” year
lies ahead for the German chemical-pharmaceutical industry,
according to the latest quarterly report by the German
chemical industry association VCI.
The industry did not yet feel the full force of the corona
pandemic during the first quarter of 2020, mainly because
of the strong demand for pharmaceuticals, various hygiene
products and packaging materials. The industry was
spared setbacks still in March.
“All the same, a severe recession is expected,” said VCI
citing a membership survey. “A decline in orders, disrupted
supply chains and the lack of transport capacities
are causing problems for companies.”
In January and February 2020, the pandemic initially
only impacted business with Asia, since the Chinese economy
was shrinking due to the lockdown. From March onwards,
the pandemic slowed economic growth and the demand
for chemicals globally. Many parts of the European
economy came to a standstill, the report explained.
For the year 2020 as a whole, VCI said it anticipates a
significant drop in production and sales for the industry in
Germany.
This year is going to be a “difficult” year for the chemical-
pharmaceutical industry, noted VCI President Christian
Kullmann. “Companies will strongly feel the effects of
the corona crisis in the coming months.”
Of the VCI members, 75% are expecting a sales decline
in Europe. “Therefore, not only our industry, but the entire
German economy urgently needs an investment and
growth program – instead of new burdens. Furthermore,
we need genuine and holistic sustainability strategies and
not projects that are solely oriented to the ecological component.”
The complete report is available on VCI’s website at
www.vci.de.

 

BASF Grants License to Red Avenue To Produce, Sell Compostable PBAT

Shanghai—
BASF and Red Avenue New Materials Group signed a joint
agreement that grants Red Avenue the license to produce
and sell certified compostable aliphatic aromatic copolyester
(PBAT) in China using BASF’s process technology.
Red Avenue will build a new 60,000-t/y PBAT plant in
Shanghai and allow BASF access to raw material from the
facility, which BASF will sell as ecoflex. Production will
begin in 2022.
“Our successful biopolyester ecoflex and the innovative
ecovio are already giving us significant participation in
this growing market,” said Olivier Ubrich, head of BASF’s
global business unit specialty polymers. “The additional
available PBAT capacities will substantially strengthen
our position.
“Due to Red Avenue’s commitment and network to develop
the Chinese market, their strategically interesting
location and their long-lasting good relationship with
BASF, we have identified Red Avenue as our preferred
partner.”
According to the companies, the global market for certified
compostable and bio-based plastics is expected to grow
by 15% per year.

 

Covestro Announces Concrete Actions To Accelerate to a Circular Economy

Leverkusen—
Covestro plans to accelerate change to a circular economy
through the gradual implementation of numerous concrete
steps and projects, which will align its entire production
and product range, as well as all areas in the long-term,
and promote recycling.
Specifically, the company intends to convert its production
facilities worldwide to alternative raw materials and
renewable energy.
Products are to be increasingly tailored to be recycled
later and aligned even more closely with UN sustainability
goals. Over 20 projects are focusing on researching new
ways for better recycling.
In addition, Covestro wants to cooperate with partners
in all areas of the value creation cycle and also take advantage
of new business opportunities of mutual interest.
Furthermore, the company said it will source a “considerable”
part of its electricity for its plants in Germany,
starting in 2025, from a wind farm in the North Sea.
“Produce, consume, throw away – single use leads to a
dead end, business and society urgently need to rethink,”
noted Covestro Chief Executive Dr. Markus Steilemann.
“Our industry and our company can and wants to support
this transformation. Because plastics are used practically
everywhere and are the key to solving many pressing
challenges. Helping to master them is Covestro’s main
concern to make the world a brighter place.”

 

Orion Engineered Carbons Breaks Ground On Modern Logistics Center in Cologne

Cologne—
Orion Engineered Carbons announced it is building a new,
modern logistics center at its largest manufacturing plant
in Cologne, Germany.
“We produce 160,000 metric tons and more than 100
differentiated grades of carbon black at this facility each
year, which must be treated and handled very carefully,”
said Dr. Sandra Niewiem, senior vice president, specialty
carbon black and EMEA (Europe, the Middle East and Africa)
region.
“The new, modern distribution center will enable us to
further grow our business in a location where we have deep
roots.”
Construction will start in the “next few weeks,” with
handover and commissioning scheduled for this December,
the company noted.

 

CNPC’s Dalian Refinery May Shut Down

Beijing—At
China’s recent annual National Parliament Conference,
Chen Xiangqun, a vice governor of northeastern Liaoning
Province, appealed to the central government to shut down
China National Petrochemical Corp.’s (CNPC) Dalian refinery,
according to Reuters.
The 410,000-b/d refinery, CNPC’s “biggest” and “one of
the oldest” refineries in the country, has had several accident
in the past decade, including an oil spill, explosion
and fire, causing safety and pollution concerns, the report
explained.
“I sincerely appealed [to] the industrial ministry and
state-owned assets supervision and administration commission
to coordinate with CNPC to shut down the Dalian
refinery as soon as possible,” said the report quoting Chen.

 

‘Power-to-Methanol Antwerp’ Established For Sustainable Methanol Demo Project

Antwerp—
The Port of Antwerp, together with industrial and business
partners, has set up a formal consortium, ‘Power-to-
Methanol Antwerp BV,’ to advance the planned power-tomethanol
demonstration plant in Belgium (PCN, 11 May
2020, p 1).
The consortium, comprising Port of Antwerp, Inovyn,
Engie, Fluxys, Indaver, Oiltanking and the Flemish Environmental
Holding Co. (Vlaamse Milieuholding or VMH),
plans to build an 8,000-t/y industrial scale demonstration
unit at Inovyn’s Lillo, Belgium, complex.
The facility would be the “first-of-its-kind” for Belgium,
with the methanol produced being used by chemical companies
in the Port of Antwerp cluster, Inovyn earlier noted.
Construction is scheduled to start in 2022, with completion
expected the same year.
In addition to providing a site for the project, Inovyn
will supply hydrogen along with its chemical and electrolysis
expertise; Engie will utilize its knowledge of the electricity
market; Fluxys bring infrastructure experience and
expertise in certification of green gases; Indaver will provide
expertise on carbon dioxide capture; Oiltanking will
advise on the logistical aspects of methanol production and
storage, and VMH will provide part of the financing.
“The formal continuation of the ‘power-to-methanol’
project . . . confirms the conviction of this group of crossindustrial
players to pursue our cooperation,” said a
spokesperson for the industrial partners.
“The project shows in a very practical and innovative
way the importance of industrial symbiosis, as part of the
energy transition pathway.”

 

Hyosung in Final Stage of Validating New Polymer Packaging Material

Seoul—Hyosung
Chemical is in the final phase of verifying commercial production
of a new polymer packaging material, according to
local news reports.
The new material, a mixture of ethylene vinyl alcohol
(EVOH) and polyketones, has improved humidity resistance,
flexibility and price competitiveness.
“By combining the excellent chemical and mechanical
properties of polyketone with the high gas blocking of
EVOH, we have achieved the best synergy effect,” said the
Aju Daily quoting Kwak Soon-jong, researcher at the Korea
Institute of Science and Technology’s photoelectronic
hybrids research center.

 

Lactips Raises €13-Mn in New Capital For Product Development, Facilities

Tours—French
company Lactips, producer of the “first” soluble bioplastic,
said it has raised €13-million in new capital, which will
enable it to ramp up its product development and industrial
facilities.
The company designs, develops and markets innovative
and natural plastics based on a natural raw material with
zero environmental impact. With this key round of financing,
Lactips will accelerate the industrialization of its plastic
pellets and films to offer a wider selection of fully biodegradable
and recyclable biosourced packaging.
Lactips is building a new plant in Gier Valley, France,
which will open in 2021, with the new production lines
gradually ramping up. No other details were given.
The industrial project is being supported by Bpifrance’s
SPI (Societe de Projet Industriel) fund, and by Diamond
Edge Ventures, the investment arm of Mitsubishi Chemical
Holdings Corp.
“This 13 million euros fundraising is structural and
strategic at the same time, thanks to these two new shareholders,”
said Marie-Helene Gramatikoff, chief executive
and co-founder of Lactips.
“More than ever, our industries need new solutions to
respond to future economic challenges tied to the goal of
reducing the environmental impact of plastics.”

 

CIPET Adds ‘Petrochemicals’ to Name; Will Devote Itself to Entire PC Sector

New Delhi—The
Central Institute of Plastics Engineering & Technology
(CIPET) has changed its name to Central Institute of Petrochemicals
Engineering & Technology.
Until now, CIPET has been contributing towards the
growth of the plastics industry through a combined program
of education and research.
CIPET will now be in a position to fully dedicate itself
to the growth of the whole petrochemical sector with a focus
on academics, skilling, technology support and research,
according to Union Minister for Chemicals and Fertilizers
Sadananda Gowda.

V58 N20 – 25 May 2020

CNOOC, Shell Ink Framework Agreement To Expand JV Ethylene Project in China

Beijing—
CNOOC and Shell Petrochemicals Co. (CSPC), a 50-50
joint venture of China National Offshore Oil Corp.
(CNOOC) and Shell, signed a strategic cooperation framework
agreement for the third phase of its ethylene project
in Huizhou, Guangdong Province, China (PCN, 28 Oct
2018, p 1).
The expansion will include a 1.5-million-t/y ethylene
plant, as well as 14 units for the production of products
such as propylene, butadiene, ethylene oxide/ethylene glycol,
styrene monomer, propylene oxide, linear alpha olefins,
and metallocene polyethylene, and others, at the Nanhai
petrochemicals complex. A schedule was not given.
CSPC (Nanhai Petrochemical Project) is the “largest”
operating single ethylene production plant in China with a
total current ethylene production capacity of 2.2-million
t/y, said CSPC. The first two phases, which started up in
2006 and 2018, respectively, supply over 6-million t/y of
“high-quality” and diversified products to the market.
“Our growth strategy is based on long-term chemicals
demand,” said Thomas Casparie, global president of Shell
Chemicals. “We are very selective in our investments and
this agreement underlines Shell’s confidence in both the
chemicals business fundamentals and our strategic partnerships
with CNOOC and the Huizhou government.”

 

SK E&C Gets $7.5-MN FEED Contract For AGIC’s PDH Unit in Saudi Arabia

Jubail—SK
Engineering and Construction (SK E&C) has won a $7.5-
million contract to provide front-end engineering design
(FEED) for Advanced Global Investment Co.’s (AGIC) new
propane dehydrogenation (PDH) unit planned in Jubail
Industrial City, Saudi Arabia, according to several media
reports.
Estimated to cost about $1.8-billion, the project will include
the production of 843,000 t/y of propylene, using
Lummus Technology’s Catofin PDH process, two 400,000-
t/y polypropylene plants, based on Spheripol and Spherizone
technologies licensed by Basell Poliolefine, as well as
utility and off-site facilities (PCN, 18 May 2020, p 1).
SK E&C ‘s contract includes responsibility for the
FEED of the utility and off-site facilities. A schedule for
the project was not available.
Earlier this month, Fluor was named project management
consultant for the project.

 

Borealis Decides Not to Pursue Development Of World-Scale PE Facility in Kazakhstan

Astana—
Borealis announced its decision not to invest in a new
world-scale integrated cracker and polyethylene (PE) facility
in Kazakhstan (PCN, 9 Apr 2018, p 1).
In 2018, Borealis and United Chemical Co., a subsidiary
of Kazakhstan’s Samruk-Kazyna, signed a joint development
agreement to build the project.
The project was to involve construction of an integrated
ethane cracker and two Borstar PE units, with a total capacity
of 1.25-million t/y. Start-up was anticipated in
2025.
“The decision to discontinue this project is based on a
thorough assessment of all aspects of the prospective venture
and impacted by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic,
as well as the increased uncertainty of future market
assumptions,” Borealis explained.

 

OQ Touts ‘First’ Production of LLDPE At Liwa Plastics Industries Complex

Sohar—OQ, formerly
Oman Oil and Orpic, said it has produced the first
base resin sample of linear low-density polyethylene
(LLDPE) at its $5.2-billion Liwa Plastics Industries Complex
in Sohar, Oman (PCN, 18 May 2020, p 1).
The project includes two swing PE units with a capacity
of 440,000 t/y of LLDPE and 440,000 t/y of high-density
PE, and a 300,000 t/y polypropylene facility. Univation
Technologies has provided the PE technology, while the PP
unit is based on Basell Polyolefine technology.
Tecnimont was earlier awarded a contract for complete
engineering services, equipment, material supply and construction
activities up to commissioning, start-up and
guarantee test run.

 

Metafrax’s New Russian Ammonia Plant Expected to Begin Operations This Year

Perm—
Casale said Metafrax’s new ammonia-urea-melamine
(AUM) complex in Gubakha, Perm, Russia, is making
“steady progress” and the ammonia unit is expected to be
put on stream within the end of this year (PCN, 27 Aug
2018, p 2).
The AUM project, for which Casale is the technology licensor
and engineering, procurement and construction
management contractor, will include the production of
308,000 t/y of ammonia, 575,000 t/y of urea and 41,000 t/y
of melamine. Casale earlier said the project was scheduled
for completion in 2021.
In 2018, Metafrax awarded another contract to Casale
for the supply of basic engineering design for a second melamine
plant to be built next to the first unit. Completion
is planned for 2022.
The second melamine plant will be based on Casale’s
LEM process and will have a capacity of 40,000 t/y. A
dedicated urea unit, also designed by Casale, will treat the
melamine off-gases, without affecting the existing urea
plant.

 

Dow Units Offline at Midland Complex In Response to Local Flooding Event

Midland—Dow
announced that because of a flooding event in Michigan, all
operating units at its Midland site have been shut down,
except for facilities needed for safely managing chemical
containment, and the company has begun implementing
site recovery plans.
On 20 May, Dow confirmed there were flood waters comingling
with an on-site brine pond used for storm water
and brine system/groundwater remediation. It immediately
partnered with the U.S. Coast Guard to activate
emergency plans. No product releases have been reported.
Dow on 21 May said it will continue to advance site assessments
as the situation safely allows. This plan includes
an inspection of all facilities and remediation assets
along the Tittabawassee River as flood waters recede.
Dow Performance Silicones has production assets on
site in an area that has not been impacted by the flood waters;
however, they do depend on infrastructure for operations
provided by the industrial park.
The site also includes research and development and Ipark
infrastructure assets.
“While we are in the early phases of recovery, we currently
do not expect our Midland silicones assets to be offline
for an extended period of time,” the company noted.
“Business continuity plans are in place to ensure customer
needs are met.”

 

Gazprom, RusGazDobycha Make Progress On Gas Processing Complex near Russia

Moscow—
Gazprom said it is moving forward on a project with Rus-
GazDobycha for the creation of a natural gas processing
and liquefaction complex near Ust-Luga, Russia (PCN, 16
Dec 2019, p 1).
The project, to be operated by RusKhimAlyans, a special-
purpose company formed by the partners, will process
45-billion cu m/yr of gas and will produce around 13-
million t/y of liquefied natural gas, as well as ethane fraction,
liquefied petroleum gases and pentane-hexane fraction.
Gazprom, in giving an update on the status of the project,
said basic design has been agreed upon and design
documentation is being drawn up, site clearing is in progress
and project financing is being arranged.
Plans for this year include submitting design documentation
for a state expert review, placing orders for long-lead
equipment, selecting an engineering, procurement and
construction (EPC) contractor for the gas processing units
and off-site facilities, as well as an EPCM contractor for
project management.
Baltic Chemical, a wholly-owned subsidiary of RusGazdobycha,
is setting up a gas chemical facility that will be
technologically interconnected with the gas processing
complex.
The new chemical facility 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. The project is
expected to be completed in 2024.
Last year, Baltic selected Univation Technologies’ Unipol
PE process for the lines, as well as its Acclaim technology
for unimodal high-density PE (HDPE), Prodigy technology
for bimodal HDPE grades, and XCat technology for
advanced metallocene linear low-density PE.

 

Total & PureCycle Enter Agreement For Plastic Recycling Partnership

Paris—Total and
PureCycle Technologies have signed an agreement to form
a strategic partnership in plastic recycling.
PureCycle uses a patented recycling process, developed
by Proctor & Gamble, that separates color, odor and contaminants
from plastic waste feedstock to transform it into
ultra-pure recycled polypropylene (PP). It will begin construction
this year on its first plant in Ohio, which will produce
48,000 t/y of recycled PP (PCN, 22 July 2019, p 3).
As part of the agreement between Total and PureCycle,
Total will purchase a portion of the output from the new
Ohio facility and will assess the interest of developing a
new plant together in Europe.
“This partnership is an important new milestone for Total
as it strengthens the group’s position in chemical recycling,”
said Valerie Goff, senior vice president of Polymers
at Total.
“This first partnership in the United States opens new
perspectives for addressing the challenge of the circular
economy and achieving our ambition of producing 30% recycled
polymers by 2030.”

 

Azelis Inks Distribution Deal with Perstorp For Polyols, Solutions Portfolio in Europe

Brussels—
Azelis has entered into a new distribution agreement with
Perstorp to distribute Perstorp’s polyols and solutions portfolio
in parts of Northern Europe.
The new mandate, which is effective immediately, enables
Azelis to extend its product offering in Northern
Europe for both the performance chemicals and the CASE
(coatings, adhesives, sealants and elastomers) market segments.
“Perstorp’s high-quality portfolio is a great new asset in
Azelis’ lateral value chain in the respective countries, enabling
us to offer innovative, tailor-made solutions to our
customers,” said Marnik Tack, market segment director for
performance chemicals at Azelis.
“This new agreement is also an important acknowledgement
of our continuous efforts to build strong and
value-added partnerships in EMEA [Europe, the Middle
East and Africa].”

 

People on the Move

Nexam Chemical—Tomas Eriksson has been appointed
production manager, effective 1 July 2020, to replace
Susanne Thygesson, who has resigned from the company.
Eriksson was most recently with Nordkalk Oy AB.
Air Products—Seifi Ghasemi has agreed to continue
as chairman, president and chief executive through 30
Sept. 2025. His current employment agreement was set to
expire 30 Sept. 2022.
JGC Corp.—Farhan Mujib has been named senior executive
vice president. He was previously president of hydrocarbons
delivery solutions at KBR.
ConocoPhillips—William L. Bullock Jr., currently
president, Asia Pacific Middle East, will assume the role of
executive vice president and chief financial officer on 1
Sept. 2020. He will succeed Don E. Wallette Jr., who will
retire on 31 Aug. 2020.

 

Indian Govt. May Impose COVID-19 Tax On Chemical & Petrochemical Imports

New Delhi—
India’s Dept. of Commerce could impose a 15% COVID-19
tax on all chemical and petrochemical imports, and is
awaiting a formal proposal from the Dept. of Chemicals
and Petrochemicals, the Economic Times reported.
The proposed tax, intended to protect domestic industry,
would be applicable on all preferential imports under
the country’s various free trade agreements, and would
cover plastics, rubber, organic chemicals, inorganic chemicals,
man-made filaments and man-made staple fibers.
The tax would cover the period from 1 May 2020 to 31 Mar.
2021.
“Several industries, which are dependent on chemicals,
raw materials or intermediate goods in these sectors, have
opposed the proposal,” said the report citing an official
with knowledge of the details.
“Any . . . additional duty would be a huge burden on industries
and will be difficult to sustain,” said a chemical
industry representative.
“If our country imposes COVID tax on chemicals imported
from other countries, and if the said countries also
start to levy additional duty on exports from our country, it
will be disastrous for our chemical exports industry.”

 

Cepsa Redesigning Its Organization; Appoints New Management Team

Madrid—Cepsa has
revamped its organization into five business units: Chemicals;
Refining; Exploration & Production; Trading, Gas &
Power & Renewables, and Sales.
The organization will be managed by a team composed
of newly-hired executives with “extensive” international
experience in the oil, gas and chemical sectors, who will
work with Chief Executive Philippe Boisseau to shape a
strategy based on international expansion and the development
of new businesses, Cepsa noted.
Chemicals will be managed by Paloma Alonso, who had
been with Dow for over 20 years. She will also be responsible
for Environmental, Social and Governance activities.
Refining will be led by its current director, Antonio
Joyanes, while Alex Archila will join the company to head
Exploration & Production.
Trading, Gas & Power & Renewables will be managed
by Boisseau, and Sales will be headed by Pierre-Yves Sachet,
who joins Cepsa from Total.
The new organization will come into effect on 1 June
2020; however, Alonso will join Cepsa on 15 July 2020, and
Archila will join as soon as certain administrative formalities
have been completed.

 

Toray Increasing Production Capacity For Torayfan PP Film at Tsuchiura

Tokyo—Toray is
boosting Torayfan polypropylene (PP) film production capacity
at its Tsuchiura plant in Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan.
The expansion, which would increase production capacity
by 60%, is scheduled for completion in 2022. Cost of the
project was not available.
“By swiftly boosting capacity at that facility, Toray
hopes to further expand its business in the years ahead in
keeping with its corporate philosophy of contributing to
society by creating new value with innovative ideas, technologies
and products,” the company noted.

 

KBR and Nipineftegas Enter Agreement To Form Engineering JV in Kazakhstan

Houston—
KBR said it has signed a joint venture agreement with
Nipineftegas to establish an engineering and support services
company in Kazakhstan.
The new company, KBR-NIPILLP, will provide engineering,
procurement, design and related services for projects
across the upstream, midstream and downstream oil
and gas sectors, within Kazakhstan.
KBR-NIPILLP will also prepare technical requirements
for all stages of the projects, including project management,
contract supervision, planning and cost control; and
train and develop the local workforce, while managing construction
contractors and subcontractors throughout all
stages of a project.

 

Lotte Acquires Interest in Showa Denko; Plans Investments in Post-COVID-19 Era

Tokyo—
Lotte Chemical has purchased a 4.46% interest in Showa
Denko for 161.7-billion won, reported BusinessKorea.
According to the report, Lotte Group Chairman Shin Dongbin,
during a meeting of Lotte Holdings executives on 19 May
2020, called for “bold” investments in new businesses in the
post-COVID-19 era.
“As COVID-19 has increased uncertainties, diverse
companies could come up for sale in the M&A [mergers and
acquisitions] market,” said the report quoting a Lotte official.
“We will consider taking M&A chances with various
options based on our solid cash flow.”

 

Cameron LNG Begins Initial Production At 3rd Liquefaction Train in Louisiana

Houston—
McDermott International and its joint venture partner,
Chiyoda International, announced that Train 3 of the Cameron
LNG project in Hackberry, La., has begun producing
first liquefied natural gas (LNG).
“While production is in the initial phases, this significant
project accomplishment is a precursor to substantial
completion of Train 3 and comes just weeks after announcing
introduction of feed gas to Train 3 on April 22,” the
partners noted (PCN, 27 Apr 2020, p 3).
The project, being built by McDermott and Chiyoda, includes
three liquefaction trains with a projected export capacity
of over 12-million t/y of LNG.
Cameron LNG is owned by affiliates of Sempra LNG,
Total, Mitsui & Co. and Japan LNG Investment, a company
jointly owned by Mitsubishi Corp. and Nippon Yusen
Kabushiki Kaisha.

 

Huntsman Finalizes CVC Purchase

The Woodlands—
Huntsman Corp. has concluded the acquisition of CVC
Thermoset Specialties, a North American specialty chemical
manufacturer, from Emerald Performance Materials for
approximately $300-million (PCN, 23 Mar 2020, p 3).
The all-cash transaction includes two manufacturing
facilities located in Akron, Ohio, and Maple Shade, New
Jersey.
“This acquisition provides unique technology, cost efficiency,
an expanded customer base, and greater shareholder
value,” said Peter Huntsman, chairman, president
and chief executive of Huntsman.

 

Viridor and Plastic Energy Sign MoU For New Chemical Recycling Facility

London—
Viridor and Plastic Energy have signed a memorandum of
understanding (MoU) and begun feasibility work to develop
a new chemical recycling plant that could return up
to 30,000 t/y of previously unrecycled plastic to the economy.
The facility, which would be developed, owned and operated
by Plastic Energy, would use predominately lowdensity
plastic film provided by Viridor to produce recycled
oils (Tacoil). The Tacoil would be used as feedstock to create
virgin-quality recycled plastic material. Completion is
expected by the end of 2023.
The project is planned to be co-located with a Viridor
energy recovery facility, allowing Plastic Energy to draw
low-carbon electricity generated from the process Viridor
uses to put non-recyclable waste to use as a fuel source.
“This project is further evidence of Viridor’s ongoing
commitment to investment and innovation to push the
boundaries of what is recycled and reprocessed in the
United Kingdom,” noted Viridor Managing Director Phillip
Piddington.
“We are very proud to be working with Plastic Energy
to develop a project which further demonstrates how all
waste can be considered a resource and not rubbish and
that collaboration is the key to achieving our green economy
goals.”

 

Cefic Joins Parliamentary Intergroup For a Competitive European Industry

Brussels—
Cefic, the European chemical industry council, has joined
the European Parliament’s newly formed intergroup ‘Sustainable,
Long-Term Investments & Competitive European
Industry,’ as partner, for the legislature 2019-2024.
Providing non-official advise, the aim of the new intergroup
is to offer a platform for exchange with political, industry
and societal stakeholders to promote dialogue on
the future of industry and long-term investments in
Europe. Cefic will support the intergroup, consisting of
over 100 MEPs (Members of European Parliament), with
its expertise and advice in these areas.
The formation of the intergroup follows its merger with
intergroup ‘Sustainable and Long-Term Investment’ and
the proposed intergroup on European industry.
Long supported by Cefic, the intergroup represents the
deep interdependent link between achieving the European
Green Deal and strengthening European industry competitiveness,
Cefic noted.

 

PermataBank Lending $70-Million to CAP To Support Indonesia’s Economic Growth

Jakarta—
Bank Permata Tbk (PermataBank) has signed a $70-
million term loan credit facility with Chandra Asri Petrochemical
(CAP) to strengthen domestic industry growth in
Indonesia.
CAP will use the loan for general corporate purpose,
annual/regular capital expenditure, operating expenses,
and/or refinancing requirements.
“We are grateful for the trust given by PermataBank,”
said CAP Finance Director Andre Khor. “During this challenging
period due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Chandra
Asri, as one of the key industry players in Indonesia, is
fully committed to continue to be the main pillar of growth
for the downstream petrochemical industry.
“As we know, reactivation of industrial growth is very
important at this time. We are very pleased to be working
with a long-term financial partner who supports and understands
our business model, to ensure that Chandra Asri
continues to maintain solid access to capital and sustain
financial resilience.”

 

Songwon Enters Distribution Agreements For Polymer Stabilizers with Bodo Moller

Ulsan—
Songwon Industrial Co. recently signed exclusive distribution
agreements with subsidiaries of Bodo Moller Chemie
Group for the distribution of its comprehensive range of
polymer stabilizers.
Bodo Moller Chemie Benelux has been supplying customers
in Belgium, Luxemburg and the Netherlands since
1 Jan. 2020, while Bodo Moller Chemie UK took on responsibility
in the UK and Ireland on 1 May 2020.
“Songwon’s range fits perfectly with our portfolio, and
these new agreements bring both of our organizations a
promising opportunity for growth,” noted Jurgen Rietschle,
managing director of Bodo Moller Chemie GmbH.

V58 N19 – 18 May 2020

Fluor Awarded PMC Contract for AGIC’s New PDH, PP Project in Saudi Arabia

Jubail—Fluor
said it has been named project management consultant
(PMC) for Advanced Global Investment Co.’s (AGIC) new
propane dehydrogenation (PDH) and polypropylene (PP)
complex planned in Jubail Industrial City, Saudi Arabia
(PCN, 6-13 Apr 2020, p 1).
The project, estimated to cost about $1.8-billion, will include
an 843,000-t/y PDH unit, based on Lummus Technology’s
Catofin process, and two 400,000-t/y PP plants,
which will use the Spheripol and Spherizone technologies
licensed by Basell Poliolefine, as well as utilities and offsite
complexes.
Under the contract, Fluor will perform PMC services for
the front-end engineering design, detailed engineering,
procurement and construction phases of the project. Construction
is expected to begin next year with commercial
operations planned by the second half of 2024.
Last month, AGIC, a subsidiary of Advanced Petrochemical
Co., and SK Gas Petrochemical, a subsidiary of
SK Gas Co., agreed to form a joint venture company to
build and operate the project.
The company, named Advanced Polyolefins Co., will be
owned 85% by AGIC and 15% by SK.

 

Borealis Shuts Down Steam Cracker Following Fire at Stenungsund Site

Stenungsund—
Borealis declared force majeure on its cracker operations in
Stenungsund, Sweden, after a fire started in a compressor
on 9 May 2020, resulting in a shutdown of the cracker.
The low-density polyethylene (LDPE) plant is the only
unit affected by the cracker outage, the company told PCN.
All other polyolefin plants at the site are running.
“At this point in time, we do not know when the FM
[force majeure] will be lifted,” a company spokeswoman
noted. The potential start-up date of the plant is currently
being investigated.
There is a shortage of certain LDPE products; however,
Borealis will supply customers from other polyolefin production
locations to minimize impact.

 

Shell to Reintroduce Construction Workers To PC Plant Being Built in Pennsylvania

Pittsburg—
Shell Chemical Appalachia plans to add 300 construction
workers per week going forward to ramp up activity at its
petrochemical project under development in Beaver
County, Penn., according to local news reports.
On 18 Mar. 2020, Shell temporarily suspended construction
activities at the site in order to contain the
spread of COVID-19 (PCN, 11 May 2020, p 4).
The $6-billion project includes an ethane cracker, which
will use low-cost ethane from the Marcellus and Utica basins
for the production of 1.6-million t/y of polyetyhlene.
Before operations were suspended, Shell had over 8,000
construction workers on site. Approximately 800 workers
were reported to be on site the week of 4 May 2020.

 

GCA to Utilize Haldor Topsoe Technology For New Gulf Coast Ammonia Facility

Texas City—
Gulf Coast Ammonia LLC (GCA) has chosen Haldor Topsoe’s
technology for its new world-scale anhydrous ammonia
plant to be built within an industrial chemical site in
Texas City, Texas (PCN, 13 Jan 2020, p 1).
The $600-million project, which will have a production
capacity of about 1.3-million t/y of ammonia, will be the
“world’s largest” single-train ammonia synthesis loop, according
to GCA. Construction will begin this year with
commissioning planned in the first half of 2023.
GCA was formed by Agrifos Partners to develop the
plant. As of the closing of the project financing, GCA is
wholly-owned by a joint venture of Starwood Energy Group
Global and Mabanaft GmbH & Co.
GCA has already secured long-term offtake contracts
for the majority of its production capacity.

 

Orpic Begins Commissioning Phase Of Liwa Plastics Complex in Sohar

Sohar—Oman Oil
Refineries and Petroleum Industries Co. (Orpic), part of
OQ Group, has entered the commissioning phase of its
$5.2-billion Liwa Plastics Industries Complex in Sohar,
Oman (PCN, 13 Aug 2018, p 4).
The project, which will triple Orpic’s current capacity,
includes two swing polyethylene (PE) units with a capacity
of 440,000 t/y of linear low-density PE and 440,000 t/y of
high-density PE, and a 300,000-t/y polypropylene (PP) facility.
The PE plant is based on technology from Univation
Technologies, while the PP unit is based on Basell Poliolefine
technology.
This past January, Oxea, part of Oman Oil Co., and Orpic
Group announced they would integrate into a newly
formed energy company, which will trade under the name
OQ (PCN, 27 Jan 2020, p 4).
Oman Oil and Orpic decided to integrate their core
businesses under OQ. The businesses include Oman Oil,
Orpic, Oman Oil Co. Exploration and Production, Oman
Gas Co., Duqm Refinery, Salalah Methanol Co., Oman
Trading International, Salalah Liquefied Petroleum Gas,
and Oxea.

 

EHC & Tecnimont Finalize EPC Contract For New Ammonia Plant in Ain Sokhna

Suez—Egypt
Hydrocarbon Corp. (EHC) and Tecnimont SpA have finalized
all technical and commercial terms of an engineering,
procurement and construction (EPC) contract awarded to
Tecnimont last September for a new ammonia unit in Ain
Sokhna, Egypt (PCN, 16 Sept 2019, p 1).
The contract, valued at approximately $550-million, is
for the implementation of a 1,320-t/d ammonia plant based
on KBR technology, as well as extensive utilities and offsite
facilities. The project is expected to take 36 months to
complete.

 

IndianOil Restarts Numerous Facilities At Its Panipat and Paradip Refineries

New Delhi—
Indian Oil Corp. (IndianOil) said it has restarted several
process units at its refineries in Panipat and Paradip, India,
which were suspended due to the nationwide lockdown
as a result of COVID-19.
At Panipat, the company resumed operation of the
naphtha cracker, high-density polyethylene unit, polypropylene
(PP) plant and monoethylene glycol unit.
On 11 May, IndianOil said its PP facility at Paradip
would resume operations in a “couple of days.” Other
polymer units there are also expected to be brought online
this month.
“With throughputs gradually picking up pace, the refineries
are currently operating at about 60% of their design
capacities with plans to scale up to 80% of the design levels
by the end of the month,” the company noted.
“Even though the nationwide lockdown had severely
impacted the entire value chain of petroleum products, IndianOil
has kept all its refinery units on ‘hot’ standby to be
ready for scale-up to higher throughputs once the product
demand picks up.”

 

West Coast Olefins to Change Location Of $5.6-Billion Petrochemical Complex

Calgary—
West Coast Olefins confirmed rumors that it is moving the
location of its proposed $5.6-billion petrochemical complex
from Prince George to McLeod Lake, in Canada (PCN, 29
July 2019, p 1).
The project would include a world-scale 1-million-t/y
ethylene plant, a polyethylene (PE) facility, a natural gas
liquids recovery plant, associated offsite facilities and infrastructure,
and a possible monoethylene glycol unit. A
majority of the PE is expected to be exported to Asian markets.
Last year, the company said a final investment decision
was targeted by the end of 2020. The project is expected to
take three years to construct.
West Coast Olefins President and Chief Executive Ken
James, in an interview with the BC Resources Coalition,
said the company wasn’t going to build the project where
people don’t want it.

 

Air Products & Topsoe to Collaborate On Ammonia, Methanol, DME Plants

Harrisburg—Air
Products and Haldor Topsoe have signed a global alliance
agreement to cooperate on large-scale ammonia, methanol
and/or dimethyl ether (DME) facilities to be developed and
built globally.
The deal provides Air Products access to Topsoe’s technology
licenses and the supply of certain engineering design,
equipment, high-performance catalysts and technical
services for the plants, which will be built, owned and operated
by Air Products.
Topsoe’s technology can be integrated into many Air
Products’ technologies, including gasification of various
feedstocks, and synthesis gas processes.
“Having this alliance and access to Haldor Topsoe’s
technology-leading capabilities will serve to strengthen
both our offerings and customer confidence in the reliability
and quality of project development and performance,”
said Dr. Samir J. Serhan, executive vice president of Air
Products.

 

Sasa’s Land Allocation Request Approved For New Petrochem Project in Turkey

Adana—Sasa
Polyester Sanayi said its Environmental Impact Assessment
application requesting land allocation for new petrochemical
facilities in the Yumurtalik district of Adana,
Turkey, has been approved.
The projects, requiring an investment of $11.8-billion,
will include the production of purified terephthalic acid
(PTA), monoethylene glycol, polyethylene, polypropylene,
polyvinyl chloride, superabsorbent polymers and polyester
chips, as well as construction of a port. Capacities and project
schedules were not available.
Earlier this year, the company signed a letter of intent
with Invista Performance Technologies to license Invista’s
P8 process technology for a new 1.5-million-t/y PTA project
in Turkey (PCN, 10 Feb 2020, p 2).

 

Nova and Enerkem Partner to Research Turning Municipal Waste into Ethylene

Calgary—
Nova Chemicals announced it has entered into a joint development
agreement with Enerkem to research advanced
recycling technology to transform “hard-to-recycle” municipal
waste into ethylene at full commercial scale.
“Our R&D teams will collaborate to develop game
changing technology to push the boundaries for recycling
waste to create new feedstocks and bring value to the environment,
economy and society,” said Nova President and
Chief Executive Todd Karran.
Nova Chemicals is committed to enabling 100% of plastics
packaging to be recyclable or recoverable by 2030; and
100% of plastics packaging to be re-used, recycled or recovered
by 2040.
“We are delighted to team up with Nova Chemicals to
collaborate on new technology for waste-to-ethylene feedstock
to solve one of the world’s most pressing environmental
issues,” noted Dominique Boies, chief executive and
chief financial officer of Enerkem.
“This strategic partnership will allow us to explore the
development of new products and expand our offering in
pursuit of the circular economy,” Boies added.
Enerkem is the “first” company in the world to produce
renewable methanol and ethanol from non-recyclable and
non-compostable municipal solid waste at full commercial
scale.

 

People on the Move

Chevron Phillips Chemical Co.—Mitch Eichelberger
has been named senior vice president of polymers and specialties,
effective 16 May 2020, replacing Dave Morgan,
who has decided to retire. Eichelberger had been senior
vice president, corporate planning and technology, and continues
on the company’s leadership team.
Steve Prusak, most recently general manager, corporate
planning and development, has succeeded Eichelberger
and has become a member of the leadership team.
Darren Ercolani has assumed the newly created role of
vice president of business transformation and has also
joined the leadership team. He was most recently general
auditor.
Wanhua Chemical Group—Liao Zengtai has been
elected chairman.

 

Air Products to Establish New Indonesian Coal-to-Methanol Unit for Bakrie, Ithaca

Jakarta—
Air Products will invest around $2-billion to build, own and
operate a new coal-to-methanol production facility in Bengalon,
East Kalimantan, Indonesia, and has agreed to supply
methanol to Bakrie Capital Indonesia and Ithaca Resources.
The plant, which will include Air Product’s proprietary
Syngas Solutions dry-feed gasifier, will enable the production
of nearly 2-million t/y of methanol utilizing technology
from Haldor Topsoe. Start-up is expected in 2024.
Under a long-term on-site contract, Bakrie and Ithaca
will supply coal feedstock and have committed to offtake
the methanol production for sale within Indonesia.
“As Southeast Asia’s largest economy, Indonesia is
committed to reduce its energy imports and efficiently convert
abundant coal resources into high-value products,”
said Seifi Ghasemi, chairman, president and chief executive
of Air Products.
“We are proud to have been awarded another worldscale
gasification project, where we will deploy our capital,
technology and operational expertise to help Indonesia
meet these important goals.”

 

LG Polymers India Provides Update On Operations After Styrene Leak

Vizag—LG Polymers
India said its plant remains completely controlled by
all measures, following a recent styrene gas leak in Visakhapatnam,
India (PCN, 11 May 2020, p 3).
The incident occurred on 7 May 2020, while machines
were being inspected to restart the factory.
“We have begun the transportation of the styrene
monomer inventory within the plant, as well as in the styrene
tanks at the port by vessels to South Korea to prevent
and eliminate all risks factors,” LG noted.
The company is working closely with related authorities
to analyze the cause of the incident, prevent a recurrence,
and support damage recovery in a “prompt and expedient”
manner.

 

Sinopec Announces Start of Operations At China’s ‘Largest’ Petrochem Port

Beijing—Sinopec
said it has put Sinopec Zhongke Refinery Port, China’s
“largest” petrochemical port, into operation with the successful
docking and unloading of the New Renown crude oil
tanker from the Middle East.
The petrochemical port, located in Zhanjiang, features
eight terminals, including a 300,000-ton crude oil berth,
100,000-ton oil berth and supporting facilities, providing a
total capacity of 34-million t/y. The berth is currently the
“largest” domestic refined oil terminal with a loading and
unloading capacity of 5.61-million t/y, the company noted.
Sinopec Zhongke Refinery Port is part of Zhanjiang Integrated
Refinery and Petrochemical Complex, the “biggest
project of its kind” under construction by Sinopec in Zhanjiang
(PCN, 2 Jan 2017, p 3).
The first phase of the project, costing more than ¥40-
billion, will add over 10-million t/y of refined crude oil capacity
and 800,000 t/y of ethylene. The final project is expected
to be fully completed and put into production by the
end of July 2020.

 

P&G Grants Exclusive License to Cargill For Its Bio-Based Acrylic Acid Process

Cincinnati—
Procter & Gamble (P&G), developer of a technology that
converts lactic acid into bio-based acrylic acid, has granted
an exclusive license to Cargill that allows Cargill to further
develop and commercialize the technology to be incorporated
in a range of applications—from superabsorbent
polymers to thickeners.
“By investing in advancing bio-based solutions, we can
and will help reduce the carbon footprint of various industries,”
said Dr. Annie Weisbrod, principal scientist, Environmental
Stewardship & Sustainability at P&G.
“This is consistent with P&G’s stated Ambition 2030
sustainability goals to look to new, renewable sources of
raw materials for conversion into everyday products,” she
added.
“Manufacturers and brand owners have been seeking
viable pathways to bio-based acrylic acid to reduce the environmental
impact, and P&G’s conversion technology
brings us closer to a solution,” noted Asheesh Choudhary,
global business director for Cargill’s bioindustrial business.

 

PKN Orlen Selects Badger Technology For New Isopropanol Plant at Plock

Plock—PKN Orlen
said it has purchased a license and basic engineering
design package from Badger Licensing for a new isopropanol
unit planned at its site in Plock, Poland.
The proposed project, part of PKN Orlen’s program to
expand phenol production capacities at its Plock plant,
would consist of an isopropanol unit, for which a capacity
was not given, as well as auxiliary systems and ancillary
infrastructure (PCN, 2 Mar 2020, p 1). No other details
were available.
In 2018, PKN Orlen received management board approval
to launch a petrochemical investment program,
which would help Poland transition from a net importer to
a net exporter of petrochemicals.
The program involves investing around PLN 8.3-billion
in a new aromatics derivatives complex and expanding capacities
of olefins and phenol by 2023 at its sites in Plock
and Wloclawek.
PKN Orlen recently announced plans for a new
200,000-t/y phenol facility at Plock based on Honeywell
UOP’s Q-Max and Phenol 3G technologies.

 

Shell Gas Decides to Invest in Nigerian LNG Processing Unit at Bonny Island

Bonny—Shell
Gas BV, a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell, has made a
final investment decision and will move forward with a
new liquefied natural gas (LNG) processing unit at its Nigeria
LNG (NLNG) joint venture at Bonny Island, Nigeria.
The unit, known as Train 7, will add approximately 8-
million t/y of capacity to the facility, raising the total capacity
to around 30-million t/y. The facility currently has
six trains.
Saipem, in a joint venture with Daewoo E&C Co. and
Chiyoda Corp., has been awarded the engineering, procurement
and construction contracts for the project. The
contracts are valued at more than $4-billion.
Construction schedules will be finalized once the situation
with COVID-19 has stabilized, Shell noted.
NLNG is owned by Nigerian National Petroleum Corp.
(49%), Shell (25.6%), Total (15%) and Eni (10.4%).

 

BP Australia Announces Feasibility Study Of Pilot Plant for Green Hydrogen, NH3

Melbourne—
BP Australia said it will study the feasibility of an exportscale
renewable production facility in Western Australia
that will produce green hydrogen, using onsite and/or gridsourced
renewable power, to be converted into green ammonia
(NH3).
The feasibility study will deliver a detailed technoeconomic
evaluation of pilot and commercial-scale green
ammonia production plants in Geraldton. This will include
an evaluation of different technologies and process configurations
to manufacture green hydrogen/ammonia.
The potential pilot facility, which will require an initial
investment from BP of A$2.7-million, will convert the hydrogen
into about 20,000 t/y of green ammonia. Once the
plant reaches commercial scale, capacity is expected to increase
to 1-million t/y.
Australian Renewable Energy Agency, as part of its
Advancing Renewables Program, will provide an additional
A$1.7-million in funding for the project. GHD Advisory
will deliver the study.

 

Odfjell Completes Sale of Its 50% Share In Odfjell Terminals (Dalian) to VTTI

Dalian—Odfjell
announced that Odfjell Terminals (China) Pte Ltd. (OTC)
has finalized the divestment of its 50% shareholding in
Odfjell Terminals (Dalian) Co. Ltd. (OTD) to VTTI Terminal
I BV, a subsidiary of VTTI Group, for $59-million.
“The sale of OTD represents another step in the restructuring
of our terminal portfolio and is in line with 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,” said Odfjell SE Chief
Executive Kristian Morch.
OTC is indirectly owned by Odfjell (51%) and Lindsay
Goldberg (49%).

 

Nexant to Perform Feasibility Study For African Formaldehyde Facility

Malabo—The Ministry
of Mines and Hydrocarbons of Equatorial Guinea, in
collaboration with Atlantic Methanol Production Co., selected
Nexant to perform a feasibility study for a proposed
formaldehyde production plant in Punta Europa, Equatorial
Guinea.
The feasibility study for the methanol-to-derivatives
project is expected to be ready by the middle of next month.
No further information was available.

 

JX Nippon Selects KBR to Evaluate Options For CCS, Blue Hydrogen Production in Asia

Tokyo—
KBR has been awarded a master service agreement and
feasibility study by JX Nippon Oil & Gas Exploration,
which involves assessing options for carbon capture and
sequestration (CCS), alongside blue hydrogen production
relating to oil and gas fields in Southeast Asia.
As part of the agreement, KBR will provide technical
consultancy services in relation to developing concepts and
technology recommendations for the capture of carbon dioxide,
reinjection, and production of blue (carbon free) hydrogen.
KBR will also evaluate the feasibility of conversion and
transport of hydrogen in other forms for sale into the market,
including liquefied cryogenic hydrogen, liquid organic
hydrogen carrier, ammonia and methanol (utilizing carbon
dioxide).
“Being given the opportunity to work on this study is
indicative of KBR’s capabilities and skill sets across complex
industrial assets and demonstrates our strategic
commitment to sustainability, decarbonization, and the
development of blue/green hydrogen as both the clean energy
for the future, and foundation of a green chemical and
product supply chain,” said Jay Ibrahim, president of energy
solutions at KBR.

 

Oxea Changes Corporate Name to OQ

Berlin—Oxea
announced that it has officially changed its name to OQ
Chemicals as a token of its final integration into the newly
formed energy company OQ (PCN, 27 Jan 2020, p 4).
In 2013, Oxea became part of Oman Oil Co. (OOC).
Since then, numerous growth programs were initiated and
implemented.
At the end of last year, under the leadership of OOC
and Orpic Group, nine Oman-based companies, which were
already affiliated, formed the new brand identity ‘OQ.’
“We have an ambitious growth plan aiming to double
our EBITDA in the next 10 years and investing over $28-
billion in new projects,” said OQ Group Chief Executive
Musab Al Mahruqi.

V58 N18 – 11 May 2020

Amur GCC Awards Contract to Tecnimont For Amur Gas Chem Complex in Russia

Moscow—
PJSC Sibur Holding’s Amur GCC LLC has selected Tecnimont
SpA, a subsidiary of Maire Tecnimont, as leader of a
consortium for the development of the Amur Gas Chemical
Complex (AGCC) in Russia (PCN, 10 Feb 2020, p 1).
Under the contract, valued at around €1.2-billion, Tecnimont,
MT Russia LLC, Sinopec Engineering Inc. and
Sinopec Engineering Group Co. (Russian branch), will provide
engineering, procurement and site services for the
project.
AGCC is the downstream expansion of Gazprom’s Amur
Gas Processing Plant (AGPP), currently under development
in Svobodny City, and will be “one of the largest” petrochemical
facilities in the world, Maire Tecnimont noted.
AGCC will process ethane fraction from AGPP for the
production of 1.5-million t/y of ethylene, which will be further
transformed into polyethylene grades. Mechanical
completion is expected within 2024.
The AGPP involves a natural gas processing facility
with a design capacity of 42-billion cu m/yr. The unit will
extract methane, ethane, propane, butane and pentanehexane
fraction. It is expected to reach its design capacity
by 2025.
Also included in the AGPP project is the “world’s largest”
helium plant, capable of producing up to 60-million cu
m/yr, Gazprom earlier noted.

 

Inovyn to Study Power-to-Methanol Project; Demo Plant Expected to be Built at Lillo

Antwerp—
Inovyn, as part of a consortium comprising industrial and
business partners, announced an “ambitious” power-tomethanol
project set up to further explore options for sustainable
methanol production in Antwerp, Belgium.
Inovyn will contribute to a joint feasibility study for the
production of methanol from captured carbon dioxide and
sustainably generated hydrogen.
Subject to positive results of the study, an 8,000-t/y industrial
scale demonstration plant would be built at
Inovyn’s chemical manufacturing complex in Lillo, Belgium.
A schedule was not given.
The facility would be the “first of its kind” for Belgium,
with the methanol produced being used by chemical companies
in the Port of Antwerp cluster, Inovyn noted.
Other members of the consortium include Oiltanking,
Engie, Indaver, Fluxys, the Flemish Environmental Holding
Co, (Vlaamse Milieu Holding) and Port of Antwerp.

 

Inter Pipeline Revises Cost Estimate For Heartland Petrochem Complex

Calgary—Inter
Pipeline said it remains focused on developing its Heartland
Petrochemical Complex in Canada; however, the
COVID-19 pandemic has affected near-term construction
execution plans, which will impact capital costs and may
extend the construction schedule (PCN, 24 Feb 2020, p 2).
The project, located near the company’s Redwater Olefinic
Fractionator, will convert 22,000 b/d of propane into
525,000 t/y of polypropylene (PP) using W. R. Grace & Co.’s
Unipol PP process technology.
Inter Pipeline earlier estimated the project to cost approximately
$3.5-billion and start-up at the end of 2021.
The estimated cost of the complex is now around $4-billion
and the in-service date may shift to early 2022, but mitigation
plans to address this are under development, the company
noted.
In late 2019, Inter Pipeline launched a process to secure
a partner in the project. “While there can be no certainty
that a definitive agreement will be reached, the process
remains active,” the company noted.

 

Thyssenkrupp Wins Contract from NRL For Indian Refinery Expansion Project

Numaligarh—
Numaligarh Refinery Ltd. (NRL) has awarded a contract to
Thyssenkrupp’s plant engineering business to provide engineering,
procurement and construction management
(EPCM) services for various units of NRL’s refinery expansion
project in India (PCN, 10 June 2019, p 2).
The refinery, located in Numaligarh, is being expanded
to 9-million t/y from 3-million t/y currently. Completion is
expected by 2024.
Under the Rs 300 crore contract, Thyssenkrupp will
supply EPCM services for a new petrochemical fluidized
catalytic cracking 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.
Last year, PCN reported that GAIL launched a study to
double petrochemical capacity at its Brahmaputra Cracker
and Polymer Ltd. subsidiary in Assam. The project is expected
to use naphtha feedstock from NRL’s Numaligarh
refinery.

 

Air Liquide Finalizes Divestment to Messer Of Its Slovakian, Czech Republic Entities

Paris—Air
Liquide has completed the sale of its entities in Slovakia
and the Czech Republic to Messer, for an undisclosed
amount (PCN, 3 Feb 2020, p 4).
“This transaction illustrates Air Liquide’s strategy to
review regularly its asset portfolio and focus its expansion
in key regions in order to increase its geographic density
and therefore enhance performance,” Air Liquide noted.
Air Liquide began operating in Slovakia and the Czech
Republic in 2000 and 2001, respectfully. Both locations
have a combined total of around 50 employees.

 

CHPCL Selects Axens’ ParamaX Suite For Daya Bay Aromatics Expansion

Daya Bay—
CNOOC Huizhou Petrochemical Co. Ltd. (CHPCL) has
chosen Axens’ second-generation ParamaX technology
suite for an aromatics expansion at its petrochemical complex
in Daya Bay, China.
The project, which aims to increase CHPCL’s highpurity
aromatics production capacity to 3-million t/y, includes
a new complex for the production of 1.5-million t/y of
paraxylene in a single train. Value of the contract and a
schedule for the project were not given.
Axens will supply catalysts, adsorbents, equipment and
a full-service offer from plant personnel training to successful
plant start-up, followed by plant performance monitoring
services.
“This brand new, state-of-the art aromatics complex
will allow CHPCL to further improve its resilience and
competitiveness, while producing highly-valuable aromatics
products,” said Patrick Sarrazin, executive vice president
of Axens’ process licensing global business unit.
Since 2009, CHPCL has been operating an Axens’ ParamaX
complex with a production capacity of over 1.3-
million t/y of pure aromatics.

 

Proman Idles Its M3 Methanol Facility; May Potentially Shut Down More Units

Point Lisas—
Proman recently idled its M3 methanol plant in the Point
Lisas Industrial Estate in Trinidad, reported the Trinidad
and Tobago Newsday.
The unit, which has been idle since the middle of last
month, has a nominal capacity of 575,000 t/y of methanol
based on Johnson Matthey technology, according to Proman’s
website.
Proman blamed the shutdown on depressed commodity
prices on the international market amid the COVID-19
pandemic.
“Further potential shutdowns could take place in the
weeks ahead, if the situation remains unchanged,” said the
report citing a company statement.

 

Freeport LNG Starts Commercial Operation Of Third Liquefaction Train in Freeport

Freeport—
Freeport LNG has begun commercial operation of Train 3
of its liquefied natural gas (LNG) liquefaction project on
Quintana Island, near Freeport, Texas, with the start of
liquefaction services to Total S.A. and SK E&S under tolling
agreements (PCN, 16 Mar 2020, p 3).
The $13.5-billion export facility consists of three liquefaction
trains, each with over 5-million t/y of LNG production.
The project was delivered by a joint venture of
McDermott International, Chiyoda International and
Zachry Group.
Last September, Freeport LNG announced that it had
raised over $1-billion in support of a proposed fourth train,
for which the company has already received authorizations
from the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and
the U.S. Dept. of Energy.
KBR was earlier awarded a fixed-price engineering,
procurement and construction contract for Train 4 and the
associated gas pre-treatment plant. It will also be responsible
for commissioning and start-up of the project.
PCN previously reported that Train 4 was expected to
begin operation in 2023.

 

South Louisiana Methanol Further Delays Planned Methanol Plant in St. James

Baton Rouge—
South Louisiana Methanol (SLM), in a letter to the Louisiana
Dept. of Environmental Quality, requested an extension
for permits of its methanol project in St. James Parish,
La., saying construction was put on hold for an indefinite
period, reported the local Advocate.
The approximately $2-billion project, a joint venture of
New Zealand-based Todd Corp. and SABIC’s SABIC U.S.
Methanol subsidiary in Houston, Texas, is planned to have
a nameplate capacity of around 2-million t/y of methanol
(PCN, 7 Jan 2019, p 1).
According to the report, SLM is seeking new project
partners and a new debt-financing package and expects to
resume construction, which started in December 2018.
Construction was suspended late last month due to the
economic downturn from the coronavirus pandemic.
“The global methanol demand that will emerge post
COVID-19 is uncertain at best,” said the report quoting
SLM Chief Executive Paul Moore. However, the company
said it remains committed to the project.
The project was originally announced in 2013, as a venture
of Zeep Inc. and Todd. SLM is now majority owned by
Todd.

 

Linde Starts up Geismar Unit to Supply Gases To Chemical, Refining Firms in Louisiana

Geismar—
Linde said it has started up a state-of-the-art syngas processing
plant in Geismar, La., to supply carbon monoxide
and hydrogen to a “top” global chemical company, as well
as other chemical and refining customers in Southern Louisiana.
The plant will convert by-product acetylene off-gas into
carbon monoxide and hydrogen to supply customers along
Linde’s hydrogen pipeline network. The customers will be
supplied under long-term agreements.
“The new Geismar plant brings our total investment in
this area to approximately $250-million and demonstrates
our ongoing commitment to serving our customers in the
Mississippi River corridor in a safe, reliable and sustainable
manner,” said Jeff Barnhard, vice president of south
region at Linde.
In 2017, Praxair, which was merged into Linde in October
2018, signed a long-term agreement with BASF to design,
build, own and operate a new syngas processing plant
at BASF’s Geismar facility (PCN, 30 Oct 2017, p 4). The
project was scheduled to start up this year.

People on the Move

Univar Solutions—Christopher D. Pappas has been
appointed chairman of the board of directors to succeed
Stephen D. Newlin, who will continue to serve on the
board. Pappas has served as Univar’s independent lead
director since May 2019, and is chairman of the company’s
Governance and Corporate Responsibility Committee. He
was also previously chief executive of Trinseo, until retiring
from that position last year (PCN, 4 Feb 2019, p 2).
Petrochemicals Europe—Frans Stokman has become
executive director of Petrochemicals Europe, an industry
sector of Cefic, the European chemical industry council.
He comes from Shell, where he worked for over 25 years in
a broad range of senior management positions.

 

LG Polymers India Leaks Styrene Gas; Several Dead, Around 1,000 Exposed

Vizag—LG Polymers
India experienced an styrene gas leak on 7 May 2020
at its facility in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, India,
according to several media reports.
The incident, in which 11 people were killed and around
1,000 were exposed, occurred while machines were being
inspected to restart the factory. The leak has been contained.
According to LG Polymer India’s website, it is “one of
the leading” manufacturers of polystyrene (PS) and expandable
PS in India.
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has imposed an
initial penalty of Rs 50 crore on the company, reported the
Press Trust of India.
A committee has been set up to investigate the gas leak
and submit a report before 18 May 2020, the date of the
next scheduled hearing.
NGT was established in 2020, under the National
Green Tribunal Act 2010, for effective and expeditious disposal
of cases relating to environmental matters, and to
help reduce litigation in higher courts.

 

Bright Green Plastics Secures Funding To Support ‘Ambitious’ Growth Plans

London—Bright
Green Plastics said it has received a £6-million funding
facility from Bibby Financial Services to provide it with the
flexible working capital needed to support its “ambitious”
growth plans.
Bright Green Plastics has a plastic recycling facility in
Castleford, UK, that supplies up to 40,000 t/y of recycled
plastics materials to a range of industries. Details of its
growth plans were not disclosed.
“Operating the latest technologies in addition to our
unique BrightFusion additive, we improve the properties of
recycled consumer plastic,” the company states on its website.
“Ultimately, it ends up similar to virgin polymers.”

 

Total Announces New Climate Ambition To Achieve Net Zero Emissions by 2050

Paris—Total
said it has adopted a new climate ambition to get to net
zero emissions by 2050 together with society for its global
business across its production and energy products used by
its customers.
The company is taking three major steps to get to net
zero:
Net zero across Total’s worldwide operations by
2050 or sooner.
Net zero across all its production and energy products
used by its customers in Europe (the European
Union, Norway and the UK) by 2050 or sooner.
A reduction of 60% or more in the average carbon
intensity of energy products used worldwide by Total
customers by 2050 – with intermediate steps of
15% by 2030 and 35% by 2040.
“Energy markets are changing, driven by climate
change, technology and societal expectations,” noted Patrick
Pouyanne, chairman of the board. “Total is committed
to helping solve the dual challenge of providing more energy
with fewer emissions. We are determined to advance
the energy transition, while also growing shareholder
value.”

 

Evonik Reorganizing Divisional Structure; Will Result in a Loss of 150 Employees

Essen—Evonik
said it is moving forward with its transformation into a
“best-in-class” specialty chemicals company and has decided
to reorganize its divisional structure.
Effective 1 July 2020, the current operating segments
will be transferred into four new divisions – Specialty Additives,
Nutrition & Care, Smart Materials and Performance
Materials, and will have a more streamlined administration.
The new divisions will be easier to manage because of
their clear strategic roles, Evonik noted. Three will be oriented
towards growth and one towards efficiency, and they
will be structured along separate technology platforms.
The new structure will result in a reduction of 150 positions
and an annual savings of €25-million by the end of
2021, mainly in administrative functions.

 

Celanese Inks MoU for Long-Term Supply Of Its Ethylene-Based VAM to Wanwei

Hefei—
Celanese has signed a memorandum of understanding
(MoU) for a long-term commercial agreement with Anhui
Wanwei Group (Wanwei) for the supply of its greentechnology,
ethylene-based vinyl acetate monomer (VAM).
The VAM will support about 50% of Wanwei’s captive
product needs in the manufacture of chemicals, fibers and
new material in Chaohu, Anhui Province, China. The
company’s main product is polyvinyl alcohol.
“As the world’s largest producer of vinyl acetate monomer,
Celanese is advancing green technologies used in the
production of various emulsion polymers that not only
meet stringent environmental regulations, but also help
our customers meet their sustainability goals and product
expectations,” noted Florian Kohl, vice president of Celanese’s
VAM, Emulsion & Redispersible Powders businesses.

 

Sulzer Creates Bio-Based, Renewables Team For Sustainable Processing, Manufacturing

Zurich—
Sulzer Chemtech has launched a new global bio-based and
renewables application development team to help create
the technology and engineering solutions to enable processing
and manufacturing businesses to transition towards
sustainable activities.
The team will lead innovation for the conversion of renewable
feedstocks into biopolymers, biochemicals, biofuels
and oleochemicals.
It will also support the development of “cutting-edge”
solutions for plastic recycling, Sulzer noted. This will be
achieved by delivering advanced, fully customizable separation
technologies, mass transfer and polymerization solutions
for businesses interested in developing or producing
sustainable materials.
The bio-based and renewables team is comprised of engineers
from around the world. By leveraging their combined
capabilities, the company can act as a full-service
provider for the design, manufacture, testing, installation
and start-up of standard, as well as custom mass transfer
and polymerization solutions for any application. From
single components, to technology licensing and full industrial-
scale plants, Sulzer explained.

 

European Olefins Production in 2020 Could Recover Despite Coronavirus

Houston—Olefins
production in Europe saw a 20-year low last year; however,
2020 could show a recovery despite the coronavirus affecting
demand, according to a new study by Wood Mackenzie.
Ethylene capacity lost in Europe due to outage activity
is currently set to total around 1-million tons in 2020.
Compare this to 2019, when 2.3-million tons of ethylene
capacity was lost due to outages. Increased capacity availability
may mitigate the impact of the coronavirus on the
industry’s olefins production, the study explained.
“This could change if the coronavirus prolongs planned
turnaround activity or halts steam cracker operations,”
said Laurie Baxter, research analyst at Wood Mackenzie.
“However, with the continued operation of petrochemical
facilities a stated priority for some of the worst-hit countries,
including Spain and Italy, this is not currently a
likely near-term threat.”
According to the study, with the new-found competitiveness
of naphtha versus liquefied petroleum gas (LPG),
naphtha will see an increased use in steam cracking, which
will result in an increase in olefins co-product production.
“The fall in the price of oil-linked feedstocks, such as
naphtha relative to LPG/ethane, has flattened the global
ethylene cash cost curve. The key impact of this change on
European olefins producers is an improved cash cost position
and a reduced cash cost advantage for traditionally
low-cost players in North America and the Middle East.
“This increases the ability of European producers to export
and closes the arbitrage for imports, both of which
serve to increase domestic European production.
“Looking at Europe’s net olefins trade position, will
2020 see a return to 2018’s strong net-exporting position?
While previously unrealistic, this position could now be
driven by healthy ethylene exports from Europe’s lowered
cash cost position and reduced propylene imports. More
naphtha cracking will help to balance Europe’s propylene
supply gap,” added Baxter.
“In our best-case scenario, over [2-million tons] of global
demand will be destroyed. Our worst-case scenario sees
[12-million tons] of global demand destroyed. Regardless
of the extent the expected reduction in global GDP and
GDP growth rates will certainly reduce olefins demand
through polyolefins.
“Our research points to some areas of optimism for
European olefins producers . . . . However, like anywhere
else globally, these olefins will only be produced if they can
be consumed – and the pandemic’s impact on the economy
and polymer demand will have the last say here.”

 

Borealis Launches Resilience Program To Uphold ‘Strong’ Financial Position

Vienna—
Borealis Chief Executive Alfred Stern, in the company’s
first quarter 2020 results, announced the launch of a resilience
program to ensure that the company maintains its
“strong” financial position, despite the uncertain outlook
for the global economy in the mid-term.
“Towards the end of the first quarter of 2020, the European
polyolefins industry environment began to feel the
effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and lower oil prices,”
Stern noted.
“For the second quarter in particular, we expect a challenging
market environment due to the continued negative
impact of both COVID-19 and record low oil prices.”
All of the company’s production locations and warehouses
are currently maintaining operations.

 

Covestro and Teknor Apex to Cooperate On Compounding Covestro’s TPU Resin

Leverkusen—
Covestro and global plastics compounder Teknor Apex
have signed a cooperation agreement to work together
closely on compounding Covestro’s thermoplastic polyurethane
(TPU) on a global scale.
Covestro has been producing TPU in pure form for
many years for use in various industry sectors, Covestro
noted. Through compounding, the array of achievable
properties can be increased “considerably” further, it
added.
“Together with Teknor Apex, we want to develop customized
products to grow together with our existing and
new customers,” said Dr. Thorsten Dreier, global head of
Covestro’s TPU business.
The products will be marketed under the name Desmoflex.

 

Shell Selling Appalachia Shale Assets To National Fuel for $541-Million

Harrisburg—Royal
Dutch Shell, through its affiliate SWEPI LP (Shell), has
reached an agreement with National Fuel Gas Co., and its
subsidiaries, Seneca Resources Co., National Fuel Gas
Midstream Co., and NFG Midstream Covington (together
National Fuel), to sell its U.S. Appalachia shale gas assets
for $541-million, subject to closing adjustments.
The transaction includes the transfer of around 450,000
net leasehold acres across Pennsylvania, with approximately
350 producing Marcellus and Utica wells in Tioga
County and associated facilities. Subject to regulatory approvals,
the sale is planned to close by the end of this July.
Shell said it remains committed to the state, for example
through its Pennsylvania petrochemicals complex in
Beaver County (PCN, 23 Mar 2020, p 1).
The $6-billion project includes an ethane cracker, which
will use low-cost ethane from the Marcellus and Utica basins
for the production of 1.6-million t/y of polyethylene.
On 18 Mar. 2020, Shell temporarily suspended construction
activities in order to contain the spread of
COVID-19.

V58 N17 – 4 May 2020

Celanese’s Acetic Acid, Methanol Projects Being Postponed at Its Clear Lake Site

Houston—
Celanese, in its first quarter 2020 financial earnings report,
announced that it will defer construction on a new
acetic acid production unit at Clear Lake, Texas, and the
associated incremental expansion of its joint venture
methanol unit at Clear Lake, by about 18 months (PCN, 28
Oct 2019, p 1).
The company is expanding acetic acid capacity at the
site to 2-million t/y from 1.3-million t/y currently. Engineering
is complete and the next steps for the project will
continue at a reduced rate, with completion now expected
by the middle of 2023. It had been scheduled for completion
next year.
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.
In addition, the business successfully completed the
first full turnaround of the methanol facility within the
quarter at a cost of around $15-million. Celanese does not
expect another turnaround with this unit for four years.
“In light of current dynamics, we have heavily prioritized
productivity-based projects with near-term benefits,
resulting in a reduction in 2020 CAPEX from previous
guidance of $500-million to less than $350-million,” noted
Celanese Chief Executive Lori Ryerkerk.

 

LyondellBasell Launches Production At Its New HDPE Plant in La Porte

La Porte—
LyondellBasell, in its first quarter 2020 earnings, said it
successfully began production at a new high-density polyethylene
(HDPE) facility at its complex in La Porte, Texas
(PCN, 7 May 2018, p 2).
The 500,000-t/y HDPE unit utilizes the company’s nextgeneration
Hyperzone technology. The site now has over
900,000 t/y of PE capacity.
LyondellBasell earlier said the site offers priceadvantaged
U.S. feedstocks and the transportation infrastructure
needed to ship product to global markets, the
company earlier noted.

 

Lotte Suspends Karachi Operations Due to Reduction in PTA Demand

Karachi—Lotte
Chemical Pakistan Ltd., in a notice to the Pakistan Stock
Exchange, said it has temporarily suspended plant operations
in Port Qasim, Karachi, Pakistan, due to lower demand
for purified terephthalic acid (PTA).
As a result of the lockdown to contain the outbreak of
COVID-19, there has been a reduction in demand for PTA,
Lotte noted. Therefore, the company has decided to suspend
plant operations until further notice. The exchange
will be notified once production resumes.
According to Lotte’s website, the company has the capacity
to produce 500,000 t/y of PTA at its state-of-the-art
facility in Port Qasim.

 

Dow to Idle Certain Plastics Facilities In Texas, Louisiana and Argentina

Midland—Dow,
during its earnings conference call, announced proactive
measures to run its plants to balance production to current
demand, including idling specific polyethylene (PE) and
elastomers units in the U.S. and Argentina, and operating
some polyurethanes and silicones units at reduced rates.
Specifically, the company will temporarily idle a solution
PE train and a gas-phase PE train in Texas, two elastomers
units in Louisiana and a gas-phase PE unit in Argentina.
The plants, which have an aggregate capacity of
around 2-billion lbs/yr, are expected to be idle for at least
30 days.
In polyurethanes, it is running its assets, including propylene
oxide and diphenylmethane diisocyanate, at reduced
operating rates, and in silicones, Dow is running
reduced rates across its global grid of siloxane trains.
“We are taking these actions with a thoughtful approach
that will allow us to quickly respond as demand
improves when economies around the world reopen,” noted
Dow Chairman and Chief Executive Jim Fitterling.
“And while timing and shape of a recovery remain uncertain,
these actions position Dow to emerge even stronger
when the global economy rebounds.”

 

Formosa Puts Construction on Hold At New Point Comfort EG Facility

Houston—Formosa
Plastics Corp. U.S.A. confirmed that construction on a new
ethylene glycol (EG) unit in Point Comfort, Texas, was recently
put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic (PCN,
17 Dec 2018, p 1).
In late 2016, the company said it was planning to spend
around $1.5-billion to build the new 828,000-t/y EG plant.
Completion had been expected at the end of 2019.
“We are currently reviewing the timeline to resume
construction,” Formosa Plastics Spokesman Fred Neske
told PCN. No other details were provided.
The EG plant is owned by Nan Ya Plastics, a division of
Formosa Plastics Corp., parent company of Formosa Plastics
Corp. U.S.A.

 

Ascend Inks Agreement with Resinex For the Distribution of PA66 Resins

Houston—Ascend
Performance Materials has entered into an agreement with
pan-European distributor Resinex for the distribution of its
Vydyne polyamide 66 (PA66) resins in Europe.
Specifically, Resinex, as an official representative of Ascend,
will supply customers in Germany, Austria, Switzerland,
Benelux, Nordic countries, UK, Ireland, France, East
Central Europe, Russia, Turkey and South Africa.
“The wide reach of Resinex in the European thermoplastic
market supports Ascend’s growing European distribution
model and better equips us to serve our customers
efficiently,” said Christelle Staller, European sales director
at Ascend.

 

JG Summit Suspends Start-up of Several PC Units in the Philippines Until 4Q ’20

Manila—JG
Summit has postponed the start-up of new and expanded
petrochemical plants in the Philippines until the fourth
quarter of this year, as the COVID-19 outbreak and the
subsequent nationwide lockdown affected work on the projects,
according to Argus Media.
The project, initially expected to come online in June
2020, includes a new 250,000-t/y high-density polyethylene
facility, based on Chevron Phillips Chemical’s MarTech
technology, and an expansion of a Unipol polypropylene
plant to 300,000 t/y (PCN, 19 Mar 2018, p 1).
According to Argus, the delays will also affect a new
70,000-t/y butadiene extraction unit, as well as a new aromatics
unit with a design capacity of 126,000 t/y of benzene,
76,000 t/y of toluene and 46,000 t/y of solvent-grade
mixed xylenes.

 

EPCA Cancels Annual Meeting in Hungary; Will Transition Event to a Virtual Format

Brussels—
The European Petrochemical Assn. (EPCA) said that as a
result of the “severe global disruption” caused by the
COVID-19 pandemic, its board of directors has unanimously
decided that the 54th Annual Meeting will not take
place in Budapest, Hungary, on 4-7 Oct. 2020, as originally
planned.
The board has decided to instead transition the meeting
to a virtual format during the time period originally
planned, but with a revised program, avoiding undue risk
to delegates, speakers, staff members and external suppliers,
as well as local citizens.
“We are already working on the practicalities of this innovative
approach in order to ensure that the 54th EPCA
Annual Meeting is as engaging and meaningful as possible,”
EPCA noted. “We will keep you informed on the details
of the planned program as it evolves, before summer.”

 

Sipchem, Linde Give Update on Partnership For Industrial Gas Supply in Saudi Arabia

Jubail—
Sahara International Petrochemical Co. (Sipchem) announced
that negotiations with Linde to establish a strategic
partnership for the supply of industrial gases in Saudi
Arabia are expected to be finalized later than originally
planned (PCN, 9 Dec 2019, p 4).
Last December, the companies signed a memorandum
of understanding laying out the initial terms for the
planned partnership, in which the initial terms were due to
expire at the end of March 2020.
The partnership will focus on connecting the two companies’
existing hydrogen and syngas plants, via pipeline,
in Jubail Industrial City. It would also develop new production
units to supply carbon monoxide, hydrogen, syngas
and associated gases in industrial clusters in the Kingdom.
Both parties are in the process of finalizing negotiations
for the partnership and expect to achieve definitive agreements;
therefore, they have agreed to extend the initial
terms until the end of the third quarter of 2020.
The delay is due to “ongoing negotiations of the final
partnership agreements, and challenges to conduct visits
to the manufacturing sites, as part of confirmatory due
diligence by both parties, due to the current situation,” Sipchem
explained.

 

CFCL Successfully Commissions ‘World’s Most’ Energy-Efficient Ammonia Plant in India

Mumbai—
KBR announced that Chambal Fertilisers and Chemicals
Ltd. (CFCL) Ltd. has successfully commissioned the
“world’s most” energy-efficient ammonia plant at Gadepan,
India (PCN, 4 Feb 2019, p 2).
The unit, which utilizes KBR’s Purifier technology, has
a production capacity of 2,200 t/d. Cost of the project was
not disclosed.
Early last year, CFCL announced the start of commercial
production at a new 4,000-t/d urea unit at the site,
based on Toyo’s ACES21 urea synthesis technology.

 

PTTGCA, Daelim’s Ohio Cracker Project Remains ‘Top Priority,’ Says PTTGCA

Belmont—PTT
Global Chemical America (PTTGCA) said that despite the
COVID-19 pandemic, its proposed world-scale olefins
cracker project with Daelim Chemical USA in Belmont
County, Ohio, remains a “top priority” for the partnership
(PCN, 27 Apr 2020, p 4).
The multi-billion dollar project would include a 1.5-
million-t/y ethane cracker for the production of ethylene,
linear low-density polyethylene and high-density polyethylene,
based on technologies from Technip and Ineos.
The first phase of site preparation and engineering
work have been completed, and project leaders are working
with key partners towards a final investment decision,
PTTGCA noted.
Last month, PCN, citing the Bangkok Post, reported
that Thailand’s PTT, the parent company of PTTGCA, was
considering delaying capital spending for the project.

 

Kraton Unveils Rosin Ester Technology; Launches Range of Sylvalite Tackifiers

Houston—
Kraton Corp. has introduced its new REvolution rosin ester
technology, along with a new range of Sylvalite brand
rosin ester tackifiers.
“Our REvolution rosin ester technology offers a major
step change for manufacturers looking to achieve light,
stable hot-melt formulations with high bio-based content,”
said Peter Migchels, marketing director of adhesives.
Kraton’s Sylvalite 2100 and Sylvalite 9100 tackifiers,
developed with the REvolution technology, are used in a
wide-range of applications, including packaging, labels and
flooring adhesives.

 

People on the Move

Mitsui & Co. (U.S.A.) Inc.—Sayu Ueno has become
president and chief executive, succeeding Katsurao Yoshimori,
who has been appointed counselor of Mitsui & Co.
Ltd. Ueno, who concurrently serves as executive managing
officer and chief operating officer of the Americas business
unit of parent company Mitsui & Co. Ltd., was most recently
managing officer and chief operating officer of the
company’s basic materials business unit in Tokyo.
Engro Polymer & Chemicals Ltd.—Jahangir Piracha
has been appointed chief executive, effective 23 Apr.
2020, succeeding Imran Anwer. Piracha most recently
served as chief executive of Engro Vopak Terminal Ltd.
and Engro Elengy Terminal Ltd.

 

Recycling Technologies Chooses Location Of European Site for Recycling Plastic

London—
Recycling Technologies Ltd. and Brightlands Chemelot
Campus have signed an agreement, in which Recycling
Technologies will install its first European plastic chemical
recycling machine within the campus in the Netherlands.
The RT7000 scalable patented technology can recycle
low-grade plastic waste into a feedstock, trademarked as
Plaxx, which is used for the production of new plastics.
Brightlands Chemelot Campus, an innovation, research
and technological growth hub, is located close to the main
petrochemical hub in Europe from Antwerp, Belgium, and
Rotterdam, the Netherlands, to the Rhine and Meuse, accounting
for 40% of Europe’s chemical industry, noted Recycling
Technologies.
The next steps of the agreement will be to secure the
necessary permitting and planning for the new plant, definition
of the site layout and initiation of groundwork.
Recycling Technologies has a commercial-scale plant
under development in Perth, Scotland, which is partially
being funded from a €10-million investment from Neste
and Mirova and a grant from Zero Waste Scotland (PCN,
16 Mar 2020, p 4).

 

Domo & Ultrapolymers Extend Partnership To Include Technyl Products Distribution

Leuna—
Domo Chemicals and distribution firm Ultrapolymers have
extended their pan-European distribution partnership to
include all Technyl Solutions.
Earlier this year, Domo completed the purchase of a
portion of Solvay’s performance polyamide (PA) business,
Polytechnyl, as part of the European Commission’s conditional
approval of BASF’s acquisition of Solvay’s European
PA business (PCN, 10 Feb 2020, p 1).
Domo’s acquisition of Polytechnyl initiated a change in
Technyl products distribution structure; therefore, effective
1 May 2020, Ultrapolymers will distribute the complete
Domo portfolio of PA6 and PA66, polyphthalamide and
polyphenylene sulfide based technical polymers sold under
the Technyl [2], Domamid, Thermec and Econamid brands.
“By extending our partnership to include the Polytechnyl
business, we can now reach end-users across all European
countries and respond quickly to fulfill the needs of
small- to medium-sized customers across the continent,”
said Ron Bult, a global sales director at Domo.

 

Trinseo Finalizes Purchase of Synthomer’s Pyratex VP Latex Business in Germany

Marl—
Trinseo has completed the acquisition of the Pyratex vinyl
pyridine latex (VP latex) business from Synthomer plc
(PCN, 30 Mar 2020, p 2).
As part of the transaction, Trinseo has established
agreements with Synthomer for contract manufacturing
the products at Synthomer’s production facilities in Marl,
Germany, where the products will continue to be produced.
“This acquisition aligns well with our strategy to grow
our latex binders business in coatings/CASE [coatings, adhesive,
sealants, elastomers] applications, and also reinforces
our position as a solutions provider to the highperformance
tire segment,” noted Trinseo President and
Chief Executive Frank Bozich.

 

Lanxess Finalizes Sale of Currenta Stake To Infrastructure Investor Macquarie

Cologne—
Lanxess has completed the sale of its 40% interest in
chemical park operator Currenta to Macquarie Infrastructure
and Real Assets (MIRA) for an equity value of €780-
million (PCN, 16 Dec 2019, p 2).
Currenta manages and operates infrastructure, energy
supply and other essential services in the chemical parks
in the Lower Rhine region and was previously a joint venture
of Bayer (60%) and Lanxess (40%).
Additionally, Lanxess has reached an agreement with
Currenta on service and supply contracts for the three sites
in Leverkusen, Dormagen and Krefeld, Germany, which
will initially run for 10 years. Lanxess operates a “significant”
portion of its global production plants there, Lanxess
noted.
“The sale of Currenta provides us with substantial extraordinary
proceeds in the second quarter,” said Lanxess
Chief Financial Officer Michael Pontzen. “We are also
strengthening our already good financial base. We are
thus well prepared to meet the current challenges posed by
the corona pandemic.”
MIRA acquired Bayer’s stake in Currenta at the end of
2019. MIRA now hold a 100% interest in Currenta.

 

Ineos Takes Delivery of 3 New Gas Barges To Supply Butane Feed to Koln Cracker

Koln—Ineos
said it has accepted delivery in Europe of three of four new
gas barges that will enable the “efficient and competitive”
delivery of butane gas from the ARA (Antwerp, Rotterdam,
Amsterdam) region to its ethylene cracker facility in Koln,
Germany.
The barges, which will be operated by Imperial Gas
Barging, will be named Aloo, Brinjal and Onion, taking
their names from the Indian “Bhaji” theme. They will become
the “largest” barges operating on the River Rhine and
are the “first” to be fully built to the new ADN gas barge
2019 standard, Ineos noted. A fourth sister ship will be
delivered later this year.
Aloo and Brinjal have six cargo tanks holding a combined
4,446 cu m, while Onion has six tanks holding 5,538
cu m. Cost of the barges was not disclosed.
The barges are part of the ongoing investment made by
Ineos in supply chain flexibility for its European cracker
facilities. The will also provide Ineos Trading & Supply
with options to effectively trade butane in Europe.

 

Sasol Names Wood Engineering Partner For Portfolio of Assets in South Africa

Sandton—
Sasol South Africa has appointed Wood as engineering
partner in a five-year framework agreement, in which
Wood will support Sasol’s portfolio of assets across South
Africa.
Specifically, Wood will provide integrated services from
feasibility studies and front-end engineering design,
through to engineering, procurement and construction.
The projects will be executed by Wood’s regional office and
on-site project teams.
“Drawing on Wood’s global capabilities, we will work
collaboratively to deliver sustainable, efficient and innovative
solutions to support Sasol’s operations in South Africa,”
Wood noted.

 

IRPC Delaying $1-Bn Paraxylene Project, Cites Lack of Demand Amid Coronavirus

Bangkok—
IRPC Plc has postponed its $1-billion investment in a new
paraxylene project in Rayong Province, Thailand, due to a
drop in demand for petrochemical and petroleum products
amid the coronavirus outbreak, reported Reuters citing
IRPC President Noppadol Pinsupa.
The project, which was expected to start this year, will
have a capacity of 1.3-million t/y of paraxylene and nearly
400,000 t/y of benzene. Production was planned to begin in
2024.
“We have to focus on liquidity and manage investments,
including holding off projects that are not immediately
necessary or not suitable for the situation,” Pinsupa told
Reuters in an interview.
In 2018, Wood received a front-end engineering design
contract from IRPC for the paraxylene facility (PCN, 22
Oct 2018, p 1). Earlier that year, Honeywell UOP said it
would provide licensing, design, key equipment and stateof-
the-art catalysts and absorbents for the project.

 

Mitsubishi Chemical America Enters Deal To Acquire Gelest Intermediate Holdings

New York—
Mitsubishi Chemical America (MCA), a subsidiary of Mitsubishi
Chemical Corp. (MCC), has entered into a definitive
agreement to acquire all issued and outstanding
shares of Gelest Intermediate Holdings, a portfolio company
of New Mountain Capital.
Gelest, headquartered in Morrisville, Penn., is an
American innovator, manufacturer, and supplier of silicones,
organosilanes, metal-organics, and specialty monomers
for advanced technology end markets. It has approximately
240 employees.
The transaction, for which a value was not given, is expected
to be completed this year, subject to pending customary
regulatory review and approval.
“We are excited to acquire Gelest, as its business fits
well within MCC’s long-term strategy,” said MCA President
Steve Yurich. “Since becoming familiar with Gelest,
we have recognized the tremendous capabilities in research
and development and production that help create its outstanding
position with key customers,” he added.
“MCC will continue to execute its strategy of enhancing
its technology platform, leveraging its extensive R&D capabilities
and pursuing new business development opportunities
in new markets to drive further expansion in the
future,” MCC noted.

 

Sinopec-SK Continues Work on Project To Boost Ethylene Capacity in Wuhan

Beijing—
Sinopec-SK Wuhan Petrochemical, a joint venture of
Sinopec and SK Innovation, has restarted its ethylene project
in Wuhan, China, according to several media reports.
The approximately $600-million project, which was
postponed for over two months due to the coronavirus pandemic,
involves increasing ethylene capacity to 1.1-million
t/y from 800,000 t/y currently. Completion is expected
early next year.
PCN earlier reported that the project would also include
increasing polyethylene capacity to 900,000 t/y from
300,000 t/y and polypropylene capacity to 700,000 t/y from
300,000 t/y at its existing plants (PCN, 23 Oct 2017, p 1).
In 2018, LyondellBasell announced that it had been selected
by Sinopec-SK and Sinopec International to supply
its Hostalen ACP (Advanced Cascade Process) technology
for a new 300,000-t/y high-density polyethylene plant in
Wuhan (PCN, 12 Nov 2018, p 1). A schedule for the project
was not given.

 

MOL Nordic Tankers Businesses United Under MOL Chemical Tankers Name

Copenhagen—
MOL Chemical Tankers announced that its MOL Nordic
Tankers businesses, acquired last year from Triton, have
been fully integrated into MOL Chemical Tankers, effective
1 May 2020 (PCN, 14 Jan 2019, p 4).
MOL Nordic Tankers Trading in Copenhagen, Denmark,
has been renamed MOL Chemical Tankers Europe;
MOL Nordic Tankers (USA) in Stamford, Conn., and Houston,
Texas, has been renamed MOL Chemical Tankers
America, and MOL Nordic Tankers in Bogota, Colombia,
has been renamed MOL Chemical Tankers Colombia.
“Uniting network, activities and resources of the two
companies under one brand puts the MOL Chemical Tankers
Group in a strong competitive industry position, where
we will be able to service an even wider range of customer
segments and to expand our commercial and operational
activities to the benefit of our customers,” said Chief Executive
Tsuneo Watanabe.
In addition, Akio Mitsuta, chief operating officer of
MOL Chemical Tankers, will become chief executive next
month, succeeding Watanabe, who will resign from that
position.

 

Linde Divests Certain European Assets

London—
Linde has completed the sale of selected non-core assets in
Northern Europe to Gasum, an energy company based in
Finland.
The sale includes Linde’s liquefied natural gas and biogas
business in Scandinavia and its marine bunkering
business in Germany. All employees, customer and supplier
contracts have been transferred to Gasum.

V58 N16 – 27 April 2020

Thyssenkrupp Receives Koksan Contract To Build Second PET Plant in Turkey

Ankara—
Thyssenkrupp announced that its plant engineering business
was awarded a contract from Koksan for the construction
of a second polyethylene terephthalate (PET) production
line in Gaziantep, Turkey (PCN, 2 May 2011, p 1).
The new 216,000-t/y unit, being built adjacent to an existing
216,000-t/y PET line built by Thyssenkrupp in 2013,
will utilize the Melt-To-Resin (MTR) process patented by
Thyssenkrupp’s Uhde Inventa-Fischer subsidiary. Completion
and commissioning are scheduled for 2022.
Thyssenkrupp’s scope of work includes the license, basic
and detail engineering, supply of all major plant equipment
and supervision of erection and commissioning activities,
and training.
PET from the new facility will be supplied locally, as
well as to countries of the Middle East, CIS, America,
Europe and Africa regions.
“Our well proven MTR process offers many advantages
compared to conventional technologies, including, for example,
optimized energy consumption and lower production
costs,” said Uhde Inventa-Fischer Chief Executive
Werner Steinauer. “In addition, the plant can be fed with
a certain amount of recycled PET to meet the changing
needs of customers and local authorities.”
Koksan is currently examining the joint construction of
a further PET polymerization plant based on chemical recycled
PET for various textile and packaging applications.

 

BP, CRC Ink Strategic Cooperation Deal To Partner Along the Polyester Chain

Beijing—BP
has signed a strategic cooperation agreement with China
Resources Chemical Innovative Materials Holdings Ltd.
(CRC) to explore opportunities to strengthen their cooperation
on purified terephthalic acid (PTA) sourcing and work
together along the polyester chain.
“BP is CRC’s important strategic partner in the polyester
value chain,” said Zhu Zhenda, managing director of
CRC. “Through deepened cooperation, we anticipate effective
integration of our resources, bringing advantages for
both partners. We will work together to develop innovative
technologies, new products and applications for our customers
in [the] future.”
Associated with the agreement, BP has agreed to invest
in and become a shareholder of CRC, which is already a
customer of BP’s PTA production in China. No other details
were given.
BP has 2.4-million t/y of PTA production capacity at its
Zhuhai plant in China, the company’s “biggest” PTA production
site globally, BP noted. It also has its own “highly
efficient” PTA technology, and recently developed BP Infinia,
an enhanced recycling technology that can transform
currently unrecyclable polyethylene terephthalate (PET)
plastic waste back into new, virgin-quality feedstocks.
CRC produces a combined total of 2.2-million t/y of PET
at its production centers in Changzhou, Jiangsu Province
and Zhuhai, Guangdong Province.

 

Connell Chemical Starts up New MTO Unit, Produces On-Spec Ethylene & Propylene

Shanghai—
Wison Engineering announced that Connell Chemical Industry
Ltd.’s new methanol-to-olefins (MTO) plant in Jilin
City, China, has successfully started up and produced onspec
ethylene and propylene (PCN, 31 Oct 2016, p 3).
The new 300,000-t/y unit, the first phase of a planned
600,000-t/y MTO complex, utilizes Honeywell UOP’s advanced
MTO/OCP (olefins cracking process) reaction technologies
and Wison Engineering’s olefin recovery and separation
technology. Cost of the project and a schedule for
the second phase were not given.
“This project is the first large-size chemical project
brought online during [the] period when China is in the
process of restarting the economy while fighting [the]
COVID-19 pandemic,” Wison noted.
In 2016, Wison was awarded a contract for the engineering,
procurement and construction of the first phase.

 

ExxonMobil Denies Ground-Breaking Rumor On Proposed Chemical Project in Huizhou

Beijing—
ExxonMobil has denied several media reports that it broke
ground on a planned petrochemical project at the Dayanwan
Industrial Park in Huizhou, Guangdong Province,
China.
The company, in an email to PCN, said that on 22 Apr.
2020, it participated in a virtual ceremony to celebrate
progress on the proposed complex. A decision to proceed
with the project, which remains subject to a final investment
decision, will be based on a number of factors, including
receipt of permits and project competitiveness.
In 2018, ExxonMobil announced that the multibilliondollar
project would include a 1.2-million-t/y ethylene
flexible feed steam cracker, two performance polyethylene
lines and two differentiated performance polypropylene
lines, based on advanced proprietary technologies. Startup
is expected in 2023.
“This commencement ceremony signifies the strategic
importance of China to ExxonMobil as a long-term strategic
growth platform,” the company noted. “The event was
not a ground-breaking ceremony.”

 

Mitsui Raising Capacity at Osaka Works For Its Apel Cyclic Olefin Copolymer

Tokyo—Mitsui
Chemicals said it plans to increase production capacity for
its Apel series of cyclic olefin copolymers within Osaka
Works, Takaishi, Osaka Prefecture, Japan.
The company will build a new plant at the site, based
on its proprietary technology, that will increase production
capacity for Apel by about 50%. Construction will begin
this month with completion scheduled for March 2022.
Cost of the project was not disclosed.
Mitsui currently has an Apel production line at the
Osaka site and one at Iwakuni-Ohtake Works. It is considering
an additional capacity expansion to meet future
demand.

 

Sasol Suspends Several Production Units; Updates on Lake Charles Chem Project

Sandton—
Sasol announced that a reduction in demand, due to the
impact of COVID-19, has necessitated the suspension of
production at its ammonia, chlorvinyl and nitric acid
plants in Sasolburg, South Africa.
The lockdown in South Africa has also has a “significant”
impact on fuel demand, resulting in the phased suspension
of production at the Natref refinery and a 25% reduction
in production rates at Secunda Synfuels Operations,
Sasol noted.
The Lake Charles Chemicals Project (LCCP) in Louisiana
is continuing in line with expectations for operational
performance; however, the EBITDA (earnings before interest,
taxes, depreciation, and amortization) contribution
from LCCP for financial year 2020 has been revised to a
loss of between $50-million and $100-million (PCN, 3 Feb
2020, p 1).
In providing an update on the LCCP, the company said
beneficial operations of the Guerbet and Ziegler alcohols
units are expected in June 2020 and the 420,000-t/y lowdensity
polyethylene facility, which was planned for the
second half of the “calendar year 2020,” is now targeted to
be online by the third quarter of “calendar year 2020,”
Sasol stated.

 

Ube Industries Plans Simplified Merger Of Ube Ammonia Industry Subsidiary

Tokyo—Ube
Industries Ltd. announced it will implement a merger by
absorption of its wholly-owned Ube Ammonia Industry
subsidiary.
The merger, scheduled to take effect 1 Oct. 2020, is expected
to further strengthen the ammonia business and
realize business efficiencies in the near-term, and to further
enhance the unified management of the ammonia
business, the company noted. Ube Ammonia will be dissolved
and Ube Industries will be the surviving company.
Established in 1969, Ube Ammonia manufacturers and
markets liquid ammonia. It is based in Ube City, Yamaguchi
Prefecture, Japan.

 

Ineos and Plastic Energy to Cooperate On Advanced Plastic Recycling Plant

Koln—Ineos
and Plastic Energy announced they will build a new facility
in Europe to convert unrecyclable plastic waste into
new plastic.
The facility, which is likely to be built near one of Ineos’
existing naphtha cracker sites near Cologne, Germany, or
Lavera, France, will use Plastic Energy’s patented Thermal
Anaerobic Conversion (TAC) technology.
TAC technology will enable the plant to process up to
30,000 tons of mixed plastic waste into Tacoil, a raw material
that can be used to produce new high-quality, highperformance
polymers, Ineos told PCN.
The project is expected to require an investment of tens
of millions of euros and is targeted to begin production at
the end of 2023.
“We will work jointly to bring this new solution on to
the market and respond to the growing demand for highquality
recycled content and the growing imperative to increase
recycling rates and move towards a circular future
for plastics,” said Plastic Energy Founder and Chief Executive
Carlos Monreal.

 

Invista Advances Shanghai ADN Project; Enters into Local Gas Supply Contracts

Shanghai—
Invista said its world-scale adiponitrile (ADN) facility
planned in Shanghai, China, is “steadily advancing” with
“strong support” of the Shanghai Municipal Government
and the Shanghai Chemical Industry Park (PCN, 24 Feb
2020, p 1).
A groundbreaking ceremony for the new 400,000-t/y
plant, which will be located in the Shanghai Chemical Industry
Park, is planned for this June. Start-up is expected
in 2022.
When complete, the ADN unit, earlier estimated to cost
over $1-billion, will be integrated with the company’s existing
hexamethylene diamine (HMD) plant and polymer facilities
to directly supply domestic customers.
Invista Nylon Chemicals recently signed a natural gas
supply agreement with Shanghai Gas Co., and an industrial
gases supply contract with Shanghai Chemical Industry
Park Industrial Gases Co. for the project.
In addition, Vopak Shanghai Logistics, Invista Nylon
Chemical’s storage and terminal partner, has received key
permits and expects their site to begin construction in
early June 2020.
Invista currently has a 215,000-t/y HMD plant and a
150,000-t/y nylon 6,6 facility at the site.

 

Oxea Lifts Further Supply Restrictions Of Certain Products from Oberhausen

Berlin—Oxea
has lifted a declaration of force majeure for 2-ethylhexanol,
n-butyraldehyde Europe and n-butanol Europe (PCN, 20
Apr 2020, p 3).
The company declared force majeure due to an incident
at an important raw material supplier at the Oberhausen
site on 21 Feb. 2020. As a result of the operational disruption,
Oxea temporarily restricted supplies of certain products
that it manufactures at the site.
Oxea recently lifted force majeure for 2-ethylhexanoic
acid, propionaldehyde Europe and TCD alcohol manufactured
at Oberhausen.

 

Air Products Finalizes Purchase of Five SMR Hydrogen Facilities from PBF

Harrisburg—Air
Products has completed the acquisition from PBF Energy
of five steam methane reformer (SMR) hydrogen production
plants for $530-million (PCN, 6-13 Apr 2020, p 3).
The SMR’s are located in Torrance and Martinez, Calif.,
and Delaware City, Del., and have a combined production
capacity of nearly 300-million standard cu ft/d.
Air Products has begun supplying hydrogen from the
newly acquired plants to PBF refineries under the previously
announced long-term supply agreement.
The Delaware City SMR is Air Products’ first major asset
operating in Delaware, Air Products noted.

 

People on the Move

Albemarle Corp.—J. Kent Masters has been elected
chairman, president and chief executive, effective immediately,
succeeding Luke Kissam, who is stepping down for
health reasons. Masters was most recently lead independent
director at the company.

 

Sibur Increasing Trial Production of TPE At Expansion Project at Voronezh Site

Voronezh—
Sibur said it is ramping up trial production of thermoplastic
elastomers (TPE), as part of an expansion project at its
site in Voronezh, Russia (PCN, 24 Sept 2018, p 1).
The project, which will boost TPE production capacity
to 135,000 t/y from 85,000 t/y, uses “cutting-edge” technologies,
the company noted.
Construction phase of the expansion was completed this
past January. Since then, the plant has produced 3,000
tons of TPE and is proceeding with the homologation of five
new product grades.
Nipigaspererabotka was general designer of the project,
while Promstroi was general contractor.

 

QP Combines SEEF Within its Operations To Strengthen Its Downstream Position

Doha—Qatar
Petroleum (QP), in an ongoing effort to strengthen its competitive
position in the downstream sector, has integrated
SEEF Ltd.’s operations into QP.
SEEF, a semi-government company owned 100% by QP,
has a linear alkyl benzene plant adjacent to QP Refinery in
Mesaieed, Qatar. The unit began production in 2006.
Effective 19 Apr. 2020, SEEF facilities became fully operated
by QP. The integration will bring no change to
SEEF’s brand, QP noted.
“Our efforts to date have reconfirmed the benefits of integrating
our two companies, which will allow us to build
world-class operations by extracting synergies between QP
refining operations and SEEF, and to strengthen our resources,
talents and capabilities,” said QP.

 

IndianOil Awards Contract to Praxair To Supply Gases to Paradip Refinery

Paradip—
Indian Oil Corp. (IndianOil) and Linde have entered into a
long-term agreement, in which Linde’s Praxair India Private
Ltd. subsidiary will supply oxygen and nitrogen to
IndianOil’s Paradip refinery in India.
Under the contract, for which a value was not given,
Praxair India will build, own and operate a 660-t/d air
separation unit to supply the gases to the Paradip refinery
to support the expansion of the refinery into an integrated
petrochemical complex. Completion is planned in October
2021.
Praxair India currently supplies hydrogen and nitrogen
to the refinery.

 

Incitec Pivot Concludes Strategic Review; Decides to Retain Fertilizers Business

Melbourne—
Incitec Pivot Ltd. (IPL), following a strategic review of its
fertilizers business, has decided to continue the business
and discontinue talks with potential buyers.
Last September, the company initiated the strategic review
of Incitec Pivot Fertilisers with three possible outcomes
envisaged—sale, demerger, or retain and invest.
“IPL has concluded, given the extraordinary market
uncertainty and travel restrictions caused by the COVID-
19 pandemic, that the right outcome for its shareholders is
for the company to retain Incitec Pivot Fertilisers and focus
on its core operations,” IPL noted.

 

Lotte Chem Halts Production at Ulsan On PX, Metaxylene Production Lines

Ulsan—Lotte
Chemical, on 21 Apr. 2020, announced it will suspend operations
on a paraxylene production line and two metaxylene
(MeX) production lines at its Ulsan, South Korea, facility,
according to BusinessKorea.
“Lotte Chemical recently expanded its MeX production
lines to increase PIA [purified isophthalic acid] production,
but was hit hard by the novel coronavirus crisis,” said the
report.
Last month, the company suspended operations at nine
plants in Daesan, South Korea, after an explosion in its
naphtha cracking center (PCN, 9 Mar 2020, p 2).
Units shut down at the Daesan complex produce benzene,
toluene, xylene, butadiene, ethylene glycol, polyethylene,
polypropylene and polyfluoropropylene.

 

Cameron LNG in Final Commissioning Stage For Third Liquefaction Train in Louisiana

Houston—
Chiyoda Corp. announced that Train 3 of the Cameron
LNG natural gas liquefaction and liquefied natural gas
(LNG) export facility in Hackberry, La., has reached the
final commissioning stage and feed gas has been introduced
into the train (PCN, 9 Mar 2020, p 3).
The project, being built by a joint venture of Chiyoda
and McDermott, includes three liquefaction trains with a
projected export capacity of more than 12-million t/y of
LNG.
Cameron LNG is jointly owned by affiliates of Sempra
LNG, Total, Mitsui & Co. and Japan LNG Investment, a
company jointly owned by Mitsubishi Corp. and Nippon
Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha.

 

Kraton Launches CirKular+ Product Line To Meet Demand for Circular Solutions

Houston—
Kraton Corp. said it has launched its new CirKular+ product
line, enabling it to meet growing consumer demand for
circular solutions.
The fully reprocessable additives allow for the reuse of
recycled plastic through upcycling of post-consumer resin
(PCR) and industrial waste streams, including typically
non-compatible materials and difficult-to-recycle engineering
polymers, the company explained.
CirKular+ offers versatile multi-resin compatibilization
and performance enhancement in a wide range of applications,
Kraton noted. They include PCR and industrial
plastic recycling streams, bioplastics and flexible product
design using a combination of virgin and recycled plastic
materials.
“Our CirKular+ additive products enable us to meet increasing
consumer demand, performance requirements and
emerging regulations for circular plastics solutions—from
end product design recyclability to cost efficiency,” stated
Bob Hall, senior director, global marketing.

 

ACC Provides Update to Industry Outlook Reflecting Possible Impacts of Pandemic

Washington-The American Chemistry Council (ACC) has released an
abbreviated, interim update to its Chemical Industry
Situation and Outlook that reflects some of the potential
impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The update offers two scenarios intended to capture a
range of potential trajectories for the U.S. and global
economies and the chemical industry.
“While there is significant uncertainty in the projections,
short-term risks are to the downside before a possible
rebound in 2021,” noted ACC Chief Economist Kevin
Swift.
According to the update, U.S. chemical volumes are expected
to fall 3.3% in 2020 before rising 5.2% in 2021, basic
chemical volumes will drop 2.9% in 2020 before rising 6.7%
next year, and chemical shipments are expected to fall 10%
in 2020 before rebounding by 7.8% next year. Anticipated
declines reflect “struggling” end-use markets and export
customers for U.S. chemistry products.
“Industrial activity started the year on a weak note
even before news of COVID-19 emerged in late January,”
said Martha Moore, senior director of policy analysis and
economics at ACC. “Then supply disruptions from China
began to percolate through the U.S. industrial sector. With
further shocks to aggregate demand, U.S. industrial production
is set to fall 8.4% this year before growing by 2.6%
in 2021.”
Global industrial production will fall 3.9% in 2020 before
improving 5.6% in 2021. Trade and commercial activity
have experienced an “unprecedented” collapse, and
world trade is seen shrinking 10.5% in 2020 before improving
by 9.9% in 2021, said the ACC.
Global GDP (gross domestic product) is forecasted to
contract by 2.5% in 2020 before rebounding 6% in 2021,
and U.S. GDP is projected to fall by 4% in 2020 before rising
4% in 2021.
“The projections in this release rely on a baseline scenario,
under which U.S. COVID-19-related restrictions are
lifted before the end of the second quarter of this year.
ACC also developed a “pessimistic” scenario, under which
U.S. restrictions are extended through the fourth quarter
of 2020, the update concluded.
ACC’s Mid-Year 2020 Chemical Industry Situation and
Outlook will be published in June. It will provide a review
of the U.S. and global business of chemistry and the macroeconomy,
offering global and domestic chemical industry
related to production, trade, shipments, capacity utilization,
and more.

 

Security Matters & BASF Collaborate On Plastics Traceability, Circularity

Ludwigshafen—
Security Matters Ltd. and BASF have entered into a binding
joint development agreement to develop solutions for
plastics traceability and circularity.
“Though there is great progress towards chemical recycling,
the more common method is to mechanically recycle
plastic,” the companies said. “Currently, recycled plastic
loses its mechanical performance properties and quality
compared to virgin plastics, due to polymer degradation
and residual impurities. The recycling infrastructure is
also expensive and complicated, and simply does not exist
in many parts of the world.”
Under the agreement, Security Matters will contribute
its technology to enable physical and digital tracking of
closed loop recycling, authenticate sustainability claims
and improve sorting of plastic waste.
BASF will provide its experience in plastic additives,
regulatory know-how, and understanding of the plastics
value chain.
Both companies will also combine their research and
development capabilities and required resources as part of
the agreement.
Security Matters’ track and trace solution marks physical
objects with a unique and unalterable chemical-based
barcode and connects them to a digital twin. The barcode
withstands manufacturing and recycling processes, without
altering the appearance or performance of the object.
Using the proprietary technology, the barcode captures
a wide variety of information embedded in the plastic and
can be used for closing the plastic loop.
“Together we can accelerate the progress of the plastic
industry towards a more innovative, resilient and productive
economy,” noted Haggai Alon, founder and chief executive
of Security Matters.

 

PetroChemical News Briefs

Thailand’s PTT is considering delaying capital spending
for an olefins cracker project in Belmont County, Ohio,
proposed by its PTT Global Chemical subsidiary, reported
the Bangkok Post. The project, being planned with
Daelim, would involve a 1.5-million-t/y ethane cracker for
the production of ethylene, linear low-density polyethylene
and high-density polyethylene (PCN, 9 Mar 2020, p 2).
Iran expects to launch 17 petrochemical project during
the current Iranian calendar year, which began 20
Mar. 2020, said NIPNA citing Iranian Minister of Petroleum
Bijan Zangeneh. The plants would add 10-million t/y
of petrochemical production capacity.
Borealis told PCN it has lifted the 8 Apr. 2020 force
majeure declared on its steam cracker in Stenungsund,
Sweden. Operations have returned to normal.
Saudi Aramco is in early talks with banks for an approximately
$10-billion loan to help finance its planned
purchase of a 70% stake in SABIC, reported Reuters citing
three banking sources. Aramco recently received European
Commission approval to acquire the stake from the Public
Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia in a transaction valued
at $69.1-billion (PCN, 9 Mar 2020, p 1).

V58 N15 – 20 April 2020

Borealis Completes Acquisition of Nova’s Ownership Stake in Novealis Holdings

Houston—
Nova Chemicals announced that it has completed the previously
announced sale of its 50% ownership interest in
Novealis Holdings to Borealis for an undisclosed amount
(PCN, 13 Jan 2020, p 1).
Established in 2018, Novealis is an equally-owned joint
venture between affiliates of Borealis and Nova. Novealis
subsequently formed a 50-50 joint venture with an affiliate
of Total SA to launch Bayport Polymers (Baystar) in Houston,
Texas.
Baystar is building a 1-million-t/y ethane steam cracker
in Port Arthur, Texas, that is expected to start up this
year. It is also building a new 625,000-t/y polyethylene
(PE) unit in Pasadena, Texas, which will more than double
the site’s PE capacity to 1.1-million t/y. The PE plant is
scheduled to start up next year.
The Port Arthur cracker will process ethane to supply
feedstock for the PE production.

 

FIEKR Approves Rompetrol Rafinare’s HDPE to PP Unit Conversion Project

Navodari—The
Kazakh-Romanian Energy Investment Fund (FIEKR) has
approved an $8-million investment project to convert Rompetrol
Rafinare’s existing high-density polyethylene
(HDPE) unit into a polypropylene (PP) plant at the Petromidia
refinery in Navodari, Romania.
FIEKR will fully finance the project, which will increase
the site’s current PP production capacity to 120,000 t/y
from 90,000 t/y by 2022. The additional capacity will help
meet regional demand for petrochemicals.
The fund is owned 80% by KMG (KazMunayGas) International
and 20% by the Romanian state. KMG is a subsidiary
of Rompetrol.

 

Nova Resumes Some Construction Work On AST2 PE Plant & Corunna Cracker

Calgary—
Nova Chemicals, through a phased approach, began resuming
some construction activities on 16 Apr. 2020 for its
new Advanced Sclairtech technology (AST2) polyethylene
(PE) facility and Corunna cracker expansion projects in
Ontario, Canada (PCN, 6-13 Apr 2020, p 1).
Last month, Nova adjusted construction work on the
projects to comply with public health guidelines and government
directives in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We will continue to monitor the situation and adjust
site activities as needed, keeping worker safety and wellbeing
at the forefront, while progressing our business-critical
construction projects,” the company noted. “Our phased
approach includes a gradual increase in the number of construction
workers on site.”
The approximately 450,000-t/y PE plant is being build
adjacent to the cracker, which is being expanded to increase
ethylene capacity by more than 50%. The expanded
cracker will supply ethylene feedstock to the PE unit. Both
projects are expected to be completed in late 2021.

 

Saipem, Petrojet Confirm Contract Award For Egypt’s ‘First’ Polybutadiene Plant

Milan—
Saipem, in a consortium with Petrojet, confirmed it has
been awarded an approximately $150-million contract by
Egyptian Ethylene & Derivatives Co. (Ethydco) for Egypt’s
“first” polybutadiene production facility in Alexandria
(PCN, 10 June 2019, p 2).
The plant, which PCN earlier reported would begin operations
this year, will have a production capacity of
36,000 t/y of polybutadiene. A new schedule was not given.
The scope of work involves detailed engineering design,
procurement and supply of equipment and materials, construction,
pre-commissioning, and commissioning up to
successful start-up and performance testing.
Ethydco currently has the capacity to produce 460,000
t/y of ethylene, 400,000 t/y of polyethylene and 20,000 t/y of
butadiene at the complex.

 

Socar and BP to Postpone Making FID On Proposed PC Complex in Turkey

Aliaga—Socar
and BP will hold off on making a final investment decision
(FID) on the planned Mercury petrochemical complex in
Aliaga, Turkey, until the end of 2021, reported AzerNews
citing local media reports.
In December 2018, Socar and BP signed a heads of
agreement to evaluate establishing a joint venture that
would build and operate the world-scale complex (PCN, 14
Oct 2019, p 2).
If built, the complex, valued at around $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 benzene.
The project would be located at Socar Turkey’s private
industrial zone, which includes the Socar Turkey Aegean
Refinery (STAR) and Petkim’s petrochemical site, allowing
for the integration of feedstock supplies. Start-up had
been anticipated in 2023.
“The fact that the price of a barrel of oil is around $20-
$30 has affected both us and our partners,” said the report
quoting Socar Turkey Chief Executive Zaur Gahramanov.
“In this regard, the final investment decision on the Mercury
project, scheduled for the end of 2020, has been postponed
to the fourth quarter of next year.”

 

Manali Resumes PO Production at Plant 1; Restarts PG Production at Both Facilities

Chennai—
Manali Petrochemicals, in a letter to the BSE, said it has
resumed propylene oxide (PO) production at Plant 1 in
Manali, Chennai, India.
In addition, Manali restarted propylene glycol (PG) production
at both plants on 3 Apr. 2020. Resumption of other
products will be decided in due course.
Last month, the company suspended plant operations
at Plant 1 and Plant 2 from 27 Mar. 2020, until further
notice, due to a complete lockdown by the central and state
governments to help fight against the COVID-19 situation.

 

BASF, INOV Agree to Expand Partnership; Will Boost MDI, TDI, PolyTHF Capacities

Beijing—
BASF and Shandong INOV Polyurethane Co. (INOV) have
strengthened their existing relationship with the signing of
a framework agreement to serve increasing demand from
various industries in China and overseas.
Specifically, the parties will work together in the areas
of raw material supply, market expansion, research and
development for sustainable products, improved quality of
operation and environmental protection, health and safety,
BASF noted.
Under the agreement, both partners will increase production
capacities of raw materials, including diphenylmethane
diisocyanate (MDI), toluene diisocyanate (TDI),
and polytetrahydrofuran (PolyTHF). The deal will also
strengthen cooperation to develop performance materials
and construction materials.
“This is a win-win strategy, which combines BASF’s
proven research capabilities with our expertise in production,”
said Xu Jun, chairman and general manager of
INOV. “We are looking forward to working with BASF to
produce high-quality chemical products for local and overseas
customers along the value chain.”
Based in Zibo, Shandong Province, China, INOV is
China’s “leading” producer of propylene oxide, downstream
derivatives of ethylene oxide, and polyurethane, BASF
added.

 

L&T Supplying Gasification Equipment For Talcher’s New Coal-to-Urea Project

Talcher—
Larsen & Toubro (L&T) said its Heavy Engineering unit
has been awarded a contract from Wuhan Engineering to
provide key gasification equipment for Talcher Fertilizer’s
“first-of-its-kind” coal-to-urea project in Talcher, Odisha,
India (PCN, 27 Jan 2020, p 2).
The new 1.27-million-t/y ammonia and urea complex,
scheduled to start up in 2023, will mark the revival of urea
production in the state of Odisha.
Wuhan was earlier awarded a contract to supply the
coal gasification technology, while KBR is responsible for
the ammonia technology.
Talcher Fertilizer is a joint venture of GAIL (29.67%),
Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilisers (29.67%), Coal India
Ltd. (29.67%) and Fertilizer Corp. of India Ltd. (10.99%).

 

Sekisui & INCJ Form JV to Convert Combustible Waste into Ethanol

Tokyo—Sekisui
Chemical and INCJ Ltd. have established a joint venture
to verify and commercialize technology that converts combustible
waste into ethanol using a microbial catalyst
jointly developed by Sekisui and LanzaTech (PCN, 2 Mar
2020, p 1).
The new joint venture, Sekisui Bio Refinery Co., will establish
a verification plant in Kuji City, Iwate, Japan. Operations
are scheduled to start at the end of fiscal 2021.
About 20 t/d of municipal solid waste processed at a
standard-scale waste disposal plant will be received from
an existing waste disposal facility and then used as a raw
material to produce ethanol, which can be used to make
petrochemical products.
The venture aims to achieve full-scale commercialization
of the technology.

 

Toyo Styrene Building Facility to Recycle Used PS into SM Using Agilyx Process

Tokyo—Agilyx
Corp. has licensed its technology to Toyo Styrene Co. for
use in a new facility to be built in Japan that will recycle
post-use polystyrene (PS) back to styrene monomer (SM).
The plant, which will be located near Toyo Styrene’s existing
facility in China Prefecture, will have a processing
capacity of up to 10 t/d of post-use PS. Agilyx and Toyo
have begun engineering and development of the project.
Operations are expected to begin in early 2022.
“This announcement marks our formal entrance into
the Asian markets to deliver circular pathways for plastics,”
said Agilyx Chief Executive Joe Vaillancourt.
“We are excited to be working with a group that shares
our mission of reducing the impact on the global environment
by increasing recycled content in new products while
reducing the dependency on virgin material. Toyo Styrene
has been a leader in developing eco-friendly products for
the efficient use of plastics.”

 

TechnipFMC, Carbios to Build Demo Plant For Carbios’ Enzymatic Recycling Process

Lyon—
TechnipFMC has been selected by Carbios to support construction
of a plant near Lyon, France, to demonstrate
Carbios’ enzymatic recycling process for plastics.
The technology uses proprietary enzymes to recycle
waste polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastics into
monomers ready for repolymerization into PET with the
same technical and physical properties as virgin PET.
TechnipFMC will provide advisory, engineering, procurement
and construction supervision services for the project.
Construction will start later this year with first operations
expected to begin in 2021.
“Carbios’ technology has proven to be a superior process
that efficiently recycles all PET-based plastics,” said Carbios
Chief Executive Jean-Claude Lumaret. “To ensure its
implementation at large-scale, it is key for operators to
gain insights into operational conditions. Our collaboration
with TechnipFMC aims to address this need through a
demonstration plant.”

 

People on the Move

Celanese—Lori Ryerkerk, president and chief executive,
has been elected chairman to succeed Mark Rohr, who
will retire from the board, effective 1 June 2020.
Lanxess—Marcel Beermann has been named head of
global procurement and logistic group function, effective 1
June 2020, succeeding Frederique van Baarle, who will
become head of the high-performance materials business
unit on the same date. Beermann is currently head of
marketing and sales for high-performance plastics in the
Europe, Middle East and Africa region.
Momentive Performance Materials—Sam Conzone,
most recently chief operating officer, has become president
and chief executive. He replaces Jack Boss, who has decided
to retire.
Biorizon—Joep Groen, previously business development
manager, has been appointed a director. He is also
founder of Viride BV, a technological start-up within the
bio-based economy.

 

Oxea Lifts Force Majeure at Oberhausen Site; Will Gradually Meet Delivery Obligations

Berlin—
Oxea has lifted its declaration of force majeure for 2-
ethylhexanoic acid, propionaldehyde Europe and TCD alcohol
in Oberhausen, Germany, and the production units
are again running at normal capacity.
The company said it declared force majeure due to an
incident at an “important” raw material supplier at the site
on 21 Feb. 2020. As a result of the disruption, Oxea had to
temporarily restrict supplies of certain products that it
manufacturers in Oberhausen.
The site partner has now partially rectified the operational
disruption and, as a result, Oxea will be able to
gradually meet its delivery obligations.
Oxea expects to lift force majeure for 2-ethylhexanol, nbutyraldehyde
Europe and n-butanol Europe in the second
half of this month.

 

JXTG to Conduct Study on ENB Plant As Part of Amiral Complex in Jubail

Jubail—JXTG
Nippon Oil & Energy Corp. said it will conduct a feasibility
study of a new ethylidene norbornene (ENB) facility in
Jubail, Saudi Arabia, to be built as part of Saudi Aramco
and Total Raffinage Chemie’s Amiral complex (PCN, 28
Oct 2019, p 1).
Announced in 2018, the $5-billion Amiral project will
comprise a world-scale mixed-feed cracker with a capacity
of 1.5-million t/y of ethylene and related high-added-value
petrochemical units. Start-up is scheduled for 2024.
The 23,000-t/y ENB unit would be located downstream
of the cracker, ensuring the reliable supply of raw materials
and energy to the proposed plant. Commercial operation
is planned in the “late 2020s,” JXTG noted.

 

Brightmark Narrows Potential Sites For Next Plastic Recycling Plants

San Francisco—
Brightmark, a global waste solutions provider, has narrowed
its search for the locations of its next advanced plastic
recycling facilities to key regions in Florida, Georgia,
New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Louisiana and
Texas (PCN, 27 May 2019, p 3).
The company’s plastics renewal technology takes singlestream,
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.
“Ideal locations are those able to offer strong local, regional,
and state support for project development through
incentives and improved plastic recycling programs; access
to at least 200,000 tons per year of co-mingled plastic
waste (types one to seven); access to 30 to 100 acres of
suitable land with excellent access to rail and highways,
and natural gas and electric utility support for such a project,”
Brightmark explained.
Final site selection decisions are expected to be made by
the third quarter of 2020, and the company plans to have
at least two sites “shovel-ready” by 2021.
Brightmark is currently finalizing construction of a
$260-million plastics renewal facility in Ashley, Ind., which
will initially convert about 100,000 tons of plastic waste
into new products. Production is expected to begin later
this year and the plant will be operating at full capacity in
early 2021.

 

ExxonMobil Lowers ’20 CAPEX by 30%; Plans to Meet Certain U.S. Investments

Irving—
ExxonMobil announced it is reducing its 2020 capital
spending by 30% and lowering cash operating expenses by
15% in response to low commodity prices, as a result of
oversupply and lower demand from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The company now expects capital investments of
around $23-billion, down from the previously announced
$33-billion. Despite the reductions, ExxonMobil plans to
meet its projected investment of $20-billion on U.S. Gulf
Coast manufacturing facilities made in its 2017 Growing
the Gulf initiative (PCN, 23 Sept 2019, p 2).
In addition, the company expects to reach its proposed
U.S. investment of $50-billion over five years, which it announced
in 2018.
“While COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the
global economy, we are confident that trade, transportation
and manufacturing will recover,” said Darren Woods,
chairman and chief executive of Exxon Mobil Corp.
“ExxonMobil continues to invest in the projects that
will position us to support economic recovery and capture
value for our shareholders.”

 

Trinseo Announces Several Changes To Its Executive Leadership Team

Berwyn—Trinseo,
in announcing several changes to its executive leadership
team, said its previously announced search for a senior vice
president of commercial has been suspended in favor of a
flatter organization to streamline decision making so that
leaders of the global business units will report directly to
the chief executive.
Effective 1 May 2020, Nicolas Joly has been named vice
president, plastics and feedstocks; Francesca Reverberi has
been named vice president of engineered materials and
synthetic rubber, and Rudiger Schmitz will become vice
president, latex binders. They will all be members of the
executive leadership team.
Andre Lanning has been appointed vice president,
strategy, corporate development and marketing communications,
effective 1 May 2020 and will also become a member
of the executive leadership team. Tim Stedman, senior
vice president of strategy and corporate development, has
been named special advisor, effective on the same day, and
will leave the company on 31 Oct. 2020 to pursue other
opportunities.
In addition, Rainer Schewe has been become vice president
of supply chain services, succeeding Jeff Denton, who
has become special advisor and will leave Trinseo on 1
Aug. 2020.
“In a difficult economic environment, we continue to
look for opportunities to drive greater focus on business
process optimization and efficiency,” noted President and
Chief Executive Frank Bozich.

 

Woodside Partners with Japanese Firms To Study Exporting Hydrogen as NH3

Tokyo—Woodside
Energy has signed an agreement with a Japanese consortium
of JERA Inc., Marubeni Corp. and IHI Corp. to
jointly undertake a study to examine the large-scale export
of hydrogen as ammonia.
The consortium has received approval from Japan’s
New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization
for a feasibility study covering the entire hydrogen-
as-ammonia value chain. The study will examine the
construction and operation of world-scale ammonia facilities
and the optimization of supply chain costs.
As part of the study, Woodside will be investigating the
transition from blue to green hydrogen for export. Blue
hydrogen is produced from gas using steam methane reforming,
with related carbon emissions offset. Green hydrogen
is produced from renewable energy using electrolysis,
Woodside explained.
In both production processes, hydrogen is combined
with nitrogen to form ammonia to enable it to be shipped
as a liquid. The ammonia does not produce any on site
carbon emissions when consumed in a power plant.
“Woodside and its partners in Japan have forged new
energy pathways before and we can do so again, as we expect
by 2030 to see large-scale hydrogen production around
the world and we intend to be part of that,” said Woodside
Chief Executive Peter Coleman.

 

Elkem Finalizes Purchase of Polysil, A Chinese Elastomer, Resins Firm

Beijing—Elkem
ASA has completed the acquisition of Chinese elastomer
and resin material manufacturer Polysil at an enterprise
value of RMB 941-million (PCN, 6 Jan 2020, p 2).
Based in Zhongshan, Guangdong, Polysil has two production
facilities and a research and development center
with more than 50 scientists.
“Elkem’s production in China is back around normal
capacity levels, after experiencing delayed start-up after
Chinese New Year due to the coronavirus situations,”
Elkem noted.
“Polysil’s strong research and development capabilities
will be very important for development of products for both
the Chinese market and globally,” said Frederic Jacquin,
senior vice president for Elkem’s Silicones Division.
“This is even more important in the current crisis
macro environment, as a vast majority of Polysil’s activities
are non-impacted negatively by the virus,” he added.

 

GAIL Shuts Pata Petrochem Facility Citing Demand and Offtake Issues

New Delhi—India’s
state-owned GAIL has shut down its petrochemical facility
in Pata, Uttar Pradesh, India, because of demand and offtake
issues from the nationwide lockdown imposed to help
fight the coronavirus, according to a report on GAIL’s website.
The company originally cut production capacity by half
at the 400,000-t/y polyethylene (PE) unit. The 210,000-t/y
high-density and linear low-density PE swing plant has
been shut since 25 Mar. 2020, said the report citing sources
familiar with the matter.

 

MHI Opens Indonesian Subsidiary

Jakarta—Mitsubishi
Heavy Industries (MHI) has begun full-scale operations
at its newly established subsidiary, Mitsubishi Heavy
Industries Indonesia, in Jakarta, Indonesia.
The subsidiary was launched to further MHI’s participation
in social infrastructure projects in the country and
strengthen sales and service operations for MHI Group
products and technologies.
MHI will work closely with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries
Asia Pacific (MHI-AP) and offer its full support to the
new subsidiary’s activities. Both MHI and MHI-AP provided
financial backing for the approximately ¥40-million
subsidiary.

 

PetroChemical News Briefs

The Latin American Petrochemical Assn. said it has
postponed its 22nd Latin American Logistics Meeting, due
to force majeure conditions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
A new date will be announced.
SI Group announced that its Weston 705T liquid antioxidant
has been recognized as a possible additive solution
for Univation Technologies’ polyethylene (PE) manufacturing
process. The Unipol PE process is now the first
licensed PE technology to adopt the liquid antioxidant.
Trecora Resources has signed a multi-year extension
with Martin Operating Partnership for the supply of natural
gasoline.
Neste has joined an alliance of 180 members of the
European parliament, ministers, companies and other
stakeholders in a call for a green recovery after the coronavirus
crisis in Europe.

V58 N14 – 6-13 April 2020

Nova Chemicals Gives Project Updates For AST2 PE Plant, Corunna Cracker; Suspends Furnace Revamp in Alberta

Calgary—Nova
Chemicals, in providing an update on its operations during
the COVID-19 outbreak, said it is adjusting construction
work on its new Advanced Sclairtech technology (AST2)
polyethylene (PE) facility and Corunna cracker expansion
projects in Ontario, Canada (PCN, 9 July 2018, p 1).
The approximately 450,000-t/y AST2 PE plant is being
built adjacent to the Corunna cracker, which is being expanded
to increase ethylene capacity by more than 50%.
The expanded cracker will supply ethylene feedstock to
the PE unit. Both projects had been scheduled for completion
in late 2021.
“It is too early to say what impact COVID-19 will have
on our overall construction schedule, and a phased rampup
will be considered at the appropriate time to allow for
the safe completion of construction activities,” Nova noted.
In addition, commissioning and construction activities
have been paused on a furnace refurbishment project in
Joffre, Alberta, Canada (PCN, 16-23 July 2018, p 2).
“Commissioning work will resume once we feel confident
the risk of exposure has diminished. At this time, it is
too early to say when construction will commence,”

 

Methanex Defers Spending on Geismar 3, Cites Uncertainty in the Global Economy

Geismar—
Methanex announced that, in light of the uncertainty in
the global economy from the COVID-19 pandemic, it has
decided to defer about $500-million of capital spending on
its Geismar 3 methanol project in Geismar, La., for up to
18 months (PCN, 23 Mar 2020, p 1).
The project is being placed on temporary “care and
maintenance,” Methanex noted. Construction activity and
procurement of non-critical equipment and bulk materials
will be suspended until market conditions allow the project
to restart.
The 1.8-million-t/y Geismar 3 project, which will be
built adjacent to the company’s Geismar 1 and Geismar 2
methanol plants, is expected to cost between $1.3-billion
and $1.4-billion. Operations had been scheduled to begin
in the second half of 2022.
Methanex recently idled its Titan methanol unit in
Point Lisas, Trinidad, and its 800,000-t/y Chile IV methanol
facility in Puenta Arenas, Chile, for an indefinite period.
“We have not seen a significant impact on our sales volume
in the first quarter of 2020 as a result of COVID-19,”
said John Floren, president and chief executive of
Methanex.
“While we anticipate lower methanol demand in the
near-term based on reduced manufacturing activity, we
think it is too early to accurately forecast how long or how
extensive the impact of COVID-19, and the resulting economic
impact, will be on the methanol industry and on our
business.”

 

Advanced & SK Gas Subsidiaries Ink Deal To Form JV for New PDH, PP Complex

Jubail—
Advanced Global Investment Co. (AGIC), a subsidiary of
Advanced Petrochemical Co., and SK Gas Petrochemical
(SKGP), a subsidiary of SK Gas Co., signed a shareholders
agreement to form a joint venture to build and operate a
new propane dehydrogenation (PDH) and polypropylene
(PP) complex in Jubail Industrial City, Saudi Arabia.
The new joint venture company, Advanced Polyolefins
Co., will invest about $1.8-billion in the project, which will
include a 843,000-t/y PDH unit, based on Lummus Technology’s
Catofin technology, and two 400,000-t/y PP plants,
which will utilize Spheripol and Spherizone technologies
licensed from Basell Poliolefine.
Saudi Aramco will supply propane to the complex on a
long-term basis. Construction is expected to begin next
year with commercial operations planned by the second
half of 2024. Project Management Consultants was selected
for the project.
Advanced Polyolefins Co. will be owned 85% by AGIC
and 15% by SKGP.

 

ET Takes Over Lake Charles LNG Project After Shell Announced It Will Drop Out

Houston—
Energy Transfer (ET) said it will take over as project developer
of the proposed Lake Charles liquefied natural gas
(LNG) liquefaction project in Lake Charles, La., following
Shell’s announcement that it would not proceed with an
equity investment in the project (PCN, 9 Dec 2019, p 3).
The planned project would convert ET’s existing import
terminal to an LNG export facility to add 16.45-million t/y
of liquefaction capacity. With Shell’s exit, ET could possibly
reduce the size of the project from three trains to two
trains with a capacity of 11-million t/y.
Shell’s decision was made in light of current market
conditions; however, it will continue to support ET with the
ongoing bidding process for the engineering, procurement
and construction contract and then plan a phased handover
of the project’s remaining activities.
ET will evaluate alternatives to advance the project, including
bringing in one or more equity partners.
“In light of the advanced state of the development of the
project, we remain focused on pursuing this project on a
disciplined, cost efficient basis and, ultimately, the decision
to make a final investment decision will be dependent on
market conditions and capital expenditure considerations,”
noted Tom Mason, executive vice president and president
of LNG at ET.

 

Trinseo Suspends Production at API Site; Evaluates German Styrene, PBR Assets

Berwyn—
Trinseo, in providing an update regarding the COVID-19
pandemic, said it has been able to continue operations at
all of its manufacturing locations, except its API Plastics
site in Mussolente, Italy.
The site is complying with a government mandated closure
of all non-essential commercial activities in the country;
however, procurement and supply teams are developing
contingency plans in case of a significant disruption or
shutdown so that customer demand can continue to be met.
Last month, the company initiated a consultation process
with the Economic Council and Works Councils of Trinseo
Deutschland regarding the disposition of its styrene
monomer assets in Boehlen, Germany, and its polybutadiene
rubber (nickel and neodymium-PBR) assets in
Schkopau, Germany.
“These steps followed a thorough analysis and pursuit
of numerous alternative options for improving the financial
performance and competitiveness of these facilities,” Trinseo
noted.
The Boehlen facility has the capacity to produce about
300,000 t/y of styrene, while the Schkopau rubber line has
the capacity to produce around 30,000 t/y. Trinseo said it
is committed to other operations at the Schkopau site, including
polystyrene, solution styrene butadiene rubber and
emulsion styrene butadiene rubber.

 

Tecnimont Receives Three New Awards For PC Projects in Korea, India, Russia

Milan—
Tecnimont SpA, a subsidiary of Maire Tecnimont, has been
granted awards totaling around $10-million for engineering
services and feasibility studies in the petrochemical
sector in Korea, India and Russia.
The company agreed to develop the front-end engineering
design and detailed engineering for the high-pressure
section of a low-density polyethylene plant to be built in
Korea for a “major” energy and chemical company in Asia-
Pacific, which is developing a new grassroot petrochemical
integrated complex, Tecnimont noted.
Additionally, Tecnimont will perform feasibility studies
for a new polypropylene unit in India for Borealis AG and
for a further acrylonitrile line in Russia for Lukoil OOO
Saratovorgsintez. No other details were given.

 

Shenghong’s New Lianyungang Complex To Use Honeywell UOP’s Polybed Units

Beijing—
Honeywell UOP will provide five Polybed pressure swing
adsorption (PSA) units to supply high-purity hydrogen for
Shenghong Petrochemical Group’s new refinery complex in
Lianyungang, Jiangsu Province, China.
The PSA process uses proprietary UOP adsorbents to
remove impurities at high pressure from hydrogencontaining
process streams, allowing hydrogen to be recovered
and upgraded to more than 99.9% purity to meet refining
needs, Honeywell UOP explained.
The Polybed system can also be used to produce hydrogen
from other sources such as ethylene off-gas, methanol
off-gas and partial-oxidation synthesis gas.
PCN earlier reported that Shenghong Petrochemical
was building a grassroots petrochemical and refining facility
in Lianyungang City, which was planned to start up in
2021 (PCN, 15 July 2019, p 4).

 

LyondellBasell Slowing Construction On PO/TBA Project in Channelview

Houston—
LyondellBasell has informed the engineering and construction
contractors that it will slow construction of its worldscale
propylene oxide (PO) and tertiary butyl alcohol (TBA)
plant currently being built at its site in Channelview,
Texas (PCN, 1 July 2019, p 2).
The project, estimated to cost around $2.4-billion, involves
the production of 470,000 t/y of PO and 1-million t/y
of TBA, and includes an associated ethers unit at the company’s
Bayport complex in Pasadena, Texas. Start-up had
been anticipated in 2021.
“The COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented and evolving,”
noted Torkel Rhenman, executive vice president, Intermediates
& Derivatives. “Because the PO/TBA site is
currently under construction and not producing needed
products yet, in the interest of health and safety we believe
it is prudent to limit construction activities at this time.
“Over the next several weeks, we will be working with
our contractors and suppliers to develop a revised project
timeline.”

 

Gevo Disrupts Production Operations At Luverne Due to COVID-19 Impact

Englewood—
Gevo said that due to the impact COVID-19 has had on the
economy and Gevo’s industry, the company has suspended
production operations at its ethanol and isobutanol facility
in Luverne, Minn., for the “foreseeable future.”
In addition, Gevo is terminating 30 employees, cutting
across its Agri-Energy’s operations at Luverne and at its
headquarters in Colorado. Remaining employees that earn
above a certain dollar threshold, including senior executives,
will take a 20% salary reduction over the next three
months, with the 20% portion to be paid in stock.
Gevo plans to continue engineering efforts for the expansion
of isobutanol production and the construction of a
commercial renewable hydrocarbon production facility, as
well as additional decarbonization projects at Luverne
(PCN, 20 Aug 2018, p 3).
Production of renewable isooctane and aviation fuel is
expected to continue from its Silsbee, Texas, plant. The
company also intends to continue developing its hydrocarbon
business, including a planned expansion of its Luverne
facility, and will continue to move forward in securing the
project funding needed to expand the Luverne plant.
Finally, Gevo said it plans to continue the development
of biogas projects in Northern Iowa, ensuring it is available
for the plant expansion.

 

Evonik’s Kullmann Becomes President Of German Chemical Industry Assn.

Frankfurt—VCI,
the German Chemical Industry Assn., has appointed
Christian Kullmann, chairman of the executive board of
Evonik Industries, as its new president to succeed Hans
Van Bylen, effective immediately.
In addition, Covestro Chief Executive Markus Steilemann
has been appointed vice president of VCI, effective
immediately.
“Due to the corona epidemic, the VCI presidential council
made both decisions, which are to be endorsed by the
general assembly in Dusseldorf in September 2020, in the
written circulation procedure,” VCI noted.

 

Arkema Focusing on Specialty Materials; Will Explore Options for MMA/PMMA

Paris—Arkema
said that by 2024 it aims to become a pure specialty materials
player realigned around three coherent businesses
with “attractive” growth prospects.
To meet this goal, Arkema has decided to align its organization
and reporting with this vision, which will now
consist of three divisions that will be reported separately
and will include all Arkema specialty materials: Adhesive
Solutions, Advanced Materials and Coating Solutions.
Its Intermediates Division will consist of methyl
methacrylate (MMA)/polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA),
Fluorogases and Asia Acrylics.
The group will undertake a review of strategic options
for MMA/PMMA, explore possible alternatives to minimize
its exposure to the most emissive applicants of its Fluorogases,
and rebalance its Asia Acrylics business between
upstream and downstream.

 

Unipetrol Completes Main Investment Of New PE3 Project at Litvinov Site

Plock—Unipetrol
has commissioned the main part of its new high-density
polyethylene project (PE3) at Litvinov in the Czech Republic
(PCN, 28 May 2018, p 4).
The “natural line” producing “natural” polyethylene
was launched into full operation, while the operational test
and delivery of the “black line” producing black polyethylene
will take place once coronavirus-related restrictions
are lifted, the company noted.
PE3, which will increase production capacity of the Litvinov
facility to 470,000 t/y from 320,000 t/y, will replace
the existing PE1 unit. Operations of the 200,000-t/y PE2
plant will continue.

 

Air Products Inks Agreement with PBF For Purchase of Five Hydrogen Plants

Harrisburg—
Air Products has entered into a letter of intent with PBF
Energy to acquire five hydrogen steam methane reformer
(SMR) hydrogen production units from PBF for $530-
million.
The SMRs, with a combined production capacity of
nearly 300-million standard cu ft/d, are located in Torrance
and Martinez, Calif., and Delaware City, Del. The deal is
expected to close this month.
Air Products and PBF also entered into an agreement
for the long-term supply of hydrogen from the plants to
PBF refineries.
The SMR being purchased in Delaware City will be Air
Products’ first major asset operating in Delaware, Air Products
noted.

 

Nocil Announces Temporary Closure Of Dahej & Navi Mumbai Facilities

Mumbai—
National Organic Chemical Industries Ltd. (Nocil) has decided
to temporarily close its manufacturing operations at
Dahej and Navi Mumbai, India, to help contain the spread
of COVID-19.
The company produces rubber chemicals and their intermediates
at the two sites. No other details were available.

 

Novatek, Sinopec, Gazprombank Get Nod To Form Marketing JV for LNG, NatGas

Brussels—
The European Commission (EC) has approved the creation
of a joint venture between Sinopec Gas, Novatek Asia and
Gazprombank Asset Management to market liquefied
natural gas (LNG) and natural gas to end-customers in
China (PCN, 10 June 2019, p 4).
According to the EC, the joint venture will be active in
the import and export, as well as purchase and sale, of
natural gas and investment in natural gas related projects.
The commission concluded that the proposed transaction
would raise no competition concerns given that the
joint venture will have no activities in the European Economic
Area.

 

Sumitomo Chemical Invests $30-Million In U.S. Biotechnology Firm Conagen

Boston—Conagen,
a oston-based biotechnology company, has received
$30-million from Sumitomo Chemical to accelerate Conagen’s
synthetic biology research and development.
The companies will jointly explore research projects,
strengthen their technological base by mutually dispatching
researchers, and develop innovative technologies and
processes.
“In recent years, we have witnessed more and more
commercialization of synthetic biology, as a result of rapid
advances in technology through the fusion of biotechnology
and digital technology,” said Sumitomo.
“With this progress, Sumitomo Chemical believes that
the creation of new businesses can be accelerated by combining
synthetic biology with chemical technology, as this
helps develop high-efficient, clean and energy-saving processes,
as well as highly functional products that are difficult
to manufacture through chemical synthesis alone.”

 

GCM to Market PP for HMC Polymers In Key CLMVI Markets in S.E. Asia

Bangkok—GC
Marketing Solutions Co. (GCM) and HMC Polymers have
entered into an agreement for the distribution of HMC’s
polypropylene (PP) products by GCM in key markets of
Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam and Indonesia
(CLMVI).
“The agreement to market state-of-the-art PP from
HMC adds a vital category to the broad-based polymer
portfolio offered by GCM and provides HMC with the benefit
of GCM’s presence and reach across the region,” HMC
noted.
GCM, formerly PTT Polymer Marketing Co., is a subsidiary
of PTT Global Chemical.

 

Celanese Completes Purchase of Nouryon’s Redispersible Polymer Powders Business

Irving—
Celanese announced it has finalized the acquisition of the
Elotex redispersible polymer powders product line from
Nouryon for an undisclosed amount (PCN, 3 Feb 2020, p 3).
Acquiring the Elotex business will help drive growth of
Celanese’s vinyl acetate ethylene emulsions business, as
part of its acetyls derivatization strategy, Celanese noted.
No other details were available.

 

Synthomer Finalizes Omnova Purchase, Creates Global Specialty Chem Firm

Essex—Synthomer
announced it has completed the acquisition of Omnova
Solutions, creating a global specialty chemicals company
with “significant” scale and a “strong” platform from
which to invest in future growth (PCN, 30 Mar 2020, p 2).
The transaction, which the companies earlier said had
an enterprise value of $824-million, “strengthens” Synthomer’s
presence in North America, as well as increases
its presence in Europe and Asia, including further penetration
into the high-growth Chinese market, Synthomer
noted.

 

Toho Titanium Building New Facility For PP Catalysts at Chigasaki Site

Tokyo—Toho Titanium
Co. announced it will expand production capacity for
its polypropylene (PP) catalysts by building a new facility
at its Chigasaki site in Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan.
Expected to cost approximately ¥7.3-billion, the project
involves the company’s THC catalysts, which are environmentally-
friendly, magnesium-titanium-based Ziegler-
Natta catalysts that are used for polymerization of propylene
monomer to PP. Construction will begin in May 2020,
with commercial operations scheduled to start in November
2022.
“Global demand for PP is expected to grow at an annual
rate of 3% to 4% over the medium to long term,” said Toho.
“The market for PP production catalysts is also expected to
grow steadily, given the increased use of PP, especially for
automobiles, and expected contribution of catalyst technology
to high-speed molding and weight reduction of PP.”

 

Gujarat Narmada Announces Shutdown Of Several Units at Bharuch Complex

Mumbai—
Gujarat Narmada Valley Fertilizers & Chemicals said that
considering the “prevailing unprecedented critical situation”
caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and prevailing
nationwide lockdown situation, several plants at its Baruch
complex in India are under complete shutdown.
The units under shutdown include: ammonia, urea,
ammonium nitrate melt, weak nitric acid-I, methanol-II,
acetic acid, methyl formate, aniline, concentrated nitric
acid-III, formic acid, ethyl acetate and nitrobenzene.
The company will provide an update to the National
Stock Exchange of India in due course.

 

NEDO Picks Three Mitsubishi Companies To Research Captured CO2 for Methanol

Tokyo—The
New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization
(NEDO) has selected Mitsubishi Hitachi Power
Systems (MHPS), Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Engineering
(MHIENG) and Mitsubishi Gas Chemical Co. (MGC) to
conduct joint research on the effective recycling of carbon
dioxide (CO2) to produce methanol.
The partners will research CO2 emitted from the refinery
in Tomakomai City, Hokkaido, Japan, where CO2 is
captured and stored by an existing demonstration plant.
The three companies will utilize the demonstration
plant currently employed for CO2, capture and storage
(CCS) to research activities for CO2 capture and utilization
in order to produce the methanol.
MHPS, leader of the consortium, proposed using captured
CO2 to synthesize methanol. The process will combine
captured CO2 with hydrogen obtained as a by-product
from refineries or from water electrolysis within the existing
CCS facilities.
The scope of the research, which is expected to run until
February 2021, includes performance assessment of key
components of the proposed facilities with relevant technology
survey, basic engineering for optimizing plant configuration,
conducting an economic feasibility and its future
outlook.
A 20-t/d class carbon-recycled methanol synthesis plant
is planned to be installed adjacent to the existing CCS facility.
The partners will conduct a survey project based on
the potential unit.
MGC will provide its expertise related to methanol production
and synthesis catalysts, as well as process technology
for methanol production in cooperation with MHIENG.
MHPS and MHIENG will both leverage their experience
with engineering, procurement and construction.

V58 N13 – 30 March 2020

PTTGCA & Daelim Make Further Progress On Planned Ohio Ethane Cracker Project

Belmont—
PTT Global Chemical America (PTTGCA) and Daelim
Chemical USA have taken further steps toward a financial
investment decision on their proposed ethane cracker project
in Belmont County, Ohio, according to a report on
PTTGCA’s website.
The multi-billion dollar project would include a 1.5-
million-t/y ethane cracker for the production of ethylene,
linear low-density polyethylene and high-density polyethylene,
based on technologies from both Technip and Ineos
(PCN, 9 Mar 2020, p 2).
On 25 Mar. 2020, the Belmont County Board of Commissioners,
Mead Township trustees and the Shadyside
Board of Education approved new tax agreements, in
which the partners would pay $38-million to the school
district over the 15-year life of the agreement. Mead
Township would get $9.5-million during the same period.
Belmont County is estimated to receive between $20-
million and $24-million in sales tax revenue from the purchase
of materials and equipment during the construction
phase.
“We have all of our permits. We have all the things that
we need to date,” said the report citing Scott Owens, senior
project adviser for PTTGCA and Daelim. “If we wanted to
start construction this afternoon, or start development tomorrow,
we can do that.” Approximately $200-million was
spent preparing the site.
A financial investment decision could take place this
summer, Owens noted.

 

Loop Temporarily Reducing Operations Due to Ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic

Montreal—Loop
Industries announced a temporary reduction of activities 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.
The company will maintain reduced operations at its pilot
plant in Terrebonne, Quebec, Canada, and protect its
investment in its assets, which are utilized for the continuing
development of its proprietary depolymerization technology
for the production of sustainable polyethylene
terephthalate (PET) plastic.
Loop’s main focus during the order will be to continue
working with its joint venture partner, Indorama Ventures,
to oversee the engineering for their 40,000-t/y Spartanburg,
S.C., facility, and pursue plans for the commercialization
of the depolymerization technology.
An update on the status and timing of the commissioning
of the plant will be reported in Loop’s fourth quarter
and full year results in May.
In 2018, Loop and Indorama agreed to form a 50-50
joint venture to manufacture and commercialize PET and
polyester fiber from plastic waste. Production was expected
to begin in the first quarter of this year (PCN, 3
June 2019, p 2).

 

SK Global to Discontinue Production Of Ethylene & EPDM at Ulsan Site

Ulsan—SK Global
Chemical, a subsidiary of SK Innovation, plans to shut
down its production processes for ethylene and ethylene
propylene diene monomer (EPDM) within its naphtha
cracking center in Ulsan, South Korea.
The 200,000-t/y naphtha cracker, which started commercial
operation in 1972, and the EPDM unit, which began
commercial operation in 1992, will be mothballed from
December 2020 to shift the company’s focus to high-value
added chemicals.
Separately, SK Global Chemical’s planned purchase of
Arkema’s functional polyolefins business is on schedule to
be completed in the first half of this year (PCN, 21 Oct
2019, p 3).
Last October, Arkema announced the proposed divestment
of the business to SK for an enterprise value of €335-
million.
Part of the PMMA (polymethyl methacrylate) business
unit, functional polyolefins comprises ethylene, copolymers
and terpolymers.

 

Andritz Begins Operating ‘World’s First’ Biomethanol Plant at Site in Sweden

Stockholm—
International technology group Andritz said it recently
started up the “world’s first” fossil-free biomethanol facility
at the Sodra Cell Monsteras pulp mill in Sodra, Sweden.
The 6.3-million liter per year biomethanol plant, based
on Andritz’s proprietary A-Recovery+ extraction process,
uses forest biomass as feedstock.
The biomethanol can be used as a chemical base substance
for fossil-based methanol in the transport sector
(biodiesel) and for applications in the pulp mill.
In addition to proprietary process design, Andritz was
responsible for the engineering, procurement and construction
of the project, excluding automation, instrumentation,
electrification and civil works.

 

SABIC Chooses Emerson to Help Adopt New Digital Transformation Programs

Riyadh—
SABIC has signed a seven year agreement with global
automation technology and engineering firm Emerson, in
which Emerson will help SABIC successfully adopt digital
transformation programs and optimize operations.
The alliance supports Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 by focusing
on localization, strategic partnerships, knowledge
transfer, and leveraging the strategic and operational capabilities
of the organizations involved in achieving operational
“excellence,” the companies noted.
Emerson will leverage its Project Certainty and Operational
Certainty programs; comprehensive Plantweb digital
ecosystem portfolio; software and analytics, as well as
other automation technologies and services ranging from
control systems, measurement instrumentation and final
control portfolio.

 

Mitsubishi Chem Investing in MMA Plant At an Undisclosed Site on the Gulf Coast

Houston—
Lucite International has been selected to design and build
a new methyl methacrylate (MMA) facility for Mitsubishi
Chemical at an undisclosed location on the U.S. Gulf
Coast.
The 350,000-t/y MMA unit, currently in the design
phase, will utilize Lucite’s proprietary ethylene-based Alpha
technology. Operations are expected to begin in 2025.
Cost of the project was not given.
“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 demonstrate
our commitment to continue providing reliable
and competitive supply to our customers in the U.S. and in
all regions of the world,” said Hitoshi Sasaki, chief operating
officer of Mitsubishi Chemical’s global MMA business.
Specific location of the facility will be announced later
this spring, Lucite noted.

 

Synthomer Obtains Remaining Approvals For Acquisition of Omnova Solutions

Brussels—
Synthomer said that conditions attached to the European
Commission’s approval of its planned purchase of Omnova
Solutions have been satisfied and no other regulatory approvals
are outstanding (PCN, 20 Jan 2020, p 2).
Synthomer plans to acquire Omnova Solutions for
$10.15/share in cash. The transaction is expected to be
completed by 1 Apr. 2020.
In January, the EC approved the acquisition, subject to
Synthomer’s divestiture of its German-based Pyratex vinyl
pyridine latex business.
Synthomer plans to sell its Pyratex business to Trinseo,
subject to approval from competition authorities. The
pending sale will not impact the completion of the Omnova
transaction.
“The transaction [between Synthomer and Omnova]
creates a global specialty chemicals company with a significant
scale and a robust platform from which to invest in
future growth,” Synthomer noted.

 

Covestro Gets €225-Million Loan from EIB For Research & Development Activities

Berlin—
Covestro has signed a €225-million loan facility with the
European Investment Bank (EIB), which will provide medium
term funding for Covestro’s research and development
work in the areas of sustainability and circular economy
within the European Union (EU).
Last fall, Covestro instituted a global strategic program
to establish the theme of circular economy throughout all
areas of the company. The main principles are to improve
recycling from plastic waste, alongside the development of
innovative technical and production methods in the use of
alternative raw materials.
“In times when member states and EU institutions are
putting in place multi-billion euro programs in response to
the crisis caused by COVID-19, it is also important to demonstrate
that we are continuing our regular business in
support of companies,” said EIB Vice President Ambroise
Fayolle, adding that support for the climate and environment
is one of the EIB’s “top” priorities.

 

IVL Recycles Its 50-Billionth PET Bottle; Commits $1.5-Bn to Expand Recycling

Bangkok—
Indorama Ventures (IVL) announced it has recycled 50-
billion polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles since 2011,
and has committed up to $1.5-billion to expand its recycling
business with the aim of recycling 50-billion PET bottles
a year by 2025.
IVL recently entered into an agreement with Coca-Cola
to form a new joint venture that will build a greenfield integrated
recycling plant near Manila in the Philippines
(PCN, 16 Mar 2020, p 2).
The facility will be able to process approximately 30,000
t/y of PET bottles and have an output of 16,000 t/y of recycled
PET resin. The plant is expected to be completed by
the end of 2021.
The new joint venture company, PETValue Philippines
Corp., will be owned 70% by Indorama Ventures Packaging
(Philippines) Corp., an indirect subsidiary of IVL, and 30%
by Coca-Cola Philippines.

 

OMV and Mubadala Amend SPA for Proposed Purchase by OMV of Further Borealis Stake

Vienna–
OMV and Mubadala Investment Co. signed an amended
agreement to their share purchase agreement (SPA) for
OMV’s planned acquisition of an additional 39% stake in
Borealis from Mubadala (PCN, 16 Mar 2020, p 1).
Earlier this month, the parties signed an agreement
that will give OMV a controlling stake in Borealis. OMV
currently owns a 36% stake, with completion of the transaction
its interest will increase to 75%. Mubadala will retain
a 25% stake. Subject to approvals by relevant authorities,
the transaction is expected to close by the end of
this year.
Under the amended agreement, OMV will pay the purchase
price in two tranches: $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.
“This transaction is an essential step in the company’s
strategic development towards chemicals, which OMV will
consistently pursue,” said Rainer Seele, chief executive and
chairman of OMV’s executive board.
“We are pleased that we have agreed on a payment
schedule with our partner Mubadala that allows us to optimize
our cash flow management in this challenging economic
environment.”

 

Air Products Selected by Gasunie to Build Three Nitrogen Facilities in Groningen

Groningen—
Air Products has broken ground for three new nitrogen
units being built for N.V. Nederlandse Gasunie (Gasunie)
near Zuidbroek, Groningen, the Netherlands, to meet the
nitrogen requirements in commercial and consumer applications
throughout the country.
The plants will have a capacity of 180,000 cu m/hr,
more than 10 times larger than the existing nitrogen plant
at Zuidbroek, Air Products noted. Operations are expected
to begin by mid-2022.
“We are fully committed to helping accelerate the end of
gas extraction in Groningen,” noted Gasunie Chief Executive
Han Fennema. “This installation is thereby a necessary
measure to ensure that, from 2022, gas from the
Groningen field is no longer needed for security of supply.”

 

GasTechno & Infra to Commercialize Integrated GTL Production System

Lansing—Gas
Technologies LLC (GasTechno) and Infra Synthetic Fuels
Inc. have invested $100-million in research and development,
and recently combined technologies, to develop and
commercialize an integrated gas-to-liquids (GTL) production
system.
“The global oversupply of natural gas, including rapidly
growing volumes of associated gas flared at the wellhead,
have created a burgeoning demand for low cost, small-scale
[as small as 1,000 b/d] gas-to-liquids conversion technologies,”
the parties explained.
GasTechno and Infra will market and commercialize
their new integrated GTL plants, which will be capable of
converting natural and renewable gas sources into commercial-
grade methanol, naphtha, low-carbon renewable
fuels and ultra-low sulfur diesel.
“With the fossil fuel industry facing growing resistance
to crude oil refining and crude oil-based petrochemicals,
interest in natural gas, biogas, biomethane, landfill gas
and coal mine methane as fuel and chemical sources continues
to grow worldwide.”

 

Odfjell Terminals Concludes Financing; Plans to Invest in New Growth Projects

Bergen—
Odfjell Terminals US (OTUS) has finalized a new fiveyear,
$250-million revolving credit facility to refinance existing
debt, as well as fund investments in new growth projects
and existing infrastructure.
“This is an important milestone for our terminal portfolio
in the U.S., as it positions the company to expand its
terminal footprint in Houston, one of the strongest growth
areas and key hubs for petrochemicals in the world,” said
Terje Iversen, chief financial officer of Odfjell.
“The financing ensures that OTUS can embark on accretive
growth opportunities and remain self-funded. We
are also pleased to conclude attractive bank financing,
from existing and new lenders, at a time of financial turmoil
and consider this a testament to the strong outlook for
the U.S. terminals.”
The financing includes possible additional funding for
larger-scale growth opportunities, Odfjell noted, without
providing details of the potential projects.
OTUS is a joint venture of Odfjell SE (51%) and Northleaf
Capital Partners (49%).

 

American Institute of Chemical Engineers Taking Applications for Research Grants

New York—
The American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) is
requesting applications for Langer Prizes research grant
for innovators and entrepreneurs.
The Langer Prizes for Innovation and Entrepreneurial
Excellence awards unrestricted grants of up to $100,000 to
assist researchers—particularly those working in chemical
and biochemical engineering—in pursuing “blue-sky” ideas
that may lead to game-changing technical and commercial
innovations, AIChE explained.
Recipients will have opportunities to collaborate with
other innovators and entrepreneurs. Application are due 1
May 2020.
For more information, visit www.aiche.org/langerprizes,
or email langerprizes@aiche.org.

 

Phillips 66 Takes Action to Respond To Current Business Environment

Houston—Phillips
66, in response to the current “challenging” business environment,
said it is taking several actions to maintain its
financial strength to ensure security of its dividend, execute
capital growth projects that are near completion, and
maintain its investment grade credit rating.
The company will reduce its 2020 consolidated capital
spending by $700-million to $3.1-billion. This will be
achieved in part by deferring its Red Oak Pipeline and
Sweeny Frac 4 projects, as well as Phillips 66 Partners’
Liberty Pipeline. It will also postpone its final investment
decision on the ACE Pipeline.
“We will continue to closely monitor market conditions
and evaluate the impact on our portfolio,” noted Greg Garland,
chairman and chief executive.
Phillips 66 said it does not expect DCP Midstream to
exercise its option to participate in Sweeny Fracs 2 and 3
in 2020 (PCN, 18 June 2018, p 3).
In 2018, Phillips 66 and DCP entered into an agreement
giving DCP the option to acquire up to a 30% ownership
interest in the new fractionators, which will add
300,000 b/d of new fractionation capacity in late 2020.

 

Euro Chlor Postpones 11th International Chlorine Tech Conference & Exhibition

Warsaw—
Euro Chlor announced that due to the situation concerning
COVID-19, it has decided to postpone its 11th Euro Chlor
International Chlorine Technology Conference and Exhibition
until next year (PCN, 2 Mar 2020, p 2).
The event, which was scheduled to be held from 5-7
May 2020 in Warsaw, Poland, has been rescheduled for 4-6
May 2021. The theme for the conference will remain
“Chlor-Alkali: Contributing to a Clean Planet for All.”
Euro Chlor is a sector group of Cefic, the European
chemical industry council.
For more information and to register, visit the new conference
website at www.eurochlor2021.org.

 

Ineos Postpones FPS Project in the UK

London—
Ineos, responding to requests from customers, has decided
to delay the shutdown of its Forties Pipeline System (FPS)
until August at the earliest.
The FPS, which has been a long-time feedstock suppler
to Ineos at its Grangemouth complex in the UK, was
planned to be shut down on 16 June 2020 for an upgrade to
the system.
In February 2019, Ineos announced it would invest
£500-million to transform the asset and extend the life of
the pipeline by at least twenty years. Plans include modernizing
the environmental systems and implementing the
latest technology into its systems.
Acquired from BP in 2017, the FPS can transport up to
600,000 b/d of North Sea oil onshore for refining.

 

Sumitomo Establishes New R&D Group  In Its Petrochemicals Research Lab

Chiba—Sumitomo
Chemical has decided to establish a new research and
development (R&D) group, named Technological Development
Group of Environmental Initiatives, within the Petrochemicals
Research Laboratory in Sodegaura, Chiba,
Japan, effective 1 Apr. 2020.
The R&D group’s mission is to develop a process to reduce
environmental impact by making use of core technologies,
including catalyst design and chemical processing
design.
“By concentrating research projects currently dispersed
across several research laboratories into the Petrochemicals
Research Laboratory, and by beefing up the number of
researchers to about 30, Sumitomo Chemical will accelerate
its development exponentially, while also focusing on
new projects,” the company said.
In addition, the R&D group will collaborate with academia
and companies that have advanced technologies,
and promote activities to make environmental impact reduction
technology into a new business in the Petrochemicals
& Plastics sector.
The R&D group will include projects, such as polyolefin
manufacturing technology using waste-derived ethanol as
a raw material; chemical recycling technology for waste
plastics; chemicals manufacturing technology using carbon
dioxide; innovative energy-saving technology for chemical
manufacturing processes, and development of energysaving
wastewater processing systems.

 

Birla Carbon Lets Contract to SNC-Lavalin For Air Quality Control Upgrade Project

Montreal—
SNC-Lavalin has been awarded a contract from Birla Carbon
U.S.A. for an air quality control upgrade project at its
North Bend carbon black plant near Centerville, La.
“To fulfill its commitment to control emissions in compliance
with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s
national enforcement initiative, Birla Carbon agreed to
further reduce emissions of nitrous oxide, sulfur dioxide
and particulate matter from its U.S. carbon black plants,
with advanced control technologies and continuous emissions
monitoring systems,” SNC-Lavalin noted.
Under the multimillion-dollar contract, SNC-Lavalin
will provide detailed engineering, procurement, project
management, construction and commissioning management
services for the project. The new equipment will be
operational by the fall of 2021.

V58 N12 – 23 March 2020

Pembina to Decrease Capital Spending; Will Defer PDH/PP Project in Canada

Calgary—
Pembina Pipeline Corp., in response to the COVID-19 pandemic
and the recent decline in global energy prices, said it
will reduce its 2020 capital spending by C$900-million to
C$1.1-billion.
The company has decided to defer some of its previously
announced expansion projects, including its joint venture
propane dehydrogenation (PDH) and polypropylene (PP)
project in Canada with Petrochemical Industries Co. of
Kuwait (PCN, 13 Jan 2020, p 1).
Expected to cost around C$4.5-billion, the project involves
a complex that will 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.
The joint venture, Canada Kuwait Petrochemical Corp.,
recently awarded the engineering, procurement and construction
contract for the project to Heartland Canada
Partners, a joint venture of Fluor Canada and Kiewit. The
facility had been expected to be placed into commercial
service in the second half of 2023.
“Planning, engineering and regulatory work done to
date on the deferred projects will allow Pembina to quickly
resume these project to meet our customers’ needs when
global energy prices and the broader economic environment
support such action,” Pembina noted.

 

Shell Temporarily Suspends Construction At Petrochemical Plant in Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh—
Shell, on 18 Mar. 2020, temporarily suspended construction
activities at its petrochemical project in Beaver
County, Penn., in order to contain the spread of the
COVID-19 virus.
The $6-billion project includes an ethane cracker, which
will use low-cost ethane from shale gas producers in the
Marcellus and Utica basins for the production of 1.6-
million t/y of polyethylene (PCN, 13 Nov 2017, p 1).
The main construction phase began in late 2017. At the
time, the company said commercial production was scheduled
to begin early next decade. Over 8,000 construction
workers are involved in building the facility.
“In the days ahead, we will install additional mitigation
measures aligned with CDC guidance,” said Hillary Mercer,
vice president of Shell Pennsylvania Chemicals.
“Once complete, we will consider a phased ramp-up that
allows for the continuation of safe, responsible construction
activities.”

 

Methanex Idles Titan & Chile IV Plants; Evaluating Geismar 3 Methanol Project

Vancouver—
Methanex Corp. has idled its Titan methanol unit in Point
Lisas, Trinidad, effective 16 Mar. 2020, and will idle its
800,000-t/y Chile IV methanol facility in Puenta Arenas,
Chile, effective 1 Apr. 2020, for an indefinite period.
“We anticipate that methanol demand could be impacted
in the second quarter of 2020 as there has been a
substantial reduction in manufacturing activity in countries
that have had significant outbreaks of COVID-19,”
noted President and Chief Executive John Floren.
“As a result, we are reducing production at our methanol
facilities, where we have flexibility in our gas agreements,
to prepare for lower demand for methanol. We do
not expect this production change to have a significant impact
on our cash flows in the current price environment.”
Methanex also announced that due to the “uncertainty”
in the global economy and “challenging” price environment,
it is evaluating all capital and operating spending, including
its Geismar 3 project (PCN, 4 Nov 2019, p 2).
The 1.8-million-t/y Geismar 3 methanol project, currently
being built in Geismar, La., is expected to cost between
$1.3-billion and $1.4-billion. Operations are expected
to begin in the second half of 2022.

 

Domo to Build €12-Million Nylon Plant In Port Area of DuShan Pinghu City

Shanghai—Domo
Chemicals said it will invest €12-million to set up a new
state-of-the-art nylon facility in the port area of DuShan
Pingu City, Zhejiang, China.
The plant will initially be capable of producing 25,000
t/y of nylon compounds, including nylon 6, nylon 6.6 and
high-temperature nylon. In the longer term, capacity can
be expanded to 50,000 t/y to meet demand requirements.
Production is expected to begin in the fourth quarter of this
year.

 

PRefChem Confirms Explosion & Fire At Petrochemicals Complex in Johor

Johor—
Pengerang Refining and Petrochemical (PRefChem), a joint
venture of Petronas and Saudi Aramco, confirmed an explosion
and fire at the Pengerang Integrated Complex in
Johor, Malaysia, according to several industry reports.
The complex has a 300,000-b/d refinery, which, once
fully operational, will provide feedstock for an integrated
petrochemical complex with a nameplate capacity of 3.3-
million t/y.
Five people were killed in the explosion, which occurred
at the diesel hydrotreater unit. The site has been shut
down and an investigation into the cause of the incident is
underway.
The complex also experienced an explosion and fire last
April in the atmospheric residue desulfurization unit
(PCN, 24 June 2019, p 3). There were no casualties in that
fire.

 

CCP Extends Pre-Construction Period For Corpus Christi PTA/PET Facility

Houston—Alpek
announced that Corpus Christi Polymers LLC (CCP) has
decided to extend its pre-construction period through the
end of 2020 on an integrated purified terephthalic acid
(PTA)/polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plant in Corpus
Christi (PCN, 7 Jan 2019, p 1).
CCP, a joint venture of certain Alpek subsidiaries, Indorama
Ventures Holding and Far Eastern Investment
(Holding) Ltd., was created to acquire the project from
M&G USA and complete it.
The PTA/PET facility will have a nominal capacity of
1.3-million t/y and 1.1-million t/y, respectively. The project
is expected to be completed in 2023.
Alpek attributed the delay to a rise in the region’s labor
costs, which “significantly” increased the most recent
budget estimates. It does not expect to make any additional
capital contributions during the extended preconstruction
period.
Labor costs are expected to improve as more skilled
workers become available in the region, Alpek noted, adding
that it will properly preserve and maintain the site so
the project can restart in the future.

 

TechnipFMC Says Market Environment Not Conducive to Planned Separation

London—
TechnipFMC announced that the market environment created
because of the COVID-19 pandemic is not currently
conducive to the company’s planned separation into TechnipFMC
and Technip Energies (PCN, 20 Jan 2020, p 4).
“Market conditions have changed materially due to the
COVID-19 pandemic, the sharp decline in commodity
prices, and the heightened volatility in global equity markets,”
the company noted.
“The company reiterates that the strategic rationale for
the separation remains unchanged. The company is committed
to the transaction and continues its preparations to
ensure that the two companies are ready for separation
when the markets sufficiently recover.”
Once separated, TechnipFMC will be a fully-integrated
technology and service provider, while Technip Energies
will be one of the “largest” engineering and construction
pure-plays.
The transaction had been expected to be finalized in the
second quarter of this year.

 

ExxonMobil Looking to Reduce Spending Due to COVID-19’s Effect on the Market

Irving—
ExxonMobil said it is looking to “significantly” cut back on
spending as a result of current market conditions caused
by the COVID-19 pandemic and commodity price decreases.
“Based on this unprecedented environment, we are
evaluating all appropriate steps to significantly reduce
capital and operating expenses in the near term,” noted
Darren Woods, chairman and chief executive of Exxon Mobil
Corp. Plans will be outlined once they are finalized.
“We are confident that we will manage through these
challenging times by taking deliberate action to keep our
people safe, our environment protected and our company
strong,” he added.

 

Tecnimont SpA Awarded EPC Contract For Gemlik Gubre’s Turkish Urea Unit

Milan—
Tecnimont SpA, a subsidiary of Maire Tecnimont, has won
an approximately €200-million engineering, procurement
and construction (EPC) contract from Gemlik Gubre
Sanayii Anonim Sirketi for a new urea and urea ammonium
nitrate (UAN) plant in Gemlik, Turkey.
The project, which will be based on Stamicarbon’s urea
technology, will include the production of 1,640 t/d of
granular urea and 500 t/d of UAN. Completion is expected
within about three years of its effectiveness.
Tecnimont’s scope of work includes the execution of engineering,
supply of all equipment and materials, and construction
and erection works.

 

IRSG Postponing World Rubber Summit

Singapore—
The International Rubber Study Group (IRSG) Secretariat,
in collaboration with Cote d’Ivoire’s Ministry of Agriculture
and Rural Development and the organizing committee of
the World Rubber Summit (WRS) 2020 announced the
postponement of the conference to September 2020 (PCN, 9
Mar 2020, p 4).
The decision was made in light of the recent developments
on travel restrictions relating to the COVID-19 outbreak,
the parties noted.
WRS 2020 had been scheduled for 4-6 May 2020 at the
Sofitel Abidjan Hotel Ivoire, Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire.
Registration is still open and the new dates will be
communicated in due course.

 

WRA Cancels ERTC North America

Mexico City—The
World Refining Assn. (WRA) announced that the upcoming
ERTC North America conference, which was set to be held
30-31 Mar. 2020 in Mexico City, has been cancelled.
The decision was made due to the current global situation
with COVID-19 and the ensuing difficulty that has
arisen for many of the speakers and attendees because of
international travel bans, WRA explained.
Please email marc.jones @wraconferences.com for further
information.

 

People on the Move

China National Offshore Oil Corp.—Hu Guangjie,
most recently vice president of the company, has been appointed
president and executive director, effective 20 Mar.
2020. He succeeds Xu Keqiang, who has resigned as president,
but remains chief executive and an executive director.
PetroChina—Duan Liangwei, previously a nonexecutive
director of the company, has been appointed
president and director.
Li Fanrong has become director of PetroChina. He was
previously a director, president and deputy secretary of the
party committee of China National Petroleum Corp.
PolyOne Corp.—Cathy K. Dodd, vice president of
marketing, has been named senior vice president, chief
commercial officer. She will succeed Michael A. Garratt,
who has been named president of color, additives and inks
for the Europe, Middle East and Africa region.

 

Navigator and Partners Forming Luna Pool; Will Focus on Ethane, Ethylene Transport

London—
Navigator Holdings, in collaboration with Pacific Gas Pte.
and Greater Bay Gas Co., has formed Luna Pool to focus on
the transportation of liquefied petrochemical gas cargoes,
with a specific focus on ethane and ethylene to meet the
growing demands of its customers.
Luna Pool will have a combined fleet of 14 handysize
vessels, with capacities ranging between 17,000 cu m and
22,000 cu m. Operations will begin this April with commercial
and operational management from Navigator’s
London, UK, office. The office will be supported by the existing
offices of Pacific Gas and Greater Bay Gas in Singapore,
and Shenzen and Shanghai, China.
“With the successful commencement of our joint venture
ethylene export terminal at Morgan’s Point, Houston,
we are seeing an increased demand for shipping gaseous
products worldwide,” said Navigator Chief Executive Dr.
Harry Deans.
“To better serve our existing and new customers as a
result of this structural change, we have decided to expand
our presence in the seaborn transportation of ethylene
through this strategic partnership . . .,” he added.
This past January, Enterprise Products Partners and
Navigator Holdings began operations at its 50-50 joint venture
ethylene export terminal at Enterprise’s Morgan’s
Point, Texas, facility (PCN, 13 Jan 2020, p 2).
Located on the Houston Ship Channel, the terminal has
the capacity to load around 2.2-billion lbs/yr of ethylene. A
refrigerated storage tank for 66-million pounds of ethylene
is also being built on-site to increase the capability to load
ethylene up to a rate of 2.2-million lbs/hr. Construction is
scheduled to be complete in the fourth quarter of this year.

 

Port of Houston Suspended Operations At Bayport, Barbours Cut Terminals

Houston—The
Port of Houston announced that its Bayport and Barbours
Cut container terminals in Texas had been closed and operations
were temporarily suspended, after someone who
worked at both terminals tested positive for COVID-19.
The Houston Ship Channel and the over 200 private
terminals that comprise the greater Port of Houston remained
in operation.
As of PCN’s press deadline, the Port Authority expected
to resume operations at both container terminals on 20
Mar. 2020 at 1900 hours.

 

Huntsman Announces Intent to Acquire CVC Thermoset Specialties in the U.S.

Moorestown—
Huntsman Corp. has agreed to purchase CVC Thermoset
Specialties, a specialty chemical manufacturer based in
Moorestown, N.J., which is part of Emerald Performance
Materials.
The $300-million transaction includes two manufacturing
facilities located in Akron, Ohio, and Maple Shade, N.J.
Completion is expected around mid-2020, subject to customary
closing adjustments.
“This bolt-on fits all the criteria we look for in acquisitions
for our Advanced Materials Division, including new
technology, synergies and globalization opportunities,” said
Huntsman Chairman, President and Chief Executive Peter
Huntsman.

 

Celanese Files Anti-Dumping Petition  Against KPIC for UHMWPE Imports

Washington—
Celanese filed a petition with the U.S. Dept. of Commerce
and the U.S. International Trade Commission seeking
anti-dumping duties on imports of ultra-high molecular
weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) from Korea Petrochemical
Industry Co. (KPIC) of South Korea.
“In order to operate in fair and sustainable market conditions,
Celanese was compelled to file an anti-dumping
case against KPIC, which has caused severe damage to
Celanese’s business through its dumping practices,” said
Tom Kelly, senior vice president of Celanese’s engineered
materials business.
“Fair and sustainable pricing is important for the
health of every industry, and long term, this will lead to
increased supply availability in the marketplace and to
broader choices for our customers.”

 

Pembina’s Jordan Cove LNG Project Receives Approval from U.S. FERC

Calgary—Pembina
Pipeline Corp. said it has received a certificate of approval
from the U.S Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
(FERC) for its proposed Jordan Cove liquefied natural gas
(LNG) terminal and Pacific Connector Gas Pipeline, together
referred to as Jordan Cove.
The planned project includes a 229-mile pipeline, that
would pass through four counties in southern Oregon, and
an LNG export terminal in Coos Bay, Ore.
Natural gas for the project would be sourced at the Malin
Hub, creating a new outlet for natural gas from areas
such as the Rockies Basin.
Jordan Cove is the “first ever” U.S. West Coast natural
gas export facility to be approved by FERC, Pembina
noted. The approval is a “significant” milestone for the
project and Pembina. A schedule for the project was not
given.

 

Clariant Collaborates with Floreon In High-Performance Biopolymers

Muttenz—
Clariant’s additives business and Floren-Transforming
Packaging Ltd. are working together to further extend the
performance properties and market potential of biopolymers.
Floreon develops and markets proprietary compounds
based on polylactic acid and containing 70% to 90% renewable,
plant-based raw materials. The compounds are recyclable
and can also be composted via industrial composting.
Clariant’s portfolio of sustainable additives includes a
wide range of bio-based additives. Clariant’s experts will
support the Floreon development team to enhance the performance
possibilities and processing characteristics of
bioplastics, Clariant noted.
By combining Clariant’s additives with Floreon’s material
solutions, the partnership aims to open up further possibilities
for plastic manufacturers and brand owners to
consider biopolymers as a viable, low carbon footprint alternative
to fossil-based plastics for both single-use and
durable applications.
The new enhanced grades will benefit markets such as
rigid and flexible packaging, electrical and electronic
equipment, hygiene products, consumer goods and automotive,
the partners noted. The first product is expected to be
introduced to the market during the first half of 2020.

 

U.S. Sanctioning 9 Entities for Engaging In Petrochem Transactions with Iran

Washington—
The U.S. Dept. of State announced it is sanctioning nine
entities based in South Africa, Hong Kong and China, as
well as three Iranian individuals, all for knowingly engaging
in significant transactions for the purchase, acquisition,
sale, transport or marketing of petrochemical products
from Iran.
In South Africa, the U.S. imposed sanctions on SPI International
Proprietary Ltd., Main Street 1095 and Iranbased
Armed Forces Social security Investment Co., according
to several industry reports.
The six companies based in Hong Kong and China include:
McFly Plastic HK Ltd., Saturn Oasis Co., Sea
Charming Shipping Co., Dalian Golden Sun Import & Export
Co., Tianyi International (Dalian) Co. and Aoxing
Ship Management (Shanghai) Ltd.
In 2018, the U.S. imposed sanctions on Iran’s petrochemical
industry and then, in June 2019, on Iran’s Persian
Gulf Petrochemical Industries Co. and its 39 subsidiaries
(PCN, 12-19 Aug 2019, p 4).

 

Team Tankers Forms JV with V.Group; Enters New Partnership with Maersk

Hamilton—
Team Tankers International announced a joint venture
with ship management specialist V.Group, in which Team
Tankers will transfer its in-house managed fleet to the
joint venture, along with its onshore technical organization
and seafaring expertise.
The new joint venture, Dania Ship Management AS,
will be owned 30% by Team Tankers and 70% by V.Group;
however, additional companies may join in the future.
Dania will be based in Copenhagen, Denmark, and is expected
to open on 1 Apr. 2020.
Team Tankers’ in-house managed fleet consists of 10
medium range tankers and two 25,000-dwt coated vessels.
It already has 21 ships with V.Group for technical management.
Separately, Team Tankers and Maersk Tankers have
entered into a partnership, whereby Maersk takes over the
commercial management of 27 tankers from Team Tankers
and establishes two new pools.
The 27 tankers include nine 13,000-dwt vessels, four
Flexis 25,000-dwt tankers and 14 medium-range tankers.
The agreement increases Maersk’s fleet under management
to more than 225 vessels across a range of segments.
The cooperation will commence on 1 Apr. 2020 and the
vessels are planned to enter the pool during the following
months, Team Tankers noted.

 

Sasol Taking Decisive Action to Address Challenges Created by Current Market

Sandton—
Sasol said it is undertaking a package of measures that is
intended to address the challenges created by the impact of
COVID-19 and the recent decline in oil and chemical
prices, and fundamentally reposition the company over the
following 24 months.
Some of the measures include: an accelerated and expanded
asset disposal program executed in line with balance
sheet, shareholder value and strategic objectives with
a view to deliver proceeds significantly ahead of the $2-
billion currently targeted; and the potential for partnering
Sasol’s U.S. base chemicals assets, on which there are active
discussions.
“Sasol believes that the portfolio can be positioned to be
sustainably profitable in a future low oil price environment,”
the company noted.
“A reshaped and strategically focused portfolio based on
cost, technology and market advantage is planned. If assets
do not increase the competitive advantage of this future
Sasol, they may be exited, or selective partnering may
be pursued.”

V58 N11 – 16 March 2020

OMV Gets Supervisory Board Nod to Buy Further Borealis Stake from Mubadala

Vienna—OMV
announced that its supervisory board has approved the
acquisition of an additional 39% interest in Borealis from
Mubadala for $4.68-billion.
OMV and Mubadala have agreed on the contract terms
for the potential transaction, whereby OMV is entitled to
all dividends in relation to the additional share in Borealis
distributed after 31 Dec. 2019.
“This transaction is not just another milestone in the
implementation of our strategy, but the biggest transformation
in OMV’s history,” noted Rainer Seele, chief executive
of OMV and chairman of the executive board.
“This turns OMV into a global oil, gas and chemicals
group, whose integrated business model extends from the
wellhead to high-quality plastic and repositions the group
for a low carbon future.”
Subject to approvals by relevant authorities, the acquisition
is expected to close by the end of 2020. Once complete,
OMV would hold a 75% interest in Borealis with
Mubadala holding the remaining 25%.
“We remain very confident in Borealis as a leading
company in its sector,” said Musabbeh Al Kaabi, chief executive,
Petroleum & Petrochemicals, Mubadala.
“We will continue to hold a significant interest in the
company through the direct 25% that we will retain, along
with our existing 24.9% shareholding in OMV.”

 

ZPC Selects Honeywell UOP to Supply PSA Units for PC Project in Zhoushan

Shanghai—
Zhejiang Petrochemical Co. (ZPC) will utilize four Honeywell
UOP Polybed pressure swing adsorption (PSA) units
to supply high-purity hydrogen to the second phase of
ZPC’s integrated refining and petrochemical complex located
in Zhoushan, Zhejiang Province, China (PCN, 6 Jan
2020, p 1).
The second phase will double the plant’s aromatics capacity
to about 12-million t/y. Cost of the project and an
expected completion date were not given. The first phase
was started up in January 2020.
When complete, the new plant will be the “largest”
crude-to-chemicals complex in China and “one of the largest”
in the world, said Honeywell UOP.
“With more than 50% of its crude capacity converted to
petrochemicals, it will move china closer to self-sufficiency
in paraxylene production and be a major new source of
propylene and other products,” it added.

 

McDermott Receives Court Approval to Sell Lummus Technology to Chatterjee/Rhone

Houston—
McDermott International said that the U.S. Bankruptcy
Court for the Southern District of Texas has confirmed its
plan of reorganization and approved the sale of Lummus
Technology to a joint partnership between The Chatterjee
Group and Rhone Capital (PCN, 9 Mar 2020, p 1).
Under the terms of the plan of reorganization, McDermott
will complete a comprehensive restructuring transaction
to de-lever its balance sheet and position it for longterm
growth.
This past January, subsidiaries of McDermott entered
into a share and asset purchase agreement to sell Lummus
Technology to the partnership, as the “stalking horse bidder,”
for a base purchase price of $2.725-billion, subject to
higher or better bids received through a court-supervised
auction process.
Earlier this month, McDermott said it did not receive a
higher or better bid during the solicitation period and decided
to cancel the auction and sell Lummus Technology to
the partnership.
Emergence from Chapter 11 is expected in the second
quarter of this year, following the receipt of regulatory approval
for the sale of Lummus Technology.

 

Borealis Producing Renewable PP At Its Sites in Kallo and Beringen

Kallo—Borealis has
begun producing certified renewable polypropylene (PP) at
its production facilities in Kallo and Beringen, Belgium,
using Neste’s 100% renewable propane as feedstock (PCN,
21 Oct 2019, p 1).
Neste’s renewable propane is produced using its proprietary
NEXBTL technology. The propane is sold to Borealis’
propane dehydrogenation unit in Kallo, converted to
renewable propylene, then subsequently to renewable PP
at the Kallo and Beringen plants.
In response to increasing demand, Borealis said it is
working with value chain partners to expand availability.

 

QP Enters Binding Deal to Purchase Yara’s 25% Stake in Qatar Fertiliser

Doha—Qatar Petroleum
(QP) and Yara have signed a share purchase
agreement, in which QP will acquire Yara’s 25% interest in
Qatar Fertiliser Co. (QAFCO) for $1-billion.
QAFCO, the “world’s largest” single-site urea producer,
is also owned 75% by Industries Qatar, which is owned
51% by QP, Yara noted.
The transaction is conditional on the receipt of necessary
local regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions.
An expected closing date was not given.
“We are proud of our partnership with Qatar Petroleum
and Industries Qatar over the past half century, where we
have succeeded in delivering a top quartile venture in
every respect,” said Yara President and Chief Executive
Svein Tore Holsether.

 

AFPM Cancels Meetings Due to Fears Over Potential Spread of COVID-19

Washington—The
American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM)
has decided to cancel its Annual Meeting and its International
Petrochemical Conference, both scheduled for this
month, amid concerns about the spread of the Coronavirus
(COVID-19).
The Annual Meeting was planned to take place 22-24
Mar. 2020 in Austin, Texas, while the International Petrochemical
Conference was scheduled for 29-31 Mar. 2020 at
the New Orleans Marriott in New Orleans, La. (PCN, 9
Sept 2019, p 4).
“Nothing is more important to our industries than
safety, and in evaluating the rapidly evolving COVID-19
situation, it is clear to us that cancelling these meeting is
the right course of action to protect the health and safety of
our meeting registrants and vendors, our staff, and the
Austin and New Orleans communities,” said AFPM President
and Chief Executive Chet Thompson.
“This decision reflects guidance from health officials on
limiting potential exposure to the virus, as confirmed
COVID-19 cases in the U.S. continue to rise.”

 

Hengli Petrochemical’s 4th PTA Line Running at Full Rate in Dalian City

Dalian—Hengli
Petrochemical (Dalian) Co. has reached full rate at its
fourth purified terephthalic acid (PTA) line located on
Changxing Island, Dalian City, Liaoning Province, China
(PCN, 27 Jan 2020, p 1).
The 2.5-million-t/y PTA line, which came online in
January 2020, utilizes Invista’s P8 PTA technology. The
line also produces benzoic acid, using Invista’s RP2PR
technology.
A fifth PTA line, identical to the fourth, is currently
under construction and scheduled to start up around the
middle of this year.

 

IVL & Coca-Cola Philippines Ink Deal To Establish Recycling Joint Venture

Manila—
Indorama Ventures (IVL), through its indirect subsidiary,
Indorama Ventures Packaging (Philippines) Corp.
(IVPPC), has entered into an agreement with Coca-Cola
Beverages Philippines Inc. to form a recycling joint venture
(JV) in the Philippines.
The new JV company, PETValue Philippines Corp., will
set up a greenfield integrated recycling plant near Manila,
which will employ the “safest and most advanced” recycling
process for polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles, said
IVL.
The facility will be able to process around 30,000 t/y of
PET bottles and have an output of 16,000 t/y of recycled
PET resin. Operations are planned to begin 2021.
“Through this new JV, IVL and Coca-Cola embark on a
strategic recycling cooperation, leveraging the strengths
and resources of both sides to ensure that used PET plastic
bottles that [are] 100% recyclable, and therefore not ‘single-
use’—will be collected, processed and used again and
again within a circular economy,” explained IVL.
“It will produce Philippines first ever beverage bottle
made from 100% recycled plastic,” IVL noted. The JV will
be owned 70% by IVPPC and 30% by Coca-Cola Philippines.

 

Q-Chem to Boost Ethylene Capacity At Integrated PC Plant in Mesaieed

Doha—Qatar
Chemical Co. (Q-Chem), a joint venture of Mesaieed Petrochemical
Holding Co., plans to raise ethylene production by
7% at its integrated petrochemical plant in Mesaieed Industrial
City, Qatar, reported the Gulf Times.
The project, part of its five-year master plan, will involve
an investment of QR 391-million. Start-up is expected
by 2022.
Q-Chem currently has 1.2-million-t/y of ethylene capacity
at the site. It also produces high- and medium-density
polyethylene, 1-hexene and other products, using technology
provided by Chevron Phillips Chemical Co.

 

Neste to Acquire Mahoney Environmental For Renewable Raw Material Sourcing

Houston—
Neste said it will purchase 100% of Mahoney Environmental,
collector and recycler of used cooking oil in the
U.S., and its affiliated entities, strengthening its growth
strategy and position in renewable raw material sourcing.
“This in another important step for Neste in the execution
of our growth strategy,” noted Neste President and
Chief Executive Peter Vanacker. “With this acquisition we
will gain access to a substantial volume of used cooking oil,
as well as a platform to grow our raw material supply
chain in North America.” Value of the transaction was not
available.
Mahoney collects used cooking oil from restaurants, hotels,
sports stadiums and airports. The oil is pretreated,
creating a sustainable component that can be turned into
renewable products.
Used cooking oil is one of over 10 different types of feedstock
that Neste can use to produce raw materials for renewable
polymers, renewable diesel and sustainable aviation
fuel.

 

People on the Move

Satorp—Abdulaziz M. Al Gudaimi has become chairman
of the board of Satorp (Saudi Aramco Total Refining
and Petrochemical Co.), effective 6 Feb. 2020, succeeding
Muhammad M. Al Saggaf.
AmSty—Dr. Randy Pogue will serve as interim chief
executive, effective 1 Apr. 2020, as Brad Crocker is stepping
down from the role.
OMV—Elena Skvortsova, currently business president
of Praxair Canada, has been appointed chief commercial
officer, as well as executive board member responsible for
Downstream Marketing & Trading at OMV. Depending on
her availability, she will assume the new position with effect
from 1 Oct. 2020.
Lanxess—Frederique van Baarle has been named head
of the high performance materials business unit, effective 1
June 2020, to succeed Michael Zobel, who will become head
of Lanxess’ Saltigo subsidiary on the same day. Baarle is
currently heading the global procurement and logistics
group function.
MFG Chemical—Dr. Jonathan O’Dwyer has joined the
company as vice president of commercial operations. He
was most recently with Albemarle as senior global director
of the bromine and bromine derivatives business.

 

Nippon Shokubai Plans Restructuring Ahead of Proposed Merger with Sanyo

Tokyo—
Nippon Shokubai, in anticipation of a business integration
with Sanyo Chemical Industries, announced it will restructure
its business units (PCN, 9 Dec 2019, p 3).
The parties executed a final agreement late last year to
conduct a business integration by way of a joint share
transfer. They plan to combine into a new business to be
named Synfomix Co.
Subject to approval from competition authorities in Japan
and relevant countries, the merger is expected to be
finalized on 1 Oct. 2020.
Effective 1 Apr. 2020, Nippon Shokubai’s materials
business unit will consist of three divisions: Basic Materials
Business Division, Acrylics Business Division and Superabsorbents
Business Division.
The solutions business unit will include the Industrial
& Household Solutions Division and Energy & Electronics
Solutions Division.
The Business Development & Marketing Dept. and the
Planning Dept. of Performance Chemicals Business Division
will be merged and the Business Planning and Development
Dept. will be newly established.

 

DSM Partners with SABIC, UPM Biofuels To Produce Bio-Based Dyneema Fibers

Geleen—Royal
DSM announced a partnership with SABIC and UPM Biofuels
that will see its high-performance Dyneema fibers
transition to bio-based feedstock leveraging SABIC’s Trucircle
solutions for certified renewable products.
UPM Biofuels produces bio-based feedstock, UPM
BioVerno, from the residue of its pulping process. This is
then processed by SABIC to make renewable ethylene under
their Trucircle umbrella of solutions. By applying a
mass balance approach, DSM is then able to create biobased
Dyneema fiber.
Trucircle includes certified renewable products, specifically
resins and chemicals from bio-based feedstock that
are not in competition with the food chain and help to reduce
carbon emissions.
The Dyneema bio-based material will be carrying ISCC
Plus certification and will not require requalification of
downstream products. It will be available starting next
month.

 

Chemours Inaugurates New ‘World-Class’ Innovation Center at Univ. of Delaware

Wilmington—
Chemours said it has formally inaugurated its new “worldclass”
innovation center, The Chemours Discovery Hub, on
the University of Delaware’s Science, Technology and Advanced
Research Campus (PCN, 1 Jan 2018, p 3).
The center, on which construction began in late 2017,
houses more than 300 of the company’s “top” researchers
and scientists and contains more than 130 individual laboratories.
It is “one of the largest” research and development
facilities within the chemical industry, the company
noted.
Chemours will perform experiments alongside professors
and students to develop new applications for its products.
It will also use the facility to attract and recruit potential
interns, co-ops and employees.

 

Kraton Finalizes Sale of Cariflex Business To Daelim Industrial for $530-Mn Cash

Houston—
Kraton has the completed the divestment of its Cariflex
isoprene rubber business to Daelim Industrial for $530-
million in cash (PCN, 4 Nov 2019, p 3).
“We believe Daelim is well-positioned to invest in and
grow the Cariflex franchise as it continues to expand its
global business,” said Kraton President and Chief Executive
Kevin M. Fogarty.
“As previously communicated, we intend to use the net
proceeds from the Cariflex sale principally for debt reduction.
Following the closing of this important transaction,
we remain committed to continuing to improve our overall
capital structure, and this sale is an important step in that
regard.”

 

EC OKs Purchase of PCC Oxyalkylates By Petronas Chem & PCC of Germany

Brussels—The
European Commission has cleared the planned purchase of
PCC Oxyalkylates Malaysia by Petronas Chemicals and
PCC SE of Germany.
The commission concluded that the proposed acquisition
would raise no competition concerns, given the fact
that PCC Oxyalkylates has no, or negligible, actual or foreseen
activities within the European Economic Area, as well
as the very limited horizontal overlaps and vertical relationships
between the companies’ activities.

 

Freeport LNG Introduces Feed Gas To Train 3 of Liquefaction Project

Freeport—Freeport
LNG has reached the final commissioning stage for Train 3
of its liquefied natural gas (LNG) liquefaction project on
Quintana Island in Freeport, Texas, with the introduction
of feed gas into the train (PCN, 20 Jan 2020, p 2).
The export facility consists of three liquefaction trains,
each with over 5-million t/y of LNG production. Train 1
and Train 2 recently began production. Train 3 is scheduled
to start commercial operations in May 2020.
Freeport LNG is also planning a fourth train, which
would add over 5-million t/y of LNG production and is expected
to start up in 2023.
McDermott International, Chiyoda International and
Zachry Group have partnered to deliver the project.

 

Stepan Resumes PA Production in Illinois

Chicago—
Stepan Co. said that phthalic anhydride (PA) production is
online, along with all other production lines at the Millsdale,
Ill., facility (PCN, 2 Mar 2020, p 4).
On 20 Feb. 2020, the company announced that it was
forced to stop production of PA and surfactants due to
power outage-related operational issues that impacted the
site’s wastewater treatment plant. As a result, force majeure
was declared.
The wastewater treatment plant is back in operation
and surfactants production was restarted. Polyol production
remained online.
“As we build PA inventories, we anticipate lifting the
force majeure that was previously declared,” noted F.
Quinn Stepan Jr., chairman, president and chief executive
of Stepan.

 

Neste & Mirova Plan Combined Investment In Recycling Technologies’ Chem Recycling

London–
Neste and investor Mirova announced a combined €10-
million investment into Recycling Technologies Ltd., a specialist
plastic recycling technology provider, with the aim
of accelerating the development of chemical recycling and
fostering the transition to a circular economy for plastic.
The investment, consisting of €5-million from Neste and
€5-million from Mirova, through the Althelia Sustainable
Ocean Fund, will allow Recycling Technologies’ to build its
first commercial RT7000 machine in Scotland, UK.
RT7000 is a scalable patented technology that recycles
mixed plastic waste into petrochemical feedstocks and
waxes, trademarked as Plaxx, for new plastic production.
In addition, Neste has signed a joint technology development
agreement and a Plaxx offtake agreement with
Recyling Technologies.
“Collaboration with Recycling Technologies enables us
to accelerate the development of one of the very promising
chemical recycling technologies. It also complements the
partnerships we have already established with other forerunner
companies within the plastics value chain,” noted
Mercedes Alonso, executive vice president, renewable
polymers and chemicals at Neste.

 

Vow Gets Contract from Unipetrol to Supply Pyrolysis Testing Unit in Czech Republic

Litvinov—
Vow ASA, through its ETIA subsidiary, was recently
awarded a contract to provide a pyrolysis testing unit for
processing waste plastics and polymers for Unipetrol in
Litvinov, Czech Republic.
The plant, expected to be operational during 2020, will
utilize ETIA’s Biogreen pyrolysis technology. Unipetrol is
looking to possibly implement chemical plastic recycling in
its standard production in the next three years, as part of
its Pyrekol project.
“Our ambition is to chemically recycle waste plastic not
only from our nearest surroundings, but probably from the
entire Czech Republic and potentially from other parts of
Central and Eastern Europe within several years,” said
Tomas Herink, board member of Unipetrol Group.
Output from the unit will be used to manufacture final
petrochemical products, such as polyethylene, polypropylene
and polystyrene by means of subsequent processes.
The CZK 71.7-million project is run by Unipetrol, the
Institute of Chemical Technology in Prague, and the
Unipetrol Centre for Research and Education.

 

Versalis Joins Circular Plastics Alliance; Announces Pledges for Plastic Recycling

Milan—
Versalis has joined the Circular Plastics Alliance (CPA) to
actively contribute achieving the European target of using
10-million tons of recycled plastic in new products by 2025.
CPA, promoted by the European Commission, with several
member companies and associations across the value
chain, aims to boost plastic recycling in Europe and develop
the market for secondary raw materials.
By joining CPA, Versalis has submitted its voluntary
pledges in line with its circular economy strategy that is
defined by three main pillars: eco-design, recycling technologies
and alternative feedstocks.
The company has committed to using at least half of its
packaging, for transporting products on pallets and in containers,
with up to 50% of recycled material. It has committed
to increase the production capacity of Versalis Revive,
its new polyethylene and polystyrene products, to
contain up to 70% mechanically recycled plastic.
Furthermore, to boost the recovery and recycling of all
types of plastics that cannot be mechanically treated, it has
pledged to develop a new chemical recycling technology to
transform mixed plastic waste into raw material to manufacture
new virgin polymers.

 

Sumitomo Chemical and Muroran Institute To Research Chem Recycling Technology

Tokyo—
Sumitomo Chemical and the Muroran Institute of Technology
announced their decision to accelerate joint research
on chemical recycling technology.
Two professors of Muroran have developed a technology
that uses highly selective zeolite catalysts to decompose
waste plastics into specific monomers.
In the joint research based on this technology, Muroran
will develop more “sophisticated” catalysts for decomposing
plastic waste, with Sumitomo supporting Muroran’s research
and development.
Sumitomo will also develop process technologies to
maximize the chemical decomposition of waste plastics by
making the best use of core technologies it has cultivated
to date, including catalyst design and chemical process design,
the partners noted.
“This joint research aims to quickly establish chemical
recycling technology that efficiently decomposes waste
plastics into petrochemical raw materials,” they added.

V58 N10 – 9 March 2020

Hyosung Picks LyondellBasell Technology For Additional PP Facility in Vietnam

Hanoi—
Hyosung Vina Chemicals Co. has again selected Lyondell-
Basell’s Spheripol technology for a new 300,000-t/y polypropylene
(PP) plant being set up in Cai Mep Industrial
Zone, Vietnam (PCN, 3 Sept 2018, p 3).
“We are very satisfied with the outstanding project execution
and support for the first Spheripol technology project
at Hyosung Vina Chemical and we trust the wide
range of products offered by LyondellBasell’s Spheripol
technology will be a good choice for our additional polypropylene
plant,” said Kyong Yong Cha, vice president at Hyosung
Corp. No other details were given.
PCN earlier reported that Hyosung was planning a twophase
project in Cai Mep Industrial Zone that involved
construction of two PP plants.
The first phase was to include a 300,000-t/y PP plant, at
an investment of $336-million, and a $133-million underground
warehouse for liquefied petroleum gas.
The second phase was expected to include a second
300,000-t/y PP facility, valued at $226-million, as well as a
$496-million propane dehydrogenation optical fiber plant.
Operation was expected to begin in early 2021.

 

Chemanol Gets Government Approval To Proceed with Methanol Expansion

Jubail—
Methanol Chemicals Co. (Chemanol) said it has received
approval from Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Energy to allocate
the feedstock needed to expand methanol production
at its complex in Jubail Industrial City.
The company plans to increase methanol capacity by
about 100,000 t/y to be used as feedstock for a new dimethyl
disulfide plant and a new methyldiethanolamine
facility, which would be the “first” plants of their kind in
the country. Commercial operation of the two plants are
expected to start during 2024. Cost of the projects were
not given.

 

McDermott Selling Lummus Technology To Chatterjee/Rhone Group Partnership

Houston—
McDermott International said it intends to move forward
with the previously announced share and asset purchase
agreement to sell its Lummus Technology business to a
joint partnership of The Chatterjee Group and Rhone Capital
(PCN, 27 Jan 2020, p 1).
The partnership earlier agreed to purchase the business
for a base purchase price of $2.725-billion, subject to higher
or better bids received through a court-supervised auction
process.
“McDermott did not receive a higher or better bid during
the solicitation period,” and the auction previously
scheduled for 9 Mar. 2020, will not occur, McDermott
noted.
McDermott will have the option to retain or purchase,
as applicable, a 10% common equity ownership interest in
the entity purchasing Lummus.

 

European Commission Okays Aramco’s Acquisition of Sole Control over SABIC

Brussels—
The European Commission (EC) has cleared Saudi
Aramco’s planned purchase of a 70% interest in SABIC
from the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia in a
transaction valued at $69.1-billion (PCN, 7 Oct 2019, p 1).
The EC concluded that the proposed acquisition “would
raise no horizontal competition concerns given the companies’
moderate combined market shares in relation to the
various petrochemical products they supply, and the fact
that a sufficient number of credible suppliers will remain
active in the relevant markets.”
Furthermore, the commission did not find any anticompetitive
vertical effects resulting from the combination
of these businesses.
Aramco earlier said it has no plans to buy the remaining
30% publicly traded shares in SABIC. An expected
completion date was not available.
Late last year, Aramco received approval from the Competition
Commission of India for the planned transaction.

 

LyondellBasell and Bora Firm Agreements To Form Chinese JV for Ethylene Project

Panjin—
LyondellBasell said it has signed definitive agreements
with Liaoning Bora Enterprise Group to form a joint venture
that will operate an ethylene cracker and associated
polyolefin derivatives complex in Panjin, China (PCN, 9
Sept 2019, p 1).
The 50-50 joint venture, Bora LyondellBasell Petrochemical
Co., will operate the 1.1-million-t/y ethylene
cracker, with a total cost of around $2.6-billion.
LyondellBasell will market the high-density polyethylene
and polypropylene (PP), which will be produced utilizing
its licensed Hostalen ACP polyethylene technology and
its Spheripol and Spherizone PP technologies.
Formation of the joint venture is subject to approvals by
relevant government authorities, including antitrust review
by the State Administration for Market Regulation.
An expected completion date was not given.
“China is a large market with growing demand for high
quality polyolefin products,” noted LyondellBasell Chief
Executive Bob Patel. “The combination of LyondellBasell’s
leading technology and Bora’s operational excellence will
allow us to reliably produce and provide these needed
products to local customers.”

 

Grand Pacific Petrochemical Planning PDH, PP Facility in Quanzhou City

Beijing—Grand
Pacific Petrochemical Corp. is expected to spend $1.67-
billion to build a propane dehydrogenation (PDH) unit and
polypropylene (PP) project in Quanzhou City, Fujian Province,
China, reported Reuters citing Xinhua News Agency.
The PDH unit will have a production capacity of 1-
million t/y of propylene, while the PP plant will have
900,000 t/y of production capacity. The first phase is expected
to begin production in 2023.

 

Lotte Shuts Down NCC and Other Units Following Explosion at Daesan Facility

Daesan—
Lotte Chemical has suspended the operation of nine plants
after an explosion in its naphtha cracking center (NCC) in
Daesan, South Korea, on 4 Mar. 2020, according to local
news reports.
The explosion, occurring at a compressor in the cracker,
injured at least 56 people. The company is not sure when
operations of the suspended plants will resume.
Units shut down at the complex produce benzene, toluene,
xylene, butadiene, ethylene glycol, polyethylene, polypropylene
and polyfluoropropylene.
“Amid the U.S.-China trade dispute and negative effects
from COVID-19 infections, most Asian NCC companies
have recently cut production volume,” reported BusinessKorea
citing an industry insider. “Although the suspension
of the operation of [the] Daesan plant will not reverse
the slumping market, it may put a halt to the decline
in ethylene prices.”

 

SABIC Increases Stake in Clariant to 31.5% As Part of Its Specialties Growth Strategy

Riyadh—
SABIC has purchased additional shares in Clariant, raising
its stake to 31.5%, in a move that is part of its growth
strategy in specialties.
The strategy is to “achieve a leadership position among
global peers in specialties business and increases this segment’s
contribution to SABIC,” the company noted. Completion
of the transaction is subject to required regulatory
approvals.
In September 2018, SABIC and Clariant 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% stake in Clariant, which was completed the same
month (PCN, 29 July 2019, p 2).
Last July, the parties reached a common understanding
to temporarily postpone discussions of merging the specialty
chemicals businesses, attributing the delay to unfavorable
market conditions. The companies had said they
plan to continue talks once conditions improve.
According to several media reports, SABIC later said it
had no interest in taking over Clariant.

 

PTTGC America Continues Toward FID For Planned Ohio Valley PC Complex

Belmont—
PTTGC America (PTTGCA) expects a final investment decision
(FID) in the first half of this year on its proposed
ethane cracker project with Daelim in Belmont County,
Ohio (PCN, 17 Feb 2020, p 1).
The multi-billion dollar project, first announced in
2015, will include a 1.5-million-t/y ethane cracker for the
production of ethylene, linear low-density polyethylene and
high-density polyethylene, based on technologies from both
Technip and Ineos.
The first phase of work, which involved site preparation,
engineering and design, has been completed and activity
on the site will be “significantly” reduced for the next
two or three months as PTTDLM, a 50-50 joint venture of
both companies, works toward finalizing project financing
and supply agreements. The next phase of the project will
begin closer to the FID, PTTGCA noted.

 

IHS Markit Cancels Upcoming WPC 2020 Over Concerns Related to Coronavirus

London—IHS
Markit announced that it has cancelled its World Petrochemical
Conference (WPC) 2020 that was scheduled to
take place on 24-27 Mar. 2020 in New Orleans, La., due to
growing concerns about the COVID-19 coronavirus (PCN,
10 Feb 2020, p 3).
“Our decision was made following recent guidance from
health officials and in light of the rapid growth in global
cases of COVID-19, as well as increasing travel restrictions
and other circumstances,” said IHS Markit.
“With delegates from 47 countries due to gather for
WPC 2020 later this month, we wanted to provide as much
notice as possible.”
The next WPC is planned to be held in New Orleans on
9-13 Mar. 2021. Further details will be announced later.

 

Asahi Kasei to Discontinue Business For Styrene Resins at Kawasaki Site

Tokyo—Asahi
Kasei has decided to close down its styrenic resins business
for styrene acrylonitrile (SAN), acrylonitrile butadiene styrene
(ABS) and ACS at its Kawasaki Works in Japan.
“The decision for business discontinuation was based on
a judgment that there were no clear prospects to establish
the superiority of Asahi Kasei’s products in the expanding
global ABS market and that it would be difficult to formulate
a future expansion strategy,” the company noted.
The plant is scheduled to close and discontinue sales on
31 Mar 2021. Employees will be reassigned and resources
will be reallocated to other Asahi Kasei businesses.

 

Shell Looks to Sell Two U.S. Refineries In Line with Its Downstream Strategy

Houston—Shell
Oil Products, a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell, announced
it is marketing its refinery in Mobile, Ala., and its refinery
in Puget Sound near Anacortes, Wash., as part of its downstream
strategy.
“We are focusing our global presence in line with that of
our customers, trading operations and chemical plants,”
said Robin Mooldijk, executive vice president of manufacturing.
“This will result in a more valuable, integrated
downstream business.”
The process could take months and may or may not result
in a sale. The company may decide to discontinue the
marketing process for one or both assets at anytime. If the
marketing process does not result in a sale, Shell plans to
continue operating the refineries.

 

People on the Move

Arkema—Marc Schuller, most recently executive vice
president of coating solutions and industrial specialties,
has been named to the newly created position of chief operating
officer, overseeing the coating solutions, industrial
specialties, and advanced materials businesses. He is also
responsible for the North America region, raw material
and energy procurement, and customer excellence.
Ercros—Sebastian Espino Sosa has been appointed
head of innovation and technology, effective 1 Mar. 2020,
succeeding Josep Mota Balcells, who has retired. Sosa was
most recently working in research and development at the
company.

 

EC Resumes Merger Review Process For Orlen’s Planned Lotos Purchase

Brussels—The
European Commission (EC) has notified PKN Orlen that it
is restarting the clock on the second phase of a merger review
process for PKN Orlen’s proposed purchase of Grupa
Lotos (PCN, 12-19 Aug 2019, p 3).
In August 2019, an agreement was signed between Orlen,
Lotos and the Polish State Treasury, which holds
53.19% of the voting rights of Lotos, defining a framework
structure for the transaction.
The following month, the commission issued a standard
‘stop the clock’ decision for the second phase of the merger
negotiations. The decision was prompted by the commission’s
need to collect additional information.
“Having supplied all documents requested by the European
Commission, we hope that, according to our expectations,
their final decision regarding Orlen’s acquisition of
Lotos will be issued by the end of the first half of this
year,” said Daniel Obajtek, president of the management
board of PKN Orlen.

 

IndianOil Plans Investment in Gujarat To Expand Refinery, Add New Plants

Gujarat—
Indian Oil Corp. (IndianOil) is seeking board approval to
invest between Rs 18,000 crore and Rs 20,000 crore to increase
capacity of its Gujarat refinery in India and add
new units, reported The Telegraph citing S. M. Vaidya,
director of refineries at IndianOil.
Refining capacity is expected to be increased to 18-
million t/y from 13.7-million t/y currently.
In addition, the company would build a new synthesis
gas unit, a hydrogen unit and a butanol facility to make
butyl acrylate, which is not yet produced in India. The
project is expected to take two years to complete.

 

Port Arthur LNG Lets Bechtel Contract For New Liquefaction Project in Texas

Port Arthur—
Port Arthur LNG, a subsidiary of Sempra Energy, has
awarded a fixed-price engineering, procurement and construction
contract to Bechtel Oil, Gas and Chemicals Inc.
for its Port Arthur LNG (liquefied natural gas) liquefaction
project under development in Port Arthur, Texas (PCN, 27
May 2019, p 3).
The project, which will have a nameplate capacity of
around 13.5-million t/y of LNG, is initially planned to include
two liquefaction trains, two LNG storage tanks, a
marine berth and associated loading facilities and related
infrastructure. A final investment decision is expected in
the third quarter of this year.
Under the contract, Bechtel will perform the detailed
engineering, procurement, construction, commissioning,
start-up, performance testing and operator training activities
for the project. The scope of the agreement also includes
continuing pre-final investment decision engineering
to better assure project cost and schedule certainty.
This past January, Sempra LNG signed an interim project
participation agreement (IPPA) with Saudi Aramco’s
Aramco Services subsidiary, for the proposed project. The
IPPA follows the signing of a heads of agreement in May
2019 for the potential purchase of 5-million t/y of LNG and
a 25% equity investment in the project.

 

ExxonMobil Restarts Fife Ethylene Plant Following Project to Improve Reliability

Scotland—
ExxonMobil said it has returned to normal operations and
is no longer using elevated flaring at its 840,000-t/y Fife
ethylene facility in Mossmorran, Scotland, UK.
Last September, the company announced plans to
launch a £140-million investment program at the plant to
upgrade key infrastructure and introduce new technologies
that would “significantly” improve operational reliability
and performance.
Part of the investment was to go toward technologies
that reduce the impact of flaring, including a state-of-theart
flare tip, which would reduce noise and vibration.
“We have safely returned to normal operations, and are
no longer using our elevated flare. We thank communities
for their patience during this work,” said Jacob McAlister,
plant manager, in a letter to community members.

 

Agilyx, Ineos Styrolution Select Worley To Support PS Chem Recycling Plant

Chicago—
Agilyx and Ineos Styrolution have chosen Worley to provide
engineering design services for a new commercialscale
polystyrene (PS) chemical recycling facility in Channahon,
Ill. (PCN, 16 Dec 2019, p 3).
The plant will be capable of processing up to 100 t/d of
post-consumer PS feedstock, using Agilyx’s proprietary
chemical recycling technology that breaks waste PS into its
molecular base monomers, which will be used to create
new styrenic polymers, Worley explained.
Worley will be responsible for integrating the core systems
with the balance of plant for the chemical recycling
facility. Cost of the project and an expected completion
date were not given.
“We are pleased to support Agilyx and Ineos Styrolution
in paving the way to closed loop recycling in the growing
plastics to chemicals market,” noted Bradley Andrews,
president of Energy & Chemicals Services – Canada, U.S.
West & Central.

 

Cameron LNG Starts Commercial Operation Of 2nd Liquefaction Train in Hackberry

Houston—
Cameron LNG LLC has begun commercial operation of
Train 2 of its liquefaction project in Hackberry, La. (PCN, 6
Jan 2020, p 2).
The project, being built by a joint venture of McDermott
and Chiyoda, includes three liquefaction trains with a projected
export capacity of more than 12-million t/y of liquefied
natural gas. Train 3 is on track to reach initial production
in the second quarter of 2020.
Cameron LNG is jointly owned by Sempra Energy
(50.2%), Total (16.6%), Mitsui & Co. (16.6%) and Mitsubishi
and Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (16.6%).

 

Neste & Nouryon Among Companies That Joined European Plastics Pact

Brussels—Neste
and Nouryon announced they have signed the European
Plastics Pact, together with several European Union member
states and companies representing different parts of
the European plastics sector.
Initiated by the French Ministry of the Ecological and
Solidary Transition, the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure
and Water Management, and the Danish Ministry of Environment
and Food, the pact is a forerunner initiative working
on all levels to reduce the release of plastics into the
environment.
The pact is based on four “aspirational” objectives:
• Design all plastic packaging and single-use plastic
products to be reusable where possible, and in all cases
recyclable by 2025.
• Reduce virgin plastic products and packaging by at
least 20% (by weight) by 2025, with half of this reduction
coming from an absolute reduction in plastics.
• Increase the collection, sorting and recycling capacity
by at least 25% by 2025 and reach a level that corresponds
to market demand for recycled plastics.
• Increase the use of recycled plastics in new products
and packaging by 2025, with plastics user companies
achieving an average of at least 30% recycled plastics
(by weight) in their product and packaging range.
“While our renewable solutions have already been used
to replace fossil feedstock in the production of bio-based
polypropylene and polyethylene at a commercial scale for
the European market, we are accelerating the development
of chemical recycling capacity together with several value
chain partners to speed up the shift to a circular plastics
economy,” said Mercedes Alonso, executive vice president,
renewable polymers and chemicals at Neste.

 

MCC Establishing CE Department To Promote a Circular Economy

Tokyo—Mitsubishi
Chemical Corp. (MCC) has decided to set up a new Circular
Economy (CE) Dept., effective 1 Apr. 2020, with the aim
of boosting its efforts to bring about a circular economy.
The department, which will enable MCC to “forge
steadily ahead,” is global in both perspective and scale, and
will operate across all business domains to propose circular
economy-related solutions and develop them into businesses,
the company noted.
The CE Dept. will also collaborate actively with customers,
business partners, academia, start-up and others.

 

Sinochem Hongrun Resuming Production At Weifang Aromatics Facility in China

Weifang—
Sinochem Hongrun was expected to restart aromatics production
at its plant in Wiefang, China, during the week of
2 Mar. 2020, according to Argus Media.
The aromatics facility, which was shut down in mid-
October 2019 because of technical problems and “poor” economics,
has the capacity to produce 800,000 t/y of paraxylene
and 300,000 t/y of benzene.
PCN, as of its press deadline, could not confirm if production
had been restarted.

 

IRSG Details World Rubber Summit Being Held in Cote d’Ivoire in May

Singapore—The
International Rubber Study Group (IRSG) has provided
details on the World Rubber Summit (WRS) 2020, organized
in partnership with Cote d’Ivoire’s Ministry of Agriculture
and Rural Development, scheduled 4-6 May 2020 at
the Sofitel Abidjan Hotel Ivoire, Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire.
The summit, based on the theme “Unlocking the Potential
for the Rubber Economy: Pathways to Growth in the
Next Decade,” will feature 10 key topics, six panel discussions
and a line-up of expert speakers from industry and
key policy makers.
Minister Kobenan Kouassi Adjoumani, Ministry of Agriculture
and Rural Development, Cote d’Ivoire, will give
the opening address. A field trip to the rubber estate of the
Compagnie des Caoutchouchs du Pakidie de Dabou, sponsored
by the Assn. des Professionales de Caoutchouc
Naturel de Cote d’Ivoire, will be held on 4 May.
“The outlook for the global economy, still recovering
from a synchronized slowdown brought on in part by the
U.S.-China trade war, is bleak,” said IRSG. “The rubber
economy itself seems to be at a crossroad. Mature and
emerging markets face challenges to embrace disruptive
innovations, climate mitigation and digitalization to pave
paths for a sustained and inclusive growth.
“Sustainable mobility and advancements in the health
sector underpinned by social, economic and technological
trends demands the identification of opportunities compatible
with transformation offering solutions than products,”
IRSG continued.
“Narratives on competitive price and welfare of the
weakest link in the supply chain need to be redefined if we
want to unlock the potential for the rubber supply chain.”
The WRS will offer delegates the opportunity to openly
discuss, bringing ideas and possible solutions to make sure
that the rubber economy will continue to be a sustainable
driving force for growth, social and environmental development
worldwide. Furthermore, the WRS will provide
first-hand insight on the latest developments of the rubber
sector in Cote d’Ivoire and the Africa region.

V58 N09 – 2 March 2020

PKN Orlen Selects Honeywell Processes For Phenol Project Planned in Poland

Plock—PKN
Orlen has decided to use Honeywell’s UOP Q-Max and
Phenol 3G technologies for a new 200,000-t/y phenol facility
in Plock, Poland (PCN, 9 Dec 2019, p 1).
UOP is providing a license for the technology, as well as
the basic engineering design services, plus key equipment,
catalysts and adsorbents and technical services. Cost of
the project and a schedule were not given.
Also, as part of the project, UOP will supply a cumene
unit and a phenol unit with alpha methyl styrene hydrogenation.
“These technologies make it possible for PKN Orlen to
extend its benzene production into phenol and acetone derivatives,”
said Bryan Glover, vice president and general
manager of Honeywell UOP’s Petrochemical & Refining
Technologies business.
“By doing so, PKN Orlen would be in a position to meet
the growing demand for phenol and other petrochemicals
in Poland and even become a net exporter of those products.”

 

TPC Cutting Jobs at Port Neches Site, While It Rebuilds Damaged PC Plant

Houston—TPC
Group said it will reduce its workforce at its Port Neches
operations in Texas, while it rebuilds those parts of the
petrochemicals complex impacted by an explosion and fire
on 27 Nov. 2019 (PCN, 9 Dec 2019, p 1).
The incident occurred in a butadiene processing unit at
the complex. As of 25 Feb. 2020, the site is secure and response
efforts continue to focus on activities to de-risk the
site and minimize impact to the environment.
“It is expected to take a number of years to rebuild,”
said TPC. “For the foreseeable future, we have an opportunity
to operate the site as a terminal to serve current
and potential future customer and supplier needs.
“As operations transition to only a terminal and services
organization, a reduced number of employees will be
required,” it added.
“The company does not expect that we will need employees
beyond those necessary to operate as a terminal for
more than three to five years.”

 

Posco and OCI Agree to Form Joint Venture To Produce Hydrogen Peroxide in S. Korea

Seoul—
Posco Chemical and OCI announced their decision to establish
a joint venture for the production of hydrogen peroxide
in South Korea, according to the Korea Herald.
The joint venture, to be owned 51% by Posco and 49%
by OCI, will produce 50,000 t/y of hydrogen peroxide at
OCI’s facility in Gwangyang, South Jeolla Province. Commercial
production is anticipated to begin in 2022.
Posco has agreed to supply coke oven gas to the plant
and will be responsible for business management. OCI will
be in charge of construction and product sales.

 

Sekisui Chemical & Sumitomo Cooperate To Manufacture Polyolefin Using Waste

Tokyo—
Sekisui Chemical and Sumitomo Chemical have agreed to
form a strategic alliance to deploy technology for manufacturing
polyolefin using waste as a raw material.
The alliance 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.
Sekisui’s process, developed in coop