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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 cooperation with LanzaTech,
was launched in December 2017. It enables gasification
of combustible waste accumulated at waste disposal
facilities into carbon monoxide and hydrogen, without the
need for waste separation, and converts these gases into
ethanol using a microbial catalyst, which prevents the
need for heat or pressure, the companies explained.

 

Repsol is ‘First’ to Certify All Complexes For Production of Circular Polyolefins

Madrid—
Repsol announced it is the “first” petrochemical company to
obtain ISCC Plus certification for all of its complexes for
the production of circular polyolefins.
The company uses oil obtained from plastic waste,
which is not suitable for mechanical recycling, as an alternative
raw material. The new raw material is fed alongside
conventional raw material, reducing the consumption
of non-renewable resources.
Repsol produces polyolefins at its petrochemical complexes
in Puertollano and Tarragona, Spain, and in Sines,
Portugal.
“This certification guarantees the traceability of the
plastic waste used at the source and, at the same time, offers
the same quality and functionality of virgin polymers,”
the company noted.

 

Aramco to Develop Jafurah Gas Field; Will Provide Feed for PC Industries

Riyadh—Saudi
Aramco said it has received regulatory approval for the
development of the Jafurah unconventional gas field in the
Eastern Province, the “largest” non-associated gas field in
the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The volume of gas resources in the field is estimated at
200-trillion cu ft of rich raw gas, which will provide a
“valuable” feedstock for the petrochemical industries,
Aramco noted.
Jafurah’s production is expected to reach about 2.2-
billion standard cu ft/d of sales gas by 2036, with an associated
approximately 425-million standard cu ft/d of ethane,
representing around 40% of current production.
Aramco also expects the field to produce about 550,000 b/d
of gas liquids and condensates.
The field development plan is subject to the company’s
usual governance process. Production is expected to begin
in early 2024.

 

Air Products Qudra Begins Construction On New Industrial Gases Hub in Jubail

Jubail—Air
Products Qudra, in collaboration with the Royal Commission
for Jubail and Yanbu, announced it has started construction
on a new “world-class,” fully-integrated industrial
gases hub in Jubail Industrial City, Saudi Arabia.
The project involves building, owning and operating a
world-scale steam methane reformer for the production of
hydrogen; an air separation unit to produce oxygen and
nitrogen; hydrogen pressure swing adsorption units to recover
hydrogen from off-gases; and the installation of comprehensive
pipeline networks to connect to the chemical
and refinery customer base in the region.
When complete in 2023, the hub will serve the continued
growth of Jubail Industrial City and enable it to
achieve higher value for off-gases and utilize new technologies
to convert low-value feedstocks into high-value products,
Air Products noted. Cost of the project was not available.

 

BP Leaving AFPM, 2 Other Associations Following a Review of Climate Policies

London—BP,
following an in-depth review examining the alignment of
the climate-related policies and activities of trade associations
with BP’s positions, has decided to cut ties with the
American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM),
the Western States Petroleum Assn. (WSPA) and the
Western Energy Alliance (WEA).
The company is leaving AFPM and WSPA because of
material differences regarding policy positions on carbon
pricing. Due to material differences around the federal
regulation of methane, as well as asset divestments in the
states in which the organization is active, it will not renew
its membership with WEA.
BP recently introduced its ambition to become a “net
zero” company by 2050 or sooner and to help the world get
to “net zero,” as well as ten aims that underpin it (PCN, 17
Feb 2020, p 4). These include the aim to set new expectations
for relationships with trade associations around the
globe.
“BP will pursue opportunities to work with organizations
who share our ambitious and progressive approach to
the energy transition,” said BP Chief Executive Bernard
Looney. “And when differences arise we will be transparent.
But if our views cannot be reconciled, we will be prepared
to part company.”

 

Euro Chlor Schedules 11th International Chlorine Tech Conference, Exhibition

Warsaw—Euro
Chlor will hold its 11th Euro Chlor International Chlorine
Technology Conference and Exhibition from 5-7 May 2020
at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel & Conference Centre in
Warsaw, Poland.
Based on the theme “Chlor-Alkali: Contributing to a
Clean Planet for All,” the conference will focus on health,
safety and environmental protection, but more specifically
on energy efficiency, how to contribute to carbon neutrality
and the circular economy.
Euro Chlor is a sector group of Cefic, the European
chemical industry council.
For more information, visit Euro Chlor’s website at
www.eurochlor2020.org

 

Mitsubishi Chem to Acquire Minger Group, Two Swiss Engineering Plastic Recyclers

Zurich—
Mitsubishi Chemical Corp. (MCC), through its group company
Mitsubishi Chemical Advanced Materials, said it will
acquire two Swiss engineering plastics recycling companies,
Minger Kunststofftechnik AG and Minger Plastic AG
(collectively, the Minger Group), as part of its efforts to
promote a circular economy.
The Minger Group has proprietary recycling technologies
for engineering plastics such as polyether ether ketone,
polyvinylidene difluoride and nylon. Its collection
network in Europe spans a wide area and has an established
business model in the region.
The acquisition, for which a value was not given, will
allow MCC to create an integrated business model for engineering
plastics, from manufacturing to sales, machining,
collection and reuse. The acquisition was expected to
be finalized by the end of February 2020.

 

Kazakhstan Building New PET Complex

Atyrau—
Kazakhstan plans to construct a new polyethylene
terephthalate (PET) facility in Atyrau, according to Kazinform
News Agency.
The $700-million PET project, which will create about
1,500 jobs during construction, is expected to have a capacity
of approximately 430,000 t/y. A schedule was not given.
“The consumption of petrochemical products is growing
in the world, and Kazakhstan is diversifying the economy
through the development of the petrochemical industry,”
said the report citing the press service of the Kazakh Energy
Ministry.

 

People on the Move

Royal DSM—Helen Mets has been named executive
vice president of materials and member of the executive
committee, effective 1 Mar. 2020. Mets, who has been
business group director for DSM Resins & Functional Materials,
replaces Dimitri de Vreeze, who is now co-chief executive
of DSM together with Geraldine Matchett (PCN, 9
Dec 2019, p 2).
Worley Ltd.—Andrew N. Liveris has become deputy
chairman of the board. He will also remain a member of
the Nominations Committee, People and Remuneration
Committee and the Health, Safety and Environment Committee.
Sekisui Chemical Co.—Keita Kato, a senior managing
executive officer, has been named president and chief executive,
effective 1 Mar. 2020. He will replace Teiji Koge,
who will become chairman of the board at the same time.
Bayer AG—Dr. Norbert Winkeljohann, member of the
company’s supervisory board, has been appointed chairman
of the supervisory board, effective from the end of the
Annual Stockholder’s Meeting on 28 Apr. 2020. He will
succeed Werner Wenning, who is stepping down after
reaching the standard age limit set forth in the board’s
rules of procedure.
Metafrax Group—Vyacheslav Zhdanov has been
elected deputy general director – company production director
of Metadynea LLC, part of Metafrax Group. He was
most recently head of volume ammonia shop of Gazprom
Neftekhim Salavat.

 

Tamil Nadu Government Cancels Project For PCPIR in Cuddalore, Nagapattinam

Chennai—
India’s Tamil Nadu government announced it is calling off
plans to establish a Petroleum, Chemicals and Petrochemicals
Investment Region (PCPIR) in the Cuddalore and Nagapattinam
districts of Tamil Nadu, India, reported the
New Indian Express.
Locals and government parties opposed the project,
which would be part of the Cauvery delta region, saying it
would affect agriculture, and demanded the region be declared
as a protected agricultural zone.
On 20 Feb. 2020, the Tamil Nadu assembly passed a
bill declaring the Cauvery delta region, comprising certain
areas of Cuddalore and Pudukottai districts, Nagapattinam,
Thanjavur and Tiruvarur as the Protected Special
Agriculture Zone (PSAZ).
The Tamil Nadu PCPIR would have encompassed about
57,345 acres in 45 villages and would have generated about
13,950 jobs.

 

Anellotech’s Plas-TCat Technology Converts Potato Chip Bag into PX

New York—Anellotech
announced that a laboratory demonstration of its
Plas-TCat technology, which transforms mixed plastic
waste directly into chemicals, “successfully” converted a
Lay’s Barbeque Potato Chip bag into paraxylene (PX).
“By successfully converting multilayer food packaging
like potato chip bags and other non-PET [polyethylene
terephthalate] waste plastics into chemicals including paraxylene,
Anellotech can help brand owners meet their recycled
PET content targets,” Anellotech noted.
The conversion also had high yields of benzene, toluene
and olefins.
“This is a world first, a significant step forward for our
Plas-TCat technology, solving two major problems at once
–expanded rPET [recycled PET] supply and efficient, largescale
recycling of single use packaging (including polyethylene,
polypropylene and multilayer films),” said Anellotech
President and Chief Executive David Sudolsky.

 

Pemex Fails to Give $26-Mn Credit Note To Braskem Idesa for Lack of Ethane

Veracruz—
Braskem Idesa has not yet received a $26-million credit
note from Pemex Tri, as liquidated damages for supplying
less ethane to Braskem Idesa than agreed upon in an ethane
supply contract.
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, 27 June 2016, p 1).
The petrochemical complex, which was inaugurated in
2016, consists of an approximately 1-million-t/y ethanebased
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.
“The ethane contract is an integral part of the contractual
structure of the financing for the petrochemical complex
in Mexico,” Braskem noted.
Braskem Idesa continues talks with Pemex to resolve
the issues and, if necessary, will take the appropriate contractual
measures. The ethane contract remains in force.

 

APIC Annual Meeting Postponed Due to Outbreak of Coronavirus

New Delhi—The
year’s Asia Petrochemical Industry Conference (APIC
2020), scheduled 28-29 May in New Delhi, India, has been
postponed due to the Coronavirus outbreak.
“In view of the global health crisis caused by the Coronavirus
. . . leading to many travel advisories worldwide,
APIC 2020 stands postponed,” said a notice on the conference
website. Revised dates will be available “soon.”
For more information on the conference, visit APIC’s
website at www.apic2020.in.

 

Versalis Acquires Stake in Finproject As Part of Its Development Strategy

Milan—Eni’s
Versalis has acquired a 40% stake in Finproject from VEI
Capital fund, creating an integrated supply chain for special
polymers.
“This strategic operation, the first step in a partnership
that may be further developed, will create a new industrial
platform that leverages the synergy between the expertise
of Versalis . . . and the technological and creative drive of
the Finproject Group,” said Versalis.
The acquisition marks Versalis’ entry into the highperformance
formulated chemical polymer applications
sector, extending its position towards businesses that are
more resilient to the volatility of the chemical scenario,
Versalis noted.
The operation, subject to approval by the competent antitrust
authorities, “also opens up opportunities to create
new products using renewable or recycled raw materials
for a market increasingly sensitive to sustainability issues,
in line with the company’s circular economy strategy,” said
Versalis Chief Executive Daniele Ferrari.

 

ATC Establishes New London Office

London—Aramco
Trading Co. (ATC) said it has established a new London,
UK, subsidiary, Aramco Trading Ltd. (ATL), to enhance its
presence in Europe and Africa.
ATL, which will be led by Mohammed A. Kadi, will be
at the forefront of ATC’s business activities in Europe and
its extended operational reach to cover North and West
Africa as well.
“Europe is an important market for ATC and the ultimate
goal for ATL is to explore and develop new partnerships
and opportunities with out clients in Europe, North
and West Africa,” noted ATC President and Chief Executive
Ibrahim Q. Al-Buainain.

 

Avantium’s Bioaromatics Patent Portfolio Sold to TNO for Further Development

Amsterdam—
Avantium announced the sale of its bioaromatics patent
portfolio to The Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific
Research, TNO, to be developed further.
The sale included both patents and know-how for technologies
that produce bio-derived products for polymers
and coatings.
“These technologies lie outside Avantium’s strategic focus,”
Avantium noted.

 

Chemistry Industry Assn. Of Canada & CPIA Decide to Dissolve CPIA and Join Forces

Ottawa—
The Chemistry Industry Assn. Of Canada (CIAC) and the
Canadian Plastics Industry Assn. (CPIA), following an extensive
due diligence process, have decided to dissolve the
CPIA and create a new Plastics Division under the CIAC
banner.
The two associations determined that they have complementary
strengths and committed members, but that
the challenges for plastics require even greater collaboration.
“We understand that plastics are a vital part of the Canadian
economy and everyday lives, but plastic waste
doesn’t belong in the environment,” said Ed Bechberger,
chair of the CIAC Board of Directors and president of
ERCO Worldwide.
“As an industry, we’re dedicated to innovation and investment
in product design and to the responsible management
and reduction of plastic waste. This transaction
will provide a balanced approach to plastics and its value
to society.”
The new entity will promote responsible plastic production
in Canada and work toward reducing and eliminating
plastic waste from the environment. More details on the
transaction and dissolution will be available in the next
few months, the CIAC noted,

 

Piper Sandler Companies Agrees to Buy M&A Advisory Firm The Valence Group

New York—
Piper Sandler Companies, an investment bank headquartered
in Minneapolis, Minn., and mergers and acquisitions
(M&A) advisory firm The Valence Group, have entered into
a definitive agreement, in which Piper Sandler will purchase
The Valence Group.
The transaction, for which a value was not given, is expected
to close in the second quarter of this year, subject to
required regulatory approvals and other customary closing
conditions. Once complete, The Valence Group will form
Piper Sandler’s new chemicals group.
“We and the entire Valence Group team are proud of
the position we have established as the global market
leader in M&A advice to the chemicals and materials industry,”
said Peter Hall, co-founder of The Valence Group.
“M&A is also Piper Sandler’s core activity and, critically,
they share our absolute commitment to delivering to
our clients the highest quality advice based first and foremost
on deep sector expertise.”

 

DSM to Expand Capacity in Indiana For Its High-Performance Materials

Evansville—
Royal DSM announced it is “future proofing” and expanding
the capacity of its high-performance materials compounding
facility in Evansville, Ind.
“DSM will enhance the site to produce the next generation
of advanced materials, including bio-based thermoplastics,”
the company noted.
Expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2021,
the project will help meet the increased regional demand
for products such as Akulon polyamide (PA) 6 and PA66,
Arnite polyethylene terephthalate/polybutylene terephthalate,
Arnitel thermoplastic copolyesters, EcoPaXX PA410,
ForTii PA4T/polyphthalamide and Stanyl PA46.
“As demand from our customers for sustainable sources
of advanced materials grows, so does our need to invest,”
said Jud Gibson, vice president, commercial Americas at
DSM Engineering Plastics. “The expansion of our North
American operations helps to ensure we have the right
tools to meet this need today and in the future.”

 

Westlake Names Biesterfeld Distributor Of Its Ethylene Copolymers in Europe

Hamburg—
Biesterfeld, a plastics and chemicals distributor in Germany,
has been chosen to distribute Westlake Chemical’s
ethylene copolymers products throughout Europe, including
the UK and Ireland, effective immediately.
Specifically, Biesterfeld will distribute the Elevate ethylene
vinyl acetate, EMAC (ethylene methyl acrylate)/
EBAC (ethylene butyl acrylate) copolymers and Tymax
products. Tymax features functionalized polymers
produced by grafting with maleic anhydride.
“With Biesterfeld we have the ideal partner for the successful
distribution of our products by our side,” noted
Juan Septien, indirect sales manager at Westlake.
“As we look to strategically introduce our brands into
Europe, we are happy to have an experienced distribution
partner in polymer modification that supports us in our
goal to act as a European supplier.”

 

PetroChemical News Briefs

● LSB Industries has completed an extensive turnaround
at its Pryor, Okla., facility, including the installation
of a new, larger urea reactor and a sulfuric acid converter.
● Lanxess will become climate-neutral by 2040. To
help reach this goal, it will reduce emissions from its own
sources; purchase only very low-emissions or climateneutral
energy; lower emissions from 3.2-million tons to
less than 300,000 tons by 2040, and neutralize these residual
emissions through compensation measures.
● Stepan Co. has declared force majeure for the supply
of phthalic anhydride and surfactants at its plant in Millsdale,
Ill., due to power outage-related operational issues
that impacted the site’s waste water treatment plant.

V58 N08 – 24 February 2020

Covestro Postpones MDI Train in Texas; Starts up New MDI Unit at Brunsbuttel

Houston—
Covestro recently announced that its planned project to
build a new diphenylmethane diisocyanate (MDI) train at
its existing site in Baytown, Texas, has been paused for 18
to 24 months, due to a “challenging” market environment
(PCN, 15 Oct 2018, p 1).
The project, which would be the “largest” single investment
in the company’s history, would add 500,000 t/y of
MDI capacity at the site, Covestro previously said. Production
had been scheduled to begin in 2024, at which time an
older, less efficient MDI unit with 90,000 t/y of production
capacity would be closed.
“Nevertheless, Covestro is still confident that the longterm
growth prospects for MDI are highly promising,” the
company noted.
In the same announcement, Covestro said its new MDI
plant in Brunsbuttel, Germany, started up this year as
planned, doubling MDI capacity to 400,000 t/y (PCN, 29
May 2017, p 3).
The project, originally planned to be commissioned in
2018, involved converting an existing idled toluene diisocyanate
unit for the production of MDI.

 

PTTGC’s Olefins Reconfiguration Project To Begin Commercial Operation in 2020

Bangkok—
PTT Global Chemical (PTTGC), in its management discussion
analysis for 2019, said a new olefins plant being built
at its complex in Map Ta Phut, Rayong, Thailand, is expected
to start commercial operation this year (PCN, 19
Feb 2018, p 1).
The $985-million project includes a 500,000-t/y ethylene
plant, based on CB&I’s technology, and a 250,000-t/y propylene
unit. It will increase the company’s total nameplate
olefins capacity to 3.7-million t/y from nearly 3-million t/y
currently.
In 2018, Samsung Engineering awarded a contract to
CB&I for the license and basic engineering of the ethylene
facility and a pyrolysis gasoline hydrogenation unit. The
contract also included detailed engineering and material
supply of Short Resistance Time pyrolysis heaters.

 

Sibgazpolimer JV Completes Acquisition Of Titan Group’s 50% Stake in Poliom

Omsk—Sibgazpolimer,
a joint venture of Sibur and Gazprom Neft, has
completed the purchase of the remaining 50% interest in
its Poliom polypropylene (PP) joint venture in Omsk, Russia,
from Titan Group, Sibur reported in its operational
and financial results for fiscal year 2019 (PCN, 22 July
2019, p 1).
Poliom, “one of Russia’s largest” PP facilities, became
the basis of a joint venture of Sibur (25%), Gazprom Neft
(25%) and Titan (50%) in 2014, Sibur noted. Sibgazpolimer
is now sole owner of Poliom.

 

Fluor Awarded EPC Contract from Invista For ADN Plant at Shanghai Chem Park

Shanghai—
Invista has selected Fluor to provide engineering, procurement
and construction (EPC) for a new world-scale
adiponitrile (ADN) facility at the Shanghai Chemical Industry
Park in Shanghai, China (PCN, 25 Feb 2019, p 2).
The 400,000-t/y ADN plant, on which detailed engineering
is well underway, was earlier estimated to cost over $1-
billion. Construction is expected to begin this year, with
mechanical completion scheduled for the first quarter of
2022.
When complete, the new plant will be integrated with
Invista’s existing hexamethylene diamine (HMD) and polymer
facilities to directly supply domestic customers with
the feedstock to produce nylon 6,6 and other high-value
products, Fluor noted.
Invista currently has a 215,000-t/y HMD plant and a
150,000-t/y nylon 6,6 facility at the site (PCN, 17 Sept
2018, p 2).
In 2018, the company said it was planning a project to
increase the 6,6 capacity by 40,000 t/y to a total of 190,000
t/y. Production is planned to begin this year.

 

Westlake Completes Expansions for PVC At Its Sites in Germany and the U.S.

Houston—Westlake
Chemical said it has completed the expansions of
polyvinyl chloride (PVC) production capacities in the U.S.
and Germany (PCN, 26 Feb 2018, p 1).
In February 2018, the company announced plans to expand
production capacities for suspension PVC at Geismar,
La., and specialty PVC in Burghausen, Germany, adding
approximately 750-million lbs/yr of PVC to the company’s
production.
The project also included expanding vinyl chloride
monomer (VCM) production capacities at Geismar and
Gendorf, Germany, by a total of about 200-million lbs/yr.
At the same time, the company said it would also boost
chlor-alkali production capacity at Gendorf, adding around
55-million lbs/yr of chlorine capacity and the associated 60-
million lbs/yr of membrane caustic soda capacity. An update
was not available for the VCM and chlor-alkali expansions.

 

Jindal Poly Films Plans Expansion For BOPP & Polyester Film Lines

Mumbai—Jindal
Poly Films has received board of directors’ approval to expand
a biaxially oriented polypropylene (BOPP) film line
and a polyester film line in Nasik, Maharashtra, India.
The project is expected to require an investment of approximately
Rs 700 crores. No further information was
available.
Jindal Poly Films is currently the “largest” BOPP
manufacturer in India with a capacity of 251,000 t/y, according
to the company’s website.

 

Inter Pipeline Gives Update on Progress Of Heartland Petrochemical Complex

Calgary—Inter
Pipeline said that a new propane dehydrogenation facility
and polypropylene (PP) plant, both part of the Heartland
Petrochemical Complex being built in Strathcona County,
Alberta, Canada, are expected to be mechanically complete
by the end of this year (PCN, 12-19 Aug 2019, p 4).
The approximately $3.5-billion project, located near the
company’s Redwater Olefinic Fractionator, will convert
22,000 b/d of propane into 525,000 t/y of PP using W. R.
Grace & Co.’s Unipol PP process technology. The inservice
date for the integrated complex remains the end of
2021.
The Government of Canada has said that Inter Pipeline’s
process of converting the propane into PP is estimated
to displace 1.75-million t/y of carbon dioxide. The
project also opens new markets, as PP is not currently produced
in Canada.

 

Pertamina, Rosneft JV to Make FID in ’21 On Tuban Refinery, Petchem Complex

Jakarta—
Pertamina Rosneft Pengolahan dan Petrokimia, a joint
venture of Pertamina and Rosneft Oil, expects to make a
final investment decision (FID) next year on the proposed
grassroot refinery and petrochemical complex in Tuban,
East Java, Indonesia (PCN, 4 Nov 2019, p 2).
The project would have a refining capacity of up to 15-
million t/y and a petrochemical complex with the capacity
to produce over 1-million t/y of ethylene and 1.3-million t/y
of aromatics. Commissioning is planned for 2024.
The FID will be based on the results of the basic engineering
design and the front-end engineering design
stages, for which Tecnicas Reunidas was awarded a contract,
as well as the search for project financing.

 

Versalis Launches New HoopTM Project; Signs JDA with S.R.S. for Technology

Milan—Eni’s
Versalis has launched a new project, HoopTM, for the development
of a new technology to chemically recycle plastic
waste.
Versalis signed a joint development agreement (JDA)
with Italian engineering company Servizi di Ricerche e
Sviluppo (S.R.S.), which owns a pyrolysis technology that
will be further developed to transform mixed plastic waste,
that cannot be mechanically recycled, into raw material to
produce new virgin polymers.
HoopTM, “a circle as the symbol of circularity per excellence,”
will involve construction of a 6,000-t/y plant at Versalis’
Mantova, Italy, site, with plans to progressively scale
up production, starting from its sites in Italy.
“This project confirms Versalis’ strategy to develop a
chemical recycling technology that complements mechanical
recycling technology, which the company is already engaged
in, with the goal to give new life to plastic waste,”
said Versalis Chief Executive Daniele Ferrari.
“The HoopTM project aims to create a theoretically endless
plastic recycling process, producing new virgin polymers
suitable for all applications and that are identical to
polymers that come from fossil raw materials.”

 

Wacker Begins New Efficiency Program; Expects to Slash More than 1,000 Jobs

Munich—
Wacker Chemie AG announced initial plans for its new
Shape the Future efficiency program, which is expected to
save the company €250-million a year by reducing material
costs and in-house services and by creating a leaner company
structure.
“We are preparing for a harsher competitive environment
– both in our polysilicon business and at our chemical
divisions,” said Chief Executive Rudolf Staudigl. “Shape
the Future is a comprehensive approach. Our aim is not
only to achieve significant cost savings, but also to decisively
strengthen Wacker for tomorrow’s challenges and
secure a long-term competitive edge.”
As a result of the program, over 1,000 jobs are expected
to be cut by the end of 2022. The main part of the reduction,
more than 80%, will occur at German sites where
Wacker has around 10,000 of its 14,500 total employees.
The program’s central task is to realign Wacker’s organizational
structure clearly with customer requirements
and, thus, support the group’s profitable growth, Wacker
noted.

 

SABIC Suspending Ultem Production At Its Cartagena Facility During ’20

Madrid—SABIC,
in a notification to the Saudi Stock Exchange, said it plans
to suspend the production of Ultem thermoplastic polyetherimide
resins at its Cartagena, Spain, production complex
during this year.
The decision, part of SABIC’s global operation optimization,
has no direct impact on the other remaining operations
at the facility. Capacity of the plant was not available.
“SABIC is committed to maintain its ability to meet the
product needs of existing and future Ultem customers from
its other assets,” the company noted.

 

People on the Move

Nova Chemicals—Musabbeh Al Kaabi, chief executive
for Petroleum & Petrochemicals at Mubadala Investment
Co., has been appointed chairman of Nova Chemicals’
board of directors. He succeeds Suhail Mohamed Faraj Al
Mazrouei.
Dow—Jim Fitterling, chief executive of Dow, is expected
to be appointed chairman of the board of directors
following the company’s annual meeting of stockholders on
9 Apr. 2020.
GAIL India—Manoj Jain, previously director of business
development, has become chairman and managing
director. He is also currently serving as chairman of GAIL
Global (USA) Inc., GAIL Global (USA) LNG LLC and Konkan
LNG Pvt. Ltd.
DuPont—Ed Breen has returned as chief executive of
DuPont, in addition to his role of executive chairman, effective
immediately. He succeeds Marc Doyle, who will leave
the company.
Ingevity—Richard “Rick”Kelson, chairman of the company,
has been appointed interim president and chief executive
to succeed D. Michael Wilson, who has resigned.

 

Vynova Touts New Range of PVC Resins Produced Using Renewable Ethylene

Geleen—Vynova
launched a new range of bio-attributed polyvinyl chloride
(PVC) resins that are manufactured using renewable ethylene
supplied by SABIC.
The renewable ethylene is produced from certified second-
generation biomass feedstock, which does not compete
with the food chain. SABIC will supply the ethylene from
its production facilities in Geleen, the Netherlands.
Vynova’s bio-attributed PVC resins meet the exact
same stringent performance criteria as Vynova’s conventionally
produced PVC grades, Vynova noted. Customers
will be able to process the new PVC resins with their existing
equipment, under identical process conditions.
“With this new generation of PVC resins, we are responding
to increasing customer demand to take another
step towards a more circular PVC value chain,” said Jonathan
Stewart, vice president of PVC business management
at Vynova.
The new range of PVC resins, available for both rigid
and flexible applications, will initially be manufactured at
Vynova’s sites in Beek, the Netherlands, and Mazingarbe,
France.

 

Westlake Chemical Partners Confirms Purchase of Additional OpCo Interest

Houston—
Westlake Chemical Partners (the partnership), in its
fourth quarter and full year 2019 results, said it completed
the acquisition of an additional 4.5% stake in OpCo LP
during the first quarter of 2019 (PCN, 1 Apr 2019, p 4).
The purchase increased the partnership’s limited partner
interest in OpCo to approximately 22.8%.
OpCo has three ethylene production facilities, with an
aggregate capacity of around 3.7-billions lbs/yr, and a 200-
mile ethylene pipeline. It sells about 95% of its ethylene
production to Westlake Chemical Corp., under a long-term
supply agreement.

 

TechnipFMC’s Alliance with BP Extended To Include New BP Infinia Technology

Rome—
TechnipFMC announced that its purified terephthalic acid
(PTA) and acetic acid alliance with BP has been expanded
to the new BP Infinia technology, enabling circularity for
difficult-to-recycle PET (polyethylene terephthalate) plastic
waste, such as highly-colored bottles and food trays.
The technology enables PET plastic waste, which is currently
not recyclable, to be diverted from landfills or incineration
and instead transformed back into new, virgin-quality
feedstocks.
The alliance is relevant to fully-owned and joint venture
projects developed by BP worldwide. In addition,
TechnipFMC is the provider of technology licensing packages
for PTA third-party licensing applications.
“BP’s long-term alliance with TechnipFMC has been
successful all along the years and we look forward to replicating
this success in the potentially game-changing BP
Infinia technology business,” noted Charles Damianides,
technology vice president for BP Petrochemicals.
BP previously said it planned to build a $25-million pilot
plant at its research and development hub in Naperville,
Ill., to prove the technology before progressing to fullscale
commercialization. The pilot facility is expected to
start up in late 2020.

 

Lotte, GS Energy Complete Formation Of Korean JV for BPA & C4 Products

Seoul—Lotte
Chemical and GS Energy have officially launched a new
joint venture in Yeosu, South Korea, for the production of
bisphenol A (BPA) and C4 fractionation products, according
to a regulatory filing.
The joint venture, named Lotte GS Chemical Co., will
invest around $678-million by 2023 to build a plant with a
production capacity of 200,000 t/y of BPA products and C4
oil products at Lotte Chemical’s site in Seoul (PCN, 22 July
2019, p 1).
GS Energy, through its GS Caltex subsidiary, plans to
supply the facility with propylene, benzene and C4 oil raw
materials.
Lotte GS Chemical is owned 51% by Lotte Chemical
and 49% by GS Energy.

 

IISRP’s 61st Annual General Meeting Being Held 11-14 May in Thailand

Bangkok—The International
Institute of Synthetic Rubber Producers
(IISRP) has identified “Expanding Possibilities” as the
theme for its 61st Annual General Meeting to be held in
Bangkok, Thailand, from 11-14 May 2020.
Some of the speakers include Rebeca Somers, partner at
McKinsey & Co.; IISRP’s Roxanna Petrovic; Rungtawan
Tangphongprasit, senior consultant at Nexant; Adrianne
Zsaky of Circular Economy Asia, and Mary Xu, vice president
and secretary general of China Rubber Industry Assn.
For more information or to register, visit IISRP’s website
at www.iisrp.com.

 

ExxonMobil Launches Online Platform With Secure, Near-Real-Time Data

Houston—Exxon-
Mobil Catalysts and Licensing announced the launch of its
new InFocus online platform to help customers optimize
plant performance, increase operational efficiency and
minimize production interruptions using secure, near-realtime
data.
The platform, designed for chemical plants and refineries
using ExxonMobil-based technology, allows customers
to make faster, more informed decisions and collaborate
more easily with ExxonMobil technical support, the company
noted. It has already been fully deployed in a number
of facilities.
“Our customers are under increasing pressure to improve
profitability and be more efficient,” said Dan Moore,
president of ExxonMobil Catalysts and Licensing. “Our
InFocus platform will provide deeper insight into their operations
and will enable concrete recommendations on
ways to optimize plant performance and minimize interruptions.”

 

Odfjell Takes Delivery of Bow Prosper

Bergen—
Odfjell has received Bow Prosper, a newbuilt 36,000-dwt
chemical tanker on bareboat charter from the Fukuoka
Shipyard in Nagasaki, Japan.
The vessel, owned by Taihei, is commercially managed
by Odfjell Tankers, technically managed by Odfjell’s ship
management department and manned by Odfjell seafarers.
It will fly the Norwegian flag.

 

BASF Introduces Pilot Blockchain Project To Improve Circular Economy in Canada

Victoria—
BASF has launched its pilot platform reciChain in the
province of British Columbia, Canada, to improve circular
economy and traceability of recycled plastics.
The platform, initially piloted in Brazil, combines blockchain
with a digital badge and loop count technology that
enables the secured sharing of data among market participants,
while improving the sorting, tracing and monitoring
of plastics throughout the value chain.
BASF’s pilot project will introduce a more sustainable
alternative to the linear economic model, reducing plastic
waste, maximizing its value and enhancing resource efficiency,
the company noted. Deloitte will partner with
BASF as a strategic advisor.
The team is currently validating the pilot’s value in the
local supply chain with the goal of expanding it to a nationwide
solution in order to position Canada as a leading
country in the recycling and recovery of plastics.
According to a report from Deloitte for Environment
and Climate Change Canada, Canada disposed of almost
3.3-million tons of plastic waste in 2016, of which less than
11% were recycled. If the present trend continues, the report
estimates that Canadians will dispose of $11.1-billion
worth of plastic materials each year by 2030.
“A successful implementation of reciChain will result in
a collaborative digital consortium that will bring together
plastic manufacturers, suppliers, government entities, retailers,
waste collectors and recyclers aimed at keeping the
life of plastic molecules circular,” noted Anthony DiPrinzio,
head of BASF Blockchain Lab.

 

Topsoe Rolls Out New Titan Series Of Steam Reforming Catalysts

Lyngby—Haldor Topsoe
announced the release of its new Titan series of steam reforming
catalysts, RC-67 Titan and RK-500 Titan.
“Sudden pressure drop build-ups in syngas plants can
cause unscheduled downtime and cost millions of dollars,”
Topsoe explained. “Moreover, thermal instability during
operation can lead to operational risk and reduce plant
lifetime.
“Topsoe’s Titan series . . . can mitigate these risks.
With improved performance and better stability, the series
guarantees a longer catalyst lifetime and trouble-free operation.
The catalysts have high activity and low pressure
drop, which ensures lower operating costs, increased profit
margins, and reduced energy usage.”

 

Enbridge Enters into Agreement to Buy Rio Bravo Pipeline from NextDecade

Houston—
Enbridge and NextDecade have entered into a definitive
agreement, in which Enbridge will purchase a 100% stake
in Rio Bravo Pipeline Co. (RBPL) from NextDecade.
As part of the deal, Enbridge will buy RBPL for a cash
purchase price not to exceed $25-million, with $15-million
paid at closing and the balance paid upon NextDecade
reaching a positive final investment decision on its proposed
Rio Grande liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facility
in Brownsville, Texas (PCN, 17 Feb 2020, p 2).
Enbridge would assume all responsibility for the Rio
Bravo Pipeline, while NextDecade will continue to be responsible
for the Rio Grande LNG export facility.
The pipeline is designed to transport up to 4.5-billion cu
ft/d of natural gas from the Agua Dulce supply area to the
export facility.
The parties have negotiated a precedent agreement, to
be executed at closing, whereby NextDecade will retain
rights to the natural gas firm transportation capacity on
the pipeline for at least 20 years to supply the LNG export
facility.
Subject to the satisfaction of certain conditions, the
transaction is expected to be finalized in the first quarter of
2020. It has already been approved by the board of directors
of both companies.

 

Commission Okays Proposed Acquisition Of Hitachi Chemical by Showa Denko

Brussels—The
European Commission, under the European Merger Regulation,
has approved Showa Denko’s planned purchase of
Hitachi Chemical, both of Japan.
This past December, HC Holdings, a wholly-owned subsidiary
of Showa Denko, decided it would purchase shares
of Hitachi through a tender offer for approximately ¥964-
billion. The tender offer is expected to begin during this
month.
The commission concluded that the proposed acquisition
would raise no competition concerns, given the very
limited horizontal overlaps and vertical relationships between
the companies’ activities.

V58 N07 – 17 February 2020

Shin-Etsu’s Shintech Louisiana Begins Ethylene Production at Plaquemine

Houston—
Shintech Louisiana, a subsidiary of Shin-Etsu Chemical,
recently began production at a new ethylene facility at its
site in Plaquemine, La. (PCN, 30 July 2018, p 1).
The 500,000-t/y ethylene plant, originally expected to
begin production in 2018, was built by Toyo U.S.A., a subsidiary
of Toyo Engineering. Cost of the project was not
available.
In July 2018, Shintech said it was investing $1.49-
billion to develop a new chlor-alkali and vinyl chloride
monomer (VCM) production facility, and expand existing
polyvinyl chloride (PVC) production units at the site.
The project involves building a plant capable of producing
860,000 t/y of VCM and 660,000 t/y of caustic soda, and
development of an integrated PVC manufacturing facility.
The first phase of the project, currently under construction,
will increase PVC production capacity by 290,000 t/y
to 3.24-million t/y and caustic soda capacity by 270,000 t/y
to 1.57-million t/y. Operations are expected to begin early
next year.

 

Huayi Picks Technology from Dow, JM For Butanol Plant to be Built in China

Guangxi—
Guangxi Huayi New Material Co. (Huayi) has selected LP
Oxo Selector 10 technology, licensed through Dow and
Johnson Matthey (JM), for a new butanol facility planned
in China.
The project, to be built at Huayi’s integrated petrochemical
complex in Qinzhou Port, China, will have
300,000 t/y of butanol capacity. An expected start-up date
was not given.
LP Oxo Selector 10 technology “enables the efficient
production of butanol with low capital investment and operating
cost,” Dow and JM noted.
The technology partners provide its licensees customized
plant designs, performance warranties, technical support
pre- and post-plant start-up, ongoing technology updates,
and more.

 

Tabriz, PRTC Ink Further Agreement To Build Iran’s ‘First’ HDPE Facility

Tehran—Tabriz
Petrochemical Co. and Petrochemical Research and Technology
Co. (PRTC) have signed an additional agreement for
the construction of Iran’s “first” high-density polyethylene
(HDPE) plant, reported Shana.
Under the new deal, PRTC will provide the design
package, basic engineering services and technical knowledge
for the facility, which PCN earlier reported would
have the capacity to produce 310,000 t/y of HDPE (PCN, 30
Sept 2019, p 2).
Last September, the companies entered into an agreement,
valued at $250-million, to cooperate on indigenizing
the technology for the HDPE production. The project is
expected to be completed in four years.

 

ExxonMobil to Meet Contract Obligations Following Fire at Baton Rouge Refinery

Irving—
ExxonMobil will continue to fulfill contractual commitments
following the 11 Feb. 2020 fire at its 502,500-b/d
refinery in Baton Rouge, La., Reuters reported.
The fire is believed to have started in the refinery’s
crude distillation unit. It caused the shutdown of multiple
units at the refinery and adjoining chemical plant; however,
operations continue, said the report citing ExxonMobil
spokesman Jeremy Eikenberry. No injuries were reported.
Initial air monitoring inside, around and away from the
plant did not detect harmful concentrations of chemicals,
but the amounts of those releases are unclear. ExxonMobil
will provide estimates to state regulators in its “seven-day”
report.
“We are very conservative,” said Robert Berg, state
regulatory adviser at ExxonMobil. “We tend to report early
and often, and we can always retract it later.”
Company officials were not able to comment on the operational
status of specific units.

 

PTTGC America Receives JobsOhio Grant To Prep Site for Ethane Cracker Project

Belmont—
PTTGC America (PTTGCA) has been awarded a $20-
million grant from JobsOhio for site preparation work for
PTTGCA and Daelim’s proposed ethane cracker project in
Belmont County, Ohio (PCN, 15 July 2019, p 2).
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.
JobsOhio paid the grant directly to engineering firm
Bechtel for the site preparation works. Fluor and Bechtel
were earlier awarded contracts for front-end engineering
design work. A schedule for the project was not given.
“JobsOhio’s assistance facilitates the efforts of PTTGCA
and Daelim Chemical USA to move forward on critical siterelated
engineering and site preparation work in a comprehensive
and timely matter,” said JobsOhio Communications
Manager Matt Englehart.

 

Mitsubishi Chemical to Combine Group Companies in Singapore

Singapore—Mitsubishi
Chemical Corp. (MCC) will merge its three group companies
in Singapore into one consolidated company, Mitsubishi
Chemical Asia Pacific Pte. Ltd., on 1 Apr. 2020.
The three businesses to be consolidated include Mitsubishi
Chemical Performance Polymers Asia Pacific Pte.
Ltd., Mitsubishi Chemical Asia Pacific Pte. Ltd. and Nippon
Gohsei Asia Pacific Pte. Ltd.
Combining the three companies “will contribute to the
mutual sharing and consolidation of know-how and resources,
with which we aim to improve on our comprehensive
business prowess,” MCC noted.

 

RIL Planning to Expand Dahej Complex With New Chem Plants and Facilities

Dahej—
Reliance Industries Ltd. (RIL) has submitted an application
to the environment ministry for a proposed project at
its Dahej petrochemical complex in India that involves setting
up new plants and facilities, reported the Economic
Times.
According to the application, the Rs 5,100 crore project
involves the production of ethylene dichloride to meet the
raw material requirements of a vinyl chloride monomer
(VCM)/polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plant. The site already
produces 360,000 t/y of VCM/PVC and has approval to
build a new 1.2-million t/y facility.
The project also includes an expansion of its PET-G
(polyethylene terephthalate with glycol modification) plant
to 200,000 t/y and the production of 50,000 t/y of cyclohexanedimethanol,
as well as other units.
In addition, RIL plans to debottleneck production units
at its Vadodara manufacturing facility. No details were
given.
RIL is implementing an oil-to-chemical strategy that
involves setting up crude-to-chemicals projects adjacent to
its existing Jamnagar refinery and petrochemical complex
at a cost of Rs 70,000 crore (PCN, 25 Nov-2 Dec 2019, p 2).

 

Worley Named Engineering Partner For All Projects in Velocys Portfolio

Houston—
Velocys has appointed Worley as its engineering partner to
manage the delivery of its fully integrated technology
package.
Worley will develop pre-feasibility, feasibility and frontend
engineering design packages for all projects in the Velocys
portfolio. “This allows Velocys to leverage synergies
across multiple projects and geographies,” Velocys noted.
The fully integrated technology package converts waste
feedstocks into sustainable aviation and road transport
fuels.

 

NextDecade Gets Approval to Export LNG From Rio Grande to Non-FTA Countries

Houston—
NextDecade Corp. announced that the U.S. Dept. of Energy
(DOE) has issued an order granting authorization to export
liquefied natural gas (LNG) from its proposed Rio Grande
LNG export facility in Brownsville, Texas, to non-free
trade (non-FTA) agreement countries (PCN, 25 Nov-2 Dec
2019, p 3).
The project, on which a final investment decision (FID)
is expected this year, would involve three liquefaction
trains in the first phase, each having up to 5.87-million t/y
of LNG capacity. Three trains of the same capacity are
planned in a second phase.
Construction is planned to begin shortly after reaching
a FID with commercial operations scheduled for late 2023.
NextDecade is now authorized to export LNG equivalent
to 1,318-billion cu ft/yr of natural gas from Rio Grande
LNG to both FTA and non-FTA countries.
“This is another significant milestone for our Rio
Grande LNG project, which will play a critical role in linking
natural gas from the Permian Basin and Eagle Ford
Shale to the global LNG market, providing countries
around the world access to cleaner energy,” noted NextDecade
Chairman and Chief Executive Matt Schatzman.

 

Ineos Enters Agreement to Utilize UPM’s Renewable Raw Material for Polyolefins

Koln—Ineos
and UPM Biofuels announced a long-term agreement, in
which UPM will supply its renewable raw material for new
and “innovative” bio-attributed polymers to be produced at
Ineos’ Koln site in Germany.
UPM BioVerno is a sustainable raw material made
from a renewable residue of wood pulp processing. By replacing
fossil-based raw materials with UPM BioVerno in
its cracker, Ineos products will contribute to a “significant”
reduction in carbon emissions, UPM noted.
The raw material will be used in a wide range of products
from plastic food packaging to medical and pipes. Applications
also include Biovyn, the “world’s first” commercially-
available bio-attributed polyvinyl chloride, produced
by Ineos’ Inovyn business (PCN, 23-30 Dec 2019, p 1).
The Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials has certified
each step in the process, starting from UPM Biofuels
converting the wood-based residue (crude tall oil) into hydrocarbons,
through to the final polymer.

 

EuroChem Gets Loan from Roseximbank To Support NH3 Exports from Kingisepp

Moscow—
EuroChem Group announced a new $94-million export
loan facility with Roseximbank to support exports of ammonia
(NH3) from its new EuroChem Northwest facility in
Kingisepp, Russia (PCN, 7 Oct 2019, p 3).
The loan agreement with EuroChem Trading GmbH
(Switzerland) provides financing support for liquid NH3
exports from the 1-million-t/y plant to customers, worldwide,
for up to two years.
“The launch of EuroChem Northwest was an important
strategic goal, making us fully self-sufficient in ammonia,”
said EuroChem Chief Financial Officer Kuzma Marchuk.
“The project would not have been possible without the support
of partner banks.”
Roseximbank is implementing the financing in conjunction
with the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Russian
Federation.
EuroChem is also planning to invest in a new facility,
adjacent to the existing facility, which would have the capacity
to produce 3,000 t/d of NH3 and 4,000 t/d of urea. A
schedule for that proposed project was not available.

 

People on the Move

Sonatrach—Toufik Hakkar, vice president of business
development and marketing, has been appointed chief executive.
He succeeds Kamel Eddine Chikhi.
HMC Polymers Co.—Siridech Kumvongdee recently
became president, succeeding Martyn N. Tickner.
Ube Industries—Futoshi Takase, currently general
manager, Chiba petrochemical factory, Production Division,
chemicals company, has been appointed executive
officer, general manager, Ube chemical factory, responsible
for Ube-Fujimagari factory, Production Division, chemicals
company. The new position is effective 1 Apr. 2020.
Maroon Group—Dustin Beavis has been named operations
manager for the Avon, Ohio, facility, supporting
CASE & Plastics Vertical. He had been operations specialist
since August 2019.

 

Linde Starts up New ASU in Freeport To Supply MEGlobal’s New EG Plant

Houston—Linde
has begun operations at a new air separation unit (ASU) in
Freeport, Texas, as part of a long-term agreement to supply
MEGlobal’s new world-scale ethylene glycol (EG) facility
in Oyster Creek, Texas (PCN, 21 Oct 2019, p 1).
The ASU will supply oxygen and nitrogen to the
750,000-t/y EG plant, which was officially started up last
October. It will also supply Linde’s extensive industrial
gas pipeline system and add new argon capacity.
“The new ASU and the expansion of our Gulf Coast
pipeline system further strengthens Linde’s ability to reliably
supply customers throughout the region and positions
us for future growth in the U.S. Gulf Coast,” said Jeff
Barnhard, vice president, south region, Linde.
In addition, Linde began operating a new carbon dioxide
(CO2) unit in Freeport that will recycle the crude CO2
supplied from an MEGlobal process. The crude CO2 will
be purified and liquefied into commercial grades to serve
customers in a variety of industries.
MEGlobal is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Equate Petrochemical,
a joint venture of Dow and Petrochemical Industries
Co. of Kuwait, each holding 42.5%, as well as
Boubyan Petrochemicals (9%) and Qurain Petrochemical
Industries (6%).

 

Elsevier Launches New Digital Solution For More Informed Product Decisions

New York—
Elsevier said it has launched Chemtiva, a digital solution
designed to enable chemical industry professionals to make
more informed decisions across the product lifecycle.
Chemtiva is the “first” solution to integrate scientific
and commercial information into a single platform addressing
information and data needs and supporting crossfunctional
collaboration between research and development,
scale-up and environment, health and safety (EHS)
functions.
The solution utilizes proprietary domain-specific taxonomies
and ontologies and data science technologies to
normalize and aggregate must-have information from the
global scientific literature, toxicological reports and EHS
regulations, with market-relevant information such as
global shipments, technical datasheets and industry news,
enabling access to over 13-million substances, 7-million
products and 17,000 suppliers.

 

Ascend Signs Agreement with D’Ottavio To Acquire Poliblend & Esseti Plast

Como—Ascend
Performance Materials has entered into a deal to purchase
Poliblend SpA and Esseti Plast GD from D’Ottavio Group
for an undisclosed amount.
The acquisition includes a manufacturing facility in
Mozzate, Italy, the masterbatch portfolio of Esseti Plast
and the engineering plastics portfolio of Poliblend, which
consists of virgin and recycled grades of polyamide (PA) 66,
PA6, polybutylene terephthalate and polyoxymethylene.
“This strategic acquisition marks an important transformation
for our company as we grow our European
manufacturing and distribution footprint,” noted Ascend
President and Chief Executive Phil McDivitt.
The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter
of this year.

 

Cefic Urges EU Member States to ‘Step up’ Enforcement of REACH in Chem Imports

Brussels—
Cefic, the European Chemical Industry Council, said 92%
of all non-compliant chemicals in consumer products come
from outside the European Union (EU), confirming an “urgent”
need for EU member states to “step up” enforcement
of REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and
Restriction of Chemicals) in imports.
Cefic’s analysis of data reported through the EU’s rapid
alert system (RAPEX) ‘Safety Gate’ also showed that restricted
phthalates, mostly found in children’s toys, are the
most frequent case of non-compliance with REACH at 25%.
The total number of all chemical non-compliance caught by
RAPEX has increased by 24% compared to 2018.
“Better enforcement of REACH in imports has to become
a key element of the upcoming chemicals strategy for
sustainability,” noted Sylvie Lemoine, executive director of
product stewardship at Cefic.
“It is also important to ensure that restrictions under
REACH are actually enforceable. You can increase the
number of inspections by 10 or 20 times, but if enforcement
authorities do not have tools to check compliance, a restriction
is useless. We call for compliance tools and methodologies
to accompany every restriction measure.”

 

Air Liquide, BASF Strengthen Partnership With Three New Contracts in Antwerp

Antwerp—Air
Liquide and BASF reinforced their partnership in Belgium’s
Antwerp basin with the signing of three new longterm
contracts.
Leveraging on five existing onsite production units in
the Antwerp basin, Air Liquide has entered into a 15-year
agreement to renew its airgas supply to existing installations
and provide additional oxygen to a new ethylene oxide
(EO) plant to be built by BASF (PCN, 7 Oct 2019, p 1).
Air Liquide has also agreed to build and operate a new
nitrogen removal unit (NRU) to supply BASF with highpurity
gas for more efficient production of diphenylmethane
diisocyante. The NRU is planned to start up by
mid-2021.
In addition, Air Liquide will buy a portion of the methane
fraction generated during the BASF production process
and valorize it as a feedstock in its hydrogen production
plants at the site. This will contribute to circular economy
at the Antwerp site and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by
up to 15,000 t/y.
Last September, BASF said it planned to spend over
€500-million to raise capacity by about 400,000 t/y at its
EO and EO derivatives complex in Antwerp.
Additional investments in several EO derivatives facilities
are part of the project and will be pursued in line with
the EO expansion, BASF earlier noted. The sequential
start-up of new capacities is scheduled to begin in 2022.

 

SK Chem to Build New PO3G Facility

Ulsan—SK
Chemicals will begin construction this year on a new polyoxytrimethylene
glycol (PO3G) plant in Ulsan, South Korea,
according to Aju Daily, a local news report.
PO3G, a bio-polymer based on fermented corn, reduces
greenhouse gas emissions by 42% and offers “long durability”
in materials that require elasticity, such as polyurethane
and spandex, the report said. No other details were
given.

 

BP Reveals Strategy to Become ‘Net Zero’ On an Absolute Basis by ’50 or Sooner

London—BP
has set a new ambition, supported by 10 aims, to become a
“net zero” company by 2050 or sooner, and to help the
world to also get to net zero.
The company’s ambition to be net zero by 2050 or
sooner covers the greenhouse gas emissions from its operations
worldwide, currently around 55-million tons of carbon
dioxide equivalent (MteCO2e) a year, and the carbon in the
oil and gas that it produces, equivalent currently to about
360 MteCO2e emissions a year–both on an absolute basis.
Five aims to get BP to net zero include:
• Net zero across BP’s operations on an absolute
basis by 2050 or sooner.
• Net zero on carbon in BP’s oil and gas production
on an absolute basis by 2050 or sooner.
• A 50% cut in the carbon intensity of products
BP sells by 2050 or sooner.
• Install methane measurement at all BP’s major
oil and gas processing site by 2023 and reduce
methane intensity of operations by 50%.
• Increase the proportion of investment into nonoil
and gas businesses over time.
Five aims to help the world get to net zero include:
• More active advocacy for policies that support
net zero, including carbon pricing.
• Further incentivize BP’s workforce to deliver
aims and mobilize them to advocate for net
zero.
• Set new expectations for relationships with
trade associations.
• Aim to be recognized as a leader for transparency
of reporting, including supporting the recommendations
of the Task Force on Climate-
Related Financial Disclosures.
• Launch a new team to help countries, cities and
large companies decarbonize.
The company’s upstream and downstream business segments
will be dismantled, and the group will be reorganized
into four business groups to become a more focused
and more integrated company: Products & Operations;
Customers & Products; Gas & Low Carbon Energy, and
Innovation & Engineering.
BP’s ambition also includes three integrators to identify
and maximize opportunities: Sustainability & Strategy;
Regions, Cities & Solutions, and Trading & Shipping.
Four core enablers to support business delivery comprise:
Finance; Legal; People & Culture, and Communications
& Advocacy.

 

Ineos, Forever Plast Develop New Range Of PE Grades from Used Bottle Caps

Bern—Ineos Olefins
& Polymers and Forever Plast, a polymer recycling
technologies operator in Italy, have developed a range of
new polyethylene (PE) grades, made with 50% recycled
bottle caps, that mirror Ineos virgin grades.
The new Recycl-IN products take post consumer recyclate
from used bottle caps and blend them with highly
engineered virgin polymer to create “high-quality” caps,
Ineos explained. Over the next five years, 6.5-billion bottle
caps will be diverted from waste stream to be recycled.
“For a while PET [polyethylene terephthalate] bottles
have been increasingly recycled, but this is one of the first
circular developments to tackle the caps,” said Ineos Olefins
& Polymers Chief Executive Iain Hogan.
“We are creating a truly circular approach to ensure
used bottle caps are recycled and returned to the market as
new highly engineered, high-quality caps, rather than being
thrown away or wasted.”

 

PetroChemical News Briefs

● Echem has signed an agreement with Bechtel to set
up a new $6.7-billion refinery and petrochemical complex
at the Suez Canal Economic Zone in Egypt, according to
local news reports. Echem will conduct a detailed feasibility
study for the project in cooperation with a global consultant.
Bechtel will provide financing from banks and
international financial institutions.
● Hengli has achieved on-spec production of butadiene
at its Dalian complex in China, about two weeks after
starting up a 1.5-million t/y cracker, reported Argus Media.
The integrated refinery and petrochemical complex includes
a 140,000-t/y butadiene extraction unit.
● Braskem Idesa has imported its first shipment of
ethane to produce polyethylene at its petrochemical complex
in Mexico. With an investment of around $4-million,
the company will be able to import up to 12,800 b/d of ethane
to the complex, which represents 19% of its ethane
needs.

V58 N06 – 10 February 2020

Solvay Divests PA Business to BASF; Domo Acquires Portion of the Assets

Brussels—Solvay
has completed the sale of its polyamide (PA 6.6) business to
BASF for €1.3-billion on a cash and debt-free basis (PCN,
27 Jan 2020, p 3).
The transaction includes eight production sites in Germany,
France, China, India, South Korea, Brazil and Mexico,
and research and development centers and technical
consultation centers in Asia, North America and South
America.
It also includes shares in two joint ventures in France:
Solvay’s 50% share in the Butachimie joint venture with
Invista to produce adiponitrile (ADN) and hexamethylenediamine,
and a 51% stake in the new Alsachimie joint
venture between BASF and Domo Chemicals to produce
adipic acid.
The business, including approximately 700 Solvay employees,
will be integrated into BASF’s Performance Materials
and Monomers divisions.
Through the backward integration into the key raw material
ADN, BASF will now be present along the entire
value chain for PA 6.6 and improve its supply reliability,
BASF noted.
At the same time, Domo completed the purchase of a
portion of Solvay’s performance PA business, part of the
European Commission’s conditional approval of BASF’s
acquisition of Solvay’s European PA business.
Specifically, Domo acquired Solvay’s engineering plastics
businesses in France and Poland; high performance
fibers in France, and polymer and intermediates operations
in France, Spain and Poland. The transaction also
involves a share in the adipic acid joint venture between
BASF and Domo.

 

Linde Awarded Contract from Sibur For Amur Gas Chemical Complex

Moscow—Linde announced
it has been awarded a contract to provide engineering,
procurement and site services for the cracker unit
of Sibur’s planned Amur Gas Chemical Complex (GCC) in
Russia (PCN, 9 Sept 2019, p 2).
The services, which will be provided as part of a consortium
with Nipigas, will be based on Linde’s proprietary
technology. Value of the contract was not disclosed.
The GCC was initially expected to process 2-million t/y
of ethane fraction from Gazprom’s Amur Gas Processing
Plant (GPP), currently under construction in Russia, for
the production of 1.5-million t/y of ethylene that could be
further transformed into polyethylene (PE).
Last September, Sibur and Gazprom entered into an
agreement for the supply of liquefied petroleum gas and
additional volumes of ethane fraction from Gazprom’s GPP.
The additional feedstock would enable Sibur to increase its
design capacity to 2.3-million t/y of PE and 400,000 t/y of
polypropylene.
The GCC and GPP will be in close proximity to each
other and technologically linked.

 

Indorama Begins Commercial Operation At Revamped Westlake Ethylene Plant

Westlake—
Indorama Ventures Olefins, a subsidiary of Indorama Ventures
(IVL), has commenced commercial operation of its
ethylene cracker in Westlake, La. (PCN, 6 May 2019, p 1).
The facility, acquired from Occidental in 2015, has been
completely refurbished with additional debottlenecking,
increasing ethylene capacity to 440,000 t/y. Production
was gradually ramped up during the second quarter of
2019.
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 plant in Clear Lake, Texas, and the recently
acquired integrated ethylene oxide and propylene oxide
assets from Huntsman in Port Neches, Texas, IVL noted.
“This is a significant milestone for IVL and strategic
step forward in expanding our North American portfolio
and footprint,” said Dilip Kumar Agarwal, chief executive
of polyethylene terephthalate and integrated oxides and
derivatives at IVL.
“The new plant is very strategic to the continual growth
of IVL’s integrated oxides and derivatives segment, inline
with the company’s strategy.”

 

ChemOne Launches PEC to Construct ‘One of the Largest’ Aromatics Units

Johor—Chem-
One Group announced the launch of Pengerang Energy
Complex (PEC) to build, own and operate “one of the
world’s largest and most competitive” aromatics facilities
in the world in Pengerang, Johor, Malaysia.
The $3.38-billion project, on which construction is expected
to start in the second half of 2020, will have a processing
capacity of 150,000 b/d of condensate plus side feed
of naphtha, an aromatics output of 2.3-million t/y, an energy
products output of 3.9-million t/y and 50,000 t/y of
hydrogen. Full capacity is planned from 2024.
Maire Tecnimont was awarded the engineering, procurement,
construction and commissioning contract for the
project, which will be based on UOP technology.
“PEC aims to become a world-class petrochemical hub
that will add value to the downstream oil and gas value
chain in Malaysia,” PEC noted. “This is in line with the
government’s transformation program to increase Malaysia’s
petrochemical output and establish it as a regional oil
storage and trading hub,” it added.
“ChemOne is excited to announce this ground-breaking
project and intends to deliver a successful project given its
track record and the strong support it enjoys from stakeholders
who share similar ambitions and expertise,” said
Edwin Seow, principal in the chairman’s office at
ChemOne.
“With the petrochemical market set to pick up further,
PEC is poised to deliver profitable growth while creating
gainful local employment and moving Malaysia further up
the value chain in the petrochemical sector.”

 

Evonik Completes Purchase of PeroxyChem From One Equity Partners for $640-Million

Essen—
Evonik said it has “successfully” closed the acquisition of
PeroxyChem from One Equity Partners for $640-million,
after the responsible court in Washington, D.C., dismissed
a lawsuit filed by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to
block the transaction (PCN, 3 Feb 2020, p 2).
Last August, the FTC filed the lawsuit claiming that
the merger would substantially reduce the competition in
the Pacific Northwest and the Southern and Central U.S.
for the production and sale of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2).
“This is a very good day for Evonik,” noted Christian
Kullmann, chairman of Evonik’s executive board. “In its
judgment, the court confirmed our view of the H2O2 and
PAA [peracetic acid] market and, above all, the strong specialty
focus of PeroxyChem’s portfolio.”
As part of the transaction, the PeroxyChem site in
Prince George, B.C., Canada, which mainly manufacturers
H2O2 standard products, will be sold in due course to comply
with the Competition Bureau of Canada’s antitrust
requirements.

 

Saipem & GPIC Ink MoU for Projects Related to Ammonia, Urea, Methanol

Milan—Saipem
has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with
Gulf Petrochemical Industries Co. (GPIC), in which the
parties agreed to study the feasibility of ammonia, urea
and methanol projects in Bahrain.
The first project would involve increasing GPIC’s daily
production of ammonia, urea and methanol through technical
solutions that may reduce energy consumption and
use natural gas.
As part of the second project, a pre-feasibility study will
be conducted to build a new “mega” ammonia and urea
plant, Saipem noted. No other details were given on the
projects.
Also, as part of the MoU, the companies agreed to determine
the quality of gas feedstock in fields discovered in
2018 off the west coast of Bahrain.
GPIC is an equally owned joint venture of Bahrain’s
National Oil and Gas Holding Co., SABIC Agri-nutrient
Investments and Petrochemical Industries of Kuwait.

 

Carbios, Novozymes Sign JDA to Secure Production of PET-degrading Enzymes

Paris—
Carbios and Novozymes have entered into an exclusive
partnership with the signing of a joint development agreement
(JDA) to scale-up and produce Carbios’ polyethylene
terephthalate (PET)-degrading enzymes at both demonstration
and industrial level (PCN, 4 Feb 2019, p 3).
“Following a first partnership on PLA [polylactic acid]
biodegradation with Novozymes that began in January
2019, today’s agreement on PET recycling reinforces our
collaboration,” said Carbios Chief Executive Jean-Claude
Lumaret. “It also demonstrates the trust that the world’s
largest provider of enzyme technologies has placed in Carbios.”
Carbios will begin construction of a demonstration
plant for the recycling of PET-based plastics and polyester
fibers in 2020. Operations are expected to begin in 2021,
prior to a large-scale industrial deployment.

 

Sasa Polyester Picks IPT Technology For Its New PTA Plant in Turkey

Seyhan—Sasa
Polyester Sanayi has signed a letter of intent (LoI) with
Invista Performance Technologies (IPT) to license Invista’s
P8 process technology for a new 1.5-million-t/y purified
terephthalic acid (PTA) project in Turkey.
“The signing of the LoI has great significance in terms
of long-term collaboration between Sasa and Invista,” Invista
noted. No other details were given.
Sasa recently began production at a new 380,000-t/y
polyethylene terephthalate plant in Adana, Turkey, for the
production of staple fibers (PCN, 7 Oct 2019, p 3).

 

Mitsui Chemicals Gives Project Update For New Milastomer Facility in Ohio

Columbus—
Mitsui Chemical said its new production line for Milastomer
thermoplastic olefinic elastomers in Ohio will be
completed in March 2020 (PCN, 11 Feb 2019, p 2).
Located at its Advanced Composites joint venture subsidiary
in Sidney, the 6,000-t/y plant had been expected to
be completed in June 2019, with commercial operations
anticipated to begin in October 2019. Cost of the project
was not disclosed.
Mitsui holds a majority stake in Advanced Composites.
Other shareholders include Prime Polymer, Mitsui & Co.
and Marubeni USA.

 

People on the Move

Mitsui Chemicals—Osamu Hasimoto has been appointed
president and chief executive, effective 1 Apr.
2020, to succeed Tsutomu Tannowa, who will become
chairman of the board. Hasimoto is currently senior managing
executive officer.
Sinopec Shanghai Petrochemical—Guan Zemin,
most recently general manager, deputy party secretary and
president of Wuhan Petrochemical Works, has been appointed
general manager.
Worley—Chris Ashton has been appointed chief executive
and managing director, effective 24 Feb. 2020, to replace
Andrew Wood, who is retiring. Ashton was most recently
chief operating officer.
Trecora Resources—Rafael “Ralph” Pons has joined
the company as site leader of its South Hampton Resources
facility in Silsbee, Texas.
Haldor Topsoe—Roeland Baan, currently president
and chief executive of Outokumpu, has been named chief
executive of Topsoe, effective 1 June 2020. He will succeed
Bjerne S. Clausen.
PlasticsEurope—Virginia Janssens has been appointed
managing director of PlasticsEurope, a pan-
American trade association representing plastics manufacturers,
effective 16 Mar. 2020. She has been managing
director of the European Organization for Packaging and
the Environment since 2012.
MOL Chemical Tankers—Akio Mitsuta, currently director
and chief operating officer, has been named managing
director and chief executive, subject to approval at the
Annual Shareholders’ Meeting in June 2020. Mitsuta
would succeed Tsuneo Watanabe, who will serve as senior
corporate advisor.

 

Cepsa Gets EIB Financing to Optimize LAB Production at San Roque Facility

Madrid—The
European Investment Bank (EIB) is providing Cepsa a
€60-million Investment Plan for Europe loan to install the
Detal system, a technology developed by Cepsa and Honeywell
UOP to produce linear alkyl benzene (LAB), at its
San Roque plant in Spain (PCN, 16-23 July 2018, p 1).
Cepsa earlier said the project would increase LAB capacity
at the facility by 50,000 t/y to 250,000 t/y. Completion
is scheduled in mid-2020.
“This technology improves the efficiency of the manufacturing
process and cuts CO2 emissions and water and
electricity use,” Cepsa noted. “It also optimizes the production
process as it both reduces waste and enables much of
it to be reused.”
The San Roque facility will become the “first” operational
plant in the world to install the “state-of-the-art”
Detal system, the company noted.
The Investment Plan for Europe enables the EIB to
support investments fostering innovation, economic growth
and employment.

 

Altus Midstream Using Honeywell UOP’s New Process to Recover NGLs from Gas

Houston—
Honeywell announced that Altus Midstream has implemented
Honeywell UOP’s new Ortloff SRX technology at
its Diamond Central cryogenic gas processing complex in
Reeves County, Texas, marking the “first” global use of the
technology to recover valuable natural gas liquids (NGLs)
from feed gas.
In performance testing, the SRX technology recovered
over 99% of ethane and 100% of propane in ethane recovery
mode, and more than 99% propane in ethane rejection
mode at design capacity.
“The Ortloff SRX technology is the most flexible on the
market for high-recovery of NGLs and liquefied petroleum
gas, providing Altus the flexibility to react to ethane market
fluctuations, while maintaining more than 99% recovery
of propane and heavier hydrocarbons,” said Ben
Owens, vice president and general manager of UOP’s gas
processing technologies business.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration,
U.S. demand for NGLs is growing by more than 10% a
year. NGLs and liquefied petroleum gas are in high demand
for use as petrochemical feedstocks, Honeywell
noted.

 

ET Announces Binding Open Season For Ethane Transportation Service

Dallas—Energy
Transfer LP (ET) has launched a binding open season to
solicit shipper volume commitments for ethane transportation
service on its Mariner West pipeline.
ET is seeking commitments from origin points at Houston,
Darlington, Bulger North and Bulger South, each in
Pennsylvania, to Marysville, Mich., and the international
border near Sarnia, Ontario, Canada, for onward transportation.
The open season began on 31 Jan. 2020.
The Mariner West pipeline, operated by Sunoco Pipeline,
currently has the capacity to transport around 50,000
b/d. Sunoco Pipeline is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Energy
Transfer Operating.

 

PTTGC & ALPLA Complete Formation Of JV to Build Circular Plastics Plant

Rayong—PTT
Global Chemical (PTTGC) and ALPLA have established a
new joint venture, named Envicco, to build and operate a
recycled plastics resin plant at the Asia Industrial Estate
in Rayong Province, Thailand (PCN, 20 Jan 2020, p 3).
Envicco, owned 70% by PTTGC and 30% by ALPLA,
will manufacture 30,000 t/y of recycled polyethylene
terephthalate and 15,000 t/y of recycled high-density polyethylene.
Commercial operations are expected to begin
within the fourth quarter of 2021.
The new plant “substantially aligns” with PTTGC’s
Sustainability Strategy for Circular Economy, which aims
to be a pilot company for plastic waste management by
converting used plastic packaging to “high-quality” recycled
plastic resins to serve the increasing market demand,
PTTGC noted.

 

IHS Markit’s 35th World PC Conference Scheduled 24-27 Mar. in New Orleans

New Orleans—
IHS Markit will hold its 35th Annual World Petrochemical
Conference from 24-27 Mar. 2020 at the Hilton New Orleans
Riverside in New Orleans, La.
Based on the theme “20/20 Vision: Forging New Futures,”
the conference will have over 160 speakers covering
such topics as investment trends, the energy market transition,
government policy and political implications, sustainability
concerns and the drive towards a circular economy,
and more.
Some of the speakers include Mark Lashier, president
and chief executive of Chevron Phillips Chemical Co.; Shell
Chemicals’ Executive Vice President Thomas Casparie;
Vipul Shah, chief operating officer of petrochemicals at
Reliance Industries; Grupo Idesa Chief Executive Jose Luis
Uriegas; Leon de Bruyn, president of McDermott’s Lummus
Technology, and Mike Zamora, senior vice president,
basic chemicals, Integration & Growth at ExxonMobil.
For more information or to register, phone IHS Markit’s
Lynn Urban at 877-413-5187 (inside the U.S.) or 303-397-
2801 (outside the U.S.) or visit IHS Markit’s website at
https://wpc.ihsmarkit.com.

 

Trinseo & CEDAP Partner to Advance Polystyrene Application Development

Berwyn—
Trinseo announced it is collaborating with CEDAP, specialist
in sheet extrusion for the packaging industry, to advance
the implementation of recycled polystyrene (PS)
used in food packaging applications.
The partners will utilize chemically recycled PS to develop
and test food-grade recycled PS packaging. Trinseo
will lend its technical, processing and performance expertise
to support the development of a 100% PS made yogurt
container.
“The implementation of a recycled PS in food-grade
packaging is coming closer to reality as we work hand in
hand with the packaging industry,” said Nicolas Joly,
global business director, polystyrene and feedstocks at
Trinseo.
“Furthermore, the development of a mono material yogurt
pot would enable greater ease of recyclability and in
turn unlock the opportunity for a new life in other applications
via chemical or mechanical recycling of PS.”

 

India Initiates Anti-Dumping Investigation Of Toluene Diisocyanate from 4 Countries

New Delhi–
India’s Designated Authority has started an anti-dumping
investigation into imports of toluene diisocyanate (TDI)
from the European Union, Saudi Arabia, Chinese Taipei
and the United Arab Emirates.
The authority decided to initiate the investigation after
Gujarat Narmada Valley Fertilizer & Chemicals Ltd., India’s
sole producer of TDI, filed an application before the
authority claiming injury is being caused to the domestic
industry by the subject countries, and requested antidumping
duties be imposed.
Gujarat Narmada has claimed that the subject goods
being dumped into India are identical to the goods being
produced by the domestic industry.
The investigation, which will determine the existence,
degree and effect of any alleged dumping of TDI, will cover
the period from 2016 to 30 Sept. 2019.

 

First State Investments Finalizes Purchase Of Royal Vopak’s Terminal in Algeciras

Madrid—
Royal Vopak has completed the earlier announced divestment
of its oil terminal in Algeciras, Spain, to First State
Investments for €125-million (PCN, 11 Nov 2019, p 4).
Last year, Vopak sold its oil terminals in Amsterdam,
the Netherlands, and Hamburg, Germany, to First State
for approximately €600-million.
The three terminals have a combined operational capacity
of 2.288-million cu m.

 

PBF Concludes Acquisition of Shell’s Martinez Refinery for $1.2-Billion

Oakland—PBF
Holding, a subsidiary of PBF Energy, has completed the
purchase of Shell’s Martinez refinery in California for $1.2-
billion (PCN, 17 June 2019, p 3).
The high-conversion refinery has a refining capacity of
157,000 b/d. The transaction also includes hydrocarbon
inventory, crude oil supply and product offtake agreements.
In addition, PBF Energy and Shell have agreed to
jointly move forward with reviewing the feasibility of
building a proposed renewable diesel project, which would
repurpose existing idled equipment at the Martinez refinery
to create a renewable fuels production facility.

 

Bilfinger Completes Project for BASF To Expand Catalyst Production Plant

Warsaw—
Bilfinger Tebodin said it has successfully concluded a project
for BASF to expand its catalyst production unit in
Sroda Slaska, Poland (PCN, 12 Nov 2012, p 3).
In 2012, BASF announced plans to invest a total of
€150-million to build its “largest” European emissions catalysts
production facility in Poland and more than double
capacity for its catalysts in Europe.
The company spent around €90-million to construct the
facility in the first phase and said it would spend an additional
€60-million to expand the facility in a second phase.

 

LBC Expanding Rotterdam Terminal

Rotterdam—
LBC Tank Terminals has made a final investment decision
to expand its terminal in Rotterdam-Botlek, the Netherlands,
with 70,000 cu m of additional capacity, bringing the
terminal’s total capacity to 180,000 cu m.
The project, part of a multi-year investment program to
revamp and expand the site, is intended to serve the growing
market for the storage and transshipment of chemicals
in the Port of Rotterdam, LBC noted. Completion is
planned in the third quarter of next year.
Part of the project will involve expanding the newly
built deep-sea jetty with two additional berthing positions.
The jetty can handle vessels up to 75,000 dead-weight tons
with a maximum draft of 14.5 meter.

V58 N05 – 3 February 2020

Fluor Awarded PMC Services Contract For BPCL’s Polyols Project in Kochi

New Delhi—
Bharat Petroleum Corp. Ltd. (BPCL) has selected Fluor to
provide project management consultancy (PMC) services
for its polyols petrochemicals project at its integrated refinery
and petrochemicals complex in Kochi, Kerala, India
(PCN, 26 Aug 2019, p 2).
As part of the project, six new units will be built and integrated
into the existing refinery. The units will include
propylene oxide, propylene glycol, polyols, ethylene oxide/
monoethylene glycol, ethylene recovery unit and a cumene
unit. Value of the contract and a completion date
were not given.
Fluor’s scope of work includes front-end engineering
and design of both the inside and outside battery limits, as
well as detailed design, engineering, procurement and construction
management services for the facility’s utilities
and offsites.
“We look forward to working with BPCL to deliver a
world-class facility that will help meet growing domestic
demand for polyols and reduce India’s dependence on petrochemicals
imports,” noted Mark Fields, group president
of Fluor’s Energy & Chemicals business.

 

Asahi Kasei & Mitsubishi Chem Restart JV Naphtha Cracker at Mizushima Site

Tokyo—Asahi
Kasei Mitsubishi Chemical Ethylene Corp., a joint venture
of Asahi Kasei Corp. and Mitsubishi Chemical Corp., has
restarted its naphtha cracker in Mizushima, Japan, which
was suspended on 14 Jan. 2020, due to a malfunction in
the refrigeration system (PCN, 27 Jan 2020, p 2).
The naphtha cracker, with a production capacity of
496,000 t/y with turnaround and 567,000 t/y without turnaround,
was restarted on 28 Jan. 2020.

 

UPM Entering Biochemicals Business; Will Produce Bio-Based MEG & MPG

Leuna—UPM
said it is taking the next transformative growth step and
entering the biochemical business with an investment in a
new biorefinery in Leuna, Germany, that will produce a
range of 100% wood-based biochemicals.
The company will invest €550-million in the industrialscale
biorefinery to convert solid wood into “next generation”
biochemicals, such as bio-based monoethylene glycol
(MEG) and lignin-based renewable functional fillers, as
well as bio-based monopropylene glycol (MPG) and industrial
sugars.
The biorefinery, which will have a total capacity of
220,000 t/y, is scheduled to start up by the end of 2022. It
will open new markets for UPM with “large” growth potential
for the future, the company noted.
“A combination of sustainable wood supply, unique
technology concept, integration into existing infrastructure
at Leuna, as well as the proximity to customers, will ensure
competitiveness of operations,” UPM added.

 

Dow Planning to Incrementally Increase Ethylene Capacity in Western Canada

Alberta—Dow,
in discussing its fourth quarter 2019 results, said it plans
to incrementally expand capacity at its ethylene facility in
Western Canada.
Ethylene capacity will be increased by around 130,000
t/y with the addition of a new furnace. The project, estimated
to cost between $200-million and $225-million, is
scheduled to start up in the first half of 2021.
Dow will co-invest in the expansion with a regional customer,
jointly sharing the project costs and ethylene output,
which will be consumed by existing polyethylene assets
in the region.
According to Dow’s website, the company produces ethylene
at its site in Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, Canada.

 

Sasol Reaches Beneficial Operations At Lake Charles Ethoxylates Unit

Lake Charles—Sasol
announced that its new 100,000-t/y ethoxylates unit
achieved beneficial operations at its Lake Charles Chemicals
Project (LCCP) in Louisiana (PCN, 27 Jan 2020, p 1).
The plant, the fourth of seven LCCP facilities to come
online, uses a combination of technologies from Sasol and
HH Technology Corp.
Sasol’s LCCP also includes a 1.5-million-t/y ethane
cracker, a 470,000-t/y linear low-density polyethylene plant
and a combined 300,000-t/y ethylene oxide and 250,000-t/y
ethylene glycol unit, all which started up in 2019.
Beneficial operations of the Ziegler and Guerbet plants
are expected in the fourth quarter of this year. The
420,000-t/y low-density polyethylene facility, which was in
the final stages of commissioning when it experienced an
explosion and fire on 13 Jan. 2020, is still shut down and
an investigation is underway.
Sasol recently said it expected to determine the scope of
the repair and duration of the outage by the second half of
February.

 

Genomatica Successfully Scales up Process To Produce Renewably Sourced Nylon 6

San Diego—
Genomatica said it hit an “industry-first” milestone in nylon
sustainability with the production of the “world’s first”
renewably-sourced ton of the key ingredient for nylon 6,
made from plants.
In partnership with Aquafil, Genomatica developed a
microorganism and production process that ferments the
sugars found in plants to make the chemical intermediate
for nylon 6. The chemical is then converted into nylon 6
chips and yarn by Aquafil in Slovenia.
“Ninety-five percent of Americans think sustainability
is a good goal and we’re seeing consumers demand more
sustainable products,” said Genomatica Chief Executive
Christophe Schilling.
“Our technology provides brands with a solution to
meet this consumer demand for better-sourced products.”

 

Dow Gives Update on Expansion Project At TX-9 Ethylene Cracker in Freeport

Freeport—Dow
Chemical said it expects two new furnaces at its Texas-9
(TX-9) ethylene cracker in Freeport, Texas, to come online
by the middle of the second quarter of 2020 (PCN, 15 May
2017, p 1).
The project will increase ethylene capacity to 2-million
t/y from 1.5-million t/y currently, making it the “world’s
largest” ethylene facility, the company noted. Commissioning
is planned to begin toward the end of the first quarter
of this year.
Dow’s TX-9 cracker provides feedstock for its derivatives
investments, such as its Elite polyethylene (PE), lowdensity
PE, Nordel metallocene ethylene propylene diene
monomer and polyolefin elastomers units.

 

Celanese Announces Preliminary Plans To Expand Global Emulsion Polymers

Irving—
Celanese said it has initiated a strategic expansion of its
emulsion polymers derivatives business to extend the value
of its global acetyl chain.
The company will implement a series of capital efficient
vinyl acetate ethylene (VAE) expansion and debottlenecking
projects from now through the year 2023, including
significant expansions of its VAE emulsion production sites
in Nanjing, China, and Geleen, the Netherlands.
In Nanjing, Celanese is starting a debottlenecking project
at its existing VAE production facility of 20,000 t/y by
2022. VAE production capacity will further be expanded
by 65,000 t/y with the addition of a third VAE reactor by
late 2022, raising total VAE capacity at the site to 215,000
t/y from 130,000 t/y.
At Geleen, the company is implementing a debottlenecking
project of its VAE production plant of 20,000 t/y by
2021. It will further increase VAE capacity at the facility
by 50,000 t/y with an additional VAE reactor by early 2023,
expanding the total Geleen VAE capacity to 200,000 t/y
from 130,000 t/y.
In addition to the Nanjing and Geleen expansions, further
capacity expansion projects have been evaluated to
add an estimated 25,000 t/y in incremental capacities at
other Celanese emulsion sites in all three operating regions.
The expansion program is expected to be fully implemented
by 2023.

 

BioChem & Gujarat Ink MoU to Build New Biorefinery and Ethylene Plant

Dahej—BioChem
USA and the Gujarat government have signed a memorandum
of understanding (MoU) to establish a biorefinery and
ethylene facility in India, according to a report on Bio-
Chem’s website from the Times of India.
Under the MoU, BioChem will set up a biorefinery near
Dahej PCPIR (Petroleum, Chemicals and Petrochemicals
Investment Region) to produce fuel ethanol from plantbased
raw materials such as corn. The project, estimated
to cost close to Rs 2,000 crore, is expected begin production
by March 2021.
Also under the MoU, BioChem will spend Rs 1,000
crore to establish an ethanol-to-ethylene plant near Indian
Oil Corp.’s refinery in Koyali, India. No other information
were given.

 

Evonik Addresses Canada’s Concerns Related to PeroxyChem Acquisition

Gatineau—The
Competition Bureau of Canada said it has reached an
agreement with Evonik Industries to address competition
concerns related to its planned purchase of PeroxyChem
Holding (PCN, 12-19 Aug 2019, p 2).
In late 2018, Evonik agreed to acquire PeroxyChem
from One Equity Partners for $625-million. The deal,
which has already received European Commission approval,
had been scheduled to close by the middle of 2019.
Following an extensive review, the bureau concluded
that the merger was likely to result in a substantial lessening
of competition in the supply of hydrogen peroxide in
Western Canada.
To remedy the bureau’s concerns, Evonik has agreed to
sell PeroxyChem’s hydrogen peroxide manufacturing facility
in Prince George, B.C., and related assets, to United
Initiators.
The bureau worked closely with the U.S. Federal Trade
Commission (FTC) throughout its merger review, as the
merging parties’ production facilities located in Western
Canada supply both Canadian and American customers.
Last August, the FTC filed a lawsuit to block Evonik’s
purchase of PeroxyChem, claiming that the merger would
substantially reduce competition in the Pacific Northwest
and the Southern and Central U.S. for the production and
sale of hydrogen peroxide. A hearing is set to begin on 11
Mar. 2020.

 

Biffa Opens Durham PET Recycling Unit; Building Additional Facility in the UK

London—Biffa
said it has begun operations at its new “state-of-the-art”
polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic bottle recycling
facility in Seaham, Durham, UK (PCN, 11 Feb 2019, p 4).
The £27.5-million plant, which is “among the most modern
and technically advanced of its kind in the world,” is
capable of converting 57,000 t/y of PET plastic, equivalent
to 1.3-billion plastic bottles, back into high-purity plastic
pellets, Biffa noted.
In addition, the company announced it will invest £7-
million in a new recycling facility in the North East of England,
which will expand its recycling capabilities for plastic
tubs and trays. The plant will be capable of handling
around 20,000 t/y of plastic. A completion date was not
given.
Biffa also owns a plant in Redcar, North Yorkshire, UK,
where it recycles high-density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic
milk bottles back into food-grade recycled HDPE.

 

People on the Move

Enterprise Products Partners—A.J. “Jim” Teague,
most recently chief executive of Enterprise’s general partner
(GP), and W. Randall Fowler, previously president and
chief financial officer of Enterprise GP, have become cochief
executive and co-chief executive and financial officer,
respectively.
They will continue to serve as directors on the board of
Enterprise GP and members of the four-person office of the
chairman.
Cambrian Solutions—Mike Emrich has been appointed
president to succeed Peter Jobling, who retired
effective 31 Dec. 2019. Emrich was most recently vice
president of Cambrian, a Maroon Group company.

 

SCS Members to Perform an Evaluation Of Pyrowave’s Chem Recycling Process

Brussels—
Styrenics Circular Solutions (SCS), a joint industry initiative
to increase the circularity for styrenic polymers, and
Pyrowave announced a collaboration in which SCS members
will evaluate Pyrowave’s proprietary depolymerization
technology (PCN, 27 Jan 2020, p 3).
Ineos Styrolution, Total, Trinseo and Versalis, all
manufacturers of polystyrene and other styrenic materials,
will be the SCS members performing the evaluation.
“We see great potential to use Pyrowave’s patented
chemical recycling technology, catalytic microwave depolymerization,”
said Dr. Norbert Niessner, director of
global R&D/IP at Ineos Styrolution, and chair of the SCS
Technology Working Group.
“The small, flexible microwave units enable a decentralized
approach as they can be installed next to existing local
sorting facilities, where the waste feedstock can be found.
We now will scrutinize the specifics of this proprietary
technology to adequately proliferate this process in
Europe,” he explained.
“We developed the Pyrowave technology during the last
10 years, specifically to exploit the unique feature of polystyrene
being easily reversible into its building blocks and
as such, our technology is tailored to polystyrene,” noted
Pyrowave Chief Executive Jocelyn Doucet.
“We believe that our technology will play a key role
helping Europe achieving its sustainability goals, while
generating a new opportunity for economic growth.”

 

IVL Forms Integrated Oxide Segment; Announces Leadership Appointments

Bangkok—
Indorama Ventures (IVL) has created a new business segment,
Integrated Oxide, following the recent acquisition of
Huntsman’s chemical intermediates businesses (PCN, 13
Jan 2020, p 2).
The Integrated Oxide segment comprises Integrated
Ethylene Oxides and Specialty Chemical segment, including
value-added ethylene oxide derivatives and propylene
oxide derivatives. Alastair Port, previously global vice
president of manufacturing and upstream business at
Huntsman, has become president of Integrated Oxide.
Other appointments in the new segment include Joel
Saltzman as senior executive vice president. He is currently
with Indorama Ventures Oxide and Glycols (IVOG).
John O. Smith, also presently with IVOG, has been appointed
vice president, procurement and upstream; John
Q. Smyth has been named vice president of global downstream
derivatives, and Carol Ottaway has been appointed
vice president, supply chain, logistics and IVL transition.
IVL acquired Huntsman’s integrated ethylene oxide
and propylene oxide assets in Port Neches, Chocolate
Bayou and Dayton, Texas; Ankleshwar, India, and Botany,
Australia.

 

Corbion Boosting Lactic Acid Capacity To Meet Demand for PLA Polymers

Rayong—Corbion
said it has decided to build a new lactic acid plant at its
existing site in Rayong, Thailand, as polylactic acid (PLA)
is developing “better than expected.”
The $190-million unit, which will be based on Corbion’s
gypsum-free technology, will have a production capacity of
125,000 t/y of lactic acid. A completion date was not given.
Total Corbion PLA, a 50-50 joint venture of Total and
Corbion, started up a new 75,000-t/y PLA bio-plastics plant
in late 2018 (PCN, 10 Dec 2018, p 4).
At the same time, the joint venture also expanded its
lactic acid production capacity to 100,000 t/y to be used as
feedstock for the PLA.

 

Nouryon to Buy J.M. Huber’s CMC Assets; Will Sell Elotex Business to Celanese

Amsterdam—
Nouryon has entered into an agreement to acquire the carboxymethyl
cellulose (CMC) business of J.M. Huber Corp.
for an undisclosed amount.
The business manufacturers a complete line of CMC
grades and serves customers in over 80 countries. It includes
a “world-class” manufacturing plant, as well as an
advanced research and development facility in Aanekoski,
Finland, Nouryon noted.
The transaction will “significantly” broaden Nouryon’s
portfolio of products in CMC. Subject to regulatory approvals,
the sale is expected to be finalized in the second
quarter of 2020.
Separately, Nouryon and Celanese have signed an
agreement for Celanese to acquire Nouryon’s Elotex redispersible
polymer powders business.
“By acquiring Elotex, Celanese will have direct access
to a relatively fast-growing applications and a customer
base that is complementary to our emulsions business,”
said Todd Elliott, senior vice president of acetyls at Celanese.
“The acquisition offers additional flexibility and downstream
growth optionality through derivatization, both of
which are vital to unlock under our unique global acetyl
chain business model.” The deal is scheduled to close in
the second quarter of 2020, subject to customary closing
conditions, regulatory approvals and completion of the
works council process.

 

Sonatrach Awards Contract to Build Hassi Messaoud Refinery in Algeria

Algiers—Sonatrach
recently signed a contract with Tecnicas Reunidas
and Samsung Engineering Group for the construction of a
new crude oil refinery at Haoud El Hamra in Hassi Messaoud,
Algeria.
The refinery, which will have a processing capacity of 5-
million t/y, is part of Sonatrach’s program aimed at consolidating
national production of fuels and lubricants to
meet internal demand in the medium- and long-term, and
to generate export volumes.
“The signing of this contract confirms our desire to further
develop our hydrocarbon resources into refined products,
to satisfy on the one hand the needs of the national
market in matter and on the other hand to contribute to
the economic and social development of our nation through
the strengthening of its industrial fabric,” said Kamel Eddine
Chikhi, chairman and chief executive of Sonatrach.

 

Air Liquide Begins Supplying Hydrogen From New Yanbu Pipeline Network

Yanbu—Air Liquide
Arabia (ALAR) has started commercial operation of its
flagship pipeline network in Yanbu, Saudi Arabia, supplying
hydrogen to Samref, a joint venture of Saudi Aramco
and Mobil Yanbu Refining Co., a wholly-owned subsidiary
of ExxonMobil Corp.
ALAR will produce the hydrogen from its world-scale
hydrogen production site located on the premises of the
Yasref refinery, a joint venture between Saudi Aramco and
Sinopec.
Samref represents ALAR’s first customer on the pipeline
network, which will also start supplying three other
“major” industrial companies in Yanbu Industrial City in
the “coming months,” ALAR noted.

 

Sasol Inks Partnership Framework Pacts With Wood, Worley for Capital Projects

Pretoria—
Sasol’s Group Technology has signed partnership framework
agreements with engineering contractors Wood South
Africa and Worley Matasis to carry out capital projects.
Under the agreements, Wood and Worley will separately
deploy their systems, processes, experience and
knowledge in crafting and implementing solutions for complete
execution of capital projects in a collaborative manner,
the company explained.
These “first-of-a-kind” agreements will initially apply
mainly to Sasol’s South African operations, and will be reviewed
after five years, Sasol noted

 

Air Liquide Enters into Talks with Messer To Divest Its Slovakian and Czech Units

Paris—Air
Liquide said it has entered into exclusive negotiations with
Messer for the sale of its entities in Slovakia and the Czech
Republic.
“This decision illustrates Air Liquide’s strategy to review
regularly its asset portfolio and focus its geographic
expansion on key regions in order to increase density and
therefore enhance performance,” Air Liqude noted.
The transaction, for which a value was not given, is
subject to a final and definitive agreement between the
parties.
Air Liquide began operating in Slovakia and the Czech
Republic in 2000 and 2001, respectfully. Both locations
have a total of 53 employees.

 

SOCMA Introduces Two New Services To Assist Chem Industry Companies

Arlington—The
Society of Chemical Manufacturers & Affiliates (SOCMA)
announced two new services for the chemical industry—a
modernized Chemical Operations Tool and a new Career
Center.
“SOCMA understands the ongoing challenge in finding
qualified workers and ensuring that new and existing
workers receive quality training,” noted SOCMA President
and Chief Executive Jennifer Abril.
“We also realize a new generation of workers is coming
into the industry and is looking for a more technologicallyfriendly
way of learning and seeking employment opportunities.
As solutions, SOCMA recently unveiled these two
new platforms to meet those demands.”
The modernized Chemical Operations Tool includes
four interactive units, plus a fifth unit that contains 25
additional learning animations. The program can be utilized
as a stand-alone resource or incorporated into existing
training processes.
The Career Center supports the recruitment of “exceptional”
workers, simplifies networking between employers
and job seekers, and lends support in resume writing for a
developing workforce.

 

Westlake Chem to Distribute Vinnolit’s Specialty PVC Directly in N. America

Plaquemine—
Westlake Chemical, parent company of Vinnolit Gmbh &
Co. KG, has been selected by Vinnolit to distribute its specialty
polyvinyl chloride (PVC) in North America, effective
1 Jan. 2020.
Shawnee Chemicals, current distributor for the U.S.
and Canada, will continue to support Vinnolit with specific
accounts.

 

PetroChemical News Briefs

● Dow has shut down a polyurethanes facility in Australia,
as well as a coatings manufacturing facility in the
U.S., the company announced in a recent fourth quarter
2019 earnings conference call.
● BASF announced it is moving its UK headquarters
later this year to Stockport town center. The headquarters
is currently located in Cheadle, near Manchester.
● Thirumalai Chemicals has completed a phthalic anhydride
revamp project aimed at improving technology and
efficiencies and reducing emissions.
● Mubadala and Kazakhstan are in talks to build a
$6.6-billion petrochemical facility for the production of
polyethylene in Kazakhstan, according to several local
sources.
● The European Chemical Industry Council released
its latest Chemicals Quarterly Report. Visit www.cefic.be
to download the report.

V58 N04 – 27 January 2020

McDermott to Divest Lummus Technology Through Court-Supervised Sale Process

Houston—
McDermott International said a joint partnership between
The Chatterjee Group and Rhone Group has agreed to acquire
Lummus Technology through a court-supervised auction
process (PCN, 23 Sept 2019, p 1).
The joint partnership, which will serve as the “stalkinghorse
bidder,” has committed to purchase Lummus for a
base purchase price of $2.725-billion. McDermott will have
the option to retain or purchase, as applicable, a 10%
common equity ownership interest in the entity purchasing
Lummus.
McDermott expects to hold the auction in approximately
45 days to solicit higher or better bids for the technology
business. The sale is subject to regulatory and
court approval.
The planned divestment of Lummus is part of a restructuring
transaction announced by McDermott that will be
implemented through a prepackaged Chapter 11 process.
“The restructuring transaction will strengthen the
company’s balance sheet, normalize its trade debt and position
the company for long-term growth,” McDermott
noted. All of McDermott’s businesses are expected to continue
to operate as normal for the duration of the restructuring.

 

Hengli Petrochem Starts up 4th PTA Line At World’s ‘Largest’ PTA Site in China

Beijing—
Hengli Petrochemical (Dalian) Co. announced the successful
start-up of its fourth purified terephthalic acid (PTA)
line at Changxing Island, Dalian City, Liaoning Province,
China, making the site the “largest” PTA site in the world
(PCN, 8 Oct 2018, p 2).
The 2.5-million-t/y line is based on Invista’s latest P8
PTA technology. A fifth PTA line, identical to the fourth, is
currently under construction and expected to start up
around the middle of 2020.
Hengli also operates another three PTA lines on the
same site, each with a capacity of 2.2-million t/y, using Invista’s
P7 PTA technology.

 

Braskem to Permanently Shut Down Chlor-Alkali Facility in Camacari

Camacari—Braskem
announced it is permanently closing its chlor-alkali
production facility in Camacari, Bahia, Brazil.
“The shutdown is explained by the end of the facility’s
useful life and will start in April 2020, following the applicable
safety standards and seeking to protect people, local
communities and the environment,” Braskem noted.
The plant, which began operations in 1979, has a production
capacity of 64,000 t/y of chlorine and 79,000 t/y of
caustic soda.
The company’s other industrial operations will not be
affected by the closure.

 

YCI Methanol One Lets Worley Contract For New Louisiana Methanol Facility

Houston—
Worley said it will provide commissioning and start-up
services for YCI Methanol One’s new methanol plant being
built in St. James Parish, La. (PCN, 2 Sept 2019, p 2).
A joint venture of Yuhuang Chemical Industries and
Koch Methanol, YCI Methanol is investing $1.8-billion in a
world-scale methanol facility, based on Air Liquide’s
MegaMethanol technology, which will have the capacity to
produce approximately 1.7-million t/y of methanol.
The plant is expected to be fully operational and ready
for production in late 2020. YCI recently announced that
the partners are also evaluating an expansion that would
more than double methanol production at the site.
Last September, Koch Methanol Investments became
the indirect, majority owner and managing member of the
YCI joint venture.
As part of Koch Methanol’s original investment in the
project, affiliates of Koch Methanol received the exclusive
methanol offtake rights from the new facility, as well as
the rights to build, own and operate the methanol terminal
assets.

 

Sasol Provides Update on LDPE Plant Affected by Explosion at Lake Charles

Lake Charles—
Sasol has given an update on a 13 Jan. 2020 fire and explosion
at its low-density polyethylene (LDPE) unit, part of
its Lake Charles Chemicals Project in Louisiana (PCN, 20
Jan 2020, p 1).
“Initial findings indicate the damage is limited to a
small portion of the LDPE unit and, importantly, major
equipment such as the compressors were unaffected,” said
the company. “Parallel commissioning activities on the
remainder of the LDPE unit will continue.”
The 420,000-t/y LDPE plant, which was expected to
achieve beneficial operation last month, was in the final
stages of commissioning and start-up when the incident
occurred. All other units at the site were unaffected.
“During the time of the delay in the LDPE unit startup,
the ethylene produced by the cracker and destined for
the unit will be sold externally,” the company noted.
Sasol expects to determine the scope of the repair and
duration of the outage by the second half of next month.

 

Gaz Sintez Chooses Topsoe Technology For New Methanol Project in Russia

Moscow—Gaz
Sintez has decided to use Haldor Topsoe’s SynCor methanol
technology for a new methanol project being developed
at the port of Vysotsk in the Leningrad region of Russia
(PCN, 13 May 2019, p 2).
The 1.6-million-t/y AA-grade methanol plant, which
was earlier reported to cost over $1-billion, is expected to
be completed in 2023.
Hyundai Engineering has started the development of
the front-end engineering design package and NIIK has
been awarded the Russian general designer contract.

 

Stamicarbon to Supply Urea Technology For Talcher’s Indian Fertilizer Complex

Talcher—
Stamicarbon will license its technology for Talcher Fertilizers
Ltd.’s coal-to-urea project in Talcher, Odisha, India
(PCN, 9 Dec 2019, p 2).
The new 1.27-million-t/y ammonia and urea complex,
expected to be commissioned in 2023, will mark the revival
of urea production in the state of Odisha, Stamicarbon
noted.
Stamicarbon will supply the process design package for
a 3,850-t/d melt and prilling plant, which will feature its
own Pool Condenser design.
KBR was earlier awarded a contract to supply the ammonia
technology, while Wuhuan Engineering is responsible
for the coal gasification technology.
“The Indian government is putting great efforts in increasing
the availability of domestically produced urea and
therefore has started the revival of several closed units,”
said Stamicarbon.
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%).

 

Indonesia Awards Tax Holiday to CAP For Second Petrochemical Complex

Jakarta—
Chandra Asri Petrochemical (CAP) has received approval
from Indonesia’s Ministry of Finance for a tax holiday on
its second petrochemical complex, Chandra Asri Perkasa,
planned to be built in Cilegon (PCN, 20 Jan 2020, p 1).
The complex, scheduled to begin commercial operations
in 2024, will double CAP’s production capacity from the
current 4-million t/y, to 8-million t/y with products ranging
from polyethylene, polypropylene, aromatics (benzene,
toluene and xylene), mixed C4 and pygas. A final investment
decision is expected in the first half of this year.
CAP will receive a 100% tax holiday on its corporate income
tax for the first 20 years after initial commercial production,
and another 50% reduction for the following two
years.
Tax holiday is the government’s strategy to attract investment
in Indonesia on strategic industries such as petrochemical,
CAP noted.

 

SDK Decides to Discontinue Operations At Isesaki UP & VE Production Lines

Tokyo—Showa
Denko KK (SDK) announced it will terminate operation of
its production lines to synthesize unsaturated polyester
resin (UP) and vinyl ester resin (VE) at its Isesaki facility
by the end of June 2021.
In order to improve profitability of the businesses, the
company will instead concentrate domestic production of
UP and VE at its Tatsuno, Japan, plant.
“The demand for UP and VE is increasing in overseas
markets, especially in China and ASEAN countries, due to
increases in house building and infrastructure construction,
and the growth of [the] automotive industry,” SDK
noted.
“However, in the domestic market, the demand for UP
and VE is decreasing due to a decrease in new house building
because the use as housing material is the main use for
UP and VE in Japan.”

 

FPC U.S.A. Completes Initial Start-up Of Olefins III Unit at Point Comfort

Austin—Formosa
Plastics Corp. (FPC) U.S.A. has concluded the initial startup
of its third olefins facility at Point Comfort, Texas, and
released the current schedules for other expansion units at
the site (PCN, 9 Dec 2019, p 2).
A new 400,000-t/y low-density polyethylene (PE) plant,
which will utilize technology from ExxonMobil Catalysts
and Licensing, is being commissioned and initial start-up
is expected this April.
A third utilities unit is also being commissioned and
scheduled for initial start-up next month.
In late November 2019, FPC said a 250,000-t/y polypropylene
plant, based on technology from Japan Polypropylene
Corp., was scheduled to start up in the third quarter of
2021. An update wasn’t given for that unit.
The company completed initial start-up this past August
of a dual-purpose PE facility, based on Univation
Technologies’ Unipol PE process, which will produce a total
of 400,000 t/y of both high-density PE and linear lowdensity
PE.

 

Asahi Kasei, Mitsubishi Schedule Restart Of JV Naphtha Cracker at Mizushima

Tokyo—Asahi
Kasei Mitsubishi Chemical Ethylene Corp., a joint venture
of Asahi Kasei Corp. and Mitsubishi Chemical Corp., expects
to restart its naphtha cracker in Mizushima, Japan,
on 28 Jan. 2020 (PCN, 20 Jan 2020, p 4).
Operations were suspended at the cracker on 14 Jan.
2020, due to a malfunction in its refrigeration system. On
17 Jan. 2020, the company said it would restart the
cracker on 24 Jan. 2020. The restart was delayed because
of a malfunction in its steam system for irregular operation.
The naphtha cracker has 496,000 t/y of production capacity
with turnaround and 567,000 t/y of production capacity
without turnaround.

 

People on the Move

Rabigh Refining and Petrochemical—Ibrahim Qassem
Al-Buainain has been appointed chairman of the
board of directors, effective 1 Feb. 2020. He will replace
Abdulaziz bin Muhammad al-Gudaimi, who is resigning.
Domo Chemicals—Yves Bonte, most recently executive
vice president of industrial at Yara, has been appointed
chief executive and chairman of the board of Domo.
He will succeed current Chief Executive Alex Segers during
February 2020.
Sinopec Group—Zhang Yuzhuo has been appointed
chairman to replace Dai Houliang, who has been named
chairman of China National Petroleum Corp. Houliang
will succeed Wang Yilin.
DSM—Feike Sijbesma is being named honorary chairman
of the company after the handover of his role as chief
executive to his successors in the first quarter of 2020.
Nexam Chemical—Henrik Bernquist, most recently
product manager at Flint Group, will become business development
manager for Nexam, effective 1 Apr. 2020.
Norner—Klaus Schoffel has become vice president of
research and development. He had been research director.

 

Equate Touts Successful Production Of 25% Chemically Recycled PET

Ahmadi—Equate
announced that its Equipolymers subsidiary produced the
first successful batch of Viridis 25, a food-grade polyethylene
terephthalate (PET), which uses up to 25% chemically
recycled PET as feedstock.
Viridis 25 “significantly” reduces the need for virgin
PET as feedstock, helping close the loop in the circular
economy, Equate noted. The product will be marketed
through Equipolymers and will primarily target the European
market.
Equipolymers started the project in 2009 to make use of
more recycled PET. They began with Viridis 10, a PET
grade containing up to 10% recycled PET, but, in 2016,
Equipolymers advanced the Viridis 25 project in collaboration
with a major brand owner to increase the amount of
recycled material in its PET.
“There is strong demand for PET bottles, and our mission
is to provide a sustainable product that meets quality
of life and public health needs,” noted Muayad Al-Faresi,
global business director for PET at Equipolymers.
“Chemical recycling technology has opened new horizons
for the plastic industry, enabling us to address the
increasing environmental impact and waste concerns in a
sensible and sustainable way. EQP [Equipolymers] has
tapped into this opportunity, making it a focus area to foster
future innovation.”

 

Pyrowave Granted C$3.2-Mn from SDTC To Further Chemical Recycling Process

Montreal—
Pyrowave said it will receive C$3.2-million from the Sustainable
Development Technology Canada (SDTC) to extend
its technology platform of chemical plastic-to-plastic
recycling to mix plastics.
The company’s technology regenerates post-consumer
plastics by breaking them down at the molecular level, reducing
them to their basic constituents — the monomers —
which can then be used to make new plastic resins identical
to virgin plastics, Pyrowave explained.
“The federal government has been an early supporter of
our innovative plastic-to-plastic microwave-based chemical
recycling technology, which has propelled us to achieve
success in polystyrene [PS] recycling (plastic #6) into new
plastic, a breakthrough in the industry,” said Pyrowave
Chief Executive Jocelyn Doucet.
“Today, we are thrilled to see this commitment renewed
to further develop our unique technology platform to provide
a one stop shop for PP [polypropylene], PE [polyethylene]
and PS recycling. Thus targeting mix plastic bale containing
hard-to-recycle plastics such as multilayer plastic
films and flexible packaging, enabling to transform waste
into high-value products in a circular value chain.”

 

Arkema Expands Deal with Brenntag For Waterborne Resins Distribution

Harrisburg—
Arkema Inc. has expanded an agreement with Brenntag
for the distribution of Arkema’s waterborne resins.
Effective 1 Mar. 2020, Brenntag Canada, part of the
Brenntag Group, will become the primary distributor for
Arkema Inc.’s waterborne resins in Canada.
Brenntag also distributes Arkema’s waterborne resins
in the U.S., under an agreement launched last year.

 

Domo Gives Updated Schedule for Planned Purchase of Solvay’s European PA Assets

Leuna—
Domo Chemicals said it expects to complete the acquisition
of Solvay’s European polyamides (PA) business on 31 Jan.
2020 (PCN, 9 Dec 2019, p 2).
The acquisition includes Solvay’s performance PA facilities
at Belle-Etoile and Valence, France, as well as a stake
in a newly created joint venture between BASF and Domo
in Chalampe, France. Domo will also obtain sites in Gorzow,
Poland; Blanes, Spain, and commercial activities in
Germany and Italy.
The transaction, originally planned to be finalized by
the end of 2019, is part of the European Commission’s conditional
approval in January 2019 of BASF’s proposed acquisition
of Solvay’s PA business.
BASF will acquire Solvay’s PA businesses in the Americas
and in Asia. The entire deal is based on a purchase
price of €1.6-billion.

 

Odisha Starts Process to Purchase Land For HPL’s Integrated Refinery Facility

Haldia—
India’s Odisha government has begun looking for land to
acquire for Haldia Petrochemicals Ltd.’s (HPL) proposed
integrated refinery project near Subarnarekha Port,
Balasore district, India, according to the Times of India.
This past December, Odisha Industrial Infrastructure
Development Corp. (IDCO) gave HPL approval to acquire
the land, which will comprise a light crude oil refinery,
ethylene cracker units and an aromatics complex. The
land acquisition process is expected to take 12 to 18
months to complete.
PCN earlier reported that HPL would invest Rs 28,700
crore in the first phase of the project, which would include
the production of 2.5-million t/y of purified terephthalic
acid, 1.6-million t/y of paraxylene, light naphtha and gasoline.
Operations are planned to begin within five years of
the allotment of land.

 

Enterprise Products Begins Operations At Bulldog Nat Gas Processing Plant

Houston—
Enterprise Products Partners said it recently began service
at its new Bulldog cryogenic natural gas processing facility,
previously referred to as the Panola 3 gas plant, in Panola
County, Texas.
The facility, which is currently running near 100% of its
capacity, has the capability to process a total of 200-million
cu ft/d of natural gas and extract up to 12,000 b/d of natural
gas liquids (NGLs).
“The Bulldog plant . . . is integral to helping facilitate
continued growth of natural gas production from the Cotton
Valley and Haynesville formations in East Texas and
Louisiana,” Enterprise noted.
NGLS produced at the facility will be transported on
the Panola Pipeline to Mont Belvieu, Texas, for fractionation
services. Residue gas from the tailgate of the plant
will have connectivity with Enterprise’s North Texas Intrastate
pipeline system, along with other major pipelines
and markets in the East Texas – Carthage area.
Combined with Enterprise’s existing Panola cryogenic
facility, this new plant enables the company to process a
total of 320-million cu ft/d and produce over 18,000 b/d of
NGLs within the region.

 

Oxea to Integrate into Newly Formed Company Trading Under ‘OQ’ Name

Berlin—Oxea,
part of the Oman Oil Co. and Orpic Group, will integrate
into a newly formed energy company, which will trade under
the name ‘OQ’ (PCN, 6 Jan 2020, p 4).
“During the ongoing integration phase, our current
business processes will remain unchanged,” said Oxea
Chief Operating Officer Dr. Oliver Borgmeier. “Oxea will
continue to provide the . . . services that customers from
across the globe have come to expect from us in recent
years.”
Earlier this month, Oman Oil and Orpic announced
they will 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.

 

Lanxess Selects Vinmar Polymers America To Sell HPM in the U.S., Mexico & Canada

Houston—
Lanxess Corp. has chosen Vinmar Polymers America
(VPA), an affiliate of Vinmar International, to distribute
its High Performance Materials (HPM) products in the
U.S., Mexico and Canada, effective 1 Jan. 2020.
VPA, headquartered in Houston, Texas, will distribute
Lanxess’ Durethan polyamide 6 and 66 compounds and
Pocan polybutylene terephthalate compounds.

 

SABIC Names DKSH as Asian Distributor Of Specialty Engineered Thermoplastics

Shanghai—
SABIC has chosen DKSH as a key distribution partner to
serve SABIC’s customers for specialty engineered thermoplastics
in Greater China, South Korea and Southeast
Asia.
The partnership involves SABIC’s complete portfolio of
specialty materials, including Noryl resins (polyphenylene
ether-based materials), Ultem resins (polyetherimide materials),
LNP compounds and the full range of polycarbonate-
based high-performance copolymers.
“This collaboration will support existing customers and
help grow our customer base in strategic industries in
Asia-Pacific, including the key markets of China, Indonesia,
Korea, Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia,” said Martin
Tam, director, customer fulfillment, APAC, specialties
at SABIC.

 

Saipem Buys CO2 Capture Technology From Canadian-Based CO2 Solutions

Quebec City—
Saipem has acquired a proprietary carbon dioxide (CO2)
capture technology from Canadian-based CO2 Solutions.
The CO2 capture technology “lowers the cost barrier” to
post-combustion Carbon Capture enabling Sequestration
and Utilization (CCUS) and enables the industry to derive
profitable new products from these emissions, Saipem
noted.
Developed over the past 20 years, the technology is
based on a “unique” enzymatic CO2 capture process that
can claim no usage or emission of toxic products, has been
demonstrated at scale (30 t/d of CO2), validated by credible
third parties and attained commercial status.
“The assets and technology purchased will help us expand
our green products portfolio and will underpin our
resolve to support the industry towards a low carbon energy
future,” noted Maurizio Coratella, chief operating officer
of Saipem’s Onshore E&C Division.
As part of the transaction, Saipem also obtained the
CO2 capture plant in Saint-Felicien, Quebec, Canada.

 

Carbios Forms Strategic Alliance with INSA For Enzyme Engineering Research Center

Paris—
Carbios announced a strategic alliance with INSA Toulouse
through the “Toulouse Biotechnology Institute” (TBI)
laboratory, a mixed research unit INSA Toulouse, INRA,
CNRS, to set up an enzyme engineering research center on
plastic recycling and biosynthesis.
Carbios and TBI will establish the research center,
which will be inaugurated on 28 Jan. 2020 at INSA Toulouse.
The cooperative laboratory, called “PoPLaB (Plastic
Polymers and Biotechnologies), is the result of seven years
of scientific collaboration. The collective work led in 2016,
to the creation of Carbiolice, Carbios’ subsidiary dedicated
to polylactic acid biodegradation and in 2019, to the “first”
100% polyethylene terephthalate plastic bottles produced
through Carbios’ biorecycling process, Carbios noted.
“This laboratory will benefit from state-of-the-art
equipment in terms of enzyme modeling and understanding
of plastic hydrolysis molecular mechanisms, highthroughput
enzyme evolution platforms, all based on
highly qualified researchers,” said Alain Marty, scientific
director at Carbios.
“This will enable us to take up new challenges by
enlarging the range of polymers accessible to our enzymatic
technology.”

V58 N03 – 20 January 2020

Sasol Confirms Explosion in LDPE Unit At Its Lake Charles Chemicals Project

Lake Charles—
Sasol said it experienced an explosion and fire on 13 Jan.
2020 at its low-density polyethylene (LDPE) plant, part of
its Lake Charles Chemicals Project (LCCP) in Louisiana
(PCN, 23-30 Dec 2019, p 2).
The 420,000-t/y LDPE unit, which was expected to
achieve beneficial operation last month, was in the final
stages of commissioning and start-up when the incident
occurred. All other units at the site were unaffected.
The plant has been shut down and an investigation is
underway to determine the cause of the accident, the extent
of damage and resulting impact on its beneficial operation
schedule.
Sasol’s LCCP also includes a 1.5-million-t/y ethane
cracker, a 470,000-t/y linear LDPE plant and a combined
300,000-t/y ethylene oxide and 250,000-t/y ethylene glycol
unit, all which started up last year.
“The remaining three downstream units under construction
to complete the integrated LCCP site, Ziegler
alcohols and alumina, alcohol ethoxylates and Guerbet alcohols,
are also unaffected and remain within cost and
schedule [start-up in early 2020] as per our previous guidance,”
the company noted.

 

Shell Inks MoU with CNOOC to Explore Its ‘First’ Commercial-Scale PC Unit

Beijing—Shell
announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding
(MoU) with CNOOC Oil & Petrochemicals Co. to look into
building Shell’s “first” commercial-scale polycarbonate (PC)
production unit in China.
The proposed facility, to be located at the CNOOC and
Shell Petrochemical Co. (CSPC) joint venture chemicals
complex in Huizhou, would use Shell’s own patented diphenyl
carbonate (DPC) process technology. The DPC
technology would be combined with melt-phase PC technology
licensed from EPC Engineering & Technology.
As an interim step, Shell has begun constructing a PC
development unit at its Jurong Island chemicals plant in
Singapore. Cost and expected start-up date of the project
were not disclosed.

 

Orbia Studying Options for Vinyl Business; Process Could Result in Sale, Alliances

Mexico City—
Orbia Advance Corp., in line with its long-term strategy, is
in the process of analyzing potential divestment alternatives
or strategic alliances with respect to its vinyl business.
“When appropriate, Orbia will inform the investment
community of any transaction that it undertakes, and will
carry out the corresponding processes in accordance with
the applicable legislation,” the company noted.
In September 2019, Mexichem changed its name to Orbia
(PCN, 9 Sept 2019, p 1).

 

ADNOC & Pertamina Sign MoU to Explore Crude-to-Petchems Complex in Indonesia

Jakarta—
Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. (ADNOC) and Pertamina have
signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to explore
the potential development of a crude-to-petrochemicals
complex in Balongan, Indonesia.
The two parties also entered into a sales agreement, in
which ADNOC will supply Pertamina with up to 528,000
t/y of liquefied petroleum gas by the end of 2020. Further
information on the deals were not available.
At the same time, ADNOC and Chandra Asri Petrochemical
(CAP) signed a MoU to look into the possible supply
of naphtha to CAP to be utilized as feedstock for the
current and potential new cracker complex in Cilegon, Indonesia
(PCN, 17 Dec 2018, p 2).
CAP is planning to build a second petrochemical complex
in Cilegon, which would include the production of 1.1-
million t/y of ethylene, 600,000 t/y of propylene, 300,000 t/y
of low-density polyethylene (PE), 450,000 t/y of highdensity
PE, 450,000 t/y of polypropylene, 335,000 t/y of
benzene and around 160,000 t/y of butadiene.
Commercial operations are scheduled to begin in 2024,
subject to a positive final investment decision expected in
the first half of this year.

 

Enterprise Products Announces Start-up Of New iBDH Facility in Mont Belvieu

Mont Belvieu—
Enterprise Products Partners said it recently began service
at its new isobutane dehydrogenation (iBDH) plant in the
Mont Belvieu, Texas, area (PCN, 27 Feb 2017, p 1).
The iBDH unit, based on Honeywell UOP technology,
will have the capability to process around 25,000 b/d of
butane into nearly 1-billion lbs/yr of isobutylene. Volumes
are expected to continue ramping up during January.
Supported by long-term, fee-based contracts with investment
grade customers, the plant will provide the necessary
feedstock to enable it to fully utilize its methyl tertiary
butyl ether and high-purity isobutylene assets to
meet the growing market demand for isobutylene.
Supplies of isobutylene, also a by-product of ethylene
production, have decreased as a result of increased use of
low-cost, light-end feedstocks, especially ethane, instead of
more expensive crude oil derivatives, Enterprise noted.
“The completion of the new iBDH facility extends our
butane value chain by allowing us to increase production of
both high-purity and low-purity isobutylene to be used
primarily as feedstock to manufacture lubricants, rubber
products and fuel additives,” said A.J. “Jim” Teague, chief
executive of Enterprise’s general partner.

 

European Commission Okays Synthomer’s Proposed Purchase of Omnova Solutions

Brussels—
The European Commission has approved Synthomer’s
planned acquisition of Omnova Solutions for $10.15/share
in cash, subject to Synthomer’s divestiture of its Germanbased
vinyl pyridine (VP) latex business (PCN, 14 Oct
2019, p 2).
Synthomer expects to obtain the remaining regulatory
approval for the Omnova acquisition from Turkey in early
February. The transaction is expected to be completed in
early 2020.
According to Omnova, Synthomer has already received
expressions of interest from a number of potential buyers
for the vinyl pyridine latex business.
“Synthomer and Omnova are the only two manufacturers
of this type of latex in Europe, but we can approve their
merger because the companies offered to divest all of Synthomer’s
VP latex production, thus preserving for customers
the competition situation in the market,” Margrethe
Vestager, the commission’s executive vice president, in
charge of competition policy.

 

Topsoe Starts-up ATR-Based Methanol Unit At Turkmengas’ Gas-to-Gasoline Facility

Ashgabat—
Haldor Topsoe said the “world’s largest” methanol plant
based on autothermal refining (ATR) has been put into
operation at Turkmengas’ recently commissioned natural
gas-to-gasoline complex near Ashgabat, Turkmenistan.
The 5,225-t/d methanol unit, which is based on Topsoe’s
SynCor Methanol solution, has ramped up production since
mid-2019 and met all performance tests.
The SynCor Methanol solution has been combined with
a gasoline synthesis loop to produce 15,500 b/d of gasoline
at full capacity. This concept is named SynCor Tigas, Topsoe
noted.
“Global demand for methanol is increasing,” said Topsoe.
“Accordingly, investors and producers plan for larger
plants with improved energy efficiency to achieve economy
of scale. This has made SynCor the preferred technology
for production of synthesis gas in many of today’s worldscale
projects because it maximizes single-line capacity,
while significantly reducing capital, as well as operating
costs.
“When combined with a Topsoe methanol synthesis
loop, the result is SynCor Methanol, the most cost-efficient,
large-scale methanol technology in industrial operation
today. Capacities can be up to 10,000 t/d of methanol.”

 

Freeport LNG Begins Commercial Operation Of Second Liquefaction Train in Freeport

Freeport—
Freeport LNG has started commercial operations for the
second liquefaction train of its new liquefied natural gas
(LNG) liquefaction project in Freeport, Texas (PCN, 16 Dec
2019, p 4).
Located on Quintana Island, the export facility consists
of three liquefaction trains, each with over 5-million t/y of
LNG production. Train 1 began commercial operations last
month, while Train 3 is scheduled to start commercial operations
in May 2020.
The company is also planning a fourth train, which will
add over 5-million t/y of production and is expected to start
up in 2023.

 

Ineos’ Grangemouth Petchem Complex Experiences ‘Large’ Fire in Dock Area

London—A
“large” fire broke out on 16 Jan. 2020 in the dock area of
Ineos’ Grangemouth petrochemical complex in the UK, according
to local news reports.
The fire, which was contained in the dock area, has
been extinguished and no injuries or risks to the public
were reported.
According to Ineos’ website, the Grangemouth complex
has the capacity to produce around 1-million t/y of petrochemicals
and about 9-million t/y of fuel.

 

Borouge Lets Technology License to Axens For Latest Project at Ruwais PC Complex

Ruwais—
Borouge, a joint venture of Borealis and Abu Dhabi National
Oil Co., has awarded France-based Axens a licensing
contract for the Borouge 4 project at the Ruwais petrochemical
complex in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
(PCN, 4 Mar 2019, p 1).
Borouge 4, on which construction has already begun,
involves the “world’s largest” mixed feed cracker with a
capacity of 1.8-million t/y of ethylene, as well as a number
of other production plants, including propylene, butadiene
and benzene, said Borouge.
Axens will provide technologies for a 124,000-t/y MTBE
unit and a 50,000-t/y 1-butene unit; a 75,000 t/y plant for
the production of high-purity 1-hexene through ethylene
trimerization (AlphaHexol); a methyl acetylene and propadiene
hydrogenation unit, C4 hydrogenation plant and a
pygas 2-stages hydrogenation unit.
The scope of work includes the supply of process books,
catalysts and adsorbents, proprietary equipment, training
and technical services.

 

People on the Move

LSB Industries—John Burns has been named executive
vice president of manufacturing, effective 3 Feb. 2020,
to replace John Diesch, who will be retiring. Burns most
recently held innovation and transformation director positions
in Koch’s petroleum refining and paper manufacturing
businesses.
Inovyn—Geir Tuft, most recently chief executive of
Ineos Oil & Gas, has been appointed chief executive to succeed
Chris Tane, who has been appointed chairman. Tane
will retain his existing roles as chairman of Ineos Automotive
and director of Belstaff.
Helm AG—Stephan Schnabel has been appointed
chairman of the executive board, effective 1 Apr. 2020, to
succeed Hans-Christian Sievers. Schnabel has been with
the Helm Group for over 20 years and has been on the executive
board since 2012.
American Chemistry Council—Ross Eisenberg will
join the organization on 3 Feb. 2020 as vice president of
federal affairs. He is currently vice president of energy
and resources policy at the National Assn. of Manufacturers.
Jill Brubaker, most recently director of federal legislative
affairs and director of political affairs at Dow, has
been named director of federal affairs at the ACC.

 

U.S., Canadian, Mexican Chem Industries Reaffirm Support for New Trade Deal

Washington—
Chemical industry executives from the American Chemistry
Council (ACC), Chemical Industry Association of Canada
(CIAC) and Asociacion Nacional de la Industria
Quimica have reaffirmed their support for U.S. ratification
of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA),
also known as CUSMA in Canada and T-MEC in Mexico.
On 16 Jan. 2020, the U.S. Senate voted to approve the
revised 25-year old North American Free Trade Agreement,
bringing the agreement one step closer to ratification.
“We all win under this new agreement,” said ACC
President and Chief Executive Chris Jahn. “Our unanimous
support for ratifying USMCA is a testimony to the
collaborative, highly integrated North American chemical
manufacturing sector that is uniquely positioned to continue
to grow and create new jobs under the new North
American trade pact.
“For the United States in particular, companies eyeing
the U.S. shale gas revolution and chemical production
boom should soon have even greater confidence to invest,
knowing that they will be able to trade freely with our industry’s
largest trading partners in Canada and Mexico.”
CIAC’s President and Chief Executive Bob Masterson
stated: “We’re thrilled at the prospect of Canada’s ratification
of CUSMA to further minimize barriers to North
American chemicals trade. Eliminating tariffs and other
barriers to trade has changed the conditions of doing business
across borders in North America and encouraged regional
investment and economic integration.”

 

EC Clears Deal by PTTGC & ALPLA To Form Thai Plastics Recycling JV

Brussels—The
European Commission (EC) has approved the proposed
transaction between PTT Global Chemical (PTTGC) and
ALPLA to create a new joint venture for building a circular
plastic resin plant in Map Ta Phut Industrial Estate, Thailand
(PCN, 16 Sept 2019, p 4).
The joint venture, to be called Envicco Ltd., will build
Thailand’s “first” recycling plant to manufacture recycled
polyethylene terephthalate and recycled high-density polyethylene,
PTTGC earlier explained.
The commission concluded that the transaction would
raise no competition concerns because the overlaps between
the activities of the two involved are very limited.

 

LyondellBasell Announces Force Majeure On VAM, Glacial Acetic Acid Production

Houston—
LyondellBasell has declared force majeure on vinyl acetate
monomer (VAM) and glacial acetic acid, following an ongoing
disruption in supply due to an equipment breakdown
from a third-party supplier, reported chemical distributor
GreenChem Industries.
Earlier this month, Dow put an order control into effect
for VAM (PCN, 13 Jan 2020, p 4). At the time, Dow said
order control volumes would be based upon customer’s
monthly average of purchased volume, or would be restricted
to the monthly maximum Dow is contractually obligated
to sell. It is not known how long the sales control
will continue.

 

AI to Supply Dow with Recycled Plastics To Create New LDPE, LLDPE Products

Midland—
Waste-optimization specialist Avangard Innovative (AI)
has entered into an exclusive deal with Dow for the supply
of post-consumer resin (PCR) plastic film pellets, which
Dow will combine with virgin resins to create new lowdensity
polyethylene (LDPE) and linear LDPE products.
The companies expect to begin offering Dow’s “first
ever” PCR-based products later this year to North American
customers, Dow noted.
“Any plastic lost to the environment as waste is unacceptable,”
said Nestor de Mattos, North America commercial
vice president for packaging and specialty plastics at
Dow. “That’s why we are collaborating with AI to advance
new solutions that maintain the value of used plastics.
“Not only does this effort help Dow meet its sustainability
goals, it will help our customers reach their own sustainability
objectives, furthering the shift toward a circular
economy for plastics.”

 

Sibur Details Several Goals of Its Approved 2025 Sustainable Development Strategy

Moscow—
Sibur Holding’s board of directors has approved its 2025
Sustainable Development Strategy, which identifies five
key focus areas (Responsible Business, Environment, Society
and Partnership, Sustainable Product Portfolio and
Climate Impact Mitigation) and sets respective goals.
Some of the goals include: recycling at least 50% of all
generated waste, cut the specific mass of containments in
wastewater by 40% and reduce water consumption per
ton/unit by at least 5%. As part of Operation Clean Sweep,
Sibur is planning to minimize the amount of plastic pellets
lost into the environment.
Sibur also plans to establish a public council under the
Formula for Good Deeds program, launch at least three
long-term environmental projects as part of the program,
and increase the number of staff participating in volunteering
and other socially important initiative to 20%.
Also, the company aims to provide training in sustainable
development for 85% of its employees and establish at least
two international partnerships to promote sustainability.
In addition, Sibur intends to increase investments into
research and development projects focusing on polymer
waste recycling and use of renewable feedstock by 50%,
build an effective communication system to promote sustainable
development across the supply chain, and make
sure that at least 40% of manufactured polyethylene
terephthalate (PET) contains recycled PET granules.
Finally, the company set the goal of cutting greenhouse
gas emissions per ton/unit in petrochemicals and midstream
segments by 15% and 5%, respectively.

 

Vertellus Buys Bercen Chemicals

Baton Rouge—
Vertellus said it has acquired Bercen Chemicals, a U.S.
supplier of alkyl succinic anhydrides and additives, based
in Denham Springs, La.
“This acquisition expands the range of products that
Vertellus is able to offer to the North American market,”
noted Jim Elliott, general manager of Vertellus’ Anhydrides
& Specialties business. “The acquisition also provides
us with a strong foundation to better serve the global
fuel and lubricant additives market.”

 

Victrex Forming JV with Yingkou Xingfu To Build, Operate Chinese PEEK Plant

Beijing—
Victrex Hong Kong Ltd., a subsidiary of Victrex Plc, will
create a joint venture with Yingkou Xingfu Chemical Co. to
build and operate a polyetheretherketone (PEEK) manufacturing
facility in Liaoning, China.
The project, in which Victrex is expected to invest a total
of £32-million, is planned to have a nameplate capacity
of 1,500 t/y of PEEK. Commissioning is scheduled in early
2022.
“This investment is in line with our record of not only
investing ahead of demand, but in complementing and further
differentiating our range of PEEK and PAEK [polyaryletherketone]
grades, as well as setting the stage for
specific geographic growth, whereby we can capitalize on
the significant opportunities in China and the Asia-Pacific
region by having a competitive manufacturing presence
there,” said Victrex Chief Executive Jakob Sigurdsson.
Victrex will be the majority partner with a 75% stake
and will assume leadership once the plant is operational.

 

Brenntag Begins Operations in China At Its New Dongguan Warehouse

Beijing—Brenntag
has opened a new warehouse facility in a dedicated chemical
park in Dongguan, Guangdong Province, China.
The site features 24 storage tanks, 3,000 sq m storage
area for class A chemicals and a 2,500 sq m workshop and
blending area for both solvents and inorganic chemicals.
“We are excited about the start of our operations at
Dongguan as its capabilities and ideal location will certainly
enhance our position in the South China market and
further enable Brenntag to provide more value-added services
to our customers and suppliers,” said Henri Nejade,
chief executive of Brenntag Asia-Pacific and member of the
management board of Brenntag Group.

 

Iqoxe Suffers Explosion and Fire At Chemical Plant in Tarragona

Madrid—Iqoxe,
Spain’s sole producer of ethylene oxide, experienced an
explosion and fire on 14 Jan. 2020 at its chemical facility in
Tarragona, Spain, according to several local news reports.
The explosion, which killed three people and injured
several others, started in an ethylene oxide reactor tank.
An investigation is underway.
Fire fighter crews determined that there was no risk of
a toxic cloud in the air.

 

Asahi, Mitsubishi Chem Halt Operations At JV Naphtha Cracker in Mizushima

Tokyo—Asahi
Kasei Corp. and Mitsubishi Chemical Corp. have suspended
operation of their joint venture naphtha cracker in
Mizushima, Japan, due to a malfunction in its refrigeration
system.
The joint venture, Asahi Kasei Mitsubishi Chemical
Ethylene Corp., said a detailed inspection of the facility is
currently being planned and the restart schedule will be
determined after completion of the inspection.
The naphtha cracker has 496,000 t/y of production capacity
with turnaround and 567,000 t/y of production capacity
without turnaround.

 

Agilyx Picks Sites for U.S., Europe Offices; Gets Financing from European Investors

Portland—
Agilyx Corp., self-described as the “leader” in chemical recycling
of post-use plastics back into polymers, chemicals
and low-carbon fuels, has selected the sites for new offices
planned in the U.S. and in Europe (PCN, 18 Nov 2019, p
4).
The company has chosen Oslo, Norway, as the location
for establishing an office that will support European market
opportunities and will set-up an office in the Boston
metro area of Massachusetts that will expand its corporate
and business development capabilities.
In addition, Agilyx has secured growth financing from a
set of European investors led by Carnegie Investment
Bank as the sole advisor on the financing.
“We strongly believe that the world needs to start to
improve current plastic recycling rates and treat plastic as
a renewable resource, and that Agilyx has the solution,
expertise and business model to be a leading player in this
commercial transformation,” said Carnegie Norway Chief
Executive Christian Begby.

 

TechnipFMC Confirms Planned Schedule For Separation into Two Companies

Paris—Technip-
FMC reaffirmed that its planned transaction to separate
into two companies, TechnipFMC (RemainCo) and Technip
Energies (SpinCo), is well on track for completion in the
second quarter of 2020 (PCN, 4 Nov 2019, p 4).
Once separated, TechnipFMC will be a fully-integrated
technology and services provider, while Technip Energies
will be “one of the largest” engineering and construction
pure-plays, the company noted.
Completion of the transaction remains subject to general
market conditions, regulatory approvals and final
board approval.

V58 N02 – 13 January 2020

GCA Makes Final Investment Decision To Build New Texas Ammonia Plant

Texas City—Gulf
Coast Ammonia LLC (GCA) has reached a final investment
decision to build a new world-scale anhydrous ammonia
facility within an industrial chemical site in Texas City,
Texas (PCN, 25 May 2015, p 2).
The plant, 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, GCA noted. Hydrogen
and nitrogen will be purchased from Air Products
as feedstock for the new facility (see related story, page 2).
In addition, GCA has secured long-term offtake contracts
for the majority of its production capacity. Construction
will begin early this year with commissioning planned
in the first half of 2023.
GCA was formed by Agrifos Partners to develop the
plant, which was originally expected to begin production n
2019. 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.
“This is a major strategic step for Mabanaft to grow and
diversify our portfolio and establish a footprint in chemical
growth markets, leveraging our group’s network of worldclass
business partners,” said Mabanaft Chief Executive
Tim Bullock.
“The joint venture between Starwood Energy and Mabanaft
demonstrates Mabanaft’s commitment to invest in
North America and, more significantly, a milestone for
Mabanaft’s entry into the ammonia market backed by an
equity-owned asset.”

 

Pembina & PIC JV Awards EPC Contract For New PDH and PP Upgrading Unit

Calgary—
Canada Kuwait Petrochemical Corp. (CKPC), a joint venture
of Pembina Pipeline Corp. and Petrochemical Industries
Co. (PIC) of Kuwait, has awarded an engineering,
procurement and construction contract (EPC) related to
the propane dehydrogenation (PDH) facility within its
planned PDH and polypropylene (PP) project in Canada
(PCN, 4 Nov 2019, p 2).
The lump-sum contract was awarded to Heartland
Canada Partners, a 50-50 partnership between Fluor Canada
and Kiewit Construction Services.
CKPC’s project, expected to cost around C$4.5-billion,
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.
Commercial service was initially anticipated to begin in
mid-2023; however, CKPC now expects the facility to be
placed into commercial service in the second half of 2023.
“This project is highly strategic for Pembina and our
producer customers in the Western Canadian Sedimentary
Basin,” noted Mick Dilger, president and chief executive of
Pembina. “It offers a new demand source for domestically
produced propane and supports ongoing development of
Canada’s world-class hydrocarbon resources.”

 

Borealis Agrees to Acquire Nova Chemicals’ Ownership Interest in Novealis Holdings

Houston—
Borealis and Nova Chemicals have reached an agreement,
in which Borealis will purchase Nova’s 50% ownership
stake in Novealis Holdings.
Formed 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 (PCN, 4 Mar 2019, p 1).
Subject to customary regulatory approvals and other
conditions, the acquisition is expected to close in the first
half of 2020.
In June 2018, Baystar broke ground on a 1-million-t/y
ethane steam cracker in Port Arthur, Texas, which is expected
to start up this year.
Baystar is also currently building a new 625,000-t/y
Borstar polyethylene (PE) unit at its Pasadena, Texas, site,
which will more than double the site’s PE capacity to 1.1-
million t/y. Start-up is scheduled in 2021.
The new cracker will process ethane to supply feedstock
to the new PE unit, as well as the joint venture’s existing
400,000-t/y Borstar PE plant.

 

Alpek Polyester Concludes Acquisition Of Lotte Chemical UK’s PET Facility

Wilton—Alpek
Polyester has finalized the purchase of Lotte Chemical UK
Ltd., owner and operator of a 350,000-t/y polyethylene
terephthalate (PET) production plant in Wilton, UK (PCN,
9 Dec 2019, p 1).
Lotte Chemical UK will now operate under a new created
legal entity named Alpek Polyester UK Ltd. It is the
“first” PET production facility owned by Alpek Polyester
outside of the Americas.
The acquisition expands Alpek Polyester’s PET capacity
to over 2.8-million tons across six countries and 15 facilities.
Value of the transaction was not disclosed.

 

LyondellBasell to Provide Hostalen Process For Shandong Jinhai’s New HDPE Plant

Beijing—
Shandong Jinhai Chemical Co. has selected Lyondell-
Basell’s Hostalen Advanced Cascade Process (ACP) technology
for a new high-density polyethylene (HDPE) facility
to be built in China.
The 400,000-t/y HDPE plant, which will be located in
Heze City, Shandong Province, will use Avant Z501 and
Avant Z509 catalysts to produce a full range of multimodal
HDPE products. A schedule for the project was not
given.
“Selecting LyondellBasell’s Hostalen ACP technology
for our project will enable us to produce on a reliable and
economical basis high-quality, strong and long-lasting
products such as PE pipes, film and many other applications
enhancing peoples day to day live[s],” said Ding Shu
Bing, vice president of Shandong Dongming Petrochemical
Group.

 

Air Products Touts ‘Largest-Ever’ Investment For Hydrogen SMR, Nitrogen ASU in Texas; Will Supply GCA’s World-Scale NH3 Plant

Houston—
Air Products announced it will make its “largest-ever” investment
of $500-million to build, own and operate a new
hydrogen steam methane reformer (SMR), a nitrogen air
separation unit (ASU) and utilities units at Eastman
Chemical’s site in Texas City, Texas.
The approximately 175-million-cu ft/d SMR, the company’s
“largest ever,” will include the addition of over 30
miles of hydrogen pipeline from Texas City to Baytown,
Texas, to be connected to Air Products’ existing Gulf Coast
pipeline system. The pipeline segment of the project is
planned to come on stream in the second half of 2021, with
the remainder of the units expected to be in commercial
operation in early 2023.
Once complete, the roughly 700-mile hydrogen pipeline
system will span from Texas City through the Houston
Ship Channel to New Orleans, La., and supply customers
with over 1.7-billion cu ft/d of hydrogen from 24 production
facilities.
At the same time, Air Products has won a long-term onsite
business model supply agreement from Gulf Coast
Ammonia (GCA) to supply hydrogen and nitrogen to GCA’s
new world-scale ammonia (NH3) production plant, which
will be built on the same site (see related story, page 1).
GCA’s ammonia facility, which will have a production
capacity of around 3,600 t/d, will use about 270-million cu
ft/d of hydrogen from the SMR and Gulf Coast pipeline,
and will also benefit from Air Products’ supply of about 90-
million cu ft/d of nitrogen.
In addition, Eastman said it entered into a strategic offtake
agreement to purchase “cost-advantaged” ammonia
from GCA’s plant to produce its specialty products.

 

Iran’s NPC Plans to Build New Plant To Produce PP from Natural Gas

Tehran—The National
Petrochemical Co. (NPC) of Iran is planning to construct,
for the “first” time, a 120,000-t/y polypropylene from
natural gas facility, said NIPNA quoting Iranian President
Hassan Rouhan.
The project would also include a methanol unit with
660,000 t/y of production capacity and a propylene via
methanol plant with 120,000 t/y of production capacity. No
other details were available.

 

FG LA Obtains Permits Needed to Begin Construction on Its Sunshine Project

Baton Rouge—
FG LA LLC, part of Formosa Plastics Group, has received
all environmental permits needed to start building its
world-scale ethylene complex, known as “The Sunshine
Project,” in St. James Parish, La. (PCN, 30 Apr 2018, p 1).
The $9.4-billion complex, which will be built in two
phases, 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.
The project is expected to create 1,200 new direct jobs
and a peak construction workforce of more than 8,000 people.
An expected completion date was not yet available.

 

Enterprise, Navigator Announce Opening Of Ethylene Export Terminal in Texas

Houston—
Enterprise Products Partners and Navigator Holdings
have begun operations at their new 50-50 joint venture
ethylene export terminal at Enterprise’s Morgan’s Point,
Texas, facility, and have exported the first cargo of ethylene
(PCN, 9 July 2018, p 1).
Located on the Houston Ship Channel, the terminal has
two docks and 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 and will increase
the capability to load ethylene up to a rate of 2.2-
million lbs/hr. Tank construction is scheduled to be completed
in the fourth quarter of this year.
“Because of abundant natural gas liquids thanks to the
shale revolution, the U.S. is now a global leader in ethylene
production, with an unprecedented buildout of mostly
ethane crackers along the Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coast,
providing hundreds of thousands of jobs to local economies,”
noted A.J. “Jim” Teague, chief executive of Enterprise’s
general partner.
“Including a second wave of new petrochemical plants
now being developed, production of ethylene is poised for
continued growth and is expected to exceed 100-billion
pounds per year by 2025.”

 

IVL Completes Acquisition of Huntsman’s Chem Intermediates, Surfactants Assets

Houston—
Indorama Ventures (IVL) announced it has finalized the
purchase of Huntsman Corp.’s chemical intermediates
businesses, which includes propylene oxide and methyl
tertiary butyl ether, and its surfactants businesses in a
transaction valued at approximately $2-billion (PCN, 12-19
Aug 2019, p 1).
The acquired facilities have a combined production capacity
of approximately 3-million t/y, located in Port
Neches, Dayton and Chocolate Bayou, Texas; Ankleshwar,
India, and Botany, Australia.
“This transformational transaction significantly reduces
our capital-intensive upstream asset base, further bolsters
our already strong balance sheet and allows us to further
invest in and grow our downstream businesses,” noted Peter
Huntsman, chairman, president and chief executive of
Huntsman.
“This transaction greatly expands our flexibility and
opportunity for select strategic and accretive acquisitions,
as well as for expansions in our core downstream global
footprint, and for continued opportunistic repurchases of
our shares. We remain disciplined and focused on the
creation of long-term shareholder value.”

 

People on the Move

Gulf Coast Ammonia LLC—Ken Koye was recently
appointed president and chief executive of the company.
He was previously senior advisor, Infrastructure & Logistics,
at Mabanaft GmbH & Co. KG.
Bechtel Corp.—Jeff Sipes has assumed the newly created
role of global manager of strategy and business development.
He was most recently global manager of marketing
and business development for the company’s Oil, Gas &
Chemicals business unit.

 

Ineos Styrolution Planning to Invest In World-Scale ABS Unit in Ningbo

Ningbo—Ineos
Styrolution said it intends to build a 600,000-t/y worldscale
acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) plant in
Ningbo, China.
The new production site, on which construction is
planned to begin this year, will be located adjacent to a
polystyrene plant that Ineos acquired from Total last February
(PCN, 25 Feb 2019, p 1). Completion is scheduled
for 2023.
“China is the biggest ABS market in the world,” said
Steve Harrington, president of Asia-Pacific at Ineos Styrolution.
“This new investment will give us a tremendous
opportunity to provide our customers in the region with
locally produced ABS grades,” he added.
“Asia has been identified by us as a significant growth
market,” noted Ineos Styrolution Chief Executive Kevin
McQuade, adding that the project shows the company’s
dedication to its Triple Shift Growth strategy.

 

USW Files Lawsuit Against U.S. EPA To Protect Chemical Disaster Rule

Washington—The
United Steelworkers (USW) said it is suing the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) over the federal government’s
decision to “gut” the Chemical Disaster Rule,
which is intended to avoid chemical disasters and save
lives.
The EPA has removed “crucial” provisions of the regulation
that supported EPA’s Risk Management Program
regulations, including requirements that companies take
commonsense actions to prevent foreseeable catastrophic
incidents.
“The USW spent years advocating for the Chemical Disaster
Rule,” said USW International President Tom Conway.
The lawsuit asks the U.S. Court of Appeals for the
District of Columbia Circuit to implement the rule as the
EPA originally wrote it, before the current administration
took office.
The USW represents 850,000 workers in chemicals,
rubber, metals, mining, pulp and paper, auto supply and
the energy-producing industries, as well as a number of
workers in public sector and service occupations.

 

Elix Joins Styrenics Circular Solutions To Increase Circularity of Styrenics

Brussels—Elix
Polymers, a European manufacturer of acrylonitrile butadiene
styrene resins and derivatives, has become the latest
member of Styrenics Circular Solutions (SCS), a joint industry
initiative to drive the shift to a more circular economy
for styrenic polymers.
Agilyx, Ineos Styrolution and Trinseo last year announced
plans for a “first-of-a-kind” commercial-scale polystyrene
(PS) chemical recycling plant in Europe (PCN, 15
July 2019, p 3).
The project, initiated by SCS, will be capable of processing
up to 50 t/d of post-consumer PS feedstock, using Agilyx’s
proprietary depolymerization technology. An expected
completion date for the facility was not given.
Elix joins existing SCS members Ineos Styrolution,
Trinseo, Total, Versalis, Repsol and Coexpan.

 

Asian Company Awards Contract to KBR To Provide New K-PRO PDH Technology

Houston—
KBR said it has received the first commercial contract for
its new K-PRO propane dehydrogenation (PDH) technology
from an undisclosed customer in Asia (PCN, 24-31 Dec
2018, p 2).
The technology will be utilized in a new 600,000-t/y
PDH plant, which is expected to start up in 2023. Value of
the contract and further details of the project were not available.
K-PRO, which was introduced last January, “provides
lower capital and operating costs and environmental benefits
for customers,” KBR noted. “The technology delivers
proven reliability that allows facilities to operate for longer
periods of time between shutdowns compared to existing
commercially available technologies.”
The new technology employs the company’s Orthoflow
fluidized catalytic cracking reactor technology.

 

IRSG Holding World Rubber Summit From 5-6 May 2020 in Cote d’Ivoire

Singapore—The
International Rubber Study Group (IRSG) has scheduled
its World Rubber Summit 2020 on 5-6 May 2020 at the
Sofitel Abidjan Hotel Ivoire in Cote d’Ivoire, West Africa.
The summit is based on the theme “Unlocking the Potential
of the Rubber Economy: Pathways to Growth in the
Next Decade.”
For more information, visit IRSG’s website at
www.rubberstudy.com.

 

BioLogiQ, Licella Partner to Commercialize Licella’s Cat-HTR Technology in Australia

Sydney—
BioLogiQ, a bioplastic resin manufacturing company, and
global technology firm Licella Holdings have partnered to
accelerate the commercialization of Licella’s Cat-HTR
(Catalytic Hydrothermal Reactor) chemical recycling technology
in Australia.
Cat-HTR technology can recycle a blend of end-of-life
plastics that include polypropylene, polystyrene, lowdensity
polyethylene and multilayer flexible plastic packaging,
without the need to sort plastics into a single
stream, the partners explained.
This process flexibility increases the total amount of
plastic that can be recycled and therefore the process economics.
The process produces a high yield of oil from plastic
(around 85% oil, with the balance as gas that can be
recycled to power the process), they added.
BioLogiQ will support a partnership between Licella
and iQ Renew to commercialize the technology in Australia,
while Mura Technology will work alongside BioLogiQ
to bring the Cat-HTR solution to China.
“We believe the Cat-HTR technology has cracked the
code of scalable, efficient, and economical chemical recycling,”
said BioLogiQ Founder and Chief Executive Brad
LaPray.
“This collaboration represents an investment in our future.
BioLogiQ customers will know they are supporting a
bioplastics company that is as seriously committed to recycling
as themselves. By accelerating and supporting the
commercialization of chemical recycling, BioLoqiQ takes
another big step in its quest to make plastics better.”

 

Gabriel Purchases Remaining Portfolio Of Alkyd Resins from Deltech Resins

Akron—Gabriel
Performance Products has acquired the remainder of
Deltech Resins’ alkyd resins product line (PCN, 28 Oct
2019, p 3).
The transaction, for which a value was not given, includes
Deltech’s vinyl toluene, silicon modified specialty
solutions and coconut. Gabriel will produce the products at
its Harrison City, Penn., facility, using its alkyd resin technology.
Gabriel recently purchased a subset of the alkyd resin
product line from Deltech.

 

Avantium Picks Chemie Park Delfzijl As Location for New FDCA Facility

Delfzijl—Avantium
Renewable Polymers, a wholly-owned subsidiary of
Avantium, has signed a letter of intent to build its new
plant-based furandicarboxylic acid (FDCA) plant at Chemie
Park Delfzijl in the Netherlands (PCN, 24-31 Dec
2018, p 2).
The 5,000-t/y plant, which will be located near the company’s
plant-based monoethylene glycol demonstration
plant, will produce FDCA, the building block for many
chemicals and plastics such as polyethylene furanoate.
Completion is scheduled for 2023.
Avantium Renewable Polymers also entered into a letter
of intent with a regional consortium relating to a conditional
financing of €30-million for the engineering and construction
of the plant, working capital, start-up costs and
operations of Avantium Renewable Polymers.
The regional consortium comprises the Province of
Groningen, Groningen Seaports, NOM (Investment and
Development Agency for the Northern Netherlands),
FondsNieuweDoen, Investeringsfonds Groningen and
Groeifonds.

 

PTTGC’s GCM Subsidiary Establishes New Indonesian Marketing Company

Jakarta—PTT
Global Chemical (PTTGC) said that its wholly-owned GC
Marketing Solutions Co. (GCM) subsidiary has set up a
new Indonesian company, PT GCM Marketing Solutions
Indonesia.
The Indonesian subsidiary, which was established to
support GCM’s import and export trading business, will
engage in the retail and wholesale distribution of polymers
products in the country.

 

Iran Expects to Launch PC Plant Each Month Through March 2021

Tehran—Iran said it
will launch an average of one petrochemical plant per
month from January 2020 through March 2021, reported
NIPNA citing Behzad Moahmmadi, chief executive of the
National Petrochemical Co. of Iran.
According to Moahmmadi, 56 petrochemical facilities
are currently operating in the country, supplying 54-
million t/y of capacity.
“This figure will reach 100-million t/y by 2021 and over
133-million t/y by 2025,” he noted. “The total investment
volume in the sector will jump from $53-billion currently to
$70-billion in the year 2021 and $90-billion by 2025,” he
added.

 

Humpuss Intermoda Planning to Invest $10-Mn in Two New Chemical Tankers

Jakarta—
Humpuss Intermoda Transportasi, an Indonesian Shipping
firm, plans to spend $10-million this year for two new
chemical tankers, according to the Jakarta Post.
The company plans to purchase a total of seven vessels,
including a floating storage regasification unit and four
offshore support vessels.
The company operates around 84 vessels, mainly oil
and gas tankers. Last year, Humpuss acquired only one of
the five chemical tankers it planned on purchasing.
“The planned purchase in 2020 depends on the availability
of the vessels in accordance with our preferred
specifications and budget allocations,” said the report citing
Humpuss Intermoda President Director Budi Hayono.

 

PetroChemical News Briefs

● Dow said order control is in effect for vinyl acetate
monomer, effective immediately, or as individual contract
terms permit. Order control volumes will be based upon
customer’s monthly average of purchased volume, or will
be restricted to the monthly maximum Dow is contractually
obligated to sell.
● Synthetic resins producer DFC plans to advance into
the Russian market, a “rapidly emerging” market for synthetic
resins for coatings, the company announced. DFC
produces alkyd, acrylic, polyester and amino resins, as well
as curing agents and self-healing resins.
● BASF has upgraded and expanded its water-soluble
polyacrylate production plant in Ludwigshafen, Germany.
The project required a single-digit million-euro investment.

V58 N01 – 6 January 2020

LyondellBasell, Sinopec Sign MoU to Form JV to Build New PO & SM Unit in China

Ningbo—
LyondellBasell and China Petroleum & Chemical Corp.
(Sinopec) have signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding
(MoU) to form a 50-50 joint venture for building
a new propylene oxide (PO) and styrene monomer (SM)
plant in Zhenhai, Ningbo, China.
The facility, which will be based on LyondellBasell’s
PO/SM technology, is expected to produce 300,000 t/y of PO
and 600,000 t/y of SM to serve the domestic market.
Construction will begin in early 2020 with start-up anticipated
in 2022. Products will be marketed equally by
both parties.
Once finalized, the joint venture will build upon an existing
JV between the two companies in the same location,
which operates under the name Ningbo ZRCC Lyondell
Chemical Co. Ltd.
“Joint ventures in strategic regions are an important
part of our growth strategy,” noted LyondellBasell Chief
Executive Bob Patel. “As demand for construction materials,
packaging and furnishings continues to grow, we see
an opportunity to bring together our leading technology
with Sinopec’s operational capabilities to further serve the
Chinese market.”

 

Ascend Firms up Agreement with Alabama For Its Planned ADN Project in Decatur

Decatur—
Ascend Performance Materials has finalized an agreement
with the state of Alabama for economic incentives related
to its adiponitrile (ADN) expansion project planned at its
Decatur, Ala., site (PCN, 30 Sept 2019, p 3).
The $175-million project involves increasing ADN capacity
by 180,000 t/y using the company’s own ADN technology,
as well as the installation of cogeneration units.
Construction will begin in the second quarter of this year
and completion is scheduled in late 2021.
Ascend’s board of directors approved the project, subject
to finalized agreements with the state, Morgan County
Economic Development Assn. and the City of Decatur.
MasTec Power Corp., a wholly-owned subsidiary of
MasTec Inc., will act as prime contractor.
The project will create “150 skilled jobs during construction,
10 high-end manufacturing jobs by project completion
and reduce emissions by 60%,” Ascend noted.

 

SABIC to Voluntarily Discontinue Operations At Three 100% Owned Subsidiary Companies

Jubail–
SABIC, in a notification to Tadawul (Saudi Stock Exchange),
said it is voluntarily liquidating three fully-owned
subsidiaries as part of its transformation plan.
The operations to be discontinued include Saudi Japanese
Acrylonitrile Co., SABIC Industrial Catalysts Co., and
Saudi Carbon Fiber Co.
The products of these subsidiaries will continue to be
developed through other subsidiaries.

 

Sumitomo Chem Concludes Construction Of New Catalyst Manufacturing Lines

Tokyo—Sumitomo
Chemical announced it has completed construction on
two new catalyst manufacturing lines at its site in Ichihara,
Chiba, Japan.
The lines will meet the demand of companies licensing
Sumitomo’s polypropylene and propylene oxide (PO) manufacturing
technology.
“Sumitomo Chemical intends to work with its global licensing
partners and expand the business portfolios in its
Petrochemicals & Plastics sector,” the company noted.
This past July, Sumitomo signed a technology licensing
agreement with Bharat Petroleum Corp. for Sumitomo’s
PO production technology for a large-scale petrochemical
project in Kochi, India (PCN, 26 Aug 2019, p 2).

 

Chemours to Divest to Belle Chemical Its W. Virginia Methylamines Plant

Charleston—
Chemours is selling its methylamines and methylamide
production site in Belle, Kanawha County, W. Va., to Belle
Chemical Co., an affiliate of Cornerstone Chemical, according
to several local news sources.
This past September, Chemours announced it would
shut down the former DuPont plant, due to an increase in
the cost of raw materials. The sale will prevent the elimination
of 57 jobs.
“This is a part of the state that has really been hurt
with the decline in coal,” reported MetroNews, quoting Kanawha
County Commissioner Ben Salango. “This was
something those families and communities really depended
upon, so the sale of that business and saving those jobs and
protecting those families is a really big deal throughout the
county and throughout the state.”

 

Zhejiang Starts up First Phase of New Refinery & PC Complex in Zhoushan

Shanghai—
Zhejiang Petroleum and Chemical Corp. (ZPC) has begun
operating the remaining units of the first phase of its new
refinery and petrochemical complex in Zhoushan City,
China, and is now producing oil products and chemicals to
commercial specifications, Reuters reported.
The complex, earlier estimated to require a total investment
of RMB 173-billion, includes 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 in the first phase (PCN, 21
Oct 2019, p 2).
The second phase will include an additional 20-million
t/y of crude oil, 6.6-million t/y of aromatics and 2.8-million
t/y of ethylene. An expected completion date was not
available.
BP and ZPC recently agreed to examine the creation of
an equally-owned joint venture to build and operate an
acetic acid plant at ZPC’s Zhoushan complex. The proposed
1-million-t/y facility would utilize BP’s Cativa XL
technology. No other details were available.

 

Marathon Decides to Cancel Proposal For Anacortes Mixed Xylenes Facility

Seattle—
Marathon Petroleum Corp. has reached an agreement with
six environmental organizations to drop previously announced
plans for a mixed xylenes project in Anacortes,
Wash., according to local news reports.
The $300-million project was expected to recover up to
15,000 b/d of mixed xylenes from the company’s Anacortes
refinery, most of which would have been exported to Asia
(PCN, 23 Feb 2015, p 2).
Environmental organizations claimed the project would
cause a significant increase in refinery energy use and that
the county’s environmental impact statement didn’t adequately
address the risk of oil and chemical spills and increased
threats to the orca population, reported the Skagit
Valley Herald.
In exchange for canceling the xylenes project, the environmental
groups said they would not oppose Marathon
building a marine vapor emission control system, which
would capture and burn vapors that would otherwise be
released during the loading and unloading of petrochemicals
at its pier.
The xylenes project was originally announced by Tesoro
Corp., which later changed its named to Andeavor. In October
2018, Andeavor was purchased by Marathon (PCN, 8
Oct 2018, p 4).
As of PCN’s press deadline, Marathon had not responded
to a request to confirm the report.

 

INA Awards Contract to Maire Tecnimont For Delayed Coking Complex in Croatia

Rijeka—
Maire Tecnimont’s KT – Kinetics Technology SpA subsidiary
has won a lump-sum turnkey contract from INAIndustrija
Nafte (INA) for a new delayed coking complex
for the Rijeka refinery in Croatia.
KT’s scope of work relates to the execution of engineering,
procurement of all equipment and materials, construction
and erection work for a new delayed coking unit with
coke handling and ship loading, sour water stripper, amine
recovery units and the revamping of hydrocracker, sulfur
recovery, and utilities and offsites units. The contract is
valued at around €450-million.
The project, which will involve debottlenecking of existing
units and grassroot implementation of new ones, is
planned to be completed in 2023.

 

U.S. President Trump Inks Seven-Year Reauthorization of the EXIM Bank

Washington—U.S.
President Donald J. Trump has signed legislation that reauthorized
the Export-Import Bank of the U.S. (EXIM) for
seven years.
“I thank President Trump for making history today by
signing into law the longest reauthorization of EXIM in the
agency’s 85-year history,” said EXIM President and
Chairman Kimberly A. Reed.
“The legislation signed into law . . . also directs EXIM to
focus on the important economic and national security
challenges posed by China, which at my direction, EXIM
has prioritized since my confirmation in May. I am proud
to have the support of President Trump and congress in
this undertaking.”

 

Uzbekistan’s Navoiazot Begins Operations At New Chem Complex in Navoi Region

Tashkent—
Uzbekistan has started up a new chemical complex at
Navoiazot in the Navoi region of Uzbekistan, reported Xinhua
News Agency citing the press service of the Uzbek
president.
The project, earlier valued at around $500-million, has
the capacity to produce 300,000 t/y of methanol, 100,000 t/y
of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and 75,000 t/y of caustic soda
(PCN, 7-14 Aug 2017, p 3).
CAMC Engineering and HQC (Shanghai) Co. of China
were contractors for the project.
“The project has changed Uzbekistan’s dependence on
imports of PVC [and] caustic soda, and created a large
number of new jobs, which is of great significance to the
economic development of Uzbekistan,” said the report quoting
Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev. “We hope to continue
to cooperate with Chinese Enterprises on PVC projects
in the future.”

 

Sinochem Group Expected to Start up Quanzhou PC Complex in Mid-2020

Beijing—Sinochem
is expected to begin operations at a new $4.6-billion
crude processing unit and petrochemical complex in Quanzhou,
Fujian Province, China, around mid-2020, reported
Reuters citing three company sources.
Sinochem Quanzhou Petrochemical is building a 1-
million-t/y ethylene cracker and expanding its existing refinery
capacity by 60,000 b/d to 300,000 b/d (PCN, 1 Apr
2019, p 2). The new refining and ethylene facilities are
planned to start up around May or June of this year.
The company is also expected to begin operations at a
new 800,000 t/y paraxylene unit in the fourth quarter of
2020.
PCN earlier reported the project would also include a
400,000-t/y polyethylene plant, a 350,000-t/y polypropylene
facility based on W. R. Grace & Co.’s Unipol process, and
an aromatics extraction unit with 300,000 t/y of capacity.

 

Cameron LNG Begins Initial Production Of Liquefied Natural Gas from Train 2

Houston—
McDermott International and Chiyoda International said
Train 2 of the Cameron LNG project in Hackberry, La., is
in the initial phases of production (PCN, 26 Aug 2019, p 3).
The project, being built by a joint venture of McDermott
and Chiyoda, includes three liquefaction trains with a projected
export of 12-million t/y of liquefied natural gas
(LNG). Train 1 recently began commercial operations.
Train 3 is expected to begin first production by mid-2020.
Cameron LNG LLC is jointly owned by Sempra Energy
(50.2%), Total (16.6%), Mitsui & Co. (16.6%) and Mitsubishi
and Nippon Yusen Kabushiki Kaisha (16.6%).

 

Gazprom Obtains €11.4-Bn in Financing For Amur Gas Processing Plant Project

Moscow—
Gazprom has received commitments from 22 European,
Asian and Russian banks for a total of €11.4-billion in debt
financing for the company’s Amur Gas Processing (GPP)
plant, currently under construction in Russia (PCN, 9 Sept
2019, p 2).
The project, which is 54% complete, 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 pentane-hexane fraction.
Also included in the project is the “world’s largest” helium
production unit, capable of producing up to 60-million
cu m/yr, Gazprom noted. The GPP is expected to reach its
design capacity by 2025.
“The signing of project finance documentation is a
landmark event for this project,” said the company. “Now,
the project enjoys support from our long-standing and reliable
partners from Europe, Asia and Russia. Remarkably,
for the first time in history we have raised project financing
from Chinese banks.”

 

IRSG Releases December ’19 Edition Of World Rubber Industry Outlook

Washington—The
International Rubber Study Group (IRSG), for the year
2019, estimates a decline in global rubber demand by 1.5%
year-on-year up to 28.74-million tons, according to its recently
released December 2019 edition of the World Rubber
Industry Outlook (WRIO).
Published twice a year, the WRIO presents the latest
long-term forecasts for the next 10 years, covering the
world economy, as well as the rubber, tire and vehicle sectors.
It comprises two economic scenarios: IMF (International
Monetary Fund) and Downside.
Despite the decline in 2019, global rubber demand is
forecast to rebound in 2020 (2.6%) driven by marginal recovery
in the tire sector (1.5%), and a growth in the nontire
sector (4.3%) before further acceleration in the global
demand growth to 2.8% in 2021 under the IMF scenario.
Global synthetic rubber (SR) demand has increased by
1.5% in 2018 (15.4-million tons). Under the IMF scenario,
its growth is expected to drop by 2.8% in 2019, reaching
14.98-million tons. SR demand is predicted to recover
faster (3.4%) than natural rubber (NR) demand growth
(1.9%) in 2020.
Worldwide NR demand has grown by 4.1% in 2018 to
13.76-million tons. Under the IMF scenario, the growth is
expected to decline marginally (-0.1%) in 2019. A recovery
in NR demand (1.9%) is expected in 2020.
The latest report is available on IRSG’s website at
www.rubberstudy.com.

 

Grupa Azoty Announces Recent Launch Of PA Compounding Unit in Tarnów

Tarnów—Grupa
Azoty last month said it opened a new PLN 100-million
polyamides (PA) compounding plant in Tarnów, Poland.
The 50,000-t/y facility, built together with German
technological partner Akro-Plastik, is based on the latest
technology and equipment.
The compounding unit will process product from the
company’s nearby 80,000-t/y PA plant.

 

Elkem Signs Agreement to Purchase Elastomer and Resins Firm Polysil

Beijing—Elkem
ASA has entered into a deal to acquire all shares of Chinese
silicone elastomer and resins material manufacturer
Polysil at an enterprise value of up to RMB 941-million.
Polysil, a privately-owned company based in Zhongshan,
Guangdong, has “leading” technology positions in the
production and development of heat cured rubber, liquid
silicone rubber and specialty resin and pressure sensitive
adhesives. It has two production facilities and a research
and development center.
The transaction, expected to close by the end of the first
quarter of 2020, is subject to final regulatory approvals.
“Polysil has particularly strong positions in the fastgrowing
South China market where approximately half of
all Chinese silicone rubber consumption is,” noted Frederic
Jacquin, senior vice president of Elkem Silicones.

 

LCT to Collaborate with UM & USM For a Circular Economy for Plastics

Kuala Lumpur—
Lotte Chemical Titan Holding Berhad (LCT) signed a
memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Universiti Malaya
(UM) and Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) to collaborate
on a research study to explore value-added opportunities
for plastic waste management in order to support and
drive circular economy for plastics in Malaysia.
Under the MoU, LCT will provide research funding of
RM 200,000 each to UM and USM for a two-year research
project that will explore converting plastic waste into fuel
or other value-accretive products, LCT noted.
“We are pleased to foster collaborative ties with renowned
universities in Malaysia for this research study,
which represents our commitment to drive circular economy
for plastics by spearheading radical solutions to effectively
reuse and recycle plastic wastes in Malaysia,” said
LCT President and Chief Executive Dr. Lee Dong Woo.
“Both UM and USM are highly regarded for their research
capabilities, hence, this research study will further
enhance their research and development capacity, while
addressing the country’s plastic waste management problem
head-on.”

 

Kinder Morgan Finalized Sale to Pembina Of KML Stake, Portion of Cochin Pipeline

Houston—
Kinder Morgan recently completed the sale to Pembina
Pipeline Corp. of a 70% stake in Kinder Morgan Canada
Ltd. (KML), and the U.S. portion of the Cochin Pipeline
system.
“The newly acquired assets provide enhanced integration
within our existing franchise, entrance into exciting
new businesses and clear visibility to creating long-term
value for our shareholders,” said Pembina President and
Chief Executive Mick Dilger.
“Our teams will now focus on completing the integration
activities and pursuing the $100-million of additional
run-rate adjusted EBITDA we expect to realize over the
coming years.”
The U.S. portion of the Cochin Pipeline extends from
the Kinder Morgan station near Riga, Mich., to the International
Boundary near Maxbass, North Dakota.

 

RPET Industry Has ‘Year of Successes’ According to Wood Mackenzie Report

London—This
past year has been a “year of successes” within the recycled
polyethylene terephthalate (rPET) industry, according to a
recent report by Wood Mackenzie.
“Beyond regulatory commitments, such as the EU’s single-
use plastics directive that was announced earlier this
year [in 2019], ambitious recycled content sustainability
goals have been publicized by many brand owners,” said
Dr. Pieterjan Van Uytvanck, principal analyst.
“Some brand owner targets exceeded the EU single-use
plastics directive, further highlighting the momentum behind
the shift towards achieving a circular economy.”
There has been a “significant” drive behind collection
and recycling commitments; however, collection remains a
problem.
According to Wood Mackenzie’s analysis, the collection
of post-consumer PET bottles in Western Europe is expected
to increase because of regulatory support. However,
despite forecasting aggressive growth rates, Wood
Mackenzie predicts that reaching the 90% EU single-use
plastics directive target will remain a challenge.
Collection rates in Western Europe are currently estimated
at 57% in 2019. From 2019 to 2029, collection volumes
are expected to increase by 5% per year and collection
rates are anticipated to raise to 78% across the region,
still falling short of the 90% target for 2029.
Currently, rPET costs more than virgin PET (vPET).
However, savings from reduced vPET resin prices can facilitate
increased rPET content while maintaining the
overall packaging procurement cost, the report said.
“When considering overall packaging portfolios, we
need to think about the blended cost of rPET and vPET
resin,” Dr. Van Uytvanck continued.
“We ran a high-level hypothetical scenario, which found
that the increased cost of rPET content to customers can,
in fact, be compensated by the reduction of vPET resin
prices. By preserving the overall packaging budget, moving
towards a more sustainable solution doesn’t need to hit
consumers in the pocket,” he stated.
“Customers have both a willingness and ability to pay
for the material to meet rPET sustainability commitments,
funded in part by declines in vPET resin prices.”
Last year “started strongly with increased sustainability
commitments, new regulation, growing demand and
rising prices. However, in the latter half of 2019, the intermediate
rPET flake market has weakened, drawing the
year to a close with a fizzle rather than a bang. Therefore,
the outlook for 2020 is a cautious one.”

 

Covestro Completes Sale to Serafin Of European PC Sheets Business

Munich—Covestro
said it has “successfully” finalized the sale of its European
polycarbonates (PC) sheets business to the Serafin Group
for an undisclosed amount (PCN, 23 Sept 2019, p 3).
The business, which has production sites in Belgium
and Italy, will now operate under the new company name
Exolon Group.
“With the sale . . . Covestro is pursuing its ongoing portfolio
optimization,” Covestro noted. “The divestment follows
transactions that were already concluded in North
America and India, as well as the conversion of the Guangzhou
(China) site into production of specialty films. Thus,
Covestro has completely sold it polycarbonates sheets business.”

 

PetroChemical News Briefs

● Chandra Asri (CAP) has added 110,000 t/y of additional
polypropylene capacity through debottlenecking at
its site in Cilegon, Indonesia (PCN, 16 Dec 2019, p 1). Last
month, CAP started up a new 400,000-t/y swing polyethylene
unit at the site.
● Evonik has agreed to cooperate with Global Co. for
Downstream Industries (GDI) to develop a new technology
for multi-purpose isopropyl alcohol production.
● Oman Oil and Orpic Group announced they will integrate
their core businesses under a new brand identity
called “OQ.” The letter “O” stands for Oman and opportunity,
while the letter “Q” honors Qaboos bin Said, sultan of
Oman.

V57 N48 – 23-30 December 2019

Ineos Confirms Decision to Shut Down Acrylonitrile Plant at Seal Sands Site

London—Ineos,
following a 59-day consultation with employees, has decided
to close its 300,000-t/y acrylonitrile manufacturing
facility at Seal Sands on Teesside in the UK (PCN, 7 Oct
2019, p 2).
“Over the past 10 years, Ineos has invested almost
€200-million into the plant to try to counter decades of significant
under investment,” said Seal Sands Site Director
Jon Howard. “Every penny of profit since we acquired the
site has been invested back into the plant. To stand still
would require another €200-million. Our staff have
worked exceptionally hard and have made significant improvements,
but it has been impossible to play catch-up.”
The company also operates a hexamethylene diamine
(HMD) plant at the site on behalf of BASF. The HMD unit
will continue to operate, and site services required to operate
the plant will be restructured to take into consideration
the closure of the acrylonitrile facility, in the coming
weeks, Ineos noted.
Ineos will now begin to separate acrylonitrile production
from continuing activities before shutting down the
plant and beginning the safe decommission of the unit
through 2020.
Site management will support the 145 employees affected
by the decision through alternative roles at other
Ineos’ sites, and a range of employee and outplacement
support services.

 

DIC Announces Further Capacity Boost For Polystyrene at Yokkaichi Facility

Tokyo—DIC
Corp. has completed another capacity expansion for polystyrene
(PS) at its Yokkaichi production plant in Mie Prefecture,
Japan (PCN, 9 Apr 2018, p 3).
PS production capacity was raised to 216,000 t/y from
208,000 t/y by reinforcing the PS facility and optimizing
processes, the company noted.
DIC has set a target to increase annual sales of PS by
10% by fiscal year 2023 from the fiscal year 2017 level.
In early 2018, the company expanded PS capacity at the
facility to 208,000 t/y from 171,000 t/y. Cost of the expansions
were not disclosed.

 

Inovyn Begins Delivering the ‘World’s First’ Commercially Available Renewable PVC

London—
Inovyn said it has started deliveries of Biovyn, the “world’s
first” commercially available bio-attributed polyvinyl chloride
(PVC), to Tarkett (PCN, 21 Oct 2019, p 4).
Biovyn is produced using bio-attributed ethylene, which
is derived from the wood value chain. It delivers a greenhouse
gas savings of over 90% compared to conventional
PVC.
“Since the launch of Biovyn in October, we have seen
strong global interest,” noted Inovyn Business Director
Filipe Constant.

 

Dushan Energy Starts up ‘World’s Largest’ Single Train PTA Project at Dushan Port

Beijing—
Zhejiang Dushan Energy Co., a subsidiary of Xin Fengming
Group, recently started up the “world’s largest” single-train
purified terephthalic acid (PTA) project at Dushan Port
Economic Development Zone in Pinghu, China, reported
Wison Engineering, designer of the project.
The 2.2-million-t/y PTA plant uses BP’s latest PTA
process technology, which generates 95% less solid waste,
65% less greenhouse gas and 75% less wastewater, compared
to conventional processes.
“This is the first PTA project using the latest BP PTA
process in China,” Wison stated. “The successful start-up
proves Wison’s solid capability in commercializing new
technologies and Wison and BP’s strong partnership in
bringing this leading technology to commercial application.”
Last year, Wison was awarded the engineering contract
for Phase II of the project. This past October, Wison said
design work for the second phase was close to completion.

 

Hainan Huasheng Selects KBR Technology For Its New Bisphenol A Project in China

Hainan—
Hainan Huasheng New Material Technology Co. has
awarded a contract to KBR to license Mitsubishi Chemical
Corp.’s proprietary technology for a new 240,000-t/y
bisphenol A (BPA) facility in Dongfang City, Hainan Province,
China.
Under the terms of the contract, KBR will provide a licensing
and basic engineering design package to Hainan
Huasheng for building the grassroots BPA plant. KBR will
also provide commissioning, start-up support and training
services. Value of the contract and a schedule for the project
were not given.
The BPA technology provides “superior” product quality
with a minimum long-term cost of production, KBR noted.
“The quality of BPA product is essential to our downstream
non-phosgene based polycarbonate unit,” said Yao
Guangqian, general manager of Hainan Huasheng. “By
using this advanced BPA process . . . we are confident this
project will be a great success.”
Hainan Huasheng is also building a new 260,000-t/y
polycarbonate production unit in the Hainan Dongfang
Industrial Park (PCN, 24 Sept 2018, p 2). Completion is
expected in 2020.

 

Sasol’s Completes Catalyst Replacement At New Lake Charles Ethane Cracker

Lake Charles—
Sasol said a new ethane cracker, part of its Lake Charles
Chemicals Project, is increasing production rates after the
successful replacement of an acetylene reactor catalyst
(PCN, 2 Sept 2019, p 1).
The 1.5-million-t/y cracker, which achieved beneficial
operation this past August, has been running at around
50% to 60% of nameplate capacity due to underperformance
of the unit’s acetylene removal system.
The issue has now been resolved and, on 17 Dec. 2019,
Sasol said ethylene production rates were 85% to 90% of
nameplate capacity and rising.
In addition, a new 420,000-t/y low-density polyethylene
plant (LDPE) at the site, which is currently being commissioned,
is expected to reach beneficial operation this
month. The 100,000-t/y ethoxylates facility, Ziegler and
Guerbet alcohol units are on track to reach beneficial operation
in early 2020.
A combined 300,000-t/y ethylene oxide and 250,000-t/y
ethylene glycol unit, and a 470,000-t/y linear LDPE plant
achieved beneficial operation earlier this year.

 

Brudermueller, Patel & D’Aniello Receive CME’s 2019 STEM Leadership Awards

New York—The
Chemical Marketing & Economic Group (CME) of the
American Chemical Society’s New York Section has honored
BASF’s Martin Brudermueller, LyondellBasell’s Bob
Patel and Daniel D’Aniello of The Carlyle Group with the<