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V59 N40 – 18 October 2021

Orlen Unipetrol Expanding Steam Cracker To Boost Ethylene Capacity at Litvinov

Zaluzi—
Orlen Unipetrol has decided to increase capacity of its
steam cracker in Zaluzi, near Litvinov, Russia, with the
addition of an eleventh furnace.
The new furnace, requiring an investment of more than
CZK 700-million, will boost ethylene capacity at the site to
585,000 t/y from 545,000 t/y currently. Commissioning is
expected next year. The furnace will utilize Technip Energies’
SMKTM technology.
“The petrochemical segment already represents a third
of our production and more than half of our incomes,” said
Tomasz Wiatrak, chief executive of the Orlen Unipetrol
Group. “Its importance will continue to grow in the coming
decades, as global demand for petrochemical products
grows, too.
“We want to increase the total petrochemical production
from 0.9-million to 1.4-million tons a year by 2030.
We need to remove the existing capacity limitations of the
steam cracker’s pyrolysis section, the heart of our petrochemical
segment, to have sufficient space for the planned
production increase.”

 

EuroChem Selects KBR’s Insite Services For Its Kingisepp Ammonia Operations

Moscow—
KBR has been awarded a three-year service contract by
EuroChem to provide its KBR Insite digital advisory service
for EuroChem’s ammonia plant in Kingisepp, Russia.
KBR Insite provides remote monitoring and advisory
service to customers to help drive their plant operations to
top-quartile performance, noted KBR.
Under the contract, KBR will proactively analyze
EuroChem’s ammonia plant operations and leverage the
domain knowledge of KBR experts to identify opportunities
for achieving sustainable improvements in production, reliability,
environmental impact, and energy efficiency, KBR
explained.

 

Acme Awards KBR Technology Contract For Green Ammonia Project in Oman

Muscat—KBR
said it has been awarded a contract by Acme Group to supply
its ammonia technology for a new “breakthrough”
green ammonia project to be built in Oman.
The 300-t/d ammonia plant will be an integrated facility
using solar and wind energy to produce the ammonia. No
other details of the project were available.
Under the terms of the contract, KBR will provide technology
license, engineering, proprietary equipment, catalyst,
and commissioning services.
“This facility, aimed towards exporting green ammonia
to Europe and Asia, will be the first project of this scale,”
noted Manoj K. Upadhyay, founder and chairman of Acme
Group. “We selected KBR technology because of its high
yields and lowest energy consumption and look forward to
a successful project implementation.”

 

Ceyhan Polipropilen JV Breaks Ground For Polypropylene Facility in Turkey

Adana—
Ceyhan Polipropilen Uretim AS, a joint venture of Sonatrach
and Ronesans Holding, has broken ground for a new
polypropylene (PP) production plant in Adana, Turkey
(PCN, 9 Dec 2019, p 1).
The approximately $1.7-billion PP facility, which will be
based on technologies from UOP Honeywell and Lyondell-
Basell, will have a production capacity of 450,000 t/y and is
expected to triple Turkey’s annual PP production capacity.
Operations are expected to begin in 2025.
Sonatrach will provide 550,000 t/y of raw material to
the plant by 2040, while Ronesans will supply most of the
electricity demand from its hydroelectricity plants. “Thus,
near 80% of the plant’s total energy need will be supplied
from renewable energy sources,” Ronesans noted.
Ceyhan Polipropilen is expected to sign an engineering,
procurement, construction and commissioning contract “in
the coming weeks” with a partnership formed by Tecnicas
Reunidas and Ronesans, stated Tecnicas Reunidas.

 

JSC Shchekinoazot Finalizes Construction On New M-500 Methanol Plant in Russia

Moscow—
JSC Shchekinoazot has concluded construction and
launched operations of its new Methanol-500 (M-500) production
facility in Shchekinoazot, Russia (PCN, 17 Sept
2018, p 2).
The 500,000-t/y methanol plant, based on technologies
from Haldor Topsoe, is the company’s third methanol unit
at the site, bringing total methanol production capacity to
1.5-million t/y.
“The M-500 plant is a high-tech one,” said Shchekinoazot
President Boris Sokol. “It has a resource and energy
efficient technology. The project is strategically important
both for the company and our country.”
With the commissioning of the third methanol unit,
Shchekinoazot will become the “leader” in terms of methanol
production in Russia and Europe, noted JSC NIIK, the
designing company.
The project was financed by Gazprombank and state
development corporation VEB.RF.

 

BP and Lanxess Forming Partnership For Renewable Raw Material Supply

Cologne—BP
and Lanxess are entering into a strategic partnership, in
which BP will supply sustainably produced cyclohexane to
Lanxess’ Antwerp, Belgium, site, beginning this quarter.
The ISCC Plus certified cyclohexane will be used by
Lanxess as a precursor in the production of polyamide 6.
BP uses bio-based and bio-circular feedstocks for the production
of “green” cyclohexane, which can be, for example,
rapeseed oil or biomass.
With this partnership, both companies want to “significantly”
advance the production of sustainable plastics, the
partners noted.

 

Repsol and Portugal Formalize Investment In Expansion of Sines Industrial Complex

Sines—
Repsol and the Portuguese government have signed an
investment contract for the expansion of Repsol’s Sines
industrial complex in Portugal (PCN, 27 Sept 2021, p 1).
The project, which will be the “largest” industrial investment
made in Portugal in the last 10 years, involves
construction of a new 300,000-t/y linear polyethylene plant
and a 300,000-t/y polypropylene (PP) unit, Repsol noted.
Operations are scheduled to begin in 2025.
Under the contract, Repsol will invest €657-million in
the expansion of the complex, while the Portuguese government,
which considers the project of Potential National
Interest (PIN), has granted tax incentives for the investment
of up to €63-million.
PIN is a qualification reserved for investments that
make significant contribution to the country’s economy,
Repsol explained.
Repsol recently selected LyondellBasell’s Spherizone
PP technology for the new PP plant.

 

Hanwha Lets KBR Technology Contract For New Nitric Acid Plant in S. Korea

Yeosu—KBR
said it has been awarded a dual-pressure nitric acid technology
contract by Hanwha Corp. for a new 1,200-t/d nitric
acid facility to be built at Yeosu in South Korea.
Under the terms of the contract, KBR will provide license,
basic engineering design, and technical support to
Hanwha for the facility. No other details of the project
were available.
“KBR is proud to be selected by Hanwha to deliver our
leading dual-pressure nitric acid technology that offers
tangible CAPEX and OPEX benefits, including reduced net
energy consumption through efficient energy recovery,”
noted Doug Kelly, president of technology at KBR.

 

Monolith, SK Ink JV Agreement to Produce Clean Hydrogen & Carbon Black in Korea

Seoul—
Monolith and SK Inc. have signed a memorandum of understanding
(MoU) to pursue a joint venture for the production
of clean hydrogen and carbon black products in
South Korea.
Monolith has developed a process technology that uses
100% renewable energy to convert natural gas into clean
hydrogen and carbon black.
As part of the MoU, Monolith will share its production
technology knowledge with SK for the production of clean
hydrogen and carbon black, while SK will oversee the production,
sales and distribution of these products.
Monolith is currently operating its first commercialscale
production facility in Hallam, Neb., for the production
of clean hydrogen and carbon black.
Last December, Monolith announced plans to produce
clean ammonia at a second phase production plant in Nebraska
(PCN, 21-28 Dec 2020, p 4).
“Monolith believes that for a global challenge like decarbonization,
global collaboration is needed,” said Monolith
Chief Executive Rob Hanson.
“We’re eager to continue our collaboration with SK Inc.
to ensure cleanly-produced hydrogen and carbon products
are available around the world.”

 

ExxonMobil Plans to Build New Large-Scale Plastic Waste Advanced Recycling Facility

Irving—
ExxonMobil announced its intention to build its first,
large-scale plastic waste advanced recycling plant in Baytown,
Texas, which will be among the “largest” in North
America.
The company is already operating a smaller, temporary
facility, where it is producing commercial volumes of certified
circular polymers that will be marketed by the end of
this year to meet growing demand.
The new facility will have an initial planned capacity to
recycle 30,000 t/y of plastic waste, and follows validation of
the company’s initial trial of its proprietary process for
converting plastic waste into raw materials.
To date, the trial has successfully recycled over 1,000
tons of plastic waste and has demonstrated the capability
of processing 50 t/d.
ExxonMobil is also developing plans to build around
500,000 t/y of advanced recycling capacity globally over the
next five years.
In France, it is working with Plastic Energy on an advanced
recycling plant in Notre Dame de Gravenchon,
which is expected to process 25,000 t/y of plastic waste
when its starts up in 2023, with the potential for further
expansion to 33,000 t/y (PCN, 29 Mar–5 Apr 2021, p 3).
ExxonMobil is also assessing site in the Netherlands,
the U.S. Gulf Coast, Canada and Singapore.

 

Enterprise’s Teague Named as Recipient Of ‘21 Petrochemical Heritage Award

San Antonio—
Jim Teague, chief executive of Enterprise Products, has
been selected to receive the 2021 Petrochemical Heritage
Award.
Teague began his career in sales at Dow Chemical,
where he rose to become vice president of feedstocks. After
retiring from Dow, he served as president of Mapco Trading
and Marketing, and then as president of Shell Oil’s
midstream business.
In 1999, when Shell sold the midstream business to Enterprise
Products, Teague joined Enterprise as executive
vice president. He later became chief operating officer and
chief commercial officer. In 2010, he was made a director
and then in 2016 was named chief executive.
“Teague’s role in the growth of Enterprise’s value from
less than $1.5-billion in 1999 to more than $90-billion today
is the highlight of his career,” noted the Science History
Institute.
The award is scheduled to be presented during American
Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturer’s International
Petrochemical Conference being held 17-19 Oct. 2021 in
San Antonio, Texas.

 

People on the Move

CF Industries Inc.—Stephen J. Hagge, independent
director of CF and former president and chief executive of
Aptar Group, has been elected incoming chair of the board
of CF, effective 1 Jan. 2022. He will succeed Stephen A.
Furbacher, who will retire at the annual meeting of shareholders
in May 2022.
JGC Holdings—Farhan Mujib has been appointed
president and representative director, effective 1 Jan.
2022. He will succeed Yutaka Yamazaki, who will continue
to serve as a director of JGC Holdings and JGC Corp.

 

Air Products Touts Clean Energy Complex To Produce Blue Hydrogen in Louisiana

Gonzales—
Air Products and Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards
have announced a “landmark” $4.5-billion blue hydrogen
clean energy complex to be built in Ascension Parish, La.
The facility, to be built, owned and operated by Air
Products, will have the capacity to produce over 750-
million cu ft/d of blue hydrogen. The project will create 170
permanent jobs and over 2,000 construction jobs over three
years.
A portion of the blue hydrogen will be compressed and
supplied to customers via the company’s extensive U.S.
Gulf Coast hydrogen pipeline network, which can supply
customers with more than 1.6-billion cu ft/d of hydrogen
from approximately 25 production plants, including blue
hydrogen from Air Products’ Port Arthur, Texas, facility.
The remaining blue hydrogen from the Ascension Parish
facility will be used to make blue ammonia that will be
transported worldwide and converted back to blue hydrogen
for transportation and other markets.
Around 95% of the carbon dioxide (CO2) generated at
the new complex will be captured, compressed and transported
by pipeline to multiple inland sequestration sites,
located along a pipeline corridor extending 35 miles east of
the complex.
Over 5-million t/y of CO2 will be permanently sequestered
one mile beneath the surface in geological pore space
secured from the state. Air Products has already received
approval from Louisiana’s State Mineral and Energy Board
for the permanent sequestration of the CO2.
“This landmark mega project will not only create jobs,
but make Louisiana and Ascension Parish leaders in the
U.S. clean energy transition,” noted Air Products Chairman,
President and Chief Executive Seifi Ghasemi.
“Air Products is fully invested in, and committed to projects
that leverage our build-own-operate, technology, financial
and sustainability capabilities, and this project
brings all those core strengths together.”

 

Sibur Plans Potential Project to Reduce ZapSibNeftekhim’s Carbon Emissions

Moscow—Nova
Energies, a joint venture of Technip Energies and Nipigas,
has been awarded a pre-FEED (front-end engineering and
design) contract by Sibur to study potential carbon capture
solutions for Sibur’s ZapSibNeftekhim petrochemical facility
in Russia.
Nova Energies’ scope of work includes technology and
optimal technical solutions development, along with a cost
estimate for the process of capturing, transporting and
utilizing carbon dioxide from the operating enterprises of
ZapSibNeftekhim and the Tobolsk thermoelectric power
station. Value of the contract was not disclosed.
“We are pleased to announce that Nipigas team, in
partnership with Technip Energies, has begun the development
of a project to reduce carbon emissions of the largest
petrochemical enterprise in the country and the main
production asset of Sibur,” said Nipigas General Director
Dmitry Evstafiev.
“This project gives Nova Energies an opportunity to
contribute to the development and to take a leading position
in the market for energy transition in our country
from the very beginning of the operation of the joint venture.”

 

Topsoe Begins Operation of Demo Unit For Its eSMR Methanol Technology

Copenhagen—
Haldor Topsoe has started up a plant to demonstrate its
eSMR methanol technology for the production of sustainable
methanol from biogas at Aarhus University’s research
facility in Foulum, Denmark (PCN, 22 July 2019, p 2).
The new 10-kg/hr methanol plant, scheduled to be fully
operational by the beginning of 2022, will validate Topsoe’s
electrified technology for the cost-competitive production of
carbon dioxide (CO2)-neutral methanol.
The process utilizes half the CO2 that makes up about
40% of biogas and typically is costly to separate and vent in
the production of grid quality biogas.
Partners in the project include Aarhus University –
Dept. of Biological and Chemical Engineering, Sintex A/S,
Blue World Technology ApS, Technical University of Denmark,
Energinet A/S, Aalborg University, and Plan Energi,
with Topsoe leading the project.
“The climate benefits from using sustainable methanol
[are] not limited to one single purpose,” Topsoe noted. Sustainable
methanol can be used for marine fuel, blend in
gasoline, and for the chemical industry, where methanol is
mainly used today.
“Further, the main feature in the demonstration plant
is Topsoe’s eSMR technology, which enables not only the
production of sustainable methanol, but also other sustainable
products like green hydrogen, green ammonia,
eFuels, and more.”

 

CAP Inks MoU With Aramco Trading To Secure Feed for 2nd PC Complex

Cilegon—
Chandra Asri Petrochemical (CAP) and Aramco Trading
Co. (ATC) have signed a memorandum of understanding
(MoU) for the supply of feedstock for CAP’s proposed second
world-scale integrated petrochemical complex in Cilegon,
Indonesia (PCN, 2 Aug 2021, p 2).
Under the MoU, the parties will look at potential opportunities
for ATC to supply feedstock to support CAP’s operation
of the complex.
Estimated to cost around $5-billion, the project would
include, among others, a cracker unit, polymerized olefins
and related facilities and utilities. It would double CAP’s
production capacity to over 8-million t/y. Subject to a final
investment decision planned in 2022, construction is expected
to take four to five years.

 

Lukoil Starts Supplying Solar Energy To Stavrolen Petrochemical Facility

Moscow—Lukoil
announced it has begun supplying solar electricity to its
Stavrolen petrochemical plant in Budennovsk, Russia, in
order to reduce its carbon footprint.
The company is expected to supply approximately 11-
million kWh annually from its own solar power plant located
at its Volgograd refinery.
“The use of renewable power generation will enable
Stavrolen to reduce [the] carbon footprint of its products
with [an] expected reduction of indirect emissions by almost
5,000 tons of CO2 [carbon dioxide] per year,” Lukoil
noted.
The company plans to continue to implement such projects
in accordance with its climate strategy.

 

OWPL Partners Studying Offshore Wind Use For Green Hydrogen Production in Scotland

Flotta—
Offshore Wind Partners Ltd. (OWPL), a consortium of TotalEnergies,
Macquarie’s Green Investment Group and
Renewable Infrastructure Development Group, is studying
the use of offshore wind to power the production of green
hydrogen on an industrial scale on the island of Flotta in
Orkney, Scotland.
OWPL has submitted a proposal, called the West of
Orkney Windfarm, to the Crown Estate Scotland’s offshore
wind leasing round to develop the N1 plan option area west
of Orkney. If successful, the proposal could deliver renewable
power to a green hydrogen production facility at the
Flotta Terminal.
OWPL, in partnership with Flotta Terminal’s owners
Repsol Sinopec and Uniper, are developing plans to power
the proposed Flotta Hydrogen Hub.
“TotalEnergies believes in the potential of renewable
offshore wind power to produce green hydrogen, supporting
our companies to meet their ambition in terms of carbon
neutrality,” said Julien Pouget, senior vice president of
renewables at TotalEnergies.
“With our proposed West of Orkney windfarm, there is
an opportunity to create one of the world’s first green hydrogen
plants in Orkney. It is an exciting plan, and we
look forward to working on it with our partners and Orkney
stakeholders,” Pouget added.
“Flotta is an ideal location for green hydrogen production
– it is surrounded by the best wind resource in Europe,
it lies close to major shipping routes within the vast natural
harbor of Scapa Flow,” noted James Stockan, leader of
Orkney Islands Council.

 

Worley Wins Services Contract from Aramco For Ras Tanura Residue Upgrade Project

Riyadh—
Saudi Aramco has awarded a services contract to Worley
for a residue upgrade project at Aramco’s Ras Tanura refinery
in Saudi Arabia.
The project will convert low-value refinery residue into
higher-value products, including gasoline, jet fuel and ultra-
low sulfur diesel. A schedule for the project was not
given.
Under the contract, Worley will provide early front-end
engineering design, front-end engineering design and project
management services for the entire project.
Advisian, Worley’s consulting business, completed the
front-end conceptual studies for the project.

 

CF Enters Agreements Enabling Operation Of Billingham Through at Least Jan. ‘22

London—CF
Industries Holdings said its UK subsidiary has reached
carbon dioxide (CO2) pricing and offtake agreements with
its industrial customers in the country that will allow its
Billingham, UK, complex to continue to operate through at
least January 2022 (PCN, 27 Sept 2021, p 2).
The complex is capable of producing 750 t/d of CO2 for
commercial use as a byproduct of the ammonia production
process.
During the period of the agreements, it is expected that
the UK government and industrial gas customers will develop
robust alternative sources of CO2, as part of a longterm
solution for meeting demand in the country.
CF recently restarted its ammonia unit at the complex
that was suspended last month because of high natural gas
prices, after reaching an interim agreement with the government
to cover the costs to restart the plant and produce
CO2 for the UK market.
The company’s Ince fertilizer complex in Chester, UK,
was suspended at the same time as the Billingham facility;
however, it remains offline. CF does not have an estimate
for when production will resume there.

 

Dow Announces Agreement with Topsoe To Fast-Track MDU at Terneuzen Site

Terneuzen—
Dow announced a first step agreement is in place with
Haldor Topsoe to fast-track the design, engineering and
construction of a new 10,000-t/y market development unit
(MDU) at Dow’s site in Terneuzen, the Netherlands (PCN,
11 Oct 2021, p 3).
The MDU will advance the technology for industrialscale
purification of pyrolysis oil feedstock derived from
waste plastics, which will be used to meet strong market
demand for new, circular polyethylene.
“Advancing the circular economy for plastics requires
scale for feedstock recycling and clean up that does not yet
exist broadly, so we are partnering to help accelerate it,”
said Diego Donoso, president of Dow’s packaging and specialty
plastics business.
“Leveraging Haldor Topsoe’s technology and expertise
will help us de-risk scale-up purification capabilities
aligned with our efforts to stop the waste and close the
loop.”

 

LyondellBasell Extends Circulen Suite

Rotterdam—
LyondellBasell said it has extended its Circulen suite of
sustainable solutions to its Advanced Polymer Solutions
(APS) segment.
The Circulen portfolio of compounds and solutions is
derived from mechanical and advanced (molecular) recycled
and renewable-based materials for its customers.
LyondellBasell’s APS segment produces polypropylene
compounds, engineered plastics, masterbatches, colors and
powders, engineered composites and advanced polymers,
including Catalloy and polybutene-1.

V59 N39 – 11 October 2021

Dow Building Net-Zero Carbon Emissions Ethylene, Derivatives Complex in Alberta

Alberta—
Dow announced plans to build the “world’s first” net-zero
carbon emissions integrated ethylene cracker and derivatives
site in Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, Canada.
The proposed project would more than triple the company’s
ethylene and polyethylene (PE) capacity from the
Fort Saskatchewan site, while retrofitting the entire site to
net-zero scope 1 and 2 carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.
The brownfield ethylene cracker is expected to add
around 1.8-million tons of capacity in a phased manner
through 2030, and along with derivatives capacity and size
retrofit investments, will enable Dow to produce and supply
approximately 3.2-million tons of certified low- to zerocarbon
emissions PE and ethylene derivatives.
Cracker off-gas would be converted into hydrogen as a
clean fuel to be used in the production process, and CO2,
which would be captured onsite to be transported and
stored by adjacent third-party CO2 infrastructure.
Subject to approval by Dow’s board of directors and certain
regulatory agencies, the project would decarbonize
about 20% of Dow’s global ethylene capacity, while growing
its PE supply by about 15%.
Dow selected the Fort Saskatchewan site for this project
due to the region’s highly competitive energy and feedstocks
position, the company noted.

 

Sarawak Selects Petronas’ PGTSSB For Its New ‘Mega’ Methanol Plant

Sarawak—
Petronas Global Technical Solutions Sdn Bhd (PGTSSB)
said it has entered into an agreement with Sarawak
Petchem to provide advisory and technical support services
for Sarawak’s “first” mega methanol facility being built in
Bintulu, Sarawak, Malaysia (PCN, 14 June 2021, p 2).
Under the agreement, PGTSSB will provide advisory on
technical services, procurement and turnaround, as well as
critical operations and maintenance support for the project,
which is expected to begin operations in 2023. Value
of the contract was not given.
The new 5,000-t/d methanol plant will be based Air
Liquide E&C’s proprietary Lurgi MegaMethanol process
technology to convert natural gas to methanol.
Air Liquide E&C will also supply engineering, related
equipment, as well as an air separation unit with a production
capacity of 2,200 t/d of oxygen.
In 2018, Sarawak selected Petronas Chemicals Marketing
(Labuan) Ltd. as its partner to market methanol products
for the project.

 

Clariant, Linde Jointly Develop Catalysts For Novel Ethylene Production Process

Munich—
Clariant Catalysts said it has partnered with Linde Engineering
to develop new catalysts for the oxidative dehydrogenation
of ethane (ODH-E), an innovative, low-emissions
catalytic technology for the production of ethylene.
Clariant’s ODH catalysts are available exclusively for
Linde’s EDHOX catalytic on-purpose ethylene technology.
Compared to conventional steam cracking, which operates
at process temperatures up to 900°C, EDHOX operates at
moderate temperatures—below 400°C, enabling comparatively
low carbon dioxide emissions (CO2).
Also inherent to Linde’s process are the sequestration
of CO2 and the potential for electrification. Together,
these differences lead to a reduction of CO2 emissions by
up to 100% compared with conventional steam cracking.

 

Tosoh to Discontinue Producing and Selling TDI, Related Products at Nanyo Complex

Tokyo—
Tosoh Corp. announced it will permanently stop producing
and selling toluene diisocyanate (TDI) and TDI-related
products from its Nanyo complex in Japan, effective April
2023.
“Despite the continuous implementation of measures to
improve profitability, the environment surrounding this
business has become increasingly severe in recent years,
and there are no prospects for improvement,” the company
stated. Tosoh currently produce 25,000 t/y of TDI at the
site.

 

PolyQuest Establishes Renuva Plastics To Buy U.S. Division of Faith Group

Wilmington—
PolyQuest, a distributor of polyethylene terephthalate
(PET) resins and a manufacturer of recycled PET resins in
North America, has formed Renuva Plastics, a whollyowned
subsidiary of PolyQuest (dba Faith Group USA), to
purchase the U.S. division of the Faith Group Co.
Faith Group Co. has been the “premier” distributor of
post-industrial thermoplastics (especially PET) in the U.S.
and the “largest” exporter of these products out of the U.S.
to the rest of the world over the past quarter of a century,
PolyQuest noted. Faith Group USA will continue purchasing
and distributing such thermoplastics in the U.S., as
well as domestically sourcing these products for the Faith
Group Co. to export.
“This acquisition is a bolt-on and extremely complementary
to our existing virgin resins distribution and postconsumer/
post-industrial manufacturing businesses,” said
PolyQuest Chief Executive John Marinelli.
“The transition at closing from the Faith Group Co. to
Faith Group USA will be seamless for our business partners;
it is a name change, with PolyQuest serving as the
new parent company,” noted Russell Wilkes, vice president
of Faith Group USA. “All employees and locations remain
in place.”

 

ExxonMobil Inks EoI to Study Storing CO2 From Fife Ethylene Plant to Acorn Project

London—
ExxonMobil has signed an expression of interest to study
the capture, transport and storage of carbon dioxide (CO2)
from its Fife ethylene plant in Mossmorran, Scotland, to
the Acorn carbon capture project in Scotland (PCN, 19-26
July 2021).
The initial phase of Acorn, which is bidding to be in the
first wave of carbon capture clusters to be announced by
the UK government, has the potential to deliver over half
of the country’s target of capturing and storing 10-million
t/y of CO2 by 2030, ExxonMobil noted. When expanded
further, it will have the potential to store more than 20-
million t/y of CO2 by the mid-2030s.
The agreement to include the ethylene facility is in addition
to an earlier announced memorandum of understanding
to capture and store CO2 from gas terminals at
the St. Fergus complex at Peterhead, Scotland.

 

Air Products Starts Up New World-Scale Liquid Hydrogen Facility at La Porte

La Porte—Air
Products has put its new world-scale liquid hydrogen plant
on stream in La Porte, Texas, to supply increasing demand
in several customer markets (PCN, 17 Sept 2018, p 4).
The facility, which produces approximately 30 t/d of liquid
hydrogen, will join the company’s existing hydrogen
and syngas operations, as well as an air separation unit at
the site.
The hydrogen plant will be connected to, and draw hydrogen
to be liquefied from, Air Product’s Gulf Coast Pipeline,
the “world’s largest” hydrogen plant and pipeline system,
the company noted.
Air Products also has liquid hydrogen production plants
operating in New Orleans, La., Sacramento, Calif., Sarnia,
Ontario, Canada, and Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

 

Dow Enters Into Eight New Agreements For the Purchase of Renewable Power

Midland—Dow
said it has signed eight new renewable power purchase
agreements (RPAs) across Europe and the Americas that is
expect to reduce its scope 2 emissions by over 600,000 t/y of
CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent).
In Europe, Dow signed six agreements that have enabled
eight Dow sites across Spain, UK, Sweden, France
and Germany to transition to 100% green electricity. Several
other sites across Europe have also transitioned to a
cleaner grid power mix or are importing renewable power.
The company has signed a long-term agreement in Brazil
with Casa dos Ventos aligned to the construction of a
new wind power plant in Rio Grande do Norte state. It
provides Dow’s site in Cabangu with access to costcompetitive
capacity for wind-generated electricity.
In North America, a long-term agreement with Capital
Power in Alberta, Canada, will provide clean power capacity,
replacing about 40% of the energy demand at Dow’s
Prentiss, Alberta, site for polyethylene production.
“The new RPAs provide cost competitive access to an
additional 132 megawatts (MW) of clean power capacity
from wind and solar, with zero capital investment from the
company, bringing Dow’s total access to more than 850
MW of clean energy, well ahead of its 2025 sustainability
goal aligned to power from renewable sources,” Dow noted.

 

Lukoil Begins Second Stage Upgrade At Stavrolen Petrochemical Facility

Moscow—Lukoil
has launched an expansion of its gas processing unit (GPU-
2) at the Stavrolen petrochemical plant in Budennovsk,
Russia, which will increase polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene
(PP) production at the site.
Construction of GPU-2 is expected to increase the utilization
of associated petroleum gas delivered to the facility
to 5-billion cu m/yr, providing Lukoil with a larger volume
of feedstock for pyrolysis (ethane and natural gas), which is
used to produce PE and PP.
GPU-2 is the first unit to be built under the Stavrolen
integrated development program. It is expected that implementation
of the program will increase Stavrolen’s capacity
to produce ethylene to 420,000 t/y from 350,000 t/y,
polyethylene to 405,000 t/y from 300,000 t/y, and copolymer
PPs to 120,000 t/y from 80,000 t/y.

 

Sasol Signs MoU to Lead Feasibility Study For Boegoebaai Green Hydrogen Project

Namakwa—
Sasol has signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the
Northern Cape Development Agency of South Africa to
lead the feasibility study to explore the potential of Boegoebaai
as an export hub for green hydrogen and ammonia.
The Boegoebaai “green hydrogen” development has
been designated a strategic integrated project in the South
African National Development Plan and is located in the
Namakwa Special Economic Zone.
Sasol has also partnered with the Industrial Development
Corp., who will provide joint funding for the study.
The study is expected to take around 24 months to complete.
The outcome of the study will determine the next
step of development.
The Boegoebaai project is one of several green hydrogen,
ammonia and power-to-x opportunities that Sasol is
assessing, as part of a new strategy. Its strategy is aligned
with South Africa’s ambitions to establish the country as a
“significant” green hydrogen production and global export
hub, Sasol noted.

 

People on the Move

Lummus Technology—Dr. Will Groten has become
chief innovation officer, where he leads the company’s
technology innovation and commercialization, Research &
Development, and the Green Circle and Siluria business
units. He was previously vice president of Research & Development.
Chevron Phillips Chemical Co.—Elliott Johnson,
currently vice president of environmental, health, safety
and security (EHS&S), will join the company’s executive
leadership team as senior vice president, EHS&S.
Steve Prusak, senior vice president, corporate planning
and technology, will assume additional responsibility for
the company’s projects organization, which involves overseeing
the development of expansion projects in the U.S.
and Qatar. Both appointments are effective 1 Nov. 2021.
Wood—German Carmona has been appointed president
of Wood’s Applied Intelligence business to accelerate
digital transformation for customers. He was previously
with Neoris, where he led the digital transformation consulting
practice.

 

Dow Expands Circular Plastics Capabilities With Advancements in the U.S. & Europe

Midland—
Dow Chemical has announced several advancements in the
U.S. and Europe in its efforts to prevent plastic waste, reduce
greenhouse gas emissions and provide customers with
recycled plastic products that are comparable to virgin
plastics derived from fossil-fuel based feedstocks.
The advancements include: Dow and Fuenix Ecogy
Group are expanding their initial agreement to scale circular
plastics production through advanced recycling with the
construction of a second plant in Weert, the Netherlands.
The facility will process 20,000 tons of waste plastic into
pyrolysis oil, which will be used to produce new circular
plastics at Dow’s site in Terneuzen, the Netherlands.
Dow and Gunvor Petroleum Rotterdam finalized a deal
to purify pyrolysis oil feedstocks derived from plastic
waste. Gunvor will supply cracker-ready feedstock to Dow
beginning in 2021 to produce circular plastics.
In Terneuzen, Dow is fast-tracking the design, engineering
and construction of a market development scale
purification unit to provide additional capacity to purify
pyrolysis oil derived from plastic waste.
New Hope Energy and Dow have formed a multi-year
agreement, in which New Hope will supply Dow with pyrolysis
oil derived from plastics recycled in North America.
Dow will use the feedstock to produce circular plastics.
Also, Dow said it has received or is on track to receive
ISCC certification for each of its major European and U.S.
sites.
These advancements will enable the company to provide
initial supply of fully circular polymers to customers
starting in 2022.

 

Pryme to Supply Pyrolysis Oil to Shell To Make Circular Chemical Products

Rotterdam—
Shell Chemicals Europe and Pryme have entered into a
strategic cooperation and offtake agreement for the supply
off pyrolysis oil to Shell’s crackers in Moerdijk, the Netherlands,
and Rheinland, Germany, for use in the production
of circular chemical products.
The pyrolysis oil, made from recycled plastic waste, will
be supplied by Pryme from its first facility in Rotterdam,
the Netherlands, which is currently under construction.
The facility, expected to convert 60,000 t/y of plastic waste
into Pyrolysis oil, is scheduled to become operational next
year.
As part of the deal, the parties will cooperate on the
testing and evaluation of pyrolysis liquid samples from
Pryme’s test plant in Ghent, Belgium. The process will
enhance their understanding into the optimal properties of
pyrolysis oil for use in chemical crackers.
The agreement also includes the provision for the future
supply of pyrolysis oil to be delivered from Pryme’s
proposed second plant in the region. The facility would
have an estimated 350,000 t/y of production capacity.
Start-up is anticipated in 2024.
“We are excited to announce our strategic cooperation
with Shell, which we see as an important validation of our
technology,” noted Jos van der Endt, founder and chief executive
of Pryme.
“This relationship, combined with our scalable technology,
will enable Pryme to commit to equivalent long-term
volumes with plastic waste suppliers and help accelerate
the growth of this developing and necessary value chain.”

 

ADNOC Backs Out of Project to Build New Greenfield Refinery at Ruwais

Ruwais—Abu
Dhabi National Oil Co. (ADNOC) confirmed that it has
cancelled a project to build a new 400,000-b/d greenfield
refinery at Ruwais, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Argus
Media reported.
The project was originally planned to include a new
600,000-b/d refinery, but ADNOC later decided on a
smaller petrochemicals-focused refinery and a 200,000-b/d
expansion and revamp of an existing 817,000-b/d refining
complex at Ruwais (PCN, 6 May 2019, p 3).
“We continually review the technical, commercial and
economic status of all projects throughout the different
stages of project planning, development and operations,”
said the report citing ADNOC.
“We regularly assess market conditions and global supply
and demand considerations. This ensures ADNOC’s
economic resilience and the future-proofing of our business
operations.
“As a result of our early feasibility and pre-FEED
[front-end engineering and design] studies, we have concluded
that at this time a new refinery is not economically
attractive.”

 

OCI, ADNOC Plan Initial Public Offering Of 13.8% Interest in Fertiglobe Venture

Dubai—OCI
NV and Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. (ADNOC) are planning
to float a 13.8% minority stake in their fertilizer joint venture,
Fertiglobe, on the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange.
Headquartered in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates,
Fertiglobe was formed in 2019, as a strategic partnership
of OCI (58%) and ADNOC 42% (PCN, 7 Oct 2019, p 4).
At the time, ADNOC said Fertiglobe would be the
“largest” export-focused nitrogen fertilizer platform globally,
and the “largest” producer in the MENA region with a
production capacity of 1.5-million tons of sellable ammonia
and 5-million tons of urea.

 

Technip Energies and Siemens Partnering On New Decarbonized ROC Technology

Paris—
Technip Energies and Siemens Energy have entered into
an exclusive agreement to jointly develop, commercialize,
and license the Rotating Olefins Cracker (ROC) technology
to decarbonize olefin production processes.
ROC technology uses a dynamic reactor system that replaces
conventional furnaces used for pyrolysis when
manufacturing light olefins. It is expected to have better
first pass olefins yields with similar operating costs compared
to current commercially available processes.
Technip Energies and Siemens have already validated
the fundamentals of the reactor technology in laboratory
testing and plan for the first turbomachinery prototype to
begin factory testing in the first half of 2022.
Also, the companies have entered into a memorandum
of understanding with the Cracker of the Future (COF)
Consortium, which expresses the intent of the parties to
negotiate a contract to install a hydrocarbon demonstration
unit utilizing ROC technology in a plant operated by
one of the COF members.
COF comprises Borealis, BP, Repsol, TotalEnergies,
Versalis, and coordinator Brightlands Chemelot Campus.
It selected ROC technology after assessing over a dozen
electricity-based heating technologies for olefin crackers.

 

Mitsui & Co. and JOGMEC Agree to Study Feasibility of CCS in Western Australia

Perth—Mitsui
& Co. and Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corp.
(JOGMEC) will conduct a joint feasibility study on carbon
capture and storage (CCS) associated with Mitsui’s Perth
Basin investments in Western Australia.
Mitsui, as operator, is developing the Waitsia gas field
in the mid-west region of Western Australia. It has a 50%
working interest through its wholly-owned Mitsui E&P
Australia Pty Ltd. (MEPAU) subsidiary. MEPAU also
holds a 100% stake in nearby depleted gas fields in Perth
Basin.
MEPAU, as a subsidiary of Mitsui & Co., has the credibility,
capabilities and global network to develop natural
gas assets and produce low carbon ammonia for markets in
Australia and Asia, including Japan.
Specifically, MEPAU will examine the production and
export of low carbon ammonia made from hydrogen generated
from mid-west natural gas, with potential for the associated
carbon dioxide to be stored in depleted gas fields
in Perth Basin.
Mitsui has also signed an agreement with Wesfarmers
Chemicals, Energy & Fertilizers to jointly study the commercial
and technical viability of building a low carbon
ammonia production plant, which will include CCS solutions
to be provided by Mitsui.
JOGMEC will promote international cooperation in the
fields of CCS, clean hydrogen and ammonia, and will provide
a stable supply of natural resources and energy.

 

Gevo Chooses Kiewit to Lead FEED For Net-Zero 1 Project in S. Dakota

Lake Preston—
Gevo has selected Kiewit Energy Group to lead the frontend
engineering design (FEED) for its Net-Zero 1 project in
Lake Preston, S.D. (PCN, 13 Sept 2021, p 3).
Early this year, Gevo announced the concept of Net
Zero Projects, the first of these projects being Net-Zero 1—
a new facility, based on Gevo’s proprietary technology, to
produce energy-dense liquid hydrocarbons using renewable
energy, according to Gevo’s website.
Gevo has optioned the right to purchase the land in
Lake Preston for the Net-Zero 1 facility because of the
site’s abundant sustainable corn supply, high-protein feed
demand, rail transportation, and renewable energy potential.
The company expects to complete FEED work by the
end of this year. The facility is planned to begin production
in 2024.

 

SABIC Expands PP Compounds Capacity With Start Up of New Line at Genk Site

Brussels—
SABIC has opened a new polypropylene (PP) compounding
line at its site in Genk, Belgium, expanding capacity for PP
compounds at the site.
The line, which is based on “cutting-edge” large-scale
extrusion technology, will use raw materials from the company’s
plants at Gelsenkirchen, Germany, and Geleen, the
Netherlands. It adds to SABIC’s existing PP compounds
production capacity at Genk. No other details were given.

 

Idemitsu, Yara and JERA Sign MoU To Create Ammonia Supply Chain

Tokyo—Idemitsu
Kosan, Yara International and JERA have signed a memorandum
of understanding (MoU) to jointly explore the creation
of a clean ammonia (blue and green) supply chain in
Japan.
Under the MoU, the three companies will utilize their
respective expertise to explore the possibility of cooperation
in the following areas in order to expand the introduction
of ammonia in Japan:
Establishment of a domestic ammonia distribution
network based at Idemitsu’s Tokuyama complex;
Formation of an ammonia bunkering business utilizing
the Tokuyama complex and the cultivation of
demand;
Optimization of fuel ammonia shipping supply
chain for domestic use.
“As part of its measures to reach carbon neutrality by
2050, Japan targets 3-million tons of ammonia import for
fuel by 2030 and 30-million tons by 2050,” Yara noted.

 

TotalEnergies Becomes Funding Partner Of Polypropylene Recycling Coalition

Houston—
TotalEnergies Petrochemicals & Refining USA has decided
to participate as a funding partner of The Recycling
Partnership’s Polypropylene Recycling Coalition initiative.
The primary focus of the coalition is to achieve the
same high levels of recycling for polypropylene (PP) as
other plastics like polyethylene terephthalate and highdensity
polyethylene. The path to achieve this goal is
through contribution of grants to recycling facilities and
targeting consumer education efforts, as well as recycling
infrastructure improvements.
TotalEnergies’ collaboration within the coalition will focus
on increasing curbside recycling access for PP to ensure
it is widely recovered and reused in end-markets.
“TotalEnergies is pleased to partner with . . . Polypropylene
Recycling Coalition as part of our company’s ambition
of producing 30% recycled and renewable polymers by
2030,” said Paul Colonna, vice president, Polymers Americas
at TotalEnergies.

V59 N38 – 4 October 2021

LyondellBasell Wins Technology Award For Jinneng Chems’ New PP Facility

Beijing—
Jinneng Chemical (Qingdao) Co. has selected Lyondell-
Basell’s technology for a new world-scale polypropylene
(PP) production facility to be built in Qingdao City, China.
The facility will include a 450,000-t/y PP plant using
LyondellBasell’s Spherizone technology and a 450,000-t/y
PP unit based on LyondellBasell’s Spheripol technology.
An expected completion date was not given.
“The selected Spherizone technology will allow us to effectively
enter new markets and applications due to superior
product properties, whereas the Spheripol technology
will support our aim to grow effectively in volume on a
global benchmark basis,” said Qin Qingping, founder and
chief executive of Jinneng Science & Technology Co., parent
company of Jinneng Chemical.
“Jinneng Chemical’s choice to again use Lyondell-
Basell’s PP technology for their Qingdao City facility will
enable them to produce a full range of PP products to serve
an increasingly demanding Chinese polymer market,” said
Neil Nadalin, director of licensing at LyondellBasell.
“Product differentiation is of increasing importance;
and in selecting the Spherizone technology, our licensees
are best prepared to take on that challenge. Additionally,
we are very pleased that Jinneng Chemical has again chosen
the easy-to-operate Spheripol process, as their phase 1
Spheripol process line approaches start-up.”
In 2018, Jinneng awarded a contract to LyondellBasell
to provide its Spheripol technology for Jinneng’s phase 1
plant, which has a capacity to produce 450,000 t/y (PCN, 6
Aug 2018, p 1).

 

Sibur and TAIF Finalize Terms to Combine; Will Create Russia’s ‘Largest’ PC Company

Kazan—
Sibur said it has entered into an agreement with TAIF finalizing
the terms of a planned merger of the two companies
to create the “largest” petrochemical company in Russia
and “one of the biggest” in the world.
Under the agreement, TAIF shareholders will receive a
15% interest in the new combined company in exchange for
50% plus one share in JSC TAIF.
Also, to ensure faster integration and higher efficiency
of the combined entity‘s operations and investment program,
Sibur and TAIF have agreed on an early exercise of
an option for the remaining stake of TAIF shareholders.
The deal brings together the parties’ expertise in major
investment projects and facilitates efficient distribution of
feedstock, which will boost Tatarstan’s petrochemical cluster
and pave the way for new partnerships with the region,
Sibur noted.
“The combination of industry leaders represents a significant
step in the evolution of the Russian petrochemical
sector,” said Dmitry Konov, chairman of the management
board oat Sibur Holding.
“We are combining our competencies, energy and ambition
to lay the groundwork for what is sure to become a
global leader.”

 

Petrochem and SIIG Enter MoU to Merge Through Share Exchange Offer by SIIG

Jubail—
Saudi Arabia’s National Petrochemical Co. (Petrochem)
and Saudi Industrial Investment Group (SIIG) have signed
a non-binding memorandum of understanding (MoU) for a
proposed merger through a share exchange offer from
SIIG.
Under the agreement, SIIG would acquire the 50% of
Petrochem that it does not currently own. Petrochem
shareholders would receive 1.27 shares in SIIG in exchange
for each share they own in Petrochem, and Petrochem
would be delisted and become a wholly-owned subsidiary
of SIIG.
The transaction is subject to a final binding agreement,
as well as the receipt of regulatory approvals and the approval
of the extraordinary general assembly of each company.

 

Jiangsu Sailboat Petrochemicals Selects CRI For New CO2-to-Methanol Plant in China

Beijing—
Jiangsu Sailboat Petrochemicals Co. has signed an agreement
with Carbon Recycling International (CRI) for a new
carbon dioxide (CO2)-to-methanol facility to be built in
Lianyungang, Jiangsu Province, China.
The 100,000-t/y methanol plant will be based on CRI’s
Emissions-to-Liquids (ETL) technology and will recycle
about 150,000 t/y of CO2 and 20,000 t/y of hydrogen from
other onsite processes to produce the green methanol.
The project, estimated to cost around $35-million, will
be integrated into Jiangsu Sailboat’s existing Shenghong
petrochemical industrial park. Operations are expected to
begin in 2023.
CRI, along with its joint venture partner MFE, will be
responsible for the project execution, providing design, engineering
and technology license for the ETL process, along
with key proprietary equipment and related services.
“This agreement is exemplary of what the chemical industry
can do to contribute to the fight against climate
change,” said CRI Chief Executive Ingolfur Gudmundsson.
“By utilizing waste and by-product resources in an innovative
way, we can take the necessary steps to reduce
emissions and replace traditional fossil fuels in the production
of most of our consumer products.”

 

BASF Curtails Ammonia Production At Antwerp and Ludwigshafen Sites

Berlin—BASF
announced it has curtailed ammonia production at its sites
in Antwerp, Belgium, and Ludwigshafen, Germany, due to
the recent rise in natural gas prices in Europe.
Because of the increased gas prices, the economics for
operating an ammonia plant in the region has become extremely
challenging, the company noted, adding that it will
continue to monitor the gas price development and adjust
its ammonia production accordingly.

 

Mitsui Chemicals, SKC Plan to Dissolve MCNS Polyurethanes JV in S. Korea

Seoul—Mitsui
Chemicals Inc. and SKC Co. announced plans to terminate
their Mitsui Chemicals & SKC Polyurethanes (MCNS)
joint venture based in Seoul, South Korea.
MCNS was established in 2015 to combine the polyurethane
raw materials businesses of both Mitsui and SKC
(PCN, 6 July 2015, p 4). MCNS has operations in both
South Korea and Japan (MCNS-J).
According to Mitsui, discrepancies have started to arise
between Mitsui’s policy of steadily improving earnings
through the likes of high-performance products and bioproducts
and SKC’s policy of quickly expanding global
market in scale, prompting both companies to take a thorough
look at how they should be running their operations
in this field.
The parties have determined that it would be beneficial
for each company to run its own operations in line with its
specific strategy, if both companies are to further grow
their businesses.
The dissolution is scheduled to occur at the end of December
2021. On 1 Jan. 2022, operations of MCNS-J will
relaunch as the Polyurethane Division of Mitsui Chemicals.
In March 2022, Mitsui will transfer shares in MCNS
to reduce paid-in capital, and the liquidation of MCNS-J
will be completed.
Going forward, customers will continue to receive their
stable supply of products from either Mitsui or SKC.

 

Nama Sells Complete Stake in Yansab To Partially Repay Its Debt to SIDF

Jubail—Nama
Chemicals, in a letter to the Saudi Stock Exchange, said it
has completed the divestment of its interest in Yanbu National
Petrochemical Co. (Yansab) and will use the proceeds
as a one-time partial repayment to Saudi Industrial
Development Fund (SIDF) for existing loans.
The transaction, valued at around $37-million, is one of
the conditions of a debt restructure offer from the SIDF to
Nama to reschedule its loans. It is a pre-condition to signing
the final reschedulement agreement.

 

Greenfield Nitrogen Picks Maire Tecnimont To Develop Green Ammonia Plant in Iowa

Garner—
Maire Tecnimont said its NextChem, MET Development
and Stamicarbon subsidiaries have entered into an agreement
with Greenfield Nitrogen to develop the “first” dedicated
green ammonia plant in the U.S. Midwest.
The new 240-t/d plant, the first of a series of green ammonia
facilities that Greenfield Nitrogen is interested in
developing in the “U.S. corn belt,” will be located near
Garner, Iowa. A schedule for the facility was not given.
As part of the agreement, NextChem will begin a feasibility
study for the plant, utilizing renewable energy as
feedstock via the intermediate production of green hydrogen.
MET Development will assist Greenfield Nitrogen in
the development of the project, which will also include a
storage facility. They will be powered by local renewable
sources and supply ammonia to the local market.
The plant will be designed using the best available
technologies for the green hydrogen production together
with Stamicarbon’s new Stami Green ammonia technology.

 

DL Chemical Signs Agreement to Acquire Kraton for Approximately $2.5-Billion

Houston—
Kraton Corp. announced it has entered into a merger
agreement with DL Chemical Co., a subsidiary of DL Holdings
Co. (formerly Daelim Industrial), in which DL Chemical
will purchase Kraton in an all-cash transaction valued
at around $2.5-billion.
The planned merger, unanimously approved by Kraton’s
board of directors, is subject to certain customary
closing conditions, including stockholder and regulatory
approvals. The transaction is expected to be finalized by
the end of the first half of 2022.
“Following an extensive review of a wide-range of strategic
alternatives focused on maximizing value for the
benefit of our stockholders, Kraton’s board has determined
that the sale of Kraton to DL Chemical is in the best interest
of Kraton stockholders,” said Kraton President and
Chief Executive Kevin M. Fogarty.
“We believe the transaction provides immediate and
certain value for Kraton stockholders, and represents an
attractive premium of approximately 50% over Kraton’s
unaffected market valuation as of early July.
“Moreover, we believe DL Chemical has the industry
presence and resources to continue to support the growth
of Kraton’s business on a global scale.”
DL Chemical acquired the Cariflex business from Kraton
last year (PCN, 4 Nov 2019, p 3).

 

Braskem & Pemex Reach Ethane Deal; Will Build $400-Mn Ethane Terminal

Mexico City—
Braskem Idesa has signed a new ethane supply contract
with Pemex to fulfill its raw material needs until it starts
up a planned ethane import terminal in Veracruz, Mexico
(PCN, 8 Mar 2021, p 1).
Under the supply deal, Pemex will supply Braskem
Idesa with at least 30,000 b/d until the new terminal becomes
operational in the second half of 2024 or by the
deadline of February 2025.
In addition, the deal gives Braskem Idesa a pre-emptive
right to purchase all of the ethane that Pemex has available
and would not consume in its own production processes
until 2045, at prices in line with international markets.
The new agreement, which resolves previous contractual
disputes between Braskem Idesa and Pemex, is subject
to final approval by the board of directors of both companies.

 

People on the Move

Showa Denko (SDK)—Hidehito Takahashi has been
appointed president and chief executive, effective 4 Jan.
2022, to succeed Kohei Morikawa, who will resign from
those roles to become representative director and chairman
of the board of SDK. Takahasi is currently responsible for
SDK’s Carbon and Ceramics Divisions, Coating Materials
Dept., Yokohama and Shiojiri Plants, and Corporate Strategy
Dept.
Takahasi has also been named president and chief executive
of Showa Denko Materials Co. (SDMC) to replace
Hisashi Maruyama, effective 4 Jan. 2022. Maruyama will
become representative director and chairman of the board
of SDMC.

 

TotalEnergies Doubles Production Capacity At Synova Recycled PP Plant in France

Paris—
TotalEnergies has completed an expansion project to double
its mechanical recycling production capacity for recycled
polypropylene (PP) at its Synova subsidiary in Normandy,
France (PCN, 28 Oct 2019, p 2).
Two new production lines were installed, raising the
plant’s production capacity to nearly 45,000 t/y from 20,000
t/y, in order to meet market demand. The project was
originally planned to start up early this year. Cost of the
project was not given.
“We are perfectly positioned to meet our customers’
growing demand for more efficient and environmentallyfriendly
polymers, all the while providing concrete answers
to the challenge of managing end-of life plastics,” said Valerie
Goff, senior vice president, polymers, at TotalEnergies’
Refining & Chemicals business segment.
“This investment will contribute to our ambition for
2030 of producing 30% recycled and renewable polymers,”
Goff added.

 

IHS Markit’s World Methanol Conference Being Held Online from 16-18 Nov. 2021

London—IHS
Markit has scheduled its 39th Annual World Methanol
Conference (WMC 2021) to be held virtually from 16-18
November 2021.
The conference will offer in-depth market analysis and
comprehensive coverage from global industry experts, as it
explores the innovation and reinvention for a sustainable
future in methanol.
WMC 2021 will utilize the combined expertise of industry
leaders and IHS Markit experts to summarize the key
themes of the event and answer question from attendees;
analyze the different factors influencing the rise of renewable/
green/bio-methanol and ammonia; and address strategic
questions about pricing, product availability and new
capacity outlooks, which impacts recent technology, environmental
policy changes and supply/demand expectations.
For more details, visit https://ihsmarkit.com/events, or
contact IHS Markit’s Ben Kinberg by phone 212,425-8116,
or by email at ben.kinberg@ihsmarkit.com.

 

Solvay Touts ‘Groundbreaking’ Solution For Recycling Polyvinylidene Chloride

Brussels—
Solvay announced that its scientists have developed an
innovative process and conducted a proof of concept for a
“groundbreaking” solution for recycling polyvinylidene
chloride (PVDC).
The proof of concept involves a process to recycle Ixan
PVDC bioriented film from a post-industrial waste source
from food packaging without compromising the performance
of the high barrier polymer.
“The proof of concept . . . is a solution for PVDC packaging
circularity,” said Claire Guerrero, global marketing
manager for Packaging Segment and Sustainability.
“It shows there is a possibility to integrate the recycled
polymer into future applications, meaning it can be reused
and reblended with virgin materials – without losing or
degrading its high barrier properties.”
Solvay is now inviting fellow companies operating
within the plastics industry to work together with Solvay
to turn the recycling of PVDC into a reality.

 

Hexion Holdings Announces Transaction To Split into Two Independent Firms

Columbus—
Hexion Holdings Corp. said it plans to separate into two
independent companies, “Hexion Holdings,” composed of
the company’s existing Adhesives and Versatic Acids and
Derivatives product lines, and Hexion Coatings and Composites
(US) Inc. (HCC).
Hexion Holdings plans to execute a spin-off of HCC,
composed of its former epoxy-based Coatings and Composites
products, to current shareholders. HCC will be renamed
at a later date.
Upon completion of the HCC spin, current Hexion Holdings
shareholders will own shares of both Hexion Holdings
and HCC. The HCC transaction is currently scheduled to
be completed in the fourth quarter of this year, subject to
final approval by the board of directors, customary regulatory
approvals and tax and legal considerations.
HCC will consist of Hexion Holdings’ former base and
specialty epoxy resins product lines. It will continue to
operate world-scale epoxy plants in Pernis, the Netherlands,
and Deer Park, Texas, as well as additional manufacturing
operations in the U.S., Germany, Spain and
South Korea.
Ann Frederix, currently senior vice president, Coatings
& Composites, Hexion Holdings, is expected to serve as
chief executive of HCC.

 

OQ Declares Force Majeure at Oberhausen; Decides to Issue Sales Control Program

Berlin—OQ
Chemicals has declared force majeure, with immediate
effect, on n- and iso-butyraldehyde, propionaldehyde, 2-
ethylhexanol, n- and iso-butanol, and n-butyl acetate produced
at its Oberhausen, Germany, site.
The company declared force majeure due to a technical
problem in a third-party synthesis gas unit at the site,
which is currently causing raw materials to be restricted.
As a result, OQ cannot produce at target rates.
Because OQ is unable to make deliveries of these products
as scheduled, available volumes will be allocated in a
“fair and reasonable” manner, OQ noted.
“Concurrently, OQ Chemicals will be issuing a sales
control program for Oberhausen-produced products. The
company is using all reasonable efforts to mitigate the effects
of this incident and to limit the impact to its customers.
OQ Chemicals will keep customers regularly informed
of its status and ability to schedule deliveries.”

 

Westlake Confirms Explosion in Sulphur

Sulphur—
Westlake Chemical Corp. confirmed to PCN that it experienced
an industrial accident on the evening of 27 Sept.
2021 at its Petro 2 plant in Sulphur, La.
The facility was offline and undergoing planned maintenance
at the time. Six contract workers were injured
and taken to the hospital. Four of the workers have since
been released from the hospital.
“Our thoughts and prayers are will all the injured individuals
and their families,” said a company spokesperson.
“All of the injured individuals are contractors employed by
one of three contractor firms working on the turnaround.
“There were no offsite impacts as a result of the accident.
Local, state and federal authorities were notified and
Westlake . . . is fully cooperating with the authorities.”

 

LyondellBasell Reveals Approach to Achieve Net Zero Emissions from Global Operations

London–
LyondellBasell announced its goal of, and approach to,
achieving net zero emissions from global operations by
2050, and its strategy to achieve an absolute reduction of
30% in scope 1 and scope 2 emissions by 2030.
In 2019, the company set an initial greenhouse gas
(GHG) emissions reduction target of 15% per ton of product
produced by 2030 (relative to 2015 levels). At the time, it
stated its intention to establish a more ambitious target.
As such, it has developed a plan to an absolute reduction in
scope 1 and scope 2 GHG emissions by 30% (relative to
2020 levels).
This approach includes enhanced energy management
and low emission steam; flare minimization; use of loweremitting
fuels; process electrification and furnace upgrades,
and a minimum of 50% of electricity procured from
renewable sources.
LyondellBasell has also begun evaluating a portfolio of
technology options that could be deployed across its manufacturing
footprint, including cracker electrification, hydrogen
use, carbon capture and storage, and carbon utilization.
In addition, the company is actively embedding emissions
reduction efforts into certain business processes, including
long-range planning and risk management, and
identifying collaboration opportunities across multiple sectors
to accelerate the scale-up and deployment of breakthrough
technologies.
At the same time, LyondellBasell said it would phase
out coal usage at the on-site power plant at its Wesseling,
Germany, olefin and polyolefin production site by December
2023. An agreement was signed with Evonik to purchase
high-pressure steam generated from natural gas for
use at the site.
The agreement integrates two neighboring chemical
production sites to optimize steam supply and demand.
The project is expected to reduce the site’s carbon dioxide
(CO2) emissions by about 170,000 t/y.
The company has also launched a global renewable energy
strategy, and is currently working to secure wind and
solar power through corporate power purchase agreements
in the U.S. and Europe. LyondellBasell estimates it will
cut around 2-million tons of CO2 from its scope 2 emissions.
The complete list of measures being taken to support
LyondellBasell’s ambitions can be found on its website at
www.lyondellbasell.com.

 

Petro Rabigh, Aramco & SABIC Ink Deal For SABIC to Market Petchem Products

Jubail—
Petro Rabigh, in an announcement to the Saudi Stock Exchange,
said it has signed an agreement with Saudi
Aramco and SABIC, in which SABIC will market Aramco’s
share of identified petrochemical products from Petro
Rabigh, beginning 1 Oct. 2021.
The agreement aims to increase supply chain efficiency
and improve Petro Rabigh’s competitive advantage in the
petrochemical industry. It did not disclose which products
would be marketed.

 

BASF & Sanyo Sign MoU to Collaborate On the Development of PU Dispersions

Beijing—
BASF and Sanyo Chemical Industries have entered into a
memorandum of understanding (MoU) for strategic collaboration
on polyurethane dispersions (PUD) development.
The companies aim to develop and produce innovative
products with strong sustainability contribution, the parties
noted. They will each have worldwide market access
to newly developed technologies and products through
their companies’ global production footprint.
“The PUD market demand is expanding and formulators
are looking for improved product performance,” said
Sylvain Huguenard, vice president, Resins & Additives,
Asia Pacific, BASF. “They also look for sustainable solutions
to comply with local regulations to meet their corporate
responsibility goals.
“This collaboration will allow both parties to reduce
time-to-market of their new technologies and accelerate
conversion to water-based systems.”

 

Huntsman & KPX Chemical Establish JV To Offer PU Systems Solutions in Korea

Ulsan—
Huntsman and KPX Chemical, a South Korean polyols producer,
have formed KPX Huntsman Polyurethanes
Automotive Co. (KHPUA), a new joint venture to provide
innovative polyurethane (PU) systems solutions to automakers
in South Korea.
KPX Chemical will leverage its 47 years’ experience in
polyol technology and know-how by combining it with
Huntsman’s proven ability to develop high-performance,
differentiated, MDI-based automotive solutions for automakers
and its fully integrated global supply chain,
Huntsman noted.
KHPUA will utilize KPX Chemical’s specialty polyurethanes
manufacturing facility in Ulsan, South Korea. Operations
are expected to begin by the end of October 2021.

V59 N37 – 27 September 2021

Repsol Picks LyondellBasell’s Technology For New PP Production Facility at Sines

Sines—
Repsol recently selected LyondellBasell’s Spherizone polypropylene
(PP) technology for a new PP plant to be built at
Repsol’s existing industrial complex in Sines, Portugal
(PCN, 13 Sept 2021, p 1).
Along with the 300,000-t/y PP facility, the company is
also building a 300,000-t/y polyethylene plant. Operations
are expected to begin by 2025.
“With this new PP plant in our Sines industrial complex,
we will significantly increase our polypropylene production
capacity for highly differentiated applications,”
said Repsol Quimica Executive Director Jose Luis Bernal.
“Furthermore, thanks to its privileged location and new
logistics facilities, its connection with the European market
will be enhanced, while reducing the carbon footprint
during distribution.”

 

GCGV JV Prepares for Initial Start-Up Of U.S. Gulf Coast Petchems Project

Houston—Gulf
Coast Growth Ventures (GCGV), a 50-50 joint venture of
ExxonMobil and SABIC, has begun commissioning activities
and is preparing for initial start-up of its petrochemicals
project near Corpus Christi, Texas (PCN, 2 Aug 2021,
p 1).
Expected to start up in the fourth quarter of this year,
the project will include a 1.8-million-t/y ethane steam
cracker, two polyethylene plants with a total capacity of
1.3-million t/y, and a 1.1-million-t/y monoethylene glycol
unit. The site will be operated by ExxonMobil.
SABIC, in a statement to the Saudi Stock Exchange,
said the project supports its global growth strategy to diversify
its feedstock sources and strengthens its petrochemical
manufacturing presence in North America for a
wide range of products.
The partners earlier said that the project is expected to
be delivered under budget and about 25% less than the
average cost of similar projects along the U.S. Gulf Coast.

 

Standard Industries Concludes Purchase Of Grace for Approximately $7-Billion

New York—
Standard Industries Holdings, a privately held global industrial
company, has completed the acquisition of W.R.
Grace & Co. for $70/per share in cash, valued at around $7-
billion (PCN, 12 July 2021, p 1).
Hudson La Force will continue as president and chief
executive of Grace until the end of the year when he will
join Standard’s advisory board. He will be succeeded by
LyondellBasell Chief Executive Bhavesh V. (Bob) Patel in
January 2022.
“Today marks an exciting new chapter for Grace,” said
La Force. “As part of Standard Industries, Grace will be
even better positioned to provide innovative and sustainable
technologies to create value for our customers. We’re
very pleased to have successfully completed this transaction
and delivered significant value to our shareholders.”

 

KBR to Provide Digital Advisory Services To OCI Beaumont’s NH3-Methanol Plant

Houston—
OCI has awarded KBR a three-year contract to provide
KBR Insite monitoring and advisory services to OCI’s integrated
ammonia-methanol facility in Beaumont, Texas.
KBR Insite, a cloud-based remote plant monitoring service,
utilizes deep domain expertise to help diagnose operational
problems, determine probable root causes, and recommend
corrective actions to prevent events that could
lead to unplanned shutdowns and unnecessary emissions,
KBR explained.
“KBR Insite aims to extend the operating life of the
Beaumont plant, while helping drive carbon reduction and
energy efficiency in a sustainable way,” said Jay Ibrahim,
president of sustainable technology solutions at KBR.
“Our team will remotely monitor and evaluate the performance
of OCI’s ammonia-methanol production facility in
Beaumont and provide timely recommendations to onsite
personnel and support them in operating the plant efficiently,
reliably and safely.”

 

Yara Restricts Ammonia Production, Cites Increased Natural Gas Prices

Oslo—Yara announced
it is curtailing ammonia production at a number
of its plants because of record high natural gas prices in
Europe.
“Including optimization of on-going maintenance, Yara
will by next week have curtailed around 40% of its European
ammonia production capacity,” the company noted on
17 Sept. 2021.
Yara will continue to monitor the situation, with plans
to keep supplying customers, but curtailing production
where necessary.

 

Lummus Licensing Versalis Technology For Chimei’s New Chinese DPC Plant

Beijing—
Lummus Technology has been awarded a contract by
Zhangzhou Chimei Chemical Co., a subsidiary of Chimei
Corp. of Taiwan, to license Versalis’ DPC (diphenyl carbonate)
technology for a grassroots DPC plant in Fujian
Province, China.
Zhangzhou Chimei will build a new polycarbonate production
plant that utilizes the DPC technology for the production
of 156,000 t/y of DPC. Mass production is expected
in the fourth quarter of 2024.
Lummus’ scope of work includes the technology license,
process design package services, operator training and
technical services.
Versalis’ DPC technology “enables the production of
polycarbonate without phosgene or chlorine, which enables
a more environmentally safe and non-corrosive process,”
Lummus noted. “It also has very low utility costs and is
proven to be highly-efficient in recovering byproduct
streams.”

 

CF Restarts Billingham Ammonia Complex Recently Shut Due to High NatGas Prices

London—
CF Industries Holdings announced the restart of its ammonia
unit at its complex in Billingham, UK, which was
suspended earlier this month because of high natural gas
prices (PCN, 20 Sept 2021, p 3).
The restart follows an interim agreement reached with
the government to cover the costs to restart the ammonia
plant and produce carbon dioxide (CO2) for the UK market.
“We want to thank the Honorable Kwasi Kwarteng,
secretary of state for business, energy and industrial strategy,
and his entire staff for working tirelessly to bring
about this agreement enabling restart of the plant and
averting a potential CO2 supply disruption impacting
many industries, including food and beverage availability
to UK consumers,” said CF President and Chief Executive
Tony Will.
“We look forward to working with Secretary Kwarteng
and the UK government on developing a longer-term solution,
including the development of alternative suppliers of
CO2 for the UK market.”
The company’s Ince fertilizer complex in the UK was
suspended at the same time as the Billingham facility. No
update was given for the Ince complex.

 

Ineos Grangemouth Details Next Phase Of Plan to Achieve Net Zero Emissions

London—
Ineos Grangemouth announced it is moving forward on the
next phase of its journey to cut greenhouse gas (GHG)
emissions to net zero by 2045, with a further investment of
more than £1-billion (PCN, 4 Mar 2019, p 1).
The company has already committed over £500-million
on projects, which have been approved and are currently
being implemented at its UK site. This includes investment
in its New Energy Plant that is due for completion in
late 2023 and will supply energy to all of the company’s
site operations. The highly efficient technology will lower
emissions by at least 150,000 t/y of carbon dioxide (CO2).
The next phase of its Road Map involves delivering
emissions savings of more than 60% across the site by
2030, through a series of investments, partnerships and
innovative engineering.
The Road Map involves a move to the production and
use of hydrogen by all businesses at the Grangemouth site,
accompanied by carbon capture and storage of at least 1-
million t/y of CO2 by 2030. This will include capturing
CO2 from existing hydrogen production, as well as the construction
of a world-scale carbon capture enabled hydrogen
production facility.
Ineos will also further invest in energy reduction and
optimization, along with electrification of key equipment.
There will also be a shift in its polymer product portfolio to
include higher levels of post-consumer recycled content.
“Our challenge is to deliver a Road Map which ensures
a Just Transition to Net Zero,” said Stuart Collings, chief
executive of Ineos O&P UK. “This can only be achieved if
we remain globally competitive and we stay ahead of evolving
regulations and legislation.
“Hydrogen will play a very important role in the decarbonization
of our manufacturing plants. Building the infrastructure
for large-scale utilization of hydrogen creates
a foundation to achieve net zero by 2045 and enables wider
use of hydrogen by Ineos and others in and around
Grangemouth.”

 

Danimer Scientific and CPChem Team Up For Lower-Cost Biopolymer Production

Bainbridge—
Danimer Scientific announced it is collaborating with
Chevron Phillips Chemical (CPChem) to develop technology
for lower-cost biodegradable polymer manufacturing.
Through the partnership, Danimer will evaluate the
use of CPChem’s loop slurry reactor design to develop a
continuous reactor system in the manufacturing process
for Rinnovo.
Rinnovo is a type of polyhydroxyalkanoate synthesized
from lactones produced using Danimer’s Novo22 catalyst
technology that can be used in the production of biodegradable
alternatives to traditional plastics.
If successful, the reactor design is expected to increase
utilization of future plants, drive higher production volumes
and lower overall costs, as compared to the polymerization
reactor design currently used in the production of
Rinnovo, said Danimer.
“CPChem’s loop slurry technology is one of the world’s
most renowned processes for producing polyolefins efficiently
and economically,” noted Danimer Chief Executive
Stephen E. Croskrey.
“This collaboration enhances our strategy of accelerating
the production of our biodegradable polymers to better
serve our customers and reduce the environmental impacts
of plastic waste.”

 

Versalis to Become Sole Owner of Finproject With Acquisition of Remaining 60% Stake

Milan—
Versalis announced it has exercised the call option to purchase
the remaining 60% interest in Italian compounder
Finproject, giving Versalis 100% ownership (PCN, 2 Mar
2020, p 3).
The transaction, scheduled for completion in the fourth
quarter of 2021, follows Versalis’ acquisition of a 40% stake
in Finproject from VEI Capital in July 2020. It confirms
Versalis’ strategy to become the Italian leader in the high
performance formulated polymers sector, Versalis noted.
“The acquisition aims to create an all-Italian leading
platform, leveraging the synergy between Versalis’ technological
and industrial leadership in the chemical industry
and Finproject’s positioning on the market of high added
value applications, with a business that is resilient to the
volatility of the chemical industry scenario,” Versalis said.
The transaction is subject to the authorization of the
competent antitrust authorities. Value of the transaction
was not disclosed.

 

People on the Move

Air Liquide—Pascal Vinet has been appointed senior
vice president. He was most recently group vice president
in charge of Europe Industries and Africa, Middle East and
India, as well as supervising SIS (safety and industrial
system).
Marcelo Fioranelli, chief executive of Airgas since July
2021, has been named group vice president and member of
the executive committee of Air Liquide.
National Iranian Oil Co. (NIOC)—Mohsen Khojasteh
Mehr has been appointed chief executive of NIOC and
Iran’s Deputy Minister of Petroleum. He succeeds Masoud
Karbasian.

 

Celanese Declares Force Majeure in China; Updates on Western Hem Force Majeure

Dallas—
Celanese confirmed a declaration of force majeure for certain
acetyl chain products manufactured at it Nanjing,
China, facility.
The company has temporarily shut down acetic anhydride
and vinyl acetate monomer (VAM) production at the
site to comply with recent governmental requirements to
achieve dual energy consumption targets in Jiangsu Province
in 2021.
As a result of the shutdown of VAM production, it was
also necessary to shut down downstream vinyl acetate
emulsions and redispersible powders. The acetic acid production
unit is in operation.
Celanese has partially lifted its Western Hemisphere
force majeure, which was declared on 18 Feb. 2021 due to
the impacts of extreme weather on its operations and supply
chain in the U.S. Gulf Coast (PCN, 22 Feb 2021, p 4).
Force majeure was lifted on acetic acid, ethyl acetate,
acetic anhydride, methyl acetate, dimethylamine and
trimethylamine, methyl isobutyl carbinol and methyl isobutyl
ketone, and paraformaldehyde.
Force majeure remains in place at this time for VAM,
vinyl and acrylic emulsions, redispersible powders and
ethylene vinyl acetate, as a result of ongoing interruptions
to the availability of raw materials and global logistics.
An updated will be provided next month in the company’s
third quarter 2021 financial results.

 

Oiltanking Agrees to Sell Evos Its Stake In Four European Storage Terminals

Hamburg—
Oiltanking has entered into an agreement to divest its 55%
interest in four European liquid storage terminals to Evos,
through Evos Finance BV.
The four terminals, which provide a combined total of
3.8-million cu m of liquid storage capacity and associated
services, include Oiltanking Amsterdam BV, Oiltanking
Gent NV, Oiltanking Malta and Oiltanking Terneuzen BV.
The sale is subject to customary approvals by third
parties. Completion is expected in the fourth quarter of
this year. Value of the transaction was not disclosed.
Evos will also acquire 3i Infrastructure’s 45% stake in
the terminals. Oiltanking and 3i Infrastructure will retain
their interests in Oiltanking Singapore Ltd.
“The divestment of our four European terminals is in
line with Oiltanking’s strategy 2025, as we shift our portfolio
and focus on gas, chemicals and new energy,” noted Oiltanking
Chief Executive Matti Lievonen.

 

LG Chem & TK Chemical Form Partnership To Develop, Produce Biodegradable PBAT

Seoul—LG
Chem and TK Chemical plan to establish a partnership to
develop and produce biodegradable polybutylene adipate
co-terephthalate (PBAT) in South Korea.
The companies expect to sign a contract within the year
and establish a PBAT production line, which would begin
production by the second half of 2022. Capacity of the proposed
plant was not disclosed.
LG and TK will also continue discussing expanded cooperation
plans across the entire eco-friendly materials
industry.

 

Gevo Inks Asset Purchase Agreement For the Full Butamax Patent Estate

Englewood—Gevo
has entered into an asset purchase agreement with Butamax
Advanced Biofuels and its affiliate, Danisco US, under
which it will acquire full rights to sublicense the entire
Gevo/Butamax isobutanol and isobutanol derivatives patent
estate in the fields of fuels, isooctane, industrial chemicals,
isobutylene, oligomerized isobutylene and paraxylene.
The transaction contemplated by the agreement closed
on 21 Sept. 2021 and is subject to certain existing rights
and obligations. It provides Gevo with direct ownership
and management over the entire known isobutanol patent
portfolio of Butamax.
“Gevo is ‘all in’ on IBA-related technologies,” said Gevo
President and Chief Operating Officer Dr. Chris Ryan.
“We are finding strong commercial demand for our products.
So, it simply makes sense for us to own the patent
estate.
“In addition, it gives us more flexibility in adding to the
combined patent estate and eliminates the complexity for
out-licensing that existed under the [former] Patent-Cross
License Agreement.”

 

Toray Plastics Signs LoI to Divest Old Baptist Road Facility to Arlin

Providence—Toray
Plastics (America) Inc. announced it has signed a letter of
intent (LoI) with Arlin Manufacturing Co. to sell its Old
Baptist Road (OBR) plant in North Kingstown, Rhode Island,
to Arlin for an undisclosed amount.
Arlin, based in Lowell, Mass., specializes in custom extrusion
and converting of plastic films. It will continue
operating the OBR plant and service existing customers.
The transaction is scheduled to be completed on 31 Dec.
2021.
“Arlin also has a legacy of commitment to excellence in
the manufacture of cast film and customer service, and we
are pleased to be able to acquire the plant,” said Steven
Mitchell, vice president of Arlin. “The OBR facility will
complement our Trico Specialty Films Division and expand
our capabilities.”

 

MEGlobal Enters Agreement to Purchase Renewable Energy from Calpine Energy

Houston—
MEGlobal Americas has agreed to purchase renewable
electricity from Calpine Energy Solutions to fulfill 100% of
the expected power requirements of its facility in Oyster
Creek, Texas, beginning in 2023.
MEGlobal, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Equate Petrochemical,
has a 750,000-t/y ethylene glycol facility at the
site. The company will begin transitioning to renewable
electricity next year.
Under the five-year deal, MEGlobal will purchase over
1.5-million MWh (megawatt-hour) of renewable electricity,
resulting in the displacement of 600,000 tons of carbon
dioxide.
“We pride ourselves on our cutting-edge technology and
we are constantly seeking ways we can make a great facility
even better,” said MEGlobal Oyster Creek Site Leader
Scott Daigle.
“Now, in addition to providing a valuable product that
helps meet world demand, we are also working to optimize
the way we integrate sustainability into our day-to-day
operations.”

 

MPS Introduces MeOH-To-Go Plant For Oil, PC and Process Industries

Houston—Modular
Plant Solutions (MPS) recently introduced MeOH-To-Go, a
small-scale modular methanol plant that enables users to
produce their own methanol output from associated,
stranded, flared or pipeline gas.
The plant’s small-scale modularization not only helps
customers save on upfront costs, but also ensures the
plants are easy to transport, assemble and disassemble to
move if needed – even in remote locations.
Its patent-pending design is based on ISO 1496 container
standard, so the modules can be shipped all over the
world via container ship, rail and truck, and re-assembled
in the field.
“We created a design that takes the guesswork out of
planning and cost estimates and created something that is
easily-transportable, constructible and operable,” said
Russell Hillenburg, president and co-founder of MPS.
“The way we approach modularization is about efficiency
and standardization of components, opening up options
for locations that were previously unattainable.”

 

Eni and CLG to Cooperate in Licensing Residue Hydrocracking Technologies

Richmond—Eni
and Chevron Lummus Global (CLG) have executed a joint
cooperation and licensing agreement for a complete suite of
residue hydrocracking solutions.
The agreement covers Eni’s EST (Eni Slurry Technology)
and LC-Fining, LC-Max, LC-Slurry and LC-LSFO
technologies from CLG, which will offer refiners a wide
range of conversion options, including complete conversion
of residua to valuable distillate products.
Eni and CLG will work closely at their research and development
facilities in Italy and the U.S. to develop the
next generation of process and catalyst technologies suited
to address the complete conversion of low-value residua
and alternative feedstocks to petrochemical precursors and
transportation fuels.
“With the signature of this agreement, we believe that
CLG and Eni will be able to offer the market a new range
of services to better respond to industry needs,” said Eni
Energy Evolution Chief Operating Officer Giuseppe Ricci.
“Moreover, we are convinced that this cooperation will
lead to an important step in the energy transition by advancing
our hydrocracking technologies to also process alternative
and more challenging feedstocks like plastic
waste.”

 

Solvay Adds Thermoplastic Composite Line At South Carolina Manufacturing Facility

Greenville—
Solvay has completed the installation of a new thermoplastic
composites (TPC) manufacturing facility at its site in
Greenville, S.C.
The plant will have the ability to manufacture unidirectional
composite tape from a range of high-performance
polymers, including polyvinylidene fluoride, polyphenylene
sulfide, polyether ether ketone. Capacity of the unit was
not given.
“Upon commercialization of the Greenville facility, Solvay
will be uniquely positioned with proprietary technologies
enabling the company to position the right product for
the right application,” Solvay noted.

 

Indian Petrochem Conference Moved

Mumbai—Elite
Conferences announced it has shifted the dates of its 22nd
international Indian Petrochem conference to be held virtually
from 17-18 Nov. 2021 rather than 21-22 Oct. 2021,
as previously planned (PCN, 6 Sept 2021, p 2).
The conference will cover the entire petrochemical industry,
with a primary focus on Indian markets and an
overview of Asian and global markets.
Further information about the event, including speakers
and registration information, are available on Elite’s
website at www.eliteconferences.com.

 

PetroChemical News Briefs

SCG Chemicals’ has become the “first” in Thailand to
receive the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification
(ISCC Plus) in the advanced recycling category for
its process that turns post-consumer plastics into recycled
feedstock for petrochemical plants, the company stated.
Borealis recently announced its cracker in Stenungsund,
Sweden, was carrying out its first test run of a feedstock
derived solely from vegetable-based waste streams,
which should determine the extent to which the feedstock
could serve as a replacement for fossil fuel-based feedstocks.
Satisfactory results will enable the plant to gradually
increase the share of renewable feedstocks in the mix.
LG Chem has begun producing transparent acrylonitrile
butadiene styrene using chemically recycled methyl
methacrylate, through a strategic partnership with Veolia
R&E of South Korea.

V59 N36 – 20 September 2021

Gail Selects Grace’s Unipol PP Process For ‘First of Its Kind’ Project in India

Mumbai—W.R.
Grace & Co. has licensed its Unipol PP (polypropylene)
process technology to Gail (India) Ltd. for a “first of its
kind” project in Usar, Maharastra, India (PCN, 20 May
2019, p 1).
The project includes a 500,000-t/y PP production plant,
as well as an integrated propane dehydrogenation (PDH)
unit. No other details were given.
In May 2019, Gail said the project would be built at an
estimated cost of Rs 8,800 crore and was scheduled to be
commissioned by fiscal year 2023-2024.
Gail recently selected Grace’s Unipol PP process for a
60,000-t/y PP plant being set up at Gail’s existing Pata
petrochemical complex in India (PCN, 23 Aug 2021, p 3).
Grace’s all gas-phase Unipol PP process provides a
broad range of PP homopolymers, random copolymers and
impact copolymers.

 

Bp, Brightmark to Evaluate Development Of New Plastic Renewal Plants in Europe

London—
Bp and Brightmark have signed a memorandum of understanding
(MoU) to jointly evaluate opportunities for developing
next generation plastic waste renewal facilities in
Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium.
Brightmark has developed a plastic renewal process
that recycles plastic waste that has reached the end of its
useful life, including items not currently recyclable using
conventional mechanical processes.
Under the MoU, Bp will bring together its extensive
knowledge and trading experience in petrochemical and
refining markets, with Brightmark’s proprietary advanced
recycling technology.
Each plastics renewal plant could divert up to 400,000
t/y of waste plastic from disposal. Brightmark’s goal over
the next five years is to divert 8.4-million tons of plastic
from landfills and the environment to produce the feedstock
necessary to make new products.
“Promoting circularity and unlocking new sources of
value are part of our sustainability frame,” said Carol
Howle, executive vice president of trading and shipping at
Bp.
“We are excited to extend our work with the team at
Brightmark as we seek to develop new sustainable products
and supply chains. Their innovative technology complements
our refining and trading businesses, while providing
opportunities for a more sustainable future, enabling
materials to be kept in use for longer.”

 

Kem One Enters Into Exclusive Talks To Divest Company to Apollo Funds

Lyon—Polyvinyl
chloride (PVC) producer Kem One Group has entered into
exclusive negotiations to divest the company to funds
managed by affiliates of Apollo Global Management (Apollo
Funds).
Kem One has eight industrial sites across France and
Spain, and 1,400 employees. It produces mass and suspension
PVC, specialty PVC (including paste PVC and chlorinated
PVC), chlorine, caustic soda and chloromethane.
Since 2014, Kem One has undergone a “complete transformation,”
to improve the quality and reliability of its
production plants, lower production costs and reduce its
environmental footprint, Kem One noted.
The strategy was anchored by a €500-million investment
program with three strategic projects: the conversions
and upgrade of the Lavera electrolysis units, completed
in 2017; a new ethylene storage terminal at the Fossur-
Mer plant, to be finalized this year; and the conversion
and upgrade of the Fos-sur-Mer electrolysis units, which
will be launched in the coming months.
The sale, for which financial terms were not given, is
subject to customary approvals and to the information and
consultation process of the bodies representing the personnel
concerned. Completion is expected by the end of 2021.

 

LG Chem and ADM Enter MoU to Partner On Lactic Acid, PLA Production in U.S.

Chicago—LG
Chem and ADM have signed a memorandum of understanding
(MoU) to jointly explore U.S.-based production of
lactic acid and polylactic acid (PLA) for bioplastics and
other plant-based products.
Under the MoU, the parties would initiate the launch
of a joint venture in early 2022 that would build, own and
operate a facility in the U.S. to produce high-purity cornbased
lactic acid on a commercial scale.
In addition, the companies would collaborate on a second
joint venture that would use the lactic acid from the
first joint venture to produce and commercialize PLA, a
plant-based, biodegradable plastic that can be used in a
wide variety of products.
LG and ADM also agreed to actively cooperate in the
joint development of technology for other biomaterials that
can be applied in the biochemical and sustainability sector
in the future.
“The establishment of a joint venture with ADM would
be the beginning of a new journey, formalizing our cooperation
and advancing us toward a sustainable business structure
for the benefit of the environment and society,” said
LG Chem Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Hak Cheol
Shin.
“Once the joint venture is established, LG Chem would
receive a stable supply of raw materials needed to enter
the bioplastics market in earnest,” he noted, adding that
LG plans to accelerate the commercialization of biodegradable
resins, and will actively seek new ways to contribute
to carbon-neutral growth.

 

SKC, Kuwait’s PIC Agree to Cooperate On Expanding Bioplastics Business

Kuwait City—SK
Group’s chemical affiliate SKC and Kuwait’s Petrochemical
Industries Co. (PIC) have signed a memorandum of understanding
to work together to expand its eco-friendly plastic
business in Kuwait, according to the Korea Herald.
Under the agreement, SK picglobal, a joint venture of
the two companies, will analyze and perform research on
market trends and related regulations for biodegradable
plastics and oil produced from plastic waste.
Following completion of the studies, the parties will
work together to establish a joint venture or discuss exporting
technologies.
SKC has been expanding its biodegradable plastic portfolio,
and acquired technology from the Korea Research
Institute of Chemical Technology for the production of
polybutylene adipate-co-terephthalate.
It plans to share its accumulated technologies and
business know-how with PIC for their planned eco-friendly
plastic business.

 

Chemex Begins Construction on Encina’s Circular Chemical Unit in San Antonio

San Antonio—
Chemex Global announced it has begun work on a circular
chemical facility for Encina Development Group in San
Antonio, Texas.
The plant, which will be based on Encina’s proprietary
plastic waste catalytic conversion technology, will consist
of additional new equipment, including four vertically
stacked proprietary modules.
Chemex is performing the work under an engineering,
procurement and fabrication contract awarded earlier by
Encina. Further information was not available.
“Encina is excited to work with Chemex on the commencement
of our circular chemical plant in San Antonio,
Texas,” said Carlo Badiola, senior vice president of engineering
and technology at Encina.
“Chemex is one of the most advanced modular designers
and constructors in the petrochemical space. Their
process engineering capabilities greatly facilitated the implementation
of our proprietary technology. This partnership
is strategic for us in our effort to further realize our
customers’ circular supply chain requirements.”

 

Maersk Invests in WasteFuel Start-Up For the Production of Green Methanol

Copenhagen—
A.P. Moller – Maersk, through its corporate venture arm
Maersk Growth, has invested in WasteFuel, a Californiabased
start-up focused on turning waste into bio-methanol,
renewable natural gas and sustainable aviation fuel.
With Maersk’s investment, WasteFuel will be able to
develop biorefineries in the Americas and Asia that use the
most effective technologies available to produce sustainable
fuels from unrecoverable waste. Value of the investment
was not given.
“Maersk is confident that green bio-methanol is one of
the promising fuels of the future as it can be scaled up and
play an important role in decarbonizing supply chains
within the next 10-15 years,” said Maersk.
“For each feedstock and project, we evaluate its sustainability,
as well as the emission reductions, using lifecycle
analysis including all greenhouse gases.”

 

Mitsui & PureCycle Sign MoU to Develop Ultra-Pure Recycled PP Plant in Japan

Tokyo—
Mitsui & Co. and PureCycle Technologies have entered
into a memorandum of understanding (MoU), as a first
step to developing and operating a recycling facility in Japan
to transform polypropylene (PP) waste into ultra-pure
recycled PP (UPRP).
Mitsui will help facilitate the pre-construction, on-theground-
operations for the plant, which will be based on
PureCycle’s technology, and will be an integral part of
PureCycle’s work in Japan, PureCycle said. Details of the
new facility were not available.
“Through this partnership with PureCycle, Mitsui aims
to support the Japanese government’s goal to increase
plastic recycling toward 2030, and enhance supply capability
of recycled polypropylene resin,” Mitsui noted.
“We believe Mitsui is the best partner for PureCycle to
help us lead and navigate the process of building an
[UPRP] plant in Japan,” said PureCycle Chief Executive
Mike Otworth.
“Through the collaboration with Mitsui, we are now one
step closer to our goal of reducing plastic waste across the
world and revolutionizing the way people use plastic products.
There is no reason polypropylene waste shouldn’t be
recycled and transformed into ultra-pure, sustainable
polypropylene.”

 

Sasol, Topsoe Expand G2L Collaboration For Sustainable Fuels and Chemicals

Johannesburg—
Sasol and Haldor Topsoe said they have grown their G2L
collaboration to jointly license and develop their technologies
for sustainable liquid fuels and chemical production
through Fischer-Tropsch (FT) technology.
The partners have been offering integrated end-to-end
solutions to gas-to-liquid (GTL) ventures for the production
of synthetic fuels and chemicals using Topsoe’s SynCor and
Sasol’s low temperature FT technologies.
With the expanded partnership, they now offer integrated
end-to-end solutions to produce sustainable fuels
and chemicals, specifically power-to-fuels or e-fuels, utilizing
sustainable carbon sources or carbon dioxide, green
hydrogen and renewable energy.
The partners are also in the process of developing new
technologies, such as Topsoe’s electrified reforming platform,
solid oxide electrolysis and Sasol’s next-generation
FT catalyst to further maximize desired product yields,
enhance carbon and hydrogen conversion efficiency.
As a single-point licensor, the companies will offer customers
all the necessary technology licenses for complete
sustainable fuels solutions. This also includes basic engineering,
catalyst, hardware and specialized technical support
to ensure a bankable and successful project.

 

People on the Move

European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic)—
Daniel Witthaut has joined Cefic as executive director for
the innovation team. He was most recently head of portfolio
and processes for Research, Development & Innovation.
Mitsubishi Chemical Advanced Materials—
Henning Bloech will become global director of sustainable
solutions, effective 1 Oct. 2021. He has more than 15 years
of professional experience in sustainability and corporate
governance in Europe and North America.

 

Versalis Signs Deal to Acquire Ecoplastic’s Mechanical Recycling Process and Plants

Milan—
Versalis has signed an agreement to acquire, on an exclusive
basis, the mechanical recycling technology and plants
of Ecoplastic, an Italian company of the De Berg Group
specializing in the recovery, recycling and transformation
chain of styrenic polymers.
The assets will allow Versalis to accelerate developments
in advanced mechanical recycling and expand its
portfolio of Versalis Revive range of recycled polymers
(PCN, 28 Oct 2019, p 4).
Ecoplastic has developed a production process of styrenic
polymers, expanded polystyrene (PS) and solid PS
with up to 100% recycled content from secondary raw material
obtained from PS waste.
“The agreement . . . constitutes a concrete step for the
start of the first phase of construction of the advanced mechanical
recycling hub, as part of the transformation project
of the Porto Marghera plant, where the installation of
the units acquired from Ecoplastic . . . will take place from
next year,” said Versalis.
The overall capacity of the first phase will be approximately
20,000 t/y.

 

Uniper, Port of Rotterdam Ink Agreement To Develop Green Hydrogen Production

Rotterdam—
Uniper and the Port of Rotterdam Authority have signed a
memorandum of understanding for a green hydrogen
production project at Uniper’s Maasvlakte site within the
Port of Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
Following a recent feasibility study, it was decided that
Uniper’s location is ideally suitable for the large-scale production
of green hydrogen using power generated by North
Sea wind farms.
The plant, on which an investment decision is expected
in 2022, would be connected to the HyTransport.RTM pipeline
running through the Port of Rotterdam. The pipeline
also connects the Uniper plant to the national hydrogen
infrastructure and the Delta Corridor pipeline bundle.
The latter project is intended for delivering hydrogen to
chemical clusters in Moerdijk and Geleen, and farther
away in North Rhine-Westphalia.
The next step in the hydrogen project is the front-end
engineering and design study, which will take nine
months. It is currently being contracted out. An expected
completion date for the project was not given.

 

Petronas, Eneos Expand Partnership To Include Hydrogen Supply Chain

Kuala Lumpur—
Petronas, through its Petronas Gas & New Energy subsidiary,
has signed a memorandum of understanding with
Eneos to jointly develop a hydrogen supply chain between
Malaysia and Japan, and explore other hydrogen opportunities.
Under the MoU, the parties will undertake a technicalcommercial
joint study of a hydrogen supply chain, which
includes hydrogen production and its transportation in
methylcyclohexane form.
They will also explore low carbon hydrogen production
from Petronas’ petrochemical plants and in the future,
green hydrogen produced by renewable energy.

 

Shell Makes FID to Build Biofuels Plant At Shell Energy and Chemicals Park

Rotterdam—
Royal Dutch Shell announced a final investment decision
to build Europe’s “biggest” biofuels facility at the Shell Energy
and Chemicals Park (formerly known as Pernis refinery)
in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
The facility is expected to use carbon capture technology
to capture emissions from the manufacturing process
and store them beneath the North Sea. Production is expected
to begin in 2024.
The project has the potential to produce enough renewable
diesel to avoid 2.8-million t/y of carbon dioxide emissions
(CO2).
“This investment is an important step as we transform
the Energy and Chemicals Park Rotterdam from a traditional
refinery into a sustainable energy park,” said Marjan
van Loon, president director of Shell Netherlands.
“The project will mean hundreds of millions of dollars of
investment each year during construction; it will create
hundreds of jobs, and help to maintain the facility’s competitiveness
for years to come.”

 

Hengli Starts Construction on ‘High-End’ Chem Manufacturing Complex in China

Beijing—
Hengli Petrochemical has begun construction on a new
“high end” chemicals manufacturing base in Suzhou,
China, Reuters reported.
The $3-billion complex will include the production of
polyester film and plastics with a total combined capacity
of 1-million t/y. An 800,000-t/y facility is planned for the
first phase and is expected to be completed in about 30
months.

 

CF Industries Suspending Operations At Billingham, Ince Plants in the UK

London—CF
Industries has decided to halt operations at its Billingham
and Ince fertilizer manufacturing complexes in the UK.
The plants, which produce ammonia, ammonium nitrate
and NPK compounds, are being suspended because of
high natural gas prices, the company noted. It does not
have an estimate for when production will resume.

 

Agilyx Granted a Patent Continuation For Its Depolymerization Technology

Tigard—Agilyx
Corp. said has been granted a patent continuation for its
process of breaking down waste polystyrene (PS) into its
chemical building block, styrene monomer.
The continuation of US patent number 11,041,123 further
confirms Agilyx’s depolymerization technology extends
to the breaking down of all waste plastic polymers into
their respective discrete monomers and is not only limited
to PS.
“Essentially, our process has not changed,” said Agilyx
Chief Technology Officer Dr. Chris Faulkner. We are using
the same technology on the same machinery, though it may
be operated in a slightly different way depending on the
polymer.
“The recognition that this technology applies to a
broader range of polymers is an exciting advancement in
our mission to increase recycling and circularity of post-use
plastics.”

 

Neste Partnering with Kinder Morgan On Renewable Fuels Logistics Project

New Orleans—
Neste and Kinder Morgan said they have agreed to partner
on a project to create a “premier” raw material storage and
logistics hub in the U.S., supporting increased production
of renewable feedstock for polymers and chemicals, renewable
diesel and sustainable aviation fuel.
Kinder Morgan will modify existing tanks and piping at
its Harvey, La., facility to enable segregated storage for a
variety of Neste’s raw materials across 30 tanks. The facility
will serve as Neste’s primary storage hub.
The project, supported by a long-term commercial commitment
from Neste, is expected to begin operations in the
first quarter of 2023. Neste has the option for further expansion.
“We are thrilled to partner with Neste, a global leader
in renewable fuels, on this important logistics project,”
noted Kinder Morgan Terminals President John Schlosser.
“As North America’s largest terminal operator with existing
infrastructure, including 80 million barrels of storage,
266 docks, 462 truck bays and 6,800 rail car spots,
Kinder Morgan Terminals is uniquely positioned to play a
leading role in the transition to renewable fuels.”
Kinder Morgan’s scope of work also includes installation
of a new boiler for heating tanks and railcars and infrastructure
improvements for rail, truck and marine
movements.

 

IHS Markit Schedules GPS and PEPP To Be Held Online from 25-28 Oct. ‘21

London—IHS
Markit said this year’s Global Plastics Summit (GPS) will
be combined with the Polyethylene-Polypropylene Chain
Global Technology & Business Forum (PEPP) scheduled
online from 25-28 Oct. 2021.
Based on the theme Future Plastic Markets: Supply
Chains and Innovation in Extraordinary Times, the event
will feature expert insight – from upstream business reviews
to downstream technical applications and end-user
trends.
“The combination of GPS and PEPP will provide plastic
processors, convertors and brand owners with an unparalleled
opportunity to expand their horizons and connect
with an expanded global audience in order to get at the
root of what they do best – innovate,” IHS Markit stated.
For more information and to register, email IHS Markit
at plastic.events@ihsmarkit.com or visit the website at
https://globalplasticssummit.com.

 

Companies in Houston Industrial Area To Discuss Plans for Large-Scale CCS

Houston—
Eleven companies have agreed to discuss plans that could
result in the large-scale deployment of carbon capture and
storage (CCS) technology in Houston, Texas.
The discussions could lead to Dow, ExxonMobil, Ineos,
LyondellBasell, Linde, Chevron, Phillips 66, Valero, Marathon
Petroleum, Calpine and NRG Energy collectively
capturing and storing around 50-million t/y of carbon
dioxide (CO2) by 2030 and about 100-million t/y by 2040.
There are ongoing discussions with other companies
that have industrial operations in the area to add even
more CO2 capture capacity.
“Wide-scale deployment of CCS in the Houston area
will require the collective support of industry, communities
and government,” said ExxonMobil. “If appropriate policies
and regulations are put in place, CCS could generate
tens of thousands of new jobs, protect current jobs and reduce
emissions at a lower cost to society than many other
widely available technologies.
“The 11 companies will continue to advocate for policies
that enable the long-term commercial viability of new, expanded
and existing CCS investments in Texas.”

 

PetroChemical News Briefs

Incitec Pivot has not identified any material damage
from Hurricane Ida to its Waggaman, La., ammonia plant,
which was brought down on 28 Aug. 2021, in anticipation
of the storm. It is currently awaiting restoration of power
and utilities. The total outage is expected to be about four
weeks from the date the plant was brought down.
Petronet LNG is looking to enter the petrochemical
segment and is considering an ethane or propane import
facility at the Dahej terminal in India, reported MENAFN
(Middle East North Africa Financial Network). It is also
planning to set up a petrochemical complex based on imported
propane at Dahej LNG Terminal. No other details
were given.
Jacobs informed Worley that it has entered into a
block trade agreement with Citigroup Global Markets Australia
to sell all its shares in Worley (9.85%) via an underwritten
block trade.
Iran’s National Petrochemical Co. has awarded a
contract to Oil Industries Commissioning and Operation
Co. (OICO), under which OICO will be responsible for the
operation, repair and maintenance of the West Ethylene
Pipeline in Iran. National Petrochemical Co. is owner of
the pipeline.

V59 N35 – 13 September 2021

Repsol Chooses Univation’s PE Process For New Production Facility at Sines

Sines—Repsol
has selected Univation Technologies’ Unipol polyethylene
(PE) process for a new PE plant at Repsol’s Industrial
Complex in Sines, Portugal (PCN, 2 Aug 2021, p 1).
The project, valued at around $775-million, includes a
300,000-t/y PE unit, along with a 300,000-t/y polypropylene
plant. Operations are expected to begin by 2025.
Repsol selected a full-density plant design with production
capabilities for a broad range of high-density PE and
linear low-density PE products. It also selected Univation’s
XCat metallocene technology to produce specialty
metallocene PE grades.
In addition, Repsol will utilize Univation’s advanced
software platforms for process control capability and its
Unipol PE Virtual Plant Simulator for virtual process
training.
“The Unipol PE technology platform provides Repsol
with multiple sustainable operational benefits – including
low carbon footprint, minimized emissions, reduced energy
consumption, and maximized raw material utilization – to
enable Repsol to achieve its objective of sustainable development,
while delivering positive economic activity within
the regions that it operates,” said Univation Technologies
President Dr. Steven Stanley.
“Additionally, we look forward to supporting Repsol’s
vision of producing value-added, recyclable materials for
the European market with this new Unipol PE plant.”

 

Shell Ventures Partners with BlueAlp For Waste-to-Chemicals Technology

The Hague—Shell
Ventures BV and BlueAlp Holdings BV have formed a strategic
partnership to develop, scale and deploy BlueAlp’s
plastic waste-to-chemical feedstock technology that turns
plastic waste into pyrolysis oil for use in sustainable
chemicals.
Under the agreement, the parties will form a joint venture
company to build two new conversion units in the
Netherlands, which are expected to convert over 30,000 t/y
of plastic waste to pyrolysis oil. The units are scheduled to
become operational in 2023.
The pyrolysis oil will be supplied as feedstock to Shell’s
Moerdijk cracker in the Netherlands and its Rhineland
cracker in Germany. Shell is also considering licensing an
additional two units for deployment within Asia to supply
the Shell Energy and Chemicals Park Singapore.
“With BlueAlp’s innovative technology and Shell’s size
and experience, we can advance the plastic waste recycling
technology needed to meet growing customer demand for
sustainable chemicals,” noted Robin Mooldijk, executive
vice president of Shell Chemicals and Products.
“This partnership is one of the most important steps
Shell is taking to reach our ambition of recycling 1-million
tons of plastics waste a year in our global chemicals plants
by 2025.”
As part of the agreement, Shell has acquired a 21.25%
equity stake in BlueAlp.

 

Bolivia’s YPFB Resumes Operations At Shuttered Ammonia, Urea Plant

La Paz—Bolivia’s
Yacimientos Petroliferos Fiscales Bolivianos (YPFB) said it
has restarted its ammonia and urea facility in Bulu Bulu,
Cochabamba Province, which had been “paralyzed” in 2019
following a government coup.
The 590,000-t/y plant was shut down for 22 months.
The abrupt closure caused “severe” damage to the plant’s
machinery and over $428-million in economic damage to
the state, YPFB noted.
Bolivian President Luis Arce drew up and implemented
a reactivation plan for the facility that included the acquisition
of chemical inputs, machinery, spare parts and repair
of critical equipment, enabling the plant to resume
operations.
A majority of the production will be exported to Brazil
(391,000 t/y), while 46,000 t/y will be sold in the domestic
market, 125,000 t/y will be exported to Argentina, 22,000
t/y will be sold to Paraguay and 6,000 to Peru, until September
2022.
The ammonia and urea facility originally began operations
in December 2017 (PCN, 25 Sept 2017, p 1).

 

Braskem, SCG Ink MoU to Study Feasibility Of Thai Unit to Produce Bio-Ethylene, PE

Bangkok—
Braskem and SCG Chemicals have signed a memorandum
of understanding (MoU) to study the feasibility of a joint
investment in a new bio-ethanol dehydration facility for
the production of bio-ethylene and bio-based polyethylene
(PE) in Map Ta Phut, Rayong, Thailand.
The proposed production facility would be located inside
SCG’s petrochemical complex and up to double the existing
capacity of Braskem’s I’m green brand bio-based PE.
Braskem would contribute its technology and know-how
in the ethanol dehydration process and its I’m green biobased
PE marketing expertise, while SCG would contribute
its knowledge of the Asian market and expertise in PE
production. No other details were given.
The project is subject to conclusion of the feasibility
study, mutual agreement of Braskem and SCG, and approval
by competent governance bodies.

 

Westlake Chemical Finalizes Acquisition Of Dimex from Grey Mountain Partners

Marietta—
Westlake Chemical has concluded the purchase of Dimex,
manufacturer of products made from post-industrial recycled
(PIR) plastics, from private equity firm Grey Mountain
Partners (PCN, 9 Aug 2021, p 3).
Based in Marietta, Ga., Dimex produces a variety of
consumer products made from PIR polyvinyl chloride,
polyethylene and thermoplastic elastomer materials, which
will make this transaction an “important” piece of Westlake’s
growth trajectory and ESG (environmental, social
and governance) commitment for a “long time,” Westlake
noted. Value of the transaction was not disclosed.

 

LyondellBasell Considering Possible Sale Of Gulf Coast-Based Refining Business

Houston—
LyondellBasell said it is weighing strategic options for its
refining business on the U.S. Gulf Coast, including a potential
sale of the business.
The company’s 268,000-t/y Houston Refinery in Texas is
one of the “largest” refineries in the world, the company
noted. It is strategically located on the Houston Ship
Channel and covers around 700 acres. It has been owned
by LyondellBasell since 2006.
“While the Houston Refinery is a valuable, wellperforming
asset, we have long held the belief that it may
be even more valuable as part of a larger refining system,”
said Chief Executive Bob Patel. “To that end, we are actively
gauging market interest in this business with the
goal of delivering the greatest value to all our stakeholders.”
The company stated that it cannot provide assurances
regarding the outcome or timing of this process and does
not intend to make further announcements regarding the
review unless and until it is required or appropriate.

 

Viridis Begins Construction on Project To Produce Bio-Based Ethyl Acetate

Houston—Viridis
Chemical said it has begun Phase II of a capital improvement
project to produce bio-based ethyl acetate at its facility
in Columbus, Nebraska.
The project, being built by Koch Project Solutions, will
produce bio-based urethane grade ethyl acetate for a variety
of applications. Operations are expected to begin in
early 2023.
Once complete, Viridis will be the “first and only” largescale
producer of bio-based ethyl acetate in North America,
the company noted.
Helm is exclusive global marketing partner for the
products produced at the Columbus plant.
Viridis recently completed Phase I of the project, which
involved building a USP grade bio-based ethanol production
unit at the site. Production began in August 2021.

 

MyRechemical, JM to Commercially Develop Waste-to-Methanol Technology Globally

Milan—
NextChem’s MyRechemical subsidiary and Johnson Matthey
(JM) have agreed to cooperate to commercially develop
waste-to-methanol technology worldwide.
The agreement involves integrating JM’s proven syngas-
to-methanol technology into the waste-to-chemical
process to implement new commercial waste-to-methanol
plants around the world.
“This alliance with JM adds a new important piece to
our business strategy,” said Pierroberto Folgiero, chief executive
of Maire Tecnimont and NextChem.
“Circular methanol obtained from the technology on
which we are partnering with JM can be used in better
performing, low-carbon fuels for sustainable mobility, for
example for the shipping sector, and as a more sustainable
product for the chemical industry.
“There is a wide and promising market for such a product,
aimed at driving the industry towards the use of more
sustainable feedstocks, avoiding the consumption of natural
resources. This technology, which is immediately applicable,
provides a concrete answer to these needs.”

 

EPCA Details 55th Annual Meeting To Be Held Virtually Next Month

Brussels—The European
Petrochemical Assn. (EPCA) has scheduled its 55th
annual meeting to be held virtually from 5-7 Oct. 2021,
based on the theme “Future Reimagined.”
This year’s theme is set to offer both optimism and reflection
on the future role of the petrochemical industry
and its place in the world, said EPCA.
The three-day conference will include 22 sessions with a
focus on three major topics: Industry Reimagined on 5 Oct.,
Sustainability Reimagined on 6 Oct., and Success Reimagined
on 7 Oct.
Among the 33 announced speakers are Martin Brudermüller,
chairman of the board of BASF SE; EPCA Chief
Executive Caroline Ciuciu; Jim Fitterling, chairman and
chief executive of Dow; Shell Executive Vice President
Thomas Casparie; Eelco Hoekstra, chairman and chief executive
of Royal Vopak; EPCA President Hartwig Michels;
Gina Fyffe, chief executive of Integra Petrochemicals; Neil
Carr, President, Dow EMEA & India at Dow Chemical, and
the Alliance to End Plastic Waste President and Chief Executive
Jacob Duer.
For further details and to register, visit EPCA’s website
at https://epca.eu.

 

Zeon Starts Acrylic Rubber Production At ZCA Company in Rayong Province

Bangkok—Zeon
Chemicals Asia (ZCA) Co. Ltd., a group company of Zeon
Corp., has begun commercial production of acrylic rubber
at its site in Rayong Province, Thailand (PCN, 10 Sept
2018, p 3).
The facility, built to meet growing demand for the
product, has a production capacity of 22,000 t/y of acrylic
rubber. Cost of the project was not disclosed.
The Zeon Group also produces acrylic rubber at sites in
Japan and the U.S.

 

RusKhimAlyans Lets Construction Contract To Linde, Renaissance for Ust-Luga GPC

Moscow—a
consortium of Linde and Renaissance has been awarded an
engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract
by RusKhimAlyans to build a natural gas liquefaction
plant, within the gas processing complex (GPC) being built
near Ust-Luga, Russia (PCN, 14 June 2021, p 1).
Under the contract, Linde and Renaissance will provide
the design works and supply of equipment and materials,
as well as perform the construction and installation of two
production trains with a total capacity of 13-million t/y of
liquefied natural gas (LNG).
RusKhimAlyans is a special-purpose company formed
by Gazprom and RuzGazDobycha to operate the GPC project,
which, once complete, will process 45-billion cu m/yr of
gas and produce the LNG, as well as ethane fraction, liquefied
petroleum gas and pentane-hexane fraction.
Baltic Chemical, a subsidiary of RuzGazDobycha, is
building a gas chemical facility that will be technologically
interconnected with the GPC. It will include two ethane
cracking plants with a capacity of 1.4-million t/y each of
ethylene, as well as six polyethylene reactor lines, each
designed to have a capacity of 500,000 t/y. Completion is
expected in 2024.
Linde and Renaissance were recently awarded the EPC
contract for the GPC.

 

SABIC and FJPEC Enter Agreement To Build Petchem Complex in China

Shanghai—
SABIC and Fujian Petrochemical Industrial Group Co.
(FJPEC) have signed a joint venture agreement to set up a
“mega” petrochemical complex in Fujian Province, China,
according to several local media reports.
The approximately $6-billion project, to be built at
Gulei Industrial Park, would involve a mixed-feed steam
cracker with 1.5-million t/y of ethylene capacity, as well as
downstream units for the production of polyethylene, polypropylene,
ethylene glycol and polycarbonate, among others.
A schedule for the project was not given.
FJPEC is a wholly-owned affiliate of Fujian Petrochemical
Group Co.

 

Zachry Group Adds Consulting Practice With Trillium Advisory Group Purchase

Calgary—
Engineering and construction firm Zachry Group has acquired
Trillium Advisory Group, a full-service construction
consultancy with a focus on digitalization and digital transformation,
for an undisclosed amount.
Headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Trillium
works with organizations and project teams to identify,
develop and deploy best practices and digital initiatives
across the project lifecycle in a variety of industry sources.
“The acquisition . . . adds specialized resources to better
support Zachry Group’s growing customer base and enables
Zachry to demonstrate distinct improvements in project
execution and reporting, including digitalization of the
project and digital project delivery,” said Zachry.
“Analytical insights into project performance will help
pinpoint new opportunities for optimization and support a
growing movement across markets and industries toward
enhanced business intelligence.”

 

Gevo to Establish Pilot Unit at Luverne For Alcohol-to-Hydrocarbon Process

Englewood—
Gevo plans to install a new alcohol-to-hydrocarbon process
pilot plant at its Luverne facility in Minnesota (PCN, 9
Aug 2021, p 3).
The pilot unit is being designed to produce market development
quantities of sustainable aviation fuel, renewable
premium gasoline, other renewable fuel products, as
well as provide capability to supply market development
quantities of chemical products. Start-up is expected in
the fourth quarter of next year.
Setting up the pilot unit at Luverne is part of Gevo’s
plan to use the facility as a technology development and
piloting site.
In addition, Gevo said it expects to test and evaluate
certain potential unit operations that may be incorporated
into its Net-Zero 1 production facility in Lake Preston,
S.D., which is expected to begin production in 2024.
“The work we do at the Luverne facility will be critical
in establishing a smooth start up of Net-Zero 1 and future
Net-Zero projects for ramping up capacity right out of the
gate,” noted Dr. Paul Bloom, chief carbon and innovation
officer.
“We also plan to use the new pilot capability to support
our robust pipeline of new renewable fuel and chemical
projects in the future, which is also a first step in converting
Luverne into a hydrocarbon facility.”

 

Mitsubishi and Shell Canada Sign MoU For Blue Hydrogen Project in Canada

Edmonton—
Mitsubishi Corp. (MC) and Shell Canada have signed a
memorandum of understanding to collaborate on a lowcarbon
(blue) hydrogen project through the use of carbon
capture and storage (CCS) near Edmonton, Canada.
Mitsubishi plans to build the facility near the Shell Energy
and Chemicals Park Scotford, while Shell would provide
carbon dioxide (CO2) storage via its proposed Polaris
CCS project (PCN, 23 Aug 2021, p 3).
The hydrogen project is expected to produce about
165,000 t/y of blue hydrogen in the first phase using natural
gas feedstock. Production would be increased in future
phases. The hydrogen would be converted to low-carbon
ammonia for export to Asian markets. Start-up is expected
“towards the latter half of this decade,” the parties noted.
“MC is looking into such clean energy opportunities,
globally,” said Hiroki Haba, senior vice president, division
chief operating officer, Next-Generation Fuels & Petroleum
Business Division at MC. “This opportunity in Canada
would support Japan’s requirements for clean energy.”
Shell Canada’s proposed Polaris project would capture
and store around 750,000 t/y of CO2, in the first phase,
from Shell’s refinery and chemicals plant at the Scotford
complex. A final investment decision is expected in 2023.
The second phase of the Polaris project would involve
setting up a new CO2 storage hub in Alberta, further decarbonizing
Shell’s facilities and storing emissions on behalf
of third-party industry sources.

 

FACT Restarts Caprolactam Production

Kochi—
Fertilizers and Chemicals Travancore (FACT) has resumed
caprolactam production in Kerala, India, after almost nine
years, according to several local media reports.
In October 2012, FACT discontinued production at the
50,000-t/y facility because of rising naphtha prices. It is
now using liquefied natural gas as the major feedstock.
Restarting caprolactam production is in line with the
country’s vision of achieving self-sufficiency, reported the
Hindu citing FACT. The majority of the product will be
sold in the domestic market.

 

JM Forms Hydrogen Technology Business

London—
Johnson Matthey (JM) announced it is combining its Green
Hydrogen business and its Fuel Cells business into a new
Hydrogen Technologies business to accelerate its growth
and scale-up in both markets.
“Merging both businesses builds on JM’s leading technologies,
with the global hydrogen market set to grow exponentially
due to clean hydrogen’s important role in decarbonization
– demand for green hydrogen is projected to
grow by almost ten-fold between now and 2050, along with
blue hydrogen, and the hydrogen fuel cell market is forecast
to grow more than three-fold through to 2027,” the
company explained.
The new Hydrogen Technologies business will be
headed up by Ralph Calmes, who has been appointed managing
director of the business, effective 1 Oct. 2021. He
previously led JM’s Platinum Group Metal Services business.
JM’s blue hydrogen team will remain within its Efficient
Natural Resources sector.

 

DSM Enters Renewable Energy PPAs For Four Plants in Jiangsu Province

Shanghai—
Royal DSM announced that its four plants in Jiangsu,
China, have joined the first batch of companies in Jiangsu
Province to sign Renewable Energy Power Purchase
Agreements, putting them on track to be powered by 100%
renewable energy from January 2022.
The companies that signed the agreement are DSM Engineering
Materials, DSM Jiangshan Pharmaceutical,
DSM Biotechnology and Biomin China.
The company recently committed to halving its 2016
greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from operations by 2030,
exceeding its original target of a 30% reduction.
“China is one of DSM’s most important regional markets,”
said Joe Zhou, president of DSM China. “The country’s
green transformation and industrial upgrading are
crucial for DSM to achieve our sustainability goals.
“DSM is committed to sourcing 75% of its global energy
needs from renewable resources by 2030. The signing of
the . . . agreement for all of DSM’s plants in Jiangsu will
make a significant contribution to achieving our goal.
“DSM is actively aligning with the concept of green development
and will continue to work closely with all our
partners to enhance local innovation capabilities and use
energy more efficiently across the value chain.
“We are committed to supporting China in achieving
the dual goals of peaking carbon emissions by 2030 and
reaching carbon neutrality by 2060.”

 

Sumitomo Launches Meguri Brand For Its Recycled Plastic Products

Tokyo—Sumitomo
Chemical has launched Meguri, meaning circularity in
Japanese, a new brand of plastic products obtained
through recycling technology.
The Meguri products, expected to contribute to the reduction
of greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental
impacts, covers a variety of recycled plastic products,
such as polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA), polyethylene
(PE) and polypropylene (PP).
Sumitomo will begin promoting Meguri with recycled
PMMA obtained from a chemical recycling pilot facility,
which is planned to be built at Ehime Works in Japan, and
plans to include PE derived from municipal waste and PP
compounds made by recycling used plastic.
The Ehime facility is expected to begin pilot tests in the
fall of 2022 and start providing samples in 2023 (PCN, 30
Aug 2021, p 3).

 

Brookfield, Inter Pipeline Give Update On Planned Acquisition Transaction

Calgary—Brookfield
Infrastructure and Inter Pipeline have entered into an
agreement regarding a statutory plan of arrangement, under
which Brookfield will acquire all remaining shares of
Inter Pipeline (PCN, 2 Aug 2021, p 4).
Under the terms of the arrangement agreement, Inter
Pipeline shareholders can elect to receive C$20 per share
in cash; 0.25 of a Brookfield share; or any combination
thereof.
Brookfield also announced the expiry of its takeover bid
dated 22 Feb. 2021 to acquire all common shares of Inter
Pipeline not currently owned by Brookfield.
Upon payment for the incremental Inter Pipeline common
shares tendered before the expiry of the offer, Brookfield
will own 76.4% of Inter Pipeline’s common shares.
The transaction to acquire the remaining stake in Inter
Pipeline is expected to occur late next month. Following
completion of the transaction, Brookfield plans to delist
Inter Pipeline common shares from trading on the Toronto
Stock Exchange.

 

Stolthaven, Revivegen Agree to Build New Greenfield Terminal in Taiwan

Taipei—Stolthaven
Terminals and Revivegen Environmental Technology
have signed a letter of intent to jointly develop a new
greenfield terminal in Kaohsiung Port, Taiwan.
The terminal would handle and store chemicals and industrial
gases for local and multinational companies, including
those with manufacturing operations in Taiwan.
No other details of the terminal were available.
The partners are currently working in a comprehensive
feasibility study. A final investment decision is expected in
the fourth quarter if this year, subject to final internal and
external approvals.

 

PetroChemical News Briefs

Dow has started bringing operations back online at
Plaquemine, La., which were impacted by the recent Hurricane
Ida (PCN, 6 Sept 2021, p 4). The company’s St.
Charles operations unit and its Greensburg facility are
making progress toward restart. Start-ups will be prioritized
based on third-party utility balances and raw materials
availability.
Huntsman on 7 Sept. 2021 said Hurricane Ida caused
no significant damage to its Geismar, La., manufacturing
facility. Restart of each unit is dependant on the availability
of utilities and the ability of other third-party suppliers
to restart their respective operations. “Currently, the
company’s best estimate is that production comes back
online slowly this coming weekend with an increase in
rates next week,” Huntsman noted.
CF Industries has begun restarting its ammonia
plants at the Donaldsonville complex in Louisiana, which
was impacted by Ida. Start-up of product upgrade units
(urea, nitric acid and urea ammonium nitrate) will follow.
Shipping will proceed on an as available basis.

V59 N34 – 6 September 2021

Sadara Reaches Mechanical Completion Of EO/PO PL Project to PlasChem Park

Jubail—
Sadara Chemical announced it has achieved mechanical
completion of its ethylene oxide/propylene oxide (EO/PO)
pipeline project for the transport of EO/PO from Sadara’s
facilities to the adjacent PlasChem Park in Jubail Industrial
City, Saudi Arabia (PCN, 11 Mar 2019, p 2).
The two parallel feedstock pipelines will distribute EO
and PO feedstock to various business tenants at the park,
enabling them to produce diversified specialty chemical
products, Sadara noted.
Developed by the Royal Commission for Jubail and
Yanbu, PlasChem Park is dedicated to downstream chemical
and conversion industries in the country.
“Congratulations to our team and partners for the safe
completion of this unique project,” said Sadara Chief Executive
Dr. Faisal Al-Faqeer. “The EO/PO pipeline transportation
system will be the first of its kind in the Middle
East and North Africa region.
“Our project serves as a significant driver of downstream
manufacturing in the Kingdom. It’s a significant
part of the Kingdom’s downstream transformation under
Vision 2030, developing new business opportunities and
thousands of new jobs in the chemical industry and related
sectors,” he added.

 

Orion Engineered Carbons Breaks Ground On Second Carbon Black Plant in China

Beijing—
Orion Engineered Carbons has begun construction on its
second facility in China for specialty and high-performance
carbon black.
The new plant, located in Huaibei, Anhui Province, is
planned to have an initial production capacity of 65,000 t/y
to 75,000 t/y. Completion is expected in late 2022, with
operations scheduled to start in 2023.
“The strongest growth in demand for carbon black in
the coming years is widely projected to be in Asia,” said
Orion Chief Executive Corning F. Painter. “The new site
in China will enable us to better supply our customers and
strengthen our position as a leading global supplier of specialty
and high-performance carbon black.”

 

PetroChina’s Dushanzi PC Subsidiary Launches Chinese Ethylene Project

Xinjiang—
Dushanzi Petrochemical Co., a subsidiary of PetroChina,
has commissioned an ethane-to-ethylene project in Xinjiang,
China, according to several industry sources.
The $1.24-billion project, which will utilize ethane extracted
from natural gas from PetroChina’s Tarim oilfield,
will produce 600,000 t/y of ethylene and 300,000 t/y of
high-density polyethylene.
Last month, PetroChina completed trial operation of an
800,000-t/y ethane-to-ethylene plant in Shaanxi Province,
China. Dushanzi now has 2-million-t/y of ethylene capacity.

 

LanzaTech & Twelve Form Partnership To Produce PP from CO2 Emissions

Berkeley—
LanzaTech and carbon transformation company Twelve
have partnered to transform carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions
into polypropylene (PP).
The partners will combine LanzaTech’s Pollution To
Products carbon recycling technology, which uses naturebased
solutions to produce ethanol and other materials
from waste carbon sources, with Twelve’s carbon transformation
technology that converts CO2 into materials
(“CO2Made”) that are traditionally made from fossil fuels.
Bringing the two technologies together will enable additional
product development from CO2 streams, representing
just one of the pathways to scale carbon transformation
solutions, the companies noted.
LanzaTech and Twelve have been awarded a $200,000
grant from Impact Squared to move forward with the partnership.
Impact Squared is a $1.1-million fund that was
designed and launched by British universal bank Barclay’s
and Unreasonable, a catalytic platform for entrepreneurs.
“Polypropylene is a key material for essential medical
supplies and for many products we rely on in our daily
lives,” said Twelve Chief Science Officer Dr. Etosha Cave.
“Today, 100% of new polypropylene in use worldwide is
made from petrochemicals.
“We now have a way to produce this critical material
from CO2 and water instead of from fossil fuels, with no
tradeoffs in quality, efficacy or performance.
“Replacing all of the world’s fossil polypropylene production
with CO2Made polypropylene would reduce carbon
emissions by an estimated 700-million t/y or more.”

 

Novatek and JBIC Sign Deal to Cooperate On Several Low-Carbon Russian Projects

Moscow—
Novatek announced it has signed a strategic cooperation
agreement with Japan Bank for International Cooperation
(JBIC) to work together on a variety of low-carbon projects
in Russia.
Specifically, the parties intend to cooperate on projects
to produce hydrogen and ammonia, carbon capture, utilization,
and storage technologies, as well as renewable energy
projects in Russia, including ammonia and hydrogen production
projects in the Yamal Peninsula.
“We are actively studying options to further reduce our
current low carbon footprint from Novatek’s LNG production
by using renewable energy sources, carbon capture
and storage and hydrogen-based fuels at our LNG projects,”
said Leonid Mikhelson, chairman of the management
board of Novatek.
“This strategic cooperation agreement provides opportunities
for us to work with Japanese companies and financial
institutions on developing our low-carbon solutions,
attracting investments and expanding the range of
suppliers of state-of-the-art equipment and technologies.
“Moreover, it facilitates opportunities for us to market
our clean fuel products to a wider range of customers from
Japan to reduce the total carbon emissions.”

 

Black Bear and Helm Agree to Collaborate On Marketing Sustainable Carbon Black

Limburg—
Black Bear Carbon and Helm have signed a memorandum
of understanding (MoU) to cooperate on long-term supply
chain and marketing of sustainable carbon black from
Black Bear’s first flagship plant in Geleen, the Netherlands.
The facility, located at the Chemelot Industrial Park,
will produce 12,000 t/y of recovered carbon black from used
tires via Black Bear’s proprietary technology. Start-up is
expected in the second half of 2023.
Under the MoU, Black Bear will contribute its extensive
knowledge in product and application development,
while Helm will provide its supply chain know-how and
commercial expertise for the production and marketing of
carbon black.
Both partners seek to extend their cooperation through
further projects that Black Bear is planning, the companies
noted.
“Transforming the chemical industry towards a circular
and sustainable future is a major task, which can only be
achieved through partnership, a long-term agenda and
commitment from all stakeholders in our business,” said
Axel Viering, member of the executive board of Helm.

 

Sumitomo Chem Decides to Terminate Production, Sales of EPDM at Chiba

Tokyo—
Sumitomo Chemical said it will discontinue the production
of ethylene propylene diene rubber (EPDM) at Chiba
Works in Japan and will terminate sales of the product by
the end of March 2023.
“Sumitomo Chemical has been working to increase the
value added to its products and reduce manufacturing
costs to strengthen the competitiveness of its EPDM business,”
the company noted.
“The maintenance and repair costs of the production facilities
for EPDM, however, which have been in operation
for more than 50 years, [are] increasing year after year.
Under these circumstances, we reached the conclusion that
it is difficult to secure stable profits over the medium to
long term.”
The Chiba site has a production capacity of 40,000 t/y of
EPDM.

 

KBR Awarded Contract from PKN Orlen To Evaluate Plastics Recycling Projects

Houston—
PKN Orlen has awarded a contract to KBR to study the
feasibility of plastics recycling projects in Central Europe
utilizing KBR’s Hydro-PRT technology, and have signed a
letter of intent to work together on the development of future
projects.
Hydro-PRT is an advanced recycling technology that
converts waste plastic into petrochemical and refinery
products. It is offered by KBR in alliance with Mura Technology.
Along with KBR, PKN Orlen will assess the implementation
of Hydro-PRT as the core technology for recycling
waste plastics to support its corporate ESG (Environmental,
Social and Governance) and circularity objectives.
“We are confident that Hydro-PRT will enable PKN Orlen
to achieve its corporate ESG and decarbonization objectives,”
noted Doug Kelly, president of technology at KBR.

 

Lummus Gets Successful Plant Acceptance For Formosa’s Cumene & Phenol Plant

Ningbo—
Lummus Technology said it has achieved successful plant
acceptance from Formosa Chemicals and Fibre Corp. for a
cumene and phenol expansion in Ningbo, China.
The project involved expanded the facility to a capacity
of 600,000 t/y of cumene and 400,000 t/y of phenol from its
existing capacity of 450,000 t/y of cumene and 300,000 t/y
of phenol. Cost of the project was not disclosed.
Lummus licensed the original facility in 2010, and, in
2017, was again selected by Formosa to provide the technology
license and engineering design for this expansion
(PCN, 15 May 2017, p 1).
“We are proud that this plant has successfully demonstrated
reliable operation since its first start-up,” noted
Lummus Technology President and Chief Executive Leon
de Bruyn.

 

Annual Indian Petrochem Conference Being Held Virtually This October

Mumbai—Elite
Conferences announced that the 22nd international Indian
Petrochem conference will be held virtually from 21-22 Oct.
2021.
The conference will cover the entire petrochemical industry,
with a primary focus on Indian markets, and an
overview of Asian and global markets.
Further information about the event, including speakers
and registration information, will soon become available
on Elite’s website at www.eliteconferences.com.

 

People on the Move

Standard Industries Holdings—Bhavesh V. (Bob)
Patel, previously chief executive of LyondellBasell, has
been appointed chief executive of W. R. Grace & Co., effective
January 2022, subject to the closing of Standard’s acquisition
of Grace in the fourth quarter of this year (PCN,
12 July 2021, p 1). He will succeed Hudson La Force, who
will continue as chief executive until the end of 2021 and
will join the advisory board of Standard in January 2022.
The Plaza Group—Paco Rangel has joined the international
petrochemical marketing firm as commercial director
for benzene and styrene. He comes from Argus Media,
where he led the global aromatics practice.
Wood—Ken Gilmartin has been appointed chief operating
officer to replace Dave Stewart, who is planning to retire
at the end of the year. Gilmartin was most recently
executive vice president of Jacob’s People & Places solutions
business.
Cyclyx International—Bill Cooper has been named
senior vice president, strategic partnerships. He was previously
senior vice president of strategy and development
of Agilyx.
DuPont Korea—Shin Dong-man, sales director of Du-
Pont’s mobility and materials group in the Asia Pacific region,
has been named to the additional role of chief executive
of DuPont Korea.
Engineers India Ltd.—Vartika Shukla has become
chairman and managing director of the company until
2026. She had been director of technical.

 

Sibur, RusHydro Ink Power Purchase Deal For Clean Energy Supply to Amur GCC

Moscow—
Sibur Holding and RusHydro have signed a power purchase
agreement for the supply of clean energy produced
by Nizhne-Bureyskaya HPP to the Amur Gas Chemical
Complex (GCC) in Russia (PCN, 4 Jan 2021, p 1).
Amur GCC, a joint venture of Sibur and Sinopec, will
process ethane fraction from Gazprom’s Amur Gas Processing
Plant for the production of 2.3-million t/y of polyethylene
and 400,000 t/y of polypropylene. Construction is underway
and commissioning is scheduled for 2024.
The agreement guarantees the supply of around 1.3-
billion kilowatt-hours of electricity a year for a period of 20
years.
“Reduction of adverse effect on climate from production
is one of our strategic priorities,” noted Dmitry Konov,
chairman of the management board of Sibur.
“The Amur region has an enormous potential of renewable
energy sources, which not only satisfies the environmental
requirements of our project, but also reduces the
carbon footprint of our manufactured goods. We will strive
for our production to become one of the most environmentally
friendly in the country.”

 

Mitsubishi Chemical Suspends Operations At Mie Epoxy Resin Manufacturing Unit

Tokyo—
Mitsubishi Chemical Corp. (MCC) said it has suspended
operations of its solid epoxy resin manufacturing facility at
the Mie plant in Japan, due to partial damage to the facility.
“As a result of verification, it has been determined that
it will be difficult to restore the facility by repairing it, and
restoration is expected to take a long time to complete,” the
company explained. “Therefore, MCC will not be able to
accept orders for some affected products for the time being.”
MCC did not disclose the cause of the damage.

 

Venture Global, PGNiG Finalize Agreement For Additional Supply of LNG to Poland

Warsaw—
Venture Global LNG and Polish Oil and Gas Co. (PGNiG)
have concluded an agreement for the purchase of an additional
2-million t/y of liquefied natural gas (LNG) by
PGNiG from Venture Global’s Calcasieu Pass LNG and
Plaquemines LNG export facilities in Louisiana.
The latest agreement amends the existing sales and
purchase agreements signed by the two companies in 2018,
increasing the volume of LNG purchased from Calcasieu
Pass LNG to 1.5-million t/y and the volume from Plaquemines
LNG to 4-million t/y (PCN, 7 Dec 2020, p 3).
This brings the total volume of LNG that PGNiG has
committed to buy from Venture Global facilities to 5.5-
million t/y for 20 years on a free-on-board basis.
“Poland will lower its carbon footprint and diversify its
energy mix by incorporating more American natural gas
into its portfolio,” noted Mike Sabel, chief executive of Venture
Global.
“Pivoting towards cleaner natural gas from the United
States will not only increase Poland’s energy security, but
also decrease its carbon emissions, and Venture Global
looks forward to supporting our partner PGNiG in these
efforts for years to come.”

 

SK Global Chemical Changes Name To Support Circular Economy Plan

Seoul—SK Global
Chemical announced it has changed its name to SK Geo
Centric, effective 31 Aug. 2021, and has revealed its intention
to become the “world’s largest urban oil field company
that will lead the plastic recycling market.”
To reach this goal, SK Geo’s primary aim is to secure
the facilities and capability to process 900,000 t/y of plastic
waste, which is equal to the company’s domestic plastic
production volume, noted Na Kyung-soo, chief executive of
SK Geo.
It plans to invest around KRW 5-trillion by 2025, both
domestically and overseas, including investing in expanding
green materials, and expected to increase production
capability for eco-friendly materials to 1.9-million t/y from
500,000 t/y, currently, by 2025.
In addition, plans were unveiled to recycle 2.5-million
t/y of plastic, either directly or indirectly, which is equal to
100% of the company’s annual global plastic production
volume.
“The plastic recycling market will grow by 12% by 2030,
and the plastic waste market size is expected to reach
KRW 600-trillion by 2050,” said Na. “This implies that
there is much room for growth.
“In the year 2025, we will create KRW 600-billion in
EBITDA from the eco-friendly and recycling sector to offset
existing businesses, and also become a completely green
company, even from a financial standpoint.”

 

BASF Finalizes Purchase of 49.5% Stake In New European Offshore Wind Farm

Antwerp—
BASF has completed the €300-million acquisition of a
49.5% interest in Vattenfall’s offshore wind farm, Hollandse
Kust Zuid, currently being built in the Dutch North
Sea (PCN, 28 June 2021, p 2).
Once fully operational in 2023, the wind farm will be
the “largest” offshore wind farm in the world with a total
installed capacity of 1.5 gigawatts, BASF noted. It will
allow BASF to supply renewable electricity to its Antwerp
Verbund site and several other European production sites.
Including BASF’s contribution to fund the wind farm
construction, its total commitment amounts to about €1.6-
billion. BASF plans to reduce its investment by selling
shares to a financial co-investor and has already initiated
the respective process.

 

Trinseo Concludes Acquisition of Aristech

Berwyn—
Trinseo has completed the purchase of Aristech Surfaces, a
North American manufacturer and global provider of polymethyl
methacrylates (PMMA) continuous cast and solid
surface sheets, for $445-million (PCN, 2 Aug 2021, p 3).
Aristech strengthens Trinseo’s position in acrylic solutions
and broadens its product portfolio offerings in “important”
markets, Trinseo noted.
The acquisition includes around 300 employees across
two manufacturing and research and development locations
in Florence, Kentucky, and Belen, New Mexico.
Aristech will continue to operate as a stand-alone entity
within the engineered materials segment, while Trinseo
continues the integration of Arkema’s PMMA business it
purchased earlier this year (PCN, 31 May 2021, p 1).

 

Hurricane Ida Slams U.S. Gulf Coast, Causing Flooding & Power Outages

A PCN Roundup—
Hurricane Ida made landfall on 29 Aug. 2021 on Louisiana’s
Gulf Coast with high winds, heavy rain and a storm
surge causing damage, flooding and power outages, affecting
many refineries and chemical plants.
As of PCN’s deadline, most facilities are in the process
of restarting after shutting down as a precautionary measure
ahead of the storm. Several companies have declared
force majeure.
Westlake Chemical said it has incurred limited physical
damage. Restart of its units will mainly depend on the
availability of electricity, industrial gases, and other utilities
and feedstocks. Separately, Argus Media reported
that Westlake declared force majeure on polyvinyl chloride
and vinyl chloride monomer.
Dow reported that initial assessments don’t show any
major damage to its production facilities throughout Louisiana.
It expects to begin bringing operations back online
next week at Plaquemine; however, due to lack of functioning
infrastructure in St. Charles Parish, it is too soon to
predict when operations will start up there.
OxyChem has declared force majeure on chlorine, caustic
soda, ethylene dichloride and other products, reported
S&P Global Platts citing a customer letter. It is currently
unable to give an estimate of the duration of the force majeure
event or its impact on OxyChem’s operations.
S&P also reported that Shintech has declared force majeure
on caustic soda and is waiting for gas feedstock supply
to be restored.
Power has already been restored at ExxonMobil’s Baton
Rouge refinery and chemicals plant, allowing it to restart
ahead of other companies in the area, said Argus.
Nova Chemicals’ Geismar olefins facility did not sustain
any damage from Ida and it currently has power to the
site, multiple reports said. The plant was shut down ahead
of the storm and it is unknown when it will restart.
Shell’s Norco manufacturing plant in St. Charles Parish
is experiencing elevated flaring after Ida knocked out its
power. The flaring is expected to continue until power is
restored.

 

Covestro Plans to Cut Global Workforce

Leverkusen—
Covestro is planning to reduce up to 1,700 of its 16,500 jobs
worldwide, reported Reuters citing the Rheinische Post.
A further update is expected in the coming months, a
company spokeswoman told Reuters.

 

Huntsman Plans Project to Increase PU Catalysts and Amines Capacity

Budapest—
Huntsman’s Performance Products Division is planning a
multimillion-dollar investment project to further expand
its manufacturing plant in Petfurdo, Hungary, to meet the
growing demand for polyurethane (PU) catalysts and specialty
amines.
The project, scheduled to be completed by mid-2023, is
expected to increase Huntsman’s global capacity and to
provide more flexibility and innovative technologies for the
PU, coatings, metalworking and electronics industries, the
company noted.
Huntsman has received a $3.8-million investment grant
for the project from the Hungarian government.

 

Tatneft and Uzbekneftegaz in Discussions To Jointly Implement Small PC Projects

Tashkent—
Tatneft and Uzbekneftegaz are in talks to jointly develop
projects in Uzbekistan, including small-tonnage petrochemical
projects.
“A very trusting relationship has developed between the
leaders of our republics,” said Tatneft General Director
Nail Maganov. “We consider Uzbekistan a fraternal country,
the Uzbek people a fraternal people.
“Recently, our joint projects with Uzbekistan have received
a new impetus; new directions have appeared for
the development of partnership. We have outlined further
steps to expand cooperation.” No details were given.

 

Ashland Enters Agreement with Arkema To Sell Performance Adhesives Assets

Wilmington—
Ashland LLC, a subsidiary of Ashland Global Holdings,
has signed a definitive agreement to divest its performance
adhesives business to Arkema in an all-cash transaction
value at around $1.65-billion.
The transaction, expected to close by the end of 2021, is
subject to satisfaction of customary closing conditions and
receipt of regulatory approvals.
Once the sale is complete, Ashland will be a focused additive
and ingredients company.

V59 N33 – 30 August 2021

Invista to Double Production Capacity For Nylon 6,6 Polymer in Shanghai

Shanghai—Invista
Nylon Chemicals (China) Co. said it has signed a memorandum
of cooperation with Shanghai Chemical Industry
Park (SCIP) to double nylon 6,6 production capacity at its
facility there.
The $230-million project will double the plant’s existing
capacity to 400,000 t/y. The expanded line will be equipped
with three continuous polymerization lines and six batch
autoclaves. Construction of the lines is scheduled to begin
in the second quarter of 2022, with operations beginning in
the first quarter of 2024.
Invista recently completed a 40,000-t/y nylon 6,6 expansion
at the site, raising Invista’s total nylon 6,6 capacity
to 190,000 t/y (PCN, 23-30 Nov 2020, p 2).
The company also has a 215,000-t/y hexamethylene
diamine unit at the site and is currently building a new
400,000-t/y adiponitrile plant that is planned to start up
next year.
“We truly appreciate SCIP’s support for our ongoing investment
in China and are excited to deepen cooperation to
consolidate our nylon 6,6 value chain here,” said Angela
Dou, director of intermediates, Asia.
“With the expanded capacity we look forward to providing
the supply of nylon 6,6 polymer that our customers
need for their projects, and we hope to co-develop innovative
solutions and applications with our customers and
partners across the industries.”

 

Agilyx and Kumho to Study Feasibility Of Chem Recycling Facility in S. Korea

Seoul—Agilyx
Corp. and Kumho Petrochemical are partnering to explore
the development and construction of a new chemical recycling
facility in South Korea to turn post-use plastics into
raw material for tires.
The project would utilize Agilyx’s “unique and novel”
chemical recycling technology to produce pure styrene from
post-use polystyrene (PS), Agilyx noted. The styrene would
be used as a virgin equivalent raw material to produce solution
styrene butadiene rubber (SSBR), a new pathway for
PS into SSBR.
“We’re very interested in recycling of post-use plastics,
while focusing on utilizing post-use polystyrene into pure
styrene,” said Kumho Petrochemical Chief Executive Jong-
Hoon Baek. “Collaboration with Agilyx will give Kumho
Petrochemical an opportunity of proposing [a] new line of
eco-SSBR products to most of our customers who prefer
sustainable products.”

 

Lukoil Commences Construction at Perm On New Catalytic Cracking Complex

Moscow—Lukoil
announced it has begun construction on a new catalytic
cracking complex project at the Perm refinery in Russia,
which will allow it to produce polymer-grade propylene to
feed its petrochemical facilities.
The 1.8-million-t/y complex will include a catalytic
cracking unit, a high-octane gasoline components unit and
infrastructure facilities. A “distinctive” feature of the complex
will be the high adjustable propylene yield, Lukoil
noted. Start-up is scheduled for 2026.
The project is being implemented under an agreement
with the Ministry of Energy of the Russian Federation on
providing an investment incentive, as part of the negative
excise tax on refinery feedstock until 1 Jan. 2031.

 

KBR, Johnson Matthey Ink Alliance Deal To License Integrated UFC Technology

Houston—
KBR announced it has signed an alliance agreement with
Johnson Matthey (JM) to license the Formox Integrated
UFC (iUFC) technology.
The technology consists of JM’s methanol and UFC
(urea formaldehyde concentrate) production processes integrated
with KBR’s proprietary ammonia process, enabling
low-cost production of UFC for higher grade urea,
KBR noted.
“Following our successful alliance for ammoniamethanol
co-production with JM last year, KBR is excited
to offer the iUFC process for new and existing fertilizer
complexes to efficiently upgrade their end products,” said
Doug Kelly, president of technology at KBR.
“With KBR’s market leading ammonia technology, this
offering will allow integrated fertilizer complexes to upgrade
their urea quality for maximizing crop yields while
ensuring the lowest carbon footprint.”
Last September, the companies signed an alliance
agreement to license the ammonia-methanol co-production
process (PCN, 14 Sept 2020, p 1).
The ammonia-methanol co-production process utilizes
KBR’s proprietary Purifier ammonia process and JM’s
methanol process.

 

Hyosung Starts Up Second PP Facility At Site in Vietnam’s Ba Ria-Vung Tau

Hanoi—South
Korean petrochemical producer Hyosung recently began
production at its second polypropylene (PP) unit in Ba Ria-
Vung Tau province, Vietnam, according to Argus Media.
The new 300,000-t/y PP plant is located at the same
complex as the company’s 300,000-t/y PP facility, which
started up in March 2020.
Hyosung is also expected to begin operations this
month at a new 600,000-t/y propane dehydrogenation unit
at the same location. The company is currently importing
propylene to the site.
Both PP plants are based on LyondellBasell’s Spheripol
technology (PCN, 9 Mar 20210, p 1).

 

Abu Qir, Helwan & Al Ahly Capital Sign Pact To Establish Methanol, NH3, PCs Project

Cairo—Abu
Qir Fertilizers and Chemical Industries, Helwan Fertilizers
and Al Ahly Capital Holding have signed a shareholders’
agreement to form a new company, Misr Methanol and
Petrochemical Co., to produce methanol, ammonia, petrochemicals
and other products in Ain Sokhna, Egypt, according
to Egypt Today.
The project, to be built in two phases, would include the
production of 1-million t/y of methanol and 400,000 t/y of
ammonia in the first phase. A feasibility study has already
been performed and necessary approvals have been obtained.
An expected completion date was not given.
Abu Qir and Helwan Fertilizer would each hold a 35%
interest in the new company, and Al-Ahly Capital, the investment
arm of the National Bank of Egypt, would hold a
30% stake, said the report citing a statement from Egypt’s
Petroleum Ministry.
Last October, PCN reported that the project would cost
a total of $2.6-billion, and would include acetic acid, MTO
and calcium ammonium nitrate in the second phase (PCN,
12 Oct 2020, p 2).

 

Enter Selects Casale Technology For Uzbekistan Ammonia Plant

Tashkent—Casale was
recently chosen by Enter Engineering to provide the
technology and design for a new ammonia unit to be built
in Yangiyer City, Syrdarya, Uzbekistan.
The 495,000-t/y ammonia plant will be part of a large
fertilizer complex that will produce 900,000 t/y of mineral
fertilizer and is expected to become fully operational in
2023.
Casale will also have the opportunity to participate in
the future development of the project.

 

Funds Advised by SK Capital Partners Acquires Certain Deltech Businesses

New York—
Deltech Holdings has divested its Monomers, Polymers and
European businesses to funds advised by SK Capital Partners
for an undisclosed amount.
The transaction gives SK Capital a majority interest in
Deltech, with Bob Elefante, one of Deltech’s founders and
current president and chief executive, retaining a “significant”
ownership stake in the company, SK Capital noted.
Elefante will remain actively involved in the business, including
serving on the board of directors.
“Deltech is a world leader in the production of highperformance
aromatic monomers and specialized crystal
polystyrene,” said SK Capital Managing Director Mario
Toukan.
“Deltech offers an attractive product portfolio with leading
market positions in niche technologies. Their portfolio
includes vinyl toluene, divinyl benzene and para methyl
styrene, in addition to their specialty crystal polystyrene.
“Deltech’s products deliver critical attributes to products
across a diverse set of end markets, including coatings
adhesives resins, ion exchange resins, insulation and
molded composites, to name a few.”
Early last year, Deltech Resins sold the remainder of its
alkyd resins product line to Gabriel Performance Products
(PCN, 13 Jan 2020, p 4).

 

Nayara Energy Gets Funding to Build New PP Plant at Its Vadinar Refinery

Gujarat—
Nayara Energy has secured an Rs 4,000 crore loan from an
Indian lenders’ consortium to help fund its planned polypropylene
(PP) facility at its Vadinar refinery in Gujarat,
India, reported The Economic Times.
The project involves construction of a new 450,000-t/y
PP plant at the 10-million-t/y refinery. Completion is expected
in 2023.
“The financial closure brings to fruition our growth
plans to become one of the largest integrated energy and
petrochemicals complexes in the country,” said the report
citing Nayara Chief Executive Alois Virag.
In 2019, PCN reported that Nayara was planning to invest
in a development program at the refinery, which
would be its entry into the Indian petrochemicals market
(PCN, 28 Jan 2019, p 2).
The first phase of the project was to include a 450,000-
t/y propylene recovery unit, the PP unit and a 200,000-t/y
methyl tertiary butyl ether unit.

 

Ineos Styrolution Joins U.S. Plastics Pact To Accelerate Circular Economy Progress

Chicago—
Ineos Styrolution said it has joined the U.S. Plastics Pact,
led by The Recycling Partnership and the World Wildlife
Fund in partnership with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation,
to advance a circular economy for plastics.
The company joined the U.S. Plastics Pact in its support
for collaborative, solution-driven initiatives intended
to drive significant system change in the design, use and
reuse of plastics.
U.S. Plastics Pact brings together cross-sector approaches,
setting a national strategy, and creating scalable
solutions to create a path forward toward a circular economy
for plastics in the U.S. by 2025, Ineos noted.
“We must be solution-focused,” said Ricardo Cuetos,
vice president of standard products at Ineos Styrolution
America. “It is paramount that we see innovative advancements
in sustainability and a circular economy of
plastics brought into a global reality.”

 

People on the Move

LyondellBasell—Bhavesh V. (Bob) Patel, chief executive
of LyondellBasell, plans to retire from the company,
effective 31 Dec. 2021. Upon his departure, he will also
resign from the board of directors. A subcommittee has
been established to oversee the search for a new chief executive
and will consider both internal and external candidates.
Agilyx—Carsten Larsen has been appointed chief commercial
officer and senior vice president of business development,
effective 1 Sept. 2021, to succeed Bill Cooper.
Larsen most recently served as commercial director of
plastics circularity for Europe, Middle East, Africa and
Asia Pacific at Dow.
S&B Engineers and Constructors—Jeff Sipes has
joined the company in the newly created role of chief commercial
officer. He had been with Bechtel as principal vice
president and manager of global business development.
Sam Mavalwalla, most recently chief information officer
at Just Energy, has been named chief information officer
at S&B.

 

Sumitomo Chemical Building Pilot Facility To Chemically-Recycle PMMA in Japan

Tokyo—
Sumitomo Chemical said it has decided to construct a pilot
facility for the chemical recycling of polymethyl methacrylate
(PMMA) in Niihama City, Ehime Prefecture, Japan.
The company has combined its expertise on methyl
methacrylate monomers and acrylic resins with Japan
Steel Works’ (JSW) continuous plastic decomposition technology
for the new plant, which is scheduled to begin pilot
tests in the fall of 2022 and start providing samples in
2023.
“In parallel with the project, the company will work to
develop a recycling system for PMMA, from collection of
used acrylic resin to recycling and reprocessing into products,
aiming for early commercialization of chemicallyrecycled
PMMA,” Sumitomo noted.
Nippura Co. will supply the used acrylic resin to the pilot
plant. In order to commercialize chemically-recycled
PMMA, Sumitomo will begin to study the development of a
stable raw materials procurement system.
According to Sumitomo, global demand for acrylic resins
exceeded 1.3-million tons last year, and is expected to
continue to grow steadily in the future.

 

Occidental Chemical Closing N.Y. Plant Due to Market Conditions, Rail Costs

Buffalo—
Occidental Chemical Corp. (OxyChem) announced it is closing
its manufacturing operation in Niagara Falls, N.Y., due
to “unfavorable” regional market conditions, as well as
“unreasonable and continually escalating” rail transportation
costs.
According to OxyChem’s website, its produces chlorine,
hydrochloric acid, sodium hypochlorite and caustic soda at
the Niagara Falls site.
“OxyChem and the Niagara Falls plant employees have
made significant efforts over the last several years to give
this facility the opportunity to be viable,” said the company.
“Despite these efforts, the plant continues to have a
negative economic outlook.”
The facility will close in about 90 days, according to
several local news reports.
OxyChem will maintain certain corporate service functions
in the area. In addition, employees of Glenn Springs
Holdings, an affiliate of OxyChem, will oversee the Niagara
Falls property following decommissioning of the facility.

 

Asahi Kasei Closing Asaflex Business

Tokyo—Asahi
Kasei has decided to discontinue its Asaflex clear styrenic
block copolymer business at its Kawasaki, Japan, site in
2023.
The company has manufactured Asaflex since 1982,
supplying customers around the world. “Recently, however,
with the deterioration of its profitability caused by
environmental factors, such as obscure business prospects
in major markets, it has become difficult to formulate a
strategy for future expansion,” Asahi Kasei noted. “The
decision was thus made to discontinue the business.”
Manufacturing of Asaflex is scheduled to end on 31
Mar. 2023, with sales of the product planned to be discontinued
on 30 Sept. 2023.

 

BASF Constructing Pilot Plant Center For Production of Chemical Catalysts

Berlin—BASF
is building a pilot plant center to serve as a global hub for
pilot-scale production and process innovations of chemical
catalysts at its Ludwigshafen site in Germany.
The new Catalyst Development and Solids Processing
Center, scheduled to be completed by mid-2024, will help
chemical catalyst experts transfer laboratory recipes to a
production scale more quickly, and manufacture sample
quantities of new catalysts on a technical scale with short
lead times.
“The new Catalyst Development and Solids Processing
Center strengthens our focus on innovative and sustainable
solutions that benefit our customers and the environment,”
said Dr. Peter Schuhmacher, president of catalysts
at BASF.
“It is a strong sign of our continuous commitment to innovation
in our chemical catalysts portfolio. It allows us to
more quickly respond to market needs and contribute to a
more sustainable chemical industry.”

 

Acron Selects Stamicarbon Technology For Second Urea Granulation Plant

Moscow—
Stamicarbon has been chosen by Acron to supply its technology
for a second urea granulation unit at Acron’s site in
Veliky Novgorod, Russia.
“The new granulation plant will be built based on the
same design as Acron’s first granulation plant, successfully
commissioned in 2020, despite the challenges presented by
the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” said Vladimir Trunov,
deputy director general for organization and support of
projects at Acron Engineering Research and Design Center.
The technology supplied by Stamicarbon, offers both investment
and operating cost savings, while meeting environmental
requirements, Stamicarbon noted. Cost of the
project and an expected completion date were not given.

 

Braskem Doubles ETBE Production

Brasília—
Braskem has doubled its production capacity for ethyl tertiary
butyl ether (ETBE) at its Triunfo complex in Rio
Grande do Sul, Brazil.
The project, which cost more than R$5-million, involved
converting it methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) unit at
the complex, including adjustments in the plant, asset recovery
and procurement of a strainer for receiving hydrated
ethanol, a raw material used as a methanol replacement.
Capacity was not given.
ETBE, which has been produced in the Camacari complex
in Bahia State since 2009, is obtained from the reaction
of ethanol (43%) and isobutene (57%), Braskem explained.
Since it contains raw materials from renewable
resources, it is a sustainable alternative to MTBE.
“In addition to the benefits associated with sustainability,
doubling the production volume meets the growing demand
of ETBE clients, a product that meets the requirements
of biofuel mandates in different markets, especially
in European and Asia countries,” said Eduardo Camelyer,
commercial manager of blendstocks, GLP and fuel oil.

 

Tecnicas Reunidas Awarded EPC Contract For QP’s North Field Expansion Project

Doha—Qatar
Petroleum (QP) said it has awarded a “major” engineering,
procurement and construction (EPC) contract to Tecnicas
Reunidas for its North Field liquefied natural gas (LNG)
expansion project in Ras Laffan, Qatar (PCN, 15 Feb 2021,
p 2).
North Field Expansion Project involves the North Field
East (NFE) project, which will raise Qatar’s LNG production
capacity to 110-million t/y from 77-million t/y, and the
North Field South (NFS) project that will further increase
the production capacity to 126-million t/y.
Tecnicas Reunidas will act as EPC contractor for the
expansion of existing liquid products (condensate, propane
and butane) storage and loading facilities, and the expansion
of import facilities for monethylene glycol within Ras
Laffan Industrial City, as well as other ancillary facilities
and pipelines serving the North Field Expansion Project.
The new facilities will be used to handle liquid products
from four new LNG trains, each with a capacity of 8-
million t/y, comprising the NFE project. The trains are
expected to start up before the end of 2025.
The facilities will also support the two new 8-million-t/y
LNG trains of the NFS Project, planned to begin production
in 2027.
Ethane from the projects will feed a new world-scale
petrochemical complex that QP is planning with Chevron
Phillips Chemical Co. at Ras Laffan.
The complex would include a 1.9-million-t/y ethane
cracker, as well as two high-density polyethylene units
with a combined capacity of 1.68-million t/y. Start-up is
scheduled in late 2025.

 

Black Diamond to Become Sole Owner Of Specialty Chemicals International

Brussels—The
European Commission, under the European Union Merger
Regulation, has approved the acquisition of sole control of
Specialty Chemicals International by Black Diamond Capital
Management.
Specialty Chemicals International, a holding company
for Polynt-Reichhold, is active in the development, production
and distribution of specialty chemicals and performance
chemicals.
The commission concluded that the proposed acquisition
would raise no competition concerns, given that Black
Diamond already holds joint control over Specialty Chemicals
International.

 

Naftogaz, RWE Sign MoU to Explore Opportunities in Green Hydrogen

Essen—Ukraine’s
Naftogaz and RWE Supply & Trading of Germany have
signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to explore
mutually beneficial opportunities to cooperate along the
full value chain of green hydrogen and its derivatives produced
in Ukraine.
The agreement includes the development of green hydrogen
and ammonia production and storage in Ukraine
and its import to Germany.
In addition, the parties intend to jointly explore commercial
opportunities for the sale of Ukrainian green hydrogen
in European markets, with a focus on RWE’s core
markets.
Naftogaz and RWE will also consider sharing knowledge
of technical aspects along the green hydrogen value
chain.
“Ukraine has great potential for the development of the
hydrogen economy in cooperation with Germany,” said
Naftogaz Chief Executive Yuriy Vitrenko.
“As a national company, Naftogaz is ready to be a pillar
of this development. We consider green hydrogen as our
strategic priority, and we are happy to work on it with
RWE, our reliable partner in trade and natural gas supplies,”
he added.
“Hydrogen will be key to the decarbonization of the industry,
as certain parts cannot be electrified with renewable
energy,” noted Ulk Kerstin, member of the board of
RWE.
“As a partner of the industry, RWE is part of that solution.
We are very pleased to jointly explore with Naftogaz
opportunities for supply of green hydrogen from the
Ukraine in [the] future.”

V59 N32 – 23 August 2021

Gail India Selects Grace’s Unipol Process For New PP Facility at Pata PC Complex

Pata—W.R.
Grace & Co. has licensed its Unipol PP (polypropylene)
process technology to Gail (India) Ltd. for a new PP unit
being set up at Gail’s existing Pata petrochemical complex
in Uttar Pradesh, India (PCN, 2 Sept 2019, p 3).
The plant will have the capacity to produce 60,000 t/y of
PP using propylene produced at the integrated gas cracker
complex. Gail also has units for the production of linear
low-density polyethylene (PE), high-density PE and butene-
1. Cost of the project and an expected completion
date were not given.
“We are excited to partner with Grace and their Unipol
PP process technology at our existing gas cracker complex
in Pata, India,” said M.V. Iyer, director of business development
at Gail.
“The total project economics, which included a catalyst
supply agreement, made this an easy choice for us. We
plan to produce a variety of homo-, random and impactcopolymer
resins using our existing propylene supply.”

 

CTCI Beijing Finalizes First Phase of EPC Of Chimei’s ABS, AS Unit in Zhangzhou

Beijing—
CTCI’s Beijing subsidiary has begun commissioning the
first phase of Zhangzhou Chimei Chemical Co.’s (Chimei)
new acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) and acrylonitrile
styrene (AS) plant at the Zhangzhou Gulei Port Economic
Development Zone in Fujian Province, China.
The facility, expected to begin commercial operation
next month, is slated to produce 450,000 t/y of ABS and
AS. The second phase is now underway and will produce
150,000 t/y of ABS and AS. Commercial operation of the
second phase is planned to start in July 2023.
The location of the project allows quick access to required
materials, such as styrene and butadiene, as well as
fine utility resources, such as natural gas, plant air, nitrogen,
steam and wastewater treatment, CTCI noted.

 

Toray Begins Commercial Production At New ABS Resin Plant in Malaysia

Penang—Toray
Industries announced it has reached full-scale commercial
production at its new Toyolac brand acrylonitrile butadiene
styrene (ABS) resin facility at its Toray Plastics (Malaysia)
Sdn Bhd (TPM) subsidiary in Penang, Malaysia (PCN, 10
Dec 2018, p 3).
The 75,000-t/y ABS plant increases TPM’s ABS production
capacity to 425,000 t/y and Toray Group’s ABS production
capacity to 497,000 t/y.
The Toyolac range produced by Toray includes transparent
grade ABS, which offers improved anti-static,
scratch and chemical resistant properties, Toray noted.
“To boost sales in its key Chinese and Southeast Asian
markets, and in anticipation of the rising demands from
Europe, the United States of America, and India, Toray
look[s] forward to increasing its worldwide production further,
including the facilities at TPM,” it added.

 

Army to Conduct Environmental Review Of FG’s Sunshine Project in St. James

St. James—The
U.S. Army Corp. of Engineers will perform a thorough environmental
review of Formosa Group’s (FG) planned
world-scale ethylene complex, known as the Sunshine Project,
in St. James Parish, La. (PCN, 16 Nov 2020, p 2).
The two-phase project would include the production of
ethylene, linear low-density polyethylene (PE), highdensity
PE (HDPE), ethylene glycol (EG), propylene, polypropylene,
and ancillary support facilities for product loading
and utilities, including electricity and wastewater
treatment.
The second phase would involve an additional ethylene
facility, a low-density PE unit, an HDPE plant, and a second
EG facility.
An environmental impact assessment, which could take
years to complete, would review the proposed project’s potential
impacts on the quality of the human environment
in the region, reported Reuters citing a memo posted on a
Twitter feed of an Army Civil Works official.
Last November, the Army announced that it temporarily
suspended FG’s construction permit for the complex so
that it could further review certain portions of its permit
analysis. The permit remains suspended.

 

Metafrax Awards EPC Contract to Casale for Second Melamine Plant in Gubakha

Moscow—
Casale has received an engineering, procurement and construction
(EPC) contract from Metafrax Chemicals for a
second melamine unit at Metafrax’s site in Gubakha,
Perm, Russia.
The new 40,000-t/y melamine plant, based on Casale
technology, will be integrated into Metafrax’s existing
ammonia-urea-melamine (AUM) complex. Commissioning
is scheduled for 2024.
Casale will be responsible for the design, supply of all
necessary equipment and materials, construction work and
commissioning.
The AUM complex currently has a design capacity of
300,000 t/y of ammonia, 575,000 t/y of urea and 40,000 t/y
of melamine.
“The signed document marks a new stage of longstanding
fruitful cooperation between Casale and . . . Metafrax,”
said Metafrax General Director Vladimir Daut.
“We will become one of the largest producers of melamine
in Europe, provide ourselves with raw materials for
the expanding production of resins and create new hightech
jobs for residents.”

 

Indorama Ventures Enters Agreement To Purchase Oxiteno from Ultrapar

Bangkok—
Indorama Ventures (IVL) said it has agreed to acquire
Oxiteno, a subsidiary of Ultrapar, for $1.3-billion to create
a “unique” portfolio in high-value surfactants and “significantly”
extend its existing Integrated Oxides and Derivatives
(IOD) business.
The acquisition includes Oxiteno’s 11 manufacturing
plants and five research and technology centers, as well as
customers in four continents and an experienced management
team. Subject to customary closing conditions and
relevant regulatory authorities’ approval, the transaction
is expected to close in the first quarter of 2022.
“The combination of Oxiteno and IVL’s existing Integrated
Oxides & Derivatives business is highly complementary,”
said D. K. Agarwal, chief executive of the combined
PET, IOD and Fibers business.
“It gives us a presence in the high-growth Latin American
markets, and we also become a more reliable supplier
to our global customers, especially in Europe and the U.S.
“It will drive sustainable long-term value creation by
accelerating our expansion in downstream chemicals, increasing
our exposure to high-quality markets, and adding
to our R&D and sustainability credentials. The portfolio
will accelerate revenue and EBITDA growth, and deliver
cost synergies.”

 

Dow Plans Project to Increase Capacity of Methyl Acrylate at St. Charles Site

St. Charles—
Dow said it will invest in increasing the production capacity
for methyl acrylate at its St. Charles operations in Louisiana.
The project, which will have a nameplate capacity of
50,000 t/y of methyl acrylate, is scheduled to begin operations
in the first half of next year. It is expected to meet
growing market demand in North America.
Once the capacity increase comes online, the St.
Charles operations will primarily focus on the production
of methyl acrylate and 2-ethyl-hexyl-acrylate. Ethyl acrylate
production will be fully supported by the company’s
Deer Park, Texas, operations, which has the capacity to
manage existing demand for customers.
“This investment in methyl acrylate capacity will better
support our customers not only in America, but on a global
scale as well,” said Jim Knaub, global business director of
Dow Performance Monomers & Plastics Additives.
“We look forward to the possibilities that will be enabled
by the investment being made in Louisiana.”

 

Riken Technos Investing in Expansion Of PVC Compound Plant in Thailand

Bangkok—
Japanese firm Riken Technos Corp. plans to invest around
$13.7-million to expand its polyvinyl chloride (PVC) compound
facility near Bangkok, Thailand, according to several
Japanese media reports.
The project, being implemented to meet growing demand
in the local market, is expected to become fully operational
in the summer of 2023. Capacity was not given.
The PVC compound facility is operated by Riken (Thailand)
Co., a venture of Riken Technos (40%) and Thai Plastic
and Chemicals (35%), a subsidiary of Siam Cement
Group’s SCG Chemicals Co.

 

BP Confirms Feasibility of Export-Scale Green Hydrogen, NH3 Facility in WA

Perth—BP Australia
announced it has completed a study that confirms
the feasibility of building a new export-scale green hydrogen
and ammonia production facility using renewable energy
in Western Australia (WA).
First announced in May 2020, the study considered the
financial and technical implications for a fully integrated
renewable hydrogen and ammonia supply chain.
The study examined, among other things, the hydrogen
supply chain and domestic and export markets at demonstration
and commercial scale. It also considered three
different hydrogen technologies, and the plant power
source was modeled as a mix of solar and wind with some
battery support.
Development of the facility would require “significant”
investment in ports, water and electricity networks and
distribution, BP noted.
“This study confirms the potential for scaled-up green
hydrogen in Western Australia,” said Frederic Baudry,
president, BP Australia, and senior vice president of Fuels
& Low Carbon Solutions, Asia Pacific. “This looks particularly
promising in the mid-west of WA, which has existing
infrastructure, access to land and abundant renewable energy
resources, such as wind and solar.
“Importantly, our study also confirmed strong demand
from potential customers in the hard-to-abate sectors, and
for both local and export markets. This has the potential
to position Australia as a regional powerhouse of the energy
transition.”
The study was supported by GHD Advisory, Lightsource
BP and the Australian Renewable Energy Agency.

 

Odfjell Exiting Gas Carrier Segment

Oslo—Odfjell
Gas Shipowning, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Odfjell SE,
has decided to exit the gas carrier segment and has entered
into an agreement with BW Epic Kosan Ltd. (BWEK)
for the sale of two liquefied petroleum gas (LPG)/ethylene
carriers, Bow Guardian and Bow Gallant.
The purchase price, which was not disclosed, will be
settled partly in cash, to be used for the full repayment of
mortgaged loans on the vessels, and partly by the issuance
of 6,889, 611 freely transferable shares (4.3% stake) in
BWEK. The transaction is expected to close before 31 Oct.
2021.

 

People on the Move

Shell—Thomas Casparie, most recently executive vice
president of chemicals, has become senior vice president of
Chemicals & Products, Europe.
Nova Chemicals—Sarah Marshall has been named to
the newly-created role of vice president of sustainability.
She was previously director of sustainability.
SNC-Lavalin—Tom Hasker, most recently chief executive
of Keross LLC, has rejoined SNC-Lavalin in the newly
created role of Australia Chief Executive.
Tomra—Tove Andersen has joined the company as
president and chief executive, succeeding Stefan Ranstrand.
Andersen comes from Yara International, where
she was executive vice president, Europe.

 

Thyssenkrupp Gets Contract from Helios For Green Hydrogen, Ammonia in UAE

Abu Dhabi—
Helios has awarded a contract to Thyssenkrupp to perform
a technical study for a new green hydrogen and green ammonia
project at Kizad in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
(UAE).
The two-phase project, estimated to cost over $1-billion,
will utilize Thyssenkrupp’s green hydrogen and green ammonia
technologies. It will include a multi-megawatt electrolyzer
plant and an ammonia production facility with the
capacity to produce a total of 40,000 t/y of green hydrogen
and 200,000 t/y of green ammonia at peak capacity.
The Helios facility will be powered by a dedicated 800-
megawatt solar power plant within Kizad. An expected
completion date was not given.
“This project is another important milestone . . . in the
UAE’s shift to a lower carbon renewable energy future,”
said Helios Managing Director M. K. Saiyed.
“The new facility will produce green ammonia, which is
an energy carrier that enables easy transportation of renewable
energy, e.g. via ship. It can also be used as emission-
free transport fuel and in the fertilizer and chemical
industries.”

 

HIF Breaks Ground on Haru Oni Project To Produce Green Methanol in Chile

Punta Arenas—
The Highly Innovative Fuels (HIF) consortium has begun
construction on Haru Oni, a green hydrogen pilot project
that will use wind energy to produce green methanol (emethanol)
in Punta Arenas, Chile.
The consortium, consisting of Siemens Energy, alongside
several international companies lead by HIF, will establish
the “world’s first” integrated and commercial largescale
plant for the production of climate neutral e-fuel, according
to Siemens.
In the pilot phase, e-methanol production will initially
reach around 750,000 liters/yr by 2022. A portion of the
methanol will be converted to 130,000 liters/yr of egasoline
by 2024 and to over 550-million liters/yr of egasoline
by 2026.

 

CB&I Storage Solutions Wins AG&P Contract For PLNG Import & Gasification Terminal

Manila—
Atlantic Gulf and Pacific Co. of Manila (AG&P) has
awarded an engineering, procurement and construction
(EPC) contract to McDermott International’s CB&I Storage
Solutions business for its Philippines LNG (PLNG) liquefied
natural gas (LNG) import and gasification terminal in
Batangas Bay, Philippines.
Under the contract, CB&I Storage Solutions will be responsible
for the EPC of a second LNG storage tank and
double-wall LNG bullet. It was awarded the first LNG
storage tank by AG&P earlier this year.
The additional scope includes a 1,200-cu m shopfabricated
double wall LNG bullet and a second 60,000-cu
m full containment steel LNG tank along with geotechnical
investigation, soil improvement, foundation and topside
platform structure, pre-commissioning, purging and
commissioning activities.
Mechanical completion is scheduled for the first quarter
of next year for the LNG bullet and the second quarter of
2024 for the second tank with purging and commissioning
activities to follow.

 

Mitsubishi and Eneos Decide to Establish New Plastic-to-Oil Conversion Business

Tokyo—
Mitsubishi Chemical Corp. (MCC) and Eneos Corp. have
agreed to launch a joint plastic-to-oil conversion business
at MCC’s Ibaraki plant in Japan.
The partners will build a 20,000-t/y chemical recycling
facility, which will convert waste plastics into oil to be used
as raw material at both companies’ existing refinery and
naphtha cracker. Operations are planned to begin in fiscal
year 2023.
“The two companies aim to realize a highly-efficient
chemical recycling by reprocessing the oil to petroleum
products and various plastic products,” the partners noted.
“Both companies plan to achieve high added value for
products through the stable procurement of waste plastics,
the installation of certifications related to a circular economy,
and the further acquisition of technical knowledge as
a next-generation business.”

 

Shell Canada Awards Worley Contract For New CCS Project at Scotford Site

Calgary—
Worley has received an engineering services contract from
Shell Canada Products for a planned large-scale carbon
capture and storage (CCS) project at Shell’s Scotford Complex
near Edmonton, Alberta, Canada (PCN, 19-26 July
2021, p 4).
In the initial phase, the Polaris project would capture
and store around 750,000 t/y of carbon dioxide (CO2) from
Shell’s refinery and chemicals plant at the complex. It
would cut the company’s direct and indirect emissions
(Scopes 1 and 2) by up to 40% from the refinery and by up
to 30% from the chemicals facility.
The second phase involves setting up a new CO2 storage
hub in Alberta, further decarbonizing Shell’s facilities
and storing emissions on behalf of third-party industry
sources. The project could serve as a CO2 storage hub for
over 10-million t/y of CO2, fully built, conditional on acquiring
pore space leases from the Province of Alberta.
Subject to a final investment decision by Shell, which is
expected in 2023, Polaris would have a storage capacity of
about 300-million tons of CO2 over the life of the project.
The first phase is expected to begin operations around
2025.
Worley will provide preliminary front-end engineering
and design services for the project.

 

Ineos Styrolution Latest to Join Cyclyx

Portsmouth—
Cyclyx International, a consortium-based feedstock
management company, announced that Ineos Styrolution
has joined the consortium as a founding member.
As a member, Ineos Styrolution will have access to the
Cyclyx platform, which includes chemical characterization
of plastics and predictive modeling of feedstock sources to
product pathways, custom feedstock recipes, and customized
supply chains.
“These innovations aim to deliver waste plastic feedstock
appropriate for all existing and new mechanical and
advanced recycling pathways,” Cyclyx noted.
Additionally, Ricardo Cuetos, vice president of Ineos
Styrolution America, will join the Cyclyx board. He will
actively contribute to innovative advancements in the sustainability
and circular economy of plastics.

 

AFPM’s 2021 International PC Conference Being Held 17-19 October in San Antonio

Austin—The
American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM)
has scheduled its 2021 International Petrochemical Conference
(IPC) for 17-19 Oct. 2021 at the Grand Hyatt San
Antonio in Texas.
Cancelled last year due to COVID-19, the event will be
based on the theme “Remaining Resilient and Building a
Sustainable Future.”
The IPC will focus on several topics, including Disruptors
& Recovery in the Petrochemical Industry—The Current
and Future State of the Industry in the post-COVID
Era, and The Future of Sustainability—Innovation, Ingenuity,
and Collaboration in the Petrochemical Industry.
The conference will also cover industry trends and updates
and include a CEO panel, as well as virtual access to
education sessions.
For more details or to register, visit AFPM’s website at
https://www.afpm.org/events/2926d800000001.

 

Proman & Global Energy Group Agree To Develop Green Methanol Project

Edinburgh—
Proman and UK port operator Global Energy Group (GEG)
have entered into an agreement to develop an industrialscale
renewable power-to-methanol plant and export facility
at GEG’s Nigg Oil Terminal in Scotland.
The project, known as the Cromarty Clean Fuels Project,
would utilize recycled carbon dioxide and hydrogen
produced from renewable electricity, using proven technologies,
such as electrolysis, to produce green methanol.
Cromarty Clean Fuels Project is subject to successful
completion of ongoing financial and technical feasibility
studies, and further development and financing of the project.
Proman would be owner, operator and offtaker of the
methanol facility. A schedule was not available.
“Onshore and offshore wind is one of the world’s fastest
growing sources of energy; however, wind power must be
dispatched as soon as it is produced, even if there is not
enough demand for electricity,” said GEG Chief Executive
Tim Cornelius. “When this happens, operators have little
choice but to disconnect the renewable source from the
grid, leading to wasted energy and costs for governments
and operators.
“This plant will have the capability of harnessing excess
power to produce green methanol, which can then be used
as an automotive or shipping fuel, or as a chemical building
block in thousands of everyday products.”

 

Eneos, Nippon and Mitsubishi Consider Manufacture, Sale of Bio-Derivatives

Tokyo—Eneos
Corp., Nippon Shokubai Co. and Mitsubishi Corp. have
agreed to study the feasibility of manufacturing and selling
ethylene derivatives from bio-based raw materials (bioderivatives).
Nippon Shokubai manufactures and sells ethylene oxide
using ethylene from petroleum products produced by
Eneos. Mitsubishi’s expertise is to supply stability in
chemical products and raw materials, as well as business
development and marketing capabilities in bio-based and
eco-friendly raw materials.
“By leveraging our respective strengths, our companies
shall endeavor to forge Japan’s first bio-derivatives supply
chain, thereby better equipping us to contribute to the realization
of a low-carbon and carbon-free society, and circular
economy,” Nippon Shokubai noted. Operations are
planned to begin in fiscal year 2024.

 

Yara and Partners Launch HEGRA For Norwegian Green NH3 Project

Oslo—Yara International,
Aker Clean Hydrogen and Statkraft have
launched Heroya Green Ammonia (HEGRA), co-owned by
the partners, to establish a large-scale green ammonia project
at Yara’s existing ammonia plant at Heroya, Porsgrunn,
Norway (PCN, 22 Feb 2021, p 3).
The partners will target green hydrogen and green
ammonia opportunities within shipping, agriculture and
industrial applications by electrifying and decarbonizing
Yara’s ammonia facility, with the aim of fully removing
carbon dioxide emissions from ammonia production.
The project could be realized within five to seven years,
provided power is available at the site and the required
public co-funding is secured. The partners also have future
plans to explore the potential for green ammonia production
in Northern Norway.
“The timing of HEGRA is important because it will be
key to establish a well-functioning domestic and regional
market before the global demand for ammonia increases,”
said Auke Lont, chair of HEGRA’s board.
“We look forward to engaging with authorities and the
industry on how to realize one of the first large-scale industrial
projects within green hydrogen and ammonia in
Norway.”

V59 N31 – 16 August 2021

KBR Wins Ethylene Technology Contract For PKN Orlen’s Plock Olefins Complex

Plock—
Hyundai Engineering and Tecnicas Reunidas have
awarded an ethylene technology contract to KBR for PKN
Orlen’s Olefins Complex III project in Plock, Poland (PCN,
31 May 2021, p 1).
The complex will include a new 740,000-t/y steam
cracker and five additional production units, including a
large ethylene oxide/ethylene glycol plant.
Under the terms of the contract, KBR will provide technology
license, basic engineering design and proprietary
equipment for its Selective Cracking Optimum Recovery
ethylene (SCORE) technology.
“KBR is privileged to be selected as the ethylene technology
licensor for this ambitious project and contribute to
PKN Orlen’s growth and sustainability objectives,” noted
Doug Kelly, president of technology at KBR.
“SCORE continues to lead the industry in delivering the
highest yields and operational flexibility, while minimizing
the carbon footprint.”
PKN Orlen earlier said the project would be the “largest”
petrochemical investment in Europe in the last 20
years.

 

PureCycle & SK Global Chem Sign MoU To Build PP Recycling Unit in S. Korea

Seoul—
PureCycle Technologies said it has signed a memorandum
of understanding (MoU) with SK Global Chemical as a first
step to enable the building and operating of a polypropylene
(PP) recycling facility in South Korea.
The proposed plant, which would transform PP waste
into ultra-pure PP resin (UPRP), would allow the partners
to work toward solving the ongoing plastic water “crisis” in
South Korea and globally. No other details on the planned
project were available.
“Partnering with the leading recycling waste company
in South Korea is a major milestone for PureCycle,” noted
PureCycle Chief Executive Mike Otworth.
“We are bringing together a premier team of experts to
achieve our goal of recycling 1-billion pounds of polypropylene
waste by 2025.
“The sad reality is that 91% of plastic waste is not recycled.
That is exactly why our work with SK Global Chemical
will be incredibly important to reducing plastic waste
and helping society view plastic as an infinitely sustainable
material.”
PureCycle uses proprietary technology that can process
a wide range of waste PP with varying levels of contamination
and effectively remove the containments to create
UPRP.

 

Prime Polymer Picks Toyo Engineering To Build PP Facility at Ichihara Site

Tokyo—Prime
Polymer, a subsidiary of Mitsui Chemicals and Idemitsu
Kosan, has awarded an engineering, procurement and construction
contract to Toyo Engineering for a new polypropylene
(PP) plant at its Ichihara site in Chiba, Japan
(PCN, 7 June 2021, p 1).
The 200,000-t/y PP unit will be based on Mitsui Chemicals’
Hypol process to enable the production of highperformance
PP. Completion is scheduled for 2024. Value
of the contract was not given.
Prime Polymer earlier said the PP facility is part of a
“scrap-and-build” style restructuring of its production systems,
which is expected to result in a reduction of around
70,000 t/y of greenhouse gas emissions.

 

NatureWorks Gets Approval to Build New Ingeo PLA Production Plant

Bangkok—PTT
Global Chemical (GC) and Cargill, joint owners of Nature-
Works, have approved construction of NatureWorks’ new
Ingeo polylactic acid (PLA) manufacturing complex at the
Nakhon Sawan Biocomplex in Nakhon Sawan Province,
Thailand (PCN, 7 June 2021, p 4).
The complex, estimated to cost over $600-million, will
include production sites for lactic acid, lactide and polymer,
making it the world’s “first” PLA facility designed to be
fully integrated, NatureWorks noted.
The PLA plant will have 75,000 t/y of Ingeo biopolymer
production capacity. Construction is expected to begin in
the second quarter of next year, with operations beginning
in 2024.
Jacobs, who previously provided the front-end engineering
design for the project, will now complete final detailed
engineering. IAG has been chosen to partner with
NatureWorks on engineering and construction, providing
project management, project controls and procurement
services.

 

Sinochem Starts Up New EVA Facility, Part of Quanzhou Expansion Project

Beijing—
Sinochem Quanzhou Petrochemical Co. has launched a
new ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) copolymer plant at its
ethylene and refining expansion project in Quanzhou, Fujian
Province, China (PCN, 14 Dec 2020, p 1).
The EVA plant will help to meet demand in South
China and contribute towards economic development in the
region, the company noted. Capacity of the unit was not
available.
Late last year, the company launched a new 1-milliont/
y ethylene facility and a 400,000-t/y high-density polyethylene
plant at the site, part of Sinochem’s ongoing expansion
project.
PCN earlier reported that the project would also include
a 350,000-t/y polypropylene unit, an 800,000-t/y paraxylene
plant, a 300,000-t/y aromatics extraction unit, and
expanding refining capacity by 60,000 b/d to 300,000 b/d.

 

Acron Completes Comprehensive Revamp Of Urea-6 Unit at Veliky Novgorod Site

Moscow—
Acron said it has concluded an $85-million comprehensive
overhaul of its Urea-6 plant at its site in Veliky Novgorod,
Russia.
The upgrades to the unit have more than tripled capacity
to 2,050 t/d from 600 t/d, making Acron the “largest”
urea facility both in Russia and in Europe, the company
noted. Acron Engineering was the general designer.
“Right now we are focusing on projects that make
maximum use of our existing production potential,” said
Alexander Popov, chairman of the board of directors. “The
Urea-6+ project is the flagship for Acron’s highly efficient
projects with small payback periods. Importantly, it also
aligns with the company’s ESG strategy.
“The high-performance, state-of-the-art integrated sewage
treatment unit installed at our upgraded urea facility
will significantly mitigate Acron’s environmental impact.
Urea production involves the use of carbon dioxide [CO2],
and the project will reduce CO2 emissions by over 350,000
t/y.”
The Urea-6 unit was originally commissioned in late
2018 (PCN, 10 Dec 2018, p 3).

 

LG Chem Mass Produces World’s ‘First’ ISCC Plus Certified Bio-Balanced SAP

Yeosu—LG
Chem recently announced it has mass-produced the world’s
“first” ISCC Plus certified bio-balanced super absorbent
polymer (SAP) at its plant it Yeosu, South Korea.
Last year, LG and Neste entered into a partnership for
the supply of renewable hydrocarbons to LG for the production
of renewable polymer and chemical products, and
since last month, it began full-fledged production of SAP.
LG aims to launch a total of nine bio-balanced products
within the year, with ISCC Plus certification, including
SAP, such as polyolefins, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene
and polyvinyl chloride.
The SAP is part of LG’s recently launched LETZero
brand of eco-friendly products.

 

Mitsui & Co. and CF Industries Ink MoU For U.S.-Based Blue Ammonia Projects

Deerfield—
Mitsui & Co. and CF Industries Holdings have signed a
memorandum of understanding (MoU) to jointly explore
the development of blue ammonia projects in the U.S.
Under the MoU, the parties plan to execute various preliminary
studies on the feasibility of the planned projects.
Some of the areas they will study include establishing blue
ammonia supply and supply chain infrastructure, carbon
dioxide transportation and storage, expected environmental
impact, and blue ammonia economics and marketing
opportunities in Japan and other countries.
“As countries and industries continue to develop plans
to achieve net-zero carbon emissions, there is broad interest
in blue and green hydrogen and ammonia to help meet
the world’s clean energy needs,” said Tony Will, president
and chief executive of CF Industries Holdings.
“CF Industries and Mitsui share a belief that blue ammonia
will play a critical role in accelerating the world’s
transition to clean energy and that demand for blue ammonia
will grow meaningfully.”

 

Nizhnekamskneftekhim Selects Contractors To Construct New PP Plant in Tatarstan

Moscow—
Nizhnekamskneftekhim has awarded contracts to China
Machinery Engineering Corp. and China Huanqiu Contracting
& Engineering Co. to build a new polypropylene
(PP) production facility in Tatarstan, Russia, according to a
local news report.
The 400,000-t/y PP unit will utilize LyondellBasell’s
Spheripol technology (PCN, 5 July 2021, p 4). Value of the
contracts and a schedule for the project were not given.

 

Lummus Achieves ‘Successful’ Start-Up Of New CDAlky Unit at ZPC Refinery

Beijing—
Lummus Technology announced the “successful” start-up
of its new CDAlky alkylation unit at Zhejiang Petroleum &
Chemical Co. Ltd.’s (ZPC) refinery in Zhejiang Province,
China.
The 45,000-BPSD alkylation unit processes C4s from
upstream refining and petrochemical units, resulting in a
“very high” concentration of isobutylene in the total olefins
blend, while producing a “superior” alkylate quality, Lummus
noted.
“Given the unit’s unique and advanced features, such as
the scale and the nature of the feedstock, this achievement
reflects Lummus’ ability to adapt, innovate and collaborate
closely with our customers,” said Lummus Technology
President and Chief Executive Leon de Bruyn.

 

Gulei PC Starts Operating EO/EG Facility

Beijing—
Fujian Gulei Petrochemical (Gulei PC) has begun operation
of its new ethylene oxide/ethylene glycol (EO/EG) facility in
Fujian Province, China, reported Argus Media.
The EO/EG unit, located in Zhangzhou, has 100,000 t/y
of EO capacity and 700,000 t/y of EG capacity (PCN, 12
Apr 2021, p 2).
The project also includes a 1-million-t/y ethylene
cracker, a 600,000-t/y styrene monomer unit and a
300,000-t/y ethylene vinyl acetate plant, which are expected
to start up in the third quarter of 2021, as well as a
350,000-t/y polypropylene plant, which was started up earlier
this year.
Gulei PC is owned 25% by Sinopec, 25% by Fujian
Chemical and 50% by Xuteng Investment.

 

People on the Move

Birla Carbon—John Loudermilk, most recently chief
operating officer, has become chief executive.
Borealis—Thomas Reutter has joined the company as
vice president, product asset management and supply
chain. He was previously senior product director for linear
low-density polyethylene at Dow.
Viridis Chemical—Keith Terhune has been named
senior vice president of operations. He was previously
with Baker Hughes for eight years and with Eastman
Chemical Co. for 19 years.
Enterprise Products Partners—Carrie L. Weaver,
most recently vice president, commercial, regulated pipelines
for the eastern region, has been named vice president,
commercial, evolutionary technology.

 

SK Global Chemical Invests $10-Million In Two Closed Loop Partners’ Funds

New York—SK
Global Chemical (SKGC) announced a $10-million investment
in two of Closed Loop Partners’ funds—Closed Loop
Circular Plastics Fund and the Closed Loop Leadership
Fund—to advance circular business models, scalable recycling
technologies, and materials recovery infrastructure in
the U.S. and Canada.
The investment will help increase the supply of highquality
recycled content to meet growing demand, return
valuable materials to manufacturing supply chains and
ultimately reduce extraction of virgin resources, SKGC
noted.
SKGC’s support of the Closed Loop Circular Plastics
Fund bring the fund closer to its goal of deploying $100-
million to advance the recovery of plastics in the two countries.
The Fund will invest in three strategic areas to increase
the amount of high-quality recycled plastic available:
 Access–Boosting the collection of targeted polyethylene
(PE) and polypropylene (PP) plastics by advancing
current and next-generation material collection
systems.
 Optimization–Upgrading recycling systems to more
efficiently aggregate, classify and sort the targeted
plastics to increase the total amount of high-quality
plastic, including food- and medical-grade plastic,
sent for manufacturing.
 Manufacturing–Investing in facilities and equipment
that manufacture finished products, packaging
or related goods using recycled content, including
recycled PE and PP.
The Closed Loop Leadership Fund, Closed Loop Partners’
private equity arm, is a complementary market rate
strategy that proves the growth and profitability of circular
economy business models.
The Fund acquires and scales best-in-class companies
along the value chain to build circular supply chain in the
U.S.—focused on extending the useful life of materials,
including plastics and packaging, organics, electronics and
apparel.
Since its establishment in 2014, Closed Loop Partners
has made more than 50 investments, diverting over 4,600
million pounds of materials from landfills and back into
manufacturing supply chains.

 

Nissan Restructuring Chems Business; Will Terminate Melamine Production

Tokyo—Nissan
Chemical Co. has decided to discontinue melamine production
at its Toyama City, Japan, plant in June 2022 in order
to restructure its chemicals business.
The company will concentrate its management resources
on high value-added products and high market
share products with expansion of sales and reduction of
costs, thereby boosting the profitability of its chemicals
business.
“In recent years, global production capacity of melamine
has greatly exceeded the demand, and price competition
with overseas manufacturers has intensified,” Nissan said.
“Consequently, the profitability of this business has deteriorated
significantly.”
Nissan will continue to produce melamine derivatives
through the purchase of melamine from other suppliers.

 

ET’s Acquisition of Enable Midstream Expected to Close in 2nd Half of ‘21

Dallas—Energy
Transfer (ET), in its second quarter results for 2021, said it
expects to finalize the approximately $7.2-billion purchase
of Enable Midstream Partners in the second half of this
year (PCN, 22 Feb 2021, p2).
Enable owns, operates and develops “strategically located”
natural gas and crude oil infrastructure assets in
the U.S., the companies earlier said.
The assets include about 14,000 miles of natural gas,
crude oil, condensate and produced water gathering pipelines;
around 2.6-billion cu ft/d of natural gas processing
capacity; approximately 7,800 miles of interstate pipelines
(including Southeast Supply Header of which Enable owns
50%); about 2,200 miles of intrastate pipelines, and seven
natural gas storage units comprising 84.5-billion cu ft of
storage capacity.
Acquiring Enable will increase ET’s footprint across
multiple regions and provide increased connectivity for
ET’s natural gas and natural gas liquid transportation
businesses, ET said. The transaction was originally
planned to close in mid-2021.
The parties are still working toward obtaining Hart-
Scott-Rodino Act clearance for the merger.

 

IFL Starts Up 2nd Ammonia-Urea Line At Its Port Harcourt Site in Nigeria

Lagos—Indorama
Eleme Fertilizer & Chemicals Ltd. (IFL) has started up
and begun production at a second ammonia and urea line
(Line 2) at its site in Port Harcourt, Nigeria (PCN, 21 May
2018, p 1).
Line 2 has a production capacity of 2,300 t/d of ammonia
and 4,000 t/d of granulated urea, and includes relevant
utilities and offsite facilities.
Toyo provided the technology licensing for its ACES21
urea technology, as well as basic design, detail engineering,
procurement and commissioning services for the project.
KBR licensed its ammonia technology and was responsible
for the basic engineering design, proprietary equipment
and catalyst.
IFL commissioned the first line in late 2016, which cost
around $4.4-billion and also included a 2,300-t/d ammonia
plant and 4,000-t/d urea granulation unit.
With commissioning of the second line, IFL is the “largest”
urea producer in Africa, IFL noted.

 

Dialog, Diyou Fibre Ink MoU to Set Up New Recycled PET Production Unit

Kuala Lumpur—
Dialog Group has signed a memorandum of understanding
(MoU) with Diyou Fibre to establish a special purpose vehicle
(SPV) to build, own and operate a food-grade recycled
polyethylene terephthalate (PET) pellets production facility
in Malaysia, according to several media reports.
The proposed plant, expected to require an investment
of around $25-million, would be Dialog’s “first” investment
into the downstream petrochemicals business, reported
The Star.
Dialog would own a 51% equity stake in the SPV, while
Diyou Fibre, a Malaysian recycling and manufacturing
company, would hold the remaining 49% interest.

 

ADNOC & Fertiglobe Partner to Deliver Blue Ammonia to Customers in Japan

Abu Dhabi—
Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. (ADNOC) and Fertiglobe have
formed a partnership for the production of blue ammonia
for ADNOC’s customers in Japan.
Fertiglobe, a 58-42 partnership of OCI and ADNOC, is
producing blue ammonia at its Fertil plant at the Ruwais
Industrial Complex in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
(UAE), for delivery to ADNOC’s Japanese customers.
ADNOC recently sold its “first” cargo of blue ammonia
to Itochu for use in fertilizer production in Japan, and now
has an agreement to sell blue ammonia to Idemitsu for use
in its Japanese refining and petrochemicals operations.
“I am pleased that Fertiglobe is growing its low-carbon
production capabilities in partnership with ADNOC,” said
Nassef Sawiris, executive chairman of OCI and chief executive
of Fertiglobe.
“As a result of decarbonizing the feedstock supply, we
can materially reduce the carbon intensity of our downstream
customers along the value chain and across a wide
range of industries.
“We are pleased to leverage the Fertiglobe and ADNOC
platforms to help decarbonize our production and customers’
footprints, while creating value to shareholders, a winwin
across the board.
“This project shows that Fertiglobe is on track to become
a global leader in low-carbon solutions, leveraging its
globally leading position in ammonia.”

 

LyondellBasell Joins Cyclyx International

Houston—
LyondellBasell is the latest company to join consortiumbased
feedstock management firm Cyclyx International as
a founding member.
In addition, Ganesh Nagarajan, associate director,
polymers business development and projects at Lyondell-
Basell, has joined the executive advisory board of Cyclyx.
“As a founding member of Cyclyx, increasing the recycling
rate of plastic waste is incredibly important to our
sustainability journey,” said Ken Lane, executive vice
president, global olefins and polyolefins, LyondellBasell.
“LyondellBasell recognizes the challenges plastic waste
brings, and we aim to be a part of the solution through our
involvement with Cyclyx, which can help us and our industry
achieve our recycling ambitions.”
LyondellBasell has pledged to produce and market 2-
million t/y of recycled and renewable-based polymers by
2030.

 

MCC Makes Final Investment Decision To Build HydroPRS Recycling Plant

Tokyo—Mitsubishi
Chemical Corp. (MCC) has decided to invest in a new
HydroPRS (Hydrothermal Plastic Recycling Solution) recycling
facility at its Ibaraki plant in Japan.
The HydroPRS process, developed by Mura Technology
and licensed by KBR, converts mixed plastic waste back
into fossil-replacement oils and chemicals, enabling plastic
waste to be upgraded into new plastics and products (PCN,
21 June 2021, p 2).
The project will have the capacity to handle 20,000 t/y
of plastic waste, with the aim to initially use postindustrial
plastics. Construction is expected to be completed
in 2023. MCC is studying the possibility of increasing
capacity in the future.
“Plastic waste is polluting our environment at an
alarming rate, not to mention the carbon emissions caused
by utilizing the fossil fuels needed to make virgin plastics,”
said Mura Technology Chief Executive Dr. Steve Mahon.
“We need global, sustainable and scalable solutions today.
That is why we are taking an international approach
– to scale fast and meet the challenge head on – and we are
proud of the work that will be completed at the Ibaraki
plant.
“Our collaboration with KBR makes this kind of global
expansion possible, and we look forward to exploring new
future projects with them in Europe and Asia in the coming
months.”

 

CPI Moves Date of Tech Conference To 5-7 October 2021 in Colorado

Washington—The
Center for the Polyurethanes Industry (CPI) of the American
Chemistry Council (ACC) will now hold its 2021 Polyurethanes
Technical Conference from 5-7 Oct. 2021 at the
Gaylord Rockies Resort & Convention Center in Aurora,
Colo. (PCN, 18 Jan 2021, p 3).
The annual conference offers networking events hosted
by industry leaders and a lineup of technical education
sessions showcasing important topics of the industry. It
will also highlight the latest innovative polyurethanes
technologies.
This past January, the ACC announced that the conference
would be held from 4-6 Oct. 2021.

 

Adani Forms Petchems Subsidiary

Mumbai—Adani
Enterprises, in a regulatory filing, announced it has incorporated
a wholly-owned petrochemicals subsidiary.
The new company, Adani Petrochemicals Ltd. (APL),
was formed to set up refineries, petrochemical complexes,
specialty chemicals units, hydrogen and related chemicals
plants, and other similar units, Adani noted.
APL is incorporated in India and, as of 31 July 2021,
has yet to begin business operations.

V59 N30 – 9 August 2021

Tecnimont Subsidiaries Get EP Contract For KOS’ New Russian LDPE/EVA Plant

Kazan—
Kazanorgsintez (KOS) has awarded an engineering and
procurement (EP) contract to Tecnimont Planung & Industrieanlagenbau
GmbH and MT Russia LLC, subsidiaries of
Maire Tecnimont SpA, for a new low-density polyethylene
(LDPE)/ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) facility to be built in
Kazan, Tatarstan, Russia.
The 100,000-t/y LDPE/EVA plant, based on Sumitomo
technology, will be set up inside existing KOS facilities.
Completion is expected within about 40 months from the
date the contract was signed.
Under the contract, valued at around €130-million, the
Tecnimont subsidiaries will supply engineering and procurement
services under a lump sum scheme, and equipment
and material supply under a reimbursable scheme.
“We are eager to put at KOS’ service our technological
know-how, as well as our engineering and construction
capabilities to support the industrial development of
Tatarstan, with state-of-the-art technologies that will ensure
best environmentally performing standards,” said
Maire Tecnimont Group Chief Executive Pierroberto Folgiero.
“With this award, we further consolidate our very
strong track record in the Russian Federation, thanks to
our global leadership in polyolefins and the synergies
within the group.”

 

RIL Doubling PET Recycling Capacity With Recycled PSF Facility in India

Mumbai—
Reliance Industries Ltd. (RIL) said it is doubling its polyethylene
terephthalate (PET) recycling capacity by setting
up a recycled polyester staple fiber (PSF) manufacturing
plant in Andhra Pradesh, India.
RIL currently converts more than 2-billion postconsumer
PET bottles a year into polyester fiber at its
Barabanki, Hoshiarpur and Nagothane facilities in India.
The fibers manufactured through this process are branded
as Recron GreenGold.
Srichakra Ecotex India Pvt. Ltd. will build and operate
the new recycled PSF – Recron GreenGold and PET flakes
wash-line exclusively for RIL. Cost of the project and an
expected completion date were not given.
“The agreement with RIL provides an excellent opportunity
for Srichakra to expand its footprint into the recycled
polyester staple fiber market,” said Srichakra Ecotec
Director Srinivas Mikkilineni. “The alliance will propel
Srichakra’s commitment to reduce plastic pollution and
facilitate both organizations to advance the circular economy
for plastic waste in India.
“RIL’s industry expertise, technical knowledge, and
business assurances will allow Srichakra to research, innovate
and develop high-quality and sustainable products
for RIL’s GreenGold portfolio.”
Increasing the recycling capacity to 5-billion used PET
bottles a year will ensure that India maintains an over
90% recycling rate, RIL noted.

 

ZapSibNeftekhim Modernizing PDH Unit To Boost Russian Propylene Production

Moscow—
Sibur Holding’s ZapSibNeftekhim will modernize its propane
dehydrogenation (PDH) plant at its petrochemical
complex in Tobolsk, Russia, to increase production of
polymer-grade propylene.
The PDH unit currently produces approximately
500,000 t/y propylene. The revamp will enable it to boost
propylene production by more than 8%, to 561,000 t/y. An
expected completion date was not available.
“We are modernizing a propane dehydrogenation unit
using Honeywell UOP C3 Oleflex technology to costeffectively
boost its performance, reliability and operations,”
said Maxim Rogov, general director of ZapSib-
Neftekhim.
“The global olefin market is growing by 3% to 4% per
year, so scaling up capacity at this plant will help us to
participate in the growing market for products made from
propylene, while reducing production costs.”
UOP provides technology licensing and basic engineering
design, as well as services, equipment, catalysts and
adsorbents for the unit, Honeywell noted.

 

Balaji Receives BoD Approval to Build New Acetonitrile Manufacturing Unit

Mumbai—
Balaji Amines Ltd., in a notification to the stock exchange,
announced it has received approval from the company’s
board of directors to set up a new manufacturing plant for
acetonitrile in India.
The project, expected to cost between Rs 70 and Rs 80
crore, will involve construction of a 16,500-t/y acetonitrile
facility to meet growing demand. Balaji currently has
9,000 t/y of acetonitrile capacity. Construction is expected
to take 12 to 18 months.

 

Michelin Lets FEED Contract to McDermott For New Generation Tire Recycling Plant

Santiago—
McDermott International has been awarded a front-end
engineering design (FEED) contract from the Michelin
Group for an innovative waste tire technology for Michelin’s
first new-generation tire recycling facility being built
in Chile.
The project, which will be capable of recycling 30,000
t/y of waste tires, is being built in collaboration with Enviro,
a Swedish company that has developed a patented
technology to recover carbon black, oil, steel and gas from
end-of-life tires. Work will begin immediately and is expected
to be completed in the first quarter of 2022.
“The Michelin Group is pioneering advancements in
waste recycling technology and has once again selected
McDermott to help advance the next generation of sustainable
tires,” said Samik Mukherjee, executive vice president
and chief operating officer of McDermott International.
“This latest contract award strengthens our shared vision
for a more sustainable future and solidifies our longstanding
relationship.”

 

BASF and Sinopec Expanding Capacities At BASF-YPC Verbund Site in Nanjing

Nanjing—
BASF-YPC, a 50-50 joint venture of BASF and Sinopec,
plans to expand capacity of several downstream chemical
plants and add a new facility at their state-of-the-art Verbund
site in Nanjing, China.
The joint venture will increase production capacities for
purified ethylene oxide, ethyleneamines, ethanolamines,
propionic acid and propionic aldehyde. Capacities were not
given.
Also included in the project is construction of a new
tert-butyl acrylate plant, which will be the “first” outside of
Germany using BASF technology. The expanded and new
plants are scheduled to come on stream in 2023.
“With the envisioned investment bundle, we will introduce
state-of-the-art technologies and use the Verbund
advantages to the fullest,” noted Dr. Stephan Kothrade,
president and chairman of BASF Greater China.
“Tert-butyl acrylate as a new product in our portfolio
will further strengthen the market position of BASF-YPC,”
said Bran Jansen, president of BASF-YPC. “Based on the
20-year success, we are expanding the local capacities to
better meet the continually rising demand of our customers.”

 

Inter Pipeline Provides Progress Report On Heartland Petrochemical Complex

Calgary—Inter
Pipeline has released an update on its Heartland Petrochemical
Complex (HPC), an integrated propane dehydrogenation
(PDH) and polypropylene (PP) production facility,
which is in the final stages of completion in Strathcona
County, Alberta, Canada (PCN, 26 Apr 2021, p 2).
The project, estimated to cost around $4.3-billion, will
convert 22,000 b/d of locally sourced, low-cost propane into
around 525,000 t/y of high-value PP.
Inter Pipeline is planning a “staggered” start-up of the
complex with the commencement of PP plant operations
expected early in the second quarter of 2022. The PDH
facility, which is substantially mechanically complete, is
planned to be operational “several months later,” the company
noted.
In addition, the company has successfully negotiated an
eighth take-or-pay agreement for HPC’s production capacity
with an investment grade, multinational energy producer.
With the eighth agreement, Inter Pipeline has now secured
68% of HPC’s production capacity, close to its stated
objective to contract a minimum of 70%.

 

Correction

Correction In the 2 Aug. 2021 issue of PCN, we reported
that Chandra Asri Petrochemical (CAP) and Thaioil have
signed definitive agreements to proceed with a capital increase
in CAP of up to $1.3-billion for a 15% stake in CAP
via a pre-emptive rights issue.
It should have read that CAP, Thaioil and SCG signed
definitive agreements to proceed with a capital increase in
CAP of up to $1.3-billion, with Thaioil obtaining a 15%
stake and SCG retaining its 30.57% stake.
If the project proceeds, Thaioil and SCG may further
collectively invest up to $400-million, not $400,000. We
apologize for any confusion we have caused.

 

KBR, Petron Scientech Ink Agreement To License Sustainable Technologies

Houston—KBR
and Petron Scientech Inc. (PSI) have entered into an alliance
agreement to license differentiated, energy-efficient,
and sustainable technologies for renewable chemicals production.
Under the agreement, KBR will be exclusive licensor for
PSI’s ethylene oxide/ethylene glycol (K-MEG), alcohol dehydration
(K-SEET), and maleic anhydride (Max-Leic)
technologies, which are used to convert ethanol into ethylene
and further derivative chemicals.
KBR will also provide engineering services for new biorefineries,
and integrate the technologies in existing refineries
and petrochemical plants to offer sustainable alternatives.
“PSI offers unique, patented, renewable and sustainable
technologies and services for broad industrial applications,
which are highly sought after today to reduce carbon
footprint and mitigate climate change,” said PSI Founder
and Chief Executive Yogendra Sarin.
“We are proud to work with KBR, who have the right
experience and leadership to help advance and commercialize
our technologies on a global scale.”

 

SABIC Launches Certified Circular PC

Riyadh—
SABIC announced the launch of its certified circular polycarbonate
(PC) resin and blends produced from postconsumer
mixed plastic waste.
The circular PC, certified by an independent third party
under the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification
(ISCC PLUS) scheme, is produced through a pyrolysis
process. It has a potential carbon footprint reduction
up to 23% compared to traditional PC.

 

People on the Move

Encina Development Group—David Roesser has
joined the company as chief executive. He most recently
served as global category lead in performance chemicals at
Cargill.
Borealis—Leo Alders has been appointed acting chief
executive for Borealis’ fertilizers, melamine and technical
nitrogen business (Borealis’ nitrogen business) to succeed
Rainer Hoefling. Alders is currently chief operating officer
of Borealis’ nitrogen business.
Caliche Development Partners—Steve Markovich
has joined Caliche as chief commercial officer, succeeding
Ron Baker. Markovich was previously head of global marketing
in industrial solutions at Sasol.
Aspen Technology (AspenTech)—Jill D. Smith,
most recently president, chief operating officer and director
of Allied Minds, has been elected board chair of AspenTech
and will also be joining the Nominating and Corporate
Governance Committee. She replaces Robert M. Whelan
Jr., who will remain a member of the board.
Nexeo Plastics—Nathan Wiker has become vice president
of sales for North America. He comes from Dow,
where he was North American senior sales director for
Food & Specialty Packaging, Packaging & Specialty Plastics.

 

SK Global Chemical Finalizes Purchase Of 10% Equity Stake in Loop Industries

Montreal—
SK Global Chemical (SKGC) has completed the acquisition
of a 10% equity stake in Loop Industries for $56.5-million
(PCN, 28 June 2021, p 2).
The companies recently signed a memorandum of understanding
(MoU) to form a joint venture with exclusivity
to build polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic and polyester
fiber manufacturing facilities throughout Asia, using
Loop’s patented technology, which allows for waste PET
plastic and polyester fiber to be upcycled into virginquality
PET. The joint venture would be owned 51% by
SKGC and 49% by Loop.
SKGC and Loop plan to build at least of four plants by
2030, starting with a first facility in Ulsan, South Korea,
expected to begin preparation in 2022. Combined, the facilities
are expected to process about 400,000 t/y of PET
plastic and polyester fiber.

 

Gevo Recommences Isobutanol Operations At Renewable Fuels Facility in LuVerne

Englewood—
Gevo announced that production operations have restarted
at its advanced, renewable fuels production plant in
Luverne, Minn., which is expected to produce fuel-grade,
renewable isobutanol (PCN, 6-13 Apr 2020, p 2).
In the first quarter of last year, the company suspended
operations at the facility, citing the impact COVID-19 has
had on the economy and Gevo’s industry.
The renewable isobutanol (IBA) will be used as feedstock
by Gevo for the production of sustainable aviation
fuel and renewable premium gasoline at South Hampton
Resources’ hydrocarbon production plant in Silsbee, Texas.
Gevo also plans to utilize some of the IBA to develop certain
IBA specialty markets.
In addition, production operations at Luverne will allow
Gevo to test and evaluate certain potential unit operations
that may be incorporated into its state-of-the-art Net-Zero
1 production unit in Lake Preston, South Dakota, that is
scheduled to begin production in 2024.

 

Westlake Chem to Obtain Dimex From Grey Mountain Partners

Marietta—A subsidiary
of Westlake Chemical plans to purchase the parent company
of Dimex, producer of consumer products made from
post-industrial recycled (PIR) plastics, from private equity
firm Grey Mountain Partners.
Based in Marietta, Ohio, Dimex produces flexible polyvinyl
chloride (PVC) and thermoplastic elastomer (TPE)
compounds from PIR polyethylene, PVC and TPE.
The transaction, for which a value was not given, is
subject to customary closing conditions, including the expiration
or termination of the applicable waiting period under
the U.S. Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements
Act of 1976. Closure is expected during the second half of
this year.
“Westlake’s pending acquisition of Dimex underscores
the company’s longstanding commitment to stewardship of
the environment and recycling, and to taking actions that
contribute to a sustainable, circular economy,” said Robert
Buesinger, executive vice president of vinyl products at
Westlake.

 

Riverrecycle, Clean Planet Energy Partner To Turn Waste Plastic into Clean Fuels

Manila—
Riverrecycle and Clean Planet Energy have signed a partnership
agreement to remove non-recyclable plastics from
rivers and the environment in Southeast Asia, and repurpose
the waste as new ultra-clean fuels.
Riverrecycle will install its waste management systems
to collect plastic waste and floating debris from the most
polluted rivers, while Clean Planet Energy will build and
operate ecoPlants, environmentally friendly facilities that
can convert the waste plastic into circular products, which
can act as fossil fuel replacements.
The partners have already begun the development
phase of the first ecoPlant and collection system in Manila,
Philippines. Construction is anticipated to begin in early
2022, with work in Indonesia to follow.

 

Oiltanking Reaches Advanced Stage Of Review of European Terminals

Hamburg—
Oiltanking said that a strategic review of its four European
terminals in Amsterdam and Terneuzen, the Netherlands;
Ghent, Belgium; and Malta has reached an advanced
stage.
Oiltanking GmbH, 3i Infrastructure, and Evos, through
Evos Finance BV, plan to enter into an agreement for the
sale and purchase of Oiltanking’s 55% stakes in the respective
entities, as well as the remaining 45% held by affiliates
of 3i Infrastructure.
The sale and purchase agreement is subject to applicable
Dutch and Belgian employee consultation procedures.

 

Lanxess Acquires Emerald Kalama

Cologne—Lanxess
said it has completed the acquisition of specialty chemicals
manufacturer Emerald Kalama Chemical at a purchase
price of around $1.04-billion, the second-largest acquisition
in its history (PCN, 22 Feb 2021, p 2).
Emerald has production sites in Kalama, Wash.; Rotterdam,
the Netherlands; and Widnes, UK, and approximately
470 employees. It had been majority-owned by private
equity firm American Securities.
“The acquisition makes Lanxess one of the leading providers
of products for flavors and fragrances – an area in
which the specialty chemicals company expects to see sustained
strong growth rates,” Lanxess noted.

 

Ecolab Forms New Global Chem BU

Naperville—
Nalco Water, the water and process management business
of Ecolab, recently announced the launch of Global Chemical,
a new strategic business unit that will focus on end-toend
holistic approaches to water, carbon and energy challenges
for a variety of chemical segments.
The new organization combines the company’s Heavy
Chemical and Downstream Chemical Process Industries
groups into a single unit.
“Global Chemical will leverage 100 years of Ecolab water
and process experience to create new, streamlined approaches
for the chemical industry that include the use of
digital ecosystems, combined with circular economy expertise,”
Nalco Water noted.

 

Genomatica Raises $118-Million to Scale Production of Its Sustainable Products

San Diego—
Genomatica has closed $118-million in Series C funding to
accelerate the global commercialization and expansion of
sustainable materials and to continue investing in new
technologies.
The round was led by life science investor Novo Holdings,
with additional participation by existing and new investors,
including Viking Global Investors, Casdin Capital
and others.
“Sustainability is a must-have for consumers and for increasingly
ESG [environmental, social and governance]-
focused investors, making it a business imperative for
brands,” said Anders Bendsen Spohr, senior partner at
Novo. “We see a massive opportunity for biological manufacturing
to help industries meet this demand for sustainable
products.
“Genomatica is creating more sustainable value chains
with both a breadth of partnerships and products that it is
distinctively executing on at commercial scales that can
deliver the kinds of impact that today’s climate crisis requires.”

 

Agilyx Advances Recycling Capabilities To Include Flame Retardant-Laden PS

Portland—
Agilyx announced a “significant” milestone in their collaboration
with a strategic technology partner, which will allow
for the recycling of brominated flame retardant-laden polystyrene
(PS) into a high purity styrene monomer.
The monomer can be used in downstream products including
PS, expandable PS, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene,
styrene butadiene rubber, styrene acrylonitrile and
unsaturated polyester resins, at a quality level equivalent
to those manufactured from any other styrene monomer,
Agilyx noted.
“This new advancement in our advanced recycling capabilities
truly demonstrates the excellence of Agilyx’s collaborations,”
stated Tim Stedman, chief executive of Agilyx.
“The ability to recycle flame retardant-laden polystyrene
not only allows this contaminated material to be part
of a sustainable recycling value chain, but it will open up
new markets that were previously closed due to the contamination
associated with these materials.
“This is an exciting step on our mission to making all
plastics circular, even those that are most distressed and
contaminated.”

 

NGC and MHTL Ink Gas Supply Contract For MHTL’s Methanol Complex in T&T

Point Lisas—
The National Gas Co. of Trinidad and Tobago (NGC) has
signed a consolidated gas supply contract (CGSC) with
Methanol Holdings (Trinidad) Ltd. (MHTL) to support operations
at MHTL’s methanol complex in Point Lisas,
Trinidad and Tobago (T&T).
MHTL has five methanol facilities at the site, with a
combined capacity of over 4-million t/y, as well as an AUM
(ammonia, urea ammonium nitrate and melamine) complex
comprised of seven individual plants.
Previously, MHTL’s plants were supplied under individual
gas sales contracts; the CGSC is a single contract,
which will govern the sale of gas to the entire complex.
“Today’s agreement creates a period of stability that
will provide immediate benefit to all parts of the gas value
chain and indeed the entire national economy,” said MHTL
Managing Director Jerome Dookie.

 

SCD JV Selects Air Products Technology For NLNG’s Train 7 Project in Nigeria

Bonny—Air
Products’ liquefied natural gas (LNG) technology has been
chosen by a joint venture of Saipem, Chiyoda and Daewoo
(SCD JV), for the Nigeria LNG (NLNG) Train 7 project at
Bonny Island in Nigeria (PCN, 18 May 2020, p 3).
The project will include one complete LNG train with
approximately 8-million t/y of LNG capacity, and one combined
liquefaction unit. Air Products will provide the main
cryogenic heat exchangers (MCHE) and the process technology
for both liquefaction units. Delivery is targeted for
2023.
Air Products previously provided the MCHEs and process
technology for NLNG’s first six trains at Bonny Island,
which are currently in operation and have around 22-
million t/y of LNG capacity.
NLNG is owned by Nigerian National Petroleum Corp.
(49%), Shell (25.6%), Total (15%) and Eni (10.4%).

 

Covestro Closes Divestment of JV Shares In Dubai Polyurethane Systems House

Dubai—
Covestro has completed the sale of its 51% stake in Pearl
Covestro Polyurethane Systems FZCO, a joint venture
polyurethane systems house in Dubai, United Arab Emirates,
to Pearl Industries Overseas.
With the transaction, valued in the mid-single-digit
mullion euro range, Covestro has now fully divested its
systems house business, as part of its ongoing portfolio
optimization.
In 2017, Covestro sold its North American systems
house business, followed by the sale of its European systems
house business in 2019.
Pearl Industries will operate the Dubai systems house
as Pearl Polyurethane Systems. Covestro will remain the
key supplier of polyurethane raw materials.

 

V59 N29 – 2 August 2021

GCGV Reaches Mechanical Completion Of MEG, PE Units Near Corpus Christi

Houston—
Gulf Coast Growth Ventures (GCGV), a 50-50 joint venture
of ExxonMobil and SABIC, has reached mechanical completion
of a monoethylene glycol (MEG) unit and two polyethylene
(PE) plants near Corpus Christi, Texas (PCN, 9
Dec 2019, p 3).
The project, anticipated to start up in the fourth quarter
of this year, will produce 1.1-million t/y of MEG and
1.3-million t/y of PE, and includes a 1.8-million-t/y ethane
steam cracker. The site will be operated by ExxonMobil.
“Gulf Coast Growth Ventures is a key development of
our plan to serve growing demand for our high value performance
products,” said ExxonMobil Chemical President
Karen McKee.
“This is truly a best-in-class project, as demonstrated in
schedule acceleration and cost competitiveness, despite the
many challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
GCGV is expected to be delivered under budget and
about 25% less than the average cost of similar projects
along the U.S. Gulf Coast, the companies noted. Start-up
was originally expected by 2022.

 

Repsol Awards EPC Contract to Tecnimont For New Polymer Plants at Sines Complex

Sines—
Tecnimont, a subsidiary of Maire Tecnimont, has been
awarded an engineering, procurement and construction
(EPC) contract from Repsol for two new polymer facilities,
as part of Repsol’s expansion of its Sines Industrial Complex
in Portugal (PCN, 12 July 2021, p 1).
The project, anticipated to cost around €657-million,
will include a 300,000-t/y linear polyethylene unit and a
300,000-t/y polypropylene plant, each based on “state-ofthe-
art” technologies, Maire Tecnimont noted. Operations
are expected to begin by 2025.
Valued at about €430-million, the lump sum turn-key
contract involves complete engineering services, equipment
and material supply, installation and construction activities
and, as an optional part of the scope, commissioning
and start-up.

 

LyondellBasell’s Chem Leak at La Porte Kills Two Contractors, Injures Others

La Porte—
LyondellBasell said that about 100,000 lbs of an acetic acid
mixture was released in a leak on 27 July 2021 at its facility
in La Porte, Texas, killing two contractors and injuring
30 other workers, according to multiple news reports.
The incident occurred after a cap burst on a pressurized
acetic acid line at the plant, which was partially shut down
due to planned maintenance. The material released was a
mixture of acetic acid, catalyst, methyl iodide and hydrogen
iodide, reported local news station KHOU-11.
The leak has been isolated and contained and air monitoring
is ongoing. No actionable levels have been shown.
The accident is being investigated.

 

North Huajin Refining Awards Contracts For New Chinese Refining, PC Complex

Beijing—
Lummus Technology and Chevron Lummus Global (CLG)
have been awarded technology contracts from North Huajin
Refining and Petrochemical Co. for a new grassroots
refinery and petrochemical complex in Liaodong Bay New
Area, Panjin, Liaoning Province, China.
The project will include, among other facilities, a unit
for the production of 1-million t/y of polypropylene (PP)
homopolymers, random copolymers, and impact copolymers,
making it one of the “largest” PP plants in China,
and a 5-million-t/y vacuum residue desulfurization (VRDS)
unit, also one of the “largest” in China, Lummus Technology
noted.
Under the contracts, Lummus will provide the license
and basic engineering for its Novolen PP technology, plus
the associated catalysts. CLG will provide the license and
basic engineering for the VRDS technology, as well as proprietary
reactor internals and catalysts. Value of the contracts
and an expected completion date were not available.

 

LyondellBasell Picked by Jiangsu Sailboat To Supply PE Process for Chinese Unit

Beijing—
Jiangsu Sailboat Petrochemical Co. has again selected
LyondellBasell’s Lupotech T high-pressure polyethylene
(PE) technology for their facility in Lianyungang City, Jiangsu
Province, China.
The technology will be used for a 200,000-t/y ethylene
vinyl acetate (EVA) copolymer and low-density PE line to
produce EVA products with vinyl acetate comonomer.
Value of the contract was not given.
“This is already the second Lupotech T line and our
third polyethylene line based on LyondellBasell’s proprietary
technology, allowing us to produce EVA copolymers
and high-quality LDPE products,” said Bai Wei, general
manager of Jiangsu Sailboat.
“”We are very satisfied with the production capability
and plant performance of the . . . technology. Therefore,
selecting LyondellBasell’s technology was again a natural
choice for expanding our production capability with this
additional project.”

 

Linde Starts Supplying Shanghai Huayi From New Industrial Gases Facility

Shanghai—Linde
has started up its new on-site industrial gases plant in
Qinzhou, China, and has begun supplying the gases to
Shanghai Huayi’s new chemical complex.
The approximately $200-million gases facility is comprised
of three air separation units, which will supply up to
7,500 t/d of oxygen and 5,000 t/d of nitrogen to Shanghai
Huayi through Linde’s pipeline at the complex.
“By supplying the various Shanghai Huayi companies
from one central facility, Linde will operate more efficiently,
lowering its energy consumption and carbon emissions,”
Linde noted.

 

CAP Selects Thaioil as Strategic Investor For Its Second PC Complex in Indonesia

Cilegon—
Chandra Asri Petrochemical (CAP) has chosen Thailand’s
Thai Oil Pcl (Thaioil) as strategic investor in a second
world-scale integrated petrochemical complex in Cilegon,
Indonesia (PCN, 12 Oct 2020, p 1).
The complex, estimated to cost around $5-billion, would
include, among others, a cracker unit, polymerized olefins
and related facilities and utilities. It would double the
company’s production capacity to over 8-million t/y from
4.2-million t/y currently.
Subject to a final investment decision targeted for 2022,
construction is expected to take four to five years. The project
will create over 25,000 jobs during that period.
The increased production capacity will help fulfill the
country’s growing domestic demand, reduce import dependency
and develop Indonesia’s local downstream petrochemical
industry.
CAP and Thaioil have signed definitive agreements to
proceed with a capital increase in CAP of up to $1.3-billion
for a 15% stake in CAP via a pre-emptive rights issue.
SCG Chemicals, a major shareholder of CAP, would retain
about 30.57% of its shareholding stake in CAP.
The transaction, subject to requisite regulatory approvals,
is expected to be completed no later than 30 Sept.
2021. If the project proceeds, Thaioil and SCG may further
collectively invest up to $400,000.

 

PureCycle Reaches Agreement with AEDA For New Recycling Facility in Augusta

Augusta—
PureCycle Technologies said it has entered into an agreement
with the Augusta Economic Development Authority
(AEDA) to build its “first” U.S. cluster facility to produce
ultra-pure recycled polypropylene (rPP) from waste PP at
the Augusta Corporate Park in Augusta, Ga.
The project, with an initial investment of $440-million,
will involve three lines with 130-million lbs/yr each of capacity
during the first phase. The company has plans to
build up to five lines. A schedule for the project was not
given.
PureCycle is currently building a recycling facility in
Ironton, Ohio, which is expected to have a nameplate capacity
of around 107-million lbs/yr of rPP when fully operational.
Production is scheduled to begin in late 2022, with
full capacity anticipated to be reached in 2023.
The company plans to have 30 commercial lines operational
by 2030 and 50 by 2035.

 

Kureha Building New PVDF Project At Subsidiary in Jiangsu Province

Beijing—Kureha
Corp. has decided to construct a new polyvinylidene fluoride
(PVDF) production plant at its wholly-owned Kureha
Changshu Fluoropolymers subsidiary in Jiangsu Province,
China, to meet growing customer demand.
The approximately 10,000-t/y PVDF facility will increase
Kureha Changshu Fluoropolymers’ PVDF capacity
to up to 15,000 t/y. Construction is planned for completion
in spring 2024, with operations anticipated to begin in the
summer of 2024.
Kureha Corp. also has a 6,000-t/y PVDF unit at its
Iwaki Factory in Japan.

 

Lukoil Starts Construction on PP Facility At Nizhny Novgorod Refinery in Russia

Moscow—
Lukoil has begun building a new polypropylene (PP)
production complex at its Nizhny Novgorod refinery in
Kstovo, Russia (PCN, 12 Oct 2020, p 1).
The complex, which will become Russia’s “largest” PP
production facility integrated with a refinery, will have the
capacity to produce about 500,000 t/y of PP to be further
processed at other industrial units, the company noted.
Cost of the project and an expected completion date were
not given.
Last year, Lummus Technology was awarded the technology
contract for the project. Lummus’ scope of work
includes the technology license for the PP plant, as well as
basic design engineering, training and services, and catalyst
supply.

 

Repsol, RAMPF Eco Solutions Reach Deal For New Recycled Flexible Polyol Plants

Madrid—
Repsol and RAMPF Eco Solutions have reached an agreement
that provides Repsol with exclusivity throughout
Europe to develop and construct new recycled flexible
polyol facilities.
Specifically, the agreement covers the analysis for the
construction of the new plants, based on RAMPF technology,
and the development of new polyols produced from
different sources and qualities of post-consumer polyurethane
waste.
The partners will leverage the strengths of each company
in terms of recycling know-how and expertise and
polyol’s production capabilities and engineering, which will
allow them to efficiently boost flexible foam recycling.

 

PQ Group Holdings Plans Name Change

Malvern—
PQ Group Holdings announced its intention to change its
corporate name to Ecovyst, as early as 2 Aug. 2021, following
the planned divestment of its performance chemicals
business (PCN, 17 May 2021, p 1).
Earlier this year, the European Commission approved
the acquisition of joint control over PQ Performance
Chemicals by Cerberus Capital Management and Koch
Industries for about $1.1-billion.
Ecovyst will comprise Ecoservices and Catalysts Technologies,
formerly Refining Services and Catalysts, respectively.

 

People on the Move

Formosa—Hung Fu-yuan, vice chairman of Formosa
Chemicals, has been nominated chairman of Formosa
Chemicals & Fiber Corp. to succeed Wang Wen-yuan, who
has decided to step down from that role. Wang will retain
his position as president of Formosa Plastics Group.
Haldia Petrochemicals—B. Anand will join the group
as chief executive of its greenfield polymer business, effective
from September 2021. He was most recently chief
executive of Nayara Energy.
Air Products—Wayne T. Smith, recently retired from
BASF, where he served as chairman and chief executive,
has joined Air Products’ board of directors.

 

SLNG & Keppel Collaborate on Project For NGL Extraction at Jurong Island

Singapore—
Singapore LNG Corp. (SLNG), Keppel Energy and an unnamed
industry partner are working together on the frontend
engineering design for a natural gas liquids (NGL) extraction
facility at the SLNG Terminal on Jurong Island,
Singapore.
The facility, which will remove heavier hydrocarbons,
such as ethane and propane from liquefied natural gas
(LNG), will adopt a sustainable approach, specifically
through incorporating the use of cold energy in the extraction
process, which can lead to “significant” carbon abatement,
SLNG noted. A construction schedule was not given.
“The project will allow for a higher handling flexibility
of LNG through Singapore, which will in turn help to enhance
Singapore’s energy security; open up more possibilities
for the larger LNG eco-system, such as in the use of
LNG as a marine fuel, and further advance Singapore’s
ambition to be an LNG hub for the region,” SLNG explained.
Additionally, the extracted NGL can be delivered to
Singapore’s chemical complexes, including those on Jurong
Island, to be used as competitive feedstock.

 

Trinseo Enters Agreement to Acquire Aristech Surfaces for $445-Million

Berwyn—Trinseo
said it has entered into an agreement with SK AA Holdings,
an affiliate of Falcon Private Holdings, to purchase
Aristech Surfaces, a North American manufacturer and
global provider of polymethyl methacrylates (PMMA) continuous
cast and solid surface sheets, for $445-million.
“The acquisition of Aristech allows us to provide a full
offering of PMMA technologies and innovative products
that serve customers in new, high-growth markets,” said
Trinseo President and Chief Executive Frank Bozich.
“This is an important next step towards our goal of becoming
a global specialty materials and sustainable solutions
provider.”
Subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory
approvals, the transaction is expected to close by the end of
this year.

 

Air Liquide Plans Facility in Germany For Renewable Hydrogen Production

Berlin—Air Liquide,
in partnership with Siemens Energy, plans to build a
new renewable hydrogen production unit by electrolysis in
Oberhausen, Germany.
The first phase, expected to begin operating in early
2023, will include a 20-MW protein-exchange membrane
electrolyzer plant for the production of renewable hydrogen
and renewable oxygen. In a second phase, Air Liquide expects
to increase the capacity to 30 MW.
The electrolyzer will be integrated into Air Liquide’s existing
local pipeline infrastructure to support sectors such
as chemicals, refining, steel and mobility in north Rhine-
Westphalia.
To accelerate the development of the project, public
funding has been granted by the German Federal Ministry
of Economic Affairs and Energy.
This world-scale electrolyzer will be the “first” to be
built in the framework of the partnership between Air Liquide
and Siemens, Air Liquide noted.

 

KBR Receives Multiple Technology Awards For Orlen’s ‘Bottom of the Barrel’ Project

Plock—
PKN Orlen has awarded technology licensing contracts to
KBR as part of Orlen’s “Bottom of the Barrel” project for
its Plock refinery in Poland.
Under the terms of the contracts, KBR will provide
technology licensing and basic engineering design for a
solvent deasphalting (SDA) unit and residue fluid catalytic
cracking (RFCC) unit, which will allow Orlen to upgrade
crude residue and naphtha streams to petrochemical feedstocks
and clean transportation fuels.
Following a final investment decision by Orlen, the
SDA unit will be based on KBR’s supercritical solvent recovery
Rose technology to produce cleaner upgraded feedstock
for the new RFCC unit.
The RFCC unit will be based on KBR’s dual-riser
Maxofin technology, which uses conventional FCC operating
conditions, KBR’s proprietary catalyst additives and
state-of-the-art equipment to help Orlen maximize propylene
production from traditional FCC feedstocks and naphtha
streams.
“Our Rose technology delivers 50% energy saving over
conventional solvent deasphalting technologies and
Maxofin technology helps refiners maximize feedstock
flexibility to produce higher value petrochemical products,”
noted Doug Kelly, president of technology at KBR.

 

Ravago Acquires Equity Stake in Alterra; Will Supply Waste Plastic to Ohio Plant

Akron—
Advanced recycling technology firm Alterra Energy announced
that it has divested an equity interest in the company
to Ravago, a global polymer recycler and distributor,
for an undisclosed amount.
As part of the new partnership, Ravago will supply preprocessed
waste plastic to Alterra’s facility in Akron, Ohio,
which currently has the capacity to liquefy up to 60 t/d of
plastic waste for use as feedstock in the manufacturing of
plastics and chemicals, as well as for future commercial
installations.
This is the second strategic partnership this year for
Alterra. In January, it divested a minority stake in the
company to Neste (PCN, 11 Jan 2021, p 4).
At the time, Neste and Alterra said they were working
together toward a global rollout of Alterra’s proprietary
liquefaction technology with an initial focus in Europe,
where Alterra is planning to build a state-of-the-art liquefaction
site later this year.

 

Haifa Picks KBR to Supply Technology For Nitric Acid Expansions in Israel

Haifa—KBR has
received a nitric acid technology contract from Haifa Group
for an expansion of two of its process facilities at Mishor
Rotem, Israel.
Under the contract, KBR will provide license, basic engineering
design and proprietary equipment for both nitric
acid plants to increase production capacity of each unit by
around 35%.
“KBR has the industry’s leading design for energyefficient
nitric acid production in both mono-pressure and
dual-pressure plants, and we look forward to working with
Haifa to deliver higher production capacities, while lowering
plant emissions and operating expenses,” noted KBR
President of Technology Doug Kelly.

 

Danimer Scientific Enters Agreement To Acquire Novomer for $152-Million

Rochester—
Danimer Scientific has signed a definitive agreement to
acquire Novomer in a cash transaction valued at $152-
million.
Headquartered with a pilot plant in Rochester, N.Y.,
Novomer develops high-performing, carbon-efficient polymers
and chemicals, including poly(3-hydroxypropionate),
a type of polyhydroxyalkanoate, all of which can be sourced
from renewable or non-renewable feedstocks.
Novomer leverages its proprietary Novo22 catalyst and
intelligent process design to develop products that can be
produced at a low cost.
“We believe that by incorporating Novomer’s technology
in our processes, we can further enhance production to
meet our customers’ commercial needs with a broader suite
of biodegradable solutions,” said Phillip Van Trump, chief
science and technology officer at Danimer.
The technology can also be used to produce acrylic acid
from renewable and other sources for use across superabsorbent
polymer products.
Subject to regulatory approvals and other customary
closing conditions, the transaction is planned to be finalized
in the third quarter of this year.

 

Haldor Topsoe and Yanchang Forming JV To Produce Methanol Catalysts in China

Beijing—
Haldor Topsoe and Shaanxi Yanchang Petroleum (Group)
Co. Ltd. (Yanchang) are forming a joint venture to build a
new facility for the production of methanol synthesis catalysts
in China.
The plant, to be located in Shaanxi Fupin, will produce
MK-151+ catalysts for local customers who demand highperformance
catalysts for energy-efficient methanol production,
Topsoe noted. Start-up is planned for the beginning
of 2022.
“Yanchang is well positioned in the oil and gas value
chain and a very experienced methanol producer,” said
Amy Hebert, chief commercial officer at Topsoe.
“With this joint venture, we combine Topsoe’s worldleading
methanol catalyst technology and Yanchang’s outstanding
production capabilities to produce our highperformance
methanol synthesis catalysts that Topsoe will
sell directly to our Chinese customers, enhancing our presence
in the Chinese market.”
Topsoe’s Kaijia Yu has been appointed general manager
of the new joint venture.

 

Pembina Terminates Inter Pipeline Deal; New Brookfield Offer Being Considered

Calgary—
Pembina Pipeline has ended an arrangement agreement
for the proposed acquisition of Inter Pipeline, after Inter
Pipeline advised Pembina that its board would not be reconfirming
its recommendation of the planned transaction
(PCN, 7 June 2021, p 2).
The arrangement between Pembina and Inter Pipeline
was not getting the requisite support of voting Inter Pipeline
shareholders and the special resolution to approve the
arrangement would not have passed at the upcoming
shareholder meeting, Inter Pipeline noted.
Inter Pipeline’s board of directors is now recommending
acceptance of a revised takeover offer from Brookfield in
light of the termination of the Pembina arrangement.
Under the revised Brookfield offer, Inter Pipeline
shareholders can elect to receive C$20 per share in cash or
0.25 of a share of Brookfield.
“To maximize shareholder value we ran a fair and comprehensive
strategic review and as a result Brookfield increased
its offer by approximately 21%,” said Margaret
McKenzie, chair of the board and the special committee of
Inter Pipeline.
“After thoroughly considering the alternatives, the
board has concluded that the value and flexibility inherent
in the revised Brookfield offer, including the significant
cash component of the offer and the option for a potential
tax-deferred rollover for certain Canadian shareholders,
makes it appropriate to recommend acceptance of the revised
Brookfield offer to our shareholders.”
In connection with the termination of the agreement
between Pembina and Inter Pipeline, Inter Pipeline has
agreed to pay Pembina the C$350-million termination fee.

 

SI Group Inks Deal with ASK Chemicals To Sell Its Industrial Resins Business

Albany—SI
Group has signed an agreement to divest the majority of
its global industrial resins business to ASK Chemicals, a
portfolio company of Rhone Group, for an undisclosed
amount.
The transaction includes SI’s industrial resins products
and associated manufacturing sites in Rio Claro, Brazil;
Ranjangaon, India, and Johannesburg, South Africa, as
well as licensed technology and multiple tolling agreements,
globally. It will retain its industrial resins businesses
in the U.S. and China.
SI Group will carve out related business at those sites,
including the manufacture of rubber and adhesives, oilfield,
and surfactants, as well as foundry products in Brazil,
and will operate tolling agreements with ASK. No
other details of the transaction were available.

V59 N28 – 19-26 July 2021

Methanex Resuming Construction On Geismar 3 Methanol Facility

Geismar—Methanex
said its board of directors has approved a restart of construction
on the Geismar 3 methanol project in Geismar,
La., which the company decided to pause early last year,
citing uncertainty in the global economy from the pandemic
(PCN, 1 Feb 2021, p 2).
The 1.8-million-t/y project, being built adjacent to
Methanex’s Geismar 1 and Geismar 2 methanol facilities,
had originally been scheduled to begin operations in the
second half of 2022. Commercial operations are now
scheduled for late 2023 or early 2024.
“The timing is right to restart construction on our Geismar
3 project as the methanol industry outlook is positive,
we have a strong financial position to fund the project,
and the project has been significantly de-risked and is well
positioned to be completed on time and on budget,” said
President and Chief Executive John Floren.
“Geismar 3 will strengthen our asset portfolio as it will
be one of the lowest cost plants, with access to abundant
and low-cost natural gas and have one of the lowest CO2
emissions intensity profiles in the industry.”

 

Linde Starts Up New Hydrogen Project To Respond to Growing U.S. Demand

Houston—
Linde announced it has started up its fifth liquid hydrogen
unit in the U.S. to meet the increasing demand from customers
(PCN, 12 Nov 2018, p 3).
The plant, located in La Porte, Texas, will purify and
liquefy hydrogen from Linde’s integrated U.S. Gulf Coast
pipeline to supply over 30 t/d of high-purity liquid hydrogen
to end markets.
“This plant will not only boost the reliability of our existing
network, but will also make the supply chain more
efficient and increase our ability to serve the rising demand
from existing and new customers for both conventional
and clean hydrogen,” noted Jeff Barnhard, vice
president, south region at Linde.
The company also has hydrogen plants in California,
Alabama, Indiana and New York.

 

Lone Star Funds Affiliate Agrees to Buy AOC from CVC Capital Partners Fund

Amsterdam—
CVC Capital Partners (CVC) announced its plan to sell
global specialty resins producer AOC to an affiliate of Lone
Star Funds for an undisclosed amount.
AOC, headquartered in Schiphol, the Netherlands, produces
and formulates unsaturated polyester resins, vinyl
ester resins, and other solutions for applications in Coatings
& Protective Barriers, Colorants & Visual Effects, Adhesives
and Conventional Composite Resins.
The proposed transaction is subject to AOC workers’
councils information and consultation and relevant authorities’
approval. An expected completion date was not
given.

 

West Virginia Methanol Makes Progress On Methanol Plant in Pleasants County

St. Marys—
West Virginia Methanol has received an air permit for construction
of its planned $350-million methanol facility in
Pleasants County, W. Va. (PCN, 26 Oct 2020, p 3).
The 900-t/d plant will utilize Haldor Topsoe’s MeOHTo-
Go technology, in collaboration with Modular Plant Solutions,
to convert natural gas into high-purity methanol.
Operations are expected to begin as early as mid-2023.
The modular design of the plant is fabricated offsite and
transported to the site where it is assembled. This lowers
upfront capital cost compared to that of world-scale plants,
and shortens the time from investment decision to first
methanol production.
“The issuance of the air permit is a major milestone in
the development of the . . . project,” said Lars Scott, executive
vice president of West Virginia Methanol.
“West Virginia’s abundant supply of natural gas provides
a clean feedstock for the project and methanol customers
in the region will benefit from lower transportation
costs.”

 

Borealis Enters MoU with Five Partners To Decarbonize French Industrial Basin

Paris—
Borealis, Air Liquide, TotalEnergies, Yara and Esso have
signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to explore
the development of carbon dioxide (CO2) infrastructure to
help decarbonize the industrial basin in the Normandy
region of France.
In the first phase, the partners will collaborate to assess
the technical and economical feasibility of implementing
an industrial CO2 capture and storage chain from their
industrial facilities to final storage in the North Sea. The
goal is to cut CO2 emissions by up to 3-million t/y by 2030.
“Air Liquide is pleased to contribute to this project its
unique expertise in CO2 capture and liquefaction technologies,”
said Francois Jackow, executive vice president and
member of Air Liquide Group’s executive committee.
“Since 2015, Air Liquide has successfully implemented
Cryocap in its plant in Port Jerome, Normandy, an innovative
proprietary CO2 capture and liquefaction technology,
which allows to capture up to 90% of CO2 emissions.
“This wider initiative illustrates how industrial players
can mobilize to decarbonize key industrial basins and contribute
to the fight against global warming. It is in line
with Air Liquide’s climate objectives, which target carbon
neutrality by 2050.”

 

IPL Restarts Waggaman NH3 Plant After Series of Equipment Failures

Baton Rouge—
Invitec Pivot Ltd. (IPL) has recently restarted and reached
full production at its 800,000-t/y ammonia plant in Waggaman,
La., after a series of equipment failures, following
a planned turnaround, caused the company to shut down
the facility earlier this year (PCN, 17 May 2021, p 2).
Mechanical completion of the turnaround was concluded
on 6 Mar. 2021, followed by start-up activity
through to 17 Mar. 2021 when the plant was brought down
as a result of a dry gas seal failure and vibrations in a turbine.
At the time, IPL said production was scheduled to
begin by mid-April 2021.
The facility was restarted in mid-April as planned and
operated for two weeks, when it unexpectedly tripped upon
the failure of a vibration. Following repairs, the subsequent
restart process was stopped on 8 May 2021, due to a
coupling failure, and the unit was safely shut down.
Since the restart on 1 June 2021, the plant has been
producing nameplate volumes.

 

Bora JV Ethylene Facility Reaches Performance Guarantees in Panjin

Panjin—Technip
Energies announced that Bora LyondellBasell Petrochemical
Co.’s (Bora) joint venture ethylene plant in Panjin,
Liaoning Province, China, reached performance guarantees
(PCN, 7 Sept 2020, p 1).
Bora, a joint venture of LyondellBasell and Liaoning
Bora Enterprise Group, started up a new polyolefin complex
in the middle of 2020, which includes the cracker, as
well as the production of 800,000 t/y of polyethylene and
600,000 t/y of polypropylene.
The facility utilizes Technip Energies’ Ultra Selective
Conversion U-coil and W-coil technology, which combined
produce high energy efficiency and high yields, resulting in
lower carbon dioxide emissions, Technip Energies noted.
By passing all performance guarantees, it is meeting
the feed and raw material consumption, production rate
and product specifications and the specific energy consumption
intended.

 

DSM & SABIC Collaborate to Create Recycled-Based Dyneema Products

Geleen—Royal
DSM and SABIC, through a joint pilot with several CirculariTeam
members, are collaborating to successfully demonstrate
the manufacturing and usage of Dyneema from
ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE)
waste.
“By working together with members of CirculariTeam,
DSM will produce recycled-based Dyneema made using
SABIC’s certified circular ethylene as a pilot project in
both a sailing rope and a pelagic trawl net application,”
Dyneema noted.
“The circular ethylene . . . uses mixed plastic waste as
feedstock (mass balance approach), which not only contributes
to preventing valuable plastic from becoming waste
and the avoidance of carbon emissions compared to incineration,
but it will also help preserve fossil resources.
“These pilots are an important early-stage milestone in
the journey toward making fully circular Dyneema from
HMPE post-production and post-consumer waste,”
Dyneema explained.

 

McDermott Wins EPC Contract by LACC For Heater Addition to Ethane Cracker

Houston—
LACC LLC has awarded an engineering, procurement and
construction (EPC) contract to McDermott International
for a seventh heater addition to its ethane cracker facility
in Westlake, La. (PCN, 4 Nov 2019, p 1).
In 2019, LACC, a joint venture between Westlake
Chemical Corp. and Lotte Chemical Corp., began commercial
operations at its $3.1-billion ethane cracker complex
and Lotte’s ethylene glycol (EG) plant.
The 1-million-t/y ethane cracker provides partial backward
integration for Westlake’s vinyl business and supplies
Lotte’s adjacent 700,000-t/y EG unit.
The latest heater addition, which will be based on
Lummus Technology’s SRT-III technology, will support the
ethane cracker facility. The project will begin “immediately”
and is scheduled to be completed in the fall of 2023,
McDermott noted.
McDermott has been working with LACC domestically
since 2013. Its previous project work includes the successful
completion of the ethane cracker facility.

 

Nippon Shokubai Receives Certification For Bio-Based SAP at NSE Subsidiary

Antwerp—
Nippon Shokubai said it has obtained ISCC Plus certification
for superabsorbent (SAP) polymers produced at its
Nippon Shokubai Europe (NSE) subsidiary in Antwerp,
Belgium, and aims to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.
The SAP is produced utilizing acrylic acid produced
from biomass-derived propylene. The quality is equivalent
to that of conventional petroleum-derived products, and
the use of the product will contribute to the reduction of
carbon dioxide emissions throughout the product life cycle,
Nippon Shokubai noted.
NSE will establish a system to supply the bio-based
SAP in response to customers’ needs.

 

People on the Move

Thyssenkrupp—Rajesh Kamath recently became chief
executive and managing director of Thyssenkrupp Industrial
Solutions India, succeeding P.D. Samudra. Kamath
was previously managing director of Air Liquide Global
Solutions E&C (India) Pvt. Ltd.
Petronas—Mohd Bakke Salleh has been appointed
chairman, effective 1 Aug. 2021. He will replace Ahmad
Nizam Salleh, who will retire from the company and the
board on 31 July 2021.
Togliattiazot (TOAZ)—Sergey Shishov has become interim
chief executive to succeed Dmitry Mezheedov.
Shishov is also a member of the boards of TOAZ and Azotremmash.
He most recently served as deputy general director
– director for economics and finance for TOAZ.
Encina Development Group—Carlos Cabrera, executive
chairman of the board of directors of Genomatica, has
joined the board of directors of Encina. He was previously
chairman, president and chief executive of UOP LLC.
Kebotix—Dr. Florian Budde, recently retired senior
partner and McKinsey & Co., has joined the advisory panel
of Kebotix, a U.S.-based technology platform company for
new chemicals and materials.

 

MOL Agrees to Buy Minority Stake In Methanex’s WFS Subsidiary

Vancouver—Mitsui
O.S.K. Lines (MOL) and Methanex have finalized an
agreement that sees the two companies establishing a
strategic partnership involving Methanex’s Waterfront
Shipping (WFS) subsidiary, and includes MOL acquiring a
40% minority interest in WFS.
WFS transports bulk chemicals and clean petroleum
products to international markets in North America, Asia
Pacific, Europe and Latin America, and operates the
“world’s largest” methanol ocean tanker fleet, according to
its website.
Under the agreement, MOL will purchase the 40%
stake in WFS for $145-million. Methanex will retain the
remaining 60% interest in WFS and continue to operate
WFS as a key element of its global supply chain capabilities.
There will be no change to WFS’ day-to-day operations
due to the deal.
Completion of the transaction is subject to regulatory
approval and is expected by the end of 2021, after all customary
conditions are met.
“The strategic partnership strengthens a relationship
established over 30 years between Methanex, WFS and
MOL who, in 2016 in conjunction with other key partners,
jointly built the first ocean-going dual-feed vessel capable
of running on methanol,” the companies noted.
“With Methanex as the world-leading methanol producer,
WFS as the world’s leading methanol shipper, and
MOL’s vast shipping experience, the parties intend to advance
the commercialization of methanol, including renewable
methanol, as a viable marine fuel.”
Methanol produced from renewable resources can reduce
carbon dioxide emissions by up to 95% compared to
conventional marine fuels.

 

Sinopec Touts Launch of China’s ‘First’ Megaton-Scale Carbon Capture Project

Beijing—
Sinopec recently announced the initiation of China’s “first”
megaton carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS)
project, the Sinopec Qilu-Shengli Oilfield CCUS.
The project consists of two parts – Sinopec Qilu’s carbon
dioxide capture and Shengli Oilfield’s carbon dioxide displacement
and storage. It is estimated to reduce carbon
emissions by 1-million t/y. Operations are expected to begin
by the end of this year.
Sinopec plans to build another megaton CCUS demonstration
base in the next five years.

 

Eni Signs Agreement with Egyptian Firms To Study Green Hydrogen Opportunities

Cairo—Eni
has entered into an agreement with Egyptian Electricity
Holding Co. and Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Co. to
study the technical and commercial feasibility of projects
for green hydrogen production in Egypt.
The projects would use electricity from renewables, and
blue hydrogen, through the storage of carbon dioxide in
depleted natural gas fields.
The parties will analyze the potential local market consumption
of hydrogen and export opportunities, and possible
development and business schemes to implement the
projects. No further details were available.

 

ExxonMobil, Ineos, Petroineos Join Acorn To Capture and Store CO2 in Scotland

Irving—
ExxonMobil, Ineos and Petroineos have entered into
memorandums of understanding (MoUs) to participate in
the Acorn carbon capture and storage (CCS) project in
Scotland, UK.
The recently announced project plans to capture and
store around 5-million to 6-million t/y of carbon dioxide
(CO2) by 2030 from gas terminals at the St. Fergus complex
at Peterhead, which includes ExxonMobil’s joint venture
gas terminal. The CCS system is planned to start up
in 2027.
The project has the potential to provide over half of the
10-million t/y of CO2 storage the UK government is targeting,
and when expanded has the potential to store more
than 20-million t/y of CO2 emissions by the mid-2030s.
“ExxonMobil has more than 30 years’ experience in
CCS technology and is advancing plans for multiple new
CCS opportunities around the world,” noted Joe Blommaert,
president of low carbon solutions at ExxonMobil.
“We are pleased to support the Acorn project in the deployment
of CCS, one of the most important technologies
required to achieve society’s climate goals.”
Ineos and Petroineos own and operate one of Scotland’s
largest manufacturing sites at Grangemouth. Since taking
ownership in 2005, it has already reduced CO2 emissions
at the site by 37%. The Acron project is expected to further
increase emission reduction at the site to more than 50%
compared with 2005.
The three companies will join existing Acorn project
partners Storegga, Shell and Harbour Energy.

 

Mahtab Parsian Starts Construction On Natural Gas-to-Chemicals Plant

Tehran—Iran’s
Mahtab Parsian Petrochemical Co. has begun construction
on a new natural gas-to-chemicals facility in Bandar
Abbas, Hormozgan Province, Iran, according to the Financial
Tribune.
The project is expected to result in the production of
high-density polyethylene, propylene, C3+ and C4+. Cost
of the facility and an expected completion date were not
given. The products will be exported to Asia and Europe.

 

Fusion Fuel Joining Moroccan Project To Produce Green Ammonia by ‘26

Rabat—Green
hydrogen technology company Fusion Fuel Green
announced that the Moroccan government has unveiled the
HEVO Ammonia Morocco project, which aims to produce
183,000 tons of green ammonia by 2026.
The project, estimated to cost around $850-million, is
the country’s “largest” announced green hydrogen and
ammonia project to date. Development of the first phase is
expected to begin in 2022, following the completion of a
feasibility study. When fully commissioned, the project is
expected to abate 280,000 t/y of carbon dioxide.
Fusion Fuel and Consolidated Contractors Group (CCC)
are expected to jointly develop the project, with Vitol responsible
for managing the offtake of the ammonia.
It is anticipated that Fusion Fuel will supply its off-grid
solar-to-hydrogen generator, HEVO Solar, that will allow it
to produce the 31,000 t/y of green hydrogen needed for the
project, without emissions. CCC would serve as the general
construction partner.

 

Vopak, Aegis to Form Indian Partnership To Grow LPG & Chem Storage Business

Mumbai—
Vopak and Aegis have decided to form a new partnership
in India with the goal to grow in the liquefied petroleum
gas (LPG) and chemicals storage and handling business.
The partnership, Aegis Vopak Terminals Ltd., will operate
a network of eight terminals in five strategic ports
along the east and west coast of India. It is expected to
become “one of [India’s] largest” independent tank storage
companies for LPG and chemicals, with a total capacity of
around 960,000 cu m, the parties noted.
As part of the transaction, Vopak has agreed to acquire
a 49% stake in Aegis Vopak Terminals. Vopak’s existing
CRL terminal in Kandla will become a wholly-owned subsidiary
of the new partnership.
In addition, Vopak will acquire a 24% interest in
Hindustan Aegis LPG Ltd., currently a joint venture of
Aegis and Itochu. After completion of the transaction, Aegis
will own 51% and Itochu will continue to hold 25%. The
transaction is expected to be finalized early next year, subject
to customary closing conditions.
“This is an investment in a growth market and by joining
forces with Aegis we aim to deliver growth over the
next 10 years, in line with the new joint ventures’ and India’s
ambition for LPG,” said Eelco Hoekstra, chairman of
the executive board and chief executive of Royal Vopak.
“We are very excited for this new partnership. Aegis is
a reputed local partner with a ready organization and
proven track record of conceiving and executing tank farm
assets in strategic locations along the Indian coastline.”

 

SKGC to Construct Korea’s ‘Largest’ Plastics Waste Recycling Facility

Seoul—SK Global
Chemical (SKGC) said its intends to invest a total of 600-
billion won (around $526-million) to set up Korea’s “largest”
waste plastic recycling plant in Ulsan, South Korea.
The facility would utilize pyrolysis and depolymerization
technologies to process 184,000 t/y of waste plastic by
2025, approximately 60% of the country’s total plastic
waste. It also plans to build three additional plants in the
region, increasing total capacity to 400,000 t/y by 2030.
Earlier this year, SKGC and Brightmark signed a
memorandum of understanding to form a partnership that
aims to build a 100,000-t/y plastics renewal facility in Ulsan
by 2024 (PCN, 1 Feb 2021, p 1).
SKGC plans to use the pyrolysis oil produced by the
plant as a raw material in its petrochemical process.

 

Shell Plans Large-Scale CCS Facility To Capture CO2 from Scotford Site

Calgary—Shell
said it plans to build a large-scale carbon capture and storage
(CCS) project that would capture carbon dioxide (CO2)
from its refinery and chemicals plant at its Scotford complex
near Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
The proposed Polaris CCS project, the “largest” in a series
of low-carbon opportunities Shell is exploring at Scotford,
would be a key step in transforming Scotford into one
of five energy and chemical parks for Shell around the
world.
In the initial phase, the project would capture and store
about 750,000 t/y of CO2 from the refinery and chemicals
plant. It would reduce the company’s direct and indirect
emissions (Scopes 1 and 2) by up to 40% from the refinery
and by up to 30% from the chemicals facility. It would also
create up to 2,000 jobs.
The second phase involves the creation of a CO2 storage
hub in Alberta, further decarbonizing Shell’s facilities and
storing emissions on behalf of third-party industry sources.
The project could serve as a CO2 storage hub for over 10-
million t/y of CO2, fully built, conditional on acquiring pore
space leases from the Province of Alberta.
Polaris would have a storage capacity of about 300-
million tons of CO2 over the life of the project. The first
phase is expected to being operations around 2025, subject
to a final investment decision by Shell, which is expected
in 2023.
“Once fully built, Polaris would contribute to the Edmonton
region becoming Canada’s first hydrogen hub,”
Shell noted.
“In the initial phase . . . , CO2 captured from the refinery’s
hydrogen plants would produce blue hydrogen for use
in the refining process, with the potential for large-scale
blue hydrogen production in future phases.
“Shell is also exploring the development of additional
volumes of blue and green hydrogen at Scotford that leverage
Alberta’s abundance of natural gas and availability of
renewable sources of power.”

 

PTTGC to Acquire Allnex from Advent

Brussels—PTT
Global Chemical (PTTGC) has decided to purchase specialty
chemical firm Allnex from Advent International for
an enterprise value of $4.75-billion.
Allnex, originally formed from the combination of Cytec
Coating Resins and Nuplex, has 33 state-of-the-art manufacturing
sites in 18 countries, 23 research and technology
facilities, and about 4,000 employees worldwide.
Piper Sandler & Co. is advising PTTGC on the transaction,
which is expected to be finalized in the fourth quarter
of this year, subject to regulatory approvals.

V59 N27 – 12 July 2021

Jiangsu Fenghai Chooses LyondellBasell To Supply Processes for Polyolefin Unit

Beijing—
LyondellBasell announced it has been selected by Jiangsu
Fenghai High-tech Materials Co. to supply the technologies
for a polyolefin project to be built in Lianyungang, Jiangsu,
China.
The new facility will include the production of 400,000-
t/y polypropylene, based on LyondellBasell’s Spheripol
technology, and 300,000 t/y of high-density polyethylene
using its Hostalen ACP process. Cost of the project and a
completion date were not available.
“We are delighted that Jiangsu Fenghai has awarded
LyondellBasell these substantial licenses for their first
polyolefin project,” noted Neil Nadalin, director of licensing
at LyondellBasell.
“Jiangsu Fenghai’s technology selection will enable
them to produce benchmark polypropylene and highdensity
polyethylene products using LyondellBasell’s
Spheripol and Hostalen ACP low pressure processes.
These products continue to be in high demand in China.”

 

Red Sea Lets Worley Services Contract For Egyptian Petrochemicals Project

Cairo—Worley
said it has received a services contract from Red Sea National
Refining and Petrochemicals Co. for a greenfield integrated
refinery and petrochemicals complex in the Suez
Canal Economic Zone in Egypt (PCN, 3 May 2021, p 2).
The project will convert around 4-million t/y of crude oil
into refined products and petrochemicals, including jet
fuel, low sulfur fuel oil, polyethylene, paraxylene and
monoethylene glycol.
Under the contract, Worley will provide project management
consultancy services for the early front-end engineering
design, front-end engineering design, and the detailed
engineering, procurement and construction phases.
PCN earlier this year reported that the project would
cost around $7.5-billion and meet the country’s domestic
needs.

 

Commission OKs Standard Industries’ Proposed Acquisition of W.R. Grace

Brussels—The
European Commission (EC), under the European Union
Merger Regulation, has approved the acquisition of W.R.
Grace & Co. by Standard Industries for approximately $7-
billion (PCN, 3 May 2021, p 1).
The commission concluded that the proposed acquisition
would raise no competition concerns, given the absence
of horizontal overlaps and vertical links between the
activities of Grace and Standard.
The transaction, expected to be finalized in the fourth
quarter of this year, is subject to customary closing conditions,
including approval by Grace shareholders.
Once the sale is complete, Grace will become a privately-
held company and its common stock will no longer
be listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

 

Repsol Building Two New Polymer Plants At Sines Industrial Complex in Portugal

Sines—
Repsol announced it is investing €657-million to construct
two new plants of high value-added, 100% recyclable polymeric
materials at is Sines Industrial Complex in Portugal.
Expected to be operational by 2025, the project will include
a 300,000-t/y linear polyethylene plant and a
300,000-t/y polypropylene unit, each based on “marketleading”
technologies, as well as new logistics facilities and
possible rail transport.
The project will make the Sines Industrial Complex
“one of the most” advanced in Europe due to its flexibility,
high degree of integration and competitiveness.
“This investment in the Sines Industrial Complex will
increase the synergies of the company’s industrial business,
which already operates with a high degree of logistic
and commercial integration and a highly efficient and
flexible joint operation,” said the company.
“It also contributes to Repsol’s goal of having a more integrated
and diversified petrochemical industry, with
higher value-added products.”

 

Tecnimont Consortium Wins EPCC Work For IndianOil’s New PP Plant at Barauni

Barauni—A
consortium comprised of Tecnimont and Tecnimont Pvt.
Ltd., subsidiaries of Maire Tecnimont, has been awarded
an engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning
(EPCC) contract by Indian Oil Corp. (IndianOil) for
a new polypropylene (PP) unit and related product logistics
facilities in Barauni, Bihar, India.
The PP plant, part of IndianOil’s Barauni Refinery capacity
expansion project, will have a production capacity of
200,000 t/y. Mechanical completion is expected in 30
months.
IndianOil’s Barauni expansion project involves the installation
of large grassroots units, as well as revamps and
upgrades to increase the capacities of existing units.
The overall value of the contract is approximately 170-
million.

 

JG Summit Achieves On-Spec Production At New Aromatics Units in Batangas

Batangas—JG
Summit recently achieved on-spec aromatics production at
its new aromatics units in Batangas, the Philippines, reported
Argus Media.
The facility, currently running at full capacity, can produce
up to 90,000 t/y of benzene, 50,000 t/y of toluene and
30,000 t/y of mixed xylenes (PCN, 4 May 2020, p 2).
JG Summit now plans to start up a new 700,000-t/y butadiene
plant this month with 110,000 t/y of raffinate-1
production. On-spec production is expected by next month.
Last month, the company achieved on-spec production
at its newly expanded 300,000-t/y polypropylene plant.
The projects were initially expected to start up in June
2020, but were delayed due to COVID-19 lockdowns.

 

Evonik Inaugurates New PA12 Complex At Marl Chemical Park in Germany

Marl—Evonik
announced it has inaugurated the “world’s largest” polyamide
12 (PA12) complex at the Marl Chemical Park in Germany,
and construction is “virtually” complete (PCN, 16
Nov 2020, p 2).
The project, which required an investment of around
€500-million, will increase PA12 capacity at the site by
more than 50%. Full start-up is scheduled for the fourth
quarter of 2021.
“Evonik’s decision to build its new polyamide 12 complex
here is further strong evidence of the attractiveness of
our federal state,” said Armin Laschet, Minister President
of the federal state of North-Rhine Westphalia.
“Politicians have to make sure that economic policy
provides the right conditions. If we, as the state government,
had not started to dismantle unnecessary and restrictive
regulations and free up the economy as soon as we
took office, this facility might now be in Asia.
“To make Germany climate-neutral, yet ensure it remains
an industrial hub, we need a decade of modernization,
in which we reduce bureaucracy and speed up our
planning and permitting processes.”

 

Denka Finalized Construction of Plant To Increase MS Capacity in Singapore

Singapore—
Denka has completed the revamp of its Seraya polystyrene
(PS) production facility in Singapore to produce methyl
methacrylate styrene copolymer (MS resin) to meet growing
demand (PCN, 16 Sept 2019, p 2).
The project, which cost around ¥2.7-billion, doubles
Denka’s production capacity of MS resin to around 140,000
t/y from approximately 70,000 t/y.
Denka announced in 2019 that it would suspend PS
production at the plant and renovate the units to produce
MS styrene. PS sales were halted at the end of 2019.

 

Chevron Phillips Chemical Joins Cyclyx As Founding Member of the Company

Portsmouth—
Cyclyx International, a consortium-based feedstock management
company, announced that Chevron Phillips
Chemical Co. (CPChem) has joined Cyclyx as a founding
member.
CPChem will contribute to Cyclyx’s ongoing efforts to
build and enhance its programs by having Dr. Ron Abbott,
CPChem’s sustainability technology manager, serve on the
Cyclyx executive advisory board.
“We couldn’t be happier to have CPChem join Cyclyx as
a founding member and to welcome Dr. Abbott to the executive
advisory board,” noted Cyclyx Chief Executive Joe
Vaillancourt. “As a company committed to advancing solutions
for a sustainable future, CPChem is a valuable participant
in our mission to help increase plastic recycling
rates from 10% to 90%.”

 

Lotte Chem to Upgrade Two Facilities To Increase Use of LPG for Ethylene

Seoul—Lotte
Chemical is planning to spend about $140-million to revamp
its ethylene plants in Daesan and Yeosu, South Korea,
to increase the use of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG)
for ethylene production, according to several local media
reports.
The facilities, which currently use naphtha for ethylene
production, produce a combined total of approximately 2.3-
million t/y of ethylene.
The company is implementing the project to reduce carbon
emissions and enhance the competitiveness of its core
business, noted BusinessKorea.
“Currently, LPG accounts for 20% of Lotte Chemical’s
ethylene production,” said the report. “The company plans
to raise this share to 40% by the end of 2022 and expand it
to up to 50% in the future to diversify its raw materials.”

 

TotalEnergies to Provide Jindal Films With Certified Circular Polypropylene

Paris—Total-
Energies and Jindal Films have entered into a partnership
in which TotalEnergies will supply Jindal with certified
circular polypropylene (PP) produced from post-consumer
plastic waste.
The certified circular polymers will be converted by
Jindal into certified sustainable biaxially oriented PP
films, without any compromise on the final films’ properties,
their food contact approvals, and their further recyclability.
In 2023, TotalEnergies, in partnership with Plastic Energy,
will start up France’s “first” advanced recycling industrial
plant on its future zero-crude platform in Grandpuits
(PCN, 28 Sept 2020, p 4).
With a processing capacity of 15,000 tons of plastic
waste, the facility will produce a recycled oil (Tacoil)
through a pyrolysis process. The Tacoil will then be used
as feedstock in the production of virgin-like polymers at
TotalEnergies’ multiple ISCC PLUS petrochemical sites in
Europe, thus making the full product portfolio available as
Certified Circular Polymers, TotalEnergies noted.

 

People on the Move

Saudi Industrial Investment Group—The board of
directors has appointed Khalil Ibrahim Alwatban as a
chairman and Nabil Abdullah Almubarak as a vice chairman
of the board of directors.
Vynova Group—Christophe Andre, who has been serving
as executive vice president of advanced materials at
Arkema and member of Arkema’s executive committee, has
been named president of Vynova Group, effective 1 Sept.
2021. He will replace Stefan Sommer, who will become
chairman of the supervisory board of Vynova Holding.
Lanxess—Seung Young Cho has become country representative
for South Korea. He succeeds JeWoong Ko, who
has retired.
PlasticsEurope—Jean-Yves Daclin, most recently
with TotalEnergies, has become general manager of PlasticsEurope
France, effective 1 July 2021, replacing Eric
Quenet.

 

Olin Inks Deal with Ashta Chemicals To Purchase & Sell Ashta’s Chlorine

Ashtabula—Olin
Corp. has entered into an agreement with Ashta Chemicals
to purchase and sell the chlorine produced at Ashta’s facility
in Ashtabula, Ohio.
“This agreement provides the opportunity to optimize
logistics across the Olin and Ashta portfolio, reducing the
number of miles chlorine travels to get to customers and
overall transportation costs, while increasing the security
and flexibility of supply within the growing Olin network,”
said Damian Gumpel, vice president and president, Chlor
Alkali Products & Vinyls.
“Olin has unmatched expertise in the safe and efficient
delivery of chlorine.”
Existing contracts will be honored for chlorine customers
of both companies.

 

TotalEnergies Launches e-CO2Met Project With Sunfire and Fraunhofer in Leuna

Leuna—
TotalEnergies has launched the e-CO2Met Project with
electrolyzer manufacturer Sunfire, the Fraunhofer Center
for Chemical-Biotechnological Processes CBP, and the
Fraunhofer Institute for Microstructure of Materials and
Systems IMWS at the Hydrogen Lab Leuna in Germany.
The project aims to test the combination of three innovative
processes—the use of carbon dioxide (CO2) from
TotalEnergies Raffinerie Mitteldeutschland in Leuna, the
use of green hydrogen produced by high-temperature electrolysis,
and the subsequent methanol synthesis on the
Hy2Chem scaling platform.
Sunfire’s 1-mw high-temperature electrolyzer’s efficiency
of over 80% for producing green hydrogen from renewable
electricity and water vapor is “far higher” than
that of conventional electrolyzers, noted TechnipEnergies.
As a result, the system requires “significantly” less electricity
to produce one kilogram of hydrogen.
The green hydrogen obtained from electrolysis and
highly concentrated CO2 from the refinery’s production
processes will be converted into green methanol at a pilot
plant planned by TotalEnergies and Fraunhofer CBP in
the new Fraunhofer Hydrogen Lab at the Leuna Chemical
Park. The pilot plant is the first project of the Hy2Chem
scaling platform.
“With the Hy2Chem platform, we can test the use of regeneratively
produced hydrogen for the production of feedstock
chemicals and fuels in sustainable synthesis processes
on a large scale for the first time – even under the
conditions of a fluctuating hydrogen stream,” explained Dr.
Ulrike Junghans, responsible for coordinating the project
at CBP.
TotalEnergies currently produces around 700,000 t/y of
methanol based on fossil raw materials at the refinery in
Leuna, making it the “largest” methanol producer in
Europe, the company noted.
“TotalEnergies R&D program on carbon capture and
utilization is developing approaches for the economically
viable reuse of CO2, which is in line with the climate ambition
of the company,” said Marie-Noelle Semeria, chief
technology officer at TechnipEnergies.
“e-CO2Met is the first pilot project for TotalEnergies to
convert CO2 with renewable electric energy to methanol.
Whilst this methanol can be considered itself an e-fuel, it
can importantly be used as a platform in a further upgrading
to products, including sustainable aviation fuels.”

 

Nippon Shokubai Obtains ISCC PLUS For Bio-Based SAP Produced by NSE

Antwerp—
Nippon Shokubai announced it has obtained ISCC (International
Sustainability and Carbon Certification) PLUS
certification for superabsorbent polymers (SAP) produced
by its Nippon Shokubai Europe (NSE) subsidiary in Antwerp,
Belgium, with the aim of achieving carbon neutrality
by 2050.
NSE recently obtained ISCC PLUS certification for the
production of SAP utilizing acrylic acid produced from biomass-
derived propylene. It will develop a system to respond
to customers’ requests for the bio-based SAP.
“The quality of bio-based SAP will contribute to the reduction
of CO2 emissions throughout the product life cycle,”
the company noted.
In addition to bio-based SAP, Nippon Shokubai is engaged
in the research and development of sustainable SAP
that helps reduce environmental impact, such as biodegradable
SAP and recycled SAP, which is separated from
used disposable diapers and restored to nearly the same
level of functionality as new ones.

 

Sasol and IDC Finalize MoC to Co-Develop South Africa’s Green Hydrogen Economy

Pretoria—
Sasol Ltd. and the Industrial Development Corp. of South
Africa (IDC) have formalized a memorandum of cooperation
(MoC) to jointly develop South Africa’s green hydrogen
economy.
Under the MoC, the partners will, among others, collaborate
on a non-exclusive basis in advocating at relevant
international fora for policy frameworks to enable a hydrogen
economy; developing pilot- and commercial-scale hydrogen
projects to pioneer viable and sustainable solutions;
accessing local and international financing options, and
pursuing strategic projects that benefit the country’s energy
transition and economic development goals.
“Green hydrogen provides an exciting opportunity for
the country to create new hydrogen ecosystems and become
a credible exporter of sustainable energy and chemical
products, such as hydrogen, ammonia and sustainable
aviation fuel, while increasing much needed employment
opportunities,” said Priscillah Mabelane, executive vice
president of Sasol’s energy business.
“Our ambition is to lead and co-create South Africa’s
hydrogen ecosystems through strategic partnerships, leveraging
our proprietary [Fischer-Tropsch] technology and
integrated value chain.
“We are delighted to partner with the IDC in jointly
pursuing South Africa’s green hydrogen potential to support
a just energy transition to unlock new value chains to
ignite the country’s economy.”

 

MCC Renaming Singapore Subsidiary

Tokyo—Mitsubishi
Chemical Corp. (MCC) will change the corporate
name of its wholly-owned Mitsubishi Chemical Asia Pacific
Pte. (MCAP) subsidiary in Singapore to Mitsubishi Chemical
Singapore Pte., effective 1 Oct. 2021.
MCAP carries out sales of MCC Group products and
market development. The name change will provide opportunities
for the company to conduct activities that are even
closer to the region and customers, MCC noted.

 

IVL Building New PET Recycling Plant To Reduce Ocean Debris in Indonesia

Jakarta—
Indorama Ventures (IVL) is planning to set up a new facility
to recycle nearly 2-billion polyethylene terephthalate
(PET) bottles a year in Karawang, West Java, Indonesia, to
support the government’s plan to reduce ocean debris.
The facility will recycle 1.92-billion PET plastic bottles
a year, from across Indonesia, and provide the washed and
shredded bottles as PET flake feedstock to produce recycled
resin that is suitable for food contact. Start-up is
scheduled in 2023.
“The Indonesia government’s leadership on waste allows
us to invest in the infrastructure needed,” said D.K.
Agarwal, chief executive of combined PET, IOD and fibers
business at IVL.
“Giving waste an economic value, as feedstock for new
bottles, also drives improvements in waste collection systems.
“By building the infrastructure to recycle postconsumer
PET bottles into new bottles, we are reducing
waste and preserving our oceans. This new recycling facility
will support our shared goal of closed-loop solutions and
clean oceans.”
In 2019, IVL announced it aims to recycle a minimum
of 750,000 t/y of PET, globally, by 2025.

 

ADNOC, Inpex, Jera & JOGMEC Explore Blue Ammonia Production in the UAE

Abu Dhabi—
Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. (ADNOC) has signed a joint
study agreement (JSA) with Japanese firms Inpex and
Jera, and Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corp.
(JOGMEC), a Japanese government agency, to explore the
commercial potential of blue ammonia production in the
United Arab Emirates (UAE).
“For almost five decades, the UAE and Japan have enjoyed
a deep-rooted and successful strategic relationship,
underpinned by long-standing energy partnerships,” noted
UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and
Managing Director and Group Chief Executive of ADNOC
Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber.
“As we increase our focus on the potential of new lower
carbon fuels and navigate the energy transition, the UAE
and ADNOC are keen to build and strengthen our existing
partnerships and seize growth opportunities with Japan
that can help produce more energy with fewer emissions.”
Japan is ADNOC’s “largest” international importer of
oil and gas products with about 25% of its crude oil imported
from the UAE, ADNOC noted.

 

Ineos Styrolution & Samsung Resin Partner To Offer Recycled ABS Grades Across Asia

Seoul—
Ineos Styrolution has collaborated with Samsung Resin to
produce high quality virgin-like acrylonitrile butadiene
styrene (ABS) grades, which are available at commercial
scale across markets in Asia, effective immediately.
Ineos Styrolution will integrate Samsung Resin’s postconsumer
recycled electric and electronic waste into stateof-
the-art recycling ABS formulations.
The two recycled ABS grades, Terluran Eco GP-22
MR50 and Terluran Eco GP-22 MR70, contain between
50% and 70% recycled content.
Ineos Styrolution has been producing and selling both
grades in Europe since 2019 and is now offering the same
products, but locally produced, to its global and regional
customers based in Asia.

 

Metafrax Becomes Metafrax Chemicals

Moscow—
Metafrax has changed its full corporate name to Metafrax
Chemicals Public Joint Stock Co., effective 1 July 2021.
“The name change will not affect the existing contractual
relations with our counterparts and partners in any
way,” noted Vladimir Daut, general director of the company.
“The obligations of the parties under previously
signed contracts will not be amended in connection with
the name change.”

 

PetroChemical News Briefs

Marubeni and Navigator will achieve the “world’s
first” carbon neutral ethylene voyage. The companies will
ensure the voyage is carbon neutral through offsetting the
carbon dioxide emissions from the voyage by investing in
an environmental project in Cambodia designed to reduce
emissions from deforestation and forest degradation. The
ship departed Morgan’s Point, Texas, on 6 July 2021 and is
headed to Antwerp, Belgium.
Agilyx’s Life Cycle Analysis results indicate that the
company’s depolymerization technology saves around 75%
of carbon dioxide emissions compared to the production of
polystyrene from virgin raw materials and incineration.
Toyota Tsusho said the company plans to cut greenhouse
gas (GHG) emissions down to net-zero by 2050,
through the business activities of the group. By 2030,
GHG emissions are expected to be reduced by 50% below
2019 levels.

V59 N26 – 5 July 2021

Reliance Inks Deal to Partner with ADNOC On World-Scale Chem Project in Ruwais

Ruwais—
Reliance Industries Ltd. (RIL) and Abu Dhabi National Oil
Co. (ADNOC) have signed an agreement in which RIL will
join ADNOC in a new world-scale chlor-alkali, ethylene
dichloride and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) production facility
at TA’ZIZ Industrial Chemicals Zone in Ruwais, Abu
Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (PCN, 28 June 2021, p 3).
Under the terms of the agreement, RIL and TA’ZIZ, a
joint venture of ADNOC and ADQ, will build an integrated
plant with the capacity to produce 940,000 t/y of chloralkali,
1.1-million t/y of ethylene dichloride and 360,000 t/y
of PVC. A final investment decision and awards for engineering,
procurement and construction contracts are
planned for 2022.
“We are delighted to attract an investor of Reliance’s
caliber to partner with ADNOC and ADQ in accelerating
growth at TA’ZIZ,” said UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced
Technology and ADNOC Managing Director and
Group Chief Executive Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber.
“This agreement is a significant milestone, as we continue
to grow a globally competitive industrial ecosystem
and highly attractive investor value proposition.
“In line with our 2030 strategy, we look forward to creating
further opportunities across the entire TA’ZIZ ecosystem
for the next generation of local industry. The domestic
production of critical industrial raw materials
strengthens our supply chains, drives In-Country Value
and accelerates the UAE’s economic diversification.”

 

IndianOil Gets Initial Approval to Build India’s ‘First’ SM Facility at Panipat

Panipat—Indian
Oil Corp. (IndianOil) has received stage-1 approval from its
board of directors to set up India’s “first” styrene monomer
(SM) plant at the company’s Panipat refinery and petrochemical
complex in Haryana, India.
The proposed project, estimated to cost Rs 4,495 crore,
would include the production of 387,000 t/y of SM by 2026-
2027, reducing India’s dependence on imports of the product.
Earlier this year, IndianOil received approval for its
planned Panipat refinery expansion project, which will increase
refining capacity to 25-million t/y from 15-million t/y
currently.
As part of the Rs 32,946 crore expansion project, a new
2.5-million-t/y high severity fluidized catalytic cracking
unit, based on the company’s Indmax technology, would be
set up to allow the company to manufacture basic petrochemical
blocks – propylene and ethylene.

 

Shell Starts Up Europe’s ‘Largest’ Green Hydrogen Production Unit

Cologne—Shell announced
the successful start-up of Europe’s “largest” green
hydrogen production facility at its Energy and Chemicals
Park Rheinland, near Cologne, Germany.
The new 10-megawatt PEM (polymer electrolyte membrane)
hydrogen electrolyzer uses renewable electricity to
produce up to 1,300 t/y of green hydrogen.
Plans are under way to expand capacity of the electrolyzer
to 100 megawatts at the site, where it also intends to
produce sustainable aviation fuel using renewable power
and biomass in the future. A plant for liquefied renewable
natural gas is also in development.
“Shell wants to become a leading supplier of green hydrogen
for industrial and transport customers in Germany,”
said Shell Downstream Director Huibert Vigeveno.
“We will be involved in the whole process—from power
generation, using offshore wind, to hydrogen production
and distribution across sectors. We want to be the partner
of choice for our customers as we help them decarbonize.”

 

Maersk, King Abdullah Port to Establish New Petrochemical Hub in Saudi Arabia

Riyadh—
Maersk Saudi Arabia and King Abdullah Port have entered
into a strategic partnership to set up Maersk’s first
petrochemical hub in Saudi Arabia to provide logistics services
to local petrochemical exporters.
Maersk Integrated Logistics Hub, to be located at the
King Abdullah Port in King Abdullah Economic City, will
enhance the Kingdom’s logistics capabilities by adding
state-of-the-art services and technologies to the port’s offering.
The hub will serve as the focal supply chain solution,
mainly for Saudi Arabia’s petrochemical exporters, through
the large space allocated for handling and storing cargo. It
will also enable pallet handling, stuffing and shuttling.
Cost of the project and a completion date were not
available.

 

Clariant and India Glycols Establish JV For Renewable EO Derivatives in India

Kashipur—
Clariant and India Glycols Ltd. (IGL) have completed the
formation of a new joint venture, Clariant IGL Specialty
Chemicals Pvt. Ltd., for renewable ethylene oxide (EO)
derivatives in India (PCN, 15 Mar 2021, p 2).
The joint venture, owned 51% by Clariant and 49% by
IGL, combines IGL’s renewable bio-EO derivatives business,
which includes a multipurpose production plant and
an alkoxylation unit in Kashipur, Uttarakhand, India, with
Clariant’s local Industrial and Consumer Specialties business
in India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal.
Clariant IGL Specialty Chemicals will be led by Nitin
Sharma, currently head of Clariant’s Industrial and Consumer
Specialties business in South Asia. U.S. Bhartia,
chairman of IGL, will serve as chairman of the joint venture.

 

Rohm Begins Construction on MMA Plant At OQ Chemicals Site on U.S. Gulf Coast

Houston—
Rohm announced the start of detail engineering and construction
of a new methyl methacrylate (MMA) production
facility at OQ Chemicals’ site in Bay City, Texas, on the
U.S. Gulf Coast (PCN, 8 Mat 2021, p 1).
The 250,000-t/y MMA plant will be the “first of its kind”
to utilize Rohm’s LiMA technology on a large industrial
scale, Rohm noted. Mechanical completion is expected in
2023. Value of the project was not disclosed.
The newly developed LiMA technology enables a high
yield with low energy consumption and reduced wastewater
volumes.
Wood is responsible for the engineering, procurement
and construction services for the project.
“The LiMA project significantly strengthens Rohm’s position
in the MMA market,” said Ron Ayles, managing
partner at Advent International, financial sponsor of the
project.
“At the same time, this groundbreaking technology sets
new standards for using resources efficiently and for making
notable reductions in its environmental impact.”

 

ExxonMobil Enters Definitive Agreement To Sell Santoprene Business to Celanese

Irving—
ExxonMobil Chemical has signed a definitive agreement to
divest its global Santoprene thermoplastic vulcanizates
(TPV) elastomers business to Celanese for $1.15-billion.
The sale includes two facilities in Pensacola, Fla., and
Newport, Wales, UK, with over 190,000 t/y of production
capacity; Santoprene, Dytron and Geolast trademarks and
product portfolios; all customer and supplier contracts and
agreements; comprehensive TPV intellectual property portfolio
with associated technical and research and development
assets; and about 350 employees.
Subject to regulatory, information and consultation
processes, and third-party approvals, the transaction is
scheduled to close in the fourth quarter of this year.
“Reaching this agreement with Celanese is consistent
with our strategy and allows us to focus on serving the
growing market for primary olefin derivatives, where we
can leverage our competitive advantages of industry leading
scale, integration and proprietary technology,” said
Jack Williams, senior vice president of Exxon Mobil Corp.
“This transaction represents a high-return opportunity
to drive future shareholder value by deploying our excess
cash from the monetization of our passive ownership in
Polyplastics and continued strong cash generation in our
businesses,” noted Celanese Chairman and Chief Executive
Lori Ryerkerk.
“We are eager to welcome the Santoprene team to
Celanese and look forward to their contributions to our
continued growth in Engineered Materials.”

 

Lotte Chem Boosting ABS Production; EPS Production to be Discontinued

Seoul—Lotte
Chemical plans to discontinue expanded polystyrene (EPS)
production and convert the EPS facilities in South Korea to
produce acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) instead, according
to a report from BusinessKorea.
The company currently produces 670,000 t/y of ABS.
By 2023, Lotte will have a total ABS production capacity of
760,000 t/y. Cost of the project was not disclosed.

 

Enterprise Products Subsidiary Acquires Nova Chem’s Ethylene Storage Business

Houston—A
subsidiary of Enterprise Products Partners has purchased
an ethylene storage business and trading hub in Mont Belvieu,
Texas, from a wholly-owned subsidiary of Nova
Chemicals.
“The acquisition, which gives Enterprise ownership of
the largest ethylene market hub in Texas since it was established
in 2001, will complement Enterprise’s own growing
ethylene network in the region,” said Chris D’Anna,
senior vice president of petrochemicals of Enterprise’s general
partner.
“The combined system offers multiple benefits for producers,
consumers and traders, such as increased physical
connectivity, greater market liquidity and pricing transparency,
as well as improved access to Enterprise’s ethylene
midstream services, including our export terminal and
growing Gulf Coast pipeline system.”
Selling the Mont Belvieu ethylene storage business allows
Nova to focus on its core business of ethylene and
polyethylene production, noted John Thayer, senior vice
president of sales and marketing for Nova Chemicals.Value of the transaction was not given.

 

Yisheng Shutters Aging PTA Plant

Ningbo—Zhejiang
Yisheng Petrochemical Co. has permanently shut down its
oldest purified terephthalic acid (PTA) unit at its site in
Ningbo, Zhejiang Province, China, Argus Media reported.
The 650,000-t/y PTA line was closed because of “weak
production margins,” due to a considerable expansion of
PTA capacity in China over the past two years, said the
report citing Yisheng.
The company expects to start up a new 3-million-t/y
PTA production line at the site early this month.

 

Nouryon Concludes Nobian Spin-Out

Amsterdam—
Nouryon announced the completion of the spin-out of its
base chemicals business, Nobian, into a separate company
remaining under the ownership of The Carlyle Group and
GIC, Nouryon’s equity owners (PCN, 10 May 2021, p 4).
“This is an important milestone, positioning Nouryon as
a global specialty chemicals leader,” said Charlie Shaver,
chairman and chief executive of Nouryon and chairman of
Nobian. “Our focused strategy will allow Nouryon to grow
and exceed our customers’ expectations by delivering innovative
and sustainable solutions that answer society’s
needs.”
Nouryon will continue to provide transitional support
services to Nobian across multiple functional areas.

 

People on the Move

Encina Development Group—Aaron Domingo has
joined the company as managing director of Asia. He was
most recently senior adviser and chief representative at
Rothschild Global Financial Advisory.
Elkem ASA—Helge Aasen has been appointed interim
chief executive, while the company finds a successor for
Michael Koenig, who has left the company. The company
has initiated a succession process. Aasen is also a board
member of the company.

 

Dow Touts Series of Expansion Projects Aligned to Fast-Growing End-Markets

Midland—Dow
announced a series of incremental, high-return capacity
expansions to support rising demand across key endmarkets.
In the Consumer Solutions business, Dow will boost capacity
of silicone elastomers and thermally conductive materials;
silicone polymers and sealants; silicone engineered
materials and pressure sensitive adhesives, and cationic
hydroxyethylcellulose polymers and polyethylene glycols.
The projects are planned to start up, globally, throughout
this year.
Also, in the Polyurethanes & Construction Chemicals
business, Dow plans to increase propylene glycol capacity
at its existing facility in Map Ta Phut, Thailand, by 80,000
t/y to a total capacity of 250,000 t/y. Once complete, the
plant will be the “largest of its kind” in Asia Pacific, Dow
noted. Operations are scheduled to begin in 2024.

 

Frost & Sullivan Selects SABIC for ‘21 ‘Global Company of the Year’ Award

San Antonio—
SABIC has been named “Global Company of the Year” by
consulting and research firm Frost & Sullivan, as part of
its 2021 Best Practices Recognition Program.
SABIC was awarded the title based on Frost & Sullivan’s
recent analysis of the global market for sustainability
and the circular economy of used plastics recycling and
resource recovery.
The award recognizes SABIC’s efforts in driving forward
the development of a circular economy for used plastics
and its commitment to innovation and technology.
“SABIC’s Trucircle portfolio and services have found
significant adoption among businesses looking for commercially
and environmentally viable solutions,” noted Riana
Barnard, best practices research analyst.
“With its deep commitment to innovation and technology,
bolstered by pioneering partnerships and leadership
excellence, SABIC is all set to continue leading the global
market for more sustainable material solutions.”

 

Repsol, Tecnicas Reunidas Reach Agreement To Develop Decarbonization Technologies

Madrid—
Repsol and Tecnicas Reunidas have signed a strategic
agreement to co-develop technologies to produce bio-based
polymers and biofuels from agricultural and agri-food
waste.
The partners will also develop a new process for the
production of circular materials from used plastics, which
will be tested in one of Repsol’s industrial complexes.
Another project to be carried out by the two companies
involves optimizing the energy efficiency of industrial complexes
through the recovery of residual heat. The technology
will be implemented at the A Coruna Industrial Complex
in Spain.
Finally, the partners will share their knowledge, experience
and research and development resources with
other companies in the industrial sector. Small- and medium-
sized enterprises will be the main target.
This agreement is another step in Repsol’s industrial
transformation process to achieve net zero emissions by
2050.

 

Iran’s PGPIC Begins Construction On ‘Mega’ Petrochemical Complex

Tehran—Persian
Gulf Petrochemical Industries Co. (PGPIC) of Iran has
started construction on the first phase of a “mega” petrochemical
complex in the Mahshahr Petrochemical Special
Economic Zone in Iran, Shana reported.
The first phase will involve construction of a facility for
the production of “1.26 tons” of ethylene and “420,000 tons”
of propylene, as well as relevant storage tanks and cooling
towers.
In the second phase, the company will build two highdensity
polyethylene (PE) plants, and units for the production
of linear low-density PE, polypropylene, monoethylene
glycol and butadiene. An expected completion date was not
available.
“Persian Gulf Holding, while making serious efforts to
complete previous projects, feels a responsibility to begin
new large-scale projects for developing the petrochemical
industry,” said the report citing PGPIC Managing Director
Jafar Rabiei.

 

LyondellBasell Buys PolyPacific Polymers; Exiting 50-50 Australian JV with Mirlex

Houston—
LyondellBasell announced it has acquired 100% of Poly-
Pacific Polymers Sdn. Bhd. (PPM) for an undisclosed
amount.
Located in Port Klang, Malaysia, PPM has a 25,000-t/y
manufacturing facility for reinforced and modified polyolefin
compounds.
Upon completion of the transaction, the plant will undergo
a rebranding and name change, and its employees
will become LyondellBasell employees. PPM will continue
to produce and supply the ongoing business products to its
customers.
In conjunction with the acquisition, LyondellBasell has
decided to exit PolyPlastic Pty. Ltd., a 50-50 Australian
compounding joint venture with Mirlex Pty. Ltd., making
Mirlex sole owner. No other details were available.

 

Maire Tecnimont, FerSam to Implement Green NH3 and Bio-Ethanol Projects

Milan—Next-
Chem and MET Development, subsidiaries of Maire Tecnimont
Group, have reached an agreement with FerSam
Uruguay, part of FerSam Group, to develop projects in
Latin America for the production of green ammonia (NH3)
and bio-ethanol.
Under the agreement, the partners will undertake feasibility
studies for two projects. The first project is to
evaluate and assess the possibility of jointly producing
green NH3.
The companies have also decided to develop a secondgeneration
bio-ethanol project, based on GranBio’s new 2G
ethanol technology in NextChem’s portfolio. The technology
produces the ethanol from non-food biomass, such as
agricultural residues.
Maire Tecnimont Group will supply technological solutions
and know-how in terms of project development, design
and engineering, and execution to the partnership,
combined with its portfolio of technologies.
FerSam will secure the biomass feedstock and energy
sources for the projects, as well as provide regulatory expertise.
Cost of the projects and schedules were not given.

 

Samsung and Baker Hughes to Partner On New CCUS & Hydrogen Projects

Houston—
Samsung Engineering and Baker Hughes announced they
will collaborate on low- to zero-carbon projects utilizing
carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) and hydrogen
technologies.
As part of the partnership, the parties will identify joint
business development opportunities for energy and industrial
customers to help reduce their emissions.
Baker Hughes will contribute compression and NovaLT
gas turbine technology for hydrogen, and for CCUS it will
supply flexible pipes for transportation; reservoir studies,
well construction services, flexible pipes, condition monitoring
solutions, and certain auxiliary solutions, such as
carbon dioxide compressions and liquefaction for key industrial
assets.
Samsung plans to provide engineering, procurement
and construction expertise for offering and deploying solutions
for projects across petrochemical plants, refineries,
and “cutting-edge” industrial and environmental facilities,
including water treatment and air pollution prevention
applications, the companies noted.
The companies will initially focus on projects with key
Korean customers, and will also consider expansion to
other customers or regions where there are opportunities.

IGP Converting Methanol Facilities For Production of ‘Blue Methanol’

Plaquemine—IGP
Methanol said it is upgrading its world-scale methanol
plants in Myrtle Grove, La., to produce “blue methanol” to
meet “rapidly growing and unmet global demand” for ultra
low-carbon methanol.
The new design will utilize Haldor Topsoe’s Blue
Methanol technology, which uses hydrogen for heat, so
mostly water vapor, not carbon dioxide (CO2), escapes in
its exhaust, leaving no need for carbon capture.
“Our Gulf Coast Methanol Park design was already the
global leader in ultra low emissions,” noted James
Lamoureaux, chairman and co-founder of IGP. “Adopting
our partner, Haldor Topsoe’s, Blue Methanol technology
allows us to build a near-zero emission, hydrogen-fueled
methanol plant.
“This changes the game for world-scale methanol from
this point forward. Combining these two approaches
represents one of the most promising solutions for decarbonizing
our industrial segment and is a powerful tool to
minimize or eliminate CO2.”

 

Borealis Acquires 10% Interest in Renasci; Will Jointly Develop Recycling Solutions

Brussels—
Borealis announced it has purchased a 10% interest in Renasci,
creator of the circular Smart Chain Processing (SCP)
concept, and will partner with Renasci to evolve and scale
up the SCP technology.
The SCP concept is a proprietary method of maximizing
material recovery in order to achieve zero waste. It enables
the processing of multiple waste streams using different
technologies – all under one roof.
Renasci has a new facility in Oostende, Belgium, where
mixed plastic is automatically selected and sorted multiple
times. It is then mechanically recycled, and in a second
step any remaining material is chemically recycled into
circular pyrolysis oil and lighter product fractions, which
are used to fuel the process.
Other types of sorted waste, such as metals and organic
refuse, are further processed using other technologies.
Only 5% of the original waste remains, Borealis explained,
noting that it intends to purchase the mechanically recycled
material from the Oostende facility.
The partners plan to develop future facilities, which
would source feedstock entirely from household waste.
Borealis recently agreed to source about 20,000 t/y of
circular pyrolysis oil from Renasci’s Oostende plant (PCN,
21 June 2021, p 4).

 

PetroChemical News Briefs

Nizhnekamskneftekhim intends to construct a new
400,000-t/y polypropylene production plant in Tatarstan,
Russia, in the “near future,” according to local media reports.
The tender has already been issued and bids have
been received from companies in Europe, Korea, Japan and
China to implement the project.
Mitsubishi Chemical has signed an agreement to license
a patent for biomass-based polyester to Kuraray.
The products covered under the license include polyethylene
terephthalate. Compared to conventional, petroleumderived
products, biomass-based polyester can be expected
to facilitate the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
Sibur launched Vivilen brand of products containing
recycled waste. The brand manufactures polyethylene and
polypropylene utilizing partners’ capacities. At this stage,
the average share of recycled polymers in the Vivilen solutions
will account for about 25% of the end product depending
on its type.
Toray has opened its new Resins Technical Center
near Munich, Germany. The facility will support Toray
Resins Europe GmbH, which markets and sells high performance
resin compounds, and will support customer application
development.

V59 N25 – 28 June 2021

Air Liquide Completes Buy of ‘Biggest’ Oxygen Production Site in the World

Secunda—Air
Liquide said it has finalized the acquisition of the “biggest”
oxygen production site in the world from Sasol in Secunda,
South Africa, for an undisclosed amount (PCN, 21 June
2021, p 1).
Air Liquide Large Industries South Africa will operate
the site, which includes 16 air separation units (ASUs)
with a total installed capacity of 42,000 t/d.
Since 2018, Air Liquide has been operating a 17th ASU
for Sasol at the site, with a total production capacity of
5,000 t/d. The 16 ASUs acquired from Sasol have been
integrated into Air Liquide’s accounts.
Air Liquide recently announced plans to launch a multiyear
project to modernize the facilities at the site at an
initial investment of around €480-million. It expects to
reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 30% to 40% within the
next 10 years.
The companies have launched a Request for Proposal to
pursue the supply of 60 megawatts of renewable energy to
the Secunda operations by 2025.

 

Kumho Petrochem to Acquire 50% Interest Held by JSR in Its Kumho Polychem JV

Seoul—
Kumho Petrochemical recently agreed to purchase the 50%
stake of Kumho Polychem held by its joint venture partner,
JSR, making Kumho Petrochemical the sole owner from
July 2021 onward.
Kumho Polychem, established in 1985, has a production
capacity of 220,000 t/y of ethylene propylene diene monomer
(EPDM). It also produces thermoplastic vulcanizate,
and other materials used in automotive and other industries.
Value of the transaction was not disclosed.
“This decision was made to enhance the group’s competitiveness
as a whole, based on the competence that
Kumho Petrochemical has built in the synthetic rubber
industry over the years,” Kumho Petrochemical noted.
“Kumho Petrochemical will strive to elevate Kumho
Polychem’s corporate value through a more rapid and more
organic decision making.”

 

Repsol, Axens and IFPEN Develop Process To Increase Circular Materials Production

Madrid—
Repsol, Axens and IFPEN have partnered to develop Rewind
Mix, a patented process to enhance the chemical recycling
of plastic waste and boost circular materials production.
The process, developed at the Repsol Technology lab
and IFPEN facilities, purifies plastics pyrolysis oils, allowing
the direct and undiluted processing in existing petrochemical
plants for the production of circular plastics.
Following extensive pilot testing, the partners will now
study the first industrial application in a Repsol facility,
while Axens will commercialize the technology through
licensing.

 

CPChem Awards E&C Contract to S&B To Build 1-Hexene Unit in Old Ocean

Houston—S&B
Engineers and Constructors (S&B) has won an engineering
and construction (E&C) contract from ChevronPhillips
Chemical Co. (CPChem) to build a new world-scale 1-
hexene unit in Old Ocean, Texas (PCN, 31 May 2021, p 1).
The plant, to be located near CPChem’s Sweeny facility,
will utilize the company’s latest on-purpose technology to
produce up to 266,000 t/y of 1-hexene. It will increase
CPChem’s total 1-hexene capacity in the U.S. to about
650,000 t/y.
Construction will start during the third quarter of this
year, with start-up scheduled for 2023. Value of the contract
was not disclosed.
S&B completed CPChem’s first 1-hexene in the U.S. in
2014 at the Cedar Bayou plant in Baytown, Texas.

 

Vopak Gets Contract for Terminal to Serve ExxonMobil’s Huizhou Chemical Complex

Beijing—
Huizhou QuanMei Petrochemical Terminal Co. has
awarded a contract to Vopak for storage and services of a
liquid products terminal that would be constructed and
operated as part of ExxonMobil’s proposed Huizhou chemical
complex project in China (PCN, 19 Apr 2021, p 1).
The complex, to be located in Daya Bay Petrochemical
Park, will include a 1.6-million-t/y flexible feed ethylene
steam cracker, two performance polyethylene lines and two
differentiated performance polypropylene lines. The project
was earlier scheduled to start up in 2023.
The new 560,000 cu m terminal would serve the steam
cracker, and would include pipelines to connect a jetty to
the chemical complex, which is still subject to a final investment
decision.
Under Vopak’s contract, it would obtain a 30% ownership
interest in the terminal and pipelines. The contract is
subject to customary conditions, including closing of the
transaction and obtaining regulatory approvals.

 

PolyStyreneLoop Recycling Plant Opens To Prove Process to Recycle PS Foam

Terneuzen—
PolyStyreneLoop, a cooperative that includes Synthos and
other industry leaders, has started up a new recycling facility
in Terneuzen, the Netherlands, that was built to
prove the technical and economic feasibility of a largescale,
closed-loop solution for the recycling of EPS (expandable
polystyrene) waste.
The 3,000-t/y plant will utilize an innovative dissolution
technology, CreaSolv, which will turn EPS foam demolition
waste from building and construction insulation into new
high-quality raw material.
“This plant showcases how the EPS industry is always
looking for ways to boost its recycling capabilities,” said
Lein Tange, co-director of PolyStyreneLoop. “The purpose
of this plant is to pave the way for the construction of similar
EPS recycling plants in the rest of Europe.”

 

SKGC to Obtain Equity Interest in Loop; Plan to Partner on Infinite Loop Plants

Montreal—
SK Global Chemical (SKGC) has concluded a strategic
agreement to purchase a 10% equity stake in Loop Industries
for a total consideration of $56.5-million.
As part of the agreement, SKGC is being granted a seat
on Loop’s board of directors. Closing of the transaction is
planned “as soon as practical and no later than 90 days
from announcement,” said Loop. The announcement was
made on 23 June 2021.
The parties also signed a memorandum of understanding
(MoU) to form a joint venture with exclusivity to build
sustainable polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic and
polyester fiber manufacturing facilities throughout Asia.
The plants would utilize Loop’s patented technology
that allows for waste PET plastic and polyester fiber to be
upcycled into virgin-quality PET using low heat and no
added pressure.
Under the MoU, SKGC will own 51% of the joint venture
and Loop will own 49%. Loop will also receive a recurring
annual royalty fee as a percentage of revenue from
each facility for the use of its technology.
“We are delighted to form a strategic partnership with
SK Global Chemical,” said Loop Founder and Chief Executive
Daniel Solomita. “SK Global Chemical is an ideal
strategic partner to accelerate the growth of our company
and the global commercialization of our technology.
“Its scale and sophistication, its global chemicals manufacturing
footprint and a shared vision to create value
through sustainability and innovation make them a valued
partner in our journey to bring our technology to market.”

 

BASF Buying Stake in New Wind Farm To Supply Chem Sites Across Europe

Antwerp—BASF
has signed a contract to purchase a 49.5% interest in Vattenfall’s
planned offshore wind farm, Hollandse Kust Zuid
(HKZ), for the supply of renewable electricity to BASF’s
Antwerp Verbund site and other European chemical sites.
The wind farm, on which construction will start next
month, be the “largest” offshore wind farm in the world
when fully operational, BASF noted. It will have 140 wind
turbines and a total installed capacity of 1.5 gigawatt. The
project is scheduled to become fully operational in 2023.
BASF’s purchase price amounts to €300-million and
takes into account the achieved status of the project. Including
BASF’s contribution to the wind farm construction,
its total commitment amounts to about €1.6-billion. The
transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of
2021, subject to approval by relevant authorities.

 

Novatek Reconfigures Obsky LNG Project To Include NH3, Hydrogen and Methanol

Moscow—
Novatek has decided to revise its proposed Obsky liquefied
natural gas (LNG) project in Russia to produce ammonia,
hydrogen and methanol, reported Reuters citing Obsky
Chief Financial Officer Mark Gyetvay.
The company was expected to make a final investment
decision last year for the LNG project, which was planned
to include the production of nearly 5-million t/y of LNG;
however, the decision was delayed. No other details were
available.

 

Celanese Agrees to Acquire Grupa Azoty’s POM Technology & Sales Agreements

Dallas—
Celanese announced it is purchasing certain technology
and sales agreements relating to the production of polyacetal
(POM) products from Grupa Azoty (PCN, 21 June
2021, p 3).
Earlier this month, Azoty said that its management
board has decided to discontinue its POM business no later
than 31 Aug. 2021. The company stated that the decision
was based on the conclusion that the business would not be
economically viable in the foreseeable future.
Celanese will take over existing Tarnoform contracts in
order to serve Azoty’s customers; as well as certain equipment
in connection with the intellectual property transfer.
The transaction, expected to close in early July 2021, does
not include manufacturing facilities, employees, tangible
assets or sales offices.
“Our engineered materials business is a critical growth
engine for Celanese, and we continue to take the strategic
steps needed, such as this customer and product acquisition,
to fuel the ongoing success of the business,” noted
Tom Kelly, senior vice president, engineered materials at
Celanese.

 

People on the Move

Synthomer—Michael Willome has been appointed
group chief executive, effective 1 Nov. 2021, to succeed Calum
MacLean, who has decided to step down. Willome was
most recently chief executive of Conzzeta (now Bystronic).
Borealis—Wolfram Krenn, currently senior vice president
of Refining & Petrochemical Assets, Europe, at OMV,
has been named executive vice president of Base Chemicals
& Operations, and member of the executive board of
Borealis, effective 1 July 2021. He will replace Martijn van
Koten, who was appointed OMV executive board member
responsible for the Refining Division.
Materia—Cliff Post has been named president and
chief executive, effective 1 July 2021, to succeed Chris
Murphy. Post joined the company in 2015 as vice president
of business development.
Yara—Lars Rosaeg has been appointed executive vice
president of corporate development and deputy chief executive,
effective 1 July 2021. He had been executive vice
president and chief financial officer.
Gevo—Tony Wells, most recently senior vice president
of operations at Benefuel, has become general manager
and site leader of Gevo’s future Net-Zero 1 facility.
NextDecade—Ivan Van der Walt has been appointed
chief operating officer, effective 1 July 2021. He joined the
company in July 2018 as senior vice president, engineering
and construction. Van der Walt will continue to be responsible
for all project management, engineering, construction,
commissioning and operations of the company’s liquefied
natural gas and carbon capture projects.

 

Polystyvert Receives Financial Backing To Support New PS Recycling Facility

Montreal—
Polystyvert announced the closing of a funding round to
facilitate the development of a full-scale polystyrene (PS)
recycling plant (PCN, 8 Feb 2021, p 2).
The new recycling facility will demonstrate the high
level of purity reached with the company’s innovative proprietary
process, which turns post-consumer PS plastic
into new virgin-like PS. No other details of the planned
project were given.
“Thanks to the financial backing from BEWI, as well as
existing investors, we will be able to demonstrate the technological
maturity of the Polystyvert process and to prove
it has the best LCA [life cycle assessment] on the market,”
said Solenne Brouard Gaillot, chief executive of Polystyvert.
“This funding, coupled with BEWI’s expertise, will enable
us to expand our presence and commercialize our
technology in Europe, where the demand for recycled plastic
is increasing the fastest.”
Existing investors include Anges Quebec, Anges Quebec
Capital, Cycle Capital and Quadriam.

 

IFC, Uzbekistan Ink Cooperation Agreement To Modernize Chem, Fertilizer Industries

Tashkent—
International Finance Corp. (IFC), a member of the World
Bank Group, and the Government of Uzbekistan have
signed a new cooperation agreement that aims to generate
investments in Uzbekistan’s chemicals and fertilizers sector
and encourage the adoption of sustainable practices.
“Recently the government of Uzbekistan has initiated
reforms aimed at transforming its chemical and fertilizers
sector,” said Minister of Finance of Uzbekistan Timur Ishmetov.
“The goal is to replace the old chemical and fertilizer
production and distribution systems, promote investments
and create a competitive industry that will provide new
high-skilled jobs and reduce Uzbekistan’s carbon foot
print.”
The country, which has been mainly state-controlled,
has seen underinvestment, industrial inefficiency, and over
consumption of resources, IFC noted. The project aims to
address the inefficiencies by facilitating needed market
transformations, reducing the government’s footprint and
creating a level playing field for international private investors,
it explained.

 

Versalis, Saipem Collaborate to Promote Sustainable Bioethanol Technology

Milan—Eni’s Versalis
and Saipem have signed an agreement to promote,
globally, Versalis’ proprietary Proesa technology for the
production of sustainable bioethanol and chemicals from
lignocellulosic biomass.
Under the agreement, Versalis will manage the commercial
aspects relating to the granting of license rights of
the technology and will provide engineering, assistance
and training services. Saipem will be responsible for all
stages of production plant development, from design to
construction.
In addition, the companies will collaborate with a dedicated
joint team to further developments in the industrial
process.

 

Fertiglobe Agrees to Partner with TA’ZIZ For ADNOC’s Ruwais ‘Blue’ NH3 Project

Abu Dhabi—
TA’ZIZ and Fertiglobe have signed an agreement for Fertiglobe
to join TA’ZIZ as partner in Abu Dhabi National Oil
Co.’s (ADNOC) world-scale “blue” ammonia production project
at the TA’ZIZ industrial ecosystem and chemicals hub
in Ruwais, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (PCN, 31
May 2021, p 4).
The planned facility, which will be the “first” worldscale
blue ammonia plant in the MENA (Middle East and
North Africa) region, will have a capacity of up to 1-million
t/y, ADNOC noted. It will leverage Fertiglobe’s “worldleading”
ammonia capabilities.
The companies will jointly conduct pre-FEED (front-end
engineering design) and FEED activities. A final investment
decision is expected in 2022, with start-up targeted
for 2025.
Fertiglobe is a joint venture of OCI and ADNOC, holding
a 52% stake and 48% stake, respectively. It produces
and exports ammonia and urea.

 

Invista Plans New Asia Innovation Center For Nylon 6,6 Application Development

Shanghai—
Invista Nylon Chemicals (China) Co. plans to establish a
new Asia Innovation Center for nylon 6,6 application development
near Invista’s integrated nylon 6,6 facility at
the Shanghai Chemical Industry Park (SCIP) in China.
The center, requiring an investment of over $15-million,
will be Invista’s “first” research and development center for
nylon 6,6 application development in Asia, the company
noted.
Invista’s new lab will be equipped with state-of-the-art
polymer research and development equipment necessary
for polymer application development and customer support
for product trials.
It will also include polymer compounding extrusion and
injection molding capability, and analytical and mechanical
test equipment to characterize polymer resin properties.
The lab is expected to be fully operational by the end of
this year.

 

Ineos Styrolution Offers PS ECO 44, Mechanically Recycled PS in EMEA

Frankfurt—Ineos
Styrolution announced it has begun offering mechanically
recycled polystyrene (PS), Styrolution PS ECO 440, in
EMEA (Europe, Africa and the Middle East) from postconsumer
material.
Styrolution PS ECO 440, based on Tomra’s high-quality
NIR (near infrared) sorting process, delivers a PS purity of
more than 99.9%, Ineos noted.
The new PS is suitable across a wide range of applications,
including food contact. It will enable customers to
address their sustainability goals and contribute to the
development of a circular economy. Not only is PS ECO
made from recycled material, it is also fully recyclable.
“We will start production in EMEA with up to 1,000
tons in 2021, working very hard to grow volumes in line
with our pledge to use on average 30% recycled content in
products destined for polystyrene packaging in Europe by
2025,” said Dr. Frank Eisentrager, product director for PS
in EMEA.

 

U.S. Chem Industry Recovery Underway, According to ACC’s Mid-Year Outlook

Washington—
Key U.S. chemical industry metrics will increase this year
as important end-use markets and export customers recover
from the pandemic-related recession, reported the
American Chemistry Council (ACC) in its Mid-Year 2021
Chemical Industry Situation and Outlook.
Although growth is uneven across economies and sectors,
data suggests that global recover is well underway.
Global gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to grow by
6.1% in 2021 and 4.4% next year.
The ACC projects that global industrial production will
expand by 7.2% in 2021 and 4.6% in 2022, despite multiple
supply chain disruptions, as demand for goods is fueling
production.
GDP in the U.S. is forecasted to expand by 6.4% in 2021
and 4.3% in 2022, following a 3.5% drop last year. Business
investment will expand by 8.2% in 2021 and 6.2% in
2022 after a 5.2% decline last year, and the job market is
improving, but some slack remains, ACC noted. The unemployment
rate is expected to average 5.4% this year and
4.2% in 2022.
U.S. chemical volumes are forecasted to increase by
1.4% in 2021 and 3.2% in 2022, while shipments will increase
8.1% in 2021 and 8.2% in 2022 after falling 13.5% in
2020.
Capital spending in the chemical industry will be up
11.9% to $30.6-billion in 2021 and increase 3.1% in 2022
after dropping 17.6% in 2020.
U.S. chemical exports are on the rise as major economies
reopen, but recovery will be mixed and is still vulnerable
to risks, the report warns.
After falling 7.6% in 2020, U.S. chemical exports will be
up 5.8% this year and 13.8% next year, when recovery to
pre-COVID levels is anticipated, while U.S. chemical imports
will rise 1.6% in 2021 and 13.7% in 2022, after falling
5.1% in 2020.
The U.S. chemical industry is expected to maintain its
net exporter position, supporting total U.S. goods exports.
By 2025, net exports of chemicals will reach $40.5-billion.
“Following the worst downturn since the 1930s, the
world economy is on the rebound,” said ACC Chief Economist
Kevin Swift.
“We expect recovery to proceed apace despite multiple
risks and uncertainties. These include supply chain constraints
and increased demand as economies reopen; trade
tensions; weather events, cybersecurity and similar shocks;
inflation; financial volatility, and public and private sector
debt.”

 

Danimer Optimizes Processes, Equipment To Upscale Its Production of Nodax PHA

Frankfort—
Danimer Scientific said it has successfully completed debottlenecking
initiatives at its Winchester, Ky., manufacturing
facility that included optimizing processes and
equipment to accelerate the production of its Nodax polyhydroxyalkanoate
(PHA).
Nodax PHA is a 100% biodegradable, renewable and
sustainable plastic produced through natural fermentation
processes using plant oil, such as canola, from crops.
The company plans to reach 100% of the plant’s current
annual run rate capacity of 20-million lbs of Nodax-based
resins by the end of the year.
Earlier this year, Danimer and Live Oak Acquisition
combined their businesses (PCN, 4 Jan 2021, p 3).
In connection with the closing of the transaction, Live
Oak changed its name to Danimer Scientific. The combined
company said it will use its increased capital base to
“significantly” boost production of Nodax PHA.
“As previously noted, the second phase of our construction
process is ongoing, and we continue to expect the expansion
to come online in the second quarter of 2022,” said
Danimer Chief Operating Officer Michael Smith.
“We look forward to continuing our work to deliver sustainable
solutions for the world’s plastic waste crisis.”

 

GSI Gets Order from Hengyi Petrochemical For 8 New Chemical/Oil Product Tankers

Beijing—
Guangzhou Shipyard International (GSI) said it recently
received an order from Hengyi Petrochemical for the construction
of eight new chemical/oil product tankers.
The carriers, each with a capacity of 49,600 tons, will
combine energy-saving and environmentally friendly technologies.
A delivery schedule was not available.

 

Clariant’s MegaMax Catalyst Qualified For Use in CO2-Based Methanol Units

Munich—
Clariant announced its innovative MegaMax catalyst for
carbon dioxide (CO2)-based methanol production has officially
been qualified for future use in commercial CO2-
based methanol plants.
The catalyst, which enables CO2-based methanol synthesis
with high selectivity, activity and longevity, has successfully
passed a qualification test in the methanol demonstration
unit of Air Liquide’s Innovation Campus Frankfurt
in Germany.
The tests demonstrated a high conversion ratio, with a
per-pass CO2 conversion rate of up to 30% to 40% using
H2/CO2 feed. By-product formation was also low and the
process achieved high selectivity. In addition, the catalysts
have shown improved stability and low deactivation.

V59 N24 – 21 June 2021

NWIWK Decides to Shelve Development Of Port of Kalama Methanol Facility

Kalama—
Northwest Innovation Works-Kalama (NWIWK) said it is
temporizing the development of its planned methanol project
at the Port of Kalama, Cowlitz County, Washington
(PCN, 25 Jan 2021, p 1).
The facility, which was expected to cost over $2-billion,
was planned to convert regionally-sourced natural gas into
about 3.6-million t/y of methanol for export to Asia as feedstock
for olefins. The project was originally scheduled to be
completed in 2019.
“In light of recent Washington Department of Ecology’s
decision to deny the Shoreline Conditional Use Permit, the
regulatory environment has become unclear and unpredictable,”
the company noted. “NWIWK is temporizing its
development activities to assess the new regulatory and
political landscape and determine an appropriate path forward.
“Together with our partners, we remain committed to
addressing the global climate challenge, creating jobs and
economic growth, and are moving forward in developing
other innovative net zero projects to produce zero carbon
hydrogen and related products.”

 

Bridgestone Decides to Divest All Shares Of BSRC Subsidiary to LCY Chemical

Tokyo—
Bridgestone Corp. has decided to sell all shares of stock of
its Bridgestone (Huizhou) Synthetic Rubber Co. (BSRC)
subsidiary in Huizhou, Guangdong Province, China, to
LCY Chemical for an undisclosed amount.
The decision was made as part of a restructuring of
Bridgestone’s synthetic rubber business in China. Teammates
at BSRC will begin working under LCY. An expected
completion date for the transaction was not given.

 

Sasol Gets Competition Tribunal OK to Divest 16 ASUs to Air Liquide

Johannesburg—
Sasol announced that the Competition Tribunal has approved
the sale of 16 air separation units (ASUs) to Air
Liquide Large Industries South Africa Proprietary Ltd.
(PCN, 3 Aug 2020, p 1).
Last year, the two companies entered into 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 the ASU Air Liquide already operates at
the site, it will operate the 16 ASUs with an installed capacity
of 42,000 t/d. Air Liquide originally bought and sold
the 16 ASUs to Sasol.
Air Liquide plans to launch a multi-year project to
modernize the facilities at an initial investment of €440-
million.
The transaction is expected to close on or before 10
business days from the Competition Tribunal’s approval,
which was received on 8 June 2021.

 

Baystar JV in Process of Starting Up New Ethane Cracker in Port Arthur

Houston—
Bayport Polymers (Baystar), a joint venture of Total Petrochemicals
& Refining USA and Borealis, told PCN that its
new ethane cracker in Port Artur, Texas, is going through
the commissioning and start-up process and will be online
“shortly” (PCN, 20 Apr 2020, p 1).
The 1-million-t/y ethane steam cracker will supply feedstock
for Baystar’s existing 400,000-t/y polyethylene (PE)
unit, as well as it new 625,000-t/y Borstar PE plant (Bay 3)
being built in Pasadena, Texas. Bay 3 is still in the construction
phase with an online date in 2022, said a Bayport
spokesperson.

 

LyondellBasell Signs Long-Term Deal To Use Neste’s Renewable Feedstock

Wesseling—
LyondellBasell and Neste have entered into a long-term
commercial agreement under which LyondellBasell will
source renewable Neste RE feedstock for use in the production
of polymers at LyondellBasell’s site in Wesseling, Germany
(PCN, 14 Oct 2019, p 3).
Neste RE is produced from 100% renewable feedstock
from bio-based sources, such as waste and residue oils and
fats. Polymers produced by LyondellBasell will be sold
under the CirculenRenew name.
This past April, LyondellBasell launched the Circulen
family of products. The CirculenRenew product line consists
of polymers linked to renewable-based feedstocks,
while polymers made from mechanically recycled materials
are marketed under the CirculenRecover brand name and
those linked to advanced molecular recycling are called
CirculenRevive.
In June 2019, the parties announced the “first” simultaneous
production of bio-based polypropylene and biobased
low-density polyethylene at commercial scale at
LyondellBasell’s Wesseling site. The project used Neste’s
renewable hydrocarbons.

 

IVL in ‘Exclusive’ Talks With Ultrapar For Possible Acquisition of Oxiteno

São Paulo—
Indorama Ventures (IVL) and Ultrapar said they are in an
“exclusive” negotiation for the possible purchase of Ultrapar’s
Oxiteno subsidiary by IVL.
No sale and purchase contract or commitment has been
signed by the parties, and other terms and conditions of
the transaction, including value, are still under discussion.
“Consistent with the information it has been providing
to its shareholders and to the capital markets, Ultrapar is
in the process of reviewing its portfolio, pursuing greater
complementary and synergies among its businesses, with
investments focused on existing opportunities in the downstream
oil and gas chain in Brazil, in which the company
has strong operational scale and structural competitive
advantages,” Ultrapar said.

 

Dow and Shell Awarded $4.2-Mn Grant For ‘e-Cracker’ Technology Program

Amsterdam—
Dow and Shell announced that their program to develop
technology to electrify ethylene stream crackers (e-cracker)
has been awarded a $4.2-million grant from the Dutch government
(PCN, 22 June 2020, p 2).
The companies have joint teams in the Netherlands and
the U.S., which have deployed their expertise in electrical
design, metallurgy, hydrocarbon technology and computational
fluid dynamics to narrow down concepts, validate
emissions benefits, advance patents, demonstrate the durability
of electric heating elements, and partner with
equipment suppliers.
Dow and Shell are now evaluating construction of a
multi-megawatt pilot facility, subject to investment support,
that could start up in 2025.
The partners also announced they are joining forces
with The Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific
Research (TNO) and the Institute for Sustainable Process
Technology (ISPT) to accelerate key milestones for the
near-term progress and longer-term breakthroughs
needed, Dow said.
TNO has “deep” knowledge in high temperature heat
transfer applications and plays a leading role in identifying
electrical technologies that could be deployed in industry,
while ISPT is focused on the system integration of preferred
concepts, connecting the dynamics of breakthrough
technologies with those of utilities and infrastructure in
the chemicals industry through the energy transition.
“Our multidisciplined team has forged a strong working
foundation and made significant progress in the first year
of our multi-generational plan,” noted Keith Cleason, vice
president of Dow’s Olefins, Aromatics and Alternatives
business.
“We are pleased to add ISPT and TNO to the joint program
as they bring complementary expertise and share the
same drive to bring viable, low-carbon technologies online
as soon as they are feasible.”

 

Mitsubishi Becomes ‘First’ to License Mura’s HydroPRS Recycling Process from KBR

Houston—
Mura Technology and KBR announced an agreement for
Mitsubishi Chemical Corp. (MCC) to be the “first” to license
the HydroPRS (Hydrothermal Plastic Recycling Solution)
process in Japan (PCN, 18 Jan 2021, p 1).
Mura’s HydroPRS process utilizes its Cat-HTR technology,
which employs supercritical water, heat and pressure
to convert waste plastics into valuable chemicals and oils
by breaking down the long-chain hydrocarbons and donating
hydrogen to produce shorter-chain, stable hydrocarbon
products for use in the production of new plastic and other
materials, according to Mura’s website.
Earlier this year, KBR and Mura entered into an alliance
agreement in which KBR agreed to be the exclusive
licensing partner for Mura and provide studies, basic engineering,
technical services, proprietary equipment and
modules for the technology to customers around the world.
“KBR is proud to be Mura’s exclusive licensing partner
for this breakthrough technology,” said Doug Kelly, president
of technology at KBR. “Over the past few months, we
have seen tremendous interest in HydroPRS from many
leading companies worldwide and we are excited by MCC’s
decision to be an early adopter to achieve their sustainability
objectives.”

 

Indaver, Ineos Styrolution Produce ‘First’ ABS with Recycled Styrene

Frankfurt—
Sustainable waste management company Indaver and
Ineos Styrolution announced the “first” production of
“ABrS,” acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) with a styrene
component based on recycled feedstock at Ineos’ laboratory
in Cologne, Germany (PCN, 25 Jan 2021, p 2).
The material was subsequently processed at Neue Materialien
Bayreuth GmbH, Ineos’ research and development
partner.
Earlier this year, Ineos announced plans to build a new
demonstration polymerization facility to test the production
of ABS plastics from recycled feedstock at its site in
Antwerp, Belgium. A project schedule was not given.
“The first production of ABrS at lab scale is a successful
proof of concept,” said Petra Inghelbrecht, project leader
for the ABSolutely Circular research project.
“With the upcoming construction of a polystyrene recycling
plant and an ABrS mini-plant in Antwerp becoming
operational, we will be able to make another significant
step forward towards production of ABS from recycled
feedstock at commercial scale.”
Production of ABrS offers up to a 30% lower greenhouse
gas footprint compared to traditional ABS, the companies
noted. Initial testing did not show any measurable differences
between ABS and ABrS.

 

BASF Gets UL Validation in Freeport; Advances Chem Recycling Program

Freeport—BASF
advances its chemical recycling program with validation by
Underwriters Laboratories (UL) for its Ultramid Ccycled
polymers manufactured in Freeport, Texas.
Under UL 2809, Environmental Claim Validation Procedure,
Ultramid Ccycled grades, using multiple pre- and
post-consumer waste streams, are available using a mass
balance system to meet the recycled content criteria.
These grades have the same properties as their conventional
equivalents, do not require adjustments to traditional
processing methods and are sustainable raw material
alternatives for applications such as packaging film,
carpeting and furniture.
“Our new Ultramid Ccycled grades have the same high
mechanical strength, stiffness and thermal stability as our
traditional grades,” noted Randall Hulvey, business director,
BASF Monomers, North America.
“In addition, they will help our customers advance in
their sustainability goals.”

 

People on the Move

Encina Development Group—Florian Jardin has
been appointed European director of business development
and product manager. He was previously with DSM as
global category manager, responsible for supply chain
management of polyesters, monomers, polymers, tolling
and other materials.
Gulf Petrochemicals & Chemicals Assn. (GPCA)—
Dr. Mohamed Al-Mulla has been elected vice chairman of
the association, replacing Gulf Petrochemical Industries
Co. President Dr. Abdulrahman Jawahery.
Yousef Al-Benyan, vice chairman and chief executive of
SABIC, was re-elected for a new three-year term as chairman
of the board of directors of GPCA.

 

IVL Finalizes Acquisition of CarbonLite’s PET Recycling Assets for About $68-Mn

Dallas—
Indorama Ventures (IVL) has completed the purchase of
the recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET) assets of
CarbonLite Holdings and its subsidiaries in Dallas, Texas,
for around $68.2-million (PCN, 31 May 2021, p 3).
The assets have a combined capacity of around 92,000
t/y, consisting of 48,000 t/y of rPET pellets and 44,000 t/y
of flakes. The transaction brings IVL closer to its rPET
commitment of 750,000 t/y by 2025.
CarbonLite is currently under Chapter 11 of the U.S.
Bankruptcy Code.

 

Clariant Completing Its Transformation Into a High-Value Specialty Chem Firm

Muttenz—
Clariant has reached an agreement to sell its pigments
business to a consortium of Heubach Group and SK Capital
Partners, allowing Clariant to complete its transformation
into a high-value specialty chemical company (PCN, 7
Dec 2020, p 3).
Late last year, Clariant announced it was transforming
itself towards a higher-value specialty portfolio and would
focus on its core business areas: care chemicals, catalysis,
and natural resources.
The plan involved a divestment program, as well as cutting
around 1,000 positions in service and regional structures.
About one-third of the cuts were to be included in
the divestment transfers.
Clariant sold its healthcare packaging business in October
2019 and its masterbatches business in July 2020.
Divestment of its pigments business will allow it to complete
the divestment program.
The transaction, with an enterprise value of between
CHF 805-million to CHF 855-million, is expected to close
in the first half of 2022, subject to customary closing conditions
and regulatory approvals.

 

Avient & Oceanworks Agree to Collaborate To Expand Recycled Ocean Plastics Use

Cleveland—
Avient Corp., a provider of specialized and sustainable material
solutions and services, announced it is collaborating
with Oceanworks to help customers incorporate recycled
ocean plastics into their products.
Building on last year’s launch of reSound R recycled
content thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs) created with
Oceanworks recycled plastics, the companies are now
working together on an expanded recycled ocean plastics
portfolio. The resulting custom-formulated materials, both
TPEs and thermoplastics, will be based on Oceanworks
Guaranteed base resins.
“As a leading global polymer material formulation expert,
Avient will help us to further extend the usage of recycled
ocean plastics to specialty formulations and applications,”
said Rob Ianelli, founder and president of Oceanworks.
“Their global customers represent a wide range of end
markets that value the addition of recycled ocean plastics.
Every ton of at-risk plastic waste successfully averted on
its path to the ocean is part of the solution. We are thrilled
to have the opportunity to drive further customization and
scale in collaboration with Avient.”

 

Axens and Sulzer Combine Technologies For FCC Naphtha Processing Solution

Paris—Axens
and Sulzer Chemtech (GTC Technology) said they have
formed an alliance to license an advanced process for fluid
catalytic cracking (FCC) naphtha processing to bring “outstanding”
advantages for the gasoline and petrochemical
segments.
The partners will combine Axens’ Prime-G+ hydrodesulfurization
technology and Sulzer’s GT-BTX PluS extraction
process, which will give refiners the option to convert FCC
gasoline into petrochemical products – BTX (benzene, toluene,
xylene) and additional propylene – and get additional
margin in regions where gasoline demand is not sufficient.
The technology can be applied in new, or retrofits of existing
units in operation to maximize profit, the companies
noted.
“We are excited about the partnership with Axens,” said
Sander van Donk, head of global technology business at
Sulzer Chemtech.
“We are committed to delivering state-of-the-art technologies
and are confident that this combined solution will
bring many benefits to our customers. It will allow them to
prepare for the changing gasoline and petrochemicals demand
in both the near and longer term.”

 

Saipem and Technip to Perform Studies For Horisont’s Blue Ammonia Project

Oslo—Horisont
Energi has selected Saipem SpA and Technip Energies for
two independent concept studies for the full conceptual
design of its proposed Barents Blue carbon-neutral ammonia
plant in Hammerfest, Norway.
The studies, which have already begun, will display the
design of the blue ammonia facility, based on Haldor Topsoe’s
SynCOR Ammonia technology with over 99% overall
carbon capture. Expected to be completed in November
2021, the studies will be key for future decisions to realize
the project.
Both independent concept studies will be performed in
close collaboration with Multiconsult ASA, which is responsible
for the site preparation, construction and infrastructure
work.
“Barents Blue will be Europe’s first large-scale factory
for the production of so-called ‘blue’ ammonia from natural
gas, which means CO2 [carbon dioxide] is captured during
the production process and stored,” said Horisont.
“The storage will be done by transporting all CO2 offshore,
where it is injected into a large geological reservoir
under the seabed.”
If the project proceeds, construction is planned to take
place from 2023 to 2025, with operations scheduled to begin
in 2025.

 

Grupa Azoty Exiting POM Business

Warsaw—Grupa
Azoty announced that its management board has decided it
will be discontinuing its polyoxymethylene (POM) business
no later than 31 Aug. 2021.
“The decision was prompted by the conclusion that the
POM business would not be economically viable in the
foreseeable future,” the company noted. “The planned discontinuation
of POM production will reduce the company’s
total CO2 [carbon dioxide] emissions.”

 

Borealis Gets Renasci’s Entire Output Of Chemically-Recycled Feedstock

Porvoo—Borealis
has reached an exclusive agreement with Renasci Oostende
Recycling NV to acquire the entire chemicallyrecycled
output material from Renasci’s high-tech recycling
center in Oostende, Belgium.
Under the deal, Renasci will supply Borealis with about
20,000 t/y of the recycled feedstock, enabling Borealis to
offer commercial volumes of Borcycle C circular polyolefins
and circular base chemicals at several Borealis sites.
The waste feedstock processed at Renasci’s ISCC Pluscertified
recycling center is mainly derived from dried
household waste and some industrial waste.
In the first step of the recycling process, the waste is
sorted multiple times to extract the best value plastic material
for mechanical recycling. The waste feedstock that
cannot be mechanically recycled is then chemically recycled;
this chemically-recycled feedstock will be subsequently
processed in the Borealis steam crackers, initially
at its Porvoo, Finland, site.
“This cooperation with Renasci allows us to offer our
customers and partners virgin-like polyolefins from chemically-
recycled post-consumer waste in material quantities,
effective this quarter,” noted Lucrece Foufopoulos, executive
vice president of Polyolefins, Innovation & Technology
and Circular Economy Solutions at Borealis. “This is how
we re-invent for more sustainable living, and expand our
portfolio with a Borcycle C offering.”

 

Kemira Starts Up New Production Units For Emulsion Polymers at Mobile Site

Mobile—
Kemira has completed and started up new state-of-the-art
production units for emulsion polymers and bio-based
acrylamide monomer at its manufacturing site in Mobile,
Ala. (PCN, 11 Feb 2019, p 2).
The facility, expected be fully operational during this
summer, required an investment of approximately €70-
million. Capacities were not given.
“The capacity expansion in Mobile will strengthen Kemira’s
position in the energy market in the Americas and
supports our growth in the region going forward,” said
Pedro Materan, senior vice president of Global Oil & Gas
at Kemira.
“The market demand is recovering after the 2020 slowdown
and we’re in a good position and excited to meet the
growing demand of our customers for high-quality emulsion
polymers.”

 

Orion Launches Renewable Carbon Black; Will Cut CO2 Emissions in Tire Industry

Houston—
Orion Engineered Carbons announced the commercial
launch of ECORAX Nature, a new family of products developed
using carbon black made from renewable feedstocks.
ECORAX products were developed for rubber applications
utilizing industrial-grade, plant-based oils; a renewable,
non-fossil derived feedstock. ECORAX Nature 100 is
the “first highly reinforcing” carbon black made from renewable
feedstock, which can be used in critical tire tread
construction, the company explained.
The product is currently being tested and will go into
high volume manufacturing in the second half of next year,
Orion noted.

 

Gidara Energy Building Amsterdam Plant To Convert Waste into Green Methanol

Amsterdam—
Gidara Energy is setting up its first advanced biofuels facility,
Advanced Methanol Amsterdam (AMA), in the Port
of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, to convert non-recyclable
waste into advanced methanol.
The AMA plant will produce around 260 t/d of renewable
methanol using Gidara’s HTW biomass gasification
technology, originally developed by RWE and Thyssenkrupp.
The methanol will replace fossil-based fuels, creating
“significant” carbon savings, Gidara noted. A schedule
for the project was not disclosed.
Separately, Casale said that Gidara has selected its
methanol synthesis technology for the project. Casale is
providing the license, basic design, and proprietary items,
including the proprietary plate-cooled IMC converter.

 

Distrupol Gets Polymer Distributor Lautrup

Surrey–
GPD Companies affiliate Distrupol, a European distributor
of thermoplastics and elastomers, has acquired Lautrup
Chemicals for an undisclosed amount.
Lautrup, based in Copenhagen, Denmark, is a “leading”
distributor of polymers in Scandinavia, Distrupol noted. It
provides a broad portfolio of “high-quality” polymer products
from “premier” suppliers to a diverse client base
across the Nordic region, as well as Eastern and Southern
Europe.
“We look forward to expanding the range and reach of
our product and service offerings to customers across
Europe,” noted Richard Orme, managing director of Distrupol.

 

 

V59 N23 – 14 June 2021

Tatneft Wins Bid for Purchase of Ekopet; Will Further Develop Its PC Business

Moscow—
Russia’s Tatneft said it has won the auction for the sale of
the Ekopet Group of Companies, a polyethylene terephthalate
(PET) producer in Russia, which will enable Tatneft to
further grow its petrochemical business.
Ekopet has a 220,000-t/y PET plant based on Uhde Inventa-
Fischer’s latest Melt-to-Resin technologies. It produces
and sells the PET in Russia and Eastern Europe.
Legally binding contracts are expected to be signed in the
“coming weeks,” Tatneft noted.
“The acquisition of Ekopet will allow the most efficient
implementation of the company’s plan for the development
of the petrochemical business and will contribute to the
accomplishment of the Tatneft Group’s goals to reduce
greenhouse gas emissions along the entire value chain,”
added Tatneft.
According the Ekopet’s website, PAO National Bank
Trust has been the sole shareholder of Ekopet since 8 Sept.
2018.

 

Linde & Renaissance Awarded EPC Contract For Gazprom, RusGazDobycha’s New GPC

Moscow—
A consortium of Linde and Renaissance Heavy Industries
has been awarded an engineering, procurement and construction
(EPC) contract for a gas processing complex
(GPC) being built by Gazprom and RusGazDobycha near
Ust-Luga, Russia (PCN, 22 Mar 2021, p 1).
Once complete, the GPC will process 45-billion cu m/yr
of gas and produce 13-million t/y of liquefied natural gas,
as well as ethane fraction, liquefied petroleum gas and
pentane-hexane fraction.
The contract, awarded by RusKhimAlyans, a specialpurpose
company formed by Gazprom and RusGazDobycha
to operate the project, involves design works, equipment
supplies, construction and commissioning of gas processing
and off-site facilities at the GPC. The consortium plans to
begin work at the site as early as this month.
Earlier this year, Gazprom and RusGazDobycha terminated
an EPC contract with Nipigaz for the GPC, in an
effort to improve project costs.
Baltic Chemical, a subsidiary of RusGazDobycha, is
building a gas chemical facility that will be technologically
interconnected with the GPC.
The new chemical facility will have two ethane cracking
plants with a capacity of 1.4-million t/y each of ethylene, as
well as six polyethylene reactor lines, each designed to
have a capacity of 500,000 t/y. Completion is expected in
2024.

 

Cargill and Helm Establish JV to Build Renewable BDO Facility in the U.S.

Des Moines—
Cargill and Helm have formed Qore, a new joint venture to
build the “first” commercial-scale, renewable 1,4-
butanediol (BDO) plant at Cargill’s existing site in the U.S.
in Eddyville, Iowa.
The companies are investing a combined $300-million
in the facility, which will be based on Genomatica’s BDO
process technology to initially produce and distribute a
minimum of around 65,000 t/y of the first bio-intermediate,
Qira. Operations are scheduled to begin in 2024.
Made through the fermentation of plant-based sugars,
Qira can save up to 94% of greenhouse gas emissions when
replacing chemical intermediates made from traditional
fossil sources. Qira can be used the same as its chemical
counterpart, but with “significantly better” environmental
performance, the partners noted.

 

Dow Planning Freeport MDI Investment; Will Shut Down PU Assets at La Porte

Midland—Dow
announced plans to build an integrated methylene diphenyl
diisocyanate (MDI) distillation and prepolymers
facility at its world-scale manufacturing site in Freeport,
Texas.
The new MDI plant will replace the company’s current
North American capacity in La Porte, Texas, and will also
be capable of supplying an additional 30% of product to
Dow’s customers. Start-up is expected in 2023.
In coordination with the opening of the Freeport plant,
Dow will shut down its polyurethane (PU) assets at the La
Porte site.
“This MDI investment optimizes our existing asset infrastructure
and enhances our global polyurethanes leadership
position, further enabling us to support downstream
systems customers’ growth,” said Jane Palmieri, president
of Dow’s Industrial Intermediates & Infrastructure operating
segment.
“The back integration at the Freeport site creates a cost
competitive supply of key upstream polyurethane raw materials,
ensures a reliable supply position to support our
growth in downstream high-value polyurethane markets
and delivers a more sustainable production process.”

 

LyondeBasell Confirms Successful Start-Up Of Ulsan PP’s New Production Facility

Ulsan—
LyondellBasell announced the successful start-up of Ulsan
PP Co.’s new polypropylene (PP) production plant in Ulsan,
South Korea (PCN, 24 May 2021, p 1).
The 400,000-t/y PP unit, “one of the largest of its kind
in Asia,” utilizes LyondellBasell’s fifth generation Spheripol
process technology, LyondellBasell noted.
Ulsan PP is a joint venture of PolyMirae and SK Advanced.
PolyMirae is a 50-50 joint venture of Lyondell-
Basell and DL Chemical.

 

Air Liquide, Samsung Continue Partnership To Build New Methanol Unit for Sarawak

Sarawak—
Air Liquide Engineering & Construction (E&C) has agreed
to continue its partnership with Samsung Engineering to
build a methanol production facility for Sarawak Petchem
in Bintulu, Sarawak, Malaysia (PCN, 7 Dec 2020, p 1).
The new 5,000-t/d methanol facility, planned to begin
operations in 2023, will be based on Air Liquide E&C’s proprietary
Lurgi MegaMethanol process technology, which
converts natural gas to methanol.
In addition to technology licensor, Air Liquide E&C will
provide engineering, related equipment, as well as an air
separation unit with a production capacity of 2,200 t/d of
oxygen.
“Samsung Engineering and Air Liquide co-developed
this project from the pre-feasibility study stage together by
implementing exceptional engineering capabilities and
showing superb commitment to this project,” noted Samsung
Engineering Vice President Cheonhong Park.
“Through this collaboration, we will successfully deliver
the world-scale methanol plant in Sarawak and hope to
collaborate with Air Liquide for future joint projects.”

 

ACC Welcomes Five New Members To Serve on Its Board of Directors

Washington—The
American Chemistry Council’s (ACC) board of directors has
appointed five new members to serve on the board, effective
immediately.
The new members include: Bruce Chin, chief executive
of Chevron Phillips Chemical Co.; Mike Heinz, designee
chairman and chief executive of BASF Corp.; Solvay Chief
North American Officer Mike Finelli; Phil Brown, managing
director of ICL Americas region at ICL Group, and
George Koutsaftes, president of Honeywell Advanced Materials.
“Our board’s expertise and strong leadership will continue
to guide us as we navigate a challenging legislative
and regulatory landscape at the local, state, federal and
international levels,” said ACC President and Chief Executive
Chris Jahn.
“It’s vital that we continue to advance sound, risk-based
public policy that supports the safe, innovative, and effective
chemical products and technologies that are key to
helping solve some of the world’s greatest challenges.”

 

Iberdrola & Foresa Planning Investment In New Green Methanol Plant in Spain

Madrid—
Utility firm Iberdrola and chemical producer Foresa, both
based in Spain, are exploring a potential initial investment
of over €82-million in renewable hydrogen for the industrial
production of green methanol at Galicia, Spain.
The proposed project would involve construction of a 20-
MW green hydrogen production plant, expandable to 200
MW, and the installation of a carbon capture system to
obtain carbon dioxide from biomass consumption plants.
In the first phase, the plant is expected to produce
10,000 t/y of green methanol, which could be increased to
100,000 t/y.
The project would be co-located with Foresa’s facilities,
where it produces resins, formaldehydes and additives.
Foresa would use the green methanol in its chemical processes
and export the surplus.

 

Biorizon’s Relement Spin-Off Gets Funds To Use for Bio-Aromatics Production

Rotterdam—
Relement, a new spin-off company of Biorizon that was
established for the development, production and marketing
of bio-aromatics developed by TNO, has secured its first
capital investment (PCN, 23-30 Nov 2020, p 2).
Currently, about 40% of all chemical building blocks
consist of aromatics, which can only be produced from fossil
raw materials, the company earlier said.
Relement wants to replace the current fossil aromatics
with special bio-aromatics, which are “more sustainable”
and “higher quality.”
The investment will enable Relement to contract partners
for scaling up sample production for customers and
strengthen technological development, Relement noted.
Relement plans to design a commercial plant, once it
brings these bio-aromatics to market.

 

Tufton Chem Tankers Join Stolt Pool

Oslo—Stolt
Tankers and Tufton Investment have entered into a pooling
agreement, effective immediately, for seven of Tufton’s
chemical tankers to join the Stolt Tankers Joint Service
(STJS) deep-sea fleet.
Tufton will contribute the 19,000-dwt to 21,999-dwt
tankers to the Stolt fleet during the second and third quarters
of this year.
In addition, the parties have agreed to enter into a carbon
reduction and sustainability information sharing
agreement, in which they will jointly explore and pursue
vessel efficiency and propulsion research, environmental
projects, and a biofuel testing program with the goal of
driving “significant” carbon emission reductions across
their combined fleets, Stolt noted.

 

People on the Move

Eastman Chemical—Stephen G. Crawford, currently
a senior vice president, has been named an executive vice
president to succeed Mark K. Cox, who is retiring. In addition
to his responsibilities for technology and sustainability,
Crawford will assume executive leadership of manufacturing
and worldwide engineering and construction upon
Cox’s retirement in 2022.
Julie A. McAlindon has become senior vice president,
Supply Chain, Regions and Transformation. She was most
recently chief procurement officer and vice president,
Transformation.
Dr. Christopher M. Killian, previously vice president,
Additives & Functional Products, Chemical Intermediates
and Corporate Technology, has become senior vice president
and chief technology officer.
Nova Chemicals—Victor Alvarado will join the company
on 1 July 2021 as senior vice president of operations
and engineering. He has been serving as operations director
at Ineos Aromatics since January.
McDermott International—Samik Mukherjee has
been appointed executive vice president and chief operating
officer. He was previously group senior vice president
of projects.
Chemetry—Robert Snyder, most recently chief strategy
officer, has been named chief executive to replace Ryan
Gilliam, who will become chairman of the board.

 

IndianOil, Gujarat Govt. Sign MoUs For a Number of Projects in India

Gujarat—IndianOil
and the Government of Gujarat have signed memorandum
of understandings (MoUs) for setting up a Petrochemical
and Lube Integration (LuPech) project and acrylics/oxo
alcohol project, as well as other infrastructure projects at
its Gujarat refinery in India.
The LuPech project will produce polypropylene and lube
oil base stock, while the acrylics/oxo alcohol project at IndianOil’s
Dumad and Gujarat refinery will manufacture
value-added butyl acrylate.
An MoU was also signed for infrastructure facilities at
Dumad for the Koyali-Ahmednagar-Solapur pipeline and a
tank truck loading facility for linear alkyl benzene.
The other planned infrastructure projects involve a new
flare system at the Gujarat refinery and a hydrogen dispensing
facility for fuel cell electric vehicles. Schedules for
the planned projects were not given.
“These projects will strengthen the corporation’s readiness
for venturing into petrochemical products like PVC
[polyvinyl chloride], styrene, acrylonitrile, polymethyl
methacrylate and ethylene oxide in [the] future,” IndianOil
noted.

 

Air Products Touts Plan for New Net-Zero Hydrogen Energy Complex in Edmonton

Alberta—Air
Products announced plans to build a new multimilliondollar
net-zero hydrogen energy complex in Edmonton, Alberta,
Canada, in collaboration with its Air Products Canada
subsidiary, the Government of Canada and the Province
of Alberta.
Work began in 2018 on the core of this world-scale complex,
which will begin with a C$1.3-billion hydrogen production
and liquefaction facility expected on stream in
2024.
Specifically, Air Products will build, own and operate
the complex consisting of:
Auto-Thermal Reformer (ATR) hydrogen production
plant, based on Haldor Topsoe technology, to be
built on a large project site in Edmonton with room
for expansion;
Carbon capture operations capable of achieving
95% removal of carbon dioxide from the complex.
Power generation unit fueled 100% by hydrogen to
produce clean electricity for the entire facility and
export to the grid;
A 30-t/d hydrogen liquefaction plant designed by
Air Products;
World-scale air separation facility, also designed by
Air Products, to support the ATR operation and to
produce clean liquid oxygen and nitrogen for the
merchant industrial gas market; and
Connection to Air Products’ existing Alberta Heartland
Hydrogen Pipeline network for enhanced reliability
and phased decarbonization of the entire
network.
The project has received board of directors’ approval,
subject to final completion of the agreements contemplated
in signed memorandum of understanding between Air
Products and the Canadian authorities, and with appropriate
permit approvals.
Air Products is also considering further investments in
both existing and new hydrogen facilities in Alberta and
across Canada.

 

Brightmark Building ’World’s Largest’ Advanced Plastics Recycling Facility

Macon—
Brightmark announced its decision to build the “world’s
largest” advanced plastics recycling and renewal facility in
Macon, Georgia (PCN, 3 Aug 2020, p 3).
The plant, estimated to cost over $680-million, will utilize
a state-of-the-art and proprietary plastics renewal
process that recycles all plastic waste (Types 1-7) that has
reached the end of its useful life.
Once complete, the facility will divert 400,000 t/y of the
plastic waste from landfills and incinerators and convert it
into 64-million gallons of ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel and
naphtha bland stocks, and 20-million gallons of wax.
Brightmark’s first plastics renewal facility, being built
in Ashley, Ind., will divert 100,000 t/y of plastic waste from
landfills, waterways and incinerators, and convert it into
18-million gallons of the diesel and naphtha blend stocks
and 6-million gallons of wax. Operations are expected to
begin this year.
Last year, the company said it was in the final phases
of determining the locations of its next recycling facilities
in Florida, Georgia, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania,
Louisiana, or Texas, and planned to have at least two sites
shovel-ready by 2021.

 

Borouge Expanding Recyclate Portfolio Through New Plaspulp Union Deal

Singapore—
Borouge said it has signed a memorandum of understanding
(MoU) with Plaspulp Union in Singapore to advance its
ambitions to become an end-to-end solutions provider of
both virgin and recycled polyolefins.
Under the MoU, Borouge will have access to Plaspulp
Union’s mechanical recycling capabilities and products,
enabling Borouge to further develop and commercialize
new packaging application that incorporates recyclates.
“This marks Borouge’s first foray into the recycling
marketplace in Southeast Asia, and Borouge is expected to
establish more partnerships with other recycling companies
in the coming months,” noted Borouge.
Borouge has already invested in a Packaging Centre of
Excellence focused on developing circular packaging solutions,
and has dedicated circular economy solutions teams
to drive partnerships, commercialize new applications and
develop educational programs to advocate the importance
of a circular economy.
The MoU with Plaspulp Union adds to the existing
partnerships Borouge has established with two recycling
companies in China.

 

Ascend Boosts HiDura LCPA Capacity

Greenwood—
Ascend Performance Materials has expanded production
capacity for its HiDura long-chain polyamides (LCPA) at
its plant in Greenwood, S.C.
The multimillion-dollar expansion will help the company
meet the growing demand for its new HiDura product
line, which was launched in November 2020.
“Exceptional ductility, UV weatherability and hydrolysis
resistance give HiDura resins and engineered plastics
reliable, long-term performance in some of the harshest
conditions,” said Kaan Gunes, business manager for
HiDura.

 

Alpek Finalizes Purchase of CarbonLite’s U.S. PET Recycling, Pelletization Plant

Reading—
Alpek has acquired CarbonLite Recycling LLC’s state-ofthe-
art polyethylene terephthalate (PET) recycling and
pelletization facility in Reading, Penn., for $96-million on a
debt-free basis.
The site has a bottle-to-flake and flake-to-pellet input
capacity of 115,000 tons and 49,000 tons, respectively,
making it the “largest” integrated recycled PET (rPET)
facility in the Americas, Alpek noted. The site is expected
to complete commissioning and start production ramp-up
in the third quarter of 2021.
The Reading plant has been equipped with brand-new
equipment, including state-of-the-art curbside bottle handling,
wash lines, and a solid state polymerizer that enables
the production of food-grade pellet, which is needed
for bottle-to-bottle recycling.
“This acquisition is fully aligned with the Fostering a
Circular Economy pillar of the company’s long-term strategic
growth plan,” said Alpek.
“It increases Alpek’s installed rPET capacity to 394,000
tons, reaffirms its position as the largest PET recycler in
the Americas, and achieves the company’s target of supplying
selected customers with 25% rPET content before
2025.”

 

Indorama Setting Up Technology Center For IOD Business in The Woodlands

The Woodlands—
Indorama Ventures (IVL) has begun developing a new
technology center under its Integrated Oxides & Derivatives
(IOD) business in The Woodlands, Texas.
The new center will be a hub for IOD research in the
Americas, with links to sister facilities in Australia, China
and India. It will also support IVL’s Fibers and PET (polyethylene
terephthalate) segments on various sustainability
projects.
Extensive design and engineering will begin on the center
in the “coming months,” with full occupation expected
early next year, the company noted.
“IOD is committed to strengthening our innovation
platforms and meeting our customers’ market needs,” said
IOC President and Chief Executive Alastair Port.
“Our new facility will be a significant milestone on our
‘future ready’ roadmap and serve as a center of excellence
for the development of new niche and sustainability product
lines. The Woodlands landscape creates a perfect setting
for this investment.”

 

Egypt’s Madbouly Lays Foundation Stone For Petrochem Complex in Ain Sokhna

Cairo—
Egyptian Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouly recently laid
the foundation stone for the “first” petrochemical complex
to be built in the Suez Canal Economic Zone in Ain Sokhna,
Egypt, according to several local media reports.
The estimated $7.5-billion complex will have a production
capacity of 1-million t/y of polyethylene, polypropylene,
polyester and other chemical and petroleum products
(PCN, 3 May 2021, p 2). Operations are expected to begin
in the first half of 2024.

 

Incipio in Partnership with Eastman To Utilize Tritan Renew Copolyester

Irvine—Incipio
Group and Eastman announced a strategic partnership
that will enable Incipio to begin incorporating Eastman
Tritan Renew copolyester into select lines across its brand
portfolio, beginning later this year.
Eastman’s Tritan Renew copolyester is durable, BPA
(bisphenol A)-free and consists of 50% ISCC-certified recycled
content, Eastman noted. It is made through Eastman’s
advanced circular recycling technologies (molecular
recycling), which break down plastic waste into basic building
blocks to be used to create new material.
“Incipio Group has made a commitment to find a onefor-
one sustainable substitute where possible for every material
used in our products across all of our brands,” said
Incipio Chief Executive Brian Stech.
“Eastman’s Tritan Renew will help drive this goal forward,
enabling us to bring products with certified recycled
content into our core protective case lines without sacrificing
durability, clarity or performance.”

 

Eastman to Sell Tire Additives Assets To an Affiliate of One Rock Capital

Kingsport—Eastman
Chemical has entered into a definitive agreement
with an affiliate of One Rock Capital Partners to sell the
rubber additives, and other product lines and related assets
and technology of its global tire additives business.
The $800-million transaction includes Crystex insoluble
sulfur and Santoflex antigradants rubber additives. Eastman
Impera and other performance resins product lines of
the tires additives business are not included in the sale.
Subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing
conditions, the deal is expected to be finalized in the second
half of 2021.

V59 N22 – 7 June 2021

Sibur, Samruk-Kazyna & KazMunayGas Consider Cooperation in PC Projects

Moscow—Sibur,
Kazakhstan’s national welfare fund Samruk-Kazyna, and
KazMunayGas have signed a framework agreement for
possible joint participation in petrochemical projects in
National Industrial Petrochemical Technopark, a special
economic zone in Atyrau, Kazakhstan.
As part of the agreement, the parties will consider
Sibur’s engagement in an ongoing project for construction
of an integrated gas chemical complex to produce 500,000
t/y of polypropylene (PCN, 31 Aug 2020, p 2).
Sibur may also take part in another pending project to
build a 1.25-million-t/y polyethylene (PE) facility (PCN, 25
May 2020, p 1).
In 2018, Borealis and United Chemical Co., a subsidiary
of Samruk-Kazyna, signed a joint development agreement
to build the PE project. Last year, Borealis dropped
out of the project.
The PE project was to involve construction of an integrated
ethane cracker and two Borstar PE units. Start-up
was planned in 2025.
Sibur, Samruk-Kazyna and KayMunayGas are expected
to make a decision on joint participation in the projects by
the end of the year, following Sibur’s assessment of their
economic feasibility.

 

RKH Lets Air Liquide E&C Contract For New Russian Methanol Plant

Moscow—Air Liquide
Engineering & Construction (Air Liquide E&C) has
been selected as technology licensor for a new methanol
plant being built by RusKimKom (RKH), part of the
Ruschem Group, in the Nenets region of Russia.
Air Liquide will be responsible for the licensing and engineering
of the 1.8-million-t/y methanol plant, which will
be part of a new gas-to-chemical complex to be built by
RKH. Value of the contract and a schedule for the project
were not given.

 

Worley Awarded Contract from Shell For New Green Hydrogen Facility

Rotterdam—Shell
has awarded an early engineering services contract to
Worley to support the development of a new 200-megawatt
electrolysis-based hydrogen plant in the Netherlands.
The Holland Hydrogen I project, to be located on the
Tweede Maasvlakte in the Port of Rotterdam, will be a
“first-of-its-kind” project on this scale, Worley noted.
The plant is expected to produce 50,000 kg/d to 60,000
kg/d of hydrogen, which will initially be used at Shell’s
Pernis refinery. Operations are scheduled to start by 2023,
subject to a final investment decision later this year.
Worley is providing early engineering and asset integration
related services, including the selection of technology.

 

Mitsui Chem’s Prime Polymer Subsidiary Plans to Build New PP Plant at Ichihara

Tokyo—
Prime Polymer, a subsidiary of Mitsui Chemicals, said it is
planning to build a new polypropylene (PP) facility at its
Ichihara site in Chiba, Japan, as part of a “scrap-andbuild”
style restructuring of its production system.
The 200,000-t/y PP plant, based on Mitsui Chemicals’
Hypol process, will enable the production of highperformance
PP. Construction is scheduled to start this
August, with operations scheduled to begin in November
2024.
“Moving forward, Prime Polymer plans to suspend its
existing manufacturing facility with a view to production
capacity that is in line with supply–demand balance,” said
Mitsui.
“In restructuring its production system here, Prime Polymer
anticipates the effect of approximately 70,000 tons in
reduced greenhouse gas emissions, annually, against 2013
figures.
“Further, Prime Polymer will be ramping up its circular
economy-related efforts through the likes of providing biomass
raw material-based materials.”

 

Circtec & Birla Carbon Sign Supply Deal For Sustainable Carbonaceous Materials

Marietta—
Circtec, a technology developer and producer of renewable
fuels from end-of-life tires, and carbon black producer Birla
Carbon, have signed a long-term supply agreement for sustainable
carbonaceous materials.
To support this partnership, Circtec is building a flagship
production plant in the Netherlands, which will utilize
its pyrolysis technology to turn millions of tires into 73,000
t/y of sustainable carbonaceous materials in the next five
years. Production is scheduled to begin by the end of 2022.
Birla Carbon will supply the materials to its customers
in the tire, mechanical rubber goods, and plastic industries,
globally.
“Through our collaboration with Circtec, we will become
the largest suppliers of sustainable carbonaceous materials
in the world, weaving together technology expertise and
customized solutions.”

 

One Rock Affiliate Completes Acquisition Of BASF’s Specialty Chems Businesses

Chicago—An
affiliate of One Rock Capital Partners has finalized the
purchase of BASF’s manufacturing site in Kankakee, Ill.,
and the associated specialty chemicals businesses there
(PCN, 21-28 December 2020, p 4).
The acquired businesses include esters, anionic surfactants,
vegetable oil-based raw material sterols and natural
vitamin E. Value of the transaction was not disclosed.
The newly independent company will operate under the
name Kensing and will be lead by Serge Rogasik, who has
been appointed chief executive.

 

Pembina, Inter Pipeline Agree to Combine; Brookfield Raises Hostile Takeover Bid

Calgary—
Pembina and Inter Pipeline have entered into an arrangement
agreement for Pembina to acquire all issued and outstanding
common shares of Inter Pipeline in an all-share
transaction valued at C$8.3-billion.
The board of directors of both companies have unanimously
approved the arrangement agreement and support
the transaction, which is subject to shareholder and regulatory
approvals, as well as approval of the Court of
Queen’s Bench of Alberta. Completion is expected in the
fourth quarter of 2021.
“The transaction will create one of the largest energy
infrastructure companies in Canada, with a pro forma enterprise
value of C$53-billion and a diversified and integrated
asset base that can support and grow an extensive
value chain for natural gas, natural gas liquids and crude
oil, from wellhead to end user,” the companies noted.
This past March, Inter Pipeline received a hostile takeover
bid from an affiliate of Brookfield Infrastructure
Partners to acquire all outstanding common shares of Inter
Pipeline for C$13.5-billion (PCN, 15 Mar 2021, p 2). On 2
June 2021, the affiliate of Brookfield raised its hostile
takeover bid to C$16.50 per share.
The board of directors of Inter Pipeline continues to
unanimously recommend the Pembina transaction to Inter
Pipeline shareholders.

 

Petrobras Initiates Process to Sell Stake In Deten Quimica PC JV in Bahia State

São Paulo—
Petrobras has begun the sale process for its 27.88% interest
in the Deten Quimica SA petrochemical complex in Bahia,
Brazil, reported Reuters citing a securities filing.
Deten Quimica, a joint venture with Cepsa, owner of
the remaining approximately 77% stake, produces linear
alkyl benzene, as well as linear alkyl benzene sulfonic acid,
at its site in Camacari, according to Deten’s website. No
other details were available.

 

Lummus’ Green Circle Business & Synthos Partnering for Biobutadiene Technology

Houston—
Lummus Technology announced that its Green Circle
business is collaborating with Synthos to commercialize
Synthos’ biobutadiene technology.
The first step of the commercialization program includes
the development of a feasibility study for a 20,000-
t/y biobutadiene production plant, which will form the basis
for an investment decision. No other details were
available.
“Sustainability is a key for Synthos’ products portfolio
development,” said Matteo Marchisio, director of the synthetic
rubbers and tire materials business unit. “We are
keen to support our customers’ needs with advanced synthetic
rubber based on bio-derived butadiene.
“We believe that cooperation with Lummus Technology
will effectively support our goals referring to renewable
and bio-based butadiene. We want it to become the monomer
for production of bio-rubber.
“This important development for Synthos will
strengthen our sustainability offering and will provide our
customers with a product that has a significantly reduced
environmental footprint.”

 

Technip Energies & Agilyx Collaborate For Agilyx’s PS Recycling Technology

Paris—Technip
Energies and Agilyx Corp. have agreed to collaborate to
accelerate and scale up the implementation of Agilyx’s
technology for the advanced recycling of post-use polystyrene
(PS).
Agilyx’s proprietary technology converts post-use plastics
back into their original chemical components, so that
they can be used to produce high-quality products that can
be recycled indefinitely, without degradation.
Under the agreement, Technip Energies will market
and license the integrated purification and depolymerization
technologies of Technip Energies and Agilyx, respectively.
The technology is ready and available for licensing,
Technip Energies noted.
“We are delighted to scale up this sustainable process to
market with Agilyx, providing a reliable circular economy
technology for a major plastic used widely throughout the
world,” noted Stan Knez, chief technology officer of Technip
Energies.

 

OQ Withdraws Notice of Force Majeure For Oxo Alcohols, Others at Bay City

Houston—OQ
Chemicals has lifted force majeure for oxo alcohols, aldehydes,
acids and esters at its Bay City, Texas, plant site
(PCN, 22 Feb 2021, p 4).
The company declared force majeure on 15 Feb. 2021
after severe winter weather in the area forced it to shut
down the plant.
“Due to the force majeure event and strong demand,
products remain tight and may therefore be placed under
sales control,” OQ noted.

 

People on the Move

OMV—Alfred Stern has been named chairman of the
executive board and chief executive of the company, effective
1 Sept. 2021. Currently OMV executive board member
for Chemicals & Materials, Stern will succeed Rainer Seele,
who has decided to resign from his position on 31 Aug.
2021.
BASF Corp.—Michael Heinz, member of BASF SE’s
board of executive directors, has taken on the additional
responsibility of chairman and chief executive of BASF
Corp. Heinz, who has been with BASF for almost 40 years,
replaces Wayne T. Smith.
Chemours—Mark Newman has been named president
and chief executive, effective 1 July 2021, to succeed Mark
Vergnano, who will be retiring from the company. Newman
is currently chief operating officer.
Evonik—Christian Kullmann, chairman of the executive
board, will continue in that position for another five
years. The supervisory board has decided to extend his
contract until May 2027.
Solvay—Michael Finelli has been appointed president,
group growth initiatives, effective immediately, and chief
North American officer, effective from September 2021. In
his new role for North America, he will replace Michael
Lacey, currently president of Solvay North America, who is
retiring in September. Finelli was most recently president
of Solvay’s specialty polymers global business unit.

 

MCC and MCM to Construct Facilities To Test Recycling of Acrylic Resin

Tokyo—Mitsubishi
Chemical Corp. (MCC) and its consolidated subsidiary
Mitsubishi Chemical Methacrylates Japan Co. (MCM) are
building facilities in Japan to implement verification testing
with the goal of commercializing molecular recycling
operations for polymethyl methacrylate.
In Europe, the companies are considering building
acrylic resins recycling plants, which introduce current
recycling technologies. A decision is expected in the “near
term,” MCC said.
They are also partnering with Microwave Chemical Co.
to construct new verification facilities on its site in Osaka,
Japan. Construction is scheduled for completion next
month.
“In Europe and Japan, using respective approaches that
take into account the traits of each region, full-fledged construction
of an acrylic resin recycling plant is expected to
be undertaken, with an eye on operations starting from
2024,” MCC noted.
According to MCC, global demand for acrylic resin exceeds
3-million t/y.

 

Perstorp Boosting 2-EHA Production To Meet Increasing Market Demand

Malmö—Perstorp
announced it will “substantially” increase 2-ethylhexanoic
acid (2-EHA) production capacity from 2022 to meet increasing
market needs.
“As industries are recovering and adjusting to the ongoing
pandemic, demand for 2-EHA has increased significantly
in the past two quarters, indicating an increased
demand for high-quality raw materials,” said Perstorp Vice
President Business Management Oxo Betty Lu.
“We have continued to successfully serve our customers
with 2-EHA and are now investing in this expansion to
meet future needs.”
The company is already in the implementation stage.
No specific details of the project were available.

 

Poet Completes Acquisition of FHR’s Bioethanol Facilities & Terminals

Sioux Falls—Poet,
the “world’s largest” producer of biofuels, said it has concluded
the purchase of the bioethanol assets of Flint Hills
Resources (FHR), including bioprocessing plants and terminals,
for an undisclosed amount.
The transaction includes six bioprocessing facilities located
in Iowa and Nebraska, and two terminals in Texas
and Georgia.
With the assets from FHR, Poet will now operate 33
bioprocessing plants across eight states with a combined
capacity of 3-billion gals/yr.
“This acquisition will increase Poet’s ability to bring
even more high-quality, plant-based biofuels and bioproducts
to the world—allowing us to have an even bigger impact
on fighting climate change and cleaning our air,”
noted Poet Founder and Chief Executive Jeff Broin.
“We are on the cusp of a new sustainable economy that
will be powered by renewable energy,” said Bob Casper,
chief commercial officer at Poet. “Bioethanol is critical to
this new economy and will continue to be so for years to
come.”

 

TotalEnergies, Novatek Agree to Partner On Solutions to Reduce CO2 Emissions

Moscow—
TotalEnergies and Novatek have signed a memorandum of
understanding to jointly work on reducing the carbon footprint
in Russia’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) chain.
The partners will each bring their best-in-class technologies
and combine their know-how to explore and develop
projects using carbon, capture and storage (CCS),
energy efficiency, renewable sources of power, marketing of
carbon-neutral LNG, and clean hydrogen and ammonia.
The companies will leverage the “significant, low-cost”
resources of the Yamal and Gydan peninsulas and their
large potential for geological storage, they noted.
“We are very pleased to begin a new chapter in our cooperation
with our long-standing strategic partner
Novatek,” said Patrick Pouyanne, chairman and chief executive
of TotalEnergies.
“Our two companies are joining forces to deliver sustainable
solutions to reduce emissions from our LNG projects
and to provide low carbon LNG to our customers.”

 

Sibur-Neftekhim & Linde Ink Agreement For Project to Reduce Carbon Footprint

Moscow—
Sibur-Neftekhim and Linde Gas Rus, both based in Dzerzhinsk,
Nizhny Novgorod Oblast, Russia, have signed an
agreement to launch a recycling project to reduce the carbon
footprint of Sibur’s facility there.
Reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) generated as a byproduct
at the Sibur facility is an integral part of Sibur’s
sustainable development strategy aiming to reduce green
house gas emissions by 15% by 2025.
As part of the project, Sibur-Neftekhim will erect the
necessary infrastructure to transport crude CO2, a byproduct
resulting from ethylene oxide synthesis, to Linde
Gas Rus’ treatment plant. Linde will build a gas treatment
unit to process the CO2 into a commercial-grade
product usable in the food industry, and sell it to end
consumers.
Linde will perform all the work under an engineering,
procurement and construction contract. The project,
scheduled for 2021-2022, will help recycle around 25,000
t/y of CO2.

 

Sumitomo Plans Research Facility at Chiba For Sustainable Technologies, Materials

Tokyo—
Sumitomo Chemical said it will build a new research facility
at its Chiba site in Japan, which will serve as its center
for the development of innovative materials and new technologies
that reduce environmental impact and contribute
to resolving societal issues.
In addition to the new facility, scheduled to begin operation
in March 2024, the company will also consolidate
its existing facilities and shift some of its related resources
from other sites to the new research facility.
The move is expected to strengthen Sumitomo’s research
and development capabilities at the site and accelerate
the development of the technologies and materials.
The Chiba complex “boasts” advanced technologies related
to polymer design, catalysts, processes, compounds
and material and product processing, as well as scale-up
plants for validation trials, Sumitomo noted.

 

NatureWorks Completes ‘Key’ Milestones For Planned Thai PLA Production Plant

Bangkok—
NatureWorks announced it has completed “key” milestones
in its global manufacturing expansion plan for a new fully
integrated Ingeo polylactic acid (PLA) production facility in
Rayong Province, Thailand (PCN, 1 Sept 2014, p 3).
The project, expected to open by 2024, would have
75,000 t/y of Ingeo biopolymer capacity when fully operational
and would produce the complete portfolio of Ingeo
grades.
NatureWorks recently completed the front-end engineering
design work with Jacobs Engineering. Final detailed
engineering is currently underway, and Nature-
Works expected to announce further details on the facility
later this year.
The company also recently received approval from the
Thailand Board of Investment for the project, which is the
“first” biocomplex project in Thailand established in accordance
with the government’s bioeconomy policy.
“We are pleased to share these significant accomplishments,
as part of our next phase for global manufacturing
expansion,” said Rich Altice, president and chief executive
of NatureWorks. “The approvals and support from the
Thailand Board of Investment was a critical milestone on
our path toward opening our new facility in Thailand.”

 

Venture Global Launches CCS Project At Two LNG Facilities in Louisiana

Arlington—
Venture Global LNG said it has begun a carbon, capture
and sequestration (CCS) project at its Calcasieu Pass and
Plaquemines liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities in Louisiana.
The company has already completed a comprehensive
engineering and geotechnical analysis and is launching,
subject to regulatory approvals, a shovel-ready CCS project,
compressing carbon dioxide (CO2) at its sites and then
transporting the CO2 and injecting it deep into subsurface
saline aquifers, where it will be permanently stored.
Venture Global will capture and sequester about
500,000 t/y of carbon from the liquefaction sites. In addition,
it plans to use similar infrastructure to capture and
sequester 500,000 t/y of carbon from the CP2 LNG facility,
once permitted.
“The successful deployment of carbon capture and sequestration
technology at Calcasieu Pass would be the first
of its kind for an existing LNG facility in the United
States,” the company noted.

 

Braskem Investing in ‘Recycling Island’ At Its Triunfo Petrochemical Complex

Triunfo—
Braskem is investing R$150,000 to set up a new structure,
known as “Recycling Island,” at the Technology and Innovation
Center in the Triunfo petrochemical complex in Rio
Grande do Sul, Brazil.
As of July 2021, the facility will be responsible for testing
the performance of recycled resins and developing sustainable
and innovative products that meet market needs
and do its part in reducing the environmental impact, the
company noted.
Experiments in the new facility will be in addition to
the studies carried out by Braskem to understand the applications
and type of product design that makes the recycling
process easier.
“This type of information is key to guide the choices related
to these two points, bearing in mind the potential
incentive to the circular economy,” said Fabio Fell, coordinator
of the Technology and Innovation Center Application
Laboratory and head of the Recycling Island.
“This initiative will also reinforce Braskem as a benchmark
in supporting clients and in research and development
of thermoplastic resins. Combining state-of-the-art
technology, and our professionals specialized in circular
economy, will be one of our differentials to offer products
with even greater quality to the market.”
The project, part of Braskem’s commitment to include
300,000 tons of recycled thermoplastic resins and chemicals
in its portfolio by 2025, will supply all of the regions
were the company operates.

 

BASF, Mitsui Chemicals Initiate Study To Support Chem Recycling in Japan

Tokyo—BASF
Japan and Mitsui Chemicals have launched a study to
evaluate collaborative business models and various options
to commercialize chemical recycling in Japan to address
the local challenge of plastic waste recycling.
Mitsui, which intends to become carbon-neutral by
2050, aims to develop recycling technologies and expand its
biomass product lineup.
BASF will support the collaboration with its extensive
experience from its ChemCycling project (PCN, 26 Apr
2021, p 3).
In its ChemCycling project, BASF works with technology
partners that use innovative processes to convert postconsumer
plastic waste into pyrolysis oil, which can be
used to produce new materials, such as plastics, without
compromising on quality.
“Combining BASF’s expertise in chemical recycling
with our assets in Japan, such as our technologies and ethylene
crackers, will be a major step to contribute towards
building a circular economy in Japan,” said Hiroki Ishida,
representative director and president of BASF Japan.
“Plastic is a major social issue in the country, and there is
a need for social reform throughout the entire value chain.”
BASF and Mitsui plan to accelerate discussions with related
ministries, agencies and industry groups to implement
chemical recycling in Japan, and promote the effective
and efficient use of recycled materials there.

 

 

V59 N21 – 31 May 2021

Orlen Expanding Plock Olefins Complex, Europe’s ‘Largest’ PC Project in 20 Yrs

Plock—PKN
Orlen announced it is investing PLN 13.5-billion in the
expansion of its olefins complex in Plock, Poland, which
will be the “largest” petrochemical investment in Europe in
the last 20 years.
The Olefins III Complex will include a new 740,000-t/y
steam cracker and five additional production units, including
a large ethylene oxide/ethylene glycol plant. It will be
built using state-of-the-art technologies.
As part of the project, the company will consider shutting
down part of the olefin plant that was built over 40
years ago, with about 340,000 t/y of production capacity,
and upgrade the more modern part, which has a capacity of
around 300,000 t/y.
In addition, Orlen has established a special purpose vehicle,
Orlen Olefiny, to implement the project. Completion
is scheduled for the first quarter of 2024, with production
expected to begin in early 2025.
The supervisory board’s decision to approve the project
opens the way for Orlen to award an engineering, procurement,
construction and commissioning contract with
preferred bidders, namely Hyundai Engineering and Tecnicas
Reunidas.
“With this project on stream, PKN Orlen will join the
top petrochemical producers in the European market,” said
Daniel Obajtek, chief executive and president of the PKN
Orlen management board. “It will also secure its competitiveness
in the long run and increase its resistance to unfavorable
mega-trends in the fuel market.
“Importantly, the project fits with the merger of Orlen
and Lotos, which will supply significant volumes of kerosene
to the olefins.”

 

Baofeng Selects LyondellBasell Process For New Polypropylene Plant in China

Beijing—
LyondellBasell said it will supply its Spheripol technology
to Inner Mongolia Baofeng New Material Co., a whollyowned
subsidiary of Ningxia Baofeng, for a new polypropylene
(PP) facility to be built in Erdos, Inner Mongolia,
China.
The technology will be utilized for four PP lines, each
with a production capacity of 500,000 t/y. The plant will
begin operations using Avant ZN catalyst. A schedule for
the project was not given.
“The Spheripol process is renowned for its leading operating
cost, excellent product properties and outstanding
plant operability and is therefore the technology of choice
for operators around the world,” said Neil Nadalin, director
of licensing at LyondellBasell.
Late last year, Johnson Matthey announced it had won
a multiple license award from Ningxia Baofeng for five of
the “largest” single-train methanol units in the world to be
built in Inner Mongolia, China (PCN, 7 Dec 2020, p 1).
The project, for which a completion date was not disclosed,
includes the production of 7,200 t/d of methanol in
each line for use in the production of olefins.

 

Trinseo Inks Definitive Agreement to Sell Synthetic Rubber Business to Synthos

Berwyn—
Trinseo said it has entered into a definitive agreement to
divest its synthetic rubber business, based in Schkopau,
Germany, to Synthos S.A. and its affiliates for an enterprise
value of around $491-million.
The transaction includes the transfer of the associated
Schkopau-based manufacturing and research and development
facilities, as well as related intellectual property,
and approximately 440 employees who are expected to join
Synthos. Subject to customary closing conditions and
regulatory approvals, the sale is expected to close in 2022.
“In pursuing our transformation strategy toward becoming
a higher margin and less cyclical specialty materials
and sustainable solutions provider, we believe our best
path is to focus on growth in engineered materials and
CASE applications,” noted Trinseo President and Chief
Executive Frank Bozich.
“Following the acquisition of Arkema’s PMMA business,
the divestiture of synthetic rubber provides Trinseo with a
stronger balance sheet and greater flexibility to pursue
organic and acquisition growth opportunities.”
Trinseo acquired Arkema’s PMMA business earlier this
month at an enterprise value of about €1.14-billion (PCN,
10 May 2021, p 1). The PMMA business operates four production
sites in Europe and three in North America.

 

Axens Providing Hengyi Technology For Crude-to-Aromatics Expansion

Muara—Axens
has signed an agreement to supply Flexicoking technology
to Hengyi Industries to upgrade the heavy feeds of Hengyi’s
16-million t/y capacity for a new crude-to-aromatics
Phase 2 expansion project at Hengyi’s integrated complex
in Pulau Muara Besar, Brunei.
The Flexicoking unit will upgrade the 2.1-million-t/y
blend of vacuum residue, FCC slurry oil and steam cracker
pyrolysis oil into valuable distillates and Flexigas, Axens
noted. Start-up is expected in June 2024.
Axens successfully started up a 1.1-million-t/y Flexicoking
unit for Hengyi at the end of 2019.

 

Chevron Phillips Chem Breaks Ground For New 1-Hexene Unit in Old Ocean

Houston—
Chevron Phillips Chemical (CPChem) has broken ground
for a new world-scale 1-hexene plant near its Sweeny facility
in Old Ocean, Texas (PCN, 10 May 2021, p 1).
The 266,000-t/y unit, which will utilize the company’s
latest on-purpose technology, will increase CPChem’s total
1-hexene capacity in the U.S. to 650,000 t/y. Construction
is expected to begin during the third quarter of 2021, with
project start-up in 2023.
“The new 1-hexene unit . . . will enjoy significant advantages
in infrastructure, feedstock availability and operational
expertise,” CPChem noted. “It will also benefit
from the latest technology advances to achieve energy and
emissions efficiency improvements.”

 

KPIC Lets Technology Award to Lummus For Butadiene Extraction Unit in Ulsan

Ulsan—
Korea Petrochemical Industry Co. (KPIC) has selected
Lummus Technology to provide its butadiene extraction
(BDE) technology for a new BDE unit to be built as part of
KPIC’s Onsan chemical plant in Ulsan, South Korea.
Once complete, the BDE unit will produce 146,000 t/y of
butadiene, which will also lead to the production of more
valuable products from C4 streams and generate feed for
an existing olefins conversion unit, Lummus noted.
Lummus’ scope includes the technology license, basic
engineering and training services. No other details were
available.
KPIC will benefit from the technology’s low operating,
maintenance and investment costs, Lummus added.

 

Stamicarbon, Shchekinoazot to Implement Green Technologies at Shchekinoazot Site

Moscow—
Stamicarbon, the innovation and license company of Maire
Tecnimont, and Russian chemical producer Shchekinoazot,
are teaming up to jointly explore, develop and implement
green technologies for sustainable fertilizer production at
Shchekinoazot’s new and existing projects in Russia.
Stamicarbon will continue to develop green technologies
and will notify Shchekinoazot of their potential application,
while Shchekinoazot will explore the introduction of
green technologies at its plants.
“The implementation of this project will ensure continuous
improvement in raw materials processing and enable
a shift from the consumption and export of raw materials
to the high-tech production and processing of products
with increased added value,” said Shchekinoazot President
Boris Sokol.
“This project is characterized by high economic efficiency,
social and budgetary relevance. Along with that,
we attach greater importance to environmental issues, by
minimizing our environmental impact, reducing the carbon
footprint of our activities and taking care of the local environment.
“The signed memorandum will allow us to take another
step towards state-of-the-art technologies and approaches
aimed at the preservation of natural diversity and a
healthy planet for future generations.”

 

Arkema Announces Plans to Buy Agiplast, Partner in Virtucycle Recycling Program

Paris—
Arkema said it plans to acquire Agiplast, a “leader” in the
regeneration of high performance polymers, and its partner
in Virtucycle, a regeneration program launched in 2019 to
recycle high-performance polyamides and polyvinylidene
fluoride fluoropolymers (PCN, 21 Oct 2019, p 4).
With this acquisition, for which a value was not given,
Arkema will be the “first” fully integrated high performance
polymer manufacturer offering both bio-based and
recycled materials, Arkema noted. The transaction is expected
to close next month.
Arkema’s Virtucycle recycling program represents a virtuous
cycle that enables customers to partner with Arkema
in open-loop and closed-loop initiatives for post-industrial
and post-consumer recycling projects for its specialty
polymers.

 

Shell Selling Stake in Deer Park Refinery Following Unsolicited Offer from Pemex

Houston—
Shell Oil Co. has agreed to divest its interest in Deer Park
Refining Ltd. Partnership, a 50-50 joint venture between
Shell and P.M.I. Norteamerica, a subsidiary of Pemex, after
receiving an unsolicited offer from Pemex.
The transaction, valued at $596-million, will give Pemex
full ownership of the 340,000-b/d Deer Park Refinery.
The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this
year, subject to regulatory approvals.
Shell will continue to operate its Deer Park Chemicals
facility, located adjacent to the refinery site. Shell’s employees
of the refinery will either stay at the refinery or be
transferred to the chemical plant.
“Pemex has been our strong and active partner at the
Deer Park Refinery for nearly 30 years, and we will continue
to work with them in an integrated way, including
through our on-site chemicals facility, which Shell will retain,”
said Huibert Vigeveno, downstream director at Shell.
Last September, Shell announced a major restructuring
that would affect its refineries, chemical sites, onshore and
offshore production plants (PCN, 5 Oct 2020, p 1).
Shell said that as a result of the restructuring it would
end up with less than 10 refineries, compared to 55 about
15 years ago, but that they would be set up to address the
changing needs of society. It had no plans to sell its interest
in the Deer Park refinery.

 

Balaji Amines Commences Operation Of Ethylamines Facility in Solapur

New Delhi—Balaji
Amines has begun producing ethylamines, as part of the
first phase of its greenfield project in Solapur, Maharashtra,
India (PCN, 2 Nov 2020, p 1).
The plant, based on the latest technology, has a production
capacity of 50 t/d of ethylamines. With the successful
commissioning of the plant, Balaji Amines has become a
“largest” manufacturer in all of its range of products,
ethylamines and methylamines, the company noted.
Late last year, Balaji said it had received board of directors’
approval to build a new methylamines plant at
Solapur with between 40,000 t/y and 50,000 t/y of capacity.
A schedule was not given.

 

Ashland Launching Strategic Review Of Performance Adhesives Business

Wilmington—
Ashland Global Holdings announced a strategic review of
its performance adhesives business unit to evaluate all
options with respect to the unit, including a possible sale.
The decision to initiate a strategic review is consistent
with the company’s strategy to grow its integrated additive
ingredients portfolio, Ashland noted. The review is expected
to be completed by the end of this year.
“The company plans to increase capital deployment toward
its core additives portfolio consisting of life sciences,
personal care and household and specialty additives,” the
company noted.
“Priority will be given to expand its high-value pharmaceuticals
and personal care businesses, to enhance shareholder
value through improved margins and focused
growth capital deployment, including potential bolt-on acquisitions.”

 

IVL Selected as Winning Bidder to Buy CarbonLite’s PET Recycling Assets

Dallas—Indorama
Ventures (IVL), in a notice to the Stock Exchange of Thailand,
said it has been chosen as the winning bidder to acquire
the recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET) assets
of CarbonLite Holdings and its subsidiaries in Texas
(collectively referred to as CarbonLite).
CarbonLite, currently under Chapter 11 of the U.S.
Bankruptcy Code, is a “significant” rPET producer in the
U.S., IVL noted.
The assets to be purchased are located in Dallas with a
combined capacity of around 92,000 t/y, consisting of
48,000 t/y of rPET pellets and 44,000 t/y of flakes. The
proposed acquisition would bring IVL closer to its rPET
commitment of 750,000 t/y by 2025.
The sale is expected to be completed within the second
quarter of this year, and is subject to conditions precedent,
including approval by the applicable bankruptcy court and
government authorities. Value of the transaction was not
given.

 

Thirumalai Plans Two-Phase Project in Dahej To Produce PA and Fine & Specialty Chems

Dahej—
Thirumalai Chemicals Ltd. India (TCL) is planning a project,
to be implemented in two consecutives phases, for the
production of phthalic anhydride (PA) and fine and specialty
chemicals at its existing site in Dahej, India.
The facility, on which design and engineering have begun,
will include the production of 180,000 t/y of PA and
30,000 t/y of fine and specialty chemicals. The first phase
is expected to come on stream about two years after the
receipt of required approvals.
The project is expected to replace the large imports of
PA and drive downstream growth in the country, TCL
noted.

 

Technip Energies Wins Neste Contracts For Renewables Production Platform

Paris—Neste
has awarded two contracts to Technip Energies for work on
the development of their renewables production platform
in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
Under the first contract, Technip will be responsible for
the engineering, procurement services and construction
management for the modification of Neste’s existing renewables
production refinery to enable production of
sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).
Modifications to the refinery, which will require an investment
of around €190-million, will give Neste the option
to produce up to 500,000 t/y of SAF, as part of the existing
capacity.
The second contract covers the front-end engineering
and design for Neste’s possible next world-scale renewable
products refinery. The contract is part of Neste’s preparations
to enable a final investment decision by its board of
directors targeted for the end of this year or the beginning
of next year.
The production process is based on Neste’s state-of-theart
NEXBTL technology, which converts waste and residue
feedstock into renewable products like renewable diesel,
SAF and renewable solutions for the polymers and chemical
industry.  Technip’s contracts are valued at a total of between
€50-million and €250-million.

 

Cepsa Completes Project to Optimize San Roque LAB Production Facility

Madrid—Cepsa
said it has launched its transformed linear alkyl benzene
(LAB) production plant in San Roque, Spain, which has
been optimized with the “revolutionary” Detal technology
(PCN, 10 Feb 2020, p 3).
The €117-million project involved installing the Detal
system, a technology developed by Cepsa and Honeywell
UOP, to increase LAB production capacity and respond to
the growing demand for biodegradable detergents.
“The transformation process at the San Roque plant
has not only improved the quality and variety of LAB, but
has also increased process safety and energy efficiency in
the industrial asset,” Cepsa noted.
In addition, digital transformation programs designed
by the company have been installed, including the Yield,
Energy and Throughput (YET) system, an artificial intelligence
program; and industry 4.0 technologies that involve
machine learning, big data and advanced analytics, which
optimize processes and improve the plant’s energy efficiency,
it added.
Cepsa earlier said the project would increase LAB capacity
by 50,000 t/y to 250,000 t/y.

 

Commission Approves Acquisition Of Ecoplanta by Suez and Repsol

Brussels—The European
Commission has cleared the acquisition of Ecoplanta
Molecular Recycling Solution by Suez and Repsol.
Ecoplanta, which is currently controlled by Suez, is active
in the development, construction and operation of a
waste-to-biofuels/chemicals facility to transform municipal
solid waste-derived feedstock into methanol in Spain.
Earlier this month, Repsol said it would join Enerkem
and water and waste management expert Agbar in the
Ecoplanta joint venture to build a waste-to-chemicals plant
in Tarragona that would process around 400,000 tons of
municipal solid waste from surrounding regions and produce
220,000 t/y of methanol (PCN, 3 May 2021, p 3).
The plant will utilize Enerkem’s gasification technology
and be co-managed by Repsol and Agbar. Operations are
expected to begin in 2025, following a final investment decision
by the first quarter of 2022.

 

OQ Receives ISCC Plus Certification; Introduces Bio-Based Oxo Chemicals

Manheim—OQ
Chemicals said it has received International Sustainability
and Carbon Certification (ISCC), under the ISCC Plus
scheme, for its production sites and headquarters in Germany.
Customers now have the option to procure ISCC Plus
certified oxo intermediates and oxo derivatives out of Oberhausen
and Marl.
“With the . . . certification, we can now offer our customers
an alternative to our fossil-based portfolio, featuring
the same quality and performance as conventional
products,” noted Dr. Ina Werxhausen, responsible for sustainability
management at OQ. “However, they contain a
certain amount of sustainable feedstocks from sources such
as biomass, biogenic wastes and residues, or renewables.
The certificates apply to all products and processes at
the sites. Based on demand and available feedstocks, the
company has the option to expand its bio-based product
portfolio.

 

Closed Loop Launches Circular Plastics Fund With Dow, LyondellBasell & Nova Chem

New York—
Closed Loop Partners said it has established the Closed
Loop Circular Plastics Fund with Dow, LyondellBasell and
Nova Chemicals, to invest in scalable recycling technologies,
equipment upgrades and infrastructure solutions.
The Fund, managed by Closed Loop Partners, and with
an initial investment of $25-million, invites businesses
across the plastics value chain to join in advancing the recovery
and recycling of plastics in the U.S. and Canada.
The Fund will invest in three strategic areas to boost
the amount of recycled plastic available to meet the growing
demand for high-quality, recycled content in products
and packaging:
Access – Increasing the collection of targeted polyethylene
(PE) and polypropylene (PP) plastics by
advancing current and next-generation material
collection systems.
Optimization – Upgrading recycling systems to
more efficiently aggregate, classify and sort the
targeted plastics.
Manufacturing – Investing in plants and equipment
that manufacture finished products, packaging or
related goods using recycled content, including recycled
PE and PP.
The goal of the catalytic fund is to grow to deploy $100-
million, through a combination of the Fund’s founding investors,
additional corporate investors and financial institutions,
in order to attract additional capital beyond the
Fund’s own commitments, the partners noted. At scale,
the Fund’s investments aim to recycle over 500-million lbs
of plastic over the Fund’s lifespan.
Dow, LyondellBasell and Nova, with their established
facilities, extensive supply chain network and markets, are
well positioned to help advance the transition to a new,
more circular system, said the companies.
“Dow is investing with Closed Loop Partners as another
way to catalyze additional investment in recycling technology
and infrastructure in the U.S. and Canada,” said Dow
Chairman and Chief Executive Jim Fitterling.
“Plastic materials are essential to a sustainable, low
carbon economy and this fund, alongside other investments
and collaborations we are engaged in, will help move society
toward a circular economy, ensuring plastic is not lost
to the environment.
”But our commitment and capital alone are not enough
to end plastic waste. We urge others . . . to join us and
scale the technologies, partnerships and capital needed to
build the circular plastics supply chains of the future.”

 

Toyo-India Receives Contract from PCL To Build New Indian Ammonia Plant

Mumbai—Toyo
Engineering India Pvt. Ltd (Toyo-India), a wholly-owned
subsidiary of Toyo Engineering Corp., has been awarded a
contract from Performance Chemiserve Ltd. (PCL) to build
a new ammonia facility at Navi Mumbai, India.
Under the contract, Toyo-India will be responsible for
the engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning
of the plant, which will have 1,500 t/d of ammonia
capacity, as well as associated offsite and utility facilities.
Completion is scheduled for the first half of 2023.
PCL is a subsidiary of Deepak Fertilisers and Petrochemicals
Corp. Ltd.

 

ADNOC Advances ‘Blue’ NH3 Project, Awards Pre-FEED Contract to Wood

Abu Dhabi—Abu
Dhabi National Oil Co. (ADNOC) said it has moved to the
design phase for a new 1-million-t/y world-scale “blue”
ammonia production facility at the TA’ZIZ industrial
ecosystem and chemicals hub in Ruwais, Abu Dhabi,
United Arab Emirates.
Wood has been awarded the initial front-end engineering
and design (pre-FEED) work for the ammonia project
and six other TZ’ZIZ chemicals projects. No other details
were given.
In parallel, ADNOC is planning to undertake a feasibility
study on the supply of blue hydrogen to the ammonia
plant from its operations in Ruwais. A final investment
decision for the project is expected in 2022, with start-up
planned in 2025.

 

KIPIC Awards PEMS Contract to Technip For Various Potential Projects in Kuwait

Al-Zour—
Technip Energies, through its wholly-owned Technip E&C
Ltd. subsidiary, has received a project engineering and
management services (PEMS) contract from Kuwait Integrated
Petroleum Industries Co. (KIPIC) for a variety of
planned projects in southern Kuwait.
The six-year contract, valued at between €50-million
and €250-million, covers PEMS for various potential projects
in the Al-Zour complex, including the Al-Zour refinery,
petrochemical complex, liquefied natural gas import
facilities and other plants belonging to KIPIC.
“We are pleased to have been awarded this contract by
KIPIC, which confirms our long-standing presence as an
established contractor in Kuwait,” said Stephane Mespoulhes,
vice president of project management consultancy at
Technip Energies.
“This award demonstrates our leading position in project
management consultancy activities and confirms the
ramp-up of our Technology, Products and Services business
segment.”

V59 N20 – 24 May 2021

SK Advanced, PolyMirae Begin Operation Of New Polypropylene Facility in Ulsan

Ulsan—SK
Advanced and PolyMirae have begun commercial operation
of a new polypropylene (PP) plant in Ulsan, South Korea
(PCN, 28 Oct 2019, p 1).
The 400,000-t/y facility, based on LyondellBasell’s fifth
generation Spheripol technology, is “one of the largest” PP
plants of its kind in Asia, PCN earlier reported. Propylene
feedstock is being supplied by SK Advanced.
As earlier agreed, PolyMirae will offtake all PP produced
at the plant for sale to customers in South Korea.
The product will be exported throughout Asia through
LyondellBasell and Daelim.
SK Advanced has been operating a propane dehydrogenation
unit in South Korea since 2016 with a capacity to
produce 600,000 t/y of propylene.
PolyMirae currently operates four Spheripol PP production
lines in South Korea with a total capacity of 700,000
t/y.

 

Anchorage Selects Novolen Technology For New PP Unit Being Built in Suez

Suez—Lummus
Technology announced that Anchorage Investments has
selected Lummus’ Novolen technology for a new polypropylene
(PP) plant to be built as part of Anchorage’s Anchor
Benitoite project in Suez, Egypt (PCN, 3 May 2021, p 1).
Lummus’ scope includes the technology license for a
590,000-t/y PP unit, as well as basic design engineering,
training and services, catalyst supply and operator training
simulator services. Value of the contract and an expected
completion date were not disclosed.
The project will include production units for several different
petrochemical products and intermediates. It is
planned to be a gateway to petrochemical activity on regional
and global scales, increasing the country’s competitiveness
and position as a petrochemical hub, Lummus
explained.
Earlier this month, Honeywell UOP said it will supply
its C3 Oleflex technology for the production of 750,000-t/y
of polymer-grade propylene at the Anchor Benitoite petrochemicals
complex.

 

Bluestar Dongda Produces First Batch Of Polyether Polyol from New Facility

Beijing—
ChemChina affiliate Bluestar Dongda has produced and
shipped its first batch of polyether polyol from its plant in
Zibo, Shandong Province, China.
The new 300,000-t/y high-performance polyether polyol
facility was built to replace old growth drivers with new
ones and conduct transformation and upgrading of
Bluestar Dongda, the company noted.
“After the project reaches the production capacity, it
will complement and improve the company’s product chain
and lay a solid foundation for winning the competition of
high-end, differentiated and customized products,” said
Bluestar Dongda.

 

Engro Lets Contracts to Honeywell, Grace For Proposed PDH/PP Plant in Pakistan

Karachi—
Engro Corp. has selected Honeywell UOP and W.R. Grace
& Co. to provide technologies for its planned propane dehydrogenation
(PDH) and polypropylene (PP) project in
Karachi, Pakistan, respectively.
The complex will utilize Honeywell UOP’s C3 Oleflex
technology for the production of 750,000 t/y of on-purpose
propylene. UOP will provide technology licensing and basic
engineering design, in addition to services, equipment,
catalysts and adsorbents for the proposed plant.
Grace has entered into an in-principle agreement to
supply its state-of-the-art Unipol PP process to convert the
propylene into PP. The technology provides a broad range
of PP homopolymers, random copolymers and impact
copolymers.
“Currently, Pakistan spends about $600-million on annual
import of polypropylene,” said Grace. “Engro’s PDHPP
complex is the first polypropylene plant to be built in
Pakistan and aims to address the increasing demand in
the local polypropylene market, and reduce the country’s
reliance on imports.”

 

JSR to Separate Elastomers Business; Will Transfer All New Stock to Eneos

Tokyo—JSR
Corp. said its board of directors has resolved to separate
JSR’s elastomers business into a new standalone company
named Japan Synthetic Rubber Spin-off Preparation Co.
Ltd.
In addition, JSR will transfer all stocks of the new company
to Eneos Corp. and conclude a stock transfer agreement
with Eneos.
Completion of the separation and the stock transfer are
subject to necessary clearances, permits and approvals under
domestic and international competition laws and other
laws and regulations. An expected completion date was
not given.
“Since this absorption-type split is a corporate separation
to a newly established wholly-owned subsidiary of
JSR, some disclosure items and details are omitted from
this disclosure,” JSR noted.

 

Navitas Midstream Selects Honeywell UOP For New Cryogenic Gas Processing Plant

Houston—
Honeywell announced that Navitas Midstream Partners
has purchased a cryogenic gas processing plant from Honeywell
UOP to extract natural gas liquids from natural gas
produced in several counties in the Permian Basin.
Honeywell will provide the design and supply of a 200-
million-cu f/d UOP modular cryogenic plant with refrigeration
and dehydration units. The plant uses Ortloff Recycle
Split Vapor technology to recover high-value ethane and
propane, which can be used as fuels, fuel blending components
and other valuable petrochemicals.

 

Qenos Closing Altona Ethylene, PE Units To Address Reduction in Available Feed

Altona—
Qenos announced it is closing and mothballing one of two
ethylene units, as well as one of two polyethylene (PE)
plants in Altona, Victoria, Australia, due to a lack of available
feedstock for its operations.
The decision to close the facilities was made after the
recently announced Altona refinery closure and reduction
in total available feedstock. The planned changes will
come into effect later this year and will result in a 15%
reduction in total domestic PE production.
“Qenos’ goal is, and always has been, to keep manufacturing
ethylene and polyethylene in Australia,” said Qenos
Chief Executive Stephen Bell. “Our ability to do so is dependent
on the supply of gas and ethane at internationally
competitive prices.”
Qenos Botany facility in New South Wales will not be
affected.
The Altona site currently employs 400 people; however,
the decision to reconfigure and mothball some of its manufacturing
assets means 150 jobs will be lost.

 

Ineos Provides Update on Start-Up Of New ABS Line at Wingles Site

Paris—Ineos Styrolution
has delayed the start-up date of its new acrylonitrile
butadiene styrene (ABS) line at its Wingles site in
France until the second half of this year (PCN, 25 June
2018, p 1).
Ineos has converted one of three existing polystyrene
lines at its site into a production line for ABS with a capacity
of around 50,000 t/y. The line was originally scheduled
to be operational in the first quarter of 2020.
A company spokesman told PCN that it will start production
as soon as it can produce at the appropriate quality
level.
The new ABS line will help Ineos meet the growing customer
demand in Europe for ABS products.

 

NextChem, Mytilineos to Study Feasibility Of New Green Hydrogen Plant in Italy

Milan—Maire
Tecnimont’s NextChem subsidiary and Mytilineos’ Renewable
and Storage Development Business Unit (RSD BU)
have signed an agreement to carry out an engineering
study to evaluate the implementation of a green hydrogen
production facility, based on electrolysis, in Italy.
NextChem will act as engineering partner for the project,
which will involve the conversion of renewable energy
from one of Mytilineos’ solar plants into green hydrogen.
The partners plan to develop future plants as well.
“Italy represents one of our key markets in Europe and
we are excited to start the development of our first green
hydrogen pilot project in partnership with NextChem in
the country,” said Nikos Papapetrou, general manager of
the RSD BU.
“We aim to expand this business model in all countries
where we are currently developing renewable energy systems.
We are privileged to be able to provide our contribution
to the green hydrogen energy strategy that has been
worldwide identified as one of the main pillars of the energy
evolution.
“Promoting the development of green hydrogen is a
tangible demonstration of our commitment to accelerate
the energy transition and decarbonization.”

 

Neste, Mitsui and Toyota Tsusho Collaborate For Renewable Plastic Production in Japan

Osaka—
Neste, Mitsui Chemicals and Toyota Tsusho announced
they are partnering to enable Japan’s “first” industrialscale
production of renewable plastics and chemicals from
100% bio-based hydrocarbons.
As part of the collaboration, Neste will produce its
Neste RE feedstock entirely from renewable raw materials,
such as bio-based waste and residual oils, without any fossil
oil.
Mitsui will use the Neste RE feedstock to replace a part
of the fossil feedstock in the production of a variety of plastics
and chemicals at its Osaka Works crackers during
2021, becoming Japan’s “first” company to use bio-based
feedstock in its crackers, the companies noted.
Specifically, Mitsui will produce renewable ethylene,
propylene, C4 fraction and benzene, among others, and
process them into basic chemicals such as phenol, or plastics
such as polyethylene and polypropylene, without altering
their quality.
“Bringing sustainable plastics and chemicals to the
market can only be successful if all value chain parties
closely collaborate,” said Mercedes Alonso, executive vice
president, renewable polymers and chemicals at Neste.
“We are therefore very excited about our partnership
with Mitsui Chemicals and Toyota Tsusho, two industry
leaders with whom we will start Japan’s first ever production
of high-quality, high-performance plastics, from 100%
bio-based Neste RE.
“Through this collaboration, we can considerably reduce
emissions related to the use of fossil feedstocks and help
Japan to reach its national climate and polymers-related
biocontent targets, fully in line with Neste’s purpose and
drive towards a circular bioeconomy.”
Mitsui and Toyota Tsusho plan to acquire International
Sustainability and Carbon Certification for the bio-based
products.

 

SK Chemicals Acquires 10% Interest In Chinese Plastic Waste Recycler

Beijing—SK
Chemicals has purchased a 10% stake in Shuye, a plastic
waste recycling firm in China, to commercialize ecofriendly
plastic called glycol-modified polyethylene
terephthalate (PETG).
The $20.2-million transaction gives SK the exclusive
rights to Shuye’s recycled PETG raw materials and products
in the South Korean market. Shuye will also be obligated
to supply 20,000 tons of recycled PETG raw materials
to SK Chemicals first.
“In the third quarter, SK Chemicals will roll out recycled
PETG product Ecotria and expand the ratio of recycled
products to 50% by 2025,” said a company official.
SK currently has a PETG production facility in Ulsan,
South Korea.

 

People on the Move

Grupa Azoty—Marek Wadowski has been appointed
vice president of the management board, effective 18 May
2021, succeeding Witold Szczypinksi.
Zbigniew Paprocki has become a member of the management
board, also effective 18 May 2021, to replace
Artur Kopec.

 

Ioniqa Concludes €10-Mn Funding Round For Upcycling Process for PET Plastic

Eindhoven—
Clean-tech spin-off company Ioniqa said it has completed a
funding round of €10-million for its upcycling process that
transforms all types colors of polyethylene terephthalate
(PET) plastic waste into “virgin-quality” materials for foodgrade
PET plastic.
The funding will be used to ramp up its 10,000 ton
plant to full capacity and prepare licensing packs, which
will be brought to the market early next year, said Ioniqa
Chief Executive and Founder Tonnis Hooghoudt.
“We are happy to have the continued support of our
current shareholders, as well as attracting a new shareholder
who has a firm belief in our proposition and the
added value that we bring to the market,” noted Ioniqa
Chief Financial Officer Jeroen Bulk.
The company is researching upcycling processes for
other types of plastics and they are expected to be
launched in the “near future.”

 

Stamicarbon Launches New Technology For the Production of Green Ammonia

Amsterdam—
Stamicarbon announced the launch of Stami Green Ammonia
Technology, a new ammonia production technology
that relies on renewable resources to eliminate carbon
from the process.
“By adding this technology to Stamicarbon’s portfolio,
commercialization of small-scale urea plants and monopressure
nitric acid plants in green fertilizer projects become
feasible,” Stamicarbon noted.
The technology can also be applied in existing plants, as
part of a hybrid technology to make existing fertilizer units
more sustainable. It can be used in combination with urea
production based on carbon recycling, or in combination
with nitrate fertilizers.
In addition to supplying the technology, Stamicarbon
can also assist with feasibility studies, project development
and financing.
The company has signed an exclusive cooperation
agreement with Raybite, based in Argentina, for the commercialization
of their small-scale ammonia technology
package.

 

SI Group Decides to Expand Capacity Of Tackifier Resin at Indian Facility

New Delhi—SI
Group announced a decision to expand tackifier resin capacity
at its manufacturing facility in Lote, India, by an
expected 75%.
The project, which “will propel the site to become a regional
hub for best-in-class tackifier resin production and
technology,” will be completed in two phases, SI noted.
The first phase will be completed by the end of this
year, with the second phase becoming commercial in the
second half of 2022.
“We have decided to grow capacity as another step forward
in demonstrating our commitment to supporting our
customers’ growth and positioning ourselves as a leader in
specialty additives,” said Robert Kaiser, vice president,
Rubber & Adhesives Solutions at SI.
“This expansion will not only benefit the region’s supply,
but it will also provide superior solutions at the highest
reliability to our customers, globally.”

 

Olin Planning Capacity Reduction At Plaquemine Chlor-Alkali Plant

Plaquemine—Olin
Corp. announced plans to permanently shut down about
20% of its diaphragm-grade chlor-alkali capacity at its facility
in Plaquemine, La.
The decision will reduce chlor-alkali capacity by around
225,000 ECU (electrochemical unit) tons. The closure is
scheduled to be completed by 1 June 2021.
This past March, the company shut down around 50%
(200,000 ECU tons) of its diaphragm-grade chlor-alkali
capacity at its plant in McIntosh, Ala. (PCN, 22 Mar 2021,
p 1).
In addition, Olin will shut down 230,000 ECU tons of
the same product at its Freeport, Texas, facility, in the second
quarter of this year.

 

BASF, RWE to Cooperate on Electrifying Chem Processes at Ludwigshafen Site

Berlin—BASF
and RWE plan to work together on a project that envisions
an additional offshore wind farm to provide BASF’s
Ludwigshafen chemical site with green electricity for carbon
dioxide (CO2)-free production processes.
The aim is to electrify the production processes for basic
chemicals from 2030. This will involve utilizing CO2-free
technologies, such as electrically heated steam cracker furnaces.
To advance the project, BASF and RWE have signed a
letter of intent covering a wide-ranging cooperation for the
creation of additional capacities for renewable electricity
and the use of innovative technologies for climate protection.
These plans could result in the avoidance of about
3.8-million t/y of CO2 emissions.
“Without the availability of sufficient volumes of electricity
from renewable sources at competitive prices, our
future transformation will not be possible! This task is
only achievable with innovative and intensive cooperation
between politics and industry,” said Martin Brudermüller,
chairman of the board of executive directors at BASF SE.
“Coupling a new offshore wind farm already in the
planning stage to an industrial customer, such as BASF,
who will convert its production to green electricity and hydrogen
on this basis, would be a first for Germany,” noted
RWE Chief Executive Markus Krebber.
“The realization of our proposal would represent a true
acceleration of the expansion of renewable energies. The
realization of our proposal would represent a true acceleration
of the expansion of renewable energies. Of course,
there are still some open questions, but we want to push
this forward— the faster the better. This is how we will
shape the energy transition.”

 

PPG Completes Purchase of Worwag

Stuttgart—PPG
has finalized the acquisition of Worwag, a global coatings
manufacturer for industrial and automotive applications,
based in Stuttgart, Germany.
Worwag, which has around 1,100 employees, also has
locations in the U.S., China, South Africa, Mexico, Spain,
Switzerland and Poland. Value of the deal was not given.
“The acquisition of Worwag is another step forward in
PPG’s strategic growth plan that will provide further value
to our customers and shareholders,” said PPG Executive
Vice President Rebecca Liebert.

 

Sinopec Begins Construction in Tianjin On 1.2-Million-T/Y Ethylene Facility

Tianjin—Sinopec
has started construction on its new 1.2-million-t/y ethylene
plant in Tianjin, China, part of its Sinopec Tianjin Nangang
high-end new material industrial cluster (PCN, 14
Dec 2020, p 1).
The company is investing $9.36-million in the cluster,
which includes 11 key projects, including new downstream
material industrial clusters, among others. The ethylene
plant is scheduled to be completed in 2023, according to
Reuters.
“The 12 sets of high-end new material units, including
ultra-high molecular weight will have five outstanding features:
high-end product solutions, enormous market potential,
complementarity of resources and strengths, strong
scientific and technological support, and leading green and
low-carbon technologies,” Sinopec explained.

 

ADM Touts Successful Conclusion of IBDP CCS Technology Demo Project in Illinois

Chicago—
ADM and the University of Illinois announced the successful
completion of the Illinois Basin – Decatur Project
(IBDP), a carbon capture and storage (CCS) project designed
to evaluate and test CCS technology at commercial
scale (PCN, 17-24 April 2017, p 4).
The project, one of two CCS projects located adjacent to
ADM’s corn processing plant in Decatur, Ill., utilized
20,000 ft of wells to successfully inject carbon dioxide
(CO2) from ADM’s plant more than 6,500 ft underground.
ADM was host and operator for the project, which was
mainly funded through the Midwest Geological Sequestration
Consortium (MGSC) by the U.S. Dept. of Energy –
National Energy Technology Laboratory. The goal was to
confirm the ability of the Mt. Simon Sandstone to accept
and store 1-million tons of CO2 over three years.
ADM also began injection operations at a second CCS
project in Decatur in 2017, which is currently permitted to
operate through 2022 and has the potential to store up to
5.5-million tons of CO2.
Together, both projects have successfully stored over
3.4-million tons of CO2 to date.
“ADM is committed to leveraging innovation and technology
to advance sustainability across every aspect of our
business,” said ADM Chief Sustainability Officer Alison
Taylor. “Deploying carbon capture and storage technology
in our processing operations is one of many ways we are
reducing our environmental footprint.”

 

MOL Decides to Resume NH3 Transport; Inks Time Charter Deal with Trammo

Tokyo—Mitsui
O.S.K. Lines (MOL) announced a decision to re-enter the
ammonia (NH3) transport business.
The company has signed a time charter contract with
Trammo for the Green Pioneer, a 35,000 cu m-type ammonia/
liquefied petroleum gas carrier.
“Ammonia is widely used all over the world as a raw
material for fertilizer and demand is expected to increase
in step with rising food production as the world’s population
grows,” MOL noted.
“In recent years, ammonia has also drawn attention as
a next-generation clean fuel, which generates zero CO2
[carbon dioxide] emissions when it burns, and as a ‘hydrogen
carrier’ that enhances the efficiency of hydrogen transport.”
MOL hasn’t been active in the ammonia transport
business since 2016. This contract marks it re-entry into
the field.

 

Gruppo Maip Named European Distributor For Eastman’s Tritan and Treva Brands

Rotterdam—
Eastman has named Gruppo Maip as its official European
distributor of Eastman Tritan HM glass-filled copolyester
and Treva engineering bioplastic.
The two companies began their relationship last year
when they announced a partnership to formulate new sustainable
polymer solutions for automotive interior applications.
“We’re working together to introduce Treva engineering
bioplastic to the automotive industry,” said Gruppo Maip
President Eligio Martini. “This new material is a cellulosic-
based solution with excellent flow and clarity to compete
with existing material options.”

 

PetroChemical News Briefs

Hexion has committed to reduce absolute carbon
emissions by 20% by 2030 in order to help address climate
change. The reduction target is compared to 2017, the
baseline year of operations.
Trinseo is offering Styron CO2RE 687DI30, a new
material that uses its recently commercialized recycled
polystyrene (PS) from dissolution technology. It is the first
of a series of recycled PS products that Trinseo intends to
launch under the Styron CO2RE brand.

V59 N19 – 17 May 2021

Technip Energies Wins EPCC Contract For IOCL’s New PTA Plant at Paradip

Paradip—
Indian Oil Corp. Ltd. (IOCL) has awarded an engineering,
procurement, construction and commissioning (EPCC) contract
to Technip Energies for a new paraxylene/purified
terephthalic acid (PTA) complex to be integrated with
IOCL’s Paradip refinery in Odisha, India (PCN, 3 May
2021, p 2).
The contract, valued at between €250-million and €500-
million, covers the delivery of a new 1.2-million-t/y PTA
plant and associated facilities. Completion is planned by
early 2024.
A consortium of Maire Tecnimont subsidiaries was recently
awarded a contract to build the new 800,000-t/y
paraxylene unit. The plant will feed the PTA facility.
“Paradip refinery is the most modern refinery in India,”
said Technip Energies. “Its products meet the energy demands
of the domestic market and are partly exported.”
The refinery will also include the production of polypropylene
and a 357,000-t/y ethylene glycol plant.

 

Tecnicas Reunidas Selected to Develop Greenfield PC Project in Indonesia

East Java—An
unnamed Singapore-based petrochemical company has
chosen Tecnicas Reunidas to develop a greenfield petrochemical
project in East Java, Indonesia.
The estimated $2-billion project will include an integrated
propylene dehydrogenation plant with 750,000 t/y of
capacity and a 500,000-t/y polypropylene facility, subject to
financial closure.
Tecnicas Reunidas will be responsible for the basic engineering
design and procurement and construction activities,
which are expected to begin in the “coming months,” it
said. Commercial operation is planned for 2025.
“The project is expected to contribute to easing the regional
supply shortage, as well as reducing Indonesia’s
60% reliance on imports of these products,” Tecnicas Reunidas
noted.

 

EC Approves Cerberus, Koch Acquisition Of Control Over PQ Performance Chems

Brussels—
The European Commission (EC), under the European Union
Merger Regulation, has cleared the acquisition of joint
control over PQ Performance Chemicals by Cerberus Capital
Management and Koch Industries for about $1.1-billion
(PCN, 8 Mar 2021, p 3).
PQ Performance Chemicals, the chemical business of
PQ Group Holdings, will continue to operate under the PQ
brand after closing of the transaction, which is expected
this year.
The commission determined that the proposed acquisition
would raise no competition concerns, given the absence
of horizontal overlaps or vertical links between the
activities of the companies.

 

Bua Group Awards FEED Contract to KBR For New Integrated Refinery in Nigeria

Lagos—KBR
has been awarded a front-end engineering design (FEED)
contract from BUA Group for a new 200,000-b/d integrated
refinery facility in Akwa Ibom, Nigeria (PCN, 3 May 2021,
p 1).
The multibillion-dollar project will produce Euro-V fuels
and will include a 285,000-t/y polypropylene plant,
based on Lummus Technology’s Novolen process. Operations
are expected to begin in 2024.
KBR successfully completed the conceptual feasibility
study for the refinery in 2018.

 

Orlen Unipetrol Commissions Testing Unit For Chemical Recycling of Waste Plastics

Litvinov—
Orlen Unipetrol has started up a pyrolytic testing unit for
processing waste plastics at its chemical plant in Litvinov,
Czech Republic (PCN, 16 Mar 2020, p 4).
The project, estimated to cost nearly CZK 72-million,
will explore the possibilities of chemical recycling and its
potential implementation in standard production in the
next three years.
Last year, PCN reported that VOW ASA, through its
ETIA subsidiary, would supply its Biogreen pyrolysis technology
for the project.
Output from the unit will be used to manufacture basic
chemicals such as ethylene, propylene, butadiene and benzene.
Using subsequent processes, it will then be able to
manufacture polyethylene, polypropylene, polystyrene, and
others.
“Almost half the plastic waste produced in the Czech
Republic remains unused now, as plastics recycling is a
demanding process,” said Tomasz Wiatrak, chief executive
and chairman of the board of directors, Orlen Unipetrol
Group. “The chemical recycling technology that we are
testing can change this.”
Orlen Unipetrol is collaborating on the project with the
University of Chemistry and Technology in Prague and the
Orlen Unipetrol Centre for Research and Education.

 

Technip Energies Exercises Its Rights To Acquire Shares from TechnipFMC

Paris—Technip
Energies said it will buy €20-million equivalent of its own
ordinary shares from TechnipFMC, concurrently with
TechnipFMC’s announced sell-down of its stake in Technip
Energies through a private placement (PCN, 22 Feb 2021,
p 1).
Technip Energies is exercising its rights under a separation
and distribution agreement entered into with TechnipFMC
on 7 Jan. 2021. Once the transaction is complete,
TechnipFMC will own an approximately 31% interest in
Technip Energies.
This past February, TechnipFMC completed a spin-off
transaction to create two independent, publicly traded
companies, TechnipFMC and Technip Energies.

 

Perdaman & IPL Sign Offtake Agreement For Urea from Proposed Karratha Plant

Canberra—
Perdaman Chemicals and Fertilisers has entered into a 20-
year offtake agreement with Incitec Fertilizers, a whollyowned
subsidiary of Incitec Pivot Ltd. (IPL), for up to 2.3-
million t/y of granular urea from Perdaman’s planned Karratha
urea plant in Australia (PCN, 4 Jan 2021, p 4).
The $4.3-billion project will involve the “world’s largest”
single-line ammonia unit, based on Haldor Topsoe’s Syn-
Cor technology, and a 2.14-million-t/y urea facility, utilizing
Saipem’s proprietary Snamprogetti Urea technology,
PCN earlier reported.
The signing of the offtake agreement with Incitec represents
a “major step forward” in the development of the
urea plant, noted Perdaman Chairman Vikas Rambal.
Construction on the urea unit is scheduled to begin in
the first quarter of 2022, with production expected to start
in the fourth quarter of 2025.
The offtake agreement remains conditional upon Perdaman
finalizing project financing. Regulatory and other
approvals are well advanced, Perdaman noted.

 

SAMAPCO Temporarily Shutting Down Due to Curtailment of Ethylene Feed

Jubail—Sahara
International Petrochemical Co. (Sipchem) announced it
will temporarily shutdown its affiliate, Sahara and
Ma’aden Petrochemicals Co. (SAMAPCO), plant because of
a planned curtailment of ethylene feedstock by Saudi Ethylene
and Polyethylene Co.’s SEPC cracker.
Beginning 23 May 2021, SEPC’s cracker will be shut
down for 27 days. SAMAPCO’s plant will shut down for
the same period, as its ethylene feedstock is supplied by
the SEPC cracker.
SAMAPCO will utilize the shutdown period to enhance
its reliability and operations.
Sipchem said it has taken the necessary actions to
eliminate any potential negative impact on its customers.

 

Yara & JERA Sign MoU to Collaborate On Blue and Green Ammonia Projects

Oslo—Yara
International said it signed a memorandum of understanding
(MoU) with JERA, Japan’s “largest” power generation
company, to partner on the production, delivery and supply
chain development for blue and green ammonia.
Under the MoU, the parties are targeting collaboration
in the following areas:
Supply and development of new ammonia demand
in Japan, including power generation purpose.
Sequestration of already captured carbon dioxide at
Yara’s ammonia plant in Pilbara, Australia, enabling
the production and supply of blue ammonia to
JERA.
New clean ammonia project development.
The organization of ammonia logistics in Japan.
“This ground-breaking collaboration aims to decarbonize
JERA’s power production and provide Yara with a footprint
in the strategically important Japanese market,” said
Yara President and Chief Executive Svein Tore Holsether.
“Building blue and green ammonia value chains is critical
to enabling the hydrogen economy, and collaborating
with a key player like JERA marks a milestone in leveraging
Yara’s global capabilities.”

 

IPL Experiences Equipment Failures At Its Waggaman Ammonia Facility

Baton Rouge—
Incitec Pivot Ltd. (IPL) has reported a series of equipment
failures and shutdowns since its recent planned turnaround
at its Waggaman ammonia plant in Louisiana.
On 15 Feb. 2021, IPL said the facility was expected to
restart operations by the middle of March 2021, following
the first planned turnaround since the plant was commissioned
in 2016.
Mechanical completion of the turnaround was concluded
on 6 Mar. 2021, followed by start-up activity
through to 17 Mar. 2021, when the plant was brought
down as a result of a dry gas seal failure and vibrations in
a turbine. At the time, the company said production was
scheduled to recommence by mid-April 2021.
The unit restarted in mid-April as planned and operated
successfully for two weeks, when it unexpectedly
tripped upon the failure of a vibration probe. Following
repairs, the subsequent restart process was stopped on 8
May 2021, due to a coupling failure, and the facility was
safely shut down.
“Bringing the Waggaman plant back to full operation is
IPL’s highest priority, with all appropriate internal and
external resources being deployed to achieve this,” the
company noted.
Repairs and restart are expected to take two to three
weeks. A further update will be provided on 17 May 2021.

 

Fusion Fuel & CCC Partner to Develop Green Hydrogen Demo Plants in ME

Dublin—Fusion
Fuel Green Plc, a green hydrogen technology company in
Ireland, said it has reached a collaboration agreement with
Consolidated Contractors Group (CCC) to develop green
hydrogen demonstrator units in the Middle East (ME).
The parties plan to develop the plants in several countries
in the region, namely Oman, Kuwait and Qatar, to
serve potential clients in the petrochemical and refining
industries.
The plants will utilize Fusion Fuel’s proprietary electrolyzer
solution that allows it to produce hydrogen at “highly
competitive” costs using renewable energy, resulting in
zero-carbon emissions, Fusion Fuel noted. No other details
were available.
“We are delighted to be partnering with the CCC to
open this new market,” said Joao Wahnon, head of business
development at Fusion Fuel.
“The Middle East represents a big opportunity and a
very promising region for us, given the high levels of solar
exposure, strong appetite for green hydrogen projects, and
strategic geographic position between Europe and Asia.
We are excited to bring Fusion Fuel’s revolutionary technology
to the Middle East.”

 

People on the Move

Uralchem—Dmitry Mazepin, previously chairman of
the board of directors, has taken over as chief executive
director, effective 12 May 2021. He is succeeded by Dmitry
Konyaev, who was most recently deputy chairman of the
board of directors.
Wacker Chemie—Christian Hartel has become president
and chief executive, effective 12 May 2021, replacing
Rudolf Staudigl, who has retired (PCN, 14 Dec 2020, p 2).

 

Shell and NUS Partner in Research Project To Convert CO2 to Petrochems & Fuels

Singapore—
Royal Dutch Shell and the National University of Singapore
(NUS) will work together on a three-year research
project to convert carbon dioxide (CO2) into petrochemicals
and fuels, said Reuters citing statements from both parties.
The $3.4-million project will involve developing processes
to produce ethanol and n-propanol from CO2. The
products can be used to produce cleaner burning fuels or
can be further dehydrated to produce ethylene and propylene
for plastics.
Shell will contribute is expertise to scale up catalysts
and processes developed by NUS.

 

Borealis Enters Agreement to Supply Berry With First Volumes of Circular Polyolefins

Vienna—
Borealis and Berry Global have signed an agreement, in
which Berry will have access to Borealis’ first volumes of
in-demand circular polyolefins made from chemical recycling.
Berry will use the polypropylene from chemical recycling
to manufacture food packaging for longtime global
brand owners at its existing European manufacturing facilities,
and will launch in the third quarter of this year.
“Investments in chemical recycling with partners like
Borealis are critical to Berry and our customers, as we collaborate
across the value chain to solve the global commitment
achieving net-zero emissions by 2050,” said Jean-
Marc Galvez, president of Berry’s Consumer Packaging
International Division.

 

RTI Awarded $10-Million from ARPA-E For U.S. Green Ammonia Pilot Project

Washington—
RTI International said the U.S. Dept. of Energy’s Advanced
Research Project Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) has awarded
$10-million to RTI and its partners for a green ammonia
pilot project in Morris, Minn.
The project, which will be located at the University of
Minnesota’s (UMN) West Central Research and Outreach
Center, will integrate the most promising technologies developed
in ARPA-E’s Renewable Energy to Fuels Through
Utilization of Energy-Dense Liquids (REFUEL) program
into a modular, 1-t/d demonstration facility capable of producing
low- and zero-carbon ammonia.
The technologies include Casale and RTI’s lowtemperature,
low-pressure synthesis along with flexible
process control strategies that can vary ammonia production
to meet available intermittent electricity, and UMN’s
elevated temperature ammonia separation.
In addition to RTI, Casale, and UMN, other project
partners include GE, Shell, Nel Hydrogen, Xcel Energy,
Great River Energy, Otter Tail Power Co., Runestone Electric
Assn., Chemtronergy, Texas Tech University, Pacifica
and the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute.
“We are excited to integrate advanced ammonia production
and utilization technologies and demonstrate them
under real-world conditions,” noted Sameer Parvathikar,
principal investigator at RTI.
“In addition to our technology partners, we are also
connecting with end-users to accelerate commercialization
of a technology that will play an important role in the decarbonization
of energy and agricultural industries.”

 

Danimer Scientific Gets Research Grant For Pennycress Oil as PHA Feedstock

Bainbridge—
Danimer Scientific said it received a Small Business Innovation
Research grant to research pennycress oil as a potential
feedstock for producing polyhydroxyalkanoate
(PHA), a biodegradable, eco-friendly alternative to traditional
plastic.
Beginning this July, Danimer will partner with the
University of Minnesota’s Forever Green Initiative to research
the possibility of using pennycress oil in producing
Danimer’s Nodax biodegradable solution.
The project will help determine whether the pennycress
oil can be used as a viable alternative to supplement the
company’s use of canola oil as feedstock.
“An important differentiator of PHA is that it can be
produced using renewable and sustainable products such
as different kinds of plant oils and sugars, in place of fossil
fuels used to produce traditional plastic,” noted Danimer
Scientific Chief Science and Technology Officer Phil Van
Trump.
“We are excited about the potential of pennycress oil for
our manufacturing process. Our partners at the Forever
Green Initiative are the leading experts on this crop, and
we are grateful to have their knowledge and expertise on
this project. This ultimately will help us further our mission
of reducing the impacts of plastics waste with renewable
and biodegradable alternatives.”

 

Tringen, NGC Ink Gas Sales Agreement For Tringen’s Point Lisas NH3 Plants

Point Lisas—
Trinidad Nitrogen Co. (Tringen) has signed a gas sales
agreement with the National Gas Co. of Trinidad and Tobago
(NGC) for the supply of gas to Tringen’s two ammonia
facilities on the Point Lisas Industrial Estate in Trinidad
and Tobago.
With this agreement, for which details were not disclosed,
the two ammonia plants will continue to keep
Trinidad secured as a key exporter of ammonia, the companies
noted.
Last year, PCN reported that Tringen, owned 51% by
National Enterprises Ltd. and 49% by Yara Caribbean,
signed a memorandum of understanding with NewGen
Energy to conduct a feasibility study for the use of carbonneutral
and green hydrogen at Tringen’s ammonia facilities.
The project would generate hydrogen from a nonhydrocarbon
source—via the process of electrolysis. A detailed
bankable feasibility study was completed last year,
with further studies underway. A financial investment
decision is planned in the first quarter of 2022.

 

Ascend Sets Goal to Cut GHG Emissions

Houston—
Ascend Performance Materials, in its 2020 Sustainability
Report, said it has set an “aggressive” goal of reducing
greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 80% by 2030.
“Our report highlights the work we are doing to fulfill
that commitment,” noted Chris Johnson, director of sustainability.
“Whether it’s the nitrous oxide abatement project in
Pensacola, Florida, the solar power purchasing agreement
for our plant in Chocolate Bayou, Texas, or the cogeneration
units in Decatur, Alabama, we are making considerable
investments to reduce our greenhouse gas footprint.”

 

SCG Chem Inks Share Purchase Agreement To Acquire Majority Interest in Sirplaste

Bangkok—
SCG Chemicals, through its SCG Chemicals Trading (Singapore)
Pte. subsidiary, has signed a share purchase
agreement to acquire a controlling stake in Sirplaste-
Sociedade Industrial de Recuperados de Plastico.
Sirplaste, Portugal’s “largest” plastic recycling company,
has an annual capacity of 36,000 tons, noted PLMJ,
advisor to SCG Chemicals on the transaction.
Under the agreement, SCG Chemicals, a wholly-owned
subsidiary of Siam Cement, will acquire a 70% interest in
Sirplaste, subject to the fulfillment of certain conditions
precedent. Completion is expected by the end of 2021.
Existing shareholders of Sirplaste will continue to hold
a 30% stake and co-manage the company with SCG Chemicals.
“The signing of the share purchase agreement to acquire
shares in Sirplaste is another significant step forward
for Chemicals Business, SCG, in advancing circular
economy pursuits,” said SCG Chemicals President Tanawong
Areeratchakul.
“The joint venture between SCG and Sirplaste will
strengthen our HVA portfolios to cater to the growing recycled
resin demand, meeting the needs of brand owners
worldwide and green-minded customers.
“It will also help to improve our technology department
of high-quality PCR [post-consumer recycled resin] and
expand our distribution to other continents.”

 

Hanwha Solutions Selected as Operator In Project to Develop PTC Technology

Seoul—
Hanwha Solutions will lead a national project to develop a
plastics-to-chemicals (PTC) technology in South Korea,
reported Business Korea citing the company.
The KRW 12.3-billion project, Waste Plastic Pyrolysis
Oil-Based Naphtha Production Technology Project, aims to
develop a technology that produces naphtha based on pyrolysis
oil. The naphtha will be used to make basic plastic
materials, such as ethylene and propylene, through a
naphtha cracking center.
By 2024, Hanwha intends to design a commercial process
that can produce 30,000 t/y of naphtha, following a successful
pilot project to produce one ton a day of naphtha.
Other participants in the project include Hanwha Total,
the Korea Institute of Energy Research, the Korea Institute
of Industrial Technology, KAIST and Jeonnam National
University.

 

Liquid Wind Chooses Worley to Design Commercial-Scale eMethanol Facility

Stockholm—
Worley has been selected by Liquid Wind to provide frontend
engineering design services for a commercial-scale
eMethanol plant to be built in Ornskoldsvik, Sweden.
The facility, which will be “one of the world’s first” commercial-
scale eMethanol plants, is expected to begin
production by early 2024, Liquid Wind noted. Construction
is planned for early 2022.
Worley will support the Liquid Wind consortium, which
also includes Alfa Laval, Carbon Clean, Haldor Topsoe and
Siemens Energy, to plan the efficient integration of the
technology components and the union with the host power
station, Ovik Energi.
Together with the consortium partners, Worley will design
a standardized and modular facility concept that can
be efficiently replicated and assembled for subsequent
flagships. During the design phase, a digital twin will be
established using a COMOS engineering database. Liquid
Wind plans to establish 500 facilities by 2050.
“We are committed to delivering a more sustainable
world and we look forward to helping Liquid Wind achieve
its sustainability goals and ambitions to bring renewable
methanol to market at scale,” said Worley President Bradley
Andrews.

 

Technip to Supply Hummingbird Catalyst For LanzaJet’s Biorefinery in Georgia

Atlanta—
Technip Energies and LanzaJet have entered into a supply
agreement for Technip Energies’ proprietary Hummingbird
ethanol-to-ethylene catalyst to be used in LanzaJet’s first
commercial demonstration-scale integrated biorefinery at
its Freedom Pines Fuels site in Soperton, Ga.
“Hummingbird is a second generation, low-cost process
for dehydrating ethanol to produce ethylene,” noted Technip
Energies. “It gives ethylene derivative producers an
option to produce ‘niche’ renewable products from sustainable
bioethanol sources.
“A key feature of Hummingbird is its proprietary catalyst
operating at a lower temperature, higher pressure and
producing a polymer-grade ethylene with over 99% selectivity,”
Technip Energies added.
“The use of the Hummingbird . . . catalyst will allow
LanzaJet to scale and grow strategically to meet the aviation
industry’s need for sustainable fuel,” said LanzaJet
Chief Executive Jimmy Samartzis.
”In fact, it will help us double production and usage of
SAF [sustainable aviation fuel] in the United States, starting
in 2022, and help the aviation industry reduce emissions
and its reliance on fossil fuels used to power its
planes.”
In 2019, Technip Energies was awarded its first commercial
license for the Hummingbird catalyst by LanzaTech,
founder and investor in LanzaJet.

V59 N18 -10 May 2021

SCG Chemicals and Dow Tout Completion Of MOC Debottleneck Project in Thailand

Rayong—
SCG Chemicals and Dow announced the successful completion
of their Map Ta Phut Olefins Co.’s (MOC) joint venture
debottleneck project in Map Ta Phut, Rayong, Thailand
(PCN, 8 Oct 2018, p 2).
The project, which was completed ahead of schedule
and has started initial production, will expand MOC’s olefins
production capacity by 350,000 t/y. Full commercial
production is expected to be reached this month.
“The MOCD [Map Ta Phut Olefins Debottleneck Project]
is the MOC’s largest project in terms of investment
and technological challenges,” noted Roongrote Rangsiyopash,
president and chief executive of SCG.
“The project was completed earlier than planned, despite
being amid the COVID-19 pandemic, thanks to the
stringent and continuous implementation of COVID-19
response measures and our professionals’ capability and
expertise to ensure safe and coherent project progress.
The project is now ready to meet the demands of the domestic
and international markets.”
In 2018, MOC awarded a technology contract to
McDermott International for the project, and an offshore
detailed engineering and procurement services contract to
Toyo Engineering.
SCG holds a 67% indirect stake in MOC, while Dow
owns the remaining 33% of both direct and indirect shares.
SCG Chemicals is a wholly-owned subsidiary of SCG.

 

Pembina Starts Up PRT Export Terminal; Enters Into Purchase Deal with Mitsui

Alberta—
Pembina Pipeline recently completed and placed into service
its “first” propane marine export facility, Prince
Rupert Terminal (PRT), on Watson Island in B.C., Canada
(PCN, 26 Feb 2018, p 4).
The $250-million terminal, with a permitted capacity of
25,000 b/d, will connect the rest of Pembina’s natural gas
liquids infrastructure in Western Canada with growing
demand markets throughout the world.
Pembina began loading propane onto vessels on 9 Apr.
2021. As of 22 Apr. 2021, two vessels had departed PRT
destined for international markets.
In addition, the company entered into a one-year
agreement with a subsidiary of Mitsui, whereby Mitsui will
purchase substantially all of the post-commissioning cargoes
shipped from PRT.
Separately, Pembina said the Prince Rupert Terminal
Expansion remains deferred. Engineering of the expansion
is well advanced and the company expects to make a final
investment decision in the second half of this year.

 

Hanwha Total JV Commissions PP Plant At Daesan Refining and PC Complex

Daesan—
Hanwha Total Petrochemical Co. (HTC), a 50-50 joint venture
of Hanwha General Chemicals and Total, announced
the commissioning of a new polypropylene (PP) line at its
integrated refining and petrochemical complex in Daesan,
South Korea (PCN, 23 Sept 2019, p 1).
The 400,000-t/y PP plant, which cost around $500-
million, is based on W. R. Grace & Co.’s Unipol PP process
technology. The additional capacity increases HTC’s PP
production capacity to 1.1-million t/y.
At the same time, the start-up of a fourth propane furnace
at the complex will boost ethylene production capacity
by 10% to 1.5-million t/y.
The facilities will take advantage of abundant, costadvantaged
propane feedstock from the U.S.
“The successful completion of these projects in South
Korea is an excellent illustration of our strategy of meeting
growing global demand for polymers, especially for durable
applications, by focusing investments on our world-class
complexes,” said Bernard Pinatel, president of Refining &
Chemicals at Total.
“In the case of Daesan, we also leverage competitively
priced feedstock and monomer-polymer integration.”

 

Chevron Phillips Chemical Planning to Build World-Scale 1-Hexene Unit in Old Ocean

Houston—
Chevron Phillips Chemical (CPChem) announced plans to
construct a world-scale plant to produce on-purpose 1-
hexene in Old Ocean, Texas, near the company’s Sweeny
facility.
The plant, which will utilize CPChem’s latest onpurpose
technology, is expected to have 266,000 t/y of 1-
hexene capacity. Start-up is expected in 2023.
“The new unit’s location will provide additional flexibility
and production to meet anticipated demand from the
company’s growing customer base, while establishing room
for continued future growth,” CPChem noted.
The company currently operates the “world’s largest”
on-purpose 1-hexene unit and two full-range alpha olefin
units at its Cedar Bayou plant in Baytown, Texas.

 

Arkema Finalizes Divestment to Trinseo Of Polymethyl Methacrylate Business

Paris—Arkema
announced it has completed the sale of its polymethyl
methacrylate (PMMA) business to Trinseo (PCN, 21-28
Dec 2020, p 3).
The transaction, based on an enterprise value of about
€1.14-billion, is fully in line with Arkema’s ambition to become
a pure specialty materials player by 2024, focused on
three complementary segments of adhesive solutions, advanced
materials and coating solutions, Arkema noted.
The PMMA business employees around 860 people, all
which will join Trinseo, and operates four production sites
in Europe and three in North America.

 

LyondellBasell Starts Commercial Production Of Polymers from Renewable Raw Materials

Berlin—
LyondellBasell said it has begun the commercial production
of virgin-quality polymers from raw materials derived
from plastic waste at its site in Wesseling, Germany.
Produced by the thermal conversion of plastic waste,
the raw material is converted into ethylene and propylene
at the company’s production facilities, and then further
processed into polyethylene and polypropylene.
The company has already successfully produced plastic
materials made from renewable-based raw materials such
as cooking oil, which helps to reduce carbon dioxide over
the product life cycle.
Products made from recycled and renewable-based raw
materials will be marketed under the Circulen brand name
(PCN, 19 Apr 2021, p 4).
“Advancing the circular economy requires definitive action
and by consistently using these new raw materials in
the production of polymers on a commercial scale, we are
doing our part to help eliminate plastic waste and address
climate change,” said Richard Roudeix, senior vice president
of Olefins & Polyolefins for Europe, Middle East, Africa
and India.
“We are expanding our range of sustainable solutions
through our Circulen brand and the use of recycled content,
offering our customers a way to use recycled polymers
in a wide variety of applications.”
Last month, the company announced that it had received
the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification
(ISCC) Plus certification for its Wessling cracker
and European polymer sites (PCN, 12 Apr 2021, p 3).

 

Mitsubishi Chemical Enters Agreement To Transfer Shares in SMP to Sinopec

Tokyo—
Mitsubishi Chemical Corp. (MCC) has signed an agreement
with China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. (Sinopec) to
transfer the shares it holds in Sinopec Mitsubishi Chemical
Polycarbonate (Beijing) Co. (SMP) to Sinopec.
Located in Beijing, China, SMP manufactures and sells
bisphenol-A and polycarbonate resins to serve demand in
China and other parts of the world. It was established in
2009 as a joint venture between PCR Investments Japan
Corp. (PCRIJ), which was jointly funded by MCC and Mitsubishi
Engineering-Plastic Corp., and Sinopec.
MCC will transfer all shares of SMP held by PCRIJ to
Sinopec by the end of October 2021, as part of a portfolio
reform in line with Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Group’s
medium-term management plan.

 

Black Diamond, Investindustrial Acquire Certain Resins Businesses from Hexion

Columbus—
Hexion has completed the sale of its phenolic specialty
resin, hexamine and European-based forest products resins
businesses to Black Diamond and Investindustrial for
around $425-million (PCN, 12 Apr 2021, p 4).
The transaction included 11 manufacturing facilities
worldwide and approximately 900 employees.
“This sale strengthens our balance sheet, while maintaining
a strong specialty chemical portfolio going forward,”
said Craig Rogerson, chairman, president and chief
executive of Hexion.

 

Ube Splitting Off Syn Rub Business To Form Ube Elastomer Subsidiary

Tokyo—Ube Industries
announced that its board of directors has resolved
to split off the company’s synthetic rubber business and
establish Ube Elastomer Co., a wholly-owned subsidiary of
Ube Industries responsible for the synthetic rubber business.
“As of this year, Ube Industries has operated the synthetic
rubber business for 50 years since it started manufacturing
synthetic rubber at the Chiba petrochemical factory,”
Ube noted. “In recent years, lower demand and
greater supply of synthetic rubber have resulted in stagnant
profitability.
“Given the circumstances, Ube Industries has decided
to split off the business into a separate business entity that
will independently operate the synthetic rubber business,
including related research and development, manufacturing
and marketing.”
In addition to the Chiba, Japan, factory, Ube manufactures
and supplies synthetic rubber products from Thailand,
China and Malaysia.
The company split is planned to be completed on 1 Oct.
2021.

 

KBR Enters Into Agreement with Cummins For Integrated Green Ammonia Solution

Houston—
KBR has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU)
with Cummins Inc. to offer a complete and integrated solution
to produce ammonia from renewable sources.
Under the terms of the MoU, KBR would integrate
Cummin’s proton exchange membrane electrolysis technology
into its proprietary green ammonia solution, K-GreeN.
“Cummins is excited to explore working with KBR,
whose leading ammonia technology can deliver tremendous
value with our electrolysis technologies,” said Amy Davis,
vice president and president of new power at Cummins.
“We see great potential to deploy large-scale electrolyzer
solutions in green ammonia projects and working
with KBR on an integrated solution provides value for our
customers, while enabling decarbonization.”
The MoU is a non-exclusive agreement, under which
KBR and Cummins will identify areas of deeper collaboration
and specific opportunities globally, the companies
noted.

 

People on the Move

Nova Chemicals—John Thayer, senior vice president
of sales and marketing, will assume the additional role of
interim senior vice president, operations. A permanent
replacement will be announced later. Arnel Santos, currently
senior vice president, operations and innovation,
will be leaving the company, effective 21 May 2021.
Hexion—Sanjeev Rastogi has joined the company as
senior vice president, global resins, succeeding Mark Alness,
who has retired. Rastogi most recently served as vice
president and general manager, performance materials
and technologies at Honeywell International.
Cyclyx International—James Trevathan, previously
global sales and operations manager at ExxonMobil
Chemical, has joined Cyclyx as vice president, feedstock
sourcing and supply chain.

 

DAK Americas to Close Cooper River Polyester Staple Fiber Operations

Charleston—DAK
Americas announced that it plans to close the polyester
staple fiber (PSF) manufacturing operations at its Cooper
River site, near Charleston, S.C., on 31 Dec. 2021.
The shutdown of the 150,000-t/y PSF facility will impact
approximately 200 full-service employees and 40 contract
workers. The site will continue to produce polyethylene
terephthalate resins to serve the bottle and packaging
markets.
“This is a very difficult decision for us,” said DAK Co-
President Jorge Young. “The closure of the fibers operations
comes after an extensive analysis of our ability to be
cost competitive in an extremely challenging market that
has faced prolonged and continuing pressure from low
priced imports.
“Current economics do not support the extensive investment
needed to revitalize the site and meet future
market needs.”

 

Petronas Adding 3 Newbuild LNG Vessels Through Hyundai LNG Shipping TCP

Kuala Lumpur–
Petronas LNG Ltd. has signed a time charter party (TCP)
with Hyundai LNG Shipping (HLS) for three newbuild liquefied
natural gas (LNG) vessels.
As part of the agreement, HLS, the shipowner, has
signed shipbuilding contracts with Hyundai Heavy Industries
for construction of the three 174,000-cu m ships. The
new vessels will be “amongst the most energy efficient
LNG carriers ever built,” Petronas noted.
Delivery is expected from the second quarter of 2024 on
a staggered basis and will mainly be used to lift cargoes
from LNG Canada, which will further contribute towards
the “competitive” and uninterrupted supply to Petronas’
customers, said Petronas.

 

Borealis Starts Up Heat Recovery Unit Utilizing ‘Unique’ Qpinch Technology

Antwerp—
Borealis, in a collaboration with Qpinch, said it has started
up a new heat recovery unit demonstrating the “first-ever”
application of the “unique” Qpinch technology at commercial
scale in Belgium (PCN, 29 Oct 2018, p 3).
The unit, located at an existing Borealis low-density
polyethylene production location in Antwerp, will test the
technology’s capabilities, as well as its scale-up potential
for use in other Borealis plants, globally. It will also enable
Borealis to save around 2,200 t/y of carbon dioxide.
By utilizing a chemical process to raise the temperature
of waste heat, the technology provides a heat lift for waste
heat that could otherwise not be utilized, Borealis explained.
Compared to conventional heat pumps, this
closed-loop process minimizes operational costs and
electricity use.
The technology is scalable from one to 50 megawatts,
enabling it to process “enormous” levels of industrial waste
heat.
“The integration of our technology in a complex chemical
production process is the culmination of 10 years of
R&D [research and development] and teamwork,” noted
Wouter Ducheyne, co-founder, co-chief executive and chief
technology officer of Qpinch. “This first unit demonstrates
the vast potential of energy efficiency, and it’s great to
have Borealis as a first mover on this innovation journey.”

 

Mitsui Chem, Mitsui & Co. Get EC Approval To Acquire Joint Control of Honshu Chem

Brussels—
The European Commission (EC) has approved the acquisition
of joint control over Honshu Chemical Industry Co., a
Japanese chemicals producer, by Mitsui Chemicals and
Mitsui & Co.
Last November, Mitsui Chemicals and Mitsui & Co. entered
into a joint tender offer agreement to purchase all of
the shares of Honshu, which would make Mitsui Chemicals
and Mitsui & Co. sole shareholders.
The transaction, which the companies earlier estimated
would be finalized “in or around” this month, would give
Mitsui Chemicals a 51% stake in Honshu, with Mitsui &
Co. owning the remaining 49% interest.
The commission concluded that the proposed acquisition
would raise no competition concerns in view of the
absence of horizontal overlaps and the existence of only
limited vertical links between the activities of the companies
involved.

 

Sulzer, AVA Biochem Partnering to Expand Technology Portfolio for Bio-Based Chems

Bern—
Swiss-Based Sulzer and AVA Biochem have entered into
an exclusive license agreement to commercialize AVA Biochem’s
proprietary COBRIS (Conversion of Biomass to Renewable
Industrial Substances) process to produce sustainable
commodity chemicals from biomass.
The COBRIS process turns sugar-rich biomass into a
renewable and non-toxic compound, 5-HMF, used to produce
a broad range of widely used chemical products, such
as adhesives, films, packaging, textile fibers, food additives,
as well as alternatives to formaldehyde.
Under the agreement, Sulzer’s Chemtech Division will
commercialize the licensed technology, along with its proprietary
key separation equipment for the purification of 5-
HMF, to offer a “one stop” solution, the companies noted.

 

Total Cray Valley, Gevo Complete Phase 1 Of JDA to Develop Renewable Isoamylene

Denver—
Total Cray Valley and Gevo said they have successfully
completed Phase 1 of their joint development agreement
(JDA) to upgrade fusel oils into renewable isoamylene
(PCN, 19 Oct 2020, p 4).
The JDA, signed in 2020, is based on Gevo’s chemicalbased
catalytic processes that selectively convert low-value
fusel oils, a mixture of alcohols that are byproducts from
fermentation processes such as ethanol or isobutanol production,
into renewable isoprene, ketones, aldehydes, or
olefins, in this case isoamylene. The isoamylene will be
used by Gevo is resin manufacturing.
“We were very satisfied with the results of pilot tests
during Phase 1,” noted Valerie Goff, senior vice president
of polymers at Total. “Gevo’s technology was found to be
robust and flexible and the initial economic assessment
shows potential for a profitable business.
“This JDA between Total Cray Valley and Gevo is an
excellent example of collaboration to develop the materials
of the future produced from bio-based feedstock, and meets
a strong demand from our customers.”
The companies are now looking to advance to Phase 2 of
the JDA, which will allow for the scale-up of Gevo’s technology
at a demonstration scale. No other details were
available.

 

Yara & Engie Win A$42.5-Mn ARENA Grant For Renewable Hydrogen, NH3 Production

Perth—
Yara and Engie have won a A$42.5-million grant, as part
of the Australian government’s ARENA Renewable Hydrogen
Development Funding Round, for a project to build a
renewable hydrogen plant for the production of renewable
ammonia in Australia.
The project, to be built within the existing Yara Pilbara
ammonia facility, involves the development, construction
and operation of “one of the world’s first” industrial-scale
renewable hydrogen production operations, the partners
noted. Completion is scheduled for 2023.
The first concrete phase of the project will produce up to
625 t/y of renewable hydrogen and 3,700 t/y of renewable
ammonia. This initial phase would be key to enable the
facility to become the “Pilbara Hydrogen Hub,” they added.
“Renewable hydrogen can decarbonize ammonia production,
and renewable ammonia can serve as renewable
feedstock for a variety of industrial uses, and even more
importantly, renewable ammonia is one of the world’s most
promising fuels for green power generation and shipping,”
said Yara Pilbara General Manager Laurent Trost.
“Yara will integrate the clean hydrogen produced in the
project into the existing ammonia operations to demonstrate
that increases renewable hydrogen use can reduce
the dependence on fossil fuels,” noted Magnus Krogh
Ankarstrand, president of clean ammonia at Yara International.

 

Technip Energies Launches New Suite Of Low-Carbon Hydrogen Solutions

Paris—Technip
Energies announced the launch of BlueH2 by T.EN, a full
suite of cost-efficient, low-carbon solutions for hydrogen
production.
In addition to targeting traditional low-carbon hydrogen
production applications like ammonia and refining manufacture,
BlueH2 by T.EN has been developed to further
support the decarbonization of other industries, including
olefins, liquefied natural gas, power, steel, and cement.
Benefits of BlueH2 by T.EN include: up to a 99% cut in
carbon footprint compared to the traditional hydrogen
process; maximum hydrogen yield with minimum energy
requirement, and highly-efficient carbon avoidance and
carbon capture utilization and storage techniques; “flight
proven” proprietary technologies and equipment, and optional
integration of highly-efficient, low-carbon cogeneration
of power.

 

Nouryon to ‘Spin-Out’ Nobian Business; Will Create Two Separate Companies

Amersfoort—
Specialty chemicals company Nouryon said it plans to
“spin-out” its base chemicals business, Nobian, into a separate
company that will remain under the ownership of The
Carlyle Group and GIC, Nouryon’s equity owners.
The separation, expected to be completed by early in
the third quarter of this year, will result in two separate
companies, each positioned for growth in their respective
focus areas. The transaction is subject to receipt of all
relevant approvals, including final board approval.
“In 2020, Nouryon announced a new company strategy
to grow our leading positions and exceed our customer’s
expectations by delivering innovative, sustainable solutions
that meet society’s everyday needs,” said Nouryon
Chairman and Chief Executive Charlie Shaver.
“The separation will create two powerful, best-in-class
companies . . . each with a compelling and distinct strategic
focus.”

 

PEC Enters Into SPA to Sell a 25% Interest In Huizhou Tianxin Petchem Engineering

Beijing—
PEC Ltd. has signed a sales and purchase agreement
(SPA) with Huizhou Qi An Enterprise Management Co.,
Huizhou Mu Sheng Enterprise Management Co., and
Huizhou Ze Xi Enterprise Management Co. (the purchasers)
to sell a 25% equity stake in Huizhou Tianxin Petrochemical
Engineering (Tianxin) for $1.5-million.
At the same time, PEC entered into a shareholders’
agreement with the purchasers, in which the board of directors
of Tianxin will comprise a maximum of four directors,
of whom PEC is entitled to appoint three directors.
The purchasers, comprising 25% shareholding, are entitled
to appoint one director.
Upon completion of the transaction, PEC will hold a
75% stake in Tianxin. An expected closing date was not
available.
Tianxin is engaged principally in the business of engineering
construction and maintenance, precision instrument
and equipment maintenance, engineering consultation
and procurement, and general contracting of chemical,
pharmaceutical, petroleum, oil and gas product storage
and transportation equipment.

 

Songwon Forms New Chinese Entity

Beijing—Songwon
Industrial Co. said it has established Songwon International-
Qingdao Co., a new business entity in China to
ensure Songwon remains well-positioned to continue serving
customers in the region.
Separately, the company said it has completed the divestment
of its shareholding in the Qingdao Long Fortune
Songwon Chemical Co. joint venture.

 

 

V59 N17 – 3 May 2021

Standard Industries Inks Definitive Deal To Acquire Grace for Around $7-Billion

Columbia—
W.R. Grace & Co. and Standard Industries Holdings have
entered into a definitive agreement, under which Standard
will purchase Grace in an all-cash transaction valued at
approximately $7-billion, including Grace’s pending
pharma fine chemistry acquisition.
Closing of the transaction, which was unanimously approved
by Grace’s board of directors, is subject to customary
closing conditions, including approval by Grace shareholders
and receipt of certain regulatory approvals. The
sale is expected to be finalized in the fourth quarter of this
year.
Once the transaction is complete, Grace will become a
privately-held company and its common stock will no
longer be listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
Last November, 40 North Management, a holder of
14.9% of shares of Grace common stock, offered to purchase
all outstanding shares of Grace for $60 per share;
however, Grace believed the offer undervalued the company
(PCN, 18 Jan 2021, p 2).
This past January, 40 North increased its offer to $65
per share for all outstanding shares of Grace. It has now
agreed to vote its shares of Grace common stock in favor of
the transaction with Standard.

 

Lummus Tech Wins Master Licensor Award For NKNK’s PC Project in Nizhnekamsk

Moscow—
Nizhnekamskneftekhim (NKNK) has awarded a master
licensor contract to Lummus Technology to supply its processes
for four new petrochemical plants, being built as part
of an expansion of NKNK’s olefins production facility in
Nizhnekamsk, Russia.
Lummus’ scope includes the technology license and basic
engineering for ethylbenzene (EB), styrene monomer
(SM), ethylene dimerization and olefins conversion units.
A schedule for the project was not given.
Once the expansion is complete, the facilities will produce
250,000 t/y of EB using EBOne technology; 250,000
t/y of SM utilizing Classic SM Technology; and 150,000 t/y
of polymer-grade propylene via olefins metathesis chemistry
using Lummus’ ethylene dimerization and olefins conversion
technologies.

 

Acron Completes Ammonia-4 Plant Revamp To Boost Ammonia Capacity at Novgorod

Moscow—
Acron announced the completion of its $34-million ammonia-
4 plant revamp project at its Veliky Novgorod site in
Russia (PCN, 12 Oct 2020, p 4).
The facility, which successfully passed guarantee test
runs, now has a capacity of over 2,500 t/d. It is “one of the
largest” ammonia units in Europe, the company noted.
Last October, Acron said it began a “major” overhaul of
its units at the site, which would include upgrading four
urea units to reach 2,000 t/d. A schedule was not given.

 

Anchorage Selects C3 Oleflex Technology For Propylene Production Unit in Egypt

Suez—
Honeywell UOP said that its C3 Oleflex technology has
been chosen by Anchorage Investments for the production
of 750,000-t/y of polymer-grade propylene at Anchorage’s
Anchor Benitoite petrochemicals complex in Suez, Egypt.
Under the contract, Honeywell will provide technology
licensing and basic engineering design, in addition to services,
equipment, catalysts and adsorbents for the plant.
No other details of the project were given.
“The increasing consumption of plastics in the region
has created a growing gap between supply and demand for
propylene, which has historically been a by-product of refining
fuels,” said Laura Leonard, vice president and general
manager, Honeywell UOP Process Technologies.

 

BUA Refinery Picks Novolen Technology For New PP Plant at Nigerian Refinery

Abuja—
Lummus Technology’s Novolen business has been awarded
a contract from BUA Refinery to supply technology for a
new polypropylene (PP) plant to be built as part of BUA’s
grassroots refinery and petrochemicals project in Akwa
Ibom, Nigeria.
The 285,000-t/y PP facility will be the “first” unit in Nigeria
to utilize Novolen PP technology. An expected completion
date for the plant was not given. The refinery project
is scheduled to come on stream in 2024.
Lummus’ scope includes the technology license, as well
as basic design engineering, training and services, and
catalyst supply.
“We are pleased to sign this polypropylene contract . . .
with Lummus Technology, a world leader in delivering
polypropylene solutions, which will solve the increasing
demand for high-performance grade polypropylene in Nigeria,
the Gulf of Guinea, as well as the Sub-Saharan Africa
region,” noted Abdul Samad Rabiu, chairman of BUA
Group.

 

Shintech Begins Project to Boost Capacity At Integrated PVC Facility in Plaquemine

Houston—
Shintech, a U.S. subsidiary of Shin-Etsu Chemical, has
started construction on a project to further increase production
capacity at its integrated polyvinyl chloride (PVC)
manufacturing facility in Plaquemine, La (PCN, 8 Feb
2021, p 1).
Expected to cost $1.25-billion, the project will see increasing
production capacity for vinyl chloride monomer
(VCM) by 580,000 t/y to 2.95-million t/y, PVC capacity by
380,000 t/y to 3.62-million t/y and caustic soda capacity by
390,000 t/y to a total of 1.95-million t/y. Completion is anticipated
by the end of 2023.
In 2018, Shintech began construction on a $1.49-billion
project at the site to develop a new chlor-alkali and VCM
production facility and expand existing PVC production
units. Completion is scheduled for the middle of this year.

 

LyondellBasell to License PE Technology For Shandong Yulong Petchem Complex

Beijing—
Shandong Yulong Petrochemical Co. has selected LyondellBasell’s
Lupotech T high-pressure polyethylene (PE)
technology to be used in two new production lines at its
20,000-t/y integrated refining and petrochemical complex
being built in Longkou, Shandong Province, China (PCN,
15 Feb 2021, p 1).
The technology will be utilized in a 200,000-t/y lowdensity
PE (LDPE) line and a 300,000-t/y LDPE and ethylene
vinyl acetate (EVA) copolymer line. Details of the contract
and a scheduled start-up date were not given.
“With continuous significant growth in LDPE and EVA
applications, and the need for benchmark manufacturing
performance to effectively compete in the product market,
Shandong Yulong Petrochemical’s selection of our Lupotech
T underlines our leading position in process technologies
for the production of LDPE and LDPE specialties,”
said Neil Nadalin, director of global licensing and services
at LyondellBasell.
PCN earlier reported that the complex would include
two “mega” mixed feed ethylene crackers, two “large” polypropylene
lines, and “large” ethylbenzene and styrene
monomer plants.

 

Kumho Mitsui Chemicals Plans Project To Increase MDI Production at Yeosu

Yeosu—Kumho
Mitsui Chemicals is planning to expand production capacity
for diphenylmethane diisocyanate (MDI) at its facilities
in Yeosu, South Korea.
The ¥40-billion project will increase MDI production
capacity to 610,000 t/y from 410,000 t/y currently. Construction
is expected to begin this month, with operations
scheduled to start in January 2024.
In addition, the company will install recycling facilities
that can reuse the by-products created during the manufacturing
process as raw materials, which will improve
self-sufficiency for raw materials, and reduce emissions,
Mitsui Chemicals noted.
“Demand for MDI is projected to grow at annual rate of
6% going forward on account of policy measures around the
globe to improve residential insulation as a means of global
warming suppression, as well as due to the heightened
demand accompanying economic growth,” it added.
Kumho Mitsui Chemicals is a 50-50 joint venture of
Kumho Petrochemical Co. and Mitsui Chemicals & SKC
Polyurethanes Inc.

 

Egypt Signs Agreement for PC Complex; Expects Project to Meet Domestic Needs

Cairo—
Egypt’s Red Sea National Refining and Petrochemicals Co.
and the Suez Canal Economic Zone’s development company
have signed an agreement to build a new petrochemical
complex in the Ain Sokhna industrial zone, according to
several industry reports citing a government statement.
The complex, estimated to cost $7.5-billion, would include
the production of polyethylene, polypropylene, polyester,
and other chemical and petroleum products. No
other details were available.
The aim of the project is to produce value-added petrochemical
and petroleum products to meet the country’s
domestic needs, and create export opportunities.

 

IOCL Awards Contract to Maire Tecnimont To Build New Paraxylene Plant in Paradip

Paradip—
A consortium of Tecnimont SpA and Tecnimont Private
Ltd., subsidiaries of Maire Tecnimont SpA, have received a
contract from Indian Oil Corp. Ltd. (IOCL) to set up a new
paraxylene unit and relevant offsite facilities in Paradip,
Odisha, India (PCN, 10 Aug 2020, p 1).
The project will involve construction of a new 800,000-
t/y paraxylene plant, which will feed an adjacent 1.2-
million-t/y purified terephthalic acid (PTA) unit. Both
facilities are expected to be complete by early 2024.
Under the lump-sum contract, valued at around $450-
million, the consortium will be responsible for the engineering,
procurement, construction and commissioning
activities of the paraxylene unit up to the performance
guarantees test run.
IOCL is currently building a 357,000-t/y ethylene glycol
(EG) plant at Paradip, which is scheduled to begin operations
towards the end of this year. PTA from the new complex
will be used as feedstock in the EG plant.

 

Michelin Lets McDermott FEED Contract For Plastic Recycling Project in France

Paris—
Michelin Group has awarded a front-end engineering design
(FEED) contract to McDermott for a plastic recycling
project in France.
The project will involve the “first” industrialization of
an “innovative” plastic recycling process to produce regenerated
styrene from polystyrene. The regenerated styrene
will be used in the production of synthetic rubbers for tires
and polystyrene, McDermott noted.
McDermott will provide value engineering, risk analysis
and a detailed constructability study. Work on the project
will begin immediately and is expected to be completed
in the third quarter of this year.
“In line with McDermott’s energy transition strategy,
we will use our strategic solutions to continue supporting
Michelin’s commitment to a circular economy and increasing
demand for sustainable materials,” said Tareq Kawash,
senior vice president, Europe, Middle East and Africa at
McDermott.

 

Nova Declares FM on PE in Sarnia

Sarnia—Nova
Chemicals declared force majeure on polyethylene produced
in Canada’s Sarnia region, citing a mechanical failure
beyond its control at its Corunna ethylene cracker, according
to several media reports.
The Corunna cracker supplies ethylene to the company’s
polyethylene facilities in the region, namely its
Mooretown and St. Clair River plants. The force majeure
will not affect any of Nova’s other polyethylene products.
It is not yet known when the force majeure is likely to
be lifted.

 

People on the Move

LSB Industries—Hector Miravete has been appointed
to the newly created role of director of clean energy, effective
3 May 2021, to lead the development and execution of
the company’s Green Ammonia initiative. He comes from
KBR, where he most recently served as global technology
business director.

 

SABIC to Assume Sales & Marketing Rights Of Aramco’s Chemical, Polymer Products

Riyadh—
SABIC, in its first quarter 2021 earnings, said that the
sales and marketing rights of around 5.4-million tons of
chemicals and polymer products will be transferred from
Saudi Aramco to SABIC.
The arrangement, planned to be implemented on a
phased basis beginning this year, will focus SABIC on petrochemicals
products and Aramco on fuel products. The
changes are subject to the receipt of necessary consents.
SABIC will also sell methyl tertiary butyl ether and
benzene to Aramco and will rely on Aramco to source
European cracker feedstock and benzene to its global operations.
The new capacities to be transferred to SABIC include
polyurethane, propylene oxide and butyl glycol ethers,
which will expand its product portfolio.
“We expect our global market share to increase in
polymers and chemicals, which will reinforce SABIC as the
chemicals arm of Saudi Aramco and advance the realization
of our company’s ambition to be the preferred world
leader in chemicals,” SABIC noted.
Last year, Aramco acquired a 70% stake in SABIC from
the Public Investment Fund for a total purchase price of
$69.1-billion (PCN, 12 Apr 2021, p 4).

 

Venture Global Announces Development In Plaquemines LNG Export Facility

Arlington—
Venture Global announced a new partnership with Zachary
Group in the development of its liquefied natural gas
(LNG) export facility in Plaquemines Parish, La. (PCN, 7
Dec 2020, p 3).
KBR, which was recently awarded an engineering, procurement
and construction (EPC) contract for Phase 1 of
the project, will form a new joint venture with Zachry.
Through the joint venture, as KZJV, KBR and Zachry will
executive the EPC contract.
The facility will have a nameplate capacity of 10-million
t/y of LNG. An expected completion date was not given.

 

Shchekinoazot and Topsoe Enter MoU To Reduce CO2 Emissions in Russia

Moscow—
Shchekinoazot and Haldor Topsoe have signed a memorandum
of understanding (MoU) to jointly discover opportunities
to reduce the carbon footprint of Shchekinoazot’s
existing and future plants in the Tula region of Russia.
Shchekinoazot plans to establish the production of
green and blue methanol, ammonia and hydrogen using
Topsoe’s experience and technologies within reforming,
electrolysis, carbon capture and utilization, and ammonia
and methanol synthesis.
The partners will notify each other of latest technological
developments, and jointly explore opportunities of implementing
Topsoe’s technologies at Shchekinoazot’s
plants, in order to “efficiently and safely produce highquality
chemicals with the lowest rates of green house gas
emissions,” Topsoe noted.
“Our company’s vision is to be recognized as the global
leader in carbon emission reduction technologies by 2024,
and we are excited to share our groundbreaking technologies
with our long-term partner, Shchekinoazot,” said Roeland
Baan, president and chief executive of Topsoe.

 

Carbios Confirms Plan for ‘First-of-a-Kind’ 100% PET Recycling Production Facility

Paris—
Carbios confirmed its intention to build a “first-of-a-kind”
100% polyethylene terephthalate (PET) recycling unit,
once a site is selected.
The plant is expected to have 40,000 t/y of recycled PET
production. Construction is anticipated to begin at the end
of next year, with start-up of the unit expected by the end
of 2024.
In addition, the company said it has terminated the
non-exclusive and non-binding expression of interest (EoI)
with Equipolymers to host the plant at Equipolymers’ site
in Schkopau, Germany, and has signed a new nonexclusive
and non-binding EoI with a “significant” PET
producer to build the unit on one of its production sites.
No other details were given.

 

Repsol to Join Enerkem, Agbar in Project To Build Spanish Waste-to-Chems Plant

Madrid—
Repsol said it will join Enerkem and water and waste
management expert Agbar in a project to build a waste-tochemicals
plant in Tarragona, Spain.
The joint venture, Ecoplanta Molecular Recycling Solutions,
will set up a facility to process around 400,000 tons
of non-recycled municipal solid waste from surrounding
regions and produce 220,000 t/y of methanol. The plant
will utilize Enerkem’s gasification technology and will be
co-managed by Repsol and Agbar.
The methanol will be used as a raw material to produce
circular materials or advanced biofuels, making it possible
to cut 200,000 t/y of carbon dioxide. Operations are expected
to begin in 2025, following a final investment decision
by the first quarter of 2022.
“We are very pleased to join forces with relevant waste
management and innovative technology partners, showing
our commitment to circular economy and reinforcing our
commitment to recycle 20% of our polyolefins production by
2030,” said Jose Luis Bernal, executive director for chemicals
at Repsol.

 

Dow and Empower Launch Study in Nigeria To Advance Circular Economy for Plastics

Lagos—
Dow and Norwegian circular platform company Empower
announced a new study to examine the feasibility of advancing
fully circular value chains in Nigeria, Africa, to
help close the loop on plastics waste.
The study, which will partly funded by the Norwegian
Agency for Development Cooperation, will focus on the implementation
of a scalable digital waste collection and recycling
business model in Lagos.
The results of the study will inform the long-term ambition
of the partnership, which is to digitize the local collection
points, recyclers, and waste streams, to ensure transparency
and reliability of the process of tracking recyclable
plastics waste and converting it into new sustainable packaging,
Dow explained.
The partners will examine the entire value chain to ensure
sustainable plastics sourcing is commercially viable
across all areas. They will also explore the potential to
crowdsource and digitally track waste collection, in order
to create “significant” and “reliable” streams of raw material
feedstock to meet the needs of buyers, Dow added.

 

Trinseo and ETB Sign LoI to Collaborate On Developing Bio-Based 1,3-Butadiene

Berwyn—
Trinseo and ETB have entered into a letter of intent (LoI)
to combine their respective technology and process expertise
for the development of bio-based 1,3-butadiene.
Under the partnership, the parties will jointly explore
opportunities to scale up ETB’s single-stage process to produce
the 1,3-butadiene from ethanol using polyfunctional
catalyst technology.
The companies will initially focus on demonstrating the
viability of sustainable ethanol-based synthetic rubber in
support of green tire production.
Trinseo will conduct a feasibility study, with ETB’s
support, for the construction of a dedicated bio-based 1,3-
butadiene pilot plant at a site in Europe. Once operational,
the plant is expected to include a purification unit
to achieve a purity target of 99.7%. No other details of the
facility were available.
“Our customers are increasingly seeking new ways to
add renewable and bio-based raw materials along the
value chain to support their sustainability goals,” said
Francesca Reverberi, vice president of Engineered Materials
& Synthetic Rubber at Trinseo.
“The ability to derive bio-based butadiene from ethanol,
with close to 100% purity, enables our customers to develop
more sustainable products without compromising on
performance.”

 

MGC & Origin Materials Form Alliance For Carbon-Negative Chems, Materials

Sacramento—
Mitsubishi Gas Chemical (MGC) and Origin Materials announced
a partnership to industrialize and manufacture
advanced carbon-negative chemicals and materials built on
the Origin Materials patented technology platform.
Origin Materials’ technology platform turns sustainable
wood residues into cost-advantaged, carbon-negative materials
that reduce the need for fossil resources.
The partnership includes an agreement for Origin Materials
to sell the carbon-negative materials to MGC, and a
joint development agreement for the companies to create
new, functionally advantaged chemicals and derivatives,
including high-value specialty chemicals.
The partners aim to explore not only new technologies,
but new industrial supply chain relationships that are expected
to support technology commercialization and enable
downstream products across a variety of industries and
applications.

 

Air Liquide Starts Up New Hydrogen Unit At Covestro’s Antwerp Production Site

Antwerp—Air
Liquide has begun operating a next generation SMR-X hydrogen
plant at Covestro’s production site in the port area
of Antwerp, Belgium (PCN, 23 Apr 2018, p 4).
The new €82-million unit, based on Air Liquide’s proprietary
technology, will produce about 56,000 cu m/hr of
hydrogen. About 40% of the hydrogen will be used by
Covestro for the production of aniline, while the remaining
60% will be supplied to Air Liquide’s other local customers.
Unlike traditional steam methane reformers, the new
plant does not produce excess steam. The result is better
energy efficiency and lower carbon dioxide emissions, Air
Liquide noted.

 

Nouryon & Atul’s Anaven Joint Venture Starts MCA Production at Gujarat Site

Mumbai—
Nouryon announced that Anaven, its new 50-50 joint venture
with Atul, has successfully begun production of
monochloroacetic acid (MCA) at India’s “largest” MCA production
site in Gujarat, India (PCN, 26 Oct 2020, p 1).
The new MCA plant, based on Nouryon’s state-of-theart
technology, has a production capacity of 32,000 t/y and
is designed for a future expansion of up to 60,000 t/y. Cost
of the project was not disclosed.
Nouryon earlier said that Atul would supply chlorine
and hydrogen to the new facility, and consume a portion of
the MCA directly in its own production, while the remaining
MCA would be supplied to the Indian market.

 

Azelis Americas to Exclusively Distribute BASF’s Lupragen PU Catalysts in NA

Westport—
Azelis Americas CASE has entered into a contract, effective
immediately, to exclusively distribute BASF’s Lupragen
portfolio of polyurethane (PU) catalysts in North
America.
The Lupragen portfolio will allow Azelis to offer PU
customers “unparalleled formulating advantages” in the
regional coatings, adhesives, sealants and elastomers
(CASE) market,” BASF noted.
“With this collaboration, we are excited to expand our
relationship with Azelis to provide our customers across
North America broad access to our Lupragen portfolio,”
said Kevin Anderson, vice president business management,
amines, acetylenics and carbonyl derivatives, BASF North
America.

V59 N16 – 26 April 2021

Sinochem Hongrun Picks Grace Technology For Polypropylene Project in Qingzhou

Beijing—W.R.
Grace & Co. has licensed its Unipol PP (polypropylene)
process technology and its Unipol UNIPPAC process control
software to Sinochem Hongrun Petrochemical Co. for a
PP facility in Qingzhou, Weifang, Shandong, China.
The project will include one reactor lone with the capability
to produce 450,000 t/y of PP. Start-up is scheduled
for next year. Value of the contract was not disclosed.
“Sinochem Hongrun’s decision to purchase our Unipol
UNIPPAC process control software allows them to optimize
their plant operations and extract performance improvements
on an ongoing basis, providing them with competitive
advantages in cost, quality, and product differentiation,”
said Laura Schwinn, president of Grace’s Specialty
Catalysts Division.
“This, coupled with our process and product improvements
program and the vast experience of our global technical
services team, will ensure that Sinochem Hongrun
meets their goal of producing a wide variety of resins for
the Chinese market.”

 

SPEAR Awards EPCM Contract to Worley To Build Dutch Advanced Recycling Unit

Geleen—
SABIC Plastic Energy Advanced Recycling BV (SPEAR), a
50-50 joint venture of SABIC and Plastic Energy, has
awarded an engineering, procurement and construction
management (EPCM) contract to Worley for a new advanced
plastics recycling plant in Geleen, the Netherlands
(PCN, 25 Jan 2021, p 1).
The unit will leverage Plastic’s Energy’s patented recycling
technology to turn mixed and used plastic waste into
recycled oils called Tacoil. The Tacoil will then be used by
SABIC as an alternative feedstock to manufacture certified
circular polymers as part of its Trucircle portfolio. Operations
are expected to begin in the second half of next year.

 

Total Corbion PLA Selects NextChem To Design Grandpuits PLA Facility

Paris—Maire
Tecnimont’s NextChem subsidiary has been awarded a
contract by Total Corbion PLA, a 50-50 joint venture of
Total and Corbion, to carry out the front-end engineering
design for a new polylactic acid (PLA) manufacturing plant
in Grandpuits, France (PCN, 28 Sept 2020, p 4).
The new 100,000-t/y facility, scheduled to be operational
in 2024, will be the “first of its kind” in Europe, the
joint venture noted.
It will make Total Corbion PLA the global “market
leader” in PLA, firmly positioned to cater to the rapidly
growing demand for Luminy PLA resins, it added.
“Signing this contract with NextChem is an important
milestone as it reinforces our commitment to the global
bioplastic market as the first company to launch commercial-
scale lactic acid to PLA capability in Europe,” said Total
Corbion PLA Chief Executive Thomas Philipon.

 

CF Industries Lets Thyssenkrupp Contract For Donaldsonville Green NH3 Complex

Deerfield—
CF Industries Holdings has awarded an engineering and
procurement contract to Thyssenkrupp for a green ammonia
(NH3) project at CF’s Donaldsonville, La., manufacturing
complex (PCN, 2 Nov 2020, p 3).
The project involves installation of a 20-megawatt alkaline
water electrolysis unit, developed by Thyssenkrupp, to
generate carbon-free hydrogen that will then be supplied to
an existing plant to produce about 20,000 t/y of green ammonia.
Construction and installation is expected to begin
in the second half of 2021 and be completed in 2023.
“Today we launch a new era for CF Industries as we
sign a definitive agreement to develop the first commercialscale
green ammonia project in North America,” said Tony
Will, president and chief executive of CF.
“This project highlights the competitive advantage our
world-class ammonia production network offers to industries
sourcing carbon-free energy and reinforces our commitment
to make significant progress in reducing our carbon
footprint by 2030.”

 

Capricorn & Southern Research Form Renewable Chemicals Start-Up Firm

Montgomery—
Capricorn Partners and Southern Research have jointly
formed Trillium Renewable Chemicals, a new Alabamabased
start-up company to accelerate the commercial development
of Southern Research’s renewable chemicals
technology.
Southern Research has exclusively licensed its patented
chemical manufacturing platform to Trillium, which converts
renewable feedstocks, such as sugar or glycerol to
chemical products like acrylonitrile, propylene glycol, and
acrylic acid.
The two partners will continue to work jointly on the
process development, while Trillium will team up with
strategic partners for the scale-up and deployment of the
technology.
‘This process has the potential to improve economics
and the overall environmental footprint of downstream
products that utilize acrylonitrile as a raw material,” noted
Amit Goyal, lead inventor at Southern Research.

 

Arkema Plans ’22 Start-up of New Plant For Bio-Sourced PA at Jurong Island

Singapore—
Arkema said it is on track to start up its new world-scale
facility for the production of Rilsan high-performance biosourced
polyamide (PA) at Jurong Island, Singapore, in the
first half of next year (PCN, 13 May 2019, p 2).
The plant, which will represent a 50% increase in the
company’s global PA11 capacity, will produce both amino
11 monomer and its polymer, Rilsan PA11. Production will
be 100% derived from renewable castor beans.
To finance the project, Arkema said it successfully placed
its first ever green bond in October 2020, for a total
amount of €300-million.

 

Air Products Supplying Syngas to BPCL’s Propylene Derivatives Petchem Project

Kochi—Air
Products announced that its Kochi Industrial Gas Complex
is reliably supplying syngas to Bharat Petroleum Corp.
Ltd.’s (BPCL) Propylene Derivatives Petrochemical Project
(PDPP) at BPCL’s Kochi refinery in India (PCN, 21 May
2018, p 2).
The syngas plant utilizes Air Product’s cryogenic gas
separation technologies to produce a hydrogen/carbon
monoxide syngas to feed the PDPP.
“The syngas supplied by Air Products is a critical component
for PDPP and will enable BPCL’s entry into the
propylene derivative petrochemical market in a big way,”
said Sanjay Khanna, executive director of BPCL Kochi Refinery.
“This represents a significant multi-national company
investment in India and support for India’s vision to become
self-reliant. PDPP will produce niche products like
acrylic acid, oxo-alcohols and acrylates utilizing industrial
gases supplied by Air Products.”

 

Inter Pipeline Provides Latest Details On Heartland Petrochem Complex

Calgary—Inter
Pipeline announced updates on its Heartland Petrochemical
Complex (HPC), an integrated propane dehydrogenation
(PDH) and polypropylene (PP) production facility being
built in Strathcona County, Alberta, Canada (PCN, 12
Apr 2021, p 3).
The complex, in its final stages of completion, will convert
22,000 b/d of locally sourced propane into around
525,000 t/y of PP. The PDH unit is expected to be mechanically
complete next month and the PP facility by the
end of the year. PP production is scheduled to begin in
early 2022.
In addition, the company said its contracting efforts to
date have yielded “significant” results, with approximately
60% of HPC’s production capacity held under executed
take-or-pay agreements with seven counterparties. One of
the agreements is subject to conditions expected to be satisfied
this quarter.
“We are over 85% of the way to our [70%] minimum
contracting objective and advanced negotiations are proceeding
with a number of additional counterparties,” said
Inter Pipeline President and Chief Executive Christian
Bayle.

 

Yokohama Team Develops ‘World’s First’ Butadiene from Biomass Technology

Tokyo—Yokohama
Rubber, in a joint research team with Riken and
Zeon, said it has developed the “world’s first” technology
capable of “efficiently” producing butadiene from biomass.
The team created cells capable of producing butadiene
using new artificial pathways and enzymes. This will allow
producers to go through “cheaper” intermediates than
conventional metabolic pathways, and by incorporating the
knowledge of the enzymes that have been developed to
date, the cost of butadiene fermentation production will be
“significantly” reduced, Yokohama noted.
The partners have also succeeded in producing polybutadiene
rubber from the butadiene produced using the new
technology.

 

Abu Qir Awards Contract to Stamicarbon For Urea Plant Revamp in Alexandria

Cairo—
Stamicarbon has signed a licensing contract with Abu Qir
Fertilizers Co. to supply the license and process design
package for the revamp of one of Abu Qir’s urea melt
plants (Abu Qir 3) in Alexandria, Egypt.
The project involves increasing production capacity of
the unit to 2,370 t/d from 1,940 t/d currently, and reducing
emissions from the melt plant absorbers to meet the local
average. Operation is expected to begin in 2025.
The revamp will utilize Stamicarbon’s Evolve Capacity
Mega Design and Medium Pressure Add-On technology,
which allows capacity expansion of a plant without having
to invest in high pressure equipment or a high pressure
carbon dioxide compressor, while at the same time reducing
energy consumption.

 

ACC Issues Set of Policy Recommendations For ‘Dramatic’ Cuts in GHG Emissions

Washington—
The American Chemistry Council (ACC) said it has issued
a set of climate policy recommendations to enable “dramatic”
reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
Specifically, ACC calls on Congress to enact legislation
to increase government investment and scientific resources
to develop and deploy low emissions technologies in the
manufacturing sector; adopt transparent, predictable, technology-
and revenue-neutral, market-based, economy-wide
carbon price signals; and encourage adoption of emissionsavoiding
solutions and technologies throughout the
economy to achieve significant emissions savings.
“As President Biden convenes world leaders and sets an
ambitious new U.S. target to address the global challenge
of climate change, we’ve created a policy platform to advance
progress in the manufacturing sector and U.S. economy,”
noted ACC President and Chief Executive Chris
Jahn.
“As a nation, we need to boost clean manufacturing innovation
and supersize the use of energy-saving materials
and technologies. The third piece is a clear, consistent,
and effective way to reduce emissions economy-wide.
“ACC has long supported market-based, economy-wide
carbon price signals as part of our climate policy principles.
The proposals we’re putting forward today are concrete
steps that could help the Biden Administration advance its
goals announced today,” he added.
On 22 Apr. 2021, President Biden announced a new
target for the U.S. to achieve a 50% to 52% reduction from
2005 levels in economy-wide net GHG pollution in 2030.
Separately, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau
last week said Canada will cut its GHG emissions by 40%
to 45% from 2005 levels by 2030.

 

People on the Move

Petrobras—Joaquim Silva e Luna has become chief
executive. Previously Brazilian general director of Itaipu
Binacional, he succeeds Roberto Castello Branco, who had
been chief executive since 2019.
Trecora Resources—Rafael (Ralph) Pons, currently
site leader at the company’s South Hampton Resources
facility in Silsbee, Texas, has been appointed chief manufacturing
officer, effective 15 May 2021. He will succeed
John R. (Dick) Townsend, who will retire on 14 May 2021.

 

Ineos, Trinseo Select Recycling Technologies As Technology Partner for PS Recycling

Paris—
Recycling Technologies has been selected to join Ineos Styrolution
and Trinseo as technology partner for new commercial-
scale polystyrene (PS) recycling plants in Europe
(PCN, 5 Oct 2020, p 4).
Following a detailed assessment of technology options,
Recycling Technologies was chosen as the technology provider.
Recycling Technologies’ solution provided the “highest
yields” in the conversion of PS to styrene monomer and
provided the most scalable solution due to the company’s
fluidized bed reactor combined with expertise of a “highly
skilled” technical team, the companies noted.
The three parties will further develop the technology in
a PS recycling pilot plant, which will be built in the UK in
2020.
Ineos Styrolution plans to build a full commercial scale
recycling facility in Wingles, France, while Trinseo plans to
build its own plant in Tessenderlo, Belgium, which is expected
to be operational in 2023. Each plant would aim to
convert 15,000 t/y of PS waste into recycled styrene.

 

ENOC Group, Rotary Complete Expansion Of Terminal Operations in Saudi Arabia

Riyadh—
ENOC Group, in partnership with Rotary Arabia, has
completed a project to improve the transportation and
storage of petrochemicals in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s
Western Province.
The project involved building four new pipelines from
Farabi Petrochemical’s Yanbu facility on the Red Sea coast
to storage tanks at Arab Tank Terminal Ltd. (ATTL), associated
pumps lines and export lines, as well as highly automated
facilities.
Four of 26 storage tanks at ATTL, which have a chemical
and petroleum storage capacity of 288,100 cu m, have
been revamped. Two additional pipelines were also built
from ATTL to Berth 21 at Port of King Fahad Yanbu.
“The GCC chemical industry today is predominantly focused
on petrochemicals, which make up 72% of its total
production, with Saudi Arabia being the leading producer
in the region, accounting for 68.2% of total chemical output,”
explained ENOC Group Chief Executive Saif Humaid
Al Falasi.
“Our expansion into the Kingdom comes at a time when
the regional market is poised to step up overseas production
capacity by 7.6%. This strategic alliance with Rotary
Arabia to boost transportation capacity also reflects
ENOC’s regional growth plans in strengthening our terminalling
footprint, while contributing to the Kingdom’s
overall energy sector growth.”
Farabi’s main output from the Yanbu facility is linear
alkyl benzene and normal paraffins.

 

Domo Finalizes Divestment to JPF Italy Of Its Domo Film Solutions Business

Rome—Domo
Chemicals has completed the sale of 100% of the shares in
Domo Film Solutions (DFS) SpA to JPF Italy SpA, an affiliate
of Jindal Films Europe (PCN, 11 Jan 2021, p 3).
DFS, a nylon film specialist based in Italy, is one of
Europe’s “major” producers of both biaxially-oriented polyamide
and coextruded cast non-oriented nylon films for
flexible packaging, Domo noted. Value of the transaction
was not given.

 

BASF, Quantafuel & Remondis Sign MoU To Jointly Invest in New Pyrolysis Plant

Berlin—
BASF has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU)
with Quantafuel and Remondis to jointly evaluate cooperation
in chemical recycling of plastic waste, including a joint
investment in a pyrolysis plant.
The new plant, for which a location has not yet been decided,
would use technology jointly developed by BASF and
Quantafuel. Remondis, a waste and water management
company, would supply suitable plastic waste to the plant,
which Quantafuel intends to operate.
BASF plans to use the resulting pyrolysis oil as feedstock
in its production Verbund, as part of its ChemCycling
project (PCN, 22 June 2020, p 4).
In order to maximize a circular economy for plastics,
the parties will identify which of the waste plastics provided
by Remondis could undergo chemical recycling in the
future.
“BASF has set itself the goal to process 250,000 metric
tons of recycled feedstock annually from 2025 onwards,”
noted Dr. Lars Kissau, senior vice president of global strategic
business development at BASF’s Petrochemical Division.
“In this regard, it is important to use feedstock derived
from plastic waste that would otherwise not have
undergone recycling.
“Partnering with companies from the waste management
and recycling sector, as well as innovative technology
providers, is an ideal constellation to build a sustainable
circular economy model for previously non-recycled plastic
waste. However, solving the plastic waste challenge will
only be possible in a favorable regulatory environment.”

 

Domo Names Bamberger Distributor For N. American Product Portfolio

Buford—Domo
Chemicals recently selected Bamberger Polymers as an
authorized distribution partner for Domo’s North American
product portfolio, including its Domamid, Econamid and
Domonyl nylon 6 and 66 compounds, effective immediately.
“We are excited to be partnering with Domo Engineering
Plastics in North America,” said Michael Wickersham,
managing director-ETPs at Bamberger.
“Their integrated polyamide value chain, broad product
portfolio and focus on being a solutions provider, along
with our position as a thermoplastic materials distribution
leader, provides the opportunity to grow the Domo brand
with customers we loyally serve today, as well as to develop
new clients through the expansion of our offering.”

 

JGC, Teijin and Itochu Ink Agreement For Chemical Recycling of Polyester

Tokyo—JGC
Holdings, Teijin Ltd. and Itochu Corp. have concluded a
joint agreement to establish a system for the chemical recycling
of used polyester fiber products into raw materials.
The collaboration will bring together Teijin’s proprietary
chemical recycling technology deployed in the production
of polyester, the expertise JGC has gained from its
global engineering business, and Itochu’s extensive network
of textile industry players.
Going forward, the companies aim to expand the range
of effective solutions for the mass disposal of used textile
products.

 

Dow, Mura in Partnership to Scale Up Mura’s Advanced Recycling Process

Teesside—Dow
and Mura Technology have formed a partnership to support
the “rapid” scaling of Mura’s new Hydrothermal Plastic
Recycling Solution (HydroPRS) advanced recycling
process to help keep plastic waste out of the environment
(PCN, 29 Mar-5 Feb 2021, p 3).
The HydroPRS process uses supercritical steam to convert
plastics back into the chemicals and oils from which
they were made, for use in new, virgin-equivalent plastic
products.
It can recycle all forms of plastic, including multi-layer,
flexible plastics used in packaging, which are currently
harder to recycle and frequently incinerated or sent to
landfill.
The world’s “first” plant using HydroPRS is being developed
in Teesside, UK, with the first 20,000-t/y line expected
to be operational in 2022, the parties noted. Once
all four lines are complete, Mura will be able to recycle up
to 80,000 t/y of plastic waste, providing Dow with materials
produced by the process.
Dow will contribute its materials science capabilities,
global scale and financial resources to the partnership.

 

Sinopec Capital, LanzaTech to Focus On Chemicals from Waste Carbon

Chicago—Sinopec
Capital has decided to partner with and invest in LanzaTech
with a focus on promoting direct production of
chemicals from waste carbon.
Sinopec Capital, the industrial investment arm of
Sinopec Group, is particularly interested in LanzaTech’s
synthetic biology capability, which enables the production
of chemicals directly from waste carbon, rather than via a
building block such as ethanol.
Over 50 chemicals have already been demonstrated, including
continuous production of acetone and isopropyl
alcohol at pilot scale.
“When products made via this carbon recycling process
reach the end of their useful life, they can go unsorted and
uncleaned to a LanzaTech facility and be converted back
into a gas stream and recycled repeatedly without losing
any of the properties of the original material,” LanzaTech
explained.
Sinopec Group will provide its expertise in deployment,
supply chains and chemical processing to accelerate deployment
of LanzaTech’s waste-to-chemicals platform,
globally.

 

NextChem and MET Enter MoU with TAIF To Co-Develop Russian Biopolymer Unit

Kazan—
NextChem and MET Development, subsidiaries of Maire
Tecnimont SpA, have signed a memorandum of understanding
(MoU) with MC TAIF JSC (TAIF) to jointly develop
a new biodegradable polymer facility in Tatarstan,
Russia.
Under the agreement, the parties will assess and
evaluate the biopolymer plant opportunity in order to establish
the fundamentals of the joint development collaboration
between the three companies. Details of the
planned facility were not given.
NextChem will be chosen to provide its expertise and
know-how to carry out the front-end engineering design
and engineering, procurement and construction activities
for the proposed unit.
“Maire Tecnimont Group will bring technological solutions
and the best know-how for project development and
execution, relying on its portfolio of technologies, as well as
its strong capabilities as an end-to-end developer of largescale
complex projects,” said Maire Tecnimont.

 

Azelis & BASF Sign Distribution Deal For Australia and NZ CASE Market

Singapore—BASF
has chosen Azelis as distributor for its dispersions, additives,
and resins range in Australia and New Zealand,
commonly used in CASE (coatings, adhesives, sealants and
elastomers).
The new agreement builds upon the relationship between
the two companies for the CASE industry in the
Americas, Turkey and some African countries.
“This collaboration with Azelis in Australia and New
Zealand will strengthen our local market penetration by
offering focused technical, marketing and sales support,”
noted Arun Rangaswamy, industry manager, resins and
additives, Australia at BASF.

 

Evergreen Doubling rPET Capacity

Toledo—Evergreen,
formerly Evergreen Plastics, is planning to double
manufacturing capacity of recycled polyethylene terephthalate
(rPET) pellets at its recycling and manufacturing facility
in Clyde, Ohio, to meet growing demand.
The expansion project, expected to start next month
and be completed in May 2022, will increase rPET manufacturing
capacity to 80-million lbs/yr from 40-million
lbs/yr.
The company currently collects over 1-billion postconsumer
PET bottles each year, which it then sorts,
cleans and recycles into the rPET pellets. It will continue
to partner with municipalities and other aggregators to
collect the bottles, as well as other recyclables.

V59 N15 – 19 April 2021

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

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

 

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

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

 

ExxonMobil Lets Contract to Sinopec For Proposed Huizhou Chem Project

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

Hexpol to Acquire Rubber Firm Unica

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

Dialog Completes and Opens Phase 3A Of Pengerang Deepwater Terminals

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

 

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

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

 

WV Resources Picks Honeywell Technology For Carbon Capture & Storage Project

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

 

Synthomer Opens Asia Innovation Center

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

 

Chemours Announces Goal to Achieve Net Zero GHG Emissions by 2050

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

 

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

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

 

Borealis Launches Feasibility Study For New Chemical Recycling Unit

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

 

PetroChemical News Briefs

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

V59 N14 – 12 April 2021

Jinzhou Lets Lummus Novolen Contract For New Polypropylene Unit in China

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

 

KMG, Tatneft Ink Cooperation Agreement For Planned Kazakh Butadiene Facility

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

 

AmSty & Agilyx Launch Feasibility Study For Second Advanced Recycling Facility

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

 

Engro Achieves Commercial Operation Of Integrated PVC Facility in Pakistan

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

 

Acron Boosting Ammonia Production With Revamp of Two Existing Units

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

 

Tamilnadu Investing in Series of Projects To Increase Petrochemical Production

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

 

Trinseo and BASF Expanding Partnership For Styrene Based on Circular Feedstock

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

DSM Concludes Divestment to Covestro Of Its Resins & Functional Materials

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

 

People on the Move

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

 

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

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

 

IOCL Awards Technip Energies Contract For BR9 Expansion Project in Barauni

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

 

Mitsubishi Merges U.S. Companies Into Mitsubishi Chemical America

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

 

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

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

 

Sinochem & ChemChina Get Consent To Undertake Joint Restructuring

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

 

LyondellBasell’s European Polymer Sites Obtain New Sustainability Certification

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

Hexion Gives Update on Transaction To Divest Phenolic Specialty Resins

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

 

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

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

 

V59 N13 – 29 March-5 April 2021

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

Invista Concludes Technology Upgrade At Its Adiponitrile Plant in Victoria

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

 

Lummus Technology Gets Contract For Ethylbenzene Project in China

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

 

Celanese Raising Acetyl Chain Capacities With Investments in China & Germany

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

Lotte GS Chemical Selects Technologies For Yeosu Phenol, Acetone Production

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

 

Nauticol & Enhance Energy Partnering To Capture CO2 from Blue Methanol

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

 

People on the Move

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

Celanese Plans Investments at Asia Sites For Engineered Materials Compounding

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

 

Plastic Energy, ExxonMobil Collaborating On Advanced Recycling Project in France

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

 

ReNew Selects Wood as EPC Contractor For Teesside Plastic Recycling Plant

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

 

SI Expanding French Tackifier Capacity

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

V59 N12 – 22 March 2021

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

Olin Announces Capacity Reduction At Chlor-Alkali Facility in Alabama

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

 

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

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

 

Borealis Lifts Declaration of Force Majeure On Its Stenungsund Cracker Operations

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

Daelim Starts Up New LLDPE Unit

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

 

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

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

 

People on the Move

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

 

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

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

 

Sojitz Mulls Investment in Indonesia To Develop Methanol, NH3 Industry

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

AFPM Schedules Annual Meeting To Be Held Virtually Next Month

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

 

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

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

 

Synova and Technip Energies Cooperate To Commercialize Recycling Technology

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

 

Clariant Opens One Clariant Campus, Strengthening Its Position in China

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

Grace Restarts All Units Affected by Uri

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

V59 N11 – 15 March 2021

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

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

 

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

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

 

McDermott Acquires Minority Stake In Lummus Technology Holdings

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

Clarification

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

Biffa Expanding Recycling Capacity For HDPE at Washington Facility

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

 

Clariant & India Glycols to Establish New Renewable EO Derivatives JV

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

 

Braskem Forms Partnership with Maersk To Open New Singapore Logistics Hub

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

 

People on the Move

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

 

BASF Completes New Production Line For Acrylic Dispersions in Malaysia

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

 

Uniper Enters Partnership to Develop Green Methanol as a Maritime Fuel

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

PetroChemical News Briefs

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

 

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

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

 

KIST Research Team Develops Technology To Boost Ethylene Production Efficiency

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

V59 N10 – 8 March 2021

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

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

 

ExxonMobil Announces Job Reductions At Singapore Manufacturing Complex

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

 

Yankuang Group Selects Eurotecnica For New Chinese Melamine Facility

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

Corbion Launching Expansion Projects To Further Boost Lactic Acid Capacity

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

People on the Move

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

Topsoe Plans SOEC Manufacturing Plant To Meet Demand for Green Hydrogen

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

 

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

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

 

TPC Reaches Deal for C4 Processing

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

PetroChemical News Briefs

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

V59 N09 – 1 March 2021

Braskem Boosting Production Capacity Of Green Ethylene at Triunfo Facility

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

 

Hengyi Selects Honeywell Technologies For Brunei Petchem Expansion Project

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

Equinor Resumes Methanol Production At Tjeldbergodden Facility in Norway

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

 

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

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

 

Haldia Petrochemical Proposes Project To Increase Plant’s Polymer Capacity

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

 

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

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

 

Inter Pipeline Advises Shareholders Not to Act on Recent Takeover Bid

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

 

SK Innovation Looking to Sell Stake In SK Global Chemical Subsidiary

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

 

People on the Move

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

 

Mitsubishi Chem Taking Series of Actions To Strengthen Global MMA Operations

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

 

Gevo & HCS Ink Strategic Agreement For Renewable Hydrocarbon Facility

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

 

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

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

 

Agilyx & ExxonMobil Form Cyclyx JV To Increase Plastic Waste Recycling

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

Arkema Raising Chinese PVDF Capacity

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

 

Vinnolit to Offer ‘Green’ Caustic Soda

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

 

CVC Exploring Offer for Synthomer; Companies Not Yet in Discussions

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

 

PetroChemical News Briefs

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

V59 N08 – 22 February 2021

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

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

 

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

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

 

DIC Announces Agreement to Exit Kangnam Chemical Joint Venture

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

 

TechnipFMC Completes Separation Into Two Independent Companies

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

Lanxess Enters Into Binding Agreement To Acquire Emerald Kalama Chemical

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

 

Inter Pipeline Initiates Strategic Review Following Unsolicited EoI for Company

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

 

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

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

 

People on the Move

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

Oiltanking & Operail Form Partnership For Transport of Chemicals in Finland

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

 

Howard Energy Completes Acquisition Of Javelina Facility in Corpus Christi

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

V59 N07 – 15 February 2021

Honeywell Gets Shandong Yulong Contract For Integrated Chinese Petchem Project

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

 

SIDPEC Selects Honeywell Technology To Support Expansion of PC Complex

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

 

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

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

 

EuroChem Group Okays Construction Of Northwest 2 Ammonia Expansion

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

SNF Investing in Plaquemine Facility To Increase Polyacrylamide Capacity

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

IG Petrochemicals Gets Board Approval For PA Expansion Project in Gujarat

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

 

People on the Move

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

 

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

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

 

JGC Awarded Contract from KazMunayGas For Gas Separation Unit in Kazakhstan

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

 

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

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

 

Bodal Enters Into Agreement to Acquire Siel Chemical Complex from Mawana

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

Yara Establishing Clean Ammonia Unit

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

Lanxess Inaugurates Plant in Antwerp To Reduce Nitrous Oxide Emissions

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

 

Energy Transfer Establishes New Group To Develop Alternative Energy Projects

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

V59 N06 – 8 February 2021

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

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

 

Shintech to Increase Production Capacity At Integrated PVC Unit in Plaquemine

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

 

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

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

 

Nigeria Makes Final Investment Decision For Brass Fertilizer Methanol Project

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

NRL Lets Technology Contract to CLG For Numaligarh Refinery Expansion

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

 

OMV Gets Supervisory Board Approval To Establish New Chemicals Division

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

 

Ube Temporarily Suspends Production At Ube-Fujimagari Ammonia Facility

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

 

Ineos Styrolution & Polystyvert Agree To Advance Circular Economy for PS

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

 

Stepan Finalizes Purchase of Invista’s Aromatic Polyester Polyol Business

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

 

People on the Move

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

 

NextDecade Decides Not to Proceed With Galveston Bay LNG Facility

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

 

Borealis Decides to Initiate Process To Sell Its Nitrogen Business Unit

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

 

Proman, Partners Reach Financial Close On Varennes Carbon Recycling Project

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

 

Univar Reaches Agreement with Sasol For Alcohol, Surfactants Distribution

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

 

Bilfinger & Umincorp Form Partnership To Build Plastic Recycling Facilities

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

 

Dow CEO Fitterling Becomes Chairman Of American Chemistry Council Board

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

 

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

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

 

Covestro Plans PUD Production Unit At Its Integrated Site in Shanghai

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

 

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

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

 

Clariant Enters Agreement to Cooperate With ETH Zurich on Catalysis Research

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

V59 N05 – 1 February 2021

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

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

 

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

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

 

Celanese Resumes Project to Enhance Acetic Acid Capacity at Clear Lake

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

 

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

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

 

Hanwha Solutions Increases Production Of Phthalate-Free Plasticizer in Ulsan

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

Fujian Billion Commences Operation Of New PTA Facility in Quanzhou

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

 

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

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

 

LG Hosting Global Innovation Contest For New Sustainable Technologies

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

CPChem Touts Developments in Program That Converts Waste Plastics into PE

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

 

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

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

 

OQ Places Sales Control on Intermediates

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

 

Trinseo Finalizes Construction of Italian Thermoplastic Elastomers R&D Center

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

V59 N04 – 25 January 2021

OMV Investing in Burghausen Refinery To Boost Ethylene, Propylene Capacity

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

 

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

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

 

Koyuncu Selects Inovyn Technology For Chlor-Alkali Project in Turkey

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

Ineos Styrolution Building Demo Plant To Produce ABS from Recycled Plastic

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

 

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

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

 

DCM Shriram Receives Approval to Invest In Several Downstream Chem Projects

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

 

Lotte Chemical Planning to Purchase JSR’s Elastomer Production Plants

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

 

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

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

 

Kureha Completes PPS Plant in Japan

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

 

People on the Move

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

 

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

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

 

Huntsman Completes Acquisition Of Gabriel Performance Products

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

 

Clariant and Casale Develop New Catalyst For More Efficient Ammonia Production

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

Teijin Establishes Innovation Center To R&D Sustainable Technologies

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

 

V59 N03 – 18 January 2021

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

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

 

KBR and Mura Enter Alliance Agreement For Advanced Plastics Recycling Process

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

 

Borealis Starting Stenungsund Cracker After Being Shut Down Since May Fire

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

 

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

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

 

ADNOC & Japan Agree to Cooperate On Carbon Recycling Technologies

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

 

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

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

 

Nouryon Announces Decision to Rename Industrial Chems Business to Nobian

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

People on the Move

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

 

Borealis and Tomra Open Demo Plant For Advanced Mechanical Recycling

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

Total Not Renewing API Membership

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

 

Teijin Introduces New ICP System

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

 

Fluor Updates Organizational Structure; Intends to Sell Maintenance Services

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

 

Solvay Creates Hydrogen Platform; Joins Hydrogen Council Initiative

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

 

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

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

 

Ineos Styrolution Joins Plastics Division Of the American Chemistry Council

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

V59 N02 – 11 January 2021

Braskem Resumes Partial Operations At Etileno XXI Complex in Mexico

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

Methanex Gives Update on Titan Plant; Will Restructure Trinidad Operations

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

 

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

Beijing—Air
Products has signed a long-term contract with Shandong
Binhua New Material