Kem One started the electrolysis conversion construction project

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Kem One, Europe’s third-largest producer of polyvinyl chloride (PVC),has embarked upon the technological conversion of the-alkali chlorproduction units at its Lavera site. This major construction project, on which research began more than a year ago, is now entering its visible stage, as per the company's statement.

A cornerstone of KEM ONE’s industrial project, the electrolysis conversion forms part of the company’s equipment modernisation plan. This major construction project, totalling around 150 million euros, will be completed by the end of 2016.

The earth-movers, which motored into action on 8 September, will work until the end of October preparing the 1500 m2 expanse of land destined to accommodate a section of the future facilities. The first equipment will be delivered to the site at the end of the year before a peak in activity on the construction site mid-2016. The project will require around fifteen different trades and several hundred workers and experts until the end of 2016, when the new electrolysis technology is due to be launched.

Thanks to the electrolysis membrane technology, the best currently available on the market, Kem One will improve the quality of its productions and reduce its energy consumption whilst using a procedure which generates less pollution and complies with new European regulations.

The cost of this construction project, which is the cornerstone of KEM ONE’s industrial plan, amounts to around 150 million euros. It forms part of a modernisation plan in which the company will invest a total of 250 million euros between 2014 and 2016 to improve its industrial performance. This goal has already been illustrated at the Lavera site where in May 2015 changes were made to the production processes relating to vinyl chloride monomer units. This project, which focussed on reusing water produced by the condensation of steam during manufacturing, has directly contributed to the energy efficiency of the facilities.

Salt electrolysis is the process used to produce chlorine and is necessary for the manufacture of polyvinyl chloride (PVC). Caustic soda is a bi-product of this chemical reaction.

As MRC wrote before, by agreeing to the support measures from the French government, the European Commission is allowing Kem One to continue the implementation of its investment plan. Ten months after an in-depth investigation was launched, the European Commission recently approved the support measures from the French government as part of the recovery plan financing for Kem One.

Kem One, a fully integrated vinyl production company, was established mid-2012 following the acquisition of Arkema's vinyl products division by the Klesch Group. The company employs 2,600 people at 22 manufacturing sites, primarily in Europe but also in Asia and North America. Europe’s third-largest producer of PVC with revenues in excess of one billion euros, Kem One continues to grow and build on its numerous strengths with a view to becoming market leader for integrated vinyl solutions.

Celanese introduces EVA polymer solutions for drug delivery systems

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Celanese Corporation, a global technology and specialty materials company, has presented innovative uses of ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA), as per the company's press release.

Thus, Celanese exhibited the innovative controlled release pharmaceutical copolymer, VitalDose EVA.

"EVA has been used for years in drug delivery systems," said Dr. Donald Loveday, Celanese strategic marketing manager. "VitalDose EVA is an inert thermoplastic that is expanding design possibilities with its customizable drug release properties. This controlled release excipient is developed for a wide variety of pharmaceutical products with varying routes of administration, including intraoral, intravaginal, ocular, subcutaneous and transdermal."

As MRC reported earlier, in June 2015, Jacobs Engineering Group was awarded an engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) contract from Celanese Corp. for the construction of EVA emulsions production plant at Jurong Island, Singapore. Construction is expected to begin by mid-2015, and the unit is expected to begin production by second half of 2016.

Celanese Corporation is a global technology leader in the production of differentiated chemistry solutions and specialty materials used in most major industries and consumer applications. Based in Dallas, Texas, Celanese employs approximately 7,500 employees worldwide and had 2014 net sales of USD6.8 billion.

Lotte Chemical shut LDPE plant in South Korea for maintenance

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Lotte Chemical, a subsidiary of the South Korean Lotte Group, has shut its low density polyethylene/ethyl vinyl acetate (LDPE/EVA) swing plant for a maintenance turnaround, as per Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in South Korea informed that the plant was taken offstream on October 12, 2015. It is likely to remain off-stream for around one month.

Located at Daesan in South Korea, the plant has a production capacity of 135,000 mt/year.

As MRC wrote previously, Publicly listed petrochemical company Lotte Chemical Titan, another subsidiary of the South Korean Lotte Group, is studying the possibility of building a USD4 billion upstream plant to reduce imports of raw materials. Around 40% of the total investment needed for the new plant would be taken from the company’s internal cash, while the rest would be from bank loans, Yoon said, adding that all investors would be from South Korea.

The Lotte Group currently has a presence in Indonesia via its subsidiary, Honam Petrochemicals, which acquired Malaysia’s polyolefin major Titan Chemicals in July 2010. Included in the acquisition was Titan’s Indonesian subsidiary - PT Titan Petrokimia Nusantara (TPN), which has a polyethylene (PE) production capacity of 450,000 tonnes/year.

Linde, government, invest EUR5m on greener syngas research

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The Linde Group officially opened the new Linde Pilot Reformer research facility at Pullach near Munich – Linde’s largest location worldwide. The event was attended by customers, partners and employees, said the conpany in its press release.

Linde has invested approximately EUR 5 million in total to expand Pullach’s research and development capacity. The Linde Pilot Reformer will be used to refine steam reforming technology for the production of synthesis gas – a mixture consisting of hydrogen (H2) and carbon monoxide (CO). The carbon feedstock for synthesis gas can be in the form of natural gas, liquid petroleum gas (LPG), naphtha or even carbon dioxide (CO2).

“Inventiveness and innovation are ingrained in Linde’s DNA. The official opening of the pilot reformer provides further proof of our customer-centric approach to development and sends a strong signal confirming Germany’s role as an innovation hub,” commented Dr Wolfgang Buchele, Chief Executive Officer of Linde AG.

“Linde intends to use this pilot facility to test and optimise all kinds of approaches to reforming. The insights we gain will help us further improve reforming processes and concepts for our customers,” adds Dr Christian Bruch, Member of the Executive Board of Linde AG and responsible for Technology and Innovation as well as the Engineering Division.

Tests in the pilot reformer are currently focused on the dry reforming. This innovative process was developed by Linde in cooperation with its partners BASF and hte (responsible for catalyst development), Karlsruhe Institute of Technology / KIT (responsible for simulations) and DECHEMA (supplier of materials). The pilot project has been awarded funding by the German Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) of just under one EUR1 million.

The production of synthesis gas (a mixture of H2 and CO) through dry reforming of natural gas means that carbon dioxide (CO2) can be used on an industrial scale as an economical feedstock. The process is also significantly more energy efficient than the conventional method of reforming. The synthesis gas can be used to produce valuable downstream products such as base chemicals or fuels.

One such example is dimethyl ether (DME). The DME produced through dry reforming offers an improved energy balance and lower CO2 emissions.

The dry reforming process also offers cost efficiencies relative to partial oxidation – the conventional method used up to now to produce CO-rich synthesis gases. These would be of particular interest to small and medium-sized plants. If the dry reforming pilot proves successful, there are plans to commercialise the process when the funded project comes to an end in 2017 and build a reference plant for a Linde customer.

As MRC informed earlier, SIBUR, a Russian gas processing and petrochemicals company, and Linde Group, a German Technology company, have signed agreements to build and operate new air separation units in Dzerzhinsk, the Nizhny Novgorod Region.

The Linde Group is a world-leading gases and engineering company with around 62,000 employees in more than 100 countries worldwide.

Kayser Automotive opens Polish plant

MOSCOW (MRC) -- German plastic automotive parts producer Kayser Automotive Systems has launched a new factory in Jaszkowa Dolna, in Poland’s southern part, said Plasticsnewseurope.

The new facility was opened three months after the firm secured the permission to launch its investment in Poland. Kayser Automotive invested close to PLN 11.5m (EUR2.75m) at the plant, and says it will be operated by at least 80 workers, with plans to increase this to as much as 120.

The plant was built in the Walbrzyska special economic zone (WSSE), enabling the company with preferential tax treatment for its manufacturing project. The investor located its production facility on a site of some 29,973 square metres, located in the municipality of Klodzko.

The firm’s product range consists of a wide range of automotive components made with the use of plastics. These include canisters, cables, connectors, pipes, valves, reservoirs and other parts. Kayser Automotive provides its output to a number of leading car producers, such as Volkswagen Group, BMW, Mercedes-Benz and DAF, according to data released by the company.

The Polish plant is operated by the firm’s local subsidiary Kayser Automotive Systems Klodzko sp. z o.o. Its output will be supplied, among others, to Volkswagen’s factory in Wrzesnia, in western Poland.