The use of carbon dioxide will reduce the industry’s reliance on non-renewable resources to manufacture plastics

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The chemical industry has long been exploring various ways of turning the carbon dioxide gas (CO2) into a useful raw material that can replace fossil feedstock and reduce the industry’s carbon footprint, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Developing this technology is especially important for the plastics industry as most plastic is made from petroleum.

The CO2 gas has one thing in common with petroleum: it contains the element carbon, a central building block for the chemical industry, and, unlike petroleum, it is an abundant raw material. Covestro has been working with partners from industry and academia on a number of projects to capture CO2 and use it to replace petroleum.

The technology they have developed allows to use CO2 to produce a polyol, the main component of polyurethane foam, which is used almost everywhere - from furniture to building insulation. The foam manufactured from this CO2-based polyol will initially be used in the production of mattresses but could potentially find its way into other applications.

Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation & Linde Engineering announce transfer of HDA technology

MOSCOW (MRC) – The Engineering Division of The Linde Group (Linde) and Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation (MCC) have concluded a definitive agreement for the transfer of MCC’s Hydrodealkylation (HDA) technology to Linde, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

For more than 45 years, MCC’s cutting-edge HDA process has been deployed and successfully operated in a number of commercial plants. During the signing ceremony: Yoshitaka Arakawa, Senior Associate Director, Division General Manager, Basic Petrochemicals Divison, MCC (left) and John van der Velden, Managing Director, Linde Engineering Division (right).

During the signing ceremony: Yoshitaka Arakawa, Senior Associate Director, Division General Manager, Basic Petrochemicals Divison, MCC (left) and John van der Velden, Managing Director, Linde Engineering Division (right).

The HDA technology mainly converts toluene and other aromatic components into high purity benzene. This can be leveraged for maximizing the overall benzene yield in olefin plants, e.g. steam crackers.

In addition, HDA technology can also be implemented for a variety of refinery applications. Benzene is one of the most widely used chemicals involved in the manufacturing of daily use products such as detergents, plastic and rubber.

"We are very excited about MCC having given us the opportunity to further expand our portfolio adjacent to the steam cracker technology. MCC’s HDA technology will facilitate our world-class go-to-market licensing strategy. Our primary objective is to provide optimized and highly integrated HDA applications to the petrochemicals industry for both revamps or expansions at existing ethylene plants as well as for new world-scale petrochemical complexes," said John van der Velden, Managing Director, Linde Engineering Division.

"MHC process is old HDA technology, has a history of commercial operation more than 40 years. I sincerely hope that this technology transfer will create new added value soon by integrating with Linde's excellent steam cracker technology," said Yoshitaka Arakawa, Senior Associate Director, Division General Manager, Basic Petrochemicals Division, MCC.

The technology transfer to Linde is expected to be completed by June this year. Based on Linde’s longstanding and leading expertise in olefin plant design, engineering and construction, Linde now offers HDA technology solutions with best in class economic performance.

Indonesian Energi Mega Persada to enter petrochemical business

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Publicly-listed oil and gas firm PT Energi Mega Persada (EMP) is seeking to diversify its business by developing two purified terephthalic acid (PTA) plants worth USD 600 million this year, according to GV.

The new facilities will have a combined production capacity of 1.6 million t/y of PTA.

EMP, through its subsidiary PT Energi Mega PTA, signed a memorandum of agreement with China’s Reignwood International Investment Group on 3 Feb., through which the former will acquire the latter’s future PTA plants in an unspecified location under an engineering, procurement and construction contract.

Reignwood currently operates two PTA facilities with an overall capacity of 2.1 million t/y in China and has another two PTA projects on the pipeline.

"The company (EMP) is taking a chance to diversify by penetrating the petrochemical business industry, which has been growing with a more stable cash flow (compared to the oil and gas industry)," said EMP president director Imam P. Agustino.

EMP expected to secure loans with low-interest rates from several Chinese lenders to finance the acquisition of the two facilities this year, he added.

SIBUR reports 2017 results

MOSCOW (MRC) -- PAO SIBUR Holding, an integrated gas processing and petrochemicals company, today published its operational and financial results for the full year 2017 in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), as per the company's financial report.

In 2017 SIBUR’s gas processing plants (GPPs) processed 22.8 billion cubic metres of APG, an increase of 1.6%(1) year-on-year largely attributable to higher supplies from oil companies and higher capacity load at previously expanded gas processing facilities. As a result, production of natural gas rose by 1.5% year-on-year to 19.7 billion cubic metres(1). Raw NGL fractionation volumes increased by 6.7% year-on-year to 8.7 million tonnes(2) following the expansion of fractionation facilities in Tobolsk.

Natural gas sales volumes increased by 1.3% year-on-year to 18.5 billion cubic metres. External LPG sales volumes increased by 4.5% year-on-year to 4.9 million tonnes.

In 2017 SIBUR increased sales volumes of majority of its petrochemical products. Sales volumes of polypropylene increased by 10.9% year-on-year to 598 thousand tonnes, while sales volumes of polyethylene increased by 12.6% year-on-year to 268 thousand tonnes - both following the increased production at our new and upgraded facilities in Tobolsk and Tomsk.

Sales of elastomers increased by 9.7% year-on-year to 485 thousand tonnes, inter alia following the increased capacity load at SBS production in Voronezh on the back of improved market environment . Our sales of plastics and organic synthesis products remained flat year-on-year at 771 thousand tonnes. Sales of intermediates increased by 13.0% year-on-year to 520 thousand tonnes due to higher propylene production volumes following the change of feedstock composition at our crackers, and higher external sales of benzene during the maintenance shutdown at our production site in Perm.

The company's integrated business model and investments in new production facilities enabled us to counterbalance the shifts in segments’ margins and improve SIBUR results with EBITDA up by 15.2% to RR 160,851 million year-on-year and EBITDA margin reaching 35.4%.

This performance was significantly attributable to higher energy products’ prices, while our petrochemicals businesses encountered higher intragroup feedstock costs, which was partially compensated by higher selling volumes.

The company's revenue increased by 10.4% year-on-year to RR 454,619 million on increased production and sales volumes, as well as positive price dynamics in LPG and elastomers.

The company's net profit in 2017 totaled RR 120,246 million, a 6.3% growth year-on-year. The increase was primarily a result of growth in operating profit and gain on disposal of Uralorgsintez, which was partially offset by lower net finance income due to high base of 2016 when we observed significant FX fluctuations.

SIBUR's cash from operating activities increased by 10.9% on the back of increased EBITDA that was significantly offset by increased Income tax paid.

SIBUR is a uniquely positioned vertically integrated gas processing and petrochemicals company. SIBUR owns and operates Russia’s largest gas processing business in terms of associated petroleum gas processing volumes, and is a leader in the Russian petrochemicals industry.

SIBUR operates 22 production sites located all over Russia, serving over 1,400 large customers engaged in the energy, chemical, fast moving consumer goods (FMCG), automotive, construction and other industries in approximately 80 countries worldwide and employed about 27,000 personnel.

Saudi Aramco to supply Egyptian refineries for 6 months

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Saudi Aramco, the world’s largest oil producer, agreed to supply Egyptian refineries with crude oil for six months, starting January 2018, Egypt’s Petroleum Minister Tarek El Molla told Reuters on Thursday.

Aramco will supply 500,000 barrels per month of crude oil to Egyptian refineries, Molla added.

As MRC reported earlier, in May 2016, PKN ORLEN signed a contract with Saudi Aramco for the supply of ca. 200 thousand tonnes of crude oil monthly to its refineries. The contract was effective from May 1st to December 31st 2016, with an option of automatic renewal for successive years. The oil will be processed by all PKN ORLEN's refineries in Poland, the Czech Republic and Lithuania.

Saudi Aramco is an integrated oil and chemicals company, a global leader in hydrocarbon production, refining processes and distribution, as well as one of the largest global oil exporters. It manages proven reserves of crude oil and condensate estimated at 261.1bn barrels, and produces 9.54 million bbl daily. Headquartered in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, the company employs over 61,000 staff in 77 countries.