Celanese raises prices for engineered materials polymer products

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Celanese Corporation, a global specialty materials company, has announced price increases on its propylene-based (PP) long fiber thermoplastics (LFT), including Celstran, and its polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) compounded engineering plastics, including Celenex, Vandar, Impet, Pibiter, OmniTech and Compel due to continued increases in raw material costs globally as well as the United States Trade Representative's (USTR) implementation of a 25% tariff on PBT and PET products imported into the U.S. from China, as per the company's press release.

The price increases below were effective for orders shipped on or after August 23, 2018, or as contracts otherwise allow:

- PBT and PET - by 25% - for Americas, by EUR130/tonne - for Europe and by USD150/tonne - for Asia outside China;
- Propylene-based (PP) LFT grades - by CNY100/tonne - for China;
- Polyamide 66-based long-fiber thermoplastic grades (PA66-LFT) - by CNY300/tonne - for China.

As MRC wrote before, on 9 August 2018, Celanese raised list and off-list selling prices for Vinyl Acetate Ethylene (EVA) emulsions sold in China and Asia Outside China (AOC). Thus, Celanese raised list and off-list selling prices for VAM by RMB200/mt for China and USD50/mt for AOC.

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, Celanese employs approximately 7,600 employees worldwide and had 2017 net sales of USD6.1 billion.

US approves Cheniere bid to feed first gas to Texas LNG plant

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The US energy regulator has approved a request by Cheniere Energy to feed the first gas into its new liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility in Corpus Christi, Texas, marking the beginning of a commissioning phase for the export terminal, reported Reuters.

The approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) means Cheniere will be able to produce the first commissioning cargo by the fourth quarter of this year, if not earlier.

Train 1 at the Corpus Christi facility will become the first LNG export terminal in Texas and the third functioning one in the United States as the country ramps up the sale of the super-chilled gas to unprecedented levels in the coming years.

Cheniere’s Chief Executive, Jack Fusco, told analysts earlier this month the facility would produce its first LNG in the fourth quarter, implying a commercial startup of the facility earlier than the slated first half of 2019.

The LNG market looks out for facility startups not only because they ultimately add supply but because the commissioning cargos tend to be traded on the spot market, whereas initial commercial deliveries go to prearranged long-term buyers.

Cheniere’s Sabine Pass terminal, with four operational so-called trains or plants, is the largest LNG facility in the country with a 18 million tonne a year (mtpa) capacity and it began operations in 2016.

Dominion Energy’s 5.3 mtpa Cove Point terminal in Maryland began operations in March of this year and so far is the second operating LNG export terminal.

Over a dozen trains are expected to become operational next year on the U.S. East Coast adding 36 mtpa to global LNG supply compared to the 290 mtpa traded in 2017.

Aside from Cheniere’s terminals, these include Kinder Morgan’s Elba Island facilities in Georgia, Sempra Energy’s Cameron LNG in Louisiana and Freeport’s Texas facility.

LyondellBasell begins construction of the world largest PO/TBA plant

MOSCOW (MRC) -- LyondellBasell, one of the world's largest plastics, chemicals and refining companies, has officially broke ground on what will be the largest propylene oxide (PO) and tertiary butyl alcohol (TBA) plant ever built, as per the company's press release.

The Houston area project is estimated to cost USD2.4 billion, representing the single-largest capital investment in the company's history. Once in operation, the plant will produce 1 billion pounds (470,000 metric tons) of PO and 2.2 billion pounds (1 million metric tons) of TBA annually. Startup of the plant is planned for 2021.

"Today's groundbreaking is a historic moment for our company," said Bob Patel, CEO of LyondellBasell. "This plant will be the largest of its kind, built to meet the rising global demand for urethanes used by billions of consumers each day and clean-burning oxyfuels that will help improve air quality around the world. The construction of this project will provide jobs for our neighbors, support local businesses and strengthen our communities with increased tax revenues across the greater Houston region. As one of the cornerstones of our global growth strategy, the new plant will strengthen our ties in Houston and generate long-term value for our shareholders."

To optimize product balances and realize synergies between LyondellBasell sites, two facilities will be constructed on existing manufacturing sites. The 140-acre PO/TBA plant will be built at the LyondellBasell Channelview Complex located in Channelview, Texas while an associated 34-acre ethers unit, which will convert TBA to oxyfuels, will be built at the company's Bayport Complex in Pasadena, Texas.

The company chose to build the new plant at these existing locations along the Texas Gulf Coast because of their proximity to low-cost feedstocks and the transportation infrastructure needed to ship products to markets around the globe.

"The groundbreaking on this new project not only brings more job opportunities for Texans, it also adds to the growing diversity of our booming economy," said Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. "It is because of investments from companies like LyondellBasell that the Texas economy continues to be the envy of the nation. I thank LyondellBasell for their investment and wish them continued success."

LyondellBasell plans to sell the PO and derivative products to both domestic and global customers, while the oxyfuels will be primarily sold into Latin America and Asia. A portion of the TBA will remain in the domestic market in the form of high purity isobutylene which is used in tires and lubricants. The majority of the products will be exported via the Houston Ship Channel.

PO is used to make bedding, furniture, carpeting, coatings, building materials and adhesives, while TBA will be converted to two ether-based oxyfuels, methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) and ethyl tertiary butyl ether (ETBE). Both MTBE and ETBE are high-octane gasoline components that help gasoline burn cleaner and reduce emissions from automobiles.

LyondellBasell Industries NV is a manufacturing company. The company produces chemicals, fuels, and polymers used for packaging, clean fuels, durable textiles, medical applications, construction materials, and automotive parts. LyondellBasell Industries operates globally and is headquartered in the Netherlands. LyondellBasell is also a leading licensor of polypropylene and polyethylene technologies. The more than 250 polyolefin process licenses granted by LyondellBasell are twice that of any other polyolefin technology licensor.

Poyry awarded EPC assignment for Biorefinery expansion

MOSCOW (MRC) -- SunPine AB has awarded Poyry with the engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) services assignment for SunPine biorefinery expansion project in Pitea, Sweden, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The assignment includes all engineering disciplines, project management services, procurement and construction management services. Poyry has been involved in the study phase of the project and has now the role to further develop the project in accordance with the conditions, standards and procedures of the existing plant to form a single unit. The work will be carried out between 2018 and 2020.

SunPine has a world-leading sustainable bio-refinery, with a portfolio of green products that meet strong demand in the market. The market for SunPine's sustainable tall diesel fuel is growing when consumers are shifting to renewable fuels. Working proactively to develop and grow its operation is part of SunPine's endeavour to participate in the switch to a green economy for society at large. SunPine have decided to invest in a completely new facility adjacent to the company's existing plant at Haraholmen in Pitea. Capacity will be increased by 50 percent with second tall diesel production line. The approximately EUR 25 million investment will be completed in 2020.

"We are meeting an interesting future. Now, together with Poyry, we can realize SunPine's planned biorefinery. Poyry will complement us as our partner in this work and we are looking forward to an interesting and rewarding project," says Ulrika Hagman, project manager for investment at SunPine. "With increased capacity, we can further consolidate SunPine's position as a world-leading, sustainable biorefinery with green products" states Magnus Edin, CEO, SunPine.

"Poyry is proud to contribute in this green economy investment. Our long co-operation with SunPine and deep knowledge of bio-based solutions will lead this project to success. Our strong safety performance ensures that the implementation of the second line can be done when the first line is in production. This assignment further strengthens Poyry's position as a global provider of bio-based solutions," says Jonny Stridh, Managing Director, Industry Business Group, Poyry Sweden.

As MRC reported earlier, in January 2018, Oulun Energia Oy awarded Poyry with the Engineering, Procurement and Construction Management services for the new Laanila Bio Power Plant project in Oulu, Finland.

Neste, ReNew ELP and Licella to collaborate in utilization of waste plastic as a raw material

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Neste, the world’s leading producer of renewable diesel, UK-based chemical recycling company ReNew ELP, and Australian technology developer Licella are joining forces in a development project to explore the potential of using mixed waste plastic as a raw material for fuels, chemicals, and new plastics, according to Hydrocarbonprocessing.

In addition to studying liquefied waste plastic feasibility and sustainability as refinery raw material, the companies are also collaborating with the aim to facilitate regulatory acceptance for chemical recycling. The collaboration is one of the steps towards Neste’s goal to introduce liquefied waste plastic as a future raw material to fossil refining, with a target to process annually more than one million ton of waste plastic by 2030.

ReNew ELP is commencing construction of a chemical recycling plant in Teesside, UK, with a target to recycle end-of-life plastic to produce raw material for a range of petrochemical products. This will be the first commercial scale plant based on Cat-HTRTM technology, a catalytic hydro-thermal liquefaction platform developed by Licella over the past ten years. The collaboration also involves Armstrong Energy, who in a joint venture with Licella are leading the financing of the Teesside facility and global deployment of the Cat-HTRTM technology. Although the plant construction is not included in this collaboration project with Neste, it will nevertheless contribute to a common goal of enabling more efficient waste plastic utilization in the future.

"Neste has a strong legacy in refining, as well as raw material and pretreatment research, but we still need development of technologies, value chains, and supporting legislation for plastic waste based products to become a reality at industrial scale. I believe that this cooperation can accelerate the needed development and commercialization of waste plastic based products", says Matti Lehmus, Executive Vice President of Neste’s Oil Products business area.

"ReNew ELP is very pleased to join this collaboration with Neste. Neste’s reputation as a global leader in the production of sustainable, high quality, low-carbon products makes them an ideal development partner for us. At ReNew ELP, we look to deploy our game-changing chemical recycling technology providing an innovative solution to the problem of plastic waste disposal," concludes Richard Daley, Managing Director of ReNew ELP.

"We are excited to be deploying the world’s first commercial scale Cat-HTR plant alongside Armstrong Energy. After 10 years and 75 million Australian dollars invested in the technology, we believe that the Cat-HTR is an important chemical recycling solution for the significant global challenge of end-of-life plastic. The collaboration with Neste and ReNew ELP will help to create markets for recycled carbon fuels and chemicals at a critical time as Europe pushes towards a circular economy,” says Dr Len Humphreys, CEO of Licella Holdings.

Neste has two approaches to plastics with regards to circular economy. While exploring ways to utilize plastic waste as raw material, Neste is preparing to start commercial scale production of durable and recyclable renewable plastics from bio-based raw materials, such as waste fats and oils. Neste and IKEA collaboration is leading to a production of bio-based polypropylene (PP) plastic at a commercial scale for the first time in the world during fall 2018.

As MRC informed before, in June 2018, Neste Oyj and Borealis Polymers Oy, in co-operation with the energy companies Fortum Power and Heat Oy, Helen Oy, Vantaan Energia Oy and Porvoon Energia Oy - Borga Energi Ab, announced that they would conduct a preliminary study on recovering and utilizing excess heat generated at the Neste and Borealis industrial manufacturing facilities in Kilpilahti.