European plastics association offers to help “finetune” EMF's new plastic commitment

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The European Plastics Converters Association (EuPC) has welcomed a recent initiative by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation aimed at making packaging more environmentally-friendly - but at the same time has also offered to help “finetune” it, as per Plasticsnewseurope.

Representing 50.000 SMEs, EuPC said in a 30 Oct statement that it was ready to offer its expertise to improve the global commitment which, the association noted somewhat acerbically, had been drafted “only by a few individuals without consulting the plastics converting industry.” Hence, while acknowledging the need to tackle marine litter EuPC said it regrets that it cannot actively participate in, what it termed, 'this exercise’.

The EMF initiative, launched as the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment, was announced during the 2018 Our Ocean Conference, held in Bali, Indonesia, 29-30 Oct.

The pledge aims to create a new scenario for plastic packaging by eliminating single-use packaging materials, increasing the amount of reused or recycled plastics in new products and promoting innovation to ensure 100% of plastic packaging can be reused, recycled, or composted by 2025.

The commitment also includes moving away from “problematic” packaging and using significantly more recycled plastic in packaging itself.

“We believe that together, plastics converters are the best placed industry to define the vision for our industry in a sustainable world, with well performing waste collection systems and more circular designed products,” EuPC said.

Another point of regret, said EuPC, was the fact that the commitment had failed to attract the countries where the plastic problem was the biggest and educational campaigns were needed.

November prices of European PVC dropped slightly for CIS markets

MOSOCW (MRC) -- Negotiations over European polyvinyl chloride (PVC) prices for November shipments to the CIS markets have begun this week. Most European producers slightly reduced their export prices amid lower ethylene prices, according to ICIS-MRC Price report.

The November contract price of ethylene was agreed down by EUR10/tonne from October, which led to a reduction of around EUR5/tonne in PVC production costs. However, prices of resin for shipments to the CIS markets fell by EUR5-10/tonne amid weak demand from a number of export markets.

Demand for PVC remained weak from the main consumers from the CIS countries due to seasonal factors and stable operations of local producers.

Despite the ongoing scheduled shutdowns at some European plants, most producers did not have major restrictions on exports.

Negotiations over November shipments of suspension polyvinyl chloride (SPVC) to the CIS markets were held in the range of EUR715-780/tonne FCA, whereas deals were done in the range of EUR720-790/tonne FCA a month earlier.

Chinas Xi promises to raise imports amid trade row with US

MOSCW (MRC) - Chinese President Xi Jinping promised on Monday to lower tariffs, broaden market access and import more from overseas at the start of a trade expo designed to demonstrate goodwill amid mounting frictions with the United States and others, as per Reuters.

The November 5-10 China International Import Expo, or CIIE, brings thousands of foreign companies together with Chinese buyers in a bid to demonstrate the importing potential of the world’s second-biggest economy. In a speech that largely echoed previous promises, Xi said China would accelerate opening of the education, telecommunications and cultural sectors, while protecting foreign companies’ interests and punishing violations of intellectual property rights.

He also said he expects China to import USD30 T worth of goods and USD10 T worth of services in the next 15 yr. Last year, Xi estimated that China would import USD24 T worth of goods over the coming 15 yr. "CIIE is a major initiative by China to pro-actively open up its market to the world," Xi said.

US President Donald Trump has railed against China for what he sees as intellectual property theft, entry barriers to U.S. business and a gaping trade deficit. Foreign business groups, too, have grown weary of Chinese reform promises, and while opposing Trump’s tariffs, have longed warned that China would invite retaliation if it didn’t match the openness of its trading partners. Xi said the expo showed China’s desire to support global free trade, adding - without mentioning the United States - that countries must oppose protectionism.

He said, "Multilateralism and the free trade system is under attack, factors of instability and uncertainty are numerous, and risks and obstacles are increasing." “With the deepening development today of economic globalization, ‘the weak falling prey to the strong’ and ‘winner takes all’ are dead-end alleys,” he said.

Louis Kuijs, head of Asia economics at Oxford Economics, said the speech was meaningful, if short on fresh initiatives.

"I don’t think that there were necessarily path-breaking new reforms announced by him today, but I guess I would take this as a confirmation that China is very keen to be seen as continuing to open up further and committing to that stance," he said.

China imported USD1.84 T of goods in 2017, up 16%, or USD255 B, from a year earlier. Of that total, China imported about USD130 B of goods from the United States. The Chinese government’s top diplomat, State Councillor Wang Yi, said in March that China would import USD8 T of goods in the next five years.

Wanhua to use Honeywell connected plant in Eastern China

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Honeywell announced that Wanhua Chemical Group Co., Ltd. will use the Honeywell Connected Plant Process Reliability Advisor to provide prescriptive monitoring of its UOP C3 Oleflex™ unit at its plant in Shandong Province in Eastern China, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

This is the first application of the process reliability advisor service in China. Wanhua operates the world’s largest Oleflex unit, which converts propane into 750,000 tons per year of propylene, the primary component in many plastic resins, films and fibers.

Process Reliability Advisor continuously feeds plant data through Honeywell UOP process and fault models with sophisticated software to provide key performance information and process recommendations. It helps plants run more smoothly and detects problems before they can affect production and plant profitability.

"Process Reliability Advisor is unique in the industry because it applies Honeywell UOP’s proprietary process knowledge and deep troubleshooting experience to recommend operational adjustments much sooner and more accurately than has ever been possible before," said Zak Alzein, vice president, Connected Plant at Honeywell UOP. “Plants with this service can run consistently at the top of their capability."

Honeywell’s Connected Plant technologies combine the company’s industrial expertise, software and digital technologies to make customers’ operations more reliable, profitable and secure than previously possible. As part of Honeywell’s Connected Plant portfolio, Process Reliability Advisor gives refineries, petrochemical and gas processing plants greater visibility into their operations, helping to identify and resolve problems that often avoid detection and hamper production, and reducing unplanned shutdowns that can deprive plant operators millions of dollars per year in lost productivity.

"Process Reliability Advisor is a software-based service that combines a plant’s data with UOP expertise," Alzein said. “This service can tie plant data to the right domain knowledge to gain new insights to improve operational reliability."

Honeywell UOP’s C3 Oleflex technology is a propane dehydrogenation process that converts propane to propylene. Its low energy consumption, low emissions and fully recyclable, platinum-alumina-based catalyst system minimizes its impact on the environment, and has a lower cash cost of production and higher return on investment compared to other technologies. Honeywell UOP has licensed 35 Oleflex units in China since 2011.

Wanhua Chemical Group Co., Ltd. is a leading manufacturer propylene and isobutane and derivatives. Its main products are isocyanate (MDI, TDI, ADI), propylene, propylene oxide (PO), tert butyl alcohol (TBA), methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE), acrylic acid/acrylic ester (AA/AE), n-butanol and neopentyl glycol (NPG), liquefied propane, liquefied butane, and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG)

New economies and advanced technology are driving paradigm shift in global energy demand

MOSCOW (MRC) --The historic shift in energy use, from West to East, coupled with the rapid adoption of advanced technologies, are creating new challenges and opportunities for the global oil and gas industry as it changes gear to meet the growing energy demand from the high-growth economies of Asia, according to H.E. Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Speaking at the panel session titled ‘Energy Challenges in the New Economies’, at the inaugural Bloomberg New Economy Forum (NEF) in Singapore, of which ADNOC is a Founding Partner, H.E. Dr. Al Jaber highlighted the evolving energy demand will be driven by the rapid growth of the middle class in Asia over the next few years. India’s middle class will shortly exceed 500 million – twice the population of the entire United States, and China’s middle class is expected to grow to 750 million by 2025.

Commenting alongside Aliko Dangote, President and Chief Executive, Dangote Industries Limited and Darren M. Woods, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of ExxonMobil, H.E. Dr. Al Jaber said as the global economy continues to expand, the world is witnessing unprecedented demand for energy. He also noted that in the evolving energy landscape, the industry must find innovative ways to ensure a reliable, equitable and sustainable supply of energy and energy-based products to new economy markets.

"The goals of the New Economy Forum are in line with the UAE’s 2071 strategy to prepare for the future and capture the opportunities that lie ahead. It also aligns with the UAE’s vision for building bridges, connecting global economies, and enabling sustainable prosperity," H.E. Dr. Al Jaber said.

"Energy demand is growing globally, but demand in Asia is growing over twice as fast as the rest of the world. Oil and gas will play a fundamental role as part of a diversified energy mix. And ADNOC is stepping up to ensure it continues to be a trusted and reliable supplier of oil and gas to meet the increasing demand from growing economies."

H.E. Dr. Al Jaber noted that Abu Dhabi’s recent concession agreements with both India and China, two economic powerhouses that are redrawing the global energy map, demonstrate the historic shift taking place toward the New Economies of the East. He also highlighted the rapid advance of digital technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, and Blockchain, canl transform the oil and gas industry’s ability to respond to this step change in global energy demand.

"The world around us is transforming at an unprecedented rate, and we are witnessing a revolution in digitization. The UAE recognizes digital technology is a game changer that can positively shape societies, lift economies and transform the potential of all people. At ADNOC we are leveraging the latest technology, artificial intelligence, and big data to empower our thinking and propel our business forward."

Bloomberg’s New Economy Forum has convened 400 preeminent leaders to begin seeking private sector-led solutions to challenges created by a world economy in transition, increasingly led by China and India as well as rising powers in Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America.