Akzo Nobel Announces its "Paint the Future" Startup Challenge

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Calling all startups, scale-ups, entrepreneurs and innovators, Akzo Nobel started the first edition of its "Paint the Future - the startup challenge" to discover new and revolutionary solutions that are intended accelerate innovation in the world of paints and coatings, said Process-worldwide.

The challenge is to connect bright minds and promising solutions from across the globe with the company's expertise, global scale and resources. Innovators, challenge teams, institutions and industry experts will work together to enhance the submitted ideas, forming a truly collaborative ecosystem. Spearheaded by the company's Chief Technology Officer Klaas Kruithof, Paint the Future offers winners the opportunity to accelerate commercialization of their solution.

Interested participants can register on the challenge's website to join the platform, submit solutions and contribute industry expertise as part of the community.

Launched in partnership with KPMG, the challenge focuses on five key areas:
Smart application
Enhanced functionality
Circular solutions
Life science infusion
Predictable performance

The deadline for new submissions is March 1, 2019, and participants on the platform will continue to explore, discuss and enrich ideas until March?12, after which AkzoNobel experts will select finalists to participate in the finals event in Amsterdam May 14 to 16. Shortly thereafter, the company will begin working with winners on sustainable business opportunities.

Chevron and Occidental invest in CO2 removal technology

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Canada-based Carbon Engineering said on Wednesday it had received investment from a subsidiary of Occidental Petroleum Corp. and the venture capital arm of Chevron Corp. for its technology that removes carbon dioxide directly from the air, reported Reuters.

Oxy Low Carbon Ventures, a subsidiary of Occidental Petroleum Corporation, and Chevron Technology Ventures, the venture capital division of Chevron Corporation, have invested an undisclosed sum in Carbon Engineering's so-called direct air capture (DAC) technology.

Founded in 2009, Carbon Engineering developed technology that captures carbon dioxide (CO2) directly from the atmosphere and converts it into low-carbon fuels for transport and for use in enhanced oil recovery.

The firm has been removing CO2 from the atmosphere since 2015 at a pilot plant in British Columbia and converting it into fuel since 2017.

Carbon Engineering expects to reach its financing target of USD60 million by the end of the first quarter, putting it on track to accelerate the commercialization of its technology, the firm told Reuters.

"These new investments will allow us to accelerate the deployment of our DAC and AIR TO FUELS technologies," said Steve Oldham, chief executive of Carbon Engineering (CE).

"With an increasing focus worldwide on the need for aggressive emissions reductions, CE’s technology can play a major role, and energy industry leaders like Occidental and Chevron will greatly accelerate commercialization of CE’s technology," he added.

Extracting vast amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere could help to limit global warming, blamed for causing more heatwaves, wildfires, floods and rising sea levels.

The costs of such technologies are high, however, and a huge number of plants would be needed to make a dent in manmade CO2 emissions.

As MRC wrote earlier, in May 2018, San Ramon, Calif. and Emeryville, Calif. - Chevron Products Company, a division of Chevron USA Inc., and Novvi LLC announced that they had entered into an agreement to jointly develop and bring to market novel renewable base oil technologies.

LyondellBasell safety experts advance best practices

MOSCOW (MRC) -- LyondellBasell, one of the world’s largest plastics, chemicals and refining companies, and the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) partnered to deliver process safety best practices to college professors, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Chemical engineering educators from the U.S. and Middle East attended an industry-led workshop hosted at LyondellBasell’s Houston Engineering Center this week. The effort is part of an initiative to incorporate safety training in the undergraduate curriculum so students graduate with the well-rounded knowledge they need. Although chemical companies have extensive safety training programs, experience has shown that focusing on these concepts at an earlier stage helps embed safety as a key component of one’s work environment.

Dale Friedrichs, LyondellBasell’s vice president of Health, Safety, Environment and Security, explained the importance of this approach. "Our goal is to help give engineers some basic knowledge and tools regarding process safety, prior to starting their career. It is important for them to understand the criticality of their role in protecting themselves, co-workers and our environment. At LyondellBasell, we have an unwavering commitment to safety and we are proud to work with AIChE on this important initiative."

During the course, LyondellBasell safety experts reviewed best practices and industry case studies with the faculty members. Some of the topics included hazard identification methods and risk assessment, inherently safe design, and evaluating the availability of safeguards. The visiting professors also toured LyondellBasell’s Channelview Complex and Houston Technology Center to see the real-life implementation of the latest solutions.

Shakeel Kadri, executive director of AIChE’s Center for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS), reflected on the importance of exposing professors to the application of safety best practices. "These faculty workshops provide vital orientation and resources for chemical engineering teachers, allowing instructors to better prepare students for safe and responsible practice as they enter the industry."

Colin Howat, Ph.D., P.E., emeritus professor from the University of Kansas and one of the organizers of the faculty workshop, said process safety is often treated lightly or not at all in an undergraduate curriculum. "Industry, through the CCPS, is leading the initiative to ensure process safety is in the curricula by providing opportunities to faculty to learn industrial emphasis and application of process safety engineering."

In 2017, LyondellBasell donated $750,000 to the AIChE Foundation to support the organization’s Undergraduate Process Safety Learning Initiative, a multi-pronged program aimed at preparing engineering students for entering the chemical industry. The initiative is a global effort and core priority of the AIChE Foundation’s Doing a World of Good campaign, which focuses on bringing chemical engineering expertise to bear for the good of society.

January prices of European PVC rose by EUR10-20/tonne for CIS markets

MOSOCW (MRC) -- Negotiations over prices of European polyvinyl chloride (PVC) for January shipments to the CIS markets have begun this week. Most European producers reduced their export prices further under the pressure of lower ethylene prices in the region, according to ICIS-MRC Price report.

The January contract price of ethylene was agreed down by EUR40/tonne from December, which led to a decrease of nearly EUR20/tonne in PVC production costs. However, not all European suppliers proportionally reduced their export prices of suspensions for January shipments to the CIS countries. The price reduction of EUR10-20/tonne from December has been discussed.

Demand for PVC was quite weak from the main consumers in the CIS countries this month because of seasonal factors and some converters' shutdowns for maintenance. There were no restrictions on shipments of resin this month, as was the case from some European producers in December due to unscheduled outages at some production capacities.

Deals for January shipments of suspension polyvinyl chloride (SPVC) to the CIS markets were done in the range of EUR685-750/tonne FCA, whereas last month's deals were done in the range of EUR705-760/tonne FCA.

Toyo awarded petrochemical project in Indonesia

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Toyo Engineering Group (TOYO) has been awarded a contract of Acrylic Acid Production plant with capacity of 100,000 tons/year in Cilegon, Banten, on the western tip of Java, Indonesia from PT. NIPPON SHOKUBAI INDONESIA (NSI), Indonesian subsidiary of NIPPON SHOKUBAI CO., LTD. (NSCL), as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Toyo Engineering Corporation (Toyo-Japan, President and CEO Haruo Nagamatsu) is in charge of a part of engineering and offshore supply services. On the other hand, consortium of PT. Inti Karya Persada Tehnik (IKPT, President and CEO Yasuhiro Hime), TOYO’s Indonesian subsidiary, and PT. SMCC Utama Indonesia (SMCC, President Satoshi Tanimoto), Indonesian subsidiary of Sumitomo Mitsui Construction Co., Ltd. is responsible for engineering, domestic procurement and construction work. The plant is scheduled for completion in 2021.

Starting from the award of SAP plant project in China in 2003, TOYO has accumulated project experience in Asia, Europe and United States of America for NSCL. TOYO has also been awarded Acrylic Acid and SAP plant project from NSI in Indonesia on 2011.

The client has appreciated TOYO’s long-term relationship with NSCL and TOYO/IKPT’s project execution capability backed up by abundant project experience in Indonesia, which led to this award.