Styrenics Circular Solutions announced full commercial scale PS recycling plant

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Styrenics Circular Solutions (SCS) has announced a collaboration between Ineos Styrolution, Trinseo, and Agilyx to advance the first-of-a-kind polystyrene (PS) chemical recycling facility in Europe, as per GV.

The SCS members Ineos Styrolution and Trinseo, global leaders in the manufacturing of PS and other styrenic materials, have combined resources to advance the development of a full commercial scale chemical recycling plant. The new plant will be capable of processing up to 50 tonnes-per-day of post-consumer PS feedstock.

This project advancement follows the promising results of an evaluation study in which SCS, the joint industry initiative to increase the circularity of styrenic polymers, engaged Agilyx, based in Tigard, OR, USA, a developer of chemical recycling technologies for plastics, to perform tests with samples of post-consumer PS food packaging waste. Agilyx evaluated the composition of the waste feedstock and successfully recycled it back into its original liquid monomer, using its proprietary depolymerisation technology. This project demonstrated polystyrene’s unique intrinsic capability to be fully recycled.

"This is an exciting time in the advancement of plastics recycling, when we really can make a difference with the development of a plant that will not only lead the way to significantly increase European PS recycling rates, but also truly close the loop with food grade recycled content,” said Rob Slangen, Plastic and Feedstocks Technology Leader at Trinseo and member of the SCS Technology Working Group. He added: “As such, we are well-positioned to become a key contributor to the European Commission's recycling goals."

"We are excited by the results from the work we have already completed with Agilyx, which demonstrate how robust and advanced Agilyx’s depolymerisation technology for PS is and underscores PS’ excellent recyclability. With this chemical recycling technology we hold the solution in our hands, with which PS can be managed as a renewable and environmentally friendly source," said Dr. Norbert Niessner, Director Global R&D/IP, Ineos Styrolution, and Chair of the SCS Technology Working Group.

"Our collaboration with SCS, and for this specific project, with Trinseo, and Ineos Styrolution is a needed and important step in being able to turn everyday plastics into a renewable resource," said Joe Vaillancourt, Agilyx’s CEO. "For over 15 years Agilyx has been driven with a vision to end wasteful outcomes of post-consumer plastics and ensure that no plastic ends up in a landfill. This collaboration will allow us to create a fully circular solution for post-consumer PS which has so many benefits to the way we live," he added.

"SCS initiated this important project as part of our commitment to drive up European styrenics recycling rates," explained Jens Kathmann, Secretary General SCS. "I am very happy that our member companies Ineos Stryrolution and Trinseo now have taken it to the next phase and together with collaboration partner Agilyx will be driving the scale-up implementation in line with the EU Plastics Strategy. I am looking forward to many more projects to come to create a novel recycling infrastructure for styrenics in Europe together with key players from across the entire value chain," he commented.

According to SCS, PS is a polymer with unique circularity potential, as it is most easily reversed into its original monomer at high yield with the emerging recycling technologies. The liquid state of its monomer enables easy purification and the recycled monomer is said to be identical to the virgin monomer. It can thus be processed into styrenics polymers with identical, virgin quality enabling all applications, including food contact. Also, from there it can be continuously recycled, over and over again, said SCS.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated consumption of PS and styrene plastics was 39,130 tonnes in July 2019, down by 1% year on year (39,600 tonnes in 2018). Consumption of PS and styrene plastics was 287,370 tonnes in January-July 2019, up by 2% year on year.

Innovation Center will develop state-of-the-art technologies for non-metallic solutions

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), Saudi Aramco Technologies Company (AramcoTech) and TWI Ltd (TWI) officially opened the Non-metallic Innovation Center (NIC), as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The NIC is a research center focused on innovation and advancing the use of non-metallic industrial applications, and is located in Cambridge in the United Kingdom.

The center will develop state-of-the-art technologies for new non-metallic solutions and demonstrates how ADNOC, through innovative partnerships, is leveraging the power of technology to enhance efficiencies and unlock greater value as it delivers its 2030 smart growth strategy. The NIC partnership will also help create potential new upstream and downstream market opportunities and open doors to new markets for ADNOC as it looks to maximize the potential of its resources across its entire value chain.

Dr. Alan Nelson, ADNOC Chief Technology Officer, said: “Non-metallic solutions are continuing to reshape industries around the world. From cost-efficient and durable pipelines to lightweight car designs, this technology has abundant science and engineering uses. In line with our Oil & Gas 4.0 mission, ADNOC is dedicated to leading and advancing this technology.

"Accelerating growth in new non-metallic applications also creates new markets for crude and refined products for ADNOC. We are excited to partner with TWI and AramcoTech to help drive cutting-edge non-metallic solutions for the oil and gas industry and beyond."

Non-metallics combine the benefits of several materials as they are corrosion-resistant, lightweight, and durable. They are increasingly deployed across multiple industries, including oil and gas, and construction.

Ahmad O. Al-Khowaiter, Saudi Aramco Chief Technology Officer, said: "We are delighted to be part of this important initiative. The industry is waking up to the benefits of non-metallic materials for numerous applications. The NIC will promote the utilization of advanced polymeric materials by conducting research that addresses challenges in their development and implementation. This initiative is part of Saudi Aramco’s efforts to leverage its extensive hydrocarbon resources and technology development capabilities to deliver solutions that meet future energy needs in a sustainable way."

Dr. Mihalis Kazilas, NIC Programme Director, said: "By bringing together TWI, AramcoTech, and ADNOC to set up NIC, we can be assured of producing industry-led research, for the complete supply chain from R&D to production. NIC combines academia and industry so that there is a continuous chain between universities producing high-level research and industries that require academic-level analysis for real-world applications."

ADNOC’s partnership to establish the NIC further builds on its strong portfolio of research centers. In addition to the NIC, ADNOC currently has three centers in Abu Dhabi and one in Shanghai, which focus on upstream and downstream related research.

NIC is a part of the Private Technology Innovation Partnerships (PTIPs) initiative at TWI, working to address technology priorities, fostering open innovation and commercialization of technology with sponsors and supply chain. The center conducts a research program that covers Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) 1-9, with partners being drawn from leading academic institutions, research centers, and composite material manufacturers.

As MRC wrote previously, in November 2018, Saudi Aramco and ADNOC signed a framework agreement to explore opportunities for collaboration in the Natural Gas and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG). The cooperation brings together two of the world’s leading energy producers from the Arabian Gulf to jointly work together in an area of strategic importance for both companies as they seek to boost revenues from the natural gas and LNG business segments.

Thai PTT to start maintenance at LDPE plant in Thailand on 1 October

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Thailand’s PTTGC is planning to shut its LDPE unit in Map Ta Phut, Thailand for a planned turnaround on 1 October, 2019, according to NCT.

The maintenance works are expected to last until 30 October.

The unit is able to produce 300,000 tons/year of LDPE.

PTT currently has a total capacity of 800,000 mt/year of high density polyethylene (HDPE), 300,000 mt/year of low density polyethylene and 800,000 mt/year of LLDPE at the same site.

As MRC informed earlier, PTT started commercial operations at its new 400,000 mt/year metallocene C6 linear low density polyethylene plant at Map Ta Phut, Thailand, in the first quarter of 2018.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated LDPE consumption totalled 338,390 tonnes in the first seven months of 2019, up by 3% year on year. Some producers' LDPE output decreased, exports also subsided. Excessive supply of LDPE vanished in the market in August because of the shutdowns at two plants at once. And there was even a slight shortage already in the second half of the month.

PTT Global Chemical is a leading player in the petrochemical industry and owns several petrochemical facilities with a combined capacity of 8.45 million tonnes a year.

Ufaorgsintez to shut its LDPE production for turnaround on 17 September

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Ufaorgsintez (petrochemical asset of Bashneft, which is part of Rosneft) plans to shut down its second low density polyethylene (LDPE) line for maintenance on 17 September, according to ICIS-MRC Price report.

The plant's customers said the turnaround at this production line is expected to last for one week.

Ufaorgsintez's total LDPE production capacity is 90,000 tonnes/year.

As reported earlier, Ufaorgsintez took off-stream its second LDPE line for a fairly long scheduled maintenance from 19 September to 13-14 October, 2018. The first line was shut for a 30-day turnaround and completely resumed operations on 1 October, 2018.

PJSC Ufaorgsintez produces phenol, acetone, synthetic ethylene-propylene rubber, high and low density polyethylene, polypropylene, over 30 types of petrochemical products and over 25 items of consumer products. Ufaorgsintez reduced its net profit by 18% in the first half of 2019. The company's revenue has not changed. Ufaorgsintez received revenue in the amount of Rb15.35 billion in the first six months of 2019 versus Rb15.25 billion a year earlier.

Supply of Gazprom neftekhim Salavat PS is very tight in the Russian market

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Gazprom neftekhim Salavat's polystyrene (PS) was shipped to Russian customers in extremely limited quantities in the first half of September, according to ICIS-MRC Price report.

There have been no available quantities of Gazprom neftekhim Salavat's premium grade general purpose polystyrene (GPPS) in free sale so far.

At the same time, shipments of Salavat material were earlier expected to normalize at the beginning of September.

As reported previously, the resumption of Gazprom neftekhim Salavat's GPPS production after a scheduled turnaround was delayed for several weeks. The plant’s production capacities were shut for maintenance in July. However, the company was planning to reach a standard capacity utilisation at the plant in September.

OAO "Gazprom neftekhim Salavat" (formerly OAO "Salavatnefteorgsintez") is one of the leading petrochemical companies in Russia, carrying out a full cycle of processing hydrocarbon material. The list of products manufactured by the plant includes more than 140 items, including 76 grades of the main products: gasoline, diesel fuel, kerosene, fuel oil, toluene, solvent, liquefied gases, benzene, styrene, ethylbenzene, butyl alcohols, phthalic anhydride and plasticizers, polyethylene, polystyrenes, silica gels and zeolite catalysts, corrosion inhibitors, elemental sulfur, ammonia and urea, glycols and amines, a wide range of household products made of plastics, surfactants and much more.