Equipolymers unveils 25% recycled content PET

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Equipolymers GmbH (EQP), a German manufacturer of PET resins, has unveiled a new food-grade polyethylene terephthalate (PET) using up to 25% of chemically recycled PET bottles as feedstock, said Plasticsnewseurope.

The material, named Viridis 25, was launched in a ceremony in Vienna on 9 Oct, concurrent with the annual meeting of the European Petrochemical Association (EPCA). The new clear PET product, according to EQP, has the highest recycled ratio ever achieved so far and can absorb more than 3% of the total recycled PET available in Europe.

Established in 2003, Equipolymers is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Kuwait-based petrochemicals company Equate Petrochemical Co. (EQUATE). The Viridis 25 project roots go back to 2009, when EQP launched Viridis 10, a PET grade containing up to 10% recycled PET.

“The Viridis 25 project enabled us to create a product with far-reaching environmental, social and business benefits,” said Ramesh Ramachandran, president & CEO of Equate, at the launch ceremony. “We are transforming the way plastic products are designed, produced and recycled,” he added.

The manufacturing of Viridis 25 is based on a chemical recycling process of PET polymers coming from post-consumer flakes. According to EQP, the technology involves an environmentally sustainable process to produce the resin.

EQP is currently modifying its existing 350ktpa production plant in Schkopau, Germany, to produce Viridis 25 and expects to start commercial production by October next year. Once fully operational, the plant can consume up to 30 kilotonnes of post-consumer PET waste to produce Viridis 25.

EQP has also highlighted the strong role Coca-Cola played in the development of the material as a supporter of the project. According to Ramachandran, Coca-Cola's support was particularly helpful “in the boardroom” when further investment decisions were being made to move from Viridis 10 to Viridis 25.

“In response to the European Plastics Strategy, Viridis 25 contributes to Coca-Cola's global strategy of a ‘world without waste' by increasing the amount of recycled material in its PET bottles,” said Bruce Eliott, CEPG managing director of plastics packaging at Coca-Cola, who also spoke at the launch event in Vienna.

As MRC informed earlier, Equipolymers planned to carry out maintenance works at the polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plant in Schkopau (Sckhopau, Germany) in October. Neither the exact start and end dates of repair work at this enterprise, where two production lines with a capacity of 160,000 tonnes/year and 175,000 tonnes/year, were reported.

According to MRC's DataScope report, Chinese bottle grade PET deliveries to Russia increased 34% in the first eight months of 2019 to 95,600 tonnes. China accounted for 90% of the total imports, compared to 85% a year earlier.
August imports of material from China decreased by 41% to 7,600 tonnes from 12,800 tonnes in July. Jiangsu Sanfangxiang, Yisheng, Wankai and Sinopec were the leading Chinese suppliersof material to the Russian market.

Equipolymers is a company dedicated to the manufacture and marketing of PET resins. The company is a 50/50 global joint venture of The Dow Chemical Company (Dow) and Petrochemical Industries Company (PIC), a wholly owned subsidiary of Kuwait Petroleum Corporation. Since its formation in 2004, Equipolymers has leveraged the unique strengths of its parent companies, Dow and PIC of Kuwait. Equipolymers is the preferred partner for brand-owners and other key value chain players in the PET market, through innovation-driven leadership and high-quality product standards. Equipolymers' production facilities are located in Ottana (Italy) and Schkopau (Germany).

Total plans to double recycled polypropylene capacity

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Total has decided to double the production capacity of its affiliate Synova to meet growing market demand for high-performance recycled materials, said the company.

By early 2021, Normandy-based Synova, a French leader in its sector, will produce 40,000 tons per year of recycled polypropylene that meets the demanding quality standards of automotive OEMs and carmakers.

"Among their many qualities, plastics help to reduce the weight of everyday items, improving their energy efficiency, and to shrink our carbon emissions. By developing the share of recycled raw materials, we provide a concrete response to the challenge of managing the end-of-life of plastics,” said Valerie Goff, Senior Vice President Polymers at Total Refining & Chemicals. "This investment, which consolidates the acquisition of Synova in early 2019, marks a new milestone in our circular economy activities and contributes to our target of producing 30% recycled polymers by 2030 and Total’s ambition to be the responsible energy major."

As it was written earlier, Synova, a Paris-based plastic recycling company was purchased by Total for undisclosed amount in February 2019.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, the PP consumption in the Russian market was 909,260 tonnes in January-August 2019, up by 10% year on year. Shipments of PP block copolymer and homopolymer PP increased.

Total S.A. is a French multinational oil and gas company and one of the six "Supermajor" oil companies in the world with business in Europe, the United States, the Middle East and Asia. The company's petrochemical products cover two main groups: base chemicals and the consumer polymers (polyethylene, polypropylene and polystyrene) that are derived from them.

Lyondell Houston refinery small CDU raised production to full capacity

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Lyondell Basell Industries was raising the production level of the small crude distillation unit (CDU) at its 263,776 barrel-per-day Houston refinery on 11 October, which was shut earlier in the day, reported Reuters with reference to Gulf Coast market sources.

The 120,000 bpd Unit 536 CDU was shut at midday on Friday after water was found in the crude being processed in the unit, the sources said.

It was approximately midday Saturday before the unit returned to full production, according to the sources.

CDUs do the primary refining of crude oil into hydrocarbon feedstocks for all other production units in a refinery to convert into motor fuels.

As MRC wrote previously, in August 2016, LyondellBasell made the final investment decision to build a high density polyethylene (HDPE) plant on the US Gulf Coast. The plant will have an annual capacity of 1.1 billion pounds (500,000 metric tons) and will be the first commercial plant to employ LyondellBasell's new proprietary Hyperzone PE technology. The start-up of the new plant is scheduled for 2019.

According to ICIS-MRC Price report, Russia's two largest HDPE producers - Kazanorgsintez and Stavrolen - have resumed their operations after long maintenance works. The plants' customers said Kazanorgsintez and Stavrolen had completely resumed their HDPE production by Monday, 21 October, after the shutdown for turnarounds. The outages were planned and began on 6 September and 26 September, respectively. These are the last scheduled turnarounds at Russian plants this year.

LyondellBasell is one of the largest plastics, chemicals and refining companies in the world. Driven by its 13,000 employees around the globe, LyondellBasell produces materials and products that are key to advancing solutions to modern challenges like enhancing food safety through lightweight and flexible packaging, protecting the purity of water supplies through stronger and more versatile pipes, and improving the safety, comfort and fuel efficiency of many of the cars and trucks on the road. LyondellBasell sells products into approximately 100 countries and is the world's largest licensor of polyolefin technologies.

Formosa Plastics agrees to pay USD50M for Texas Gulf pollution

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Formosa Plastics Corp. (part of Formosa Petrochemical) has agreed to pay USD50 million to settle allegations that a company plant in Texas spilled tons of pellets into waterways near the Gulf of Mexico, reported CityNews.

Texas RioGrande Legal Aid announced the agreement involving the Formosa plant in Point Comfort last Tuesday. A judge in Houston will consider approving the settlement, to be paid over five years into a fund supporting environmental water projects.

U.S. District Judge Kenneth Hoyt in June ruled in favour of people who alleged the Formosa plant violated clean water laws through discharges into Lavaca Bay and Cox Creek that began in 2016.

Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, representing plaintiffs, said the consent decree means Formosa agrees to "zero discharge" of plastics and will clean existing pollution.

A message left for Formosa wasn’t immediately returned Tuesday.

As MRC informed earlier, Taiwan’s Formosa Plastics has taken off-stream its polypropylene (PP) unit owing to technical glitch. A Polymerupdate source in China informed that the company halted operations at the unit in end-September, 2019. The unit remained off-line until mid-October, 2019. Located at Ningbo in China, the No. 2 PP unit has a production capacity of 280,000 mt/year.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, the estimated PP consumption in the Russian market was 796,120 tonnes in January-July 2019, up by 11% year on year. Shipments of PP block copolymer and homopolymer PP increased.

Formosa Petrochemical is involved primarily in the business of refining crude oil, selling refined petroleum products and producing and selling olefins (including ethylene, propylene, butadiene and BTX) from its naphtha cracking operations. Formosa Petrochemical is also the largest olefins producer in Taiwan and its olefins products are mostly sold to companies within the Formosa Group. Among the company's chemical products are paraxylene (PX), phenyl ethylene, acetone and pure terephthalic acid (PTA). The company"s plastic products include acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) resins, polystyrene (PS), polypropylene (PP) and panlite (PC).

Covestro PC imports to Ukrainian market up by 52% in Jan-Sep

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Overall imports of Covestro's PC granules to the Ukrainian market grew in the first three quarters of 2019 by 52% year on year, according to MRC's DataScope report.

Thus, this figure increased from 1,400 tonnes in January-September 2018 to 2,100 tonnes.

Covestro's material accounted for 69% of the total PC imports to the country in the first nine months of 2019 versus 54% a year earlier.

Company's shipments of material to Ukraine were 231 tonnes last months, compared to 139 tonnes in September 2018.