Krauss Maffei opens new plant in Jiaxing

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Krauss Maffei has opened its new plant in Jiaxing, with which the company plans to double its production capacity in China, said the company.

More than 600 customers and partners came to the opening ceremony of the new Chinese plant. In an exhibition, they saw ten different machine types and 16 different applications. These included machines that are developed and manufactured in China for the Chinese market, such as the PX Agile series of electrical injection molding machines, the ZE GP-Agile twin-screw extruders and a mixing and dosing machine. Among the processes presented were LSR processing, colorform and metal injection molding as well as special applications such as precision injection molding, optical lenses and freely sprayed high-gloss surfaces. The “Pioneering Plastics” innovation and development forum took place parallel to the exhibition, presenting new technologies and trends in the industry.

The new location in Jiaxing currently has more than 58,000 m? of floor space; another 37,000 m? property is reserved for future use. It offers space for research and development, technical design, manufacturing and logistics - and this for extrusion, injection molding and reaction technology. This means that Jiaxing within the Krauss Maffei Group will become another comprehensive functional headquarters outside of Germany.

"China and the rest of the world face the challenges that the corona pandemic poses for the manufacturing industry and the related industrial chains. In the meantime, the emerging new technologies and megatrends - intelligent manufacturing, digital services and solutions - bring new opportunities for our industry, ”said CUI Xiaojun, CEO of Krauss Maffei China. "The new plant in Jiaxing is another important milestone in Krauss Maffei's more than 180-year history, with which we want to further expand the Chinese market, improve our local capacities and create value for customers in China and worldwide."

The new plant is located in the Jiaxing Economic and Technological Development Zone in the Greater Bay Area, a regional economic cluster that China is currently expanding into a metropolitan region with great ambitions. The opening was actually scheduled for early February, but had to be postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

It was previously reported that NPP Polyplastic, the largest Russian manufacturer of thermoplastic composite materials, signed an agreement with KraussMaffei Berstorff GmbH in 2016 to modernize the production facilities of the Russian company.

As MRC informed earlier, Russia's output of chemical products rose by 4.4% year on year in May 2020 . Thus, production of basic chemicals increased year on year by 5.4% in the first five months of 2020. According to the Federal State Statistics Service of the Russian Federation, polymers in primary form accounted for the greatest increase in the output in January-May. Production of benzene was 110,000 tonnes in May 2020, which equalled the figure a month earlier. Overall output of this product reached 615,000 tonnes over the stated period, up by 1.7% year on year.

Krauss Maffei, the world's only provider of turnkey equipment for injection molding, extrusion and reaction technology, has merged its business divisions as well as the former brands KraussMaffei, KraussMaffei Berstorff and Netstal, under the auspices of the single brand KraussMaffei.

Citgo Corpus Christi, Texas, refinery restarts large FCC

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Citgo Petroleum Corp restarted the large gasoline-producing fluid catalytic cracker at its 167,500-barrel-per-day (bpd) Corpus Christi, Texas, refinery, reported Reuters with reference to sources familiar with plant operations.

Citgo did not reply to a request for comment.

The 69,000-bpd FCC was knocked out of production early on Wednesday, the sources said, by a pump outage. The pump was repaired and the unit restarted.

As informed before, in May 2019, Citgo restarted larger reformer at its US Corpus Christi 52,000 bbl/day refinery with capacity 225,000 benzene; 180,000 toluene tonnes/year.

Propylene is the main feedstock for the production of polypropylene (PP).

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, PP shipments to the Russian market was 457,930 tonnes in January-May 2020 (calculated by the formula production minus export plus import). Deliveris of exclusively PP random copolymer increased.

Clariant catalyst helps Duslo turn plastic waste into high-quality winter diesel

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Clariant and Duslo’s research institute VUCHT are transforming waste into wealth. Using a proprietary technique and Clariant’s HYDEX E next-generation hydro-dewaxing catalyst, VUCHT has successfully converted plastic waste into premium winter fuel distillate, according to Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The efficacy of this groundbreaking process has now been proven in a pilot plant in Slovakia. As plastics and fuels are both mainly composed of natural gas or crude oil, turning one into the other has major implications for sustainable and lucrative fuel production.

Stefan Heuser, Senior Vice President & General Manager at Clariant Catalysts: “Upgrading gas oil fractions to more valuable products has become essential for improving refinery economics. Clariant is committed to supporting this customer need through innovations such as HYDEX E. We are honored to partner with VUCHT in their pioneering plastic waste-to-winter diesel technology, and very pleased about the outstanding performance of our next-generation catalyst in the process.”

VUCHT is part of Duslo, a major Slovak producer of fertilizers, specialty nitrogen compounds, and rubber chemicals. The institute uses a pyrolysis process to convert a variety of plastic waste collected in the country (such as polyethylene, polystyrene, polypropylene and PET) into diesel fuel. The process thermally degrades the plastic at temperatures above 300°C (530°F), converting it into liquid oil comprised of various hydrocarbon compounds. Recently, the institute developed a proprietary technique to further convert the liquid oil into a high-quality fuel distillate known as winter diesel.

The winter diesel produced is compliant with Euro 6 fuel emission standards, including cold flow properties specified for temperatures as low as -30°F (-34°C), typically required in arctic areas. To achieve this extreme improvement in cold flow, Clariant’s HYDEX E hydro-dewaxing catalyst was applied. After intensive pilot testing proved the technical viability and economic appeal of the process, VUCHT is planning to expand the method’s success in a custom-built demonstration plant with a fuel distillate capacity of 40 metric tons per annum (MTA).

HYDEX E is an economical selective isomerization hydro-dewaxing catalyst specially developed for highly paraffinic feedstocks. The key advantages of this zeolite-based catalyst are that it has the ability to significantly raise fuel quality and yield, while minimizing costs and by-product formation. HYDEX catalysts have been successfully used for catalytic dewaxing at numerous refineries around the world for over 25 years, and are recognized to be highly favorable for middle distillate feedstocks, such as diesel.

Duslo’s VUCHT institute is a research and engineering organization with more than 100 years of experience in the active development of organic and inorganic chemistry processes and products. Branislav Brezny, the institute’s Managing Director, explained the significance of the results, stating, “Scaling up to near-plant capacity was the ultimate test of the practicality and profitability of our proprietary diesel production process, and we are extremely satisfied with the results of our team’s innovations. This could not have been achieved without a partner such as Clariant, whose new dewaxing catalyst has delivered beyond expectations.”

As MRC reported earlier, in June 2020, TechnipFMC and Clariant Catalysts entered into a joint development agreement for the demonstration and commercialisation of Clariant’s new state-of-the-art AcryloMax propylene ammoxidation catalyst for the production of acrylonitrile (ACN).

Besides, in May 2020, Clariant’s CATOFIN catalysts was selected by Advanced Global Investment Co. (AGIC), a joint venture between Advanced Petrochemical Company (APC) and SK Group, to build a PDH facility in the Middle East.

Propylene is the main feedstock for the production of polypropylene (PP).

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, PP shipments to the Russian market was 457,930 tonnes in January-May 2020 (calculated by the formula production minus export plus import). Deliveris of exclusively PP random copolymer increased.

Clariant AG is a Swiss chemical company and a world leader in the production of specialty chemicals for the textile, printing, mining and metallurgical industries. It is engaged in processing crude oil products in pigments, plastics and paints.

Mitsui Chemicals expands mask component production in Japan

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Mitsui Chemicals, Inc. (Tokyo) announced the decision to have wholly owned subsidiary Sunrex Industry Co. Ltd. (President: KAWAHITO Koichiro) expand its production facilities for TEKNOROTE™ mask nose clamps, said the company.

This comes amid increased demand with mask-wearing now having become more common in the effort to contain novel coronavirus infections.

Through this move, the Mitsui Chemicals Group’s production capacity of mask nose clamps will rise by around 150 percent, reaching a level sufficient to supply 3 billion masks per year. Depending on mask demand trends going forward, Mitsui Chemicals will also consider making further expansions to its production facilities for mask nose clamps.

To help prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, Mitsui Chemicals will continue to bolster its supply system not only for TEKNOROTE™ mask nose clamps but also for a range of other products, including SYNTEX™ MB nonwovens for masks and PS-105-GW nonwovens for use in isolation gowns.

As MRC informed before, Mitsui Prime Advanced Compounds Europe, a joint venture in which Mitsui Chemicals has 75%, Mitsui & Co. 15% and Prime Polymer Co. 10%, has commissioned its first polypropylene (PP) compounding plant in Europe. Located at the Chemelot Industrial Park at Geleen, Netherlands, the facility is designed to produce 30,000 metric tons/year of PP compounds.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, PP shipments to the Russian market was 457,930 tonnes in January-May 2020 (calculated by the formula production minus export plus import). Deliveris of exclusively PP random copolymer increased.

Mitsui Chemicals is a leading manufacturer and supplier of value added specialty chemicals, plastics and materials for the automotive, healthcare, packaging, agricultural, building, and semiconductor and electronics markets. Mitsui Chemicals is a Japanese Chemicals company, a part of the Mitsui conglomerate. The company has a turnover of around 15 billion USD and has business interests in Japan, Europe, China, Southeast Asia and the USA. The company mainly deals in performance materials, petro and basic chemicals and functional polymeric materials.

Eni, Versalis and COREPLA working together to recover mixed plastics

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Eni, Versalis and COREPLA (the National Consortium for the Collection, Recycling and Recovery of Plastic Packaging) have signed an agreement that will see them pool their expertise to collect and recycle plastic packaging, with a particular focus on non-mechanically recyclable plasmix, as per Eni's press release.

The partnership aims to provide a practical and sustainable solution to the recovery of plastic packaging waste on a national scale. Over half of the plastic packaging collected from sorted bins in Italy is currently sent for mechanical recycling to make new products. The remaining portion of mixed post-consumer plastics that are not suitable for mechanical recycling, known as plasmix, now mainly ends up in cement plants, where it replaces fossil fuels, whilst some is used for energy recovery and the remainder sent to landfill. The agreement aims to launch a study plan that will exploit all the plasmix fractions available in the COREPLA chain. The partners will pool their respective expertise in the fields of gasification and chemical recycling by means of pyrolysis. Versalis is, in fact, in the process of designing a first chemical recycling plant using the pyrolysis technology and set to be built in Mantua, in addition to the various mechanical recycling initiatives that the company is spearheading.

A second agreement signed today by Eni and COREPLA aims to establish the feasibility of recovering end-of-life plastics at the innovative plants that Eni is looking into for the Venice bio-refinery, in Porto Marghera, and at the Livorno refinery, for the production of hydrogen and methanol obtained through gasification respectively. Gasification is a technological process for producing syngas that involves a thermal reaction at a controlled high temperature in an enclosed environment, meaning that there are no direct emissions out of chimneys. This takes place under temperature conditions that vitrify the pollutants and render them inert and stable.

COREPLA will make a vital contribution to determining the availability and composition of the plasmix managed through its chain at a national level, in conjunction with various companies specialising in the recovery sector, with a view to making it compatible with the various requirements of the technologies involved.

"The agreements signed with Eni and Versalis are part of a strategy aimed at the complete recovery of plastic» - explains COREPLA President Antonello Ciotti. «We want to be key players in driving a real circular economy that is based on practical and innovative projects, whilst also strengthening Italy’s leading position in an increasingly sustainable chemicals industry. This is a goal we've achieved through technological progress and constant innovation undertaken by Eni, which has this year successfully implemented a major conversion plan for its plants, as with Porto Marghera, with a long-term focus on effectively shaping a greener future. We firmly believe that this path will help us to further our goals and position COREPLA as ready to face new challenges".

"This agreement, which establishes synergies between our respective technological expertise and a wide-reaching industry alliance, will allow us to develop a circular model for plastics at a national level in order to get the very best value out of them even once they have become difficult to recycle mechanically. Today's waste is becoming a precious and sustainable raw material for tomorrow», claims Versalis CEO Daniele Ferrari.

"This agreement represents a further step that Eni is taking along the strategic pathway to decarbonizing its activities. We were the first in the world to turn traditional refineries into refineries that produce high-quality biofuels from used and frying oils, animal fats and other non-edible waste. The goal now is to become a leader in circular mobility products, such as hydrogen and methanol from raw materials that are difficult to recycle", explains Giuseppe Ricci, Chief Refining & Marketing Officer at Eni.

The agreement also provides for the extension of the RiVending project launched at Eni's offices in San Donato Milanese for the recycling of polystyrene stirrers and coffee cups from vending machines, which will now be extended to other Eni and Versalis offices and industrial sites.

The agreement signed today is part of a long-term strategy that will see Eni establish itself as a leader in the production and marketing of decarbonized products. The company is, in fact, adopting a strategic plan, the likes of which have never before been seen in the industry, that will allow it to cut 80% of absolute carbon emissions by 2050. Eni will produce more and more green energy by developing renewables, produce gas, LNG and hydrogen from gas and bio-based raw materials, stripped of CO2 by means of various sequestration and storage projects, and produce biofuels at its bio-refineries, as well as biofuels, methanol and hydrogen from waste and chemical products from renewables and secondary raw materials.

As MRC informed earlier, Italian oil major Eni is planning to create a division to focus on new energy solutions which could be headed by its CFO, as it steps up preparations for a decarbonised future.

We remind that none of the big oil companies currently meet U.N. targets to limit global warming despite the most ambitious targets set by Royal Dutch Shell and Eni.

Ethylene and propylene are feedstocks for producing polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP).

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 595,170 tonnes in the first five month of 2020, up by 10% year on year. Deliveries of all ethylene polymers, except for linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE), rose partially because of an increase in capacity utilisation at ZapSibNeftekhim. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market was 457,930 tonnes in January-May 2020 (calculated by the formula production minus export plus import). Deliveris of exclusively PP random copolymer increased.