Jiangsu Sailboat Petrochemical to restart two ACN plants in Jiangsu on 31 July

MOSCOW (MRC) -- China's Jiangsu Sailboat Petrochemical, also known as Jiangsu Shenghong, is only able to restart its around two acrylonitrile (ACN0 plants on July 31, followed an unplanned shutdown of these production units on July 16, reported S&P Global.

Thus, the company shut down both their two 260,000 mt/yr ACN plants along with its methanol-to-olefin unit at the same time.

As MRC informed before, in March 2018, Honeywell announced that Jiangsu Sailboat Petrochemical Company, Ltd. had accepted a new methanol-to-olefins (MTO) unit provided by Honeywell UOP, and that the plant was operating and had met all guarantees. With a production capacity of 833,000 metric tons per year, the unit is the largest single-train MTO unit in the world. Honeywell UOP, which pioneered MTO technology, started its first MTO unit for China's Wison Clean Energy in 2013.

ACN is a feedstock for the production of acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS).

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's ABS output was 780 tonnes in May 2020. Production of Russian ABS plastics totalled 4,240 tonnes in January-May 2020, down by 17% year on year.

Jiangsu Sailboat Petrochemical, part of the Shenghong Holding Group, is a major petrochemical manufacturer in China, including polyethylene (PE) and ethylene-vinyl-acetate (EVA). The company's production facilities are located in the new Xuwei Industrial Park in Lianyungang City, Jiangsu Province.

COVID-19 - News digest as of 27.07.2020

1. Dow swings to loss, announces 6% workforce cut

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Dow reports a second-quarter net loss of USD217 million, down from income of USD90 million in the year-ago period, reported Chemweek. Sales totaled USD8.354 billion, down 24% year-over-year (YOY) from USD11.014 billion. COVID-19 lockdowns cut into demand and low energy values weighed on prices, says the company. Citing the prospect of a gradual and irregular recovery, Dow says it will soon begin a restructuring program aimed at USD300 million in annualized EBITDA benefit by the end of 2021. Measures include a 6% reduction in the company’s global workforce and plans to exit uncompetitive assets.


Nova Chemicals and Enerken to collaborate on waste-to-ethylene technology

MOSCOW (MRC) -- NOVA Chemicals Corp. (Calgary, Alberta, Canada) and Enerkem Inc. (Montreal, Quebec, Canada) have recently entered into a joint development agreement to explore turning non-recyclable and non-compostable municipal waste into ethylene, a basic building block of plastics, reported Chemical Engineering.

Working together, the companies will research advanced recycling technology to transform hard-to-recycle municipal waste, including items such as plastics, household waste, and construction materials, into ethylene at full commercial scale. Ethylene, produced from waste, would advance a plastics circular economy and help meet consumer brand goals for recycled content in packaging.

Advanced recycling technologies are a necessary component of moving to zero plastic waste by creating valuable new feedstocks from post-use plastics that cannot be easily mechanically recycled. The quality of polymers produced with advanced recycling products is indistinguishable from those made from 100 percent virgin, fossil-based feedstocks.

“We are excited to work with Enerkem to create innovative, sustainable solutions for a plastics circular economy,” said Todd Karran, president and CEO, NOVA Chemicals. “Our R&D teams will collaborate to develop game changing technology to push the boundaries for recycling waste to create new feedstocks and bring value to the environment, economy and society.”

Enerkem is the first company in the world to produce renewable methanol and ethanol from non-recyclable, non-compostable municipal solid waste at full commercial scale. Its current technologies replace the use of fossil sources like petroleum and natural gas to produce sustainable transportation fuels and chemicals that are used in a broad range of everyday products.

“We are delighted to team up with NOVA Chemicals to collaborate on new technology for waste-to-ethylene feedstock to solve one of the world’s most pressing environmental issues,” said Dominique Boies, CEO and CFO, Enerkem. “This strategic partnership will allow us to explore the development of new products and expand our offering in pursuit of the circular economy.”

Peter Nieuwenhuizen, Enerkem’s Vice President of Technology Strategy & Deployment, added “With over 20 years of technology development, we have built a robust gasification platform to turn waste and biomass into fuels and chemicals with high carbon efficiency. Enerkem’s technology has the scale and versatility to supply raw materials for the circular and decarbonized chemical industry that is being created now. Not just for plastics but also for many other chemical ingredients that are vital for everyday life.”

NOVA Chemicals is committed to enabling 100 percent of plastics packaging is recyclable or recoverable by 2030; and 100 percent of plastics packaging is re-used, recycled or recovered by 2040. “This research is one of the ways NOVA Chemicals is innovating to recapture the value of plastic products and create a world free of plastic waste,” said Karran. “Working together, we can shape a world that is better tomorrow than it is today,” he added.

As MRC wrote earlier, Nova Chemicals declared force majeure on supplies from its Joffre C4 (butene) linear low density polyethylene facility near Red Deer in Alberta, Canada, a company spokeswoman said in an email July 14 to S&P Global. The declaration will cover all C4 LLDPE resins produced at the facility effective July 13, the company also said in a letter to customers.

We remind that NOVA Chemicals has expanded ethylene production capacity by 20% at its cracker in Corunna, Ontario from the previous capacity of about 839,000 tpy. The expansion occurred between 2014 and 2018 and was part of a wave of expansions and upgrades to NOVA's existing facilities near Sarnia, Ontario. Other upgrades in the plan included a debottlenecking of the Moore low-density polyethylene (LDPE) line and a retrofit of the Moore high-density polyethylene (HDPE) line.

Ethylene is the main feedstock for the producion of polyethylene (PE).

According to MRC's DataScope report, PE imports to Russia dropped in January-June 2020 by 7% year on year to 328,000 tonnes. High density polyethylene (HDPE) accounted for the main decrease in imports.

NOVA Chemicals Corporation is a plastics and chemical company headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and is wholly-owned ultimately by Mubadala Investment Company of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

ALBIS separates compounding business

MOSCOW (MRC) -- German thermoplastics distributor ALBIS has split off its compounding operations as a separate business, named MOCOM, said Sustainableplastics.

Ian Mills, former chief sales officer at ALBIS, is heading the compounding business, which has 700 employees and locations in Germany, the US, and China.

Horst Klink, former ALBIS vice president, heads the distribution business, which will continue to operate as ALBIS, with a staff of 450 people and 24 locations worldwide.

ALBIS and MOCOM are part of Hamburg-based Otto-Krahn Group, which also includes specialty chemicals distributor KRAHN Chemie and plastics recycler WIPAG.

Prior to the split, Albis Plastic posted sales of 1 billion euros in 2019. Otto Krahn Group was founded in 1909 by its namesake as a trading company dealing in rubber materials and products and related goods.

As MRC infomed earlier, Russia's output of chemical products rose in June 2020 by 2.6% year on year. However, production of basic chemicals increased year on year by 4.9% in the first six 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-June. Production of benzene was 106,000 tonnes in June 2020, compared to 110,000 tonnes a month earlier. Overall output of this product reached 721,000 tonnes over the stated period, up by 3.9% year on year.

Formosa Plastics agrees to delay work on Louisiana complex until 2021

MOSCOW (MRC) -- A federal judge has approved Formosa Plastics’ agreement not to start construction work on its USD9.4 billion petrochemical complex in St. James Parish, Louisiana after opponents filed a preliminary injunction on 14 July to block work on the site, said Chemweek.

The company agreed Thursday not to build a construction dock on the Mississippi River or work near wetlands or five areas that may contain unmarked graves. The agreement will protect the site until the resolution of a lawsuit challenging federal approvals that was filed by opponents in January. The groups plan to file a motion for summary judgment asking US District Judge Randall Moss to invalidate permits issued last year by the Army Corps of Engineers.

"Now that Formosa Plastics has agreed not to disturb graves and wetlands on the site through February 2021, we can focus on this project’s deeply flawed approval process,” said Julie Teel Simmonds, a senior attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity, a national nonprofit conservation organization. Formosa Plastics’ proposed petrochemical complex, called the Sunshine Project after the nearby Sunshine Bridge, is expected to comprise 14 plants on a 2,400-acre site along the Mississippi River, which the company acquired in 2018.

Louisiana groups and national environmental organizations earlier this year filed two lawsuits challenging the Formosa Plastics project, one over its federal permits, represented by the Center for Biological Diversity, and one over its state air permit, represented by Earthjustice.

Formosa Plastics broke ground on the project in late March after receiving final permits but has now agreed to limit its construction activities until February 2021. The company plans to build the complex in two phases over 10 years. The first phase would include a 1.2-million metric tons/year ethylene plant using ethane as feedstock, with downstream facilities that will produce high-density polyethylene (HDPE), linear low-density polyethylene, and ethylene glycol (EG). A propane dehydrogenation plant and a polypropylene facility are also planned.

Phase two would include a second ethane cracker with similar capacity, another HDPE plant, and a facility producing low-density polyethylene as well as a second EG plant. The project was first announced in 2015.

As MRC informed earlier, Formosa Petrochemical slashed runs at its 540,000-bpd Mailiao oil refinery to about 68%, down from 80%, following last week’s shutdown of a secondary unit due to a fire. Even before the fire, Formosa had previously said that its gasoline exports this year would be about half of its 2019 volumes as the pandemic has hit demand from overseas markets. Any impact from a reduction in Formosa’s gasoline shipments would be mitigated by ample supplies in the region, said a trader who tracks petrol. Two of the units with a total capacity of 1.73 million tons per year (MMtpy) are operating at full capacity and the largest unit at 1.2 MMtpy is running at about 90% of its capacity, said Lin. The 1.2 million tpy cracker is scheduled to undergo maintenance in August.

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

According to MRC's DataScope report, PE imports to Russia dropped in January-June 2020 by 7% year on year to 328,000 tonnes. High density polyethylene (HDPE) accounted for the main decrease in imports. At the same time, PP imports into Russia rose in the first six months of 2020 by 21% year on year to 105,300 tonnes. Propylene homopolymer (homopolymer PP) accounted for the main increase in imports.