AmSty sets 2030 recycle target for food applications

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Americas Styrenics (AmSty; The Woodlands, Texas) has announced that all of its products designed for food-service and food-packaging applications will contain 25% recycled content by 2030, according to Chemweek.

AmSty has been working toward the goal through Regenyx, its chemical recycling joint venture (JV) with Agilyx. Regenyx has to-date converted over 1 million lbs of polystyrene (PS) to virgin styrene monomer (SM).

As MRC reported earlier, in September, AmSty announced that it had joined Ineos Styrolution’s plans to build in Channahon, Illinois a 100-metric tons/day recycling facility based on the same technology.

"AmSty is fully committed to circular recycling of polystyrene," says Randy Pogue, president and CEO at AmSty. "Our Regenyx facility has proven that sustainable long-term solutions for our products are possible. That fuels our excitement for the Channahon facility and the meaningful advancement it will bring for polystyrene as a circular recycled product.”

According to ICIS-MRC Price report, October prices of Russian PS continued their upward trend. A shortage of material remained in the domestic market. Traders said Nizhnekamskneftekhim reduced its offer prices for this month's PS purchases to 40%. October prices of Nizhnekamskneftekhim's GPPS grew for the agreed with buyers quantities to Rb89,000-95,000/tonne CPT Moscow, including VAT, whereas HIPS - to Rb93,000-99,000/tonne CPT Moscow, including VAT.

AmSty is a JV between Trinseo and Chevron Phillips Chemical (CPChem).

Britvic, PepsiCo commit to produce all plastic bottles in UK using rPET by 2022

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Soft drinks manufacturer Britvic has announced its intent for all its plastic bottles in the UK to be produced entirely from 100% recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET) by the end of 2022, three years ahead of its original schedule, said Chemweek.

The company says the move covers its entire UK portfolio of Britvic-owned brands, and also those it produces under a newly signed 20-year franchise bottling agreement with PepsiCo for its carbonated brands in the UK. Britvic was a founding signatory of The UK Plastics Pact, and says it has already removed more than 1,500 metric tons of primary plastics from its supply chain since 2017, with all its primary packaging already fully recyclable.

In 2019 it entered into a long-term agreement with Esterform Packaging, a UK plastics convertor, for the supply of rPET and invested GBP5 million (USD6.5 million) to support construction of a new rPET manufacturing facility at Esterform’s site in North Yorkshire, UK. Britvic is also part of the cross-industry consortium promoting BP’s Infinia recycling technology, which is targeting difficult-to-recycle PET plastic waste.

As per ICIS-MRC Price Report, rhe activity in the Russian polyethylene terephthalate (PET) market was not strong last week, which is typical for this period of the year. Some converters reported a weaker demand in the market of finished PET products. Spot prices for Russian PET increased in mid-October.


Dow, JM win lawsuit against Shanjun related to their LP oxo technology

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Dow announced that the Jiangsu High People's Court in China ruled that Shanjun Clean Energy Technology Co. (the defendant) infringed the trade secrets of LP Oxo technology, jointly owned by affiliates of Dow and Johnson Matthey, according to Apic-online.

The court ruled that defendant illicitly obtained and infringed trade secrets owned by Dow Global Technologies, a subsidiary of Dow Chemical, and Johnson Matthey, through its Johnson Matthey Davy Technologies Ltd. subsidiary.

"Dow thanks the Jiangsu High People's Court for its final decision on this case," said Yoke Loon Lim, president of Dow Greater China. "The ruling demonstrates fair enforcement of trade secret rights and commitments of the US and China's Phase One Agreement and China's commitment to improve intellectual property rights.

"This enforcement is critical to protect the legitimate operations and economic resiliency of domestic manufacturers in China, the US and around the globe. Dow will continue to vigorously exercise our full legal rights to protect our intellectual property in all countries."

LP Oxo technology is a catalyzed low pressure process for the production of oxo alcohols.

As MRC reported earrlier, in September, 2020, Dow and Luhai, an integrated waste management company located in Xiamen, China, announced their collaboration to give plastics waste collected by Luhai a second life, thereby increasing the circularity of plastics in China. The agreement is in line with Dow’s new sustainability targets to Stop the Waste by enabling one million metric tons of plastic to be collected, reused or recycled through its direct actions and partnerships by 2030.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 1,496,500 tonnes in the first eight months of 2020, up by 5% year on year. Shipments of all ethylene polymers increased, except for linear low desnity polyethylene (LLDPE). At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market reached 767,2900 tonnes in the eight months of 2020 (calculated using the formula - production minus exports plus imports - and not counting producers' inventories as of 1 January, 2020). Supply increased exclusively of PP random copolymer.

The Dow Chemical Company is an American multinational chemical corporation. Dow is a large producer of plastics, including polystyrene, polyurethane, polyethylene, polypropylene, and synthetic rubber.

NOVA Chemicals to sell expandable styrenics business to Alpek

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Nova Chemicals (Calgary, Alberta, Canada) has agreed to sell its expandable styrenics business to a subsidiary of Alpek (Monterrey, Mexico) for an undisclosed sum, said Chemweek.

The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter, it says. The sale encompasses Nova’s expandable polystyrene (EPS) and Arcel-brand resin product lines, with manufacturing facilities in Monaca, Pennsylvania, and Painesville, Ohio, as well as commercial operations in Asia, it says. The plant at Monaca has an EPS production capacity of 123,000 metric tons/year, with 36,000 metric tons/year of capacity for Arcel, as well as an R&D pilot plant. The facility at Painesville has an EPS capacity of 45,000 metric tons/year, according to Alpek subsidiary Styropek, which is acquiring Nova’s business.

Nova, a wholly owned subsidiary of Mubadala Investment Co. (Abu Dhabi, UAE), says the sale is an “important step” in its plan to focus on its olefin and polyethylene (PE) business, which includes additional investments to advance a circular economy for plastics. The transaction, if it proceeds to completion, would see Nova entirely exit the styrenics sector.

The sale will provide the company with “immediate cash generation to further strengthen our balance sheet,” says Luis Sierra, Nova’s president and CEO, and enable it to focus on the completion and start-up of its 450,000-metric tons/year PE plant under construction in Ontario. The new plant, as well as the expansion of the company’s existing Corunna steam cracker that will supply ethylene feedstock to the adjacent PE facility, is scheduled for completion in late 2021.

Alpek sees “strong business opportunities associated with this purchase,” says Jose de Jesus Valdez, Alpek’s CEO. “Our team is focused on executing a seamless integration to welcome our new team members, while quickly capitalizing on all the identified synergies and business opportunities,” he says.

The company says it will optimize costs at its newly acquired facilities and that the additional sites will allow it to serve both existing and new customers with increased efficiency and lower logistics costs. It intends to continue growing its business in the construction and reusable packaging segments, both of which require long-term use of EPS, as well as developing more sustainable products, such as biodegradable EPS, it adds.

According to ICIS-MRC Price Report, Russian HIPS and GPPS producers traditionally did not adjust their prices of material in the middle of the month. A shortage of Nizhnekamskneftekhim's material remained in the domestic market. The situation with the shortage of Russian polystyrene (PS) is also expected to remain in November.

Alpek operates two main business segments, focused on polyester, and plastics and chemicals, and is a leading producer of purified terephthalic acid (PTA) and polyethylene terephthalate (PET). It is also the largest EPS manufacturer in the Americas.

Shell completes construction of ethane cracker in Pennsylvania by 70%

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Royal Dutch Shell plc. said that its petrochemical complex of several billion dollars in Western Pennsylvania is about 70% complete and in the process to enter service in the early 2020s, as per the company's press release.

The news was disclosed by Hilary Mercer, vice president of Shell Polymers via an online presentation at Shale Insight 2020 conference.

Currently under construction, the plant is in Beaver County, about 48 km northwest of Pittsburgh, and will be self-sustained with its natural gas power plant and water treatment facility.

The plant’s costs are estimated to be USD6-USD10 billion, where ethane will be transformed into plastic feedstock. The facility is equipped to produce 1.5 million metric tons per year (mmty) of ethylene and 1.6 mmty of polyethylene (PE), two important constituents of plastics.

As MRC reported earlier, the COVID-19 outbreak led Shell Chemical to temporarily suspend construction on the massive plastics and petrochemicals site it's building in Monaca, Pa, in March, 2020.

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

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 1,496,500 tonnes in the first eight months of 2020, up by 5% year on year. Shipments of all ethylene polymers increased, except for linear low desnity polyethylene (LLDPE). At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market reached 767,2900 tonnes in the eight months of 2020 (calculated using the formula - production minus exports plus imports - and not counting producers' inventories as of 1 January, 2020). Supply increased exclusively of PP random copolymer.

Royal Dutch Shell plc is an Anglo-Dutch multinational oil and gas company headquartered in The Hague, Netherlands and with its registered office in London, United Kingdom. It is the biggest company in the world in terms of revenue and one of the six oil and gas "supermajors". Shell is vertically integrated and is active in every area of the oil and gas industry, including exploration and production, refining, distribution and marketing, petrochemicals, power generation and trading.