Grace licenses UNIPOL PP process technology to Dongguan Grand Resource for two additional lines

MOSCOW (MRC) -- W. R. Grace & Co. licenses UNIPOL PP process technology to Dongguan Grand Resource for two additional lines. This is part of the continued investment in UNIPOL PP Process Technology lines by DGR, according to Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The first license was signed in 2016. Building additional capacity at the same site will help DGR further optimize costs, shorten construction time, and broaden their product portfolio.

In addition to the process technology license, the collaboration includes a long-term catalyst supply agreement between Grace and DGR, giving DGR the ability to produce a wide variety of resin grades and provide more polypropylene options to their customers.

Grace's all gas-phase UNIPOL PP Process Technology provides the broadest range of polypropylene homopolymers, random copolymers, and impact copolymers in the industry. The process technology, coupled with Grace’s proprietary catalyst and donor systems and the UNIPPAC Advanced Process Control System, allow for maximum performance.

“We are excited to partner with Grace once again and continue to build on our existing relationship. Based on our previous UNIPOL PP technology experience, it was an easy decision to put our trust in Grace,” said Mr. Li Hanchu, general manager of GDR. “We have been pleased with the operability of our existing UNIPOL PP plant and the services and support that Grace has provided over the last several years. Choosing to build additional capacity using the UNIPOL PP Process Technology and using Grace catalysts that have been specifically developed to get the most out of the process, enable us to tap into ongoing technical support to achieve even better results.”

Laura Schwinn, president of Grace’s Specialty Catalysts business, said, “We are extremely pleased that DGR has chosen UNIPOL PP Process Technology as the basis for its continued growth in the polypropylene business. We welcome the trust they have placed in Grace and look forward to helping them succeed as a key regional player. Our process technology, our catalysts, and our global technical services team will improve DGR’s ability to produce leading products and meet growing demand for non-phthalate resins in the Chinese market.”

As MRC informed earlier, in April 2018, W. R. Grace & Co. completed the USD416 million acquisition of the Polyolefin Catalysts business of Albemarle Corporation.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, 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.

A leader in polyolefin catalysts and licensing, Grace has the world’s broadest portfolio of polypropylene and polyethylene catalyst technologies used to produce thermoplastic resins for a variety of applications. A leading innovator and strategic partner to its customers, Grace supplies catalyst solutions for all polyolefin processes, as well as polypropylene process technology and process controls. Grace employs approximately 3,700 people in over 30 countries.

Shell hires Orsted Brostrom to lead global renewables unit

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Royal Dutch Shell has hired Orsted's North America chief Thomas Brostrom as senior vice president for its Global Renewable Solutions department starting next year, a Shell spokesman said, as per Rueters.

Shell is cutting around a tenth of its workforce as part of plans by one of the world's biggest oil producers and largest fuel retailer to become a low-carbon energy provider, much like other European oil majors.

Orsted over the past decade has transformed from a diversified utility with oil and gas activities into the biggest developer of offshore wind farms with a quarter of the world's offshore wind capacity.

"(Brostrom) brings a wealth of experience in this field which will be key as we look to grow our capacity for low carbon renewable power generation," said Elisabeth Brinton, executive vice president at Shell New Energies.

Brostrom will start at Shell in August 2021ю

As MRC informed earlier, 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. 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.

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.

Japan to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Prime minister Yoshihide Suga, in an address to the Japanese parliament on Monday, said that Japan would achieve zero net carbon emissions by 2050, said Chemweek.

He also said that the government plans to make a sustainable economy a pillar of its growth strategy and put maximum effort into achieving a "green society."

Suga said that the government would focus on R&D into key technologies such as next-generation solar batteries and carbon recycling. He also pledged to reduce Japan's reliance on coal-fired energy by encouraging conservation and maximizing renewables and promoting nuclear energy.

The Japanese government in June last year adopted a long-term strategy for achieving the Paris climate accord targets, reports say. The strategy includes becoming a decarbonized society not dependent on fossil fuels and becoming carbon neutral early in the second half of the 21st century, but it does not specify a timetable for achieving the goal.

Japan has drawn criticism over its reliance on coal-fired power plants, which are substantial contributors to carbon dioxide emissions.

Japan joins other major countries and regions in pledging carbon neutrality around the middle of this century. Chinese president Xi Jinping declared in September that China would become carbon neutral by 2060. He also said that the country would reach peak greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions before 2030.

Earlier this month, the European Parliament voted to adopt a negotiating mandate that aims to write into EU legislation a goal set out in the EU Green Deal, to make climate neutrality obligatory by 2050 in the EU and its member states, and raise the EU’s target for reducing GHG emissions to 60% in 2030 compared with 1990.

As MRC informed earlier, as part of portfolio management reforms based on the Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Group’s medium-term management plan APTSIS 20, Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation has concluded agreements to transfer its polymer flocculant sales business to MT AquaPolymer, Inc. and Hymo Corporation.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, September total production of unmixed PVC grew to 86,000 tonnes from 75,500 tonnes a month earlier, SayanskKhimPlast and RusVinyl increased their capacity utilisation. Overall output of polymer were 718,500 tonnes in the first nine months of 2020 versus 720,500 tonnes a year earlier, only two producers raised their production volumes, and RusVinyl cut its output.

Celanese to expand UHMWPE production at Bishop, Texas

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Celanese (Dallas, Texas), a global technology and specialty materials company and a global leader in vinyl acetate ethylene (EVA) emulsions, has announced plans to add a 15,000-metric tons/year line for the production of GUR ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) at its facility in Bishop, Texas, as per the company's press release.

Startup is expected by.the beginning of 2022.

“Electric vehicle demand is expected to have a compounded annual growth rate of greater than 25% through 2025, resulting in strong demand for Celanese GUR for lithium-ion battery separators,” says Tom Kelly, senior vice president, engineered materials.

Celanese expanded production of UHMWPE at its Nanjing, China, facility by 15,000 metric tons/year in June 2019. In March 2020, the company asked the US government for antidumping duties on imports of non-medical grades by Korea Petrochemical Industry Co. (KPIC; Seoul, South Korea).

UHMWPE is a small-volume specialty grade of high-density polyethylene (HDPE). IHS Markit estimates global demand at 100,000–150,000 metric tons/year. Braskem produces the material in Camacari, Brazil, and since 2016 at a new plant in La Porte, Texas. LG Chem has production at Daesan and Yeosu, South Korea.

As MRC wrote before, Celanese Corporation has announced an increase in its September low density polyethylene (LDPE) prices in the Americas. The price increases below are effective for orders shipped on or after 15 September 2020, or as contracts otherwise allow, and are incremental to any previously announced increases. Thus, LDPE prices rose, as follows:

- by USD0.05/lb - for the USA and Canada;
- by USD100/mt - for Mexico & South America.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, LDPE and HDPE prices continued their upward trend in September in Russia due to shutdowns for maintenance at Russian plants. At the same time, the record level of LDPE prices led to a major decrease in demand, converters could not transfer record prices of material for finished products. In September, supply grew significantly in the HDPE market, despite Kazanorgsintez's shutdown for a turnaround. Supply of HDPE from SapSibNeftekhim and Ufaorgsintez increased. There was a surplus in the linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) market during September, however, polyethylene (PE) prices went up.

Celanese Corporation is a global technology leader in the production of differentiated chemistry solutions and specialty materials used in most major industries and consumer applications. Based in Dallas, Celanese employs approximately 7,700 employees worldwide and had 2019 net sales of USD6.3 billion.

PVC imports into Russia down by 16% in Jan-Sep 2020, exports up by 2%

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Imports of suspension polyvinyl chloride (SPVC) into Russia totalled 36,300 tonnes in the first eight months of 2020, down by 16% year on year. At the same time, exports rose by 2%, according to MRC's DataScope report.

Last month's SPVC imports to Russia decreased to 4,200 tonnes from 7,400 tonnes in August. July accounted for the peak in imports, and the increased supply from domestic producers and high prices in foreign markets forced many companies to further reduce imports in September. Thus, overall imports were 36,300 tonnes in January-September 2020, compared to 43,000 tonnes a year earlier, with resin from China and the United States accounting for the main reduction in imports.

At the same time, Russian producers managed to raise their exports, it is worth noting that producers traditionally reduce their export sales in the summer months.

Russian producers reduced their SPVC exports last month because of stronger demand from the domestic market. September exports of suspension did not exceed 6,300 tonnes, compared to 11,900 tonnes a month earlier. Thus, overall PVC exports totalled 151,100 tonnes in January-September 2020 versus 148,700 tonnes a year earlier.