Marubeni and Tyrata announce business alliance agreement

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Tyrata Inc. and Marubeni Corporation have announced a collaboration for the distribution of Tyrata’s IntelliTread Drive-Over System (DOS) in Japan, reported GV.

The DOS and corresponding data analytics platform have proven effective in the automation of tyre tread depth monitoring. In connection with the collaboration, Marubeni will obtain the right to distribute and service Tyrata’s DOS in Japan, and Tyrata gains the support of a trusted technology partner in the Japanese market. Marubeni will start introducing DOS units to its customer base in Japan in Q4 2020.

“As we expand our efforts into the global market, Marubeni is an important element of our distribution strategy,” said Jesko von Windheim, Tyrata’s CEO. “Marubeni not only gives us a capable and trusted sales and service partner in Japan, but they also offer established channels into many other Asian markets.”

Marubeni said it will introduce the DOS to Japan and, through demonstration tests with logistics companies, proceed with verification of demand for automatic tyre wear measurement, improvement of driver safety, and reduction of tyre maintenance costs. The company plans to conclude an exclusive distributor contract with Tyrata after verification.

"We see a demand for low-cost, automated tyre monitoring across our customer base and we believe that Tyrata’s products meet the cost and performance requirements in this market. Marubeni is pleased to be a partner for Tyrata in Japan and we look forward to providing customers with this innovative new technology," said Kazuyoshi Hosoi, General Manager, Tires and Rubber Materials Department.

As MRC informed before, earlier this year, Enterprise Products Partners LP (EPP), through one of its affiliates, entered a long-term agreement with Marubeni Corp. of Japan, under which Marubeni will offtake polymer-grade propylene (PGP) produced from a second propane dehydrogenation plant (PDH 2) currently under construction at EPP’s operations in Mont Belvieu, Tex., for supply to global customers. Concluded on June 16, the PGP offtake agreement is part of a long-term collaboration between EPP and Marubeni that also includes the export of liquefied ethylene, the first 25-million lb vessel of which loaded and sailed from EPP and Navigator Holdings Ltd.’s 50-50 joint venture marine terminal at Morgan’s Point, Tex., in early January, EPP and Marubeni said on June 30.

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

ccording to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 1,594,510 tonnes in the first nine months of 2020, up by 1% year on year. Only high denstiy polyethylene (HDPE) shipments increased. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market reached 880,130 tonnes in the nine months of 2020 (calculated using the formula: production minus exports plus imports, exluding producers' inventories as of 1 January, 2020). Supply increased exclusively of PP random copolymer.

Mitsubishi Chemical sells light metal products business to Chinese firms

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation (MCC) has recently concluded a framework agreement with Konfoong Materials International Co. and KFMI Group company TCPR (Shanghai) Electro-Mechanical High-Tech Co. for the transfer of MCC’s light metal products business, said Chemweek.

KFMI and TCPR manufacture sputtering target materials for semiconductors and liquid crystal displays, and rank among the top companies in the world for the manufacture of aluminum target materials, in particular. KFMI and TCPR plan to strengthen their businesses by acquiring businesses positioned upstream from their own operations, and securing a base in Japan. The two companies have a wealth of expertise in the global high-purity aluminum industry, and are long-standing purchasers of MCC’s light metal products.

This transfer is part of the firm’s efforts to enhance portfolio management based on the Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Group’s Aptsis 20 medium-term management plan, and is scheduled for completion in April 2021. In conjunction with the transfer, MCC is also considering withdrawal from the manufacture and sales of the KN series products (aluminum alloy for molding applications), which form part of its light metal products business but are not included in this transfer.

As MRC informed earlier, Mitsubishi Chemical, a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corporation, plans to resume production of methyl methacrylate (MMA) in Otake, Japan, in early December after scheduled repairs. The company closed this plant with a capacity of 110,000 tonnes/year of MMA for scheduled repairs in early September this year.

The main application, consuming approximately 75% MMA, is in the production of polymethyl methacrylate acrylic plastics (PMMA). Methyl methacrylate is also used to produce methyl methacrylate-butadiene-styrene copolymer (MBS), used as a modifier for polyvinyl chloride (PVC).

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, October total production of unmixed PVC grew to 86,600 tonnes from 86,000 tonnes a month earlier, SayanskKhimPlast and Bashkir Soda Company increased their capacity utilisation. Overall output of polymer was 805,100 tonnes in the first ten months of 2020, which virtually corresponds to the last year"s figure. Two producers increased their production, whereas two other manufacturers reduced their output.

Mitsubishi Chemical, a Japanese integrated chemical company, was established on October 1, 1990 through the merger of Mitsubishi Kasei and Mitsubishi Petrochemical Co. Due to its wide range of activities, it is one of the ten leading chemical companies in the world.

Europe delays launch of next year carbon market auctions

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Auctions of carbon permits in the European Union's emissions trading system (ETS) next year will not start until late January or early February, reported Reuters with reference to the European Commission's announcement.

For "technical reasons", auctions of permits on behalf of most EU countries, plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, will kick off later than usual, the Commission said. This year's EU ETS auctions began on Jan. 7.

Poland auctions its permits separately.

The ETS is the EU's flagship climate policy, forcing power plants, industry and airlines running intra-EU flights to buy permits when they emit planet-warming greenhouse gases.

The Commission said the total amount of permits released into the scheme next year will be 1.572 billion.

This is based on new ETS rules coming into force next year, which curb the scheme's supply at a faster rate, and the departure of Britain from the policy.

Britain will exit the ETS when the Brexit transition period ends on Dec. 31. Emissions from power generation in Northern Ireland will continue to be covered by the ETS, under electricity market rules agreed in the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement.

Further changes to the ETS are on the way. The Commission plans to unveil a package of carbon market reforms by next summer - including adding shipping emissions to the scheme, and tightening its supply of permits - as part of plans to cut emissions faster this decade.

As MRC informed before, INEOS has recently launched a new business to develop and build Clean Hydrogen capacity across Europe, in support of the drive towards a zero-carbon future. INEOS currently produces 300,000 tonnes of hydrogen a year mainly as a co-product from its chemical manufacturing operations.

We remin that a 660,000-metric tons/year phenol-acetone plant operated by INEOS in Gladbeck, Germany, was shut for maintenance from 27 October until 6 December.

Phenol is the main feedstock component for the production of bisphenol A (BPA), which, in its turn, is used to produce polycarbonate (PC).

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated consumption of PC granules (excluding imports and exports to/from Belarus) rose in the first three quarters of 2020 by 32% year on year to 75,600 tonnes (57,200 tonnes a year earlier).

Westlake appoints Roger Kearns as COO

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Westlake Chemical Corporation (NYSE: WLK) announced that Mr. Roger Kearns has been appointed by the Board of Directors as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, effective Jan. 1, 2021, said the company.

In this new role, he will continue to report to Mr. Albert Chao, Westlake’s President and CEO. Mr. Kearns will be responsible for all of the company’s chemical businesses and manufacturing operations in North America, Europe and Asia.

Mr. Chao stated, “Since joining the Westlake executive management team, Roger has provided great insight and leadership based on his years of experience as an international chemical industry executive. By asking Roger to oversee our global chemical businesses and operations, we are confident he will continue to make important contributions to the ongoing growth and development of Westlake."

Mr. Kearns joined Westlake in 2018 from Solvay SA, where he served as a member of the Executive Committee, with responsibility for Solvay’s advanced materials business cluster, as well as the company’s corporate research organization and its North America region. He began his career with Solvay in 1986 as a polyethylene process engineer in Deer Park, Texas and then held a series of manufacturing, technical, marketing and business management positions in the United States, Europe and Asia. In 2004, he was appointed President of Solvay Advanced Polymers. From 2008 to 2012, he was responsible for Solvay’s Asia-Pacific businesses, including its vinyls operations in the region. Mr. Kearns holds a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology and an MBA from Stanford University.

Westlake, which has been led by Chao as CEO since 2004, currently does not list a COO as part of its leadership team. US companies sometimes create a temporary COO position as part of a CEO transition.

A Westlake media official was not immediately available for additional comment.

As MRC informed earlier, Westlake Chemical, one of the leading American chemical and petrochemicals manufacturers, has lifted force majeure on the supply of products from the styrene monomer plant in Lake Charles (Lake Charles, Louisiana, USA) after the resumption of production at this plant. This plant with a capacity of 260 thousand tons of styrene per year, closed on 25 August in anticipation of Hurricane Laura, returned to work on 25 October this year.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated consumption of PS and styrene plastics totalled 362,820 tonnes in the first nine months of 2020, down by 1% year on year. September total estimated PS consumption in Russia was 48,690 tonnes, up by 13% year on year.

Westlake is a global manufacturer and supplier of materials and innovative products that enhance life every day. Headquartered in Houston, we provide the building blocks for vital solutions — from packaging and healthcare products to automotive and consumer goods, to building and construction products.

COVID-19 - News digest as of 19.11.2020

1. Crude rises on expectation of tamer US lockdowns, Asian trade agreement

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Crude prices rose in mid-morning trade in Asia Nov. 16, as the market was comforted by the strong possibility that any new lockdowns in the US will be less severe than the nationwide lockdowns seen in spring, with the signing of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) also providing a boost to sentiment, reported S&P Global. At 10:37 am Singapore time (0237 GMT), ICE Brent January crude futures were up 41 cents/b (0.96%) from the Nov. 13 settle at USD43.19/b, while the NYMEX December light sweet crude contract was up 50 cents/b (1.25%) at USD40.63/b. January ICE Brent and December NYMEX crude futures surged 8.44% and 8.05% higher in the week ended Nov. 13 to settle at USD42.78/b and USD40.13/b, respectively, on reports of progress in the development of a COVID-19 vaccine.