OQ to increase oxo intermediate prices on strong demand, rising raw material costs

MOSCOW (MRC) -- OQ Chemicals (Monheim am Rhein, Germany) says it will increase prices for several of its oxo intermediates products in the Americas, Europe, and “other regions” as of 1 January 2021 due to strong demand and rising raw material costs, reported Chemweek.

In Europe the price of 2-ethylhexanol (2-EH) will increase by EUR150/metric ton (USD182/metric ton), while n-butanol and isobutanol will rise by EUR120/metric ton. Prices for n-butyl acetate and isobutyl acetate will be hiked to EUR100/metric ton, while n-propanol and n-propyl acetate will both rise by EUR60/metric ton. Neopentyl glycol (NPG) and trimethylol propane (TMP) will increase by EUR200/metric ton.

In the Americas the price of 2-EH will rise by USD0.07/lb in North America and Mexico, and by USD180/metric ton in South America. Prices for n-butanol and isobutanol will increase by USD0.06/lb and USD130/metric ton in each region, respectively, while n-butyl acetate and isobutyl acetate will increase by USD0.05/lb and USD110/metric ton, and n-propanol and n-propyl acetate by USD0.03/lb and USD70/metric ton in each region, respectively. NPG and TMP prices will rise by USD0.10/lb and USD220/metric ton in each region, respectively.

In the unspecified ‘other regions’, prices per ton will rise for 2-EH by USD180, n-butanol and isobutanol by USD150, n-butyl acetate and isobutyl acetate by USD120, n-propanol and n-propyl acetate by USD70, and NPG and TMP by USD220.

OQ announced in early and mid-November increases in prices as of 1 December for 2-EH, NPG, and several of its other oxo intermediate products.

As MRC wrote earlier, in September 2020, OQ Chemicals entered into an agreement to license its advanced proprietary technology for the production of ethylene and propylene derivatives to Duqm Refinery and Petrochemicals Industries Company (DRPIC) in Oman. DRPIC, a joint venture between Oman Oil Company and Kuwait International Oil Company, is a planned grassroots petrochemical complex at Duqm, Oman. In all, DRPIC awarded twelve license packages to international licensors.

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

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 1,760,950 tonnes in the first ten months of 2020, up by 3% year on year. Only high density polyethylene (HDPE) and linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) shipments increased. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market reached 978,870 tonnes in January-October 2020 (calculated using the formula: production minus exports plus imports minus producers' inventories as of 1 January, 2020). Supply of exclusively of PP random copolymer increased.

OQ Chemicals, formerly Oxea, is a global manufacturer of oxo intermediates and oxo derivatives, such as alcohols, polyols, carboxylic acids, specialty esters, and amines. These products are used for the production of high-quality coatings, lubricants, cosmetics and pharmaceutical products, flavours and fragrances, printing inks and plastics. OQ Chemicals is part of OQ, an integrated energy company that delivers sustainability and business excellence. OQ operates in 16 countries and covers the entire value chain from exploration and production to the marketing and distribution of its products.

Staff at Total Grandpuits refinery begin 48-hr strike

MOSCOW (MRC) - Staff at French energy major Total's Grandpuits refinery have voted in favour of a 48-hour strike on shipments by truck and pipeline, said Reuters.

The strike will start on Thursday at 06:00 a.m. local time (0500 GMT), Adrien Cornet also told Reuters.

Total confirmed in a statement that shipments from Grandpuits could be affected by the strike, but said it would ensure supply to its network of gas stations and to its customers.

As MRC informed earlier, Total Petrochemical announced force majeure for the supply of low density polyethylene (LDPE) from its plant in Carling, France. Total announced force majeure regarding the supply of LDPE from a plant with a capacity of 110,000/tonne per year in a letter to its customers dated 2 December. The company expects to be unable to meet all of its contractual needs. There was no indication of how long the restrictions would last.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, September estimated LDPE consumption in Russia fell to 23,930 tonnes from 47,610 tonnes a month earlier. Russian producers reduced their domestic LDPE shipments due to shutdowns for maintenance at production capacities in Ufa, Tomsk and Kazan. Russia's estimated LDPE consumption totalled about 406,500 tonnes in January-September 2020, which virtually corresponded to the last year's figure.


Avient ColorForward experts predict pandemic likely to influence color preferences, even in 2022

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Avient Corporation, formerly PolyOne,a premier provider of specialized and sustainable material solutions and services, has announced that Avient ColorWorks has launched ColorForward 2022. This 16th edition of the annual color forecasting guide for the plastics industry marks its debut within Avient, which was formed this year from legacy businesses PolyOne and Clariant Masterbatch, as per the company's press release.

As in years past, ColorForward 2022 presents stories associated with four societal trends that are expected to influence consumers consciously or unconsciously over the next few years. Each trend theme also includes a palette of five associated colors that are predicted to elicit a response from consumers. Developed by a global team, many of whom work in the four Avient ColorWorks design and technology centers around the world, this unique tool has become invaluable to plastic product designers and marketing professionals seeking help in making more informed color choices for new products and packaging.

This year, ColorForward 2022 trend watchers expect the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic to linger for some time, even if vaccines and treatments allow the world to return to some semblance of ‘normal.’ Naturally, they contend this will drive societal trends and consumer response to color in the near- and mid-term future.

Looking ahead to 2022, the ColorForward team sees a silver lining around the pandemic cloud. They predict most of us will emerge from this period of lockdowns and isolation stronger and more mature, potentially having discovered talents and interests we didn’t know we had before. They also see a growing movement toward national self-sufficiency and self-interest, as the coronavirus has exposed the fragility of relying solely on a global supply chain. New, remote approaches to working will continue even after the pandemic is under control, according to the expert team, making it increasingly difficult to find a reasonable work/life balance. Yet, this trend will also provide new levels of flexibility and freedom. Finally, the team notes how the current crisis has highlighted weaknesses in the existing healthcare system. They foresee accelerated acceptance of tele-medicine and other new approaches to patient care as a result.

“For 2022, the overall color palette is dominated by shades of yellow,” explains Judith van Vliet, ColorWorks Senior Designer and leader of the ColorForward team, “and many of the other colors are joined to the yellow family. For instance, many of the greens, reds, oranges and some of the blues, have a high yellow influence, creating a sense of the warmth of human connections that are interrupted by the social isolation the pandemic forces on us. In addition, the yellowish greens are indicative of our need to reconnect with nature and avoid the synthetic, including all of the screens and digital connections we must now use excessively.”

Avient ColorWorks also offers seminars at its four design and technology centers around the world, as well as at selected conferences and customer sites. These can be conducted virtually and/or in-person when appropriate. To learn more about collaborating with ColorWorks, please click here.

As MRC reported earlier, in December 2019, Clariant (Muttenz, Switzerland) agreed to sell its entire Masterbatches business to PolyOne Corp. (Avon Lake, Ohio). The transaction values the Masterbatches business at USD1,560 million, representing about 12.2 times the last twelve months reported EBITDA (ending September 2019) on a cash and debt free basis. And on July 1, 2020, PolyOne and Clariant Masterbatches joined together as Avient, a new kind of materials company focused on conquering customer challenges and unlocking the potential for innovation and sustainability around the globe.

We remind that Russia's output of chemical products rose in October 2020 by 7.2% year on year. At the same time, production of basic chemicals grew in the first ten months of 2020 by 6.3% year on year, according to Rosstat's data. According to the Federal State Statistics Service of the Russian Federation, polymers in primary form accounted for the greatest increase in the January-October output. October production of polymers in primary form grew to 857,000 tonnes from 852,000 tonnes in September. Overall output of polymers in primary form totalled 8,340,000 tonnes over the stated period, up by 17% year on year.

Ecosurety provides 500k funding for UK recycling projects

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Four UK based innovation and research projects offering practical and impactful recycling and reuse solutions have been awarded a total of GBP500,000 by Ecosurety, said Packagingnews.

The Ecosurety Exploration Fund has provided ?500,000 funding for recycling projects including flexible plastic film recycling. The projects, which tackle a diverse range of issues including the recyclability of post-consumer plastic film, the high level of electricals going to landfill, the low levels of recycling on urban housing estates and innovative technology for the lithium-ion battery recycling sector – were selected for their originality, viability and potential long-term impact.

Ecosurety Exploration Funding will enable Newcastle-based Impact Recycling to scale up its BOSS 2D technology (Baffled Oscillation Separation System) for post-consumer plastic packaging. BOSS 2D is a new, disruptive technology that does not exist in the market which will establish the first commercial scale automated process, capable of recycling up to two tonnes an hour of post-consumer plastic film packaging to produce a high purity PE and PP film, allowing it to be used directly in consumer products.

Mike Barry, former M&S Plan A creator, ‘sustainable change maker’ and one of the judges, said: "We need to create a circular economy urgently, but we lack many of the practical technologies, standards and behaviour changes to make it happen. The rigorous judging process of the Ecosurety Exploration Fund has helped us to identify innovators who could be real game-changers in developing and scaling the solutions we need."

James Piper, chief executive of Ecosurety, said: “Our vision when we set up the Ecosurety Exploration Fund was to provide a vital springboard for projects that offer truly viable and innovative solutions to the challenges that packaging, batteries and e-waste currently pose to the environment. Not only were we were bowled over by the high calibre of entries, we were hugely encouraged to see such a diverse and exciting range of ideas."

As MRC informed earlier, Supermarket giant Tesco has revealed it has removed over 20 million pieces of plastic from its Christmas range. Tesco, which won two awards at this year’s UK Packaging Awards, has made changes to its packaging. Its own label crackers will be sold in cardboard packaging while 312,000 Christmas light will be packaged in recyclable cardboard packs.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, October estimated EPS consumption in Russia was 10,310 tonnes versus 10,740 tonnes a month earlier. Russia's estimated EPS consumption was about 80,000 tonnes in January-October 2020, down by 4% year on year. In November, demand was moderate in the Russian EPS market, whereas in the second half of the month, there was a decrease in activity in the EPS market as compared to October. Domestic prices of Russian material were in the range of Rb98,000-111,000/tonne CPT Moscow, including VAT.

Axens selected by Sumitomo Chemical for a waste-to-polyolefins project

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Sumitomo Chemical and Axens signed a license agreement of ethanol-to-ethylene technology Atol for Sumitomo Chemical’s waste-to-polyolefins project in Japan, according to Hydrocarbonprocessing.

In the project, to promote circular economy, Axens’ Atol technology will transform ethanol produced from waste into polymer-grade ethylene that will be polymerized in Sumitomo Chemical’s assets into polyolefin, a key product in the petrochemical industry.

At full roll-out, the project will enable the production of waste-based polyolefin at industrial scale, which will represent a leapfrog towards a sustainable economy based on renewable carbon.

Axens Renewables Business Group Director Frederic Balligand said: “This project addresses the waste plastics issue by reusing them as a feedstock in a context of greenhouse gas emission reduction. With its wide portfolio of renewable technologies, Axens is ready to support players in the industry to overcome the challenges of the future. Axens is excited to work with Sumitomo Chemical for this project with Atol technology, accelerating the deployment of circular economy in Japan.”

As MRC reported previously, in early March 2020, Sekisui Chemical and Sumitomo Chemical agreed to form a strategic alliance to deploy technology for manufacturing polyolefin using waste as a raw material. The alliance combines Sekisui's production technology for converting waste into ethanol with Sumitomo's technological know-how in manufacturing polyolefin. Pilot production is scheduled to begin in fiscal 2022, with full-scale market launch of the production method expected in fiscal 2025.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 1,760,950 tonnes in the first ten months of 2020, up by 3% year on year. Only high density polyethylene (HDPE) and linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) shipments increased. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market reached 978,870 tonnes in January-October 2020 (calculated using the formula: production minus exports plus imports minus producers' inventories as of 1 January, 2020). Supply of exclusively of PP random copolymer increased.

Sumitomo Chemical is a Japanese based manufacturer of a diverse range of products, including basic chemicals, petrochemicals and plastics, fine chemicals, agricultural chemicals, IT-related chemicals and pharmaceuticals.