Shell to supply ethylene oxide catalyst to Chinese Jiangsu Dynamic Chemical

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Shell Catalysts & Technologies will supply ethylene oxide catalyst to Jiangsu Dynamic Chemical after demonstrating high selectivity, desired reliability and advantageous lifetime of its catalyst, according to Hydrocarbonprocessing.

This will help to maximize returns for the company which manufactures chemical new materials and fine chemicals. An additional key element of the agreement includes providing technical services utilizing Shell’s upstream and downstream expertise.

“We are pleased that Jiangsu Dynamic Chemical is turning to Shell Catalyst & Technologies’ market-leading ethylene oxide catalysts as the key to maximize their returns,” said Peace Chen, China Head of EO Catalysts Business with Shell Catalysts & Technologies. “Our high-performance ethylene oxide catalysts offer both high selectivity and advantageous lifetimes, allowing customers to manage their units in their preferred way and to stay profitable.”

Jiangsu Dynamic Chemical, located in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, is the leading company specialized in researching and manufacturing ethylene oxide derivatives and fine chemicals in China. The total ethylene oxide capacity of units one and two is 180 kilo tons per annum.

As MRC informed earlier, Royal Dutch Shell Plc restarted the small crude distillation unit (CDU) on 2 April at its 318,000-bpd joint-venture Deer Park, Texas, refinery. The 70,000-bpd DU-1 CDU was shut on Feb 14 by a pump seal failure. All other units were shut the following day by severe cold weather. DU-1 is the last unit shut in February to restart at the refinery.

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

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 241,030 tonnes in January 2021 versus 217,890 tonnes a year earlier. Only shipments of low density polyethylene (LDPE) and high density polyethylene (HDPE) increased. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market reached 141,870 tonnes in January 2021 versus 123,520 tonnes a year earlier. Supply of homopolymer PP and PP block copolymers increased.

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.

Sika strengthens its footprint in Qatar

MOSCOW (MRC) -- In Qatar, Sika, a producer of construction chemicals, has expanded its production capacity for concrete admixtures and has started manufacturing epoxy resins, as per the company's press release.

Epoxy resins are key components in high-quality floor coverings and adhesives. With its enlarged portfolio and its local production capacity, Sika wants to exploit market potential and drive forward the focused expansion of its business in the region.

This latest investment in expansion in Qatar’s capital, Doha, will help Sika to continue building its business in this fast-growing region so that it can benefit from the dynamic development in the construction market. The sector is being boosted in particular by major projects and for the expansion of energy and utilities infrastructure, as well as stimuli induced by government tenders.

Thanks to its local production facilities, Sika is able to comply with the terms applicable to construction projects in the country: Qatar’s state sourcing policy stipulates that preference must be given to domestically manufactured products.

In the medium term, Qatar’s construction industry will be focusing on major investments in the energy and utility infrastructure such and on reservoirs to ensure adequate supplies of potable water in this desert country. According to estimates, the construction industry will grow by 2.6% in 2021 after a slowdown in the past year owing to COVID-19.

As MRC informed earlier, in November 2020, Sika commissioned a manufacturing facility in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), which produces epoxy resins aimed at flooring solutions. Sika has decided to invest in the expansion of its manufacturing facilities at the Dubai site in order to increase flexibility in production, shorten delivery times, optimize cost structures, and reduce inventories.

We remind that Russia's output of chemical products rose in February 2021 by 5.3% year on year. Thus, production of basic chemicals increased year on year by 7.5% in the first two months of 2021, according to Rosstat's data. February production of polymers in primary form was 861,000 tonnes versus 196,000 tonnes in January. Overall output of polymers in primary form totalled 1,770,000 tonnes over the stated period, up by 8.4% year on year.

Sika is a specialty chemicals company with a leading position in the development and production of systems and products for bonding, sealing, damping, reinforcing, and protecting in the building sector and motor vehicle industry. Sika has subsidiaries in 101 countries around the world and manufactures in over 200 factories. Its more than 20,000 employees generated annual sales of CHF 7.09 billion in 2018.

Celanese announces quarterly dividend of USD0.68 per share

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Celanese Corporation, a global chemical and specialty materials company, has declared a quarterly cash dividend of USD0.68 per share on its common stock, payable May 10, 2021, as per the company's press release.

The dividend is payable to stockholders of record as of April 26, 2021.

As MRC informed previously, Celanese Corporation has recently initiated a capital-efficient expansion of its vinyl acetate monomer (VAM) production unit at the company’s world-class chemical industrial park in Nanjing, China in a move to solidify its global VAM capabilities.

This expansion will support the continued growth of its global acetyls business and serve the needs of customers in the Asia region and globally, the company said in its statement.

According to MRC's DataScope report, February EVA imports to Russia rose by 1,44% year on year to 3,14 tonnes from 3,10 tonnes a year earlier, and overall imports of this grade of ethylene copolymer into the Russian Federation grew in January-February 2021 by 0,68% year on year to 6,230 tonnes (6,190 tonnes a year earlier).

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 2020 net sales of USD5.7 billion.

Dow and Mura Technology partnered to help keep plastic waste out of the environment

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Dow and Mura Technology partnered to help keep plastic waste out of the environment, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The collaboration will support the rapid scaling of Mura’s new HydroPRS (Hydrothermal Plastic Recycling Solution) advanced recycling process aimed at preventing plastic and carbon from entering the natural environment while creating the feedstocks for a sustainable, circular plastics economy.

The deal marks an important step in Dow’s commitment to advance a circular economy for plastics and keep plastic waste from entering the environment. The partnership combines Dow’s materials science capabilities, global scale and financial resources with Mura’s leading technology, to produce the circular feedstocks which are then converted into the recycled plastics that consumers and global brands are increasingly seeking.

Mura’s proprietary solution, HydroPRS, is a revolutionary advanced recycling process that uses supercritical steam to convert plastics back into the chemicals and oils from which they were made, for use in new, virgin- equivalent plastic products. HydroPRS can recycle all forms of plastic – including multi-layer, flexible plastics used in packaging, which are currently harder to recycle and often incinerated or sent to landfill.

Importantly, the plastics produced using these recycled products are expected to be suitable for use in food- contact packaging, unlike most conventional recycling processes. With Mura’s process there is no anticipated limit to the number of times the same material can be recycled – meaning it has the potential to significantly reduce plastics being used once and make the raw ingredients for a circular plastics economy. In addition, advanced recycling processes are expected to save approximately 1.5 tonnes of CO2 per tonne of plastic recycled, compared to incineration of unrecycled plastics.

Dow will play an important role as a global manufacturer of plastic, proving that Mura’s solution can meet both the sustainability and performance needs of the industry and that the products made via HydroPRS™ can be employed at scale to make new plastics. The world’s first plant using HydroPRS is in development in Teesside, UK, with the first 20,000 tonne per year line expected to be operational in 2022. Once all four lines are complete, Mura will be able to recycle up to 80,000 tonnes of plastic waste per year, providing Dow with materials produced by the process. Dow will use these materials to develop new, virgin-grade plastic for applications such as food packaging and other packaging products to be re-circulated into global supply chains, creating a true circular plastics economy.

Carsten Larsen, Commercial Director Plastic Circularity EMEA & APAC, Dow Packaging and Specialty Plastics commented: “We are delighted to offer our investment and expertise to support the development of this truly game-changing recycling process. We are committed to enacting real change to stop plastic going to waste and accelerate moves towards a more circular economy. We know achieving this goal will take major innovation and

investment and we can’t do it alone. That’s why our partnership with Mura is so exciting and why we believe it will form a key pillar of our recycling strategy going forward." Dr Steve Mahon, CEO of Mura Technology, said: “Plastic pollution is a global challenge and our goal is to meet it head on by recapturing millions of tonnes of plastic waste every year and put them to work again as a valuable resource for the world’s biggest brands.

“We’re changing the way the world thinks about plastics – not as something to throw away, but as a product that can be used over and over again, and sustainably, without damaging our natural environment. Our partnership with Dow will help make this a reality for global brands and deliver a circular plastics economy globally within the next decade."

This ‘lost resource’ of plastic waste is a huge economic opportunity – valued at up to USD120 billion per year according to the World Economic Forum[ii]. Global plastic production also creates an estimated 390 million tonnes of CO2 every year[iii] – equivalent to over 172 million cars[iv]. While plastic production accounts for approximately 6 percent of global oil consumption today, by deploying technology capable of recycling all plastics and creating the ingredients for a circular plastics economy, advanced recycling can decrease the use of oil by the chemical industry. Mura offers the prospect of dramatically cutting global plastic waste and associated emissions attributed to that waste.

To reduce global plastic waste, Mura has designed its business model for rapid global deployment and is building a global network of partners. Dow joins other major global players such as KBR Inc., a US-based multinational engineering services company, Wood, a global consulting and engineering company, and Igus GmbH, a global leader in industrial plastics, as partners to accelerate the deployment of Mura’s technology worldwide. Mura’s HydroPRS process utilises at its core the Cat-HTR technology, which was developed and is owned by Licella Holdings Limited, New South Wales, Australia.

Alongside its first plant in the UK, Mura has identified development opportunities in Germany and the United States – where it will develop new recycling plants in both countries in the next five years – and Asian markets, as part of a rapid global rollout that will see one million tonnes of recycling capacity in development worldwide by 2025. The partnership with Dow will be a key driver of this goal. Mura is continuing to raise funds to drive further expansion and is in discussions with a range of global investors.

The partnership announced today is another example of how Dow is working with partners to build momentum around breakthrough advanced recycling technologies and to drive game-changing innovations that keep plastic waste from entering the environment. In 2019, Dow announced a partnership with Fuenix to supply feedstock made from recycled plastic waste. The partnership with Mura represents another step in Dow’s efforts to meet its recently announced sustainability targets to address both climate change and plastic waste.

As per MRC, Dow develops simplified, lightweight design for face shields to help protect healthcare professionals, shares open-source design to encourage additional production. To help address the urgent need for personal protective equipment (PPE) among healthcare professionals battling the COVID-19 pandemic, Dow developed a simplified face shield design and is sharing its design through an open-source file to help accelerate production rates of this critically-needed PPE.

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

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 215,390 tonnes in the first month of 2020, up by 23% year on year. Shipments of all grades of high density polyethylene (HDPE) and linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) increased due to higher capacity utilisation at ZapSibNeftekhim. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market were 127,240 tonnes in January 2020, up by 33% year on year. ZapSibNeftekhim's homopolymer PP accounted for the main increase in shipments.

The Dow Chemical Company is an American multinational chemical corporation headquartered in Midland, Michigan, United States. Dow is a large producer of plastics, including polystyrene (PS), polyurethane, polyethylene, polypropylene, and synthetic rubber.

Russia GDP in March grew for the first time in a year

MOSCOW (MRC) - Russia's gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 0.5% in March on an annualized basis, Vedomosti reports citing data from the Ministry of Economic Development.

According to the ministry, monthly GDP growth was recorded for the first time since March last year. At the same time, according to the results of the first quarter, GDP decreased by 1.3% in annual terms. In the fourth quarter, according to Rosstat, the decline in GDP was 1.8%.

The ministry records growth in the manufacturing industry - in March the figure was 4.2% against a decline of 1.7% in February. "The main contribution was made by the industries of machine-building and chemical complexes. Also, steady growth continued in the light industry and the woodworking complex, positive dynamics in the food industry resumed, the decline in oil refining and the metallurgical complex slowed down," the report says.

The level of recession in the extractive sector of the economy decreased - to minus 5.6% in annual terms in March from minus 9% in February. The transport cargo turnover sector in March showed an increase of 3.9% after declining by 0.5% in February and by 2.1% in January on an annualized basis. The growth was driven by rail, pipeline, sea and road transport. At the end of the first quarter, the indicator increased by 0.4% yoy after falling by 2.2% in the fourth quarter of 2020.

The volume of paid services to the population in March increased by 1.4% yoy after declining by 5.5% in February. Catering turnover increased by 2.3% on an annualized basis after falling by 9.1% in February.

At the same time, retail trade turnover in March 2021 decreased by 3.4% year-on-year "against the backdrop of a high base." This effect was most pronounced in the food segment - a 6% decline in March after a 3% decline in February on an annualized basis.

Earlier it was reported that Russia's GDP growth in the second quarter of 2021 could reach 5.6%, and inflation will be at 5.4% in annual terms. However, the economic recovery process can be negatively affected by a number of factors that are difficult to calculate. Among them, experts call the threat of expanding anti-Russian sanctions by the United States, the continuation of the coronavirus pandemic, and uncertainty in the oil market. The Ministry of Economic Development predicted GDP growth in Russia in 2021 by 3.3%, in 2022 - at 3.4%.