INOVYN to withraw from UK sulphur chemicals market by closing its sulphur chemicals plant at Runcorn

MOSCOW (MRC) -- INOVYN has announced the proposed closure of its sulphur chemicals plant at Runcorn Site, and its withdrawal from the UK sulphur chemicals market, as per the company's press release.

The decision follows a detailed management review of the business in light of recent unforeseen events.

In October 2020, an unexpected interruption to the third-party power supply to Runcorn Site resulted in the sulphur chemicals plant being taken offline. During a carefully controlled restart, it was identified that a number of critical plant components had suffered significant damage. As a result, to ensure the safety and integrity of the plant it was taken back offline.

Since then, and despite significant effort and investment to rectify these issues, it has become clear that it will not be possible to safely restart the plant for at least a further 18-24 months.

This extended outage affects INOVYN’s ability to supply its customers and means that it will not be in a position to continue to produce sulphur chemicals for the UK chemicals market. Regrettably, the Company is therefore left with no option but to keep the plant offline and effect a permanent closure of the sulphur chemicals business.

There is no impact on other operations at Runcorn Site.

Inovyn’s operations at Runcorn are focused mainly on the production of chlorine, caustic soda, and chlorinated derivatives, according to its website. The site has one of the largest membrane electrolysis units in Europe. Chemicals produced there are sold into a variety of industrial applications across sectors including water, building and construction, electronics, and pharmaceuticals, it says.

As MRC reported earlier, in October 2019, INOVYN conducted maintenance works at its polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plant at its Jemeppe Site, Belgium. According to the company’s website, the Jemeppe site is one of the largest PVC production capacities in Europe with 420,000 tons/year of material supplied to key sectors including building, automotive and piping.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's overall PVC production reached 259,400 tonnes in the first three months of 2021, down 3% year on year. All producers reduced their output over the stated period.

Headquartered in London, INOVYN is Europe’s leading producer of vinyls and in the top three worldwide. With an annual turnover of EUR3.1 billion, INOVYN has circa 4,200 employees and manufacturing, sales and marketing operations in 8 countries across Europe.

Neste plans to reduce business travel emissions

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Neste and Finnair are joining forces to reduce carbon emissions related to Neste employees’ business travel by using Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF), said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Neste has recently made 300 tons of Neste MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel™ available at Helsinki Airport in Finland for Finnair’s use. By replacing a part of the fossil jet fuel with SAF on its flights departing from Helsinki Airport, Finnair will reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 900 tons of CO2 equivalent. This represents a significant share of the emissions accumulated from Neste employees’ global air travel in 2020.

The collaboration contributes to the climate commitments Neste made in 2020, including a commitment to reduce and compensate emissions from its employees’ business travel through the use of the company’s own sustainable aviation fuel. Finnair is a strategic partner for Neste, and also one of the most frequently used airlines for business travel by Neste’s employees. Finnair’s target is to become carbon neutral by 2045, and to halve its net CO2 emissions by the end of 2025.

The collaboration between Neste and Finnair also serves as a showcase for other businesses, since it offers a clear solution on how to reduce business air travel emissions. Neste’s aim is to make this solution available for businesses, public institutions and other organizations with ambitious climate commitments.

As part of the pilot project, Neste has arranged to supply altogether 500 metric tons of SAF in Europe and North America to the airlines most frequently used by Neste employees on their business travels. The volume already provided for Finnair’s use is included in the total.

Replacing fossil jet fuel with such an amount of Neste MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel has been calculated to cut greenhouse gas emissions by up to 1,500 tons CO2 equivalent when all the emissions over the life cycle of the fuels are taken into account and compared. The emission savings correspond to the total estimated emissions that resulted from Neste employees’ business air traveling globally in 2020.

Neste will continue to reduce the emissions from its employees’ corporate traveling each year with its SAF-based solution. The volumes of SAF needed to cut the corresponding emissions are expected to increase post the COVID-19 pandemic; hence, the company continues to consider all alternatives to reduce its own emissions and those related to its value chains.

As MRC informed previously, Neste has recently announced that it would acquire Bunge Loders Croklaan's refinery plant in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. The refinery plant is located next to Neste’s existing biorefinery and it consists of a pretreatment facility, tank farm, jetties and has a pipeline connection to Neste’s site. The acquisition has been approved by regulatory authorities, and the transaction has been completed on 1 March 2021. The transition of operations and employees will be implemented in phases with the refinery plant’s full and modified pretreatment capacity available for processing Neste’s feedstock by the end of 2024.

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.

Honeywell UOP is a leading international supplier and licensor of process technology, catalysts, adsorbents, equipment, and consulting services to the petroleum refining, petrochemical, and gas processing industries. Honeywell UOP is part of Honeywell’s Performance Materials and Technologies strategic business group, which also includes Honeywell Process Solutions, a pioneer in automation control, instrumentation and services for the oil and gas, refining, petrochemical, chemical and other industries.

USA plans to invest in the market of advanced green energy technologies

MOSCOW (MRC) -- U.S. President Joe Biden’s vast plan to modernize the nation’s infrastructure includes hundreds of billions of dollars to boost the market for electric vehicles, renewable power and advanced clean energy technologies, while stripping away subsidies for fossil fuels, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

That makes the USD2 trillion infrastructure blueprint one of the administration’s biggest steps to date in achieving its agenda to decarbonize the U.S. economy by 2050 and restore the nation’s leadership in addressing global warming. While much of the package is aimed at traditional infrastructure goals like rebuilding roads and bridges, about a third, or USD628 billion, is linked to climate, according to an estimate by investment firm Raymond James.

The proposals, which must still be debated and approved by Congress before becoming reality, drew cheers from the renewable energy industry and some environmentalists, along with criticism oil and gas drillers. “President Biden’s infrastructure proposal is a significant step in meeting our collective clean energy goals,” Solar Energy Industries Association Chief Executive Abigail Ross Hopper said in a statement.

The American Council on Renewable Energy said the plan “will move the clean energy sector beyond the endless cycles of temporary stopgap incentives.” The American Petroleum Institute, which represents the country’s biggest oil and gas companies, said the plan would “undermine the nation’s economic recovery and jeopardize good-paying jobs."

Among the biggest climate-related provisions, the plan includes USD174 billion in investment to “win the EV market” by spurring domestic supply chains and giving consumers rebates to buy electric cars. It also delivers a key win for wind and solar project developers with a proposal to extend the industry’s key tax credits by a decade, far longer than the timelines the subsidies have enjoyed in the past. By contrast, it would strip away billions of dollars’ worth of subsidies available to fossil fuels producers, mainly in the form of tax breaks.

As per MRC, Clermont-based company Carbios signed an agreement with Equipolymers which should host, at its site in Schkopau (Germany), a unit that will produce 40,000 tonnes of recycled PET each year. In March, Carbios and Equipolymers, a subsidiary of Equate Petrochemical, signed a “ non-exclusive and non-binding agreement in the form of a Letter of Intent ”. If confirmed, Equipolymers, “ European leader in PET production ”, will host a unit at its Schkopau (Germany) site that will produce 40,000 tonnes of recycled PET each year using the enzymatic process developed by Carbios.

According to MRC's ScanPlast, the estimated PET consumption in Russia in January 2021 increased by 3% compared to the same indicator a year earlier. In total, according to the results of the first month of the year in Russia, the total estimated consumption of PET amounted to 57,420 tonnes.

AmSty and Agilyx to jointly build advanced recycling facility in Louisiana

MOSCOW (MRC) – Americas Styrenics (AmSty, Woodlands, Texas), the largest polystyrene producer in the Americas, and Agilyx Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Agilyx AS, a pioneer in the advanced recycling of post-use plastics, have announced an agreement to explore the development of a jointly owned advanced recycling facility, according to CISION.

The initial scope of this project will be a 50 to 100 ton per day advanced recycling facility located at AmSty’s Styrene production facility in St. James, Louisiana.

The facility will be a next generation expansion of Agilyx advanced recycling technology already in use at the parties’ Regenyx joint venture operating in Tigard, Oregon, where post-use polystyrene (PS) products are converted back into virgin-equivalent styrene monomer. A feasibility study for the project is under way, with a timeline for construction and commissioning to be announced as progress continues.

"PS is an ideal material for the future of recycling,” said Dr. Randy Pogue, president, and chief executive officer of AmSty. "Not only can polystyrene products offer sustainability advantages where less material is required (e.g., a polystyrene foam cup is 95% air), but PS is particularly advantageous for advanced recycling because it can be "unzipped" back to its original liquid form, styrene monomer, using 40% less energy than other polymers. As the global plastics industry moves toward circular recycling to build value and grow access, PS becomes very attractive as a first mover with its inherent conversion advantages. AmSty is committed to keeping polystyrene products out of landfills through circular recycling. We are excited to expand our relationship with Agilyx in this new project to accelerate progress.”

“Development of this technology has picked up over the past decade, and it is time to reach a larger scale,” said Tim Stedman, chief executive officer of Agilyx. “We have been operating Regenyx with AmSty since 2019 and are pleased to expand our relationship toward a much larger facility at St. James. Joining AmSty as a co-investor underlines our commitment to accelerating the implementation of Agilyx advanced recycling technology and our licensing model. We believe that our technology will significantly increase the availability of recycled content for producers.”

As MRC informed previously, AmSty has announced a price increase for all its PS grades, effective as of 1 March 2021. The rise of 11 cents/pound (cts/lb) supersedes all other previously announced price changes. AmSty increased its PS prices by 3 cts/lb on 1 February this year. No comment on the reason for the increase was given by the company.

Styrene is the main feestock for the production of polystyrene (PS).

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated consumption of PS and styrene plastics totalled 520,630 tonnes in 2020, which corresponded to the same figure a year earlier. December estimated consumption of PS and styrene plastics grew by 5% year on year to 47,490 tonnes.

Agilyx (AGLX), is an early leader in the advanced recycling of difficult-to-recycle post-use plastic streams. With Agilyx's chemical recycling technology, mixed plastic waste can be converted to new virgin-equivalent plastics, as well as chemical products and fuels - creating the opportunity for true circularity. The company has not only developed these first-to-market products but has also developed a feedstock management company Cyclyx International, Inc. and is working with many waste service providers, municipalities, petrochemical, and brand and retail companies to develop closed-loop advanced recycling solutions for mixed waste plastics.

AmSty is a leading integrated producer of PS and styrene monomer, offering solutions and services to customers in a variety of global markets. AmSty is a member of the American Chemistry Council and its Responsible Care initiative, and is headquartered in The Woodlands, Texas. AmSty is a joint venture equally owned by Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LP and Trinseo LLC.

Petronas to provide integration across the entire value chain

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas), Malaysia’s fully integrated oil and gas multinational, has partnered with AVEVA, a global leader in industrial software, driving digital transformation and sustainability, to provide a modern enterprise solution that promotes integration across the entire value chain, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Petronas selected AVEVATM Unified Supply Chain in the cloud to enable simplified business processes and deeper collaboration, while reducing value leaks and sustaining productivity. As the only industrial software company that offers unified design applications across all supply chain activities, AVEVA’s solution uses Enterprise Crude Knowledge Management, to drive Value Chain Optimization for the oil and gas industry.

The AVEVA solution will provide easy data management to deliver a single source of crude oil information that is easily shared across different teams and locations. The modern and intuitive software will eliminate the requirement for specific coding, drastically reducing the learning curve delivering high-performance computing and advanced data processing that will enable PETRONAS to run complex planning models at speed using the latest cloud technology.
“At PETRONAS, we are continuously looking to create value with disruptive technologies that offer optimum solutions. Utilizing AVEVA Unified Supply Chain software, we have been able to adopt a more integrated business process, that optimizes our productivity, allowing us to deliver with less,” said Mr. Yusri Yusof.

AVEVA’s strategy is to help forward-thinking organizations like PETRONAS create a collaborative environment enabling the business to be managed in a comprehensive, flexible, and connected manner that brings transparency to the decision-making process across the value chain.

As per MRC, Petronas Chemicals Ethylene, a subsidiary of the Malaysian state-owned petrochemical company Petronas, carried out preventive maintenance at its ethylene plant in Kerteh, Malaysia, in March. Repairs at the production facility with a capacity of 400,000 tonnes of ethylene per year will take approximately one month.

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.