Trinseo commercializes its recycled PS

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Trinseo, a global materials company and manufacturer of plastics, latex binders and synthetic rubber recently commercialized its recycled polystyrene (PS) from dissolution technology and is offering a new material using this process - STYRON CO2RE 687DI30, as per the company's press release.

This is the first of a series of recycled PS products that Trinseo intends to launch under the STYRON CO2RE brand in the coming years.

With this material/recycling method, post-consumer recycled (PCR) material is dissolved in a solvent followed by a series of purification steps to separate the polymer from additives and contaminants. The material is fed into a polymerization reactor train and the result is a PS polymer with 30 percent PCR content for use in applications including consumer electronics, packaging, and food contact applications if a functional barrier is present to ensure compliance.

According to Trinseo’s Plastics Circularity Manager, Julien Renvoise, STYRON CO2RE 687DI30 Polystyrene supports a circular economy.

To measure impact, Trinseo compared a general-purpose polystyrene (GPPS) produced with 100% fossil fuel with a batch made from 30% post-consumer recycled content in a lifecycle assessment and found a 15% reduction in CO2 emissions. In another study Trinseo found that performance properties remained similar. This includes transparency, a difficult property to achieve with recycled content.

Recycled PS is just one of Trinseo’s sustainable materials aimed at circularity. The company also is involved with depolymerization with technology provided by partner, Recycling Technologies, and plans to build a dedicated plant at its Tessenderlo, Belgium location, as MRC reported earlier. This will be one of two PS recycling plants in Europe estimated to add a total of 30,000 tons of PS feedstock into the European marketplace. The plant is expected to start operating in 2023.

According to ICIS-MRC Price report, in Russia, Nizhnekamskneftekhim's PS prices remained unchanged in May. Prices of Nizhnekamskneftekhim's GPPS were in the range of Rb192,000-203,000/tonne, CPT Moscow, including VAT, whereas high impact polystyrene (HIPS) prices were at Rb196,000-207,000/tonne CPT Moscow, including VAT. At the same time, May prices of Penoplex's material fell by Rb15,000/tonne to Rb204,000-206,000/tonne CPT Moscow, including VAT.

Trinseo is a global materials company and manufacturer of plastics, latex and rubber. Trinseo's technology is used by customers in industries such as home appliances, automotive, building & construction, carpet, consumer electronics, consumer goods, electrical & lighting, medical, packaging, paper & paperboard, rubber goods and tires. Formerly known as Styron, Trinseo completed its renaming process in 1Q 2015. Trinseo had approximately USD3.0 billion in net sales in 2020, with 17 manufacturing sites around the world, and approximately 2,600 employees.

BASF to electrify its production processes for basic chemicals

MOSCOW (MRC) -- BASF, the world's petrochemical major, aims is to electrify its production processes for basic chemicals, which are currently based on fossil fuels, as per the company's press release.

Dr. Martin Brudermuller (BASF) and Dr. Markus Krebber (RWE), accompanied by Chairman of the Mining, Chemical and Energy Industries Union (IG BCE) Michael Vassiliadis, presented a project idea that shows how industrial production can become sustainable and future-proof.

The project envisions an additional offshore wind farm with a capacity of 2 gigawatts (GW) to provide the Ludwigshafen chemical site with green electricity and enable CO2-free production of hydrogen.

This will involve utilizing CO2-free technologies such as electrically heated steam cracker furnaces to produce petrochemicals.

BASF is already working with partners on developing these technologies. To advance the joint project, the CEOs of BASF and RWE have signed a letter of intent covering a wide-ranging cooperation for the creation of additional capacities for renewable electricity and the use of innovative technologies for climate protection.

This plan could result in the avoidance of around 3.8 million metric tons of CO2 emissions per year, of which 2.8 million tons would be realized directly at BASF in Ludwigshafen.

Realizing this plan will require a suitable regulatory framework. Policymakers have said they plan to significantly increase the expansion targets for renewable energies and accelerate capacity additions.

As MRC informed before, in mid-February, BASF said it was restarting one of its steam crackers at its Ludwigshafen complex in Germany after operations were halted last Wednesday due to a technical issue. The naphtha cracker produces ethylene and propylene, and is one of two crackers on the site. One has a production capacity of 420,000 metric tons/year, with the other's capacity at 240,000 metric tons/year, according to IHS Markit data.

Ethylene and propylene are the main feedstocks for the production of polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP), respectively.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 576,270 tonnes in the first three month of 2021, up by 4% year on year. Low density polyethylene (LDPE) and high density polyethylene (HDPE) shipments increased. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market totalled 410,890 tonnes in January-March 2021, up by 56% year on year. Supply of homopolymer PP and PP block copolymers increased.

BASF is the leading chemical company. It produces a wide range of chemicals, for example solvents, amines, resins, glues, electronic-grade chemicals, industrial gases, basic petrochemicals and inorganic chemicals. The most important customers for this segment are the pharmaceutical, construction, textile and automotive industries.

COVID-19 - News digest as of 21.05.2021

1. Indian Oil reduces crude processing to 84% as COVID-19 pandemic hits fuel demand

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Indian Oil Corp, India's top refiner, has cut crude processing to average at 84% of overall capacity from 96% in April as a devastating second wave of COVID-19 dented fuel demand, reported Reuters with reference to the company's chairman statement. Domestic sales of gasoil and gasoline by Indian state refiners plunged by a fifth in the first half of May from a month earlier, preliminary data showed on Monday, as lockdowns to curb COVID-19 cases hit industrial activities and consumption. "Demand destruction is there, which has also reflected in refinery runs... When it (fuel demand) will return to normalcy is a very difficult question to answer," Chairman SM Vaidya said, pinning recovery hopes on the country's vaccination drive against the pandemic.


Formosa Plastics USA force majeure on PVC and VCM supply remains in force in mid-May

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Formosa Plastics USA, part of Formosa Petrochemical, has left force majeure (FM) on polyvinyl chloride (PVC) supplies from its plants in North America in force as of 17 May, 2021, reported S&P Global with reference to the company's letter.

The FM was declared on 15 February, 2021, due to the deep freeze that hit the region. The severe weather conditions affected then all Texas and western Louisiana facilities.

As MRC informed before, in March, 2020, Formosa Plastics was emerging from a turnaround at its 798,000 mt/year PVC plant and upstream 753,000 mt/year vinyl chloride monomer unit at its Point Comfort, Texas, complex.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's overall PVC production reached 346,100 tonnes in the first four months of 2021, down 1% year on year. All producers decreased production volumes over the reported period, with the exception of the Bashkir Soda Company.

Formosa Petrochemical is involved primarily in the business of refining crude oil, selling refined petroleum products and producing and selling olefins (including ethylene, propylene, butadiene and BTX) from its naphtha cracking operations. Formosa Petrochemical is also the largest olefins producer in Taiwan and its olefins products are mostly sold to companies within the Formosa Group. Among the company's chemical products are paraxylene (PX), phenyl ethylene, acetone and pure terephthalic acid (PTA). The company"s plastic products include acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) resins, polystyrene (PS), polypropylene (PP) and panlite (PC).

Westlake lifts force majeure on PVC and VCM suppliers from its plants in North America

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Westlake Chemical, US petrochemical major, has lifted its force majeure (FM) on US polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and upstream vinyl chloride monomer (VCM), the company announced in a customer letter dated May 17 and seen by S&P Global.

The letter said the company was "formally lifting the systemwide force majeure condition for PVC and VCM manufactured and shipped from its North American operations that was originally declared on Feb. 19" as a result of mid-February's deep freeze that "resulted in a shutdown/curtailment of our plant operations."

The winter storm brought sustained subfreezing temperatures to the US Gulf Coast and much of the US, forcing widespread petrochemical shutdowns that included at least 57% of US PVC capacity.

As MRC informed earlier, Westlake Chemical also declared FM on Aug. 31, 2020, for all its North American PVC and VCM, which left it in force in mid-October, 2020. Westlake's shutdown of its Lake Charles complex has idled 38% of its US VCM production, resulting in two VCM plants with a combined capacity of 952,318 mt/year going offline. The complex also has three upstream chlor-alkali plants with a combined capacity of 1.27 million mt/year of chlorine and 1.36 million mt/year of caustic soda - 46% of the company's overall North American chlor-alkali capacity.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's overall PVC production reached 346,100 tonnes in the first four months of 2021, down 1% year on year. All producers decreased production volumes over the reported period, with the exception of the Bashkir Soda Company.

Westlake Chemical Corporation is an international manufacturer and supplier of petrochemicals, polymers and building products with headquarters in Houston, Texas. The company's range of products includes: ethylene, polyethylene, styrene, propylene, chlor-alkali and derivative products, PVC suspension and specialty resins, PVC Compounds, and PVC building products including siding, pipe, fittings and specialty components, windows, fence, deck and film.