Portugal Galp moves to green hydrogen at Sines refinery with USD1.2 bln investment

Portugal Galp moves to green hydrogen at Sines refinery with USD1.2 bln investment

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Portugal's Galp Energia plans to install a 100-megawatt electrolyzer to power its refinery in Sines with green hydrogen by 2025, a project which could be expanded to up to 1,000 MW and be worth EUR1 billion (USD1.21 billion), reported Reuters with reference to Chief Executive Andy Brown's statement.

He told Reuters in an interview that the refinery, located south of Lisbon, was Portugal's biggest consumer of hydrogen from natural gas, but Galp wanted to gradually produce the zero-carbon fuel through a process of electrolysis using renewable solar energy.

Such hydrogen is now more expensive to extract than the heavily polluting conventional method of using heat and chemical reactions to release it from coal or natural gas, known as brown and grey hydrogen, respectively.

But Brown said "because of the cost of gas and the cost of CO2, at a certain point it can be profitable".

"It's a very exciting opportunity, we think we can profitably replace that hydrogen with green hydrogen," he said, adding that Galp should invest "between EUR100 million to EUR200 million in the first 100 MW by 2025".

"To fully convert the refinery to green hydrogen that will be closer to EUR1 billion – these are big investments," he said, adding that much still depended on whether Europe and Portugal give the right incentives for such renewable fuels.

Galp will be able to produce green ammonia or synthetic fuels, and as the project gains scale it could also sell green hydrogen to transport companies or highly polluting industries such as steel or cement manufacturing.

As MRC informed earlier, Portugal's oil and gas company Galp has fully ceased processing hydrocarbons at the smaller of its two refineries, in Matosinhos near Porto, since the beginning of 2021 due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the regulatory environment. Instead, it will concentrate its downstream operations and their future development at the 220,000-barrels-per-day Sines refinery equipped with deep conversion units.

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 744,130 tonnes in the first four month of 2021, up by 4% year on year. Shipments of all PE grades increased. At the same time, PP deliveries to the Russian market were 523,900 tonnes in January-April 2021, up by 55% year on year. Supply of homopolymer PP and PP block copolymers increased, whereas shipments of PP random copolymers decreased.

Kuraray to divest part of businesses run by its US subsidiary

Kuraray to divest part of businesses run by its US subsidiary

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Kuraray Co., Ltd. (Tokyo, Japan) has announced its decision to divest operations related to UV-based water treatment and ballast water treatment run by Calgon Carbon Corporation, a Group subsidiary based in the United States, as per the company's press release.

The divested operations will be transferred to De Nora Water Technologies LLC in Italy.

The business transfer is scheduled for the end of June.

Financial details of the transaction have not been disclosed.

Calgon Carbon is the world’s largest manufacturer of activated carbon, supplying activated-carbon products including bituminous coal–based carbon, wooden carbon, and palm-shell-based carbon. Kuraray acquired Calgon Carbon in 2018 for USD1.1 billion.

As MRC informed before, Kuraray America, a subsidiary of the Kuraray Group and one of the leading international companies in the production of specialty chemicals, fibers, resins and elastomers, has resumed operations at its vinyl acetate monomer (VAM) plant in La Porte, Texas, USA. This plant with the capacity of 335,000 mt/year was shut in mid-February because of the unprecedently low temperatures in the region and restarted on 2 April, 2021.

VAM is the main raw material for the production of ethylene-vinyl-acetate (EVA).

According to MRC's DataScope report, April EVA imports to Russia rose by 35,63% year on year to 4,090 tonnes from 3,020 tonnes a year earlier, and overall imports of this grade of ethylene copolymer into the Russian Federation grew in January-April 2021 by 20,24% year on year to 14,990 tonnes (12,47 tonnes a year earlier).

iKuraray America is one of the world's largest specialty chemicals, fibers, resins and elastomers companies. The company's manufacturing facilities are located in Houston, Texas.

Sidel aims to reduce emissions for a more sustainable future

Sidel aims to reduce emissions for a more sustainable future

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Adhering to the Paris Agreement, Sidel has set out and committed to emissions reduction targets grounded in climate science through the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), said the company.

Targets are 30% CO2 reduction across the company’s sites and facilities, and a 25% CO2 reduction in sourcing and usage of Sidel’s equipment by 2030. The company’s philosophy on Corporate Social Responsibility is now highlighted in its new Sustainability Report, and Sidel is also launching a new external communication campaign from Interbrand, named "you’re never alone".

Throughout the company’s history, Sidel engineers and designers have been challenging industry with ecological innovations in packaging design, equipment and services, in order to consume fewer resources, and move towards a more circular economy. This experience has paved the way for Sidel to ignite greater sustainable change within the company and beyond.

"Sustainability is at the heart of everything we do, and we want to ignite conscious changes in both our industry and the wider market. Our commitments apply across all Sidel sites where we operate globally, and also across what we deliver to our customers and what we purchase from our suppliers,” says Monica Gimre, CEO & President at Sidel. “We know that no single company or individual can bring about sustainable transformation alone; therefore, Sidel is standing ready with the tools our customers need on their sustainability journey. This is our message to customers: when it comes to consciously creating a cleaner and greener world, you are never alone," declares Mrs. Gimre.

As MRC informed earlier, in a bid to expand its packaging solutions portfolio, blow molding machinery maker Sidel Group has acquired blow molder and packaging designer PET Engineering Srl. The terms of the deal have not been disclosed. Founded in 1999 and based in San Vendemiano, Italy, PET Engineering has 40 employees and a global customer base.

As per ScanPlast, Russia's calculated consumption of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) grew to 263,660 tonnes in the first four months in 2021, up 13% compared to the same period in the previous year. 78.3% of the increase in consumption falls on the share of bottled PET chips due to the virtual absence of exports and an increase in the volume of imports.

Mitsubishi Chemical to construct verification facilities in Japan for chemical recycling of acrylic resins

Mitsubishi Chemical to construct verification facilities in Japan for chemical recycling of acrylic resins

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Mitsubishi Chemical Corp. (MCC; Tokyo) and its consolidated subsidiary Mitsubishi Chemical Methacrylates Japan Co., Ltd (MCM) plan to construct facilities in Japan to implement verification testing with the goal of commercializing molecular recycling operations for PMMA (polymethyl methacrylate; acrylic resin), according to Chemical Engineering.

Acrylic resin is a plastic product that possesses excellent transparency and light resistance, and boasts a wide range of applications, including automotive light covers, signs, aquarium tanks, coatings and construction materials.

Global demand for acrylic resin exceeds 3 million tons. In addition, demand has been increasing recently in regions around the world for acrylic plates used to prevent infection due to exhaled droplets/particles. At MCC and MCM, examinations have been conducted for some time on the recycling of acrylic resin. In Europe, which is a global leader in environmental awareness and is seeking speedier actions, considerations are being carried out regarding the construction of acrylic resin recycling facilities which introduce current recycling technologies. A decision is expected to be reached in the near term.

Meanwhile MCC and MCM are cooperating with Microwave Chemical Co., Ltd., a partner looking into recycling technologies for acrylic resin, and have decided to construct new verification facilities at its site in Osaka. Construction is slated to be completed in June 2021.

In Europe and Japan, using respective approaches that take into account the traits of each region, full-fledged consideration for the construction of an acrylic resin-recycling plant is expected to be undertaken with an eye on operations starting from 2024.Acrylic resin waste recycling is not only to the waste materials from MCC and MCM acrylic resin manufacturing plants, but also focus on collecting acrylic resin waste from the broader market in the future.

In conjunction with the Honda Motor, MCC is also examining a scheme for the collection of acrylic resins, mainly from the taillights of scrapped cars, their molecular recycling and reuse. The companies are also jointly conducting verification testing of recycling systems that use new verification facilities. Using MCC acrylic resin recycling technologies, manufactured MMA (methyl methacrylate) and acrylic resins produced using MMA as a raw material retain the same level of performance, including transparency, as regular products. Moreover, it is estimated that CO2 emissions during the manufacturing process can be cut by over 70% of conventional levels.

As MRC reported earlier, in April 2021, Origin Materials, Inc., the world’s leading carbon negative materials company, and Mitsubishi Gas Chemical, Inc., a global leader in basic and fine chemicals and advanced materials, announced a partnership to industrialize and manufacture advanced chemicals and materials built on the Origin Materials technology platform.

We remind that Mitsubishi Chemical Corp (MCC) consolidated its headquarter functions for its global methyl methacrylate (MMA) business in Singapore, and renamed its major MMA subsidiaries to Mitsubishi Chemical Methacrylates, effective 1 April, 2021. The move is aimed at optimising the company's global product supply network by utilising digital technologies that connect regional production, costs and supply and demand.

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, 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

Mitsubishi Gas Chemical Company, Inc. (MGC), headquartered in Tokyo, is a unique technology-oriented manufacturer producing more than 90% of its products using proprietary technologies. Committing itself to creating new technology and value, MGC boasts a broad range of products, from basic chemicals such as methanol, xylene, and hydrogen peroxide to high-performance products such as engineering plastics, foamed plastics, materials for printed wiring boards and oxygen absorbers.

COVID-19 - News digest as of 16.06.2021

1. Oil futures up on large draw in US crude inventories and bullish demand outlook

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Crude oil futures jumped during morning trade in Asia June 16, as data from the American Petroleum Institute showed a large draw in US crude inventories, and as the market continued to buy into the global demand recovery narrative, reported S&P Global. At 10:23 am Singapore time (0223 GMT), the ICE August Brent futures contract was up 62 cents/b (0.84%) from the previous settle at USD74.61/b while the NYMEX July light sweet crude contract was up 59 cents/b (0.82%) at USD72.71/b. The rise in prices came as API data, released June 15, indicated improved fundamentals in the market, showing an 8.54 million-barrel decline in US crude inventories in the week ended June 11. Given the striking crude draw figure, markets largely overlooked more bearish downstream product inventory data, which showed US gasoline and distillate inventories rising by 2.85 million barrels and 1.96 million barrels, respectively. Part of the reason why the markets dismissed the downstream product inventory data was that US product demand, especially US gasoline demand, remains robust amid rising vaccination rates and easing mobility restrictions.