Neste completes overhaul at its Porvoo refinery

Neste completes overhaul at its Porvoo refinery

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The scheduled maintenance i.e. the major turnaround at Neste’s Porvoo refinery in Finland is now successfully completed and production has started at the refinery, as per the company's press release.

The major turnaround is a significant investment to secure safety, availability and competitiveness of the refinery. The total investment of the Porvoo refinery major turnaround was approximately EUR630 million, of which approximately EUR 330 million was realized in the major turnaround in 2021. In 2020, only the most critical maintenance work was executed at the refinery as the corona pandemic delayed the turnaround by a year.

“We executed a large number of regulatory inspections, maintenance works and asset improvement initiatives at the Porvoo refinery to ensure the safety and reliability of the refinery. The turnaround works focused on, among other things, process equipment and pipelines, and we also extensively renewed the refinery's electrification and automation systems. During the major turnaround, we also executed preparatory measures for the processing of renewable and circular raw materials at the Porvoo refinery,” says Jori Sahlsten, Vice President, Production at the Neste Porvoo refinery.

During the major turnaround, the Porvoo refinery was one of the largest construction sites in Finland. In total, some 6,000 persons took part in the turnaround works and over 1.5 million working hours were completed.

In order to manage the pandemic situation during the major turnaround, a detailed health security plan was prepared with extensive measures to mitigate the impacts of the coronavirus. Neste worked closely with authorities, nearby municipalities and cities as well as health care professionals throughout the turnaround. Thanks to the comprehensive precautionary measures, the corona situation at the refinery remained calm. Regular corona tests were done to every person working in the turnaround. All in all approximately 61,000 corona tests were taken, out of which 97 infections were identified.

The major turnaround did not affect the product deliveries to Neste’s customers. The Neste harbour and distribution terminal in Porvoo have been operating normally during the major turnaround.

As MRC reported earlier, Neste is committed to reaching carbon neutrality in its production by 2035. As part of this effort, Neste aims for 100% renewable electricity use globally by 2023. In order to proceed with this target, Neste will increase the use of renewable electricity at its Porvoo refinery and has signed a new wind power agreement with a wind power company Ilmata.

Neste (Helsinki) creates solutions for combating climate change and accelerating a shift to a circular economy. The company refines waste, residues and innovative raw materials into renewable fuels and sustainable feedstock for plastics and other materials. The company is the world’s leading producer of renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel, developing chemical recycling to combat the plastic waste challenge. In 2020, Neste's revenue stood at EUR 11.8 billion, with 94% of the company’s comparable operating profit coming from renewable products.

We remind that in May 2021, Neste, Mitsui Chemicals, Inc. and Toyota Tsusho Corp. announced they are joining forces to enable Japan’s first industrial-scale production of renewable plastics and chemicals from 100% bio-based hydrocarbons. In this collaboration, Mitsui Chemicals will use Neste RE, 100% bio-based hydrocarbons produced by Neste, to replace a part of the fossil feedstock in the production of a variety of plastics and chemicals at its crackers within Osaka Works during 2021.

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.

Maire Tecnimont and Siemens sign MOU to offer new digital predictive maintenance services

Maire Tecnimont and Siemens sign MOU to offer new digital predictive maintenance services

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Maire Tecnimont Group’s main EPC contractor Tecnimont and Siemens Italy have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to offer cutting-edge digital predictive maintenance services to help clients increasing plant operability and reducing maintenance costs, as per Maire Tecnimont's press release.

The agreement calls for the two companies to work together on a specified number of feasibility studies and to identify a list of clients to be targeted for a joint commercial proposition thus, to promote the application of predictive maintenance technology to monitor critical plant assets.

Siemens’ Predictive Analytics is based on machine learning algorithms that can identify normal operating and faults conditions based on asset’s historical data and provide an early warning alarm to catch potential equipment glitches before they become a problem and cause the asset’s loss, and in the worst-case scenario, the loss of plant's production.

Maire Tecnimont will leverage its expertise as an Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contractor in the natural resource transformation industry, to supply plant owners with artificial intelligence applications, based on Siemens Predictive Analytics technologies, for assets monitoring, performance evaluation and equipment maintenance.

This “open innovation approach” leverages on key technologies to find the best solutions for a plant owner’s particular needs or business environment. The results are tangible benefits such as improved production efficiency, more effective maintenance, a safer work environment, easier emissions control, and more effective training.

With this MoU, Maire Tecnimont Group continues to improve its portfolio of digital services offering clients a new digital value proposition to help them manage the energy transition by ramping up plant efficiency as well as ensuring environmentally best performing product and processes.

Siemens reconfirms its unique positioning in enabling companies to make the most out of digitalization through a holistic portfolio of software and automation solutions, supporting industries becoming faster, more flexible and efficient and reducing their time-to-market.

As MRC reported earlier, in May 2021, consortium of subsidiaries of the Italian engineering company Maire Tecnimont S.p.A. received a contract to build a new Indian Oil Corp (IOC) paraxylene plant in Paradip (Paradip, Odisha, India). The total amount of the contract for the design, procurement, construction and commissioning (EPCC) of this plant with a capacity of 800,000 tonnes of paraxylene per year is estimated at approximately USD450 mln.

Paraxylene is a raw material for the synthesis of terephthalic acid (TPA), an intermediate product for the production of polyethylene terephthalate (PET).

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PET consumption grew to 263,660 tonnes in the first four months in 2021, up by 13% year on year. Bottle grade chips accounted for 78.3% of the increase in consumption due to the virtual absence of exports and higher imports.

Maire Tecnimont S.p.A. Listed on the Milan Stock Exchange, he is the head of an industrial group that leads the global market for the processing of natural resources (design of oil and gas installations, possession of technology, experience and knowledge). Its subsidiary NextChem works in green chemistry and technology to support the energy supply strategy. The Maire Tecnimont Group operates in approximately 45 countries, through approximately 50 operating companies, employing approximately 9,100 people.

Celanese acquires POM technology from Grupa Azoty

Celanese acquires POM technology from Grupa Azoty

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Celanese Corporation, a global chemical and specialty materials company, has announced that it has acquired certain technology relating to the production of polyacetal (POM) products from Grupa Azoty S.A. of Tarnow, Poland, after its decision to discontinue its POM manufacturing, as per the company's press release.

Celanese will take over all existing Tarnoform® contracts in order to serve Azoty’s customers. However, with the exception of certain equipment transferred in connection with the intellectual property transfer, this transaction does not include any of Azoty’s employees, tangible assets, manufacturing facilities or sales offices.

“This transaction will enable Celanese to serve Azoty’s customers with Celanese assets, thereby allowing for an incremental volume opportunity for Celanese as well as access to a POM customer base and a proven POM technology in Tarnoform,” said Tom Kelly, Senior Vice President, Engineered Materials, Celanese. “Our Engineered Materials business is a critical growth engine for Celanese, and we continue to take the strategic steps needed, such as this customer and product acquisition, to fuel the ongoing success of the business,” concluded Kelly.

The transaction is expected to close in early July 2021.

As MRC reported previously, earlier this year, Celanese Corporation announced that it plans to continue its ethylene-vynil-acetate (EVA) growth at the company’s Nanjing and Frankfurt facilities through the construction of two new EVA reactors.

The Grupa Azoty Group is the undisputed leader of the fertilizer market domestically and a key player in the fertilizer and chemical industry in Europe. It is the second largest EU-based manufacturer of nitrogen and compound fertilizers, also enjoying a strong position on the markets of melamine, caprolactam, polyamide, oxo alcohols, plasticizers and titanium white.

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.

Polystyvert to develop full-scale polystyrene recycling plant

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Montreal-based specialty recycling company Polystyvert has closed a round of funding to facilitate the development of a full-scale polystyrene (PS) recycling plant, said Canplastics.

The round includes new investor BEWI Group, a European provider of packaging, components, and insulation solutions, and said to be one of the largest integrated expandable PS (EPS) producers in Europe with an annual EPS production capacity of 200,000 tons, as well as new private investors.

Existing investors Anges Quebec, Anges Quebec Capital, Cycle Capital, and Quadriam also participated in the round. Proceeds will be used to facilitate the development of a full-scale plant – a strategic milestone for the company to demonstrate the high level of resin purity reached with Polystyvert’s innovative proprietary process, as well as its excellent environmental footprint.

“BEWI sees great potential in Polystyvert’s technology because it has the ability to treat highly contaminated streams while remaining very energy efficient,” BEWI chief operating officer Jonas Siljeskar said. “We believe this technology could be a game-changer for using recycled material in food packaging."

As per MRC, The Dutch company BEWI Synbra completed scheduled repairs at its expanded polystyrene (EPS) production facility in Porvoo (Porvoo, Finland). BEWI Synbra closed the plant consisting of two lines with a total capacity of 110,000 tonnes of EPS per year for scheduled repairs in early March. The scheduled works were completed on 18 March.

As per MRC's ScanPlast, Russia's estimated consumption of polystyrene (PS) and styrene plastics totalled 187,320 tonnes in the first four months of 2021, up by 20% year on year. April estimated consumption of PS and styrene plastics was 49,370 tonnes, up by 35% year on year (36,620 tonnes a year earlier). PS production rose in January-April 2021 by 6% year on year. Russian producers manufactured 179,840 tonnes of material over the stated period.
Founded in 2011, Polystyvert has developed a low-carbon-footprint process to recycle polystyrene based on a dissolution technology. Once dissolved, the process can mechanically and chemically separate contaminants and additives – including a wide range of hard-to-remove contaminants such as pigments and brominated flame-retardants – before finally separating the original polymer from the solvent. The end-product is then a cleaned polymer that can be used as new raw material resin again, to manufacture various categories of PS products, including food-grade applications.

Australian parliament approves USD1.8 bln subsidies to keep struggling oil refineries open

Australian parliament approves USD1.8 bln subsidies to keep struggling oil refineries open

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Australia’s parliament has approved plans to pay Viva Energy Ltd and Ampol Ltd up to AD2.3 billion (USD1.8 billion) to keep their struggling oil refineries open to protect the country’s fuel security, reported Reuters with reference to Energy Minister Angus Taylor's statement.

Under the plan announced in May the government agreed to top up earnings at Australia’s two remaining refineries when refining margins are weak through 2027, with an option to extend to 2030.

It also agreed to provide up to AD125 million each to Ampol and Viva to upgrade their refineries to produce ultra-low sulphur petrol by end-2024. Payments to the refineries will begin from July 1, the government said.

The fuel industry will also be required to hold minimum stocks of 24 days of petrol and jet demand and 20 days of diesel demand from July 2022, with a 40% increase in diesel holdings required from July 2024.

Australia’s ageing refineries have found it difficult to compete with much bigger, new refineries across Asia. The country’s two other refiners - BP and Exxon Mobil Corp - are shutting their plants this year.

As MRC informed before, in Februar, 2021, ExxonMobil Corp said it will close its 72-year-old Altona refinery in Australia, the country’s smallest, and convert it to a fuel import terminal as refiners struggle with low demand.

And in March, 2021, BP plc stopped importing oil for its refinery in Western Australia, the country’s largest, and had decommissioned the plant by the end of March.

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.