The largest seller of PP in Russia reduced prices by Rb20,000-25,000/tonne in Russia

The largest seller of PP in Russia reduced prices by Rb20,000-25,000/tonne in Russia
MOSCOW (MRC) - The largest seller of polypropylene (PP) in Russia cut spot prices for the domestic market on Thursday by roubles (Rb) 20,000-25,000/tonne, depending on the type, according to the ICIS-MRC Price Report.

Russian converters faced a limited supply of polypropylene from local producers in the first three months of the year.
But the main influence on the market was provided by the dynamic growth of polypropylene prices in Europe and Turkey. Taking this into account polypropylene in Russia was constantly growing in price and by the beginning of April reached record levels.

Since mid-April, the situation in foreign markets has changed dramatically, but similar changes in the Russian market took place only at the end of June. Under pressure from the record high polypropylene prices, some Russian converters in May - June decided to limit their purchases.

At the same time, the demand for injection moulding homopolymer PP dropped most significantly in June. Converters were "exhausted" from the price race, and there were also major problems with working capital.

The polypropylene (PP) prices in a number of foreign markets decreased again in June, as a result, Russian producers had to decrease significantly export prices, and sales volumes in some directions decreased.

Competitive offers appeared for the supply of polypropylene to Russia from Asia and the Middle East in May - June.
But there was no growth in imports in these areas, the risks exceeded the possible benefits from buying imports at a lower price.

Pressure from external markets and low demand from the domestic market were the main reasons for the decline in prices. On Thursday, the largest Russian seller decreased the spot prices of homopolymer PP by Rb20,000/tonne to Rb150,000-152,000/tonne, including VAT, and shipment. PP random copolymers prices fell by Rb25,000/tonne.


LANXESS completes sale of its organic leather chemicals business

LANXESS completes sale of its organic leather chemicals business

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Specialty chemicals company LANXESS, specialty chemicals company, has completed the sale of its organic leather chemicals business to TFL Ledertechnik GmbH, as per the company's press release.

TFL is a global supplier of leather chemicals and a portfolio company of US investment firm Black Diamond Capital Management, L.L.C. All relevant antitrust authorities have granted the necessary approvals for the transaction, which was announced in August 2020.

The purchase price comprises a fixed component of EUR80 million.

Furthermore, the agreed trade working capital mechanism will lead to a payment of around EUR 20 million, to be paid out in the third quarter. In addition, there will be a performance-related component of up to EUR115 million, to be paid out over the next three years.

TFL has also assumed certain liabilities associated with the business. With the sale, all operations of the organic leather chemicals business line with around 420 employees have been transferred to TFL.

As MRC informed earlier, in January 2020, the specialty chemicals company had already divested its chrome chemicals business and, at the end of 2019, signed an agreement to sell its stake in the South African chrome ore mine. LANXESS is thus exiting the leather chemicals business completely. Since the end of 2019, the company has reported the Leather business unit as a discontinued operation.

We remind that Russia's output of products from polymers grew in March 2021 by 11.5% year on year. However, this figure increased only by 10.3% year on year in the first three months of 2021.

LANXESS is a leading specialty chemicals company with about 19,200 employees in 25 countries. The company is currently represented at 74 production sites worldwide. The core business of Lanxess is the development, manufacturing and marketing of chemical intermediates, additives, specialty chemicals and plastics. Through Arlanxeo, the joint venture with Saudi Aramco, Lanxess is also a leading supplier of synthetic rubber.

Biaxplen has developed a metallized film with high barrier properties

Biaxplen has developed a metallized film with high barrier properties

MOSCOW (MRC) - Biaxplen (part of SIBUR Holding) has developed a metallized film of the HBV.M brand, which has high barrier properties, according to a press release from the company.

It is noted that only a few companies around the world are capable of producing films with similar characteristics. The new brand will be produced at the Kursk plant Biaksplena. The production capacity will be 500 tons per year. The production launch of the film is scheduled for the second half of 2021.

"The development of a new brand became possible thanks to the effective work of a large cross-functional team for the development of formulations, production technology and modernization of equipment on the BOPP (biaxially oriented polypropylene) line, metallizers, digital quality control systems and new methods for determining characteristics in the quality laboratory", - said Maxim Fedorov, manager of the "Product Development" function of Biaxplen.

Earlier it was reported that Biaxplen in August 2019 closed a deal on the sale of a production site for the production of cast films from polypropylene (CPP) in the city of Novokuibyshevsk, Samara region. The implementation of a non-core low-tonnage asset with a capacity of 5 thousand tons will allow the company to concentrate its resources on the development of a large-tonnage line of business - the production of BOPP films and expanding the brand assortment.

Earlier it was reported that in 2020 Biaxplen sold 158,000 tonnes of products.

Biaxplen is a subsidiary of the SIBUR petrochemical holding, the leader of BOPP in Russia. Production capacity - 180 thousand tons per year, 8 high-speed lines. Brand assortment - over 40 types. Production sites are located in five regions. The products are exported to 27 countries.

Fraunhofer, SABIC, and Procter & Gamble joined in closed-loop recycling pilot project for single-use face-masks

Fraunhofer, SABIC, and Procter & Gamble joined in closed-loop recycling pilot project for single-use face-masks

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Fraunhofer Institute UMSICHT, SABIC and Procter & Gamble (P&G) announced their collaboration in an innovative circular economy pilot project which aimed to demonstrate the feasibility of closed-loop recycling of single-use facemasks, said the company.

Due to COVID-19, use of billions of disposable facemasks is raising environmental concerns especially when they are thoughtlessly discarded in public spaces, including - parks, open-air venues and beaches. Apart from the challenge of dealing with such huge volumes of essential personal healthcare items in a sustainable way, simply throwing the used masks away for disposal on landfill sites or in incineration plants represents a loss of valuable feedstock for new material.

"Recognizing the challenge, we set out to explore how used facemasks could potentially be returned into the value chain of new facemask production,” says Dr. Peter Dziezok, Director R&D Open Innovation at P&G. “But creating a true circular solution from both a sustainable and an economically feasible perspective takes partners. Therefore, we teamed up with Fraunhofer CCPE and Fraunhofer UMSICHT’s expert scientists and SABIC’s T&I specialists to investigate potential solutions."

As part of the pilot, P&G collected used facemasks worn by employees or given to visitors at its manufacturing and research sites in Germany. Although those masks are always disposed of responsibly, there was no ideal route in place to recycle them efficiently. To help demonstrate a potential step change in this scenario, special collection bins were set up, and the collected used masks were sent to Fraunhofer for further processing in a dedicated research pyrolysis plant.

"A single-use medical product such as a face mask has high hygiene requirements, both in terms of disposal and production. Mechanical recycling, would have not done the job” explains Dr. Alexander Hofmann, Head of Department Recycling Management at Fraunhofer UMSICHT. “In our solution, therefore, the masks were first automatically shredded and then thermochemically converted to pyrolysis oil. Pyrolysis breaks the plastic down into molecular fragments under pressure and heat, which will also destroy any residual pollutants or pathogens, such as the Coronavirus. In this way it is possible to produce feedstock for new plastics in virgin quality that can also meet the requirements for medical products” adds Hofmann, who is also Head of Research Department “Advanced Recycling” at Fraunhofer CCPE.

The pyrolysis oil was then sent to SABIC to be used as feedstock for the production of new PP resin. The resins were produced using the widely recognized principle of mass balance to combine the alternative feedstock with fossil-based feedstock in the production process. Mass balance is considered a crucial bridge between today’s linear economy and the more sustainable circular economy of the future.

"The high-quality circular PP polymer obtained in this pilot clearly demonstrates that closed-loop recycling is achievable through active collaboration of players from across the value chain,” emphasizes Mark Vester, Global Circular Economy Leader at SABIC. “The circular material is part of our TRUCIRCLE™ portfolio, aimed at preventing valuable used plastic from becoming waste and at mitigating the depletion of fossil resources."

Finally, to close the loop, the PP polymer was supplied to P&G, where it was processed into non-woven fibers material. “This pilot project has helped us to assess if the close loop approach could work for hygienic and medical grade plastics.” says Hansjorg Reick, P&G Senior Director Open Innovation. “Of course, further work is needed but the results so far have been very encouraging”.

The entire closed loop pilot project from facemask collection to production was developed and implemented within only seven months. The transferability of advanced recycling to other feedstocks and chemical products is being further researched at Fraunhofer CCPE.

As per MRC, BASF SE (Germany), Sabic (Saudi Arabia) and Linde (Germany) signed an agreement to develop electrically heated cracking furnaces. Steam cracking units require significant amounts of energy to break down hydrocarbons into olefins and aromatics. This reaction takes place at a temperature near 850 ° C. Today, these temperatures are achieved by burning fossil fuels. The project aims to reduce CO2 emissions by providing the process with electricity. Using electricity from renewable sources, a groundbreaking technology will reduce CO2 emissions by 90%.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's 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.

Covestro collaborates with Brazilian footwear manufacturer Beira Rio for more sustainable material solutions

Covestro collaborates with Brazilian footwear manufacturer Beira Rio for more sustainable material solutions

MOSCOW (MRC) -- German plastics group Covestro AG (formerly Bayer MaterialScience) and the Brazilian footwear manufacturer Calcados Beira Rio are jointly developing concept shoes with more sustainable material solutions, according to GV.

An elegant women's shoe and a comfortable casual shoe are used as examples to illustrate the variety of possibilities – from upper to lining, from sole to heel.

Both shoes feature Covestro products derived from alternative raw materials such as CO2, biomass and plastic waste. These are a valuable resource as they provide carbon that can be put to use beneficially in a circular economy, instead of being released into the atmosphere as waste gas, said the company. Covestro said it is pioneering the use of such raw materials to reduce its dependence on fossil materials and increase the sustainability of the value chain.

Together with Calcados Beira Rio, Covestro has developed this women's concept shoe in which various more sustainable material solutions have been implemented.

One example is the upper and inner lining of the two shoes. The base is a soft polyurethane foam that ensures a good fit and comfortable footfall. Here, a polyol was used that contains up to 20 % carbon dioxide and is marketed by Covestro under the name cardyon. The CO2 replaces some of the fossil raw materials previously used, but does not compromise the favourable properties of conventionally produced foam, said the company.

Two different types of thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) are found in the outer soles of both women's shoes. One of them is also based on cardyon; while in the other, 60 % of the carbon content is derived from biomass. As a result, both products have a lower CO2 footprint than fossil-based TPU and help close the carbon cycle.

Covestro said it is also focusing on the recovery of plastic waste as part of its strategic programme to support the circular economy, and is working with partners to develop new value-adding cycles to achieve this. For example, used polycarbonate products are shredded, cleaned, possibly mixed with new plastic and reused as recycled Makrolon. In women's shoes, this lends lasting strength to the insole and heel.

As MRC informed previously, earlier this month, DSM completed the sale of the resins & functional materials businesses to Covestro for EUR1.6 billion (USD1.9 billion), including EUR1.4 billion in cash.

We remind that Covestro closed the sale of its European polycarbonates (PC) sheets business to the Munich-based Serafin Group effective January 2, 2020. This includes key management and sales functions throughout Europe as well as production sites in Belgium and Italy.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated consumption of PC granules (excluding imports and exports to/from Belarus) totalled 34,000 tonnes in the first four months of 2021, up by 11% year on year (30,500 tonnes a year earlier).

Covestro (formerly Bayer MaterialScience) is an independent subgroup within Bayer. It was created as part of the restructuring of Bayer AG from the former business group Bayer Polymers, with certain of its activities being spun off to Lanxess AG. Covestro manufactures and develops materials such as coatings, adhesives and sealants, polycarbonates (CDs, DVDs), polyurethanes (automotive seating, insulation for refrigerating appliances) etc. With 2020 sales of EUR 10.7 billion, Covestro has 33 production sites worldwide and employs approximately 16,500 people (calculated as full-time equivalents).