Mitsubishi to develop its first chemical recycling project in Japan with Mura Technology and KBR

Mitsubishi to develop its first chemical recycling project in Japan with Mura Technology and KBR

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Mitsubishi Chemical, a major Japanese petrochemical producer, has unveiled plans to develop its first chemical recycling project with licensed technology from Mura Technology and KBR, according to the company's press release on as of 12 August.

The project will be based at Mitsubishi's Ibaraki Plant in Japan, with the capacity to recycle 20,000 mt of plastic waste per year. The company is expected to complete construction in 2023.

The announcement follows a licensing agreement for the trademarked HydroPRS process signed on June 16, with UK-based chemical recycler Mura Technology and US-based engineering company KBR.

Chemical recycling has been increasingly viewed as a viable alternative to mechanical recycling by the plastics industry, as it allows plastic wastes that were previously landfilled or incinerated to be recycled without downgrading.

Mitsubishi has said that it will seek to extend the plant's capacity in the future, as Mura highlighted the fact the HydroPRS technology is "inherently scalable."

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 production of unmixed PVC totalled 580,500 tonnes in the first seven months of 2021, up by 4% year on year. At the same time, one producer reduced its output.

Mitsubishi Chemical, as a core operating company of the Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Group,seeks to provide solutions to environmental and social issues and to contribute to the sustainable development of people, society and the Earth through its businesses built on a foundation of chemistry. The company 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, etc.

Westlake earnings increased in Q2 on post-pandemic recovery

Westlake earnings increased in Q2 on post-pandemic recovery

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Westlake Chemical Corporation reported record quarterly earnings in the second quarter 2021 compared to the previous year, as strong demand encouraged higher sales prices and margins, said the company.

The vinyls segment made record income, driven by higher sales prices, margins and sales volumes for polyvinyl chloride (PVC) resin market on regaining strength in the building and construction materials business.

Olefins also tracked record income from operations in the second quarter on higher sales prices and margins across the portfolio, on the back of good global demand, and tight supply, partially offset by lower polyethylene (PE) sales volumes.

Westlake Chemical Partners – partnership formed by Westlake Chemical to operate and acquire ethylene production facilities and related asset – also achieved a record net income of USD25.1m in the second quarter in line with higher demand.

"We continue to invest in our business to drive value and are creating new platforms for continued future growth," said president and CEO Albert Chao.

As per MRC, Westlake Chemical plans to begin scheduled maintenance works at its cracker at Lake Charles, Louisiana in September. The cracking unit with a capacity of 740,000 tonnes of ethylene per year (Petro 2) will be shut down for maintenance for 60 days starting from September.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 953,400 tonnes in the first five months of 2021, which virtually corresponded to the same figure a year earlier. High denisty polyethylene (HDPE) shipments decreased. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market were 607,8900 tonnes in January-May 2021, up by 33% year on year. Shipments of homopolymer PP and PP block copolymers increased, whereas deliveries of PP random copolymers decreased.

Westlake is a global manufacturer and supplier of materials and innovative products that enhance life every day. Headquartered in Houston, we provide the building blocks for vital solutions — from building products and infrastructure materials, to packaging and healthcare products, to automotive and consumer goods.

NOVA Chemicals appoints new vice president of Sustainability

NOVA Chemicals appoints new vice president of Sustainability

MOSCOW (MRC) – NOVA Chemicals Corporation has announced Sarah Marshall has been promoted to Vice President, Sustainability, as per the company's press release.

In this newly-created role, Marshall will be responsible for leading NOVA Chemicals’ long-term Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) strategy, and managing the areas of Climate Care, Corporate Environment and ESG Reporting.

In her previous role as Director of Sustainability, Marshall collaborated with value chain partners, customers, government officials, industry associations and others to find innovative solutions to advance a plastics circular economy resulting in new partnerships and development agreements in mechanical and advanced recycling. Moving forward, Greg DeKunder, Vice President Polyethylene Marketing, NOVA Chemicals, will lead this work to develop a plastics circular economy.

Marshall joined NOVA Chemicals in 1997, and since then has served the company in a variety of leadership roles, including Leader, Products & Catalysts R&D and Director, Technical Service & Application Development. She brings more than 20 years of research and development experience within the petrochemicals industry, previously leading teams of scientists, engineers and technologists at NOVA Chemicals’ Centre for Applied Research and Centre for Performance Applications – the largest private research facilities in western Canada.

“Accelerating toward a low-carbon future is critically important for the planet and offers new opportunities for the company,” said Marshall. “I am honored and delighted to lead a talented team of professionals as we develop and implement solutions at NOVA Chemicals that benefit our stakeholders, society, and our environment,” Marshall said.

As MRC reported earlier, in July 2021, Enterprise Products Partners L.P. and NOVA Chemicals Corporation announced that a subsidiary of Enterprise had acquired a wholly owned subsidiary of NOVA Chemicals, which operates an ethylene storage business and trading hub in Mont Belvieu, Texas. NOVA Chemicals, one of the largest merchant ethylene producers and marketers on the US Gulf Coast, will be a long-term storage customer in the Enterprise system.

Ethylene is the main feedstocks for the production of polyethylene (PE).

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 1,176,860 tonnes in the first half of 2021, up by 5% year on year. Shipments of exclusively low density polyethylene (LDPE) decreased.

NOVA Chemicals develops and manufactures chemicals and plastic resins that make everyday life healthier, easier and safer. NOVA Chemicals, headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, is wholly owned ultimately by Mubadala Investment Company of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Rosneft second-quarter profit increased on higher oil prices

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Russian oil producer Rosneft’s second-quarter net profit showed a fivefold increase from the same period last year, said the company, citing recovering oil prices.

Net profit surged to 233 bn roubles (USD3.2 billion) while revenue doubled to 2.167 trln roubles.

Rosneft, which includes oil major BP among its shareholders, said that liquid hydrocarbon production was at an average of 3.9 mn barrels per day (bpd) in the quarter, down from 4.04 million bpd a year earlier, when OPEC+ launched its deepest oil supply cuts to prop-up global prices hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

Revenue increased 25% quarter on quarter to 2,167 billion billion. The company’s total hydrocarbon output increased 5.6% from the first quarter to 452.6 mn barrels of oil equivalent.

The results slightly exceeded analysts’ expectations but overall came as no surprise to the market. Analysts polled by Bloomberg estimated revenue 2,089 bn roubles and net income of 224.7 bn roubles.

The company’s net profit in the first half of the year amounted to 382 bn roubles against a loss of 113 bn roubles a year earlier. Rosneft’s net profit increased more than 5 times. Rosneft’s revenue increased by 39.6% year-on-year due to higher oil prices.

EBITDA (operating profit) of the company in the first half of the year increased by more than 100% in roubles and by 85.1% in US dollars, reaching 1,016 bn roubles and USD13.7 billion, respectively. EBITDA for the reporting period increased almost 3.5 times.

Rosneft’s capital expenditures in the first half of 2021 increased by 25.9% year-on-year, reaching Rb462 bn (USD13.7 bn). The increase in capital expenditures by more than a quarter is primarily due to the implementation of the ambitious Vostok Oil project (the project includes the development of 13 fields), which requires large investments.

As MRC reported, Rosneft intends to build a new polyolefin complex for the production of polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) based on Ufaorgsintez (UOS, Bashkortostan). Plans for the placement of new capacities at the UOS are mentioned in the tender published on 28 January on the Rosneft procurement website for the development of a basic project with the provision of a license for the technology of obtaining polyethylene. The design capacity for the production of PE is at least 250,000 tonnes per year, and the license provided should provide the ability to produce 230-250,000 tonnes per year of high-density polyethylene (HDPE), up to 20,000 tonnes per year of linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE ) and up to 10,000 tonnes of LLDPE on a metallocene catalyst.

At the moment, the capacities of Ufaorgsintez allow to produce up to 90,000 tonnes per year of low-pressure polyethylene (LDPE) and 120,000 tonnes per year of polypropylene (PP).

According to the ICIS-MRC Price Report, from 9 June, the Ufaorgsintez resumed operation of the second stage of LDPE (158 and 153 polyethylene - PE) after stopping for scheduled preventive maintenance. The turnaround of the second stage of PE facilities was short-lived and took only a week. The first line of LDPE production facilities (108 PE) will be shut down for routine maintenance in September.

Rosneft became Russia's largest publicly traded oil company in March 2013 after the USD55 billion takeover of TNK-BP, which was Russia’s third-largest oil producer at the time.

COVID-19 - News digest as of 16.08.2021

1. European and US gasoline stocks down to near pre-pandemic levels but road ahead may be bumpy

MOSCOW (MRC) -- European and US gasoline stocks have fallen to near pre-pandemic levels as Western holiday-makers hit the roads, but the end of the driving season and the spread of the Delta variant of the coronavirus could slow the recovery in global oil demand, reported Reuters. The pandemic and resulting lockdowns around the world destroyed demand for oil products and led to massive stock builds in 2020 which have been gradually depleting this year. The International Energy Agency said on Thursday that global oil demand surged by 3.8 million barrels per day month-on-month in June, led by increased mobility in North America and Europe, but reversed course in July and is set to proceed more slowly for the rest of the year due to the spread of the Delta variant.