Neste and Ravago plan to build a facility for chemical recycling

Neste and Ravago plan to build a facility for chemical recycling

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Neste and Ravago aim to establish a joint venture to build an industrial facility for chemical recycling in North Sea Port in Vlissingen, the Netherlands, according to Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The facility is intended to be the starting point of joint global chemical recycling (often also called “advanced recycling”) activities, built upon the advancement of the thermochemical liquefaction technology of US-based Alterra Energy, an innovative chemical recycling technology company.

With this, Neste, the world’s leading producer of renewable diesel, sustainable aviation fuel, and drop-in renewable feedstocks and solutions for the polymers & chemicals industry, and Ravago, the world’s leading distributor and recycler of polymers, plan to demonstrate and advance the commercialization of chemical recycling. The transaction is awaiting for and subject to regulatory approval.

This strategic partnership combines Ravago’s expertise in the mechanical preparation of plastic waste, Alterra Energy’s proprietary liquefaction technology, and Neste’s expertise in the processing of hydrocarbons. Neste and Ravago are aiming for the first industrial chemical recycling site in North Sea Port in Vlissingen with an annual processing capacity of about 55,000 tons of mixed plastic waste, corresponding to the plastic packaging waste generated by some 1.7 MM average EU citizens per yr. The long-term aspiration of the partners is to significantly increase the processing capacity on a global scale and continuously develop the joint venture into a global leader for chemical recycling of mixed plastic waste.

This targeted investment is the consistent continuation of the fast-paced progress in the cooperation between the partners. In 2019, Neste and Ravago set a joint target to reach the capacity to process over 200,000 tons of mixed waste plastic per yr by 2030. Ever since, the companies have evaluated technologies, the raw material market, and built joint business cases to develop chemical recycling capacities. Already in 2020, Neste also successfully conducted the first of several industrial trial runs with liquefied waste plastic at its oil refinery in Finland.

As MRC reported earlier, in July, 2021, Finnish Neste and LyondellBasell announced a long-term commercial agreement under which LyondellBasell will source Neste RE, a feedstock from Neste that has been produced from 100% renewable feedstock from bio-based sources, such as waste and residue oils and fats. This feedstock will be processed through the cracker at LyondellBasell’s Wesseling, Germany, plant into polymers and sold under the CirculenRenew brand name.

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 1,638,370 tonnes in the first eight months of 2021, up by 10% year on year. Shipments of all grades of ethylene polymers increased. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market were 989,570 tonnes in the first eight months of 2021, up by 30% year on year. Deliveries of homopolymer PP and block-copolymers of propylene (PP block copolymers) increased, whereas shipments of injection moulding PP random copolymers decreased significantly.

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 EUR11.8 billion, with 94% of the company’s comparable operating profit coming from renewable products.

Stepan reported third-quarter net income of USD36.9

Stepan reported third-quarter net income of USD36.9

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Stepan’s Q3 sales rose 30% year on year while gross profit and operating income fell as cost of sales jumped 39% because of the ongoing supply chain disruptions, said the company.

The Northfield, Illinois-based company said it had profit of USD1.59 per share. Earnings, adjusted for pretax gains, came to USD1.57 per share. The average estimate of four analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of USD1.39 per share.

The specialty chemicals company posted revenue of USD602.7 million in the period, which also topped Street forecasts. Four analysts surveyed by Zacks expected USD544.6 million.

Looking at Q4 and beyond, Stepan believes that its Surfactant volumes in the North American consumer product end markets will continue to be challenged by raw material and transportation availability, said CEO F Quinn Stepan. While Stepan believes industrial and institutional cleaning volume will grow versus prior year in Q4, it does not believe that this will compensate for lower consumer consumption of cleaning, disinfection and personal wash products, he said.

However, demand for surfactants within the agricultural and oilfield markets is expected to exceed prior year demand, the CEO said. Meanwhile, Stepan’s Polymer business is expected to grow, due to the ongoing recovery from pandemic-related delays and cancellations of re-roofing and new construction projects and the INVISTA acquisition.

"We continue to believe the long-term prospects for rigid polyols remain attractive as energy conservation efforts and more stringent building codes are expected to continue," Stepan said. Stepan’s Specialty Product business results will improve slightly year-on-year in Q4. "Despite supply chain disruptions continuing to impact the company, we remain optimistic about delivering full year earnings growth," the CEO added. In related news, Stepan earlier on Wednesday announced plans to build a new alkoxylation plant at Pasadena, Texas.

As MRC informed before, Stepan conducted planned maintenance at its 90,000 tonnes/year phthalic anhydride (PA) plant Millsdale, Illinois, US, from early October to end-October, 2020.

Phthalic anhydride is widely used in for the production of paints and varnishes and plasticizers for PVC products. In a small amount it is used in the manufacture of rubber products, tires. In addition, it is used in the light, pharmaceutical and electrical industries.

According to MRC's DatasScope report, last month's SPVC imports to the Ukrainian market decreased to 2,300 tonnes from 2,700 tonnes in August, Ukrainian companies reduced their shipments of polymer from the USA. Overall SPVC imports reached 20,800 tonnes in January-September 2021, compared to 26,800 tonnes a year earlier. Limited export quotas of European and North American producers were the main reason for such a major fall in imports.


AkzoNobel sees costs inflation peaking this quarter as it posts weaker earnings

AkzoNobel sees costs inflation peaking this quarter as it posts weaker earnings

MOSCOW (MRC) -- AkzoNobel's net income fell by 25.5% year on year to EUR164m in the third quarter following drop in operating profit due to significant raw material cost hikes, said the Dutch paints and coatings firm.

Dutch paints and coatings maker Akzo Nobel warned on Wednesday that raw material costs inflation could peak in the fourth quarter before stabilising next year as it reported weaker-than-expected quarterly core earnings. “We expect the raw material situation in 2022 to be less hectic,” Chief Executive Thierry Vanlancker said in a call with analysts, adding that inflation will still be at the forefront in the first half of the year.

“Hopefully we will get a little bit more breathing room, but we’re not betting on that, and our whole pricing plan and our whole market plan is based on the current situation,” Vanlancker said. The rebound in economic activity as coronavirus restrictions are eased has exposed shortages across supply chains, with companies scrambling to find workers, ships and even fuel to power factories, threatening the recovery and keeping central bankers on high alert over inflation and its impact on rate decisions.

Chemical makers such as Akzo Nobel, Axalta Coating Systems , PPG Industries and Tikkurila have all been hit by rising raw material costs due to strong demand and supply chain issues this year. In an earlier call with journalists, Vanlacker flagged that raw material costs have escalated quite significantly and are impacting its long-term supplier contracts.

“Most raw material suppliers go for monthly and sometimes bi-weekly (contracts) because they are very uncertain about our own pricing,” Vanlancker said. The Amsterdam-based firm, which sells decorative paints and industrial coatings worldwide, raised its prices by 9% in the July-September period compared to fight the costs.

It also said raw material and other variable costs in the quarter increased by 278 million euros (USD324 million) year-on-year. The shares in the company fell 1.65% at 0938 GMT, the analysts flagging pressure from earnings miss and inflation comments.

The Dulux paint maker said it was still confident of achieving its 2 billion euro earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) target for 2023, and the annual 50 basis points increase in return on sales over the 2021-2023 period.

Akzo Nobel posted third-quarter adjusted operating income of 241 million euros, with sales improving 6% to 2.41 billion euros, but both missing analysts’ forecasts.

As per MRC, AkzoNobel N.V. no longer intends to acquire Tikkurila following a higher competing offer from US paints and coatings producer PPG Industries.

Akzo Nobel submitted a binding proposal to acquire Tikkurila for EUR31.25 per share on January 28, 2021, having conducted customary due diligence to confirm potential synergies. The company no longer intends to pursue this acquisition, following a competing, higher, offer for Tikkurila. Despite a strong cultural fit - and more synergies than any other combination with Tikkurila - the intended transaction no longer meets AkzoNobel’s criteria for superior value creation.

LyondellBasell to achieve net zero emissions by 2050

LyondellBasell to achieve net zero emissions by 2050

MOSCOW (MRC) -- LyondellBasell has announced its ambition of, and approach to, achieving net zero emissions from global operations by 2050, as per the company's press release.

As an interim step toward 2050, the company also announced a strategy to achieve an absolute reduction of 30% in scope 1 and scope 2 emissions by 2030. These targets are consistent with efforts to support the Paris Agreement's goal of limiting climate change by achieving net zero for global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by mid-century.

In 2019, LyondellBasell announced an initial GHG emissions reduction target of 15% per ton of product produced by 2030 (relative to 2015 levels). At the time, the company stated its intention to establish a more ambitious target. As such, the company has developed an achievable pathway to an absolute reduction in scope 1 and scope 2 GHG emissions by 30% (relative to 2020 levels). This approach includes: enhanced energy management and low emission steam; flare minimization; use of lower-emitting fuels; process electrification and furnace upgrades; and a minimum of 50% of electricity procured from renewable sources.

LyondellBasell's approach to achieving net zero emissions for its scope 1 and scope 2 emissions by 2050 will build upon the progress achieved over the balance of this decade. In addition to these strategies, the company has begun evaluating a portfolio of technology options that could be deployed across the company's manufacturing footprint, including cracker electrification, use of hydrogen, carbon capture and storage, and carbon utilization.

In addition, the company is actively embedding emissions reduction efforts into certain business processes including long-range planning and risk management, and identifying collaboration opportunities across multiple sectors to accelerate the scale up and deployment of breakthrough technologies.

Concurrent with the announcement of its revised emissions reduction goals, LyondellBasell also announced:

- It has launched a global renewable energy strategy: The company is currently advancing a number of opportunities to secure electricity generated by wind and solar through corporate power purchase agreements in the United States and Europe. LyondellBasell aims to reduce and/or offset the CO2 associated with a minimum of 50 percent of its existing electricity consumption. This amounts to 4.9 million megawatt hours per year from renewable sources by 2030. The company estimates this will reduce approximately 2 million metric tons of CO2 from the company's scope 2 emissions.
- A roadmap to phase out coal at its Wesseling, Germany, production site by 2023: The company has signed an agreement with Evonik, a German specialty chemical company, to purchase high-pressure steam generated from natural gas for use at its Wesseling olefin and polyolefin production site. This enables LyondellBasell's Wesseling site to phase-out coal usage at its on-site power plant by December 2023. The agreement integrates two neighboring chemical production sites to optimize steam supply and demand, which improves energy efficiency for both partners. The project is expected to reduce the site's CO2 emissions by approximately 170,000 metric tons per year.
- Flare systems assessment: In 2020, the company expanded its global assessment of flare systems at its major sites across its technologies. This project aims to reduce flaring, and optimize product recovery rates and flare operations. Projects implemented at its European and U.S. sites in 2020 resulted in a reduction in energy use of 1.27 million gigajoules and an associated emissions reduction of approximately 79,500 metric tons of CO2.
- Support for public policies that reduce global emissions: Recognizing the important role of sound public policy in reducing global emissions at scale, the company has articulated its support for policies that would establish a fair, global carbon price; promote renewables and energy infrastructure development; accelerate the deployment of new, carbon-reducing technologies; and, reward companies for adopting carbon-reducing technologies. More information on these policies can be found here.

In addition to working to address climate change, LyondellBasell has prioritized actions to help eliminate plastic waste from the environment, advance a circular economy and support a thriving society.

As MRC informed earlier, Three US subsidiaries of Dutch chemical giant LyondellBasell Industries N.V. (LBI) have agreed to make upgrades and perform compliance measures estimated to cost USD50 million to resolve allegations they violated the Clean Air Act and state air pollution control laws at six petrochemical manufacturing facilities located in Channelview, Corpus Christi, and LaPorte, Texas, and Clinton, Iowa.

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 1,638,370 tonnes in the first eight months of 2021, up by 10% year on year. Shipments of all grades of ethylene polymers increased. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market were 989,570 tonnes in the first eight months of 2021, up by 30% year on year. Deliveries of homopolymer PP and block-copolymers of propylene (PP block copolymers) increased, whereas shipments of injection moulding PP random copolymers decreased significantly.

LyondellBasell is one of the largest plastics, chemicals and refining companies in the world. Driven by its employees around the globe, LyondellBasell produces materials and products that are key to advancing solutions to modern challenges, like enhancing food safety through lightweight and flexible packaging, protecting the purity of water supplies through stronger and more versatile pipes, improving the safety, comfort and fuel efficiency of many of the cars and trucks on the road, and ensuring the safe and effective functionality in electronics and appliances. LyondellBasell sells products into more than 100 countries and is the world"s largest producer of polymer compounds and the largest licensor of polyolefin technologies. In 2020, LyondellBasell was named to Fortune Magazine"s list of the "World"s Most Admired Companies" for the third consecutive year.

COVID-19 - News digest as of 20.10.2021

1. September crude throughput in China dips to 17-month low

MOSCOW (MRC) -- China's September crude oil throughput extended its downtrend to dip 0.7% from August to a 17-month low of 13.7 million b/d amid a slow down in the economy and product destocking activity, reported S&P Global with reference to data from the National Bureau of Statistics on Oct. 18. The country's crude throughput was last lower at 13.16 million b/d in April 2020. This led China's third-quarter 2021 throughput to average 13.83 million b/d, which was the lowest quarterly volume since Q2 2020 when it stood at 13.68 million b/d.