MOSCOW (MRC) -- Sumitomo Chemical Co., Ltd. (Tokyo, Japan) has decided to switch all of the electricity purchased for its Oita Works (Oita City, Oita Prefecture, Japan) to renewable electricity starting November 2021, as part of its efforts to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, according to MarketScreener.
The switch will reduce CO2 emissions from the plant approximately 20% compared to FY2013. In addition, the company has changed fuel used as an energy source at Oita, from heavy oil to natural gas, which has a lower CO2 emission factor, while also working to optimize plant operating conditions to maximize the benefit of the change of fuel. By implementing all these measures, the Company will reduce GHG emissions from the Oita Works approximately 30% in total from FY2013 levels.
The Oita Works mainly manufactures crop protection chemicals, active ingredients and intermediates for pharmaceuticals, and fine chemicals such as resorcinol, a raw material for adhesives for tires. Sumitomo Chemical has long been working to reduce environmental impact and improve unit energy consumption, and has more recently been exploring ways to mitigate GHG emissions related to fuel and electric power used in its operations. The Company has decided to make the electricity purchased for the Oita Works 100% renewable in order to continue to fulfill its obligation as a manufacturing company to reduce emissions from its production while at the same time ensuring safe and stable operations and improving competitiveness.
The Sumitomo Chemical Group has set a goal of reducing GHG emissions 30% by FY2030 compared to FY2013, which was certified by the Science-Based Targets (SBT) initiative in October 2018.
To achieve this target, the Group has been implementing a variety of initiatives, and as a result, by FY2020, GHG emissions were reduced by 2.12 million tons, or 22%, from 9.54 million tons in FY2013. Going forward, additional reductions are expected to come from the switch to renewable electricity and the change of fuel at the Oita Works, as well as from the Group's on-going projects to construct a liquefied natural gas-based thermal power plant at its Ehime Works and introduce high-efficiency gas turbine power generators at its Chiba Works.
Currently, the Group is considering raising its GHG emissions reduction targets in view of the Japanese government's revised target of cutting emissions 46% by 2030, and plans to announce new targets by the end of 2021.
As MRC informed earlier, Sumitomo Chemical Co. has decided to construct a pilot facility for chemical recycling of acrylic resin (PMMA, poly-methyl-methacrylate) at its Ehime Works in Niihama City, Ehime Prefecture, Japan. The new facility is scheduled to begin pilot tests in the fall of 2022 and to start providing samples in 2023. In parallel with this project, the company will work to develop a recycling system for PMMA, from collection of used acrylic resin to recycling and reprocessing into products, aiming for early commercialization of chemically recycled PMMA.
With its own basic technology to pyrolyze acrylic resin and regenerate it as MMA monomer, which is used as a raw material, now successfully established, Sumitomo Chemical has decided to construct a pilot facility. The acrylic resin produced by re-polymerizing MMA monomer obtained by this technology is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions over the entire product life cycle by more than 60% compared to virgin materials produced from fossil resources, while maintaining the same level of basic properties, such as transparency and strength.
The main sector consuming approximately 75% of MMA is 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 746,700 tonnes in the nine months of 2021, up by 4% year on year. All producers increased their output.