Epsilyte raises December EPS prices on higher feedstock and logistics costs

Epsilyte raises December EPS prices on higher feedstock and logistics costs

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Epsilyte (The Woodlands, Texas), a leading North American producer of expandable polystyrene (EPS), has announced an increase in its prices of all EPS grades for December shipments on higher feedstock and logistics costs, said the company.

Thus, the price of the company's EPS grades rose by 5 cents/pound (cts/lb) or USD110/tonne, effective 1 December, 2021 or as contracts allow.

Escalating cost pressure felt throughout the supply chain, including raw materials and freight, necessitate this adjustment.

As MRC reported earlier, Epsilyte increased its October and November EPS prices in the region by the same amount.

EPS is a rigid form of polystyrene (PS) used in insulation foams for the construction industry as well as for packaging.

According to ICIS-MRC Price report, in Russia, demand for material will continue to subside seasonally in November. Consumer activity was moderate in the domestic EPS market, which corresponded to the current season. Russian producers did not adjust their selling prices last week. Domestic prices of Russian material were in the range of Rb183,000-205,000/tonne CPT Moscow, including VAT.

Epsilyte is owned by private equity firm Balmoral Funds (Los Angeles, California). Epsilyte is one of North America’s leading producers of expandable polystyrene resin. The company is focused on solving customer needs for efficient, high-R value EPS. This includes reducing energy usage in buildings, ensuring safe and healthy food through innovative packaging technology, and participating in infrastructure investment both in the United States and abroad.

December prices of Russian PVC rolled over from November with a few exceptions

December prices of Russian PVC rolled over from November with a few exceptions

MOSCOW (MRC) - The seasonal decline in demand does not affect the prices of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) in the Russian market. Most producers have agreed to roll over November prices for December, but there are exceptions, according to the ICIS-MRC Price Report.

There was a noticeable decrease in PVC prices in Asia in the second half of November, including in China. In other regions, the price situation was steady, prices remain at a record high. A similar situation was in the Russian PVC market.

The seasonal decline in demand for the second month in a row does not put pressure on PVC prices in Russia.
Local producers agreed to roll over the November price level for December shipment, but in some cases, converters also reported that prices have increased up by Rb5,000/toone.

Imports of suspended PVC in the current year increased by 31% compared to the same time in 2020 and reached almost 55,800 tonnes in ten months. However, imports could not saturate the Russian market with PVC, including due to a significant increase in demand.

In addition, the bulk of imports comes with long delays due to global problems with logistics, which also makes its own adjustments to the work of converters. In a number of areas, imported PVC is much cheaper than Russian material, but it is more an alternative in "theory".

Exchange rate risks and difficulties with logistics in the last couple of months have led to a significant drop in PVC purchases in foreign markets, and this situation is unlikely to change in the near future. Negotiations on the December shipment of Russian PVC started in the middle of last week, but not all producers started discussing supplies.

Negotiations continued this week, but they were unsuccessful for the converters - PVC did not fall in price, and in some cases even rose in price again. Since the summer months, the range of prices for Russian PVC was quite large at manufacturers. Deals for December PVC supplies with K64/67 were in the range of Rb175,000-201,000/tonne CPT Moscow, including VAT. PVC K 70 from one of the producers has risen in price.

Indonesia to ramp up biodiesel efforts to meet green energy targets by 2024

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Indonesia will need to increase the bio-content of its palm oil-based biodiesel to 40% by 2024 or risk missing its renewable energy targets, reported Reuters with reference to a senior official's statement on Wednesday.

Indonesia has a mandatory biodiesel program with 30% palm oil content known as B30. Longstanding plans to increase the palm content to 40% by 2021 were delayed due to cheaper fuel costs and record high palm prices.

"The use of (only) B30 will not achieve the RUEN target for 2025," Dadan Kusdiana, the director general of the country's energy ministry, told a virtual conference.

He was referring to Indonesia's goal to increase renewable energy use to 23% of its total energy consumption by 2025, which required biodiesel consumption of 13.9 kiloliters that year.

"The ministry will prepare B40 blending mandatory regulation to ensure investment certainty," Dadan said, adding that more studies and road tests were required.

Indonesia's energy ministry earlier on Wednesday said it will increase its 2021 biodiesel allocation to meet higher demand for fuel. Next year's biodiesel consumption meanwhile, is set to jump to over 10 MM kiloliters.

While fuel prices bottomed out during the thick of the global pandemic, petrol and diesel prices at the pump in Asia and Europe reached near-record peaks this year, making palm a more attractive feedstock for biofuels.

As MRC wrote before, deployment of carbon capture storage (CCS) in Indonesia by American energy giant ExxonMobil Corp could cost about USD500 mln. In November 2021, Pertamina and ExxonMobil signed a MoU during the COP26 summit to look at ways of using CCS in Southeast Asia's largest country. CCS facilities are likely to be implemented in two Indonesia oil and gas fields, namely the Gundih field in Cepu and the Sukowati field in Bojonegoro, in Central and East Java respectively.

EU drafts targets to remove more carbon emissions from the air by 2030

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The European Union plans to capture five MM tons of CO2 from the atmosphere each year by 2030 through technologies, and create an EU system to certify carbon removals, according to a draft document seen by Reuters.

The EU has committed to reach net zero emissions by 2050, eliminating the more than 3 B tons of CO2 equivalent it currently emits each year.

To help meet that target, Brussels wants to scale up carbon removals both by using technology to capture CO2 and place it in long-term storage sites, and by encouraging farmers and landowners to store more CO2 in trees, soil and wetlands.

"The development and deployment at scale of carbon removal solutions is indispensable to climate-neutrality and requires significant targeted support in the next decade," said the document, which the European Commission is due to publish on Dec. 14.

The Commission will also propose in 2022 an EU system of certifying carbon removals, by measuring and verifying CO2 removals from individual land holdings, the draft said. A robust certification system could also lay the groundwork for an EU regulated market for carbon removals - an option that could happen after 2030, the draft said.

As MRC informed earlier, in November 2021, a coalition of 19 countries including Britain and the United States agreed to create zero emissions shipping trade routes between ports to speed up the decarbonization of the global maritime industry.

We remind that ExxonMobil last month offered to lease 500,000 acres off the Texas coast, securing space for what could become a massive project to capture and store carbon emissions. Under pressure by investors to address climate change, Exxon in April floated an up to USD100 B industry hub to collect planet-warming emissions from Gulf Coast petrochemical plants and bury them under the Gulf of Mexico.

Besides, ExxonMobil also said earlier last month it is on track to meet its 2025 emissions reduction targets by the end of this year - four years earlier than planned - and has vowed to ramp up investments to further cut emissions.

PetroChina started up ethylene plant using Shell catalysts and technologies

PetroChina started up ethylene plant using Shell catalysts and technologies

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The Tarim ethane-to-ethylene project operated by PetroChina achieved a fast and successful startup at the end of August using Shell Catalysts & Technologies (SC&T) C2 FE selective hydrogenation catalyst, said the company.

Located in Korla, China, the facility is PetroChina’s first 600 KTA ethane feed grassroots ethylene plant. SC&T C2 FE selective hydrogenation catalyst was selected by PetroChina for the core catalyst unit. The catalyst has proven to provide reliable operation at multiple feed sources and various operating conditions. These features ensure ethylene producers can gain higher yield from excellent ethylene selectivity and also stability features, which provide extra confidence in day-to-day operations.

“The SC&T technical service engineers and the startup team demonstrated strong operational excellence and flawless execution, which enabled a fast plant startup within 11 hours from furnace feed until getting on specification ethylene product,” said Shaolin Li, ethylene plant manager of PetroChina Tarim.

"We are delighted to extend the long-term collaboration with PetroChina. And the “right first time” startup without flaring at PetroChina Tarim is a significant achievement,” said Agnes Lim, Specialty Catalyst marketing manager, SC&T. “We are grateful for the opportunity to contribute to PetroChina’s decarbonization journey. At SC&T, we are always looking to help our customers decarbonize and achieving startup without flaring helps contribute to these efforts."

As per MRC, PetroChina Liaoyang Petrochemical Co Ltd , part of the Chinese petrochemical major - PetroChina, has successfully started up its new polypropylene (PP) plant this week. Based in Liaoning City, Liaoyang Province, China, the new PP plant has a production capacity of 300,000 tons/year. A source closed to the company informed that they has achieved prime grade production since 5 pm, 18 August, 2021, hence the commercial run was officially started up.

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 1,868,160 tonnes in the first nine months of 2021, up by 18% year on year. Shipments of all grades of ethylene polymers increased. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market were 1,138,510 tonnes in January-September 2021, up by 30% year on year. Supply of propylene homopolymer (homopolymer PP) and block-copolymers of propylene (PP block copolymers) increased, whereas supply of injection moulding statistical copolymers of propylene (PP random copolymers) decreased significantly.