Sulzer technology to help India to achieve self-sufficiency in energy and reduce its fossil fuel footprint

Sulzer technology to help India to achieve self-sufficiency in energy and reduce its fossil fuel footprint

MOSCOW (MRC) -- India’s national objective of achieving self-sufficiency in energy and reducing its fossil fuel footprint is being supported by Sulzer’s expertise in pump manufacturing and refinery processes, according to Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The country’s first bio-refinery, Assam Bio Refinery Pvt Ltd., built by Chempolis' technology, is a ground-breaking JV that will be the only refinery in the world to create bioethanol from bamboo - available in abundance in north-eastern India. To help realize this pioneering endeavor, Sulzer is delivering a range of engineered application pumps as well as core technology such as column internals for the refining process.

India, like most countries, is keen to improve the sustainability of its industrial sectors and is taking positive steps by using renewable feedstocks such as bamboo to create biofuels and other chemicals. To ensure a successful and reliable process, a joint venture has been formed between the state-run oil refining company, Numaligarh Refinery Ltd. and two Finnish companies, Fortum and Chempolis.

The facility will use Sulzer’s experience in pump design and manufacturing as well as separation technology to ensure long-term reliability and efficiency in the refining processes. The company’s expertise in the chemical industry is well-established and it has been supplying process pumps to similar applications all over the world for decades.

Once complete, the bio-refinery will use 300,000 tons of bamboo each year. In addition to the environmental benefits of the fuels and chemicals being produced, the refinery will procure bamboo and other raw materials from local suppliers, strengthening the community’s local economy.

Using Chempolis proprietary technology, the JV is demonstrating how India can utilize its own natural, sustainable resources to reduce the reliance on fossil fuels and work towards self-sufficiency in energy production. The bio-refinery is dimensioned to produce 60 MM liters of bioethanol, which can be used to help power vehicles, as well as 19,000 tons of furfural and 11,000 tons of acetic acid per year.

We remind that, as MRC wrote previously, GAIL (India) Ltd, India’s principal gas transmission and marketing company under the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas, is on track to start up its propane dehydrogenation (PDH) facility and polypropylene (PP) plant in Usar, Maharashtra by 2024. GAIL has recently chosen Lummus Technology’s CATOFIN process and Clariant’s tailor-made catalysts for India’s first PDH plant. Its upcoming 500 kiloton per annum PDH facility in Usar will be integrated with the downstream PP unit. The cost of PDH-PP project is estimated at USD1.2 B.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, PP shipments to the Russian market were 1,226,530 tonnes in the first ten months of 2021, up by 26% year on year. Supply of propylene homopolymers (homopolymer PP) and block-copolymers of propylene (PP block copolymers) increased, whereas supply of injection moulding stat-copolymers of propylene (PP random copolymers) decreased significantly.

N. America chemical rail volume up 4.2% from 2020

N. America chemical rail volume up 4.2% from 2020

MOSCOW (MRC) -- North American chemical railcar traffic rose by 3.3% year on year for the week ended 11 December, led by an 8.3% increase in the US that more than offset a decline in Canada, said Seanews, citing the data from the Association of American Railroads (AAR).

North American rail volume for the week ending November 27 on 12 reporting US, Canadian and Mexican railways totalled 295,807 carloads, down 4.4 per cent together with 281,953 intermodal units, a fall of 16.1 per cent year on year, according to the Association of American Railroads (R).

Total combined weekly rail traffic in North America was 577,760 carloads and intermodal units, down 10.5 per cent. North American rail volume for the first 47 weeks of 2021 was 32,411,379 carloads and intermodal units, up 5.5 percent compared with 2020.

The Association of American Railroads (R) reported US rail traffic for the week ending November 27, 2021, as well as volumes for November 2021. For the first 49 weeks of 2021, ended 11 December, North American chemical railcar traffic was up by 4.2% year on year to 2.23m.

In the US, chemical railcar loadings represent about 20% of chemical transportation by tonnage, with trucks, barges and pipelines carrying the rest. In Canada, producers rely on rail to ship more than 70% of their products, with some exclusively using rail.

As per MRC, oil prices edged higher on Wednesday, rebounding from early losses after US inventory data showed strong consumer demand and as the Federal Reserve said it would end its pandemic-era bond purchases in March to slow rising inflation. Prices had been pressured most of the day due to ongoing concerns that supply growth will outpace demand next year and worries that COVID-19 vaccines may be less effective against the spreading Omicron variant. Brent crude futures settled up 18 cents, or 0.2%, to USD73.88 a barrel. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude ended up 14 cents to USD70.87 a barrel.

We also remind that US crude oil production is expected to fall by 160,000 barrels per day (bpd) in 2021 to 11.12 million bpd, EIA said in a monthly report earlier this year, a smaller decline than its previous forecast for a drop of 210,000 bpd.

Crude oil prices up by around 2% on strong US demand, falling crude stockpiles and upbeat Fed outlook

Crude oil prices up by around 2% on strong US demand, falling crude stockpiles and upbeat Fed outlook

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Oil prices rose around 2% on Thursday, as record US implied demand, falling crude stockpiles and an upbeat economic outlook from the Federal Reserve trumped fears of the Omicron coronavirus variant hurting global consumption, reported Reuters.

Crude and other risk assets such as equities also got a boost after the Fed gave an upbeat economic outlook, lifting investor spirits even as the US central bank flagged a long-awaited end to monetary stimulus.

"The market was fearful of what the Fed was going to do, and now that it's in the rearview and we know what we're dealing with, the market is rallying," said Phil Flynn, senior analyst price futures group in Chicago.

Brent crude oil rose USD1.14, or 1.5%, to settle at USD75.02 a barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude rose USD1.51, or 2.1%, to settle at USD72.38 a barrel, a 2.13% gain.

Demand has been rising in 2021 after last year's collapse. On Wednesday, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) said product supplied by refineries, a proxy for demand, surged in the latest week to 23.2 million barrels per day (bpd).

"These figures suggest a healthy economic backdrop," said Tamas Varga of oil broker PVM.

"Although the Fed's announcement triggered a jump in both oil and equity prices, the withdrawal of economic support together with the Omicron crisis are the two major headwinds the oil market is currently facing," he added.

Lending further price support, the EIA also reported that US crude stocks fell 4.6 million barrels, more than analysts had forecast.

In Saudi Arabia, crude oil exports in October rose for a sixth straight month to their highest since April 2020, the Joint Organisation Data Initiative (JODI) said on Thursday.

Limiting gains were worries about the virus and the prospect of a supply surplus next year, as flagged by the International Energy Agency in its monthly report this week.

As MRC informed before, US commercial crude stocks fell 3.48 million barrels to 413.96 million barrels in the week ended Sept. 17, to more than 8% below the five-year average, Energy Information Administration data showed. Stocks were last lower Oct. 5, 2018.

We remind that in late August, 2021, US crude stocks dropped sharply while petroleum products supplied by refiners hit an all-time record despite the rise in coronavirus cases nationwide, the Energy Information Administration said. Crude inventories fell by 7.2 million barrels in the week to Aug. 27 to 425.4 million barrels, compared with analysts' expectations in a Reuters poll for a 3.1 million-barrel drop. Product supplied by refineries, a measure of demand, rose to 22.8 million barrels per day in the most recent week. That's a one-week record, and signals strength in consumption for diesel, gasoline and other fuels by consumers and exporters.

We also remind that US crude oil production is expected to fall by 160,000 barrels per day (bpd) in 2021 to 11.12 million bpd, EIA said in a monthly report earlier this year, a smaller decline than its previous forecast for a drop of 210,000 bpd.

Government of Canada invests in Montreal recycler Polystyvert

Government of Canada invests in Montreal recycler Polystyvert

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry has confirmed an investment of USD3.5 million in Montreal-based specialty recycling company Polystyvert through Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC), said Canpasrics.

This is the second SDTC investment in Polystyvert and part of a what the government calls a “continuing collaboration” that is helping the company become a leader in the recycling of widely used synthetic plastics. SDTC is a foundation created by the federal government to fund new clean technologies.

Polystyvert will use the investment to complete the scale-up of its patented recycling technology to enable the full circular economy of polystyrene, reducing greenhouse emissions and helping protect the environment. “Polystyrene materials, such as some food packaging, are rarely recycled or accepted in curbside collection programs – they are often incinerated or end up in landfills or, even worse, in our oceans and other natural areas, where these nonbiodegradable materials can cause major harm,” the government said in a news release. “They can and should be recovered and kept out of the environment, and Polystyvert is making a valuable contribution to the circular economy through its advanced recycling technology."

Polystyvert has developed a dissolution and purification process that accepts a wide range of recovered styrene plastics and removes contaminants, producing recycled polystyrene resins that can be used in many new products, from food containers to building materials.

As it was written earlier, Polystyvert has partnered with styrenics supplier Ineos Styrolution to convert post-consumer polystyrene (PS) into a new, high-quality, PS raw material resin.

Polystyvert has closed a round of funding to facilitate the development of a full-scale polystyrene (PS) recycling plant. The round includes new investor BEWI Group, a European provider of packaging, components, and insulation solutions, and said to be one of the largest integrated expandable PS (EPS) producers in Europe with an annual EPS production capacity of 200,000 tons, as well as new private investors.

Founded in 2011, Polystyvert has developed a low-carbon-footprint process to recycle polystyrene based on a dissolution technology. Once dissolved, the process can mechanically and chemically separate contaminants and additives – including a wide range of hard-to-remove contaminants such as pigments and brominated flame-retardants – before finally separating the original polymer from the solvent. The end-product is then a cleaned polymer that can be used as new raw material resin again, to manufacture various categories of PS products, including food-grade applications.

North American plastics machinery shipments up in third quarter over last year

North American plastics machinery shipments up in third quarter over last year

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The shipments of plastics injection molding and extrusion machinery in North America increased in the third quarter of 2021, according to a new report from the Committee on Equipment Statistics (CES) of the Plastics Industry Association, said Canplastics.

According to CES, the preliminary estimate of shipment value from reporting companies totaled US$333.8 million for July through September, which is an increase of 8.8 per cent compared to the same quarter of 2020, and up four per cent over the second quarter of 2021.

The value of shipments of twin-screw extruders rose significantly by 44.4 per cent in the third quarter, CES said, and was 61.2 per cent above the third quarter last year. “In the third quarter, shipments of single-screw extruders rose by 7.2 per cent from the previous quarter and 15.9 per cent from the third quarter last year,” CES said. “Injection molding shipments edged up 1.6 per cent from the second quarter and 5.7 per cent from a year earlier."

"Plastics equipment shipments picked up in the third quarter as the economy continued to emerge from the pandemic,” said Perc Pineda, Ph.D. the chief economist of the Washington, D.C.-based Plastics Industry Association. “Moreover, the increase in shipments was consistent with higher plastics production, which in the third quarter rose 4.2 per cent or 5.9 per cent from a year earlier. The upward-sloping demand for plastics equipment has not changed."

The CES also conducts a quarterly survey of plastics machinery suppliers that asks about present market conditions and expectations for the future. In the third quarter survey, 75.5 per cent of respondents expect market conditions to either improve or hold steady in the coming quarter – lower than the 92.7 per cent of respondents who expressed the same view in the second quarter’s survey. “As for the next 12 months, 75.0 per cent expect market conditions to be steady-to-better,” CES said. "This is lower than the 78.7 per cent of respondents in the previous quarter’s survey who were expecting growth in the next 12 months."

“While the survey results show that growth expectations have moderated, it also reveals that plastics machinery suppliers remain optimistic about market conditions four quarters ahead,” Pineda said.

As it was written earlier, the shipments of primary plastics machinery (injection molding and extrusion) in North America decreased in the first quarter of 2020.

Shipments of primary plastics machinery – injection molding and extrusion – in North America increased by double-digits in the third quarter.