Trinseo to acquire Dutch collector and recycler of post-consumer plastic wastes

Trinseo to acquire Dutch collector and recycler of post-consumer plastic wastes

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Trinseo, a global materials solutions provider and manufacturer of plastics and latex binders, has announced its entry into a definitive agreement to acquire Heathland B.V., a leading collector and recycler of post-consumer (PCR, EoL) and post-industrial (PIR) plastic wastes in Europe, as per the company's press release.

As a plastic waste collector and recycler based in Utrecht, the Netherlands, Heathland is focused on converting PCR and PIR polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA), polycarbonate (PC), acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS), polystyrene (PS) and other thermoplastic waste. The company collects, pre-treats and processes plastic waste materials using mechanical and chemical recycling processes, and captures the materials’ maximum value by transforming them into high quality recycled raw materials for a wide range of high-end applications. Heathland is well established in Europe with several notable projects, including MMATwo and REVOLUTION, which are funded by the Horizon 2020 program of the European Commission.

The acquisition serves as an important milestone of Trinseo’s transformation journey into a specialty materials and sustainable solutions provider. As the Company’s extensive sustainable product portfolio continues to grow, this agreement will help meet market demand by securing a reliable source of recycled feedstock through the addition of a plastic waste collection business and enhancing the ongoing development of plastic recycling technologies.

The investment is aligned with Trinseo’s 2030 Sustainability Goals, which outline the Company’s focus on tackling climate change, embedding sustainability in its product portfolio, promoting supplier and operational stewardship, and embodying responsibility as an employer.

As MRC reported earlier, Trinseo and its affiliate companies in Europe, have announced a price increase for all polystyrene (PS), acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) and acrylonitrile-styrene copolymer (SAN) in Europe. Effective December 1, 2021, or as existing contract terms allow, the contract and spot prices for the products listed below rose, as follows:

- STYRON general purpose polystyrene grades (GPPS) -- by EUR50 per metric ton;
- STYRON and STYRON A-Tech and STYRON X- Tech and STYRON C- Tech high impact polystyrene grades (HIPS) - by EUR50 per metric ton;
- MAGNUM ABS resins - by EUR50 per metric ton;
- TYRIL SAN resins - by EUR50 per metric ton.

According to ICIS-MRC Price report, in Russia, for large- and middle-sized buyers, December prices of Nizhnekamskneftekhim's GPPS were in the range of roubles (Rb) 172,750-183,700/tonne CPT Moscow, including VAT, whereas HIPS prices were at Rb178,750-189,000/tonne CPT Moscow, including VAT. Penoplex's limited December GPPS quantities were contracted at Rb195,000-197,000/tonne CPT Moscow, including VAT, in early December. The producer reported the absence of available quantities until the end of the month. Prices of Gazprom neftekhim Salavat's GPPS were at Rb172,500-181,000/tonne CPT Moscow, including VAT, this week.

Trinseo is a global materials company and manufacturer of plastics, latex and rubber. Trinseo's technology is used by customers in industries such as home appliances, automotive, building & construction, carpet, consumer electronics, consumer goods, electrical & lighting, medical, packaging, paper & paperboard, rubber goods and tires. Formerly known as Styron, Trinseo completed its renaming process in 1Q 2015. Trinseo had approximately USD3.0 billion in net sales in 2020, with 17 manufacturing sites around the world, and approximately 2,600 employees.

Heathland is a collector and recycler of post-consumer (PCR, EoL) and post-industrial (PIR) plastic waste, situated in Utrecht, the Netherlands. Its recycling service is focused on a wide array of plastic wastes with particular focus on PMMA, PC, ABS and PS. Collected plastic wastes are pre-treated and processed by means of mechanical and chemical recycling processes.

Russian light industry suffers from a shortage of raw materials - synthetic fibers

Russian light industry suffers from a shortage of raw materials - synthetic fibers

MOSCOW (MRC) - In light industry, interruptions in international supply chains amid the pandemic have affected almost all areas due to a shortage of raw materials - synthetic fibers and other materials, Kommersant reports, citing the words of the Secretary of State, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Victor Evtukhov.

According to him, polyester is one of the main drivers of the world market, its production has been growing by 7% per year for the past five years. China remains the world leader in the production of polyester fabrics, its share is 67%. About 30% of the volume of this material is used to make clothing.

“The world's population is growing, its concentration in developing countries is increasing, and it becomes impossible to dress everyone in cotton. In addition, chemical fibers and threads in some cases have additional properties compared to natural materials, so they are widely used in everyday clothing for an active lifestyle ", - said the deputy minister.

According to him, Russia produces about 400 million m2 of synthetic fabric per year and imports about 1.15 billion m2. Russia lacks domestic production capacity for the production of polyester yarn and artificial fabric. At the same time, technologically it is quite possible to organize it.

"The processing of polyester raw materials into finished products has been successfully implemented in Russia for a long time. Our enterprises produce plastic bottles and films from primary PET raw materials. This means that the production of threads and fibers would also be possible if we understand whether these products will be provided with a demand for I am convinced that over time, the needs of the domestic market for artificial yarn and fabrics will be convincing enough for the development of synthetic yarn production in Russia, "Yevtukhov said.

He noted that man-made fibers and threads are made from refined products. In this sense, Russia has a natural competitive advantage in the form of the availability of hydrocarbons.

Earlier it was reported that in September 2020, the production of polymer-composite materials (compounds) based on polyamide-6 began at the STFG enterprise in Rudolstadt (Germany), which is part of the KuibyshevAzot group of companies. Investments amounted to over EUR3 million. Production capacity - 12,000 per year.

Phillips 66 announces 2022 capital program of USD1.9 B

Phillips 66 announces 2022 capital program of USD1.9 B

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Phillips 66 has announced its 2022 capital program of USD1.9 B. The plan includes USD992 MM for sustaining capital and USD916 MM for growth capital, according to Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Approximately 45% of growth capital supports lower-carbon opportunities.

“The 2022 capital program demonstrates our commitment to disciplined capital allocation,” said Greg Garland, Chairman and CEO of Phillips 66. “Our plan for sustaining capital reflects our ongoing focus on operating excellence to ensure the safety and reliability of our operations. We are also investing in returns-focused growth opportunities, including projects that will help us advance a lower-carbon future. In addition to a disciplined capital program, we will continue to prioritize debt reduction and returns to shareholders.”

The Midstream capital plan of USD703 MM, which includes Phillips 66 Partners, comprises USD426 MM for growth projects and USD277 MM for sustaining projects. Growth capital will be directed toward completing construction of Sweeny Frac 4 and repayment of our 25% share of the Bakken Pipeline joint venture’s debt due in 2022. Midstream growth capital also includes Emerging Energy opportunities to advance the company’s lower-carbon efforts.

In refining, Phillips 66 plans to invest USD896 MM, with USD488 MM for reliability, safety and environmental projects. Refining growth capital of $408 MM is primarily for the reconfiguration of the San Francisco refinery in Rodeo, California, as part of the Rodeo Renewed project. Upon expected completion in early 2024, the facility will initially have over 50,000 bpd, or 800 MM gallons per year, of renewable fuel production capacity, making it one of the world’s largest facilities of its kind. The conversion will reduce emissions from the facility and produce lower-carbon transportation fuels. Refining growth capital will also support opportunities for high-return, low-capital projects.

The marketing and specialties capital plan reflects the continued development and enhancement of the company’s retail network, including energy transition opportunities. Corporate and other capital will primarily fund digital transformation projects.

Phillips 66’s proportionate share of capital spending by joint ventures Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LLC (CPChem), WRB Refining LP (WRB) and DCP Midstream, LLC (DCP Midstream) is expected to total USD1.1 B and to be self-funded.

CPChem’s growth capital will fund expansion of its normal alpha olefins production, optimization and debottleneck opportunities in the olefins and polyolefins chains, as well as continuing development of world-scale petrochemicals projects in the US Gulf Coast and Qatar.

As MRC informed earlier, US Refiner Phillips 66 said on 30 September it would cut greenhouse gas emissions by 30% from its operations by 2030, amid mounting pressure on the industry to join the fight against climate change and cut carbon emissions by mid-century.

We remind that US-based Phillips 66 remains open to developing another ethane cracker for its Chevron Phillips Chemical (CP Chem) joint venture, the refiner's CEO said in March 2018.

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 2,047,100 tonnes in the first ten months of 2021, up by 17% year on year. Shipments of all grades of ethylene polymers increased. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market were 1,226,530 tonnes in January-October 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.

Phillips 66 is a diversified energy manufacturing and logistics company. With a portfolio of Midstream, Chemicals, Refining, and Marketing and Specialties businesses, the company processes, transports, stores and markets fuels and products globally. Headquartered in Houston, the company has 14,100 employees committed to safety and operating excellence. Phillips 66 had USD56 billion of assets as of Sept. 30, 2021.

Crude oil prices slump as Omicron rapid spread in Europe and the US dims fuel demand outlook

Crude oil prices slump as Omicron rapid spread in Europe and the US dims fuel demand outlook

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Oil prices slumped on Monday as surging cases of the Omicron coronavirus variant in Europe and the United States stoked investor worries that new restrictions to combat its spread could dent fuel demand, reported Reuters.

Brent crude futures fell USD2, or 2.7%, to settle at USD71.52 a barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell USD2.63, or 3.7%, to settle at USD68.23 a barrel.

Brent fell to a session low of USD69.28 per barrel, while WTI sank to USD66.04 per barrel, both their lowest levels since early December.

"This is a knee-jerk reaction to the proliferation of the virus and the fear that lockdowns can rapidly spread," said Andrew Lipow of Lipow Oil Associates in Houston.

The Netherlands went into lockdown on Sunday and the possibility of more COVID-19 restrictions being imposed ahead of the Christmas and New Year holidays loomed over several European countries.

US health officials urged Americans on Sunday to get COVID-19 booster shots, wear masks and be careful if they travel over the winter holidays, with the Omicron variant raging across the world and set to take over as the dominant strain in the United States.

Oil prices fell despite Moderna Inc's announcement on Monday that a booster dose of its COVID-19 vaccine appeared to be protective against Omicron in laboratory testing.

Meanwhile, OPEC+ compliance with oil production cuts stood at 117% in November, up 1 percentage point from the previous month, two sources from the group told Reuters, as output continues to lag agreed targets.

In the United States, energy companies added oil and natural gas rigs for a second week in a row.

The oil and gas rig count, an early indicator of future output, rose by three to 579 in the week to Dec. 17, representing its highest number since April 2020, energy services business Baker Hughes Co said in its closely followed report on Friday.

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.

Covestro and EnBW sign long-term purchase agreement for solar power

Covestro and EnBW sign long-term purchase agreement for solar power

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The materials manufacturer Covestro and the energy company EnBW have signed a long-term industrial customer supply agreement (Corporate Power Purchase Agreement, PPA) for solar power, said the company.

Covestro has thus secured 63 megawatts (MW) of power from the 187 MW EnBW solar park “Weesow-Willmersdorf” in Brandenburg. The system operated by EnBW is the largest solar park in Germany and was implemented without state EEG funding. The agreement with Covestro is the first PPA for the project. From the beginning of 2022, solar power will be used for 15 years at the Covestro sites in Dormagen and Krefeld-Uerdingen. The company will primarily use the renewable energy there to produce more sustainable, mass-balanced plastics, which are manufactured using the so-called drop-in process using alternative raw materials. These include mass balanced polycarbonates and mass balanced thermoplastic polyurethanes.

The conversion of the energy supply to renewable energies is a central pillar in Covestro’s strategy. The company is completely geared towards the circular economy and wants to make its production climate-neutral in the long term. “With the purchase of solar power from the EnBW park, we are underlining our claim to play a pioneering role on the way to a climate-neutral future and are once again sending out a signal for the expansion of renewable energies in Germany. Because for the climate-neutral transformation of industry, we need large amounts of renewable energies at internationally competitive prices,” said Dr. Klaus Schafer, Covestro’s Chief Technology Officer.

The EnBW solar park near Berlin with its 465,000 solar modules has been fully connected to the grid since March 2021. “We have been campaigning for a long time to ensure that renewable energies are marketable even without government support. PPAs are an important instrument for operating subsidy-free systems economically. At the same time, as a central instrument of the energy transition, they help the consumer to achieve climate targets quickly and efficiently. This makes PPAs particularly attractive for companies with energy-intensive production. We are pleased to be able to support Covestro’s production with our solar energy, ”explains Dr. Georg Stamatelopoulos, Chief Operating Officer Generation & Trading at EnBW.

A crucial prerequisite for the production of more sustainable plastics is the use of renewable energies. Covestro began converting its energy supply to renewable energies at an early stage and has been building a portfolio of various PPAs in Germany, Belgium and China since 2019. The agreement with EnBW is the first PPA for the purchase of solar power in Europe.

We remind that Covestro closed the sale of its European polycarbonates (PC) sheets business to the Munich-based Serafin Group effective January 2, 2020. This includes key management and sales functions throughout Europe as well as production sites in Belgium and Italy.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's overall consumption of polycarbonate (PC) granules (excluding imports and exports to/from Belarus) decreased in January-October 2021 by 15% to 67,300 tonne from 79,500 tonnes a year earlier.

Covestro (formerly Bayer MaterialScience) is an independent subgroup within Bayer. It was created as part of the restructuring of Bayer AG from the former business group Bayer Polymers, with certain of its activities being spun off to Lanxess AG. Covestro manufactures and develops materials such as coatings, adhesives and sealants, polycarbonates (CDs, DVDs), polyurethanes (automotive seating, insulation for refrigerating appliances) etc. With 2020 sales of EUR 10.7 billion, Covestro has 33 production sites worldwide and employs approximately 16,500 people (calculated as full-time equivalents).