Solvay to collaborate with Trillium on bio-based acrylonitrile for carbon fiber applications

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Solvay has signed a partnership letter of intent with Trillium Renewable Chemicals to enable it to produce bio-carbon fibre from bio-based acrylonitrile (bio-ACN), said the company.

Solvay and Trillium Renewable Chemicals have signed a letter of intent to develop the supply chain for bio-based acrylonitrile (bio-ACN). Trillium will supply Solvay with bio-ACN from Trillium’s planned commercial asset, and Solvay will evaluate bio-ACN for carbon fiber manufacturing as part of its long-term commitment to developing sustainable solutions from bio-based or recycled sources. The aim of this partnership is to produce carbon fiber for use in various applications such as aerospace, automotive, energy, and consumer goods.

Acrylonitrile is a chemical intermediate typically made from petroleum-based feedstocks like propylene and is the primary raw material used in the production of carbon fiber. Trillium’s Bio-ACNTM process delivers acrylonitrile from plant-based feedstocks like glycerol with a lower carbon footprint.

"We are thrilled to be partnering with Trillium which aligns well with our Solvay One Planet commitment to more than double our revenue based on renewable or recycled materials by 2030," comments Stephen Heinz, head of composite research & innovation, Solvay.

Innovation partnerships such as this are driven by a desire to make a real-world sustainability impact. Bio-based feedstocks are a key part of Solvay’s sustainability strategy, and we look forward to being a consumer of bio-ACN from Trillium’s first bio-based acrylonitrile plant.

ACN is also used in the production of synthetic fibres for clothing and home furnishings, as well as engineering plastics and elastomers.

As per MRC, Solvay completed the deal to split and sell the polyamide business to BASF and Domo Chemicals for EUR1.6 billion. Initially, the acquisition of the Solvay division by the German petrochemical giant was announced in September 2017. The parties planned to complete the transaction in the third quarter of 2018.

We remind that BASF-YPC, a 50-50 joint venture of BASF and Sinopec, undertook a planned shutdown at its naphtha cracker on 30 April 2020. The company initially planned to start turnaround at the cracker on April 5, 2020. The plant remained under maintenance unitl 18 June, 2020. Located in Jiangsu, China, the cracker has an ethylene capacity of 750,000 mt/year and propylene capacity of 400,000 mt/year.

Solvay is a science company whose technologies bring benefits to many aspects of daily life. With more than 24,100 employees in 64 countries, Solvay bonds people, ideas and elements to reinvent progress. The Group seeks to create sustainable shared value for all, notably through its Solvay One Planet plan crafted around three pillars: protecting the climate, preserving resources and fostering better life. The Group’s innovative solutions contribute to safer, cleaner, and more sustainable products found in homes, food and consumer goods, planes, cars, batteries, smart devices, health care applications, water and air purification systems. Founded in 1863, Solvay today ranks among the world’s top three companies for the vast majority of its activities and delivered net sales of EUR10.2 billion in 2019. Solvay is listed on Euronext Brussels (SOLB) and Paris and in the United States, where its shares (SOLVY) are traded through a Level I ADR program.

PetroChina expects 2021 net income to rise significantly

PetroChina expects 2021 net income to rise significantly

MOSCOW (MRC) -- PetroChina Co. said preliminary net income for 2021 rose by 374% to 395% from the previous year as oil and gas prices surged, reported Bloomberg.

Net profit attributable to shareholders will increase by 71 billion to 75 billion yuan (USD11.2 billion to USD11.8 billion) over the 2020 level of 19 billion yuan, the company said in an exchange filing. Profits are up by as much as 48.3 billion yuan from 2019.

Brent crude rebounded to an average USD71 a barrel in 2021 as vaccines let governments around the world lift harsh transportation restrictions that cut oil demand in 2020, when it averaged about USD43 a barrel.

“The strong performance can be attributed to the oil price recovery and lower-than-expected import gas losses,” Morgan Stanley analysts including Jack Lu said Wednesday in a note.

State-owned PetroChina is the nation’s largest oil and natural gas driller, operating a fleet of refineries that produce transportation fuel. It’s also a major gas buyer and is required to import the fuel even if that means incurring losses. The company’s performance was the best in seven years, it said.

Investors will be looking for clues as to what PetroChina plans do with its windfall profits, after fellow state-owned oil giant Cnooc Ltd. on Tuesday promised a special dividend, stock buybacks and guaranteed dividends through 2024.

As MRC informed previously, PetroChina, Asia's largest oil and gas producer,aims to have oil, gas and green energies to each account for a third of its portfolio by 2035, as the Chinese oil major shifts toward a lower-carbon future.

We remind that in August, 2021, PetroChina Liaoyang Petrochemical Co Ltd , part of the Chinese petrochemical major - PetroChina,successfully started up its new polypropylene (PP) plant last week. Based in Liaoning City, Liaoyang Province, China, the new PP plant has a production capacity of 300,000 tons/year.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, PP shipments to the Russian market were 1,363,850 tonnes in January-November, 2021, up by 25% year on year. Supply of homopolymer PP and block-copolymers of propylene (PP block copolymers) increased, whereas supply of injection moulding PP random copolymers decreased significantly.

PetroChina Company Limited, is a Chinese oil and gas company and is the listed arm of state-owned China National Petroleum Corporation, headquartered in Dongcheng District, Beijing. It is China's biggest oil producer.

Fire at Kuwait National Petroleum refinery kills several people

MOSCOW (MRC) -- A fire erupted in Kuwait during maintenance work at a major oil refinery of Kuwait National Petroleum on Friday, killing two workers and critically injuring five others, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The company said, two contract workers died. Their bodies were discovered on site. According to ABC News, initially the company had said that 10 workers were injured in the fire, with five being treated at a nearby hospital for severe burns and another two for moderate burns. Others received treatment at an on-site clinic. The company later said that the five with severe burns were transferred to another hospital in critical condition.

The company said the fire broke out at a gas liquefaction unit that had been out of service for maintenance work. It said the fire was extinguished and that operations at the refinery were not affected because the unit damaged was already out of service.

As per MRC, Kuwait National Petroleum Co (KNPC) successfully started full operation of an environmentally friendly project to expand refining capacity and produce fuel that generates lower emissions and less pollution.

As per MRC, Kuwait National Petroleum Company restarted the steam production system in Kuwait’s Mina Abdulla refinery. The steam production system was shut down temporarily as it was replaced hot circulation system.

Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) was established in 1980, as the State owned asset and all other oil companies in Kuwait, including KNPC, became KPC subsidiaries. Currently, KNPC has two state-of-the-art Refineries, namely Mina Abdullah Refinery (MAB) and Mina Al-Ahmadi Refinery (MAA). Shuaiba Refinery was shut down in March 2017 after the kick-off of the Clean Fuels Project (CFP). The total production capacity of both Refineries is 736,000 bpd of crude oil, and a gas processing capacity of 2.5 billion scfpd.

OMV to make Q4 value adjustments of about EUR1.7 bn

MOSCOW (MRC) -- OMV is to make Q4 2021 cash-neutral writedowns and value adjustments of around EUR1.7bn (USD1.95bn), said the company.

The group said the adjustments related to exploration and production, the fertiliser business of wholly-owned subsidiary Borealis and the fixed assets of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company's (ADNOC’s) refining unit. OMV holds a 15% stake in the unit. Fertiliser production across Europe has been affected in recent months by all-time-high natural gas prices.

OMV said in its update that the average realised price of natural gas in the final quarter of last year was up 190% year on year. For crude oil, the average realised price grew 80% from a year earlier, the company added. OMV previously announced it will attempt to sell the Borealis fertiliser unit.

Also in the update, OMV said its Q4 polyethylene (PE) indicator margin for Europe grew to EUR458/tonne from Q4 2020’s EUR378/tonne. The Q4 polypropylene (PP) indicator margin for Europe increased to EUR690/tonne from Q4 2020’s €405/tonne, it added. OMV will publish its fourth-quarter results, including the adjustments, categorised as special effects, on February 3.

As per MRC, OMV reported utilization of 83% at its European refineries in H1, 2021, down by 3% on the year yet "relatively resilient in light of the COVID-19 impact". It expects the utilization rates at its European refineries to remain at the 2020 level this year. Last year its refineries reported 86% utilization. The company's refineries in Europe ran at 85% utilization in Q2, up from 81% in the year-ago quarter.

As MRC wrote before, OMV is investing EUR40 million (USD48 million) to expand and modernize a steam cracker and associated units at its refining and petrochemicals complex at Burghausen, Germany. The upgrade will increase the site’s ethylene and propylene production capacity by 50,000 metric tons/year. Following a planned turnaround of the refinery, the revamped cracker and petchem units are expected to start operations in the third quarter of 2022. Initial groundwork is already underway ahead of the upgrade.

OMV produces and markets oil and gas, innovative energy and high-end petrochemical solutions – in a responsible way. With Group sales of EUR 23 bn and a workforce of around 20,000 employees in 2019, OMV Aktiengesellschaft is one of Austria’s largest listed industrial companies.

Wacker expects 2021 earnings to beat expectations

Wacker expects 2021 earnings to beat expectations

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Wacker Chemie expects full-year earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) to come in at EUR1.5bn for 2021, compared to EUR666m in 2020 ahead of its own forecasts and market consensus, said the company.

In an ad-hoc disclosure released after markets closed on Thursday, the company said earnings for 2021 are likely to beat the EUR1.2bn-1.4bn guidance it had set out in its third quarter results that year, which at the time had represented a hike on its original EUR900m-1.1bn forecast.

Representing nearly a billion euros over EBITDA generated in 2020 and a substantial hike on the EUR783m posted in 2019, Wacker did not set out the reasons for the anticipated jump in growth in the announcement, but had seen strong momentum for silicones and polymers I the third quarter. Third-quarter silicones division EBITDA stood at €160.5m, a 77% year on year increase and substantially above earnings posted in the second quarter of 2021, driven by volume and pricing growth.

The company’s polymers division generated earnings of EUR84.5m in the third quarter of 2021, a modest year on year dip, but significantly up quarter on quarter. Polysilicon earnings for July-August 2021 came in at EUR200.8m compared to EUR7.9m during the same period a year earlier on the back of higher solar-grade pricing, while biosolutions also saw EBITDA increase year on year.

The third-quarter rally saw the company upgrade full-year earnings guidance to EUR1.2bn-1.4bn on the back of high polysilicon pricing and strong chemicals demand, but cautioned that negative currency effects and higher raw materials pricing would be substantially higher than expected.

As per MRC, Wacker Chemie AG is moving forward with “Shape the Future,” its efficiency program initiated last November. The Munich-based chemical company has recenly announced that company management and employee representatives have agreed on a framework for the planned job cutbacks.

As MRC reported earlier, Wacker Chemie operates a 90 ktpa EVA compounding plant at the Ulsan site, consisting of two lines. The second line with a capacity of 40 thousand tons of products per year was launched in 2013.

Wacker Chemie manufactures and markets EVA dispersions under the VINNAPAS brand name. VINNAPAS polymer dispersions are used in a wide range of industries: for the production of complex thermal insulation systems, building and tile adhesives, plaster, building mixtures and mortars, cement sealing slurries and nonwovens.