COVID-19 - News digest as of 12.01.2022

1. ExxonMobil Q4 2021 earnings poised to exceed pre-pandemic level

MOSCOW (MRC) -- ExxonMobil's fourth quarter profit should top Wall Street's consensus and surpass its pre-pandemic levels, lifted by better-than-expected earnings from oil and gas, reported Reuters with reference to analysts.Credit Suisse, Scotiabank and JPMorgan have raised their fourth quarter earnings estimates following Exxon's flagging of sharply higher oil and gas operating profit last week. Official results are due on Feb. 1.The higher earnings outlooks lifted Exxon shares 3.8% on Monday to USD63.51 on top of Friday's less than 1% gain. The stock rose 48% last year but remains below where it traded two years ago.

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SIBUR selects Technip lower carbon HEXSIB technology for production of hexene-1 from ethylene

SIBUR selects Technip lower carbon HEXSIB technology for production of hexene-1 from ethylene

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Technip Energies and SIBUR Holding Public Joint Stock Company (SIBUR) have announced that the companies have signed a collaboration agreement to license a dedicated technology for the production of hexene-1 from ethylene, according to Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Hexene-1 is a comonomer of choice in the production of high-value specialty resins. The incorporation of hexene-1 allows for better end-product properties and contributes to a lower use of carbon for equivalent performance. This novel technology, operating at low pressure and temperatures, has been developed by SIBUR and will be licensed by Technip Energies.

Stan Knez, Chief Technology Officer, Technip Energies, stated, “We are very proud to promote this technology, which is simple and reliable. This specially developed technology delivers a high-quality product that may be dropped into existing polyethylene production facilities. SIBUR’s HEXSIB technology provides gains in carbon efficiency and opens up possibilities for bio-sourced plastics production from renewable carbon.”

As MRC reported earlier, in October 2021, Russian petrochemical companies Sibur International and TAIF Group finalised a deal to merge and create the largest petrochemical company in the country and one of the biggest in the world.

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 2,265,290 tonnes in the first eleven months of 2021, up by 14% year on year. Shipments of all grades of ethylene polymers increased. At the same time, 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.

Daria Borisova, SIBUR Management Team Member, Managing Director of Development and Innovations, said, “The agreement with Technip Energies strengthens the engineering platform of SIBUR's technology and gives us the opportunity to promote it through Technip Energies’ partner network. SIBUR is currently selecting a site within the group's range of facilities for production of hexene-1 with the HEXSIB technology to satisfy its own and the market’s needs as the company expands its portfolio of high-value grades and share of comonomers."

SIBUR is the largest vertically integrated gas processing and petrochemical company in Russia, uniting a number of production sites in various regions of the Russian Federation. The company sells products to consumers in the fuel and energy complex, automotive, construction, consumer goods, chemical and other industries in more than 80 countries around the world.
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thyssenkrupp to build electrolysis plant for Shell green hydrogen hub in Rotterdam

thyssenkrupp to build electrolysis plant for Shell green hydrogen hub in Rotterdam

MOSCOW (MRC) -- thyssenkrupp Uhde Chlorine Engineers has signed a supply contract with Shell for the large-scale project ‘Hydrogen Holland I’ in the port of Rotterdam, the Netherlands, as per thyssenkrupps' press release.

Under the contract, thyssenkrupp Uhde Chlorine Engineers will engineer, procure and fabricate a 200 MW electrolysis plant based on their large-scale 20 MW alkaline water electrolysis module. First construction work for the electrolysers will likely begin in spring 2022. Shell’s final investment decision to build the ‘Holland Hydrogen I’ is expected in 2022, after which the intended start of production will be in 2024.

“We are looking forward to support building a major hydrogen hub in central Europe and to contribute to Europe’s transition to green energy”, says Dr. Christoph Noeres, Head of Green Hydrogen at thyssenkrupp Uhde Chlorine Engineers. “With our large-scale standard module size, we will further strengthen Shell’s hydrogen strategy. Our partnership perfectly combines our engineering excellence with Shell’s competence of a large global energy player.”

The center of the “Hydrogen Holland I” hydrogen project facility will be a hall, covering 2 hectares, the size of three football fields. Green hydrogen will be produced for industry and the transport sector, with electricity coming from offshore wind farm Hollandse Kust (Noord), by means of guarantees of origin. The hydrogen can be transported through a pipeline with a length of about 40 kilometers that will run from the plant to Shell’s Energy and Chemicals Park Rotterdam. Net zero is a number one priority for the plant:

Green hydrogen is a main pillar of the energy transition towards sustainable decarbonization. By 2025, countries representing over 80% of the global GDP are expected to enter the hydrogen economy with a dedicated hydrogen strategy. As a global technology leader for green hydrogen, thyssenkrupp Uhde Chlorine Engineers enables its customers to transform into net zero and create a carbon-free industry.

As MRC informed previously, Royal Dutch Shell plc. said in November that its petrochemical complex of several billion dollars in Western Pennsylvania is about 70% complete and in the process to enter service in the early 2020s. The plant's costs are estimated to be USD6-USD10 billion, where ethane will be transformed into plastic feedstock. The facility is equipped to produce 1.5 million metric tons per year (mmty) of ethylene and 1.6 mmty of polyethylene (PE), two important constituents of plastics.

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 2,265,290 tonnes in the first eleven months of 2021, up by 14% year on year. Shipments of all grades of ethylene polymers increased. At the same time, 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.

Royal Dutch Shell plc is an Anglo-Dutch multinational oil and gas company headquartered in The Hague, Netherlands and with its registered office in London, United Kingdom. It is the biggest company in the world in terms of revenue and one of the six oil and gas "supermajors". Shell is vertically integrated and is active in every area of the oil and gas industry, including exploration and production, refining, distribution and marketing, petrochemicals, power generation and trading.

thyssenkrupp Uhde Chlorine Engineers offers world-leading technologies for high-efficiency electrolysis plants. The company, a Joint Venture with Industrie De Nora, has extensive in-depth knowledge in the engineering, procurement, and construction of electrochemical plants and a strong track record of more than 600 projects with a total rating of over 10 gigawatts already successfully installed. With its water electrolysis technology to produce green hydrogen, the company offers an innovative solution on an industrial scale for green value chains and an industry fueled by clean energy – a major step towards a climate-neutrality.
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BASF appointed Uta Holzenkamp as head of coatings division

MOSCOW (MRC) -- BASF has appointed Uta Holzenkamp as president of its Coatings division, effective 1 January, said the German company.

BASF’s Coatings division employs around 11,000 workers at more than 70 production sites globally. Holzenkamp has been an employee at BASF since 1997; since 2018, she has been senior vice president of the company’s Fuel and Lubricant Solutions business unit, part of the Performance Chemicals division.

She succeeds Dirk Bremm, who will now be the CEO of the soon-to-be carved-out mobile emissions catalysts division.

BASF announced in December it would start to carve out that part of the company in January, while announcing a EUR4.5bn investment plan in electric vehicles (EVs) battery recycling.

As per MRC, BASF, the world's petrochemical major, is strengthening its global catalyst development and helping customers to bring new products faster to the market. As part of this strategy, BASF is building a new pilot plant center at its Ludwigshafen site.

As MRC wrote before, BASF will build a battery recycling prototype plant in Schwarzheide, Germany, at the site of its cathode active materials (CAM) plant.

BASF is the leading chemical company. It produces a wide range of chemicals, for example solvents, amines, resins, glues, electronic-grade chemicals, industrial gases, basic petrochemicals and inorganic chemicals. The most important customers for this segment are the pharmaceutical, construction, textile and automotive industries.
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Ineos and Nextloopp work together to recycle polypropylene

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Ineos Olefins and Polymers Europe have joined the UK-based Nextloopp project, which is aiming to launch the first food-grade mechanically recycled polypropylene (R-PP) material from post-consumer waste in Europe, said the company.

INEOS will be at the centre of an important two-year project that will inform the building of a demonstration plant in the UK to produce 10,000 tonnes per year of food-grade recycled polypropylene.

From its manufacturing base in Grangemouth, Scotland, and extensive product and technical expertise across its European operations, Ineos will help tailor food-grade recycled polypropylene to the precise specification of converters by blending it with virgin polypropylene to modify its mechanical and processing properties. It will also introduce processing aids to help converters to meet the exacting requirements of Brand Owners.

The project aims to validate the food-grade recycled polypropylene manufacturing process and its commercial viability, with the aim of receiving acceptance from the UK’s Food Standard Agency (FSA) and European equivalent (EFSA).

The Nextloopp project had initially targeted a launch date during the second half of 2022. However, delays resulting from the impact of COVID-19 and Brexit have pushed back the project completion date by approximately six months, in to 2023.

The group plans to overcome this challenge for R-PP by using marker technology to separate out the food-contact origin material at sorting and separation stage. The process will include a decontamination stage to comply with both EFSA and US Food and Drug Administration standards.

As per MRC, Ineos plans to invest EUR2 billion (USD2.3 billion) in renewable hydrogen production across Europe in the next 10 years, including a 100-MW plant in Germany. Ineos plans to build production facilities in Norway, Germany and Belgium, with additional investment in the UK and France.

Also, Ineos Styrolution, a global leader in styrenics, has launched its first specialty acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) with recycled content. The new specialty AMOBS grades, NovodurECO and Novodur ECO High Heat will contain up to 70% and 50% mechanically recycled post-consumer waste respectively.
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