Technip Energies purchases Iowa Corn monoethylene glycol technology

Technip Energies purchases Iowa Corn monoethylene glycol technology

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Technip Energies and Iowa Corn announced that the Iowa Corn Promotion Board (ICPB) and Technip Energies have signed an Asset Purchase Agreement under which Technip Energies acquires ICPB’s patents, technology, and rights for the process technology to produce monoethylene glycol (MEG) from surplus corn plant-based feedstocks, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Since 2013, ICPB has invested checkoff funds to develop the technology and to create new demand for corn-based products. Corn-based MEG is used to produce renewable plastics. Technip Energies will advance the technology development, construct and operate a pilot plant to commercialize the technology and make it available for licensing.

Stan Nelson, Chair of the Iowa Corn Research and Business Development Committee, commented: “Iowa Corn has been dedicated to finding new uses and markets for corn to meet our mission for long-term Iowa corn farmer profitability. By investing in research to expand the market for corn as an ingredient to replace oil, products like MEG will allow more renewable materials to be created and improve our environmental footprint. With the sale of MEG technology to Technip Energies, work will continue to explore other uses for corn such as propylene glycol."

Stan Knez, Chief Technology Officer, Technip Energies stated, “We are excited to add this MEG technology to our portfolio, as we work with clients looking for more sustainable ways to produce plastics and basic chemicals. As we continue to pursue technologies that contribute to the circular economy, this acquisition is in line with our ambition to accelerate the energy transition for a better tomorrow."

Corn-based MEG is a drop-in replacement for current fossil fuel-based MEG and a base chemical for products like antifreeze, pop and water bottles, and polyester clothing. Over 70 B pounds of MEG is used in the world every year with the yearly growth in the market equal to nearly 100 MM bushels of corn.

Earlier it was reported that SIBUR, the largest petrochemical complex in Russia and Eastern Europe, and the international engineering company Technip Energies entered into an agreement on cooperation in the field of technology for the production of Hexen-1 comonomer used in the production of linear polyethylene (LDPE) and low-pressure polyethylene (HDPE). The HEXSIB technology is a proprietary development of NIOST specialists, one of the main research centers of SIBUR.

MEG along with terephthalic acid (PTA) is one of the main components for the production of polyethylene terephthalate (PET).

According to MRC's ScanPlast, the estimated consumption of PET in Russia increased by 14% in January-November last year compared to the same period a year earlier and amounted to 737,590 tonnes. Compared to November 2020, the total estimated consumption increased by 25% and amounted to 75,760 tonnes against 60,520 tonnes in 2020.

Ecopet intends to start production of recycled PET in two years

Ecopet intends to start production of recycled PET in two years

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The Ecopet Kaliningrad petrochemical plant may launch production of recycled PET in two years, Devon news agency reported, citing Alexander Anikeev, CEO of Ecopet.

“This year we have a new shareholder — Tatneft, a profile player in the petrochemical market,” he said. “Together with our colleagues from Tatneft, we have conceived the expansion, namely the construction of a new unit. We are working on this issue with European licensors. Changes take place no sooner than two years from now.

At the same time, Ecopet's sales strategy will not change in 2022, A. Anikeev assured. “Our strategy provides for 95% shipments under contracts and 5% for spot,” he explained. we will already begin to develop products, and in February we will have volumes for the spot market."

Ecopet is the largest producer of polyethylene terephthalate in the Russian Federation. The share of the company's products in the Russian market is 37%. The design capacity of the plant for the production of PET is 220,000 tonnes per year. However, Ecopet has been operating at 110% capacity utilization for the past two years.
At the end of 2021, the company produced 234,000 tonnes. In 2022, 242,000 tonnes are expected to be produced.

Ecopet intends to switch to the industrial production of high quality fiber PET. The volume of production will depend on the demand of the market, Anikeev explained. "The demand of the Russian market for such grades is low: Titan-Polymer - about 70,000 tonnes per year, Flex Films Rus - about 30,000 tonnes per year. We will rebuild the technology upon request," he said.

Prior to this, the Kaliningrad enterprise had already produced small test batches of fiber polyethylene terephthalate. They were tested by Texkor, Flex Films Rus, Mogilevkhimvolokno and Retal.

Tatneft bought Ecopet in June 2021. The deal amounted to 6.4 bn rubles. The company is engaged in the production and sale of polyethylene terephthalate in Russia and Eastern Europe.

Tatneft also plans to launch the production of terephthalic acid (PTA) in order to provide its Ecopet plant in the Kaliningrad region with raw materials.

Ecopet is Europe's largest producer of polyethylene terephthalate. Ecopet JSC is a resident of the SEZ in the Kaliningrad region. The Ecopet group includes OOO TD "Ecopolymers" - a distributor that supplies PET both to the Russian market and to the markets of the European Union and the CIS. Another asset, BaltTechProm LLC, is an industrial park with an area of ??132 hectares with a prospective development site for another 103 hectares.

Formosa shuts hydrocracker at its Mailiao refinery following fire

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Taiwan’s Formosa Petrochemical Corp has shut its 36,000 barrel-per-day hydrocracker at its Mailiao refinery following a fire last week, reported Reuters with reference to the company spokesman's statement on Tuesday.

The refiner has cancelled gasoil exports and offered a rare cargo of 180-centistoke (cst) fuel oil for February following the accident, spokesman KY Lin told Reuters.

The company is currently carrying out investigations into the accident.

The unit is expected to come back online by mid-March.

As MRC informed earlier, an explosion occurred at a polypropylene (PP) storage tank belong to Formosa Plastics (FPC, part of Formosa Petrochemical) in Linyuan, Taiwan in the early hours of 7 July 2021 and caused a flare-up, which was distinguished within an hour. Formosa Plastics Corp (FPC) runs a 230,000 tons/year PP plant in the Linyuan complex.

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.

Formosa Petrochemical is involved primarily in the business of refining crude oil, selling refined petroleum products and producing and selling olefins (including ethylene, propylene, butadiene and BTX) from its naphtha cracking operations. Formosa Petrochemical is also the largest olefins producer in Taiwan and its olefins products are mostly sold to companies within the Formosa Group. Among the company's chemical products are paraxylene (PX), phenyl ethylene, acetone and pure terephthalic acid (PTA). The company"s plastic products include acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) resins, polystyrene (PS), polypropylene (PP) and panlite (PC).

COVID-19 - News digest as of 26.01.2022

1. IMF lowered its forecast for Russia GDP growth in 2022 to 2.8%

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The International Monetary Fund (IMF) continued to lower its estimate for Russian economic growth in 2022 to 2.8% from expected 2.9% in October, 3.1% - in July and 3.8%, which it estimated growth in April last year, reported Interfax.In 2023, as the IMF expects, the growth of the Russian economy will be 2.1% (previously - 2%). The fund explains the slight decrease in the forecast for Russia this year by a weak harvest and the passage of the third wave worse than expected. The assessment of this year's global economic growth was reduced somewhat more significantly - from 4.9% to 4.4%. Such a forecast is given in the World Economic Outlook Update, published by the IMF on Tuesday. The forecast for 2023 increased by 0.2 p.p. - up to 3.8%. The report notes that the global economy enters 2022 in a weaker position than previously expected. As the Omicron variant of COVID-19 spread, countries reintroduced restrictions on movement.


Half of the management staff of SIBUR will be at remote work in Tomsk

Half of the management staff of SIBUR will be at remote work in Tomsk

MOSCOW (MRC) - Tomskneftekhim, NIOST, Biaxplen, SIBUR Digital - intend to move 50% of the administrative and management personnel to a remote work format until 13 February, the company's press service said.

Such measures are being taken in preparation for the wave of the omicron strain of coronavirus infection. So, from January 24, restrictions on business trips are also introduced: they are possible only if it is necessary for production and after agreement with the CEO. Before the trip and after - mandatory PCR testing.

The control of compliance with social distance, mask regime and the use of antiseptics is being strengthened. Meetings and internal events in offices and factories are held only in masks. An additional focus of attention is catering in industrial canteens. In particular, delivery meals have been organized for key production personnel, seating arrangements in canteens, taking into account social distance and the use of special partitions, and cutlery is issued in individual packaging.

The company is also working on the delivery of key shift personnel by separate vehicles.

Earlier it was noted that in 2022 Tomskneftekhim plans to upgrade the flare unit for 140 million rubles. In addition, Tomskneftekhim plans to complete the implementation of the project for the modernization of wastewater treatment plants (VTP), which will effectively purify water after the production of ethylene and propylene. The capacity of the treatment facilities will be 75 cubic meters per hour.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's 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.

LLC "Tomskneftekhim" was opened after the transformation of TNKhK in 2003. It is a subsidiary of PJSC SIBUR-Holding, which is one of the backbone enterprises of the Russian Federation. At the end of 2019, the size of the authorized capital of Tomskneftekhim amounted to 6.5 billion rubles, sales revenue - 13.2 billion rubles, net profit - 1.9 billion rubles.