New rules for the sale of packages in stores will come into force in Ukraine in February

MOSCOW (MRC) -- On February 1, the norms of the law on limiting the circulation of plastic bags, which involve the sale of large bags at established minimum prices, come into force in Ukraine, reports.

Now, in stores, catering establishments and services, packages for packaging or transportation will be sold at prices starting from 2 hryvnia. We are talking about large plastic bags in the form of a sleeve with a bottom and an open mouth with walls more than 50 micrometers thick.

The minimum prices, according to the decree of the Cabinet of Ministers of December 20, will be:
UAH2 - for a package without handles and side folds;
UAH2.5 - a package without handles, but with side folds or with handles without side folds;
UAH3 - a package with handles and side folds.

At the same time, shops can sell packages more expensive, but not cheaper, than the government has set.

The next phase of the law will take effect in the spring of 2022. “From March 10, the distribution of ultra-thin (with walls less than 15 micrometers thick), thin (with walls from 15 to 50 micrometers) and oxo-degradable plastic bags in stores and catering establishments will be prohibited,” wrote Kyiv City Council deputy Konstantin Yalovy.

The indicated packages and “t-shirts” are now sold in Ukraine mainly for 10 kopecks. a piece. Their free distribution is prohibited from December 10, 2021.

As MRC reported, according to the UN, about 80 countries have already banned disposable bags. In October last year, the European Parliament, as part of the fight against pollution of the oceans, voted to ban single-use plastic products - disposable tableware, drinking straws, thin plastic bags and others. In July this year, the Republic of Belarus also began to consider the issue of banning free plastic bags in stores and limiting the use of disposable plastic tableware in catering establishments.

According to a MRC's DataScope report, last month's PE imports to Ukraine were 30,500 tonnes versus 26,400 tonnes in November, local companies raised their purchasing of low density polyethylene (LDPE) and high density polyethylene (HDPE). Thus, overall PE imports reached 177,300 tonnes in 2021, compared to 165,900 tonnes a year earlier. Only HDPE imports decreased, whereas imports of other PE grades increased. The structure of PE imports by grades looked the following way over the stated period.

PepsiCo to eliminate virgin plastics from crisp packets by 2030

MOSCOW (MRC) -- PepsiCo Europe will cease using virgin fossil-based plastic in crisp and chip bags and switch to a mix of recycled and bio-based polymers by 2030, said the company.

PepsiCo has committed to eliminating virgin fossil-based plastics across all of its European brands of crisps and chip bags by 2030. This will apply to well-known brands such as Lay’s, Doritos and Walkers. Consumer trials of the new packaging will begin later this year. The recycled content in the packs will be derived from previously used plastic and the renewable content will come from by-products of plants such as used cooking oil or waste from paper pulp.

According to PepsiCo, the change in packaging could deliver an emissions reduction of up to 40% per tonne of packaging material. PepsiCo Europe’s chief executive Silviu Popovici said: “Flexible packaging recycling should be the norm across Europe. We see a future where our bags will be free of virgin fossil-based plastic.

"They will be part of a thriving circular economy where flexible packaging is valued and can be recycled as a new packet. We’re investing with our partners to build technological capacity to do that. We now need an appropriate regulatory landscape in place so that packaging never becomes waste."

The new packaging forms part of PepsiCo’s Making Bags Better initiative that focuses on improving the recyclability of flexible plastics across Europe. The new bags will use more plastics that PepsiCo believes are easier to recycle, like Polypropylene. The company claims that the new designers meet guidelines from the Circular Economy for Flexible Packaging (CEFLEX).

More broadly, PepsiCo is working to reduce virgin plastic usage by 50% per serving by 2030.

Earlier it was reported that Frito Lay Manufacturing LLC (a division of PepsiCo) on August 28, 2019 put into operation the fifth line for the production of snacks at its plant in the city of Azov, Rostov Region, worth more than 400 million rubles.

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.


Samsung Engineering, Lotte Chemical, and Malaysian companies to develop green hydrogen & ammonia project in Sarawak

Samsung Engineering, Lotte Chemical, and Malaysian companies to develop green hydrogen & ammonia project in Sarawak

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Samsung Engineering, one of the world’s leading engineering, procurement, construction and project management companies, has announced that it signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to develop a green hydrogen & ammonia project with Lotte Chemical, POSCO and SEDC Energy SDN. BHD., a Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC) subsidiary, according to Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The Sarawak H2biscus Green Hydrogen/Ammonia Project (H2biscus Project) will be located in Bintulu, Sarawak State, Malaysia. The signing ceremony, which was held in a non-face-to-face virtual format, was attended by senior executives from each company, including Park Cheonhong, Head of Samsung Engineering's Solution Business Division, Kim Yeon-seop, ESG Management Head of Lotte Chemical, Jo Joo-ik, head of POSCO’s Hydrogen Business Office, and SEDC Chairman YBhg. Tan Sri Datuk Amar (Dr.) Haji Abdul Aziz Bin Dato Haji Husain.

The H2biscus Project is aimed to converting hydropower and natural gas to green hydrogen/methanol and blue hydrogen and for the conversion of hydrogen to ammonia, aiming to supply hydrogen and ammonia to Korea and Sarawak. Based on the results of the pre-feasibility study conducted in 2021, the project is expected to produce 7,000 ton/year of green hydrogen for Sarawak’s local use, 600,000 ton/year of blue ammonia, 630,000 ton/year of green ammonia and 460,000 ton/year of green methanol.

Samsung Engineering, Lotte Chemical, POSCO and SEDC Energy will be taking an active role in developing the entire cycle of the project including direct investment, construction, transportation and utilization. The feasibility study is planned to be verified by this month through an in-depth technology, legal, financial, tax, and market analysis. After the Feasibility Study, Pre-FEED and FEED are completed, the EPC work will be implemented for the H2biscus Project.

Samsung Engineering is also currently executing the Sarawak Petchem methanol plant project in Bintulu, Sarawak Malaysia, which is expected to produce 5,000 tons/day of methanol.

Samsung Engineering is channeling its efforts to be a “Beyond EPC Green Solution Provider,” providing green infrastructure and energy optimization services through process analysis based on digital optimization. By developing new hydrogen-related technologies and CCUS technology, we will aim to transform the energy industry.

As MRC informed earlier, Lotte Chemical, South Korean petrochemical major, plans to take off-stream its naphtha cracker in Yeosu for a scheduled maintenance this year. The company is expected to put its Yeosu naphtha cracker under scheduled maintenance around May or June, 2022. Lotte's Yeosu naphtha cracker can produce 1.2 million tonnes per year (tpy) of ethylene.

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.

Lotte Chemical runs two naphtha crackers in South Korea. One cracker is located in Daesan county in Seosan which can produce 1.1 million tonnes per year of ethylene with the other 1.2 million tonnes per year cracker in the southwestern city of Yeosu.

US crude oil and gasoline stocks grow, even as fuel demand surges to record highs

US crude oil and gasoline stocks grow, even as fuel demand surges to record highs

MOSCOW (MRC) -- US crude oil and gasoline inventories rose last week, alleviating a bit of the market's concerns about supply, though fuel demand surged close to record highs, reported Reuters with reference to the Energy Information Administration said on Wednesday.

Crude inventories rose by 2.4 million barrels in the week to Jan. 21 to 416.2 million barrels, compared with analysts' expectations in a Reuters poll for a 728,000-barrel drop.

Gasoline stocks rose by 1.3 million barrels last week to 247.9 million barrels, the EIA said, the most since February of 2021. Analysts were expecting a 2.5 million-barrel rise in stocks. Gasoline stocks generally build during the winter, a less busy season for driving.

Overall product supplied - a measure of demand - surged again, putting the four-week moving average at 21.2 million barrels per day, ahead of pre-pandemic trends. The increases have been led by consumption of distillates like diesel, as gasoline use has fallen off modestly in recent weeks.

Distillate stockpiles, which include diesel and heating oil, fell by 2.8 million barrels in the week versus expectations for a 1.3 million-barrel drop.

Refinery crude runs rose by 44,000 bpd last week, and utilization rates fell by 0.4 percentage point in the week.

Crude stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery hub for US crude futures fell by 1.8 million barrels in the last week, the EIA said.

As MRC wrote previously, oil supply will soon overtake demand as some producers are set to pump at or above all-time highs, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said last Wednesday, while demand holds up despite the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant.

We remind that lobal oil refining capacity fell for the first time in 30 years last year, as new capacity was outweighed by closures, said the International Energy Agency's (IEA) in its monthly oil market report on Wednesday. Refining capacity was down by 730,000 bpd in 2021, the IEA said, but net additions were expected to amount to 1.2 MMbpd in 2022.

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.