North American weekly chem railcar traffic flat year on year

North American weekly chem railcar traffic flat year on year

MOSCOW (MRC) -- North American chemical railcar traffic came in flat year on year for the week ended 5 February, following four weeks of declines, according to the latest data from the Association of American Railroads (AAR).

A 1% increase in the US was offset by declines in Canada and Mexico. For the five weeks of 2022 ended 5 February, North American chemical rail traffic was down 2.4% year on year to 231,266 railcar loadings.

With the exception of coal and non-metallic minerals, shipments are down in all the major commodities categories so far this year.

In the US, chemical railcar loadings represent about 20% of chemical transportation by tonnage, with trucks, barges and pipelines carrying the rest. In Canada, producers rely on rail to ship more than 70% of their products, with some exclusively using rail.

As per MRC, North American chemical railcar traffic fell by 3.3% year on year for the week ended 15 January, as a small increase in US shipments was more than offset by declines in Canada and Mexico. The decline followed a 6.7% decline in the previous week, ended 8 January. For the first two weeks of 2022, ended 15 January, North American chemical railcar loadings were down 5.0% year on year to 91,437.

As per MRC, North American chemical railcar traffic for the week ended 8 January fell by 6.7% year on year to 45,325 loadings, with decreases in all three countries - the US, Canada and Mexico. In the US, chemical railcar loadings represent about 20% of chemical transportation by tonnage, with trucks, barges and pipelines carrying the rest. In Canada, producers rely on rail to ship more than 70% of their products, with some exclusively using rail.

Evergreen acquires two more PET recycling plants and expands capacities to meet stronger demand

Evergreen acquires two more PET recycling plants and expands capacities to meet stronger demand

MOSCOW (MRC) -- To meet growing demand, polyethylene terephthalate (PET) reclaimer Evergreen has recently bought a pair of facilities and added another extruder to an expansion project, according to Plastics Recysling Update.

A plastics recycling and manufacturing company owned by The Sterling Group, Evergreen had a single facility in Clyde, Ohio in January 2021. It bought CarbonLite’s first PET recycling facility in Riverside, Calif. in May 2021 after CarbonLite filed for bankruptcy.

Evergreen announced Feb. 9 that it purchased UltrePET in Albany, N.Y. and Novapet in Amherst, Nova Scotia, in November 2021. UltrePET, now named Evergreen Albany, and Novapet, now named Evergreen Amherst, were acquired from wTe Corp. The acquisitions will allow Evergreen to expand its overall production capacity from about 40 million pounds a year to 147 million pounds of food-grade RPET.

An expansion project at the original Clyde location, scheduled to be finished in June 2022, will increase production capacity further, to over 217 million pounds per year. The project will add a 54,000-square-foot building to the existing 238,000-square-foot facility.

Evergreen General Manager Greg Johnson said the company has spent a total of USD200 million on the acquisitions and expansion. The Ohio expansion was originally just going to add a single new extruder, but the company recently decided to add another for a total of four extruders at the facility.

CEO and President Omar Abuaita said the company is looking to continue to expand in the RPET space and “secure the supply for the bales, which is fairly important in today’s RPET world.”

Evergreen’s expansion as of late has been supported by investments. The American Beverage Association (ABA), Ohio Beverage Association and investment firm Closed Loop Partners put a combined USD5 million into the Ohio project.

Johnson said Evergreen spends “a lot of time innovating and upgrading our processes to try to produce not only the best PET, but customized recycled PET that can meet the varying demand of our different customers.”

COVID-19 did not have a big effect on Evergreen after the initial few months of 2020 when “nobody wanted to touch a bottle,” Abuaita said.

“Things are back to normal but normal is not a good thing,” he said. “Our collection system is broken. It’s not sustainable, not with the demand.”

As MRC reported earlier, in October 2020, Pactiv Evergreen announced a new goal that by 2030, 100% of its products will be made with recycled, recyclable or renewable materials.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, the estimated PET consumption in Russia remained steady year on year in December 2021. December estimate PET consumption was 67,880 tonnes (67,710 tonnes in December 2020).
Russia's overall estimated PET consumption totalled 805,470 tonnes in 2021, up by 13% year on year (714,760 tonnes in 2020).

BASF expands portfolio of climate friendly products

BASF expands portfolio of climate friendly products

MOSCOW (MRC) -- BASF, the world's petrochemical major, expands the portfolio of methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) and introduces with Lupranat ZERO (Zero Emission, Renewable Origin) the first greenhouse gas neutral aromatic isocyanate, as per the company's pres release.

Lupranat ZERO has an accounting Cradle-to-Gate1 Product Carbon Footprint2 (PCF) of zero; this means that on its way until it leaves the BASF factory gate for the customer - all product-related greenhouse gas emissions and the biobased carbon bound in the product taken together - it does not carry a CO2 backpack. Zero emissions up to the factory gate are achieved without offset certificates. Instead, renewable raw materials are used at the beginning of the chemical production chain and allocated via a mass balance process. In addition, renewable energies are used for the manufacturing process with green energy certificates (e.g. Renewable Energy Certificates).

The verification of the PCF calculation of Lupranat ZERO by TUV Nord has been successfully completed. “We have checked the calculation of the PCF of Lupranat ZERO M 70 R in detail and are now pleased to be able to confirm it for the first time," says Delia Carls, auditor at TUV NORD. Lupranat ZERO will be available in the second quarter of 2022.

"Climate protection is becoming increasingly important for our customers. With reliable data on the CO2 footprint of our products, we can support our customers in achieving their climate targets. By using Lupranat ZERO, our customers can quantifiably reduce their CO2 footprint while maintaining the same high product quality and thus make an active contribution to climate protection," says Dr. Ramkumar Dhruva, President Monomers BASF.

Lupranat ZERO will be available in the first for Lupranat M 70 R. The application is for the production of MDI polyisocyanurate panels (also known as PIR or polyiso) and rigid polyurethane foam in the construction industry. The rigid foam boards are extremely durable and are used for thermal insulation. BASF is initially introducing ZERO for Lupranat M 70 R, with other Lupranat product variants to follow.

As MRC reported before, BASF shut down an unspecified unit at its 420,000-metric ton/year steam cracker site in Ludwigshafen, Germany, due to a technical defect. Unscheduled flaring started on 13 January, 2021, at the northern part of the Ludwigshafen site and was expected to last until 17 January, 2021.

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.

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.

Petronas and Mitsui OSK to explore liquefied CO2 shipping

Petronas and  Mitsui OSK to explore liquefied CO2 shipping

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Petronas has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with leading global shipping company Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. (MOL) to jointly explore opportunities in liquefied carbon dioxide (CO2) transportation for the carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) value chain in Asia Pacific and Oceania regions, said the company.

The MoU was signed in a virtual ceremony on 7 February by Petronas Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer of Upstream, Adif Zulkifli and MOL President and Chief Executive Officer Takeshi Hashimoto.

Adif said, "Petronas continuously explores opportunities to reduce carbon emissions in our operations. This collaboration is important as long haul liquefied CO2 transportation plays an essential role in the CCUS value chain. We are confident that MOL’s strong track record, coupled with its recent acquisition of Larvik Shipping AS which has safely transported CO2 for over 30 years, will position both Petronas and MOL as leaders in the region for long haul transportation of liquefied CO2."

Petronas is taking deliberate steps to build a resilient and sustainable portfolio aligned to its growth strategy, delivering effective solutions with a lower carbon footprint through commercial and operational excellence, renewable energy generation and technology innovations. Petronas supports the transition towards lower carbon energy sources by applying technology that lowers emissions across the value chain, which includes carbon capture, transport and storage.

MOL, together with Larvik Shipping AS, which is one of the few companies in the world qualified to operate liquefied CO2 vessels for food-grade CO2, will contribute its expertise in safe transportation of liquefied CO2. Liquefied CO2 transportation safely and efficiently connects CCUS sites over long distances where pipelines are not economically viable.

As per MRC, Petronas Chemicals Aromatics, the Malaysian state-owned petrochemical company, plans to shut down its paraxylene production facility at Kerteh, Malaysia next week for scheduled maintenance. This production facility with a capacity of 550,000 tonnes of paraxylene per year will be under repair for about 50 days.

Petronas is a Malaysian government-owned oil and gas and petrochemicals company and a Global Fortune 500 company. It currently operates and operates in markets in more than 60 countries.

PetroChina to boost petchem output, cut fuel

PetroChina to boost petchem output, cut fuel

MOSCOW (MRC) -- PetroChina has started a 33.9 B yuan (USD5.33 B) program to expand the petrochemical capacity at a subsidiary plant in northeast China and cut refined fuel production, according to a company post and state media report, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The state oil and gas major's move is in line with a trend within the Chinese industry to reduce fossil fuel output as demand is set to peak, while raising production of higher-value petrochemicals that are imported by the Asian country.

Under the revamp, PetroChina's Jilin Petrochemical Corp plans to add 21 more facilities - including a 1.2-MMtpy ethylene unit - and mothball seven units, parent company CNPC said on Wednesday, without providing further details.

The new facilities will also include a 600,000-tpy unit to manufacture acrylonitrile butadiene styrene, an impact-resistant plastic, local state newspaper Jilin Daily reported, without citing details on project completion.

After the revamp, the Jilin province-based subsidiary will produce 2.63 MM tons less of refined fuel a year but 2.8 MM tons more of petrochemicals.

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 tonnes per year.

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.