Lummus and Synthos to develop bio-butadiene technology to produce sustainable rubber

Lummus and Synthos to develop bio-butadiene technology to produce sustainable rubber

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Lummus Technology announced that its Green Circle business and Synthos S.A. have reached a major milestone in the development of advanced bio-butadiene technology, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

After completing a successful feasibility study in 2021, Lummus and Synthos have concluded that the bio-butadiene technology is ready for implementation, and the companies have agreed to move into the engineering and design phase of the project.

Given the confidence in the technology and the strong market demand for renewable materials, Synthos has committed to building a plant with a capacity of 40,000 metric t of bio-butadiene per year – twice as much as the companies had originally planned. In addition to the plant capacity expansion, Synthos has confirmed that it will license BASF’s butadiene extraction technology from Lummus and leverage Lummus’ digitalization capabilities for operational efficiency and reliability.

"Since Lummus began collaborating with Synthos last year, it has become evident that this technology has the potential to be the new standard in our industry due to its renewable sourcing, production efficiency and low carbon footprint,” said Leon de Bruyn, President and Chief Executive Officer of Lummus Technology. “The petrochemical industry is quickly adjusting to ambitious sustainability requirements, and at Lummus we continue to lead this change on multiple fronts. The commercialization with Synthos of this bio-technology for more sustainable rubber products is one of several sustainable process solutions that are making a positive impact."

"Synthos is making great strides in developing a synthetic rubber product portfolio with a significantly reduced environmental footprint. Entering the next phase of our collaboration with Lummus is another step toward our commitment to help our customers achieve their performance and sustainability goals," said Matteo Marchisio, Synthetic Rubber Business Unit Director of Synthos. "We believe the availability of sustainable synthetic rubber made from bio-butadiene will play an important role in the industry's ability to meet the demands of modern mobility, and we are proud to partner with Lummus Technology to lead the way."

As per MRC, Synthos announced the final investment decision for the construction of a new Butadiene Extraction Unit with associated logistic infrastructure to be built in Plock, Poland. Air Liquide Engineering and Construction licenses the BASF NMP Butadiene Extraction technology and has been awarded with the overall engineering, procurement and Construction services and supplies for the project. The commissioning of the Butadiene Extraction Unit and first production are scheduled for 2024. The Butadiene extraction Unit will have a BD capacity of 120 kt/y.

Synthos S.A. is a chemical producer and a key player in the global synthetic rubber market. Synthos S.A Capital Group’s line of business involves the production and sales of chemical products used as raw materials and intermediate products in a wide range of industries, in particular, in the tire industry, the construction industry and the packaging industry.

Shell to increase dividend and buy back more shares as oil and gas prices boost earnings

Shell to increase dividend and buy back more shares as oil and gas prices boost earnings

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Shell will increase its dividend and buy back more shares after high prices for oil and gas helped it deliver bumper full-year earnings after a strong fourth quarter, reported Financial Times.

The UK-headquartered oil group’s adjusted earnings for 2021 - the profit measure most closely tracked by analysts - rose to USD19.3bn, from USD4.8bn a year earlier when the pandemic hit oil demand.

Earnings for the last three months of the year were USD6.4bn, beating average analyst estimates of USD5.2bn and up from USD393mn in the same period a year earlier and USD2.9bn in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Ben van Beurden, Shell’s chief executive, said 2021 had been a “momentous year” for the business. As a result, the company was “stepping up” its distributions to shareholders, he said, with a commitment to buy back USD8.5bn in shares in the first half of 2022 and raise its dividend by roughly 4 per cent to 25 cents a share in the first quarter.

The bumper profits mark a stark turnaround for the group after a bruising 2020, when Shell recorded its lowest earnings since the unification of Royal Dutch and Shell Transport in 2005 and the only annual loss in the company’s history.

As MRC wrote before, Shell Chemicals expects its new petrochemical complex in southwest Pennsylvania to come online by the end of 2022, Royal Dutch Shell CFO Jessica Uhl said February 3, during the company's Q4 2021 earnings call.

We remind that Royal Dutch Shell plc. said in November, 2021, 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.

Ethylene and propylene are the main feedstocks for the production of polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP), respectively.

According to MR''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.

Covestro, Mitsui Chemicals, and Mitsui complete first delivery of certified renewable raw materials in Asia

Covestro, Mitsui Chemicals, and Mitsui complete first delivery of certified renewable raw materials in Asia

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Covestro has entered into an agreement with Mitsui Chemicals on the supply of raw materials phenol and acetone from ISCC Plus certified mass-balanced sources, said the company.

Both components will be used for the production of polycarbonate at Covestro's Asian sites in Shanghai, China, and Map Ta Phut, Thailand. The high-performance plastic is used, for example, in car headlights, LED lights, electronic and medical devices and automotive glazing. Japan's Mitsui Chemicals and Mitsui & Co., Ltd are already a long-standing supplier to Covestro.

"With this agreement, Covestro, Mitsui Chemicals, and Mitsui & Co., Ltd are taking their partnership to a new level, with the goal of supplying customers along the process chain with more sustainable raw materials from mass-balanced, renewable sources," says Sucheta Govil, Chief Commercial Officer of Covestro. "I am very pleased that we are now also gradually converting our production in Asia to products with renewable raw materials. In this way, we are helping customers achieve their sustainability goals and offering them a drop-in solution that they can use immediately without a major changeover."

Recently, the first shipment of mass-balanced phenol produced by Mitsui Chemicals, Inc., from its Osaka site arrived at the production site of Covestro in Caojing, Shanghai. Further shipments are to follow, also including bio-attributed acetone. Mitsui Chemicals uses bio-feedstock from waste and residues as raw material basis for its bio-attributed phenol and acetone products.

In mass balancing, bio-based raw materials are used at an early stage of production and mathematically allocated to finished products. This saves fossil raw materials and reduces greenhouse gas emissions, while the quality of mass-balanced products remains the same compared to purely fossil-based ones.

ISCC ("International Sustainability and Carbon Certification") is an internationally recognized system for sustainability certification of biomass and bioenergy, among others. ISCC Plus includes additional certification options e.g. for techno-chemical applications, including biomass-based plastics.

We remind that Covestro closed the sale of its European polycarbonates (PC) sheets business to the Munich-based Serafin Group effective January 2, 2020. This includes key management and sales functions throughout Europe as well as production sites in Belgium and Italy.

Covestro (formerly Bayer MaterialScience) is an independent subgroup within Bayer. It was created as part of the restructuring of Bayer AG from the former business group Bayer Polymers, with certain of its activities being spun off to Lanxess AG. Covestro manufactures and develops materials such as coatings, adhesives and sealants, polycarbonates (CDs, DVDs), polyurethanes (automotive seating, insulation for refrigerating appliances) etc. With 2020 sales of EUR 10.7 billion, Covestro has 33 production sites worldwide and employs approximately 16,500 people (calculated as full-time equivalents).

Exxon makes new contract offer to locked-out Texas refinery workers

Exxon makes new contract offer to locked-out Texas refinery workers

MOSCOW (MRC) -- ExxonMobil made a new contract offer to union workers at its Beaumont, Texas, refinery who have been locked out since May, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The new offer follows meetings this week aiming to bring back more than 600 refinery workers represented by the United Steelworkers union (USW) to a plant that produces motor fuels and Mobil 1 motor oil. Production has continued using managers and temporary workers. Top officials of the union representing Exxon workers will meet on Monday to consider calling a vote on the proposal, USW International Representative Bryan Gross told Reuters.

A vote by Local 13-243 workers could be held within two weeks after Monday's meeting, Gross said. Exxon said the new proposal adds a new holiday, updates language regarding a union committee and adds a job description for operators in the lubrication oil plant. Locked-out employees in October had rejected an earlier Exxon contract offer.

Exxon has said it began the lockout to avoid disruption from a threatened strike at the 369,024 bpd refinery and lubrication oil plant. The two sides were unable to reach an agreement before the lockout because the company insisted on removal of job seniority provisions, union officials have said. Those provisions provide workers a say in job assignments.

Exxon in the past said it wanted a contract that would give it the flexibility to operate in low-margin environments. It has offered to end the lockout when workers ratified its offer or the union was removed from the refinery. A vote on the union's removal was conducted by the U.S. National Labor Relations Board in November and December. But the ballots were impounded on Dec. 29 by the board so it could review charges filed by the USW alleging Exxon undertook the lockout to force the union's removal.

As per MRC, ExxonMobil, America's largest private petrochemical company, shut down production at its Baytown cracker on February 2 due to a technical breakdown. The shutdown in Baytown at a cracker with a capacity of 1.04 mln tonnes of ethylene and 445,000 tonnes of propylene per year was short and occurred due to a decrease in pressure in the compressor. The company resumed operation of the cracking unit on the same day.

Exxon Mobil Corporation is the largest American private oil company, one of the largest corporations in terms of market capitalization in the world. The company produces oil in various regions of the world, including the USA, Canada, the Middle East, Azerbaijan, etc.

Olin Corporation posts Q4 net income of nearly USD307 mln versus net loss of USD33 mln

Olin Corporation posts Q4 net income of nearly USD307 mln versus net loss of USD33 mln

MOSCOW (MRC) - Olin Corporation (Clayton, Missouri) has reported fourth-quarter net income of USD306.6 million or USD1.89 per share, compared to last year's net loss of USD33.0 million or USD0.21 per share, as per the company's statement.

Sales for the quarter rose to USD2.43 billion from USD1.65 billion last year.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected earnings of USD2.44 per share and revenues of USD2.38 billion for the quarter. Analysts' estimates typically exclude one-time items.

As MRC informed earlier, in October, 2021, Olin Corporation announced that it plans to permanently shut down the remaining diaphragm-grade chlor-alkali capacity at its McIntosh, Alabama facility, by the end of third quarter 2022. The closure of approximately 200,000 electrochemical unit (ECU) tons is in addition to the 200,000 ECU tons shutdown at McIntosh in first quarter 2021.

We remind that in July 2021, Olin Corporation entered into an agreement with ASHTA Chemicals, Inc. to purchase and sell the chlorine produced at ASHTA's Ashtabula, OH facility. Existing contracts will be honored for chlorine customers of both companies.

Olin Corporation is a leading vertically-integrated global manufacturer and distributor of chemical products and a leading US manufacturer of ammunition. The chemical products produced include chlorine and caustic soda, vinyls, epoxies, chlorinated organics, bleach, and hydrochloric acid. Winchester's principal manufacturing facilities produce and distribute sporting ammunition, law enforcement ammunition, reloading components, small caliber military ammunition and components, and industrial cartridges.