Neste and ITOCHU strengthen partnership to increase availability of SAF in Japan

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Neste and ITOCHU Corporation have expanded their partnership to grow the availability of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) in Japan, according to Hydrocarbonprocessing.

In the expanded partnership, ITOCHU acts as the branded distributor of Neste MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel in Japan making Neste MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel available first at the two largest Japanese international airports; Tokyo Haneda and Narita.

Already in 2020, Neste, ITOCHU and All Nippon Airways started cooperating, establishing a SAF supply chain in Japan enabling Neste’s first SAF delivery into Asia to take place in Japan. Through their expanded partnership, Neste and ITOCHU are able to support other domestic and international airlines as well as other fuel suppliers at Haneda and Narita International Airports, going forward.

"The relationship between Neste and ITOCHU started in early 2010s when we collaborated on (a) renewable diesel business in California, and we are very pleased to deepen the relationship further. Now, the aviation industry is one of the frontrunners committed to reducing carbon footprint, and we are excited to contribute to their efforts by increasing availability of SAF in Japan in partnership with Neste," said Tsuyoshi Matsumoto, ITOCHU’s General Manager of the Petroleum Trading Department.

“This partnership is a major step forward in making our SAF available in the Japanese market. It underlines our commitment to working together with the aviation industry to achieve its emission reduction targets. We will have a global SAF production capacity of 1.5 MMtpy by the end of 2023. That includes up to 1 MMt of SAF production capacity in our Singapore refinery, with the capacity expansion project scheduled for start-up by the end of the first quarter of 2023. We are ready to support the Japanese and broader Asia-Pacific aviation markets in driving emission reductions,” said Sami Jauhiainen, Neste’s Vice President APAC, Renewable Aviation.

As MRC wrote before, Neste has successfully concluded its first series of trial runs processing liquefied waste plastic at its Porvoo refinery in Finland. After kicking the series off with its first-ever industrial scale trial run with liquefied waste plastic in 2020, Neste has conducted additional runs in 2021. In the course of the trial runs, Neste has been able to upgrade liquefied waste plastic to drop-in solutions for plastic production and develop industrial scale capabilities to upgrade recycled feedstocks. Trials pave the way for continuous and commercial activities. Neste has set itself the goal of processing more than 1 MM tons of plastic waste per year from 2030 onwards.

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.

Neste (Helsinki) creates solutions for combating climate change and accelerating a shift to a circular economy. The company refines waste, residues and innovative raw materials into renewable fuels and sustainable feedstock for plastics and other materials. The company is the world’s leading producer of renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel, developing chemical recycling to combat the plastic waste challenge. In 2020, Neste's revenue stood at EUR11.8 billion, with 94% of the company’s comparable operating profit coming from renewable products.

Evonik introduces new strategy to support its customers by making more sustainable coatings and inks

Evonik introduces new strategy to support its customers by making more sustainable coatings and inks

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Sustainability in the coatings and inks industry is often reduced to "bio-based solutions." However, to evaluate a coating’s true environmental impact, many more aspects need to be considered than only assessing if a solution is “bio-based." To address this challenge, Evonik has developed a strategy that goes far beyond its own additives by putting the formulation and the final product itself as the focus of all its activities, as per the company's press release.

Under the claim “Sustainability goes deeper than the surface,” Evonik’s Coating Additives business line introduces its new holistic approach to sustainability that minimizes the environmental footprint and maximizes the handprint of the final coating.

“Sustainability is about so much more than just being green,” says Gaetano Blanda, Head of Evonik Coating Additives. “It's about the consistent viability of saving time, materials, and energy. We are convinced that to produce truly sustainable products the formulation itself must be more environmentally friendly and safer.” Accordingly, Evonik Coatings Additives bundles its new sustainability approach into seven so-called handprint effects. “The handprint of a product is the difference between an established and an improved condition of a single environmental impact,” describes Tim-Frederic Sloot, Head of Sustainability at Evonik Coating Additives. “For example, when our product enables the formulator to significantly reduce the VOC content in a coating’s footprint – then the difference to the VOC content in the reference coating is the handprint of our additive.” The business line has defined seven different effects which outline potential handprints for its products and solutions. These seven handprint effects influence different steps of the value chain – from the manufacturing, via the end use of coated or printed articles to the disposal or recycling.

There are four handprint effects that focus mainly on the formulation and application step of coatings and inks. These four effects are “Safe Use,” “Production Efficiency,” “VOC Reduction,” and “Sustainable Feedstocks.” Concerning safe use, Evonik’s Coating Additives team proactively carries out individual actions to reduce safety related risks of its portfolio, for example by replacing hazardous components. To improve production efficiency, solutions are offered that optimize and reduce the amount of material and utility needed from customers, for example by reducing energy usage during the grinding step of a formulation. Providing solutions for VOC reduction is already a core competency of Evonik, and the existing portfolio of additives and resins that serve this purpose is continuously expanded. The increasing number of bio-based products included in Evonik’s portfolio further addresses the growing need to replace fossil raw materials with more sustainable feedstocks.

The next two handprint effects of “Durability” and “Labels/Compliance” have their highest relevance in the end use phase of coated articles. A more durable coating significantly reduces the need for maintenance or replacement, resulting in substantial savings of raw materials and emissions. Evonik’s high-performance additives improve corrosion, scratch, and/or burnish resistance. To address the “Labels/Compliance” effect, Evonik’s regulatory experts evaluate the suitability of relevant products for compliant coatings and inks, providing customers with extensive regulatory information for the whole portfolio.

The seventh and last handprint effect, “Circular Solutions”, focuses on the end of life of coated and printed articles. As a key member of Evonik’s Circular Plastics Program, the Coating Additives business line focuses the development of its portfolio on circular solutions for paints, coatings and inks.

Besides maximizing the handprint, the Coating Additives business also minimizes its footprint throughout all its processes by using resources more efficiently and reducing emissions.

For that purpose, a comprehensive Portfolio Sustainability Assessment (PSA) using the framework of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) is carried out. Based on the PSA, it is possible to identify products that have a clear positive sustainability profile, which are then named as “Next Generation Solutions.” It is also possible to identify products with critical sustainability profiles and initiate actions to improve the profile. As of today, approximately 50% of Evonik’s coating additives portfolio are classified as next generation solutions.

Evonik’s efforts to reduce its own greenhouse gas emissions also includes increasing the transparency of its processes. This is done by monitoring the specific energy use and material streams at individual production sites and by Life Cycle Assessments (LCAs) on a product level. In a next step, experts from Evonik’s Technology & Engineering department will also identify the most attractive reduction potentials and carry out projects to realize them. “Our holistic approach enables our customers to contribute to a much more sustainable coatings and inks industry,” added Tim-Frederic Sloot.

The Coating Additives business line’s sustainability approach is part of the entire Evonik group’s overall Sustainability Strategy. This strategy is based on ambitious targets and key activities to translate them into measurable actions.

As MRC reported before, Evonik is investing a three-digit million-euro sum in the construction of a new production plant for bio-based and fully biodegradable rhamnolipids. The decision to build the plant follows a breakthrough in Evonik's research and development. Rhamnolipids are biosurfactants and serve as active ingredients in shower gels and detergents. Demand for environ-mentally friendly surfactants is growing rapidly worldwide.

We remind that in February, 2020, Dow and Evonik entered into an exclusive technology partnership. Together, they plan to bring a unique method for directly synthesizing propylene glycol (PG) from propylene and hydrogen peroxide to market maturity.

Propylene is the main feedstock for the production of polypropylene (PP).

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.

Evonik is one of the world leaders in specialty chemicals. The company is active in more than 100 countries around the world and generated sales of EUR12.2 billion and an operating profit (adjusted EBITDA) of EUR1.91 billion in 2020. Evonik goes far beyond chemistry to create innovative, profitable and sustainable solutions for customers. About 33,000 employees work together for a common purpose: to improve life today and tomorrow.

Alvega completes the basic design of slurry alkylation unit

Alvega completes the basic design of slurry alkylation unit

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Alvega LLC as subsidiary of Alvega Technologies Inc. completes the basic design of the world's first 3,500 bpd slurry alkylation unit, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

In November 2021, the company started developing basic design engineering package for a 3,500 bpd alkylation unit based on a slurry reactor technology.

The company has developed a solid catalyst without noble metals that allows processing any C2-C4 olefin feedstocks, and 100% isobutylene (which is important in connection with the rejection of MTBE) into a high-octane alkylate with RON up to 100. Estimated CAPEX will be approximately 1.5-3 times lower than existing processes on the market (acids, solids, ionic liquids).

In 2017, the Finnish investment company Innovestor took part in the investment round of the Russian startup Alvega Technologies, the total amount of which was €800,000.

Alvega Technologies develops environmentally friendly technologies in the field of oil processing and filtration. The company has developed a new alkylation technology (SALT). Alkylate is a key component in the process of refining and turning oil into end products.

Kraton performance enhancement additives receive RecyClass approval as fully compatible with recycling of PP containers in Europe

Kraton performance enhancement additives receive RecyClass approval as fully compatible with recycling of PP containers in Europe

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Kraton Corporation announces its CirKular+ performance enhancement series C2000 and C3000 have been approved as fully compatible with recycling of polypropylene (PP) containers in Europe according to RecyClass, reported SpecialChem.

Pellets containing 5 wt.% of either CirKular+ C2000 or C3000 resin blended in an injection molding PP grade matrix were tested according to the Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR) critical guidance for PP rigid containers.

By enabling a holistic approach to the plastic product life cycle, CirKular+ solutions can enhance plastics upcycling and circularity across the entire plastics value chain. Additionally, CirKular+ can offer improved plastic packaging recyclability and durability suitable for a wide range of end-use applications.

Activities within RecyClass include the development of recyclability evaluation protocols and the scientific testing of innovative materials. RecyClass supports the industry in redesigning plastic packaging to improve recycled plastic quality, aiming to harmonize the existing approaches.

"We are honored to achieve RecyClass certification for our CirKular+ Performance Enhancement Series," said Holger Jung, SVP & polymer segment president, Kraton. "This recognition reinforces our commitment to enable sustainable high-performance solutions to address the plastics industry needs for design recyclability and the advancement of the circular economy."

As MRC wrote before, in April, 2021, The American company Kraton announced that the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has granted an emergency exemption for the use of its new sulfonated polymer, which rapidly inactivates the coronavirus. The Environmental Protection Agency has issued an emergency permit for the use of the polymer in the states of the United States, Georgia, Utah and Minnesota for specific applications to protect against the COVID-19 virus.

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.

Kraton Performance Polymers, Inc., comprised of the functional division of Kraton Polymers LLC and its subsidiaries, is the world's leading manufacturer of specialty polymers and styrene block copolymers (SBCs). The company's manufacturing base consists of five factories, including a central plant in Belpre, Ohio, as well as factories in Germany, France, Brazil and a joint manufacturing venture in Japan.

PTTGC net profit falls in Q4

PTTGC net profit falls in Q4

MOSCOW (MRC) -- PTT Global Chemical (PTTGC)'s net profit fell by 49% year on year to Thai baht (Bt) 3.25bn in the fourth quarter as petrochemicals output fell due to maintenance shutdowns, said the company.

For 2022, the company expects the recovery in downstream demand from external markets to continue supporting its aromatics as well as olefins and derivatives businesses throughout the year. The company's overall sales surged by 59% year on year to Bt139.3bn in the fourth quarter, while earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation were up by 20%, PTTGC said in a statement.

PTTGC's overall sales in the fourth rose on the back of higher petroleum product prices which tracked the increase in the crude prices as well as a demand recovery from the easing of COVID-19 restrictions, it said. The company's petrochemical prices increased on tightening supply from maintenance shutdowns and a slowdown in production at some producers in the region, the company said.

The rise in feedstock prices weighed on the company's olefins and aromatics businesses in the fourth quarter, with EBITDA margins for both units falling in the fourth quarter of 2021 compared with the same period in the previous year.

The adjusted EBITDA margin for the company's aromatics business fell to 5% in the fourth quarter from 3% in Q4 2020. The adjusted EBITDA margin for the olefins and derivatives unit fell sharply to 12% in the fourth quarter of 2021 from 23%. PTTGC expects its olefins plants utilization rate to be around 91% this year.

As per MRC, Thai PTTGC is planning a capital investment of USD608 million over five years, including two start-ups this year. PTTGC's joint venture with Austrian packaging and recycling company ALPLA, called ENVICCO Ltd, is expected to produce recycled polymers at Map Ta Phut in Rayong Province. The ENVICCO plant, which can produce 30,000 tons per year of recycled polyethylene terephthalate (R-PET) and 15,000 tons per year of recycled low-density polyethylene (R-HDPE), is expected to enter commercial operation in the first quarter of 2022.

PTT Global Chemical (PTTGC) was founded on October 19, 2011 after the merger of PTT Chemical Company and PTT Aromatics and Refining Company to become the flagship of the PTT chemical group. As a result of the integration, the company's total capacity for the production of olefins and aromatics reached 8.2 million tons per year, and oil products - 280 thousand barrels per day, which makes it the largest integrated petrochemical and oil refining company not only in Thailand, but also in Asia.