Versalis begins producing bioethanol at Crescentino plant

Versalis begins producing bioethanol at Crescentino plant

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Versalis, Eni's chemical company, announces that it has begun the production of bioethanol from lignocellulosic biomass at their Crescentino plant, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The plant, which was acquired in 2018, has been overhauled thanks to major investments and has started the production of advanced bioethanol, in compliance with the European legislation for the development of renewable energy, as it is derived from raw materials that do not interfere with the food chain. The bioethanol, produced using Proesa technology, is ISCC-EU certified and will be used to formulate gasoline with a renewable component.

The plant is capable of processing 200,000 tpy of biomass, with a maximum production capacity of approximately 25,000 tpy of bioethanol. Following an initial test production run in recent weeks, the plant is now working at a progressive speed in order to fine-tune processes. Since July 2020, Crescentino has also been producing Invix hand and surface disinfectant, a “medical device” made using bio-based ethanol as active ingredient.

Adriano Alfani, CEO of Versalis, said "Starting with the industrial production of advanced bioethanol using Proesa technology is an important step for Crescentino, a one-of-a-kind plant that further strengthens our strategy to develop chemicals using renewable energy to improve sustainable mobility, in line with Eni's energy transition strategy. For Versalis, innovation and technological development are essential components for accelerating the development of increasingly sustainable chemicals."

As per MRC, Versalis, Eni’s chemical company, has acquired on an exclusive basis the technology and plants of Ecoplastic, an Italian company of the De Berg group specializing in the recovery, recycling and transformation chain of styrenic polymers.

As per MRC, Versalis S.p.A. (San Donato Milanese), the chemical company of Italian energy major Eni, has licensed to Enter Engineering Pte. Ltd. a Low-Density Polyethylene/Ethyl Vinyl Acetate (LDPE/EVA) swing unit to be built as part of a new Gas-to-Chemical Complex based on MTO-Methanol to Olefins technology to be located in the Karakul area in the Bukhara region of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

Eni is an Italian multinational oil and gas company headquartered in Rome. It has operations in in 79 countries, and is currently Italy's largest industrial company. The Italian government owns a 30.3% golden share in the company, 3.93% held through the state Treasury and 26.37% held through the Cassa depositi e prestiti. Another 39.40% of the shares are held by BNP Paribas.

AdvanSix to acquire US Amines for USD100m

AdvanSix to acquire US Amines for USD100m

MOSCOW (MRC) -- AdvanSix, a new resin and chemical division of Honeywell, has agreed to acquire US Amines in a USD100 mln all-cash deal, according to Seeking Alpha.

Subject to customary closing conditions, the acquisition is expected to close in Q122 and will be accretive to 2022 earnings.

U . Amines manufactures and markets synthetic Alkyl and Allyl amines, with manufacturing locations in Bucks, Alabama and Portsmouth, Virginia. The business is estimated to generate revenue of about US70M in 2022.

AdvanSix expects the acquisition to boost its value chain by internalizing supply of products and raw materials, and add a unique platform in agrochemicals. The deal will also help it venture deeper into high-value applications such as electronics, pharmaceuticals, water treatment.

As MRC reported earlier, AdvanSix completed a planned turnaround at its phenol and acetone plant in Frankford, PA, USA. The maintenance works at the plant with a capacity of 1.1 billion pounds of phenol per year (about 500,000 tons per year) and 608 million pounds of acetone per year (308,400 tons per year) began in late March 2017 and was expected to take 2 -3 weeks. This plant is the third largest producer of phenol and acetone in North America. AdvanSix uses cumene derived from benzene and propylene to produce phenol and acetone.

Phenol is the main feedstock component for the production of bisphenol A (BPA), which, in its turn, is used to produce polycarbonate (PC).

According to MRC's ScanPlast, Russia's estimated consumption of PC granules (excluding imports and exports to/from Belarus) totalled about 82,300 tonnes in 2021, down by 8% year on year (89,200 tonnes a year earlier).

Sika hit record sales and profits for 2021

Sika hit record sales and profits for 2021

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Construction chemicals firm Sika tracked a record increase in sales and profits for 2021 in spite of challenges surrounding raw material pricing and supply constraints, said the company.

Operating profits increased as Sika was able to pass down price increases to its customers supported by cost management, recording growth across all regions. FCF was down due to increased inventory value and a higher level of investments.

Sika announced the acquisition of MBCC Group (formerly BASF’s construction chemicals business), subject to approval from the authorities, with conclusion of the deal expected in the second half of 2022.

Sika expects sales to rise by more than well above 10% in local currencies, surpassing Swfr10bn for the first time, which will drive an increase in earnings.

On the back of this Sika announced it is targeting growth by 6-8% a year in local currencies to 2023, with a margin range for earnings before interest (EBIT) in the range of 15-18%.

As MRC informed earlier, Sika commissioned a manufacturing facility in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), which produces epoxy resins aimed at flooring solutions. Sika has decided to invest in the expansion of its manufacturing facilities at the Dubai site in order to increase flexibility in production, shorten delivery times, optimize cost structures, and reduce inventories.

Sika is a specialty chemicals company with a leading position in the development and production of systems and products for bonding, sealing, damping, reinforcing, and protecting in the building sector and motor vehicle industry. Sika has subsidiaries in 101 countries around the world and manufactures in over 200 factories. Its more than 20,000 employees generated annual sales of CHF 7.09 billion in 2018.

Epsilyte raises March EPS prices on higher feedstock osts

Epsilyte raises March EPS prices on higher feedstock osts

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Epsilyte (The Woodlands, Texas), a leading North American producer of expandable polystyrene (EPS), has announced an increase in its prices of all EPS grades for March shipments to keep pace with rising costs, said the company.

Thus, the price of the company's EPS grades will ris by 7 cents/pound (cts/lb) or USD154/tonne, effective 1 March, 2021 or as contracts allow.

Escalating freight and raw material costs that include availability concerns, along with current EPS supply and demand dynamics, warrant this adjustment.

As MRC reported earlier, Epsilyte rolled over its January EPS prices in the region for February shipments.

EPS is a rigid form of polystyrene (PS) used in insulation foams for the construction industry as well as for packaging.

According to ICIS-MRC Price report, demand for EPS generally remained in the Russian market at the previous week's level. Domestic EPS prices remained unchanged. Prices of SIBUR-Khimprom and Plastik, Uzlovaya's EPS were in the range of Rb187,000-197,000/tonne CPT Moscow, including VAT, this month.

Epsilyte is owned by private equity firm Balmoral Funds (Los Angeles, California). Epsilyte is one of North America’s leading producers of expandable polystyrene resin. The company is focused on solving customer needs for efficient, high-R value EPS. This includes reducing energy usage in buildings, ensuring safe and healthy food through innovative packaging technology, and participating in infrastructure investment both in the United States and abroad.

COVID-19 - News digest as of 18.02.2022

1. Neste to start Singapore SAF plant by 1Q 2023

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Neste plans to produce its first batch of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) in Singapore by the end of 1Q 2023 after the COVID-19 pandemic delayed its expansion project, reported Reuters with reference to a senior executive's statement on Wednesday. "It's been delayed due to the pandemic as we were already hoping to be on stream in 2022," Neste's Executive Vice President for Renewable Aviation, Thorsten Lange, told Reuters. "But the revised plan is now fully on track." Neste produces renewable fuels, mainly from waste and residues such as used cooking oil, animal fat from food industry waste, fish fat from fish processing waste and residues from vegetable oil processing.