LBI invests in Infinity Recycling venture fund to help eliminate plastic waste and advance circular economy

LBI invests in Infinity Recycling venture fund to help eliminate plastic waste and advance circular economy

MOSCOW (MRC) -- LyondellBasell announced its investment in a circular plastics fund led by global venture fund Infinity Recycling, according to Hydrocarbonprocessing.

This investment expands the company’s venture capital activities to help eliminate plastic waste in the environment and advance the circular economy.

“By investing catalytic capital in funds such as Infinity Recycling’s venture fund, we promote the collaboration required to propel a circular economy for plastics forward,” said Yvonne Van Der Laan, Director of olefins and optimization at LyondellBasell. “We aim to help catalyze an additional five dollars from co-investors for every dollar we invest in venture funds focused on the recovery and recycling of plastic waste.”

With LyondellBasell’s investment, the fund will support early-stage companies deploying and developing advanced recycling technologies with a focus on bringing these technologies to scale in Europe.

In 2021, LyondellBasell was also a founding investor in Closed Loop Circular Plastics Fund, which is focused on accelerating infrastructure development and advanced technologies needed to increase the recovery of plastic waste in North America.

These investments align with LyondellBasell’s systemic approach to help end plastic waste in the environment and promote a circular, low-carbon economy. The company is focusing on mechanical recycling, advanced (molecular) recycling and the use of renewable-based feedstocks in its conventional production processes and aims to produce and market 2 MM metric t of recycled and renewable-based polymers annually by 2030.

As MRC wrote earlier, in July, 2021, Neste and LyondellBasell announced a long-term commercial agreement under which LyondellBasell will source Neste RE, a feedstock from Neste that has been produced from 100% renewable feedstock from bio-based sources, such as waste and residue oils and fats. This feedstock will be processed through the cracker at LyondellBasell’s Wesseling, Germany, plant into polymers and sold under the CirculenRenew brand name.

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.

LyondellBasell is one of the largest plastics, chemicals and refining companies in the world. Driven by its 13,000 employees around the globe, LyondellBasell produces materials and products that are key to advancing solutions to modern challenges like enhancing food safety through lightweight and flexible packaging, protecting the purity of water supplies through stronger and more versatile pipes, and improving the safety, comfort and fuel efficiency of many of the cars and trucks on the road. LyondellBasell sells products into approximately 100 countries and is the world's largest licensor of polyolefin technologies.

Stepan Q4 net income decreased by 44%

Stepan Q4 net income decreased by 44%

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Stepan’s Q4 net income fell 44% year on year to USD17m amid global supply chain disruptions and inflationary pressures, said the company.

Furthermore, the prior-year Q4 benefited from a one-off USD13m insurance recovery related to a plant outage at Millsdale, Illinois in 2020. Operating income fell to USD32.4m, from USD43.3m in Q4 2020, primarily due to supply chain disruptions and lower sales volume.

Global Surfactant sales volume decreased 9% on lower demand for cleaning products in the consumer products business, partially offset by higher demand for products sold into the institutional cleaning and functional product end markets.

Operating income fell to USD12.9m, from USD22.8m, primarily due to supply chain disruptions and the non-recurrence of two events that benefited Q4 2020: the Millsdale insurance recovery, and a partial settlement received from the Chinese government as compensation for a government-mandated shutdown of Stepan’s China JV in 2012.

Operating income fell to USD2.1m, from USD5.2m, primarily attributable to order timing differences within Stepan’s food and flavour business and lower volume within the medium chain triglycerides (MCT) product line. "Looking forward, we believe that demand for our products will remain strong but that the company will continue to be challenged by the same external factors that impacted us during 2021," said CEO Quinn Stepan.

Surfactant volumes within the institutional cleaning, agricultural and oilfield markets are expected to grow, and “we also remain cautiously optimistic” that consumer consumption of cleaning, disinfection and personal wash products will improve slightly in 2022, after significant de-stocking in 2021, the CEO said.

The Polymer business is expected to grow as well in 2022 as long-term prospects for rigid polyols remain attractive because of energy conservation efforts and more stringent building codes, he said. In the Specialty Product business, results should improve slightly year on year, the CEO added.

As per MRC, Stepan plans to invest USD220m to build a new alkoxylation plant at its site in Pasadena, Texas. The new plant will provide “a flexible capacity” of 75,000 tonnes/year, capable of both ethoxylation and propoxylation, and better position the company to serve growing global demand in its surfactant and polymer businesses, it said.

As MRC informed before, Stepan conducted planned maintenance at its 90,000 tonnes/year phthalic anhydride (PA) plant Millsdale, Illinois, US, from early October to end-October, 2020.

Phthalic anhydride is widely used in for the production of paints and varnishes and plasticizers for PVC products. In a small amount it is used in the manufacture of rubber products, tires. In addition, it is used in the light, pharmaceutical and electrical industries.

Indorama Ventures purchases 85% stake in Czech recycler

Indorama Ventures purchases 85% stake in Czech recycler

MOSCOW (MRC) -- UCY Ventures Group has completed the sale of its majority stake in UCY Polymers, a Czech-based polyethylene terephthalate (PET) recycling plant to Indorama Ventures (IVL), a global sustainable chemicals producer, said Sustainableplastics.

UCY Ventures Group will retain a minority stake in the Czech entity. UCY Polymers is able to produce 40,000 tonnes of recycled PET (R-PET) flake per year. IVL plans to develop UCY to serve the growing demand for R-PET across Europe.

IVL’s existing R-PET flake production units in the region will provide the washed and shredded post-consumer bottles (PCB) which will be turned into resin suitable for food contact use. IVL will increase its R-PET recycling capacity to reach 750,000 tonnes/year by 2025.

UCY will work with IVL’s existing PET flake production facilities in the region. These provide the washed and shredded post-consumer bottles as PET flake feedstock to produce recycled PET resin that is suitable for food contact use. PET is fully recyclable and the most collected and recycled plastic packaging in Europe.

As MRC informed earlier, Indorama Ventures Sines, a subsidiary of the world leader in the production of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) - Indorama Ventures Company Ltd (IVL), plans to halt production at the refined terephthalic acid (TPA) plant in Sines (Sines, Portugal) in mid-November to conduct planned preventive measures. Repair work at this enterprise with a capacity of 700,000 tonnes/year of TPA per year will continue for one month. Thus, this plant should return to work in mid-December this year.

As per MRC, Indorama Ventures Public Company Limited, a global petrochemical producer, has started developing a new technology center under its Integrated Oxides & Derivatives (IOD) business at The Woodlands, Texas. The new facility will be the company’s U.S. research and development hub for new products used in the home, personal and industrial cleaning, agrochemicals, energy, lubricants, mining, and coatings markets.

Indorama Ventures Public Company Limited, listed in Thailand (Bloomberg ticker IVL.TB), is one of the world’s leading petrochemicals producers, with a global manufacturing footprint across Africa, Asia Pacific, Europe and Americas. The company’s portfolio comprises Integrated PET, Olefins, Fibers, Packaging and Specialty Chemicals. Indorama Ventures products serve major FMCG and automotive sectors, i.e. beverages, hygiene, personal care, tire and safety segments. Indorama Ventures has approx. 24,000 employees worldwide and consolidated revenue of US$ 11.4 billion in 2019. The Company is listed in the Dow Jones Emerging Markets and World Sustainability Indices (DJSI).

Solvay invests Chinese startup to accelerate breakthroughs in on-site chemicals production

Solvay invests Chinese startup to accelerate breakthroughs in on-site chemicals production

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Solvay Ventures, the venture capital fund of Solvay, has announced its investment in Chengyang Tech, a Chinese startup developing electrochemical technologies for on-site H2O2 production, as part of an expanded effort to explore its core technology for applications in long-duration energy storage and water electrolysis, as per the company's press release.

Chengyang's solutions effectively create new energy-efficient processes to convert air and water into chemicals using electrical energy, positively impacting the planet and accelerating society's journey towards carbon neutrality.

As the first technology in its platform, Chengyang Tech has developed a modular generator that produces alkaline hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) directly on the customer site based on patented electrochemical technology. This electrochemical process consumes only air, water and electricity, while producing no waste. This technology makes it possible to produce and use green alkaline H2O2 in areas where transportation is difficult or too expensive.

“Chengyang brings to life an exciting technology platform, strongly aligned with Solvay’s commitment towards carbon neutrality. We are also proud to highlight this as our first direct venture capital investment in China; an increasingly innovative and dynamic ecosystem,” said Thomas Canova, head of technology scouting & venturing at Solvay.

As MRC reported earlier, in August, 2020, through the acquisition of the Solvay polyamide (PA) business, BASF enhanced its R&D capabilities in Asia Pacific with new technologies, technical expertise, and upgraded material and part testing services. BASF is planning to integrate the R&D centers from Solvay into its R&D existing facilities in Shanghai, China, and Seoul, Korea. The enhanced capabilities will boost BASF’s position as a solution provider to develop advanced material solutions for key industries.

Solvay is a science company whose technologies bring benefits to many aspects of daily life. With more than 24,100 employees in 64 countries, Solvay bonds people, ideas and elements to reinvent progress. The Group seeks to create sustainable shared value for all, notably through its Solvay One Planet plan crafted around three pillars: protecting the climate, preserving resources and fostering better life. The Group’s innovative solutions contribute to safer, cleaner, and more sustainable products found in homes, food and consumer goods, planes, cars, batteries, smart devices, health care applications, water and air purification systems. Founded in 1863, Solvay today ranks among the world’s top three companies for the vast majority of its activities.

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.