Mary Rhinehart named interim president and CEO of Lubrizol

Mary Rhinehart named interim president and CEO of Lubrizol

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Mary Rhinehart has taken over as interim CEO and president of US-based specialty chemicals producer Lubrizol, said the company.

Rhinehart will lead the search for a new CEO and continue to serve as Lubrizol’s board chair, the company said in a statement. She took over from Chris Brown, who became CEO and president in August last year, succeeding Eric Schnur, who had been CEO and president since 2017.

Rhinehart also serves as board chair of Johns Manville (JM), a global building and specialty products manufacturer, and was JM’s president and CEO from 2012 to 2020.

As per MRC, Lubrizol announced the next phase of its staged, multi-million dollar investment in thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) capacity and capabilities to serve the rapidly growing global Paint Protection Films (PPF) market. This comes on top of investments of over USD20 million over the last three years in capacity, application and testing capabilities, and market insights.

As MRC wrote previously, in August 2015, S and L Specialty Polymers Co., a joint venture of Sekisui Chemicals (51%) and Lubrizol Advanced Materials (49%), started up its new chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC) plant on the Hemaraj Eastern Industrial Estate in Map Ta Phut, Thailand. The plant, built at a cost of about USD 50-million, has the capacity to produce 30,000 t/y of CPVC. The venture plans to increase capacity to 40,000 t/y in 2016, and possibly to 60,000 t/y in the future.

Lubrizol and JM are part of US billionaire investor Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway group.

Sabic announced a new collaboration with Kraton for certified renewable butadiene

Sabic announced a new collaboration with Kraton for certified renewable butadiene

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Sabic has announced a new collaboration with Kraton to deliver certified renewable butadiene from its TRUCIRCLE portfolio for use in Kraton’s certified renewable styrenic block copolymers, said Hydracarbonprocessing.

This effort forms part of Sabic's 2025 strategy, which includes a sustainability development goal roadmap spanning the organization’s entire value chain and addressing 10 goals to help drive meaningful sustainable change.

Sabic's certified renewable butadiene is derived from animal-free and palm oil-free ‘second generation’ renewable feedstock, such as tall oil, a by-product from the wood pulping process in the paper industry. This feedstock is not in direct competition with human food and animal feed production sources. According to the cradle-to-gate lifecycle analysis, from sourcing the raw feedstock to producing the polymers, each kilogram of the company’s bio-based butadiene reduces CO2 emissions by an average of 4 kg compared to fossil-based virgin alternatives. Additionally, each ton of the butadiene also cuts fossil depletion by up to 80%.

Sabic certified renewable butadiene will be used in Kraton’s newly launched ISCC PLUS certified renewable CirKular+ ReNew Series to expand Kraton's existing suite of solutions designed to advance the circular economy. With up to 70% certified renewable content, the ReNew Series offers customers the opportunity to use the mass balance approach and adopt ISCC PLUS certification to produce renewable products. Kraton successfully produced CirKular+ ReNew Series Hydrogenated Styrenic Block Copolymers (HSBC) at the Berre plant earlier this year using SABIC’s renewable butadiene.

As per MRC, Sabicstarted up its new polypropylene (PP) compounding line in Genk, Belgium. The new line is an addition to the company’s existing production capacity for Sabic PP compounds at the Genk site, and will use raw materials from SABIC PP plants at Gelsenkirchen, Germany, and Geleen, The Netherlands.

As per MRC, SabicInnovative Plastics, a subsidiary of the largest Saudi petrochemical company - Sabic, on 27 September closed production at its polycarbonate (PC) plant in Mount Vernon (Mount Vernon, Indiana, USA) for planned preventive measures. Maintenance at this enterprise with a capacity of 245,000 tonnes of PC per year continued until 11 October.

Sabicis a diversified company manufacturing chemicals, industrial polymers, fertilizers and metals. It is the largest state-owned company in Saudi Arabia. SABIC is currently the world's second largest ethylene glycol producer, the third largest polyethylene producer, and the fourth largest polypropylene producer. Sabic cut its 2015 net profit by 7% to SR23.43 billion (Saudi reais), equivalent to USD6.24 billion, amid lower average selling prices and increased sales.

US Energy Secretary supports industry partnerships and energy transition

US Energy Secretary supports industry partnerships and energy transition

MOSCOW (MRC) -- US Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm said the US government is ready to join forces with the private sector, citing the nearly USD62 B in grant funding for industry partners under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law during a luncheon at the CERAWeek conference in Houston, according to Hydrocarbonprocessing.

“We’re ready to partner with the private sector through the USD62 billion that Congress just gave us in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Most of that funding is going out through competitive grants...and we’re eager to receive your best and most innovative ideas,” said Granholm.

Granholm also placed emphasis on clean fuels and the importance of deploying cleaner energy as soon as possible.

“I’m here to tell you that the Department of Energy, and the entire Biden administration, is ready to work with you to seize the opportunity of clean energy,” said Granholm. “That means we have to deploy clean technologies as fast as possible - but we’re under no illusion that every American will get an EV or a heat pump tomorrow or next month or next year.”

Granholm added that now is an opportune time for the industry to strive towards cleaner energy and improved energy security.

As MRC reported earlier, it is high time that the US forges a new energy policy based on facts and common sense. Before Tuesday’s decision to halt the import of Russian oil and gas, the Biden Administration has put more sanctions on US oil and gas than on Russian oil and gas. Public lands have been made off-limits for drilling.

AkzoNobel opens global R&D center in the UK

AkzoNobel opens global R&D center in the UK

MOSCOW (MRC) -- AkzoNobel says it has opened a new global research and development center at its Slough site in the U.K., reportedly adding to a growing list of similar facilities located in countries around the world, said the company.

The facility – home to 120 specialists – will act as a major hub within the company’s worldwide R&D network and help to further advance AkzoNobel’s innovation capabilities, especially in the area of decorative paints, according to the company.

The site reportedly is the latest in a series of centers opened by AkzoNobel designed to advance the company’s product development. Additional centers include an automotive facility in Poland, an application training center in Dubai, an innovation campus in Felling, U.K., and a global innovation, development and training center in Qatar for the company’s marine coatings business.

Fiona McLachlan, AkzoNobel’s technical director – color, says, "Our paints and coatings have a strong heritage in the U.K. and Ireland, touching so many aspects of our day-to-day lives. This modern, fit-for-purpose center will continue this legacy into the future. It will enable us to further our long-standing contributions to the paints and coatings industry, while helping to drive the local economy, both regionally and nationally."

The new center is located close to the company’s flagship Dulux Academy, a purpose-built facility which, along with 12 other locations in Dulux Decorator Centers and colleges, provides painters and decorators with expertise to help improve product, application and technical knowledge and understanding, according to the company.

As per MRC, AkzoNobel expects business in Russia to wind down in the next couple of months due to difficulties accessing raw materials and the increasing deterioration of supply chains. The firm, which operates four plants in the country, expects its Russian assets to go out of business within the next couple of months due to the impact of sanctions imposed on the country and intensifying supply chain disruption, as well as the ability of key customers to finance orders.

As MRC previously reported, AkzoNobel completed a capacity expansion at its industrial coatings plant in Songjiang, near Shanghai, China, in March 202, doubling its packaging lacquer and coating capacity. After expansion, the plant became one of the world's largest enterprises for the production of industrial coatings, as well as epoxy and polyester resins.

AkzoNobel is the world's largest manufacturer of paints and coatings, also a leader in specialty chemicals.

Braskem invests in three plastic recycling plants to advance the circular economy

Braskem invests in three plastic recycling plants to advance the circular economy

MOSCOW (MRC) -- To further strengthen its commitment to sustainable development, Braskem, the largest polyolefins producer in the Americas and leading producer of biopolymers in the world, announces the investment of R130 million dollars in three projects to advance the circular economy, according to SpecialChem.

This includes inauguration of a mechanical recycling plant, the start of construction of Brazil's first advanced recycling plant with technology developed by Valoren and the start of construction of a circular packaging development center.

Around R67 million dollars is invested in building a mechanical recycling plant in Indaiatuba, Sao Paulo, with startup slated for March. The project was made possible by the partnership with Valoren, a company engaged in the development of new technologies and the management of solid waste for its transformation into recycled products.

The expectation is that the region will transform 250 million units of post-consumer packaging made from polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) used in cleaning, personal care, cosmetics, and food products, for example, into 14,000 tons of high-quality resins for reuse as raw materials by the plastics converter industry. The plant is already in the commissioning and assisted pre-operational phase.

One of Braskem's innovative fronts for complementing the closure of the circular economy was the signing of another disruptive project with Valoren for the construction and startup of an advanced recycling unit, also located in the city of Indaiatuba. The unit will chemically transform plastic waste using a pyrolysis process into a certified circular raw material for use in making resins or chemical inputs.

The new unit, which was made possible by a joint investment of RD44 million and will start-up in the first quarter of 2023, will have an annual production capacity of 6,000 tons of circular products.

"After six years of research and development into innovative new technologies in the pyrolysis of plastic waste, we are very satisfied to be partnering once again with Braskem, which further confirms our joint commitment to the circular economy,” said Heinz-Peter Elstrodt, partner and chairman of Valoren.

By mid-2022, Braskem expects to inaugurate Cazoolo, its circular economy packaging development center located in the West zone of Sao Paulo city, for an investment of R20 million dollars.

The initiatives, which jointly will require an investment of over R130 million dollars, are directly related to the targets that Braskem has undertaken for the coming years.

In its efforts to eliminate plastic waste, Braskem will expand its production portfolio to include, by 2025, 300, 000 tons of thermoplastic resins and chemical products with recycled content, and by 2030, 1 million tons of such products. Also by 2030, it aims to eliminate 1.5 million tons of plastic waste from being sent to incineration, landfills, or disposal in the environment.

As MRC informed previously, in February 2022, Braskem S.A. announced its investment in Nexus Circular LLC. Using a proprietary advanced recycling technology, Nexus converts a range of hard-to-recycle plastics especially landfill bound plastic films into its circular feedstocks which can then be converted back into virgin plastics (fully circular).

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 2,487,450 tonnes in 2021, up by 13% year on year. Shipments of all grades of ethylene polymers increased. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market totalled 1,494.280 tonnes, up by 21% year on year. Deliveries of homopolymer PP and PP block copolymers increased, whreas.shipments of PP random copolymers decreased significantly.

Braskem S.A. produces petrochemicals and generates electricity. The Company produces ethylene, propylene, benzene, toluene, xylenes, butadiene, butene, isoprene, dicyclopentediene, MTBE, caprolactam, ammonium sulfate, cyclohexene, polyethylene theraphtalat, polyethylene, and polyvinyl chloride (PVC).