BASF confirms ambitious climate targets

BASF confirms ambitious climate targets

MOSCOW (MRC) -- One year after its initial announcement, BASF, the world's petrochemical major, has reaffirmed its ambitious climate targets. In an update for investors and financial analysts on its transformation roadmap BASF confirmed that by 2030 it aims to reduce its GHG emissions by 25% compared with 2018 and is maintaining its goal of net zero emissions globally by 2050, according to Hydrocarbonprocessing.

On its path to reducing global emissions to 16.4 MMt by 2030, BASF is publishing an annual CO2 emissions forecast for BASF Group as part of its outlook with a corridor of plus or minus 0.5 MMt.

“There is a brutal war raging in Europe with far-reaching consequences for both people and the economy. Nevertheless, we must not lose sight of the greatest global challenge of our time - climate change,” said Dr. Martin Brudermuller, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of BASF SE. “Across BASF, we are working intensively to implement a large number of projects to further reduce our CO2 emissions significantly and achieve our ambitious climate targets. By cooperating with suppliers of raw materials we are also taking steps to reduce our product-related emissions. In this way, we are driving forward our transformation and supporting customers in their efforts to reduce emissions in their product portfolios.”

In 2021, BASF reduced CO2 emissions by around 3% compared with 2020 despite significantly higher production volumes. To a large extent this was due to the increased use of renewable energy. Switching power to renewable energy will be the main driver of emission reduction until 2025. In 2021, renewables accounted for 16% of BASF Group’s global power demand. By 2030, the company projects that 100% of its 2021 global power demand will be obtained from renewable sources.

To cover its demand for renewable energy, BASF is pursuing a make-and-buy strategy. This includes investing in own renewable power assets and purchasing green power from third parties. In 2021, BASF purchased a stake in Vattenfall’s wind farm Hollandse Kust Zuid (HKZ). Once fully operational, it will be the world’s largest offshore wind farm with a total installed capacity of 1.5 gigawatts. The project is expected to become fully operational in 2023.

Furthermore, BASF has signed 25-year power purchase agreements (PPAs) with ENGIE and Orsted for the supply of significant amounts of renewable electricity from wind and solar power in Europe. In the US, BASF has concluded long-term supply contracts for wind and solar power for its Freeport and Pasadena sites. In China, BASF has signed agreements with suppliers for the purchase of renewable power for its new Verbund site in Zhanjiang.

At its Investor Update event, BASF provided an overview of the various measures the company is implementing at different sites to reach its corporate climate targets. Such measures largely depend on the specific local conditions at each site.

Currently, about 50% of the steam demand at the Ludwigshafen site is based on steam generation processes that produce CO2 emissions. A new approach here is to generate steam using electricity. BASF is working with Siemens Energy on a first project in the acetylene plant that uses heat pumps and vapor recompression to upgrade waste heat such that it can be used as steam for the steam grid of the site. The integration of this heat pump project will enable not only the production of around 60 metric t of steam per hour but will also avoid around 160,000 metric tpy of CO2 emissions and reduce the annual consumption of cooling water by more than 20 MM cubic meters. The planned start-up for the use of this technology is in the 2Q of 2024. The project also serves to collect day-to-day operational experience and to simplify the rollout to other sites in the future.

Another project pursued at the Ludwigshafen site is the development of an electrically heated steam cracker furnace. Currently, cracker furnaces are heated with gas and produce about 1 metric t of CO2 per metric ton of olefin. BASF has signed an agreement with SABIC and Linde to develop and pilot electrically heated steam cracker furnaces. The project for a multi-megawatt pilot plant in Ludwigshafen is progressing as planned and is on track to start up in 2023 subject to a positive public funding decision. For the CO2-free production of hydrogen, BASF is developing new processes such as methane pyrolysis.

BASF’s Verbund site in Antwerp is the largest chemical production site in Belgium and BASF’s second largest Verbund site after Ludwigshafen. BASF aspires to reduce emissions at the site from 3.8 MM metric t in 2021 to close to net zero by 2030. This could become possible by importing green power from offshore wind parks in combination with the deployment of new, low-emission technologies and a planned large-scale CCS project in the port of Antwerp. If this aspiration is realized, the Antwerp site could become the first petrochemical site to approach net zero in 2030. Given the short time period involved, these efforts constitute a challenge, and support is needed from politics in setting the right framework conditions.

Zhanjiang is to become BASF’s third largest Verbund site. An advanced Verbund concept and the use of renewable energy will play the key role in significantly lowering the site’s CO2 emissions compared to a gas-powered petrochemical site. Replacing fossil-fuel energy by electricity from renewable sources is a main lever.

A few days ago, BASF signed a second framework agreement over 25 years with the State Power Investment Corporation Limited (SPIC) under the new renewable energy trading rules in Guangdong province, China, to purchase the renewable electricity supply for the next phases of the Zhanjiang Verbund site in Guangdong province. This agreement is the largest volume and longest green electricity purchase framework agreement that has been signed in China. Supported by this deal and the partnerships with other energy suppliers, BASF is further accelerating its plan to power the entire Zhanjiang Verbund site with renewable electricity and targets to achieve 100% by 2025 – earlier than originally planned. With the use of renewable electricity, BASF is a frontrunner in the process industry in China.

In February 2022, BASF Schwarzheide GmbH and enviaM established a JV for a solar park which has an expected electricity production of 25 gigawatt hours per year, about 10% of the site’s current annual electricity demand. It will be the first major solar power plant in which BASF is directly involved. The solar power can be used for the production of battery materials for electromobility, which will be produced in Schwarzheide from the end of 2022. The modernization of the site’s own combined gas and steam turbine power plant is almost complete. Once it is started up later in 2022, it will produce 10% more electricity with 16% lower CO2 emissions thanks to higher fuel efficiency.

As MRC reported previously, BASF is to increase its production capacity for plastic additives at its sites in Pontecchio Marconi, Italy and Lampertheim, Germany. BASF did not disclose, however, current or future capacities for its production of plastic additives hindered amine light stabilizers (HALS).

We remind that BASF is strengthening its global catalyst development and helping customers to bring new products faster to the market. As part of this strategy, BASF is building a new pilot plant center at its Ludwigshafen site. The new Catalyst Development and Solids Processing Center will serve as a global hub for pilot-scale production and process innovations of chemical catalyst.

BASF is the leading chemical company. It produces a wide range of chemicals, for example solvents, amines, resins, glues, electronic-grade chemicals, industrial gases, basic petrochemicals and inorganic chemicals. The most important customers for this segment are the pharmaceutical, construction, textile and automotive industries.

Sinopec net profit up 114% in 2021

Sinopec net profit up 114% in 2021

MOSCOW (MRC) -- China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (Sinopec), the country's largest oil refiner, said its net profit rose 114% in 2021 from the previous year, said the company.

The net profit attributable to shareholders of the parent company stood at 71.21 billion yuan (11.18 billion U.S. dollars) in 2021, the company said on Sunday. Its operating revenue reached 2.74 trillion yuan last year, up 30.2%year on year.

The domestic crude oil output was 35.15 million tonnes last year, the overseas crude oil output was 4.18 million tonnes, and the natural gas output was 33.97 billion cubic meters.

The company's total sales volume of refined oil was 221 million tonnes last year. Its annual ethylene output was 13.38 million tonnes, a year-on-year increase of 10.9%.

The company expects global economic recoveries to persist and the Chinese economy to continue stable growth in 2022 and its long-term uptrend remains unchanged. The company predicts that Chinese domestic demand of gasoline and diesel will recover this year, while demand of natural gas and chemicals will keep growing. Sinopec also expects bigger volatilities on crude prices this year.

The company targets CNY198bn of Capex in 2022, with CNY66.1bn for chemical sector, including the ethylene projects in Tianjin and Hainan.

As it was written earlier, Sinopec will divest a 50% stake in Shanghai SECCO Petrochemical for a price of Yuan 10.3 bn (USD1.6 bn). The 50% stake comprises of 15% that is owned directly by Sinopec and 35% owned by its offshoot Sinopec Gaoqiao Petrochemical. Previously, Shanghai SECCO was 50% owned by BP East China, with Sinopec and Sinopec Shanghai Petrochemical holding 30% and 20% stakes, respectively. The interest of BP was sold to Sinopec Gaoqiao Petrochemical in 2017.

FRX Polymers phosphorous-based flame retardants get GreenScreen Accreditation

MOSCOW (MRC) -- FRX Polymers announces that the company’s polymeric phosphorus-based flame retardants Nofia CO3000, Nofia CO4000 and Nofia CO6000 have been granted a GreenScreen Benchmark 3 score, according to SpecialChem.

Nofia polymeric flame retardants uniquely offer the assurance of the coveted GreenScreen 3 Benchmark score, without compromising fire safety while simultaneously achieving exceptional and often superior physical properties.

This is one of the industry’s highest green non-toxic indicators of ESG compliance. GreenScreen is one of the most broadly recognized methods of comparative benchmarking chemical toxicity in the chemical industry.

This certification comes at an opportune time as it complements a series of recent actions taken by the European Union, as part of its Eco-design regulation, and by the State of New York, which bans the use of all brominated flame retardants in consumer electronic displays such as TVs and monitors.

Marc Lebel, chief executive officer of FRX, commented, “The new EU and US legislation will cause an industry-wide transformation to green flame retardant formulations in consumer products and will quickly materialize into significant demand for non-brominated fire retardants, especially polymeric solutions like Nofia.”

“We are already seeing compliance with this initiative being both pushed by national consumer electronics retailers in the US and responded to by leading OEM manufacturers throughout the world. This is just the start of an important shift away from hazardous flame retardants into solutions that offer the same flame retardant efficacy, without the health and environmental liabilities,” added Lebel.

GreenScreen is well recognized across the global electronics supply chain, being referenced and relied upon by many green NGOs and major OEMs, with Hewlett Packard being one of the earliest adopters.

FRX management believes that this GreenScreen accreditation is further validation of the human health and environmental credentials of the Nofia range of halogen-free, polymeric flame retardants.

These copolymer grades of Nofia® join the other homopolymer grades of Nofia flame retardants previously granted a GreenScreen Benchmark 3, suitable for the most demanding high flow, molding and/or sheet extrusion applications. FRX’s current commercial production of Nofia® flame retardants is already serving major OEMs around the world and the Company plans to further expand capacity to meet growing demand.

As MRC reported earlier, FRX Polymers, Inc., a producer of polymeric halogen-free flame retardants, has earned ISO 9001:2015 certification from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), effective from 6 February 2017. ISO 9001:2015 is the international standard that specifies requirements for a company-wide quality management system (QMS).

FRX Polymers, Inc. was founded in 2007 following over five years of intensive research and development in the field of inherently flame retardant plastics. The company operates two pilot plants in Chelmsford MA, a polymer pilot plant in Switzerland and a full scale plant in Antwerp Belgium.

TotalEnergies starts up "3D" carbon capture industrial pilot in Dunkirk

MOSCOW (MRC) -- TotalEnergies, the world's petrochemical major, has started up the "3D" carbon capture pilot in Dunkirk, according to Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The "3D" industrial pilot to demonstrate an innovative process for capturing CO2 from industrial activities is now running at ArcelorMittal’s Dunkirk site. With support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation program, the project aims to validate replicable technical solutions for carbon capture. The "3D" project, driven by a consortium including TotalEnergies, ArcelorMittal, Axens and IFP Energies Nouvelles (IFPEN), is a major step towards decarbonizing industries that are highly emissive of CO2, such as steelmaking.

The challenge for carbon capture researchers is making the processes more competitive and less energy intensive. This industrial pilot should allow the performance of the DMX carbon capture process developed in IFPEN’s labs over the last ten years to be verified.

The project was launched in May 2019, and the building of the demonstrator began in 2020 under Axens’ supervision. Last December, the pilot’s main modules, including a 22 meter tower, were delivered and assembled at ArcelorMittal’s site in Dunkirk. The phases of building the pilot and connecting it to the plant have now been completed, and the unit is ready for start-up.

This demonstration, which is scheduled to last for 12-18 months, is the final stage before the technology’s full-scale deployment.

The carbon capture facility will process steelmaking gases: it will demonstrate the effectiveness of the carbon capture process by separating the CO2 from other gases. During the demonstration stage, it will capture 0.5 tons of CO2 an hour, i.e. more than 4,000 tpy.

As MRC informed before, in late February, 2022, TotalEnergies condemned what it called Moscow's military aggression in Ukraine but stopped short of joining rivals Shell and BP in planning to exit positions in resource-rich Russia. The French oil major, which holds a 19.4% stake in Novatek, Russia's largest producer of liquefied natural gas, said it "will no longer provide capital for new projects in Russia".

We remind that Total Petrochemicals and Refining USA, the US petrochemical major and part of TotalEnergies, restarted all of its three polypropylene (PP) units in La Porte as of 17 June 2021. At the same time, the force majeure (FM) at this plant with an annual capacity of 1.15 million tons/year remains in place as the company attempts to stabilize operating rates and build inventories ahead of the hurricane season. Previously, Total Petrochemical declared FM on its PP output after an abrupt loss of electricity supply during a severe weather condition on 18 May, 2021.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, PP shipments to the Russian market totalled 1,494.280 tonnes in 2021, up by 21% year on year. Deliveries of homopolymer PP and PP block copolymers increased, whreas.shipments of PP random copolymers decreased significantly.

Total is a major energy player, which produces and markets fuels, natural gas and low-carbon electricity. Our 100,000 employees are committed to better energy that is safer, more affordable, cleaner and accessible to as many people as possible. Active in more than 130 countries, our ambition is to become the responsible energy major.

Honeywell collaborates with OTTO Motors to improve facility safety, productivity

Honeywell collaborates with OTTO Motors to improve facility safety, productivity

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Honeywell announced a strategic collaboration with OTTO Motors, a division of Clearpath Robotics, giving warehouses and distribution centers throughout North America an automated option to handle some of the most labor-intensive roles in an increasingly scarce job market, said the company.

The collaboration enables Honeywell customers to increase efficiency, reduce errors and improve safety by deploying OTTO’s autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) in their facilities. These AMRs provide significant productivity benefits by automating the movement of carts used to transport picked orders or returns and can travel over any floor surface smooth enough to handle a traditional cart pushed by a worker. Instead of spending more than half the day walking, workers can simply park carts in designated pickup locations throughout the facility and call robots to retrieve them.

These AMRs also offer a flexible and powerful way to transport pallets typically accomplished primarily with forklifts and conveyor systems.

OTTO’s easy-to-install AMRs are smart enough to interact safely with human co-workers and other vehicles, find a different route if their original path is blocked, and respond to rapid changes in orders or logistics needs — all without human intervention. OTTO AMRs can work in conjunction with Honeywell automated solutions including its Smart Flexible Depalletizer and next-gen AS/RS system, further increasing efficiency and automation within the warehouse.

The pandemic and its lasting effects on labor shortages is causing companies to reconsider the way they operate. A Honeywell study revealed more than half of companies are more willing to invest in automation because of the pandemic and its lasting effects. The same study showed companies see increased speed of tasks, greater productivity and increased employee utilization and productivity as the top three potential benefits from automation.

As per MRC, Honeywell announced an integrated olefin suite (IOS) of technologies that can increase ethylene production and improve profitability when added to a naphtha steam cracker. IOS provides customers the ability to improve return on investment, increase operating profits, opportunity to reduce CO2 footprint and increase the level of control over by-products.

We remind that in January 2022, Honeywell announced that Lukoil -Permnefteorgsintez, a subsidiary of Lukoil, will use a range of Honeywell UOP process technologies at its refinery to convert low value vacuum gasoil into high value products such as gasoline and propylene.

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 2,487,450 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.