Key industry players of polymer additives industry release announcements amid ongoing Russia and Ukraine conflict

Key industry players of polymer additives industry release announcements amid ongoing Russia and Ukraine conflict

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Amidst the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine in Eastern Europe, key industry players are releasing announcements regarding their stand on this topic. From taking firm actions such as retracting services to provide humanitarian resources, there is a lot happening around the globe, according to SpecialChem.

In this curated piece, get a clear understanding on plastic additives industry’s take and the measures they are adopting that will alter the market trends and developments moving forward.

Clariant announced that it will suspend business with Russia in response to the Russian state’s intolerable acts of violence in Ukraine with immediate effect. Clariant’s operations in Russia include a sales office and a laboratory in Moscow and contribute approximately 2% to the company’s annual sales.

Honeywell has substantially suspended sales, distribution and service activities in Russia and Belarus. The company prioritizes the safety and security of the employees and partners in the region and responding to their immediate needs.

Solvay has decided to suspend its operations and new investments in Russia. Further, Solvay will suspend dividend payments from Rusvinyl, an independent 50:50 joint venture in Russia.

Effective immediately, LyondellBasell will not enter into any new business transactions or relationships with Russian state-owned entities. LyondellBasell also intend to discontinue business relationships with Russian state-owned entities to the extent legally possible. The company is in the process of assessing how this will affect the operations, including feedstocks, utilities, supply chain providers, and customers. Additionally, they are complying with all US and international sanctions which have been put into place because of this crisis.

ExxonMobil discontinues operations and developing steps to exit the Sakhalin-1 venture. The company’s operations in Sakhalin-1 project was on behalf of an international consortium of Japanese, Indian and Russian companies. The process to discontinue operations will be carefully managed and closely coordinated with the co-venturers to ensure it is executed safely.

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 2,487,450 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.

ADNOC marks first year of Murban futures contract

ADNOC marks first year of Murban futures contract

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) and partners in ICE Futures Abu Dhabi (IFAD) have officially celebrated the first anniversary of trading of the Murban Futures Contract on the IFAD commodities exchange, said the company.

IFAD began operations on 29 March 2021 and during its first year, the equivalent of around 1.5 billion barrels of Abu Dhabi’s flagship lower-carbon Murban crude oil was traded on the exchange. IFAD has attracted over 90 market participants and Murban is now more widely available to both physical purchasers of crude oil and financial market participants around the world, reinforcing the United Arab Emirate’s (UAE) role as a reliable global energy supplier.

The introduction of the Murban Futures Contract was backed by ICE, ADNOC and nine of the world’s largest energy companies who joined IFAD as founding partners; BP, GS Caltex, INPEX, ENEOS, PetroChina, PTT, Shell, TotalEnergies and Vitol.

The IFAD exchange situated in ADGM capitilizes on the growing demand for Murban crude oil, particularly from markets in Asia where Murban is popular with many longstanding customers. It is located between Asian, European and United States (U.S.) trading time-zones, allowing Murban to be traded at least 22 hours of each trading day.

The continual growth of the trading ecosystem at Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), including the establishment of ADNOC Global Trading, ADNOC Trading and the opening of trading offices for both India’s Reliance Industries and Thailand’s PTT, signals the growing importance of Abu Dhabi as a trading hub.

Following the launch of IFAD, Murban is freely traded, offering crude customers increased access, better price transparency, and flexibilty to hedge and manage risks. Traded alongside Brent and West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crudes, Murban is well-positioned to act as an important price marker for crude oil. ICE Murban Futures are physically delivered contracts, with one futures contract equating to 1,000 barrels of Murban crude oil delivered from the ADNOC Terminal located in Fujairah, on the East coast of the UAE.

Murban is a light, sweet crude grade that is unique to the UAE, with consistent and stable production volumes, large number of international buyers, and numerous long-term concession and production partners. ADNOC’s flagship crude has a carbon intensity less than half the industry average, positioning it in the market as a lower carbon crude oil when compared to other crude grades.

Discovered in 1958, Murban has played a pivotal role in enabling the UAE’s economic growth and development. Production capacity of Murban is over 2 million barrels per day and it accounts for around 50% of the UAE’s total production capacity. ADNOC plans to increase the production capacity of Murban to more than 2.5 million barrels per day by 2030 as it expands its crude oil production capacity to 5 million barrels of crude per day.

As per MRC, The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company has activated business continuity plans to ensure continued supply of products to its local and international customers following an incident on its Mussafah fuel depot. The company in an earlier statement that the incident at the fuel depot occurred at around 10:000 hours (06:00 GMT) on 17 January. The incident resulted in the outbreak of a fire and three workers were killed as a result, it said.

As per MRC, the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) has signed of a strategic partnership with Borealis AG that confirms a USD6.2 B (AED22 B) investment agreement between the companies to build the fourth Borouge facility - Borouge 4 - at the polyolefin manufacturing complex in Ruwais, United Arab Emirates (UAE), which will produce 1.4 MM tons of polyethylene (PE) per year.

Baker Hughes and partners to collaborate on solutions for energy and industrial sectors

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Baker Hughes is collaborating with C3 AI, Accenture and Microsoft on industrial asset management (IAM) solutions for clients in the energy and industrial sectors, according to Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The collaboration will focus on creating and deploying Baker Hughes' IAM solutions that use digital technologies to help improve the safety, efficiency, and emissions profile of industrial machines, field equipment, and other physical assets. Applying their individual strengths, the four companies will collaborate on Baker Hughes IAM capabilities that help optimize plant equipment, operational processes and business operations through improved uptime, increased operational flexibility, capital planning and energy efficiency management.

The solutions will be designed for industries including oil and gas, renewable energy, thermal power generation, metals and mining, chemicals and pulp and paper.

The companies will also explore collaborating on solutions that help achieve net-zero carbon emissions and decarbonize energy and industrial sectors, including emissions management.

Baker Hughes will provide domain-specific digital expertise and technology for industrial customers, including leading condition-monitoring software for mission critical machinery, industrial asset strategy advisors, proven machine and equipment edge sensor and related controls capabilities.

C3 AI will provide a flexible artificial intelligence (AI) application development platform that complements Baker Hughes technologies as well as experience developing and deploying applications at scale for a wide range of equipment used across industries.

Accenture will help drive product innovation, design and development and provide strategic support and systems integration at scale, drawing on its experience to transform asset management across industries to help improve profitability and reduce risk.

Microsoft will provide secure cloud infrastructure for big data, advanced Microsoft Azure services including AI, IoT, high performance computing as well as modern work and business applications.

As MRC reported earlier, in November 2021, Shell Global Solutions BV and energy technology company Baker Hughes signed a broad strategic collaboration agreement to accelerate the global energy transition by helping each other achieve their respective commitments for net-zero carbon emissions and advancing solutions to decarbonize energy and industrial sectors.

We remind that Royal Dutch Shell plans to reduce its refining and chemicals portfolio by more than half, it said in July 2020 without giving a precise timeframe. The move is part of the Anglo-Dutch company's plan to shrink its oil and gas business and expand its renewables and power division to reduce greenhouse gas emissions sharply by 2050.

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.

Evonik expands capacities for petrochemical specialties

Evonik expands capacities for petrochemical specialties

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Evonik has invested a double-digit million-euro sum to increase production capacity for isobutene derivates by more than 50% at its site in Marl, Germany, said the the specialty producer.

The isobutene part of the C4 production network produces specialty chemicals tertiary butanol (TBA), di-isobutene (DiB) and 3,5,5-trimethylhexanal (TMH). The recently completed expansion improves security of supply, flexibility, and quality of products for customers, with applications as intermediate materials for the pharmaceutical and chemical industries.

Works began in June 2020 to expand C4 production to eliminate existing bottlenecks in production and logistics. The conversion work has increased the purity of TMH produced in Marl from around 88% to more than 95%.

Evonik produces two grades of TBA – pure or as an azeotropic mixture – for use in production of organic peroxides for the plastics industry and special solvents and tablet coatings for the pharmaceutical industry.

DiB is a highly branched C8 molecule used as an intermediate to produce UV stabilisers, high performance lubricants and special polymer resins.

TMH is an aldehyde with high isometric purity, used as an intermediate to produce high-performance lubricants (particularly cooling lubricants), lubricant additives, and as specialty products for the cosmetics and fragrance industries.

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.

bp and Uber to drive delivery growth with global strategic partnership

bp and Uber to drive delivery growth with global strategic partnership

MOSCOW (MRC) -- bp and Uber Technologies, Inc. are announcing a new global strategic convenience delivery partnership, extending their existing local arrangements to reach more consumers across the world, said the company.

Together, the partners will offer a huge range of quality convenience products, including fresh and prepared ranges, from select retail locations.

bp is the first convenience retailer to team up with Uber Eats on a global level and aims to have more than 3,000 retail locations available on the delivery platform over the next three years. The partnership supports bp’s goal of growing its access to customers and expanding its delivery footprint, in response to soaring demand for food, groceries and everyday essentials brought to the door.

The new partnership covers retail sites in Australia, New Zealand, Poland, South Africa and the west coast of US. Sites in the UK and eastern US will be added to the app for the first time this year, with plans to launch in other European markets from 2023.

With 20,500 bp retail sites across the world and 550 million customers living within 20 minutes of a bp retail site, the partners see enormous opportunities for growth. bp sites offer a range of products tailored to local markets which may include hot and cold drinks, food-for-now options as well as staple groceries, fresh produce and ready meals, plus wine, beer and flowers.

bp will benefit from Uber’s global brand and operations footprint, best-in-class technology for dispatching orders, and more than 4.4 million drivers and couriers on the platform worldwide.

As part of the agreement, Uber Eats and bp will work to introduce delivery options onto bp’s own app, BPme – initially planned to be available in the UK, US and Australia by the end of 2023 – powered by Uber Direct. This new offer will allow bp to directly connect its customers to delivery riders, making Uber Eats the trusted partner in fulfilling these orders. Since 2019, bp has seen a three-fold increase in users of the BPme app, with 16 million active loyalty users worldwide.

bp and Uber already work together in mobility with bp providing electric vehicle charging for Uber’s ride-hail drivers. The companies will explore other areas for future cooperation in convenience, including opportunities to utilize low carbon delivery methods to fulfil orders from bp sites.

As per MRC, Honeywell announced that bp and Honeywell have signed a licensing agreement for Honeywell UOP’s Ecofining technology. bp is undergoing pre-feed engineering for its proposed diesel and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) project in Western Australia. bp plans to convert hydroprocessing equipment at its former refinery site in Kwinana, Australia, to produce approximately 10kbd diesel and SAF from renewable feeds, integrating with its existing terminal operations.

As MRC informed earlier, bP is seeking to divest the near 20% stake in Russian state-oil company Rosneft it has held since 2013 in the starkest sign yet of the corporate backlash against Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

bp is one of the world's largest oil and gas companies, serving millions of customers every day in around 80 countries, and employing around 85,000 people. bp's business segments are Upstream (oil and gas exploration & production), and Downstream (refining & marketing). Through these activities, bp provides fuel for transportation; energy for heat and light; services for motorists; and petrochemicals products for plastics, textiles and food packaging. It has strong positions in many of the world"s hydrocarbon basins and strong market positions in key economies.