Extrupet announces new R-PET capacity

Extrupet announces new R-PET capacity

South African plastics recycler Extrupet is to add a fourth food-grade recycled polyethylene terephthalate (R-PET) line at its facility in Cape Town, said the company.

The fourth facility will increase the company’s recycling capacity by an additional 33,000 tonnes/year according to Chandru Wadhwani, joint managing director at Extrupet. The new facility will bring the company’s total food grade operations capacity to over 60,000 tonnes/year.

Phase 1 of the expansion will cost around South African rand (R)300m (USD20.56m) and is slated for Cape Town and is expected to be fully operational in 2023. Extrupet holds European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) approval for its R-PET to be used in food-contact applications, such as beverage bottles.

“The demand for food-grade recycling keeps on increasing, especially as retailers and consumers alike opt for more environmentally friendly options,” Wadhwani said.

“Currently, only 60% of South Africa’s plastic bottles are recycled. With this increased capacity, we will be able to accommodate more of South Africa’s plastic waste and strengthen South Africa’s position as a circular economy leader in Africa and the world,” Wadhwani added.

Extrupet, which is the first food-grade plastic recycler in South Africa, currently recycles more than five-million PET bottles every day.

The rPET is sold under Extrupet's brand name PhoenixPET, which has received international acclaim and is certified by the European Food Safety Authority, Global Recycled Standard, BRC Packaging at AA rating, and International Standards Organisation 9001:2015.

The company uses global fast-moving consumer goods-approved technology to recycle PET bottles into resin for reuse in new carbonated soft drink bottles. Other prominent clients include major food and beverage companies, convertors and retailers.

According to MRC's ScanPlast, estimated PET consumption in Russia increased by 4% in January 2022 compared to the same period a year earlier. In total, according to the results of the first month of the year, 59,660 tonnes of PET chips were processed in the country (these data do not take into account the shipment of Russian material to the countries of the Customs Union).

Repsol becomes shareholder in Enerkem

Repsol becomes shareholder in Enerkem

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Repsol has acquired a minority stake in Canadian company Enerkem, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

This investment allows the Spanish multi-energy company to step up the development of decarbonization projects through the deployment of Enerkem’s technology in its existing industrial facilities and future plants.

Repsol has subscribed EUR54 MM to Enerkem's share capital. It will contribute an additional EUR68 MM through the subscription of convertible notes which could allow Repsol to increase its stake in accordance with a number of financial variables over the coming years. This makes Repsol a strategic shareholder in the company to accelerate the adoption and deployment of Enerkem's technology and to develop new industrial projects in Spain and other locations.

The Spanish multi-energy company is already partnering with Enerkem and Agbar to build the Ecoplanta Molecular Solutions waste recovery plant in El Morell (Tarragona), Spain, scheduled to be operational in 2026. Using Enerkem's gasification technology, the plant will have the capacity to process some 400,000 tpy of non-recyclable solid waste to produce 240,000 t of methanol that can be used for lowcarbon fuels and chemicals and recover 70% of the carbon present in the non-recyclable materials. Based on the European Commission’s Innovation Fund methodology, the project will achieve 3.4 MMt CO2e of GHG emission reductions over the first ten years of operation. Thus, the Ecoplanta project is aligned with the EU’s decarbonization and climate change mitigation goals.

Among more than 300 projects submitted by major European industrial groups, Ecoplanta Molecular Solutions is one of seven projects selected for financial support from the European Commission’s Innovation Fund for large scale projects. The final grant agreement was signed at an event in Brussels last week.

In 2019, Repsol was the first oil and gas company to set a goal of achieving zero net emissions by 2050. It is transforming its industrial complexes into multi-energy hubs capable of transforming waste and other renewable raw materials into products with a low, zero, or even a negative carbon footprint. The company is investing in circular economy, energy efficiency, renewable hydrogen, and CO2 capture and use technologies as the main strategic pillars to achieve this. It has a circular economy strategy in place since 2016, which applies throughout the company’s value chain, from obtaining raw materials to marketing products and services.

Repsol’s Industrial Business aims to make a decisive contribution to a decarbonized and circular economy and is committed to the efficiency of its industrial processes. Repsol is the leading low-carbon fuel producer in the Iberian Peninsula. Its commitment is to produce two MMtpy of low-carbon fuels by 2030 and thus mitigate more than seven MMt of CO2. Its chemical products are used to manufacture everyday objects that improve people’s quality of life, well-being, and safety. Its wide range of chemical products extends from base petrochemicals to derivatives, including a wide range of polyolefins, all of which are 100% recyclable. Repsol’s target is to recycle the equivalent of 20% of its polyolefins production by 2030.

The company has six large industrial facilities in the Iberian Peninsula where its efficient fuels and differentiated high value-added products are developed.

Repsol lifted the force majeure for the supply of butadiene in Tarragona (Tarragona, Spain), announced earlier in February. On February 10, the company stopped two lines for the production of butadiene with a total capacity of 130 tons per year in Tarragona. According to a company source, butadiene production was resumed on 23 March.

Earlier it was reported that against the backdrop of a change in global strategy, the Spanish Repsol, formerly a major investor in the Russian fuel and energy complex, announced its withdrawal from Russia in December last year. The company will sell its shares in the oil assets of Evrotek-Yugra and ASB Geo to a Russian partner, Gazprom Neft.

Repsol is the largest oil and gas company in Spain and Latin America, one of the ten largest oil and gas corporations in the world.

Mitsubishi confirms purchase order for 40 HydrogenPro electrolyser systems

Mitsubishi confirms purchase order for 40 HydrogenPro electrolyser systems

Norwegian hydrogen-plant manufacturer HydrogenPro AS said Monday that its previously announced purchase contract for an initial 40 electrolyser systems from Mitsubishi Power Americas, Inc, said the company.

has been converted into a firm purchase order worth more than USD50 million. The engineering, procurement and construction and other system deliverables for a turn-key electrolyser green hydrogen production plant will be supplied by other companies, it said.

A nonrefundable commitment was made by Mitsubishi Power in February, enabling HydrogenPro to prepare for production, it said.

"This is one of the largest electrolyser system contracts ever, and it illustrates the accelerating green energy transition currently taking place in the United States," HydrogenPro Chief Executive Elling Nygaard said.

As MRC reported earlier, in February 2022, MCC and its subsidiary, Mitsubishi Chemical Methacrylates (MCM announced plans to design and build a pilot plant to further validate the technology. Three possible pathways to creating sustainable MMA, including the molecular recycling of acrylic resin; substituting conventional materials with drop-in plant-derived raw materials in the existing MMA monomer manufacturing process; and the direct production of MMA monomers from plant-derived raw materials by fermentation were explored. The promising results using the drop-in route have now led to the decision to commence with the design process for a new pilot plant using this technology.

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.

The Japanese integrated chemical company Mitsubishi Chemical was established on October 1, 1990 as a result of the merger of Mitsubishi Kasei and Mitsubishi Petrochemical Co. Due to the wide scope of its activities, it is one of the ten leading chemical companies in the world.

China state refiners shun new Russian oil trades

China state refiners shun new Russian oil trades

MRC) -- China's state refiners are honoring existing Russian oil contracts but avoiding new ones despite steep discounts, heeding Beijing's call for caution as western sanctions mount against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, reported Reuters.

State-run Sinopec, Asia's largest refiner, CNOOC, PetroChina and Sinochem have stayed on the sidelines in trading fresh Russian cargoes for May loadings, according to sources. Chinese state-owned firms do not wish to be seen as openly supporting Moscow by buying extra volumes of oil, after Washington banned Russian oil last month and the European Union slapped sanctions on top Russian exporter Rosneft and Gazprom Neft.

China and Russia have developed increasingly close ties in recent years, and as recently as February announced a "no limits" partnership, and China has refused to condemn Russia's action in Ukraine or call it an invasion.

China has repeatedly criticized western sanctions against Russia, although a senior diplomat said on Saturday that Beijing is not deliberately circumventing sanctions on Russia. China, the world's largest oil importer, is the top buyer of Russian crude at 1.6 MMbpd, half of which is supplied via pipelines under government-to-government contracts.

Sources expect China's state firms to honor its long-term and existing contracts for Russian oil but steer clear of new spot deals.

A drop in China's imports of Russian oil could prompt its giant state refiners to turn to alternative sources, adding to global supply concerns that had driven benchmark Brent oil prices to 14-yr highs near USD140/bbl in early March after Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24.

Brent futures have since eased to below USD110 after the US and allies announced plans to release stocks from strategic reserves.

Risk control and compliance first. Before the Ukraine crisis, Russia supplied 15% of China's oil imports: half of that via the East Siberian and Atasu-Alashankou pipelines and the rest by tankers from its Black Sea, Baltic Sea and Far East ports.

Unipec, the trading arm of Sinopec and a leading Russian oil buyer, has warned its global teams at regular internal meetings in recent weeks against the risks of dealing with Russian oil. According to a source, the message and tone are clear - risk control and compliance comes before profits. Another of the sources with a refinery that regularly processes Russian crude said his plant was told by Unipec to find replacement to maintain normal operations.

Unipec loaded 500,000 metric t (tonnes) of Urals from Russia's Baltic ports in March, the highest volume in months, supplied by Surgutneftegaz on spot and under a Rosneft export tender that Unipec won for loadings between September 2021 and March 2022, according to traders and shipping data.

Other state buyers - PetroChina, CNOOC and Sinochem - have shunned Russia's ESPO blend for May loading, sources said. Sinopec is facing payment problems even for deals agreed earlier as risk-averse state banks look to scale down financing Russian oil-related deals, the second source said.

As MRC wrote previiously, 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. 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.

NextChem completes construction of first demonstration plant in Italy for chemical recycling of PET and polyester from textiles

NextChem completes construction of first demonstration plant in Italy for chemical recycling of PET and polyester from textiles

NextChem, Maire Tecnimont's energy transition technology company, has completed the construction of the first demonstration plant in Italy for the chemical recycling of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and polyester from textiles, as part of the European Union’s DEMETO project, as per the company's press release.

The plant is located in Chieti, in the Abruzzo Technology Park.

The depolymerization technology adopted, based on the reaction of alkaline hydrolysis with the use of microwaves, allows the plant to chemically recycle PET and polyester textile fiber waste and obtain pure monomers to produce new polymers.

The DEMETO project has been co-funded by the European Union under the Horizon 2020 program with NextChem as coordinator of a consortium of 14 partners, covering the entire value chain (NextChem, 3V Tech, SPINDOX UK, Technical University of Denmark, The European Outdoor Group, EuPC, The Fricke and Mallah GmbH, gr3n, H&M Group, NEOGROUP, RECUPRENDA, PETCIA, SUPSI, Synesis).

NextChem is the developer and co-licensor of the depolymerization technology, owned by the Swiss start-up gr3n, as well as designer and constructor of the plant. Various types of materials, including polyester-based textile fibers, will be tested in the plant, which is capable of recycling almost 100% of the incoming material, amounting to 1 MM kg/yr. The project has been supported by an Industrial Advisory Board, which includes companies such as Unilever, Coca-Cola, Oviesse, Danone, Henkel and several others.

This innovative technology could contribute to the solution of some still-unresolved problems in textile waste recycling, such as mixed fibers. In Italy alone, tracked textile waste amounted to 157.7 Kt in 2019, of which 47% consisted of single and mixed synthetic fibers. In Italy 5.7% of unsorted waste is composed of textiles, with a total estimated at 663 Kta. In Europe, each inhabitant uses 26 kg of textile material each year and disposes of 11 kg, with a total production of textile waste estimated at about 5 MMt/y.

As MRC reported before, in July 2020, Eni and NextChem, the Maire Tecnimont Group’s subsidiary for green chemistry, strengthen their partnership one year after their first agreement. This partnership will conduct research for a new project to be developed in Taranto, in addition to ongoing engineering studies for a waste-to-hydrogen production plant at the Eni bio refinery in Venice, Porto Marghera, and for a waste-to-methanol production plant at the Eni refinery in Livorno.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PET consumption in January, 2022, rose by 4% year on year.