China plans to regulate exports of high carbon petrochemical products as the country strives to deal with climate change

China plans to regulate exports of high carbon petrochemical products as the country strives to deal with climate change

MOSCOW (MRC) -- China plans to "steadily control" exports of some high carbon petrochemical products and will draw up a list of such goods, its industry ministry said, as the country strives to deal with climate change, reported Reuters.

China, the world's biggest GHG emitter, has cut export quotas of refined oil products such as gasoline and diesel to discourage plants from over-processing, as it has vowed to bring its carbon emissions to a peak by 2030.

The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology did not elaborate on the details of high carbon-intensive products export restrictions.

It said the country will strictly control new capacity in its oil refining industry and will accelerate the elimination of inefficient and outdated production capacity.

"We will promote refining and chemical projects to reduce the output of refined oil products and to increase chemical products, and to extend the petrochemical industry chain," the ministry said in a statement.

China has been striving to modernize its oil refining industry and to produce more high-end fine chemical products to meet demand from fast-growing industries such as consumer electronics and pharmaceuticals. Dozens of small, independent refineries in the eastern province of Shandong have been shut down to make way for a new petrochemical complex.

The ministry also urged refiners to adopt better technology to reduce emissions as China has vowed to continue improving air quality while meeting climate change pledges.

It aims to cut emissions of volatile organic compounds, a major pollutant from the oil refining sector, by 10% by 2025 from 2020 levels.

As MRC informed earlier, 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. 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.

We remind that 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.
MRC

Evonik presents new aditive for polyurethane applications

Evonik presents new aditive for polyurethane applications

MOSCOW (MRC) -- One of the biggest challenges for the automotive industry is to remove odors from car interiors. With a key requirement to reduce emissions from aldehydes, Evonik has developed its new second-generation aldehyde scavenger, ORTEGOL LA 3, as per the company's press release.

The additive is specifically designed to reduce formaldehyde and acetaldehyde levels in automotive molded foams, helping to reduce the “new car smell”.

Increasing consumer demand for neutral odors inside the vehicle has placed an ever-increasing focus on additive formulators like Evonik to develop modern, high-performance scavengers that enable automotive OEMs to reduce VOC and FOG levels. The industry’s continuing drive to lower aldehyde levels must also be balanced with maintaining good processability and the final quality of the polyurethane (PU) foam products. Evonik’s new scavenger works by reacting with the aldehyde - this ensures easy processing without compromising the quality of the PU application.

“With strong pressure coming from consumers in Asia to completely remove the ‘new car smell’, reducing odors inside the cabin has become a key focus area for us,” said Roland Hubel, Head of Evonik’s PU additive business for flexible foams. “We have a broad portfolio of additives that includes low odor and low VOC surfactants, as well as our latest NE (Negligible Emission) range of catalysts and aldehyde scavengers such as ORTEGOL® LA 3 to help our customers meet today’s more stringent emission demands.”

To support these new low VOC and low emission solutions, Evonik has established its own certified odor panel in Shanghai, China to facilitate its in-house odor testing during new product development and to better support customers in the region.

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 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.
MRC

Three missiles fall near refinery in Iraqi northern city of Erbil

Three missiles fall near refinery in Iraqi northern city of Erbil

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Three missiles fell near an oil refinery in Iraq's northern city of Erbil without causing any casualties or damage, reported Reuters with reference to Kurdistan anti-terrorism authorities' statement.

Iraq's state news agency cited the statement as saying "initial information show the missiles were launched from Nineveh" province in Iraq.

Sources in the Kurdistan Regional Government told Reuters that the refinery is owned by Iraqi Kurdish businessman Baz Karim Barzanji, the CEO of a major domestic energy company called KAR Group and whose home was hit by Iranian ballistic missiles last month.

As MRC informed before, Indian Oil Corp. (IOC), the country's top refiner, will increase crude purchases from Iraq by 11.5% in 2022 to 390,000 bpd, partly to make up for a shortfall from Mexico and a possible supply cut from Kuwait. Iraq is the top supplier of oil to India and its market share there is set to rise as another refiner Hindustan Petroleum Corp. will also buy more crude from the Middle Eastern nation. India is the world's third biggest oil importer.

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.
MRC

OMV takes Q1 hit of EUR2 bln from Russia business

OMV takes Q1 hit of EUR2 bln from Russia business

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Austrian oil, gas and petrochemicals major OMV saw key petrochemical margins shrink quarter on quarter in Q1, said Reuters.

Ethylene, propylene, polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) margins all fell, compared with Q4 2021. However, with the exception of PE, margins improved year on year. Meanwhile, OMV’s refining indicator margin improved to USD9.75/bbl - from USD6.25/bbl in Q4 and USD1.68/bbl in Q1 2021.

However, positive impacts from higher refining margins were more than offset by higher utilities costs and crude differentials, the company said.

OMV’s total production of oil, natural gas liquids (NGL) and natural gas averaged 457,000 barrel of oil equivalent (BOE)/day in Q1 – down from 491,000 in Q4 and from 495,000 in Q1 2021.

OMV also advised of write-downs totaling EUR2bn on investments in Russia’s Yuzhno Russkoye gas field and the stalled Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline project from Russia to Germany. OMV is due to publish its Q1 results on 29 April.

As per MRC, OMV reported utilization of 83% at its European refineries in H1, 2021, down by 3% on the year yet "relatively resilient in light of the COVID-19 impact". It expects the utilization rates at its European refineries to remain at the 2020 level this year. Last year its refineries reported 86% utilization. The company's refineries in Europe ran at 85% utilization in Q2, up from 81% in the year-ago quarter.

As MRC wrote before, OMV is investing EUR40 million (USD48 million) to expand and modernize a steam cracker and associated units at its refining and petrochemicals complex at Burghausen, Germany. The upgrade will increase the site’s ethylene and propylene production capacity by 50,000 metric tons/year. Following a planned turnaround of the refinery, the revamped cracker and petchem units are expected to start operations in the third quarter of 2022. Initial groundwork is already underway ahead of the upgrade.

OMV produces and markets oil and gas, innovative energy and high-end petrochemical solutions – in a responsible way. With Group sales of EUR 23 bn and a workforce of around 20,000 employees in 2019, OMV Aktiengesellschaft is one of Austria’s largest listed industrial companies.
mrchub.com

NOVA Chemicals joins Cyclyx as its new member

NOVA Chemicals joins Cyclyx as its new member

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Cyclyx International has announced that NOVA Chemicals has joined as the newest member of the consortium, according to Hydrocarbonprocessing.

NOVA Chemicals develops and manufactures chemicals and plastic resins that make everyday life healthier and safer. With a focus on sustainability, NOVA Chemicals works toward polyethylene (PE) solutions that enable a more circular economy for plastics. Through its membership in Cyclyx, NOVA Chemicals will continue its work to utilize more post-use plastics in its feedstock supply chain.

“NOVA Chemicals has a bold ambition to create a plastics circular economy and work collaboratively toward a low carbon, zero plastic waste future. Joining the Cyclyx consortium provides us with greater supply reliability, accelerating our ability to meet the demands of consumers for high-quality products made with post-consumer resin,” said Greg DeKunder, VP Polyethylene Marketing and Circular Economy.

As MRC reported earlier, in August 2021, Cyclyx International announced that LyondellBasell had joined Cyclyx as a founding member. LyondellBasell, one of the world’s largest producers of plastics and chemicals, is a leader in the effort to help advance the circular economy and has pledged to produce and market two million metric tons of recycled and renewable-based polymers annually by 2030.

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, whereas shipments of PP random copolymers decreased significantly.
MRC