Dow acquires stake in LNG import terminal in Stade, Germany

Dow acquires stake in LNG import terminal in Stade, Germany

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Dow Inc., the world's petrochemical major, has announced it has signed a definitive agreement to take a minority stake in the Hanseatic Energy Hub GmbH (HEH) and is working with HEH's current members to advance Germany's capabilities to import supplies of liquefied natural gas (LNG), bio-liquified natural gas and synthetic natural gas through the construction of an import terminal, as per the company's press release.

The HEH consortium, which now includes Dow, Fluxys, Partners Group and Buss Group, is planning to build, own, and operate an import terminal for liquified gases on Dow's Stade, Germany industrial park. This zero-carbon emission terminal is to be built by 2026 and will be co-located with Dow's facilities in Stade. Dow is contributing the land for the construction of the terminal as well as infrastructure services, off-gas heat, site services and mutual harbor use rights.

With a projected regasification capacity of 13.3 billion cubic metres (bcm) of natural gas per year, the import terminal supports the Joint Statement between the European Commission and the United States on European Energy Security by satisfying up to 15% of Germany's current natural gas demand. The agreement would also allow the United States to meet nearly 25% of its goal to export 50 bcm of natural gas annually to Europe by 2030. Additionally, the terminal will repurpose off-gas heat at the Dow site for the carbon emissions-free regasification of the liquefied gas back to its gaseous state.

While Germany is retiring nuclear and coal fired power generation, its dependency on natural gas is expected to increase as a transition fuel until sufficient renewable energy comes available longer term. Today, Germany receives approximately half of its natural gas through pipeline imports from Russia and the country currently has no LNG regasification and import facilities.

The project is subject to final investment decision, which is expected by 2023.

As MRC informed before, earlier this month, Dow and Plastogaz SA announced a strategic investment which will help simplify the process of converting plastic waste to feedstock and provide another carbon-efficient option to keep plastic waste out of landfills and the environment. The collaboration marks another milestone in Dow’s ongoing mission to protect the climate and close the loop on plastic waste.

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.

Dow combines global breadth, asset integration and scale, focused innovation and leading business positions to achieve profitable growth. The Company's ambition is to become the most innovative, customer centric, inclusive and sustainable materials science company, with a purpose to deliver a sustainable future for the world through our materials science expertise and collaboration with our partners. Dow's portfolio of plastics, industrial intermediates, coatings and silicones businesses delivers a broad range of differentiated science-based products and solutions for its customers in high-growth market segments, such as packaging, infrastructure, mobility and consumer care. Dow operates 106 manufacturing sites in 31 countries and employs approximately 35,700 people.

AFPM recognizes some refining and petrochemical facilities with outstanding safety practices

AFPM recognizes some refining and petrochemical facilities with outstanding safety practices

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) has announced the winners of the 2021 Annual Safety Awards, part of the refining and petrochemical industries’ ongoing mission to enhance and recognize outstanding workplace safety, according to Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The awards, considered the industries’ premier awards, are part of a comprehensive program developed by the AFPM Safety and Health Committee to promote safe operations in the refining and petrochemical industries. They also recognize facilities that have outstanding occupational and process safety performance.

“The US refining and petrochemical industries continued to deliver on their commitment to the health and safety of our workforce, our communities and the environment last year. The AFPM Safety Awards proudly honor the sites that have risen to the top, sites that never fail to focus on safety and continuously look for ways to improve, benefiting not only our employees and facilities, but also supporting community safety and improving environmental protection,” said Chet Thompson.

The refining and petrochemical industries’ commitment to safety is reflected in their records, where they have ranked in the top tenth percentile of more than 500 manufacturing industries tracked by the government over the last decade.

The highest honor, the Distinguished Safety Award, is awarded to the top sites with outstanding safety performance, program innovation and safety leadership. This honor was awarded to four facilities this year for achieving a sustained, exemplary level of safety performance, they are: LyondellBasell Industries – Morris Site; Marathon Petroleum Company – St. Paul Park Refinery?; Monroe Energy LLC – Trainer Refinery? and Phillips 66 – Sweeny Refinery.

The Elite Gold Award, which recognizes facilities with safety performances in the top five percentile and that have demonstrated superior and consistent safety performance, program innovation and leadership, has been given to ten facilities this year: Chevron Phillips Chemical Company – Borger Plant; ExxonMobil Chemical Company – Baton Rouge Plastics Plant; ExxonMobil Chemical Company – Baton Rouge Polyolefins; LyondellBasell Industries – Bayport Complex; LyondellBasell Industries – Clinton Site; LyondellBasell Industries – Tuscola Plant; Marathon Petroleum Corporation – Anacortes Refinery; Marathon Petroleum Corporation – Louisiana Refining Division; Phillips 66 – Billings Refinery and Valero Energy Corporation – St. Charles Refinery.

The Elite Silver Award recognizes those sites that have attained top industry safety performance for the application year and demonstrated excellent program innovation and leadership over time. The Elite Silver Award recognizes the top ten percentile of industry safety and this year was awarded to 11 facilities: Chevron Phillips Chemical Company – Drilling Specialties Conroe Plant; ExxonMobil Chemical Company – Baytown Chemical Plant; ExxonMobil Chemical Company – Baytown Olefins Plant; Exxon Mobil Refining & Supply – Billings Refinery; Exxon Mobil Refining & Supply – Joliet Refinery; Flint Hills Resources, LLC – Houston Chemical; LyondellBasell Industries - Louisiana Integrated PolyEthylene JV LLC (LKO); Phillips 66 – Bayway Refinery; Valero Energy Corporation – Texas City Refinery; Valero Energy Corporation – Three Rivers Refinery and Valero Energy Corporation – Wilmington Asphalt Plant.

The AFPM Innovation Awards, introduced in 2020, recognize refineries, petrochemical facilities, and their contractors that have unique and innovative programs or practices that effectively improve the site’s safety performance for either occupational or process safety. Seven sites received the award this year and they are Exxon Mobil Corporation – Beaumont Refinery?; Flint Hills Resources LLC – Pine Bend Refinery?; LyondellBasell Industries – Morris Site?; Marathon Petroleum Company – Refining? (corporate); Marathon Petroleum Company – Michigan Refining Division?; Placid Refining Company, LLC? and Valero Energy Corporation – Three Rivers Refinery.

As MRC reported earlier, LyondellBasell Industries will turn down new business opportunities with Russian state-owned entities, and plans to discontinue existing business with those entities as well, said Plasticsnews.
Houston-based LyondellBasell also is donating 200,000 euros (USD220,000) to relief efforts in Ukraine. "We are closely monitoring the Russia-Ukraine situation as it continues to evolve," officials said in a statement sent to Plastics News. "LyondellBasell condemns the unprovoked attacks on Ukraine, and we are taking action to support the humanitarian efforts as a result of this conflict.

PrefChem to restart its cracker in Malaysia in May

PrefChem to restart its cracker in Malaysia in May

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Pengerang Refining and Petrochemical Complex (PRefChem), 50%-50% joint venture (JV) between Petronas and Saudi Aramco, aims to restart its cracker in Malaysia this May after more than two years of staying offline following an explosion on 16 March 2020, according to CommoPlast.

PrefChem's complex houses a naphtha cracker that produces 1.2 million tons/year of ethylene and 600,000 tons/year of propylene. Downstream units include a 450,000 ton/year homo-PP line, a 450,000 tons/year PP copolymer, and a 400,000 tons/year HDPE unit. The company also owns a C6-based metallocene PE plant with a capacity of 350,000 tons/year.

As MRC reported earlier, the company has been repeatedly attempting to bring the complex online over the past years, however, none was successful.

We remind that the explosion occurred at PRefChem complex at roughly 10.50 PM on 15 March 2020, which killed five people. The report confirmed that the incident took place at the 300,000 barrel per day refinery unit. All the stated above plants were shut down after the fire.

We also remind that the company received commercial ethylene and propylene at its new cracker in Pengerang on 13 September, 2019.

Ethylene and propylene are the main feedstocks for the producition 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, whereas shipments of PP random copolymers decreased significantly.

PrefChem is a 50:50 joint venture between Malaysia's Petroliam Nasional Bhd, or Petronas, and Saudi Aramco. The Pengerang Refining development, part of Petronas’ USD27 billion Pengerang Integrated Complex, consists of a 300,000 barrels-per-day (bpd) oil refinery and a petrochemical complex with a production capacity of 7.7 million tonnes per year in the southern Malaysian state of Johor.

Petronas, short for Petroliam Nasional Berhad, is a Malaysian oil and gas company wholly owned by the Government of Malaysia. The Group is engaged in a wide spectrum of petroleum activities, including upstream exploration and production of oil and gas to downstream oil refining; marketing and distribution of petroleum products; trading; gas processing and liquefaction; gas transmission pipeline network operations; marketing of liquefied natural gas; petrochemical manufacturing and marketing; shipping; automotive engineering; and property investment.

Saudi Aramco, officially the Saudi Arabian Oil Company, is a Saudi Arabian national oil and natural gas company based in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. Saudi Aramco"s value has been estimated at up to USD10 trillion in the Financial Times, making it the world"s most valuable company. Saudi Aramco has both the largest proven crude oil reserves, at more than 260 billion barrels, and largest daily oil production.

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.

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.