Covestro to complete new films production capacities in Germany by late 2023

Covestro to complete new films production capacities in Germany by late 2023

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Covestro is expanding its production capacities for thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) Films in the Platilon range, as well as the associated infrastructure and logistics and schedules to complete the new facilities as early as the end of 2023, as per the company's press release.

To this end, the company is investing a low double-digit million euro amount in its German center of excellence for the aforementioned films in Bomlitz, Lower Saxony. This site of Epurex Films, a wholly owned subsidiary of Covestro, houses application development and production for the semi-finished products, among other things.

The new capacity is intended to meet the growing global demand for multilayer TPU Films. They are used in automotive interiors and construction, among other applications. Breathable, water-impermeable specialty films have also proven their worth in wound care and outdoor clothing.

"With this capacity expansion, we are strengthening our Bomlitz site and our position as a leading supplier of technical specialty films," said Dr. Klaus Schafer, Chief Technology Officer of Covestro, at the groundbreaking ceremony. "At the same time, we are investing in promising technologies and applications and creating new jobs."

Covestro is fully geared toward the circular economy and aims to become climate-neutral by 2035. To this end, the Bomlitz site plans to switch its energy supply completely to green electricity starting this year.

Epurex Films is one of three Covestro competence centers for specialty films in Germany. The other two centers in Leverkusen and Dormagen are focused on research, production and application of polycarbonate films.

As MRC informed before, in April 2021, DSM completed the sale of the resins & functional materials businesses to Covestro for EUR1.6 billion (USD1.9 billion), including EUR1.4 billion in cash.

We remind that Covestro closed the sale of its European polycarbonates (PC) sheets business to the Munich-based Serafin Group effective January 2, 2020. This includes key management and sales functions throughout Europe as well as production sites in Belgium and Italy.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's overall consumption of PC granules (excluding exports from Belarus) totalled 7,800 tonnes in January 2022, down by 4% year on year (8,100 tonnes a year earlier).

Covestro (formerly Bayer MaterialScience) is an independent subgroup within Bayer. It was created as part of the restructuring of Bayer AG from the former business group Bayer Polymers, with certain of its activities being spun off to Lanxess AG. Covestro manufactures and develops materials such as coatings, adhesives and sealants, polycarbonates (CDs, DVDs), polyurethanes (automotive seating, insulation for refrigerating appliances) etc. With 2021 sales of EUR 15.9 billion, Covestro has 50 production sites worldwide and employs approximately 17,900 people (calculated as full-time equivalents).

Technip Energies, Alterra Energy partner on recycled feedstock production

Technip Energies, Alterra Energy partner on recycled feedstock production

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Technip Energies and Alterra Energy have now entered into a global joint development and collaboration agreement to integrate Technip Energies’ pyrolysis oil purification technology with Alterra’s commercially available liquefaction process technology, said Sustainableplastics.

By integrating both their proprietary processes, the two companies aim to accelerate the adoption of recycled feedstock, thus improving circular economy solutions for the global petrochemical industry. The combination of advanced recycling and purification technologies will enable more efficient processing and reuse of hard-to-recycle plastic.

Ohio-based Alterra provides an innovative, patented, thermochemical liquefaction technology, converting hard-to-recycle plastic into a pyrolysis based oil called PyOil and diverting tonnes of plastic from landfills.

France-headquartered Technip Energies has extensive knowledge of ethylene furnace and steam cracker design, preparation and purification of heavy feedstocks for refining and petrochemical facilities, on the basis of which the company has developed its Pure.rOil purification technology, which enables the safe, reliable and optimised integration with individual crackers.

Combining the two technologies yields a drop-in ready PyOil feedstock derived from recycled waste plastics, helping to create, as Bhaskar Patel, SVP Sustainable Fuels, Chemicals and Circularity at Technip Energies said ‘new pathways toward solving the plastic waste problem’.

“Our partnership with Technip Energies allows us to offer a more holistic value proposition to our customers by ensuring that our recycled product can be utilised as a direct feed in the majority of existing chemical and petrochemical assets for the production of new plastics, thus closing the plastic recycling loop,” said Frederic Schmuck, CEO of Alterra Energy. “To meet the growing demand for recycled content, Alterra will continue to forge partnerships and collaborations with innovative companies like Technip Energies to create a recycling ecosystem that’s as efficient and effective as possible."

As per MRC, TechnipFMC has been awarded a large Engineering, Procurement, Construction and Installation (EPCI) contract by Petrobras. The contract covers flexible and rigid pipe, umbilicals, pipeline end terminals, rigid jumpers, umbilical termination assemblies and a mooring system.

As per MRC, TechnipFMC announced the launch of the placement of 16 million Technip Energies shares, representing ca. 9% of Technip Energies’ issued and outstanding share capital, through a private placement by way of an accelerated bookbuild offering. Upon completion of the Placement, TechnipFMC would retain a direct stake of ca. 22% of Technip Energies’ issued and outstanding share capital.

We remind, SIBUR, the largest petrochemical complex in Russia and Eastern Europe, and Technip Energies, an international engineering company, have entered into an agreement on cooperation in the field of technology for the production of Hexen-1 comonomer used in the production of linear polyethylene (LDPE) and low-pressure polyethylene (HDPE). The HEXSIB technology is a proprietary development of NIOST specialists, one of the main research centers of SIBUR.

Borealis selects Axens process for its plastics pyrolysis oil upgrading unit

Borealis selects Axens process for its plastics pyrolysis oil upgrading unit

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Borealis and Axens have recently signed a license agreement for the Rewind Mix process in order to purify and upgrade 50 KTA of pyrolysis oils produced from plastics wastes at the petrochemical plant of Borealis in Stenungsund, Sweden, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The unit is planned to be in commercial operation in 2025, subject to FID, and will produce a virgin-like recycled feedstock to be further processed in the existing steam cracker unit for the production of recycled polymers, which could be used for food-grade packaging and other high-value applications.

Axens will supply the process design package of the Rewind Mix unit and the corresponding proprietary equipment, catalysts and adsorbents. Developed by IFP Energies nouvelles, Repsol and Axens, and based upon a strong industrial background, Rewind Mix provides a complete solution to turn plastic pyrolysis oils into perfect feedstock for steam cracking to make recycled plastics suitable for any application. Axens will also support Borealis with technical on-site and digital assistance, securing a long-term optimal performance of the unit.

This unit is a key element of the planned plastic advanced recycling project of Borealis in Stenungsund. The project will as well include a pyrolysis unit feeding the Rewind Mix process, and storage and logistic solutions. The plastic waste will be provided from selected partners. The project has got support from the Swedish Energy Agency for the study phases.

"We are proud to have been selected by Borealis for this ground-breaking project. Axens is strongly committed to supporting the plastic recycling industry in reaching its ambitious targets at the 2025-2030 horizon, developing and offering robust, flexible, low-carbon footprint technologies which complement mechanical recycling and create a truly circular plastic economy,” said Stephane Fedou, Axens Plastics Circular Economy Director.

”Borealis has set ambitious targets to create a circular economy for plastic, as a part of our sustainability journey,” said Anders Froberg, Borealis Director of Manufacturing Excellence and Transformation. “Together with Axens, we will be able to provide our customers with sustainable products in order to meet market demands and improve recycle rates of plastic."

We remind, Borealis (Vienna), a leading producer of polyolefins, has delayed the start-up of a new, world-scale propane dehydrogenation (PDH) plant at its existing production site at Kallo, Belgium, which is the company's biggest investment in Europe, until Q3 2023, citing Covid-19. The plant in Kallo in the port of Antwerp was previously targeted to begin operations by the end of next year.

Borealis is owned by OMV AG and Mubadala Investment Co., the Abu Dhabi state investment company. Borealis is a leading provider of innovative solutions in the fields of polyolefins, base chemicals and fertilizers. With headquarters in Vienna, Austria, Borealis currently employs around 6,500 and operates in over 120 countries.

Zhongjing Petrochemical to start up new PP plant in Fujian province this June

Zhongjing Petrochemical to start up new PP plant in Fujian province this June

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Zhongjing Petrochemical in an official ceremony on 18 April 2022 announced the startup of its new polypropylene (PP) plant in Fujian province this June as construction is near completion, according to CommoPlast.

The new plant has an annual output of 1.2 million tons per annum using LyondellBasell’s 5th Generation Spheripol technology. The unit is likely to produce commodity grades including homo-PP yarn and injection at the initial stage before focusing on copolymer and specialty grades.

The company initially planned to bring the new plant online between late 2022 to early 2023.

At the moment, Zhongjing operates two existing PP lines with a nameplate capacity of 1 million tons/year and a 750,000 tons/year propane dehydrogenation (PDH) unit based in Fujian, China.

As MRC wrote previously, in January, 2022, LyondellBasell announced that PT Polytama Propindo will use the LyondellBasell Spheripol technology for expanding their existing facility. The process technology will be used for an additional 300 KTA PP plant to be built in Balongan, West Java, Indonesia, that is expected to be completed in 2024.

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.

Pemex under pressure to resume financial debt payments

Pemex under pressure to resume financial debt payments

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Mexico's cash-strapped state oil firm Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) is under pressure to resume financial debt repayments despite promises from President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador that his government would pay them until 2024, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Pemex is due to pay some 1 B euros to redeem a 2015 bond. "Pemex will make payment of its maturities this month with its own resources, since the finance ministry did not make capital contributions to the company in April (for that)," said one of the sources, who asked to remain anonymous.

Neither the finance ministry nor Pemex responded to requests for comment. Pemex, one of the world's most-indebted oil companies, has struggled with years of declining crude production and in 2020 lost its coveted investment-grade debt rating.

The source said between May and December Pemex faces outstanding principal and interest payments, mainly related to bonds, worth some USD3.8 B. "The finance ministry notified Pemex about three weeks ago the company had to pay the eurobond, arguing it has more funds due to the increase in ... oil prices," the source added.

Pemex has said it must shoulder peso-denominated financial debt maturities in 2022 worth some USD8.4 B, and another USD15.2 B of debt commitments in other currencies. The ministry has in recent weeks also pressed Pemex to resume amortizations linked mainly to debt issuances, which this year amount to some USD7.5 B, another USD7.4 B in 2023 and USD8.8 B in 2024, the source said.

In 2021, debt amortizations totaled about USD6.4 billion. The second source told Reuters "the additional income from Pemex will be significant, and that allows the company to receive less (government) support", without giving details on how much extra income was expected due to the increase in crude oil prices following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Pemex's financial debt closed 2021 at USD109.0 B. Net losses were USD10.9 B last year. Pemex has begun drawing up a refinancing plan for some USD3.5 B in financial debt, anticipating the funds will not come from the government for now, the first source said.

Mexico in January swapped short-term Pemex bonds for a new 10-year bond as part of a scheme to lower debt and reduce medium-term financial pressure on the firm. Mexico's government in 2021 made capital contributions to Pemex of 202.569 B pesos for debt repayments and granted the firm 73.280 B pesos in tax incentives. Pemex officials recently said the government will provide it with capital this year in accordance with its maturity profile.

Last month, Lopez Obrador said Mexico will reduce refining output at Pemex while it modernizes its refineries, as the government capitalizes on high oil prices. Mexico has said it will use extra revenue collected from oil prices to subsidize domestic gasoline and diesel prices, helping to contain inflation.

As MRC informed before, in March 2022, officials told Reuters that Mexico's oil exports would remain close to 1 MMbpd for much of the year, despite plans announced by Pemex to slash them to less than half that so it could refine more crude.

We remind that n late January, 2022, Pemex signed a long-term crude supply contract with Royal Dutch Shell Plc as part of its acquisition of the Deer Park refinery in Texas. Pemex and Shell in May, 2021, announced the transaction, which is worth almost USD600 MM and will make the Mexican firm the sole owner of the refinery near Houston. The facility has capacity to process 340,000 bpd. Shell will supply about 200,000 bpd of foreign and US crude to the plant for at least 15 years.

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.