BASF and Sinopec start expansion of joint Verbund site in Nanjing

BASF and Sinopec start expansion of joint Verbund site in Nanjing

MRC – BASF and SINOPEC have broken ground for the expansion of their Verbund site operated by BASF-YPC Co., Ltd. (BASF-YPC), a 50-50 joint venture of both companies in Nanjing, as per BASF's press release.

The expansion includes new capacities of several downstream chemical plants and a new tert-butyl acrylate plant, to serve the growing demand from various industries in the Chinese market.

“BASF-YPC is one of the most successful joint ventures for BASF globally with outstanding safety and business performances,” said Dr. Markus Kamieth, Member of the Board of Executive Directors, BASF SE. “It owes to the trusted partnership between BASF and SINOPEC for more than two decades, which is being further strengthened by this expansion.”

The partners will expand the production capacities of propionic acid, propionic aldehyde, ethyleneamines, ethanolamines and purified ethylene oxide, and build a new tert-butyl acrylate plant. The tert-butyl acrylate plant will be an extension to the downstream using acrylic acid and isobutene of the existing Verbund as feedstock, which marks the first time this advanced production technology is applied outside of Germany. The expanded and new plants are planned to come on stream by the end of 2023.

“We will deploy the state-of-the-art technologies to build the new facilities at the BASF-YPC, which allows us to gain competitive edge in the dynamic Chinese market,” said Dr. Jeffrey Lou, President and Chairman Greater China, BASF. “More importantly, it strongly demonstrates the joint commitments by BASF and SINOPEC to promote sustainable development in China’s chemical industry.”

“The domestic petrochemical industry is in high-quality development. With the support of all involved parties, we will implement the expansion project on the first-class standards,” said Yuefeng Gu, Chairman of Sinopec Yangzi Petrochemical Company Limited and BASF-YPC Company Limited. “The advanced modern petrochemical site will promote the transformation and upgrading of the petrochemical industry and make greater contributions to local economic and sustainable development.”

As MRC reported earlier, in November 2021, BASF increased its production capacity for advanced additives at its wholly-owned site in Nanjing, China. The new asset with state-of-the-art technologies will allow BASF to produce high molecular weight dispersing agents, slip and leveling agents and other additives locally for Asian markets.

BASF is the leading chemical company. It produces a wide range of chemicals, for example solvents, amines, resins, glues, electronic-grade chemicals, industrial gases, basic petrochemicals and inorganic chemicals. The most important customers for this segment are the pharmaceutical, construction, textile and automotive industries.

Repsol Q1 net income increased on strong refining results

Repsol's industrial division posted an adjusted net income of €236m in the first quarter of this year, up sharply from the EUR73m it reported in the same period a year earlier, supported by strong refining earnings, said the company.

Operating performance at the industrial business' refining unit was €334m higher year-on-year mainly due to higher refining margins and higher utilization rates at distillation units, the company said in a statement. In chemicals, operating performance was €41m lower year-on-year due to higher input prices and higher energy and CO2 costs.

"This was partially compensated by higher cogeneration results," the company said. Petrochemical product sales fell by 3.37% year on year to 687,000 tonnes in the first quarter.

Repsol posted net income of €1.39bn in the first quarter of 2022, compared with EUR648m in the same period of the previous year, supported by the sharp rise in hydrocarbon prices during the period.

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.

Maire Tecnimont subsidiary to install two hydrogen production lines at Eni biorefinery in Porto Marghera

Maire Tecnimont subsidiary to install two hydrogen production lines at Eni biorefinery in Porto Marghera

Maire Tecnimont S.p.A. announces that its main subsidiaries KT-Kinetics Technology, NextChem and Stamicarbon have been granted new awards for a total amount of approximately EUR155 million for licensing as well as engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) activities, as per the company's press release.

These contracts have been granted by prestigious international clients mainly in Europe and in the Middle East.

In particular, KT-Kinetics Technology has been awarded an EPC contract by Eni to implement two hydrogen production lines for the Venice biorefinery in Porto Marghera.

The project’s main objective is to increase the availability of hydrogen of the biorefinery to meet the needs of the EcofiningTM unit in terms of quality, quantity and availability itself, optimizing its energy efficiency. As part of a phased transition to the production of decarbonized hydrogen, the two units are designed to significantly reduce the emission of fossil CO2 into the atmosphere through the use of biogenic charges recirculated by the EcofiningTM unit.

With these new awards Maire Tecnimont Group further confirms the strong geographical diversification of its backlog and the capability of supporting its prestigious clients to ensure more efficient and environmentally better performing processes and products, thanks to its technology-driven DNA.

As MRC reported earlier, in March, 2022, Italian oil and gas company Eni and Air Liquide entered into a collaboration agreement aimed at assessing decarbonization solutions in the Mediterranean region of Europe, focusing on hard-to-abate industrial sectors. The two companies join forces to enable CO2 capture, aggregation, transport and permanent storage.

We remind that Eni is evaluating conversion of its Livorno refinery in northwest Italy into a biorefinery, as part of the Italian company's wider strategy to make its activities more environmentally sustainable. Eni has already converted two of its Italian refineries and is looking to almost double its biorefining capacity to around 2 million mt/year by 2024, and expand this to at least five times by 2050, as part of its pledge to achieve complete carbon neutrality 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.

Eni, abbreviation of Ente Nazionale Idrocarburi, in full Eni SpA, Italian energy company operating primarily in petroleum, natural gas, and petrochemicals. Established in 1953, it is one of Europe's largest oil companies in terms of sales.

Huntsman Q1 earnings up sharply on higher margins

Huntsman Q1 earnings up sharply on higher margins

Huntsman's first-quarter (Q1) earnings rose sharply year on year on the back of healthy margins despite “tremendous upward pressure” from input costs, said the company.

Sales and earnings before interests, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) rose 43.6%, and net income more than doubled. Huntsman’s four divisions – Polyurethanes, Performance Products, Advanced Materials, and Textile Effects – posted higher sales and earnings, despite a fall in sales at Advanced Materials and Textile Effects.

The Polyurethanes division reported an increase in adjusted EBITDA due to higher methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) margins on higher selling prices and sales. This was partially offset by higher raw material costs and lower earnings from the company’s propylene oxide (PO)/methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) joint venture in China.

"We started 2022 with positive momentum and are focused on further improvements through a deliberate value over volume strategy that includes our pricing initiatives, cost optimisation programs, organic investments and when appropriate bolt-on acquisitions,” said Peter Huntsman, CEO. “We delivered on pricing in the first quarter and expanded our margins despite tremendous upward pressure on our raw material costs.”

Huntsman said: “We are actively monitoring the many economic cross currents throughout the world but where we stand today, we expect continued strong overall results in the second quarter."

As per MRC, Huntsman announced that it has launched a new range of low-emission MDI-based foam systems for automotive interiors. The ACOUSTIFLEX LE and RUBIFLEX® LE polyurethane product lines. These innovative technologies allow global automotive formulators and foam manufacturers to produce high-performance polyurethane foams, while significantly reducing interior emissions levels to meet OEMs’ requirements.

Also, Huntsman is expanding its performance products facility in Petfurdo, Hungary. The multimillion-dollar investment project will expand capacity for polyurethane (PU) catalysts and specialty amines, scheduled for completion in mid-2023.

Huntsman Corporation is a publicly traded global manufacturer and marketer of differentiated and specialty chemicals with 2020 revenues of approximately USD6 billion. Our chemical products number in the thousands and are sold worldwide to manufacturers serving a broad and diverse range of consumer and industrial end markets.

Olin and Plug Power sign MoU for green hydrogen JV to serve North America

Olin and Plug Power sign MoU for green hydrogen JV to serve North America

MRC -- Olin Corporation, a leading vertically integrated chlor alkali producer and marketer, and Plug Power Inc., a leading provider of turnkey hydrogen solutions for the global green hydrogen economy, have announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the intention to create a joint venture (JV) to produce and market green hydrogen to support growing fuel cell demand in the global hydrogen economy, according to CISION.

The JV is the first of its kind and will provide reliability of supply and speed to market for green hydrogen throughout North America, setting the foundation for broader collaboration between the two companies. The first production plant in St. Gabriel, Louisiana will produce 15 tons per day (tpd) of green hydrogen.

This partnership brings together Olin, North America's largest producer of electrolytic hydrogen, with Plug Power, who is building an end-to-end global green hydrogen ecosystem. Under the JV, Plug Power will market the hydrogen and provide logistical support for delivery while Olin will provide reliable hydrogen production and operational support.

"Olin's 130-year history of producing hydrogen as part of our chlor alkali production process combined with Plug Power's leadership in the green hydrogen economy creates a powerful partnership to serve the growing demand for green hydrogen," noted Scott Sutton, Chairman, President, and CEO of Olin. "This JV is a key step for Olin as we seek to recognize the full potential of Olin's untapped hydrogen supply capabilities across North America. We are excited to partner with Plug Power, a true leader in sustainable hydrogen, to serve the fuel cell market."

The joint venture is expected to be operational in 2023.

As MRC informed previously, Olin Corp. (Calyton, Mo.) and Mitsui & Co., Ltd. (Tokyo) announced a global strategic alliance to better serve customers. The companies have agreed to a memorandum of understanding to establish a joint venture that brings together Mitsui’s top-notch global logistics, deep supplier and customer relationships, and breadth of product portfolio with Olin’s scale, North American export capability, and production flexibility across the electrochemical unit (ECU) portfolio.

We remind that a fire and chlorine spill at Olin Corp’s plant in Plaquemine, a tenant at the Dow Chemical facility, was reported to Iberville Sheriff’s office around 8:40 p.m., on 18 April, 2022. Louisiana authorities lifted a shelter-in-place order within five hours of issuing it after a chlorine leak on Monday.

Olin Corporation was founded in 1892 and is currently based in Clayton, Missouri, USA. The company's activities are concentrated in three segments: the production of military ammunition and chlor-alkali products, and their distribution. It is one of the main producers of polyvinyl chloride in the USA along with Shintech, Formosa Plastics, Westlake Chemical and Axiall.

Plug Power is building an end-to-end green hydrogen ecosystem, from production, storage and delivery to energy generation, to help its customers meet their business goals and decarbonize the economy.