CJ Bio launches PHA production in Pasuruan, Indonesia

CJ Bio launches PHA production in Pasuruan, Indonesia

MOSCOW (MRC) -- CJ Bio, a division of South Korea-based CJ CheilJedang, has begun manufacturing PHA biopolyester at a newly commissioned facility located in Pasuruan, Indonesia, the company has announced.

With a rated capacity of 5,000 tonnes, the new facility will exclusively produce ‘amorphous’ PHAs (a-PHAs). Amorphous PHA , which has a low glass transition temperature (Tg), is a soft, rubbery version of PHA that offers fundamentally different performance opportunities than crystalline or semi-crystalline forms of PHA.

This material will be used as a modifier for other polymers and biopolymers to improve functional characteristics and biodegradability.

Polyhydroxyalkanoates are linear polyesters produced in nature through bacterial fermentation of sugars or lipids. They occur naturally in living cells from a 5-10% rate, which gives PHAs their excellent biodegradability. CJ BIO can increase PHA content up to 85% through bacterial strain and proprietary fermentation technology. The company employs advanced downstream technology for the extraction of PHA components and for the manufacture of specific products.

The technology also has the potential to develop building blocks for other performance materials made from non-fossil fuel sources. With the company’s first commercial production facility up and running a, CJ Bio shipped its first material in April of this year.

This new PHA manufacturing facility in Pasuruan is the culmination of decades of work that started at the company Metabolix in the early 2000s and which CJ Bio has been improving since it acquired Metabolix biopolymer assets in 2016. The company will continue to work of further expansion plans.

We remind, CJ CheilJedang is seeking to continue its success story in the United States, after the successful launch of its dumpling, by introducing ready-to-eat rice "hetbahn" to American consumers in August. Hetbahn, developed by CJ CheilJedang, is the best-selling pre-cooked rice product in the Korean market now in its 27th year. The company has been working on introducing a range of flavors that suit the American consumer palate for the last five years.

Domo plans to expand PA production capacity in China

Domo plans to expand PA production capacity in China
MOSCOW (MRC) -- Domo, a manufacturer of engineering and high performance materials has announced it will be investing millions of euros in updating and expanding the production capacity for high-performance Technyl polyamides over the coming years, said Sustainableplastics.

The company said that the investment was necessary to meet growing demand in the automotive, electrical & electronics, and industrial consumer goods industries, and to help build a sustainable future. Domo Chemicals acquired Solvay's performance polyamides business, including its Technyl brand, in 2020. It has been selling its Technyl polyamide products in China and elsewhere since February 1, 2022.

Demand for polyamide materials is currently booming, fuelled by the growing popularity of new energy vehicles - pure electric, hybrid and fuel cell vehicles. Moreover, rising demand for miniaturised circuit breakers, contactors, plug switches, and other components in the electrical and electronics and industrial consumer goods industries is further expanding the application potential for polyamide materials.

Domo is bundling its Domamid, Econamid and Thermec engineered material solution brands together under the Technyl brand to form a new Technyl high-performance polyamide family. The new family will also include Technyl 4 Earth, an environmentally friendly product based on recyclable materials and certified for CO2 reduction.
Asia is the fastest growing market for polyamides in the world, with the majority of that growth concentrated in China. Expanding the production capacity in China will contribute to establishing Domo Chemicals as a strong presence in that region and will help local manufacturers keep pace with emerging trends for more sustainable materials.

The facilities at the production site in Jiaxing, Zhejiang Province, will therefore be enlarged in three stages. The first stage saw the addition of 6,000 tons of capacity, which came on stream in March, bringing the plant’s total capacity to 14,000 tons of PA6 from April onwards.

A 35,000-ton new plant in Haiyan is being constructed, with completion due in the third quarter of 2023. The new plant represents an investment of more than 14 million euros (97 million yuan). Going forward, Domo will further expand the plant, gradually increasing its capacity to 50,000 tons. The new plant will be also produce Technyl 4 Earth for Domo’s global and local customers.

In addition to the expansion, the plant will also use renewable energy wherever possible, adopt advanced water and air treatment technologies to reduce water consumption and CO2 emissions, and fully comply with Health, Safety and Environmental Management System (HSE) regulations. Domo Chemicals will improve HSE compliance continuously and work closely with the local government, while partnering with key local and global customers to accelerate innovation and development across a wide range of industries.

As per MRC, Domo Chemicals, a global leader in engineered material solutions and fully integrated producer of PA6, announced today the successful delivery of 5 million tonnes of caprolactam at its Leuna site. The Leuna site has produced caprolactam in its facilities since 1942. This quantity is equivalent to approximately 225,000 truck loads. The German subsidiary DOMO Caproleuna has been producing caprolactam and polyamide at the site in the heart of Europe since 1994. During this period, production capacities have been gradually expanded to the current 176,000 metric tonnes per year.

Domo Caproleuna GmbH (Lein, Germany) produces nylon, nylon derivatives, and polypropylene. Domo Caproleuna GmbH was previously known as Caproleuna GmbH. Domo Caproleuna GmbH is a subsidiary of Domo Chemicals NV.

LyondellBasell licenses PE process for two EVA lines in China

LyondellBasell licenses PE process for two EVA lines in China

MOSCOW (MRC) -- LyondellBasell announced that Jiangsu Hongjing New Material Co. Ltd. will use its Lupotech T high-pressure polyethylene technology at a new facility, said the company.

The process technology will be used for two 200 kiloton per year (KTA) vinyl acetate copolymer (EVA) lines. The facility will be located in the Lianyungang, Jiangsu Province, P.R. of China.

“Demand for both EVA and low density polyethylene (LDPE) remains strong in the current dynamic market. In particular, higher value applications such as for solar panel lamination and encapsulant are in strong demand, driven mainly by the on-going energy transition,” said Neil Nadalin, Director Global Licensing and Services at LyondellBasell. Nadalin added, “The Lupotech T process, offering both lowest operating and balanced investment cost, is the technology of choice for our customers to produce both EVA and LDPE grades”.

Mr. Bai Wei, Chairman of Jiangsu Hongjing New Material Co., Ltd stated, “We gained within the Jiangsu Shenghong group companies a very pleasant experience with the LyondellBasell polyolefin technology offer in the field of high pressure technology. This is already the 4th and 5th polyolefin line based on LyondellBasell proprietary technology allowing us to produce superior polyolefin grades in high demand. Therefore, selecting LyondellBasell technology was a natural choice for expanding our production capacity with this additional project.”

Decades of experience in high-pressure application design makes the Lupotech T process the preferred technology for LDPE/EVA plant operators. High conversion rates, demonstrated high plant availability, and effective process heat integration are key attributes of the Lupotech T process, designed to ensure this technology’s on-going energy efficiency.

More than 13 million KTA of the Lupotech T process for LDPE/EVA production capacity has been licensed by LyondellBasell in over 70 lines around the world.

New licensees can take advantage of LyondellBasell’s in-house expertise of continuous production improvement, product development according to the latest environmental regulations and our knowhow in high pressure design, by optionally joining our Technical Service program.

As MRC wrote earlier, in July, 2021, Neste and LyondellBasell announced a long-term commercial agreement under which LyondellBasell will source Neste RE, a feedstock from Neste that has been produced from 100% renewable feedstock from bio-based sources, such as waste and residue oils and fats. This feedstock will be processed through the cracker at LyondellBasell’s Wesseling, Germany, plant into polymers and sold under the CirculenRenew brand name.

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.

Thai SCG Q1 net profit falls 41%

Thai SCG Q1 net profit falls 41%

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Thai conglomerate Siam Cement Group's (SCG) first-quarter net profit declined by 41% year on year on squeezed chemical margins due to high feedstock cost amid weak China demand, said the company.

Its chemicals segment posted a 59% slump in net profit in the March quarter, despite a 34% increase in revenues, as feedstock naphtha prices spiked along with crude following Russia's invasion of Ukraine. SCG ran its crackers at above 90% of capacity in January-March 2022.

On a y-o-y basis, Revenue from Sales increased 25% from higher sales revenue across all businesses mainly from higher product prices in-line with the market. However, Profit for the Period fell by 41%, mainly due to rising feedstock costs from Chemicals Business in Q1/2022, along with the fact that the Chemicals industry had better performance in Q1/2021 compared to normal business operations from winter freeze which caused supply shortage in the United States.

In Q1/2022, SCG’s Revenue from Sales of High Value Added Products and Services (HVA) reached 51,388 MB, accounting for 34% of total Revenue from Sales. Moreover, New Products Development (NPD) and Service Solution amounted to 17% and 5% of total Revenue from Sales.

SCG’s Revenue from outside of Thailand together with export from Thailand was 44% of total Revenue from Sales or amounted to 66,541 MB in Q1/2022, an increase of 30% y-o-y. SCG’s total assets as of March 31, 2022 amounted to 889,540 MB, of which 45% represented assets in ASEAN.

As per MRC, on 26 October 2021, a fire hit Thai petrochemical producer Siam Cement's (SCG) Map Ta Phut olefins complex. The fire broke out at a naphtha tank, which was empty at the time of the incident, because it had been shut for cleaning and maintenance. The cause of the fire is unknown.

As MRC reported earlier, Map Ta Phut Olefins Co Ltd (MOC), a subsidiary of Thailand’s SCG Chemical, has completed the maintenance work at its cracker in Map Ta Phut. Thus, the cracker with the capacity of 900,000 mt/year of ethylene and 450,000 mt/year of propylene was shut for a scheduled turnaround on 2 November, 2020, and fully resumed operations in the fourth week of December, 2020.

Petroecuador agrees additional crude sale to Marathon Petroleum

Petroecuador agrees additional crude sale to Marathon Petroleum

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Petroecuador will sell an additional 720,000 barrels of Oriente crude to Marathon Petroleum Supply LLC , under a larger contract awarded last month, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The U.S. refiner won a tender for 7.92 MM barrels of Oriente crude oil in April. It had offered a premium of 75 cents per barrel. Petroecuador said in a statement it will sell Marathon an additional 720,000 barrels of crude following an agreement between the two companies.

The delivery of the new crude supply will take place in two equal shipments in July, "under the same terms that were awarded a few days ago, through a medium-term tender, that is, a premium of 0.75 dollars per barrel", the company said.

The Andean nation is seeking to alleviate fiscal problems by revaluing some of its crude oil sales to refineries amid high international oil prices.

Petroecuador expects additional revenues for August of approximately USD70.7 MM with this additional sale, the statement added.

As per MRC, Marathon Petroleum’s first-quarter (Q1) sales and income shot up on the back of healthy operations at its Refining & Marketing (R&M) division. The jump in income and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) was possible due to healthy results at Marathon's R&M division, with the segment reporting adjusted EBITDA of USD1.4bn compared with USD23m in the Q1 2021.

We remind, Neste Corporation has signed definitive agreements for the establishment of a 50/50 JV with US-based Marathon Petroleum. The JV will produce renewable diesel following a conversion project of Marathon's refinery in Martinez, California (the Martinez Renewable Fuels project). The closing of the JV is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals, including obtaining the necessary permits, which depend upon certification of a final Environmental Impact Report.