Phillips 66 taps FreeWire Technologies to support its first EV charging program in U.S.

Phillips 66 taps FreeWire Technologies to support its first EV charging program in U.S.

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Phillips 66 signed a letter of intent with FreeWire Technologies in support of its first electric-vehicle charging program in the United States, the two companies announced.

The announcement highlights Phillips 66’s commitment to pursue lower-carbon solutions and comes as an endorsement of FreeWire’s ultrafast, battery-integrated charging technology. The two companies will explore opportunities to deploy FreeWire’s technology within Phillips 66’s U.S. fueling stations and other strategic locations.

“With EV adoption growing, Phillips 66 is working with FreeWire to bring consumers electric fueling stations that meet their expectations for high-speed, on-the-go charging,” said Pam McGinnis, Vice President, Global Marketing at Phillips 66.

FreeWire joined Phillips 66 at its branded marketer conference in Las Vegas this week to showcase the agreement. Phillips 66 plans to expand its base of electric fueling stations by leveraging its retail network of approximately 7,000 U.S. sites using the Phillips 66, 76 and Conoco brands.

“We are thrilled to play a leading role in Phillips 66’s electrification plans that unlock new customer relationships with EV drivers,” said Arcady Sosinov, FreeWire Founder and CEO. “As charging demand continues to surge, our battery-integrated chargers offer the streamlined, shovel-ready solution that many entering the EV charging space are looking for."

FreeWire’s Boost Charger offers an attractive alternative to costly and time-intensive upgrades to electrical grid and power infrastructure of an individual site. It connects to existing infrastructure without burdensome construction costs and permitting restraints.

As per MRC, Chevron and ExxonMobil have signed separate agreements with state energy company PT Pertamina to explore lower carbon business opportunities in Indonesia. Chevron signed an MoU through its subsidiary, Chevron New Ventures Pte. Ltd, and is looking at potential businesses in new geothermal technology, carbon offsets through nature-based solutions, carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS), Pertamina said.

We remind that Chevron Phillips Chemical, a joint venture of Phillips 66 and Chevron, will make a final investment decision on a new cracker in far southeast Texas in 2022, followed by an FID in 2023 on an USD8 billion joint venture petrochemical complex along the US Gulf Coast in 2023.

North American weekly chem railcar traffic falls by 3,7%

North American weekly chem railcar traffic falls by 3,7%

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The Association of American Railroads (AAR) reported U.S. rail traffic for the week ending May 28, 2022, as well as volumes for May 2022, said AAR.

U.S. railroads originated 928,742 carloads in May 2022, down 3.7 percent, or 35,821 carloads, from May 2021. U.S. railroads also originated 1,102,558 containers and trailers in May 2022, down 4.3 percent, or 49,258 units, from the same month last year. Combined U.S. carload and intermodal originations in May 2022 were 2,031,300, down 4 percent, or 85,079 carloads and intermodal units from May 2021.

In May 2022, seven of the 20 carload commodity categories tracked by the AAR each month saw carload gains compared with May 2021. These included: crushed stone, sand & gravel, up 4,659 carloads or 5.8 percent; motor vehicles & parts, up 4,534 carloads or 9 percent; and food products, up 1,652 carloads or 7.1 percent. Commodities that saw declines in May 2022 from May 2021 included: grain, down 13,738 carloads or 13.5 percent; primary metal products, down 5,878 carloads or 15.3 percent; and petroleum & petroleum products, down 5,857 carloads or 13.5 percent.

We remind, North American chemical railcar traffic fell by 6.0% year on year for the week ended 14 May. For the first 19 weeks of 2022 ended 14 May, North American chemical railcar traffic was up 3.5% year on year to 895,600 railcar loadings. With the exception of chemicals, coal and nonmetallic minerals, shipments in all other railcar categories fell for the first 19 weeks. In the US, chemical railcar loadings represent about 20% of chemical transportation by tonnage, with trucks, barges and pipelines carrying the rest. In Canada, producers rely on rail to ship more than 70% of their products, with some exclusively using rail.

Linde Engineering to extend Slovnaf polypropylene capacity in Slovakia

Linde Engineering to extend Slovnaf polypropylene capacity in Slovakia

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Linde Engineering announced it has been selected by Slovnaft, a member of the MOL Group, a leading integrated Central Eastern European oil and gas corporation, to conduct a complex large-scale revamp of a polypropylene (PP3) plant in Bratislava, Slovakia, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The revamp will extend the plant’s capacity by 18 percent to 300 kilotons of polypropylene per year, and the storage facility will be expanded from the current 45 to 61 silos in total. The revamped plant has been designed to offer a higher degree of operational flexibility by producing multiple product grades and utilizing intermediate storage to ensure just-in-time production.

Furthermore, the project will incorporate environmental measures to capture waste gas streams in compliance with local regulations. "The revamp will enable Slovnaft to meet rising demands from the polyolefin processing industry. The project is challenging given its complexity: Interdependency with other process facilities allows only a narrow time frame for a shutdown. With our proven expertise and best-in-class services, we will be able to complete all installation works, including construction, commissioning and testing," said Juergen Nowicki, CEO Linde Engineering.

Several studies performed by Linde Engineering between 2016 and 2020 laid the foundation for Slovnaft’s investment decision. "One of the goals of our updated 2030+ strategy is to reduce the production of fossil fuels and strengthen the production of basic plastics. Linde Engineering is our reliable partner. Less than 20 years ago, the company built the PP3 polypropylene production unit in Slovnaft and now it will renovate and modernize it,” said Gabriel Szabo, Executive Vice President of Downstream at MOL Group.

As per MRC, bp and Linde announced plans to advance a major carbon capture and storage (CCS) project in Texas that will enable low carbon hydrogen production at Linde’s existing facilities. The development will also support the storage of carbon dioxide (CO2) captured from other industrial facilities – paving the way for large-scale decarbonization of the Texas Gulf Coast industrial corridor.

Orion Engineered Carbons expands its revolving credit facility

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Orion Engineered Carbons, a specialty chemical company, announced that it has added 100 million EUR to its senior secured revolving credit facility, which expands the company's facility to EUR350 mln, said the company.

"In light of current volatility within the global energy markets, we feel it is prudent to increase our revolving credit facility. We believe this will cover our working capital needs up to an oil price of about USD200 per barrel. We want to be proactively prepared for this higher level of volatility,” said Jeff Glajch, Orion’s chief financial officer.

This expansion was completed at similar terms as Orion’s previous facility. Two new global lenders were added to the lending group. The credit facility was oversubscribed, reflecting confidence in Orion’s prospects during these unsettled times.

Orion Engineered Carbons is a leading global supplier of carbon black, a solid form of carbon produced as powder or pellets. The material is made to customers’ exacting specifications for tires, coatings, ink, batteries, plastics and numerous other specialty, high-performance applications. Carbon black is used to tint, colorize, provide reinforcement, conduct electricity, increase durability, and add UV protection. Orion has innovation centers on three continents and 14 plants worldwide, offering the most diverse variety of production processes in the industry.

As per MRC, Orion Engineered Carbons, a specialty chemical company, announced plans to build the only plant in the U.S. producing acetylene-based conductive additives – a critical link in the value chain for lithium-ion batteries, high-voltage cables and other products powering the global transition to electrification and renewable energy. Orion’s planned facility in La Porte, Texas, south of Houston, will be backed by a long-term agreement for acetylene supplied from a neighboring site owned by Equistar Chemicals LP, a subsidiary of LyondellBasell.

As per MRC, Orion Engineered Carbons (Houston, Texas) says it will raise prices by 20% globally for acetylene black after a period of investment in its production plant in France “to better serve the growing market demand for acetylene black used in lithium-ion (Li-on) battery production” . The price increase takes effect on 1 March 2021 or as contracts allow.

We remind, Orion Engineered Carbons has raised its fourth-quarter guidance for adjusted EBITDA earnings to a range of USD64-67 million from the previously issued range of USD44-55 million given during its third quarter results on 5 November.

Orion Engineered Carbons is a worldwide supplier of Carbon Black. The company offers standard and high-performance products for Coatings, Printing Inks, Polymers, Rubber and other applications. Our high-quality Gas Blacks, Furnace Blacks and Specialty Carbon Blacks tint, colorize and enhance the performance of plastics, paints and coatings, inks and toners, adhesives and sealants, tires, and manufactured rubber goods such as automotive belts and hoses.

Tomra calls on PET supply chain to close the loop

Tomra calls on PET supply chain to close the loop

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Tomra continues to play a key role in closing the loop on PET beverage containers but recognizes that there is more to be done, said Plasticsinpackaging.

Tomra, a company specialised in sophisticated sensor-based sorting systems for recycling, has long worked to promote and develop increasingly more accurate PET sorting processes with the help of advanced technology. Tomra currently invests approximately 10% of its revenues in future-oriented activities to increase resource efficiency, advancing the market for circular solutions.

What’s needed, however, are a clear political framework, bold decisions and smart investments to improve circularity across all material streams and to overcome today's supply chain bottlenecks. As Andersen pointed out, first the pandemic and now the Ukraine war have thrown the need and urgency to decrease dependency on primary materials into sharp relief.

"We have the technology capable of maximising collection and recovery rates. We can act now, optimise waste management practices and fill existing gaps," she concluded. The European Green Deal, together with binding regulations and guidelines for producers and manufacturers, are propelling the transition to a circular economy forward. Tomra urges all participants in the value chain to see these specifications as an opportunity and to support their implementation.

Yet, the impact of any mandatory legislation will be less than optimal, as long as the collection systems continue to lag. "There are well-functioning collection systems in place, but it is still not enough. Every day we lose valuable resources to landfill and incineration where they are buried and burned. This is low-hanging fruit and the material must be collected, recovered and recycled,” said Dr. Volker Rehrmann, EVP, Head of Recycling/Mining & Circular Economy.

Resource circularity is a bigger topic than plastics alone. Closed-loop systems should be in place for material streams such as metals and wood as well, argued Tom Eng, SVP Head of Recycling. "We must pay equal attention to these recyclables to support reaching the EU's climate neutrality goals set for 2050", he said.

"If we leverage the power of intelligent technologies and closely work with the industry, we can turn waste into value and reduce the dependency on primary materials. Recycling is a key climate mitigator and energy-efficient route to go when supporting a sustainable transition, keeping materials in continuous use. Whatever it takes to close the loop, we will get there."

As per MRC, a six-year project in France to develop a recycling solution for monolayer and multilayer food packaging PET trays has led to a new technology that makes it possible to process the monolayer trays into a recycled product that is suitable for new tray production.

As per MRC, Indorama Ventures completed the acquisition of Ngoc Nghia Industry, one of Vietnam’s leading PET packaging companies. The acquisition will boost IVL's market position as it continues to expand its integrated offering of PET products to major multinational customers throughout the region.