KBR announces investment in Mura Technology to advance the plastics circular economy

KBR announces investment in Mura Technology to advance the plastics circular economy

MOSCOW (MRC) -- KBR, Inc.is pleased to announce it has entered into an agreement to invest an additional USD100 million in Mura Technology (“Mura”) bringing KBR’s aggregate investment in Mura to 18.5%, said the company.

This investment provides Mura incremental capital to accelerate development of its plastics recycling projects and enables KBR to participate more fully in this sustainability-focused, high growth sector. Funding is expected in two tranches with the first payment in the quarter ended June 30, 2022 and the remainder in 2023.

"Building on our strong partnership of collaboration and innovation, we are very excited to announce our expanded investment in Mura,” said Stuart Bradie, KBR President and CEO. “With a strategic approach to commercializing and scaling its proprietary, differentiated plastics recycling solution, Mura is very well positioned for profitable growth and value creation as the plastics circular economy develops and matures."

Mura’s mission is to commercialize its differentiated plastics recycling solution to enable a plastic-neutral, sustainable future by providing an end-to-end process to convert mixed waste plastic back to high quality chemical feedstocks. Targeting 1,000,000 tonnes of annual recycling capacity in operation or development by 2025, Mura licenses its technology through KBR to a global client base and is also developing its own portfolio of global sites.

In early 2021, KBR entered into an alliance to become Mura’s exclusive licensing partner, broadening the addressable market and customer access for this highly differentiated plastics recycling technology. Together, KBR and Mura have won numerous license awards and feasibility studies. This alliance has also produced advances in process technology innovation such as closed loop power, water recycling, modularization and digital operating solutions. Through this partnership, KBR may also expand its engagement on Mura’s own projects to provide advanced engineering, program management and integration expertise.

A circular economy, in which plastics are reused, remade, and recycled, could slash CO2 emissions by almost 40% across the globe. Mura’s plastics recycling solution will play a central role in a global circular economy by providing an innovative new way to recycle all forms of end-of-life plastic, many of which would otherwise be incinerated, sent to landfill, or leak into the environment as plastic pollution, helping to eliminate unnecessary single-use plastic and cut carbon emissions.

As per MRC, KBR has won a seven-year contract to provide maintenance services to the SATORP refinery and petrochemicals complex in Jubail, Saudi Arabia. Under contract, with Saudi Aramco TOTAL Refining and Petrochemical Company (SATORP), includes an option for a three-year extension. Under the terms of the contract, KBR will provide preventive, predictive, corrective, and shutdown maintenance services at the refinery, with a focus on continuous improvement and sustainable asset performance, it said. Financial terms were not disclosed.

As MRC reported earlier, KBR and ExxonMobil Catalysts and Licensing will collaborate to bring significant advancements to propane dehydrogenation (PDH) technology. Under the collaboration, ExxonMobil's new proprietary catalyst technology will be combined with KBR's proprietary K-PRO PDH technology to convert propane into propylene. Enabled by the superior performance of ExxonMobil's new catalyst, the combined technology solution could offer financial savings compared to PDH technologies currently available.

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.

Worley wins contract for Alfanar project in North East of England

Worley wins contract for Alfanar  project in North East of England

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Worley has been awarded a front-end engineering and design (FEED) services contract by Alfanar for a low-carbon fuels project in Teesside, United Kingdom, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The project, known as Lighthouse Green Fuels, will convert residual solid waste into SAF and green naphtha. The project will process approximately 1 MM tons of residual solid waste every year – such as municipal solid waste, refuse-derived fuel or solid recovered fuel – into approximately 3,200 bbl/day of SAF and green naphtha. These fuels have the potential to produce 80 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions compared to current fossil fuels.

The plant is expected to enter commercial operations in 2027, following the scheduled start-up of the first Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) carbon cluster in Teesside.

Under the contract, Worley will provide FEED services to develop the existing early front-end engineering package and integrate the licensor scope to provide a greater level of definition to the project. The services will be led by Worley’s offices in the UK with support from specialists around the world and Worley’s Global Integrated Delivery team.

As per MRC, Worley has announced that its strategic partnership with Avantium Renewable Polymers is now progressing to the next phase. Worley previously announced the partnership on 29 January 2021. Following the recent positive final investment decision (FID), Worley and Avantium have signed a technology cooperation agreement and Worley will now deliver engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services to develop the Avantium flagship facility in Delfzijl, the Netherlands.

Scotland becomes first UK country to ban single-use plastics

Scotland becomes first UK country to ban single-use plastics

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Scotland has become the first part of the UK to implement a ban on many of the most problematic single-use plastics, as new legislation came into force on Wednesday, said STV News.

It means that it will now be an offence for businesses in Scotland to provide single-use items such as plastic cutlery, plates, and stickers. The legislation was passed by the Scottish Government during climate summit COP26 last year, and includes exemptions for single-use plastic straws, to make sure that those who need them for independent living or medical purposes can still access them.

The regulations came into force following a six-month grace period, during which Zero Waste Scotland ran a business campaign to raise awareness on how to prepare. Environmental powers are devolved to Scotland, and when the ban was initially introduced it was under threat from the UK Internal Market Act.

The Act would have rendered the ban ineffective as businesses in Scotland would have been able to supply banned items that originated from the rest of the UK. However, the Scottish Government pressed for UK Ministers to exclude the Scottish ban from the Act, eventually securing an exclusion for the ban which will come into force shortly after June 1.

Scottish Greens circular economy minister, Lorna Slater said: “By banning some of the most problematic single-use plastic items in Scotland, we are turning our promises into action. Every year, hundreds of millions of single-use plastic are wasted, with many of them littering our beaches, waters and parks. This ban will encourage businesses to make the switch to reusable alternatives, helping to reduce litter and cut emissions.

“Protecting Scotland’s environment is a devolved matter and key decisions like this one should be ours to make. It was wholly unacceptable that it could have been effectively vetoed by the UK Government under their UK Internal Market Act, which it imposed on the rest of the UK despite no devolved legislature giving consent to it.

Before the ban, around 700 million single-use plastic items were used in Scotland every year. Enforcement of the ban will be the responsibility of local authorities and any businesses failing to comply risk being handed a maximum fine of GDP5,000.

We remind, Neste and Netherlands-based startup Circularise have announced a partnership to bring Circularise’s traceability software into circular polymers and chemicals supply chains. The companies are collaborating in establishing digital solutions to trace renewable and recycled material flows, providing increased transparency along the value chain.

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.