CHIMEI completed the first carbon neutral transportation of butadiene in August 2021

CHIMEI completed the first carbon neutral transportation of butadiene in August 2021

MOSCOW (MRC) -- CHIMEI completed the world's first carbon neutral transportation of butadiene in August 2021, and joined Singapore's global carbon exchange Climate Impact X (CIX) in April this year, in order to fulfill the commitment "Clean & Green" and respond to the international trend of carbon neutrality, said Polymerupdate.

It is one of the few Taiwanese companies that first joined the international carbon trading market. CHIMEI became the first Taiwanese enterprise to complete carbon credits transaction and offsetting on the CIX in June this year.

CHIMEI purchased 10,000 tons in carbon credits from the CIX’s Project Marketplace. The source of the carbon credits is forest and nature conservation projects in Cambodia and Peru. The carbon credits were certified according to VCS (Verified Carbon Standard), and achieve numerous SDGs of the United Nations, including increasing the employment of local women, clean water, and supporting biodiversity. The carbon credits purchased by CHIMEI will be used to offset carbon emissions from commute and business trips of internal employees in 2021-2025, and a total of 1,416 metric tons of carbon emissions in 2021 was already offset on June 27.

CHIMEI has closely followed low carbon and sustainability issues for a long period of time, and is willing to search for any solution that will reduce GHG emissions from a global perspective. Despite there still being debates in international society over whether or not companies should be allowed to purchase carbon credits to offset their carbon emissions, CHIMEI still hopes to begin taking responsibility for its carbon emissions by voluntarily participating in the carbon credits market. In the future, CHIMEI will more actively cooperate with suppliers, customers, and financial institutions in environmental issues, in order to achieve the sustainability goal of "Clean & Green" and work together with the world towards net zero emissions.

As per MRC, CHIMEI Corporation announced that it is launching a Carbon Capture and Utilization (CCU) project as part of its ongoing development of sustainable materials. The CCU project will capture and convert CO2 from production processes into the main raw material in polycarbonate (PC) products. The new generation of fixed carbon PC products produced in this manner will help bring about circular sustainability. Phase 1 of the project commenced in May this year when CHIMEI partnered with the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) to leverage its portfolio of sustainable innovative technologies to develop a technology to covert CO2 recovered from CHIMEI’s flue gas into dialkyl carbonate (DRC), the main in-process material used in PC products. The technology is currently expected to be validated by the end of 2023. In the future, CHIMEI will use this precursor technology as the basis for developing the next-generation of fixed carbon PC products.

Michigan Economic Development Corporation will grant USD150,000 to Island Plastics

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The Michigan Economic Development Corporation will grant USD150,000 to Island Plastics, a subsidiary of ACI Plastics, through the Michigan Strategic Fund, as per its press-release.

ACI, a post-industrial plastics recycler, will utilize the funding to install post-consumer LDPE recycling equipment at their Flint, Michigan facility, bringing their total processing capacity to over 11,000 tonnes/year.

“We are excited that ACI Plastics, Inc. has chosen to expand operations in Flint as they continue to grow in the post-consumer plastics recycling industry,” said Tyler Rossmaessler, executive director of Flint & Genesee Economic Alliance.

In total, the capital investment for the expansion is estimated at USD8m.

This follows ACI's announcement earlier this year invest $4m in a new South Carolina facility. The 138,000 square foot facility will process post-industrial plastic into flake and the company hopes to expand with pelletizing operations in the future.

As per MRC, LyondellBasell has developed polymers based on advanced recycled post-consumer materials. These polymers, branded under the name CirculenRevive, are made using an advanced recycling process to convert plastic waste into feedstock, which is used to produce new polymers, using a mass balance approach. With the support of Greiner Packaging, these polymers will be used to make coffee capsules for Nestle’s Nescafe Dolce Gusto. This collaboration aims to help advance a circular economy for plastic.

Citgo ready to resume oil imports from Venezuela if U.S. authorizes

Citgo ready to resume oil imports from Venezuela if U.S. authorizes

MOSCOW (MRC) -- U.S. refiner Citgo Petroleum is willing to resume imports of Venezuelan crude, suspended since 2019 by Washington's sanctions on its parent company PDVSA, if the U.S. government authorizes the flow, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Since March, top U.S. and Venezuelan officials have been engaged in political negotiations that could lead to Washington easing oil trading sanctions that have hit the OPEC country's production and exports. OPEC and the French government, representing Europe, have called for Washington to allow Venezuelan and Iranian crude to flow to consuming nations that are struggling to replace Russian energy supplies during the war in Ukraine.

"To be competitive in this market, we have to buy the cheapest and most convenient crude," said Carlos Jorda, Citgo CEO in an online conference on Venezuela's foreign energy assets. "We should not be at a disadvantage" to other refiners. Citgo did not immediately reply to a request for further comment.

President Joe Biden's administration in May authorized European companies Eni and Repsol to resume imports of Venezuelan crude, which last month helped boost the nation's oil exports to over 600,000 barrels per day. Chevron Corp, the last U.S. producer operating in Venezuela, also is requesting an authorization from the U.S. Treasury Department to ship Venezuelan oil to the United States and even getting operating control of its joint ventures.

"If authorized (Venezuelan) crude arrives in the U.S. Gulf Coast without penalties at competitive prices, especially if it is heavy crude, we would certainly have to evaluate it," said Horacio Medina, president of a board overseeing Citgo, in the same conference. "I see no reason to be radically closed to that," he added.

Citgo, whose first-quarter profit soared more than 10 times the year-ago level to USD245 million on higher crude processing volumes and surging fuel prices, expects to report second-quarter results in the coming week, Jorda said.

As MRC wrote before, in September 2020, Citgo Petroleum Corp said it did not plan to idle its 418,000 barrel-per-day (bpd) Lake Charles, Louisiana, refinery damaged by Hurricane Laura. Rumors have circulated since Laura’s passage over the Lake Charles area on Aug. 27 that Citgo was considering shutting the refinery for an indefinite period because of the extent of the damage and continuing low demand for motor fuels in the COVID-19 pandemic.

Greiner swapped to cardboard-plastic packaging solution

Greiner swapped to cardboard-plastic packaging solution

MOSCOW (MRC) -- UK-based healthy-eating, Asian-inspired quick-service retail & grocery brand Itsu has swapped the packaging for its instant udon noodles to a K3® packaging solution from Greiner Packaging UK and Ireland, said Polymerupdate.

“We introduced our first instant noodles in 2018 and in October 2021, we swapped to the K3® cardboard-plastic packaging solution for our udon noodle range to improve its sustainability,” says Katrina Burrows, Packaging Change Manager at Itsu Grocery. “As a brand, we are always striving to improve product recyclability and sustainability. Our udon noodles were previously packaged in a cardboard pot, which was double-laminated, and therefore non-recyclable. It also had a plastic lid, which was recyclable, but made from virgin plastic. Plastic packaging is negatively perceived by consumers, particularly if it is not made from recycled plastics. By moving to a widely recyclable foil lid, the negative connotations are removed, and it is clear to the consumer that it is easily recyclable.

The K3® packaging solution features a lightweight PP plastic cup wrapped in a removable cardboard sleeve which features a patented tear-tab so that consumers can easily and intuitively separate the materials to enable recycling. “We have used the printable reverse of the wrap to clearly indicate to consumers where to fill the boiling water to (as part of the preparation instructions). Previously, this had to be on the outside of an opaque cup and the fill-level was difficult to judge.

“The account manager at Greiner Packaging was very responsive and helpful in the process between ideation and raising orders,” concludes Katrina Burrows. “There were a few teething issues during production and delivery of the first order into our ambient warehouse, but Greiner Packaging solved all of them in an impressive way.

“Overall the move to using the K3® cup has been a positive move for the business but also for sustainability reasons. We will continue to improve the sustainability of the Itsu product ranges in whatever way possible.” “This was our first project with Itsu and it was clear from the outset that they were on a mission to improve their sustainability story,” says Greiner Packaging Sustainability and Innovation Manager Rachel Sheldon. “The K3® pack therefore represents a perfect solution as it is fully recyclable and uses less plastic."

As per MRC, LyondellBasell has developed polymers based on advanced recycled post-consumer materials. These polymers, branded under the name CirculenRevive, are made using an advanced recycling process to convert plastic waste into feedstock, which is used to produce new polymers, using a mass balance approach. With the support of Greiner Packaging, these polymers will be used to make coffee capsules for Nestle’s Nescafe Dolce Gusto. This collaboration aims to help advance a circular economy for plastic.

Oil refiners, unions press U.S. EPA on biofuel blending costs

Oil refiners, unions press U.S. EPA on biofuel blending costs

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Oil refining company and labor union representatives pressed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency at a virtual meeting last week to lower costs of the nation's biofuel blending program when it resets the policy next year, according to sources familiar with the call, said Reuters.

The refining industry and unions representing its workers have grown more concerned about the impact of an expected overhaul of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). It requires refiners to blend billions of gallons per year of biofuels like ethanol into the nation's fuel or buy credits called RINs from those that do. When Congress enacted the RFS in 2005, it set yearly volume requirement targets of renewable fuel through 2022 and gave the EPA broad authority to reshape the policy after that. The EPA is expected to propose changes by mid-September.

In a virtual meeting last week, representatives of PBF Energy Inc and Monroe Energy LLC discussed RINs policy with EPA officials, according to three sources familiar with the matter. Both companies have refineries near or in President Joe Biden's home state of Delaware. Two of the sources said refinery representatives asked the EPA for measures that could lower the steep costs of the credits. Small refiners say high RINs costs could put them out of business.

The EPA told the refiners and labor groups, which included the boilermakers and steamfitters, that they need to appeal to lawmakers or officials in the administration for any changes to RINS policy and pricing, two of the sources said. That comment appeared to frustrate the refining and labor representatives, one source said.

All three sources asked not to be named because they were not authorized to publicly discuss details of the call. It was unclear who initiated last week's meeting. The EPA said it has met with multiple stakeholders over the last several months to gather input on the upcoming RFS proposal. "We encourage stakeholders to share their perspectives with us and other parts of the administration to ensure our regulatory decisions are based on the best information possible," said EPA spokesperson Lindsay Hamilton.

Monroe and PBF did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Biden and his fellow Democrats are feeling heavy pressure for soaring pump prices and rising consumer costs heading into the November midterm elections. The administration has been pressing refiners and oil drillers to quickly ramp up production.

Last month, Biden wrote a letter to executives from Marathon Petroleum Corp, Valero Energy Corp and Exxon Mobil Corp, complaining they had cut back on oil refining to pad profits. Refiners denied the accusation, saying they were producing near full capacity.

They have also complained vocally that the Biden administration has set biofuel blending volumes too high and has been stingy with waivers from the biofuel mandates meant to help small refiners stay afloat. Fuel producers have been enjoying big profit margins lately thanks to strong demand and tight supply. But the industry has been in long-term decline because of volatile markets, regulatory pressure on fossil fuels, and slow consumption growth. Many refiners have shut down or retooled into biofuel plants in recent years, which has contributed to the current price spike.

EPA has been mum on its plans for the RFS reset. Stakeholders expect the agency to issue multi-year proposals for blending requirements to reduce regulatory uncertainty for refiners and biofuel producers alike. The agency is also expected to somehow incorporate the electric vehicle industry into the next phase of the RFS, which would help advance Biden's efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transportation and fight climate change. Refiners and biofuel producers both oppose that idea.

As per MRC, the EIA's new report, titled Global Surplus Crude Oil Production Capacity, provides estimates of global surplus crude oil production capacity in both OPEC countries and non-OPEC countries. Preliminary estimates for these data show that, as of May 2022, surplus capacity in non-OPEC countries decreased by 80% compared with 2021. The data show that, in 2021, 1.4 MMbpd of surplus production capacity was available in non-OPEC countries, about 60% of which was in Russia. As of May 2022, we estimate that all surplus production capacity in Russia was eliminated due to the sanctions implemented after Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. We determined that excess oil production capacity declined in other non-OPEC producing countries as well. We estimate that, as of May 2022, producers in non-OPEC countries had about 280,000 bpd of surplus production capacity.