BEWI acquisition of Jackon expected to conclude in August

BEWI acquisition of Jackon expected to conclude in August

MRC --BEWI's acquisition of expandable polystyrene (EPS) and extruded polystyrene (XPS) producer Jackon is expected to conclude in August, following the completion of divestments, according to a statement on the company website.

"The acquisition of Jackon is on track to conclude by the end of August," confirmed a company source.

BEWI originally announced the plans in October 2021 to acquire all shares in Jackon, and following this, offers were accepted by all shareholders in H1 2022.

BEWI has now received approval from all the relevant competition authorities, in the case of Finland and Norway with certain conditions. The approval in Finland is conditional upon divestment of two smaller insulation facilities and the approval in Norway is conditional upon divestment of two smaller fish box facilities in the north. BEWI has also received approvals from the Swedish and German competition authorities, according to the press release.

BEWI maintains its previously communicated expectations of synergies of at least EUR12m to EUR15m.

BEWI is an international provider of packaging, components, and insulation solutions. The company’s commitment to sustainability is integrated throughout the value chain, from production of raw materials and end goods, to recycling of used products. With a vision to protect people and goods for a better every day, BEWI is leading the change towards a circular economy. BEWI ASA is listed at the Oslo Bors under ticker BEWI.

Johnson Matthey unveils plans to build hydrogen gigafactory to boost energy ambitions

Johnson Matthey unveils plans to build hydrogen gigafactory to boost energy ambitions

Sustainable technologies group Johnson Matthey will build an GDP80.0m gigafactory at its existing site in Royston as part of an effort to scale up the manufacturing of hydrogen fuel cell components, said Cityam.

Johnson Matthey said on Monday that the gigafactory will initially be capable of manufacturing three gigawatts of proton exchange membrane fuel cell components for hydrogen vehicles per annum and will be supported by the UK Government's Automotive Transformation Fund.

The FTSE 250-listed firm stated the investment will safeguard highly skilled manufacturing jobs in the UK and added that the site was expected to be in operation by the first half of 2024.

Johnson Matthey also highlighted that the Advanced Propulsion Centre forecasts that the UK will need 14 gigawatts of fuel cell stack production and 400,000 high-pressure carbon fibre tanks annually to meet local vehicle production demands by 2035, while the market expects that there could be as many as 3.0m fuel cell electric vehicles on the road globally by 2030.

Chief executive Liam Condon said: "Decarbonising freight transportation is critical to help societies and industries meet their ambitious net zero emission targets - fuel cells will be a crucial part of the energy transition. For more than two decades, JM has been at the forefront of fuel cell innovation.

"The fuel cell market has now reached a pivotal moment with the increasing urgency to decarbonise transportation and today marks the next step of the journey to a low-carbon future in the UK. We're delighted to be playing a key role in driving it forward." As of 0815 BST, Johnson Matthey shares were up 0.10% at 2,071.97p.

As per MRC, MyRechemical, NextChem’s subsidiary dedicated to waste-to-chemical technologies, and Johnson Matthey (JM), a global leader in sustainable technologies, will jointly cooperate to commercially develop "waste-to-methanol" technology worldwide.

North American weekly chem rail traffic increased by 1.1%

North American weekly chem rail traffic increased by 1.1%

North American chemical railcar traffic rose by 1.1% year on year to 45,125 loadings for the week ended 16 July, according to the Association of American Railroads (AAR).

An 8.6% increase in Canada more than offset declines in the US and Mexico. The week before, North American chemical railcar traffic fell 0.9%, following three consecutive increases.

The four-week average for North American chemical rail traffic was at 46,810 railcar loadings. For the first 28 weeks of 2022 ended 16 July, North American chemical railcar traffic was up by 2.5% year on year to 1,310,683 railcar loadings.

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.

Shipments of chemicals, coal, motor vehicles and nonmetallic minerals rose for the first 28 weeks while shipments in all other railcar categories fell.

We remind, that a week earlier, total U.S. weekly rail traffic was 437,600 carloads and intermodal units, down 3.1% compared with the same week last year. Total carloads for the week ending July 9 were 207,450 carloads, down 1.3% compared with the same week in 2021, while U.S. weekly intermodal volume was 230,150 containers and trailers, down 4.7% compared to 2021.

Iran boosts crude supply to Venezuela for refining, freeing up exportable oil

Iran boosts crude supply to Venezuela for refining, freeing up exportable oil

Iran is increasing supplies of a key crude grade that Venezuela is using to boost its aging refineries' productivity and free domestic oil for exports, documents seen by Reuters showed.

The two U.S.-sanctioned countries have strengthened energy cooperation in recent years, swapping Venezuelan heavy oil and other commodities for Iranian gasoline, condensate, refinery parts and technical assistance. The exchange has grown since May when state companies form both nations struck a contract to revamp Venezuela's El Palito refinery, after earlier work at the country's largest facility.

Venezuela's state-run oil company PDVSA is set to receive 4 MM barrels of Iranian Heavy crude this month, an increase from 1.07 MM barrels imported in June and a volume similar to May, when a supply contract with Iranian state firm Naftiran Intertrade Co (NICO) was signed, one of the documents showed. The cargoes are expected to arrive in Venezuela's Jose port by the end of the month on Iran-flagged supertankers Herby and Serena, according to the document. The vessels' transponders were last recorded passing near Fujairah, in the United Arab Emirates last month, according to Refinitiv Eikon data.

PDVSA and Venezuela's oil ministry did not immediately reply to requests for comment. PDVSA is refining the Iranian crude at facilities craving suitable crude to increase output of motor fuels. The supply also is allowing the state-run company to free its lightest grades for blending and exporting.

The Middle Eastern oil is expected to help PDVSA recover stocks of its flagship exportable grade, Merey, the Venezuelan crude preferred by Asian refiners, after falling to about 1 MM barrels in early July, according to the documents. PDVSA also has continued importing about 2 MM barrels per month of Iranian condensate, helping boost output of exportable blends.

Venezuela's oil exports in June fell to the lowest level since October 2020 amid repairs at the country's main oil port and delays to authorize shipments following contract changes imposed by PDVSA demanding cargo prepayment.

As per MRC, Production at Venezuela's largest refinery, which can process about 645,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd), was halted late on Saturday by an electrical fault that caused a blackout, according to five people familiar with the matter. Amuay is the only refinery producing gasoline at the Paraguana Refinery Center (CRP) following a halt in some operations at the neighboring Cardon refinery while a reformer fault is fixed.

BASF stabilizes recycled plastics used to protect pineapples from sunburn in Malaysia

BASF stabilizes recycled plastics used to protect pineapples from sunburn in Malaysia

BASF and 3T Industries Sdn Bhd, a leading recycling company in Malaysia dealing with post-industrial and post-consumer recyclates, are helping pineapple plantations in Malaysia to increase their yields and save resources, said the company.

For the first time, 3T Industries has applied BASF’s IrgaCycleTM UV033 DD to enhance 100% recycled high density polyethylene (HDPE) sheets used as protectors for pineapples. While pineapples require a warm and humid climate, they are susceptible to damage from solar radiation and high temperatures (> 32°C) which can significantly reduce marketable yield and cut deep into a grower’s profit. Symptoms include sunburn or bleaching which are visible as yellow-white skin that turns pale grey or brown upon damage to the tissue underneath. This damaged tissue is susceptible to disease and infestation. The HDPE protector shields the fruit from direct sunlight while still allowing photosynthesis to occur.

“Plastic additives specifically for the agricultural sector are highly customized to fulfil critical customer needs for enhanced crop protection solutions,” says Hermann Althoff, Senior Vice President, Performance Chemicals Asia Pacific. “We offer full customer support in all questions of quality improvement of recyclates to make them viable materials in new applications." Previously, 3T Industries used a combination of antioxidants and light stabilizers to achieve the performance requirements stipulated by the grower – the HDPE protectors needed to last through the intended service lifetime of four seasons.

IrgaCycle offers a one-pack solution that is immediately available for the recycler without the need for further premixing. It is also more efficient at lower concentrations compared to traditional antioxidant systems and reduces the overall quantity of additives required. This results in easy and accurate dosing, improved product quality, as well as upgraded recyclate for use in long-term applications. “We use our expertise in recycling technology and post-consumer resins to provide better solutions to consumers and communities,” says PH Tan, Managing Director of 3T Industries. “With IrgaCycle, we were able to use recycled feedstock to design a new product that features a high amount of recyclate content and makes more sustainable agricultural plastics possible."

BASF not only provided 3T Industries with the suitable additive solution, but also the technical recommendations to stabilize the recycled polymers during processing and outdoor weathering. This is important as an effective and sustainable application of recycled materials depends on, amongst others, the optimization of process conditions and modifying agents.

Launched in 2021, IrgaCycle consists of a series of plastic additive formulations, which enable recycled plastics to be reused for the production of high-value plastics in combination with virgin materials. The additive solution addresses specific quality issues associated with recycled resins, such as limited processability, poor long-term thermal stability and insufficient protection from outdoor weathering.

The IrgaCycle range is offered as part of the VALERAS™ portfolio. In addition to enabling plastics circularity with IrgaCycle, VALERAS solutions bring significant sustainability value to plastic applications by improving durability, saving energy, as well as reducing waste and emissions.

As per MRC, BASF gave final approval for the construction of its Zhanjiang chemical complex with the focus now on building a steam cracker and several plants for producing petrochemicals and intermediates. The site, which will be the company's third-largest globally once complete, is due to be fully operational by 2030. The company will focus on building the core of the site, which will include a steam cracker and several other petrochemicals and intermediates.

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.