Sinopec outbid for Russian ESPO crude in July

Sinopec outbid for Russian ESPO crude in July

MOSCOW (MRC) -- China's Sinopec Corp has cut its purchases of Russia's ESPO crude oil in July as other buyers, including from India, were willing to pay higher prices, as per Reuters.

A pull-back in Russian oil purchases by Sinopec, Asia's biggest refiner, suggests that its earlier buying was driven by economics rather than political considerations. Chinese and Indian oil companies have increased their Russian oil imports in May and June despite Western sanctions on Russia as a result of the Ukraine conflict that have upended the global oil trade.

China has refrained from condemning Russia's invasion of Ukraine that started on Feb. 24, which Moscow calls a "special military operation", and in a meeting on Feb. 4 the leaders of the two countries said their friendship had "no limits".

Sinopec, through its trading arm Unipec, is expected to lift fewer cargoes in July after submitting lower bids to Russian exporters who then sold the cargos to trading companies and other Chinese clients that bid higher, said four sources who participate in the market and declined to be identified.

Sinopec had been the biggest buyer of ESPO, which loads from the port of Kozmino in Russia's Far East, in the past two months, snapping up an estimated 20 MM barrels, according to traders and data from tanker tracker Vortexa Analytics.

Sinopec bid at discounts of about USD20 a barrel below the price of Middle East benchmark Dubai on a free-on-board basis for July shipments, similar to what it paying for cargoes in May and June, while deals were done at USD8 to USD13 discounts, the sources said.

"Sinopec may only lift a very small amount as their bids were too low for the Russians," said one of the four sources, a China-based trading executive. A Sinopec spokesman declined to comment on the company's purchases.

The companies that beat out Sinopec for the ESPO cargoes in July include Dubai-based trader Coral Energy, state-owned companies CNOOC, PetroChina, and Shandong Port International Trade, which is backed by the local provincial government, according to three trading sources and data from Vortexa. Russia is expected to raise its ESPO exports from Kozmino to a record of 880,000 barrels per day (bpd) in July, Reuters reported on June 7, from an average of 750,000 bpd in 2022.

As per MRC, BASF and Sinopec are further expanding their joint Verbund site in Nanjing, China. It is manufactured by BASF-YPC Co., Ltd. (BASF-YPC), a 50:50 joint venture between the two companies. The capacities of several downstream chemical plants will be expanded for the growing Chinese market. This also includes the construction of a new tertiary butyl acrylate plant.

Dow and Valoregen collaborate to build largest hybrid recycling site in France

Dow and Valoregen collaborate to build largest hybrid recycling site in France

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Materials development specialist Dow has announced an agreement with French recycling company Valoregen to contribute to building the largest single hybrid recycling site in France, said the company.

Authorised by the classified installation for the protection of the environment (I.C.P.E. - Installation Classee pour la Protection de l’Environnement), the site is to be owned and operated by Valoregen. The collaboration is part of Dow’s commitment to working with partners to invest in innovative new recycling solutions, accelerate circularity and tackle waste plastics.

Fabrice Digonnet, Mechanical Recycling Strategy Leader for Dow Packaging & Specialty Plastics, said: “We are delighted to work with Valoregen on this innovative new project that can help give recycling in Europe a real boost. Recycling rates for plastics are still far too low and we need to help scale the technology and ensure a viable market for plastics waste. Our investment will help increase mechanical recycling rates and, in doing so, help accelerate a circular economy for plastics and reduce carbon emissions."

The project, expected to be operational and delivering recycled materials early next year, will mark an important step in bringing together mechanical and advanced recycling processes. Both processes are complementary and essential to Dow’s commitment to incorporate at least 100,000 tonnes of recycled plastics in its product offerings sold in the European Union by 2025.

Thierry Perez, President of Valoregen, added: “Our committed team has developed a concrete, agile solution that contributes to the circular economy of plastics and advances decarbonisation. This next generation solution will achieve recycling for high-end technical packaging applications. We are delighted to work so closely with Dow towards circular solutions."

The plant aims to increase energy efficiency by enabling a higher yield output, minimising waste and reducing the overall carbon emissions produced from these processes. Dow will be the main recipient of post-consumer resins, which it will use to develop new plastic products marketed under Dow’s REVOLOOP product range. It will also provide significant expertise in recycling technology to Valoregen to support the development of its capabilities.

As per MRC, Dow has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Chinese food and beverage firm Want-Want for zero-solvent emissions and to develop a circular economy for flexible packaging, said the company.

We remind, Dow, recycler KW Plastics of Troy, Alabama; molder Core Technology Molding Corp. of Greensboro, North Carolina; and sustainable golf company Evolve Golf of Wilmington, North Carolina, collaborated to reuse high-density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic mesh fencing from the previous year’s GLBI in the form of 20,000 ball markers and 5,500 divot tools for this year’s event.

Swiss reported that its first-half net profit

Swiss reported that its first-half net profit

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Swiss specialty chemical company Sika AG reported that its first-half net profit after taxes grew 21 percent to 598.8 million Swiss francs from last year's 494.7 million francs, said the company.

Earnings per share were 3.76 francs, up 20.5 percent from 3.12 francs a year ago. Operating profit or EBIT grew 22.7 percent to 841.9 million francs. EBIT margin was 16 percent. Operating profit before depreciation or EBITDA grew 19.5 percent to 1.04 billion francs.

The first-half net sales were at 5.25 billion francs, a growth of 18 percent from 4.45 billion francs last year. Sales went up 19.5 percent in local currencies. Looking ahead for fiscal 2022, Sika continues to expect sales to rise by well over 10 percent in local currencies - surpassing 10 billion francs for the first time - and is anticipating an over-proportional increase in EBIT.

Further, Sika confirmed its 2023 strategic targets, with focus remaining on long-term success and profitable growth. Sika is seeking to grow by 6 percent-8 percent per year in local currencies up to 2023. Since 2021, the company is aiming to record an EBIT margin in the range of 15 percent-18 percent.

As per MRC, Sika is opening a new manufacturing plant for concrete admixtures in Stafford, Virginia, USA to help meet demand in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. According to the company, the new plant is well positioned to support the addiitonal needs of the announced infrastructure programme of CHF200-250bn (USD209-216bn) in these two regions. The new facility in Stafford will be the second-biggest manufacturing plant for Sika concrete admixtures in the USA.

Essentra Components to supply recyclable parts to reduce landfill

Essentra Components to supply recyclable parts to reduce landfill

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Essentra Components has agreed a new sustainable supply deal with Dorset-based rigid tube manufacturer Iracroft to save 2.5 million parts going to landfill by using LDPE products that can be chipped and recycled, said Interplasinsights.

The programme requires all components to be packaged and protected with more sustainable parts that can be recycled and re-enter the supply chain to reduce wastage. To overcome the challenge, Essentra Components has agreed to supply Iracroft with up to 2.5 million LDPE tear caps offering the same level of product protection whilst being easily recyclable, enabling Iracroft to maintain the structural integrity of its original parts.

Iracroft will in turn recycle all parts supplied through a circular chipping process, meaning all plastic will return into the manufacturing process as new products.

Richard Sederman, Strategy and M&A Director at Essentra Components, said: “This programme will act as a crucial use case for circular manufacturing processes. Utilising recycled content within our products is a great step forward and saves several tonnes of carbon emissions, but the true measure of success will be seeing products you originally manufactured with one purpose, return to a customer as something entirely different. Iracroft have been leading the charge in ensuring the supply chain makes significant moves towards net-zero, and we’re proud to have worked alongside them to offer a solution."

The off-the-shelf solution adopted by Iracroft has also enabled its customers to save time in processing products due to its tear-off design, as well as taking advantage of shorter lead times due to quicker fitting and delivery times. Iracroft’s Company Secretary and Director, Alan Webb, added: “Essentra Components jumped into action with advice on how we could achieve sustainability, and provided samples and other resources. The fact that the solution was off-the-shelf proved invaluable in enabling us to work with the minimum of disruption. This could be a real game-changer for our customers and our own business."

As per MRC, Plastic, fiber, foam and packaging specialist Essentra plc has completed the acquisition of Specialty Plastics, a distributor of protective plastic products based in Perth, Australia. Essentra Chief Executive Colin Day said the deal adds a distribution site on Australia’s west coast to Essentra’s existing facility in Sydney. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Specialty Plastics serves customers in end markets including hydraulics, fabrication, construction and mining.

LyondellBasell joins NEXTLOOPP

LyondellBasell joins NEXTLOOPP

MOSCOW (MRC) -- LyondellBasell has joined the NEXTLOOPP initiative that brings more than 40 major industry players together. Launched in October 2020, NEXTLOOPP aims to create circular food-grade recycled polypropylene (FGrPP) from post-consumer packaging, said Interplasinsights.

Richard Roudeix, Senior Vice President Olefins & Polyolefins EMEAI at LyondellBasell said: “To unlock the full value of plastics, critical gaps must be addressed so these valuable resources can be circulated back into the economy after use. The development of innovative, new solutions and the increase of recycling rates is key to addressing plastic waste and climate change. In the area of post-consumer polypropylene for food packaging, we are eager to join and support the research of the NEXTLOOPP project, together with other industry players, to help find new solutions."

Polypropylene is the most widely used plastic in food packaging. NEXTLOOPP is able to close the loop by using a combination of cutting-edge technologies, developed by Nextek Ltd. It does this by separating food-grade PP and by decontaminating the polymer to ensure compliance with food-grade standards in the UK, EU and the US.

Following outstanding results of its innovative tracer-based sorting trials, Nextek recently started production trials of food-grade compliant recycled PP, making over 60 different products from NEXTLOOPP's four grades of PPristine food compliant and INRT rPP grade resins.

Professor Edward Kosior, founder and CEO of Nextek Ltd and NEXTLOOPP added: “We are delighted to welcome LyondellBasell to our project. As we continue to build momentum, LyondellBasell’s expertise on delivering technologies that advance solutions to our world’s biggest challenges will be key."

As per MRC, LyondellBasell's sprawling chemical plant in Channelview may get even bigger. The international chemical giant, operated out of Houston, said it is evaluating an expansion to potentially boost the Channelview plant's ethylene capacity by 550 million pounds per year. Preliminary engineering work has begun to determine the feasibility of the project. If LyondellBasell decides to proceed, the expansion could be finished by 2017.