SK Geo Centric and SABIC to produce high-performance chemical products in Ulsan

SK Geo Centric and SABIC to produce high-performance chemical products in Ulsan

MOSCOW (MRC) -- SABIC, a global leader in the chemicals industry, has announced that its SABIC SK Nexlene Company (SSNC) joint venture with SK Geo Centric (formerly SK Global Chemicals) in South Korea will expand the capacity of their plant in Ulsan for production of advanced material solutions using NEXLENE technology, said the company.

The plant, operated by Korea Nexlene Company (KNC), supports the production of SABIC’s broad portfolio of COHERE™ metallocene polyolefin plastomers (POP), SUPEER™ metallocene linear low density polyethylenes (mLLDPE) and FORTIFY™ polyolefin elastomers (POE).

The capacity expansion will become operational in the second quarter of 2024 to meet a growing demand for NEXLENE based polyolefin solutions in several differentiated high-end market segments. Target applications include encapsulant film for use in photovoltaics, enabling energy transition, as well as innovations in new mobility, lighter weight & resilient footwear applications and enhanced packaging solutions to reduce food wastage.

Sami Al-Osaimi, Vice President of PE & Sales, SABIC, and Board Chairman for SSNC said, “We have identified a strong trend towards customized and high-performance polyolefins, especially metallocene polyethylene materials, in several important new technology markets.” He added, “Our COHERE POP, SUPEER mLLDPE and FORTIFY POE polymers are ideally positioned to meet the needs of our global customers for enhanced toughness, flexibility, elasticity, heat-sealing properties, and optical properties, amongst others. The KNC plant capacity increase will provide the operational efficiency to boost the growth of these NEXLENE based materials. At the same time, it will give us a significant competitive edge to strengthen the market penetration of our brands."

The innovative NEXLENE technology combines a bimodal solution process with a proprietary metallocene catalyst to yield state-of-the-art ethylene copolymers with tailored molecular weight distribution and modality.

As per MRC, SABIC is looking at building a plant in Port Arthur, Texas, with process units for polypropylene (PP), high density polyethylene (HDPE) and polyethylene (PE) using SK Global Chemical’s Nexlene technology. Sabic filed a Chapter 313 application with the state of Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts for tax breaks from the local school district. According to the application, Sabic will build a 400,000 tonne/year PP unit, a 400,000 tonne/year HDPE C4/C6 bimodal unit and a 400,000 tonne/year PE unit using the Nexlene technology.

Azoty stops capro, PA6, nitrogen ferts production on gas pricing

Azoty stops capro, PA6, nitrogen ferts production on gas pricing

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Record natural gas pricing for Poland-based chemicals producer Grupa Azoty has driven the company to halt some caprolactam (capro), polyamide 6 (PA6), and nitrogen fertilizers production, the firm said.

The company is planning to halt production of nitrogen fertilizers, PA6, and capro at its Grupa Azoty SA division – the overall company parent, based in Tarnow, Poland – and reduce production at its Pulawy site in the country.

The temporary shutdowns at its Grupa Azoty SA operations are expected to come into effect from Tuesday (23 August), the company said, driven by “record” natural gas prices.

Azoty estimates that its natural gas pricing has increased from EUR72 per megawatt hour (MWh) on 22 February to EUR276/MWh on 22 August.

Azoty is understood to have already reduced production of melamine, ammonia, and urea in July.

The company had not responded to requests for comment on the extent of the production cuts at its Pulawy operations at the time of publication.

Earlier it was reported that Grupa Azoty Zak plans to shut the production of dioctyl terephthalate (DOTP) at its plant in Kedzierzyn (Poland) in the second half of August for repairs. Grupa Azoty intends to close this production facility with a capacity of 65 thousand tons of DOTP per year in Kedzierzyn by the second half of August.

Grupa Azoty S.A. - a large diversified chemical holding, is the fifth largest producer of polyamides in Europe, the only Polish producer of polyoxymethylene and one of the leading producers of mineral fertilizers in the European Union. The largest shareholder is the State Treasury of Poland (32.05%), the rest of the owners are institutional investors. Grupa Azoty Tarnow is engaged in the production and distribution of building plastics, as well as raw materials for their production and mineral fertilizers.

GreenGroup acquires Lithuanian LDPE recycling company UAB Ecso

GreenGroup acquires Lithuanian LDPE recycling company UAB Ecso

MOSCOW (MRC) -- European recycling group GreenGroup has acquired Lithuanian low-density polyethylene (LDPE) recycling company UAB Ecso, said Packaging-gateway.

The financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed. Founded in 2009, UAB Ecso claims to be one of Lithuania’s leading polyethylene recyclers, with an annual film waste processing capacity of 20,000t.

The company converts film waste from household and industrial post-consumption into recycled LDPE granules. The acquisition is part of GreenGroup’s mergers and acquisition (M&A) strategy and marks the company’s entry into the polyolefin recycling market.

It is also expected to help the group expand in the LDPE sector across Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). Over the coming years, the company plans to invest between €150m and €200m to strengthen its position as an integrated recycling group in the CEE region.

GreenGroup board chairman Constantin Damov said: “The Lithuanian model proved to be a local success for closed-loop resourcing of plastic waste, aligned with the circular economy objectives. “With this investment, we are positioning the Group as the first line of defence for limiting the environmental impact of single-use plastics – a group fitting both PET and polyolefins. “Our objective is to scale this model in the region and other countries as well.”

Abris Romania partner and head Adrian Stanculescu said: “This latest acquisition consolidates GreenGroup’s recycling activities over the past 20 years and is a decisive step in the Group’s strategy to become a key player in polyolefins recycling in the region.

“Furthermore, it is a strategic investment that reinforces the Group’s commitment to sustainability and to tackling the most pressing environmental issues, such as plastic pollution and reducing carbon footprints.” The deal with UAB Ecso comes nearly a month after GreenGroup acquired SIGAD, a Romanian company that develops environmental reporting software.

Acording to ICIS-MRC Price Report, Kazanorgsintez shut down one of its two reactors of the third LDPE production line on 10 August due to technical problems. The downtime is expected to last for two weeks. The Kazan producer also intends to shut down the second LDPE production line (the 108 grade) for scheduled maintenance from 20 September till 12 October.

The group is backed by Abris Capital Partners, a private equity firm based in Poland.

EQUATE Group signed MoU with Omniya to implement of a joint community recycling program

EQUATE Group signed MoU with Omniya to implement of a joint community recycling program

MOSOCW (MRC) -- EQUATE Group, a global producer of petrochemicals, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Omniya Project Management Company, a plastic recycling firm, in a bid to help close the loop on the plastics economy through the implementation of a joint community recycling program, said the company.

Signed by Naser Aldousari, President & CEO of EQUATE Group, and Sanaa AlGhemlas, CEO of Omniya, the agreement marks the strengthening of a collaborative partnership to develop and support environmental initiatives in Kuwait to minimize resource consumption and reduce waste.

Throughout the program, EQUATE Group will be the exclusive provider, responsible for the design, implementation, and delivery of the 45 Omniya’s plastic recycling containers across various locations in Kuwait. The initiative aims to encourage the community to reduce plastic waste. EQUATE Group will also support the initiative with the maintenance of two compressors used to collect, sort, and recycle waste.

Naser Aldousari, President & CEO of EQUATE Group, said: “Omniya has been a long-standing partner of EQUATE Group, and we are proud to expand the horizon of our cooperation by helping their latest efforts to develop and support recycling initiatives in Kuwait. We are committed to minimizing resource consumption and reducing waste as we aim to shrink our carbon footprint and help the plastics industry transition to a circular economy. Operating in a sustainable economy is a critical area of focus for EQUATE, and we will continue to support initiatives that strive to achieve this goal."

Sanaa AlGhemlas, CEO of Omniya, added: “We are delighted to continue the over 5-year partnership with EQUATE Group and introduce a sustainable plastic recycling model. At Omniya, we’ve been doing a great deal in the region to reduce plastic waste, but in order to reach a circular economy, we need a variety of stakeholders throughout the entire supply chain to participate. EQUATE Group is paving the way among leaders in the plastics industry."

We remind, EQUATE Group has added a new global award to its list of accomplishments, as the MEGlobal BOOKRAMEG Oyster Creek Project has been named an Award of Merit winner in the Power/Industrial category of the ENR Best Project Awards of 2020. The world-scale 750,000 metric-ton-per-annum monoethylene (MEG) glycol and di-ethylene glycol facility (DEG) was constructed in Oyster Creek, Texas ahead of schedule, below budget and with an excellent safety record. It was the first time the EQUATE Group constructed a new EG facility in the United States.

CNG plans to acquire Polymer Packaging extrusion business

CNG plans to acquire Polymer Packaging extrusion business

MOSCOW (MRC) -- US-based packaging company Charter Next Generation (CNG) has revealed plans to acquire Polymer Packaging’s extrusion business, Polymer Film & Bag (PF&B), as well as certain associated assets, said Packaging-gateway.

The addition of PF&B is intended to allow CNG to enter new vertical markets. PF&B provides enhanced quality and environmentally friendly films for industrial and food service markets using advanced co-extrusion lines.

The company’s films are thin in design compared with conventional films, but are claimed to deliver stronger performance. PF&B is certified as a Safe Quality Food (SQF) manufacturing company. CNG chairman and CEO Kathy Bolhous said: “PF&B is a perfect fit for CNG and will help us continue to outpace industry growth in the future.

“The team in Massillon shares many of our core values, as well as a focus on creating sustainable solutions. “We also share a commitment to focus on our customers’ success by providing the most advanced, highest quality films available. “We are thrilled to welcome the PF&B team to CNG."

CNG is an independent producer of high-performance, sustainable films in North America. It serves the flexible packaging and other end-use markets. Polymer Packaging CEO and owner Larry Lanham said: “As I considered divesting this business, my primary concern was to find the best possible home for my employees while providing the best possible care for our customers.

“I immediately thought of CNG, the preeminent supplier in this marketplace, with a reputation for delivering both." In May this year, CNG joined a Minnesota-based initiative to expand film recycling infrastructure and the supply of recycled resin for use in new products.

Led by Minnesota’s MBOLD coalition and film recycler Myplas USA, the scheme aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and waste output. It will involve Myplas building a flexible film recycling plant in the state, which is scheduled to begin operations next year.

As per MRC, Amcor has completed its acquisition of a flexible packaging plant in the Czech Republic. Commissioned as a greenfield in 2019, the plant is fitted with advanced, specialised equipment to allow it to serve various segments, including coffee and pet food. In addition, the purchased land and buildings offer the capacity to expand the facility’s operations and establish a production hub at the site.