Nippon Paper and Mitsui Chemicals partner to develop biocomposite

Nippon Paper and Mitsui Chemicals partner to develop biocomposite

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Nippon Paper Industries Co., Ltd. and Mitsui Chemicals, Inc. are set to partner in the development of a new biocomposite with a high content of cellulose powder, a woody biomass material, said the company.

The two companies intend to develop products and bring them to market at the earliest possible opportunity, with plans to expand into a wide range of fields – including daily necessities, containers, building materials, household appliances and auto parts. Aimed at bringing to market a new biocomposite that offers a high level of industrial stability in terms of both quality and supply, the tie-up will see the partners tap into their stable materials supply chains and leverage the advanced materials manufacturing and development technologies they have cultivated over many years.

With cellulose powder – a woody biomass material – as its principal ingredient, this new composite will have the same moldability as plastic. Further, the composite’s use of woody biomass as its main constituent will help to cut greenhouse gas emissions by minimizing the use of fossil-fuel-derived virgin material when compared to ordinary petrochemical resins. This will in turn assist in achieving a zero-carbon society.

Nippon Paper has cultivated cellulose powder manufacturing technology and used it to develop a biocomposite with outstanding moldability. Nippon Paper now intends to provide Mitsui Chemicals with a stable supply of high-quality cellulose powder by taking advantage of its powder manufacturing technology, which is in turn underpinned by a diverse array of pulp manufacturing technologies. Under the slogan “Shaping the future with trees,” Nippon Paper aims to continue contributing to better living and cultural progress.

Mitsui Chemicals aims to combine cellulose powder from Nippon Paper with the compounding technologies cultivated by the Mitsui Chemicals Group to develop a new strong, readily workable biocomposite with a high cellulose powder content. Plans are to tap into the existing sales network for Mitsui Chemicals’ own compound resins and use this to offer samples to customers. Mitsui Chemicals will seek to provide solutions to various social challenges generated by accelerating environmental changes, and aims through this to meet its target of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.

We remind, INEOS Phenol has announced that it has agreed to acquire the entire asset base of Mitsui Phenols Singapore Ltd from Mitsui Chemicals, a leading Japanese chemicals manufacturer, for a total consideration of USD330 million. The business has a turnover of USD750 million and produces over 1 million tonnes of product each year, including cumene (410 ktpa), phenol (310 ktpa), acetone (185 ktpa) alpha-methylstyrene (20 ktpa) and bisphenol A (150 ktpa). The addition of the Jurong phenol and BPA assets provide a good fit with our existing asset portfolio and expertise of INEOS Phenol and presents significant integration opportunities with our manufacturing sites in Germany, Belgium and the United States.

DORIS and Axens signed a MoU for CCUS services

DORIS and Axens signed a MoU for CCUS services

MOSCOW (MRC) -- DORIS and Axens have entered in a partnership to jointly develop integrated Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage (CCUS) services. The main objective of this collaboration is to provide consulting, engineering and EPCm services for CCUS projects based on Axens technologies, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between DORIS and Axens allows the partners to propose a unique solution to industrial CO2 emitters combining DORIS expertise in full engineering services together with Axens leading carbon capture technologies such as DMXTM and AdvAmineTM. This joint offer covers the full CO2 value chain from capture at the point of emission (fuel combustion, industrial processes…), up to the usage or permanent storage solutions, considering the midstream chain of transportation by pipeline or ship as well.

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the International Energy Agency (IEA), CCS is a necessary technology to approach the goal of net-zero emissions. The global capture capacity was about 40 MtCO2 per year in 2021. The ongoing pipeline of projects forecasts 220 MtCO2 per year of global capture capacity in 2030, while the IEA’s Sustainable Development Scenario (SDS) is targeting around 900 MtCO2 per year by 2030 and around 5,400 MtCO2 by 2050.

As per MRC, Axens and Hyundai Chemical Co. successfully achieve the start-up of the pyrolysis gasoline (Pygas) unit, part of the Hyundai Chemical petrochemical grassroots complex in Daesan, South Korea. The product has been on-specification regarding the aromatics recovery and the sulfur content in a short period. Thanks to the strong support of Axens personnel on-site during the commissioning and start-up activities, Axens and Hyundai Chemical, started-up the Pygas units (Pygas first and second stage) in December 2021, few months after entering into a collaboration.

BP restarted large crude unit at Whiting, Indiana, refinery over weekend

BP restarted large crude unit at Whiting, Indiana, refinery over weekend

MOSCOW (MRC) -- BP Plc restarted the largest crude distillation unit (CDU) over the weekend at its 435,000 bpd Whiting, Indiana, refinery, a company spokesperson said, said Reuters.

BP restarted the 250,000-bpd Pipestill 12 CDU as part of restoring production at the Whiting refinery following an Aug. 24 fire, which idled key utilities forcing the entire plant to shut down.

"We are continuing to work around the clock to bring the plant back to normal operations," said BP spokesperson Christina Audisho.

Sources familiar with plant operations earlier told Reuters BP restored production to the Whiting refinery, the sixth-largest in the United States and the largest in Midwest, over the weekend.

As per MRC, most of the units at bp Plc’s 435,000 barrel-per-day Whiting, Indiana, refinery were out of production on Thursday following a Wednesday night fire, said sources familiar with plant operations. The company has said some units were shut by the electrical fire and those units would be restarting. The timing of the restart had not been determined by midday Thursday, the sources said. The fire affected utilities to multiple units at the refinery, and bp has called in most of the refinery’s employees to work on repairs and restarts, the sources said.

We remind, Oil major BP is considering selling oil assets in Mexico to shift its focus to renewable energy sources in the country Bloomberg News. The oil company, in partnership with France’s TotalEnergies, Equinor, Hokchi Energy and Qatar Petroleum, signed three exploration contracts six years ago. The oil major has divested itself of its stake and is in the process of returning the blocks it secured to Mexico’s regulator, the National Hydrocarbons Commission, according to a company spokesman.

Chemical railcar traffic in North America up 5.3%

Chemical railcar traffic in North America up 5.3%

MOSCOW (MRC) -- North American chemical railcar traffic rose by 5.3% year on year to 44,983 railcar loadings for the week ended 3 September, marking a fourth consecutive increase, according to the latest freight rail data by the Association of American Railroads (AAR).

The four-week average for North American chemical rail traffic was at 46,592 railcar loadings.

For the first 35 weeks of 2022 ended 3 September, North American chemical railcar traffic was up 2.2% year on year to 1,630,734 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 parts, and nonmetallic minerals rose for the first 35 weeks, while shipments in all other freight railcar categories fell.

We remind, North American chemical railcar traffic rose for third consecutive week. For this week, total U.S. weekly rail traffic was 511,574 carloads and intermodal units, up 1.4 percent compared with the same week last year. Total carloads for the week ending August 27 were 242,633 carloads, up 3.4 percent compared with the same week in 2021, while U.S. weekly intermodal volume was 268,941 containers and trailers, down 0.3 percent compared to 2021.

EQUATE Group announced its earnings for the first half of 2022

EQUATE Group announced its earnings for the first half of 2022

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The EQUATE Group, a global producer of petrochemicals and the world’s leading supplier of Ethylene Glycol announced its earnings for the first half of 2022, said the company.

The EQUATE Group reported total revenue of USD2,238 million in H1 2022, compared to USD2,041 million during the same period in 2021. The Group also reported a net income after tax of USD537 million and EBITDA of USD855 million, compared to USD543 million and USD869 million, respectively for 2021.

Despite various macro-economic challenges, including the COVID-19 lockdown in China, the geopolitical conflict, and potential recessionary sentiments, EQUATE Group continues to prove that it is well positioned to adapt to market dynamics while advancing its long-term sustainable strategy.

Commenting on the results, Naser Aldousari, President & CEO of EQUATE Group, said: “Our positive performance reflects the strength and agility of our business portfolio, as well as the remarkable efforts of the EQUATE team in maintaining the well-being and safety of our team and the communities in which we operate.

“While current market dynamics remain challenging, we continue to identify and capitalize on areas of underlying strength. Similarly, the competitive position of EQUATE’s global assets has enabled us to operate at maximum capacity and, with our global multi-sourcing capabilities, successfully continue to ship our products to customers."

EQUATE Group’s results reflect their uncompromising focus on reliability and their proactive actions in navigating supply chain challenges and market dynamics to deliver our long-term sustainable strategy.

We remind, 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. 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.