Mitsui Chemicals to build new elastomer plant in Singapore

Mitsui Chemicals to build new elastomer plant in Singapore

Mitsui Chemicals is building a new production facility for high-performance elastomers in Singapore to increase total manufacturing capacity in the country by nearly 50%, said European-rubber-journal.

Singapore-based subsidiary Mitsui Elastomers Singapore, which already operates an existing manufacturing facility in Jurong Island, will build a new facility to add 120 kilotonnes per annum (ktpa) of capacity for Tafmer-branded alpha-olefin copolymers.

Scheduled for completion in fiscal 2024, the unit, which will also be located in Jurong Island, will bring total production capacity to 345ktpa, said Mitsui 30 Aug.

Tafmer, according to Mitsui’s website, is an -olefin elastomer with lower density, lower modulus, and lower melting point, compared to polyethylene or polypropylene.

It is used both as a soft moulding material and as a resin modifier to improve resin properties, and has wide applications in automotive, solar cells, industrial, and packaging materials.

We remind, Mitsui Chemicals, Inc. (Tokyo) and Teijin Ltd. (Toyko) jointly announced that they will become Japan’s first companies to develop and market biomass-derived bisphenol A (BPA) and polycarbonate (PC) resins, that will support efforts to achieve carbon neutrality by reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions throughout product lifecycles.

Synthos to cut ESBR production by 30% amid gas supply woes

Synthos to cut ESBR production by 30% amid gas supply woes

Polish chemicals supplier Synthos has announced that it is reducing its emulsion styrene-butadiene rubber (ESBR) production by 30%, effective immediately, said European-rubber-journal.

In a statement 8 Sept, the synthetic rubber manufacturer said it could no longer operate its ESBR production at full capacity due to “unsustainable and unpredictable utility costs”.

The costs, it said, have increased due to the current developments in connection with the supply of natural gas from Russia to Europe.

“Against this background, the company will reduce ESBR production by approximately 30%, equivalent to around 100 kilotoone per annum, effective immediately,” it said.

Synthos said it will reduce ESBR production until further notice, while production of solution-SBR and butadiene rubber will continue as planned.

Synthos manufactures ESBR at all three of its production sites in Oswiecim, Poland; Kralupy nad Vltavou, Czech Republic and Schkopau, Germany.

As per MRC, Lummus Technology announced that its Green Circle business and Synthos S.A. have reached a major milestone in the development of advanced bio-butadiene technology. After completing a successful feasibility study in 2021, Lummus and Synthos have concluded that the bio-butadiene technology is ready for implementation, and the companies have agreed to move into the engineering and design phase of the project.

Reliance to invest Rs 75,000 crore in O2C business

Reliance to invest Rs 75,000 crore in O2C business

Reliance Industries (RIL) plans to invest Rs 75,000 crore in its oil-to-chemical (O2C) business over the next five years to expand capacities in polyester & vinyl verticals and also set up the country’s first carbon fibre plant at Hazira, said Financialexpress.

Carbon fibre, used in mobility and renewable energy because of its lightweight properties, promises to be a multi-decade growth engine for the O2C segment, RIL chairman Mukesh Ambani told shareholders at the company’s annual general meeting.

Ambani said RIL’s share of domestic gas production would go up to 30% by the end of the year from 20% currently with the commissioning of the MJ field in the KG-D6 basin. Apart from meeting India’s growing demand, the higher production will help the country save $9 billion a year.

In FY22, RIL’s O2C revenues crossed Rs 5 trillion while the earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) crossed Rs 50,000 crore.

"We are committed to maximise O2C integration and convert our advantageous feedstock streams to high-value chemicals and green materials. I am pleased to share that over the next five years, we will invest Rs 75,000 crore and expand capacities in existing and new value chains,” Ambani said.

In the polyester value chain the company will build a three million tonne per annum (mtpa) capacity of purified terepthalic acid (PTA) plant and a 1 mtpa polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plant at Dahej.

“Both PTA and PET will be targeted for completion by 2026. We will also reinvest in polyester filament yarn (PFY) and polyester staple fibre (PSF). Polyester expansion with capacity of over 1 mtpa will be completed in phases by 2026,” he said.

In the vinyl chain, RIL plans to more than triple its existing capacity by adding world-scale plants at Dahej and Jamnagar, and in the UAE. The proposed expansion at Dahej and Jamnagar will be completed in phases by 2026.

“We will also add capacities to make EDC and PVC at Ruwais, in the UAE, as part of Ta’ziz Chemical Zone. With these expansions, Reliance will rank among the top five producers of PVC globally,” he said. The company will also build, in phases, India’s first carbon fibre plant at Hazira with a capacity of 20,000 tonne per annum (tpa), based on acrylonitrile feedstock.

“We will commence acrylonitrile production next year and aim to complete the first phase of the carbon fibre plant in 2025. We will further integrate our composites business with carbon fibre to produce carbon fibre composites,” Ambani said.

While the company’s O2C business in Q1FY23 was expected to benefit from record refining margins and the E&P segment from the sharp rise in gas prices, the numbers were disappointing. The stand-alone earnings before interest and tax from the O2C business of Rs 18,100 crore, up 41% q-o-q, came in below estimates.

As MRC informed before, in November 2021, Reliance Industries and Saudi Aramco decided to re-evaluate their agreement for the Middle Eastern producer to buy a stake in the refining and petrochemical business of India's biggest private refiner, and both companies would look at broader areas of cooperation due to the changing energy scenario. Ethylene and propylene are the main feedstocks for the production of polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP), respectively.

Reliance Industries is one of the world's largest producers of polymers. The company produces polypropylene, polyethylene and polyvinyl chloride and other petrochemical products.

Koksan to build a new R-PET chemical recycling plant

Koksan to build a new R-PET chemical recycling plant

Koksan PET Packaging Industry Co will build a new 300 tonne/day chemical recycling plant using continuous polycondensation technology from partner Polytex to chemically recycle polyethylene terephthalate (PET) for use in bottle and textile applications, said the company.

The continuous polycondensation line will sit next to Koksan’s two existing PET resin production lines, located in Gaziantep. The company will use glycolysis to turn PET into bis-hydroxyethyl terephthalate monomer (BHET), which then be turned into high-viscosity polymer to make recycled PET (R-PET).

The R-PET will be mixed with virgin PET on an 50/50 basis to produce preforms for use in the bottling sector.

It was not stated if the chemically recycled material will be for domestic use or exported to other countries. The EU currently does not recognise chemically recycled material as contributing towards its target of 25% recycled content in all PET beverage bottles by 2025.

PET polymers are created by ester linkages between monomers. In glycolysis, a transesterification catalyst is used to break the ester linkages, which are replaced by hydroxyl terminals. This produces BHET and PET glycozates. These can be reacted with aliphatic diacids to make, amongst other things, polyester polyols, which are in turn used in polyurethane (PU) foams.

We remind, thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions’ subsidiary Uhde Inventa-Fischer signed a contract to build a new world-scale polymer plant for Yurek Polimer Bursa, Turkey. The plant is planned to produce 300 metric tons per day (108,000 tons per year) of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) for low viscosity applications. The PET melt produced by thyssenkrupp technology will then be converted into PET Chips, as well as pre-oriented yarn.

Lummus accelerates CO2 reduction goals through air preheater innovation

Lummus accelerates CO2 reduction goals through air preheater innovation

Lummus Technology, a global provider of process technologies and value-driven energy solutions, announced major advancements to the Lummus External Air Preheater (LEAP) technology, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The latest innovations can significantly reduce CO2 emissions from cracking heaters at ethylene plants as well as other fired heaters.

"Lummus is committed to decarbonizing our entire technology portfolio, and these advancements underscore the continued progress we are making in meeting our commitments,” said Leon de Bruyn, President and Chief Executive Officer of Lummus Technology. “This announcement builds on Lummus’ recent launch of the industry’s first net zero ethane cracker, plus other innovations, that will help operators and producers lower emissions from their investments."

Now available for commercial use, the LEAP technology can be applied to both new and existing heaters to help decarbonize some of the most carbon intensive petrochemical manufacturing processes.

For more than half a century, Lummus has designed and supplied a wide range of fired heaters and heat exchangers for the petrochemical and refining industries, which include refinery heaters, steam superheaters, heaters for delayed coking units and steam reformers, and SRT® (short residence time) pyrolysis heaters for ethylene production.

As per MRC, Lummus Technology announced two major technology awards from Fujian Eversun New Material Co., Ltd. Fujian Eversun selected Lummus' CATOFIN technology for a new 900,000 tpy propane dehydrogenation (PDH) unit and Lummus' Novolen technology for a new 800,000 tpy polypropylene unit at its complex in Fujian Province, China. Lummus' scope includes the license for the CATOFIN and Novolen technologies, basic design engineering, training, services and catalyst supply. At 900, 000 tpy, the CATOFIN unit will be the world's largest PDH unit alongside another unit in China that Lummus also licensed.