Dow and Mura Technology plan to locate Europe largest recycling facility in Germany

Dow and Mura Technology plan to locate Europe largest recycling facility in Germany

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Dow, the world's leading materials science company, and Mura Technology, the global pioneer of an advanced plastic recycling solution, announce the next step in their ongoing collaboration to help solve the global plastics waste issue and advance circularity, said the company.

Mura plans to construct a new facility at Dow's Bohlen site in Germany – the latest in a series of planned facilities across the U.S. and Europe to rapidly scale advanced recycling of plastics – and the first expected to be based at a Dow site. This project is targeted for a final investment decision by the end of 2023.

Mura's new Bohlen facility in Germany, which is expected to be operational by 2025, would deliver approximately 120 kilotons per annum (KTA) of advanced recycling capacity at full run-rate. This and the other planned units expected to be constructed across Europe and the U.S. would collectively add as much as 600KTA of advanced recycling capacity by 2030 – and position Dow to become the largest consumer of circular feedstock for polyethylene production globally.

"The continuation and growth of Dow and Mura's collaboration is another example of how Dow is working strategically to expand and build momentum around securing circular feedstocks and supporting breakthrough advanced recycling technologies," said Isam Shomaly, Dow business vice president for Feedstocks and Commodities.

The planned facility builds on Dow's ongoing collaboration with Mura, first announced in 2021, with an initial project to construct the world's first plant using Mura's HydroPRS™ process, located in Teesside, UK, which is expected be operational in 2023 with an initial 20KTA production line. The Bohlen, Germany, site, expected to be co-located with Dow's manufacturing facilities, would enable a significantly larger capacity for plastic waste and considerably increase the supply of fully circular feedstock to the industry. This circular feed, derived from plastic waste currently destined for incineration or landfill, would reduce reliance on virgin fossil-based feedstocks and would enable Dow to produce a recycled plastic which is in high demand from global brands, particularly for high-end sensitive markets like food and medical applications.

Dow aims to take advantage of co-location benefits, which could significantly reduce the cost of scaling advance recycling facilities. In addition, co-location of Mura's facilities at Dow locations would be expected to reduce carbon emissions by minimizing transportation of the offtake and as gas output from the advanced recycling process can be converted back to plastics, thereby ensuring no by-products go to waste.

Mura's HydroPRS™ (Hydrothermal Plastic Recycling Solution) advanced recycling process is unique, as it uses supercritical steam to convert most forms of plastics – including flexible and multi-layer plastics, which have previously been deemed 'unrecyclable' – back into the original oils and chemicals from which they were made. These can then be used to create new, virgin-equivalent plastic products which are even suitable for food contact packaging.

With Mura's process, the same material can be recycled repeatedly, meaning it has the potential to eliminate single use plastic and prevent it from going to landfill or being incinerated. This has additional carbon benefits, with advanced recycling processes expected to save approximately 1.5 tons of carbon dioxide per ton of plastic recycled, compared to incineration and reducing reliance on fossil-based feedstocks.

As per MRC, Dow is cutting global polyethylene (PE) production rates by 15%. “Given continued global logistics constraints, including port and rail congestion in the US Gulf Coast and dynamic conditions in Europe, Dow is reducing operating rates across our polyethylene assets, resulting in temporarily lowering 15% of our global polyethylene nameplate capacity,” says the letter, dated 24 August. The letter says Dow expects the cutbacks to help balance high inventories at key global ports and packaging warehouses, particularly in the US Gulf Coast during August and September, the months when strong hurricanes are most likely to strike the region. Hurricane season, which lasts from June to November, has been quiet so far this year, although the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicted an above-average number of storms.

Stora Enso, Huhtamaki target paper cups

Stora Enso, Huhtamaki target paper cups

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Huhtamaki and Stora Enso, both based in Finland but with global operations, say they have joined forces to launch a paper cup recycling initiative called The Cup Collective, said Recyclingtoday.

The program is being described as the first of its kind in Europe, aiming to “recycle and capture the value of used paper cups on an industrial scale." The program will start in the Benelux countries (Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg), with the two companies adding they have issued “an open invitation for partners from across the supply chain to get involved in working toward a systemic European solution."

The EU has set recycling target for paper and board packaging of 85 percent by 2030, say the two companies. Stora Enso is a paper and board producer that recently purchased a containerboard mill in the Netherlands. Huhtamaki makes packaging products with molded pulp and other materials, some with recovered paper content.

“The Cup Collective initiative will create the necessary collection infrastructure to significantly increase the recycling rate of wood-fiber in paper cups,” state the firms. They say the program will be designed to make it easy for household consumers and businesses to collect used paper cups so they can be converted into recycled-content raw materials.

"Huhtamaki is a world leader in developing and manufacturing recyclable fiber products,” says Eric Le Lay, President, Fiber Foodservice EAO at Huhtamaki. “For us, every cup counts. We want to go to the next step and ensure that recyclable cups also get effectively recycled. We have combined the best expertise from Huhtamaki and Stora Enso to create this new vision for industrial scale cup collection and recycling."

Hannu Kasurinen, an executive vice president with Stora Enso, says, “Stora Enso wants to accelerate the circularity of all packaging materials and we have an excellent foundation to make that happen. The paperboards we make are designed to be recycled and our own production sites, including Langerbrugge in Belgium, can process and recycle paper cups into new fiber-based products."

The first paper cup collection bins will be available in restaurants, cafes, office buildings and transport hubs in the Brussels and Amsterdam metropolitan areas. The Cup Collective aims to recycle half a billion paper cups in the first two years and, if scalable as designed, has the capacity to significantly increase recycling volumes in Europe, say the companies.

The program will be managed by Co-cre8, a United Kingdom-based firm with more than a decade of experience in designing and implementing recycling programs in Europe. While The Cup Collective initially is being financed by two companies, “a key factor in the success of The Cup Collective will be its ability to become self-funding in the future,” according to Stora Enso and Huhtamaki.

We remind, Huhtamaki has decided to initiate the process to divest its operations in Russia. This follows an earlier decision to stop all investments in Russia at the outbreak of the invasion of Ukraine. Huhtamaki considers that the current evolution of the situation and the long-term outlook in Russia will prevent the realization of its growth strategy and long-term ambitions in the country. Huhtamaki will continue to prioritize investments that capture the significant growth opportunities in the rest of the world, in line with its global ambitions and 2030 Strategy.

North American chemical railcar traffic rose by 5.4%

North American chemical railcar traffic rose by 5.4%

MOSCOW (MRC) -- North American chemical railcar traffic rose by 5.4% year on year to 42,766 railcar loadings for the week ended 10 September, marking a fifth consecutive increase, according to the latest freight rail data by the Association of American Railroads (AAR).

Chemical railcar loadings rose in all three countries, the US, Canada and Mexico. The four-week average for North American chemical rail traffic was at 46,490 railcar loadings.

For the first 36 weeks of 2022 ended 10 September, North American chemical railcar traffic was up 2.3% year on year to 1,673,629 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 36 weeks, while shipments in all other freight railcar categories fell.

As per MRC, the Association of American Railroads (AAR) today reported U.S. rail traffic for the week ending September 3, 2022, as well as volumes for August 2022. U.S. railroads originated 1,189,892 carloads in August 2022, up 2.3 percent, or 27,040 carloads, from August 2021. U.S. railroads also originated 1,335,618 containers and trailers in August 2022, down 1.2 percent, or 15,856 units, from the same month last year. Combined U.S. carload and intermodal originations in August 2022 were 2,525,510, up 0.4 percent, or 11,184 carloads and intermodal units from August 2021.

Unipar doubles chlorine production capacity at new factory in Bahia

Unipar doubles chlorine production capacity at new factory in Bahia

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Unipar's board of directors (UNIP6) approved an additional investment in the project to implement a chlorine/soda and derivatives production plant at the Camacari Petrochemical Complex, in Bahia, said the company.

The increase will be around R$94 million. In a statement sent to the CVM (Securities Commission), Unipar says that the project will increase by 10 thousand tons of chlorine per year to the production capacity originally planned.

With the completion of the project, the total capacity of the plant will be 20 thousand tons of chlorine and 22 thousand tons of caustic soda. In June this year, the company announced an investment of R$ 140 million in the construction of a new factory in Bahia.

It is expected to start operating in the first half of 2024, with the aim of meeting the growing demand for hydrochloric acid, sodium hypochlorite and caustic soda in the local market, especially in the Northeast, driven by the new legal framework for sanitation.

The project in Bahia is the first "greenfield" within the company's geographic expansion strategy, whose last big leap was taken at the end of 2016, with the purchase of the PVC factories of the Solvay group (Indupa) in Brazil and Argentina. In August, the company's board approved the distribution of dividends for the first half of this year. The total amount was R$ 500 million, divided according to the three categories of shares issued by the company.

Shareholders holding common shares received a portion of R$163,524,565.53, equivalent to R$4.53103818657 per share. Holders of class "A" preferred shares received BRL 4.98414200522 per share, equivalent to BRL 11,091,221.17, while holders of class "B" preferred shares received BRL 4.98414200522 per share, totaling BRL 325,384,213.30.

Unipar also went through a corporate reorganization involving its main shareholder and CEO of the company, Frank Geyer Abubakir, and his two daughters, Maria Cecilia Barretto De Araujo Abubakir and Maria Carolina Barretto De Araujo Abubakir, who make up the corporate structure, who started to concentrate all of its stakes in Vila Velha, the holding company that controls the company.

Repeats Group acquires Italian producer of recycled LDPE

Repeats Group acquires Italian producer of recycled LDPE

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Repeats Group B.V., a Netherlands-based plastics recycling platform focused on producing high-quality recycled low-density polyethylene (LDPE), has acquired Polimero Srl, a producer of recycled LDPE based in northern Italy, said Recyclingtoday.

The financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. Polimero uses a mechanical process to convert plastic scrap into resin suitable for commercial and industrial applications. As part of Repeats Group, Polimero will continue to expand its production to meet demand for recycled LDPE in Europe.

Simonetta Tiberto leads operations at Polimero, and she has been with the company since 2010. Repeats Group says she will continue to lead the company’s Italian operations.

"Polimero has a great reputation in the industry as an important player in the LDPE recycling environment in northern Italy,” says Greg Rung, CEO of Repeats Group. “We see significant opportunity for Polimero to further penetrate the Italian market by providing its clients with higher quality recycled resin. We are delighted that Simonetta and her team are joining Repeats and look forward to building on their success to date."

Repeats Group says this acquisition will help it to expand its presence in Italy. The acquisition also expands the company’s presence as a plastics recycling platform in Europe. Prior to this announcement, Repeats Group acquired Anviplas S.L., a producer of recycled LDPE based in Spain, and Daly Plastics, a producer of recycled LDPE based in the Netherlands.

Repeats Group is a portfolio company of Ara Partners, which is a global private equity firm focused on industrial decarbonization.

We remind, Arkema finalized the acquisition of Polimeros Especiales, strengthening the Group’s offering in solvent-free solutions and its position in this fast growing region. Polimeros Especiales is a well-established Mexican company producing high-performance waterborne resins for a broad range of applications in markets such as architectural and decorative paints, textiles, pressure sensitive adhesives and construction. It is a key manufacturer of emulsions in the region, achieving sales of around USD40 million in 2021 and employing 230 people.