Ecopetrol to hike output at Cartagena refinery to 200,000 bpd

Ecopetrol to hike output at Cartagena refinery to 200,000 bpd

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Colombia's Ecopetrol will hike output at its refinery in the Caribbean city of Cartagena by a third in a bid to meet national demand for fuels and reduce imports, the majority state-owned energy company said, as per Reuters.

The refinery will increase production to 200,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd), from its previous output of 150,000 bpd, to guarantee the production of low-sulfur gasoline and diesel, Ecopetrol said in a statement.

"This expansion consolidates the Cartagena refinery as a strategic asset to guarantee Colombia's energy sovereignty," Ecopetrol's Chief Executive Officer Felipe Bayon said.

The decision follows President Gustavo Petro's announcement that fuel prices will be increased gradually to prevent a widening in the deficit in Colombia's fuel price stabilization fund - a mechanism used to subsidize prices.

Colombia counts on two refineries, the largest of which is located in the city of Barrancabermeja, which has a production capacity of 250,000 bpd, a company spokesman said.

We remind, Ecopetrol, the largest petroleum company in Colombia, has selected Aspen GDOT dynamic optimization software as part of its digitalization initiative to improve refining margins at its two refineries in Cartagena and Barrancabermeja, and upgrading to Aspen DMC3 advanced process control software in Barrancabermeja refinery.

LyondellBasell licenses vinyl acetate copolymer technology to Hanwha Solutions

LyondellBasell licenses vinyl acetate copolymer technology to Hanwha Solutions

MOSCOW (MRC) -- LyondellBasell (Rotterdam, the Netherlands) announced that Hanwha Solutions Corporation (Hanwha) will use the LyondellBasell Lupotech T high-pressure polyethylene technology at a new site in Yeosu, South Korea, said the company.

The Lupotech T process technology will be used for a 300,000 ton per year vinyl acetate copolymer (EVA) line.

“Hanwha is an experienced producer of LDPE and EVA resins in South Korea and we are excited that Hanwha opted for the Lupotech T process to expand their production capacity with this significant award,” said Neil Nadalin, Director Global Licensing and Services at LyondellBasell. Nadalin added, “When it comes to a high-pressure LDPE technology capable of producing the full spectrum of EVA and LDPE grades, the Lupotech T process is the ultimate choice for operators around the world in today’s fast-changing market."

“We expect Hanwha to be a global top tier in the EVA market through this project,” said Youngchul Kwon, Head of Corporate Business Development Office at Hanwha Solutions. Kwon added, “The Lupotech T process is highly reliable for its operability, productivity and quality."

We remind, LyondellBasell announced that Polski Koncern Naftowy ORLEN S.A. (PKN ORLEN) will be using the LyondellBasell Lupotech T high-pressure polyethylene technology. The Lupotech T process technology will be used for a 250 kiloton per year (KTA) low density polyethylene (LDPE) line. The new line will be located at their existing complex in Plock, Poland.

2022 investment overview of Central Asian oil refining and petrochemical projects

2022 investment overview of Central Asian oil refining and petrochemical projects
MOSCOW (MRC) -- Globuc, organiser of the annual Downstream Central Asia & Caspian conference has published an overview of the current industry projects in 2022, said the company.

The report includes information on ongoing projects and announcements in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan.
In 2021, two major projects were completed in the region, the KPI polypropylene plant in Kazakhstan and the Uzbekistan GTL plant in Uzbekistan. Modernisation of the production facilities is currently underway, and plans for the construction of new facilities have been announced.

Uzbekistan plans to build a plant with a capacity of 500.0 thousand tons per year, which will process 1.5 billion m3 of natural gas per year and produce high-quality polymers using MTO (Methanol-to-olefins) technology.
Kazazot, the largest gas chemical enterprise in Kazakhstan, plans to develop the production of carbon ammonium salts, ammonium sulphate, hydrogen peroxide, bioprotein for the needs of animal husbandry, as well as ammonia water, ammonia and carbamide.

The report was published in preparation for the annual event, which will be held this year in Tashkent with the support of the national oil and gas company of Uzbekistan - JSC Uzbekneftegaz.

Representatives of KPI and Uzbekneftegaz will present their projects at the conference. In addition to completed projects, ongoing projects will also be presented, such as the construction of a gas chemical complex methanol to olefins (MTO), modernization of the Fergana oil refinery, and modernization of the Baku Oil Refinery in Azerbaijan.
The event is well known in the industry for the direct and active participation of regional project owners. This year, representatives of Sanoat Energetika Guruhi will share information about the construction of a methanol to olefins (MTO) gas chemical complex in Uzbekistan, the world's first MTO plant built outside of China.

The Azerbaijani state company SOCAR will present plans for the Baku Oil Refinery, and conference delegates will also hear about the modernization of the Fergana Oil Refinery and the construction of new KazAzot facilities, and get an opportunity to meet with the managers of these projects in person.

Downstream Central Asia & Caspian is an annual industry business event. In 2022, the event will be held in Tashkent on the 19-20th of October 2022. The conference will bring together representatives of oil and gas processing and petrochemical companies in Central Asia and the Caspian region, as well as leading technology suppliers from all over the world.

The conference is organised by Globuc, an international event management company based in London. Globuc specialises in high-level business events in the energy and oil&gas sectors.

Earlier it was reported that the Uzbekneftegaz National Holding Company will increase the production capacity of the Shurtan Gas Chemical Complex (GCC) to approximately 505,000 tonnes of polymer products per year by the end of 2024.

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.