Olin cuts Q3 guidance

Olin cuts Q3 guidance

Olin has cut its Q3 earnings guidance as global economic conditions have worsened faster than expected, said the US-based chlor-alkali and epoxy producer.

"We have seen global economic conditions worsen faster than expected with an accelerated deterioration in both European and North American demand particularly in epoxy and vinyls intermediates, which has been aggravated by increased Chinese exports precipitated by continuing weak Chinese domestic demand,” said CEO Scott Sutton.

The company now expects Q3 2022 adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) in the range of USD530-550m.

Olin's previous guidance, issued on 28 July, was for a 15% decline in adjusted EBITDA, from Q2 2022 adjusted EBITDA of USD727m.

"Olin's proactive actions and strategy have us well-positioned with a strong balance sheet, meaningful levered free cash flow, and solid positive earnings profile, to deliver on our previously anticipated recession scenario results in fourth quarter 2022 and continuing into 2023”, Sutton said.

“Core electrochemical unit (ECU) pricing for merchant chlorine and caustic soda continues to move higher," he added.

Other chemical producers - including Huntsman and Eastman – have also cut guidance, and on Monday Austrian fibres group Lenzing suspended its earnings guidance for full year 2022, citing a dramatic worsening in market conditions in Q3.

We remind, Olin said that it plans to permanently shut down 225K ECU tons of diaphragm-grade chlor-alkali capacity at its Freeport, Texas, facility by the end of this year. Following the closure, Olin (OLN) said it will have rationalized more than 1M ECU tons of diaphragm-grade chlor-alkali capacity in less than two years.

Olin Corporation is a leading vertically-integrated global manufacturer and distributor of chemical products and a leading U.S. manufacturer of ammunition. The chemical products produced include chlorine and caustic soda, vinyls, epoxies, chlorinated organics, bleach and hydrochloric acid. Winchester’s principal manufacturing facilities produce and distribute sporting ammunition, law enforcement ammunition, reloading components, small caliber military ammunition and components, and industrial cartridges.

Chart Industries and C.A.T. Group sign MoU, bringing full carbon capture solutions to Middle East, Africa

Chart Industries and C.A.T. Group sign MoU, bringing full carbon capture solutions to Middle East, Africa

Chart Industries, Inc., a leading diversified global manufacturer of highly engineered equipment for the industrial gas and clean energy industries and C.A.T. Group, a leader in the contracting industry serving a wide spectrum of sectors such as Energy, Utilities, Civil, Infrastructure and Buildings have signed an MoU to bring carbon capture solutions to customers in the Middle East and Africa, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The MoU focuses on the two companies bringing Chart’s carbon capture solutions to their customers in these regions, with special focus on the state-owned companies and energy companies. With the combination of C.A.T. and Chart, customers can be provided with an optimized turn-key solution.

Chart’s expertise and ability to provide solutions in various liquefaction and/or refrigeration processes and equipment technologies, carbon capture process technologies (including their Sustainable Energy Solutions, Inc. Cryogenic Carbon Capture™ technology), carbon dioxide storage tanks, trailers, vaporizers and other associated equipment couples well with C.A.T. Group’s broad customer relationships in the Middle East and Africa as well as their decades-long project prime contractor experience.

"We are pleased to partner with C.A.T., a well-respected global contracting leader, with specific focus on the energy transition,” stated Jill Evanko, Chart’s CEO and President. “We anticipate that our companies’ complementary strategies for bringing carbon capture technologies and full project solutions will accelerate customers’ decisions on their clean energy actions, in particular in the Middle East and Africa where carbon capture is a natural piece of the move to more sustainable answers."

"C.A.T. Group is excited to partner with Chart Industries,” said Joe Gebara the Group CEO. “Chart’s technology, equipment and services are well respected in the LNG and Carbon Capture domains, and jointly we will bring complete solutions in the Energy Transition to our clients in the Middle East and Africa."

We remind, U.S. refiners last quarter imported West African oil at the highest rate in nearly three years, customs data showed, buying the gasoline-friendly crudes as they boosted motor fuel production to meet summer driving demand. Imports from West African nations, primarily by East Coast operations of PBF Energy, Phillips 66 and Monroe Energy, were at least 11.6 MM barrels in the second quarter, U.S. customs and ship-tracking data on Refinitiv Eikon showed, the highest since the third quarter of 2019.

Uzbekistan GTL plant produces synthetic jet fuel by synthesizing natural gas

Uzbekistan GTL plant produces synthetic jet fuel by synthesizing natural gas

At the initiative and support of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev, a new period has begun in Uzbekneftegaz JSC and in system enterprises - the process of implementing priority tasks and long-term plans, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

On the basis of the "gas-liquid" technology, the production of one of the leading plants in the world - "Uzbekistan GTL" is expanding. In order to produce new types of products, constantly monitor their quality at the Uzbekistan GTL plant, a “Working Group” was created, headed by the Chairman of the Board of JSC “Uzbekneftegaz” Mekhriddin Abdullayev, which constantly studies the state of production of synthetic fuel products, processes of storage, sale and delivery of products.

It is gratifying that during the visit of the members of the "Working Group" headed by the Chairman of the Board, the production of another new type of product was launched. For the first time in the history of not only Uzbekistan, but the whole world, the Uzbekistan GTL plant has launched the production of synthetic jet fuel that meets international standards (ASTM D-7566) and technical requirements.

Twenty-three basic physicochemical and technical parameters of synthetic kerosene have been brought to the full required level. Work has been completed to bring the freezing point, which is one of the main indicators, to the level of international standard requirements (-47°C). At the moment, the Uzbekistan GTL plant has received positive conclusions from the international organizations IATA, ASTM International, Def Stan on permission to use GTL kerosene as a synthetic component for aviation fuel.

In accordance with the recommendations of the International Aviation Regulatory Organization (IATA), a sample taken from the first batch of synthetic kerosene produced at the GTL plant was sent to the SGS laboratories in Estonia, Belgium and France for analysis and relevant conclusions in order to obtain a certificate compliance.

The Chairman of the Board noted that on June 15 this year, the production of the first synthetic oil in the history of Uzbekistan was launched at the Uzbekistan GTL plant, on June 29, 2022, the first synthetic diesel in the history of the petrochemical industry of Uzbekistan, and then synthetic GTL naphtha, and officially announced that another development of specialists gave its results, and for the first time in world history, synthetic jet fuel was produced by synthesizing natural gas.

In addition, during the visit, members of the Working Group, headed by the Chairman of the Board, studied the processes of production, storage, sale and supply of import-substituting petroleum products and hydrocarbons. Instructions were given to increase the production of synthetic jet fuel, control the production of synthetic jet fuel in accordance with the international standard (ASTM D-7566) and technical requirements.

It was emphasized that in connection with the transition of the Uzbekistan GTL plant to full operation, it is necessary to gradually increase the production of synthetic fuel and ensure high quality products. Also, as a result of the increase in production volumes, tasks were identified to reduce the cost of production.

It was established that from September 14 of this year, the starting price per ton of synthetic diesel fuel sold through the Uzbek Republican Commodity and Raw Materials Exchange will be reduced to 13 MM 897 thousand 109 soums. The price was reduced for the second time in two months, on August 29 of this year, the starting price for synthetic diesel fuel was reduced from 15 MM 550 thousand 500 soums to 14 MM 504 thousand 378 soums.

The state of work to ensure the synchronous operation of about 11 thousand pieces of equipment and main production units at the plant was also studied and an open conversation was held with engineers, young specialists working in technological processes.

A working meeting was held with the participation of the heads of production departments of the plant and management personnel, the necessary instructions were given to ensure the uninterrupted production of synthetic fuel products, timely and high-quality delivery of fuel products to consumers.

To date, the GTL complex has produced only 55 thousand tons of synthetic diesel fuel and 20.5 thousand tons of synthetic naphtha, and are daily supplied to consumers through the Uzbek Republican Commodity Exchange. It should be noted that the Uzbekistan GTL complex plans to produce import-substituting oil products and hydrocarbons for a total of USD1 B U.S. dollars or more than 12.8 T soums per year.

We remind, the capacity of the Shurtan Gas Chemical Complex will triple, investments in the expansion project will amount to USD1.8 billion. Uzbekneftegaz has launched a project to expand the Shurtan gas chemical complex in the Kashkadarya region in the south of the country. "The capacities of the Shurtan gas chemical complex, the firstborn of our gas chemical region, will triple," said President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev at the ceremony of laying the foundation stone for the expansion project.

Nexam signs a new agent in South Korea

Nexam signs a new agent in South Korea

Nexam Chemical - which invents, develops, produces and sells additives to the plastics industry worldwide - signs a new agent in Seoul, South Korea, said the company.

An order to carry out a larger industrial trial to repair recycled plastic with Nexam Chemical's Reactive Recycling solution has been placed. The Reactive Recycling solution significantly improves the properties of plastics and polymers.

The order for reactive recycling for recycled PET (r-PET) to Korea is worth SEK 140,000. The upgraded r-PET is to be used in automotive applications with a sales potential for Nexam Chemical of SEK 14 million per year.

"With a new agent and in a new market, we look forward to more projects and new business. Being able to repair recycled plastic has many advantages - in this case providing the automotive industry with new applications," says Johan Arvidsson, CEO of Nexam Chemical.

"In 2020, South Korea banned the import of PET bottles to encourage and improve domestic collection and recycling of PET. From 2022, they will ban the import of plastic waste from abroad, which could be a good business opportunity for us. This is because it puts more focus on domestic recycling and can accelerate demand for Nexam's products," said Mr. Saan-Soo Cha.

The agent, Mr. Sang-Soo Cha, has almost 30 years of experience from the chemical industry and has previously, among other things, worked for several years as sales director and general manager for Perstorp AB within the Korean division.

"For the product portfolio for reactive recycling, Mr. Cha is also developing our NEXIMID portfolio with a focus on the electronics industry, an area where a lot of research and development is going on in South Korea," says Johan Arvidsson.

As per MRC, Nexam Chemical has received an order from an existing customer in the area of PET additives for deliveries to the USA. The customer is a market-leading manufacturer of PET foam. It is the single largest order in the United States and also one of the largest ever for Nexam Chemical globally. Nexam Chemical has previously delivered products to this customer and this order confirms good growth in the business.

Repeats Group acquires Italian producer of recycled LDPE

Repeats Group acquires Italian producer of recycled LDPE

The spread between European 90 percent mixed polyolefin bale values and monomaterial polyolefin bale values is at its lowest on record, said Recyclingtoday.

This is with the exception of low-density polyethylene (LDPE) postcommercial flexible bales, where the spread has been at its narrowest since January.

The value of 90 percent mixed polyolefin bales is at 50 euros per metric ton on average below that of monomaterial high-density polyethylene mixed-colored bales, 75 euros per metric ton on average below postconsumer polypropylene (PP) bales and 100 euros per metric ton on average below black postindustrial PP bales and natural LDPE flexible postcommercial 98/2 bales.

In addition, there was talk in recycled polyolefin markets as of the week of Sept. 5 that players are starting to restrict activity to core markets. This is amid high energy costs, macroeconomic weakness, substitution to virgin and narrowing margins for nonpackaging markets such as construction and automotive.

Meanwhile, downstream spot recycled mixed polyolefin pellet prices—typically used by nonpackaging mechanical recycling applications such as construction—were heard as low as 760 euros per metric ton ex-works northwest Europe as of the week of Sept. 5.

Despite these factors, players are not currently seeing downward pressure on 90 percent mixed polyolefin values. This was, in part, attributed to low availability and partly attributed to pyrolysis-based chemical recyclers absorbing demand loss from mechanical recycling, as pilot plants continue to scale up. The onboarding of pyrolysis-based chemical recycling is expected to further tighten availability.

The 90 percent mixed polyolefin merchant market availability has narrowed throughout the year as waste managers have increasingly onboarded capacity to reprocess material captively. Most of the chemical recycling market remains precommercial. Although volumes are expected to increase significantly in 2023 and 2024, most expect it to take at least five years for the market to reach scale.

Multiple market players have voiced concern in recent months that waste availability in Europe remains insufficient to cover future volume needs from the chemical recycling industry in 2023 and 2024. Although chemical recycling can take waste fractions that are not possible to mechanically recycle, there are still a number of technical requirements for waste input.

Pyrolysis, for example, typically requires the minimization of chlorine content (typically to 0.1 percent or less) due to its corrosive effect. In addition, it requires the removal of polyethylene terephthalate because it oxygenates the process and does not depolymerize using pyrolysis. It also requires the avoidance of nylon and flame retardants.

Coupled with this, the ongoing lack of clarity over chemical recycling’s legal status continues to concern industry players and, along with access to waste, remains one of the key risk factors to industry growth. Current European Union regulations typically use the definition of recycling set out in Directive 2008/98/EC in which recycling is any recovery operation by which waste materials are reprocessed into products, materials or substances whether for the original or other purposes. It includes the reprocessing of organic material but does not include energy recovery and the reprocessing into materials that are to be used as fuels or for backfilling operations.

This leaves the regulatory status of chemical recycling under the proposals uncertain.

We remind, 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. 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.