LyondellBasell to expand catalyst capacity in Germany

LyondellBasell to expand catalyst capacity in Germany

MOSCOW (MRC) -- LyondellBasell announces the start-up of a new catalyst production plant at its Frankfurt, Germany, site, sai the company.

This announcement directly correlates to investments in infrastructure projects, increased demand for polymers by a growing population, particularly in emerging countries and the value of our Hostalen ACP polyethylene (PE) technology. This technology supports the increasing demand in high performance PE resins to produce raw materials for pipes to safely transport water and materials to safely store and protect food items.

"The expansion of our catalyst production capacity in Frankfurt secures the supply of Ziegler Avant Z catalysts for our license technology customers throughout the world," says LyondellBasell site manager Andrei Gonioukh. "Operating one of the most advanced catalyst production facilities that is using industry-leading production technology, this investment is also a commitment to the catalyst production at the Frankfurt site and the growing market for our products."

With over 60 years of experience, LyondellBasell offers a wide range of catalysts, covering most processes for the production of polymers. LyondellBasell operates catalyst production facilities in Ferrara, Italy, Frankfurt and Ludwigshafen, Germany and Edison, N.J., USA.

Avant and Hostalen are trademarks owned and/or used by the LyondellBasell family of companies and are registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

We remind, LyondellBasell announced the ethylene cracker at its integrated olefins and polyolefins production site in Berre, France will not restart until early 2023. The chemical company's French ethylene cracker was damaged by a fire on August 2. While repairs should be completed by November, the combination of persistently high energy costs, compressing margins and falling demand for products in the region contributed to the decision to delay the restart.

W. R. Grace to increase FCC catalyst prices

W. R. Grace to increase FCC catalyst prices

MOSCOW (MRC) -- W. R. Grace & Co. is announcing global price increases for its Fluid Catalytic Cracking (FCC) catalysts and is modifying existing surcharge mechanisms in the 4th quarter of 2022, said the company.

“The demand for differentiated FCC catalyst technology remains extremely high as demand and margins for refined products have strengthened in 2022,” said Tom Petti, Grace’s President, Refining Technologies. “Our pricing actions today are necessary to offset historic inflationary pressure and continue our commitment of offering industry leading catalyst solutions and expert-level technical service that combined creates significant incremental profit for our customers."

For FCC catalysts, unprecedented levels of inflation are impacting raw materials such as caustic soda, aluminum-derived chemicals and acids. Freight and logistics costs also have been elevated, affecting the cost to deliver finished premium catalysts, as well as the cost to procure the necessary raw materials.

In addition, energy price inflation has been exacerbated by the ongoing conflict in Eastern Europe, reaching some of the highest levels in history and severely impacting the cost to manufacture FCC catalyst.

Even with Grace’s continued efforts on productivity and driving operational efficiencies, the pace and magnitude of inflation cannot be offset by normal price adjustments.

We remind, W. R. Grace & Co. (Grace) the leading independent supplier of polyolefin catalyst technology and polypropylene (PP) technology, has received a commitment from PT Kilang Pertamina International (PT KPI) to use Grace’s UNIPOL PP technology, which is part of its larger initiative, the Trans-Pacific Petrochemical Indotama (TPPI) Olefin Complex Development Project in Indonesia.

U.S. imposes new sanctions on Iran oil exports, targets Chinese firms

U.S. imposes new sanctions on Iran oil exports, targets Chinese firms

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The United States imposed sanctions on companies it accused of involvement in Iran's petrochemical and petroleum trade, including five based in China, pressuring Tehran as it seeks to revive the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, said Reuters.

Washington has increasingly targeted Chinese companies over the export of Iran's petrochemicals as the prospects of reviving the nuclear pact have dimmed. Indirect talks on the accord, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), have broken down. "So long as Iran refuses a mutual return to full implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the United States will continue to enforce its sanctions on the sale of Iranian petroleum and petrochemical products," the Treasury's Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Brian Nelson said in a statement.

The Iranian mission to the United Nations in New York did not immediately respond to a request for comment. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a separate statement that the State Department designated two China-based companies, Zhonggu Storage and Transportation Co Ltd and WS Shipping Co Ltd.

Blinken accused Zhonggu Storage and Transportation Co Ltd of operating a commercial crude oil storage facility for Iranian petroleum and WS Shipping Co Ltd of being a ship manager for a vessel that has transported Iranian petroleum products. Reuters could not immediately reach the two companies for comment.

The U.S. Treasury Department also slapped sanctions on a network of companies involved in what it said was the sale of hundreds of millions of dollars worth of Iranian petrochemical and petroleum products to South and East Asia.

The action targeted Iranian brokers and front companies in the United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong and India, the Treasury said. Washington warned that it would continue to accelerate enforcement of sanctions on Iran's petroleum and petrochemical sales so long as Tehran continues to accelerate its nuclear program.

The 2015 nuclear agreement limited Iran’s uranium enrichment activity to make it harder for Tehran to develop nuclear arms, in return for lifting international sanctions. But then-U.S. President Donald Trump ditched the deal in 2018, saying it did not do enough to curb Iran’s nuclear activities, ballistic missile program and regional influence, and reimposed sanctions that have crippled Iran’s economy.

"These enforcement actions will continue on a regular basis, with an aim to severely restrict Iran’s oil and petrochemical exports," Blinken said. Anyone involved in such sales and transactions should stop immediately if they wish to avoid being subjected to U.S. sanctions, he said.

As part of Thursday's action, the Treasury targeted several companies it accused of dealing with Hong Kong-based Triliance Petrochemical Co Ltd, which has previously been sanctioned by the United States. It said India-based petrochemical company Tibalaji Petrochem Private Limited purchased millions of dollars worth of Triliance-brokered products for onward shipment to China.

The Treasury also accused UAE-based Clara Shipping LLC of being paid millions of dollars by Triliance - through front companies - in freight charges for the shipment of Iranian petrochemical and petroleum products to East Asia. Also designated over dealings with Triliance was Iran-based Iran Chemical Industries Investment Company and Middle East Kimiya Pars Co, Hong Kong-based Sierra Vista Trading Limited, and UAE-based Virgo Marine.

Hong Kong-based Sophychem HK Limited and ML Holding Group Limited were designated for dealings with U.S.-designated Persian Gulf Petrochemical Industries Commercial Company, including the purchase of Iranian petrochemicals for shipment to China and Singapore.

We remind, bp laid off most contractors at the approximately 160,000 barrel-per-day Toledo, Ohio, refinery it owns with Cenovus Energy Inc, according to sources familiar with the matter, indicating that the plant will experience a prolonged shutdown following last week's explosion and fire. The explosion killed two United Steelworkers members, identified as brothers Max and Ben Morrissey. The more than 100-year-old refinery has been offline since the middle of last week following the explosion and could be shut for several months.

Federal government may fund hydrogen project at BASF

Federal government may fund hydrogen project at BASF

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, a EUR134 million German measure to support BASF SE (‘BASF’) in the production of renewable hydrogen, with the aims of decarbonising its chemical production processes and of promoting hydrogen use in the transport sector, said the company.

The measure contributes to the achievement of the EU Hydrogen Strategy and the European Green Deal targets, while helping reduce dependence on Russian fossil fuels and fast forward the green transition in line with the REPowerEU Plan.

Today’s decision follows the approvals on 15 July 2022 and on 21 September 2022 of two Important Projects of Common European Interest (IPCEI ‘Hy2Tech’ and IPCEI ‘Hy2Use’) in the hydrogen value chain. BASF’s project was selected by Germany in the context of an open call to form part of an IPCEI on hydrogen technologies and systems, which resulted in the two approved IPCEIs. However, given its characteristics and objectives, it was better suited for assessment under the Guidelines on State aid for climate, environmental protection and energy 2022.

Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: “This €134 million measure enables Germany to help BASF step up its renewable hydrogen production capacities, thereby contributing to the greening of the chemical value chain and of the transport sector. The measure approved today will also help Germany replace fossil-based hydrogen in a hard-to-decarbonise industry, and reduce its dependence on imported fossil fuels, in line with the REPowerEU Plan."

The measure will support BASF’s production of renewable hydrogen mainly to replace fossil-based hydrogen in BASF’s chemical production processes. Additional renewable hydrogen produced will be delivered for emerging hydrogen mobility applications (e.g. hydrogen-powered trucks or buses).

The aid, which will take the form of a direct grant, will support the construction and installation of a large-scale electrolyser at BASF’s Ludwigshafen site, which will have an annual production capacity of 54 MW and produce approximately 5,000 tonnes of renewable hydrogen and 40,000 tonnes of oxygen per year. The electrolyser is envisaged to start operating in 2025

The project is expected to avoid the release of 565,305 tonnes of carbon dioxide over the 15 years of expected operation of the electrolyser. In addition, to maximise the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, renewable hydrogen will be produced solely with electricity stemming from renewable sources.

We remind, Fluor Corporation announced that the company was awarded two reimbursable engineering, procurement and construction management contracts by BASF for the ethylene oxide/ethylene glycol and infrastructure, offsites and utilities packages as part of the company’s new Verbund program in Zhanjiang, Guangdong province, China.

Atlas Copco has acquired a distributor of compressors in New Mexico, USA

Atlas Copco has acquired a distributor of compressors in New Mexico, USA

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Atlas Copco has acquired the operating assets of the compressor business of Mesa Equipment & Supply Company (Mesa), said Hydrocarbonprocessng.

Mesa is located in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA, and 19 employees will join Atlas Copco. The company sells oil-free and oil injected compressors, and offers parts and service, across a broad range of customer segments.

“Mesa has built a strong sales and service presence in the area,” said Vagner Rego, Business Area President Compressor Technique. “This acquisition is in line with our strategy to grow our geographic coverage and get closer to our customers, and also brings increased service opportunities.

We remind, Atlas Copco has agreed to acquire National Vacuum Equipment Inc., a leading local US manufacturer of industrial vacuum pumps and packages for mobile use on tanker trucks. National Vacuum Equipment Inc. is headquartered in Traverse City, Michigan, USA and has around 100 employees. “The acquisition will add to our vacuum solutions portfolio, allowing us to enter the currently untapped mobile vacuum market,’’ said Geert Follens, Business Area President Vacuum Technique.