ORLEN Unipetrol opens a new production unit and becomes one of the four largest dicyclopentadiene producers in Europe

ORLEN Unipetrol opens a new production unit and becomes one of the four largest dicyclopentadiene producers in Europe

MOSCOW (MRC) -- ORLEN Unipetrol, the largest Czech petrochemical company, has commissioned a new production unit for dicyclopentadiene, which will expand its product portfolio, say the company.

This liquid hydrocarbon, abbreviated as DCPD, has a broad range of applications in the automotive industry, construction, electrical engineering, medicine, and pharmaceutical sectors. ORLEN Unipetrol will produce up to 26,000 tonnes of DCPD per year, making it one of the four largest producers in Europe. Interestingly, dicyclopentadiene will be made using a method developed by ORLEN Unipetrol researchers in collaboration with the University of Chemistry and Technology in Prague. The investment in the construction of the new production unit totalled CZK 831 million. Twenty new jobs were created to ensure this new production.

“There is high demand for this product on global markets. In Europe, there is currently a deficit in DCPD production capacity. We expect demand to increase by an additional 26 per cent, by 40 per cent in American markets and by 60 per cent in Asian markets by 2030. The implementation of our own production technology allows us to use the flexibility of the unit and produce a product in a wide range of qualities from basic technical DCPD to highly pure DCPD for more demanding applications, for example for the production of transparent substances,” explains Tomasz Wiatrak, chairman of the ORLEN Unipetrol Group’s board of directors. He adds: “A close collaboration of our researchers with academia fundamentally contributes towards our technological development, and especially our co-operation with the University of Chemistry and Technology in Prague has been at a high level for a long time."

The technological process of isolating DCPD from the so-called pyrolysis gasoline was developed within a long-term strategic project using the steam cracker’s by-products. “The project’s objective was to find a way to isolate hydrocarbons that are created as by-products in the petrochemical production units, have a higher added value and can be well used on the market. DCPD is one such case. Together with the team led by Professor Josef Pasek from the University of Chemistry and Technology in Prague, we designed a suitable production method and created a technology to isolate DCPD in a wide range of commercial quality levels, with the installed capacity to represent approximately 25 per cent of Europe’s entire production,” says Tomas Herink, a member of the ORLEN Unipetrol Group’s board of directors responsible for production, research and development.

“The collaboration of the University of Chemistry and Technology and ORLEN Unipetrol has had a long and successful tradition. Its origins date back to the 1990s. Our joint research and collaboration have always focused on developing technologies related to crude oil processing and petrochemistry. Therefore, the realisation of the technology to isolate DCPD developed by our experts is an excellent example of the connection between academia and industry,” says Pavel Matejka, rector of the University of Chemistry and Technology in Prague.

ORLEN Unipetrol will produce DCPD with a distillation purity between 80 and 94 per cent. Such a configured product will be used for further production of polymer materials, resins, and chemical specialities used, for example, in the production of wind turbine propellers, coloured asphalts, adhesives, dyes and pigments, automobile and maritime components and skeletons, fibre optic cables, special lenses, medical components, packaging materials and sanitary products for kitchens and bathrooms.

We remind, ORLEN Unipetrol Group continues to meet its strategic development objectives by 2030. As part of this strategy, it also focuses on the principles of circular economy and sustainability. It develops them by building a broad portfolio of recycling activities, thanks to which it can effectively obtain and process plastic waste and biowaste and make new petrochemical products and biofuels from it. Now it follows these activities, especially in chemical recycling, with its entry into the segment of mechanical recycling by acquiring REMAQ, a leading player in the region of Central and Eastern Europe, in its group.

The ORLEN Unipetrol Group is the largest refining and petrochemical company in the Czech Republic. It focuses on crude oil processing and the production, distribution and sale of vehicle fuels and petrochemical products – particularly plastics and fertilisers. It belongs among the critical players in the Czech and Central European markets in all these areas. The ORLEN Unipetrol Group encompasses refineries and production plants in Litvinov and Kralupy nad Vltavou, Paramo, with its Mogul brand in Pardubice and Kolin, Spolana Neratovice, and two research centres in Litvinov and Brno. Unipetrol also includes a network of ORLEN Benzina filling stations in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
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Olin announces chlorinated organics capacity reduction

Olin announces chlorinated organics capacity reduction

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Olin Corporation announced that it expects to cease methylene chloride and chloroform production at its Stade, Germany facility by third quarter 2023. Olin will continue to produce both products at its Freeport, Texas facility, said the company.

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, hydrogen, 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.

We remind, Olin Corporation announced that it plans to permanently shut down approximately 225,000 ECU tons of diaphragm-grade chlor alkali capacity at its Freeport, TX facility. The closure is expected to be completed by year end 2022.

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, hydrogen, 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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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