Arkema announces a new series of recycled high performance polyamides

Arkema announces a new series of recycled high performance polyamides

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Arkema’s Virtucycle® program places the advanced materials designer at the center of a virtuous cycle to source, recycle, and recertify advanced polymers, said the company.

In addition to being the specialty recycler, Arkema plays the role of matchmaker among its customers while playing an optional key role in eco-designing the finished product produced from the recycled material.

By the end of this year, Arkema aims to offer several SCS* certified grades that meet critical performance standards while also offering a traceable supply chain. Detailed LCA data packages will be available upon request. The grades are produced at Arkema’s custom mechanical recycling center for advanced polymers in Italy using only renewable energy. In 2021, Arkema acquired Agiplast, a specialist in the recycling of high performance polymers.

More and more, our customers are interested in innovative recycled options in order to drive improved sustainability and circularity in the supply chain”

“With the recent acquisition of Agiplast, we were able to take a quantum step in the right direction by marrying our legacy polymer design expertise with the advanced recycling capabilities of Agiplast as well as our extensive global network of customers with ambitious commitments to sustainability. The ability to design certified recycled grades with high performance and lower carbon footprint is an exciting step in the sustainability journey of our customers and Arkema. Extending the life of these polymers, sometimes in applications quite unrelated to their original use is gratifying. The growth potential is significant."

We remind, Arkema S.A. (Colombes, France) is boosting its previously announced global Pebax elastomer capacity expansion at its Serquigny, France site from +25% to +40% in two separate phases, firstly in Q1 2023 by raising global capacity by 15%, the additional 25% starting in Q3 2023. The greater increase in Pebax elastomer capacity will support the strong demand from partner customers in the sports, consumer electronics, medical and industrial markets, who recognize the highly specialized Pebax grades’ lightweight, flexibility and exceptional energy return. Applications range from ultra-fast running shoes to catheters or flexible device screens.

Phillips 66 and FreeWire Technologies bring ultrafast charging to EV drivers

Phillips 66 and FreeWire Technologies bring ultrafast charging to EV drivers

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Phillips 66 announced the installation of FreeWire ultrafast electric-vehicle chargers at its flagship fuel station near its headquarters in Houston, marking the debut of ultrafast EV charging at a convenience fuel station in the city, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Phillips 66 and FreeWire unveiled plans earlier this year to deploy FreeWire’s ultrafast, battery-integrated technology to meet the growing demand from EV drivers for high-speed, on-the-go charging. Phillips 66 will leverage its network of approximately 7,000 Phillips 66, Conoco and 76 branded U.S. sites and other strategic locations. The chargers are the first commissioned FreeWire chargers in Texas.

The introduction of the EV chargers reflects Phillips 66's commitment to working to meet the world’s growing energy needs while reducing its environmental footprint. The company has focused its Emerging Energy and Sustainability business strategy on four pillars: renewable fuels, batteries, carbon capture and hydrogen.

“The installation of the first FreeWire EV chargers at our Phillips 66 flagship fuel station represents an important step in our EV charging journey as well as our commitment to pursue lower-carbon solutions,” said Rod Palmer, Vice President of U.S. Marketing at Phillips 66. “FreeWire’s charger offers consumers the fast-charging experience they’re looking for, and Phillips 66’s branded network of fueling locations places the chargers at existing, strategically located sites.”

FreeWire’s Boost Charger is a more convenient option for sites looking to enter the EV charging space. It connects to existing infrastructure without burdensome construction costs and permitting restraints. The battery charges at off-peak times when power is cheaper, reducing operational costs for the site, while still providing the needed capacity to give consumers a rapid charge.

“We are excited to mark this milestone with Phillips 66 and to make our fast-charging solution available to more EV drivers,” said Arcady Sosinov, FreeWire Founder and CEO. “As charging demand continues to surge, our battery-integrated chargers offer the streamlined, shovel-ready solution that many entering the EV charging space are looking for.”

As per MRC, Phillips 66 signed a letter of intent with FreeWire Technologies in support of its first electric-vehicle charging program in the United States. The announcement highlights Phillips 66’s commitment to pursue lower-carbon solutions and comes as an endorsement of FreeWire’s ultrafast, battery-integrated charging technology. The two companies will explore opportunities to deploy FreeWire’s technology within Phillips 66’s U.S. fueling stations and other strategic locations.

bp accelerates and expands in bioenergy, agreeing to buy Archaea Energy

bp accelerates and expands in bioenergy, agreeing to buy Archaea Energy

MOSCOW (MRC) -- In a move that will expand and accelerate the growth of its strategic bioenergy business, bp announced that it has agreed to acquire Archaea Energy Inc., a leading producer of renewable natural gas (RNG) in the US, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The agreed acquisition, which is subject to regulatory and Archaea shareholder approval, will be for USD3.3 B in cash, as well as around USD800 MM of net debt.

Bioenergy is one of five strategic transition growth engines that bp intends to grow rapidly through this decade. bp expects investment into its transition growth businesses to reach more than 40% of its total annual capital expenditure by 2025, aiming to grow this to around 50% by 2030.

Acquiring Archaea will expand bp’s presence in the US biogas industry, enhancing its ability to support customers’ decarbonization goals and also progressing its aim to reduce the average carbon intensity of the energy products it sells. bp aims to reduce that carbon intensity to net zero by 2050 or sooner.

Bernard Looney, bp chief executive, said: “Archaea is a fantastic fast-growing business, and bp will add distinctive value through our trading business and customer reach. It will accelerate our key bioenergy growth engine, creating a real leader in the biogas sector, and support our net zero ambition. And, importantly, we're doing this while remaining focused on the disciplined execution of our financial frame. Investing with discipline into the energy transition, creating further value through integration – this is exactly what bp’s transformation into an integrated energy company is all about."

Nick Stork, CEO of Archaea Energy, said:“Archaea has become one of the largest and fastest growing RNG platforms in the US and today’s announcement will further enable this business to realize its full potential. bp is a world-class partner with an operational history in the RNG value chain that is fully aligned with ours and our partners’, and I look forward to our hard-working team joining the bp organization to help achieve their bioenergy goals."

Jon Vander Ark, Republic Services president and chief executive officer, said:“The acquisition of Archaea by bp allows us to accelerate decarbonization through our innovative joint venture with Archaea. With our shared focus on sustainability, this joint venture provides additional opportunities to work together on other decarbonization and environmental services initiatives."

The acquisition of Archaea has a strong strategic fit with bp’s existing biogas business, enabling expansion of its position in the US and potentially also in key geographies globally, including the UK and Germany. Alongside growth in bp’s existing portfolio, the addition of Archaea’s production and pipeline has the potential to take bp’s biogas supply volumes to around 70,000 boepd globally by 2030.

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.

Guyana opens tender for its first oil refinery

Guyana opens tender for its first oil refinery

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Guyana has called for proposals to design, finance and build a 30,000-barrel-per-day (bpd) oil refinery, the first for the South American country as it becomes a force in crude oil production, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Construction work on the facility, to be located on public land near the Berbice river, is expected to begin by the first half of 2023 with project completion two years after. Requests are due in mid-December.

An ExxonMobil-led consortium has ramped up oil and gas output to almost 400,000 bpd this year, a rapid increase for a country that only inaugurated crude production in 2019. All output is currently exported.

"In two months' time, we will be receiving the submissions from those who are interested in building this," said President Irfaan Ali in a public event late on Friday.

"The opportunities this will create for transport and logistics, the construction industry, the services industry (and) the rental industry are enormous and will bring tremendous benefit to the people of the region," he added.

The government plans to provide fiscal incentives for the project, including a 10-year tax holiday. It will also secure all the crude supply the refinery will need from Guyana's share of oil production. However, it does not plan to take a stake in the facility.

By 2027, the Exxon-led consortium expects to pump 1.2 MMbpd of oil. Guyana has promised to soon schedule an auction of oil and gas blocks to attract new companies to its remaining offshore areas.

We remind, Guyana could bank about USD1.25 B this year from the sale of oil as its share of offshore production and royalties, up 30% from a prior estimate, the government’s finance ministry said over the weekend. Historically one of South America’s poorest nations, Guyana this year expects proceeds from oil discoveries off its coast to jump on a tripling of output. An ExxonMobil-led consortium opened a second production facility this year, and four more are planned through 2027.

Exxon says Texas refinery lockout was lawful in reply to NLRB complaint

Exxon says Texas refinery lockout was lawful in reply to NLRB complaint

MOSCOW (MRC) -- ExxonMobil Corp said in its reply to a U.S. National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) complaint that the lockout of over 600 workers at its Beaumont, Texas, refinery was lawful, according to a filing with the board, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

In a Sept. 30 complaint, the NLRB said Exxon acted in violation of federal law in locking the workers out of their jobs for 10 months between May 2021 and March 2022. The board recommended the workers receive their back pay and costs for the time they were locked out of the refinery.

In the reply, Exxon said it "acted in good faith and has not violated any provision of the National Labor Relations Act." The NLRB in the September complaint alleged Exxon undertook the lockout to remove United Steelworkers union (USW) local 13-243 from representing the workers at the 369,024 barrel-per-day (bpd) refinery.

The lockout began as the union and Exxon were deadlocked in talks over a new six-year contract. Exxon said the lockout would assure operations continued uninterrupted if the union began a strike, as it had notified the company it might do. The lockout ended after union members accepted Exxon's contract proposal.

In the September complaint, the NLRB alleged Exxon unilaterally changed the terms of the contract and working conditions for refinery employees. The company "did not make any material changes to bargaining unit employees’ terms and conditions of employment," Exxon said on Friday.

The NLRB alleged Exxon provided more than the "ministerial aid" to union members who led a decertification campaign to remove USW local 13-243 from representing the workers. The board also alleged the lockout became unlawful when Exxon said in messages to the refinery workers that they would be allowed to return to work if they removed the union.

Exxon's "alleged conduct with respect to its employee communications, even if true, is lawful under extant board law," the company said. An administrative law judge will hear the complaint and Exxon's defense in 2023.

ExxonMobil asked the U.S. National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to move back by a month a hearing on a complaint the company unlawfully locked out more than 600 workers from its Beaumont, Texas, refinery.

We remind, ExxonMobil is gradually shutting down its 235,000 barrel per day (bpd) Fos-Sur-Mer refinery in France as a result of ongoing strike action. Walkouts caused the gradual shut down of Exxon's 240,000 bpd Port Jerome-Gravenchon oil refinery and Notre Dame de Gravenchon (NDG) petrochemical site in France on Sept. 20 before spreading to Fos-Sur-Mer 24 hours later.