Asahi Kasei Plastics Singapore acquires ISCC PLUS certification

Asahi Kasei Plastics Singapore acquires ISCC PLUS certification

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Asahi Kasei Plastics Singapore Pte Ltd (APS), a wholly owned subsidiary of Asahi Kasei, acquired the widely recognized international certification ISCC PLUS for its polyphenylene ether (PPE) as a sustainable product on September 19, 2022. Production of PPE using biomass-derived raw material is scheduled to begin in January 2023, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

PPE is an engineering plastic that is blended with other resins such as polystyrene and polyamide to form modified PPE (m-PPE). Asahi Kasei’s Xyron m-PPE is widely used in automotive parts, consumer electronics, and industrial products.

Xyron features several excellent characteristics which are expected to drive further demand growth especially in the field of the environment and energy. For example, leveraging its excellent electrical insulation and other electrical characteristics, Xyron is used in parts for photovoltaic power generation systems which operate at high voltage. These excellent properties also allow products to be made smaller, which contributes to resource conservation. Furthermore, the low specific gravity of Xyron allows products to be made lighter, which contributes to the reduced CO2 emissions during shipment. Xyron is also used in components of batteries for electric vehicles (EVs), which are rapidly becoming widespread. Its low specific gravity and flame-retardancy allow batteries to be made lighter, which contributes to increased range and lower CO2 emissions.

As awareness for the global environment and the importance of sustainability increase, Asahi Kasei has worked to further raise the environmental contribution of Xyron m-PPE by using recycled raw material and biomass raw material.

Under these circumstances, Asahi Kasei and APS sought to reduce CO2 emissions across the supply chain for Xyron m-PPE, and in September 2022, APS became the first PPE manufacturer in Asia to acquire ISCC PLUS certification. The certification enables APS to produce and sell PPE using sustainable raw material assigned by the mass-balance method3. APS plans to produce PPE using sustainable raw material beginning in January 2023.

In order to contribute to carbon neutrality, Asahi Kasei is developing recycled grades of Xyron m-PPE which are made using recycled material, and working together with customers to establish a recycling scheme. PPE is a material suitable for recycling as its chemical structure has excellent hydrolysis resistance, which suppresses the deterioration of physical properties. Asahi Kasei also developed and patented technology to extend the service life of Xyron m-PPE, which further suppresses the deterioration of physical properties due to recycling.

The Asahi Kasei Group aims to be a global sustainable partner for its customers by contributing to the reduction of waste and CO2 emissions through the assignment of biomass in the PPE of its Xyron m-PPE by the mass-balance method, the development of products utilizing recycled material, and the establishment of a recycling scheme together with its customers.

We remind, Mitsui Chemicals, Inc. announced that it has formed an agreement to acquire the pellicle business of Asahi Kasei Corporation. According to Mitsui Chemical’s Long-Term Business plan VISION 2030, it is aiming with creating and growing a "unique" ICT Solutions business to grow products that will let it create and grow operations here into our third pillar of earnings under the business portfolio transformation.

INEOS invests EUR30 MM to upgrade Lillo plant, Port of Antwerp

INEOS invests EUR30 MM to upgrade Lillo plant, Port of Antwerp

MOSCOW (MRC) -- INEOS O&P Europe has announced today a EUR30 MM investment in the conversion of its plant in Lillo, at the Port of Antwerp, to enable its existing capacity to produce either monomodal or bi-modal grades of high-density polyethylene (HDPE), said the company.

This will allow INEOS to meet the strong demand for durable high-end applications such as cable ducts and pipes used to transport green energy sources such as renewable power and hydrogen, whilst enabling the business to follow market trends as society reduces single use packaging.

HDPE is a key building block for producing a wide variety of goods, including many of those that will play an essential role in the transition to net zero. INEOS will use its proprietary technology to build on its leading position as a supplier to the high-density pressure pipe market, working with customers to supply key regions and segments such as drinking water, gas, sewage and industrial applications including geothermal and biogas.

The investment will also enable INEOS to meet growing demand for applications that will be critical to the new energy economy, for example: pressure pipe grids for transporting hydrogen; long-distance underground cable ducts networks for wind farms and transportation of other forms of renewable power; electrification infrastructure; and CO2 capture, transport and storage processes.

The unique combination of properties offered by INEOS’ bimodal HDPE polymers means many of these products can be installed and operated safely for at least 50 years. They also offer more efficient, lower emission solutions for transporting important utilities and goods around Europe’s cities.

The investment also demonstrates INEOS O&P Europe’s commitment to a thriving circular economy. Following the upgrade, the Lillo site will increase production of the highly engineered polymers INEOS combines with recycled plastic waste to form the Recycl-IN range, which enables converters and brand owners to produce products that meet consumer demands for increased use of recycled materials while continuing to deliver the high-performance specifications they expect.

It will also enable INEOS to work with customers to develop new grades of Recycl-IN products. INEOS’ long term renewable wind energy contract has already lowered the site’s carbon footprint associated with the production of its products.

Rob Ingram, CEO, INEOS O&P Europe North, said: “This investment will enable our business to support the growing use of products that play a key role in the transition to net zero, as well as other uses essential to homes and businesses."

“The Lillo investment also shows our commitment to helping to create a thriving circular economy. Our Recycl-IN polymer range gives our customers the quality and confidence they need to help them to increase the use of recycling materials''

As per MRC, Ineos Styrolution has developed what officials claim are the world's first fully bio-attributed ABS resins.
The new ECO B line is part of Ineos Styrolution's Terluran-brand ABS portfolio. Officials with Ineos Styrolution in Frankfurt, Germany, said in a news release that the new grades complement previous mechanically recycled Terluran ECO materials.

GCR accelerates investment with new recycling plant to support circular economy

GCR accelerates investment with new recycling plant to support circular economy

MOSCOW (MRC) -- GCR Group has announced the plan to open a new dedicated recycling plant in Castellet i La Gornal, Barcelona, Spain, enhancing the group’s capability to serve increased global demand for its CICLIC range of recycled polyolefins (R-polyolefins), said the company.

The 200,000 Tonnes (200kT) plant, commissioning in 2023, when fully operational in 2025, will be one of the largest of its kind and is a significant step for the group; the capacity for CICLIC combined with that for the GRANIC® range of sustainable mineral-filled masterbatches and compounds will reach 500kT. GCR has a global reach, exporting 85% of its sales to over 100 countries.

GCR strongly believes collaboration on the developing of new products and applications is essential to accelerate the circular economy. The company hosts the ‘co-creation’ process across the value chain, where brand owners, converters, and suppliers can come together to practically test ideas and create precisely-defined sustainable solutions.

When brand owners think about using recycled plastics, they are often concerned about issues such as consistency of supply, traceability and whether the mechanical performance can match the virgin polymers they currently use. For many development engineers, reaching future internal and external sustainability targets is increasingly challenging. However, GCR’s existing CICLIC up-cycled products and ‘co-creation’ approach to customisation can solve these problems.

The CICLIC -polyolefins are based on up-cycling fully traceable waste streams and can deliver similar and consistent material properties as the virgin plastic. By replacing virgin plastic with these grades, Carbon Footprint certification can be 60-80% lower without compromising performance and quality. GCR believes companies facing sustainability challenges can find the answers through GCR’s products and long experience.

GCR’s extensive experience in polymer materials technology helps develop customised solutions in partnership with suppliers and end customers in a collaborative partnership. The new production plant is complemented by a recently opened Innovation Hub with ‘Co-creation’ space, enabling the development of new formulations and the production and testing of compounds on a pilot plant.

The new plant investment provides sufficient capacity to address high-volume demands in applications such as rigid and flexible packaging, automotive, construction and home and garden markets. In addition, GCR carries out toll manufacturing for food contact applications using advanced recycling technology, enabling impurity-free materials and certified to EuCertPlast.

We remind, BEWI’s acquisition of expandable polystyrene (EPS) and extruded polystyrene (XPS) producer Jackon is expected to conclude in the next one to two weeks. Therefore, the acquisition is expected to be officially completed before the end of October. The acquisition was previously expected to conclude by the end of Q3 2022, following the completion of divestments.

Sinopec produces China's first batch of large tow carbon fiber

Sinopec produces China's first batch of large tow carbon fiber

MOSCOW (MRC) -- China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (HKG: 0386, "Sinopec") has successfully produced China's first batch of large tow carbon fiber at the company's production base in Shanghai, making the company the first in the country and fourth in the world to possess large tow carbon fiber technology, said the company.

Sinopec's production line has adopted its self-developed PAN (polyacrylonitrile) base large tow precursor and carbon fiber technologies. The project is being implemented in two phases and expects to be in full production in 2024, projecting an annual production capacity of 24,000 tons of protofilament and 12,000 tons of large tow carbon fiber.

Large tow carbon fiber refers to roving that contains 48,000 filaments or more. The high-performance material is often referred to as the "king of new material" and "black gold." The product developed and manufactured by Sinopec Shanghai is a new type of high-strength carbon fiber with a carbon content of over 95 percent. It has outstanding excellent mechanical properties and a specific gravity that's less than one fourth of the steel, yet a strength that's seven to nine times stronger. It is also corrosion resistant.

As the material can be widely used in producing parts and components, it is expected to be used for an increasing amount of industrial infrastructure projects in China, including ones related to wind power, solar power, high-speed rail, and aviation.

"Sinopec has customized a special production line for large tow carbon fiber, including production equipment and techniques, which has enabled us to design oxidizing furnaces and carbide furnaces that revolutionizes not only the core technology of temperature field control, but also has a revolutionary energy-saving design, marking a major milestone in the development of China's carbon fiber industry," said Huang Xiangyu, carbon fiber expert and deputy general manager of Sinopec Shanghai.

Sinopec now owns 251 patents related to carbon fiber and 46 patents for carbon fiber composite materials, the largest number in China and third in the world, and through scaled up investment and industrial layout, Sinopec is committed to being a major contributor to the development of China's carbon fiber industry.

We remind, Sinopec reported its H1 net profit rose 10% Y/Y, mostly due to significant improvement in its upstream business. The Chinese oil producer said H1 net profit jumped to 43.53B yuan (~$6.33B) and revenues rose 28% Y/Y to 1.58T yuan, due to higher prices of major refined oil and chemical products, and increased sales volumes for some petroleum and petrochemical products. H1 operating costs jumped 33% Y/Y to 1.33T yuan due to higher purchase costs for outsourced crude oil and other raw materials.

Celanese publishes 2021-2022 sustainability report and index

Celanese publishes 2021-2022 sustainability report and index

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Celanese Corporation, a global chemical and specialty materials company, announced the publication of its 2021-2022 Sustainability Report, Accelerating Solutions Through Chemistry, and its complementary 2021-2022 Sustainability Index, said the company.

This year’s report highlights the company’s progress and investments as it drives environmental, social and governance (ESG) initiatives across its global enterprise and continues to innovate for a sustainable future. The associated index provides a comprehensive view of ESG resources and disclosures, including alignment with sustainability frameworks and ESG-related policies, practices, and metrics.

“Celanese is committed to improving the world and well-positioned to develop innovative customer solutions that help meet the world’s sustainability challenges,” said Lori Ryerkerk, Celanese chairman, chief executive officer and president. “Our focus on making a difference guides our investments in our operations, our employees and our communities."

Leveraging its four strategic pillars, Elements of Opportunity, Celanese demonstrated its sustainability progress by:

Advancing Safe and Sustainable Customer Solutions

• Announcing the pending acquisition of the majority of DuPont’s Mobility & Materials (M&M) business, supporting growth in future mobility, connectivity and medical applications.

• Launching new, more sustainable polyacetal (POM) and polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) product offerings, POM ECO-B and PBT ECO-B. Both leverage the mass balance concept to produce products from biowaste-based sources.

• Receiving a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to produce a prototype for a refillable contraceptive implant that has the potential to expand global access to women’s health solutions where options may be otherwise limited.

We remind, the European Commission has approved the proposed USD11 billion acquisition of Dupont's mobility and materials business by U.S. chemicals company Celanese Corp (CE.N), on the condition that the latter divests a plastics-producing business. Celanese announced the deal in February but had to offer remedies to address EU antitrust concerns. The combined entity would have been the largest producer of thermoplastic copolyester (TPC) in the European Economic Area and globally, with only a few alternative suppliers remaining. The product is primarily used by automakers.