Evonik begins commercial-scale ceramides production

Evonik begins commercial-scale ceramides production

Evonik has started manufacturing commercial quantities of ceramides - a special class of lipids - at its site in Dossenheim near Heidelberg in Germany, said the company.

Maximizing capacity utilization at the Dossenheim site provides Evonik with further flexibility and supply security, including increased independence from alternative routes of supply, to cater to the growing demand for ceramides in the personal care market.

The in-house production of ceramides bolsters Evonik’s position as leading provider of ceramide System Solutions. These combine ceramides with Evonik’s delivery systems and formulations to offer customers high-value solutions that are tailored to their unique needs. This reinforces the company’s position in active ingredients.

“Expanding our in-house production capacity for ceramides enables us to meet the demand of our strategic customers who have minimum volume commitments and very long-term agreements with us. We are also in a strong position to supply other customers with the flexibility and security they need,” said Johann-Caspar Gammelin, head of the Nutrition & Care division at Evonik. “This strategic move is our latest contribution to achieving our Vision at Nutrition & Care: life at heart, systems in mind, partners at hand."

Ceramides are an integral part of many System Solutions for customers in the cosmetics industry. System Solutions are multi-component offerings across products, technologies and services that are tailored to a unique customer need and often have proven sustainability benefits. As an entry point to a world of consultancy, application expertise and customer service, System Solutions ensure that Evonik is the preferred partner for customers. By establishing the in-house production of ceramides, Evonik is accelerating the transition of its life sciences division, Nutrition & Care, which aims to increase its share of System Solutions from 20 percent today to 50 percent by 2030.

Ceramides are a special class of lipids. As cosmetic ingredients, their effect has been scientifically proven and is intensively promoted by the cosmetics industry. The market for ceramides offers considerable opportunities with a growing number of applications in skin care, hair care, sun care, color cosmetics, advanced food additives and animal care. Crucial to the effect of ceramides is the active ingredient delivery system, which transports the active ingredients to the correct layers of the skin.

The Care Solutions portfolio for cosmetics and personal care is based on a deep understanding of complex systems, enabling the creation of scientifically substantiated solutions. The portfolio includes sensorial ingredients that enable the design of exciting textures, active ingredients and delivery systems that support efficacy claims, as well as preservatives to prevent the degradation of products. As part of Evonik’s growth division, Nutrition & Care, Care Solutions is guided by a Vision that puts sustainability, innovation and collaboration at its core.

We remind, business line Coating Additives of Evonik Industries AG (Essen, Germany) is expanding production capacity of ACEMATT precipitated matting agents at its Taiwan manufacturing facility. The significant capacity increase will help meet growing demand for matting agents in Asia, with the capacity expansion expected to be completed by the second half of 2023.

Evonik is one of the world leaders in specialty chemicals. The company is active in more than 100 countries around the world and generated sales of EUR15 billion and an operating profit (adjusted EBITDA) of EUR2.38 billion in 2021. Evonik goes far beyond chemistry to create innovative, profitable and sustainable solutions for customers.


Yildirim Group buys majority stake at Petrokemija for undisclosed sum

Yildirim Group buys majority stake at Petrokemija for undisclosed sum

After two years of speculation, gossip and due diligence, on Thursday it was finally confirmed that the Turkish conglomerate Yildirim will buy a majority stake in Petrokemija, said Total-croatia-news.

The only major Croatian petrochemical company produces mineral fertilizers, at such a rate that their production consumes a fifth of the total amount of gas consumed in Croatia. The Turkish company took over the Terra mineral fertilizers company from its previous owners, INA and PPD. That company owns 54 per cent of Petrokemija's shares. How much Ina and PPD earned from the sale to the Turks was not made public.

It was not easy sailing for the Petrokemija companies even before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which started the global energy crisis. Just three months ago, the CEO of Petrokemija Davor Zmegac told Bloomberg TV that the problems started since the earthquake, the supply chain crisis and the increase in gas prices, and that it is not economically profitable for them to do business at all because their monthly gas bills reach one hundred million euros.

How the new Turkish owners will deal with all of these problems remains to be seen. Local farmers will wait to see if they're still able to count on the fertilizers produced domestically, without which there is no sowing or harvest. The good news is that Yildirim has a rich experience in everything the Kutina company might need at this point.

Although Petrokemija operates with an annual income of around 300 million euros and has 1,250 employees, it will be only a small part of Yildirim Holding, whose annual income is reported to be around two billion euros and employs more than 16,000 people. Yildirim has companies operating in various industries, where the most profitable ones are mining, ports, petrochemicals, logistics and energy. The company was founded in 1963 as a construction business by Garip Yildirim, but has been the fastest-growing Turkish industrial group since 2005. Its current owners are the sons of Garip Yildirim, Ali Riza and Robert, who entered international trade outside the borders of Turkey in 1993 by importing coal from Russia. 15 years ago, they made their first foreign acquisition by taking over the metals company Vargon Alloys in Sweden, and today they have companies in 53 countries on five continents.

Their annual production capacity of all types of fertilizers exceeds two million tons, and Petrokemija produced one million tons of fertilizer in 2020. Given that Petrokemija's production capacity is respectable compared to that of the Turkish owner, serious investments in Kutina and the continuation of operations can be expected. We will soon see what the first steps of the Turkish owners will be and how the integration into the Yildirim group will proceed, but Petrokemija could be on the verge of a renaissance, especially if its plants are able to get some cheap gas, which is probably something new owners have already looked at, and which might be an ace up their sleeve.

We remind, f concrete offer has arrived via Great Britain's fund Devon for the takeover of the debts of Croatia's Dina Petrokemija petrochemical company, the increase of its capital and broadening of production, said Daje, citing Dina management board president Fabio Giacometti. Giacometti told Hina in a telephone interview this was a serious offer. He, however, declined to reveal the name of the investor, saying only that the technical crew hired by the investor to check out Dina plants was from Kazakhstan.


Fire at Equinor asset shuts down production

Fire at Equinor asset shuts down production

Equinor was reportedly forced to halt natural gas production and some offshore personnel were evacuated from the Asgard B semi-submersible platform after fire broke out late Sunday evening, said Upstreamonline.

The blaze was extinguished after production was shut down at the platform, and nobody was injured, according to Norwegian daily E24 reports.

The Norwegian major reportedly notified the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre of Southern Norway about the fire on the semisub which is located 200 kilometres off the coast of Trondelag and 50 kilometres south of Equinor’s giant Heidrun oil and gasfield in the Norwegian Sea.

Output on the field was suspended as a result of the incident, with the earliest date for a restart put at 15 November, according to reports.

Equinor has not yet responded to Upstream’s requests for comment. Asgard has a nameplate capacity just shy of 20 million cubic metres per day, gas grid operator Gassco data showed.

The forced closure of the gasfield output also led to a drop in daily gas supplies to the UK and Europe. On 14 November, supplies to Europe were running at 304MMcmd, compared with 316 MMcmd on 13 November, data showed.

We remind, Equinor is inspecting damage at a reformer at its 226,000 barrel per day (bpd) Mongstad refinery after a fire on Sunday and it is too soon to say when the unit will be operational. The fire at the oil refinery on Norway's west coast was extinguished early on Sunday, with the main part of the refinery still in operation. "It was in a reformer," an Equinor spokesman told Reuters by email, adding that there was no estimate yet on when the unit could be restarted.


Saudi Aramco, Pertamina strike hydrogen and ammonia deals

Saudi Aramco, Pertamina strike hydrogen and ammonia deals

Saudi Aramco and Indonesia’s state-owned Pertamina have signed a deal to jointly work on projects involving the hydrogen and ammonia value chains, said the company.

Aramco in a statement on Monday said the companies signed a “memorandum of understanding (MoU) outlining future cooperation across the key pathway of the energy transition” on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Bali, Indonesia.

The agreement “involves a pre-feasibility study that aims to assess the possibility of cooperation related to the development of a clean ammonia and hydrogen value chain”, the company noted.

“The study will explore investment viability and jointly develop commercialisation options including, but not limited to, business organisation and commercial structures for clean ammonia and hydrogen in Indonesia,” Aramco said.

It added that the study is “expected to be conducted over the next two years, and depending on outcomes may be developed further".

“It includes potential carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) at Pertamina group's existing facilities and other agreed potential locations,” the statement claimed.

We remind, Pertamina Power Indonesia, Keppel Infrastructure and Chevron New Energies have agreed to develop green hydrogen and green ammonia in Sumatera, Indonesia. The signing of the JSA took place at the Business 20 (B20) Investment Forum held in conjunction with the B20 Summit in Bali.


India lays out plan for long-term decarbonization

India lays out plan for long-term decarbonization

India will prioritize a phased transition to cleaner fuels and slashing household consumption to achieve net zero emissions by 2070, according to a national report released Monday at the United Nations COP27 climate summit in Egypt, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The report for the first time sketches out how the world's second-biggest consumer of coal will meet its decarbonization pledge made in 2021 as par of international efforts to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial temperatures.

"This is an important milestone," said India's environment minister Bhupender Yadav at a COP27 event marking the report's launch. "Once again India has demonstrated that it walks the talk on climate change." Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not attend this year's climate talks in the Red Sea resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh.

Under the landmark Paris Agreement of 2015, all countries are required to submit a strategy document to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change showing how they'll help combat global warming. These plans are known as a Long-Term Low Emissions and Development Strategies(LT-LEDS).

Despite a 2020 deadline for the plans, just 56 countries have so far submitted one. India is the last of the world's five largest economies to do so. India's LT-LEDS zeroes in on six key areas to reduce net emissions, including electricity, urbanization, transport, forests, finance, and industry.

The country, for example, proposes increasing the use of biofuels - particularly ethanol blending in petrol - boosting the number of electric vehicles on the road, alongside expanded public transport networks, and using more green hydrogen fuel.

We remind, India’s Petronet LNG plans to set up a greenfield petrochemical complex consisting of a 750,000 tonnes/year propane dehydrogenation unit (PDH), a 500,000 tonnes/year polypropylene line (PP) and other facilities for the import, storage and transfer of ethane and propane at Dahej, in western Gujarat state, said the company.
The project is estimated to cost around Indian Rupees (Rs) 142bn (USD1.74bn).