Covestro and TMT launch their 1000th polyurethane wind rotor blade

Covestro and TMT launch their 1000th polyurethane wind rotor blade

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Under its current five-year plan, China aims at doubling its wind and solar power output by 2025. That is why also the drive for technological progress in the field of renewable energies has never been stronger, said the company.

Polyurethane (PU) resin, an innovative manufacturing solution for wind turbine blades, has penetrated the epoxy-dominated market in recent years. Covestro and Zhuzhou Times New Material Technology (TMT), a pioneering PU wind turbine manufacturer, recently announced the launch of their 1000th PU wind turbine blade.

PU in wind-blade production is a transformative innovation delivered by Covestro teams around the globe. With better mechanical properties, an efficient production process, and a more cost-effective production solution than conventional fiberglass-reinforced epoxy blades, PU blades are opening a new chapter in the wind blade industry.

Covestro and TMT signed a memorandum of cooperation about a year ago, based on which significant commercialization results have been achieved. PU wind turbines are now being used in commercial wind farms throughout China.

Dr. Binbin Hou, General Manager of Wind Business at TMT, said, "PU wind blades cater to the growing demand for longer wind blade designs. We hope to further collaborate with Covestro to improve the competitiveness of wind energy through continuous technology innovation."

"We are very pleased to reach the important milestone of the launch of the 1000th blade with TMT," said Christine Bryant, Global Head of the Tailored Urethanes Business Entity at Covestro. "We believe that industrial collaboration is fundamental to addressing global warming and energy shortage issues, and it is also an important part of Covestro’s commitment to a circular economy."

TMT produces PU wind blades ranging from 59.5 meters to 94 meters in length with different blade designs and layup structures to meet the growing demand for longer and larger wind blades. The 94-meter wind turbine blade, capable of generating 8 MW of energy, is the largest PU application for Covestro so far. Multiple TMT factories manufacture these blades under different temperatures, humidity, and altitude, proving the wide applicability of PU resin in the manufacturing process.

Dr. Xuebin Feng, R&D Director of Wind Business at TMT, said, "We overcame many technical challenges to accelerate the production process of large polyurethane resin wind blades and achieve mass production."

As per MRC, Covestro has started up the production of naphthylen-diisocyanate (NDI) at its newly built facility in Map Ta Phut, Thailand. The NDI production will support the manufacture of Vulkollan-branded polyurethane elastomers, which are billed as “one of the most powerful elastomers in the market,” by the German manufacturer, said Covestro in a 24 Nov statement.

Sasol announces beneficial operation of world-scale ethane cracker in Louisiana

Sasol announces beneficial operation of world-scale ethane cracker in Louisiana

MOSCOW (MRC) -- South Africa’s Sasol announced last week that its world-scale U.S. ethane cracker has reached beneficial operation on 27 August 2019. Sasol’s new cracker, the heart of its Lake Charles Chemicals Project (LCCP), is the third and most significant of the seven LCCP facilities to come online and will provide feedstock to six new derivative units at Sasol’s Lake Charles multi-asset site, said the company.

“The cracker is the cornerstone of Sasol’s transformation into a global chemicals company,” said Sasol Joint President and Chief Executive Officer Stephen Cornell. “It solidifies our presence in the United States and will anchor our operations there for decades to come.”

Sasol’s Lake Charles Ethane Cracker, which uses Technip Stone & Webster technology, is one of the largest in the world with a nameplate capacity of 1.54 million tons per year. Approximately 90% of the cracker’s ethylene output will be further processed into commodity and high-margin specialty chemicals for markets in which Sasol has a strong position, underpinned by collaborative customer relationships.

The ethylene produced in the facility will be used in six downstream plants on site to produce a range of high-value derivatives including ethylene oxide, mono-ethylene glycol, ethoxylates, low density and linear low-density polyethylene, and Ziegler and Guerbet alcohols. Sasol’s customers use these products as ingredients in detergents, fragrances, metalworking and lubrication fluids, abrasives, paints and coatings, film, food packaging, personal care products, and many more applications and end-markets. The remaining 10% of the ethylene will be sold on the merchant market and supply Sasol’s share of its high-density polyethylene (HDPE) joint venture with INEOS in the state of Texas.

The utilities and infrastructure systems that enable the entire project are fully operational. The linear low-density polyethylene and ethylene oxide/ethylene glycol units achieved beneficial operation earlier this year. The low-density polyethylene unit is expected to achieve beneficial operation by November 2019, while the Ziegler alcohol, ethoxylates and Guerbet alcohol units are on track to achieve beneficial operation in early 2020.

“With the first three units commissioned, plants representing more than 60% of the project’s total output are now online,” said Sasol Joint President and Chief Executive Officer Bongani Nqwababa. “Our construction and commissioning teams are working flat out to deliver the rest of the units between November 2019 and by the first quarter of 2020.”

At present, the cracker continues to operate stably at a capacity utilisation of around 50%. The current output is utilised by the LCCP’s downstream units and the remainder is sold to external customers. The company will continue to focus on improving the ethylene quality and ramp up the plant according to plan.

As per MRC, Sasol Chemicals will lease land adjacent to its plant to Hamburger Energiewerke, Hamburg’s municipal utility, which plans to build the facility by the end of 2024. When fully operational in 2025, the plant will supply at least 70,000 megawatt hours of steam to Sasol each year, enabling the company to reduce its CO2 emissions from the plant by approximately 13,000 metric tons annually. In addition to green steam, the plant will produce more than 90,000 megawatt hours of sustainable electricity annually.

ExxonMobil elects Larry Kellner and John Harris to Board of Directors

ExxonMobil elects Larry Kellner and John Harris to Board of Directors

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Exxon Mobil Corporation said that Lawrence “Larry” W. Kellner and John D. Harris II have joined its board of directors. Kellner is the former chairman and chief executive officer of Continental Airlines and current chairman of the board for the Boeing Company, said the company.

Harris is the former chief executive officer of Raytheon International Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Raytheon Company, a global engineering and technology company focused on aviation, space and defense.

“During Larry’s tenure as chairman and CEO of Continental Airlines, he led a major turnaround following the industry’s downturn after 9/11 and helped make Continental a leader among major carriers. His experience in the airline industry comes with a focus on safety and will provide useful customer insights into many areas of strategic interest, including the role ExxonMobil can play in providing lower-emission fuel options for commercial transportation,” said Darren Woods, chairman and chief executive officer for Exxon Mobil Corporation. “Over his 35-year career with Raytheon, John served in a variety of complex, cross-functional roles. He led significant business transformation to unlock value and new markets on an international scale and brings a rare understanding of the role of technology and government policy.”

“We welcome both Larry and John to the ExxonMobil board, as the company executes its strategy to grow shareholder value by leading a thoughtful transition to a lower-emissions future, while providing the reliable energy and products the world needs,” said Joseph Hooley, lead independent director for Exxon Mobil Corporation. “These new directors deepen the diverse expertise of the board with both bringing significant experience as executives of large, complex, capital-intensive global companies that successfully navigated significant industry transitions.”

Kellner is president of Emerald Creek Group, LLC, a private equity firm based in Austin, Texas. From December 2004 to December 2009, he was the chairman and chief executive officer of Continental Airlines, Inc., which had operations around the world with 41,000 employees. He joined Continental in 1995 as chief financial officer and was named chief operating officer in 2003.

Kellner has a distinguished reputation as a board leader who provides meaningful oversight in challenging and changing markets. He currently serves as chair of the board for the Boeing Company. He formerly served as lead director at Marriott International, Inc., as chairman at Sabre Corporation, and as director at Chubb Limited, Belden & Blake Corporation, and ExpressJet Holdings, Inc.

Harris currently serves on the public boards of Kyndryl Holdings, Cisco Systems, and Flex. Harris began his career in 1983 with Raytheon Company and served in various roles of increasing responsibility, including several vice president roles overseeing operations, contracts, supply chain, electronic systems, and intelligence, information and technical services.

We remind, ExxonMobil, PT Indomobil Prima Energi (IPE), and chemical recycling pioneer Plastic Energy, signed a memorandum of understanding to assess the potential for large-scale implementation of chemical recycling technology in Indonesia. Some 100,000 metric tons capacity per year are envisioned, according to the partners. The first phase is projected to be completed in 2025. The companies will also look at improving the plastic waste collection and sorting systems in the country.

ExxonMobil, one of the largest publicly traded international energy and petrochemical companies. The corporation’s primary businesses - Upstream, Product Solutions and Low Carbon Solutions - provide products that enable modern life, including energy, chemicals, lubricants, and lower-emissions technologies. ExxonMobil holds an industry-leading portfolio of resources, and is one of the largest integrated fuels, lubricants and chemical companies in the world.

SABIC, Jinming and Bolsas to develop flexible packaging solutions

SABIC, Jinming and Bolsas to develop flexible packaging solutions

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Saudi chemical company SABIC has partnered with Guangdong Jinming Machinery and Bolsas de los Altos to develop flexible film packaging, said Packaging-gateway.

The partners will work on polyolefin-based solutions for the flexible packaging segment. They will provide an outlet to test and validate the performance of SABIC ‘s polyolefin resin products, including the polyethylene resin from Gulf Coast Growth Ventures (GCGV) and TRUCIRCLE.

Jinming will install its multilayer coextrusion machinery at Bolsas’ facility in Mexico to facilitate this process. Bolsas de los Altos founder and CEO Guillermo Lopez Orozco said: “As a leading provider of plastic packaging, Bolsas de los Altos is excited to expand into the broader flexible packaging market.

“The installation of multilayer coextrusion equipment at our Mexico facility made possible due to our collaborative partnership with Jinming and SABIC will allow us to target several new applications, including long-term sustainability trends in this space.”

SABIC expects the partnership to strengthen its position as a polyethylene resin supplier in the Americas with local production capabilities. The collaboration aims to address the challenges of transforming incumbent film structures to meet the latest circularity requirements.

To achieve this, the companies will combine SABIC’s knowledge of materials with Jinming’s experience in equipment manufacturing and Bolsas’ converting capabilities.

SABIC polymers technology and innovation vice-president Waleed Al-Shalfan said: “We understand that partnerships with the right value chain players have the potential to bring newer, game-changing innovations to the market faster.

“The current partnership with Jinming and Bolsas holds great promise to tap into mutual capabilities and adapt global trends in flexible packaging applications to regional needs.”

Based in Riyadh, SABIC operates in the petrochemical, chemical, industrial polymer, fertiliser and metal segments.

Last month, the company launched a closed-loop recycling initiative for flexible food packaging in partnership with food company Mars and recycling firm Landbell.

We remind, SABIC has announced plans to set up a crude oil-to-chemicals (COTC) complex in Ras Al-Khair, Saudi Arabia. The complex is expected to convert 400,000 bbl/day of oil, the company said in a statement to the Tadawul stock exchange. The project, said SABIC, is part of its strategic growth plans, as well as contributing to the realization of the Kingdom’s program to convert oil and its liquids into chemicals.

Huhtamaki inaugurates expanded packaging factory in Nules

Huhtamaki inaugurates expanded packaging factory in Nules

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Finnish sustainable packaging company Huhtamaki has inaugurated a 12,500m2 expansion of its paper-based packaging manufacturing site in Nules, Spain, said Packaging-gateway.

The expansion involved a EUR20m (USD20.8m) investment, which included a grant of EUR2.2m (USD2.3m) from the Conselleria de Hacienda y Modelo Economico. Huhtamaki said the expansion will begin production this January and double the site’s capacity.

In line with the company’s 2030 Sustainability Ambitions, the extended facility was built to comply with Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method sustainability standards. It also features an advanced heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system to meet high thermal comfort standards for employees.

Huhtamaki Europe-Asia-Oceania fibre foodservice president Eric Le Lay said: “This investment, which will create around 130 new jobs when fully operational, has been aided by the Community of Valencia, which has supported the expansion of Nules with €2.2m of development funding.

“It builds on our existing technological expertise and will further enhance our manufacturing capacity for innovative and sustainable paper-based packaging in Europe, providing our customers with the ability to substitute rigid plastics, which are being driven by consumer demand.

“We continue to urge EU policymakers to support legislation that enables and incentivises innovation and sustainable packaging solutions.” The expansion of Huhtamaki’s Nules factory highlights the increasing demand for renewable and recyclable paper-based packaging as an alternative to rigid plastics. The factory develops sustainable packaging solutions for the company’s European customers.

Earlier this year, Huhtamaki announced that its manufacturing site in Alf, Germany, would start producing smooth moulded-fibre products instead of plastics. The facility will be able to manufacture up to 3.5 billion fibre products a year when fully operational.

Through this, the company aims to address growing demand for plastic-free materials for food packaging. Based in Espoo, Huhtamaki provides packaging for companies in 37 countries and has 114 operating locations worldwide.