Cepsa to develop renewable hydrogen hub in Spain

Cepsa to develop renewable hydrogen hub in Spain

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Cepsa, the leading company in Andalusia by sales volume, will invest more than 3 billion euros to establish the Andalusian Green Hydrogen Valley, creating the largest green hydrogen hub in Europe in southern Spain, according to the company.

The project, part of Cepsa’s 2030 strategy Positive Motion, will contribute to Europe's energy security and independence, in line with the objectives of the European Union's REPowerEU strategy. The investment is the biggest milestone to date of Cepsa's Positive Motion energy transition plan to lead sustainable mobility and the production of green hydrogen and advanced biofuels in Spain and Portugal this decade.

The company will build two plants with a total capacity of 2 GW to produce green hydrogen. The plants, with 1 GW of capacity each, will be located in Palos de la Frontera (Huelva) next to Cepsa’s La Rabida Energy Park and at the company’s San Roque Energy Park in Cadiz. The Huelva plant will start up in 2026, reaching full capacity in 2028, while the Cadiz facility will be operational in 2027. Cepsa is already working on the engineering and administrative processing of the project.

To generate the renewable electricity needed to feed production of green hydrogen, Cepsa will develop a 3GW portfolio of wind and solar energy projects with an additional 2 billion euro investment. The company will also collaborate with other renewable energy producers in Andalusia and the rest of Spain to promote the integration of these new plants into the electricity system.

During the presentation of this hub, held this morning at the San Roque Energy Park, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said: “This investment will help Spain achieve its goal to become an energy exporting country, with the first European green hydrogen corridor between the Campo de Gibraltar and the Dutch Port of Rotterdam. Andalusia has everything it takes to become one of the most competitive regions in the world for hydrogen production.”

Juan Manuel Moreno Bonilla, President of the Regional Government of Andalusia, noted that: “We are talking about the great energy source of the future, which can decarbonize industry, mobility, and households. Andalusia has the position and strength to lead in the generation and export of green hydrogen, and public-private collaboration can strengthen our position in the production of this clean energy vector. That is why we are setting up an Andalusian Green Hydrogen Alliance in which the Administration and all interested parties will participate."

We remind, Cepsa has signed a deal with the Dutch port of Rotterdam to ship green hydrogen from southern Spain to northern Europe. The hydrogen will be produced at Cepsa’s San Roque Energy Park near the Bay of Algeciras, and will be exported through hydrogen carriers such as ammonia or methanol to the Port of Rotterdam.

MIDEA, GER and INEOS Styrolution collaborate to create the first large scale home appliance closed-loop circular economy system in the world

MIDEA, GER and INEOS Styrolution collaborate to create the first large scale home appliance closed-loop circular economy system in the world

MOSCOW (MRC) -- INEOS Styrolution, the global leader in styrenics, announced today that its ABS ECO grades, manufactured from post-consumer recycled (PCR) ABS produced by GER, have been successfully validated by Midea for its range of sustainable household appliances, including air conditioners, refrigerators and water dispensers, said the company.

Established in 1968 and headquartered in Southern China, Midea is the global leader for household appliances and air conditioners, owning the most comprehensive white goods portfolio; while GER is a world-leading waste recycling enterprise based in China’s Jiangxi province.

At a recent event held at their site located in Foshan, China, Midea demonstrated the production of the pilot product using the new recycled material provided by INEOS Styrolution and was impressed with the ease of processing and the quality of the final product.

This first step is an important milestone for the establishment of a closed-loop circular economy system, by which INEOS Styrolution will produce ABS ECO and PS ECO grades using Midea’s products at their end-of-life, after being dismantled and recycled by GER. These ABS ECO and PS ECO grades, specially tailored made for Midea, will then be used as a drop-in solution to manufacture Midea’s ECO home appliances.

The next steps are for Midea, GER and INEOS Styrolution to validate the use of PS ECO grades on a commercial scale at Midea’s production facilities, finalizing an integrated supply chain solution starting from Midea’s finished goods, to recycling after their end-of-life, and turning them into PS ECO and ABS ECO grades exclusively for Midea.

Mr Durante Lin, Director of Systems and Resources, Midea Group Supply Chain Management, says, “As one of the world’s leading home appliance producers, Midea has been investing into R&D for innovative and sustainable materials to significantly increase PCR content within the next five years. With the successful commercialization of INEOS Styrolution’s ABS ECO grades for our household appliances, we have set a new benchmark in the circular economy for the industry and a step closer to realizing our goal in creating the first large-scale home appliance closed-loop circular economy system in the world.”

“We are really excited to be able to collaborate with such an innovative and creative company like Midea,” comments Alexandre Audouard, Vice President Standard Polymers Asia-Pacific, INEOS Styrolution. “Midea shares our passion for sustainability and we are fully committed to providing high quality products and sustainable solutions to help them achieve their sustainability ambitions.

We remind, INEOS Enterprises has today completed the acquisition of ASHTA Chemicals Inc, from Bigshire Mexico S. de R.L. de C.V. The deal, consists of a 100ktpa Potassium Hydroxide (KOH)/65 kte Chlorine plant.


Umicore and PowerCo explore long-term strategic supply agreement for EV battery materials in North America

Umicore and PowerCo explore long-term strategic supply agreement for EV battery materials in North America

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Umicore and PowerCo, Volkswagen’s battery company, aim to extend their collaboration in battery materials and are exploring a strategic long-term supply agreement1 to serve PowerCo’s future battery Gigafactory for electric vehicles (EVs) in North America, said the company.

This planned, non-exclusive agreement, would make PowerCo an important customer for Umicore’s planned battery materials production plant in Ontario, Canada. This future facility would combine the production of precursor and cathode materials and thereby complete the missing link in Canada’s battery value chain from natural resources to electric mobility.

Umicore is in negotiations with several potential customers for production contracts in North America. These will form the basis for Umicore's final investment decision and underline its commitment to value creating returns. Pending those contracts, Umicore expects to start construction of its Ontario Gigafactory in 2023 and operations at the end of 2025 with the potential to reach, by the end of the decade, an annual production capacity capable of powering approximately one million EVs. The plant could start supplying PowerCo as of 2027, with up to 40 gigawatt-hours (GWh) annually by 2030, equivalent to about 550,000 EVs.

As per MRC. Umicore will invest in building a large-scale fuel cell catalyst plant in Changshu in China to capture the fast emerging growth in fuel cell technology. The plant will enable the accelerated transformation to hydrogen-based clean mobility, serving demand through to 2030. The greenfield facility is planned and prepared to be carbon neutral from the start and will contribute to reducing scope 3 emissions in the value chain.

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.