Sika opens new plant in China

Sika opens new plant in China

MOSCOW (MRC) - Sika is opening a new plant for liquid membranes and mortar production in Chongqing, a city in southwestern China with 30 million inhabitants, said the company.

By commissioning the new plant, Sika is expanding its position in this rapidly growing metropolitan area, which is set to become even more important as China is creating the Chengdu-Chongqing business district with almost 100 million inhabitants.

The automotive, finance, and logistics sectors are well represented in the Chengdu-Chongqingregion, and the construction industry benefits from these operations and companies’ efforts to achieve more sustainable production.

With its new state-of-the-art plant in this region, Sika will be well-positioned to meet rising demand from the construction industry for high-quality, sustainable products, and will greatly expand its production capacity. The investment underscores Sika’s commitment to be close to the customer and offer the best product solutions and services on a local basis.

We remind, Sika is opening a new manufacturing plant for concrete admixtures in Stafford, Virginia, USA to help meet demand in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions. According to the company, the new plant is well positioned to support the addiitonal needs of the announced infrastructure programme of CHF200-250bn (USD209-216bn) in these two regions. The new facility in Stafford will be the second-biggest manufacturing plant for Sika concrete admixtures in the USA.

Transneft receives Polish and German requests for oil

Transneft receives Polish and German requests for oil

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Russia's Transneft has received requests from Poland and Germany for oil in 2023, the state oil pipeline monopoly's head told Rossiya-24 TV, adding that supplies via the Druzhba pipeline's southern spur are expected to hold steady next year, said Reuters.

The EU has pledged to stop buying Russian oil via maritime routes from Dec. 5, with Western nations also imposing price caps on Russian crude oil, but the Druzhba pipeline remains exempt from sanctions. Transneft's comments are at odds with suggestions last month that Poland aimed to abandon a deal to buy Russian crude.

Sources familiar with the talks had told Reuters that Poland was seeking German support for EU sanctions on the Polish-German section of the Druzhba pipeline so that Warsaw could abandon a deal to buy Russian oil next year without paying penalties.

"They announced that they would not take oil from Russia from Jan. 1. And now we have received requests from Polish consumers: give us 3 MMt next year, and 360,000 tons for December, and Germany has already submitted a request for the first quarter," Transneft head Nikolay Tokarev said on Tuesday.

He also didn't rule out swap operations with Kazakhstan in supplying oil to refineries in Germany. Polish refiner PKN Orlen said on Tuesday it will not extend a contract for Russian oil which expires in January 2023, while a second long-term agreement for Russian crude will cease to be implemented once sanctions are in place. A German economy ministry spokesperson said reports that Germany had ordered Russian crude oil were false and the mineral oil companies at the eastern German refineries in Leuna and Schwedt are no longer ordering Russian crude for the next year.

Berlin aims to eliminate Russian oil imports by the end of the year and has for months been working with Poland to try to secure supply for Schwedt, which provides 90% of Berlin's fuel. Germany's economy ministry is optimistic Kazakh oil, which would come through the Druzhba pipeline via Poland, can help supplement replacement crude oil shipments for Schwedt.

Schwedt has reserved corresponding capacities for Kazakh oil in the pipeline system as of January, said the spokesperson, who added that these did not constitute orders.

We remind, in June, Russian oil pipeline monopoly Transneft will halt oil shipments to Poland via the Druzhba pipeline for four days to carry out maintenance work. The Soviet-built Druzhba pipeline, named after the Russian word for friendship, links Russian oilfields to European refineries and has the capacity to pump 1 million barrels per day (bpd).

Mitsubishi Chemical to cease MMA production in UK

Mitsubishi Chemical to cease MMA production in UK
MOSCOW (MRC) -- Mitsubishi Chemical Group Corporation announced the start of labormanagement consultation on cessation of the production of methacrylates (MMA) at Mitsubishi Chemical UK's Cassel, said the company, said the company.

Site, and announced today that its Corporate Executive Officers Committee resolved in the day to cease the
production of methacrylates at its Cassel Site subject to completion of the labor-management consultation.

The production of methacrylates at the site have been offline since January 2022, initially to undertake a
planned overhaul, and since then due to the impact of rapidly escalating natural gas prices caused by the situation
in Ukraine, a significant downturn in the European economy as a result of high inflation, and the weak demand
in the methacrylates market.

A comprehensive business review was undertaken which concluded that the company does not believe that
the UK manufacturing operation of methacrylates can be economically sustainable for the foreseeable future in
an increasingly competitive global market. The Group therefore resolved today to cease the production of
methacrylates at the site subject to completion of the labor-management consultation.

We remind, Mitsubishi Chemical Group (MCG) has announced that it will postpone the final investment decision by 6 to 18 months for its new 350,000 tonnes/y methyl methacrylate (MMA) plant in Geismar, LA, US due to the current market volatilities. The project is currently in the process of applying the required wetland and air permits and is anticipated to be granted in 2023 and FID is projected in FY 2023.

TotalEnergies wins a new exploration license

TotalEnergies wins a new exploration license

MOSCOW (MRC) -- TotalEnergies, and its co-venturers QatarEnergy and Petronas Petroleo Brasil Ltda (PPBL) have won the Agua Marinha block today in the Open Acreage under Production Sharing Regime – 1st Cycle held by Brazil’s National Petroleum Agency (ANP), said the company.

Petrobras has exercised their right to take 30% Participating Interest and Operatorship. Agua Marinha is a large block of 1,300 km2, about 140 km from onshore, located in the pre-salt Campos Basin.

“TotalEnergies is pleased to expand its presence in the Campos Basin with this new exploration block, alongside three strategic partners. This is in line with our strategy to focus exploration on selected high potential basins which can deliver material low cost, low carbon intensity resources,” said Kevin McLachlan, Senior Vice President, Exploration of TotalEnergies.

TotalEnergies will participate in the block with a 30% interest, alongside Petrobras operator (30%), QatarEnergy (20%) and PPBL (20%).

The entry into this block follows the entry into 2 blocks, S-M-1815 and S-M-1711, in the South Santos basin during the 3rd Cycle of the Permanent offer that took place on 13th April 2022.

We remind, Saudi Aramco and TotalEnergies have made a final investment decision (FID) about the construction of a petrochemicals complex in Saudi Arabia which will include a 1.65m tonne/year ethylene cracker. The complex will comprise a mixed feed cracker as well as two polyethylene (PE) units and a butadiene (BD) extraction unit, plus “other associated derivatives” units. TotalEnergies said capital expenditure (capex) for the project was around USD11bn.

LG Chem and GS EPS to build biomass power plant

LG Chem and GS EPS to build biomass power plant

MOSCOW (MRC) -- LG Chem will team up with the eco-friendly energy company GS EPS to convert heat sources into biomass fuel, said Businesskorea.

The company announced on Dec. 20 that the two companies signed the main contract for establishing a biomass power plant that will produce industry-use steam and electricity using waste wood at the Yeouido LG Twin Tower with the attendance of executives from both companies. This agreement follows up the conclusion of the heads of agreement (HOA) signed by the two companies in June of last year.

LG Chem and GS EPS will establish the biomass power plant called “Yeosu Green Power” by investing a total of 320 billion won at the LG Chem Hwachi Plant in Yeosu with the goal of beginning operations by the first half of 2026.

The biomass power plant will turn waste wood from homes and industrial sites in Korea, which are usually incinerated or buried, into the form of woodchips to be used as raw materials. As waste wood is treated as a resource that cannot be recycled, power generation using it is not viewed as using forest resources as energy. Therefore, it is recognized as sustainable biomass.

GS EPS is Korea’s first private power producer, and it possesses accumulated business capacity and operational know-how in the eco-friendly energy and generator sector, as well as a domestic woodchip supply chain network.

Yeosu Green Power is expected to produce steam (heat source) and electricity needed for LG Chem’s Yeosu Hwachi Plant, thereby reducing carbon emissions by 400,000 tons annually. This is equivalent to planting 2.8 million pine trees.

The two companies anticipate that this will accelerate the age of carbon neutrality by using sustainable fuels and contribute to constructing a circular economy.

Also, the electricity produced by the power plant will be sold directly to LG Chem through the renewable energy power purchase agreement (PPA).

Regarding this cooperation, GS EPS CEO Jung Chan-soo said, “We will continue our partnership with LG Chem, which is the leading company for net-zero in Korea based on the core eco-friendly energy capacities of GS EPS.”

LG Chem Petrochemicals Company President Noh Kug-lae commented, “Carbon reductions through this biomass will become a key element for achieving 2030 carbon neutrality together with major initiatives currently being promoted such as recycling, biomaterials, etc.," while adding, “LG Chem will continue its efforts to become a company that leads eco-friendly innovation.”

We remind, with the launch of its eco-friendly, highly functional bio-based ABS, LG Chem has added a further product to its growing portfolio of LetZero materials. LetZero is the brand name under which the company has brought its range of sustainable materials together, and includes PCR made of reprocessed waste plastics, renewably-sourced biomaterials, and biodegradable materials made of glucose and waste glycerol extracted from corn.