Canada ban on certain harmful single-use plastics starts to take effect this month

Canada ban on certain harmful single-use plastics starts to take effect this month

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Canada will ban the manufacture and import for sale of single-use plastics in an effort to achieve zero plastic waste by 2030, according to Environment and Climate Change Canada, said Globalnews.

The ban covers single-use plastics including checkout bags, cutlery, food service ware, ring carriers, stir sticks and straws, the federal government stated in a news release published on June 20.

While the ban on the manufacture and import of single-use plastics will come into effect Tuesday, the sale of these items will be prohibited as of December 2023 to “allow businesses in Canada enough time to transition and to deplete their existing stocks,” according to the government’s website.

The ban on the manufacture and import of ring carriers (often used for beverage containers) will go into force in June 2023. In addition, Canada will also prohibit the export of plastics in the same six categories by the end of 2025.

Every year, Canadians throw away at least 3 million tonnes of plastic waste, with only nine per cent being recycled and the rest ending up in landfills, waste-to-energy facilities or nature, according to Environment Canada.

Canada’s single-use plastic ban is “an important step” that could eliminate an estimated 1.3 million tonnes of plastic waste annually that is hard to recycle, said Juan Jose Alava, research associate at the Ocean Pollution Research Unit at the University of British Columbia. Canada must go beyond banning single-use plastics in order to reach its goal of zero plastic waste, he said.

We remind, NOVA Chemicals Corporation (“NOVA Chemicals”), a leading producer of polyethylene resins, announced the launch of its new, mechanically recycled polyethylene resin: EX-PCR-NC4. Incorporating this product allows converters and brand owners to meet their sustainability goals, without compromising package performance in applications such as shrink, e-commerce, heavy-duty sacks, and protective packaging.

Mitsubishi Chemical decided to withdraw from acrylic fibres business

Mitsubishi Chemical  decided to withdraw from acrylic fibres business

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Mitsubishi Chemical will withdraw from its acrylic fibres business at the company's Hiroshima plant next year amid declining global demand and high raw material costs, said the company.

The company will end production of its Vonnel acrylic fibres at the end of March 2023 and stop output of its Vonnel M.V.P short-cut acrylic (polyacrylonitrile-based) fibres at the site at the end of August next year, the company said in a statement on 21 December.

Mitsubishi Chemical will end sales of both products at the end of December 2023.

"As the business environment becomes more severe due to declining global demand and soaring prices of raw materials and fuels, the MCG Group [Mitsubishi Chemical Group] has concluded that it is difficult to further improve profitability even with business restructuring measures, including withdrawal from general-purpose products, and therefore reached the decision to withdraw from the business," the company added.

The company developed its acrylic fibre products for clothing such as sweaters, cut and sewn products, underwear, socks and eco-fur; interiors, such as blankets and carpets; materials, such as non-woven fabrics.

We remind, 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. 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.

Strike action to resume at Exxon Mobil UK Fawley oil refinery in January

Strike action to resume at Exxon Mobil UK Fawley oil refinery in January

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Strike action at Exxon Mobil’s 270,000 bpd Fawley oil refinery in southern England is set to resume on Jan. 9, a GMB union spokesperson said this week, said Reuters.

GMB and Unite union members began the strike on Nov. 21, which was suspended on Dec. 12 for the remainder of the year. The strike was continuous except for a three-day hiatus for negotiations on Dec. 5-7, the spokesperson said.

"Local members have returned to work as normal. The industrial action is planned to be recommencing from Jan. 9, subject of course to any fresh talks between the employers and the union," the spokesperson said.

The strike action has had no impact on refinery operations or fuel deliveries, most of which is transported by pipeline, an Exxon Mobil spokesperson said on Wednesday.

We remind, ExxonMobil announced the successful startup of its new polypropylene production unit at the Polyolefins Plant in Baton Rouge. The unit increases polypropylene production capacity along the Gulf Coast by 450,000 metric tons per year, meeting growing demand for high-performance, lightweight and durable plastics, particularly for automotive parts that can improve fuel efficiency and reduce vehicle emissions. Polypropylene, a polymer with several applications, is also used to improve the safety and efficiency of everyday products like medical masks and food packaging.

Petrobras begins production at Itapu pre-salt field offshore Brazil

Petrobras begins production at Itapu pre-salt field offshore Brazil

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Brazil’s Petrobras has started output at the Itapu pre-salt field in the Santos basin via the P-71 floating production, storage and offloading vessel, said Upstreamonline.

The P-71 FPSO, which features a processing capacity of 150,000 barrels per day of oil and 6 million cubic metres per day of natural gas, was deployed in water depths of 2010 metres. “We were able to anticipate production of the P-71 platform, which was originally scheduled for 2023,” said Petrobras production development director Joao Henrique Rittershaussen.

“We will also be able to anticipate the ramp-up, which is excellent news not only for Petrobras but also for the country, which will receive royalties from this production earlier."

The P-71 is the last of six replica FPSOs ordered by Petrobras more than a decade ago to produce from its pre-salt assets.

The other were the P-66, P-67 and P-69 FPSOs producing in the Tupi field, the P-68 FPSO on stream in the Berbigao-Sururu field and the P-70 FPSO in operation at the Atapu field.

We remind, Petrobras’s chief executive will leave the Brazilian state-controlled oil and gas producer after only a short tenure, ahead of a possible shift in corporate strategy under president-elect Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. Petroleo Brasileiro, as the Rio de Janeiro-headquartered group is formally known, on Tuesday said Caio Mario Paes de Andrade would join the incoming administration of the newly elected governor of Sao Paulo state.

Air Liquide scoops Woodside hydrogen project

Air Liquide scoops Woodside hydrogen project

MOSCOW (MRC) -- French contractor Air Liquide has won a major contract to supply liquefaction equipment for Woodside Energy’s proposed H2OK hydrogen project in Ardmore, Oklahoma, in the US, said Upstreamonline.

Air Liquide will provide the engineering and fabrication of two 30 tonnes per day liquefaction units, which will liquefy hydrogen produced through electrolysis in preparation for storage, loading and transportation to customers.

Woodside chief executive Meg O’Neill said the contract award was a significant milestone for H2OK, for which front-end engineering and design activities are targeted to be completed this year. “We are aiming to develop our New Energy business in the United States. The signing of the contract for liquefaction equipment is another important step forward in advancing H2OK, which would be our first producing hydrogen facility globally,” she said.

Woodside is targeting the final investment decision for H2OK in 2023, subject to all necessary approvals and appropriate commercial arrangements being finalised. “Our customers are increasingly seeking out low-cost, lower-carbon sources of energy, such as hydrogen and ammonia. H2OK would produce hydrogen for use as a fuel for commercial and heavy transport, supporting customers’ chosen decarbonisation pathways,” added O’Neill.

Air Liquide has been developing expertise in the entire hydrogen chain — production, storage and distribution — for more than six decades and brings to the project its extensive experience in advancing hydrogen ecosystems and its leading liquefaction technologies that are reliable, efficient and specific to the needs of the project, noted Woodside.

The award of the liquefaction equipment contract follows the Australian operator’s selection of Nel Hydrogen Electrolyser to design and develop alkaline electrolyser equipment for H2OK. The proposed H2OK project site in Ardmore is strategically located near to national highways and the supply chain infrastructure of major transport companies, as well as being in an area well suited for hydrogen production with good availability of water and renewable energy.

Woodside intends to utilise these resources to produce liquid hydrogen for hydrogen fuel cell-powered commercial and heavy transport vehicles.

In addition to H2OK, Woodside is working on the proposed H2Perth and H2TAS hydrogen projects in Australia; while the company was recently named the preferred partner to progress to the development stage of the proposed Southern Green Hydrogen project in New Zealand.

We remind, Air Liquide has signed a long-term contract to supply Kumho Mitsui Chemical (KMCI) in South Korea with additional hydrogen and carbon monoxide (CO). Supply will be used to help KMCI with its 50% expansion of methyl diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) production in South Korea’s Yeosu National Industrial Complex, which is scheduled to come online in 2024.