Sekisui Chemical to build materials plant in Kentucky

Sekisui Chemical to build materials plant in Kentucky

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Sekisui Chemical decided to establish a new plant in the United States to produce thermal gap filler materials for EVs (electric vehicles) and other environmental friendly vehicles of its consolidated subsidiary, Sekisui Polymatech, said the company.

Construction of the plant is scheduled to begin in January 2023, and the plant will start operation in August 2023.

As part of global environmental initiatives, the shift from gasoline (diesel) to electric vehicles is accelerating in many countries and regions. In the U.S., in particular, the federal government is strongly promoting the spread of electric vehicles, and the production of electric vehicles in the U.S. market in 2025 is expected to reach 3.6 million, about three times the number produced in 2022. In line with this, the demand for LiB (lithium-ion battery) thermal gap filler materials is rapidly expanding among OEMs (automobile manufacturers) and LiB/electrical component manufacturers in the U.S.

Under such circumstances, our thermal gap filler materials have already been highly evaluated by vehicle manufacturers and LiB manufacturers in Japan, China, and Europe for their excellent performance, including low outgassing, in addition to high thermal conduction performance. Against this backdrop, SEKISUI POLYMATECH have decided to build a new production base in the U.S. in addition to our current four production bases in Japan, Thailand, China, and Europe.

In addition, the High Performance Plastics Company of SEKISUI?CHEMICAL positions the mobility field as a strategic field. We will strengthen and accelerate marketing activities in the U.S. and Europe to further expand our heat release material business, and focus on the development of new products for mobility.

We remind, Sekisui Specialty Chemicals has started feasibility studies for the boosting of its polyvinyl alcohol (PVOH) supply network to meet the increasing demand of its downstream customers. Once completed, the investment will increase the company's PVOH capacity by as much as 25%. Sekisui Specialty Chemicals is a part of Sekisui Chemical Group of Japan.

October start set for ban in England of single-use plastic tableware

October start set for ban in England of single-use plastic tableware

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Single-use plastic plates, cutlery and a range of other items will be banned in England from October, to curb their “devastating” impact on the environment, the government has confirmed, said the Guardian.

The Department for the Environment said the ban will also cover single-use plastic bowls, trays and certain types of polystyrene cups and food containers. However, the move will not apply to plates, trays and bowls used as packaging in what the Department called “shelf-ready pre-packaged food items”.

From October this year, the public will not be able to buy the banned items from retailers, takeaways or food vendors. Under new legislation, it is expected the ban will be enforced through civil sanctions – but with the possibility of repeated breaches ending up in a criminal offence.

The ban follows a consultation on the issue by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) that ran from November 2021 to February 2022. Figures suggest that every year England uses about 1.1bn single-use plates and 4.25bn pieces of such cutlery, only 10% of which are recycled after being used.

According to research, plastic items relating to takeaway food and drink, including food containers and cutlery, make up the largest share of litter in the world’s oceans. Similar bans have already been made in Scotland and Wales.

The environment minister, Rebecca Pow, said that the government would also be “pressing ahead” with “plans for a deposit-return scheme for drinks containers and consistent recycling collections in England”.

In addition to this, the government is considering whether other measures are needed to target other items that are regularly thrown away as litter, such as wet wipes, tobacco filters and sachets.

We remind, plastic material and resin manufacturing firm Samyang has developed sustainable polycarbonate materials containing more than 90% of post-consumer recycled polycarbonate. South Korea-based Samyang, a chemical and food affiliate of the Samyang Group, has designed the PC as an engineered plastic that is transparent, impact- and heat-resistant. The new offering can be used as a material for interior and exterior uses in cars, home appliances, soundproof walls, and medical device parts.

Lotte Chemical sells Pakistani unit to streamline business, secure funds

Lotte Chemical sells Pakistani unit to streamline business, secure funds

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Lotte Chemical Corp. said it is selling its subsidiary in Pakistan to a local chemical company for 192.4 billion won (USD156 million) as part of efforts to streamline its business with a focus on advanced materials and eco-friendly products, said Koreantimes.

Lucky Core Industries, a Pakistani chemical company, will take over the entire 75.01 percent stake in Lotte Chemical Pakistan, a unit that mainly engages in the production of purified terephthalic acid (PTA), the Seoul-based company said.

PTA is widely used to make PET bottles and other polymer products, such as fibers, resins and thin films. Lotte Chemical said it will use the funds from the sale to bolster its advanced materials segment and make further inroads into sustainable chemical products, while upgrading the existing petrochemical products used as feedstock for plastics.

The sale of the Pakistani unit means that Lotte Chemical will no longer engage in the PTA production. It shut down the domestic PTA production line in Ulsan, 307 kilometers southeast, in 2020.

Lotte Chemical, the chemical unit of South Korean retail giant Lotte Group, aims to achieve 50 trillion won in sales in 2030, with about 30 trillion won to be generated from high value-added specialty products and eco-friendly materials.

As per MRC, Lotte Chemical has informed that that company has decided to proceed with the 5 trillion won (USD4.4 billion) petrochemical project in Cilegon, Indonesia after the previous delay due the pandemic. The project named Lotte Chemical Indonesia New Ethylene (LINE) is to commence construction in 2022.

Exxon prepares to start up USD1.2 bn Texas oil refinery expansion

Exxon prepares to start up USD1.2 bn Texas oil refinery expansion

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Exxon Mobil Corp in coming days will sharply boost gasoline and diesel production at its Beaumont, Texas, refinery, people familiar with the matter said, completing a USD1.2 B expansion first considered nine years ago, said Reuters.

Initial startup of a 250,000 bpd crude distillation unit (CDU) at the 369,000 bpd refinery is expected by Jan. 31, the sources said, making the Beaumont refinery the second largest in the United States.

It is the first major expansion to U.S. oil processing in nearly a decade, adding the equivalent of a mid-sized refinery, and coming online as scheduled at a time when U.S. President Joe Biden has been urging refiners to produce more fuels, or face penalties.

U.S. stockpiles of diesel and gasoline are near five-year lows, and profit margins for producing motor fuels in the U.S. Gulf Coast region are near record levels.

Refiners are earning about USD35.40 per barrel using the industry's crack spread, a profit measure which compares the cost of crude oil to sale prices for gasoline and diesel, according to Refinitiv.

"Right now, margins are sensational," said Garfield Miller, president of refining investment banker Aegis Energy Advisers Corp. "These margins tell you that as far as the U.S. Gulf Coast is concerned, there is plenty of demand relative to supply."

As per MRC, ExxonMobil has initiated legal proceedings against the European Union to try to stop a proposed windfall tax on fossil fuel companies, arguing Brussels has exceeded its legal authority. In September, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced the plan to impose a 33% “solidarity contribution” after oil and gas companies posted record profits in 2022.

TotalEnergies announces start-up of German LNG import terminal

TotalEnergies announces start-up of German LNG import terminal

MOSCOW (MRC) -- TotalEnergies announced the start-up on Friday of the Deutsche Ostsee LNG import terminal for liquefied natural gas (LNG) at the Baltic Sea industrial port of Lubmin in eastern Germany, at the border with Poland, said the company.

The French energy and petrochemicals major provided Lubmin with a floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) and is supplying LNG to the terminal.

The FSRU has an regasification capacity of 5bn cubic metres (bcm)/year of gas, enough to cover about 5% of German demand, the company said. TotalEnergies contracted 2.bcm/year of Lubmin’s regasification capacity and has begun delivering LNG, it said.

With the project’s start-up, the company will increase its total LNG imports to Europe to more than 20m tonnes/year, or about 15% of the continent’s regasification capacity, it added. Lubmin’s official inauguration will take place on Saturday, 14 January, to be attended by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

The project is privately financed and operated by Deutsche Regas. In a separate statement, Deutsche Regas on Friday confirmed that it concluded LNG supply deals with TotalEnergies and another supplier, MET Group.

We remind, LANXESS and French energy group TotalEnergies have entered into a cooperation on the supply of biocircular styrene. Unlike conventional styrene, the raw material used by TotalEnergies is based on tall oil, which is derived from a tree resin and is a by-product of pulp production. LANXESS uses the styrene to produce sustainable ion exchange resins. These products are applied primarily in the treatment of wastewater and chemical process flows as well as in the food industry.