European Parliament wants to ban the export of plastic waste to non-EU countries

European Parliament wants to ban the export of plastic waste to non-EU countries

The European Parliament wants a ban on the export of plastic waste to countries outside the European Union, said

The ban should come into effect in about three years. With that position, the European Parliament will negotiate with the environment ministers of the EU countries.

According to MEPs, this will be an incentive to design more reusable plastics and to increase the capacity for reprocessing in the short term. According to research, an increase of 10 to 20 percent in capacity is needed. The EU countries currently mainly export plastic waste to Turkey, which cannot even process its own plastic waste.

From 2005 to 2018, the average amount of municipal waste per capita declined in the EU. However, there were different trends per country. For example, there was an increase in Denmark, Germany, Greece, Malta and the Czech Republic and a decrease in Bulgaria, Spain, Hungary, Romania and the Netherlands.

In absolute terms per person, waste production was highest in Denmark, Malta, Cyprus and Germany and lowest in Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and Romania. Landfilling of waste is almost non-existent in countries such as Belgium, the Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, Germany, Austria, Finland. In those countries, incineration plays an important role alongside reuse.

Landfilling municipal waste is still popular in eastern and southern parts of Europe. Ten countries landfill at least half of their municipal waste. In Malta, Cyprus and Greece it is over 80%; in Croatia, Romania, Bulgaria and Slovakia more than 60%; while in Spain and Portugal it is more than 50%.

The regulation on waste transport that is being prepared goes further than just plastic waste. The export of waste to countries outside the OECD will only be permitted if those countries themselves agree to this in advance, and if it has been demonstrated that they can process it. Exporters will have to demonstrate that their customers process the waste in an environmentally friendly manner.

In 2020, the EU countries exported 32.7 million tons of waste to non-EU countries, accounting for about 16 percent of the global waste trade. This is an increase of 75 percent compared to twenty years ago. In addition, the EU member states trade 67 million tons of waste among themselves each year.

We remind, Phillips 66 announced it has received International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC) PLUS certification for its Sweeny Refinery in Texas to process oil made from waste plastics into feedstocks for new plastics.

Shenghong Refining and Chemical starts up a new VAM unit

Shenghong Refining and Chemical starts up a new VAM unit

Shenghong Refining and Chemical has started up its new vinyl acetate monomer (VAM) unit around the second half of January 2023, said the company.

The VAM unit has a capacity of 300,000 tonnes/year.

The start-up of Shenghong's new VAM unit has pushed China’s total VAM capacity up to 3.12m tonnes/year.

We remind, in 2020, Shenghong Refining & Chemical (Lianyungang) Co. Ltd. (SRCLC), a subsidiary of Shenghong Petrochemical Group Co. Ltd., has let a contract to KBR Inc. to supply catalyst for a vinyl acetate monomer (VAM) project at its planned 16-million tonnes/year integrated refining complex in Lianyungang City in China’s province of Jiangsu. As part of the contract, KBR will provide proprietary catalyst for SRCLC’s grassroots 300,000-tonnes/year unit, which will include the first commercial application of Showa Denko K.K. (SDK) of Japan’s proprietary VAM technology under a licensing agreement between KBR and SDK, KBR said.

Indorama struggles in securing sufficient Philippine R-PET feedstock

Indorama struggles in securing sufficient Philippine R-PET feedstock

Indorama Ventures, which recently launched its first recycled polyethylene terephthalate (R-PET) plant in the Philippines in a joint venture (JV) with Coca-Cola Beverages Philippines (CCBPI), expects persistent challenges in availing themselves of sufficient feedstock, said the company.

Indorama commenced plant operations at the end of 2022 after encountering a number of delays in completing construction, due to the surge of COVID-19 cases in the country over the past few years.

The pandemic not only made it difficult to carry out construction at the site but also further constrained the availability of post-consumer bales (PCB), as material pickers were restricted from collection activities.

Towards the end of 2022, when COVID-19 cases were generally under control across the region, Indorama and CCBPI sought the assistance of the local authorities to connect with bale feedstock suppliers across the Philippine archipelago.

Bales were agreed to be shipped from all parts of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao – the country’s three major island groups – to Indorama’s plant in Cavite, which is a few hours south of Manila.

Extremely low levels of recycling in the country and inefficient waste collection activities have capped the supply of bales across the country, especially for premium quality materials which are required to produce bottle-grade R-PET pellets.

In light of this situation, Indorama combined purchases of bales and R-PET flakes to be able to maintain operations at the new plant, which has a nameplate capacity of 30,000 tonnes/year.

R-PET flakes suppliers to Indorama have had to import bales into the country, highlighting the huge gap between supply and demand for bales.

We remind, in mid-October this year, Indorama opened its R-PET facility in Cavite, Philippines which is a joint venture with Coca-Cola Beverages Philippines (CCBPI). Construction at its Indonesian R-PET plant is also ongoing, with commencement date expected towards the close of 2023.

Indorama Ventures Public Company Limited, listed in Thailand (Bloomberg ticker IVL.TB), is one of the world’s leading petrochemicals producers, with a global manufacturing footprint across Europe, Africa, Americas, and Asia Pacific. The company’s portfolio comprises Combined PET, Integrated Oxides and Derivatives, and Fibers. Indorama Ventures products serve major FMCG and automotive sectors, i.e., beverages, hygiene, personal care, tire, and safety segments.

QatarEnergy joins TotalEnergies and Eni on two exploration blocks

QatarEnergy joins TotalEnergies and Eni on two exploration blocks

TotalEnergies and Eni have completed the transfer to QatarEnergy of a 30% interest in exploration Blocks 4 and 9 off the coast of Lebanon, said the company.

The agreements were endorsed in Beirut on January 29, during a ceremony attended by His Excellency Dr. Walid Fayad, Minister of Energy and Water of Lebanon; His Excellency Mr. Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, Qatar's Minister of State for Energy Affairs and President and CEO of QatarEnergy; Mr. Patrick Pouyanne, Chairman and CEO of TotalEnergies; and Mr. Claudio Descalzi, CEO of Eni.

Pursuant to the terms of the agreements, TotalEnergies (operator) and Eni will each retain a 35% interest in the blocks with QatarEnergy holding the remaining 30%.

“We are very pleased to welcome QatarEnergy in our exploration acreage in Lebanon. The recent delineation of Lebanon’s maritime border with Israel has created a new momentum for the exploration of its hydrocarbon potential. Along with our partners, we are committed to drilling as soon as possible in 2023 an exploration well in Block 9, and our teams are mobilized to conduct these operations”, said Patrick Pouyanne, Chairman and CEO of TotalEnergies.

This new partnership further expands the cooperation between TotalEnergies and QatarEnergy in exploration activities, and brings to nine the number of countries where the two companies have partnerships.

We remind, QatarEnergy and Chevron Phillips Chemical Company LLC announced they will proceed on construction of a USD6 B integrated polymers complex in Ras Laffan Industrial City, Qatar. An agreement marking the positive final investment decision for the project was signed by His Excellency Mr. Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, the Minister of State for Energy Affairs, the President and CEO of QatarEnergy, and by Bruce Chinn, President and CEO of Chevron Phillips Chemical, at a ceremony in Doha. The companies created a joint venture, Ras Laffan Petrochemicals, in which QatarEnergy owns a 70% equity share and Chevron Phillips Chemical owns 30%.

Shinkong and Mitsubishi plan to increase R-PET capacity in Taiwan

Shinkong and Mitsubishi plan to increase R-PET capacity in Taiwan

Thai Shinkong Industry Corporation (TSIC), which is a joint venture between Taiwan’s Shinkong and Japan’s Mitsubishi, will hike the nameplate capacity of its recycled polyethylene terephthalate (R-PET) facility in Thailand, said the company.

As more customers and business partners have expressed buying interest for the materials, TSIC increased output to 140,000 tonnes/year from the initially planned 70,000 tonnes/year.

The plant will use the Uhde Inventa-Fischer (UIF) flakes-to-resin (FTR) technology to use R-PET flakes, combined with purified terephthalic acid (PTA) and mono-ethylene glycol (MEG) to produce chemically recycled R-PET pellets.

Previously encountering delays due to the surge of COVID-19 cases in Thailand in the past years, the facility is expected to commence production by end-February to April.

Although the facility will not directly compete for post-consumer bales from the local market, it will secure R-PET flakes which would indirectly hike demand for bales.

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.