Shell launches shake-up under new chief Wael Sawan

Shell launches shake-up under new chief Wael Sawan

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Shell plans to restructure the way it runs its hydrocarbons and renewables businesses as part of changes being made under new chief executive Wael Sawan to improve performance and bring the company’s low-carbon initiatives into a single division, said the Financial Times.

The moves, which include splitting Shell’s integrated gas, renewables and energy solutions division, represent the second internal restructuring at the company in three years as it seeks to navigate the energy transition.

The gas business, which includes the world’s largest liquefied natural gas trading operation, will be combined with the company’s oilfields in a new Integrated Gas and Upstream division, headed by current upstream director Zoe Yujnovich.

The renewables and energy solutions business, which includes Shell’s wind and solar projects, will be combined with the oil refining and marketing units to create a new downstream and renewables division led by current downstream director Huibert Vigeveno.

The combination of renewables and downstream, which already included Shell’s electric vehicle charging business and work on biofuels, will bring all of the company’s low-carbon investments into one area.

Europe’s largest energy company is set to announce record annual results on Thursday after a bumper year driven by soaring prices for oil and gas resulting from the disruption unleashed by Russia’s assault on Ukraine.

“I’m making these changes as part of Shell’s natural, and continuous, evolution,” Sawan said in a statement on Monday. “I believe that fewer interfaces mean greater co-operation, discipline and speed, enabling us to focus on strengthening performance across the businesses and generating strong returns for our investors."

After heading the upstream division, Sawan headed integrated gas and renewables for a year before taking over as chief executive at the start of January.

The changes, which take effect on July 1, also mean the number of people on Shell’s executive committee will shrink from nine to seven, with Ed Daniels’s role as director of strategy, sustainability and corporate relations discontinued.

From July, chief financial officer Sinead Gorman will oversee strategy and sustainability, while the corporate relations team will report to Sawan. Daniels will leave Shell after more than 34 years at the company, it said.

The appointments represent the first big reshuffle of personnel since Sawan’s appointment. However, the impact on the direction of the company will depend on how the changes on the executive committee cascade through the rest of the business in the second half of the year.

Shell said it did not expect major job losses as a result of the overhaul but that some cuts were “possible” if newly combined functions were streamlined. As part of the 2020 restructuring, known as Project Reshape, Shell planned up to 9,000 job cuts from its global workforce by the end of 2022.

We remind, Henkel and Shell Chemical LP have agreed to a five-year collaboration to replace up to 200,000 tonnes of fossil feedstocks used in the manufacture of surfactants with feedstocks that are based on renewable raw materials. The renewable-based surfactants will be used in Henkel’s laundry product brands, including many varieties of Persil®, Purex® and all® brands. Surfactants are an ingredient in cleaning products that help lather and lift dirt.

Recyclable materials for cars with additive specialties from Evonik

Recyclable materials for cars with additive specialties from Evonik

MOSCOW (MRC) -- A consortium of 19 leading industrial companies and research institutes, including the BMW Group, Evonik, Thyssenkrupp, the Fraunhofer Institute, and the Technical University of Munich, has set itself the goal of developing new processes for using sustainable materials for circular automotive production, said the company.

Evonik is contributing its expertise in plastics and additives for recycling to the project. The project, which is funded for three years by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection (BMWK), was launched at the end of last year.

The core of the "Future Sustainable Car Materials (FSCM)" initiative launched by BMW is to develop innovative process routes and material concepts for large parts of the value chain, thus enabling a circular economy in vehicle production.

"We are pleased to contribute our specialty chemicals expertise to this pioneering consortium of industry leaders and internationally renowned research institutions to develop circular plastics solutions for the automobiles of tomorrow," said Lauren Kjeldsen, member of the Executive Board of Evonik Operations GmbH and head of the Smart Materials Division.

According to the principle of the circular economy, materials must be kept in the value chain after they have reached the end of their useful life so that new objects, such as automotive parts, can be produced without the use of fossil resources. It is particularly challenging to keep these materials in the cycle while maintaining the same quality and safety properties.

"Our mechanical recycling experts work closely with recyclers to prepare methods for cleaning up plastic parts, such as separating paint at the end of useful life,” said Patrick Glockner, Head of the Global Circular Plastics Program at Evonik. “We also work with compounders to develop solutions for using the highest possible proportion of recycled plastics in new automotive parts."

This form of integrated collaboration enables the consortium to quickly identify challenges and jointly develop solutions. Due to the high complexity of automotive manufacturing, the participants in the FSCM project are optimistic that the knowledge gained can also be applied to other industrial products in the future, such as commercial vehicles, electrical and household appliances, and will thus be a decisive impetus for future circular economy systems in the German economy.

We remind, Evonik is pooling its expertise and integrating its alkoxides business into the Catalysts Business Line. The extensive portfolio of heterogeneous catalysts is thus now complemented by homogeneous catalysts. An international network of production sites and the highly experienced alkoxides team will additionally strengthen the Catalysts Business Line, one of Evonik's growth areas, from January 2023.

ExxonMobil awards FEED for world's largest low-carbon hydrogen facility

ExxonMobil awards FEED for world's largest low-carbon hydrogen facility

MOSCOW (MRC) -- ExxonMobil awarded a front-end engineering and design (FEED) contract to Technip Energies for a blue hydrogen project at its complex in Baytown, Texas, said the company.

ExxonMobil described the contract as the largest of its kind in the world. The company could make a final investment decision (FID) on the project in 2024. If ExxonMobil proceeds, it could start operations in 2027-2028. Financial details were not disclosed.

Under the project, ExxonMobil would produce 1bn cubic feet/day of blue hydrogen and capture more than 98% of the associated carbon dioxide (CO2). That amounts to more than 7m tonnes/year of CO2 that ExxonMobil would capture and permanently store.

ExxonMobil would make the carbon-capture and storage network available to other companies that want to sequester the CO2 produced from their operations. As far as the hydrogen, ExxonMobil could sell it or use it internally as a fuel for its largest cracker in Baytown.

If the cracker uses hydrogen as a fuel instead of natural gas, it could reduce Baytown's Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions by up to 30%, the company said. ExxonMobil could also sell what it described as significant volumes of blue hydrogen and ammonia. Such offtake agreements are under discussion with customers. ExxonMobil did not provide capacity figures for the ammonia.

We remind, ExxonMobil announced its majority-owned affiliate, Imperial Oil Ltd, will invest about USD560 million to move forward with construction of the largest renewable diesel facility in Canada. The project at Imperial’s Strathcona refinery is expected to produce 20,000 barrels of renewable diesel per day primarily from locally sourced feedstocks and could help reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the Canadian transportation sector by about 3 million metric tons per year, as determined in accordance with Canada’s Clean Fuel Regulation. The facility is a part of the corporation’s plans through 2027 to invest approximately USD17 billion in lower-emission initiatives.

Origin Materials begins commissioning Sarnia biochemical plant

Origin Materials begins commissioning Sarnia biochemical plant

MOSCOW (MRC) -- California-based biochemical company Origin Materials has begun commissioning its first commercial manufacturing site in Sarnia, said the Observer.

The company said in a statement Friday the manufacturing plant’s mechanical systems have been successfully installed and commissioning of the site has begun. The facility, which will use biomass such as sawdust to make building-block chemicals for the manufacturing of plastic and other products, is located in an industrial park at the Arlanxeo site on Vidal Street.

“The mechanical completion of Origin 1, our first commercial plant, is an important milestone in our mission to enable the world’s transition to sustainable materials,” John Bissell, co-CEO of Origin Materials, said in a news release.

“What we’ve been able to accomplish to date, despite the pandemic and related supply-chain headwinds, demonstrates the capability, efficiency and efficacy of our project team.”

Formed in 2008, Origin Materials selected Sarnia as the site of its first commercial manufacturing site.

The company said the plant is expected to convert about 25,000 tonnes of biomass into materials that include chloromethylfurfural, which can be used in packaging, textiles, automotive and other uses, and hydrothermal carbon, which is used in fuel pellets and as a replacement for carbon black.

Origin Materials has said the Sarnia facility cost between USD125 million and USD130 million to build and was expected to employ about 50 workers once operating. The company is also planning to build a larger manufacturing facility in Louisiana.

In the statement, Bissell thanked BioIndustrial Innovation Canada, as well as local officials, government agencies and the Sarnia-area community for its “partnership and support” with the development of the site in Sarnia.

“As we look ahead, we are excited to start up the plant, begin commercial production, deliver product to our customers and take the next step in our journey to decarbonize the world’s materials,” he said.

We remind, Technip Energies announced signing two separate MoUs, one with PCL Industrial Management Inc. and another with Capital Engineering, to work collaboratively on efforts associated with energy transition markets in Canada. Under the PCL agreement, Technip Energies services will include conceptual, front-end and detailed engineering, procurement, and technical capabilities with PCL leading constructability solutions, logistics evaluations, direct hire construction performance and execution solutions associated with hydrogen, ammonia, carbon capture, liquefaction, sustainable chemistry, and decarbonization solutions developments throughout Canada.

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

MOSCOW (MRC) -- 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.