EPS maker NexKemia boosts access to recycled PS with acquisition

EPS maker NexKemia boosts access to recycled PS with acquisition

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Expanded polystyrene maker NexKemia Petrochemicals Inc. is acquiring a PS recycler in a deal that aims to use artificial intelligence to boost the use of recovered materials in new products, said Sustainableplastics.

Eco-Captation of Prevost, Quebec, "will become an integral part of developing an end-to-end circular model for EPS solutions," NexKemia said in announcing the transaction Jan. 30.

"The company combines artificial intelligence-enhanced optical sorting technology with a seamless mechanical recycling process to convert plastic waste into high quality raw materials made with post-consumer recycled material," NexKemia said.

NexKemia is in based in Mansonville, Quebec, not far from the border with Vermont, and Eco-Captation is north of Montreal. The two locations are separated by about 127 miles.

"Scaling up Eco-Captation's technologies will allow NexKemia to rapidly grow our capacity for sustainable expandable polystyrene solutions that incorporate a significant percentage of post-consumer recycled material," NexKemia General Manager Pierre Beaudry said in a statement.

Maurice Barakat is president of Integreon Global, owner of NexKemia. He said Eco-Captation will allow his company to lower the carbon footprint of the packaging and insulation products NexKemia makes.

Eco-Captation, which translates to eco-capture in English, operates about three dozen locations for the collection of EPS in Quebec.

Integreon also owns Cryopak, a maker of insulated shipping containers, including EPS, polyurethane and polyisocyanurate, to keep products cold during transportation.

We remind, Nexkemia plans to decrease the price of all grades of expandable polystyrene (EPS) by 3 cents/lb (USD66/tonne) effective 1 December. Other producers are also separately proposing decreases in December, following decreases in November, October and September. North American EPS demand has weakened, especially for construction, as more seasonality has returned to the market.


Aramco signs USD7.2 billion agreements at IKTVA forum

Aramco signs USD7.2 billion agreements at IKTVA forum

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Aramco has signed over 100 agreements and MoU’s, valued at around USD7.2 billion at the 7thedition of the In-Kingdom Total Value Add (IKTVA) Forum and Exhibition, said Oilandgasmiddleeast.

The forum, which runs from January 30 to February 2 in Dhahran, is held under the theme of ‘Accelerating Future Success’.

At the event, the Saudi giant also announced the launch of Aramco Digital Company, a wholly owned subsidiary which aims to accelerate digital transformation within the Kingdom and the MENA region.

Ahmad A. Al-Sa’adi, Aramco’s executive vice president of Technical Services, said: “The launch of Aramco Digital Company is a great example of such innovation in action, providing state-of-the-art AI and emerging technology expertise in a vital sector of the economy.”

The iktva program encourages the establishment of regional headquarters in the Kingdom. Since inception, more than 150 investments have been made in Kingdom including products manufactured for the first time in Saudi Arabia. The company has also established 16 national training centers (NTCs) in 10 cities, covering more than 60 trades. To date, they have graduated more than 48,000 Saudi nationals.

We remind, Technip Energies – as part of its long-term agreement with Aramco – has been awarded a contract to upgrade sulfur recovery facilities at Aramco’s Riyadh Refinery. This contract covers the implementation of three new tail gas treatment (TGT) units, improving the performance of the existing three sulfur recovery units (SRU) to comply with more stringent regulations for sulfur dioxide emissions, with recovery efficiency at more than 99.9%.


Alpla PET recycling joint venture successfully started up

Alpla PET recycling joint venture successfully started up
MOSCOW (MRC) -- After a construction time of nine months and investment of around 7.5 million euros, Austrian plastics manufacturer and recycler Alpla, together with its partners Ecohelp SRL (Romania) and United Polymer Trading AG (Switzerland), have started production at their joint recycling plant in Targu Mures, Romania, said Sustainableplastics.

The plant, located adjacent to the existing Ecohelp site in Targu Mures, has an annual capacity of around 18,000 tonnes of post-consumer-recycled PET (rPET) per year and aims to supply the southeast European market with food-grade rPET. The project has led to the creation of around 20 new jobs. The joint venture partners will host the official opening ceremony on 4 May 2023.

"The growing importance of local recycling processes calls for increased commitment in the region. Together with our partners, we combine strengths, increase the processing quality of the recycled PET material and ensure the long-term supply of the southeast European market,’ said Georg Lasser, Director Business Development, Procurement and Sales Recycling at Alpla.

With the first rPET extrusion line in operation, already, the potential for expansion is being explored, as the plant has space for a second extrusion line, which would double capacity.

The present joint venture was established in autumn 2021, with each partner bringing to the venture their own specific skill set. Alpla is contributing its many years of expertise as a global recycling specialist and packaging manufacturer to the partnership; in the case of United Polymer Trading (UPT), the endeavour is benefitting from that company’s extensive distribution network for plastics and recycled material. Locally-based Ecohelp supplies the input material in the form of recycled PET flakes from PET bottles from household waste. The food-grade rPET granulate obtained from this process then serves as the starting material for new preforms and bottles.

The facility fills a gap in the market for high-quality recycled material in Romania and neighbouring countries, according to Mihail Moloiu, General Manager at PET Recycling Team Targu Mures. In addition, the new recycling plant has created around 20 new jobs.

Alpla is investing 50 million euros a year until 2025 in the ongoing expansion of its recycling activities and promotion of complete recycling in as many parts of the world as possible. In total, the annual production capacity of Alpla’s recycling companies and collaborations around the world amounts to approximately 203,000 tonnes of rPET and 74,000 tonnes of rHDPE.

We remind, Alpla Group can look back on a successful financial year 2022 in spite of the crisis, said the company.
Sales of 5.1 billion euros exceeded the previous year’s figure by 27.5 per cent. In addition to the company’s growth strategy, the record turnover reflects the significantly higher costs for energy, materials, staff and transport. In 2023, the packaging and recycling specialist will focus on expanding its injection moulding capacities, investing in recycling, expanding its Pharma division and researching alternative materials.


LG Chem swings to loss in Q4

LG Chem swings to loss in Q4

MOSCOW (MRC) -- LG Chem swung to a net loss of Korean won (W) 6bn in the fourth quarter of 2022 from a net profit of W337bn in the same period a year earlier, partly weighed by the nationwide truckers' strike which started in late November, said the company.

Petrochemicals unit posted operating loss of W166bn in Q4 2022, compared with an operating profit of W686bn in the same period of 2021, weighed by reduced output from turnarounds, the truckers' strike and "reduced demand from the spread of COVID-19 in China", the company said in a statement on 31 January.

Full-year 2022 results worsened from the previous year due to poorer demand from the global economic slowdown and increased supply in northeast Asia.

Profitability of products such as ABS and PVC declined last year due to difficulties in hiking prices amid rising oil and feedstock prices.

Petrochemicals market is expected to gradually rebound in 2023 from China's reopening.

The company expects petrochemicals sales of W20.2trillion in 2023, down from the W21.7tr in 2022.

We remind, LG Chem Ltd announced on 20 Jan 2023 that it has completed its previously announced acquisition of AVEO Oncology, a commercial stage, oncology-focused biopharmaceutical company committed to delivering medicines that provide a better life for patients with cancer, in an all-cash transaction with an implied equity value of $571 M on a fully diluted basis. AVEO plans to accelerate the commercialization of new anti-cancer drugs developed by LG Chem Life Sciences. With strong capabilities in early stage of R&D and production process, LG Chem Life Sciences will be in a better position to pursue promising anti-cancer therapies and commercial processes for pre-clinical and early clinical trials, while AVEO, with its broad know-how in clinical development and sales in the US market, oversees clinical development and commercialization. While AVEO is now a wholly owned subsidiary of LG Chem Life Sciences Innovation Center Inc, AVEO will continue to operate under the AVEO Oncology name for a period of time.


Enterprise Products Q4 net income increased

Enterprise Products Q4 net income increased

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Enterprise Products Partners LP’s fourth-quarter profits rose around USD400m year on year on the back of stronger natural gas liquids pipelines and services earnings, said the company.

Gross gas processing and marketing operation margins rose 50% year on year during the quarter to USD459m on the back of still-elevated pricing.

Petrochemica and refined products gross operating margin was steady year on year at USD339m despite a USD99m year on year drop in propylene margins during the quarter to USD90m.

The company attributed the fall to lower average propylene sales margins and volumes and lower processing fees.

Propylene production volumes fell the equivalent of 16m bbl/day year on year during the quarter to 89m, driven in part by a 44-day maintenance period for its propane dehydrogenation 1 (PDH 1) unit during the period.

We remind, Enterprise Products Partners continues to grow and add future planning, the company confirmed during its 2022 Q4 earnings conference call. "During the quarter we purchased approximately 580 miles of existing pipeline and related assets that enables us to cost effectively optimise and expand our NGO and petrochemical pipeline system," Co-CEO Randy Fowler said. Enterprise has USD3.6bn of assets under construction that are scheduled to be completed and begin commercial operations in 2023.