Sinopec completes trial runs on 1-MMtpy Hainan province ethylene plant

Sinopec completes trial runs on 1-MMtpy Hainan province ethylene plant

MOSCOW (MRC) -- China's Sinopec Corp announced that it has completed trial runs at a 1-MMtpy ethylene plant in the southern Chinese province of Hainan that will boost exports, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The facility is part of a 28.6 B-yuan (USD4.15 B) complex built at the site and is the second major petrochemical plant starting this year after a similar-sized facility was announced last week by PetroChina in Guangdong province.

Sinopec is aiming to turn the Hainan complex into an export-oriented producer, with exports of downstream petrochemical products accounting for half its production by the end of 2025, the company said. It also operates a 184,000 barrels per day crude oil refinery at the same site.

Sinopec said it has developed its own ethylene technology with plants capable of handling a wide range of feedstocks, allowing the refiner to process different types of crude oil.

We remind, Saudi Aramco and China Petroleum and Chemical Corporation (Sinopec) have signed a deal to build a refinery and a petrochemicals plant in China. The 3,20,000 barrels-per-day refinery and 1.5 million tons-per-year petrochemical cracker complex will be in operation by the end of 2025, Aramco said in a statement on Sunday.
Aramco and Sinopec, along with Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic), have also signed a an agreement to study the feasibility of developing petrochemicals complex to be integrated with an existing refinery in Yanbu, Saudi Arabia.

Mitsubishi Chemical will start verification testing of a scheme for collecting acrylic resins

Mitsubishi Chemical will start verification testing of a scheme for collecting acrylic resins

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The Mitsubishi Chemical Group (the MCG Group) announces that it will start verification testing of a scheme for collecting acrylic resins from end-of-life vehicles, with the goal of commercializing molecular recycling operations for acrylic resin in collaboration with Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance Co., Ltd. and ABT Corporation1, said the company.

Acrylic resin is used for automobile tail lamps, etc. The MCG Group, one of the world's leading acrylic resin manufacturers, is working on developing a full-fledged business to molecularly recycle and reuse discarded and collected acrylic resins, in addition to manufacturing acrylic resin. TMNF is collecting a number of end-of-life vehicles with the payment of insurance claims due to automobile accidents and other events in the course of operating the car insurance business. ABT has been commissioned by TMNF to work with dismantlers nationwide to properly dispose of end-of-life vehicles, including reuse and recycling.

The MCG Group, TMNF and ABT aim to establish a scheme for the collection of acrylic resins mainly from taillamps by making use of TMNF’s and ABT’s end-of-life vehicle processing network. As the first step, we will start verification testing to collect acrylic resins from about 1,000 end-of-life vehicles in the Kanto region in March 2023. Based on the verification testing, we will verify operation, material quality, costs and other items, and then expand the initiative nationwide in FY2024. This is the first attempt in Japan to recover acrylic resin from end-of-life vehicles using the automobile insurance network.

The MCG Group has been conducting verification testing on the recycling of acrylic resin using microwaves. With an eye on operation of the recycling plant starting from FY2024, the MCG Group is aiming to commercialize molecular recycling operations for acrylic resin. While making efforts to establish the recycling technology, the MCG Group is also preparing for social implementation of the acrylic resin recycling system by considering a scheme to collect acrylic resin from various markets.

We remind, 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. 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.

BASF production site in Rokuromi, Japan now REDcert2 certified, supporting growing demand for biomass balanced acrylic dispersions

BASF production site in Rokuromi, Japan now REDcert2 certified, supporting growing demand for biomass balanced acrylic dispersions

MOSCOW (MRC) -- BASF’s Rokuromi site in Japan has received REDcert2 certification after undergoing an independent third-party audit, said the company.

This certification enables BASF to offer customers certified low CO2 variant dispersions via the biomass balance (BMB) approach, with identical performance to comparable fossil-based dispersions.

Manufacturers are looking to reduce their CO2 emissions to help create a better and more sustainable future. Moreover, increasing awareness among end consumers across many different industries has led to growing demand for low-carbon footprint products, especially in the paints and packaging industries. BASF’s BMB products are catering to this demand, replacing fossil feedstock with renewable raw materials at the very first stage of the chemical production process.

“We are delighted to announce that Rokuromi is the first BASF site in Japan capable of producing BMB acrylic dispersions. This is our third site under BASF’s Dispersions business unit in Asia Pacific to become BMB-certified, following our production facilities in China in 2020 and in Pasir Gudang, Malaysia in 2022. Japan is one of our key markets and Japanese consumers have a high awareness of sustainable products. And therefore, enabling our site in Japan to deliver REDcert2 certified low CO2 dispersions is a key step to better serve our customers there,” said Bir Darbar Mehta, Senior Vice President, Dispersions Asia Pacific at BASF.

We remind, Linde Engineering (Pullach, Germany) has signed an agreement with BASF SE (Ludwigshafen, Germany) for the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) of a synthesis gas (syngas) plant in Zhanjiang, China.

Westlake Chemical earnings below expectations in Q4

Westlake Chemical earnings below expectations in Q4

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Westlake Chemical Corp. reported fourth-quarter earnings of USD232 mln, said the company.

The Houston-based company said it had net income of USD1.79 per share. The results missed Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of seven analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of USD2.24 per share.

The chemical company posted revenue of USD3.3 billion in the period, which also did not meet Street forecasts. Seven analysts surveyed by Zacks expected USD3.31 billion.

For the year, the company reported profit of USD2.25 billion, or USD17.34 per share. Revenue was reported as USD15.79 billion.

We remind, Westlake Chemical Corporation aims to buy the parent firm of US-based Dimex from Grey Mountain Partners through one of its offshoots. Dimex makes several consumer products produced from post-industrial-recycled (PIR) polyvinyl chloride (PVC), thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) and polyethylene (PE), and records sales of around USD100 M/y. These consumer products comprise of industrial, home and office matting; landscape edging; masonry joint controls; and marine dock edging.

Suncor Energy names Exxon veteran Rich Kruger as CEO

Suncor Energy names Exxon veteran Rich Kruger as CEO

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Rich Kruger, who led Imperial Oil Ltd. as president and CEO from 2013 until his retirement in 2019, has been named the new chief executive of Suncor Energy Inc. after a months-long search, said Reuters.

The Calgary-based oil producer and refiner made the announcement Tuesday, bringing an end to months of speculation and anticipation by analysts and investors. The 63-year-old Kruger, who will take the top job on April 3, will replace interim CEO Kris Smith, who stepped in to fill the role after Mark Little resigned in July 2022 amid investor pressure and in the wake of a spate of workplace deaths and safety incidents.

Suncor said Tuesday that following a transition period, Smith will assume the role of chief financial officer and executive vice-president of corporate development after Suncor's annual general meeting on May 9. Alister Cowan, the current CFO, is set to retire at the end of the year, the company said Tuesday.

The naming of Kruger as CEO should satisfy those who wished to see change at the top of Suncor, said Scotiabank analyst Jason Bouvier in a note Tuesday. "We view these changes as positive as it will provide those in the market that wanted a change in leadership with an actionable event," Bouvier said.

"Rich brings considerable oilsands experience and a strong history of operational safety to the role." Two of the board directors serving on the CEO search committee were named to Suncor's board in July, as part of a deal the company struck to appease U.S.-based activist investor Elliott Investment Management.

Elliott publicly expressed frustration last spring at what it called a recent decline in performance at the energy producer. The activist investor also criticized Suncor for its safety record. At least 12 workers have died at the company's oilsands operations in northern Alberta since 2014, and former CEO Little resigned just one day after the most recent fatality.

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