U.S. policy is conducive for new investments in energy transition said Repsol CEO

U.S. policy is conducive for new investments in energy transition said Repsol CEO

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The U.S, is attracting investment in renewables through new legislation while the European Union's rules could deter investors, the head of Spanish energy company Repsol said, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Speaking as a European, you are lucky guys," Repsol Chief Executive Officer Josu Jon Imaz told the CERAWeek energy conference in the capital of the U.S. oil industry, Houston. U.S. President Joe Biden's signature climate change legislation, called the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), was passed into law in August 2022.

The IRA's USD370 B in climate spending included provisions to cut carbon emission and boost domestic production and manufacturing of renewables and low-carbon fuels. The European Union, by contrast, has struggled to formulate clear legislation to attract investment.

"You have the framework to make decisions. Simplicity is from my point of view one of the main features of the IRA and that is very important for investors... you have a broad possibility to invest in many areas in the United States." "What you have here is a carrot, what we have in Europe to boost the energy transition is a stick."

The IRA laid out a framework for hydrogren, carbon capture, biofuels and synethetic biofuels, he said. In Europe, each is dealt with differently and there are many conditions attached to development of renewable energy.

We remind, Repsol will nearly double the production capacity of its Reciclex recycled polyolefins with a new production line at its Puertollano Industrial Complex in Spain. The company will invest EUR 26 M to install a new 25,000 tonnes/y production line for polyolefins with mechanically recycled plastic content. Repsol currently has 16,000 tonnes/y of Reciclex polyolefins capacity.


EU delays ICE ban phaseout after German pushback

EU delays ICE ban phaseout after German pushback

MOSCOW (MRC) -- European Union countries have delayed a planned vote next week on the bloc's landmark law to end sales of new CO2-emitting cars in 2035 after Germany questioned its support for the rules, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

No new date for the vote was given and a spokesperson for Sweden, which holds the EU's rotating presidency, said EU countries' ambassadors would return to the topic "in due time".

After months of negotiations, the European Parliament, the Commission and EU member states last year agreed to the law, which would require all new cars sold in the EU from 2035 to have zero CO2 emissions - effectively making it impossible to sell combustion engine cars from that date. But EU countries still need to rubber stamp the decision before it can take effect. EU countries' ambassadors on Friday cancelled the vote that had been planned for March 7, the spokesperson for Sweden said.

That has put the law on ice days before it was due to receive final approval. An attempt to block or change an EU policy this late in the lawmaking process is highly unusual. German Transport Minister Volker Wissing reiterated on Friday that the use of synthetic fuels should remain possible after the 2035 deadline and that the European Commission's promised proposal on how to make this happen was still missing.

"We want climate-neutral mobility", and to do so means being open to all conceivable technologies, he told a news conference.

A non-binding section of the EU law says the Commission will make a proposal on how vehicles running on CO2-neutral fuels can be sold after 2035, if this complies with climate goals. But Germany's transport ministry wants clearer assurances.

We remind, the UK’s new car market grew by 26.2% in February, the seventh consecutive month of growth, with easing supply chain issues pushing it close to pre-pandemic levels. New car registrations in February were just 6.5% lower than in the same month of 2020, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). The UK produced 74,441 units during the month, up from 58,994 units in February 2022.


Sulzer acquires stake in Fuenix Ecogy and completes portfolio for plastic waste reduction

Sulzer acquires stake in Fuenix Ecogy and completes portfolio for plastic waste reduction

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Sulzer has signed an agreement with circular technology company Fuenix Ecogy to acquire a strategic stake in its plastic upcycling business, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The partnership will drive the development, commercialization and adoption of advanced, fully integrated solutions for plastic waste processing.

The move will allow Sulzer to offer complete recycling lines based on Fuenix’s Ecogy technology and Sulzer’s own proven separation and purification solutions. Sulzer Chemtech is an established licensor of reaction and separation technologies aimed at driving the chemical recycling of materials.

Fuenix Ecogy technology converts sorted end-of-life mixed plastic waste into high-value hydrocarbons with virgin-like properties. The solution offers high recovery and conversion rates, enabling a high degree of circularity in the plastic value chain.

With this strategic investment, Sulzer is sharing its leading technical expertise to support the scale up and commercialization of a cutting-edge pyrolysis technology. The agreement also expands Sulzer Chemtech’s technology licensing portfolio for polymer processing, in line with its overarching mission to help industry adopt more sustainable practices.

As the exclusive licensor of the technology, Sulzer Chemtech will be able to offer complete as well as partial recycling lines based on Fuenix’s Ecogy pyrolysis technology and its own proven separation and purification solutions. At the same time, Sulzer Chemtech will continue to offer its separation and purification know-how and solutions to other plastic recycling technologies.

Sirt Mellema, CEO of Fuenix Ecogy, said, “We are extremely happy about this new partnership with Sulzer, as it will be key to help us scale our technology and promote its global adoption, so that we can help create a circular economy for plastic waste. Sulzer Chemtech’s expertise will allow us to grow our business together and enable a positive change in the industry."

Sulzer’s Executive Chairwoman Suzanne Thoma, said, “I am proud of this latest investment to grow our already extensive range of sustainable technologies. With the acquisition of a stake in Fuenix Ecogy we are enhancing our scope and portfolio in creating fully circular, zero-waste plastic value chains."

We remind, Sulzer has signed an agreement with circular technology company Fuenix Ecogy to acquire a strategic stake in its plastic upcycling business. The partnership will drive the development, commercialization and adoption of advanced, fully integrated solutions for plastic waste processing.


Chevron, Talos to triple the size of Texas carbon capture project

Chevron, Talos to triple the size of Texas carbon capture project

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Oil producers Chevron Corp and Talos Energy Inc on Monday said they have tripled the size of a proposed carbon capture and storage hub for the Gulf Coast, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Their joint venture, which includes Carbonvert Inc, plans to collect and bury greenhouse gases from clients in the petrochemical, cement, steel and other industrial businesses along the Texas coast. The cost of the acquisition was not disclosed.

The so-called Bayou Bend hub is one of Chevron's top global bets for carbon capture, utilization and sequestration (CCUS), a potentially multi-trillion dollar market by 2050. "The market is huge," Chevron's vice president for CCUS, Chris Powers, told reporters at the CERAWeek energy conference by S&P. "In order to meet the ambitions of the Paris Agreement, we are going to do CCUS at massive scale, with multiple hubs like this."

The first injection is expected for around 2026. Timing will depend on the regulatory process and clients needs, said Robin Fielder, chief sustainability officer for Talos. The group will start to seek long-term customers, including those looking to use CCUS associated with hydrogen production, the executives said.

The venture added nearly 100,000 onshore acres (405 square kilometers) to its existing 40,000 acre site. The expanded area could store more than 1 billion metric tons of greenhouse gases. The trio said the deal positions their Bayou Bend hub as a storage site for carbon emitted by hard to abate industries in the region, one of the largest industrial corridors in the United States.

Chevron is investing USD10 billion through 2028 in its Low Carbon ventures including CCUS and hydrogen fuel. The company is investing in technologies to allow hydrogen transportation, including through ammonia, the company's vice president of hydrogen Austin Knight said during the conference.

While technology for hydrogen production already exists, for transportation in a large scale the technology is still in the early stages, he said.

We remind, Chevron Corp. posted a record USD36.5 bn profit for 2022 that was more than double year-earlier earnings but fell shy of Wall Street estimates, undercut by an asset writedowns and a retreat in oil and gas prices.
The second largest U.S. oil producer's adjusted net profit for 2022 beat by about USD10 billion its previous record set in 2011. But USD1.1 B in writedowns in its international oil and gas operations in the fourth quarter left earnings short of forecasts for adjusted net profit of USD37.2 B.


Chemetics wins contract for sulfuric acid plant for the Nolans NeodymiumPraseodymium project

Chemetics wins contract for sulfuric acid plant for the Nolans NeodymiumPraseodymium project

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Arafura Rare Earths has entered into an agreement for the supply of the sulfuric acid plant for its 100% owned Nolans NeodymiumPraseodymium (NdPr) Project in the Northern Territory, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The sulfuric acid plant will be supplied by Chemetics Inc. a global supplier of sulfuric acid and other specialty chemical facilities, a wholly owned subsidiary of Worley. The sulfuric acid plant for Nolans will utilize Chemetics proprietary CORE-SO2 process which significantly reduces capital cost, maintenance cost and sulfur dioxide emissions from the plant.

The Chemetics plant is also significantly smaller than a traditional sulfur burning acid plant allowing increased use of modularization reducing the volume of site installation labor. These savings were incorporated into the recent Nolans project update. The initial work package includes finalization of specifications and engineering design to allow the plant to be incorporated into the overall project design.

Arafura’s General Manager Projects, Stewart Watkins, said, “Letting the contract for the supply of the acid plant to a global supplier such as Chemetics provides confidence around the outcomes for the Project when the team reaches commissioning. Along with that, the progress made on the selection of our key vendors and placement of long lead orders means that we are set to commence early works construction in the coming weeks."

As well as the sulfuric acid plant, the Company has also placed several other the orders during recent weeks which are on the critical path for the project, including:

Sulfation bakes and cooler paddle dryers with ANDRITZ, primarily to secure detailed design and long lead materials for fabrication.
Pipe supply for the first 8 km of HDPE piping for the main water supply pipeline from the borefield to the plant site, which is required for early construction works.
Potable and wastewater treatment plants for the construction camp.
Equipment and tankage for temporary construction water supply in advance of the pipeline being installed to site.

We remind, WeylChem Group of Companies, owned by International Chemicals Investors Group (ICIG), has bought Ineos Sulphur Chemicals Spain SLU, a sulfuric acid manufacturer in Spain, from Ineos. With the deal, WeylChem Group has strengthened its footprint as one of the leading players in the European sulfur chemicals market. The acquired business' facility in Bilbao has a production capacity of 350,000 tonnes/y of sulfuric acid, resulted from sulfur burning. It also manufactures oleum and molten sulfur. In the future, the firm will be known as WeylChem Bilbao SLU. WeylChem Bilbao, together with the French operations at WeylChem Lamotte, will have a strong combined distribution, logistics and sales framework.