BASF starts bio-based polyol production in India

BASF starts bio-based polyol production in India

MOSCOW (MRC) -- BASF has commenced production of its first bio-based polyol, Sovermol®, in Mangalore, India, said the company.

This is the company’s first bio-based polyol production facility in Asia Pacific, serving the region’s fast-growing demand of eco-friendly products for new energy vehicles (NEV), windmills, flooring and protective industrial coatings, it said.

“Asia Pacific is the world’s fastest growing market for NEV and coatings. The Sovermol production facility is strategically located in Mangalore, close to raw materials supply. This will significantly reduce transportation time and contributes to our ambition to bring “best-in-class” products and services efficiently to our customers in Asia Pacific,” said Dr. Claus Dallner, Senior Vice President, Global Business Unit Resins and Additives, BASF.

The BASF site in Mangalore has been in operation since 1996. Spread across more than 200 hectares, it is BASF’s largest production facility in South Asia and produces polymer dispersions, fine chemical catalysts and coatings for paper, agriculture and automotive industries.

We remind, BASF said it would cut 2,600 jobs, halt share buybacks and hike investment to improve competitiveness as it warned of a further decline in earnings due to rising costs. The German chemicals giant said in a statement that adjusted 2023 earnings before interest and tax (EBIT), would fall to between 4.8-5.4 billion euros (USD5.09-USD5.69 billion) from 6.9 billion euros in 2022, which was down 11.5% from 2021.

TotalEnergies invests in renewable energies with biogas and solar projects

TotalEnergies invests in renewable energies with biogas and solar projects

MOSCOW (MRC) -- TotalEnergies is developing its renewable activities in Poland by acquiring the country’s main biogas producer, Polska Grupa Biogazowa (PGB), and a 200-megawatt (MW) development pipeline of solar projects, said the company.

With 130 employees in nine Polish regions, PGB is mainly involved in generating renewable heat and power from biogas sourced from organic waste. It owns and operates 17 facilities in production and one under construction, for a total power generation capacity of 166 GWh per year1. PGB's portfolio also includes a development pipeline of 23 projects.

The acquisition of PGB raises TotalEnergies’ biogas production capacity to 1.1 TWh and gives the Company a leading position in the promising Polish market, which represents Europe’s fourth-largest potential for biogas and biomethane production, estimated at close 100 terawatt-hours (TWh).

TotalEnergies is also entering the Polish solar market with the acquisition of six solar projects under development representing a production capacity of 200 MW. Located in northern and western Poland, the first solar farms are expected to come on stream by 2025.

We remind, TotalEnergies is joining forces with Portuguese packaging player Intraplas to create commercial products with TotalEnergies renewable polymer – a range of the RE:clic portfolio, which uses renewable sources to lower carbon footprint. TotalEnergies’ biorefinery in La Mede, France, allows direct access to renewable feedstock for its drop-in RE: newable polymer range derived from bio-based products. The company claims these polymers retain virgin-like properties.

Saudi Advanced Petrochemical to connect PDH unit to JUPC cracker

Saudi Advanced Petrochemical to connect PDH unit to JUPC cracker

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Saudi Arabian producer Advanced Petrochemical said on Monday that it will build a pipeline to connect its propane dehydrogenation (PDH) plant to the cracker of Jubail United Petrochemical Co (JUPC), to promote industrial integration, said the company.

In a filing to the Saudi bourse, Advanced Petrochemical said it awarded a Saudi riyal (SR) 51m (USD14m) engineering, procurement & construction (EPC) contract for the pipeline to Gas Arabia.

The pipeline system will supply by-product gaseous stream containing high value chemicals from Advanced to JPUC’s cracker for processing and upgrade.

Advanced Petrochemical operates a PDH unit that produces 455,000 tonnes/year of propylene in Al Jubail, as well as two polypropylene (PP) units at the site with a combined capacity of 480,000 tonnes/year.

JUPC has a steam cracker in Al Jubail with a 1.45m tonne/year ethylene capacity, and further produces diethylene glycol (DEG), ethylene glycols, ethylene oxide (EO) and linear olefins.

We remind, Advanced Petrochemical Company, based in Saudi Arabia, said that one of its subsidiary, Advanced Polyolefins Industry Company has signed several agreements worth USD1.6 B to fund the construction of plants at Jubail Industrial City II. The project includes a development of a propane dehydrogenation plant with a total annual capacity of 843,000 tons in addition to a polypropylene (800,000 tons) and a isopropanol facility (70,000 tons).

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.