Investors urge European chemical makers to take action on emissions

Investors urge European chemical makers to take action on emissions

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Investors managing more than USD4 T in assets have told European chemical companies they must set out a path to move away from fossil fuels, saying that the sector's role in greenhouse gas emissions has been overlooked, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Legal and General Investment Management, Amundi and EFG Asset Management are among 15 investors to have written to Europe's 13 biggest chemical companies including BASF, LyondellBasell Industries and Yara in a joint statement published this week. "Europe's chemical companies need to know that action on decarbonization isn’t optional," said Vincent Kaufmann, CEO at Ethos Foundation, one of the investors.

"The progress we have seen over the past 18 months, with some companies setting increasingly ambitious targets and transition plans, indicates that sustained investor engagement is important and effective." Penny Fowler, Head of Corporate Climate Campaigns at ShareAction, the responsible investment NGO that has coordinated the investor statement, said the chemical industry's reliance on fossil fuels was "often overlooked as a major contributor to global warming."

Norway's Yara said in an emailed statement that its ambition was to become climate neutral by 2050. "We have set ambitious targets for further reductions ... and take part in developing the Sectoral Decarbonization Approach for the chemical industry to align our climate targets with the goals of the Paris Agreement," Yara's VP Sustainability Governance Bernhard Stormyr said.

BASF and LynondellBassell did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Some chemical companies have been raising their climate-related pledges. For example, in December LyondellBasell increased its greenhouse gas reduction target for direct and indirect emissions from purchased energy and established a target to cut all other indirect emissions by 2030.

In its statement, the investors said the chemicals firms should establish credible decarbonization plans that include efforts to electrify chemical production processes and switching to greener energy sources. Other recommendations include chemical firms changing the raw materials used in chemical production processes to emissions-neutral materials instead of fossil fuels and eliminating woody biomass as an energy source.

We remind, Germany's transport minister on Friday said he was optimistic a dispute between Berlin and Brussels over the future of combustion engine cars running on e-fuels was close to resolution, though some questions still needed clarifying. Berlin has been in talks with the European Commission over the past weeks about allowing registrations of cars running on synthetic fuels beyond the 2035 deadline for sales of CO2-emitting cars, agreed by European Union countries last year. A vote on the ban got delayed early this month by Germany's last-minute objections.

Aramco, China JV to start work on refinery and petrochemical complex

Aramco, China JV to start work on refinery and petrochemical complex

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Saudi Aramco said its joint venture (JV) in China plans to start the construction of a major integrated refinery and petrochemical complex in the northeast of the country, said Middleeastbusiness.

The venture, Huajin Aramco Petrochemical Company (HAPCO), is developing the complex that will combine a 300,000 barrels per day (bpd) refinery and a petrochemical plant with an annual production capacity of 1.65 million metric tons of ethylene and two million metric tons of paraxylene.

Aramco holds a 30 per cent shareholding in HAPCO while China’s NORINCO Group owns a 51 per cent stake and the other 19 per cent is owned by Panjin Xincheng Industrial Group.

Construction is due to start in the second quarter of 2023 after the project secures the required administrative approvals. It is expected to be fully operational by 2026.

Saudi Aramco will supply up to 210,000 bpd of crude oil feedstock to the complex, which is being built in the city of Panjin, in China’s Liaoning province.

“This important project will support China’s growing demand for fuel and chemical products. It also represents a major milestone in our ongoing downstream expansion strategy in China and the wider region, which is an increasingly significant driver of global petrochemical demand,” said Mohammed Y Al Qahtani, Aramco executive vice president of downstream.

We remind, Aramco, one of the world’s leading integrated energy and chemicals companies, and Linde Engineering, a global leader in the production and processing of gases, announced that they have signed an agreement to jointly develop a new ammonia cracking technology.

ABB and Parason collaborate to scale up sustainable packaging in India

ABB and Parason collaborate to scale up sustainable packaging in India

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Parason, one of the largest manufacturers & suppliers of pulp and paper machinery has collaborated with ABB in India to automate and up-scale production of sustainable and compostable packaging solutions, said the company.

The collaboration has been established to help Parason’s customers reduce their reliance on single-use plastics and Styrofoam packaging. These molded fiber tableware products are widely used across multiple industries across restaurants and cafes, food catering, transport, travel and industry canteens.

ABB robots, integrated with Parason’s machinery, will help to facilitate the effective manufacturing of agro-waste products - creating 100 percent eco-friendly compostable packaging solutions. ABB initially deployed 10 robots at Parason’s five forming machine cell and added another 20 robots at the end of last year.

“The 3.5 million tons of plastic waste generated in India per annum creates various hazards, which is why India has initiated a nationwide ban on single-use plastic,” said Subrata Karmakar, Country President for Robotics & Discrete Automation Business at ABB India. “ABB’s innovative robotic solutions, combined with Parason's revolutionary turn-key manufacturing process using agro-waste, will be a key contributor to addressing climate change by adopting a 100% compostable alternative to plastics."

Compared to manual pick-and-place applications, ABB robots will help increase OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness) performance by 30%, while eliminating ergonomic risks for the workforce, and improving overall health and safety. The shift to ABB’s robotic solutions has also enabled the business to divert the workforce to more meaningful, interesting and rewarding tasks.

We remind, BASF begins production of its first bio-based polyol, Sovermol, in Mangalore, India, said the company.
This product serves the fast-growing demand of eco-friendly products for applications in new energy vehicles (NEV), windmills, flooring and protective industrial coatings in Asia Pacific. Utilizing the existing facilities at BASF's Mangalore site, the Sovermol production facility is now operational after comprehensive planning and construction.

OQ Chemicals Reduces CO2 Emissions at Bay City, Texas Plant by 10% in 2022

OQ Chemicals Reduces CO2 Emissions at Bay City, Texas Plant by 10% in 2022

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The global chemical company OQ Chemicals has reduced its carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 10% at its Bay City, Texas production site in 2022, compared to the previous year's averages, said Polymerupdate.

To achieve this, the company carried out a dedicated boiler and flare improvement project to optimize the flow of vent gases from chemical production units and to further improve the combustion process. Project progress was tracked for 2022, and demonstrated improved production process stability and subsequently reduced emissions.

“Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is crucial to addressing the urgent issue of climate change. OQ Chemicals has made a significant contribution to this global effort by reducing its emissions at Bay City by 10%. This success was made possible through the excellent collaboration of our dedicated teams from the Engineering and Operations departments. The project aimed to improve boiler controls, enabling increased consumption of vent gases for energy recovery and reduced flaring, and included equipment improvements in the utilities area,” said Kevin Hunt, OQ Chemicals Director of Maintenance and Technical at Bay City, Texas.

OQ Chemicals’ company-wide strategic program ‘reduce’ aims to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions over the next years, with the ultimate goal of becoming climate neutral by mid-century. The boiler and flare improvement project falls under Scope 1, which encompasses direct emissions from production activities. With the reduce program, OQ Chemicals tackles all scopes of emissions, including indirect Scope 2 and all relevant Scope 3 emissions.

We remind, Rohm and OQ Chemicals officially broke ground on their new world-scale methyl methacrylate (MMA) plant in Bay City, Texas. The plant will be the first to employ Rohm's LiMA ("Leading in Methacrylates") technology on a large industrial scale, which is its latest proprietary production technology. It will have a capacity of 250,000 tonnes/year once completed in early 2024, which will enable Rohm to serve increasing demand for MMA and support the reliability of its supply chain towards its customers globally.

NOVA Chemicals sets bold ESG aspirations to lead the plastics circular economy

NOVA Chemicals sets bold ESG aspirations to lead the plastics circular economy

MOSCOW (MRC) -- NOVA Chemicals Corporation announced sector-leading ESG ambitions to drive the circular economy for plastics, in line with its vision to become the leading sustainable polyethylene producer in North America, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

By 2030, the company aims to: set new industry standards for driving the transition to the plastics circular economy and solidifying the market for recycled polyethylene, with 30 per cent of its polyethylene salesi from recycled content; Be at the forefront of decarbonization by reducing its Scope 1 and 2 absolute CO2 emissions by 30 per centii; and Become a Top 30 company in Canada.

Outlined in NOVA 2030: Our Roadmap to Sustainability Leadership, NOVA Chemicals has also shared its aspiration to reach net-zero Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2050.

To achieve these aspirations, NOVA Chemicals anticipates investing between $2-4 B by 2030 to expand its sustainable product offerings, decarbonize assets, and build a state-of-the-art mechanical recycling business while exploring new advanced recycling technologies to create high-quality, high-performance recyclable and low carbon plastics.

Building on its proprietary, Advanced SCLAIRTECHTM technology (AST), NOVA Chemicals will explore expanding its product portfolio to include the development of innovative, advanced materials. These new product offerings, which will include the company’s first ASTUTE polyolefin plastomers line, will better serve existing customers and provide more options for sustainability-focused end markets such as electric vehicles and renewables.

NOVA Chemicals has already begun growing its portfolio of recycled and recyclable polyethylene resins through its recently announced launch of SYNDIGO recycled polyethylene, a new portfolio of products made from circular polymers to encourage both waste and emissions reductions.

We remind, NOVA Chemicals announced a virtual power purchase agreement (VPPA) with Shell Energy for renewable power, marking the first of many opportunities to increase low carbon, renewable energy in its power portfolio.