Evonik Catalysts invests in capacity expansion to support Activated Nickel Catalysts market

Evonik Catalysts invests in capacity expansion to support Activated Nickel Catalysts market

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Evonik Catalysts is fully on track to expand its production capacities for activated nickel powder catalysts marketed under the KALCAT and Metalyst brands at its production sites in Hanau, Germany, and Dombivli near Mumbai, India, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The company is responding to the growing demand for its precious metal-free powder hydrogenation catalysts from the pharmaceutical, agrochemical and sugar substitutes industries, thereby increasing supply security for the benefit of its customers.

The debottlenecking projects with a total invest of high single digit million Euros, are designed to increase Evonik's capacity by 25%, are on schedule and expected to be completed by a global network of multi-purpose production plants to boost efficiency, improve infrastructure, and further strengthen production capabilities. The new capacity is expected to be available to the market in second half of 2024.

“For decades, Evonik Catalysts has been at the forefront of activated nickel catalysts, making us the global market leader and technology leader in most of these products, ensuring customer proximity and supply reliability," says Sanjeev Taneja, Head of Business Line Catalysts. The investment will benefit both sites in Germany and India and is a clear commitment to Evonik Catalysts' customer-centric 'think global - act local' approach supporting the business line's growth trajectory.

"The investment will not only increase capacity, but also enable us to expand our portfolio to include a wider range of products with superior properties. This will enable our customers to carry out hydrogenation reactions with less quantities of catalyst while maintaining activity and even faster cycle times due to reduced settling times, thus significantly improving process efficiency," adds Bettina Munsch, Head of Evonik's Life Science & Performance Catalysts Product Line.

Supporting circular economy activated nickel catalysts consist solely of metal, basically nickel, and do not include an inert support such as alumina, silica, or carbon. This allows for a complete catalyst material reclamation.

Besides activated nickel catalyst powder, Evonik recently launched a new innovation - activated nickel foam for sustainable and efficient fixed bed continuous processes. The nickel foams are lightweight with a very large reactive surface. They have an extremely low pressure drop and less abrasion, as well as longer catalyst life and reduced maintenance costs in downstream equipment.

We remind, Evonik, the market and innovation leader in polyurethane additives, has boosted its range of high-performance products for the spray polyurethane foam (SPF) industry with the release of DABCO PM 301. Used in combination with the latest Opteon™ 1100 and Opteon™ 1150 blowing agents from Chemours, a global chemistry company, DABCO® PM 301 improves thermal performance and increases efficiency in SPF systems.


S-OIL selects tech for PE project in South Korea

S-OIL selects tech for PE project in South Korea

MOSCOW (MRC) -- S-OIL Corporation has selected Univation's UNIPOLPE Technology for three world-scale production lines to be located at S-OIL's site at Ulsan, the Republic of Korea, said the company.

Each line is designed to achieve a nameplate capacity of 400,000 tons per annum for a combined polyethylene (PE) production capacity of 1,200,000 tons per annum.

The design basis for these three lines enables S-OIL to access the full-density flexibility of the UNIPOL PE Process platform. This flexibility enables S-OIL with production capabilities to satisfy a wide range of demand for essential HDPE and LLDPE applications for both domestic consumption as well as global export market needs. S-OIL has further elected to access Univation's advanced product portfolio covering both HDPE and LLDPE applications.

S-OIL will also use Univation's PREMIER APC+ 3.0 platform which delivers advance process control capabilities further enhancing the overall operating performance of all three UNIPOL PE Process lines. Univation developed the APC+ 3.0 platform specifically for the UNIPOL™ PE Process to enable superior operational control that allows the optimizing of raw material utilization, maximization of production rates, and provides for seamless product grade transitions. Additionally, S-OIL has elected to utilize the UNIPOL PE Process Virtual Plant Simulator software. The UVPS training platform is designed to deliver realistic operation training experiences allowing S-OIL to train its entire staff on all essential unit operations related to the UNIPOL PE Process including both routine and non-routine operating conditions.

Luis Cirihal, president of Univation Technologies, commented, "We are delighted to have been selected as the PE technology licensor by S-OIL Corporation for these three world-scale UNIPOL PE Plants, and it is our privilege to build upon the close collaborative business relationships already established with the S-OIL team throughout all aspects of this project – from initial design, through a safe, successful start-up, and continuing into steady-state production". Luis continued, "One of the key tenets of Univation focuses on establishing life-long collaborative relationships with our customers – and we look forward to deepening the relationships that have already been created to further support S-OIL in realizing their key business objectives through maximizing the benefits derived from this new significant source of polyethylene".

We remind, S-Oil has started building its crude-to-chemicals project in Ulsan which is expected to provide won (W) 3tr (USD2.3bn) in added value to the northeast Asian economy. A groundbreaking ceremony was conducted on 9 March for the project called Shaheen - Arabic word for falcon - which should generate up to 17,000 jobs during peak construction, and after start-up, should support more than 400 jobs, S-Oil said in a statement. The company is over 63%-owned by Saudi Aramco through its subsidiary Aramco Overseas Co.

S-OIL was established in 1976 and cultivated management characteristics with a mobility to match the international generation, and a management strategy for its profit-base to grow as a competitive oil-refining company. The company has facilities that produce lube base oil, petro-chemical products, and crude oil refining facilities of 677,000 barrels a day in Ulsan, a metropolitan city in the southeast of the Republic of Korea.


Repsol links its fuel discounts to a unique multi-energy offer in Spain

Repsol links its fuel discounts to a unique multi-energy offer in Spain

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Repsol announced the launch of a new connected energy program aimed at customers of its portfolio of energy products: fuel, electricity, heating, solar and electric mobility, said Polymerupdate.

This unique multi-energy proposition in Spain, which will come into effect on April 1, replaces the current fuel discounts, effective March 16, 2022.

The company's innovative approach links fuel discounts to customers contracting their energy products and paying for them through Waylet, its free payment and loyalty application, which has more than 6 million registered users.

Customers can achieve a discount in the form of a Waylet balance of up to 20 euro cents per liter of fuel on a permanent basis and 100% of the amount when recharging electric vehicles at the company's public points and service stations. These savings generated in Waylet can be used for future payments, either at service stations and electric recharging points, or on Repsol bills (electricity and gas), in the purchase of butane cylinders, diesel orders, gift cards and in any of the more than 4,400 establishments linked to the Waylet network.

In addition to accumulating savings, the company's customers also benefit from having a single supplier that covers all their energy needs. Repsol has always demonstrated its commitment to its customers through a unique value proposition and competitive advantages to offer them a differential global service.

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.


SK Geo Centric to expand the only EAA production base in Asia

SK Geo Centric to expand the only EAA production base in Asia

MOSCOW (MRC) -- SK Geo Centric (SKGC) aims to enter the global market with its high value-added chemical material Ethylene Acrylic Acid (EAA), said Polymerupdate.

The company currently operates EAA factories in the United States and Spain to establish of a new factory in China to secure the only EAA production base in Asia.

SKGC has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Zhejiang Satellite Petrochemical (STL) on March 22 in Lianyungang, Jiangsu Province, China to build a new EAA plant. The agreement ceremony was attended by SKGC CEO Na Kyung-soo, Head of SKGC China Business Division Jang Nam-hun, Head of SKGC China Investment Management Department Cai Lian Chun, STL Chairman Yang Wei Dong, and Director of STL Zhu Xiao Dong.

Last August, SKGC signed an establishment and investment agreement with STL to form a joint venture to build the global EAA Plant 3. Now, the company plans to push forward with the establishment of the EAA Plant 4. Plant 3 is currently undergoing Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) and is expected to be completed by 2025. Plant 4 is planned to begin construction in the second half of next year with a USD 40 billion investment and commence commercial production in 2028, with a targeted annual production capacity of 50,000 tons.

With the completion of the EAA Plant 4, SKGC’s global production capacity for EAA will increase to 140,000 tons per year, allowing the company to preemptively capture the Asian market. By taking over Dow Chemical Company’s EAA business in 2017, it has been operating manufacturing plants in Texas, the U.S., and Tarragona, Spain.

EAA is a type of high-performance adhesive copolymer resin produced by only three to four global chemical companies. It has excellent bonding performance for dissimilar materials such as metals and plastics, or paper and plastics. SK Geo Centric is the only company capable of commercial production of High Acid EAA, a high-quality product grade that exhibits outstanding adhesive performance.

Furthermore, EAA is becoming increasingly useful in various industries due to its excellent performance, including sterilized packs and vacuum packing for meat products, golf balls, and tempered glass. One particular benefit of EAA is its ability to replace existing plastic materials used for paper-coating, resulting in reduced plastic usage, which is expected to generate more demand from the market in the future.

We remind, Satellite Petrochemical is planning to partner with French’s industry gas provider Air Liquide to construct an integrated new material and new energy project at Dushangang in China’s Zhejiang province. Under the agreement, Satellite will invest yuan (CNY) 10.2bn (USD1.57bn) to build an 800,000 tonne/year propane dehydrogenation (PDH) plant, an 800,000 tonne/year butanol unit and a 120,000 tonne/year neopentyl glycol (NPG) unit, together with some supporting facilities.


Saudi Aramco to open new China refinery-petchem complex in 2026

Saudi Aramco to open new China refinery-petchem complex in 2026

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Saudi Aramco and its Chinese partners aim to start full operations at a refinery and petrochemical project in northeast China in 2026 to meet the country's growing demand for fuel and petrochemicals, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The project in Liaoning's Panjin city, expected to cost USD10 B, will be Aramco's second major refining-petrochemical investment in China.

Joint venture Huajin Aramco Petrochemical Company (HAPCO) will build and operate the complex that will house a 300,000 barrels per day (bpd) refinery and a cracker with annual production capacity of 1.65 million tons of ethylene and 2 million tons of paraxylene, Aramco said in a statement.

Construction at the complex will start in the second quarter after the project secures the required administrative approvals, Aramco said. The plant is expected to be fully operational by 2026, it added. Aramco will supply up to 210,000 bpd of crude oil as feedstock for the plant.

State-owned NORINCO Group, a Chinese military equipment maker, owns 51% of HAPCO while Aramco and Panjin Xincheng Industrial Group hold stakes of 30% and 19%, respectively.

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.