Borealis showcases a new PP monomaterial pouch

Borealis showcases a new PP monomaterial pouch

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Borealis announces that it is using the occasion of the Plastics Recycling Show Europe (PRSE) in May to highlight a new monomaterial pouch containing over 95% PP and designed for recycling, said the company.

Developed in collaboration with value chain partners, this more sustainable high barrier packaging format offers a range of benefits for the blown and cast film extrusion processes as well as for brand owners and end consumers. As a monomaterial PP packaging format, it can help meet ambitious recycling and waste reduction targets set forth in the EU’s Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation (PPWR) as well as eco-modulation criteria for Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) programmes.

High barrier packaging is used to preserve and protect foodstuffs that are sensitive to moisture, oxygen, aromas, and light, like dry ingredients and powders, coffee, and snack foods. Producers and consumers benefit from the longer shelf life and reduced food waste made possible by these convenient high barrier pouches. In the extrusion lamination process, laminating PP cast and BOPP (biaxially oriented polypropylene) films yields mono PP laminates with uniquely advantageous properties. These include high barrier and stiffness, and excellent sealing performance.

Using conventional adhesion lamination structures, producers have previously been able to obtain pouch laminate materials containing approximately 90% PP. However, by pooling their respective areas of expertise, Borealis and value chain partners have now been able to boost the share of PP to over 95%. When processed within dedicated mechanical recycling streams for PP, this monomaterial pouch yields greater volumes of high-quality recyclate fit for use in non-food, flexible PP packaging applications. It is thus the ideal format with which to fulfil the principle aims of the PPWR: improve recyclability, grow the market for recycled content, and reduce packaging waste.

We remind, Borealis, one of the world’s leading providers of advanced and circular polyolefin solutions and a European market leader in base chemicals, fertilizers and the mechanical recycling of plastics, is launching Stelora, a new class of sustainable engineering polymer offering increased strength, durability and a step change in heat-resistance capability.

Germany's Schwedt refinery to run at 70% of capacity from June

Germany's Schwedt refinery to run at 70% of capacity from June

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Germany's Schwedt oil refinery will run at 70% of capacity from June, German state secretary Michael Kellner said on Friday as he greeted a tanker arriving at the Gdansk terminal in Poland with non-Russian oil en route to the refinery, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Schwedt was operating at 50-60% capacity earlier this year after Germany stopped oil supplies from Russia because of Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Germany has been working with Poland to try to secure supply for Schwedt via the oil terminal in Gdansk and the Polish section of the Druzhba pipeline.

"Last week I talked to the refinery chief executive and he clarified that from June they will be able to produce at 70% or more," Kellner told reporters as the tanker carrying Saudi Arabian oil arrived at Gdansk's Naftoport terminal.

Berlin took control of the Schwedt refinery last year after Russia's invasion of Ukraine, placing Rosneft Deutschland under trusteeship of the German industry regulator.

While Russian energy group Rosneft still owns 54.17% of the refinery, Germany has prepared legislation that allows a quick sale of the Russian energy group's stake without the need for nationalization.

We remind, Germany plans to adjust its Energy Security Act to allow a quick sale of Russian energy group Rosneft's stake in the Schwedt refinery without the need for prior nationalization, a draft law showed. Under the planned adjustment to the law, the condition of prior nationalization of assets put under government trusteeship could be withdrawn if the sale of the assets is needed to ensure that Germany's energy sector remains functional, the draft law.

Iraq expects Total to begin USD27-B energy project in second half of 2023

Iraq expects Total to begin USD27-B energy project in second half of 2023

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Iraq expects TotalEnergies to begin operations on a long-delayed USD27-B oil, gas and renewables project in the second half of 2023 after finalizing side-contracts with a state oil company, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Basim Mohammed, Iraqi deputy oil minister for upstream affairs, said TotalEnergies and the Basra Oil Company "are now in the process of finalizing some contractual procedures and documents necessary to activate the contract."

"Meetings continue with Total to avoid any delay and the contract will be activated in the second half of this year to start operations," he said.

The deal was signed in 2021 for TotalEnergies to build four oil, gas and renewables projects with an initial investment of USD10 B in southern Iraq over 25 years, but it was delayed amid disputes between Iraqi politicians over terms.

Iraq said last month it had agreed to a smaller 30% stake in the project, reviving the deal that Baghdad hopes could lure foreign investment back into a country enjoying relative stability after years of conflict and tensions.

QatarEnergy will also have a share in the project.

We remind, TotalEnergies and Paprec, leader in plastic recycling in France, have signed a long-term commercial agreement to develop a French value chain for advanced recycling of plastic film wastes. The agreement will secure the supply of TotalEnergies' future advanced plastic recycling plant in Grandpuits. Following the terms of this agreement, Citeo, the main organization in charge of end-of-life household packaging in France, will provide a stream of flexible plastic waste sorted from post-consumer packaging.

Arkema reports 1Q 2023 results

Arkema reports 1Q 2023 results

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Arkema's sales reached EUR 2.5 bn in 1Q 2023, down by 12.6% year-on-year, said the company.

Sales were affected by drop in volumes, which was due to continued weak demand in Europe, a slowdown observed in construction in the United States, and temporary destocking in batteries in China; overall resilience in prices, benefiting from the work to position the portfolio on higher value-added solutions; and benefits of its sustainable innovation in high performance solutions such as bio-based and recyclable materials, 3D printing and more eco-friendly coatings. EBITDA reached EUR 367 M and EBITDA margin totalled 14.5%, down compared with the exceptionally high comparison base of 1Q 2022 (compared to EUR 619 M and 21.4%, respectively), which benefited from particularly favourable market conditions in PVDF and upstream acrylics.

Adjusted net income reached EUR 162 M, representing EUR 2.17/share (compared to EUR 5.08/share in 1Q 2022). Recurring cash flow amounted to negative EUR 21 M (compared to positive EUR 26 M in 1Q 2022), reflecting the usual seasonality of working capital in 1Q 2023. Net debt was stable at EUR 2389 M (compared to EUR 2366 M at end-Dec 2022), including EUR 700 M in hybrid bonds, representing 1.3x last-twelve-months EBITDA.

In 2023, the group aims to achieve EBITDA of around EUR 1.5 bn to EUR 1.6 bn and maintain a high EBITDA to cash conversion rate of over 40%. Commitment for the climate on the 1.5 degC trajectory by 2030 strengthened by the group in light of the progress achieved in its carbon trajectory, and validated by Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).

Arkema now aims to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 48.5% for Scopes 1+2 and by 54% for Scope 3 by 2030 versus 2019.

We remind, Arkema announces the doubling of its polyester resins capacity in its Navi Mumbai facility in India, reinforcing the Group’s leadership position in the global powder coatings market and its commitment to developing very low-VOC technologies. Arkema invested in the Navi Mumbai facility in early 2019 to expand geographic coverage of its high performance, more sustainable, low-VOC products, and to support its customers in their development. The site includes a modern manufacturing unit and a dedicated laboratory to provide application development and technical support in the region.

Lower oil prices send Saudi oil giant Aramco's first quarter profit down 19%

Lower oil prices send Saudi oil giant Aramco's first quarter profit down 19%

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Saudi oil giant Aramco's first quarter net profit dropped 19% from a year earlier to 119.54 billion riyals (USD31.88 billion), said the company.

Profit still beat analysts' median forecast of USD30.8 billion, according to Refinitiv data, and Aramco said the decline was partially offset by lower taxes including in the zakat Islamic tax and a rise in finance and other income. Net profit was 3.75% higher than in the fourth quarter.

Yousef Husseini, head of materials at EFG Hermes Research, said there was no material surprise in Aramco's results, "with the company performing in line with its ability at prevailing oil prices and taking into account production cuts."

"But, the real positive surprise, which we think will be well received by the market, is that Aramco finally decided to up its dividend policy and include a clear link to its performance."

The world's top oil exporter made a record profit of over USD161 billion for 2022 on higher energy prices and production.

Last month, Saudi Arabia and other OPEC+ producers announced surprise oil production cuts from May, initially driving up prices, but global economic uncertainty and an unclear demand outlook continue to weigh on prices.

We remind, Saudi Aramco has signed 59 corporate procurement agreements (CPAs) worth a potential total of USD11 billion with up to 51 domestic and international manufacturers, as a part of its coveted in-kingdom total value add (IKTVA) localisation programme.