Dow wins trio of 2023 SEAL Business Sustainability Awards

Dow wins trio of 2023 SEAL Business Sustainability Awards

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Dow has earned three 2023 SEAL Business Sustainability Awards (BSA), said the company.

The environmental advocacy organization recognizes specific initiatives, products, services, and innovations ranging from large companies to emerging start-ups for their industry leadership, innovation, and commitment to sustainable business practices.

Three Dow technologies were recognized across two SEAL categories: one Sustainable Product Award, and two Sustainable Innovation Awards. The product-focused category recognized submissions that were deemed innovative, impactful and “purpose-built” for a sustainable future, whereas the innovation-based category selected recipients for representing game-changing ideas that draw us closer to a more sustainable future.

“Each of these simultaneously high-performing and sustainable products and innovations are making significant advancements in their respective markets and helping Dow realize its ambition to be the world’s most innovative, customer-centric, inclusive, and sustainable materials science company,” said A.N. Sreeram, senior vice president, Research & Development, and chief technology officer. “We will continue to innovate alongside our customers and value chain leaders to deliver a sustainable future through our materials science expertise and collaboration."

We remind, Dow reported a net loss of USD73m for the first quarter (Q1) on a slump in volumes and sales prices in key segments and important geographies. Net sales for the largest US chemical company were down 22% at USD11,851m reflecting, Dow said, declines in all its operating segments driven by lower macroeconomic activity.

Mitsui Chemicals and Sanyo Chemical establish a LLP for PPG Production

Mitsui Chemicals and Sanyo Chemical establish a LLP for PPG Production

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Mitsui Chemicals, Inc. and Sanyo Chemical Industries, Ltd. are pleased to announce that the establishment of a 50-50 Limited Liability Partnership (LLP) on May 15, 2023 for the aim of solving common issues in the production of polypropylene glycols (PPGs), such as improving productivity and securing future supply stability in Japan, said the company.

PPGs are chemical materials obtained through polymerization of alkylene oxides such as propylene oxide (PO) and ethylene oxide (EO) to polyhydric alcohols. PPGs are one of the main raw materials for polyurethanes. Polyurethanes are used in a wide range of applications, including automotive parts, furniture and bedding, heat-insulating construction materials, paints, and adhesives.

The global market for polyurethanes continues to expand. In Japan, demand for high-performance, high-value-added polyurethanes is expected to grow in response to changes in the market, such as the spread of next-generation automobiles, smart homes, and environmental responsiveness, while demand for general-purpose products is on a downward trend. In addition, the competitive environment with overseas manufacturers in both domestic and overseas markets is becoming increasingly severe.

Under these circumstances, two companies have agreed that it is necessary to cooperate with a partner who share the same recognition in order to maintain a sustainable and efficient production system and strengthen competitiveness in the PPG business strategy. Through the establishment of this LLP, two companies will work to achieve both continuous stable supply and securing of profit in the PPG business.

We remind, INEOS has completed the purchase of Mitsui Phenols Singapore in a USD330m deal, giving the UK-based firm over 1m tonnes/year of additional Asia production capacity. Based on Jurong Island, Singapore, the entire asset base of the Mitsui subsidiary will be transferred to INEOS. The business has a production capacity of 410,000 tonnes/year of cumene, 310,000 tonne/year of phenol and 185,000 tonnes/year of acetone.

LyondellBasell announces 5% increase to quarterly dividend

LyondellBasell announces 5% increase to quarterly dividend

MOSCOW (MRC) -- LyondellBasell announced its Board of Directors has declared a quarterly dividend of USD1.25 per share, representing a 5 percent increase over the company's first quarter 2023 dividend, said the company.

The dividend will be paid June 6, 2023 to shareholders of record May 30, 2023, with an ex-dividend date of May 26, 2023.

"2023 marks our 13th consecutive year of annual dividend growth. Our increasing dividend demonstrates our ongoing commitment to deliver strong returns for LyondellBasell shareholders. It is also aligned with our long-term target of returning 70 percent of free cash flow to shareholders that we shared at our Capital Markets Day," said Peter Vanacker, CEO of LyondellBasell. "We will continue our balanced approach to capital deployment as we establish our leadership in creating solutions for everyday sustainable living."

We remind, LyondellBasell (LYB) said it is moving ahead with engineering for a commercial scale advanced plastics waste recycling plant it intends to build at its Wesseling, Germany, production site together with Germany’s 23 Oaks Investments. The companies agreed to form a joint venture, called One Source Resources, that would operate the facility with capacity to convert the plastics waste generated by an estimated 1.3 million people into feedstock to make 50,000 t/y of new plastic materials.

China's oil refiners made rare draw on crude stockpiles in April

China's oil refiners made rare draw on crude stockpiles in April

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Chinese refiners dipped into crude oil inventories in April for the first time in 18 months, as high processing rates exceeded the volume of crude available from both imports and domestic output, said Reuters.

Refiners processed 61.1 million tons in April, equivalent to 14.87 million barrels per day (bpd), which was the second-highest on record and followed on from the all-time peak of 14.9 million bpd in March. The volume of crude available to refiners from imports and domestic output in April was 59.71 million tons, equivalent to 14.53 million bpd.

China doesn't disclose the volumes of crude flowing into or out of strategic and commercial stockpiles, but an estimate can be made by deducting the amount of crude processed from the total of crude available from imports and domestic output.

For April, the total amount of crude available was 340,000 bpd below the volume processed by refiners, the first time since November 2021 that refiners have drawn on inventories.

For the first quarter of 2023 China added about 770,000 bpd to either commercial or strategic storages, a rate that dropped to 480,000 bpd for the first four months as a result of the draw on inventories in April.

The question for the oil market is whether China dipping into stockpiles is the start of a new trend, or whether is was just a one-off driven by temporary factors.

On the processing side, it's clear that China's refiners are running their plants harder, to take advantage of rising domestic demand for fuels as the economy reopens from its COVID-19 lockdowns.

Refiners have also boosted exports of refined fuels having been granted additional quotas by the government as Beijing sought quick ways to boost economic growth and refiners saw opportunities to profit from strong margins for products in the first quarter, especially diesel.

While the domestic demand story remains largely intact, the high levels of product exports may start to taper in coming months for several reasons.

Refiners are likely to hold off exports in order to meet domestic needs, profit margins on refined fuels in Asia have fallen sharply in recent weeks, and Beijing's second round of export quotas are less than half of the first allocation.

Overall, the outlook for refining volumes in China remains strong, with the domestic market recovering and product exports likely to remain solid, even if below the huge volumes seen in the first quarter, when shipments jumped 59.8% from the same period in 2022.

We remnd, India's oil imports from Russia rose to a fresh record high in April, further reducing the share of Middle Eastern and African grades to their lowest level in at least 22 years. Refiners in India, the world's third-biggest oil importer and consumer, are on a Russian oil-buying binge after some countries shunned purchases from Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine in February last year.

Amcor Flexibles Brazil receives ISSC Plus certification, a first for Amcor in Latin America

Amcor Flexibles Brazil receives ISSC Plus certification, a first for Amcor in Latin America

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Amcor, a global leader in developing and producing responsible packaging solutions, announced that the Amcor Flexibles manufacturing plant in Londrina, Brazil, is the first Amcor plant in Latin America to achieve International Sustainability and Carbon Certification Plus status, said Polymerupdate.

The certification allows one of Amcor’s largest plants in Latin America to use advanced recycled materials across its product portfolio.

“We are continually exploring ways to increase the use of recycled content in our packaging,” said Ruben Melara, President, Amcor Flexibles Latin America. “The ISCC Plus certification will enable us to deliver advanced recycling materials across Latin America and expand the options for customers seeking more sustainable packaging solutions.”

The achievement also supports Amcor’s commitment to reach 30% recycled content by 2030 and aligns with the company’s sustainability pledge to make all products recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025.

ISCC PLUS is a standard well-recognized by stakeholders for recycled and bio-based materials. ISCC PLUS certification provides traceability along the supply chain and verifies that companies meet environmental and social standards. For companies using the mass balance approach, ISCC PLUS certification verifies that the mass balance accounting follows predefined and transparent rules.

The technology behind advanced recycling materials allows plastic waste to be converted into brand new products that are no different in quality and performance from ones made with virgin raw materials. This provides customers with the benefit of increasing the use of circular content in their packaging and peace of mind for using a more sustainable solution.

We remind, Amcor plans to shut down its flexible packages plant in Santiago Norte, Chile, on the back of a “difficult industrial and economic” environment. A spokesperson for the company said Amcor’s capsule business in Chile was not affected by the announcement.