Biodiesel import flood could drown European market

Biodiesel import flood could drown European market

A flood of potentially "dubious" biodiesel imports into Europe from China needs to be subject to closer EU vetting or it could trigger the collapse of the European Union's biofuels industry, top producer body EWABA said on Wednesday, said Reuters.

The European Waste-based Advanced Biofuels Association (EWABA) said 11 European biodiesel plants have already halted production and another 10 have reduced their capacity. The EU has provided incentives for the production of biodiesel made with waste oils and fat as part of its efforts to increase renewable energy use.

At the same time, EU data and Chinese customs data have both shown a rise in imports to Europe from Chinese producers that see the opportunity provided by a strong market in Europe. European vegetable oil industry group FEDIOL last week cited an abnormal rise in imports of biodiesel classified as waste based as a reason for plummeting rapeseed prices.

Offer prices in Europe for advanced biodiesel have nearly halved since August, traders say, reducing producers' earnings. EWABA said the EU-backed inspection mechanism has not sufficiently checked imports and traders say spot audits in China are insufficient to ensure less sustainable materials, notably palm oil, are not used to make biofuel.

"The promotion to waste-based and advanced biodiesel has to be accompanied by effective policing and worldwide sound auditing and verification practices ... thus avoiding dubious or fraudulent activity," EWABA said, without naming specific Chinese companies.

If authorities do not crack down on the flows, it added: "We will soon be on a path which will irremediably spiral into the complete collapse of the EU industry. This would result in de-industrialization and damaging job losses". It addressed its open letter to the European Commission, the German Federal Ministry for the Environment and the Dutch Emissions Authority.

We remind, Russia is leaning towards leaving oil production volumes unchanged ahead of an OPEC+ policy meeting on June 4 because Moscow is content with current prices and output. OPEC+, which groups the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries with Russia and other allies, surprised the market on April 2 with further output cuts that pushed up the price of oil.

Indorama Ventures and Carbios reaffirm partnership to build first-of-a-kind PET biorecycling plant in France

Indorama Ventures and Carbios reaffirm partnership to build first-of-a-kind PET biorecycling plant in France

Indorama Ventures Public Company Limited, a global sustainable chemical producer, and Carbios, a biotech company developing and industrializing biological solutions to reinvent the life cycle of plastic and textiles, announce today the signing of a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to form a Joint Venture for the construction of the world’s first PET biorecycling plant in France, said the company.

Based on and subject to the comprehensive terms set out in the MOU, Indorama Ventures plans to mobilize about €110 MM for the Joint Venture in equity and non-convertible loan financing , pending final engineering documentation and final economic feasibility studies. Both parties have acknowledged their mutual support for the implementation of the project and their intent to finalize contract documentation before end 2023.

Subject to the successful performance of this first plant in France, Indorama Ventures confirms its intention to potentially expand the technology to other PET sites for future developments.

Under the agreement signed today, Carbios, which filed for plant permitting in December 2022, should acquire 13ha land from Indorama Ventures’ existing PET plant at Longlaville and expects to be granted permits by Q3 2023, allowing start of construction by end of 2023 and targeted commissioning in 2025. The land surface offers the possibility to double capacity. Pursuant to this MOU, Indorama Ventures shall ensure 100% of output repolymerization and both partners shall collaborate to secure feedstock supply.

The total capital investment for the new plant is re-estimated to be around EUR230 million, taking into account recent impact from inflation. Project costs shall be financed by the sums mobilized by Indorama Ventures, the French State and Grand-Est Region subsidies available for the project , and by equity capitalization of the Joint Venture by Carbios. Part of Carbios’ equity injection into the Joint Venture shall be financed by a portion of Carbios’ current cash position (i.e. €86 million as of 30 April 2023). Carbios is actively examining the best options to finance its remaining equity injection into the Joint Venture and will choose the most appropriate solution and timeline based on market conditions.

The project is part of Indorama Ventures’ Vision 2030 ambition to build on its leadership as a global sustainable chemical company. The company’s ESG commitments include spending USD1.5 B to increase its recycling capacity to 50 billion PET bottles per year by 2025 and 100 billion bottles per year by 2030. To meet these goals, Indorama Ventures, the world’s largest producer of recycled PET resin used in beverage bottles, is investing in new recycling technologies, including advanced recycling, in addition to expanding its global footprint of mechanical recycling sites, including two in France.

Carbios has developed a disruptive enzymatic depolymerization technology that enables efficient and solvent-free recycling of PET plastic and textile waste into virgin-like products with an aim to achieve true circularity. Carbios has ambitious plans to become a leading technology provider in advanced recycling of PET by 2035. After successful ongoing operations in its demonstration plant in Clermont-Ferrand in France, Carbios has been collaborating with Indorama Ventures for over a year to assess the commercial and technical feasibility of the technology. The world’s first industrial-scale enzymatic PET recycling plant at Longlaville will have a capacity to process about 50,000 tons of post-consumer PET waste per year, including waste that is not recyclable mechanically, equivalent to 2 billion PET colored bottles or 2.5 billion PET trays.

We remind, Indorama Ventures Public Company Limited (IVL) are collaborating to use flake from recycled PET trays to produce PET film suitable for food packaging trays, said the company. The partnership is an important step in diverting PET trays from landfill or incineration to support the EU’s recycling targets and create a circular economy for PET trays.

SMBC invests USD10m to advance circular plastics in North America

SMBC invests USD10m to advance circular plastics in North America

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation has announced a USD10m investment to advance the recovery and recycling of rigid and flexible PE and PP, said Packaging-gateway.

The Closed Loop Circular Plastics Fund has received a USD10m investment from Japanese multinational banking and financial services institution Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC).

The investment partnership aims to advance the recovery and recycling of rigid and flexible polyethene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) plastics in the US and Canada.

The Fund is a key part of Closed Loop Partners’ strategy to focus on PE, PP and flexible plastics. It also provides debt and equity financing and mainstream investments into recovery and recycling solutions and infrastructure to help address bottlenecks in the recycling system.

Fund performance is benchmarked according to a combination of financial and impact outcomes. This includes tonnes of PE and PP impacted and tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions avoided or reduced. With its investment, SMBC joins institutions such as LyondellBasell, Nova Chemicals and Chevron Phillips Chemical.

SMBC group chief sustainability officer Masayuki Takanashi commented: “SMBC is committed to sustainability while identifying partnerships that leverage our expertise and strong footprint in the Japan and Asia Pacific region.

“Our team is proud to partner in the Closed Loop Circular Plastics Fund’s catalytic, impact-first effort to accelerate infrastructure, equipment, municipal services, as well as innovation and enabling technologies related to flexible films and specific plastic types.” In April, Closed Loop Partners managed the launch of two reusable bag pilots across three US states through The Consortium to Reinvent the Retail Bag.

SMBC is the commercial banking subsidiary of Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group, one of Japan’s largest financial institutions.

We remind, Toray Industries, Inc., Mitsui Chemicals, Inc., and Kumagai Co., Ltd., announced that they have jointly developed a revolutionary mono-material film packaging material and manufacturing process that are free of volatile organic compounds (VOC). Carbon dioxide emissions are 80% lower than from conventional counterparts with this new material, which is also recyclable.

Global and U.S. chemical production trended higher in April, ACC says

Global and U.S. chemical production trended higher in April, ACC says

Marking another month of incremental gains, global and U.S. chemical production rose in April. According to the American Chemistry Council (ACC; Washington, D.C.), the Global Chemical Production Regional Index (Global CPRI) rose by 0.4% in April following a revised 1.5 % increase in March, said Chemengonline.

In the U.S., the U.S. Chemical Production Regional Index (U.S. CPRI) rose 0.5% in April. Both indices are measured on a three-month moving average (3MMA) basis to reduce month-to-month volatility.

“Chemical output increased in April for all regions except South America,” said Martha Moore, ACC’s chief economist. “On a year-over-year basis, while global production remained lower compared to a year ago, output was higher in Europe, Asia Pacific, and Africa & Middle East.”

In the U.S., April’s gain reflects improvement across several chemistries, especially those recovering from production outages during Q1 due to bad weather and maintenance to refineries, says ACC.

We remind, The U.S. Chemical Production Regional Index (U.S. CPRI) rose by 0.7% in February, following declines of 2.4% in December and 0.6% in January, according to the American Chemistry Council (ACC; Washington, D.C.).

PureCycle clears hurdle for second PP recycling plant in Georgia

PureCycle clears hurdle for second PP recycling plant in Georgia

PureCycle Technologies, Inc., today, announced that it has received approval from the Development Authority of Augusta, GA (AEDA) to proceed to closing on the project site in Augusta, Georgia, said Bloomberg.

This will allow PureCycle to begin development activities for its polypropylene purification facility. The AEDA
approval confirms and preserves financial and tax incentives offered for the development.

PureCycle CEO Dustin Olson commented, "We're excited for PureCycle to expand and Augusta is the perfect home for our second purification complex. This approval is the result of several months of hard work to secure the funding
required for at least one purification line and close collaboration with the local community." He added, "PureCycle is extremely grateful to the AEDA for their ongoing support to help bring PureCycle's sustainable solution to the

Located at the Augusta Corporate Park, PureCycle's Augusta facility will begin as a single-line facility with the capability of expanding to eight total purification lines. Fully completed, these eight purification lines are
expected to produce approximately one billion pounds of PureCycle's ultra-pure recycled (UPR) resin.

PureCycle CFO Larry Somma added, "Financing the Augusta project has been an ongoing process and we're very proud to have secured the necessary funding for the first line and we're already working on finalizing the financing for the second line. We're thankful to our investors for their continued financial support to help bring us to this point."

Preparation for the modular construction of the Augusta project has already begun and equipment has started to arrive onsite at Gulfspan's Beaumont, Texas facilities.

The Augusta project is the first step in PureCycle's global expansion plan as the company seeks to use their innovative purification technology to improve the circularity of polypropylene plastic.

We remind, PureCycle Technologies Inc.'s flagship polypropylene recycling facility in Ironton, Ohio, is "days away" from beginning the start-up phase of commercial pellet production.