Sekisui Chemical, ArcelorMittal carbon recycling project achieves target

Sekisui Chemical, ArcelorMittal carbon recycling project achieves target

MRC) -- ArcelorMittal and Sekisui Chemical have been partnering on a project to capture and reuse CO2 emitted during steelmaking, said Chemicaldigest.

As part of this partnership, the two companies have been supported by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), Japan’s national research and development agency, and have launched an “International collaboration on CCU for circular carbon in Steelmaking” (hereafter, the NEDO project), scheduled for three years from 2021.

One of the research topics is to develop a fundamental technology for Synthesis Gas (carbon monoxide and hydrogen) production using Sekisui Chemical unique chemical looping technology. Through tests using actual blast furnace gas at ArcelorMittal’s plant in Asturias, Spain, a CO2 conversion rate of 90% and a hydrogen conversion rate of 75% has been achieved, higher than the project target of a CO2 conversion rate of 85% or higher and a hydrogen conversion rate of 60% or higher using this technology. To obtain these results, it was important to carry out a CO2 capture process reaching 90% of CO2 purity.

The press release stated that as a next step, the two companies will further optimise the conditions, replace the catalyst with a high-performance one, and conduct a long-term test with a higher reaction yield by December 2023. At the same time, they will consider new projects to demonstrate the ability to scale up the new technology.

We remind, Sekisui Chemical decided to establish a new plant in the United States to produce thermal gap filler materials for EVs (electric vehicles) and other environmental friendly vehicles of its consolidated subsidiary, Sekisui Polymatech, said the company. Construction of the plant is scheduled to begin in January 2023, and the plant will start operation in August 2023.

Shell to exit Pakistan after 75 years

Shell to exit Pakistan after 75 years

Shell Plc has decided to exit Pakistan in a setback for the South Asian nation that is going through its worst economic crisis, said Bloomberg.

The oil giant has informed Shell Pakistan Ltd. about its intent to sell its 77.42% stake and also 26% ownership of Pak-Arab Pipeline Co., it said in a statement. It is seeing strong interest from international buyers.

The sale comes as Shell executes a strategy under new Chief Executive Officer Wael Sawan to increase returns to shareholders and cut businesses that aren’t making enough money. It is also selling its stake in a gas project in Australia and exiting its home energy retail unit in Europe.

Pakistan is going through economic turmoil that has seen its currency drop by a third in the past year. It is also seeing rising prospects of becoming the next emerging market to default as hopes of securing a bailout from the International Monetary Fund dim, according to Moody’s Investors Service.

The nation has seen several multinational companies exit in the last few years. Fuel retailer Puma Energy exited in 2021, while trucking startup Trella decided to wind down its business in April. Shell, one of the oldest multinational companies in Pakistan, operates more than 600 fuel stations and has been in the country for 75 years, said the statement. Shell Pakistan surged by the daily limit of 7.5% to their highest close in three months.

We remind, Shell (London) has agreed to pay nearly USD 10 mn (EUR 9.3 mn) for breaking emissions rules at its Monaca polyethylene complex in the US state of Pennsylvania, according to the office of governor Josh Shapiro, which said the resin maker had formally acknowledged the violations.

Huhtamaki to consolidate its flexible packaging footprint in Europe

Huhtamaki to consolidate its flexible packaging footprint in Europe

Huhtamaki has made the decision to consolidate the production footprint of its Flexible Packaging segment in Europe and will be closing its Flexible Packaging production facility in Prague, Czech Republic, said the company.

All production and supporting activities at the facility will be scaled down during the second half of the year, with the closure of the operations completed by March 31, 2024. Production will gradually be transferred to Huhtamaki’s other manufacturing sites.

The decision affects all 198 employees in the site. Huhtamaki will support its employees during this period, including providing information about vacancies in other Huhtamaki units in the Czech Republic and across Europe.

Huhtamaki currently has two manufacturing units in Czech Republic. The closure of the Prague site does not affect the Fiber packaging operations in Okrisky which today employs 274 people.

The Flexible Packaging Prague facility does not represent a material share of the sales or profits of Huhtamaki. Huhtamaki will book closure-related costs of approximately EUR 35 million in the second quarter of 2023. The costs will be booked as items affecting comparability and are mostly non-cash items. Over time, the closure is expected to be cash positive and improve our competitiveness in Europe.

We remind, Huhtamaki has inaugurated a 12,500m2 expansion of its paper-based packaging manufacturing site in Nules, Spain. The expansion involved a EUR20m (USD20.8m) investment, which included a grant of EUR2.2m (USD2.3m) from the Conselleria de Hacienda y Modelo Economico. Huhtamaki said the expansion will begin production this January and double the site’s capacity.

BASF spins off 3D printing business Replique

BASF spins off 3D printing business Replique

BASF has spun off a digital manufacturing startup Replique from its business incubator, the German chemicals major announced.

The Chemovator spin-off was made after successfully closing a late seed funding round, led by digital technology investor STS Ventures, to further build its business.

Replique provides digital on demand industrial parts to serve the original manufacturing equipment (OEM) market and allows its customers to store parts digitally.

The start-up has the first fully encrypted 3D printing platform to make part management and production of small series more sustainable.

The funding round was led by STS Ventures as an experienced early stage investor and with manager partner Stephan Schubert. STS will also bring entrepreneurial experience to support Replique.

Schubert was the former founder and managing director of online financial portal Onvista until its spinoff in 2007.

We remind, BASF SE (Ludwigshafen, Germany) will expand its global alkyl polyglucosides (APG) production capacity with two expansions at its sites in Bangpakong, Thailand, and Cincinnati, Ohio. By expanding in two regions in parallel, BASF, the global market leader for APGs, can strengthen its position and serve customers even faster and more flexible from the regional supply points, while at the same time reducing cross-regional volume flows. The additional capacities are expected to come on stream in 2025.

Amcor expands AmFiber Performance Paper Packaging to Include Culinary and Beverages

Amcor expands AmFiber Performance Paper Packaging to Include Culinary and Beverages

Amcor launches further developments of its high performing paper packaging range and invests in increased paper packaging manufacturing capacity in Europe, said the company.

Amcor, a global leader in developing and producing responsible packaging solutions, has announced the expansion of its AmFiber™ Performance Paper packaging range in Europe to include heat seal sachets for dry culinary and beverage applications, such as instant coffee, drink powders, spices, seasonings, and dried soups.

AmFiber™ Performance Paper is a recyclable, high barrier, paper-based packaging that was initially introduced in 2022 for snacks and confectionery. Appearing on store shelves today for prominent snacks and confectionery brands, it offers high-barrier protection against oxygen and moisture, with excellent performance on brand owners’ packing machines.

In addition to expanding its application to new product categories, Amcor has invested in manufacturing capacity to meet growing demand for this kind of paper packaging. The company has integrated a state-of-the-art production line in its Amcor Flexibles Alzira plant in Spain, in support of Amcor’s global businesses. The production line is equipped to provide both cold- and heat-seal AmFiber™ packaging, delivering airtight seals to guarantee the proper product protection through the supply chain and along the full shelf life.

We remind, Amcor, a global leader in developing and producing responsible packaging solutions, announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Moda Systems, a leading manufacturer of state-of-the-art, automated protein packaging machines.