Borealis to acquire Italian R-PP compounder Rialti

Borealis to acquire Italian R-PP compounder Rialti

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Borealis will acquire Italian mechanical recycled polypropylene (R-PP) compounder Rialti, the company announced in a press release.

Rialti has a nameplate output capacity of 50,000 tonnes/year of compounded R-PP. The announcement comes amid tough trading conditions for flake and pellet producers and compounders in the R-PP chain. As a result of tough trading conditions, players across recycled polymers have been predicting consolidation would occur in the chain since Q4 - either through mergers and acquisitions or through bankruptcy.

Throughout Q2 non-packaging demand has been estimated at around 50% lower year on year. Several players said that demand continues to decline on a weekly basis. Coupled with this, ongoing downward pressure on the virgin and off-spec markets continues to result in substitution away from recycled material for non-packaging grades.

With virgin prices comparatively low, the start of the traditionally low demand summer season, and ongoing bearish trading environment, the majority of players do not expect consumption to recover until at least Q4 2023.

Nevertheless, there remain underlying structural shortages - particularly of packaging suitable material - and sustainability pressure from regulators and consumers shows little sign of abating.

We remind, 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.

Plug Power to design and deliver 10MW PEM electrolyzer to HOPE project

Plug Power to design and deliver 10MW PEM electrolyzer to HOPE project

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Plug Power Inc, a global leader in comprehensive hydrogen solutions for the green hydrogen economy, is part of a consortium of companies that received a USD21.8 M dollar grant from the European Commission to build an offshore hydrogen production plant, said the company.

As a member of the nine-company consortium HOPE (Hydrogen Offshore Production Europe), Plug will design and deliver a 10-megawatt (MW) proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolyzer system to the site in the North Sea, off the port of Ostend, Belgium. This 10 MW offshore hydrogen project aims to prove the commercial sustainability of renewable offshore hydrogen production, with the end goal to enable the deployment of commercial large-scale solutions. The HOPE project will produce up to 4 tonnes/d of green hydrogen at sea, which will be transported to shore by pipeline, compressed and delivered to customers for mobility needs and small industries in Belgium, northern France, and southern Netherlands, within less than a 200-mile radius.

HOPE is the first offshore project of this size in the world to begin actual implementation, with the production unit and export and distribution infrastructure due to come online in mid-2026. The HOPE project will benefit from an ideal location, less than a mile from the coast, in the offshore testing area near the port of Ostend, Belgium, which aims to be a key link in the hydrogen supply chain in Belgium.

The production site will be powered by electricity supplied under power purchase agreement (PPA) contracts that guarantee its renewable origin. The water used for electrolysis will be pumped from the North Sea, desalinated, and purified. The consortium aims to pave the way for the deployment of large-scale offshore production of renewable hydrogen. The HOPE project will develop, build, and operate this production unit to demonstrate the technical and financial viability of a large-scale offshore hydrogen project with pipeline transport for supplying onshore customers. The grant, covering a period of five years, will be used to finance the design phases, the supply of equipment and the construction work, as well as research, development and innovation work focusing on optimizing technological solutions and the operation of this type of infrastructure.

The techno-economic analysis of large-scale offshore renewable hydrogen production solutions will be part of the grant. In 2022, Plug and Lhyfe pioneered the proof-of-concept for the world's first floating offshore hydrogen production plant, Sealhyfe.

We remind, Plug Power Inc., a leading provider of turnkey hydrogen solutions for the global green hydrogen economy, will supply Blue EnerFreeze, the energy subsidiary of STEF, the European market leader in the transportation and logistics of food products, with a complete green hydrogen ecosystem across two distribution centers, before potentially expanding further into their network of over 100 sites. One of the distribution centers is close to Paris, France and the other is close to Madrid, Spain.

Cepsa invests EUR13 mln to digitalize its energy parks

Cepsa invests EUR13 mln to digitalize its energy parks

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Cepsa is committed to the digitalization of industrial workplaces in its energy parks in order to move towards Industry 4.0 and maximize the efficiency, safety and sustainability of its activity, said the company.

Technological innovation is one of the levers for accelerating the objectives of Cepsa's Positive Motion strategic plan. Therefore, through an investment of EUR 13 M, Cepsa is deploying a private 5G network in its energy parks and providing electronic devices to all its operators, placing itself at the forefront of the European energy sector in the digitalization of industrial operations. By providing mobile devices and tablets for individual use to all operators of its energy parks, the company is able to improve information exchange times and user experience.

These devices, prepared for use inside industrial facilities, enable the use of Industry 4.0 technologies, such as the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI) or augmented reality (AR), to improve performance, both at hardware and software level, and to take advantage of the full potential of the private 5G network that the company has deployed in its centres. Through this project, the company provides an infrastructure that guarantees the full participation of its operators in the company's day-to-day operations.

To this end, industrial employees will be able to carry out their daily work from any process area through mobile devices that are connected to the 5G network, as well as improve the reception of internal communications and their access to all the services that Cepsa makes available to them.

Operators at Cepsa's industrial centres will be able to report information in video, photo or audio format at the touch of a button, through cloud solutions, which will enable massive machine-to-machine interactions and work in real time, boosting collaboration between teams and reducing response times. This project monitors the assets and infrastructure of the energy parks in real time, reducing CO2 emissions and water consumption, while preventing possible incidents and facilitating the identification of unscheduled unit shutdowns.

Cepsa is transforming its refineries into diversified and sustainable energy parks, where the company will produce green hydrogen and second-generation biofuels, with the aim of decarbonizing industry and transportation.

We remind, Cepsa plans to nearly double its investments over the next three years to a total of 3.6 B euros (USD3.82 B), with more than half of that amount going to sustainable energy and mobility. It also posted a full-year net profit at current cost of supplies (CCS) of 790 MM euros for 2022, up sharply from the 310 MM euros reported in 2021. The planned investment increase of 93% for 2023-25 is from the previous three years, Cepsa said.

Solvay reaches settlement with New Jersey in US over PFAS

Solvay reaches settlement with New Jersey in US over PFAS

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Solvay has agreed to pay USD393m to the US state of New Jersey to address pollution caused by per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), said the company.

Under the proposed settlement, Solvay does not admit to any liability. Some of the money will clean up the area around Solvay's plant in West Deptford in Gloucester county, New Jersey. It will also pay to update water systems so they can remove PFAS. The money will pay for compensation and for more studies on PFAS contamination.

The next step is for the state to gather comments from the public through 6 October about the settlement. After that, the state will review the comments and respond if necessary. The proposed settlement will then go before the court for approval. The state alleged that Solvay used Surflon, a process aid that contained perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA).

In November 2020, the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) sued Solvay and the prior owner of the West Deptford plant, accusing the companies of doing too little to clean up the site. Since the lawsuit, Solvay has stopped using PFAS in its process aids, the state said. The company started taking more steps to treat its wastewater.

We remind, Solvay Specialty Polymers USA, LLC, a subsidiary of Solvay S.A. (Solvay) and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) announced an agreement resolving certain PFAS related claims in New Jersey. Under the terms of the agreement, Solvay will pay $75 million to NJDEP for Natural Resource Damages (NRDs) and USD100 million to fund NJDEP PFAS remediation projects in areas of New Jersey near the company’s West Deptford site.

Shiva Engineering bags EPCm contract for a greenfield speciality chemical facility

Shiva Engineering bags EPCm contract for a greenfield speciality chemical facility

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Shiva Engineering Services (SES) has secured EPCm contracts for a multi-purpose speciality chemical greenfield plant, said the company.

As part of the project, the company is also setting up hydrogenation unit, nitration and chlorination operations. The proposed investment totals approximately Rup 145 crores.

The scope of work includes site master-planning, engineering services, sourcing support, construction services, safety management, site supervision, and start-up assistance. SES will manufacture 250,000 tonnes/y of polypropylene, 80,000 t/g of low-density polyethylene, 300,000 t/g of polyethylene terephthalate, 100,000 tonnes/y of ethylene vinyl acetate, and 280,000 t/g of high density polyethylene.

We remind, Shiva Pigments is awaiting MoEF clearances for an alpha beta blue pigment production expansion project. The facility, located at Ankleshwar in Gujarat, India will be expanded from a capacity of 10 tonnes/month to 50