Borealis completes Stenungsund cracker furnace revamp

Borealis completes Stenungsund cracker furnace revamp

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Borealis announces the successful completion of a major upgrade to its steam cracker operation in Stenungsund, Sweden, said the company.

The seven-year construction project is a resounding success with respect to health, safety, and the environment (HSE), with no major accidents and no process safety incidents whatsoever. This capital investment ensures that the Stenungsund cracker – already one of the most feedstock-flexible in all of Europe – can operate even more reliably, and with greater energy efficiency. As a key supplier of ethylene and propylene to the Stenungsund Chemical Cluster, the OMV Group, and the Borealis Group’s international customers, its enhanced reliability is especially needed to support the rapidly growing wire and cable industry.

The Stenungsund steam cracker, which has a nameplate capacity of 625 kilotons per year, is a facility that thermally “cracks” feedstock – such as ethane, naphtha, propane, butane, and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) – into smaller molecules. Furnaces are the “heart” of every cracker. In the Stenungsund revamp, four existing furnaces have now been upgraded and revamped to modern process safety, reliability, and thermal efficiency standards. Three other furnaces will augment their output, while two aging furnaces will be decommissioned and shut down completely at the end of the year. Because scheduled cracker productions continued nearly uninterrupted throughout the construction period, considerable operational restrictions prevailed, for example limited room to maneuver for cranes and other heavy lifting equipment. Each furnace had to be removed, demolished, then rebuilt separately, one after the other.

Despite pandemic-related complications, the Stenungsund project is distinguished by its excellent safety record, with no major accidents (personal safety) and no incidents (process safety) due to heightened safety protocols.

We remind, Borealis will acquire Italian mechanical recycled polypropylene (R-PP) compounder Rialti. 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.

BASF signs NPG supply deal with China’s Zhejiang Guanghua

BASF signs NPG supply deal with China’s Zhejiang Guanghua

MOSCOW (MRC) -- BASF and China’s Zhejiang Guanghua Technology Co (KHUA) have signed a Letter of Intent for the supply of neopentyl glycol (NPG) from BASF’s Zhanjiang Verbund site to KHUA, BASF said in a news release.

KHUA, a manufacturer of saturated polyester resins for the powder coatings industry, is planning to build a 100,000 tonne/year production plant for high-end powder coatings resins in Zhanjiang, where BASF is building an 80,000 tonne/year NPG plant.

The new NPG facility in Zhanjiang is expected to come on stream in the fourth quarter of 2025, boosting BASF’s global capacity of the product to 335,000 tonne/year from 255,000 tonne/year.

This strategic move will create synergies that benefit both parties, including enhanced collaboration and supply reliability, faster delivery, access to shared resources, and reduced costs.

In addition, this partnership will help to meet the growing demand for eco-friendly powder coatings in China and the wider Asia Pacific region, according to the statement.

We remind, BASF celebrated the opening of Europe’s first co-located center of battery material production and battery recycling in Schwarzheide, Germany. The inauguration of a state-of-the-art production facility for high-performance cathode active materials and the unveiling ceremony for a battery recycling plant for the production of black mass represent important steps toward closing the loop for the European battery value chain – from the collection of used batteries and the recovery of mineral raw materials to their use in the production of new battery materials. Major step in Europe to participate in the rapidly growing global battery market.

Saudis to supply full oil volumes to Asia in August, China requests less again

Saudis to supply full oil volumes to Asia in August, China requests less again

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Saudi Aramco has informed some clients in North Asia they will receive full nominated volumes of crude oil in August, several sources with knowledge of the matter said on Tuesday, while top buyer China once again requested for less supply, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The world's biggest oil exporter last week said it would extend its 1 million barrels-per-day (bpd) output cut by another month to August and hiked the prices for most of the crude grades it sends to Asian customers for a second month. Some Chinese refiners, however, both state-owned and mega-sized independent refineries, have asked for lower supply in August, according to four trading sources.

The sources estimated the combined volume could be about 8 million barrels less than they took for July. China's intake of the kingdom's crude was at a low base in June and July as refineries were seeking cheaper alternatives from the spot market in response to high Saudi oil prices.

Chinese refiners are expected to buy more arbitrage cargoes from West African and Latin American regions as the spread between Brent- and Dubai-pegged oil narrows. Meanwhile, China's onshore commercial crude oil inventory reached about 980 million barrels by end-June, about 20 million barrels shy of a historical high set in August 2020, according to data analytic firm Vortexa.

We remind, OPEC oil output has fallen only slightly in June as increases in Iraq and Nigeria limited the impact of cutbacks by others, despite a wider OPEC+ deal and voluntary cuts by several members to support the market. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries has pumped 28.18 million barrels per day (bpd) this month, the survey found, down 50,000 bpd from May's revised figure. In May, output dropped by 240,000 bpd as the latest cut took effect.

BASF Automotive OEM Coatings secures 100% renewable energy across all China sites

BASF Automotive OEM Coatings secures 100% renewable energy across all China sites

МОСКВА (MRC) -- BASF Shanghai Coatings Minhang and Caojing sites in Shanghai, and BASF Coatings’ resin plant in Caojing, Shanghai, announced the use of 100% renewable energy usage across its operations in 2023, said the company.

This moves BASF’s Coatings division one step closer to its global sustainability targets – on carbon reduction, material efficiency, and safe and sustainable solutions.

Through combination of Renewable Direct Power Purchase (R-DPP), purchase of I-REC international renewable energy certificate and other measures, it’s estimated that BASF Automotive OEM Coatings will reduce the equivalent of approximately 19,000 tons of carbon emissions through the end of 2023 in China.

“Sustainability is firmly anchored in our company strategy. We are proud to be one of the industry leaders to fully use renewable energy across our operations. It helps us to minimize the carbon footprint and further demonstrates BASF’s commitment to its net zero target. As a leading OEM coatings supplier in the automotive industry, we aim to meet the rapidly increasing sustainability expectations of our customers from OEMs and automotive component suppliers”, said Jack Zou, Vice President, Automotive OEM Coatings Asia Pacific, BASF.

BASF’s climate goal is to reduce its CO2 emissions by 25 percent by 2030 compared with 2018 and achieve net zero CO2 emissions by 2050. Increasing the use of renewable energy at its sites – including the headquarters in Munster, Germany – is a good example of how BASF Coatings explores innovative technologies and solutions to reduce climate impact and helps its customers to reduce the carbon footprint across the entire value chain.

We remind, BASF and Yara Clean Ammonia are collaborating on a joint study to develop and construct a world-scale low-carbon blue ammonia production facility with carbon capture in the U.S. Gulf Coast region. The companies are looking into the feasibility of a plant with a total capacity of 1.2 to 1.4 million tons p.a. to serve the growing global demand for low-carbon ammonia.

LyondellBasell differentiated PE technology selected for PetroChina Guangxi complex

LyondellBasell differentiated PE technology selected for PetroChina Guangxi complex

MOSCOW (MRC) -- LyondellBasell announced that PetroChina Guangxi Petrochemical Company will license the LyondellBasell polyethylene technology at their facility located in Qinzhou City, Guangxi, P.R. of China, said the company.

The newly licensed technology will comprise of the LyondellBasell leading high-pressure Lupotech process technology which will be used for both a 100 kiloton per year (KTA) Autoclave and a 300 KTA Tubular line. Both production trains will produce mainly low-density polyethylene (LDPE) with ethylene vinyl acetate copolymers (EVA). Furthermore, an additional 300 KTA Hostalen “Advanced Cascade Process” (ACP) line for the production of high density polyethylene (HDPE) will be built at the same site.

“This latest award from PetroChina Guangxi Petrochemical Company continues the long tradition of collaboration with LyondellBasell, as with this award almost 6,000 KTA of capacity has been licensed to the PetroChina group. With the selected polyolefin technologies, PetroChina Guangxi will be able to compete in the market and be able to produce benchmark resins to support people’s everyday lives ”, said Neil Nadalin, Director Global Licensing and Services at LyondellBasell. Nadalin added: “The newly added lines will include our latest generation high-pressure Lupotech technology as well as our multi-modal advanced cascade (ACP) HDPE technology enabling PetroChina to produce state-of -the art polyethylene products.”

Decades of experience in high-pressure application design makes the LyondellBasell Lupotech process the preferred technology for EVA/LDPE plant operators. High reliability, unmatched conversion rates and effective process heat integration are key attributes of the Lupotech process, designed to ensure this technology’s on-going energy efficiency. More than 15,000 KTA of LyondellBasell high pressure LDPE technology has been licensed by LyondellBasell in over 80 lines around the world.

The Hostalen ACP process technology manufactures high performance, multi-modal HDPE resins with an industry-leading stiffness/toughness balance, impact resistance, high stress cracking resistance and process advantages are used in pressure pipe, film and blow molding applications. The PetroChina HDPE plants will commence operations using Avant Z 501 and Avant Z509-1 catalysts to produce a full range of multi-modal HDPE products.

New licensees take advantage of LyondellBasell’s in-house expertise of continuous production improvement, product development according to the latest environmental regulations, and our know-how in high pressure design, by optionally joining our Technical Service program.

We remind, Lyondell Basell Industries said on Wednesday that it plans to delay its refining business exit from year-end 2023 to no later than the end of the first quarter 2025. The company said in April it would close its Houston refinery by the end of 2023 after two failed attempts to sell the plant, and the closing of Lyondell's five U.S. refineries in the past two years.