Wacker completes hydrogen chloride capacity expansion at Burghausen site

Wacker completes hydrogen chloride capacity expansion at Burghausen site

Wacker Chemie AG (Munich, Germany) recently finished expanding its production of hyperpure hydrogen chloride at its Burghausen site in Germany, said Chemongline.

The facility which was commissioned in mid-July significantly increased overall production. Buyers for the newly added production volumes come from the semiconductor industry, which uses ultrapure hydrogen chloride as an etching and cleaning agent. Investment costs for the new plant are in the low double digit million euros range. The increase in capacity will strengthen the company’s specialty chemicals portfolio for the semiconductor industry.

Hydrogen chloride (HCl) has many different applications in the chemical industry. Use of this reaction gas allows manufacturers to turn low-energy raw materials into reactive intermediates for down-stream production steps. WACKER, for instance, uses HCl for manufacturing silicones, pyrogenic silica and polysilicon for the solar and semiconductor industries.

The colorless, water-soluble gas is also an important processing aid for the semiconductor industry. Hydrogen chloride is used for etching hyperpure silicon wafers and for cleaning plant components. However, the media used must be extremely pure to prevent contamination. “A lot of our competitors have dropped out of hydrogen chloride production in recent years for reasons of cost and quality. That, along with growing demand for semiconductor components, has made ultrapure HCl difficult to come by right now,” says WACKER Executive Board member Christian Kirsten.

WACKER is currently one of the very few companies in Europe that is able to deliver HCl in the quality and quantities needed. The company initiated investments in the low tens of millions of euros to cover the recently completed expansion work and associated infrastructure at its Burghausen site. “We’ve been very pleased with the development of our electronic chemicals business, which has outstanding prospects for growth,” Kirsten emphasizes. “A lot of megatrends are going to be based on semiconductor elements, which, besides increasing demand for chips, will also create more demand for processing aids such as ultrapure hydrogen chloride. Expanding our capacities will allow us to meet that demand going forward.”

WACKER manufactures hydrogen chloride using rock salt from its own mine in Stetten, Germany. The composition and purity of the salt mined there is especially suitable for production.

We remind, WACKER has completed the capacity expansion measures for the produc-tion of vinyl-acetate-ethylene copolymer (VAE) dispersions and VAE dispersible polymer powders at WACKER’s Nanjing site in China.

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Occidental, ADNOC partner to explore investment in carbon capture

Occidental, ADNOC partner to explore investment in carbon capture

Occidental Petroleum and Abu Dhabi National Oil Co (ADNOC) said on Tuesday they would jointly evaluate investment opportunities in carbon capture and carbon dioxide sequestration hubs in the United States and the United Arab Emirates, said Reuters.

Direct air capture removes carbon dioxide that has already been released into the atmosphere, rather than at the source, such as a smokestack.

The agreement is enabled by the UAE-U.S. Partnership for Accelerating Clean Energy that was launched in November 2022 and is expected to mobilize $100 billion in clean energy and carbon management projects.

Occidental has been increasing its investments to accelerate its net-zero goals and plans to build dozens of DAC plants. Its spending on lower-carbon projects will at least double to $200 million this year, the company said in February.

We remind, Abu Dhabi National Oil Co has increased its buyout offer for Covestro AG to around 11 billion euros (USD12.3 billion). ADNOC's latest bid values Covestro at about 57 euros per share, the person said, up from a mid-50 euro per share range. Covestro had rejected ADNOC's initial takeover proposal last month, saying the offer was too low. A Covestro spokesperson declined to comment, while ADNOC did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

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Chemours completes sale of glycolic acid business

Chemours completes sale of glycolic acid business

The Chemours Company, a global chemistry company with leading market positions in Titanium Technologies, Thermal & Specialized Solutions, and Advanced Performance Materials, announced it completed the sale of its Glycolic Acid Business to PureTech Scientific, LLC, a company founded and backed by Iron Path Capital, a private equity firm focused on lower-middle market investments across the specialty healthcare sectors, said the company.

“The sale of the Glycolic Acid Business is consistent with our focus on sustainable growth for our three principal businesses and creating value for our shareholders,” said Mark Newman, Chemours President and CEO. “This transaction reflects our unwavering commitment to the disciplined execution of our strategy to compete where we are best positioned to win, enhance the quality of our earnings, and make meaningful investments that help solve some of the world’s biggest challenges through the power of our chemistry."

We remind, Chemours Company has entered into a definitive agreement to sell its Glycolic Acid business for USD137 M in cash to PureTech Scientific, a company founded and backed by Iron Path Capital, a private equity firm focused on lower-middle market investments across the speciality industrial and healthcare sectors. The Chemours Company is a chemistry company with market positions in titanium technologies, thermal & specialized solutions, and advanced performance materials.

The Chemours Company is a global leader in Titanium Technologies, Thermal & Specialized Solutions, and Advanced Performance Materials providing its customers with solutions in a wide range of industries with market-defining products, application expertise and chemistry-based innovations.

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Russia's seaborne diesel exports rise in July

Russia's seaborne diesel exports rise in July

Russia's seaborne diesel and gasoil exports in July rose by 5% from a month earlier to about 3.8 million metric tons as seasonal refineries maintenance slowed down, data from traders and Refinitiv Eikon showed, said Reuters.

Idle primary oil refining capacity for July was estimated at 2.458 million metric tons, down from June by some 37%, Refinitiv data and Reuters calculations showed.

Since the full EU embargo on Russian oil products took effect on Feb. 5, Turkey remains the main destination for Russian diesel and gasoil seaborne exports, reaching about 1.3 million metric tons in July, or about one third of total month supplies, Refinitiv data shows.

Diesel loadings to Brazil from Russian ports, mainly from the Baltic port of Primorsk, could grow in July to record high, exceeding more than 700,000 million metric tons, according to the shipping data.

Last month, nearly 660,000 metric tons of Russian diesel were heading to African countries, mainly to Morocco, Tunisia, Ghana, Senegal and Libya. Another 270,000 metric tons of diesel from Russia in July was destined for ship-to-ship transfers near the Greek port of Kalamata, Refinitiv data shows.

The final destinations for these cargoes are not yet known, and traders said they expected them to be in Turkey or the Middle East countries.

All the shipping data above are based on the date of cargo departure. About 200,000 metric tons of diesel loaded in Russian ports in July does not yet have a confirmed destination.

We remind, Russia is considering limiting the number of companies allowed to export oil products in a bid to curb illegal exports of fuel intended for the domestic market. The Kommersant newspaper reported earlier that Russia was looking at creating a list of approved refiners to combat so-called "grey exports" of subsidised domestic fuel.

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BASF increases production capacity for medium-molecular weight polyisobutenes in Ludwigshafen

BASF increases production capacity for medium-molecular weight polyisobutenes in Ludwigshafen

BASF will increase the production capacity for its medium-molecular weight polyisobutenes, marketed under the tradename OPPANOL B, at its site in Ludwigshafen, Germany, by 25%, said the company.

The investment comes in response to the rising global demand for high-quality medium-molecular weight polyisobutenes.

“With this step we are further strengthening BASF’s position as a reliable supplier that strongly supports growth and the demanding requirements of customers in various industries,” says Lena Adam, Senior Vice President, Fuel and Lubricant Solutions, BASF SE.

Medium-molecular weight polyisobutenes are essential performance components for products in a variety of industries including the automotive, construction, electronics as well as the food & packaging industry. Applications, for example, may include surface protective films, window sealants, binder material for batteries and food packaging solutions.

“The additional production capacity for our medium-molecular weight OPPANOL B polyisobutenes will enable our customers to grow with innovative solutions that contribute to sustainable development, for example, in energy-efficient housing. Building on our backward integration into key raw materials we will be leveraging the full strength of BASF as a global leader in polyisobutene,” explains Dr. Tanja Rost, Vice President, Global Marketing and Product Development, Fuel and Lubricant Solutions, BASF SE.

The capacity expansion is expected to reach full completion by the first half of 2025.

We remind, BASF and Huntsman together with their Chinese partner companies – Shanghai Hua Yi (Group Company), Sinopec Shanghai Gaoqiao Petrochemical Co., Ltd. and Shanghai Chlor-Alkali Chemical Co., Ltd. – announce the planned separation of their joint MDI (diphenylmethane diisocyanate) production at Shanghai Lianheng Isocyanate Co., Ltd.

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