Rio Tinto and Government of Madagascar reach agreement supporting the long-term operation of QMM

Rio Tinto and Government of Madagascar reach agreement supporting the long-term operation of QMM

Rio Tinto and the Government of Madagascar have reached agreement on the future fiscal arrangements for QIT Madagascar Minerals (QMM) and renewed their long-term partnership for the sustainable operation of the QMM mine in Fort Dauphin, Madagascar, said the company.

The new agreement was confirmed by the High Constitutional Court of Madagascar on 8 Aug 2023 and signed by the parties on 22 Aug 2023. It will enhance the benefits received by the people of Madagascar and support a sustainable future for the QMM mine, providing certainty for Rio Tinto on the fiscal arrangements. Under the terms of the agreement, there will be an increase in the royalty rate from 2% to 2.5% and QMM will issue its first dividend to the Government of Madagascar in 2023.

An amount equalling the $12 M dividend will be invested by the Government in the 109-km rehabilitation project of the National Road 13 (RN13). Rio Tinto will also contribute up to $8 M to the road project, subject to predefined milestones and deadlines. The project will bring significant improvement to the region by facilitating the movement of people and critical supplies to hard-to-access areas. Rio Tinto has agreed to cancel $77 M in advances made to the Government of Madagascar to finance its funding of QMM.

The state will now hold a 15% free carry ownership of QMM and maintain its 20% voting right, with no obligation to contribute to capital funding or exposure to dilution. QMM will also increase support for local communities by doubling its annual contribution to fund programmes of interest.

We remind, Unigel, the largest Brazilian manufacturer of nitrogen fertilizers, on Thursday announced the resumption of activities at a unit called Unigel Agro Sergipe, which produces urea and ammonia. The company said it scheduled the restart for September after a slight improvement in the outlook for the domestic petrochemical sector. The factory in Sergipe state was idled due to challenging market conditions, Unigel said. Another plant in Bahia state that was likewise idled will remain offline.

EQUATE announces ICP for September 2023

EQUATE announces ICP for September 2023

MRC --Global monoethylene glycol (MEG) producer EQUATE has nominated its September 2023 MEG India Contract Price (ICP) at $474/tonne CFR (cost & freight) India Main Ports, the company said.

The September nomination was $2/tonne higher than the August number.

We remind, EQUATE has nominated its August 2023 MEG India Contract Price (ICP) at USD472/tonne CFR (cost & freight) India Main Ports, said the company. The August nomination was USD17/tonne higher than the July number.

Shell announces new India chair

Shell announces new India chair

Shell India announced the appointment of Mansi Madan Tripathy as the new Country Chair of Shell India, effective from October 1, 2023. Mansi will succeed Nitin Prasad who has been Country Chair since 2016, said Polymerupdate.

As Country Chair of Shell India, Mansi will oversee Shell Group of companies in India, in addition to her role as Vice President, Shell Lubricants for Asia Pacific. Mansi will relocate from Singapore to New Delhi, her home city, to take up the role. She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Technology from the National Institute of Technology Kurukshetra and has a MBA in Marketing from S.P. Jain Institute of Management and Research.

Prior to commencement as Country Chair, Mansi was Vice President of Shell Lubricants Asia Pacific, and has held other roles in Shell including Managing Director of Shell Lubricants India and Country Marketing Officer. Mansi joined Shell from Procter & Gamble in 2012, where she held several regional and global Director-level positions.

Shell India extends its sincere thanks and gratitude to Nitin for his leadership through many contributions towards the company’s presence and reputation in India while firmly positioning the company as a trusted partner and contributor to the country’s energy system.

We remind, Shell is considering a sale of its Singapore refining and petrochemical plants as part of a broader strategic review and has hired investment bank Goldman Sachs to explore a potential deal, said several sources close to the matter. The global energy major's new CEO, Wael Sawan, is targeting spending cuts over the next two years to boost profitability while remaining committed to achieving net zero emissions by 2050.

Sumitomo Chemical to Produce Pioneering Ultra-Fine Alumina Products

Sumitomo Chemical to Produce Pioneering Ultra-Fine Alumina Products

Sumitomo Chemical has achieved groundbreaking success in pioneering production technology for ultra-fin -а-alumina, set to start mass production from September this year with its recently established manufacturing capabilities at its Ehime Works, said Polymerupdate.

Collaborating with its customers, the Company will create new markets in the ICT, energy-saving and life science fields through technological innovations in inorganic materials. In FY2025 the company seeks to achieve a 30% increase in sales revenue in its ultrahigh purity alumina business compared to FY2023.

Alumina materials made by calcining aluminum hydroxide at high temperatures, purity levels of 99.99% or more are called ultrahigh purity alumina. The new products to be mass-produced are the NXA series products, which are ultra-fine grade of а-alumina products mainly used in industrial products. They are characterized by homogeneous ultra-fine particles with a particle size of 150 nm (0.15 m) or less. In comparison to its products with relatively large particle sizes, this is approximately one two-hundredth of the size of the Company’s products having relatively large particle sizes.

We remind, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation has announced a USD10m investment to advance the recovery and recycling of rigid and flexible PE and PP. The Closed Loop Circular Plastics Fund has received a USD10m investment from Japanese multinational banking and financial services institution Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC).

Recycleye places four new units in UK facility

Recycleye places four new units in UK facility

Bryson Recycling, a United Kingdom-based social enterprise that operates a material recovery facility (MRF), has ordered four additional robotic sorters made by London-based Recycleye Robotics. The Bryson MRF in Mallusk, Northern Ireland, installed an initial Recycleye robot in 2021, said Recyclingtoday.

“This four-fold investment increase marks the first announced robot re-purchase in the U.K. and Ireland,” according to Recycleye. The equipment firm says Bryson decided to purchase additional robots “to build on the successful operation of an existing artificial intelligence (AI)-powered Recycleye Robotics solution on its fiber line.”

The additional units, says Recycleye, are expected to improve material quality, maximize recycling, reduce residual waste and reduce costs. “We have decided to purchase four further robots from Recycleye following the great results from the first one – almost 8,500 run hours, with around 5,000 kilograms (11,000 pounds) of materials picked per week, and with an availability greater than 98 percent,” says Jaroslaw Stanislawek, Bryson’s engineering manager. “We feel confident this new installation will further improve the consistency in our material quality.”

“Investments such as this enable us to stay on top of the benefits of new technology,” remarks Katy Fulton, a director at Bryson Recycling. “We are a significant local employer, and that means running a profitable business that is open to change and innovation.”

Recycleye CEO Victor Dewulf comments, “We are delighted that Bryson Recycling has chosen to continue working with us to build on their initial investment in our AI-powered [recycling] robots. This is a strong statement of confidence in the value Recycleye robots bring to [materials] sorting and to the economics of materials recovery, and we are proud to be able to support Bryson.”

The four new robots will be retrofitted in the main sorting cabin at the company’s MRF, which is on the outskirts of Belfast and employs more than 100 people. Two of the four robots will be installed over a fiber line with the objective of picking non-paper items such as plastics, cans and cardboard to reduce contamination.

The remaining two robots will operate on a residual line, where they will target the removal of recyclable materials with the aim of diverting higher volumes into recycling end markets rather than to a waste-to-energy outlet.

The robots will be programmed to perform the physical tasks of identifying, picking and placing materials and will “operate alongside, but separate, to human operatives, who continue to work in the company’s facilities,” states Recycleye.

Recycleye refers to an “AI computer vision system” as being able to detect “all individual items” in the materials stream. Bryson Recycling collects and processes materials from more than 50 percent of homes in Northern Ireland and employs more than 350 people at 12 sites in Northern Ireland, Ireland and Wales.

We remind, Republic Services, the second biggest waste disposal company in the U.S. after Waste Management Corp., said that it teamed up with polymer recycler and distributor Ravago to create Blue Polymers, LLC, a company “that will develop a network of facilities designed to produce recycled products” to supply manufacturers that buy resin.