Japan's Mitsui, others to jointly study hydrogen, ammonia supply chain in Osaka

Japan's Mitsui, others to jointly study hydrogen, ammonia supply chain in Osaka

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Japan's Mitsui & C, Mitsui Chemicals, IHI Corp and Kansai Electric Power Co will conduct a joint study for establishing a hydrogen and ammonia supply chain in the Osaka coastal industrial zone, Reuters said.

The announcement on Wednesday comes a day after Eneos and Osaka Gas said they would study the construction of a large e-methane facility - based on green hydrogen - and to be located in the Osaka Bay area.

The four companies would study options for receiving, storing and supplying ammonia - which can be used in power generation among other fields - in the Osaka area to potentially expand its usage in the Kansai and nearby Setouchi regions.

Hydrogen and ammonia, which do not emit CO2 when burning, are an important part of Japan's energy security strategy to reduce the usage of traditional fossil fuels. Mitsui is Japan's biggest ammonia importer.

Separately, Tokyo Gas Co (9531.T), Osaka Gas Co (9532.T), Toho Gas Co (9533.T), Mitsubishi Corp (8058.T) and Sempra Infrastructure Partners LP would study e-methane exports to Japan from the United States, they said on Wednesday.

The project would comprise a facility that would produce 130,000 metric tons of e-methane per year in Texas or Louisiana in the U.S. to be liquefied at the nearby Cameron liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal and exported to Japan from 2030.

The capacity of the proposed facility is equivalent to 1% of the annual gas demand of Tokyo Gas, Osaka Gas and Toho Gas, five companies said in the joint statement, without providing an investment figure.

We remind, Mitsui Chemicals, Inc. announced that new affiliate Mitsui Chemicals EMS Corporation has begun doing business after its establishment on July 1, 2023. Created to take over the pellicle business acquired from Asahi Kasei Corporation, Mitsui Chemicals EMS is the No. 1 player in the market for FPD pellicles, which are used in the LCD panel exposure process.

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Indonesia's Pertamina plans more biofuel products, ethanol imports in 2024

Indonesia's Pertamina plans more biofuel products, ethanol imports in 2024

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Indonesian state energy company Pertamina plans in 2024 to mix more of its gasoline products with ethanol in a bid to offer alternative fuels to the public, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The company will mix its 90-octane gasoline, Indonesia's most widely used fuel product under the brand Pertalite, with 7% ethanol, which will improve the quality of the fuel, Nicke Widyawati told a parliamentary hearing. Pertamina will also increase the ethanol blend in its other fuel product to 8% from 5%. That fuel, called Pertamax Green 95, is currently only offered at 17 fuel stations in Jakarta and Surabaya, Indonesia's two biggest cities.

Pertamina will import ethanol due to limited domestic production of the biofuel, made from sugar molasses.
Current domestic output of fuel-grade ethanol is estimated at around 63,000 kiloliter per year. Pertamina did not provide an estimate for how much it will seek to import.

"We are still importing gasoline, so we are just replacing some gasoline imports with ethanol, which is better in terms of emissions," Nicke said. Pertamina spokesperson Fadjar Djoko Santoso said the company has not decided how many of Pertamina's petrol stations will distribute biofuel products next year.

It also remains unclear if the plan will impact Indonesia's fuel subsidies. The government currently subsidises Pertalite sales to keep prices steady at 10,000 rupiah (65.6 U.S. cents) a litre. Nicke said Pertamina has not yet discussed the issue of subsidies with the government.

Meanwhile, President Joko Widodo aims to plant 700,000 hectares with sugarcane to increase sugar output, which Nicke said could help produce 1.2 million kiloliters of ethanol for fuel.

We remind, PT Pertamina plans to begin producing bioethanol from sugarcane and cassava this year and has also begun production of green hydrogen using geothermal energy.

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Axens, Paul Wurth, IFPEN agree to co-develop Reverse Water Gas Shift tech

Axens, Paul Wurth, IFPEN agree to co-develop Reverse Water Gas Shift tech

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Axens, SMS group subsidiary Paul Wurth and IFP Energies Nouvelles signed a co-development agreement for the optimization of the Reverse Water Gas Shift technology (RWGS) and its integration into e-fuel projects, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The RWGS technology is indeed an essential part of the suite of technologies converting CO2 to renewable/low carbon fuels and chemicals intermediates. The parties are cooperating based on their specific backgrounds, know-how and expertise:

Axens is the licensor of the Gasel technology1, an efficient FT process which converts syngas into liquid hydrocarbons, such as Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF). Axens also brings to the collaboration its recognized expertise of scaling up technologies from pilot to commercial scale integration and optimization of technologies suites.
Paul Wurth, along with its mother company SMS group, is a leading international technology partner, plant builder and equipment developer, investing in projects for the conversion of CO2 and H2 to e-fuel. Its ambition is to bring its high temperature experience on equipment, internals, material selection etc. to the RWGS technology development and its application to e-fuel projects.

IFPEN is a major research and innovation player in the fields of energy, transport and environment.

IFPEN is well-known in the field of catalytic process development and has studied high-temperature processes for syngas production. This know-how led to the development of a proprietary RWGS technology and will be used to optimize the reaction conditions and performances and to design the RWGS reactor technology.

The parties are collaborating to define synergies to speed-up the improved RWGS technology industrialization and maturity level, to optimize its operating cost and output. This is key to bring to the market a commercial e-fuel scheme to efficiently produce synthetic fuel to support the global demand of SAF worldwide.

We remind, Axens has signed an agreement with KazMunayGas (KMG) to supply the process design package for its proprietary AlphaButol technology for producing high-purity 1-butene, which is required for producing PE. KMG has plans for a 1.2 million t/y PE plant in Atyrau, Kazakhstan. French technology and engineering group Axens has signed an agreement with KazMunayGas (KMG) to supply the process design package for its proprietary AlphaButol technology that produces high-purity 1-butene, which is required for producing PE. KMG plans to build a 1.2 million t/y PE plant in the Atyrau region of Kazakhstan – a timescale for the project has not been disclosed.

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Japan gasoline prices hit record high

Japan gasoline prices hit record high

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Japan's nationwide average retail price of regular gasoline rose by 1.9 yen to a record high 185.6 yen (USD1.27) per liter over the week to Aug. 28, marking the 15th consecutive weekly increase, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The previous record was 185.10 yen per liter, in August 2008. Gasoline prices have been rising steadily in Japan due to the weaker yen and higher global oil prices. The government said last week it may extend support given the persistent price hikes.

The government is considering extending until year-end fuel subsidies to keep gasoline prices below 180 yen a liter, three people with direct knowledge of the matter said on Tuesday.

We remind, 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. 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.

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N American weekly chemical railcar traffic rises 3.4%

N American weekly chemical railcar traffic rises 3.4%

MOSCOW (MRC) -- North American chemical railcar traffic rose 3.4% year on year to 46,174 loadings in the week ended 26 August, led by a 12.2% increase in Canada, according to the latest freight rail data of Association of American Railroads.

For the first 34 weeks of 2023 ended 26 August, North American chemical rail traffic was down 2.2% year on year to 1,538,612 - with the US down 3.6% to 1,057,632 loadings.

In the US, chemical railcar loadings represent about 20% of chemical transportation by tonnage, with trucks, barges and pipelines carrying the rest. In Canada, chemical producers rely on rail to ship more than 70% of their products, with some exclusively using rail.

We remind, North American chemical railcar traffic rose 1.8% year on year to 46,721 loadings in the week ended 19 August. A 7.5% increase in Canada, where industry is still working off backlogs from the 1-13 July strike at west coast ports, more than offset declines in the US and Mexico.

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