BASF invests in capacity expansion for cosmetic ingredients in Dusseldorf

BASF invests in capacity expansion for cosmetic ingredients in Dusseldorf

MRC -- BASF invests in the production of emollient specialties at its Dusseldorf site targeted for skin and sun protection products, said the company.

A new reactor and upgrade of the distillation units enable an expansion of production capacity to meet the increasing demand for these specialty products. The new facilities are scheduled to go into operation in the third quarter of 2025.

Emollients bind and maintain skin moisture and improve the sensory properties of a care product. The need for special emollients for formulations that for instance enable silicone-free skin care and octocrylene-free sun protection continues to increase in Europe. BASF's production site in Dusseldorf, Germany, specializes in ingredients for the cosmetics and personal care industries and already offers the most comprehensive portfolio for emollients. Here, the capacity is now being expanded in a targeted manner to meet growing market demand with an investment in the mid double-digit million range.

Mary Kurian, President of BASF’s Care Chemicals division, about the project: "BASF sees the growth potential in specialties for the personal care industry in Europe and, as the market leader, we are consistently investing to support this growth with our customers."

Dusseldorf is home to BASF's third-largest site in Europe and is also the world's largest and the key BASF site for the production and development of cosmetic ingredients.

We remind, BASF is to produce cathode active materials (CAM) from recycled metals in Battle Creek, Michigan, for use in lithium-ion batteries produced by Nanotech Energy. The two companies will partner with American Battery Technology Company (ABTC), a lithium-ion battery recycling company, and TODA Advanced Materials, which has experience in producing specialised CAM precursor and metal hydroxide.

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TotalEnergies to construct new plastics recycling unit at France site

TotalEnergies to construct new plastics recycling unit at France site

MRC -- TotalEnergies has announced the construction of a new mechanical recycling unit for plastic waste at its Grandpuits site in France, said the company.

The new unit can produce 30,000 tonnes/y of high value-added compounds containing up to 50% recycled plastic material once it become operational in 2026. A specific centre will also be created that will provide technical assistance to customers and develop new products.

In Sep 2020, the company announced a net zero goal by 2050. The company launched a project to transform its Grandpuits industrial site into a "zero-crude" project, which is estimated to cost over EUR 500 M. The biorefinery's output capacity will be 210,000 tonnes/y by 2025 and 285,000 tonnes/y by 2027. The biomethane unit will prevent emission of around 20,000 tonnes/y of CO2.

The unit will have a capacity of 80 GWh. The site will also have two recycling units, one for advanced recycling with a capacity to process 15,000 tonnes/y of waste, and another a mechanical recycling unit. The Grandpuits site houses a large solar farm that has been generating 31 GWh/y of green electricity since Jul 2023.

We remind, Borealis and TotalEnergies celebrate the start-up of their Baystar joint venture’s new 625,000 metric ton-per-year Borstar® polyethylene (PE) unit, which more than doubles the current production capacity at Baystar’s site in Pasadena, Texas.

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ExxonMobil agrees deal for Pioneer to expand in Permian

ExxonMobil agrees deal for Pioneer to expand in Permian

MRC -- ExxonMobil has agreed to acquire Pioneer Natural Resources in an all-stock transaction valued at USD59.5bn, said the company.

The acquisition, expected to close in the first half of 2024, would transform ExxonMobil’s upstream portfolio, more than doubling its footprint in the Permian oil and gas region in west Texas and southeast New Mexico, it said.

The Permian – mainly consisting of the Midland and Delaware basins – is not only a source of oil and gas but also of natural gas liquids (NGL), which are feedstocks for petrochemicals production.

The merger combines Pioneer’s more than 850,000 net acres in the Midland Basin with ExxonMobil’s 570,000 net acres in the Delaware and Midland Basins, “creating the industry’s leading high-quality undeveloped US unconventional inventory position”, ExxonMobil said.

Together, the companies will have an estimated 16bn barrels of oil equivalent (BOE) resource in the Permian.

We remind, ExxonMobil on Tuesday announced the startup of two new chemical production units at its site in Baytown, Texas. LAOs are used in plastic packaging, surfactants and other specialty chemicals. They are also used to make polyalphaolefins (PAOs), which are used to make synthetic lubricants. Polymer modifiers can enhance the performance of chemical products used to make automotive parts, construction materials, hygiene and personal care products, and various packaging applications.

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LG Chem and China's Huayou Group plan LFP cathode plant in Morocco

LG Chem and China's Huayou Group plan LFP cathode plant in Morocco

MRC -- LG Chem of South Korea is teaming up with Huayou Group of China to produce lithium-phosphate-iron (LFP) cathode materials, said Chemweekly.

The companies have inked a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that will establish an LFP cathode material plant and a lithium conversion plant in Morocco as well as a high-pressure acid leaching (HPAL) plant and a precursor plant in Indonesia.

LG Chem and Youshan will construct an LFP cathode material plant in Morocco. The plant is scheduled for mass production by 2026 with a capacity of 50,000 tonnes/y. The LFP cathode materials made in Morocco will be supplied to the North American market and subsidized by the US Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) as Morocco is a signatory to the US Free Trade Agreement (FTA). LG Chem will also enter into the LFP cathode materials business on the Morocco plant and boost the business into lithium-manganese-phosphate-iron (LMFP) cathode materials.

The company will also promote the lithium conversion plant business with Huayou Cobalt in Morocco. The conversion plant is anticipated to make 52,000 tonnes/y of lithium by 2025, which will be supplied to the LFP plant. The two companies will also collaborate in Indonesia, ranging from vertical integration of the cathode materials supply chain, from HPAL to precursor production, to meet the IRA standards. The companies are also planning of making a precursor plant in Indonesia with a capacity of 50,000 tonnes/y. It will also discuss the building of a plant to extract mixed hydroxide precipitate (MHP) from nickel ore for precursor production. Youshan is a subsidiary of Huayou Group.

We remind, LG Chem and China-based Huayou Group has decided to enter the lithium-phosphate-iron (LFP) cathode material market together and construct four units. The facilities involve a lithium conversion plant and a LFP cathode material unit in Morocco, as well as a high-pressure acid leaching (HPAL) plant and a precursor unit in Indonesia. LG Chem and Huayou Group's Youshan will establish a 50,000-tonne/y LFP cathode unit in Morocco with the goal of mass production by 2026.

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North American chemical rail traffic rose

North American chemical rail traffic rose

MRC -- North American chemical rail traffic rose for an eighth consecutive week, with railcar loadings for the week ended 7 October up 5.1% year on year to 43,987, according to Association of American Railroads.

For the first 40 weeks of 2023 ended 7 October, North American chemical rail traffic was down 1.2% year on year to 1,813,212 - with the US down 2.4% to 1,245,451.

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 rail traffic rose for a seventh consecutive week, with railcar loadings for the week ended 30 September up 3.6% year on year to 45,804. A 7.3% increase in the US more than offset declines in Canada and Mexico.

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