BASF started up expanded ethylene oxide and derivatives complex at its Verbund site in Antwerp

BASF started up expanded ethylene oxide and derivatives complex at its Verbund site in Antwerp

MRC -- BASF has expanded capacities for ethylene oxide and ethylene oxide derivatives at its Verbund site in Antwerp, Belgium, said the company.

The investment adds about 400,000 metric tons per year to BASF's production capacity for the corresponding products. “With the new plants we are supporting the continuous growth of our customers and are enhancing our market position in Europe,” says Hartwig Michels, President Petrochemicals, BASF. The investment, exceeding €500 million, comprises a second world-scale ethylene oxide plant, including capacity for purified ethylene oxide.

In addition to ethylene oxide, the investment includes additional capacities for alkoxylates, which are derivatives of ethylene oxide and used in a wide range of applications such as in detergent and cleaning, automotive and construction industry. “Acting with the future in mind is key to our continued success in the European market. With this expansion, we will accelerate growth for us and our customers in Europe”, says Mary Kurian, President Care Chemicals, BASF.

The expanded ethylene oxide and derivatives complex is also a major investment for the site in Antwerp. “The investment underlines the importance of our site for the BASF-group and creates further opportunities. To operate these world-scale installations, BASF Antwerp welcomed over 100 new colleagues; this number comes on top of the regular hires.”, says Jan Remeysen, CEO of BASF Antwerp.

We remind, BASF and NEVEON provide hotel with recycled mattresses. Together, the two companies have taken another step forward on their journey toward a circular economy. Using an innovative recycling process developed by BASF, it is now possible to produce polyol on a ton scale that is derived entirely from used mattresses.

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KBR's Green Ammonia Technology Selected by Madoqua Power2X in Portugal

KBR's Green Ammonia Technology Selected by Madoqua Power2X in Portugal

MRC -- Origin Materials, Inc., the world’s leading carbon negative materials company with a mission to enable the world’s transition to sustainable materials, announced the commencement of commercial-scale production at Origin 1, located in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada, the first commercial plant of its kind, said the company.

The state-of-the-art plant scales up the Company’s core technology platform for converting sustainable wood residues into intermediate chemicals, including CMF, HTC, and oils and extractives. Origin 1 enables, for the first time, the commercial-scale production of Origin’s versatile chemical building-blocks, which can decarbonize and improve the performance of a wide range of end-products, including bio-based apparel and textiles, green tires for the automotive industry, and bio-based and fully recyclable packaging, targeting a ~$1 trillion addressable market.

“This start of production at Origin 1 is a key inflection point in our effort to decarbonize the world’s physical goods,” said John Bissell, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Origin Materials. “As an operating chemical plant, Origin 1 proves our technology’s scalability and brings online an important manufacturing capability that helps us meet the growing demand for our technology and products as the world moves aggressively to a zero-carbon future. We are excited to expand the deployment of our platform now that we have achieved commercial-scale production.”

We remind, KBR hydrogen technology has been selected by Hanwha Impact Corporation to make up part of its commercial ammonia cracking unit in Daesan, South Korea, said the company. Under a license and engineering design contract, KBR will supply its H2ACT™ technology make up the ammonia cracking unit to convert the carrier back into hydrogen before use in a planned power plant.

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HPL becoming India's first integrated player in the phenolics chain

HPL becoming India's first integrated player in the phenolics chain

MRC -- Haldia Petrochemicals Limited (HPL)'s story is one of resilience and success. 2014, the company faced a temporary closure, but a change in management ownership led to a spectacular turnaround, said the company.

Under The Chatterjee Group's (TCG) stewardship, HPL has consolidated its financial position and diversified its operations into new territories and product lines, embracing trading, speciality chemicals, and fuel retailing. This remarkable journey has ensured the survival of over 1,300 processing units, sustaining more than one million direct and indirect employment opportunities in the eastern region's polymer processing sector. Furthermore, HPL has become a significant revenue generator for the state and central exchequer.

HPL is setting up the first on-purpose Propylene plant in India based on Olefin Conversion Technology (OCT) and the largest Phenol in India at Haldia, West Bengal, becoming India's first integrated player in the Phenolics chain.

HPL has been exploring the possibility of becoming a leader in the niche segment of speciality chemicals that have a high demand nationwide. Speciality chemicals have helped the company earn a revenue of Rs 999 crore in FY23.

In addition, HPL is setting up the largest Phenol plant in the country, with a capacity of 300 KTPA Phenol and 185 KTPA Acetone. According to Mr. Navanit Narayan, Whole Time Director and Chief Executive Officer, of Haldia Petrochemicals Limited, “With the commissioning of these plants, the overall chemical business portfolio is expected to increase by an additional Rs. 5,000Cr. The company has ambitious targets to complete the project by Q1 2026”.

The demand for petrochemicals is growing due to a large population base, favourable demographics, increasing economic growth, urbanization, and its positive impact on automobile production, construction, infrastructure, agrochemicals and pharmaceuticals. This proposed investment will likely be the largest in West Bengal in the chemical sector over the last two decades. It has also led to an increase in the number of ancillary units.

We remind, McDermott has been awarded a project management consultancy contract from India Oil Corporation Limited for the Maleic Anhydride (MAH) unit at the Panipat Refinery and Petrochemical Complex, located 62 miles from New Delhi, India. McDermott's scope includes project management and consultancy services for the unit, including front-end engineering design (FEED), review of engineering activities, construction supervision services, assistance in start-up, pre-commissioning, commissioning, performance guarantee test run and project closure.

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Covestro expands capacity for TPU films in Germany

Covestro expands capacity for TPU films in Germany

MRC -- Covestro has expanded its production capacities for thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) films in the Platilon® range, as well as the associated infrastructure and logistics in Bomlitz, Lower Saxony, Germany, said the company.

This site of Epurex Films, a wholly owned subsidiary of Covestro, houses research & development, application development and production for the semi-finished products. The company has invested a low double-digit million Euro amount in the expansion of the center of excellence for TPU-Films.

The new capacity is intended to meet the growing global demand for multilayer TPU films. They are used in automotive interiors and construction, among other applications. Breathable, water-impermeable specialty films have also proven their worth in wound care and outdoor clothing.

"With this capacity expansion, we are strengthening our Bomlitz site and our position as a leading supplier of technical specialty films," said Dr. Thorsten Dreier, Covestro's Chief Technology Officer, at the inauguration. "At the same time, we are investing in promising technologies and applications and creating new jobs."

For Aleta Richards, global head of the Specialty Films business entity, the expansion offers opportunities to respond even better to individual customer needs and offer more sustainable products. "For some time now, we have also been developing customer-specific solutions with films made from alternative raw materials, as we are also seeing increasing demand in this area. The development and production of partially biobased products is therefore to become a new focus at the Bomlitz site."

Covestro is fully geared toward the circular economy and aims to become climate-neutral by 2035. In 2022 the Bomlitz site has switched its power supply completely to green electricity. Epurex Films is one of Covestro's three competence centers for specialty films in Germany, along with Leverkusen and Dormagen.

We remind, Covestro is expanding its production capacities for thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) Films in the Platilon® range, as well as the associated infrastructure and logistics. To this end, the company is investing a low double-digit million euro amount in its German center of excellence for the aforementioned films in Bomlitz, Lower Saxony.

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LG Chem, GS Caltex advance commercialization of 3HP

LG Chem, GS Caltex advance commercialization of 3HP

MRC -- South Korean chemical firm LG Chem has teamed up with GS Caltex, a major refiner in South Korea, to develop mass-production technologies of 3-hydroxypropionic acid, which is a biodegradable plastic material produced through a microorganism fermenting process of bio-materials such as glucose and unrefined glycerol derived from vegetable oil, said Plasticsandrubberasia.

3-hydroxypropionic acid (3HP) is drawing attention as a next-generation platform chemical that can be used as raw materials for a variety of materials including biodegradable plastic and super absorbent polymers used in diapers, paints, adhesives and glues, coating materials, and carbon fiber.

LG Chem used 3HP fermenting technologies to develop poly lactate 3-hydroxypropionate (PLH), a biodegradable material that can configure mechanical properties equivalent to synthetic resins. The goal is to produce a prototype by 2023.

"In this current period where carbon neutrality has become a global mega-trend, the fact that a company leading the oil refining industry and another leading the chemical industry is cooperating for the development and commercialisation of sustainable new materials has great meaning," LG Chem CEO Shin Hak-cheol said recently.

LG Chem’s fermented production technology will be combined with GS Caltex’s process facility technologies. This will accelerate entry into biodegradable materials and bio-plastic markets through the production of a 3HP prototype from 2023.

"As microplastics have become a serious environmental issue, products that quickly decompose in the natural ecosystem will be able to create sustainable value in that it will eco-friendly consumption,” said GS Caltex President Hur Sae-hong.

South Korea nurtures the white biotechnology industry that focuses on the creation and distribution of biodegradable bioplastics. White biotechnology is an area of science that is devoted to using living cells collected from yeast, moulds, microorganisms and plants, and enzymes to create products that can be easily degraded.

LG Chem is also the first company in South Korea to develop lactic acid and biodegradable polylactic acid (PLA). It also recently tied up with US-based grain company Archer Daniels Midland to set up a PLA facility in the US.

We remind, private Russian oil producer Lukoil will lend Azeri state oil firm Socar $1.5 B as part of a broader deal that will allow Socar's 200,000-barrel-per-day Turkish STAR refinery to process Russian crude again. The deal will give Lukoil another customer in close proximity to Russian ports after most European refiners stopped importing its crude to comply with European Union sanctions imposed after Moscow launched what it calls a "special military operation" in Ukraine in 2022.

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