North American chem rail traffic rises

North American chem rail traffic rises

MRC -- North American chemical rail traffic rose for a ninth consecutive week, with railcar loadings for the week ended 14 October up 0.3% year on year to 44,668, according Association of American Railroads.

For the first 41 weeks of 2023 ended 14 October, North American chemical rail traffic was down 1.1% year on year to 1,857,880 - with the US down 2.3% to 1,275,816.

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, for last week, total U.S. weekly rail traffic was 499,217 carloads and intermodal units, up 3.0 percent compared with the same week last year. Total carloads for the week ending October 7 were 233,768 carloads, up 3.6 percent compared with the same week in 2022, while U.S. weekly intermodal volume was 265,449 containers and trailers, up 2.5 percent compared to 2022.

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Rohm commissions PMMA plant in China

Rohm commissions PMMA plant in China

MRC -- Rohm has reached an important milestone in the implementation of its growth strategy. In a ceremony attended by employees, partners and political representatives, Hans-Peter Hauck, COO of Rohm, officially commissioned the plant, said the company.

“The expansion of our global PMMA capacities is an important step on our way to becoming the leading methacrylate Verbund,” said Hauck. Thus, at the end of the year, another PMMA plant will also start production in Worms, Germany.

China is the largest market for MMA and PMMA in the world. Rohm has been supplying the market with PLEXIGLAS® (branded in the Americas as Acrylite®) molding compounds since the 1990s. Since 2008, the company has been on site with its own plant in Shanghai to serve local customers even faster and more reliably. "Our business has grown steadily," says Benjamin Ling, Rohm President Asia. "As our customers and the Chinese market have grown, so have we, and we have steadily expanded our capacity."

The basis for success in the Asian market is not only the high-quality PLEXIGLAS® molding compounds, but also customized innovations that Rohm has developed specifically for the Asian market. Examples include PLEXIGLAS® Hi-Gloss for automotive pillar trim and PLEXIGLAS® Resist for electronic displays.

We remind, Roehm launches resource-saving alternative to their long-established methyl methacrylate (MMA). For MERACRYL proTerra MMA, 30% fossil raw materials are substituted by sustainable raw materials from circular, recycled or biogenic sources, certified by the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification ISCC PLUS. The product's carbon footprint is reduced by 25%. Roehm guarantees the same specifications, quality and reliable processes. Sustainability is an integral part of Roehm's global business strategy. By the year 2050, Roehm aims to become climate-neutral by eliminating greenhouse gas emissions.

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Johnson Matthey and bp chosen by EDL to support production of SAF at HyKero plant in Germany

Johnson Matthey and bp chosen by EDL to support production of SAF at HyKero plant in Germany

MRC -- Johnson Matthey and bp announced that EDL Anlagenbau Gesellschaft mbH has selected their co-developed, award-winning Fischer Tropsch CANS technology for EDL’s HyKero plant located in Bohlen-Lippendorf, south of Leipzig, Germany, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The HyKero plant is planned to produce 50,000 metric tons (MT) of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) per year when fully operational, including eSAF from a power-to-liquids (PtL) route, and would be the first plant of its kind at commercial scale in Germany. The PtL route is the conversion of renewable electricity and carbon dioxide into sustainable liquid fuels. Current international certification for this SAF requires a blend of up to 50% with fossil kerosene to create drop-in SAF. Based on a typical widebody aircraft fuel consumption rate travelling the distance from Frankfurt to New York, the HyKero plant's planned SAF production capacity, after blending, is equivalent to the fuel required for over 1,000 transatlantic flights annually.

When fully operational, the HyKero plant is also planned to produce 14,000 MT of sustainable naphtha, and approximately 1,000 MT of electrolytic (green) hydrogen per year.

Strategically located to serve Leipzig-Halle international airport, this first phase of the plant is planned to be online by 2027. Project realisation and plant operations will be under the responsibility of EDL’s subsidiary XFuels HyKero GmbH. EDL anticipates a potential future phase could add 75,000 MT of eSAF capacity per year.

We remind, Proman has signed an MoU with Mitsubishi Corporation to explore building a world-scale ultra low-carbon ammonia facility in Lake Charles, Louisiana. The proposed plant would produce approximately 1.2 million tonnes per year of clean ammonia by incorporating state-of-the-art carbon capture and sequestration technology. The proposed ultra low-carbon ammonia facility will be located on Proman's existing site in Lake Charles, adjacent to Proman's natural gas to methanol plant which is also under development.

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Unipar modernizes chlor-alkali plant in Brazil with BM2.7 technology from thyssenkrupp nucera

Unipar modernizes chlor-alkali plant in Brazil with BM2.7 technology from thyssenkrupp nucera

MRC -- Unipar is modernizing its chlor-alkali plant at the Cubatao plant in Brazil by incorporating thyssenkrupp nucera electrolyzers, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

To modernize the plant, the Brazilian chemical company, a leader in the production of chlorine, caustic soda and PVC in South America, will replace the existing mercury and diaphragm plants with electrolyzers featuring thyssenkrupp nucera's highly efficient BM2.7 technology.

The company will have the largest operation in South America using the membrane technology, the most modern, sustainable and efficient on the market for the production of chlorine and soda. For the technological modernization of its Cubatao plant, Unipar invested more than R$ 1 billion (equivalent to about €190 million). The implementation of the project is expected to be completed by the end of 2025. The electrolysis share was included in the order intake of thyssenkrupp nucera in the third quarter of fiscal 2022/23.

The optimized design features of the thyssenkrupp nucera 2.7v6 bipolar membrane (BM) allow very high energy and CO2 emission savings. The unification of technologies will guarantee a production capacity of 210,000 tons of chlorine per year. Unipar will reduce its CO2 emissions by 70,000 tons per year, as well as generate less solid waste, consume less energy (steam and electricity) and simplifying operations on site.

The chlor-alkali plant is also characterized by its ability to be built quickly, easily and cost-effectively, and the membrane technology from thyssenkrupp nucera is environmentally friendly. In addition to the chloralkali electrolyzers, the supplier of world-leading technologies for high-efficiency electrolysis plants will also provide engineering, equipment and consulting services during the plant's erection and commissioning.

We remind, Honeywell announced today that Embraer has successfully tested Honeywell's HTF7500 turbofan engine on its Praetor 600 aircraft using 100% SAF. The test marks a major milestone, as this is the first time 100% SAF has been flown in Honeywell's business jet engines.

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China's September oil refinery throughput surges to record daily rate

China's September oil refinery throughput surges to record daily rate

MRC -- China's oil refinery throughput in September hit a record daily rate, data showed on Wednesday, up 12% from a year earlier as refiners increased run rates to cater for strong demand for transport fuel over the Golden Week holiday and improving manufacturing, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Total refinery throughput in the world's second-largest oil consumer was 63.62 million metric tons last month, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed. That was equivalent to 15.48 million barrels per day (bpd), the highest on record. Processing rates rose month-on-month from August's 15.23 million bpd, which had been the highest on record.

Run rates were particularly strong at state-owned refiners, analysts said before the data was released. Refiners had been widely expected to build stocks ahead of the Golden Week travel period, which started at the end of September and ran through the first week of October.

Domestic travel over the holiday was resurgent, with 826 million trips made within mainland China, up 71.3% from a year ago and 4.1% higher than in 2019, according to data released by the Xinhua state media outlet. International travel picked up to 85% of pre-pandemic levels, according to data from the National Immigration Administration, helping to drive demand for jet fuel.

Improving manufacturing activity in September will also have supported demand for fuels such as diesel. The September manufacturing PMI edged up to 50.2, above the 50-point level demarcating a contraction in activity from expansion.

Customs data last week showed solid crude imports into China in September, which though down month-on-month were still well above 2022 levels. The NBS data also showed that domestic crude oil production in September was 16.87 million metric tons, or 4.1 million bpd, up 0.3% from 16.8 million tons in 2022. Natural gas production was up 9.3% from a year earlier to 17.9 bcm, from 16.4 bcm last year.

We remind, Proman has signed an MoU with Mitsubishi Corporation to explore building a world-scale ultra low-carbon ammonia facility in Lake Charles, Louisiana. The proposed plant would produce approximately 1.2 million tonnes per year of clean ammonia by incorporating state-of-the-art carbon capture and sequestration technology.

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