Clariant and Technical University of Munich celebrate renewal of sustainability and catalysis alliance

Clariant and Technical University of Munich celebrate renewal of sustainability and catalysis alliance

MRC -- Clariant, a sustainability-focused specialty chemical company, and Technical University of Munich (TUM) have renewed their long-term strategic alliance in the field of research and application of new catalyst systems, said the company.

The cooperation, named MuniCat (Munich Catalysis), has generated improved catalyst formulations and designs as well as innovative process technologies since 2010 and will continue to focus on upcoming challenges in the area of sustainable chemistry applying catalysis.

The MuniCat alliance combines the capabilities of both partners in terms of research, improvement, and application of existing, but also innovative, novel catalysts and processes. Joint research has already produced a number of solutions to manufacture chemical products in a more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly way.

“Over the years, the collaboration between Clariant and TUM has paved the way for many milestones not only in the field of R&D in catalysis but also in creating a more sustainable future for the chemical industry”, said Marvin Estenfelder, Head of R&D at Clariant. “The partnership has been very symbiotic, in that we have access to cutting edge research methods and technologies developed at the university while the young TUM researchers benefit from our long industry and applications expertise. We are therefore delighted to extend this fruitful partnership for another 10 years.”

Urgent challenges solved and new research fields and catalysts explored. As part of the cooperation, more than 30 projects focusing on the challenges of the industry to become more sustainable and efficient were completed so far. These projects resulted in strong intellectual properties for innovative catalyst formulations as well as their production and commercial application. More than 250 scientific articles on the technical progress have been published in papers with global reach.

We remind, Clariant, a sustainability-focused specialty chemical company, today announced that on Wednesday, 18 October 2023, Shell formally brought a claim for damages against four companies, including Clariant, with the court of Amsterdam. The reason for the claim is alleged damages amounting up to EUR 1 billion in relation to infringements of competition law on the ethylene purchasing market which was sanctioned by the European Commission in July 2020.

Kuwait's KIPIC in talks with potential partners on petrochemicals complex

Kuwait's KIPIC in talks with potential partners on petrochemicals complex

MRC -- State-owned Kuwait Integrated Petroleum Industries Company is in early talks with companies to partner on an integrated petrochemicals complex worth up to $9.70 B, its CEO said, as per Reuters.

The company also aims to raise capacity at its Al-Zour refinery by 20-30% above the maximum 615,000 barrels per day it expects to reach this month, Walid Al-Badr told Reuters. Initial discussions have begun with three potential partners, two from Asia and one from Europe, to build an integrated petrochemical complex alongside the Al-Zour plant, Al-Badr said.

"We are still in the initial stages. Memorandums of understanding have not been signed yet, but they expressed their interest and there were official meetings," Al-Badr said, without naming the firms. The petrochemical complex, which aims to export to Europe and to boost Al-Zour's profitability, will use about 100,000 barrels per day (bpd) of fuel oil. If a deal is reached, it aims for the plant to go into operation by 2030.

It will target annual production of 2.7 million tons of aromatics and 1.7 million tons of olefins. A partnership model has not yet been agreed on and KIPIC's parent is studying potential incentives for partners, Al-Badr said. About 60% of the project's financing would come from local and foreign banks, and the rest would be put up by KIPIC and the partner.

According to a document seen by Reuters, Kuwait's Oil Minister Saad Al-Barrak said in August in response to a parliamentary query that an Ernst & Young study had shown a lack of investor appetite for the petrochemicals complex.

We remind, operations of the third refinery at Al-Zour petroleum complex will begin within a few weeks, "specifically before the end of October". The refinery has a refining capacity of 615,000 barrels of crude oil per day, it added.

LyondellBasell acquires 25% of Cyclyx joint venture, joining Agilyx and ExxonMobil to accelerate plastic waste recycling

LyondellBasell acquires 25% of Cyclyx joint venture, joining Agilyx and ExxonMobil to accelerate plastic waste recycling

MRC -- Cyclyx International, a joint venture between Agilyx and ExxonMobil, announces LyondellBasell has acquired 25% equity ownership of the JV, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

LyondellBasell joining Cyclyx, which was formed in December 2020, further accelerates innovation and development of the necessary infrastructure for a nationwide circular economy for plastics.

“Investing in plastic waste value chain experts such as Cyclyx, together with Agilyx and ExxonMobil, helps create the robust supply chains we all need to increase access to circular and renewable feedstocks,” says Yvonne van der Laan, LyondellBasell executive vice president, circular and low carbon Solutions. “This collaboration unlocks the necessary scale of recycled material and infrastructure for our planned integrated circular and low carbon solutions hub in the Houston area and aligns with our purpose of creating solutions for everyday sustainable living.”

“We are excited by and welcome the inclusion of LyondellBasell in the ownership of Cyclyx,” says Joseph Vaillancourt, Cyclyx CEO. “Headquartered in Houston, LyondellBasell is a respected global leader that shares our vision of a more sustainable future. We are uniquely positioned to enable their sustainability goals for plastic circularity.”

In conjunction with this announcement, Cyclyx is expanding its business model from a strict licensing model to include now a build, own and operate option for Cyclyx Circularity Centers (CCCs). This business model expansion will enable Cyclyx to control the custody and quality of custom-blended feedstocks from sourcing through delivery. Cyclyx also believes this expanded business model will accelerate collection of post-use plastics to increase recycling in more communities and businesses nationwide.

Cyclyx will also utilize the Cyclyx Circularity Labs to further expand its chemical characterization database and leadership position in understanding how best to manage contamination in, and utilization of, post-use plastics, thereby accelerating progress of its 10to90 mission. This innovative technology approach identifies plastic type, added ingredients such as metal linings or coloring, ideal manufacturing methods, and contamination to meet the unique specifications of customers, while ensuring the quality of the feedstock and integrity of ISCC PLUS certifications.

Cyclyx’s expanded model helps further its goals of enhancing its national footprint, accelerating the scale of its feedstock services, and investing in future growth in support of the broader industry.

We remind, LyondellBasell acquired its 50% share from De Paauw Sustainable Resources (DPSR) CEO Roy de Paauw and ING Corporate Investments, said the company. DPSR is a plastics waste recycling company based out of the Netherlands. The Dutch plastic recycling firm engages in the procurement, processing, and trade of post-consumer and post-industrial plastic packaging waste.

Yara and Navigator invest in Azane to build ammonia bunkering network

Yara and Navigator invest in Azane to build ammonia bunkering network

MRC -- Yara Growth Ventures AS, the venture investment arm of Yara International ASA, and Navigator Holdings Ltd. today announced that they have each successfully acquired a 14.5% interest in the Norwegian startup Azane Fuel Solutions AS, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Azane, a joint venture between ECONNECT Energy AS and Amon Maritime AS, both of Norway, was founded in Norway in 2020 as a company that develops proprietary technology and services for ammonia fuel handling, to facilitate the transition to green fuels for shipping.

Subject to customary conditions, Azane intends to build the world’s first ammonia bunkering network, with Yara Clean Ammonia already pre-ordering 15 units from Azane. The investment made by Yara and Navigator is expected to enable Azane to begin construction of its first bunkering unit for ammonia supply in Norway, aiming to kickstart the transition to zero-carbon fuels for maritime transportation. Future value creation for Azane is expected to come through international expansion with its bunkering solutions and broadening of its offerings in ammonia fuel handling technology.

The parties anticipate that the commencement of operations of the bunkering units will begin in Scandinavia in 2025. The total addressable market for ammonia powered ships is estimated to equal to the entire deep sea shipping fleet of 100,000 vessels worldwide, which over time is expected to transition to zero-carbon fuels. Currently, the world of ocean shipping accounts for approximately 3% of global emissions.

Azane is a commercial partner of Yara Clean Ammonia, who expects to provide clean ammonia to be stored in Azane’s bunkering units once operational. Stian Nygaard, Investment Director, Yara Growth Ventures, commented: “Currently ammonia fuel bunkering does not exist. With this investment it is expected to become a reality in a year, starting in Scandinavia. This is anticipated to be a huge milestone for reducing emissions from the shipping industry. By enabling Azane to be the first mover on providing this key part of the infrastructure, our goal is to fill a gap in the ammonia chain needed for fueling ships.” Stian Nygaard is also joining the board to help build the company as a strategic investor.

We remind, Yara and chemicals giant BASF are looking into developing and building a low-carbon blue ammonia production facility in the U.S Gulf coast region. The companies are planning to complete their feasibility study on the production facility by the end of this year, they said. They are looking into the feasibility of a plant with a total capacity of 1.2 to 1.4 million tons per year, they added.

UPM selects Dongsung Chemical as sole Korean distributor of its new bio-based MEG

UPM selects Dongsung Chemical as sole Korean distributor of its new bio-based MEG

MRC -- UPM Biochemicals has selected Dongsung Chemical as sole distributor of its bio-monoethylene glycol (BioMEG) UPM BioPura™ in Korea, said the company.

This further strengthens the development partnership between the two companies that was announced last year. By adding UPM to its supplier network, Dongsung enhances the sustainability transformation of its portfolio and supports the evolution of the chemical industry in Korea overall to become more sustainable.

Through this partnership, UPM will access the large and attractive Korean MEG market with a size of roughly two thirds of the European Union’s MEG market.

UPM Biochemicals has already established various industry partnerships across the automotive, fashion and packaging industry, which enable the vital shift away from fossil-based to renewable materials.

“Expanding the partnership with Dongsung Chemical is another major milestone in bringing our renewable chemicals to market and in establishing an entirely new category of high value sustainable chemicals. We will continue to collaborate in the development of alternative solutions for a large variety of customer segments in the Asian shoe and textile markets,” says Michael Duetsch, Vice President Biochemicals at UPM. “Over the past few years, Dongsung Chemical has taken a leading role in advancing sustainable customer solutions. We are very happy to be able to now also rely on their experience, enthusiasm and vision to promote our innovative materials in the large Korean glycols market.”

ManWoo Lee, CEO of Dongsung Chemical added, "Our partnership with UPM enables us to supply wood-derived biomass raw materials in Korea. We are committed to reducing carbon emissions and enhancing ESG management by assisting partners in developing environmentally friendly products using UPM’s bio-monoethylene glycol.”

UPM invests EUR 1,180 million to build the world’s first industrial scale biorefinery in Leuna, Germany. In Leuna, UPM will convert sustainably sourced, certified hardwood into next generation biochemicals that will enable the vital shift away from fossil-based to renewable materials across a wide range of industries. The Leuna biorefinery is part of a broader growth area, UPM Biorefining, focused on scaling refineries producing a variety of renewable fuels and chemicals made from sustainable biomass.

UPM's BioMEG BioPura™ is produced from hardwood obtained from forests in the regions around Leuna in Germany. The biomass does not compete with food resources, and UPM is achieving a climate neutral1 BioMEG from day one while going beyond zero in the future with additional reduction measures.

We remind, PTS has tested ten UPM Raflatac's paper labels containing the referred adhesives. The labels were tested as part of the packaging material at a mass share of 10%, following the PTS-RH 021:2012 Category II methodology for evaluating the recyclability of paper and board-based packaging. Due to the obtained results of fibre yield, sheet adhesion, and optical impurities, ten of the UPM Raflatac adhesives applied on the paper labels received verification.