Idemitsu to withdraw from bisphenol A business

Idemitsu to withdraw from bisphenol A business

MRC -- Idemitsu Kosan Co.,Ltd. has decided to withdraw from the Bisphenol A business, said the company.

Bisphenol A is an organic compound synthesized from phenol and acetone, and is used as a raw material for polycarbonate resin, epoxy resin, flame retardant resin, etc.

In 1991, Idemitsu commercialized Bisphenol A at the Chiba Complex with its own technology, and for more than 30 years since then, it has been developing the Bisphenol A business by striving for safe and stable operation and improvement of quality.

However, in recent years, the business environment has deteriorated owing to an oversupply caused by the expansion of facilities in Asia. As a result of examining our future business policies, we have determined that it will be difficult to continue the business.

Based on this decision, we will withdraw from the Bisphenol A business and stop operating the manufacturing equipment at Idemitsu’s Chiba Complex by October 2024.

We remind, Idemitsu Kosan Co.,Ltd. (Tokyo) will increase the production capacity of Plant 1 (launched in November 2021), small pilot facilities for solid electrolytes (planned completion: within fiscal 2024), in order to expand the use of all-solid-state lithium-ion rechargeable batteries. In addition, Plant 2, comprising small pilot facilities, will start operation in July this year. The company will steadily supply solid electrolytes to car/battery manufacturers and others who are developing all solid-state batteries.

Huntsman suspends EV battery materials because of Chinese imports

Huntsman suspends EV battery materials because of Chinese imports

MRC -- Huntsman is suspending a project that would produce ultra-pure ethylene carbonate (UPEC) used in the batteries of electric vehicles because of aggressive imports from China, which has caused pricing to fall by 75%, said the company.

“The current level of pricing will not generate the returns we would expect, and we took the difficult decision to suspend the project,” the company said in prepared remarks about its Q3 earnings.

Once Huntsman sees signs that pricing for UPEC will improve, it can complete the project within 12 months.

Huntsman is the only producer of ultra-pure ethylene carbonate in North America. The company had planned to raise UPEC capacity to up to 20,000 tonnes/year at its plant in Conroe, Texas. The project would have been completed by the end of this year.

We remind, Huntsman Corporation (NYSE: HUN) today reported third quarter 2023 results with revenues of $1,506 million, net income attributable to Huntsman of $0 million, adjusted net income attributable to Huntsman of $27 million and adjusted EBITDA of $136 million.

SK Geo Centric to build a pyrolysis plant in Dangjin with Plastic Energy

SK Geo Centric to build a pyrolysis plant in Dangjin with Plastic Energy

MRC -- SK Geo Centric joins forces with Plastic Energy, the UK-based plastic pyrolysis specialist, to build a waste plastic pyrolysis plant in Dangjin, Chungcheongnam-do province, said Skinnonews.

The plant is the second domestic pyrolysis plant after the Ulsan ARC (Advanced Recycling Cluster), which is under construction in the southern district of Ulsan with the goal of operations in 2025.

The two companies signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the construction of the Pyrolysis Plant 2 in Frankfurt, Germany on October 31 (local time). According to the MOU, the companies will establish a joint venture and construct a pyrolysis facility in the Songsan-2 Foreign Investment Zone in Dangjin. The specific timeline for construction and plant operation will be determined through future discussions between the two companies. The annual waste plastic processing capacity of Pyrolysis Plant 2 is planned to be 66,000 tons.

As the second plant will be located near the Seoul metropolitan area and Chungcheong regions, not only will its locational feature facilitate efficient waste collection from these areas, there is also the potential connection with the Ulsan ARC. The pyrolysis oil produced at Pyrolysis Plant 2 is expected to be further refined at the Ulsan ARC’s pyrolysis oil post-treatment facility for use in petrochemical processes.

Pyrolysis oil is created by heating waste plastics and discarded vinyl at high temperatures, and it is considered a crude oil substitute. Therefore, it is regarded as a crucial element in the circular economy for waste plastics, as it can be used in petrochemical processes to produce new petrochemical products. This process is also referred to as “Urban Oil Field” as it is extracting crude oil from waste materials.

Last year, SK Geo Centric continued its collaborative relationship with Plastic Energy by signing a Heads of Agreement (HOA) for the construction of a waste plastic pyrolysis plant in the Ulsan ARC. Building on Plastic Energy’s experience in operating stable pyrolysis plants in places including Seville, Spain, and its accumulated technology patents, the partnership aims to open up an era of a circular economy for waste plastics in South Korea.

Personnel changes at BASF

Personnel changes at BASF

MRC -- Dr. Daniel Schonfelder (47), Senior Vice President, Battery Base Metals & Recycling at BASF, will, as President, assume responsibility for the Catalysts division, based in Mannheim, Germany, effective January 1, 2024, said the company.

He will succeed Dr. Peter Schuhmacher (58), who will retire effective December 31, 2023.

We remind, BASF posted a 57.3% drop on earnings before interest and taxation (EBIT) and a 28.3% drop in sales in the third quarter, due to considerably lower prices and lower volumes. For Q4, BASF expects global chemical production to further stabilise, while the macroeconomic outlook remains extremely uncertain in the current interest rate policy environment and in view of increasing geopolitical risks. The company also said that rising raw materials prices in particular could weigh on demand and margins.

GAIL net jumps 56% in Q2 on gas higher volumes

GAIL net jumps 56% in Q2 on gas higher volumes

MRC -- State-owned gas utility GAIL posted a 56% jump in the net profit during the September quarter buoyed by expanding gas transmission volumes and margins on the back of rising consumption, as per MSN.

Standalone net profit stood at Rs 2,404.8 crore during the July-September period against Rs 1,537.07 crore in the year-ago period. Pre-tax earnings from gas transportation business soared 82% to Rs 1,290.6 crore, while pre-tax earnings from the gas marketing jumped nearly 400% to Rs 1,784.58 crore.

These earnings helped offset losses in the petrochemical business, which narrowed to Rs 160.6 crore from Rs 346.2 crore in July-September 2022. Revenue from operations dropped to Rs 31,882.6 crore in July-September from Rs 38,490.89 crore on lower gas prices.

We remind, GAIL India is looking to allot Rup 30,000 crore of investment in the succeeding three years for pipelines, city gas distribution projects, existing petrochemical projects, equity contribution in group firms, and operational capex. It also anticipates polymer sales to rise twofold and natural gas transmission volume to increase by 12% in FY 2024. (1 crore=10 M, 1 lakh=100,000).