Rural Texas chemical plant fire contained

Rural Texas chemical plant fire contained

MRC -- A fire at a rural chemical distribution plant northeast of Houston was contained by 1 p.m. CDT, a county emergency services official said on Wednesday, as per Reuters.

County officials told residents within one mile of Sound Resource Solutions located 61 miles (99 km) northeast of Houston to shelter in homes and businesses as crews sprayed foam to extinguish burning chemicals contained in trucks and buildings in a rural area near Shepherd, Texas.

"We think the worst of this is done," said Emmitt Eldridge, emergency management coordinator for San Jacinto County where the plant is located. Schools north of the fire kept students inside during the morning because of the large black column of smoke that rose from the blaze.

The shelter-in-place zone was originally five miles, but was later reduced in size. The fire began following an accident involving a fork lift, said Geoff Harfield, owner of Sound Resource Solutions. The fork lift operator was being treated at Houston hospital for burns, Harfield said.

"He's going to be home with his family this evening," he said. Officials said about 19 people were working at the facility when the fire began shortly after 8 a.m. All had been accounted for. Sound Resource Solutions blends, packages and distributes oilfield and other industrial chemicals including sulfuric acid, acetone and petrochemicals like xylene and toluene, according to the company's website.

U.S. Highway 59 was closed between Shepherd and Livingston, Texas because of the fire, according to media reports. Rural Texas communities have been frequent sites of chemical plant explosions and fires.

We remind, in 2013, 15 people were killed and 160 injured in a fertilizer storage facility explosion in the town of West, Texas. In 2017, industrial peroxide at an Arkema storage site in Crosby, Texas exploded during Hurricane Harvey. Four towns in east Texas were evacuated when a TPC Group butadiene plant exploded in Port Neches, Texas in 2018.

OMV in talks with ADNOC on chemicals business merger

OMV in talks with ADNOC on chemicals business merger

MRC -- OMV is actively in negotiations with the state-owned Abu Dhabi National Oil Company about a possible merger of their chemicals business, the Austrian firm's chief executive said on Tuesday, after third-quarter results were released.

The company would be listed on the stock exchange, added Chief Executive Alfred Stern.

The deal, if realized, would include a merger of petrochemicals group Borealis - which is owned by OMV and ADNOC in a 75:25 split - and Borouge, which is 54:36 owned by ADNOC and Borealis.

Stern added that he expected a difficult fourth quarter and possibly a difficult first quarter of 2024 for the chemicals business.

We remind, OMV’s polyethylene (PE) indicator margin for Europe stood at €308/tonne in Q3 2023 versus €312/tonne in Q3 2022 and €320/tonne in Q2 2023, said the Austrian oil, gas and petrochemical group. For the polypropylene (PP) indicator margin for Europe, the figures were €330/tonne, €357/tonne and €372/tonne, respectively.
For the propylene indicator margin for Europe, the figures were €330/tonne, €574/tonne and €459/tonne, respectively. For the ethylene indicator margin for Europe, the figures were €455/tonne, €614/tonne and €567/tonne, respectively.

LyondellBasell Launches New Brand Identity Reflecting its New Company Strategy

LyondellBasell Launches New Brand Identity Reflecting its New Company Strategy

MRC -- LyondellBasell, a leader in the chemical industry, today revealed its new brand identity aligned to its purpose, “creating solutions for everyday sustainable living.” The new brand includes a logo, tagline and visual identity and affirms the company’s new strategy announced earlier in 2023, said the company.

“With our new strategy firmly in place, our employees are adopting new ways of working to generate innovative, value-enhancing solutions to support our goals,” said Peter Vanacker, LyondellBasell (LYB) CEO. “I am especially proud of our teams’ recent accomplishments. This includes accelerating our value enhancement program targets and increasing our access to circular and renewable feedstocks through the development of integrated recycling hubs centered in Houston, Texas and Cologne, Germany. I believe our new brand identity will inspire employees by giving them a visual representation of our vision for the future and a sense of unity toward our purpose and values.”

As part of its new brand identity, LYB has also launched a new tagline, “Solutions for a better tomorrow”. This tagline captures the company’s dedication to creating products and solutions for applications in support of modern living, such as food packaging, healthcare, and transportation, and technologies that enable a circular and low carbon economy.

We remind, LyondellBasell, the world’s largest licensor of polyolefin technologies, today announced that Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. (IOCL) has selected LyondellBasell’s Hostalen “Advanced Cascade Process” (Hostalen ACP) technology for a new 200 kiloton per year (KTA) high density polyethylene (HDPE) plant. The new facility will be built in Panipat, India.

Mitsui Chemicals H1 net profit falls 53% on poor demand

Mitsui Chemicals H1 net profit falls 53% on poor demand

MRC -- Mitsui Chemical’s fiscal half-year net income fell by 53% year on year as sales volumes dropped due to weak demand, the Japanese producer said.

The company's Basic & Green Materials business swung to an operating loss before special items of Y7.1bn in the H1 period, weighed by lower sales volumes and a decline in inventory valuation gains.
- Sales of polyolefin and phenols decreased compared with the corresponding period of the previous fiscal year due to slowing demand.

Naphtha cracker operating rates remained at a low level due to slowing demand for downstream products.

For the full fiscal year ending 31 March 2024, Mitsui Chemicals lowered its earnings forecasts, with net income expected at Y76bn instead of Y84bn, down from the previous year's Y82.9bn.

Basic & Green Materials sales now expected at Y639bn for the full year, down from the Y726bn in the previous forecast.

We remind, Mitsui Chemicals recently held a groundbreaking ceremony for a new plant to produce the high-performance elastomer Tafmer at its Singapore-based wholly owned subsidiary Mitsui Elastomers Singapore. The ceremony was held on 28 July, 2023. As part of Mitsui Chemicals’ Vision 2030 Long-Term Business Plan, the Mobility Solutions business aims to help solve social challenges and achieve sustainable business growth by providing unique materials, features and services.

AkzoNobel supplies bio-rosin to KIA Motors for its new EV

AkzoNobel supplies bio-rosin to KIA Motors for its new EV

MRC -- AkzoNobel supplies bio-based paint to KIA Motors for the inside of its new EV9 electric SUV, said cjmpany.

It is the first time the vehicle manufacturer has specified an interior bio-based coating. Two kinds of bio-rosin (rosin is a solid form of resin) have been used to create the product, one extracted from rapeseed, the other from pine rosin.

The paint can be found on the EV9's interior door switch panels, with AkzoNobel also supplying coatings for the rest of the interior. As well as obtaining 100% colour master approval, the bio-based paint being used on the EV9 also meets all of KIA Motors' requirements for both chemical and physical resistance (against suncream, air freshener, heat and scratches, for example).

We remind, AkzoNobel's net income surged to €189m in the third quarter, supported by a rebound in gross margins in both its core decorative paints and performance coatings businesses, said the company. Q3 revenue 4% down on unfavorable exchange rates. Decorative paints Q3 revenue down 3%, operating income up by 53%. Performance coatings Q3 revenue down 5%, operating income more than doubles to €245m from €98m in the same period of last year.