Nigeria gets refineries investment, forex pledge from Saudi Arabia

Nigeria gets refineries investment, forex pledge from Saudi Arabia

MRC -- Nigeria and Saudi Arabia on Friday agreed to a series of investment and cooperation deals, including a pledge by the Saudi government to invest in the revamp of Nigeria's oil refineries and provide financial support to sustain the government's foreign-exchange reforms, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The agreements were reached at a bilateral meeting between Nigerian President Bola Tinubu and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on the sidelines of the Saudi-Africa summit in Riyadh. Under Tinubu, Nigeria has embarked on the boldest reforms in decades, scrapping a popular petrol subsidy and unifying the country's multiple exchange rates as part of measures "aimed at improving the ease of doing business."

But liquidity has yet to return to the official currency market with the naira quoted at a premium on the parallel market. Information Minister Mohammed Idris said the Saudi government pledged to make "a substantial deposit of foreign exchange to boost Nigeria's forex liquidity".

In addition, the Saudi government, through Saudi Aramco , will invest in the revamp of Nigeria's four decrepit state refineries which is expected to be completed within two- to-three years, Idris said. Nigeria is seeking more investments to revive an economy plagued by foreign-currency shortages, double-digit inflation, widespread insecurity and theft of crude oil, its key export.

Africa's top oil exporter has made producing its fuels a priority for years but efforts to revamp its refineries have failed, leaving it reliant on imports. Tinubu also assured potential Saudi Arabian investors of the safety of their investments in Africa's largest economy, as he sought to strengthen ties between the two countries, his spokesperson said earlier on Friday.

Tinubu, who was speaking at the Saudi-Africa summit in Riyadh, promised investors "some of the world's highest returns on investment," spokesperson Ajuri Ngelale said. He also called for collaboration to combat Islamist insurgents, including Boko Haram, and other security challenges across Africa's most populous nation.

We remind, Russian fuel producers have been told by the government to prepare for the scrapping of all remaining restrictions on the export of diesel and gasoline. Russia, the world's top seaborne exporter of diesel, introduced a ban on fuel exports on Sept. 21 to tackle high domestic prices and shortages.

Sipchem announces largest calcium chloride operation in the world

Sipchem announces largest calcium chloride operation in the world

MRC -- Sahara International Petrochemical Co., also known as Sipchem, has initiated the world’s largest calcium chloride operation at their factory, said Arabnews.

Based in Saudi Arabia, the Khair Inorganic Chemical Industries Co., also known as InoChem, will operate a greenfield of soda ash and calcium chloride industrial complex spanning over 800,000 sq. meters of land in Ras Al-Khair, according to the Saudi Exchange.

Sipchem, which owns 30 percent of InoChem’s capital, will continue the trial until the testing of the plant equipment is completed and its efficiency is confirmed.

The project’s total cost is estimated at SR2.9 billion ($783 million), with an annual production capacity of 300,000 tons of soda ash and 348,000 tons of calcium chloride in various grades, densities, shapes, and sizes. The production employs the latest advanced technologies and equipment.

The plant is also the first soda ash producer in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries and the largest in the Middle East and North Africa region. The financial impact will be calculated at the beginning of commercial operations. Any material development will be announced in accordance with relevant laws and regulations.

InoChem is a Saudi closed joint-stock company founded in 2016 by a partnership between the public and private sectors.

We remind, Saudi Arabia's Sahara International Petrochemical Co. (Sipchem) on Wednesday reported a Q3 2023 net profit of 233.1 million riyals ($62 million), 70% lower compared to the year-ago period, said Zawya. The net profit came well below analysts’ mean estimate of SAR 356.7 million, according to LSEG data.

SABIC Unveils Sustainable In-mold Label Project

SABIC Unveils Sustainable In-mold Label Project

MRC -- Saudi chemicals giant SABIC is continuing its push into sustainable resins with two recent product introductions. One project involved developing an in-mold labeling (IML) process that uses SABIC’s certified renewable polypropylene (PP) resins from its TruCircle portfolio in mono-PP, thin-wall container packaging, said Plasticsengineering.

The other had the firm introducing 10 new LNP Elcrin-brand, polycarbonate-based copolymers that contain up to 75 percent certified post-consumer recycled (PCR) content.

For the labeling project, the firm partnered with Dubai-based film supplier Taghleef Industries Group and a pair of Greek firms –– printing specialist Stephanos Karydakis IML S.A. and injection molder Kotronis Packaging –– to create a single-step IML technology with a seamless part decoration right in the injection mold. The result is that the label becomes an integral component of the packaging itself.

The end product uses certified renewable PP resins for both the molded parts and the label film, and the resulting packaging also can be recycled in existing rigid PP recycling streams.

Abdullah Al-Otaibi, general manager of ETP & Market Solutions at SABIC, said: “The demand for in-mold labeled packaging is constantly growing across various different consumer market segments, as it provides major opportunities for cost effective and highly sustainable solutions. … This flexible decoration technology has enormous potential in fully recyclable mono-material packaging with no compromise on shelf visibility and consumer appeal in the retail space.”

We remind, SABIC last month launched a new portfolio of 10 LNP Elcrin copolymer resins that it said can reduce carbon footprint while delivering desirable performance properties and aesthetics. The company claims that, unlike competitive impact-modified polycarbonate resins containing PCR content, these new resins deliver high performance across the board. Depending on the grade, they may provide low-temperature ductility, chemical and weathering resistance, good flow for easy processing, transparency, a broad color space, UV stability and thin-wall flame retardance (FR) meeting the UL94 V-0 rating at 0.6mm.

Another project delivered by Grupa Azoty ZAK under New Energy Concept

Another project delivered by Grupa Azoty ZAK under New Energy Concept

MRC -- Grupa Azoty ZAK has successfully completed its latest investment project, installing a new oxygen compressor at the Ammonia Department of its plant in Kedzierzyn Kozle, set to bring about notable improvements in process and workforce safety, said the company.

Worth nearly PLN 77m, the project marks another milestone in the New Energy Concept, one of the flagship investment programmes currently underway at Grupa Azoty ZAK.

The key element of the project was to replace the aging oxygen compressors driven bysteam turbines with a new, electrically driven counterpart.The placement of the new compressor within a dedicated facility will contribute positively to the overall safety standards for workers, while ensuring the continuity of production.

The comprehensive scope of the work encompassed various aspects, including the procurement and installation of the new compressor with all associated equipment, but also the construction of the compressor facility, provision of utility pipelines to support the compressor and the facility, installation of control and measurement systems, and establishment of power supply infrastructure. Furthermore, it involved the integration of the new compressor into the existing units of the Ammonia Department as well as the system of process controls and interlocks.

“The recently completed project was undertaken to advance our New Energy Concept – a programme focused on harnessing heat generated during ammonia production to obtain energy carriers and electricity. We are now on the verge of the programme completion, with overall progress exceeding 90 percent,” explains Filip Grzegorczyk, President of the Management Board of Grupa Azoty ZAK and Vice President of the Management Board of Grupa Azoty S.A.

As part of the larger strategy of the New Energy Concept, the Company is concurrently progressing with the seventh and final task: the construction of a peak-load/reserve boiler house within the Energy Business Unit.

We remind, PKN Orlen announced a deal potentially worth an estimated zloty (Zl) 18bn (USD4.4bn) to supply fellow Polish state-owned firm Grupa Azoty companies with natural gas. Orlen and Azoty agreed on a supply contract covering the period running from 1 October this year to the end of September 2026, with an option for a one-year extension, Orlen added.

Amcor and NOVA Chemicals announce agreement to source mechanically recycled polyethylene

Amcor and NOVA Chemicals announce agreement to source mechanically recycled polyethylene

MRC -- Amcor, a global leader in developing and producing responsible packaging solutions, today announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with leading sustainable polyethylene producer NOVA Chemicals Corporation for the purchase of mechanically recycled polyethylene resin (rPE) for use in flexible packaging films, said the company.

Increasing the use of rPE in flexible packaging applications is an important element of Amcor’s commitment to support packaging circularity.

The supply agreement would enable Amcor to purchase SYNDIGO™ rPE resin, manufactured at NOVA Chemicals’ first mechanical recycling facility in Connersville, Indiana, which is projected to be in operation as early as 2025. The recycling facility was announced in July as a significant expansion of NOVA Chemicals’ Circular Solutions business.

“This is an exciting opportunity for us to supplement our rPE supply in support of our target to achieve 30% recycled material usage across our global portfolio by 2030,” said Fred Stephan, president of Amcor Flexibles North America. “Incorporating rPE into flexible packaging films helps brand owners meet voluntary commitments on recycled content targets, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and keep plastic waste in the economy and out of the environment.”

“We are pleased to work with Amcor to bring more film-grade rPE to market and further drive the circular economy,” said Greg DeKunder, vice president, NOVA Circular Solutions. “Reshaping plastics for a better future will take collaboration within our industry, and we share Amcor’s commitment to further global packaging circularity.”

NOVA Chemicals plans to expand its recycling footprint across North America over the next several years to help reach its industry-leading ambition of 30% share of total PE sales from products containing recycled content.

We remind, Amcor, a global leader in developing and producing responsible packaging solutions, announced today that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with SK Geo Centric (SK), a leading petrochemical company based in South Korea, to source advanced recycled material primarily in the Asia Pacific region beginning in 2025.