Asahimas Chemical Wraps Up Repairs for VCM Production on Line 3 in Chilegon

Asahimas Chemical Wraps Up Repairs for VCM Production on Line 3 in Chilegon

MRC -- Asahimas Chemical, a prominent subsidiary of the renowned Japanese petrochemical giant Asahi Glass, has successfully concluded comprehensive repair operations on Vinyl Chloride Line 3 at its facility in Cilegon, Indonesia, said Chemanalyst.

The facility, boasting an impressive annual capacity of 400 thousand tons of Vinyl Chloride Monomer (VCM), underwent meticulous repair activities aimed at addressing operational challenges. Despite the successful removal of coke and the subsequent restart of VCM Line 3, technical complexities have limited its current operational capacity to 90%. The precise timeline for achieving full operational restoration remains uncertain.

In a preceding instance, Asahimas Chemical, a pivotal subsidiary under the Asahi Glass umbrella, finalized repair work on Line No. 2, dedicated to the production of vinyl chloride (VCM) in Cilegon, Indonesia. This particular facility, equipped with a production capacity of 300 thousand tons of VCM annually, underwent extensive repair activities spanning from late July to September 10.

Vinyl chloride, a fundamental raw material in the chemical industry, plays a pivotal role as the primary precursor for the production of polyvinyl chloride (PVC). PVC, a versatile plastic material widely employed in various applications, relies on the stable and efficient production of vinyl chloride for its manufacturing processes.

The petrochemical landscape's intricacies extend beyond Asahimas Chemical's repair endeavors, with market dynamics influencing the global consumption of polyvinyl chloride. Russia witnessed an estimated consumption of 635.71 thousand tons of unmixed PVC (excluding exports to Belarus) during the initial eight months of the year. This figure reflects a 2% decrease compared to the corresponding period in 2022. Notably, within this market panorama, the emulsion PVC sector reported a 4% increase in shipments, while the slurry PVC market experienced a 2% decrease.

Asahi Glass maintains a commanding interest in Asahimas Chemical, ensuring a strategic alignment with its broader corporate goals. Additionally, the ownership structure includes significant stakes held by key entities such as Rodamas (18%), Ableman Finance (18%), and Mitsubishi Corp. (11.5%). This diversified ownership framework underscores collaborative partnerships within the petrochemical industry, emphasizing a collective and cooperative approach to industry endeavors.

The successful completion of repairs at Asahimas Chemical's facilities not only showcases technical proficiency but also underscores the resilience and adaptability required in the petrochemical sector. As the industry grapples with operational challenges, strategic repairs become imperative to ensure the sustained and efficient production of critical chemical components such as vinyl chloride. The collaborative ownership structure further positions Asahimas Chemical as an integral player in the intricate web of partnerships that drive innovation, efficiency, and sustainability within the petrochemical landscape.

We remind, Asahi Kasei announced Tongsuh Petrochemical Corp., Ltd. (TSPC) acquired the international certification ISCC PLUS for its acrylonitrile (AN) as a sustainable product, and production of AN using biomass propylene is scheduled to begin in February 2022.

TotalEnergies Lubrifiants integrates recycled plastics into its lubricant bottles via TotalEnergies Polymers

TotalEnergies Lubrifiants integrates recycled plastics into its lubricant bottles via TotalEnergies Polymers

MRC -- The premium product range of TotalEnergies Lubrifiants in Europe is now packaged in platinum-colored bottles containing 50% post-consumer recycled (PCR) polyethylene, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Following a pilot started in 2021 on the Quartz Xtra product bottles, TotalEnergies Lubrifiants is now applying the process of incorporating 50% PCR high-density polyethylene (HDPE) to a larger scale. From September 2023 onwards, all premium range bottles produced in France and Belgium, recognizable by their platinum color, are being made notably from TotalEnergies rPE6314, a ready-to-use polyethylene compound.

Produced at TotalEnergies’ plant in Antwerp and part of the circular polymer range RE:clic, this high-performing rHDPE grade designed for blow moulding applications combines carefully selected recycled polyethylene from post-consumer waste with a high-performing virgin booster. Its high quality and consistency allow for trouble-free processing on existing industrial equipment. The resulting bottle features the same design, shape, and weight as the 100% fossil-based alternatives, with a significantly reduced carbon footprint.

This innovation is aligned with TotalEnergies’ ambition to contribute to a circular economy and reduce its own use of virgin plastic.

Jean Parizot, General Manager Inland markets at TotalEnergies Lubrifiants, said: "We’re moving towards 50% recycled packs by 2030 for all small packaging produced in France and Belgium, thereby reducing the carbon footprint of our production and contributing to a more circular economy".

Olivier Greiner, Vice President, Polymers Europe & Orient at TotalEnergies, said: "This packaging development brought to the EU market is the result of an internal effort to address the challenge of end-of-life plastics. It demonstrates our shared commitment as a Company to promote the circular economy, and fully supports our ambition of reaching 1 million tons of circular polymers by 2030".

We remind, TotalEnergies has reported net income of $6.67bn (€6.33bn) in the third quarter of 2023, a marginal 1% increase compared with $6.62bn in the same period a year ago, said the company. In the July–September quarter of 2023, the French oil and gas company reported $54.41bn in revenue from sales, a 16% decline from $64.92bn in Q3 2022.

Exxon moves Beaumont, Texas overhaul to June from August

Exxon moves Beaumont, Texas overhaul to June from August

MRC -- Exxon Mobil moved up the start date for a CDU overhaul at its 619,024-bpd Beaumont, Texas, refinery from August 2024 to June 2024, said people familiar with the company’s plans, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Exxon continues to plan to shut the 65,000-bpd diesel-producing hydrocracker in January for an overhaul, during which the 80,000-bpd reformer will also be shut for work, according to the sources. Exxon spokesperson Lauren Kight declined to comment on Tuesday.

The 180,000-bpd Crude B CDU is scheduled to shut down for the overhaul in June, two months earlier than previously planned, the five sources said. Crude B is one of three CDUs breaking down crude oil at the start of the refining process to produce feedstocks for all other units at the refinery, which is the nation's second largest by capacity.

Crude B processes sour crude oil, a cheaper grade that requires processing for the higher levels of residual crude it produces compared with sweet crude. While the CDU is shut, the 100,000-bpd Vacuum B vacuum distillation unit (VDU) will also be shut for work, the sources said. Production on the refinery’s 60,000-bpd coker will be cut back while Crude B shut.

Unlike CDUs, which operate at atmospheric pressure, VDUs operate at vacuum pressure to break down residual crude oil into feedstocks for other production units. Cokers take residual crude from distillation units and break it down into motor fuel feedstocks or petroleum coke, which can be used as a coal substitute.

Hydrocrackers use a catalyst under high heat and pressure in the presence of hydrogen to convert gas oil into diesel and other motor fuels. Reformers convert refining byproducts into octane-boosting components added to unfinished gasoline to make premium grades.

We remind, ExxonMobil is planning to invest up to $15bn in a greenfield petrochemical project as well as new carbon capture and storage (CCS) facilities in Indonesia. The Indonesian government earlier this week signed an agreement with ExxonMobil to study the possibility of the petrochemical project which would include polymer production units.

Japan Witnesses Growth in Caustic Soda Exports during Q3

Japan Witnesses Growth in Caustic Soda Exports during Q3

MRC -- In the third quarter, Japan witnessed a substantial surge in the export of liquid caustic, with volumes reaching 248.85 thousand tonnes, marking an impressive 90.1 percent increase compared to the preceding quarter, said Chemanalyst.

This uptick in export figures, despite favorable conditions in caustic soda supply during most of the third quarter, can be attributed to robust chlor-alkali production. The profitability of electrochemical units (ECUs) within Japanese polyvinyl chloride (PVC) producers likely played a crucial role in driving this growth.

Analyzing the key export destinations, Australia, Indonesia, and the United States emerged as the top three, collectively constituting 83.1% of Japan's total liquid caustic exports for the quarter. This strategic distribution points to the significance of these markets in absorbing Japan's increased export volumes.

On a year-on-year basis, the export volumes witnessed a notable 6.8% rise, indicating sustained growth and positive trends in Japan's liquid caustic sector.

Comparatively, South Korea's export volumes of liquid caustic soda in the third quarter amounted to 83.34 thousand tons, reflecting a 17.2% decline from the previous quarter. This decrease was influenced by limited workload indicators among manufacturers, driven by a reduction in profitability. Despite favorable supply conditions in Asia during most of the third quarter, South Korea experienced a decrease in export volumes. However, on a year-on-year basis, South Korea's export volumes demonstrated a significant 12.2% increase.

The estimated consumption amounted to 635.71 thousand tons, reflecting a marginal 2% decline compared to the same period in 2022. Within this market landscape, the emulsion PVC sector witnessed a commendable 4% increase in shipments, while the slurry market experienced a modest 2% decrease.

Japan's notable surge in liquid caustic exports in the third quarter reflects a dynamic market influenced by both domestic and international factors. The profitability of ECUs within Japanese PVC production has evidently played a pivotal role in driving this growth. The strategic distribution of exports to key destinations further underscores the resilience and adaptability of Japan's liquid caustic sector.

Meanwhile, South Korea's experience of a decline in export volumes emphasizes the delicate balance between profitability and market dynamics. The year-on-year increase in South Korea's export volumes showcases the potential for recovery and growth in the liquid caustic sector.

As the global landscape continues to evolve, these trends provide valuable insights into the nuanced dynamics of the liquid caustic market in the broader context of the chemical industry. The year-on-year growth in both Japan and South Korea's export volumes signals resilience and adaptability, crucial attributes in navigating the complexities of the international chemical market.

We remind, Japan and South Korea will establish a joint supply network for carbon-neutral fuels such as hydrogen and ammonia. Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol will announce the framework on Nov. 17 in the United States, where they are expected to join the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting, the paper said.

Maire’s Nextchem and Dimeta to unlock the potential of low-carbon DME production

Maire’s Nextchem and Dimeta to unlock the potential of low-carbon DME production

MRC -- MyRechemical, part of the Sustainable Technology Solutions business unit led by NEXTCHEM, and Dimeta B.V. have agreed to carry out a study to explore the feasibility for the development of plants to produce renewable and recycled carbon Dimethyl Ether (DME), a low-carbon sustainable liquid gas from waste, that can be used as a clean-burning fuel, based on MyRechemical’s Waste-to-Chemicals technologies and expertise, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The study will assess the regulatory environment and carry out a market analysis of available feedstock and product enhancement in Europe, with a focus on Italy. Based on the results of the study, MyRechemical and Dimeta will work then to define the best development strategy for project implementation.

DME is an innovative fuel and a sustainable alternative for LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas) able to support all thermal uses not served by the natural gas network and for LPG-powered cars. When blended with LPG, low-carbon DME can significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality and decarbonize the off-grid sector with no changes to LPG appliances or infrastructure. It can also achieve carbon neutrality when carbon capture is used.

Within NextChem’s technology portfolio, the Waste to Chemical process developed by MyRechemical can convert municipal solid waste to methanol and then to DME, meeting the needs of the circular economy to decarbonize many industries and sectors, including transportation.

The feasibility study is the result of a Memorandum of Understanding signed in February between MyRechemical and Dimeta, a Dutch company created to advance the production and use of renewable and recycled carbon DME. Dimeta, a joint venture between SHV Energy and UGI International, aims to produce 300,000 tons of DME by the end of 2027, establishing plants in the UK, Europe and the USA.

Giacomo Rispoli, Managing Director of MyRechemical: “With this feasibility study, which adds on the initiatives we are conducting on circular ethanol, methanol and hydrogen, we look forward to investigating the exciting market opportunities offered by the application of our proven Waste Gasification technology to the production of DME. We are pleased that our MoU with Dimeta is already moving forward with this first concrete result.”

Frankie Ugboma, Dimeta Chief Executive "We are delighted to announce our continued progress in building upon the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) as we embark on our next endeavor to reduce carbon emissions. Through the initiation of pre-feasibility studies, we aim to produce Renewable & Recycled Carbon DME from waste, to decarbonize the off-grid sector. Dimeta remains steadfast in our efforts to achieve Net Zero by 2050, and this is a significant step towards our goal."

We remind, OCI Global, the world’s third largest nitrogen fertilizer and ammonia producer, is supplying Rohm, a leading manufacturer of methacrylates, with bio-ammonia for the production of methyl methacrylate (MMA), an important precursor for PLEXIGLAS - the world’s most popular brand of acrylic glass.