ECHA report confirms that regulatory action is needed on PVC and its additives

ECHA report confirms that regulatory action is needed on PVC and its additives

MRC -- Civil society organisations welcome the publication of the investigation report on PVC (polyvinyl chloride) and its additives by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), said Zerowasteeurope.

The findings clearly indicate environmental damage and harm to health from some substances added to PVC and the release of its microparticles.

More than 60 environmental NGOs are calling on the European Commission to phase-out PVC by 2030. Therefore they are pushing for a restriction on the harmful plastic and its additives under the REACH regulation.

The ECHA report sheds light on the damaging health and environmental impacts that PVC poses, some of which have been known for decades. The harmfulness of its additives is highlighted. ECHA moreover confirms the existence of safe alternatives across applications. The report supports the conclusion that we need immediate action by EU policy makers to reduce the risks of PVC and its additives. We therefore ask the Commission to act on PVC, as set out in the Restrictions Roadmap under the Chemical Strategy for Sustainability, and swiftly mandate ECHA to prepare an ambitious restriction under the REACH regulation as a first step to facilitate a complete phase-out of this material by 2030.

The NGOs see the need for this restriction to not only include single problematic substances or groups of additives, but also the production, use and placing on the market of PVC itself. Only essential uses of PVC, for which no safer alternatives are available and which are needed to protect our health or safety or are critical for society – should in their view be allowed under strictly controlled conditions.

In its role as a global model for chemical regulation, we also call on the European Commission and its Member States to demand a global ban of PVC under the new Global Plastics Treaty.

The European Commission already acknowledged the risks of PVC back in 2000 in a Green Paper titled Environmental issues of PVC. Since then the scientific evidence has compounded; the lifecycle of PVC products has been associated with numerous health complications, including endocrine disruption, reproductive impairment, cancer, neurotoxicity, immune system suppression and respiratory irritation.

The NGOs trust that the Commission will take its responsibility seriously and take long-overdue action on PVC.

We remind, 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. 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.

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Petronas Chemicals aromatics halts paraxylene production in Kartekh

Petronas Chemicals aromatics halts paraxylene production in Kartekh

MRC -- Petronas Chemicals Aromatics, Malaysia's state-owned petrochemical behemoth, is strategically orchestrating a temporary shutdown of its paraxylene production facility in Kerteh, Malaysia, scheduled to commence at the end of November, said Chemanalyst.

This carefully planned hiatus is part of a broader initiative aimed at scheduled maintenance, designed to elevate the efficiency and reliability of the production facility. The facility, boasting a considerable capacity of 550 thousand tons of paraxylene annually, will undergo an extensive three-week maintenance period.

In conjunction with this, Petronas Chemicals Aromatics had previously communicated its intention to suspend benzene production in Kerteh, Malaysia, as part of the scheduled maintenance activities. This specific production unit, endowed with an annual capacity of 200 thousand tons of benzene, is slated for repairs spanning a duration of 40-50 days.

Paraxylene, a crucial component in the production of Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET), plays a pivotal role in various industries, from packaging to textiles. Hence, the meticulous planning of scheduled maintenance for the paraxylene production facility underscores Petronas Chemicals Aromatics' commitment to ensuring the reliability and optimal performance of its indispensable production units.

Insights derived from the analysis provide valuable context to the industry landscape, indicating a notable increase in the consumption of PET from January to August of the current year. The estimated total consumption experienced a noteworthy 17% surge compared to the corresponding period in the previous year, reaching an impressive volume of 833.74 thousand tons. This surge substantiates the escalating demand for PET, accentuating the strategic importance of maintaining a robust paraxylene production infrastructure.

Petronas, as a government-owned entity in Malaysia, stands as a prominent player in the oil, gas, and petrochemical sectors. With a distinguished position in the Global Fortune 500, Petronas currently maintains a robust presence in markets across more than 60 countries globally. The planned maintenance activities for its paraxylene and benzene production units align seamlessly with Petronas' overarching commitment to operational excellence and sustainability across its diverse portfolio.

In essence, the temporary shutdown of paraxylene production in Kerteh for scheduled maintenance exemplifies Petronas Chemicals Aromatics' unwavering dedication to ensuring the reliability and efficiency of its critical production facilities. This proactive approach not only adheres to industry best practices but also accentuates Petronas' pivotal role as a key player in shaping Malaysia's dynamic petrochemical landscape. With the global demand for PET on a continual rise, the strategic planning of maintenance activities assumes paramount importance in sustaining a resilient and responsive petrochemical industry.

We remind, 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. 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.

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Neste has been granted energy investment aid for its green hydrogen project at the Porvoo refinery

Neste has been granted energy investment aid for its green hydrogen project at the Porvoo refinery

MRC -- In November 2023, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment in Finland granted Neste an energy investment aid of EUR 1.96 million for heat recovery from the green hydrogen production being planned for the Porvoo refinery, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The goal of the project, which is in the basic engineering phase, is to build a 120MW electrolyzer that produces green hydrogen for the refinery’s processes. In addition to green hydrogen, the production also generates heat that could be recovered. The investment decision readiness regarding the green hydrogen project is expected to be reached during 2024.

In addition to Neste, energy investment aid was granted to the regional Finnish energy company Porvoon Energia. Neste and Porvoon Energia have in cooperation initiated the study on heat recovery and utilization in the City of Porvoo’s district heating network.

“We appreciate the support the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment of Finland gives to the society's transition to renewable energy. If the project is realized, the funding helps us and Porvoon Energia to utilize the heat generated from the green hydrogen production process to the benefit of society,” says Markku Korvenranta, Executive Vice President for Oil Products business unit at Neste.

The aid granted to Neste is part of energy investment aid under Finland’s Recovery and Resilience Plan. The aid programme aims to reduce Finland’s greenhouse gas emissions, support Finland’s carbon neutrality targets and encourage businesses and, in particular, industry to replace fossil fuels with green energy.

We remind, A severe storm in the Black Sea region has disrupted up to 2 million barrels per day (bpd) of oil exports from Kazakhtsan and Russia, according to state's officials and port agent data. Oil loadings from Novorossiysk and the Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC) terminal in nearby Yuzhnaya Ozereyevka have been suspended since last week.

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Sika to expand capacity for concrete admixtures at US site

Sika to expand capacity for concrete admixtures at US site

MRC -- Sika is expanding production capacity for its ViscoCrete-brand superplasticizing concrete admixtures at its Sealy site, in Texas, US, the Swiss construction and specialty chemicals company said.

With the expansion, Sika will be able to meet rising demand in the US and Canada amid reshoring efforts and the trend towards sustainable construction, it said.

Reshoring to relocate manufacturing to the US, as well as initiatives such as the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) and the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) support the construction of new factories and infrastructure, Sika said.

ViscoCrete is a high-performance superplasticizer for concrete manufacturing. It allows producers to optimise their concrete mix designs to reduce concrete’s carbon footprint while maintaining the desired performance, the company said.

Financial or capacity details, or timelines for the expansion’s completion were not disclosed.

We remind, Sika has acquired a 30% stake in Concria Oy, a Finnish startup company specialised in innovative concrete floors. Concria has developed a technology that is a novel approach to concrete floor installation and polishing, Sika said. The technology includes special dry shake hardeners as well as a unique procedure and tools for grinding and polishing concrete floors.

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HEXPOL TPE Awarded ISCC PLUS Certification In Germany

HEXPOL TPE Awarded ISCC PLUS Certification In Germany

MRC -- The compounding group HEXPOL TPE has added to its credentials: The International Sustainability & Carbon Certification (ISCC PLUS) was awarded to their site in Lichtenfels, Germany, in October, said the company.

ISCC PLUS is a global certification scheme providing traceability along the supply chain and guarantees correct and transparent use of the mass balance approach. All companies along the supply chain undergo the ISCC PLUS audit process, meaning when HEXPOL TPE purchases ISCC PLUS-certified raw materials, all upstream entities will have been verified. Sustainability declarations create a chain of custody from origin through to the brand owner.

Mass balance allows for a gradual increase of the non-virgin fossil share of polymer compounds with the target to reduce the use of fossil raw materials step by step. The certification allows HEXPOL TPE to produce ISCC PLUS certified bio, circular and/or bio circular attributed TPE materials via the mass balance approach.

We remind, HEXPOL has entered the US thermoplastics elastomer (TPE) compounding market with the acquisition of Star Thermoplastic Alloys and Rubbers for $26.5m. Star, with 30 employees at operations near Chicago and annual sales of about $20m, supplies customers in a number of segments, including automotive, building and construction, medical, industrial, electronics and consumer.

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