TotalEnergies sells stake in South African refiner Natref

TotalEnergies sells stake in South African refiner Natref

MRC -- French energy and petrochemicals major TotalEnergies on Friday announced an agreement to divest its 36.36% minority stake in National Petroleum Refiners of South Africa (Natref) to UK-based Prax Group, said the company.

Natref, which has a 108,500 bbl/day refinery at Sasolburg, supplies the Johannesburg area. The divestment was in line with TotalEnergies' strategy to focus on its large integrated fuels and petrochemicals platforms and to divest its non-core assets, said Jean-Pierre Sbraire, chief financial officer of TotalEnergies.

Prax Group said that the Natref refinery would serve “as a focal point" for its expansion into Africa. Financial details were not disclosed.

The transaction is subject to customary approvals, consents and authorisations. South African energy and petrochemicals company Sasol holds the remaining 63.64% stake in Natref.

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.

INEOS completes the acquisition of the Eastman Texas City Site

INEOS completes the acquisition of the Eastman Texas City Site

MRC -- INEOS has announced it has completed the acquisition of the Eastman Texas City site, the 600kt Acetic Acid plant and all associated third party activities, from Eastman Chemical Company, said the company.

As previously announced, Eastman and INEOS have also entered into a Memorandum of Understanding to explore options for a long-term supply agreement for vinyl acetate monomer.

David Brooks, CEO INEOS Acetyls, comments "We are delighted to have completed this strategic acquisition which will help drive our global ambition for our Acetyls business. Our focus now will be on the integration of the site, business and employees into INEOS Acetyls.

The site is ideally placed to take advantage of competitively priced feedstocks which will help support the growth of our business and sustainable future of the site."

The plasticisers unit on the site will continue to be owned by Eastman, but will now be operated and maintained by INEOS.

All current employees on the Eastman Texas City site have now transferred over to INEOS.

We remind, INEOS Group Holdings S.A. announces its trading performance for the third quarter of 2023, said the company. Based on unaudited management information INEOS reports that EBITDA for the third quarter of 2023 was €403 million, compared to €511 million for Q3, 2022 and €387 million for Q2, 2023.

Covestro launches partially bio-based PUD for textile coatings

Covestro launches partially bio-based PUD for textile coatings

MRC -- Covestro launches a new aliphatic polyester carbonate polyether polyurethane (PU) dispersion for textile coating under the name Impranil CQ DLU, in which around 34% of the carbon contained is of plant origin, said the company.

Impranil CQ DLU expands the existing range of partially bio-based dispersions for textile coating with a product whose purely petroleum-based variant Impranil DLU is very popular with customers. To gradually move away from petroleum and other fossil raw materials, Covestro is increasingly relying on alternative raw materials from renewable sources, including those from biomass.

Since the new dispersion has the same outstanding properties as the established one, as well as a high solids content of 55%, customers can now replace Impranil DLU one-to-one with Impranil CQ DLU in their processing operations and thereby easily achieve an additional increase in textile coating sustainability. Sustainability is increasingly becoming a key purchasing criterion not only for the industry, but also for brand owners and consumers. CQ stands for 'Circular Intelligence'.

The core idea of the CQ concept is to label Covestro products if the alternative raw material base exceeds a content of 25%. As the raw material for INSQIN technology, the established Impranil DLU already enables aqueous textile coating without the use of solvents. The ecological footprint of such a coating is significantly lower than that of solvent-based systems. Impranil CQ DLU is suitable, among other things, for producing synthetic materials for sports articles, technical textiles, car interiors and bags.

Properties of coatings based on the new high-performance dispersion include excellent hydrolysis resistance, very good lightfastness as well as high tensile strength and scratch resistance. In addition, the coatings have a pleasant feel and good alkali resistance. Impranil CQ DLU can be used for both the intermediate coat and the topcoat. The dispersion can be applied in various ways. The spectrum ranges from direct or transfer coating to printing processes and microfibre dipping.

We remind, Covestro has forged a global partnership with Chinese automotive trim company Xinquan Automotive at the China International Import Expo in Shanghai. This alliance seeks to strengthen the China business and enhance international collaboration, supporting Xinquan’s expansion into North America, Europe, and ASEAN countries.

SABIC & CJ CheilJedang collaborate on world-first ready-to-eat rice packaging bowls made with 25% certified renewable PP in Korea

SABIC & CJ CheilJedang collaborate on world-first ready-to-eat rice packaging bowls made with 25% certified renewable PP in Korea

MRC -- SABIC, a global leader in the chemicals industry, has announced that a food-contact grade of its TRUCIRCLE portfolio of certified renewable polypropylene (PP) resins is used in the production of Hetbahn instant white rice packaging bowls by CJ CheilJedang, a South Korea-based global food company, said the company.

The rigid bowls are the first of their kind using certified renewable PP in a ready-to-eat-rice packaging in Asia Pacific and align with CJ’s strong ‘Nature to Nature’ sustainability roadmap.

Mohammed Al-Zahrani, Vice President of SABIC’s Polypropylene Business, comments: “Food brands around the world are increasingly looking for materials that will help them reduce their carbon footprint without compromising the performance, convenience and food safety of their packaging. We are very pleased about this opportunity to demonstrate SABIC’s vast expertise in sustainable PP resins for rigid food containers. Our certified renewable grade from our TRUCIRCLE portfolio used in CJ’s Hetbahn rice bowls meet the food-contact regulations, and offers the same ease of processing and high end-use quality as competitive all-virgin polymers.”

The Hetbahn brand, which is one of the top brands in cooked rice and now expanding its product portfolio to include porridge, frozen rice, cooked rice with soup etc., was originally launched in 1996 and means freshly harvested and cooked rice and has changed consumers’ perception of Korean rice meal culture. The rice grain is polished in a strict raw material process, cooked the same day and packed in a sterile environment so that the delicious taste of the rice can be preserved.

The rice bowls are manufactured by sheet extrusion and subsequent thermoforming. The PP polymer from SABIC’s TRUCIRCLE portfolio has a certified renewable content of 25% and provides the critical attributes of dimensional stability and heat resistance required when microwaving the rice directly in the cup. In addition to this, the used bowls can be returned into the rigid PP recycling stream to recover their material value and enable a more circular packaging industry.

CJ has already started to introduce the new Hetbahn rice bowls in E-Mart stores, one of the largest grocery chains in South Korea.

Grace Kim, SVP of Global Packaging R&D at CJ, adds: “We are excited to launch our very first ISCC PLUS certified food packaging with renewable PP from SABIC. It marks a significant milestone in our ongoing efforts to reduce the carbon footprint and minimize the use of fossil based feedstock in our packaging. Maintaining high standards of quality and safety is a top priority for our company while continuously delivering more environmentally friendly and sustainable packaging. We hope our initiative will inspire the global market by demonstrating the possibilities of renewable circular materials and creating the momentum toward achieving a circular economy.”

SABIC’s renewable polymers are derived from bio-based, second-generation sources not competing with food or feed production. They are manufactured in line with the mass balance accounting recommendations of the International Sustainability & Carbon Certification (ISCC) PLUS program, which defines a set of transparent rules for tracking the material flow across complex supply chains from the feedstock to final applications.

The resulting certified renewable compounds form part of the SABIC’s TRUCIRCLE portfolio and services, which also comprise design for recyclability, mechanically recycled products, certified circular polymers and closed loop initiatives to recycle plastic back into high quality applications and help prevent valuable used plastics from becoming waste.

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.

ALPLA expands into Morocco partnering with Diana Holding

ALPLA expands into Morocco partnering with Diana Holding

MRC -- ALPLA Group announced that it has expanded its presence in North Africa by entering the Moroccan market, said the company.

The company also announced that it has purchased a majority share in Atlantic Packaging and founded the joint venture (JV) ALPLA Morroco with previous owner Diana Holding.

The move will allow the company to offer its expertise and experience to the production on PET preforms for the regional markets in Maghreb and Western Africa. The JV was signed by the contracting parties in Aug 2023 and has been approved by local antitrust authorities. Terms and conditions of the deal were not disclosed.

We remind, ALPLA is focusing on the circular economy: the global packaging specialist invests more than 50 million euros annually in recycling and uses state-of-the-art technologies to produce recycled material. With an installed and projected output capacity of 350,000 tonnes per year, the company is one of the world’s leading plastics recyclers. Analyses performed by the life cycle assessment specialist c7-consult now confirm efficient production at a total of four additional sites in Mexico and Germany. There, ALPLArecycling produces rPET and rHDPE, which produces up to 87 per cent fewer carbon emissions than virgin materials.