Lummus and Toshiba announce partnership for advanced carbon capture solutions

Lummus and Toshiba announce partnership for advanced carbon capture solutions

MRC -- Lummus Technology and Toshiba Energy Systems & Solutions Corporation announced a master collaboration agreement to jointly pursue carbon capture projects, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Lummus will provide its post-combustion carbon capture technology and Toshiba will provide its advanced amine-based solvents specifically tailored for post-combustion carbon capture and its system design guidelines optimized for Toshiba's solvents.

"I am excited about our partnership with Toshiba, which expands Lummus' range of low carbon solutions and aligns with our commitment to lowering emissions for the downstream energy industry," said Leon de Bruyn, President and Chief Executive Officer, Lummus Technology. "Combining Lummus' post-combustion carbon capture technology with Toshiba's highly competitive solvents and technology gives our customers a strong option for CAPEX and OPEX solutions as they advance their carbon capture investments."

"We are delighted to collaborate with Lummus to introduce our advanced amine-based solvent and CO2 capture solution to a broader audience," said Shinya Fujitsuka, Senior Vice President of Toshiba Energy Systems & Solutions Corporation. "Addressing the urgent need for decarbonization is paramount, and I have every confidence that our partnership with Lummus will enable us to make meaningful contributions towards achieving this goal."

Central to this collaboration is Lummus' access to Toshiba's advanced amine-based post-combustion carbon capture solvents and technology that have been used in commercial and demonstration plants in Japan capturing over 600 tons per day of CO2. This access allows Lummus to integrate its technology into project designs, delivering operational excellence and a competitive cost structure for customers. By incorporating Toshiba's advanced solvents, Lummus can offer clients an OPEX-competitive solution, characterized by lower specific energy consumption per ton of CO2 absorbed, higher solvent stability against degradation and reduced amine emissions.

Lummus has been active in post-combustion carbon capture technology since the 1990s using latest generation solvents. The technology provides the full design involving an absorber and solvent regeneration systems, which can be applied to any complex with combustion flue gas streams. This partnership is a logical extension of Lummus' technology offerings and maintains Lummus on its path towards addressing new challenges for wider use of CO2 capture.

Toshiba is a leader in post-combustion amine-based solvent CO2 capture technology, which it has been developing since 2007. This technology uses an advanced amine-based solvent that can handle various process conditions with high reliability and stability. Characterized by low energy recovery, minimal degradation, and reduced amine emission, Toshiba's proprietary solvent is a testament to the effectiveness of Toshiba's state-of-the-art amine emission mitigation technology. Toshiba has successfully tested this technology in commercial and demonstration plants in Japan and is now ready to offer it to customers worldwide in different industry fields through its partnership with Lummus.

We remind, Lummus Technology, a global provider of process technologies and value-driven energy solutions, and Citroniq Chemicals announced that the two companies have signed licensing and engineering agreements for green polypropylene plants in the U.S. The first plant, scheduled for completion in 2027, will produce 400kta of bio-polypropylene and will be first in North America with this production capability.

Linde Increases Hydrogen Production in Southeast United States

Linde Increases Hydrogen Production in Southeast United States

MRC -- Linde announced it has increased the liquid hydrogen production capacity at its facility in McIntosh, Alabama, said the company.

Linde’s McIntosh facility will now produce up to 30 tons per day of liquid hydrogen for the local merchant market. The plant will meet increasing demand for hydrogen from Linde’s existing and new customers in end markets including manufacturing and electronics. It will also supply hydrogen to Linde’s space launch and mobility customers.

The expansion complements Linde’s existing hydrogen business in the southeastern U.S. and increases network density in the region. Linde invested approximately $90 million in the project.

“Over the past decade we have continued to expand our robust hydrogen production and supply network in the U.S., establishing Linde as the largest supplier of liquid hydrogen in the country,” said Todd Lawson, Vice President East Region, Linde. “As demand for liquid hydrogen continues to grow, we are proud to leverage our technology and expertise to safely start up this project on time and on budget.”

We remind, Linde announced that its entities in India have signed long-term agreements for the supply of industrial gases to Indian Oil Corporation’s Panipat refinery in Northern India, said the company. Linde’s entities will build, own and operate major new on-site facilities to supply hydrogen, nitrogen and compressed dry air to IndianOil. The new on-site facilities will support the multi-billion-dollar expansion of the Panipat refinery from 15 to 25 million metric tons per year.

Umicore breaks ground on fuel cell catalyst plant in China

Umicore breaks ground on fuel cell catalyst plant in China

MRC -- On December 1st, Umicore held the groundbreaking ceremony in Changshu, Suzhou for its large-scale fuel cell catalyst plant, said the company.

With the increasing popularity of green hydrogen, the demand for fuel cell catalyst products is growing rapidly. Over the past 30 years, Umicore has been committed to the research and development of fuel cell catalysts, providing platinum and iridium catalysts for different Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cells, covering a wide range of industries such as automotive, marine industry, aerospace, energy storage, and water electrolysis for hydrogen production.

Leveraging its durable and high-performance fuel cells catalysts and working closely with customers across the value chain, Umicore has become a global leader in PEM fuel cell catalysts for the mobility segment. Its new greenfield plant in China – expected to become the world’s largest PEM catalyst production facility to date - will enable Umicore to cater for the rapidly growing customer demand, serving demand through to 2030.

"China has now become an important engine for the global fuel cell vehicle technology and market. Through cutting-edge fuel cell catalyst technology, Umicore is reshaping transportation and mobility in China and around the world," Joakim Thogersen, Senior Vice President Fuel Cells and Stationary Catalysts of Umicore said.

The greenfield facility, that will expand Umicore’s existing footprint of fuel cell catalyst production and R&D centers in Europe and Asia[1], is planned to be carbon neutral from the start and will contribute to reducing scope 3 emissions in the value chain. The plant is expected to become operational in early 2026.

As per MRC. Umicore will invest in building a large-scale fuel cell catalyst plant in Changshu in China to capture the fast emerging growth in fuel cell technology. The plant will enable the accelerated transformation to hydrogen-based clean mobility, serving demand through to 2030. The greenfield facility is planned and prepared to be carbon neutral from the start and will contribute to reducing scope 3 emissions in the value chain.

Chlorine output slips in Europe

Chlorine output slips in Europe

MRC -- Europe’s chlorine production was 582,599 metric tons in October 2023, up 0.9% from the corresponding period of last year, according to the industry association Euro Chlor (Brussels), said EuroChlor.

At 18,794 metric tons, the October 2023 average daily production was 4.5% lower than in the previous month, which was 19,673 metric tons, but 0.9% higher than the 18,618 metric tons produced in October 2022.

At 214,321 metric tons, Europe’s October 2023 caustic soda stocks were 17.9% lower than the previous month’s 261,195 metric tons and 27,830 metric tons above the level of 186,491 metric tons in October 2022, Euro Chlor said.

Average capacity utilization at chlor-alkali plants in Europe was 58.2% in October 2023, up from 58.1% a year earlier but down from 61.0% in the previous month, Euro Chlor said. Euro Chlor has not provided an analysis of the figures.

We remind, in August, the European chlorine production stood at 625,537 tonnes. With 20,179 tonnes, the August 2023 average daily production was 5.1% lower than in the previous month (July 2023: 21,257 tonnes) and 4.9% lower than in August 2022 (21,208 tonnes).

Two new petrochemical plants are coming online in India

Two new petrochemical plants are coming online in India

MRC -- Two multi-billion-dollar petrochemical plants are coming online in India in coming months at a time of weaker-than-expected demand, setting the stage for fierce price competition domestically and internationally, industry officials and analysts say, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Several regions, including India, China and the Middle East have been developing petrochemical production to provide a tailwind to decades of oil refining as the world looks to switch to cleaner energy sources. While producers remain bullish longer term, largely off the back of economic growth in India and China, the splurge in new capacity is weighing on markets near term.

Both China and India are grappling with excess supplies of ethylene and propylene, a key feedstock to produce petrochemicals including polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) – the basis for making plastic -- given a slowdown in global economic growth.

So fresh production capacity in India is set to add to the pressure on prices. Russia-backed Indian refiner Nayara Energy is commissioning a 450,000 ton per year (tpy) polypropylene plant in western India in the first quarter of 2024, said a company source, who declined to be identified because he was not authorized to speak to the media. The company's communication office did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

HPCL plans to start a 9 million tpy refinery and petrochemical project in the northwestern state of Rajasthan by January.

Earlier this year, HPCL-Mittal Energy Ltd (HMEL), a joint venture between state-run Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd and Mittal Energy Investment, started a 1.2 million tpy petrochemical cracker in Punjab, northern India.

An industry official at a newly commissioned petrochemical cracker said the new production capacity was coming online when stocks were already building.

"Products are not clearing at a steady pace locally," he said. He declined to be identified because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

India's ethylene surplus is set to more than double to 11.2 million metric tons in the fiscal year to March 2024, a Reuters calculation based on data and forecasts from Chemicals & Petrochemicals Manufacturers' Association showed. A propylene surplus is expected to grow 63% to 18.67 million tons, according to the calculations.

The increasing supplies are weighing on both PE and PP prices. Refiners have been suffering losses since September with PE and PP margins at $150 per ton, below breakeven costs of about $300-$350 per ton for standalone plants, an official at a large petrochemical producer said, declining to be identified.

CEO of Haldia Petrochemicals Ltd, Navanit Narayan, told Reuters a slower-than-expected recovery in Chinese demand following the COVID pandemic, just as new supplies come into the market, had been a major factor weighing on prices.

"While demand remained subdued, several new plants were commissioned in Asia, mainly in China and India," he said. Industry officials said they expected prices to remain subdued in 2024 and there were few export options, given ample supply elsewhere. That may leave markets closer to home, such as Kazakhstan, as the best in a bad set of export options, they said.

"A price war is definitely on the anvil," said an official at an Indian petrochemical producer, who declined to be identified in the absence of authorization to speak to the media. Looking further ahead, research firm Wood Mackenzie sees little prospect of a more balanced global market in coming years.

It forecasts ethylene and propylene demand will rise 29% to 426.8 million tons by 2030 from 2023 levels, while production capacity is expected to increase 25% to 485.9 million tons, leaving a supply surplus of around 60 million tons.

We remind, Lummus Technology, a global provider of process technologies and value-driven energy solutions, and Citroniq Chemicals announced that the two companies have signed licensing and engineering agreements for green polypropylene plants in the U.S.