Extreme cold weather forces Enterprise to cease propylene production in Texas

Extreme cold weather forces Enterprise to cease propylene production in Texas

MRC -- Enterprise Products, a major player in the United States, has recently halted production at its propane dehydrogenation plant located in Mount Belvieu, Texas, citing adverse weather conditions in the region, said Chemanalyst.

The company's filing with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) revealed that a disruption in ethane supply led to the shutdown of the propane dehydrogenation plant, which has a considerable annual capacity of 750 thousand tons of propylene. This interruption, occurring on January 16, resulted in the necessity of gas flaring.

This recent suspension of operations comes on the heels of a previous incident. Enterprise Products had restarted production at the Mount Belvieu propane dehydrogenation plant on December 20, 2023. The plant had been temporarily closed following a fire incident earlier in December. The fire had prompted a shutdown of the propane dehydrogenation unit, which, similar to the recent case, caused gas flaring. The earlier disruption was attributed to a power outage, underscoring the susceptibility of such facilities to various operational challenges.

The challenges faced by Enterprise Products highlight the complex nature of operating petrochemical facilities, particularly in regions susceptible to extreme weather conditions. The decision to suspend production underscores the company's commitment to safety protocols and the well-being of its personnel, as well as its adherence to environmental regulations.

It is worth noting that disruptions in the supply chain for crucial petrochemical components, such as propylene, can have ripple effects across industries that rely on these materials. Polypropylene, derived from propylene, finds application in a wide range of products, including packaging materials, textiles, automotive components, and more. Any interruption in the production of propylene can, therefore, have downstream implications for sectors dependent on polypropylene.

The propane dehydrogenation plant's capacity of 750 thousand tons of propylene per year underscores its significance in the overall petrochemical production landscape. Propylene, as a building block for various chemical processes, holds strategic importance in the synthesis of a multitude of end products.

Enterprise Products' actions are not only in response to immediate challenges but also reflect the broader considerations and responsibilities incumbent on companies in the petrochemical sector. Environmental stewardship, adherence to safety protocols, and ensuring the reliability of the supply chain are integral aspects of sustained and responsible industry operations.

As the company works to address the recent disruption and resume normal operations, the incident serves as a reminder of the multifaceted challenges faced by the petrochemical industry. Balancing production demands, ensuring safety, and navigating external factors, including weather-related events, are continual aspects of managing complex industrial facilities. Enterprise Products' proactive communication with regulatory bodies, such as the TCEQ, demonstrates a commitment to transparency and compliance with environmental standards.

We remind, in early December, China CNOOC and Shell Petrochemicals Co (CSPC), a collaborative venture between CNOOC and Shell, successfully resumed production at the No. 2 cracker within its Huizhou petrochemical complex, following a scheduled maintenance period. The maintenance initiative, which commenced on October 18, was initially anticipated to extend until the end of December. This particular plant boasts a substantial production capacity, capable of yielding 1.2 million tons of ethylene and 620 thousand tons of propylene annually.


ZC Rubber Set to Construct Tire Manufacturing Facility in Indonesia

ZC Rubber Set to Construct Tire Manufacturing Facility in Indonesia

MRC -- Zhongce Rubber Group (ZC Rubber), China's largest tire producer, has officially announced its plans to construct a new tire manufacturing plant in Indonesia, adding to its expanding global presence, said Chemanalyst.

The company aims to commence tire production at the new facility by the end of 2024. Furthermore, ZC Rubber is actively assessing the viability of establishing another tire factory in Mexico, with plans currently in the final stages of evaluation.

The tire manufacturer has not disclosed specific details regarding these projects, maintaining a degree of confidentiality about their scope and scale. However, these initiatives align with ZC Rubber's overarching strategy of extending its manufacturing capabilities beyond China's borders. The company presently operates an overseas unit in Rayong, Thailand, equipped with the capacity to manufacture 11 million units annually. This production facility caters to a diverse range of tires, including those for light vehicles, trucks and buses, two-wheelers, earthmovers, and industrial applications.

ZC Rubber's global expansion efforts have been an integral part of its long-term growth strategy. The company, with nine tire plants in operation within China, expressed its aspirations last year to establish production facilities in North America and subsequently in Europe. These plans were outlined as part of a comprehensive 10-year growth strategy.

It's worth noting that ZC Rubber's international expansion program was closely tied to its intentions to launch an Initial Public Offering (IPO). However, the progression of these plans has been impeded by the prevailing downturn in Chinese equity markets. Despite this setback, the tire giant remains committed to pursuing its global manufacturing footprint expansion, aiming to enhance its competitiveness in the rapidly evolving tire industry.

The decision to build a new tire manufacturing plant in Indonesia underscores the strategic importance of this region in ZC Rubber's global expansion roadmap. Indonesia's burgeoning market and its strategic location in Southeast Asia make it an attractive choice for the tire manufacturer to establish a production base, tapping into the region's growing demand for high-quality tires.

As ZC Rubber's plans progress, the imminent establishment of its tire manufacturing plant in Indonesia marks a significant milestone in the company's quest for international growth and market penetration. The expansion into Mexico, currently under evaluation, further underscores the tire manufacturer's commitment to diversifying its production capabilities globally.

ZC Rubber's strategic moves to build tire manufacturing plants in Indonesia and potentially in Mexico reflect its steadfast commitment to establishing a robust global presence. The company's endeavors align with its broader vision of becoming a key player in the international tire market.

We remind, the government of India announced the abolishment of anti-dumping duty on imports of Nylon Tyre Yarn from China. However, the basis for the sudden decision was not revealed. Anti-dumping duty on imports of Nylon Tyre Yarn was first imposed in June 2015. Contrary to the present decision, in October, the Directorate General of Trade Remedies (DGTR) urged to extend the duty by USD 520-1100 per MT for five years on the product under the stress that excessive dumping might continue to cause material injury to the domestic production.


Covestro and Encina reach an agreement for a long-term supply of circular raw materials

Covestro and Encina reach an agreement for a long-term supply of circular raw materials

MRC -- Covestro, a global leader in high performance polymers, and Encina, a US-based producer of ISCC PLUS certified circular chemicals, reached a long-term supply agreement for chemically recycled, circular feedstock derived from post-consumer end-of-life plastic, said the company.

Specifically, Encina will supply Covestro with benzene and toluene pending the completion of Encina’s world-scale production facility, anticipated to come online at the end of 2027.

Building upon previous sustainable sourcing efforts, this marks the first major procurement agreement involving chemically recycled, circular-based raw materials for Covestro, a major step in the company’s journey towards full circularity. It also helps reduce scope 3 emissions for Covestro and its customers.

"The ability to source raw materials from used plastics for the manufacture of our products makes a decisive contribution to realizing our vision of a circular economy," said Thorsten Dreier, Chief Technology Officer at Covestro. "This is because such raw materials not only enable the reuse of used plastics, but also have a lower carbon footprint, which leads to more sustainable end products."

Benzene and toluene are important raw materials in Covestro’s manufacturing processes used for the production of methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) and toluene diisocyanate (TDI), respectively. MDI and TDI are critical raw materials used to produce rigid and flexible polyurethane foams, which are used in applications such as household appliance and building insulation as well as furniture and car seats.

Benzene can also be used for the synthesis of phenol and acetone – raw materials for making polycarbonate plastics such as Makrolon®, which are used in high-quality applications for the automotive, electronics, IT and other industries.

Encina’s proven proprietary catalytic technology produces circular feedstock with a lower carbon footprint when compared to those based on fossil fuels and an exceptionally high yield.

"Encina is proud to be working with Covestro, a company with a long track record of innovation and commitment to sustainability. This agreement represents the beginning of what we hope to be a long-standing partnership between our companies as we work to create a truly circular economy and realize a future in which nothing is wasted," said David Roesser, Chief Executive Officer of Encina.

Covestro’s vision to become fully circular is predicated on four key drivers: the use of alternative raw materials, innovative recycling and renewable energy, as well as engaging in joint solutions. The agreement with Encina represents a pioneering milestone for incorporating innovative recycling technologies, in this case chemical recycling of end-of-life plastic, into Covestro’s production.

We remind, Covestro is investing a mid to high double-digit million euro amount in the modernization of its production plant in Dormagen by 2025. The plant was commissioned in early 2015 and is considered one of the most advanced TDI production facilities in the world due to the use of the gas phase technology developed by Covestro.


Borouge launches new infrastructure and advanced packaging solutions

Borouge launches new infrastructure and advanced packaging solutions

MRC -- Borouge Plc launched five new grades to meet the growing demand in the infrastructure and advanced packaging industries in the Middle East, Africa and Asia, said Hydrocarbonrocessing.

The launch supports Borouge’s growth and innovation strategy by increasing its market share in the piping market in the company’s core territories, valued at nearly USD1 billion. Catering to the needs of consumers, Borouge unveiled its first-ever Bulk Continuous Filament (BCF) product, designed for fiber and carpet applications, to target a market worth USD100 million in the Middle East and North Africa region and providing strong opportunity for Borouge to grow its market share.

Commenting on the launch, Khalfan Mohamed AlMuhairi, Senior Vice President, Region Middle East, Africa and Exports, Borouge, said: “Demand for Borouge’s premium and differentiated polyolefin solutions in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia Pacific continues to grow. We plan to capitalize on trends driving the demand such as increased urbanization resulting from population growth in our core markets. Our latest solutions have been designed to not only meet the needs of modern communities, but also contribute to more sustainable production processes for our customers - increasing the energy efficiency of the manufacturing process and reducing its carbon footprint. Borouge is committed to commercial excellence driven by innovation, and we look forward to continuing to pursue new areas of growth.”

Produced using advanced Borealis Borstar® nucleation technology, the RA150E grade is the latest infrastructure solution designed for water piping applications delivering hot and cold water to homes around the world. The new solution has unmatched, long-term pressure performance, even at very high temperatures, and is fully-recyclable at the end of its 50-year life span.

Borouge’s latest infrastructure solution addresses emerging trends in the construction of modern communities, which prioritize environmental sustainability, with many developments aiming to achieve urban resilience - the measure of the adaptability of a community against environmental stresses, while positively adapting and transforming towards sustainability.

Launched as part of Borouge’s sustainable advanced packaging portfolio, the new polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) grades feature good mechanical properties and processability, designed with recyclability in mind.

We remind, Borouge Plc, a leading petrochemical company that provides innovative and differentiated polyolefin solutions, announced that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with National Petroleum Construction Company, a UAE-based Engineering, Procurement and Construction Company.


Bayegan Group unveils $1.9-B petrochemical plant project in Turkey

Bayegan Group unveils $1.9-B petrochemical plant project in Turkey

MRC -- Turkish petrochemicals company Bayegan Group is set to enhance domestic polypropylene production with a planned $1.9-B plant in Hatay province. The facility, expected to produce 450,000 tpy, aims to meet about 20% of Turkey's demand for polypropylene, a key material in the country's carpet industry, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Bayegan's investment aligns with its strategy to expand across the value chain. The plant is projected to save Turkey approximately $500 MM annually, making it less dependent on imports and reducing costs.

The Turkish government is supporting the project with tax breaks and reduced power and labor costs, as part of efforts to boost core industries amid economic challenges, including a 65% inflation rate. The proposed site near Gaziantep, known for its carpet-making heritage, positions the project strategically.

Bayegan is exploring potential partnerships for the venture and continues discussions with export credit agencies. Construction is expected to take 34 months once the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contract is signed. The initiative reflects a broader trend, with another group also developing a $1.7-B polypropylene plant nearby in Ceyhan. Turkey, a significant importer of polypropylene, seeks to strengthen its domestic production capabilities in collaboration with local and international investors.

We remind, Borouge Plc launched five new grades to meet the growing demand in the infrastructure and advanced packaging industries in the Middle East, Africa and Asia. The launch supports Borouge’s growth and innovation strategy by increasing its market share in the piping market in the company’s core territories, valued at nearly USD1 billion.