Sika and Belknap-Haines expand partnership for flooring adhesives

Sika and Belknap-Haines expand partnership for flooring adhesives

MRC -- Sika Corporation announced an expanded partnership with Belknap-Haines, a national flooring distributor that provides flooring and installation supplies to contractors and flooring professionals across the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and Southeast regions, said the company.

Belknap-Haines has been selling DriTac products for over 19 years and will continue to offer Sika-DriTac brand wood and resilient flooring adhesives, while now also carrying and promoting Sika brand flooring installation solutions. This includes Sika wood flooring adhesives, subfloor preparation moisture barriers, primers, skimcoat, self-leveling underlayment, sound abatement, and more, all from a single-source provider.

With 23 locations spanning 27 states throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic Eastern seaboard regions, Belknap-Haines will market and distribute Sika and Sika-DriTac products throughout its entire footprint, enabling their contractors and installers to purchase all of their flooring and installation-related product needs in one stop.

We remind, Sika has put into operation new production lines for the concrete admixture Sigunit® in Kirchberg, in the Canton of Berne, thereby investing in the expansion of manufacturing capacities in its home market, said the company. The shotcrete accelerator is mainly used in tunneling and excavation stabilization.

Xuzhou Haitian Petrochemical halts PP production in China

Xuzhou Haitian Petrochemical halts PP production in China

MRC -- On January 27, Xuzhou Haitian Petrochemical, based in Xuzhou, Jiangsu Province, China, initiated a temporary shutdown of its polypropylene (PP) plant for scheduled maintenance, said Chemanalyst.

The plant, boasting an annual production capacity of 200 thousand tons of PP, will undergo necessary repairs to optimize operational efficiency. The duration of this maintenance period is currently undisclosed, leaving the timeline for the resumption of regular operations uncertain.

This isn't the first instance of Xuzhou Haitian Petrochemical implementing maintenance measures. On June 21, 2022, the company faced an unscheduled production halt at its PP plant in Xuzhou due to technical issues. The 200 thousand tons per year capacity plant remained closed for repairs until June 27, 2022, addressing the unforeseen technical breakdown. These periodic maintenance initiatives are crucial for ensuring the reliability and longevity of the production infrastructure.

Xuzhou Haitian Petrochemical, a significant player in the petrochemical sector, operates another PP plant at the same production site. The company, established in June 1988, is involved in various aspects of the industry, including oil and gas refining, production of raw materials for plastic products, and the manufacturing of plastic containers, cases, packaging, lubricating oils, among other activities.

The temporary shutdown of the PP plant in Xuzhou for scheduled maintenance underscores Xuzhou Haitian Petrochemical's commitment to maintaining top-tier operational standards. This strategic move allows the company to address potential wear and tear, optimize equipment performance, and ensure the overall reliability of its PP production unit. Such proactive measures align with industry best practices, ensuring a robust and sustainable production process.

The Xuzhou Haitian Petrochemical facility, with its substantial annual PP production capacity, plays a crucial role in meeting the market demand for this versatile polymer. PP, known for its diverse applications across industries, requires meticulous production processes to guarantee quality and consistency.

In addition to its significance in the PP sector, Xuzhou Haitian Petrochemical engages in various activities along the petrochemical value chain. From oil and gas refining to the production of raw materials for plastic products, the company's diverse operations contribute to the broader petrochemical landscape in China.

Xuzhou Haitian Petrochemical's temporary shutdown of its PP plant in Xuzhou for scheduled maintenance showcases a commitment to operational excellence and long-term sustainability. This proactive approach, coupled with the company's rich legacy and contributions to the broader petrochemical industry, positions Xuzhou Haitian Petrochemical as a key player in the ongoing evolution of the chemical manufacturing landscape in China and beyond.

We remind, TotalEnergies, a French energy company with a significant presence in Houston, has marked a transformative milestone with the official launch of its chemical recycling facility in La Porte, Texas. This development represents a crucial step forward in the production of sustainable polymers. The facility is now actively engaged in the manufacturing of "sustainably certified polymers suitable for a wide range of applications, including food-grade packaging," according to TotalEnergies. The La Porte campus, strategically located about 25 miles from Houston, is proudly recognized by the company as one of the world's largest virgin polypropylene sites.

Marathon Petroleum posts lower 4Q 2023 net income on reduced refining margins

Marathon Petroleum posts lower 4Q 2023 net income on reduced refining margins

MRC -- Marathon Petroleum Corp (MPC) reported net income of $1.5 bn for 4Q 2023, compared with net income of $3.3 bn for 4Q 2022, said the company.

The 4Q 2023 adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (adjusted EBITDA) was $3.5 bn, compared with $5.8 bn for 4Q 2022. The decrease in net income and adjusted EBITDA from a year ago was driven by lower refining margins. In 4Q 2023, the company returned approximately $2.8 bn of capital to shareholders through $2.5 bn of share repurchases and $311 M of dividends.

Through 26 Jan 2024, the company repurchased an additional $900 M of company shares. The company currently has about $5.9 bn available under its share repurchase authorizations. For full-year 2023, MPC's net income was $9.7 bn, compared with net income of $14.5 bn for full-year 2022. Adjusted net income was $9.7 bn for full-year 2023. This compares with adjusted net income of $13.5 bn for full-year 2022. Adjusted EBITDA for the Refining & Marketing (R&M) segment was $2.2 bn in 4Q 2023, versus $4.6 bn for 4Q 2022, reflecting lower margins. Segment adjusted EBITDA excludes refining planned turnaround costs, which totalled $299 M in 4Q 2023 and $442 M in 4Q 2022. R&M margin was $17.79/bbl for 4Q 2023, versus $28.82/bbl for 4Q 2022. Crude capacity utilization was roughly 91%, resulting in total throughput of 2.93 M b/d for 4Q 2023.

This compared with total throughput of 2.89 M b/d for four-quarter 2022. Refining operating costs were $5.67/bbl for 4Q 2023, versus $5.62/bbl for 4Q 2022. Midstream segment adjusted EBITDA was $1.6 bn in 4Q 2023, versus $1.4 bn for 4Q 2022. The results were primarily driven by higher total throughputs and higher rates. MPC's standalone (excluding MPLX) capital spending outlook for 2024 is $1.25 bn.

About 65% of overall spending is focused on growth capital and 35% on sustaining capital. MPC's $825 M of growth capital is focused on opportunities that enhance margins and reduce cost. At its 363,000-b/d Los Angeles, CA, US, refinery, the company is advancing projects to improve reliability and lower costs. The improvements focus on integrating and modernizing utility systems and increasing energy efficiency, with the added benefit of addressing new regulations mandating further reductions in emissions. The improvements are expected to be complete by end-2025. At its 593,000-b/d Galveston Bay refinery, the company is building a 90,000 b/d high-pressure distillate hydrotreater. This project is anticipated to improve the site's ability to produce higher value finished products and is expected to be complete by end-2027.

MPLX announced a capital outlook of $1.1 bn. The capital spending plan focuses on advancing growth projects anchored in the Marcellus and Permian basins, aiming to expand its value chains, particularly around natural gas and NGL.

We remind, ADM and Marathon Petroleum Corp celebrated the opening of their joint venture soybean processing complex, Green Bison Soy Processing, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. The Green Bison facility in Spiritwood, ND, US, is the state's first dedicated soybean processing complex, and is a major step towards meeting increased demand for renewable fuels, in this case renewable green diesel. Green Bison Soy Processing will source and process local soybeans, with the resulting oil supplied exclusively to Marathon as a feedstock for renewable fuels. The facility will produce approximately 600 M lbs/y of refined soybean oil, enough feedstock for approximately 75 M gals/y of renewable green diesel.

LyondellBasell & MSI Technology LLC collaborate on innovative consumer packaging

LyondellBasell & MSI Technology LLC collaborate on innovative consumer packaging

MRC -- LyondellBasell and MSI Technology LLC announced on 30 Jan 2024 they have entered into an agreement for MSI Technology to serve the LyondellBasell Polybutene-1 (PB-1) resin line into consumer packaging applications for North America, said the company.

MSI Technology is also the sales representative for the LyondellBasell Plexar product line. The expansion of the relationship is a strategic fit relative to the markets MSI Technology serves on 30 Jan 2024. MSI Technology will use its technical sales approach combined with its current speciality product portfolio to enhance offerings to customers in consumer packaging.

LyondellBasell PB-1 resins are commonly used in consumer packaging applications for easy-open packaging and film modification for seal initiation temperature providing: Broad seal-peel temperature range; Consistent and reproducible peel performance; Adjustable peel force to end-use requirements; Similar initiation and propagation peel force; "Whitening" with "Smooth & Clean" peel surface; Good seal integrity; Easy processability; Usable in blown film, cast film, extrusion coating and sheet extrusion The PB-1 resin line is part of MSI Technology's product offerings. The company also provides clients with access to dedicated sales and technical service specialists who provide guidance on technical resin selection to meet customer requirements.

We remind, Bora LyondellBasell Petrochemical, a collaborative venture between the privately owned Liaoning Bora Enterprise and the global petrochemical leader LyondellBasell (LBI), successfully recommenced the production of low-density polyethylene (HDPE), linear polyethylene (LDL), and polypropylene (PP) at its Panjin facility in China on January 5. This resurgence follows a scheduled shutdown for preventive maintenance that commenced on December 27 of the previous year. The production facility, boasting an annual capacity of 350 thousand tons of HDPE, 450 thousand tons of LDL, and 200 thousand tons of PP, has played a pivotal role in the regional petrochemical landscape.

Anwil restarts caustic soda and PVC manufacturing operations in Poland

Anwil restarts caustic soda and PVC manufacturing operations in Poland

MRC -- Anwil S.A, the prominent Polish petrochemical producer, has successfully recommenced the production of caustic soda and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) in Wloclawek, Poland, following a planned maintenance period, said Chemanalyst.

The resumption of operations comes after the company temporarily halted this particular production, which boasts an annual capacity of 340 thousand tons of PVC, in May of the preceding year. The hiatus lasted until mid-January of the current year, aligning with the company's strategic maintenance schedule.

Notably, Anwil had previously announced a reduction in the loading of its production facilities, impacting PVC with a capacity of 340 thousand tons, caustic soda with a capacity of 218 thousand tons, and chlorine with a capacity of 195 thousand tons per year. This adjustment in production was implemented towards the end of May or the beginning of June the previous year. Anwil, a key player in the Polish petrochemical landscape, operates as part of the PKN Orlen petrochemical concern. The company holds significant standing as a major producer not only of PVC but also of nitrogen fertilizers within Poland.

The recent resumption of caustic soda and PVC production at the Wloclawek facility signals a strategic and well-executed maintenance initiative by Anwil. The planned pause in operations allowed the company to conduct necessary repairs, upgrades, and inspections to ensure the optimal functioning of its production units. This commitment to regular maintenance aligns with industry best practices, ensuring the reliability, efficiency, and longevity of the manufacturing infrastructure.

Anwil's PVC production facility, with an annual capacity of 340 thousand tons, plays a pivotal role in meeting the market demand for this versatile polymer. PVC, known for its diverse applications across industries, requires meticulous production processes to guarantee quality and consistency. The temporary interruption in production, coupled with maintenance efforts, underscores Anwil's dedication to delivering products that meet stringent industry standards.

Beyond its role in PVC production, Anwil's operations encompass the manufacturing of caustic soda and chlorine, both integral components in various industrial processes. The strategic reduction and subsequent resumption in the loading of these production units reflect Anwil's agility in responding to market dynamics while maintaining a steadfast commitment to operational excellence.

Anwil's affiliation with the PKN Orlen petrochemical concern places it within a broader ecosystem of expertise and resources. This collaborative synergy allows Anwil to leverage the collective strength of the petrochemical conglomerate, contributing to its resilience and adaptability in the face of industry challenges.

The petrochemical sector, characterized by its complexity and interconnectedness, demands a proactive approach to maintenance and operational management. Anwil's strategic decision to temporarily reduce production and subsequently resume operations underscores its proactive stance in navigating the intricacies of the industry.

As a major contributor to Poland's petrochemical landscape, Anwil's actions reverberate beyond its immediate operations. The resumption of caustic soda and PVC production signifies not only the company's commitment to meeting market demands but also its role in supporting the broader industrial and economic landscape of the region.

We remind, LG Chem, a leading petrochemical company in South Korea, has announced plans to halt operations at its caustic soda production line in Yeosu, South Korea. Scheduled for the 20th of February, this shutdown is part of a routine maintenance strategy. The affected production line has an annual capacity of 320,000 tons of caustic soda, contributing significantly to LG Chem's total annual capacity of 728,000 tons.