N America chemical rail traffic rises 3.0%, following two weekly declines

MRC -- North American chemical rail traffic rose 3.0% year on year to 46,427 railcar loadings for the week ended 3 February, following declines in the two preceding weeks, according to the latest freight rail data on Wednesday.

Loadings rose in the US and Canada but fell in Mexico. Chemical railcar loadings are a coincident volume indicator for the industry, which had a rough start to the new year, with weak demand in a number of sectors.

For the first five weeks of 2024 ended 3 February, North American chemical railcar loadings rose 2.8% to 222,228, with US loadings up 2.9% to 152,138.

In the US, chemical railcar loadings represent about 20% of chemical transportation by tonnage, with trucks, barges and pipelines carrying the rest. In Canada, chemical producers rely on rail to ship more than 70% of their products, with some exclusively using rail.

We remind, North American chemical rail traffic fell by 0.2% year on year to 44,201 railcar loadings for the week ended 27 January – marking a second consecutive decline. The US and Canada recorded declines while loadings in Mexico rose.

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Dow's board of directors makes FID for net-zero PC project in Canada

Dow's board of directors makes FID for net-zero PC project in Canada

MRC -- Dow said its board of directors has approved the final investment decision (FID) for its Path2Zero project to build the world's "first" net-zero Scope 1 and 2 emissions integrated ethylene cracker and derivatives facility in Alberta, Canada, said the company.

The $6.5 bn project, excluding governmental incentives and subsidies, involves building a new ethylene cracker and increasing polyethylene (PE) capacity by 2 M tonnes/y, as well as retrofitting the site's existing cracker to net-zero Scope 1 and 2 emissions.

Construction will begin in 2024, with capacity additions expected to come online in phases. The first phase will start up in 2027, adding around 1.3 M tonnes/y of ethylene and PE capacity. The second phase is expected to start up in 2029, adding about 600,000 tonnes/y of capacity.

Dow earlier awarded a contract to Fluor for the front-end engineering and design, and engineering, procurement and construction management services. In order to achieve net-zero Scope 1 and 2 emissions, the project will deploy Linde's air separation and autothermal reformer technology to convert the site's cracker off-gas to hydrogen to supply the site's furnaces. In addition, carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions will be captured and stored, reducing existing emissions by about 1 M tonnes/y of CO2 equivalent, while abating all emissions from the addition of the site's new capacity.

We remind, Dow has received International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC) PLUS certification at its PO/PG and polyols manufacturing site in Freeport, TX, USw, said the company. An ISCC PLUS certification recognizes Dow's implementation of decoupling fossil feedstocks by using waste-sourced feedstock, following a full independent, external audit. The newly ISCC PLUS certified polyurethanes site will produce products for automotive, construction, consumer, food, fragrances, pharmaceutical and industrial markets.

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Wanhua Chemical introduces outdoor wood coating raw materials

Wanhua Chemical introduces outdoor wood coating raw materials

MRC -- Wanhua Chemical Lacper 4572 is utilized in the field of outdoor wood, extending the outdoor lifespan of woodwork, said the company.

The product complies with the EU's REACH environmental regulations, free from SVHC and CMR substances. Besides, it has excellent weather resistance, moisture resistance, as well as stackability. It is widely employed in various outdoor factories and on-site construction projects. Lacper 4572 is able to maintain good adhesion and colour, despite slight glossiness loss. In comparison to other emulsions, the product shows no patchiness caused by foaming or peeling.

Lacper 4572 underwent the water absorption-freeze-thaw cycle test for 6 times, which is designed to simulate harsh outdoor conditions, showing no cracking, bubbling, or whitening. After immersion in water, it achieved the highest wet adhesion rating of 0.

Due to the stringent requirements for flexibility, outdoor applications need emulsion with low film-forming temperatures, but they may suffer from poor anti-adhesion. Wanhua Chemical is committed to balancing these two properties through a multi-layer core-shell structure design, Lacper 4572 achieves excellent film formation while reducing the amount of film-forming additives, maintaining a balance in early anti-blocking performance. This allows for the application of Lacper 4572 in fast production in factories.

QUV testing is for outdoor UV resistance, and Lacper 4572 demonstrates exceptional long-term QUV performance: at 2000 hours, Delta E is 0.44, and at 3000 hours, Delta E is 0.78. This makes Lacper 4572 suitable for wood-related applications with extreme QUV requirements.

We remind, On December 1, Wanhua Chemical’s official website released a draft environmental impact report for the project. The company will build a new 400,000 tons/year polyolefin elastomer device and supporting public auxiliary projects and auxiliary facilities in Penglai Chemical Industrial Park Wanhua Penglai Industrial Park.

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TotalEnergies no longer sending ships through Red Sea

TotalEnergies no longer sending ships through Red Sea

MRC -- TotalEnergies has not sent ships through the southern strait leading to the Red Sea and the Suez Canal for several weeks, extending its ships' travel time to Europe, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The Bab-el-Mandeb strait at the southern end of the Red Sea has been disrupted by Houthi attacks on commercial vessels, driving up freight costs and restricting traffic.

CEO Patrick Pouyanne said that the costs of going through the Red Sea have gone up, partly due to higher insurance costs. "The conflict between the Houthis and the U.S.-led coalition is having a significant impact on the region. So we're careful and are no longer crossing the Red Sea," Pouyanne said.

The Houthis have been targeting commercial vessels with drones and missiles in the Red Sea since mid-November, causing disruptions to international trade traffic and forcing some ships to reroute around the southern tip of Africa.

"It's four days to make the full trip compared to going through the Red Sea for an LNG carrier," Pouyanne said.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) said Wednesday that delays in oil product deliveries due to ships being diverted to avoid attacks in the Red Sea were impacting product markets in Europe in particular.

We remnd, TotalEnergies, a globally recognized energy corporation, recently announced a delay in the reboot of its mixed-feed ethylene cracker facility situated in Antwerp, Belgium. This facility, which boasts an annual production capacity of 580,000 metric tons, has had its restart schedule pushed to the second half of January, a move that signifies the intricate challenges inherent in such large-scale operations.

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Dow receives ISCC PLUS certification for polyols manufacturing

Dow receives ISCC PLUS certification for polyols manufacturing

MRC -- Dow has received International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC) PLUS certification at its PO/PG and polyols manufacturing site in Freeport, TX, USw, said the company.

An ISCC PLUS certification recognizes Dow's implementation of decoupling fossil feedstocks by using waste-sourced feedstock, following a full independent, external audit.

The newly ISCC PLUS certified polyurethanes site will produce products for automotive, construction, consumer, food, fragrances, pharmaceutical and industrial markets.

We remind, Dow announced that for the fifth year it has been named to the JUST 100 list by JUST Capital and CNBC – placing 35th overall, up 20 spots in the ranking from last year, and securing the top spot for Customers in the Chemicals sector. This year marks the Company’s first time ranking in the top 50.

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