Gazprom Neft opens plastic recycling plant with capacity of 8,600 tpy

Gazprom Neft opens plastic recycling plant with capacity of 8,600 tpy

Russian oil company Gazprom Neft has opened a plant to recycle plastic packaging into secondary granules in Gatchina, Leningrad Region with annual capacity of 8,600 tonnes, said Interfax.

The new plant will handle the complete cycle of recycling plastic packaging made of polypropylene and polyethylene into feedstock for subsequent use, the company said.

The company will ship the produced feedstock, secondary polymer granules to Russian manufacturers of plastic products, as well as use them in-house to produce waterproofing materials for industrial and civilian construction.

The new plant has modern plastic recycling equipment and a closed-cycle water treatment system to ensure environmentally-friendly production, the company said. "The filtration equipment makes it possible to capture small plastic particles, purify the water and return it to the production cycle," the press release said.

Gazprom Neft expects that the use of secondary granules within the company will reach 3,200 tonnes per year by 2030.

"Using recycled raw materials is more cost effective and the recycling process is safe for the environment. Our plastic materials recycling project is an important step for the development of a closed-loop economy in the country. Its implementation will make it possible to return all the plastic that we and our partners produce into the production process," Gazprom Neft's head of petrochemicals and LPG, Igor Korolev said in the press release.

We remind, Gazprom is sticking to its goal of achieving 100% of the technically possible level of network gasification by 2030, and is actively working with the regions via five-year programs, Deputy Chairman of the Board of Gazprom Oleg Aksyutin said in an article in the company's corporate magazine.

Clariant and Lummus awarded catalyst technology contract for new isobutane dehydrogenation plant in China

Clariant and Lummus awarded catalyst technology contract for new isobutane dehydrogenation plant in China

Clariant, a sustainability-focused specialty chemical company, and its process partner Lummus Technology have been selected by Huizhou Boeko Materials Co. Ltd., to provide their CATOFIN catalyst and process technology for the dehydrogenation of isobutane at the new plant in Huizhou City, China, said the company.

The process technology is exclusively licensed by Lummus Technology, while the tailor-made catalyst is supplied by Clariant. It is the first time Huizhou Boeko will license the CATOFIN technology at one of their sites.

The scope of the current award includes the technology license and basic engineering. Once complete, the plant will produce 550,000 metric tons per annum (MTA) of net isobutylene, which will serve as feedstock for the downstream production of methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE). The highly efficient CATOFIN process uses fixed-bed reactors and operates at optimum reactor pressure and temperature to maximize catalytic dehydrogenation of isobutane for high yields of isobutylene at low investment and operating costs.

“We are delighted to deliver our industry leading CATOFIN catalyst to this first Huizhou Boeko plant and look forward to a fruitful partnership. CATOFIN offers excellent reliability and productivity, yielding superior annual production output, which in turn leads to increased overall profitability for the plant,” said Jens Cuntze, Business President Catalysts and APAC at Clariant.

We remind, Clariant is a focused specialty chemical company driving value creation with its innovative and sustainable solutions across diverse industries. With this partnership, Safic Alcan will offer Clariant’s range of functional ingredients including emollients, emulsifiers, rheology modifiers, pearlizers, preservatives, and mild surfactants, complementing its existing range and providing more valuable synergies for customers.

Iraq to curb oil exports to compensate for overproduction

Iraq to curb oil exports to compensate for overproduction

Iraq will reduce its crude exports to 3.3 MM bpd in the coming months to compensate for any rise above its OPEC+ quota in January and February, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Iraq is committed to voluntary cuts agreed with the OPEC+ group of oil-exporting countries and is coordinating with secondary sources to reflect the export curbs in their upcoming OPEC+ reports, the ministry said in a statement.

The de facto Saudi-led Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies including Russia, known collectively as OPEC+, have implemented a series of output cuts since late 2022 to support the market. A new cut for the first quarter took effect in January and earlier this month was extended to cover the second quarter.

Oil has found support in 2024 from rising geopolitical tensions and Houthi attacks on Red Sea shipping, although concern about economic growth has weighed.

Iraq's production quota is 4 million barrels per day (bpd) under the voluntary cuts. The secondary sources, which provide data on OPEC+ members' production, reported Iraq's production at 4.2 million bpd in February.

Iraq's oil exports averaged 3.43 million bpd in February, the oil ministry said earlier this month.

We remind, Iraq reopened its North Refinery in Baiji that was shut for a decade during the violence and chaos that followed the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, which made it nearly impossible to run one of the country's most vital energy complexes. The fall of Saddam Hussein was meant to bring stability and prosperity to major OPEC oil producer Iraq after years of economic mismanagement and military misadventures brought the country to its knees.

Italy's Saras reports drop in 2023 core profit of refined products ahead of Vitol's takeover

Italy's Saras reports drop in 2023 core profit of refined products ahead of Vitol's takeover

Saras reported a 41% fall in its full-year comparable core earnings due partly to weaker profitability of refined products, as global commodity trader Vitol prepares to take over the Italian oil refiner later this year, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Saras, which is controlled by Italy's Moratti family, said its comparable earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) fell to 669.7 million euros (USD730 million) in 2023. The company cited a drop in the "diesel crack", a metric representing the profitability of refined products, to an average of $26.4 per barrel from $37.7 per barrel in 2022, and also a weaker dollar versus the euro.

Saras Group - founded 62 years ago by the father of its current chairman Massimo Moratti - is the owner of the Sarroch plant in Sardinia, which is the single biggest refinery in the Mediterranean with a capacity of 300,000 barrels per day. The Moratti family agreed in February to sell 35% of the company to Vitol at 1.75 euros per share, valuing the entire group 1.7 billion euros.

Upon closing of the deal, the entire stake owned by the Moratti family in Saras will be transferred to Vitol, triggering a mandatory tender offer for the outstanding share capital of the group, with the aim to delist it. Moratti said on Friday that the decision to sell control to Vitol "was a very difficult and emotional choice but taken for the good of the group".

"Vitol... will be able to make Saras grow further, bringing great financial and commercial strength, as well as international professional expertise," Saras chairman added. The Italian government will review the transaction under its so-called "golden power" vetting rules for industries deemed of strategic importance such as banking, energy, telecoms and health.

Rome will seek commitments from Vitol on jobs, investments and continuity of supplies when reviewing the commodity trader's plan to take over the refiner, two sources told Reuters last month. On Friday Saras said its net financial position at the end of 2023 was positive at 167 million euros.

The group will hold a shareholders meeting on April 29 to approve the payment of a dividend equal to 0.15 euros per share.

We remind, circular plastics now account for 13.5% of the content in new plastic products manufactured in Europe, according to industry association Plastics Europe (Brussels). The association today published its biennial “The Circular Economy for Plastics: A European Analysis” report, which noted that the figure means the European plastics sector is more than halfway toward the interim ambition of Plastics Europe’s Plastics Transition roadmap to use 25% of plastics from circular sources in new products by 2030.

Chemours awarded USD60 mln in BIL funds for PEM membranes, electrolyzer recycling

Chemours awarded USD60 mln in BIL funds for PEM membranes, electrolyzer recycling

Chemours Company, a global chemistry company with leading market positions in Titanium Technologies, Thermal & Specialized Solutions, and Advanced Performance Materials, announced that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, selected two of its applications for grants totaling USD60 mln, said the company.

These grants will be used by Chemours and its partners for the advancement of technology to support next-generation membranes for proton exchange membrane (PEM) water electrolysis to advance a domestic hydrogen economy supply chain and establish a new Recovery and Recycling Consortium dedicated to enabling the circularity of PEM electrolyzers and fuel cells. These selections validate Chemours’ leadership and expertise as a responsible manufacturer of high-quality, durable ionomers and membranes.

Chemours is the lead recipient on a project entitled “Durable, High-Performance Membranes for Proton Exchange Membrane Water Electrolysis”, where the company will leverage its technical expertise to develop a low-resistance Nafion™ membrane that demonstrates high levels of durability in a PEM electrolyzer stack. The project’s goals include creating products that can be manufactured cost-effectively at scale, a significant challenge the hydrogen industry faces today. Chemours was also named a project partner in H2CIRC, a new consortium dedicated to producing a blueprint for the hydrogen industry to efficiently and sustainably recover and recycle materials and components from fuel cells and electrolyzers.

“Chemours is committed to using the power of its chemistry to advance the clean energy transition and hydrogen economy. Selection by the U.S. Department of Energy for these grants furthers our leading role and builds on the public, private, and academic partnerships whose collaborative efforts support the global adoption of hydrogen as a clean energy source,” said Stefanie Kopchick, Hydrogen Business Venture Leader at Chemours. “Our Nafion™ ion exchange membranes play a critical role in driving the hydrogen economy and helping to create a more sustainable future, and these funds will help to accelerate their further development as well as taking a proactive approach to building an infrastructure supporting circularity of fuel cells and electrolyzers.”

The grants announced by the DOE under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law are part of USd750 million in funding for projects to advance hydrogen technologies and improve manufacturing and recycling capabilities for clean hydrogen systems and components. The funding directly supports the national clean hydrogen strategy outlined in the U.S. National Clean Hydrogen Strategy and Roadmap , which emphasizes cost reduction, manufacturing, supply chains, and domestic jobs.

We remind, Chemours on 29 February announced it placed CEO Mark Newman, CFO Jonathan Lock, and principal accounting officer Camela Wisel on administrative leave, pending completion of an internal review of practices for managing working capital.