McDermott reaches mechanical completion on Evonik’s biosurfactants project in Slovakia

McDermott reaches mechanical completion on Evonik’s biosurfactants project in Slovakia

McDermott International Inc. (Houston) announced mechanical completion of a pioneering industrial-scale biosurfactant plant for Evonik Industries AG (Essen, Germany), said the company.

Less than two years from contract award, Evonik has achieved initial production of Rhamnolipids, a bacterial surfactant with the potential to fundamentally transform cleaning products and significantly reduce their environmental impact.

The project positions Evonik, a specialty chemicals company, as a pioneer of high-quality, sustainable biosurfactants on a commercial scale.

The scope of the contract included engineering, procurement, and construction management (EPCM) services for a new biosurfactant plant. The engineering and procurement services were executed from McDermott’s office in Brno, Czech Republic, and the construction management was performed at Evonik’s site in Slovakia.

“This is an incredible achievement, completed in a short space of time, thanks to the enduring commitment of our team and their seamless collaboration with Evonik,” said Rob Shaul, McDermott’s Senior Vice President, Low Carbon Solutions. “The high-performance Rhamnolipids significantly advance the growing biosurfactant market and are setting a precedent as part of a broader sustainable chemicals revolution, bringing sustainable cleaning and personal care products to market faster.”

McDermott was selected to partner with Evonik on the pioneering biosurfactants project in 2021.

We remind, Evonik has launched a highly sustainable new catalyst product, Octamax, that improves sulfur removal performance for refinery fuel. The technology consists of uniquely selected NiMo and CoMo catalysts regenerated and enhanced at optimal conditions for use in cracked gasoline hydrodesulfurization units.

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Sanyo Chemical makes notice of withdrawal from SAP business in China; expects extraordinary loss

Sanyo Chemical makes notice of withdrawal from SAP business in China; expects extraordinary loss

Sanyo Chemical makes notice of withdrawal from SAP business in China; expects extraordinary loss, said Nonwovens.

Sanyo Chemical Industries, Ltd. hereby announces that, based on resolutions adopted at the meetings of its Boards of Directors held on March 25, 2024, the Company has resolved to withdraw from the superabsorbent polymer business and the cease production of surfactants and urethane resin products in Nantong, Jiangsu Province, China as part of the structural reform under the ” New Medium-Term Management Plan 2025? initiated in fiscal year 2023.

Based on this resolution, the Company is considering the transfer of all the equity interests of San-Dia Polymers (Nantong) Co., Ltd., a wholly owned by its consolidated subsidiary SDP Global Co., Ltd. to another company. The Company has also resolved to dissolve the related consolidated subsidiaries involved in these businesses, SDP, SDP GLOBAL (MALAYSIA) SDN. BHD., and Sanyo Kasei (Nantong) Co., Ltd., as follows. In addition, the Company also announces that it expects to record an extraordinary loss as a result of this Business Withdrawal.

We remind, INEOS said that it has completed acquisition of TotalEnergies’ 50% share in their three joint ventures, as well as some other infrastructure assets in France. The targets are Naphtachimie, Appryl and Gexaro, which were 50:50 joint ventures between INEOS and the French energy major at Lavera in southern France. Financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed.

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Japan's Kuraray plans Singapore plant for packaging that cuts food waste

Japan's Kuraray plans Singapore plant for packaging that cuts food waste

Japanese plastic maker Kuraray will construct a USD410 million plant in Singapore under plans announced Tuesday, aiming to boost output of a packaging material that helps to reduce food waste, said Indianchemicalnews.

The new plant will produce EVOH, a proprietary resin that helps block oxygen and prevent food from spoiling. Operation will begin at the end of 2026, marking Kuraray's first time producing the material in Southeast Asia.

Kuraray expects efforts to fight food waste to grow in the region. The company plans to leverage its client network and supply chains it has established in the region from producing polyvinyl alcohol, a water-soluble resin, in Singapore.

The new plant will have a front-end capacity of 36,000 tonnes per year and a back-end capacity of 18,000 tons per year. The company intends to make further investments as early as fiscal 2026 to expand capacity.

Kuraray currently produces 103,000 tonnes of EVAL annually across Japan, the U.S. and Belgium. It is planning expansions in the U.S. and Belgium as well, with the goal of boosting global capacity by around 30% by the end of 2026.

We remind, Kuraray Co. (Tokyo) announced that construction of a new plant for isoprene-related businesses has been completed and will soon start operations in stages. The construction was undertaken by Bangkok-based subsidiaries Kuraray GC Advanced Materials Co., Ltdand Kuraray Advanced Chemicals (Thailand) Co., Ltd.

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INEOS completes acquisition of TotalEnergies’ petrochemical assets in Lavera, France

INEOS completes acquisition of TotalEnergies’ petrochemical assets in Lavera, France

INEOS said that it has completed acquisition of TotalEnergies’ 50% share in their three joint ventures, as well as some other infrastructure assets in France, said the companies.

The targets are Naphtachimie, Appryl and Gexaro, which were 50:50 joint ventures between INEOS and the French energy major at Lavera in southern France. Financial details of the acquisition were not disclosed.

The deal includes one of Europe’s largest steam crackers which can produce 720,000 tonnes/year of ethylene under Naphtachimie; an aromatics business with a 270,000 tonne/year capacity under Gexaro; and a 300,000 tonne/year polypropylene (PP) business under Appryl.

INEOS also acquired a naphtha storage, as well as other infrastructure assets, including part of TotalEnergies’ ethylene pipeline network in France.

INEOS will now fully integrate the Naphthachimie, Gexaro and Appryl petrochemical businesses, assets and infrastructure into INEOS Olefins & Polymers South at Lavera in southern France, the company said.

Gexaro, which is located on the Lavera refinery site will continue to be operated by Petroineos.

We remind, that TotalEnergies’ plans to sell its stake in petrochemical assets in Lavere became known last summer.

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Global refinery capacity totaling 3.6 mln bpd at high-risk of closure

Global refinery capacity totaling 3.6 mln bpd at high-risk of closure

As much as 3.6 MM bpd of global refinery capacity has been assessed as being under high-risk of closure, according to Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The report ‘Global refinery closure threat update’ shortlists 120 out of 465 refining assets as high, medium, or low risk of closure based on 2030 net cash margin (NCM) forecasts. The total global refinery capacity at some risk of closure amounts to 19.95 MM bpd, equating to 21.3% of the 2023 total capacity.

Most of the sites identified in the report as high-risk are located in Europe with the continent making up 45% of the total. The 11 refineries are spread across the continent and most of them are standalone catalytic cracking sites.

“The European refinery sector will come under pressure in the mid-term as gasoline margins weaken and pressure to decarbonize increases,” says Emma Fox, Senior Oils and Chemicals Analyst at Wood Mackenzie. “This will impact operating costs to such a degree that closure may be the only option.”

The seven high-risk sites in China are all independent assets that will suffer from the threat of competition against larger integrated sites, a more competitive domestic market as well as governmental policies in China that are not favorable to stand-alone operators.

Outside of China there are 23 sites in Asia Pacific assessed by Wood Mackenzie as being medium or low risk of closure. Japan alone accounts for 15 of the sites with 12 of those also having some degree of petrochemical integration.

Four of the remaining sites, spread across South Korea and Singapore, are at risk due to no decarbonization projects being in place, despite being in carbon cost-applicable locations, while the other four, spread across Taiwan and Pakistan, suffer from low forecasted 2030 NCMs.

China has 12 sites that Wood Mackenzie assessed as low or medium risk with the majority having high emissions and no low-carbon investments currently planned. The region is assumed to be subject to carbon tax in 2030.

“The cost of decarbonization for independent operators may be too high to justify keeping many of the sites in the Asia Pacific region operational, despite 70% of them having some degree of petrochemical integration,” says Fox. “As the decade progresses and more pressure is asserted to lower emissions some difficult decisions will have to be made by operators.”

The report concludes that future carbon taxes could take up a significant portion of a refinery’s operating costs so facilities that invest in decarbonization strategies could significantly improve their relative competitiveness. It adds that petrochemicals production at sites may not be enough to save many facilities, especially if they don’t have a diversified product slate.

“Standalone sites with high emissions are typically the first to face portfolio divestments or closures,” says Fox. “But as the world embraces the energy transition, refiners need to adapt to survive.”

We remind, Russia’s crude oil exports and transit from its western ports are seen at around 8.2 MMt this month, in line with market forecasts. Russia's loading plans for the ports of Primorsk, Ust-Luga and Novorossiisk in February were revised up earlier this month due to additional Rosneft volumes freed up after the shutdown of its Tuapse oil refinery.

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