Solvay joins the Cyber Security Coalition to strengthen digital defenses

Solvay joins the Cyber Security Coalition to strengthen digital defenses

Solvay has become a member of the Cyber Security Coalition, a key step to strengthen its cyber defense capabilities and build a solid and secure digital ecosystem, said the company.

This membership aligns with Solvay’s dedication to protecting the integrity of its operations, the security of its supply chain and the privacy of customer data against the constantly changing landscape of cyber threats.

As digitalization continues to transform industries worldwide, cybersecurity becomes a critical aspect of operational resilience. Solvay’s engagement with the Coalition is part of its global cybersecurity policy, designed to protect the Group and its network of partners, customers, and stakeholders.

The Cyber Security Coalition brings together a variety of stakeholders, including private sector entities, academic institutions, and governmental bodies, all committed to strengthening Belgium’s digital defenses. Solvay's participation provides a valuable opportunity to exchange knowledge, best practices, and discover innovative strategies to stay ahead of emerging threats, mitigate risks, and strengthen the resilience of critical infrastructure.

We remind, Solvay and Carester announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to form a strategic partnership, aimed at leveraging the expertise of both companies to pursue manufacturing opportunities within the rare earth industry for the permanent magnets value chain in Europe.

Denka completes construction of chemical recycling plant

Denka completes construction of chemical recycling plant

Japan-based chemical companies Denka and Toyo Styrene have finished construction of the country's first polystyrene (PS) chemical recycling facility, said Polimerica.

Investment totalled approximately JPY 4 billion (EUR24.6 million). Denka and Toyo Styrene completed construction of the 3,000 tonnes/year pyrolysis facility.

Installed at the Denka Chiba complex, the new unit uses process technology provided by US-based Agilyx, under a licensing agreement stipulated in early 2022.

Once fully operational, it will be able to process up to 10 tons per day of pre- and post-consumer polystyrene, generating high-quality styrene monomer to be reused in the production of new styrenic resins, thanks to the purification process developed by Toyo Styrene itself.

In order to guarantee traceability and recycled content, the Japanese group is ISSC Plus certifying the Goi and Kimitsu plants to be able to apply mass balance to the allocation of circular styrene in its plastic resins.

With a production capacity of around 330,000 tonnes of polystyrene per year, Toyo Styrene is the leading styrenic producer in Japan. The company was founded in 1999 by Denka - which holds 50% -, Nippon Steel Chemical & Material (35%) and Daicel (15%).

KBR to provide Petro Rabigh with predictive maintenance services for Saudi petchems site

KBR to provide Petro Rabigh with predictive maintenance services for Saudi petchems site

KBR has secured a five-year asset condition monitoring program contract from Rabigh Refining & Petrochemical Company (Petro Rabigh) to deploy predictive maintenance services at its plant in Rabigh, Saudi Arabia, said the company.

The program will optimize asset lifecycle, enhance machinery performance and improve overall reliability. This collaboration aims to boost energy and equipment efficiency while mitigating operational risks, aligning with Petro Rabigh's commitment to safety and sustainability.

"We are pleased to build a longstanding partnership with Petro Rabigh and offer our innovative technology-led industrial solutions," said Jay Ibrahim, President, KBR Sustainable Technology Solutions. "KBR's predictive maintenance services improve operational efficiency and align with the clients' ESG objectives by promoting sustainability and responsible resource management."

We remind, KBR announced it has been awarded a project management contract by Sonangol for the design and construction of a new 200,000bpd refinery in Lobito, Angola. Under the terms of the contract, KBR will provide services encompassing the project management of engineering, procurement and construction phase execution.

Polynt Group enters discussions to acquire Polyprocess

Polynt Group enters discussions to acquire Polyprocess

On March 5, Polynt SpA (Scanzorosciate, Italy), Groupe MV, Polyprocess (St. Jean D’illac, France) and other minority shareholders of Polyprocess entered into a non-binding memorandum of understanding (MOU) for the sale of Polyprocess to Polynt, said the company.

Polyprocess is a supplier of specialty gelcoats, color pastes and derivatives for the composites industry, with a long-standing history of excellence among customers and an outstanding quality record recognized in the composites industry.

The parties have agreed to customary exclusivity undertakings while discussions are finalized and Polyprocess consults with its employee representatives on the proposed transaction. The contemplated transaction, should it go through, is expected to be signed and completed by the end of April 2024, in addition to the transfer of Polyprocess’ production plant located in Saint-Jean-d’Illac, France, to Polynt Group.

“Polyprocess will complement the offering product portfolio of the Polynt Group,” Rosario Valido, CEO of the Polynt Group, says. “The synergy of Polyprocess’ technology and experience, combined with the innovation leadership of Polynt Group, will contribute to further growth in industry.”

According to Matthieu Castet, manager GMV and GMV CEO of Polyprocess, “This project will give a new dimension to Polyprocess, particularly worldwide. It allows us to secure supplies but also to continue to develop new ranges of products, combined with our recognized know-how and that of the Polynt Group, to maintain our high standards of quality and innovation for the coming years.”

We remind, Polynt Group started the process for the installation of a new esterification plant to produce special plasticizers, in particular trimellitates, at its site in Atlacomulco, Mexico. Special high-performance plasticizers, with their superior technical performances in electrical and high temperature applications, are a main component for the electrification of cars and transportation, a general trend so important for improving environmental sustainability. Trimellitates represents the most effective family of products that can satisfy those outstanding performance characteristics.

Polynt Group has more than 3,100 employees in 35 manufacturing operations throughout North and South America, Europe and Asia.

Dangote oil refinery could accelerate European sector's decline

Dangote oil refinery could accelerate European sector's decline

Nigeria's giant Dangote oil refinery could bring to an end a decades-long gasoline trade from Europe to Africa worth USD17 B a year, heaping pressure on European refineries already at risk of closure from heightened competition, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The refinery started production in January and cost $20 billion to build. It can refine up to 650,000 barrels per day (bpd) and will be the largest in Africa and Europe when it reaches full capacity this or next year.

It has long been touted as the turning point for Nigeria's quest for energy independence. Nigeria is Africa's most populous nation and its top oil producer, yet it imports almost all its fuel due to lack of refining capacity.

About a third of Europe's 1.33 million bpd average gasoline exports in 2023 went to West Africa, a bigger chunk than any other region, with the majority of those exports ending up in Nigeria, Kpler data shows.

"The loss of the West African market will be problematic for a small set of refineries that do not have the kit to upgrade their gasoline to European and U.S. specification," consultancy FGE's head of refined products Eugene Lindell said, referring to more stringent environmental standards for other markets.

As much as 300-400,000 bpd of refining capacity in Europe is at risk of closure because of rising global gasoline production, according to Kpler's analyst Andon Pavlov.

A European refinery executive who declined to be identified said coastal refineries that are geared for exports will be more exposed while inland refineries are less vulnerable because they rely on local demand.

"The changes won't happen overnight, but they could ultimately lead to closures of refineries and their conversion to storage terminals," he added, referring to the challenging market environment.

Pavlov said the UK's Grangemouth and Germany's Wesseling refineries could close ahead of schedule as a result of looming gasoline oversupply later this year and consequent pressure on refining margins.

Petroineos CEO Franck Dema flagged the energy transition which is causing demand for fossil fuels to dwindle as one of the reasons behind his company's decision to shut down Grangemouth next year. Shell SHEL.L said its decision to shut down Wesseling next year was part of its drive to reduce carbon emissions.

Petroineos did not respond to a request for comment and Shell declined to comment about whether its plant could close ahead of schedule.

We remind, Africa's richest man Aliko Dangote is planning to set up an oil trading arm, likely based in London, to help run crude and products supply for his new refinery in Nigeria, six sources familiar with the matter said. The move would reduce the role of the world's biggest trading firms, which have been negotiating for months to provide the refinery with financing and crude oil in exchange for products exports. The giant 650,000 barrel-per-day refinery is set to redraw global oil and fuel flows and the trading community is closely watching the way it will operate.