The downstream rundown: In case you missed it 08/05

The downstream rundown: In case you missed it 08/05

In case you missed any downstream news, here are the top stories from last week.

Nextchem awarded FEED contract for an advanced mechanical recycling plant of municipal waste in Europe

Maire Tecnimont announced that its subsidiary NextChem has been awarded a Front-End Engineering Design (FEED) contract by a market leader in plastics and chemicals for an advanced mechanical recycling plant of municipal plastic waste in Europe.

The aim of the project is to establish an advanced mechanical recycling plant for polyolefins, which shall manufacture products containing up to 100% post-consumer recycled materials (PCR). The waste processing capacity of the plant will be up to 75,000 tpy.

Indorama Ventures and Capchem evaluate proposed carbonate solvents plant

Indorama Ventures, a global sustainable chemical company, has entered into a non-binding agreement with Capchem Technology USA to study the opportunity to build and operate a world-class lithium-ion battery solvents plant at one of IVL’s petrochemical facilities in the U.S. Gulf Coast. The proposed plant will supply the lithium-ion batteries industry in North America, which is boosted by significant growth in the development of electric vehicles (EV).

The proposed facility will produce ethylene carbonate and its chemical derivatives, which are essential components of the electrolytes solutions used in lithium-ion batteries. IVL’s Integrated Oxides and Derivatives (IOD) segment and Capchem USA, a subsidiary of Shenzhen Capchem Technology Co., Ltd., will study the proposal to develop and operate the plant. Capchem is a global leading company in lithium-ion battery chemicals. A new plant would significantly benefit the North American lithium-ion battery market, which currently depends on imports from Asia amid potential for accelerated growth in the EV industry.

Lufthansa and Shell form future-oriented cooperation on SAF

Shell International and the Lufthansa Group have signed an MoU for exploring the supply of SAF at airports across the globe. The parties intend to agree on a contract for a total supply volume of up to 1.8 MMt of SAF starting in 2024, over a term of seven years.  Such an agreement would be one of the most significant commercial SAF cooperation in the aviation sector, as well as the largest SAF commitment of both companies to date.

The cooperation would enable the Lufthansa Group to promote the availability, market ramp-up and use of SAF as an essential element for a CO2-neutral future of aviation. The Lufthansa Group is already the largest SAF customer in Europe and aims to remain one of the world's leading airline groups in the use of sustainable kerosene. The MoU builds on Shell’s ambition to have at least ten percent of its global aviation fuel sales as SAF by 2030.

Vietnam firm to build $1.5 B polypropylene plant

A private Vietnamese petrochemicals firm is planning to invest $1.5 B in a polypropylene plant in the northern province of Quang Ninh, the country's ruling Communist Party announced.

Stavian Quang Yen Petrochemical JSC would start commercial operations at the plant from the fourth quarter of 2026 and would produce 600,000 tons of polypropylene annually, the party said on its news website.

The plant would supply products to manufacturers of home appliances, automobiles, electronics and medical equipment, it said.

Neste and Avfuel supply SAF to Viva Aerobus

Fulfilling its commitment made on World Environment Day 5 June, Viva Aerobus — Mexico’s ultra-low-cost airline — took its first flight powered by sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) from Los Angeles to Guadalajara on June 15. The uplift was made possible by the partnership between Avfuel and Neste.

The fueling milestone positions Viva Aerobus as a Mexican leader in reducing the aviation industry’s carbon footprint. With a delivery of 28,000 liters (7,500 gallons) of Neste MY Sustainable Aviation Fuel, Viva Aerobus was able to reduce carbon emissions by 21 metric tons of CO2 equivalent calculated over the life cycle when compared with conventional jet fuel, the equivalent of the amount of CO2 sequestered by 24.9 acres of U.S. forests per year.

Borealis prolongs stand-still for its PDH plant construction site

In light of recent developments and news reports about alleged malpractices at one of its contractors at the new Propane Dehydrogenation (PDH) construction site at Kallo, Belgium, Borealis has decided to declare a three day stand-still for its Kallo PDH construction site and to suspend the contract with IREM-Ponticelli, the contractor responsible for the piping-mechanical works for the construction of the new PDH project.

BASF enters power agreements for clean energy supply of more than 20 BASF sites across the United States

BASF is committed to renewable energy solutions to power its sites across the United States and has entered into virtual power purchase agreements (VPPAs) for wind and solar power totaling 250 megawatts (MW).

They are designed to offset the carbon-intensive grid-supplied electricity being used at more than 20 of BASF’s manufacturing sites in several states across the country, from Texas to Michigan. “Renewable energy is an essential tool to reach BASF’s ambitious goal of net zero emissions by 2050,” said Michael Heinz, Member of the Board of Executive Directors, BASF SE and Chairman and CEO of BASF Corporation.

Shell supplying hydrotreated vegetable oil to Deutsche Bahn for rail applications

With the need to reduce CO2 emissions from the large number of existing vehicles around the globe, developing fuels that help meet sustainability needs is a priority for Shell. This includes the use of high-quality fuels with renewable components as well as nature-based solutions across different transportation sectors and applications, including trucks, cars, off-road and rail.

Tackling rail as a sector which can be hard to decarbonize, Shell is supplying Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) to Deutsche Bahn, the national railway company of Germany, for their rail applications which are not electrified. This began with the Sylt Shuttle train, which is one of the most well-known and picturesque train connections in Germany. This is an important milestone to demonstrate the importance in neat HVO channels for existing modes of transportation to achieve substantial decarbonization.

Wood appointed owner’s engineer for Strike’s fertilizer plant in Western Australia

Wood, the global consulting and engineering company, has been appointed as owner’s engineer for the delivery of Project Haber, Strike Energy’s $3 B 1.4 MMtpy urea fertilizer production facility to be built in Western Australia.

This state-of-the-art low-carbon fertilizer plant will reduce Australia’s carbon footprint in the agricultural industry. Project Haber will have the unique ability to use hydrogen from a 10MW onsite electrolyzer in addition to large scale behind the meter wind and solar generation in partnership with Strike’s vertically integrated low-cost Perth Basin gas resources, creating the potential to generate the world’s lowest carbon fertilizer and reducing Australia’s reliance on imports.

Siemens closes Brightly acquisition, elevating software offering for building operations

Siemens Smart Infrastructure (SI), the frontrunner in digital buildings, has completed the acquisition of Brightly Software, a leading U.S.-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider of asset and maintenance management solutions. The acquisition elevates SI to a leading position in the software market for buildings and built infrastructure. It adds Brightly’s well-established cloud-based capabilities across key sectors – education, public infrastructure, healthcare, and manufacturing – to Siemens’ digital and software know-how in buildings. Brightly’s addition to the Siemens portfolio accelerates the build-up of SI’s SaaS business, enabling the companies to deliver superior performance and sustainability for built infrastructure. 

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