Plastic Waste – Problems at world’s largest existing green hydrogen project will not be solved until late 2025, Sinopec admits 05-01-2024

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Hyosung nears full operation as spandex demand recovers

Hyosung TNC’s creora® bio-based spandex [Image source: Hyosung TNC]

South Korea’s Hyosung TNC Co. recently saw its spandex production facility operating at a rate exceeding 90 percent as demand for the functional fiber shows signs of recovery.
According to industry sources on Tuesday, the operating rate at Hyosung TNC’s spandex production facility topped 90 percent as of the end of 2023. The increase in production is attributed to the rising demand for spandex in China, the largest exporter of petrochemical products.
According to NH Investment & Securities Co., spandex demand in China increased by 13.4 percent during the first ten months of 2023 from the same period the previous year, hitting 690,000 tons. Plastic Waste

China’s self-sufficiency rate in spandex products is declining, with spandex imports increasing by 88.1 percent and exports decreasing by 2.7 percent over the same period.
Demand for spandex is expected to remain robust this year. HI Investment & Securities Co. estimates the global increase in spandex demand to be around 100,000 to 110,000 tons in 2024, noting that the increased production capacity in China and India in the second half of 2023 was only around 77,000 tons.

Plastic Waste

Green Bioplastics Can Help Reduce Plastic Waste In Japan

A new study sheds light on the potential of green bioplastics in achieving Japan’s carbon-neutral goals.

In a new study, researchers from Kyushu University and a Yokohama-based startup called Sotas Co., Ltd. presented a novel approach to help meet Japan’s ambitious goals of carbon neutrality by 2050. Japan ranks second in producing plastic waste per capita, globally. The study, published in Sustainability, highlighted the importance of environment friendly bioplastics and called for a major change in the country’s policies.

The main way Japan currently gets rid of plastic waste is by thermal recycling or incineration, leading to release of carbon dioxide, a gas that contributes to climate change, into the atmosphere. Plastic Waste

This has prompted the government to seek out greener, less conventional means of reaching carbon neutrality.

“We have examined whether switching to more sustainable recycled plastics and bioplastics is a competitive and effective alternative to current carbon reduction policies,” said Andrew Chapman, professor at the International Institute for Carbon Neutral Energy and Research, Kyushu University, in an article published by the university. Chapman is the corresponding author of the study.

The researchers looked at six common plastic types. Four key criteria—global warming potential, cost, recyclability, and perceived quality for manufacturers—formed the basis of their analysis.  Plastic Waste

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Problems at world’s largest existing green hydrogen project will not be solved until late 2025, Sinopec admits

Chinese oil giant suggests that the electrolysers at the 260MW Kuqa facility in northwest China are only operating at about 20% of capacity

Sinopec has admitted that the problems at its existing 260MW Kuqa green hydrogen project in northwest China — first revealed publicly by Hydrogen Insight last month — will not be fully resolved until late 2025.

The Chinese oil giant has also inadvertently pointed out that the facility in the Xinjiang region — the world’s largest — is only operating at about 20% of its planned capacity.

As Hydrogen Insight exclusively revealed, the alkaline electrolysers at the plant, which have been supplied by three different Chinese manufacturers (Cockerill Jingli, Longi and Peric), all have their own technical problems, but share the same problem — they cannot safely produce hydrogen when receiving electricity that results in the production of less than about 50% of its maximum output, according to research house BloombergNEF (BNEF). Plastic Waste

This is a major problem when the 260MW of electrolysers are directly powered by 361MW of solar power (and wind energy bought from the grid at added cost), and has resulted in far lower production levels than the 20,000 tonnes of green hydrogen expected annually.

In what has widely been reported in China as a response to BNEF’s findings, Sinopec issued two statements on Christmas Day on the Chinese social network website Weibo, which attempted to change the narrative on the project. Plastic Waste

“As of December 21, the project has been operating smoothly for 4,200 hours, with a cumulative 22.36 million cubic metres of green hydrogen transported to the end-user Tahe Refining and Chemical [a Sinopec subsidiary],” the company posted.


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Trioworld to acquire Wentus

On December 30, Trioworld Group signed an agreement to acquire the German company Wentus GmbH (Wentus), a leading player in solutions for high-performance food-, consumer- and hygiene packaging, from Egeria Group.

“We are very pleased and excited to welcome Wentus into the Trioworld group. The acquisition will give us the opportunity to grow an even stronger position in the market for advanced food-, consumer- and hygiene packaging, in Europe and in North America. Wentus has a proven track record of supplying the market with premium products and superior support, to maximize value for customers.  Plastic Waste

“We have great confidence in the capabilities of the Wentus organization and management and look forward to joining forces and continuing the successful journey” says Andreas Malmberg, CEO of the Trioworld Group.

“We are very pleased to have found a partner in Trioworld that is a perfect fit for us and whose product portfolio is ideally complemented by Wentus. We are looking forward to working with a professional and ambitious team that we have already had the opportunity to get to know intensively during the sales process and whose management culture suits us well” says Mr. Christof Renz, Managing Director of Wentus. Plastic Waste


Trioworld to acquire WentusTrioworld to acquire WentusTrioworld to acquire Wentus

Egypt’s parliament approves law for green hydrogen incentives

Egypt’s parliament on Tuesday gave the green light to a law introducing incentives for the production of green hydrogen and its derivatives as the country seeks to become a major producer and exporter of the clean fuel.

The law seeks to endorse incentives, exemptions, and guarantees to retain existing investors who have committed to green hydrogen production and its derivatives through memorandums of understanding and framework agreements. Plastic Waste

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The nation has secured 29 Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) for green hydrogen. Among these, following the hosting of COP27 in 2022, nine framework agreements have been signed for green hydrogen projects within the Suez Canal Economic Zone (SCZone), totalling investments amounting to USD 85 billion (EUR 77.58bn).

The goal is to establish an appealing investment environment that empowers these investors to accelerate the execution of their projects within Egypt, with the goal of positioning the country as a global hub for green hydrogen. Plastic Waste


Egypt's parliament approves law for green hydrogen incentives

Following weak downstream demand in 2023, European Ethylene prices may continue to fall in Q1 2024

The European Ethylene market is poised to conclude 2023 with a stronger sentiment, driven by increasing upstream values. However, market players report limited demand for Ethylene from the downstream polyEthylene and Ethylene oxide industry across the regional market due to a weak buying appetite among consumers. This limitation, however, has not been sufficient to drive Ethylene price realizations lower.

Throughout 2023, EU countries faced substantial challenges, including firm inflation, rising interest rates by the central bank, economic slowdown, elevated natural gas, and electricity prices against the backdrop of the energy crisis resulting from the Russia-Ukraine war.  Plastic Waste

This crisis has impacted the prices of several commodities, including Ethylene. Moreover, it is expected that European chemical makers may face a challenging market again in 2024 as weak economic growth and oversupply weigh on the Ethylene market.

According to the latest ChemAnalyst database, Ethylene prices in the German market increased by USD 10/MT in the last week of December 2023.

The rise in feedstock naphtha prices in the prior week has resulted in higher manufacturing costs of Ethylene across the domestic market, leading to bullish market sentiments among manufacturers.  Plastic Waste


Following weak downstream demand in 2023, European Ethylene prices may continue to fall in Q1 2024

SÜDPACK expands its involvement in CARBOLIQ

With effect from January 2, 2024, SÜDPACK has acquired additional shares of CARBOLIQ GmbH and appointed Dirk Hardow as Managing Director. By doing so, SÜDPACK is demonstrating its commitment to a closed-loop system for plastics and to chemical recycling as a complementary recycling technology. Dirk Hardow, who as Manager of the BU FF&C is responsible for matters such as the development and implementation of closed-loop models, will lead the company as its managing director in the future.  Plastic Waste

The acquisition of a majority stake in CARBOLIQ was signed on December 15. For Erik Bouts, CEO of SÜDPACK, this is “the logical next step. We regard CARBOLIQ technology as an indispensable building block in our industry’s process of transformation towards a circular economy.”

With the acquisition, the film manufacturer is simultaneously substantiating its leading position in terms of a circular economy in the industry for flexible packaging. Because so far, SÜDPACK is the only manufacturer of flexible films with direct access to capacities for chemical recycling.  Plastic Waste

“We believe quite profoundly in the benefits of this advanced technology compared to other oiling processes,” highlighted Dirk Hardow. “In terms of energy consumption and the processing window for a broad range of recyclables, CARBOLIQ technology offers significant advantages in comparison to other processes from our point of view,” elaborated Hardow.


SÜDPACK expands its involvement in CARBOLIQ

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