Polymers Petrochemicals Additive Masterbatches 18-02-2019
Crude Oil Prices Trend
Public outcry over plastic pollution is driving investor interest in a circular economy.
Why it matters
Investors, legislators, and consumers are scrutinising corporate waste and packaging policies like never before, putting pressure on businesses to act or face the threat of fines, boycotts or even divestment.
Watch out for
Investors acting to limit exposure to plastic pollution. The outcry only really started in 2015 with press pictures of pristine beaches caked in plastic. Then footage of dead and maimed sea creatures hit our screens which, along with growing alarm over microplastics in the food chain, fuelled the public backlash. Shareholder resolutions prompted global companies like Coca Cola, McDonald’s, and Starbucks to ditch single-use plastics, putting pressure on their peers to follow suit. Today, regulators are sweeping up the laggards: our map shows the UK, EU, China and India are among more than 60 countries introducing national or regional legislation to limit plastic bags or other single use plastic materials.
An offshoot of Russia’s Irkutsk Oil Co. is to exploit its energy capacity to build a gas chemical complex with an ethane cracker and a 650 kilotonne per annum (ktpa) polyethylene plant in eastern Siberia.
In a bid to manufacture new value added products, the subsidiary Irkutsk Polymer Plant will spend around €2.3 billion in the project to turn out high density polyethylene (HDPE) and linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) by 2022 at a site in Ust-Kut, Irkutsk region.
Last year, Irkutsk Oil Co. signed a deal awarding Japanese firm Toyo Engineering the contract to construct the 650ktpa ethylene and PE facility. Ethylene technology will be supplied by US firm Lummus Technology Inc., while the UNIPOL polyethylene process is licensed by Univation Technologies LLC.
Sabic has shut down LDPE production at its Wilton plant due to ‘unforeseeable circumstances’.
The plant is one of four units located on Teeside, near Redcar, which include the Wilton Centre, headquarters of Sabic UK.
The company claimed ‘force majeure’ in the announcement, meaning that the production halt was due to events beyond the company’s control.
The plastics producer is working to resolve the issues related to the shutdown. Further details are currently unavailable.
Shintech’s 500,000 tonne/year US ethane cracker in Plaquemine, Louisiana is in commissioning as engineers fine-tune operations and make final alterations, the company’s parent said in an email received Friday.
The company had expected mechanical completion by the end of 2018, but some aspects of the plant’s construction apparently remain in the works, the statement said.
Mechanical completion has been achieved “for the most part” and is nearing start-up, the statement from Japan-based Shin-Etsu said.
“Since this our first ethylene plant, we place top priority on safety and are proceeding steadily instead of being hasty,” the company’s email said.
Turkish polypropylene (PP) prices are stable to firm this week, with market sentiment beginning to turn positive.
Optimism has been low since a crash in the value of the Turkish lira, but prices are now believed to have stabilised and some sources expect them to trend upwards from here.
Demand has improved this week, for fibre in particular, as it is currently the high season.
Supply levels are tightening and there have been some delayed shipments that have forced players to seek alternative arrangements.
While the polyester leisure suit was a 1970s mistake, polyester and other synthetic fibers like nylon are still around and are a major contributor to the microplastics load in the environment, according to a Penn State materials scientist, who suggests switching to biosynthetic fibers to solve this problem.
“These materials, during production, processing and after use, break down into and release microfibers that can now be found in everything and everyone,” said Melik Demirel, Lloyd and Dorothy Foehr Huck Endowed Chair in Biomimetic Materials.
A team of Chinese scientists have developed a large-scale transparent smart window that can change light intensity while effectively capturing the particulate matter in smog, a study said.
The study published on Saturday in the journal iScience described a simple solution-based process to fabricate large-area flexible transparent windows with Ag-nylon electrodes for high-efficiency PM2.5 capture, reports Xinhua news agency.
It takes only 20 minutes to fabricate 7.5 square metres of Ag-nylon flexible transparent windows showing an optical transmittance of over 86 per cent, according to the group of scientists led by Yu Shuhong from the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC).
The Arabian Peninsula has, for most of its existence, not been of significant strategic value.
The region is mostly dry and, until recently, didn’t produce much the world needed. Saudi Arabia, however, has become a regional power centre due to custodianship of Islam’s two holiest sites and due to its pivotal role in the global oil market. Now, Riyadh is also planning to become a renewable energy powerhouse.
The oil kingdom has an incredibly high number of sunny days, with only 45 cloudy days each year. It also has significant potential for wind energy, particularly in the Red Sea area.
Furthermore, Riyadh has embarked upon a path to become a nuclear energy powerhouse with the instalment of approximately 19 reactors. It is only relatively recently that the Saudi government has made clear its intentions to expand its renewable footprint.
A $1.1bn Venezuelan project to refurbish a mothballed refinery on the Dutch-controlled island of Aruba has derailed because of US sanctions on national oil company PdV.
PdV’s US refining unit Citgo can still use the storage terminal, however, so long as the crude does not belong to PdV. Citgo signed a 15-year lease for Valero´s former 235,000 b/d refinery and terminal in 2016 with a plan to transform the refinery into a heavy crude upgrader.
The upgrader project had already been lagging timelines and funding targets, causing considerable frustration in the government of the tiny island that is better known for its beaches than its refinery.
Expanding its product portfolio in additive manufacturing further, Evonik – a pioneer in development of manufacturing of high performance materials and additives for 3D printing announced on Thursday that it has launched a new polymer powder that is well-suited for applications of 3D printing in higher temperature range or applications in demanding industries such as automotive and electronics.
Launched as a part of its polyamide 6 series, the new high-performance material has excellent chemical and temperature resistance. The new powder material is also known for its low water absorption – below 3 percent —, which has a positive effect on processability in 3D printing and the dimensional stability of printed 3D components.
A range of smart sportswear equipped with motion sensors has been launched by a unit of major synthetic fibers maker Teijin Ltd. on a trial basis, enabling wearers to improve golf skills by checking their swing posture using an app.
A line of multifunctional clothing under the “Matous” brand by Teijin Frontier Co., including shirts, trousers and tights, monitors movements of the neck, shoulders, arms and ankles as well as vital signs for viewing on a personal computer or tablet device.
Itema, an Italian manufacturer of weaving machines, spare parts and integrated services, is exhibiting at International Exhibition for Garment, Textile Machinery and Accessories (IGATEX) Pakistan from February 26-28. Itema staff will introduce Pakistani textile entrepreneurs to the company’s latest technological advancements to weave widest range of fabrics.
During IGATEX, Itema’s team will introduce its latest innovation in the denim weaving world: the second generation of the Itema denim dedicated rapier machine, the R95002denim. Unparalleled cost savings, superior fabric quality and outstanding user-experience are the key words of the R95002denim which features breakthrough devices and delivers tangible benefits to weavers, according to a media statement by Itema.
USTER Introduces Its Newly-Integrated Systems For Automated Fabric Inspection At Techtextil North America 2019
In many areas of primary textiles, USTER is a watchword for quality. From fiber to yarn, producers worldwide trust the USTER brand to help them deliver the quality their customers demand and optimize their operations. Now, USTER has expanded its technology to cover fabric production, with world-class systems for automated fabric inspection which guarantee consistent and measurable quality.
Taking the successful EVS fabric inspection systems into its portfolio, USTER will seek to expand the scope for automated fabric quality assurance. Its filament yarn tester has already made an impact in technical textiles markets, and this sector will also see USTER explore further applications for its fabric inspection systems, starting with the forthcoming Techtextil North America exhibition.
Brussels-based Petcore Europe’s opaque and difficult to recycle (ODR) PET packaging working group has been focused on increasing the recyclability of sleeved PET bottles.
Sleeves can cause problems when PET bottles are being sorted by means of near infrared or optical detectors in waste plastic recovery plants.
In order not to lose the valuable material and ensure that it is channeled into the appropriate sorting stream, the group came up with a solution: Perforated sleeves that can be removed by consumers.
Scientists have found that nanoparticles of selenium, an essential micronutrient, can be used as an antibacterial agent.
Selenium is found naturally in wheat, eggs, cheese, nuts, and seafood. It is an antioxidant and immunity booster. Scientists found that selenium nanoparticles, owing to their unique structure and properties, may be more effective than antibiotics as they have a larger surface area and therefore can be more in contact with the external environment.
The antibacterial effect may be due to the fact that at a particular concentration nano-selenium interacts with the bacterial cell surface and penetrates into the cell, thus causing damage. Selenium in excess is toxic.
The bacteria are found in all marine and freshwater environments, but only recently have scientists discovered the effect that the biopolymers they excrete have on the nano and microplastics now found in waters all over the world.
The researchers carried out laboratory experiments using water collected from the Faroe-Shetland Channel and the Firth of Forth, incubating plastics particles in conditions designed to simulate the ocean surface.