Oil feedstock from recycled plastics emerges, Wanhua re-evaluates La project, US-China Trade War updates

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Dow Netherlands to source feedstock made from recycled plastic

Dow Chemical has reached an agreement with the Fuenix Ecogy Group, based in Weert, The Netherlands, for the supply of pyrolysis oil feedstock, which is made from recycled plastic waste. The feedstock will be used to produce new polymers at Dow’s production facilities at Terneuzen, The Netherlands.

This agreement marks an important step forward to increase feedstock recycling – the process of breaking down mixed waste plastics into their original form to manufacture new virgin polymers.

The polymers produced from this pyrolysis oil will be identical to products produced from traditional feedstocks, and as such, they can be used in the same applications, including food packaging.

This agreement is an example of Dow’s strategy to enable a shift to a circular economy for plastics by focusing on resource efficiency and integrating recycled content and renewable feedstocks into its production processes, the company said in a statement.

By doing so, post-consumer plastics will continue to have value through an extended lifespan. This agreement also contributes to Dow’s commitment to incorporate at least 100,000 tonnes of recycled plastics in its product offerings sold in the European Union by 2025.

“We believe plastics are too valuable to be lost as waste and should be part of the circular economy,” said Diego Donoso, business president for Dow Packaging & Specialty Plastics. “With partners in South America, we have supported the development of construction materials made with recycled plastics for schools, and in Southeast Asia, Mexico and the United States, we have built roads made with recycled plastics. This partnership with Fuenix is an important next step in moving us closer to the future we envision, which is the sustainable production of circular polymers.”

US may not have enough recycled PET supply -NAPCOR

America does not have enough recycled PET supply or processing capacity to satisfy commitments being made by brand owners to increase recaptured resin content in their bottles, according to data from the National Association for PET Container Resources (NAPCOR).

Companies have been making recycled PET content commitments for years, but the pace of those promises has increased in 2019.

Many commitments came as a result of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, earlier this year, and have continued since.

The U.S. PET recycling rate is less than 30%, and much of that material being used for nonbottled applications, according to NAPCOR.

Brand owners, under increasing pressure regarding single-use plastic packaging, are making more commitments to use recycled PET for a percentage of their plastic packaging needs.

Just about half of all recycled PET capacity, 48% is dedicated to non-bottle applications such as carpet fiber, strapping and textiles, NAPCOR reports.

Another 6% is dedicated to bottle production, and the remaining 46% is operated by processors that provide material for any use.

Even if all that remaining 52% all goes to bottles, that still will not be enough, according to NAPCOR.

The U.S. recycling rate for PET containers will need to jump to at least 70 percent, according to the Association of Plastics Recyclers.

But growing demand may overwhelm recyclers and lead to pressure for national deposit laws.

Market conditions and existing infrastructure will not be adequate to meet the brand owner commitments, according to NAPCOR.

China files WTO complaint on US tariffs

China filed a complaint with the World Trade Organization (WTO) for the September 1 U.S. tariffs on $300 billion of Chinese goods.

In retaliation to this most recent U.S. move, China has slapped tariffs on $75 billion of U.S. imports in two stages, effective on the same dates as those of the U.S. tariffs, September and December.

“The U.S. move severely violates consensus reached between leaders of the two countries in Osaka. China is strongly dissatisfied and firmly opposes,” The Chinese Ministry of Commerce said in a statement.

Wanhua re-evaluates $1.25 bn chemical complex in La

The $1.25 billion chemical plant proposed for St. James Parish in Louisiana is getting re-evaluated, as officials review the scale and location of the facility.

China-based Wanhua Chemical announced in November it would be building a methylene diphenyl isocyanate (MDI) complex on 250 acres next to the Occidental Chemical plant along the Mississippi River.

The project is now under review. Analysts expect the U.S. -China Trade War could be a reason for the new research.

"Due to (a) significant increase in the capital expenditure budget of the MDI Project in the past year, the company decided to change the scope of the project," William Day, an official with Wanhua’s U.S. Operations told the local Louisiana newspaper The Advocate. "A new project location is also under review."

Formosa plans $332 million PVC plant in La

Formosa Plastics Corporation plans to invest $332 million to expand production of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) at its Baton Rouge facility in Louisiana.

“Louisiana is one of only a few areas uniquely qualified with the resources and infrastructure to support our industry, allowing us to diversify our production across our locations, further adding to the reliability of supply for our customers,” Paul Heurtevant, plant manager, said in a statement.

Formosa’s plant in Baton Rouge currently contains three PVC production units. New equipment installed during the project will boost the site’s PCV capacity by 20%, according to the company.

In addition to the new PVC production technology, Formosa also plans to add new technology for halogenated acid production, which is used internally to manufacture vinyl chloride monomer.

Work on the site is expected to conclude in late 2021 or early 2022. The company estimates that 500 construction jobs will be created while work is being carried out in Baton Rouge.

The state of Louisiana offered Formosa a performance grant worth up to $500,000 as well as other state tax incentives.