MEGlobal to get renewable energy for Texas petrochemical plant; Dow Polyurethanes inaugurates mattress recycling plant; Brookfield names new CEO, CFO for Inter Pipeline; Global chlor-alkali market seen expanding 4.1% annually until 2026

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MEGlobal plant in Oyster Creek, Texas. Image courtesy of MEGlobal.

MEGlobal to get renewable energy for Texas petrochemical plant

MEGlobal said on Sep. 21, 2021 it entered into an agreement with Calpine Energy to buy renewable energy for its ethylene glycol plant in Oyster Creek, Texas inaugurated in 2019.

The accord will help the EQUATE Petrochemical Group-owned site to meet all its energy needs beginning in 2023, it said.

"Purchasing energy from renewable resources such as wind and solar makes good sense for our company and our environment," said EQUATE’s CEO Naser Aldousari.

MEGlobal will buy over 1.5 million MWh of renewable electricity during the five-year term of the agreement that will displace over 600,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide.

Adding renewable electricity is “another progressive step” to an energy-efficient design, according to Site Leader Scott Daigle.

The transition to renewable electricity will begin in 2022, Daigle said.

Ethylene glycol (EG), derived from hydrocarbons, is a raw  material for the production of polyesters. It’s also sold as antifreeze for vehicles.

Dow Polyurethanes inaugurates mattress recycling plant

Dow Polyurethanes said on Sep. 22 in a press release that along with Orrion Chemicals and other partners it inaugurated a mattress recycling plant in Semoy, France that brings innovative technology.

“We are actively exploring future possibilities for recycled material and potential applications,” said Marie Buy, sustainability leader Europe, Middle East, Africa and India at Dow Polyurethanes.

 “This really is a first for our company and for France,” said Christian Siest, president of chemical innovation company Orrion Chemicals Orgaform. The recycling facility is about 80 miles south of Paris.

“Our plant uses a chemical recycling process in which the polyurethane foam is decomposed and converted into a novel single product,” Siest said.

“We can process foam from any mattress and the Renuva polyol recipe itself can be tailored for different applications,” he added.

Once at full capacity the plant will process up to 200,000 old mattresses per year “to tackle the growing mattress waste problem,” it said.

There are three other partners. Eco-Mobilier collects the old mattresses while The Vita Group is a foam manufacturer. H&S is a turnkey services provider.

The number of old mattresses discarded annually just in the U.S. has been estimated by environmental organizations as high as 15 to 20 million.

Brookfield names new CEO, CFO for Inter Pipeline

Canada’s Inter Pipeline’s CEO Christian Bayle and the company’s CFO will leave their posts on Oct. 28 once a purchase arrangement by Brookfield is closed.

Brookfield Infrastructure executives Brian Baker and Paul Hawksworth will assume the roles, respectively, the company said.

Baker will becomeinterim Chief Executive Officer on that date “pending a search to identify a permanent replacement.” Hawksworth was named on Sep. 21 deputy chief financial officer.

Brookfield Infrastructure owns and runs utilities, transport, midstream and data companies in America, Asia Pacific and Europe.

Inter Pipeline is a midstream company in Western Canada entering the downstream.

Brookfield first tried to buy Inter Pipeline with an initial offer early in the year that met the board’s decision to advice shareholders to reject it. Brookfield later raised it to outbid a counteroffer by Pembina Pipeline, another Canadian midstream operator.

Inter Pipeline paid a hefty fee to Pembina to break out of the agreement.

Inter Pipeline’s assets include a propane dehydrogenator and polypropylene complex near Edmonton that will be completed next year.

Global chlor-alkali market to expand at 4.1% rate until 2026

The global chlor-alkali market, estimated at about $63 billion in 2021, may expand to $77.4 billion by 2026, or about 4.1% annually, according to estimates shared on Sep. 16 by research firm MarketsandMarkets.

Demand growth In North America, and particularly in the U.S., will be driven by the vinyl chain amid rising construction-related demand. On the other hand, environmental issues have led to the phasing out of certain applications of chlorine, it said.

Chlorine, sodium hydroxide and potassium hydroxide, sodium hypochlorite and vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) are the main products of the chlor-alkali process, which consists in applying electricity as a catalyst to brine.

VCM and hydrocarbon-derived ethylene are intermediaries to produce polyvinyl chloride (PVC), used for tubing and home fixtures as well as for fibers both in  automotive and textiles production.

Polyurethane global market seen doubling by 2028

The global polyurethane market may double from its current $53-billion annual size to nearly $102 billion by 2028, a 9% annual growth rate, according to a projection by The Insight Partners.

Polyurethanes are a reaction of a polyol (an alcohol) with a di-isocyanate.  These intermediate are processed from benzene and toluene, derived from crude oil or natural gas.

Besides bedding, polyurethanes are also important for the auto industry and to produce any product that requires cushioning. BASF, Covestro, Dow, Huntsman, are some of the producers.

By Reuters Events Downstream