Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to deliver compressor to CPChem´s propylene unit in Texas; U.S. chemical guild applauds government bill to oversee ocean shipping; Dow invests to serve mobility, transportation; Canada may offer credits for carbon capture

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Image courtesy of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to deliver compressor to CPChem´s propylene unit in Texas

A unit of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries said on March 30 that it secured a contract to deliver a compressor train for Chevron Phillips Chemical’s new Cedar Bayou propylene unit in Baytown, Texas.

A steam turbine, a heat pump compressor and auxiliary equipment are to be delivered “for Chevron Phillips Chemical’s 1 billion lbs./year C3 splitter unit,” Mitsubishi Heavy Industries´s Compressor International Corp. (MCO-I) said on March 30.

“MCO-I has a strong relationship with Chevron Phillips, having supplied many compressor trains to them over the past several years,” said Michael McCurry, MCO-I´s account executive.

The equipment will be manufactured in Hiroshima, Japan and Pearland, Texas.

Chevron Phillips Chemical had announced on Dec. 15 a final investment decision in its plans to expand its propylene business with the new C3 splitter unit.  

The company chose S&B Engineers and Constructors. Construction will start in Jan. 2023 and 350 workers will participate, it said at the time. Chevron Phillips Chemical produces 3 billion lb/yr of polymer grade propylene in total at Cedar Bayou, Port Arthur and Sweeny, in Texas.

Propylene is a co-product of ethylene production through steam cracking of a hydrocarbon feedstock. Feedstocks used for steam cracking include ethane and naphtha. Propylene is also a by-product of petroleum refining.

Propylene is polymerized into polypropylene for many applications including materials for auto parts, mesh bags and other packaging, or medical protective clothing.

U.S. chemical guild applauds government efforts for closer scrutiny of ocean shipping

The American Chemistry Council joined on April 1 other organizations in support of the approval by the U.S. Senate on March 31, 2022 of a bill to address supply chain problems that have contributed to rising prices and involves future actions to increase scrutiny of international shipping carriers.

“With many of our members reporting serious delays and other problems with maritime shipments we commend the Senate for acting and strongly encourage (U.S.) President (Joe) Biden to sign the Ocean Shipping Reform Act when it reaches his desk,” the American Chemistry Council said on April 1.

“Ocean carriers have left U.S. manufacturers stranded at the dock,” it added.

The statement and bill approval followed recent comments by President Biden related to ocean shipping companies.

“During the pandemic, about half a dozen or less foreign-owned companies raised prices by as much as 1,000 percent and made record profits,” Biden said during his State of the Union address in March referring to shippers, according to The Intercept.

The world´s biggest shippers are Switzerland-based MSC, Denmark-based A.P. Moeller – Maersk, China-based Cosco, the France-based CMA CGM group, the Chilean-German Hapag-Lloyd, Singapore-based Ocean Network Express, Taiwan-based Evergreen Marine, and Hong Kong-based Orient Overseas Container Line.

According to an April 1 report on National Public Radio, the bipartisan legislation in the bill would make shipping carriers face U.S. penalties if they don´t certify any fines assessed comply with U.S. federal regulations.

If signed, the legislation would prevent carriers from unreasonably declining shipping services to U.S. exports. The U.S. Federal Maritime Commission will be able “to initiate probes of carrier´s business practices and apply enforcement actions,” NPR said.

U.S. President Joe Biden said in February during the State of the Union address that abnormally high costs related to shipping "pass through to American businesses and families and contribute to inflation," according to NPR.

High shipping costs helped domestic resin producers protect high margins.

The consumer price index for all urban consumers, not seasonally adjusted, rose 7.9% over the last 12 months, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said on March 10. This was a 40-year high.

Dow invests to serve mobility, transportation

Dow said on March 30 that it will invest in 2022 in projects related to mobility and transportation trends and in this way build on work during the previous year to prepare the company to better serve those markets.

“The mobility and transportation industry is undergoing its biggest evolution in more than 100 years,” said Jeroen Bello, marketing director for mobility at Dow Consumer Solutions.

Dow has made investments in 2021 to address “growing global market demands for novel technologies within the mobility and transportation industry,” according to the company.

In Midland, Michigan, Dow has expanded its fluoro-silicone rubber capabilities with the installation of a new gum mixer.

Investment also went to develop a pair of new mixers for thermally conductive technologies at Dow’s site in Songjiang, China.

A new mixer for thermally conductive technologies for electric vehicles is now under production in Wiesbaden, Germany.

Chemical group sees opportunities for carbon storage in Canada´s emission plan

The Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (CIAC) said on March 29 that there are opportunities related to carbon capture and technology investment credits in the Canadian government´s 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan that had been released earlier on that same day.

CIAC said the plan included “a commitment to an investment tax credit for capital invested in carbon capture, utilization and storage projects to encourage the development and deployment of CCUS technologies.”

There have been initiatives related to carbon capture announced in Canada including most recently plans by Inter Pipeline for its new polypropylene plant.

“Given that we have attracted less than C$10 billion over the past two decades, a major emphasis must be placed on investment policy,” Masterson added. 

Canada must achieve net zero emissions by 2021, according to Canadian law enacted on June 2021.

(C$1 = $0.79)

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