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Ethylene markets can react to changes quickly. It’s crucial for buyers, sellers and producers to stay alert and aware of what’s happening, both in their region and internationally. Unplanned cracker outages at major facilities can have a strong impact on regional and global ethylene markets. And polyethylene – the largest downstream sector for ethylene – is particularly sensitive to packaging demand shifts.

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Houston storm disrupts chems, knocks power out for thousands

HOUSTON (ICIS)–Powerful thunderstorms in Houston and the Gulf Coast disrupted operations at chemical plants while leaving more than 700,000 without power as of Friday. The storms hit Houston on Thursday evening. TPC Group reported that severe weather caused a power outage, which led to flaring at its butadiene (BD) operations in Houston. Power was restored, and operations returned to the site, TPC said in a filing with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). Lotte Chemical has delayed the restart of its cracker and downstream ethylene glycol (EG) unit in Lake Charles, Louisiana, to next week because of bad weather, according to market sources. Lotte did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The storm created winds of 40-78 miles/hour (64-126 km/hour), according to the National Weather Service. Such strong winds created widespread power outages throughout the region. In the late morning, more than 700,000 customers were without power in the Houston area, according to CenterPoint Energy, a power company that is the main transmission company. Overall, more than 777,000 outages were reported in Texas, according to Another 90,000 outages were reported in Louisiana, another state that is home to several petrochemical plants and refineries. The winds reached hurricane force in downtown Houston, where many petrochemical companies have corporate offices. “This was an incredibly dangerous and destructive storm, impacting one of the largest cities and busiest travel hubs in America,” said AccuWeather Chief Meteorologist Jonathan Porter. “Downtown Houston has not seen wind damage like this since Hurricane Ike in 2008 and Hurricane Alicia in 1983. The winds were even stronger at greater heights because they experienced less friction from low-lying buildings and trees, according to AccuWeather. Wind gusts of 33 miles/hour near ground level would equate to 80 miles/hour at six stories and 90 miles/hour at 10 stories. The wind strength at those elevated stories would be the equivalent of a Category 1 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson wind scale. Preliminary damage estimates from AccuWeather point to $5 billion to $7 billion in total damage and economic loss from the storm in southeast Texas, it said. So far, major railroad companies have not issued any alerts about disruptions to their lines. Port Houston said its terminals are operating as usual. Additional reporting by Adam Yanelli and Melissa Wheeler  (adds paragraphs 3, 5-6, 9-13) Photo shows aftermath of the storms that hit Houston. Image by ICIS.


India’s GAIL to set up C2/C3 pipeline for Pata petrochemical complex

MUMBAI (ICIS)–State-owned GAIL (India) Ltd plans to lay an ethylene/propylene (C2/C3) liquid pipeline from its gas processing complex at Vijaipur in the central Madhya Pradesh state to its Pata petrochemical complex at Auraiya in the northern Uttar Pradesh state. “The project will augment feedstock availability with additional polymer production at Pata Petrochemical Complex, reduce energy consumption and carbon footprint,” the company said in the notes accompanying its fiscal Q4 results. GAIL’s financial year ends in March. The proposed project is expected to cost Indian rupees (Rs) 17.9bn ($215m) and will be commissioned within 32 months, it said. Once operational, the pipeline will have the capacity to transport 950,000 tonnes/year of liquid feedstock to the Pata complex, it added. GAIL reported on 16 May a near-fourfold jump in net profit for the fourth quarter ending 31 March 2024 to Rs21.8bn, from Rs6.0bn in the same period last year. For the full fiscal year 2023-24, GAIL’s net profit increased by 67% year on year to Rs88.4bn. “The robust performance during the year was primarily driven by better physical performance across all major segments, despite lower prices in petrochemicals and liquid hydrocarbons,” GAIL managing director and chairman Sandeep Gupta said. GAIL currently operates a 200,000 tonne/year high density polyethylene (HDPE) plant; two linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE)/HDPE swing plants with capacities of 230,000 tonnes/year and 400,000 tonnes/year; and a 10,000 tonne/year butene-1 line at its Pata complex. The company is also setting up a 60,000 tonne/year polypropylene (PP) unit at the complex which is expected to come on stream in the current calendar year 2024. ($1 = Rs83.45)


Dow CEO touts cost position in Terneuzen, Tarragona sites amid tough European outlook

HOUSTON (ICIS)–Dow's operations in Terneuzen, the Netherlands, and Tarragona, Spain, have attractive costs for a region that is struggling to remain competitive against other parts of the world with cheaper energy, the CEO said on Thursday. Dow has crackers at both sites, and they can use imported liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) as feedstock to produce ethylene. The imports give the crackers a cost advantage. "Terneuzen and Tarragona are in great cost positions, and both of those countries, the Netherlands and Spain, have good energy policies," said Dow CEO Jim Fitterling. He made his comments during an investor day presentation. "Going forward, I feel good about how they are going to wind up, and we have good plans there," he said. "We have good line of site to keep cost competitiveness." The company mentioned cracking more LPG at Terneuzen to lower its costs. Exports of LPG should increase from the US in the next couple of years as midstream companies complete terminal expansions. The US Gulf Coast is running out of export capacity to handle growing amounts of propane being produced in the country. EUROPE LACKS COST POSITION TO EXPORTOther companies are selling European businesses or shutting down plants because of excess global capacity and high costs. Fitterling sees no signs that Europe is considering any policies that could address high energy costs. "Europe is focused more on the stick, on carbon emissions reductions," he said. "They are not focused at all on energy policy to drive down energy costs. Energy costs are going to continue to rise." Dow's cost position does allow it to serve the domestic market, but it is not in Europe to export, Fitterling said. "Europe doesn't have the cost position any more to export." Dow will continue find ways to improve its cost position at its European operations, he said. But the company's growth investments will be in low-cost regions and in high value projects.


NPE '24: INSIGHT: Big themes at NPE include sustainability, EVs, toxicity rules

HOUSTON (ICIS)–The biggest plastics trade show in the Western Hemisphere returned last week after a six-year hiatus. Delegates returned to consider an industry that is increasingly being shaped by government policy which is favoring sustainability and electric vehicles (EVs) while restricting the use of some classes of chemicals that are used in processing aids. SUSTAINABLE CONTENTThe regulatory outlook is influencing companies' sustainability goals, and that is influencing which plastics they buy and which ones are made by producers. Sustainability was the most prominent theme at the show. The title of the keynote address given by BASF Corp CEO Mike Heinz was "Our Plastics Journey: The Road to Shaping a Sustainable Future". Other examples of sustainability at the show include the following: Executives from SABIC and NOVA Chemicals talked at lengths about what their companies are doing to incorporate more recycled content into their materials. Renewable plastics producers CJ CheilJedang and Danimer Scientific had booths showcasing their grades of polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA), a renewable polyester. GREENMANTRA showcased its chemical recycling technology, which breaks down plastics to produce waxes, which are then then uses to make additives that make it easier to incorporate waste plastic into finished products. If the exhibitor booths and keynote address weren't enough to drive home the prominence of sustainability, delegates only had to consider the recent round of talks for the UN plastic waste treaty. It was held just days before NPE. While the plastics industry is advocating curbs on pollution, several groups at the talks were pushing for curbs on production. US lawmakers have repeatedly introduced bills that would impose moratoria on new plants. A small number of US states are adopting mandates that require minimum amounts of recycled content. A few states are also adopting policies calling for extended producer responsibility (EPR). The outlook of regulations is causing consumer goods producers and other plastic consumers to start seeking out sustainable materials now, so they have time to rearrange their supply chains and so prepare for the anticipated regulations. POLICIES PROMOTING EVS, LIGHTWEIGHTINGGovernment support should rekindle sales of EV and pull them out of what could be a temporary lull, according to BASF. The world will need more EVs if it wants to achieve its carbon-cutting goals. In the US, the federal government and individual states are adopting and proposing policies that will promote EV adoption. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) introduced a new tailpipe rule that will require the US light vehicle fleet to emit progressively smaller amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2). The EPA is expected to decide if California can adopt its Advanced Clean Car II (ACC II), which would phase out the sale of ICE-based vehicles by 2035. If the EPA grants California's request, that would trigger similar programs in several other states. The US Department of Transportation (DOT) is proposing stricter efficiency standards under its Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) program. EVs have material challenges that are different from automobiles powered by internal combustion engines (ICEs), and these are increasing demand for new grades of plastics. Some plastics will need to tolerate higher voltage environments, while others will need good thermal management properties. BASF and other companies at NPE showcased how several of their materials were meeting these challenges. At the same time, auto companies will want materials that will lighten their vehicles so they can travel farther on a battery charge. ICE automakers also want to lighten their vehicles, in part to comply with stricter emission requirements. Longer term, Dow highlighted the revolutionary ramifications that autonomous vehicles will have on the plastic industry. Such vehicles are driven almost entirely by machines, which should greatly reduce crashes and accidents. Dow said automakers could replace nearly all steel and aluminum paneling used in automobiles with plastic alternatives. SUBSTANCES OF CONCERNDow and Clariant highlighted the ramifications of substances of concern, so called because regulators are concerned about their effects on safety. The latest such substance include per- and poly fluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS), which are used in many polymer processing aids (PPAs). Clariant has recently introduced a hydrocarbon-based processing aid. Longer term are the possible ramifications of the prioritization process that the EPA has started on five chemicals. The regulator would like to start the prioritization process on five additional chemicals each year. The prioritization process is the first step in determining whether a chemical poses an unreasonable risk. If the EPA makes such a finding, then it will proceed with the risk management phase, in which it will propose ways to manage the unreasonable risks. If the chemicals are used in plastics, then any subsequent restrictions could cause companies to find alternative materials. EXCESS PLASTICS CAPACITYExcess plastic capacity will likely persist even as destocking ends and demand recovers. NOVA Chemicals expects future expansion will be on pause until later in the decade. Lost cost regions like North America should suffer less than higher cost regions like Europe. SABIC recently started up its first ethylene and PE production in the US through its joint venture with ExxonMobil, while announcing plans to shut down a cracker in Europe. The company did not rule out further capacity rationalizations Produced by Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS), NPE: The Plastics Show took place 6-10 May in Orlando, Florida. Insight by Al Greenwood Thumbnail shows cups made out of plastic. Image by Shutterstock.


PODCAST: Like blocks pulled out of a Jenga tower, chemicals closures could collapse value chains

BARCELONA (ICIS)–The closure of chemical plants in Europe and elsewhere could remove essential raw material supplies, threatening the future of downstream industrial value chains. Global oversupply, driven by China, forecast to reach over 200 million tonnes/year by 2028 Interconnected value chains threatened if important raw materials cease production Globally 20 million tonnes of ethylene capacity may need to shut down to keep operating rates healthy In Europe 5.6 million tonnes/year of polypropylene (PP) capacity may need to close Integrated chemicals sites under threat if parts shut down Industry associations could help plan to maintain critical raw materials supplies Anti-dumping measures could protect exposed markets China polyvinyl chloride (PVC) overcapacity may increase exports globally In this Think Tank podcast, Will Beacham interviews ICIS Insight Editor Nigel Davis, ICIS Senior Consultant Asia John Richardson and Paul Hodges, chairman of New Normal Consulting. Editor’s note: This podcast is an opinion piece. The views expressed are those of the presenter and interviewees, and do not necessarily represent those of ICIS. ICIS is organising regular updates to help the industry understand current market trends. Register here . Read the latest issue of ICIS Chemical Business. Read Paul Hodges and John Richardson's ICIS blogs.


NPE '24: BASF Corp CEO optimistic of agreement at next UN plastic treaty talks

ORLANDO (ICIS)–BASF Corp CEO Mike Heinz is optimistic that a binding agreement could be reached during the next round of negotiations of the UN plastic waste treaty, he said on Wednesday. BASF had sent a team to the previous round that was held in Ottawa, he said. "The feedback that we received from them was cautiously optimistic." Heinz made his comments in an interview with ICIS at this year’s NPE: The Plastics Show. He also gave the keynote address at the trade show. Another reason for optimism is that all of the parties are pursuing the same objective: to prevent plastic waste from entering the environment, Heinz said. An agreement would be one that all stakeholders could live with. He acknowledged some disagreement about how to achieve that objective. Some want to curb production of plastic, he said. BASF and others want to achieve it by curbing pollution. Already, BASF and other chemical companies are incorporating recycled materials into their products. Recycling can be part of a larger sustainable production chain, under which chemical complexes rely on renewable energy to make products from recycled and renewable materials that can be recovered and reused. These materials can be used to make wind blades, electric vehicles (EVs) and other products critical to reducing emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2). Heinz summed up the path to a sustainable future as resting on three three pillars: make, use and recycle. SUSTAINABILITY VERBUNDDuring his speech and in a subsequent interview with ICIS, Heinz described what could be characterized as a Verbund based on sustainability. "This will take some time, but the good news is we already have some concrete examples on how it can be done," Heinz said. As an example, he held up a jacket made with 100% recycled nylon 6 from BASF that was sold by Inditex, the owner the clothing brand Zara. Heinz pointed to BASF's equity stakes in European wind packs. By 2030, BASF wants green energy to account for 60% of its power consumption. For chemical companies, one of the most power-hungry processes is steam cracking. BASF, SABIC and Linde are developing an e-cracker that would rely on electric furnaces to generate the heat needed to produce ethylene. The electricity could come from renewable sources, which would significantly reduce the CO2 emissions of steam cracking. Crackers can process renewable naphtha made from natural oils or pyrolysis oil produced at chemical recycling plants. It will take time for these feedstocks to become abundant, but the model is possible, and BASF is making chemicals with such feedstocks. New, renewable feedstocks can lead to new chemistries that result in materials that have better qualities than those based on petroleum.  The products can also help customers achieve their own sustainability goals. Lighter plastics can allow automobiles to travel farther on a tank of gasoline or on a battery charge. Other plastics will be critical to make EVs safe. Products can be designed to last longer, he said. When they do reach the end of their lifecycles, they can be designed to be easier to recover and recycle. STEPS NEEDED TO ACHIEVE SUSTAINABILITYDuring his keynote speech, Heinz noted that while the chemical industry is part of the problem, it can be a bigger part of the solution. Change will require passionate people, innovation and collaboration, he said. In particular, the chemical industry needs to collaborate with lawmakers and nongovernmental organizations (NGO) to come up with those solutions. Produced by Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS), NPE: The Plastics Show takes place 6-10 May in Orlando, Florida. Interview article by Al Greenwood Thumbnail shows a plastic bottle, which can be recycled. Image by monticello/imageBROKER/Shutterstock


LyondellBasell launches review of European assets

LONDON (ICIS)–LyondellBasell has launched a strategic review of the bulk of its operations in Europe, the producer said on Wednesday, based on its strategy to focus on assets perceived to have long-lasting competitive advantage. The producer will conduct a review of its European olefins, polyolefins, intermediates and derivatives businesses, driven by its move announced last year to reinvest in its strongest performing operations. "At the 2023 Capital Markets Day, we stated our intent to concentrate our portfolio around businesses with long-lasting competitive advantage and to reinvest around those advantaged areas generating superior returns at meaningful scale. These criteria have not changed," said Lyondell CEO Peter Vanacker. The strategy announced at the 2023 investor day was based around three pillars: prioritizing growth spending on businesses where the company “has leading positions in expanding and well-positioned markets”, growing circular solutions earnings to $1 billion/year by 2030, and shifting from cost controls to a broader idea of value creation. Energy-intensive industries in Europe have been challenged by the sharp increase in gas prices seen since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which remain substantially above pre-war and pre-pandemic norms despite falling dramatically since the nadir of winter 2022. Described by former BASF chief Martin Brudermuller earlier this year as a “systemic” change to the European operating environment, the higher cost of operating Europe has prompted a number of reviews by large global players. BASF is looking to cut €1 billion off the annual operating costs of its Ludwigshafen, Germany, complex. The company tapped plant sale specialists International Process Plants this week to explore the sale of its Ludwigshafen ammonia, methanol and melamine units, idled in 2023 due to high production costs. Dow also announced plans to review underperforming and smaller assets. A significant proportion of any cuts had been expected to land in Europe, although the US major has not given an update on the process since it was announced in early 2023. Indorama Ventures is also currently reviewing six assets out of its "West" portfolio for potential shutdown. While global gas pricing has come down, the cost of shipping gas will always be higher than sending it through a dedicated pipeline, as was the case with the Russia-derived natural gas that made up around half of the EU’s energy consumption prior to the war. As part of its stated intent to continue developing its sustainable and circular business, investments in a commercial-scale MoReTec plant, LyondellBasell's proprietary technology to convert plastic waste into liquid raw materials, and the development of a circularity hub in the Cologne, Germany region, will continue as planned, the company said. “The company will prioritize its investments to align operations with our circularity and net zero ambitions," Vanacker added. "We understand that strategic assessments can create uncertainty for our employees and customers, but we are committed to operate our assets safely and reliably throughout this process." LyondellBasell European prodcution Product Capacity (kt) Ethylene 1,805 HDPE 1,260 LDPE 740 MTBE 810 Polypropylene 2,175 Propylene 990 Propylene Oxide 785 Styrene 680 TBA 970 Update re-leads, adds detail throughout Additional reporting by Graeme Paterson, infographics by Yashas Mudumbai


Asahi Kasei, Mitsui, Mitsubishi to start joint study on ethylene production sites

SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Japanese majors Asahi Kasei, Mitsui Chemicals and Mitsubishi Chemical on Wednesday said they have agreed to perform a joint feasibility study on feedstock and fuel conversion at their ethylene production facilities in western Japan to accelerate their carbon neutrality targets. "The joint feasibility study is expected to raise the speed and efficiency of the transition to carbon neutrality of the companies’ ethylene production facilities and each company’s petrochemical products," they said in a joint statement. The three companies will study "concrete measures" to drive their move towards carbon neutrality such as replacing petroleum-derived resources with biomass feedstock and conversion to low-carbon fuel, while also studying optimal future production arrangements. In order to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 in accordance with the target set by the Japanese government, the three chemical giants have each adopted policies to become carbon neutral by reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emission targets to effectively zero. "However, if initiatives are taken by each company individually, the speed of implementation and efficiency of GHG reduction are limited," they said. "This makes it increasingly necessary for multiple petrochemical manufacturers located nearby to cooperate with one another through mutual provision of technology and joint implementation of measures that contribute to carbon neutrality."


Avient eyes further sales growth in defense, narrows 2024 earnings guidance

HOUSTON (ICIS)–Following a better-than-expected 2024 first quarter, US compounder and formulator Avient raised its full-year guidance for adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) by $5 million at the low end. Sales into the defense market, along with raw material deflation, were the key earnings drivers in Q1 and Avent expects both to support earnings through 2024, CEO Ashish Khandpur and CFO Jamie Beggs told analysts during the company’s Q1 earnings call on Tuesday. New 2024 guidance Previous 2024 guidance Pro forma 2023 adjusted EBITDA $505 to $535 million $510 to $535 million $501.8 million SALES IMPROVING IN MOST END MARKETSAvient sees demand conditions “generally improving across all regions”, with improved momentum in consumer, packaging, healthcare, defense and industrial end markets, the executives said. After a 35% year-on-year increase in Q1, defense sales amid the ongoing geopolitical tensions, Avient expects those sales to continue growing through 2024, albeit not at the first quarter’s hot pace, they said. Avient’s Dyneema-brand fiber technology is used in the personal protection of soldiers and law enforcement and border control officers. While Avient’s utilization rates in defense are high, the company is able to meet forecast demand growth and expects no capacity limitations this year. However, it may add capacities in the future, depending on demand, which can be “lumpy” in that market, they said. Defense accounted for 7% of Avient’s total 2023 sales of $3.14 billion, with more than half of those sales in the US. Avient acquired the Dyneema business from DSM in 2022. Telecommunications and energy, however, are among the weaker end markets, with first-quarter sales down double-digit and weakness continuing into the second quarter. Destocking in the capital-intensive telecommunications market continued in Q1, with no meaningful rebound in that market expected until 2025, the executives said. Telecommunications accounted for 4% of Avient’s 2023 sales. BY REGION Regionally, Avient sees good momentum in the US in markets such as consumer packaging, defense, building and construction, industrial and infrastructure. “Destocking in those markets is over”, Khandpur said. With the exception of telecommunications and energy, overall demand in North America is “coming back quite well”, he said. However, persistent inflation is delaying the timing of interest rate cuts, which could weigh on sales in end markets such as building and construction, transportation and industrial, the executives said. In China, about 70% of Avient’s sales go into the local market, putting the company into a good position as that country’s economic policies transition to focus on the domestic market, the executives said. In Europe, demand in packaging and healthcare is improving, but Avient expects the region’s overall year-on-year sales growth to be soft. Consumer confidence in Europe is weak and eurozone manufacturing continues to signal contraction, they noted. Meanwhile, the stronger US dollar has become a headwind, they added. Sales by region in 2023: RAW MATERIAL DEFLATION Raw material deflation will continue to support margin expansion in the second quarter, albeit to a lesser extent than in the first quarter, the executives said. In the first quarter, Avient saw better-than-expected pricing for non hydrocarbon-based raw materials such as pigments and certain performance additives. Primary raw materials used in Avient’s manufacturing operations include polyolefin and other thermoplastic resins, titanium oxide (TiO2), inorganic and organic pigments, specialty additives and ethylene. Pricing, net of raw materials, should help drive year-on-year earnings growth in 2024, the executives said. Also, the company expects additional margin expansion due synergies and plant closures related to its acquisition of Clariant’s masterbatch business back in 2020, Beggs noted. M&A NOT A PRIORITY In the near-term, Avient will focus on organic growth and margin expansion whereas growth through mergers and acquisitions (M&A) is not a priority. While Avient is not ruling out M&A, any deals would be “small and bolt-on in nature”, in areas like healthcare, sustainable solutions or composites, with focus on Asia and Latin America, Khandpur said. “Premiums are pretty high” in M&A, he added. Thumbnail photo of Ashish Khandpur, who took over as Avient's CEO and president on 1 December 2023; photo source: Avient


NPE '24: SABIC eyes growth opportunities in Americas amid era of global overcapacity

ORLANDO (ICIS)–SABIC is looking for further opportunities for growth in the Americas as part of its strategy to navigate an era of excess capacity around the world, one that has led it and other producers to shutter capacity in high-cost regions, an executive said. "We are actively looking at our growth opportunities throughout North America as well as South America," said Sami Al-Osaimi, executive vice president, polymers, SABIC. He made his comments during a presentation at this year’s NPE: The Plastics Show. Al-Osaimi said the Americas is a very key strategic market for SABIC. The company has seen good momentum in North America. "We are definitely going to really make sure that we leverage what exactly our customers require," he said. About two years ago, SABIC and ExxonMobil started operations at an integrated polyethylene (PE) and ethylene glycols (EG) complex in Corpus Christi, Texas, US, under the Gulf Coast Growth Ventures (GCGV) joint venture. The startup marks SABIC's first US-based ethylene and PE production, albeit through a joint venture. At the same time, Al-Osaimi acknowledged the challenges facing the industry. The market is contending with the consequences of a surge in new ethylene capacity that has started up in recent years. ICIS estimates that up to 20 million tonnes/year may need to shut down to keep operating rates at healthy levels. High-cost regions are bearing the brunt. Earlier in April, SABIC announced plans to shut down a cracker in Geleen, the Netherlands. ExxonMobil revealed plans to shut down its cracker in France during that same week. Al-Osaimi did not rule out further capacity rationalizations during a question-and-answer session that followed his presentation at NPE. "SABIC always is looking to its operations in Americas, globally, and how to become more efficient and effective to support our customers to really develop the right solutions," he said. "This is going to be an ongoing process." OPPORTUNITIES IN CHEM RECYCLING, E-CRACKINGSABIC is further improving chemical recycling technology to make it more effective and efficient, he said. SABIC and Plastic Energy are developing a chemical recycling plant under a joint venture in Geleen. Completion had been expected in the fourth quarter of 2023. There are still challenges with scaling up the technology, Al-Osaimi said. Still, SABIC is open to expansion, with possible sites including the US, Saudi Arabia and other regions. In addition, SABIC, BASF and Linde recently started up a demonstration unit of an electric cracker (e-cracker). As the group demonstrates the technology, it would explore expanding the site and potentially building new units, Al-Osaimi said. STRATEGY OF COLLABORATION, INNOVATIONIn prepared remarks, Al-Osaimi elaborated on how SABIC was navigating the challenges in the market by stressing its focus on innovation and collaboration with customers. The company is focusing on end markets such as advanced packaging, automotive, transportation, building and construction, consumer goods, electrical components and health and hygiene, he said. Electric vehicles (EVs) have material challenges, that present opportunities for SABIC. The company is developing polymers to prevent thermal runaway – part of its larger BLUEHERO initiative, Al-Osaimi said. Companies that build automobiles powered by internal combustion engines (ICEs) still want to lower their weight to improve their fuel efficiency and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, he said. That is creating demand for lighter weigh materials. Produced by Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS), NPE: The Plastics Show takes place 6-10 May in Orlando, Florida. Focus article by Al Greenwood Thumbnail image shows polyethylene (PE), which is used in plastics bags. (Photo by Elaine Thompson/AP/Shutterstock)


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