CHEMICAL TECHNOLOGY, MARKET OUTLOOK
BASF and Moleaer Inc. | November 10, 2022
Global chemical company BASF and Moleaer™ Inc., the global leader in nanobubble technology, announced an exclusive partnership. This partnership will combine expertise in mineral processing, hydrometallurgy, gas transfer, and nanobubble technology to develop innovative processes for mining. The initial aim is to target the copper leaching process and improve extraction rates of copper ores containing high levels of chalcopyrite, which have historically been difficult to leach.The demand for copper is expected to increase significantly, as it is an essential raw material for driving the electric revolution. This will play a key role as an enabler to decarbonizing the global economy. According to a report released in July by S&P Global Market Intelligence, the annual demand for copper is projected to reach 50 million metric tons by 2035, from the current 25 million metric tons today. The study also finds a potential copper deficit of as much as 10 million metric tons.
As existing mines deplete their resources, higher demand will require new mines. In addition, ore grades are declining, ore mineralogy is becoming more complex, and ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) responsibilities are increasing. The result is that new mines are taking longer and longer to come to fruition. Therefore, maximizing the recovery of copper from existing reserves has never been more crucial.
Copper is extracted from primary sulfide ores through a flotation process and low-grade ores are traditionally discarded because they are too costly to process. Currently, an alternative hydrometallurgical heap leach process is employed for low grade oxide and secondary sulfide ores. It is, however, very difficult to leach primary sulfide ores, such as chalcopyrite, which leads to low recovery efficiencies.
Based on test work conducted by BASF, Moleaer’s nanobubble technology improves the extraction process of valuable metals such as copper. When combined with BASF’s LixTRA™ reagent, the mineral recovery rates and efficiencies are compounded, especially in sulfide-based ores such as chalcopyrite, which have historically been challenging to leach effectively.
“Technological improvements and collaborations like the one we announced today are essential if the industry is to maximize the recovery of copper at existing mines. By combining BASF’s LixTRA reagent, allowing greater ore-lixiviant contact, together with Moleaer’s nanobubble technology to facilitate a higher oxidative environment, we offer technology to the industry to significantly increase copper recoveries.”
-Caren Hoffman, who leads the global mining solutions business at BASF
Nick Dyner, CEO of Moleaer, added: We look forward to working with BASF, a global leader in mineral extraction chemistry, to improve the recovery of copper and help support the green economy. This important collaboration comes at a time when the ability of mining copper is only getting more costly and challenging. Moleaer’s nanobubble technology will allow the mining industry to improve the efficiency and efficacy in existing mines and narrow the gap between supply and demand of copper.
About BASF mining solutions
With innovative products, global field support and industry leading technical expertise, BASF mining solutions provides sustainable solutions which increase productivity, recovery and flexibility throughout the hydrometallurgical process of mining operations in leaching, solvent extraction, flotation, solid/liquid separation and tailings management. Further information can be found at www.mining-solutions.basf.com BASF mining solutions is part of BASF’s Performance Chemicals division. The division’s portfolio also includes fuel and lubricant solutions, plastic additives, as well as oilfield chemicals. Customers from a variety of industries including Chemicals, Plastics, Consumer Goods, Energy & Resources, and Automotive & Transportation benefit from our innovative solutions. To learn more, visit www.performancechemicals.basf.com
Moleaer™ is the leading nanobubble technology company with over 2,000 nanobubble generator installations in 42+ countries. Deploying the unique power of nanobubbles, Moleaer enhances and improves the performance and productivity of some of the most critical industrial processes, unlocking the power of water to help farmers grow more food, empower businesses to manage their water needs more effectively and efficiently, and restore aquatic ecosystems sustainably without chemicals. Nanobubbles, which are 2,500 times smaller than a grain of salt, allow the scarce resource of water do more with less. They supersaturate water with oxygen, form natural oxidants for disinfection, improve plant health, and increase water’s ability to permeate soil and rock. Moleaer’s patented nanobubble technology provides the highest oxygen transfer rate in the aeration and gas infusion industry, with an efficiency of more than 85% per foot of water. Its nanobubble generators are a cost-effective, chemical-free solution proven to increase sustainable food production, reduce chemical usage, restore aquatic ecosystems, and improve natural resource recovery. Moleaer technology has been validated by extensive research and renown universities.
Umicore | November 24, 2022
Umicore has successfully completed the issue of a fixed-rate, sustainability linked US Private Placement Notes for a total principal amount of € 591 million equivalent1. The Notes, which were placed with more than 15 institutional investors, attracted interest both from investors who participated in Umicore’s 2017 and 2019 placements as well as new investors.
The transaction, of which the funds will be drawn upon in January 2023, is composed of several tranches with maturities ranging from 5 to 12 years corresponding to a weighthed average maturity of more than eight years.
This issue further ties the Group’s funding to its sustainability performance. The interest rate of the Notes will be directly linked to Umicore’s progress towards the carbon neutrality goals formulated in its “Let’s go for Zero” sustainability ambitions, launched in June 2021. In “Let’s go for Zero”, the Group commits to reaching carbon neutrality in 2035, with intermediate targets to reduce its Scope 1 & 2 greenhouse gas emissions by 20% in 2025 and by 50% in 2030.
Through the successful completion of this private placement offering, Umicore substantially diversifies and extends its funding basis and the maturity of its debt at fixed rate conditions. The proceeds of the offering will be used for general corporate purposes. This includes in particular the funding of Umicore’s growth projects under its “2030-RISE” strategy in the areas of mobility transformation, growing need for advanced materials and circularity.
“The success of this Private Placement issue, against a volatile financial market backdrop, demonstrates the strength of our relationships with institutional debt investors and provides a strong validation of Umicore’s “2030-RISE” strategic plan designed to accelerate value creative growth. This transaction will provide us with additional attractively priced, fixed-rate, long-dated financing and will support the execution of our ambitious “2030-RISE” growth strategy. Furthermore, it underscores the growing awareness of the social and sustainability impact of financing decisions in a context of climate change and resource scarcity and demonstrates Umicore’s strong commitment to its “Let’s go for Zero” sustainability ambitions to achieve carbon neutrality by 2035.”
Wannes Peferoen, CFO of Umicore
The issue will complement the three existing private debt placements of a total amount of € 1,080 million, the Convertible Bond of € 500 million and the loan from the European Investment Bank of € 125 million. In addition, Umicore has committed currently undrawn Syndicated Bank Credit Facilities of a total amount of approximately € 1 billion and substantial additional uncommitted shorter-term funding instruments.
Umicore is the circular materials technology Group. It focuses on application areas where its expertise in materials science, chemistry and metallurgy makes a real difference. Its activities are organised in three business groups: Catalysis, Energy & Surface Technologies and Recycling. Each business group is divided into market-focused business units offering materials and solutions that are at the cutting edge of new technological developments and essential to everyday life.
Umicore generates the majority of its revenues and dedicates most of its R&D efforts to clean mobility materials and recycling. Umicore’s overriding goal of sustainable value creation is based on an ambition to develop, produce and recycle materials in a way that fulfils its mission: materials for a better life.
Umicore’s industrial and commercial operations as well as R&D activities are located across the world to best serve its global customer base. The Group generated revenues of € 2.1 billion in the first half of 2022 and currently employs 11,350 people.
About Umicore’s “Let’s go for Zero” ambitions
At Umicore, we see it as our corporate responsibility, or better yet, our mission to use our technological know-how, scientific expertise and corporate reach to be an industry leader in sustainability. We are determined to rethink processes, transform and focus our efforts on net zero GHG emissions, zero regrets and endless possibilities.
Emera Inc. and Nova Scotia Power | November 25, 2022
Emera Inc. and its wholly-owned subsidiary Nova Scotia Power announced that NS Power has filed a proposed settlement agreement for its 2022-2024 General Rate Application with the Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board. The settlement, which addresses both fuel and non-fuel rates, was reached between NS Power and key customer representatives, including Nova Scotia’s Consumer Advocate, the Small Business Advocate, large customers represented by the Industrial Group, municipal utilities, Dalhousie University as well as advocates for the environment and low-income customers.
If approved by the UARB, the settlement will implement Bill 212, the provincially legislated cap on non-fuel rates for 2023 and 2024. The agreement addresses the recovery of fuel costs over the settlement period and would also establish a Demand Side Management (DSM) rider. Combined, these amounts would result in rate increases of 6.9% each year for 2023 and 2024. In addition, any under or over recovery of fuel costs would be addressed through the UARB’s established Fuel Adjustment Mechanism (FAM) process.
“Reaching this settlement is a remarkable demonstration of stakeholders’ and customer representatives’ commitment to working together to reach constructive solutions for customers. Working within the constraints of Bill 212, this settlement addresses all outstanding items of the GRA, and provides important price predictability for customers at this time of high inflation and broad economic challenge.”
Peter Gregg, President and CEO of NS Power
Other elements of NS Power’s GRA addressed in the settlement include agreement on a storm rider for the years 2023-2025, providing clarity around the recovery of costs for major storms and extreme weather events in future. It also establishes an equity thickness of 40 per cent for rate-making purposes and will result in $137 million in forecasted incremental non-fuel revenues over the settlement period, compared to $240 million filed within the GRA.
“This is a positive step forward,” said Scott Balfour, President and CEO, Emera Inc. “Achieving successful and balanced regulatory outcomes within strong regulatory compacts is critical to our ability to deliver first and foremost to our customers, but to all other stakeholders as well.”
Today’s agreement is the latest in a series of regulatory settlements across Emera’s portfolio that demonstrate the strength of Emera’s teams and strategy as well as Emera’s ability to work collaboratively with stakeholders to reach outcomes that are in the best interest of customers. In the last 24 months, New Mexico Gas, Tampa Electric and Peoples Gas have also concluded important rate cases through settlement agreements with customer representatives.
About Emera Inc.
Emera Inc. is a geographically diverse energy and services company headquartered in Halifax, Nova Scotia, with approximately $40 billion in assets and 2021 revenues of more than $5.7 billion. The company primarily invests in regulated electricity generation and electricity and gas transmission and distribution with a strategic focus on transformation from high carbon to low carbon energy sources.
About Nova Scotia Power
Nova Scotia Power Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Emera Inc. a diversified energy and services company. Nova Scotia Power provides 95% of the generation, transmission and distribution of electrical power to approximately 540,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers across Nova Scotia. The company is focused on new technologies to enhance customer service and reliability, reduce emissions and add renewable energy. Nova Scotia Power has over 2000 employees and $4.5 billion in operating assets.