Dow approved US $200+ million expansion of Alberta ethylene plant

National Observer | February 02, 2020

U.S. chemical producer Dow Inc. has approved an expansion of its Alberta petrochemical facilities expected to cost between US$200 million and US$225 million. While releasing its fourth-quarter results this week, CEO Jim Fitterling announced the Michigan-based company will increase capacity at its Fort Saskatchewan ethylene plant just north of Edmonton by about 130,000 tonnes per year by adding a process furnace. He says Dow will equally share costs of the expansion and the ethylene output with an unnamed "regional customer," adding the ethylene will be consumed when it comes on line in the first half of 2021 by existing nearby plants that produce polyethylene plastic.

Spotlight

This video from the Energy Institute (EI) aims to raise awareness of hazards to the environment in reference to chemical management. This has been produced by the EI's Upstream Environmental Group for use on offshore and onshore sites as a free resource to incorporate in safety briefings.


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CHEMICAL MANAGEMENT

ExxonMobil Details Plans to Lead in Earnings and Cash Flow Growth, Energy Transition

ExxonMobil | March 03, 2022

ExxonMobil today detailed plans at its annual Investor Day to deliver industry-leading earnings, cash flow growth and shareholder returns, and lead in the energy transition across a range of lower-emissions scenarios. “We are focused on leading the industry in safety, reliability, environmental performance, earnings and cash flow growth – and ultimately shareholder returns. We’ll continue to innovate and provide solutions that meet the growing needs of society, including its net-zero emissions ambitions, by fully leveraging our competitive advantages of scale, integration, technology, functional excellence, and our highly skilled people.” Darren Woods, chairman and chief executive officer Company plans include annual structural reductions of $9 billion a year by 2023 compared to 2019, building on $5 billion annual structural reductions achieved to date. These savings and other improvements, including a streamlined organizational structure, will enable ExxonMobil to double earnings and cash flow potential by 2027 versus 2019, reduce breakeven costs by roughly $10 per barrel, boost returns on capital employed, and sustainably grow total shareholder returns and distributions. Full-year 2021 results of $23 billion in earnings and $48 billion in cash flow from operating activities were the highest among competition and demonstrate how structural improvements, combined with focused investments during the down cycle, positioned the company to realize the full benefit of the economic recovery. The 2021 results enabled repayment of about $20 billion in debt -- nearly all of the debt borrowed during the pandemic downturn, the 39th consecutive year of dividend increases, and a $10 billion share-repurchase program that started earlier this year. To improve future earnings, ExxonMobil is upgrading its portfolio with low-cost-of-supply opportunities by investing in advantaged assets, including Guyana and the U.S. Permian Basin. It is also investing in competitively advantaged chemicals and downstream projects, including Gulf Coast Growth Ventures, to grow high-value product sales of performance products and lubricants. The company expects capital investments of $21-$24 billion in 2022 and $20-$25 billion per year through 2027. These investments are directed toward low-cost-of-supply Upstream projects in unconventional, deepwater and LNG, and high-value products including chemical performance products, biofuels and lubricants in the new Product Solutions business, which will combine downstream and chemical operations into a single company on April 1. Spending plans also include more than $15 billion over the next six years to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in company operations and for investments in lower-emission business opportunities to help customers reduce emissions and generate attractive returns for shareholders. “Investment in emission-reduction opportunities will accelerate with advances in technology, market incentives and supportive policy,” said Woods. “We’ve built a portfolio with flexibility to adjust investments between our traditional oil, gas and products business and new lower-emissions opportunities, consistent with the pace and scale of the energy transition, creating long-term value across a broad range of scenarios.” ExxonMobil established its Low Carbon Solutions business in early 2021 to commercialize its extensive experience in carbon capture and storage, hydrogen and biofuels. Since that time, the company has announced progress on multiple carbon capture and storage opportunities around the world. It also is planning strategic investments in hydrogen, including at its integrated refining and chemical complex in Baytown, Texas, and in lower-emission biofuels at the Strathcona refinery near Edmonton, Canada. ExxonMobil has stated its ambition to achieve Scope 1 and Scope 2 net zero greenhouse gas emissions for operated assets by 2050, backed by a comprehensive approach to develop detailed emission-reduction roadmaps for major facilities and assets. The company’s 2030 emission-reduction plans include net-zero emissions for Permian Basin operations by 2030 and a 20-30% reduction in company-wide Scope 1 and Scope 2 greenhouse gas emissions intensity, compared to 2016. The plans are anticipated to achieve a 40-50% reduction in upstream greenhouse gas intensity, supported by a corporate-wide 70-80% reduction in methane intensity and a 60-70% reduction in flaring intensity. In total, the plans are expected to reduce company-wide absolute greenhouse gas emissions by an estimated 20% and the company’s upstream emissions by 30%. Absolute flaring and methane emissions are expected to decrease by 60% and 70%, respectively. These plans are expected to achieve the goals of the World Bank Zero Routine Flaring by 2030 initiative. About ExxonMobil ExxonMobil, one of the largest publicly traded international energy companies, uses technology and innovation to help meet the world’s growing energy needs. ExxonMobil holds an industry-leading inventory of resources, is one of the largest refiners and marketers of petroleum products, and its chemical company is one of the largest in the world.

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CHEMICAL TECHNOLOGY

Summit Carbon Solutions Announces Progress on Carbon Capture and Storage Project

Summit Carbon Solutions | February 02, 2022

Summit Carbon Solutions announced further progress on its carbon capture and storage project with the filing of its pipeline permit application in the state of Iowa with the Iowa Utilities Board. Summit's project will connect ethanol biorefineries across five states in the upper Midwest – Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota – with the largest portion of the project, consisting of 12 ethanol biorefineries and over 680 miles of carbon dioxide pipeline, in Iowa. By capturing and permanently storing carbon dioxide emissions from partner ethanol biorefineries, Summit Carbon Solutions will cut the carbon footprint of their ethanol in half, which will ensure the environmental and economic sustainability of these facilities for the long term by opening new markets and improving profitability. Summit recently began acquiring right-of-way easements for the pipeline component of the project across its five-state footprint. As a company rooted in agriculture, Summit places a heavy emphasis on landowner engagement and is focused on working with landowners who wish to voluntarily participate. "We're pleased to have begun the permitting process for Summit Carbon Solutions, which keeps us on schedule to be operational in the first half of 2024. This project will be transformational for the ethanol industry and, by extension, the agriculture industry. Farmers and landowners in Iowa understand that ethanol production consumes over 50% of our corn crop every year, which is a big reason why we've had early success signing hundreds of pipeline easements with farmers who have a vested interest in our success." Bruce Rastetter, CEO of Summit Agricultural Group Summit will continue its permit application process with other states and jurisdictions in the coming months as it proceeds to develop the first interstate carbon capture and storage project in the United States.

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CHEMICAL MANAGEMENT

Aemetis Acquires $2 Million Property Near Keyes Ethanol Plant for Carbon Zero Projects

Aemetis, Inc. | April 05, 2022

Aemetis, Inc. a renewable fuels company focused on negative carbon intensity products announced the acquisition of an 8.5-acre property on Faith Home Road for $2 million, located approximately 1/4 mile from the Aemetis Keyes renewable ethanol plant. The corner property is a strategic location for operations supporting the company’s Carbon Zero projects, including dairy renewable natural gas and carbon capture and sequestration. Sited adjacent to the existing Aemetis biogas pipeline, the property is ideally situated at the southeast intersection of Faith Home Road and Keyes Road, approximately 1/2 mile from California Highway 99, the major north-south route that runs through California’s Central Valley. The property is also approximately 1/2 mile from the Union Pacific Railroad. The property’s location and level terrain allow for easy access to the Aemetis Keyes facility and major transportation infrastructure. Aemetis has completed construction and is currently commissioning a centralized gas cleanup facility and utility gas interconnect at the Keyes Ethanol plant where dairy biogas will be upgraded to RNG and injected into the utility gas pipeline through an interconnection with PG&E. “The acquisition of the Faith Home property is a key milestone in our RNG and CCS project plans. The site’s location close to the Keyes ethanol plant, adjacent to the existing Aemetis biogas pipeline and easily accessible to major highways is a major step toward deploying new and ongoing Carbon Zero activities,” added McAfee. Eric McAfee, Chairman, and CEO of Aemetis, Inc Aemetis Carbon Zero products include negative carbon intensity fuels that can be used in passenger and cargo vehicles including trucks, buses and airplanes to replace petroleum products. Aemetis low-carbon fuels have substantially reduced carbon intensity compared to standard petroleum fossil-based fuels. About Aemetis Headquartered in Cupertino, California, Aemetis is a renewable natural gas, renewable fuel and biochemicals company focused on the acquisition, development and commercialization of innovative technologies that replace petroleum-based products and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Founded in 2006, Aemetis has completed Phase 1 and is expanding a California biogas digester network and pipeline system to convert dairy waste gas into Renewable Natural Gas. Aemetis owns and operates a 65 million gallon per year ethanol production facility in California’s Central Valley near Modesto that supplies about 80 dairies with animal feed. Aemetis also owns and operates a 50 million gallon per year production facility on the East Coast of India producing high quality distilled biodiesel and refined glycerin for customers in India and Europe. Aemetis is developing the Carbon Zero sustainable aviation fuel and renewable diesel fuel biorefineries in California to utilize distillers corn oil and other renewable oils to produce low carbon intensity renewable jet and diesel fuel using cellulosic hydrogen from waste orchard and forest wood, while pre-extracting cellulosic sugars from the waste wood to be processed into high value cellulosic ethanol at the Keyes plant. Aemetis holds a portfolio of patents and exclusive technology licenses to produce renewable fuels and biochemicals.

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CHEMICAL MANAGEMENT

CAS applies AI-driven approach in collaboration with INPI Brazil to transform patent examinations

CAS | March 22, 2022

CAS, a division of the American Chemical Society, recently completed a major project with The National Institute of Industrial Property of Brazil to implement an enhanced examination workflow solution for chemistry patent applications using a unique blend of technology, artificial intelligence, data, and expertise. The new solution reduced application examination times by up to 50%, helping the office achieve their goal of clearing 80% of their multi-year application backlog. "Overcoming delays in the patent cycle has a significant, positive impact on innovation and economic growth in Brazil. Quickly granting patent rights accelerates investment, because applicants are confident their products will not be copied, which is the inventor's greatest fear. A structured, predictable and strong IP ecosystem helps ensure investment," Gabriel Di Blasi, Founding Partner, Di Blasi, Parente & Associates, of Rio de Janeiro Brazil's rapid growth caused patent application volume to outpace the patent office's examination capacity. The new, optimized examination workflow uses CAS's AI technology and eliminates a significant number of examiner search steps, allowing the office to better keep pace with projected application volumes. "The challenges faced by INPI Brazil reflect the unprecedented demands on patent offices around the world. As the largest economy in Latin America, the imperative to improve patent pendency was clear," said CAS President Manuel Guzman. "We are proud of the meaningful impact our work with INPI has already achieved and believe this solution provides an excellent starting point to help other patent offices optimize resources and ensure sustainable growth." CAS worked with INPI Brazil to tailor a solution to their unique needs. By employing multiple AI algorithms trained with patent office data and the scientist-curated CAS Content Collection™, the approach meaningfully increased examiner productivity. INPI Brazil reported that the CAS solution significantly reduced examiner search times for 77% of national applications processed, and that 29% of national applications processed required little or no additional search. "Our solution is designed to transform the prior art search process. Chemistry patent applications are very complex, requiring searches of both text and chemical structures within patent and non-patent publications. This is a unique capability of the CAS-designed solution," said CAS Chief Product Officer Tim Wahlberg.

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Spotlight

This video from the Energy Institute (EI) aims to raise awareness of hazards to the environment in reference to chemical management. This has been produced by the EI's Upstream Environmental Group for use on offshore and onshore sites as a free resource to incorporate in safety briefings.

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