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Epsilyte to expand EPS plant in USA20 Jul 2022 / ChemCourier. Styrene Weekly / production

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   The leading EPS maker Epsilyte plans to expand both production and recycling capabilities of expandable polystyrene (EPS) in the USA, according to the official press release. The company aims to debottleneck EPS production in Peru, Illinois, increasing capacity by around 25 million lb/year (11,340 tpy) by 2023, and to start an engineering study to expand the same facility, adding 220 million lb/year (99,790 tpy) by 2025. Epsilyte’s EPS plant in Peru, Illinois, is able to make 120,000 tpy now. The company also intends to expand post-consumer recycling capabilities at a unit in Piqua, Ohio, enlarging the facility’s ability to efficiently use post-consumer polystyrene as a feedstock to manufacture advanced materials.

   ‘We believe these investments are the most efficient way to increase North American EPS production to meet the needs of our customers,’ Glenn Wredenhagen, Vice President, Commercial and Supply Chain, informed in the press-release.

   The EPS market segment has been growing rapidly in recent years. EPS would be used only for packaging applications 10—15 years ago. Nowadays, the bulk of EPS sales are going into durable end users, primarily in the building and constructions sector.

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Bangladesh's Chittagong port to open new terminal, India to test it19 Jul 2022 / ChemCourier. Polyolefins Market Weekly / ChemCourier. PVC Market Weekly / logistics

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India is going to conduct four transshipment trial runs in August before the full-scale use of Bangladesh's Chittagong and Mongla seaports, the local media has informed, citing the government officials. They say India is showing eagerness now to start the regular use of Chittagong and Mongla ports as soon as possible.

Another local media company has reported that a new container terminal is going to be added to the Chattogram port as the authorities are going to undertake a trial of the newly built Patenga Container Terminal (PCT) as early as this week. Together with this one, a new terminal will be added to the country's premier sea port after over 14 years and a half since the construction of the last one, New Mooring Container Terminal (NCT) that was completed in December 2007.

However, the new terminal may become fully operational only after the appointment of a private operator and the installation of container handling equipment by the operator, which could take another year and a half.

Reminder: in October 2018, Bangladesh and India signed an agreement on the use of Chittagong and Mongla ports for the movement of goods to and from India mainly to provide a transshipment facility to India to transport goods to its northeastern states. The first trial run was carried out in July 2020.

Under the agreement, Indian traders shall pay a document-processing fee of BDT 30, a transshipment fee of BDT 20/t, a security charge of BDT 100/t, an escort charge of BDT 50/t, miscellaneous administrative charges of BDT 100/t, a container-scanning fee of BDT 254/container and an electronic seal lock fee as set out in the shipping rules.

Photo: New Mooring Terminal, port of Chittagong, sourced from Wikipedia

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Inter Pipeline commissions PP plant in Canada8 Jul 2022 / ChemCourier. Polyolefins Market Weekly / production

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Inter Pipeline, a major petroleum transport and natural gas liquids processing company based in Canada, announced on 5 July that it successfully commissioned a PP plant in the Heartland Petrochemical Complex near Edmonton, Alberta Province, Canada. The company began initial production and filled its first railcar. According to Jim Madro, Senior Vice President for Petrochemicals at Inter Pipeline, the company has been producing pellets using the polymer grade propylene (PGP) from its storage cavern since late June. PP homopolymers produced at the plant with the annual capacity of 525,000 t will be marketed under Heartland Polymers brand. The company also has plans to start manufacturing random copolymers in 2023. The commercial PP production is scheduled to begin in Q3 2022 after the startup of the entire Heartland Petrochemical Complex, which also includes a propane dehydrogenation (PDH) facility. The resin will be produced by processing propane into propylene through a PDH unit and then into polypropylene.

North America is the main market for Inter Pipeline’s products now, but the company has export plans, according to market players. It has already secured contracts for 70% of the plant output for an average of nine years, according to the company’s representatives. Inter Pipeline believes that its goods will be the most sustainably produced and reliable option in the industry due to the unique location and contemporary design of its plant, technology and transport optionality.

The company also intends to set up a carbon sequestration hub for the Heartland Petrochemical complex in a joint venture with Rockpoint Gas Storage, the largest independent owner and operator of natural gas storage in North America. This project will provide the annual carbon storage capacity of over 6 million t after approval and development. The carbon sequestration hub will take emissions from all the existing assets of Inter Pipeline, including the above-mentioned complex, but it will also be open to all the emitters in Alberta’s Industrial Heartland.

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