Other news

6 February 2019

Braskem and Haldor Topsoe start up demo unit for developing renewable MEG

The mechanical completion of the innovative first process step of the demonstration plant is the first milestone to be achieved by Braskem and Haldor Topsoe’s partnership to validate the MOSAIK™ sugar-to-biochemicals solution for production of cost-competitive bio-based MEG (monoethylene glycol). Currently, MEG is made from fossil-based feedstocks, such as naphtha, gas or coal. The demonstration plant is expected to produce more than 100 tons per year of glycolaldehyde, the precursor for MEG, when it begins operation on March 1, 2019. MEG is a key component of PET plastic used for food packaging, especially bottles, and polyester fabrics. The global MEG market represents a value of 25 billion dollars.

At the AGM the executive committee has to report on the activities and explain the plans for the next period. There were some proposals for the members to decide upon. First of all it was proposed and decided to move the legal address from Brussels to The Hague at the address of our management assistance company LeJeune. Secondly a number of amendments to the constitution were proposed and accepted.

At our mini symposium Manuel Asali of Nexant and Kees Aartsen of Sabic gave presentations about the world behind the (possible) investments from the Far and Middel East to Europe. Both presentations are available for members on our website. Crucial in Nexant's presentation is the price of oil and the tendency for oil producers to also invest downstream. Nexant envisioned that most investments will follow the FMT logic (Feedstock, market and technology). Mergers and acquisitions will be the main tools for new investors. From the Sabic story it became clear that companies want to be present in the markets with production of oil derivatives and are looking for partners in the same field. The most valued part of any takeover is the experience and knowledge of the personel involved and especially the latter is an eye opener as far as the existing value propositions are concerned.

The chemical park Huelva  is much more impressive if you see what is going on over there and we had a perfect view from the bus followed by sightseeing the park from a catamaran