Petrotahlil :Saudi Basic Industries at K 2019 unveiled what officials said is the industry's first polycarbonate resin based on certified renewable feedstock.
"We're moving our renewable polyolefin technology into polycarbonate," Petrochemicals Executive Vice President Abdulrahman Al-Fageeh said at an Oct. 16 news conference. "This will allow us to reduce CO2 emissions."
He added that the new material is being made with renewable content in the phenol, acetone and cumene raw materials that are needed to make PC.
The new PC and other sustainable materials made by Sabic aren't limited to one end market, according to Al-Fageeh. "It's about choosing a material to match the assets in our product portfolio and throughout the entire value chain," he said.
Sabic officials said renewable PC can offer carbon footprint reductions of up to 50 percent and fossil fuel deletion of up to 35 percent. The new material will be made at first at the firm's production plant in Bergen op Zoom, Netherlands.
In other news, Ernesto Occhiello, specialties executive vice president, said Sabic is adding capacity for its Noryl-brand PPO and Ultem-brand polyetherimide resins to be closer to customers. He described Sabic's specialties business as "a pure play in the space of high-end thermoplastics."
"Our intent is to have a competitive advantage based on our technology and to make products that aren't available from competing materials companies," he said.
Sustainability in general is a major topic for Sabic at K 2019. Al-Fageeh said that the firm's range of sustainable solutions "is our most important platform to show innovation and collaboration to our business partners and customers."
"We've made commitments to a changing world to deliver a more sustainable future and to work toward a circular economy," he added. Sabic's exhibit has numerous sustainable applications on display in the areas of automotive, packaging and building and construction.
Sabic Innovative Plastics is focusing on recycled materials, including packaging using chemically recycled material.
Sabic officials said the firm recently opened a new technology and innovation center dedicated to the caps and closures end market in Geleen, Netherlands. The new center is opening a year after Sabic dedicated an industry segment to caps and closures.
To date, 2019 has been a busy year for Sabic, based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, with North American headquarters in Houston. Occhiello returned to Sabic earlier this year after resigning from Clariant GmbH, where he had served as CEO for less than a year. The day after Occhiello's resignation in July, Sabic and Clariant postponed plans to combine parts of their businesses to create a stand-alone specialty chemicals and plastics firm.
In June, Sabic confirmed that it was moving ahead with plans to build a major petrochemicals unit in San Patricio County, Texas, through a partnership with ExxonMobil Chemical Co. That project will include two polyethylene resin units, as well as what the firms have said will be the world's largest steam cracker making ethylene feedstock. Construction is set to begin later this year, with startup expected by 2022.
Sabic employs 33,000 worldwide and posted sales of $45 billion in 2018. The firm is 70 percent owned by the Saudi government.
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