Expansions: Evonik to supply catalyst for Röhm MMA plant in US; Indorama Ventures triples PET recycling capacity in Brazil, supported by IFC ‘blue loan’

Evonik to supply catalyst for Röhm MMA plant in US

German speciality chemicals firm Evonik says it has signed an agreement to scale up and produce custom catalyst for Röhm’s new methyl methacrylate (MMA) production plant in Bay City, Texas, US, which is due to be opened in 2024.

“This agreement once again, underscores our commitment and capability in custom Catalysts arena. We’re delighted to be able to work with the Röhm team to enable commercial scale production of MMA,” said Sanjeev Taneja, Head of Evonik Catalysts.

“These catalysts play a key role in Röhm’s newly developed LiMA (Leading in Methacrylates) technology to produce MMA with efficient resource use and reduced environmental impact. In many ways, LiMA sets new standards and is the most efficient MMA production technology to have been developed.”

Compared to other MMA processes, the LiMA technology offers sustainability advantages, as it enables a high yield with low energy consumption and reduced wastewater volumes.

Methacrylate monomers and their derivatives are important precursors used in the automotive, electronic, medical and construction industries, including the production of Plexiglas and specialty applications such as contact lenses and adhesives.

Indorama Ventures triples PET recycling capacity in Brazil, supported by IFC ‘blue loan’

In other news, Thailand-based Indorama Ventures Public Company Limited, one of the world’s largest producers of recycled Polyethylene Terephthalate (rPET) resin, announced the completion of the expansion of its recycling facility in Brazil, supported by a ‘Blue Loan’ from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank.

The recycling facility, located in Juiz de Fora, Minas Gerais, Brazil, is increasing its production capacity from 9,000 to 25,000 tonnes/year of PET made from post-consumer recycled (PET-PCR) material. The project is part of Indorama Ventures’ Vision 2030 ambition to continue building a sustainable global company, including spending US$1.5 billion to increase its recycling capacity to 50 billion PET bottles/year by 2025.

PET is a unique and widely used plastic for water and soda bottles and the most recycled plastic in the world. Indorama Ventures, the world’s largest provider of recycled PET resin used to make beverage bottles, invested US$20 million to optimise its Brazil facility’s processes and acquire new equipment such as washing machines to help remove labels, grind bottles in water and reduce water consumption by 70%.

In November 2020, the IFC provided US$300 million in Blue Loan funding to Indorama Ventures with the objective of increasing recycling capacity and diverting plastic waste from landfills and oceans in Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, India, and Brazil—countries which are grappling with mismanaged waste and serious plastic waste in the environment. Blue Loan funds are certified and tracked for projects that support sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods and jobs, and ocean ecosystem health. Indorama Ventures has secured a total US$2.4 billion in long-term sustainable financing from various financial institutions between 2018–2022 to support sustainability projects.


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