Industry Trends

June 2021

See what has been happening in Asia’s petrochemicals, agrochemicals, automotive, bio energy, and mining industries over the last weeks. What are experts and industry magazines talking about?

What has been happening?

Blood enzyme could hold key for self-healing concrete, Scientists develop ‘cheap and easy’ method to extract lithium from seawater, Solid-state battery deployment expected by mid-decade, and more. See what journals and industry experts have been discussing in the last four weeks.

Latest Industry Articles

Blood enzyme could hold key for self-healing concrete

Biofuels Digest

In Massachusetts, researchers at Worcester Polytechnic Institute have developed a promising technology for self-repairing concrete. The breakthrough could help cut down on the enormous amount of carbon emissions attributed to construction and infrastructure industries. The key ingredient is carbonic anhydrase, an enzyme that transports CO2 out of human blood so it can be exhaled.

Scientists develop ‘cheap and easy’ method to extract lithium from seawater

Researchers at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology developed what they believe is an economically viable system to extract high-purity lithium from seawater. Previous efforts to tease lithium from the mixture the metal makes together with sodium, magnesium and potassium in seawater yielded very little. Although the liquid contains 5,000 times more lithium than what can be found on land, it is present at extremely low concentrations of about 0.2 parts per million (ppm).
Solid-state battery deployment expected by mid-decade — report

A new report by S&P Market Intelligence reveals that some automakers have set mid-decade goals for the deployment of solid-state batteries despite the fact that cost and design challenges have prevented their commercial application in electric vehicles to date.
Biodiesel’s Impact on Public Health
Biofuels Digest

Since 2020, Americans have been hyper focused on their health and the air they breathe as a paralyzing pandemic swept across our country and many others. While the pandemic put us in a state of shut down, pushing us apart, it brought a lot of us to the same realization – our health and safety is critical. Now, many people from coast to coast are prioritizing cleaner, healthier air.
VW boss slams G7 leaders for not setting coal phase-out date

Volkswagen’s chief executive has taken aim at leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) for failing to set a firm date to phase out coal power and rejecting a proposal to halt the production of diesel and gas cars. Herbert Diess, who is leading VW’s transformation to a manufacturer of electric vehicles (EV), vented his disappointment on Twitter. “That’s not enough, @G7,” Diess tweeted Tuesday. “We need to exit coal much earlier! EVs are key to reach the climate goals 2030.
Orion Engineered Carbons to increase specialty black pricing

Business Wire

Orion Engineered Carbons to Increase Specialty Black Pricing – The global carbon black manufacturer will increase pricing by up to 20 percent.

Electric vehicles a $7 trillion market opportunity to 2030 – report

In its latest annual Electric Vehicle Outlook, BloombergNEF (BNEF) forecasts global sales of zero-emission cars rising from 4% of the market in 2020 to 70% by 2040. This, based on the firm’s Economic Transition Scenario – which assumes no additional policy measures. According to the research provider, the equivalent for buses sees their zero-emission sales rise to 83% by 2040.

Why China is betting on Minmetals’ success with direct lithium extraction technologies

High lithium recovery rates reported at Minmetals Salt Lake’s Yiliping brine project in China’s Qinghai province prompted Roskill to analyze the implications of the development of brine assets in the Asian giant. Minmetals is employing a direct lithium extraction process developed by Xi’an Lanshen New Material Technology. The process uses aluminum hydroxide as an adsorbent to separate lithium from other impurities.

Indonesian Jan-April biodiesel consumption down 8.2% on year
Biofuels Digest

In Indonesia, Reuters reports data from the Indonesian biodiesel producers’ association (Aprobi) shows biodiesel consumption during the first four months of 2021 fell 8.2% on the year in line with reduced fuel consumption overall due to the global COVID-19 pandemic to 2.669 billion liters.
Malaysia postpones B20 in Sabah and the peninsula indefinitely
Biofuels Digest

In Malaysia, The Edge Markets reports that the government has decided to delay yet again implementation of the B20 blending mandate in both Sabah and on the peninsula, this time without a new target date. The impacts of COVID-19 and the increase in cases was reported as the reason for the decision for further delays although some say it’s the high prices of palm oil making biodiesel blending inviable. Roll out of B20 continues in Langkawi, Labuan and Sarawak, however.
Krungsri Research sees up to 4% annual growth for Thai biodiesel demand
Biofuels Digest

In Thailand, the research arm of Krungsri Bank has released its latest biodiesel outlook for the next three years where it says growing demand of up to 4% per year will see demand grow to as high as 5.7 million liters by 2023.
China’s Zhejiang Huayou to form JV for $2.1bn Indonesia nickel project
Mining Technology

China’s Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt is reportedly planning to form a joint venture (JV) with EVE Energy and others for a $2.08bn nickel and cobalt project in Indonesia. The Chinese company will own a 20% stake in the new venture, which would be called PT Huayu Nickel Cobalt. EVE will own a 17% stake, reported Reuters. The other JV partners include Glaucous International with a 30% interest and Lindo Investment with a 2% holding.
Electronics industry could surpass growth target this year


Electronics export growth this year could exceed the initial target if supply chain limitations are resolved, the industry group’s top official said. Semiconductor and Electronics Industries in the Philippines, Inc. (SEIPI) President Danilo C. Lachica told ANC on Monday that the industry group had accounted for the ongoing global chip shortage when it set the 7% growth target for 2021. “We’ve factored that in.”

Malaysia could spend nearly US$2 billion on fuel subsidies this year: Finance ministry
Channel NewsAsia

Malaysia is expected to spend 8 billion ringgit (US$1.95 billion) on fuel and cooking oil subsidies this year, more than double the 3.78 billion ringgit originally allocated, the finance ministry said on Saturday (Jun 12). The announcement comes as Malaysia looks to boost public …
Singapore's Pavilion Energy signs 10-year LNG deal with BP
Channel NewsAsia

Singapore’s Pavilion Energy has signed a 10-year deal to buy liquefied natural gas (LNG) from BP’s Singapore unit starting in 2024, the companies said on Wednesday (Jun 9), as the country seeks to diversify its gas supply sources. The long-term binding LNG sale and purchase agreement …
Shift to EV to save PH P390B fuel use

Manila Bulletin

The Philippines could generate yearly savings of up to P390 billion, or roughly $9.8 billion, from fuel consumption if millions of Filipinos would opt for a shift to electric vehicles. That has been the assumption presented by Senate Committee on Energy Chairman Sherwin T. Gatchalian, as his proposed Electric Vehicles and Charging Stations Act, already secured the approval at the Senate.

Exclusive: Tesla supplier CATL plans a new battery plant in Shanghai - sources

Channel NewsAsia

China’s CATL is planning a major new automotive battery plant in Shanghai, continuing a blistering pace of expansion that will cement its lead as the world’s No.1 supplier, two people familiar with the matter said. The plant would be able to make 80 gigawatt-hours of battery cells a …

GE's Malaysian pledge to reducing greenhouse gas emission

NST Online

American multinational company GE will continue to influence and support Malaysia in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emission through its latest gas turbine technology.

Indonesia On Track To Dominate The Supply Of Nickel To Make Batteries

Forbes – Business

Indonesia is on track to become the world’s nickel capital. Indonesia is on track to become the world’s nickel capital with new projects potentially lifting the country’s share of the important stainless steel and battery metal ingredient to a whopping 60% of global output later this decade. Much of the planned investment is linked to Chinese companies keen to cement their grip on stainless steel production and to meet fast growing demand for batteries which require a range of new-energy metals such as nickel, lithium, cobalt and copper.

Malaysia’s B20 implementation now seen complete by end-2022

Biofuels Digest

In Malaysia, the Star newspaper reports that after several false starts, the government now believes the B20 mandate will be completely implemented nationwide by the end of 2022. The most recent attempt to implement the mandate was put on hold indefinitely with the government putting the blame on COVID-19 impacts but others felt it had more to do with the high price of palm oil making the blending mandate a financial burden for the government’s coffers.

Ganfeng to build lithium production plant in Jiangxi, China

Mining Technology

Ganfeng Lithium is reportedly planning to build a lithium production plant in Fengcheng city, Jiangxi province, China. A related investment contract has also been signed by Ganfeng with the local government in Fengcheng, reported Fastmarkets. The plant will be equipped to convert spodumene, which is a mineral mined for its lithium content, into lithium battery materials.

Indonesia ban on Belgian dairy gains momentum in response to ban on Indonesian palm oil biofuels

Biofuels Digest

In Indonesia, Palm Oil Monitor reports the growing possibility of a ban on all Belgian milk and dairy products entering Indonesia, following Belgian Minister Zakia Khattabi’s announcement to ban Indonesian palm oil biofuels from entering Belgium starting in 2022. The official Indonesian Parliament website carries the comments of Dr. Herman Khaeron, Member of the International Trade Committee, who has publicly recommended a ban on Belgian dairy products.

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