Asia naphtha prices are expected to reach a three-year high

(ICIS) -- Asia naphtha prices are expected to reach a three-year high, as robust global crude futures and reduced deep-sea supply from the West will result in a further upside to price levels, traders said on Thursday.

The first-half June naphtha contract rose to USD 1.099-1.102/tonne (EUR 747-749/tonne) CFR (cost & freight) Japan at 12:00 hours Singapore time (04:00 GMT) on Thursday, up USD 11.50-12.50/tonne from the settlement on Wednesday, according to ICIS data.

The last time prices surpassed the USD 1.100/tonne CFR Japan mark was on 18 July 2008, when naphtha hit USD 1.136-1.138/tonne CFR Japan, ICIS data showed.

The backwardation between first half June and first half July contracts has widened to USD 13.50/tonne, the steepest since March as the naphtha market is facing a structural shortfall.

Naphtha cargoes from northwest Europe and the Mediterranean are estimated to be 250 KT for May arrivals in Asia, down sharply from the regular monthly arbitrage imports of around 300 -500 KT, traders said.


BASF has extended its range of fuel additives

(BASF) -- BASF has extended its range of fuel additives to include a new, innovative product - KerojetTM Aquarius. BASF has recently acquired an exclusive license from Palox Ltd., Cyprus. After having jointly obtained approval for this product to be used in aircraft, BASF will have the exclusive manufacturing and marketing rights. KerojetTM Aquarius is binding the water contained in kerosene and by that facilitates the maintenance work in aircraft.

BASF is currently working in close cooperation with large engine and airframe manufacturers to gain their approval for this innovative product. German airline Lufthansa supports BASF to prove the effectiveness of KerojetTM Aquarius under practical conditions in selected types of aircraft on selected routes. The joint preparations for this feasibility study will begin in the spring of 2011.


Initial Europe May ethylene, propylene settle up on firm naphtha

(ICIS) -- Initial European May ethylene and propylene contract price settlements have been agreed at EUR 1.230/tonne (USD 1.809/tonne) and EUR 1.245/tonne respectively, a major consumer said on Wednesday.

The ethylene settlement marked a EUR 25/tonne increase while propylene gained EUR 35/tonne. The increases were driven by firm feedstock naphtha developments; supply and demand fundamentals were largely considered flat from last month.


Polymer Pipes plant was launched in Armenia

(ArmInfo) -- Polymer Pipes plant was launched in Armenia on Wednesday. Investments in the production totaled USD 5.8 mln.

Executive Director of Polymer Pipes Arshak Nalbandyan told reporters that the plant produces 120km pipes annually. It can produce 2-15atm pressure resistant pipes with a diameter of 800,1100, 1200 and 1400 mm. Such pipes are used in hydropower generation, construction and irrigation systems. Annual consumption of large diameter pipes in the country totals 80-120 km. In 2011 the technical capacity of the plant is 80 km.

Nalbandyan said that there is no similar production in the South Caucasus. Since early 90s Armenia has imported no polymer pipes. Such import is very expensive and production was launched in the country, especially that steel pipes are subject to corrosion and need modernization, the executive director said.


Refinery and petrochemical integration is a necessity - KNPC

(Arabian Oil and Gas) -- Refinery and petrochemical integration is not just an option, but a necessity, says Bakhit Al Rashidi, deputy managing director, Planning and Local Marketing, Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC). The largest refiners in the region, including KNPC, will be part of the high-level industry line-up at the upcoming Middle East Downstream Week, taking place in Abu Dhabi from 8-11 May.

Commenting on integration, Dr. Al Rashidi said: ⌠Cyclic trends in refining margins and a thin band of margin operation for overall profitability make integration essential to even out the margin vagaries. All new refinery projects essentially incorporate integration with petrochemicals as much greater savings in investment cost and operating costs would result.