Oman Polypropylene restarts 340,000 tpa Sohar plant

April 14 (plastemart) -- Oman Polypropylene has restarted its 340,000 tpa polypropylene plant at Sohar. The plant was under a long maintenance shutdown for a period of about two months, resulting from a shutdown of a 116,000 bpd oil refinery operated by the Oman Refineries and Petrochemicals Co (ORPC) which resumed operations early last week.


The closest prospects of Russian PP market

Moscow (MRC) - PP has gone up over 40 % in price since the beginning of year. Raffia prices increased to RUB 54.000 - 56.000/mt and confidently move to the level of RUB 58.000 - 60.000/mt - according to MRC Price Report.

Price increase was caused by high demand in conditions of lowered load of single facilities and by export programs the first two months. From March exports were seriously cut down and production increased. In April Russian producers minimized exports.

In spite of it, insufficient PP supply caused by demand increase and upcoming May suspensions of Kapotnia and Ufa capacities is still being felt. Lack of raffia is being partly compensated by PP supplies from Turkmenia. The situation with moulded PP is worse. Prices have reached the level of RUB 56.000 - 59.500/mt, including VAT, FCA. The alternative of Russian PP from Europe or Asia will cost from RUB 62.000/mt, including VAT, CPT.

PP deficit in European market has led to significant price increase in April. European producers have raised April PP prices on EUR 100-120/mt comparing with March, PP-homo prices to supply into Russia have reached the level of EUR 1.160 - 1.200/mt, FCA. Some producers have almost completely cut down their export programs due to long-term shutdowns. Export price increase is expected no earlier than the end of May. Asian PP also is expensive enough for Russian converters. April PP-homo pricesare in the range of USD 1.400-1.550/mt, CFR Saint-Petersburg, with the condition that the material will arrive in May only.


More information about Russian PP market can be found in our Price Reports.

CB&I Completes Construction of Shell Ethylene Cracker Complex in Singapore

April 14 (yarnsandfibers) -- CB&I announced that the ethylene cracker project in Singapore has been successfully started up, producing on-specification ethylene and propylene. The cracker complex is owned and operated by Shell Eastern Petroleum Ltd and is an integral component of the Shell Eastern Petrochemicals Complex project in Singapore, which comprises modifications to the existing Bukom Refinery as well as the building of a new world scale mono-ethylene glycol (MEG) plant on Jurong island.

The 800,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) cracker increases Singapore's ethylene capacity by 40 percent while also producing 450,000 tpa of propylene, 230,000 tpa of benzene and 155,000 tpa of butadiene. The ethylene cracker uses Lummus Technology proprietary ethylene cracking technology, and the butadiene extraction unit uses proprietary technology from BASF/Lummus Technology.

CB&I, in a joint venture with Toyo Engineering Corporation, completed the engineering, procurement and construction of the cracker complex. During the course of this project, employees achieved over 39 million work-hours without a lost-time incident, a world-class safety achievement. More than 12,000 workers were employed at the peak of construction, and a ferry line was commissioned to provide transport each day from mainland Singapore to the complex on Bukom Island, approximately eight kilometers away.


Dow announces sale of Styron Division to Bain Capital

April 13 (omnexus) -- The Dow Chemical Company and Bain Capital Partners, a leading global private equity firm, announced jointly that they have signed a definitive agreement under which Dow's Styron Division will be divested to an affiliate of Bain Capital for $1.63 billion. As part of the transaction, Dow has an option to receive up to 15 percent of the equity of Styron as part of the sale consideration. Additionally, the transaction includes several long-term supply, service and purchase agreements which will generate substantial value for both Dow and Styron. With the purchase price and the significant long term contracts, Dow will be able to substantially deleverage and achieve an attractive value for the Styron divestment. The transaction is expected to close by August 2010, subject to completion of customary conditions and regulatory approvals.

"This transaction is yet another step in our disciplined approach to portfolio management, and is consistent with both the timeline and value we previously communicated for these assets," said Andrew N. Liveris, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "We are committed to further focusing our portfolio by shedding non-strategic assets that can no longer compete for growth resources inside the Company, and in the process generating funds for further debt reduction and liberating resources for Dow's higher growth, higher margin portfolio of technology, market driven businesses."

As a standalone, privately held business, Styron will be a leading diversified chemicals and plastics company with attractive global positions in a related set of markets and a unique product portfolio with a large presence in the styrenics value chain. Styron brings together a balanced portfolio of plastics, rubber and latex businesses that share feedstocks, operations, customers and end users. The company will benefit from a leadership position in its two flagship products, polystyrene and latex, as well as global scale, unrivalled customer relationships, and a robust innovation pipeline.

Styron is expected to have approximately $3.5 billion in revenue (based on 2009 data), with 40+ manufacturing plants in all geographic regions, and approximately 1,900 employees. Its businesses serve a diverse customer base in markets such as automotive, appliances, packaging, paper & board, carpet, durables, electronics, optical media, tires, and technical rubber.

MRCMRC Reference

NPC to receive ┬300 mln in a deal with export development bank of Iran

April 13 (plastemart) -- A deal has been inked between the Export Development Bank of Iran (EDBI) and the National Petrochemical Company (NPC). NPC is to receive ┬300 mln worth of investment to be raised through the offering of currency Certificates of Deposit (CD) on international markets by the EDBI. According to a report, EDBI has started selling the CDs to banks abroad on Thursday. This offer was authorized by the last Iranian year's (ending on March 20) budget, which called for the issuance of US$1 billion's worth of currency participation notes to satisfy the currency requirements of the NPC. Under the budget for the current Iranian year, the NPC is permitted to sell up to ┬2 bln worth of currency participation notes. A basis has been created for the sale of more than ┬2 mln and US$1 bln currency participation notes. The notes are being offered in 1, 2 and 3-year maturities, with interest rates of 5%, 6.2$ and 7.5% respectively.