Repsol to invest in EVA unit in Spain

(Plastemart) -- Repsol is mulling investment at its Puertollano site in Spain to increase the production capacity of ethylene vinyl acetate copolymers (EVA). During H2-2011, the investment outlay will be towards a new production unit with capacity to produce 15 KTa of EVA, with the possibility to achieve vinyl acetate (VA) contents exceeding 35%, as per Packaging Europe.

In 2009, Repsol carried out the conversion of one of its EVA copolymer units (including 5% to 20% of VA content) to EVA resins (ranging from 20% to 40% of VA content). Additionally, in June 2010 Repsol implemented process changes in another of its EVA copolymer units, to adapt it to the quality demands of the specialized film converters. Because of this change and process improvement, Repsol has been able to reduce significantly the potential off-spec production associated to this type of film grade production.


Avantium to develop and commercialize a next-generation polyeste

(Plastics Today) -- Avantium (Amsterdam) has raised EUR 30 million, money it says it will use to develop and commercialize a next-generation polyester based on bioderived Furanics building blocks. Avantium will apply the funds to the construction and operation of its pilot plant in Geleen, the Netherlands, as well as to develop more green materials, including a polyamide, on the basis of its YXY building blocks.

The company calls its PEF (Poly-ethylene-furanoate) polyester a "new-to-the-world" polymer that can be made out of plant material instead of oil. Avantium has ambitious goals for PEF, positioning the green material as replacement to petroleum-based polyesters like polyethylene terephthalate (PET).

PEF has demonstrated some superior properties over traditional PET, according to Avantium, including lower permeability of oxygen, carbon-dioxide, and water and an enhanced ability to withstand heat. The company is currently developing PEF bottles for beverages, food, cosmetic products, and detergents.


PP market in Russia up 13%

MOSOW (MRC) -- Over the five months of 2011, consumption of polypropylene (PP) in Russia made about 330 KT which was 13% more than demand in the same period last year, according to MRC DataScope.

The growth of PP market in Russia now is provided by growing imports. Over the five months of 2011, import supplies of PP made about 77 KT which was 42% more than those over the same period in 2010. Exports also reduced by 18 KT while last year it made 30 KT.

Expansion of PP processing was observed in 2011. According to MRC analysts, over the four months, overall growth of capacities made about 100 KTa. Mainly converters invested in expansion of IM capacities in packaging sectors. In the sectors of PP films and sheets, capacities increased by 45 KTa.

Among the biggest investors in equipment for PP processing in 2011 there are iPlast (Nizhnekamsk) and Stirolplast who installed lines in PP sheets production. In the packaging sector, investments by Sholler Arka Systems should be mentioned. Producers of PP pipes also expand their capacities in 2011 up to 9 KT.

Detailed analysis on consumption, production, export-import of PP this year is presented in MRC report ScanPlast, detailed data on investments in equipment is available in EquiPlast.


In January-April, PVC imports to Russia exceeded demand

MOSCOW (MRC) -- During the four months of 2011, PVC imports to Russia exceeded needs of the market. Only in early June demand for the resin reached the level of offer, according to MRC DataScope.

2010 appeared considerably successful for the Russian market of suspension PVC. Overall consumption made 877 KT which was 18 KT more compared to record 2008. Growing public utilities rates, accommodation exhaustion, low defense of buildings in terms of cold winter in 2010 forced population to use energy saving technologies. In most cases, households realized postponed plans in improvement of their housing conditions which resulted in serious growth of PVC demand in Russia in 2010 and stipulated rapid growth in 2011. Some converters estimate growth of demand at the level of 10-15%.

In the beginning of the year Russian companies started active purchases of suspension in external markets. Over the four months of 2010, overall imports of suspension PVC made more than 53 KT, while this year the same parameter exceeded 144 KT. But the beginning of the year was different. Low demand for finished goods from PVC in many sectors of consumption in March - May limited demand for the resin. Indirectly it is proved by statistics of impact modifiers supplies. This year imports of PVC impact modifiers grew by 55% (by producers of window profiles - by 42%), while the resin imports grew by 177%.

At the end of May - beginning of June, the market situation changed. Demand for PVC is growing, converters in the South actively replenish their stocks and producers of window profiles increase processing.


Petro Rabigh to collaborate with DuPont on assessment of current state of safety

(Ame Info) -- Petro Rabigh- a joint venture between Saudi Aramco and Sumitomo Chemical - and one of the competitive petrochemical companies in the world, has begun to collaborate with DuPont Sustainable Solutions (DSS) to assess the current state of safety and define a path for further improvement.

DuPont Sustainable Solutions is a partner of choice for key industries throughout Europe and the Middle East. Using its own experience in implementing effective safety programs as an owner/operator, DuPont Sustainable Solutions is in a unique position to help others in their journey to safety excellence. DSS has been operating in the region for over 10 years, and have successfully assisted companies with safety, operations and environmental challenges.

While Petro Rabigh is already deeply committed to the safety of its employees, the company would like to achieve world-class safety performance. To achieve this, Petro Rabigh will work with DuPont to evaluate its safety culture and safety management system to establish a baseline. Upon completion of the assessment, a comprehensive implementation plan to improve safety outcomes will be developed.