Kuwait's QPIC exits Sonatrach methanol project

(Arabian Oil and Gas) -- Kuwait's Qurain Petrochemical Industries Company (QPIC) has decided to scrap the idea of establishing a methanol project in Algeria, and decided to set it in one of the GCC countries, according Issa Al-Issa, vice board chairman of QPIC.

⌠Instability within the management of our local partner Sonatrach doesn't help the project, Al-issa told reporters on the sideline of the general assembly of the company. ⌠It's better to re-locate the project in another GCC country, he added.

In 2007, QPIC won a USD 900m contract to establish a 1 million t/y methanol plant in Arzew, on the western coast of Algeria.

The company was a part of the Almet consortium which includes in addition to QPIC, Lurgi, Mitsui and Sotraco.


International Finance Corporation to provide loans for a new polyester plant

(Plastemart) -- The International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group, said it will provide up to USD 35 million in loans toward construction of a Egyptian Indian Polyester Company S.A.E., on the Red Sea coast. The new company, with capacity to produce 420 KTa of polyethylene terephthalate (PET), is a joint venture between India's Dhunseri Petrochem and Tea Limited, and two Egyptian government agencies. The project is also being financed through a USD 65.5 mln loan and a USD 11.3 working capital facility provided jointly by Commercial International Bank and Ahli United Bank.


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.