Lotte PPTA to triple its purified terephthalic acid nameplate capacity

(ICIS) -- Lotte Pakistan PTA (Lotte PPTA) plans to triple its purified terephthalic acid (PTA) nameplate capacity to 1.5m tonnes/year by late 2014 to meet the growing domestic and regional demand, a company executive said on Thursday. The company has a 500 KTa plant located at Port Qasim, 50 km (31 miles) outside the industrial port city of Karachi.

⌠The cost of expansion will be between USD 450m (EUR 320m) to USD 500m, said Asif Saad, CEO of Lotte PPTA, the only PTA manufacturer in the country. ⌠If it goes according to plan, it [the new capacity] should start up by the end of 2014, Saad told ICIS in an email from Karachi.

Lotte, the South Korean conglomerate, acquired the majority share holding in Pakistan PTA Limited (PPTA) in September 2009. The name of the company was subsequently changed to Lotte Pakistan PTA, according to company's website.

According to the website, Lotte PPTA has made the single largest foreign direct investment to date of USD 490m in Pakistan's petrochemical industry.

The PTA output from the company's existing 500 KTa plant is sold in the domestic market. However, a small quantity is exported every year, mainly to the Middle East and India and occasionally to China, Saad said.


Dow to participate in the Skolkovo project

(Dow) -- The Skolkovo Foundation and The Dow Chemical Company through its wholly owned subsidiary Dow Europe GmbH have signed a letter of intent to define steps for Dow's participation in the Skolkovo project, which aims to become a science and technology complex in Russia for the development and commercialization of innovative technologies. The document was signed at the Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum by Viktor Vekselberg, President of the Skolkovo Foundation, and Kostas Katsoglou, President of Dow in the Eastern Europe Growth Region.

Both parties acknowledged that Dow's efforts will be focusing on energy and infrastructure, aligned with and supporting the Skolkovo energy efficiency program.

⌠This agreement is of particular significance for the Skolkovo Foundation for a number of reasons. As a global leader in the chemical industry and a science-driven company, Dow will be an important partner in supporting and driving forward the Skolkovo energy efficiency program, commented Viktor Vekselberg, President of the Skolkovo Foundation.

"Dow constantly seeks opportunities to partner with academic institutions, public laboratories, top customers, value chain partners, as this combination is the most powerful to timely deliver innovation. The Skolkovo project is poised to provide an attractive environment for the above and we are confident this will benefit both - the Russian economy and competitiveness as well as Dow, commented Ernesto Occhiello, R&D Director, Dow Europe.


Celanese to begin ethanol production in China by mid-2013

(Celanese) -- Celanese Corporation, a global technology and specialty materials company, will accelerate its original schedule and now expects to begin industrial ethanol production in China earlier than previously announced. In addition to the company's previously announced plans for one, and possibly two, greenfield units, the company plans to modify and enhance its existing integrated acetyl facility at the Nanjing Chemical Industrial Park with its TCX advanced technology.

The modifications would add approximately 200 KT of ethanol production capacity by mid-2013, pending approvals, and would accelerate the project six to twelve months from its previous plan. The new ethanol production would increase the overall profitability of the site by enhancing the mix of products manufactured with the current capacity of certain critical raw materials available at the site.

Total investment for the project is expected to be a fraction of the required capital for a greenfield facility. Celanese's TCX advanced technology combines its proprietary and industry-leading acetyl platform with advanced manufacturing technology to produce ethanol from hydrocarbon-sourced feedstocks.

The company also announced it has broken ground on the previously announced technology development unit for ethanol production at its facility in Clear Lake, Texas, which is now expected to be operational by mid-2012. The company also intends to construct a new research and development facility at the Clear Lake site to continue the advancement of its acetyl and TCX≥ technologies. Collectively, the new technology development unit and research and development facility are expected to create 50 additional technical jobs at the Clear Lake site.


In May, PP output in Russia grew by 11%

MOSCOW (MRC) -- In May, Russian producers increased polypropylene (PP) output to 62 KT. Over the five months overall PP production exceeded 286 KT, according to MRC ScanPlast.

In May, all Russian producers increased utilization of PP capacities which allowed to reach record 62.1 KT which was 11% more compared to April. Over the five months, overall output of PP in Russia exceeded 286 KT which was 7% more compared to the same period last year.

In May, Russian producers increased production of all types of PP. Raffia output made nearly 23 KT. Overall production of impact copolymers exceeded 10 KT.


Chinese companies to cut PP production

(ICIS) -- Sinopec is planning to cut its polypropylene (PP) output in June, traders said.Yanshan Petrochemicals plans to shut down its 440 KTa plant in the first half of August for about 30 days of maintenance. Dushanzi Petrochemicals is to turnaround 690 KTa of its PP capacity in the second half of July for about two months.

In addition, the production of household appliances such as air-conditioners and refrigerators will go into its traditional peak season in September, increasing the demand for PP feedstock, these sources added.