AkzoNobel to upgrade its 165 KTa chlorine plant in Germany

(ICIS) -- AkzoNobel will invest EUR 140m (USD 200m) in new membrane electrolysis technology to upgrade its 165 KTa chlorine plant in Frankfurt, Germany, the Dutch paints and coatings company said on Monday. The plant's capacity is expected to be raised to 250 KTa and the upgraded plant will come on stream in the fourth quarter of 2013, the company said in a statement. The upgrading work has already begun, according to a company official.

The company operates three chlorine plants in Germany and two in the Netherlands through its subsidiary AkzoNobel Industrial Chemicals, the company said. These facilities ⌠exceeded 1m tonnes in total production last year, it added.

Chlorine is used in the production of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), epoxy resins and polyurethane (PU). It is also commonly used in the manufacture of pharmaceuticals, according to AkzoNobel.


China and East Asia ideal for petrochemical investment - industry leaders

(Focus Taiwan) -- Taiwan should turn to the Chinese and East Asian markets to ensure that its petrochemical industry can thrive, industry leaders said during a meeting at the Ministry of Economic Affairs Friday. Although Taiwan has managed to raise the added value rate of its petrochemical products at home, it should also search for investment opportunities in foreign countries if it wants to survive the increasing international competition, they said. To be more specific, Taiwan should work with developing countries with large market demand for petrochemical products, said Wenent Pan, chairman of China Technical Consultants, Inc.

As China implements the centralized economic development guidelines between 2011 and 2015, said Chen Chung-yu, vice president of Taiwan Synthetic Rubber Corp.Chen said, the country will need to rely heavily on Taiwan's specialty petrochemicals. Through cross-strait cooperation, he said, Taiwan can expand its spending on petrochemical R&D - a major factor in raising the added value rate -- and attract foreign investment.


Russian market of PVC to make next record

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Russian market of PVC is making next records in imports: in May, overall import of suspension PVC made 56.6 KT, according to MRC DataScope.

Over the five months, import of suspension to Russia exceeded 201 KT, while over the same period in 2010, import of PVC-S made only 81 KT.

Significant growth of imports was expectedly stipulated by the North American resin. Supplies from USA also made the next record and equaled to 36 KT. In May, American resin contracted yet in January-March came to Russia, as per MRC analysts.

In April-May, because of high export prices for PVC from USA, only few Russian producers contracted resin. As a result, in June-August, considerable reduction of imports from Russia is expected.

Because of problems with railway traffic, supplies of acetylene suspension from China reduced to 13.6 KT. Peak imports of PVC from China fell at March and made about 20 KT, and this year this parameter is unlikely to be exceeded, as per market players.


Daelim & GS Engineering to build a cracker at a petrochemicals complex

(Arabian Oil and Gas) -- South Korean EPC powerhouses Daelim Industrial and GS Engineering and Construction are frontrunners to win a bid to build a cracker at a petrochemicals complex planned by Saudi Aramco and US Dow Chemical, industry sources have told Reuters.

Sources close to the bidding process said the two firms were finalizing their proposals and await a final word from the partners in the project, which will be located in Jubail on the Gulf coast.

A spokesman for Daelim told Reuters that the company joined the bidding process but did not provide further details.

The cost of the project, still called Ras Tanura Integrated Project (RTIP) as it was to be integrated with an expansion of the Ras Tanura refinery, is around USD 20 billion, Aramco's chief executive Khalid Al-Falih said in December.


Grace Davidson to launch new catalyst technologies

(Arabian Oil and Gas) -- Grace Davison, an operating segment of W. R. Grace & Co. , has announced the successful global commercialisation of eight fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) catalysts and additives with zero or low rare earth content.

Launched in the first quarter of 2011, the REpLaCeR family includes five new catalysts for both hydrotreated and resid feed processing with zero and low rare earth content: resolution, REBEL, REACTOR, REMEDY and REduceR FCC catalysts. The REpLaCeR family of catalysts utilises proprietary zeolites and state-of-the-art stabilization methods to deliver performance similar to current rare earth-based FCC technologies.

In addition, Grace has recently introduced ResidUltra, a new catalyst with 40% less rare earth than benchmark resid catalysts. Finally, a series of low rare earth environmental additives is currently in commercial trials. These include Super DeSOX-OCI and Super DeSOX-MCD sulfur transfer additives.