Alfa Laval to supply heat exchangers to a petrochemical plant in Singapore

(Plastemart) -- Alfa Laval - a world leader in heat transfer, centrifugal separation and fluid handling - has received an order to supply Alfa Laval Packinox heat exchangers to a petrochemical plant in Singapore. The order value is about SEK 110 million and delivery is scheduled for 2012.

The Alfa Laval Packinox heat exchangers will be used in a catalytic processing section for production of mixed Xylenes, which is, among other things, used for PET bottles and synthetic nylons. "We continue to see a good demand for our energy efficient Alfa Laval Packinox heat exchangers. This latest order also confirms the continued positive development of the process industry in Asia", says Lars Renstrom, President and CEO of the Alfa Laval Group.


GM to restart its assembly operation at Bekasi, West Java

(Plastics Today) -- Recent announcements by global automakers regarding investments in Indonesia paint a bright picture for the local processing scene given commitments to local sourcing. General Motors (Detroit) is the latest to throw its hubcap into the ring with plans to invest USD 150 million to restart its assembly operation at Bekasi, West Java, that has been idle since early 2005.

GM reports it will begin assembling seven-seater minivan at the plant in 2013. Initial capacity will be about 40,000 units per year for distribution throughout Southeast Asia. The plant will join a GM manufacturing network with existing plants in Thailand and Vietnam. Among the factors behind the restart are an expanding middle class and improving macroeconomic conditions.

Localization of as many vehicle parts as possible is reportedly an important component of GM's plans for Indonesia. A target of at least 40% has been set for local content.

Toyota Motor (Aichi) is also bullish in developments in Indonesia, announcing in May this year its plan to expand capacity at its Karawang Plant from 100,000 vehicles to 140,000 vehicles by early 2013.


PS buyers in Europe don't hurry to settle pricing for August

(ICIS) -- Polystyrene (PS) buyers in Europe are in no hurry to settle pricing for August, several said on Wednesday, and sellers agreed. ⌠We don't even have a handful of settlements, said a major PS producer, referring mainly to business at large accounts.

PS producers announced target increases of up to EUR 140/tonne (USD 203/tonne) for August PS earlier in the month, following the settlement of the new monthly styrene barge contracts at an increase of EUR 121-129/tonne. While these targets have been modified as the month has progressed and crude oil prices have fallen and stock markets crashed, PS producers are still confident of achieving substantial increases.

Imminent maintenance shutdowns in the upstream styrene industry have led to expectations of stability or even another upwards move in September styrene contracts, and PS pricing has become very closely linked to styrene prices in past months.

However, buyers do not report a particularly strong month and are not convinced that they will be paying three-digit increases when they finally settle for August.


Sunoco's sale of phenol complex will leave it with no stand-alone chemical complexes

(ICIS) -- Sunoco's planned sale of its phenol complex to a conglomerate will leave it with no stand-alone chemical complexes, the US-based refiner said on Tuesday. Sunoco has reached an agreement to sell its phenol plant in Haverhill, Ohio, to an affiliate of Goradia Capital, a conglomerate with other petrochemical holdings. The purchase price will be USD 106.5m (EUR 73.5m), Sunoco said.

The plant has a phenol capacity of 306 KTa and an acetone capacity of 173 KTa according to ICIS plants and projects. Haverhill's 110 KTa bisphenol A (BPA) unit is also included in the sale to Goradia.

The plant will be owned by Haverhill Chemical, an affiliate of Goradia. The head of Haverhill Chemical will be Alberto Spera. Other Goradia affiliates include Vinmar International, a polymer and petrochemical marketer.

Earlier this year, Sunoco agreed to sell its 1bn lb/year (450 KTa) phenol and acetone plant in Philadelphia for about USD 85m.


ECH prices in Asia to stay firm for the rest of August

(ICIS) -- Epichlorohydrin (ECH) prices in Asia will likely stay firm for the rest of August because of high feedstock cost, with a strong possibility of rising in September as demand for the material is expected to peak, industry sources said on Wednesday.

In China, ECH was assessed at USD 2.200-2.300/tonne (EUR 1.518-1.587/tonne) CFR China Main Port (iso-tank) on 16 August, while Asian ECH values stood at USD 2.150-2.200/tonne FOB NE Asia (iso-tank), according to ICIS.

Asian ECH prices have been locked in the USD 2.200-2.300/tonne range over the past three weeks, as high feedstock costs and the wild swings in upstream energy prices amid heightened concerns over another global recession have stalled trades.