All units at Rabigh Refining and Petrochemical to shut for 45 days in Q2-2011

(plastemart) -- Saudi Aramco and Sumitomo Chemicals JV- Rabigh Refining and Petrochemical Co plans to shut all units at its complex for 45 days during Q2-2011, for regular test and inspection. This is in line with company policy to shut the plant every five years for test and inspection. The firm, which caters mainly to the Saudi market and Europe and North Africa, can process 400,000 bpd of crude (19% of Saudi Arabia's total refining capacity), 18 mln tpa of refined products and 2.4 mln tpa of petrochemical products.


Acetylene PVC prices grow due to deficit in Russia

MOSCOW (MRC) -- PVC demand keeps up growing in Russian market. Limited supply of resin with K=66-68 from China and some Russian producers straighten the deficit, the prices went up to the level of RUB45.000 - 46.000/mt, according to MRC Price Reports.

Trouble with rolling-stocks of one of traditional Chinese acetylene PVC suppliers and domestic demand have led to delay of Sg-5 grade resin deliver terms. In March over 2.4 kt of Sg-5 grade PVC were delivered into Russian market, and most part of the material was delivered to final consumers. The similar import figures were fixed in the first 3 weeks of April. Some Russian producers have limited shippings of resin with K=66-68 for May.

Insufficient Russian PVC offer and limited resin supply from China have led to serious deficit in the market. Prices for acetylene PVC for the second half of May in some cases went up to the level of RUB45.000 - 46.000/mt, including VAT, FCA. According to market experts, significant PVC supplies from China are expected to partly cover the deficit.


For more information about PVC market in Russia please refer to MRC Price Reports.

Big orders see Polykemi invest ┬4.3m in expansions

( -- Scandinavian thermoplastic compounds producer Polykemi says it will this year invest SEK42m (┬4.3m) in expanding in Sweden and China.

The company is investing SEK32m (┬3.3m) in Sweden and SEK10m (┬1m) in China, where part of the money will be spent on buying the previously leased Polykemi China buildings.

⌠The investments decided exceed the normal level by about 100%, spokesperson Lars Hugosson said in a statement. ⌠Our efforts and hard work to get big new orders has been successful but we have also been fortunate that quite substantial projects have also started up earlier than anticipated.

In Europe, the investments will mainly be spent on two new production lines for thermoplastic compounds, the company said, adding: ⌠We are able to make these investments because we have come through the crisis relatively unscathed, and as we are family owned and independent we are not part of any large group.


Clariant's business improves in first quarter 2010

(plasteurope) -- Business improved for troubled Swiss speciality chemicals producer Clariant in Q1 2010. EBIT totalled CHF 183m (EUR 127.7m) after a loss of CHF 13m in the 2009 quarter. EBITDA before exceptional items increased to CHF 235m from CHF 43m and net profit swung to EUR 10m after a loss of CHF 91m. While sales rose 16% to CHF 1.8 bn, ⌠clearly behind pre-crisis levels, management said figures ⌠improved significantly compared to a year ago. Sales growth in the plastics-related businesses Pigments and Masterbatches was ⌠above the group level.

For the full year, CEO Hariolf Kottmann said the economic recovery is expected to remain fragile and raw material prices are believed to rise further heading into the seasonally weaker second half. ⌠We do not anticipate an operating performance at the same strong level of the first quarter, he said, but added that the EBIT margin is likely to be above the 6.6% figure of 2008.

Clariant's Pigments business unit posted EBITDA of CHF 54m in the first three months of 2010, after a CHF 5m loss in January-March 2009, and the EBITDA margin swung to a positive 19.2% from a negative 2%. Sales rose 17% to CHF 281m. De-stocking has come to an end, the group said, and ⌠some replenishment of stocks took place in the first quarter. The recovery was driven by automotive, decorative paint and ⌠the upswing in the plastics industry that started some months ago. Growth in emerging markets was strongest, but Europe and North America stabilised. Margins improved thanks to an ⌠aggressive reduction of personnel costs. The production network will be further optimised during 2010.

In Masterbatches, the recovery that began in the third quarter of 2009 was ⌠confirmed in the first quarter of 2010, Clariant said. While ⌠demand was robust across all markets and regions, Germany saw ⌠an unexpectedly strong recovery in automotive applications. Margins remained stable, despite rising costs for polyolefins, along with ⌠certain pigments and additives. Through ⌠selective price increases, the unit plans to pass on ⌠the higher input costs that are expected for the remainder of 2010. Going forward, Masterbatches will continue to optimise its cost structure and hopes to make further inroads into medical applications and the liquid masterbatch field.


AVK Group takes over insolvent injection moulder

(plasteurope) -- Danish AVK Holding on 26 April acquired the insolvent injection moulder Klindt Plastindustri. As a result of the transaction, AVK has renamed the company AVK Plast and attached the new division to its subsidiary AVK Plastics, according to Henrik Lund-Olesen, managing director of the new AVK Plast. The holding group takes over 35 former Klindt employees.

Before the insolvency, the workforce of Klindt Plastindustri numbered around 50. The injection moulder was first created when the two former companies Micotron (Sonderborg / Denmark) and Ripladan (Ribe / Denmark) merged.

AVK Holding develops, produces, and markets valves, hydrants, and accessories for water and gas supply, sewage treatment, and fire fighting. Netherlands-based AVK Plastics manufactures plastics pallets and street caps and offers custom moulding services.