Air Liquide and Shenhua Ningxia Coal to build 2nd methanol-to-propylene plant

(Chemical Engineering) -- Air Liquide (Paris) announced that its engineering and construction division has signed a contract with the Shenhua Ningxia Coal Industry Group (SNCG; China) to build a 500 KTa methanol-to-propylene (MTP) plant. The new plant will follow the successful commissioning of the first industrial scale unit built with the same client.

The contract comprises the basic engineering, license and supply of proprietary equipment, as well as services for procurement and technical advisory services at the site. The large-scale MTP plant is based on technology licensed by Lurgi. SNCG, in close cooperation with the Lurgi team, played an important role in the commissioning and startup phases of the first MTP plant, thereby helping to prove the success of the Lurgi MTP technology at industrial scale.

The unit will be built in Ningdong, in the Chinese province of Ningxia. The engineering phase for the contract is to be completed within about eight months.


Russiaт pipe PE price is increasing

(MRC) -- Pipe PE100 prices are growing in the Russian market before planned shutdowns, according to ICIS-MRC Price report. The Russian market of pipe PE, unlike other consumption sectors, was on the sidelines quite a long time. Amid weak demand for finished PE pipes and sufficient supply of cheaper uncoloured PE100 (so-called uncoloured matrix), many Russian pipes producers were in no hurry to renew their feedstock. But last week this market segment had an upward rise in prices.

In mid-August, due to the technical problems, a major Russian supplier of black PE100 Kazanorgsyntez delivered polyethylene on the domestic market with interruptions. Besides, on-coming maintenance stop of HDPE production in Kazan and a tight feedstock supply last week boosted buying activity. In the beginning of the week spot price of Kazan PE100 started from RUB 60.700/t, including VAT, FCA Kazan. By the end of the week, it had reached RUB 62.500/t, including VAT, FCA. This week prices made RUB 63.000/t including VAT, FCA, at that a further price growth is expected.

In August, Nizhnekamskneftechem supplied a considerable amount of black PE100 to the domestic market. Pipe PE is offered so far only in North-West federal district for RUB 62.500/t, including VAT, CPT St. Petersburg. It is possible, that in September Nizhnekamskneftechem will increase pipe PE supplies due to growing demand.

Export prices of European coloured PE100 for August supplies to FSU markets made EUR 1.150 - 1.250/t, FCA. In Europe, ethylene contract prices for September delivery fell by EUR 5/t compared to August. Export prices of pipe PE from European producers have not been announced yet, but it is possible that they will remain in August level.


Kuwait's Supreme Petroleum Council urges PIC to reach settlement with Dow

(Arabian Oil and Gas) -- Kuwait's Supreme Petroleum Council has ⌠verbally requested that the state-back Petrochemical Industries Company (PIC) tries to reach an amicable settlement with Dow Chemical over disputes following the cancellation of the USD 17.6 billion ⌠K-Dow joint venture, before any judgment is handed down.

Under the deal, cancelled by Kuwait in December 2008, K-Dow Petrochemicals was to be a USD 17.4 billion multinational 50/50 joint venture between Dow and PIC in which the company was to become the leading global supplier of petrochemicals and plastics.

Under the joint venture agreement, both parties committed themselves to an arbitration process in case of disputes, and a liquidated damages clause of USD 2.5 billion. Dow Chemical has reportedly stated the damages they are seeking may be in excess of that amount. The SPC is now verbally urging the PIC to do a deal outside the formal arbitration process.


U.S. patent granted to technology that uses nitric oxide gas embedded into polymers

(PlasticsToday) -- A technology that uses nitric oxide gas embedded into polymers as an antimicrobial to prevent hospital acquired infections has been granted a U.S. patent. Enox Biopharma Inc. (Vancouver, BC) announced that it received a notice of allowance from the U.S. Patent Office for its "Antimicrobial Gas-Releasing Ear Drainage Tubes." Enox calls the intellectual property a foundation patent for the company. Additional patent applications are under review in the U.S. and other countries that would expand the use of antimicrobial gas releasing technology to virtually any polymer-based medical device.

Enox said nitric oxide is recognized as an ideal antimicrobial agent since it is highly effective against pathogens yet not affected by the drug resistance issues of excessive antibiotic use. Enox CEO, John Rewcastle, said in a release that nitric oxide emitting medical devices have a unique potential to reduce hospital acquired infections, which he called a global problem that costs "tens of billions of dollars annually," adding that the issuance of this patent "further ensures Enox is the only company that can create such devices."

Enox notes that the immune system uses nitric oxide to block microbial growth, with the compound also serving as an effective vasodilator that can accelerate wound healing. Enox's says its device technology is applicable to any indwelling polymer medical device including, but not limited to catheters, endotracheal tubes, and central venous catheters.


Gazprom awaits "legitimate" regime to restart projects in Libya

(Arabian Oil and Gas) -- Gazprom won't begin talks on restarting its projects in Libya until a "legitimate" regime is in place in the North African country, the company told Dow Jones Newswires yesterday. Gazprom halted work at oil concessions C96 and C97, a joint project with Wintershall, which was producing 100,000 barrels a day when unrest broke out in the country in February. One of the projects is in the Mediterranean Sea off Libya's coast, while the second is Block 64 located in the Gadames oil province.

Wintershall said Monday that production at the C96 and C97 concessions could be restarted within several weeks, depending "on the state of the export infrastructure as well as a stable security situation in the country."

Plans by Gazprom's oil unit Gazprom Neft to acquire a 33% stake in Eni's Elephant field in Libya were also delayed due to the unrest in the country. The company said in April the deal would be finalized when the situation stabilizes in Libya, but declined to comment Tuesday.