NIPC inks USD 400 mln contract for construction of ethylene pipeline

(Plastemart) -- National Iranian Petrochemical Company has inked a USD 400 mln contract for the construction of the Central Ethylene Pipeline with the Islamic Revolutionary Guards for Construction, KCH. Khatamolanbia Construction Headquarter will realize the project with Chinese financing in EPCF mode within 30 months, Fars news agency reported. The pipeline will transport 1.3 mln CM of ethane and 1.04 mln tpa of ethylene from Parsian Refinery to 5 petrochemical complexes for processing.


Europe September benzene expected to soften

(ICIS) -- Softening demand for the forthcoming month is expected to lead to a decrease in the European benzene contract for September, sources said on Tuesday. Planned shutdowns in September and October in the downstream styrene market will keep buying interest for benzene subdued, most expect, following a slow albeit relatively solid August.

The volatility seen for crude futures in the past few weeks, however, is keeping many in the market cautious, as wider economic jitters could potentially affect demand and pricing.

⌠It's very tough to predict how it will unfold, said one downstream source. ⌠The market is being pulled both ways really - at this point I have no idea. Benzene values remained surprisingly resilient in the face of sharp crude losses in August, as several shutdowns in southern Europe and the Mediterranean kept supply levels balanced to tight this month.

⌠Europe is an import market, added one benzene trader. ⌠There hasn't really been anything coming in for this month, and that has helped to keep prices firm. But whether this buoyancy will continue into September remains uncertain. With the downstream styrene market expected to see reduced activity in the light of the numerous turnarounds scheduled for September and October, this will most likely mean that benzene demand will be softer.


Libya-Europe gas export pipeline repaired

(Arabian Oil and Gas) -- The Greenstream gas pipeline, which brings Libyan gas to Italy 510 kilometres undersea from Mellita on the North coast to Europe via Gela in Sicily, has been repaired, according to a Reuters report. Libyan NTC military spokesman Ahmed Bani told Reuters the gas pipeline is "back and running, supplying the pump stations and the Mellitah (gas processing) refinery. Gas will start flowing to Europe." Bani did not give a timeframe for exports to begin.

Bani said the closure had resulted in the loss of about EUR 1 mln (USD1.44 mln) per day worth of gas. The transitional government badly needs hydrocarbon revenue to rectify shortages of food, water and government salaries.

The Greenstream, inaugerated by Gaddafi in 2004, is 50% owned by Italian oil firm Eni, which has significant interests in Libya totalling 13% of its global portfolio.


Toppan Printing developed Japan's first film for use in packaging materials

(Omnexus) -- Toppan Printing Co., Ltd. has developed Japan's first film for use in packaging materials that uses biomass polyethylene. Full-scale sales will be launched from August 2011. In order to contribute to the realization of a sustainable society, Toppan Printing engages in the development of products that are environmentally friendly. This new product is a film that partially uses a raw material derived from sugarcane and has a biomass ratio of up to 40% (ratio by weight). While using a raw material derived from plants, the film retains the same performance as existing films in terms of properties such as shock resistance and ease of tearing.


Russian producers cut PVC September prices

(MRC) -- Downward price movements of PVC import, along with an excess resin offers in the domestic market have forced Russian producers to cut contract prices for suspension deliveries in September, according to ICIS-MRC Price report. Excessive imports of suspension PVC keep on affecting the Russian market.

Over the seven months, PVC-S imports to Russia grew by 83% year on year and made 301 KT. More than 24 KT of imported resin were supplied to the Russian market over the first August fortnight. Large volumes of imported PVC-S to the Russian market are expected in September, due to a long period from the date of contracts signing and the date of arrival for main foreign suppliers (U.S. and Asian producers).

PVC-S imports partly compensated a decline of production in the Russian market this year. Over the seven months, Russian producers have cut output by 9% to 302 KT. Some converters reported about 10-15% increase in resin consumption. However, in spite of all these factors, PVC supplies in the Russian market still exceed its demand.

Russian PVC producers on the back of prices decrease in foreign markets, as well as significant imports volume, had to cut contract prices further for September deliveries. Some converters decreased prices to RUB 500-1.000/t, others kept August prices.

Since bargaining still goes on, final contract prices will be established by the end of the week. Big fluctuations of prices can hardly be expected.