Petrochemical hub in Malaysia's ECER to attract investors from the Middle East

(plastemart) -- A world-class petrochemical hub in the East Coast Economic Region (ECER) that currently houses two operational integrated petrochemical complexes, is set to attract investors from the Middle East. Of the two complexes, Kertih Integrated Petrochemical Complex in Terengganu, located within the Petronas Petroleum Industry Complex (PPIC), focuses on ethylene-based products; while Gebeng Integrated Petrochemical Complex in Pahang focuses on propylene-based products.

PPIC is home to 41 plants and facilities with investment from Petronas and offers world-class infrastructure and facilities, including logistics and distribution system to support downstream manufacturing activities, and polymer feedstock availability.

The East Coast Economic Region Development Council (ECERDC) investment mission is headed to the Middle East from May 7 to 17 to attract investors from the Gulf region to ECER, as well as to enhance bilateral business relationship between Malaysia and the Middle East countries.


Protest in Changhua County to halt construction of petrochem complex by Kuo Kuang

(plastemart) -- Protests have demanded the government to halt the construction of a petrochemical complex by Kuo Kuang Petrochemical Technology Corp in Changhua County. Residents and environmentalists staged a protest in front of the Ministry of the Interior's Construction and Planning Agency to this effect. No conclusion has been reached by the Construction and Planning Agency on its second review of an application filed by Kuo Kuang for revised land use and development scheduled for this week. The company has not yet disclosed the proposed source of 400,000 tons of water required daily by the petrochemical plant.

The ministry originally planned to designate the coastal area in Changhwa one of the nation's most important wetlands, but that plan was halted by the Council of Economic Planning and Development (CEPD).


Cereplast announces first quarter 2010 Results

EL SEGUNDO (Cereplast) -- Cereplast, a leading manufacturer of proprietary bio-based, sustainable plastics, today announced its financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2010.

Revenue for the first quarter ended March 31, 2010, totaled $319,217 compared to $564,383 a year ago. The sales decrease for the period was due to the temporary closure of the Company's factory as it moved its operations from California to its new production facility in Seymour, Indiana. The decrease was partially offset by an increase in order from both existing and new customers.

Gross profit decreased by $6,204, or 6.4%, to $91,566 for the three months ended March 31, 2010, compared to gross profit of $97,770 for the three months ended March 31, 2009. As a percentage of net sales, gross profit margin increased to 31.6% for the three months ended March 31, 2010 from 17.4% for the three months ended March 31, 2009. The increase in gross margin is attributable to lower cost of sales tied to decreases in raw materials costs, and improvements in manufacturing operations and cost savings at the Company's new facility in Seymour, Indiana.

Total operating expenses for the three months ended March 31, 2010 decreased by $705,627, or 31.2%, to $1,556,717 compared to total operating expenses of $2,262,344 for the three months ended March 31, 2009. The decrease for the period is largely attributable to a reduction in salary and wages and in the value of stock-based compensation as a result of a smaller workforce, as well as a decrease in marketing expenses, professional fees, rent expense, and research and development costs.

Net loss for the first quarter of 2010 decreased by $508,961, or 23.2% to $1,684,594 compared to a net loss of $2,193,555 for the same period a year ago. The decrease in net loss was a result of reduced operating expenses associated with downsizing of the Company's workforce and leveraging staff resources, improved processes and cost controls, and rigorous market and customer selection as well as enhanced gross profit margins.


Commercial production begins at SABIC-Sinopec JV in Tianjin, China

(plastemart) -- Commercial production has commenced at Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) and Sinopec Corp's 50:50 joint venture petrochemical complex in Tianjin in China on May 11. Built at an estimated investment outlay of US$2.7 bln, the complex has capacity to produce 3 mln tpa of products like ethylene, polyethylene, glycol ethylene and polypropylene. Total ethylene production capacity at the complex is 1.2 mln tpa and total primary refining capacity is 15.5 mln tpa, 5.87 mln tpa of oil products, 3.2 mln tpa of ethylene, 1.5 mln tpa of synthetic rubber and chemical fiber and 750,000 mln tpa of LPG.

The Tianjin Refinery is slated to become the largest ethylene production base in China and the largest refining base in north China.


Total adds C4 to its production mix

(Plastics Today) -- With the start of its new ethylene cracker in Qatar complete, plastics supplier Total Petrochemicals has added butene linear low-density polyethylene (C4-LLDPE) to its portfolio and now offers the resin to Europe. The material could cause some problems for competitors, most of who rely on oil for feedstocks. Total derives its ethylene from less expensive natural gas.

The new material, produced on the recently inaugurated 450,000-tonne/yr Qatofin production line in Qatar, consists of grades with various additive packages of antioxidants, slip agents, and anti-blocking agents.

Qatofin is Total's joint venture with QAPCO (Qatar Petrochemical Co.). Total intends to stock the C4-LLDPE at its European logistic hubs. "That will allow guaranteeing our customers a continuous and consistent logistic service quality as with any other European product supplied by Total Petrochemicals," says Barbara Mandard, marketing manager Europe for film and fibers applications.