Formosa Petrochemical Corp has restarted the largest of its three naphtha crackers

(Reuters) -- Taiwan's Formosa Petrochemical Corp has restarted the largest of its three naphtha crackers following a planned maintenance which started in mid-August, traders said on Tuesday. However, some traders said Asia's top naphtha buyer may shun buying spot naphtha for November despite having restarted the 1.2 million-tonnes-per-year (tpy) No. 3 cracker. "They should have sufficient naphtha inventories for now," said a trader.

Other traders said Formosa had recently bought a large volume of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). LPG can be used to replace up to 15 percent of naphtha needed in its crackers. It operates three naphtha crackers with a total ethylene capacity of 2.93 million tpy.


Arburg to reward a new electric Allrounder 370 E to the molder with the oldest Allrounder

(Plastics Today) -- Arburg plans to reward a new electric Allrounder 370 E to the molder with the oldest Allrounder that is still being used in production. The promotion is one way the company is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the launch of its Allrounder machine range.

Arburg, based in Lossburg, Germany, is calling the contest "Economic Miracle" anniversary competition. The company's Allrounder injection molding machines have been installed by the thousands since their introduction. Launched in 1961, the invention of the Allrounder principle meant that, for the first time, injection molding was possible in different working positions using a pivoting clamping unit and interchangeable injection unit.

Since the market launch of the first Allrounders, all Arburg machines bear the Allrounder name. Arburg makes a reliable machine, we've been told often enough, and we've seen enough old Allrounders during tours at injection molders to bet that the winner likely will have more than 25 years of service to its credit.

The contest winner will receive an electric Allrounder 370 E from the Edrive series, which Arburg introduced into its electric machine range this year. Prerequisites for participation in the anniversary competition are that the customer or company is the original owner of the Allrounder entered and the machine must still be in use in production today. Predecessor machines of the Allrounder will not be accepted.


Styrolution has scored a success at automaker Skoda

(PlasticsToday) -- Styrolution Group GmbH (Ludwigshafen, Germany), the new joint venture between BASF (Ludwigshafen) and INEOS (Lyndhurst, UK), has scored a success at automaker Skoda, with the OEM now using a modified SAN (styrene-acrylonitrile copolymer) material for its vehicle exteriors. The grade in question, Luran HH 120, combines the advantages of classic SAN with improved temperature and weathering resistance.

Piano black SAN compound is tailored to meet weathering resistance and color depth requirements of auto industry.

Dura Automotive Systems GmbH (Dusseldorf, Germany), a German subsidiary of the American automotive supplier of the same name, was a development partner for the material. The company manufactures A-, B- and C-pillars and has recently started using Luran HH 120 for serial production of the B-pillar cladding of the Skoda Superb.


A new plant will produce the power cable insulation materials at Sipchem's site in Jubail

(Arabian oil and gas) -- Saudi International Petrochemical Company (Sipchem) affiliate Gulf Advanced Cable Insulation Company has awarded on LSTK basis the engineering design, procurement and construction contract for the Wire and Cable Polymers Compounding Plant to POSCO Engineering Co, South Korea. The new plant will produce the power cable insulation materials at Sipchem's site in Jubail Industrial City. This plant comes as part of Sipchem's third phase expansion downstream program. Gulf Advanced Cable Insulation Company is equally owned by Sipchem and Hanwha Chemical of South Korea.

The estimated cost of the plant is around $61.3 million, which is expected to start up in the third quarter 2013. Feedstock for the plant will be sourced from the International Polymers Company, one of Sipchem affiliates.


Oleochemicals, biofuels face higher 2012 feedstock price

(ICIS) -- After bottoming out in September, the global fats and oils market is expected to see another upward price cycle in 2012, led by projected lower production volumes and increased consumption of biofuels, an industry consultant said on Wednesday.

⌠World fats and oils supplies are sufficiently ample until December 2011. Expect soybean oil export from South America to be reduced because of higher domestic consumption for biofuels," said Thomas Mielke, director of Germany-based agriculture consulting firm ISTA Mielke.

Growing global dependence on palm oil for food use will rise in the next several years, which will strain feedstock use for oleochemicals and biofuels, Mielke said. About 76m-77m tonnes of palm oil will be required in 2020, compared with 45.5m tonnes seen in 2010, he added. ⌠This means an annual average palm oil output growth of 3.1m tonnes will be needed worldwide. Indonesia has to bear that increase in consumption demand, as Malaysia palm oil production is already strained, said Mielke.

As of 2010, biofuels already accounted for 12% of the global fats and oils consumption, at 171.6m tonnes. Chemicals account for 4%, or 7.7m tonnes, of global fats and oils' use.