US Celanese's to consider building a new acetic acid plant

(ICIS) -- US Celanese's top executive hinted on Tuesday that the company was considering building a new acetic acid plant, although he offered no specifics about where or when it might be built.
In a conference call that focused frequently on acetic acid, Celanese chief executive David Weidman said there had been no new plants built since 2008 or early 2009. ⌠At some point you shouldn't be surprised if we announced a new acetic acid plant that was economically attractive relative to debottlenecking or any other option that we had," Weidman said at the end of the call. He added that acetic acid is the foundation of the company, and Celanese plans to maintain that position.


Lukoil started construction of a gas chemical plant

(Lukoil) -- An official ceremony of laying down a time capsule symbolizing the launch of construction phase one of a gas processing plant (GPP), part of a gas chemical facility (GCF), took place in Budyonnovsk, Stavropol Territory, today. The GCF will be built on the industrial site of OOO Stavrolen, an OAO LUKOIL subsidiary.

The facility is expected to be built in several phases. In 2015, it is planned to commission phase one of the GPP with a capacity of 2 billion cubic meters per year and a 135 MW unit on the base of a CCGT (combined-cycle gas turbine) and to upgrade the existing ethylene production unit to convert it to the processing of liquefied gases.

In 2017, it is planned to commission phase two of the GPP with a capacity of 4 billion cubic meters per year, an ethylene production unit with a capacity of 225 thousand tons per year and a polyethylene production unit with a capacity of 255 thousand tons per year.

As a result, the GCF will become Russia's largest polymer production center. Moreover, commercial gas from the GCF will be delivered to Gazprom's transportation system. The expected appropriations to all budget levels will exceed RUB 10 billion per year.


Korea's Honam Petrochemical developed TPO nanocomposites

(Plastics Today) -- Thermoplastic elastomer (TPO) nanocomposites developed by Korea's Honam Petrochemical Corp. (Seoul) have delivered a 25% weight saving versus 40% talc-filled polypropylene through thinwalling and lower density in a side sill molding used in a Hyundai vehicle.

Weight was reduced from 4.6 kg to 3.4 kg per car according to Se Hoon Kim, Senior Research Engineer at the company's Daedok Research Institute. Use in B pillar trim, meanwhile, reduced mass by 30%. The nanocomposite compounds employed use Honam's Adpoly maleic anhydride-grafted polyolefin as a coupling agent. For these compounds to make further market penetration, Kim notes that technical issues such as suitability for non-painted exterior parts and the odor of interior parts need to be addressed, while pricing is also currently an issue.

Furthermore, Honam entered the long glass fiber reinforced thermoplastic (LFRT) market three years ago with its Supran product, available in base polymers polypropylene, polyamide and polycarbonate. These products are manufactured using a special melt impregnation process and come in 8-12-mm fiber loadings of 20-50%.

One of the first application successes for Supran was Korea's first integrated plastic door module, molded in a 31-second cycle and achieving a 30% weight saving over its metal predecessor and a 20% reduction in part number.


BASF Neopolen E to provide greater safety

(BASF) -- Thanks to crash mats with a core of Neopolen E providing greater safety on ski slopes and downhill runs, skiers and snowboarders will be sure of a soft landing both on and off the snow this winter season. These mats, which are made by the Austrian sporting goods manufacturer Berger, can be used for example to cushion ski lift uprights, rock walls, and barriers. Berger's crash mats contain a specially-designed Neopolen E hollow chamber system. On impact, the BASF foam provides optimum shock cushioning, thus helping to protect skiers from injury.

Neopolen E is a closed-cell, physically crosslinked polyethylene particle foam (EPE). As a core material for mats, Neopolen E is not only stable but flexible and durable, and it also has an excellent shock-absorbing effect. This means that the material provides outstanding absorption of the energy striking the mat in case of impact. Moreover, it returns to its original shape after the load is released. This allows even repeated loads to be reliably cushioned. Because of the light weight of Neopolen E, these crash mats can be easily transported and set up on ski slopes.


China to import strong volumes of major petrochemical products in September

(ICIS) -- China continued to import strong volumes of major petrochemical products in September as prices of most commodities declined in the international markets amid softer demand coming from industrialized countries in the West, industry sources said on Wednesday.

The country, the world's second biggest economy, is a major importer of petrochemicals in Asia.
In September, China imported 6% more ethylene on a year-on-year basis to 79,760 tonnes, while it took in 8,774 tonnes of butadiene, representing a 16% increase, official data from China Customs showed. Its propylene imports totaled 143,332 tonnes last month, up 76% year on year, according to the data.

Spot ethylene prices on 30 September averaged $1,090/tonne (┬785/tonne) CFR (cost and freight) China, down by more than 4% from the start of the month. Butadiene prices in Asia slumped nearly 21%, while propylene values tumbled 8% over the course of the month, according to ICIS data.
The decline in prices is largely caused by sluggish demand and a general bearishness in sentiment in the market amid fears of another round of global recession.