IOC activates 850,000 tons ethylene plant

( -- The India Oil Corporation (IOC) the biggest state-owned refining company in India has set up a 850,000 tons / year ethylene plant in Panipat in Punjab. The plant uses the latest Lummus Global's patented technology.

The plant which started in March has been built at a cost of Rs 144 billion. The raw material, naphtha will be sourced from its Koyali, Mathura and Panipat refineries.

According to IOC, the current utilization of the plant is 50 percent. By the first week of June 2010, IOC plans to activate the downstream derivatives production unit.

This will include 350,000 tons / year linear low density polyethylene, 300,000 tons / year high density polyethylene, 650,000 tons / year of polypropylene, in addition to a 600,000 tons / year of purified terephthalic acid (PTA) plant.


LyondellBasell declares force majeure on Aubette LDPE

(ICIS) -- Major plastics producer LyondellBasell has declared force majeure on deliveries of certain grades of low density polyethylene (LDPE) from its 320,000 tonne/year plant at Aubette in France, a company source said on Thursday.

⌠The plant is due up again soon but our stock position is such that we could not avoid force majeure, said the source.

The unit had been suffering technical difficulties for several days and the low stock position at the site led to the declaration.

LDPE availability was already tight throughout Europe and buyers had paid increases for the past five months. PE producers were now aiming to raise prices again, by as much as ┬80/tonne ($98/tonne) in one case, but buyers resisted such hikes as the monthly ethylene contract for June had only risen by ┬10/tonne.

Initial reports from producers suggested they were managing to implement increases of ┬40/tonne, but this was not yet fully confirmed by buyers. LDPE net prices were reported in the mid-to-high-┬1,200s/tonne FD (free delivered) NWE (northwest Europe).

MRCMRC Reference

LyondellBasell. The share in the Russian market in 2008:
PE - 1.4% (including HDPE - 2.5%, LDPE - 0.3%);
PP - 4.1% (including block-copolymers - 9.5%).

Annual sales growth in Russia, during the recent 5 years:
PE - 27%;
PP - 88%.

The leader in the following polymers processing technologies:

pipe extrusion;

film extrusion;

injection molding.

Personnel Changes at BASF

LUDWIGSHAFEN (BASF) -- The Board of Executive Directors of BASF SE announced the following changes in its management team.

Jacques Delmoitiez (57), currently President of BASF's Polyurethanes division located in Brussels, Belgium, will become President of BASF's regional division Europe, located in Ludwigshafen, Germany effective October 1, 2010. The current President, Dr. Walter Seufert (59) is retiring as of September 30, 2010.

Wayne T. Smith (50), currently President of BASF's Catalysts division located in Iselin, New Jersey, will take over responsibilities for the Polyurethanes division as of September 1, 2010. Frank A. Bozich (49) will become head of the Catalysts division. He is currently responsible for the area of precious and basic metals in the Catalysts division.

MRCMRC Reference

BASF. The share in the Russian market in 2008:
PS - 9.1% (GPPS - 5.9%, ABS - 11.4%, EPS - 10.6%).

Annual sales growth in Russia over the 5 years:
PS - 15%.

Imports by polymers processing technologies:
injection molding.

Engel to double its capacity in China

(plasticstoday) -- With demand in Asia, especially China and its automotive market, growing at a swift pace, the leadership of injection molding machine manufacturer Engel (Schwertberg, Austria) decided to double the potential output of its facility in China, which currently is operating at 100% of its available capacity. MPW learned of the decision during a meeting with Engel CEO Peter Neumann in his company headquarters a few minutes after the decision was reached.

Engel manufactures its molding machines at two sites in Austria and one each in the U.S., Korea, and China. The plant in Shanghai makes large machines with clamp forces from 500 tonnes, and it is completely sold out, said Neumann. Almost all of the machines made there are sold in the domestic Chinese or in neighboring countries' markets, he added.

Neumann said the company has the land necessary to expand the Shanghai site, with the goal to double the size of the current facility by next year. "In about one year we hope to have it up and running," he said.


Ukrainian PP market back to pre-crisis level

MOSCOW (MRC) - Polypropylene consumption in Ukraine in Q1, 2010 moved at about 30 kt, which was 41% more compared to the same period in 2009, and more than in the pre-crisis Q1 of 2008 by 15%, - according to MRC's Monthly Reports.

The Ukrainian market suffered the most serious losses in Q4 2008 and at the beginning of 2009. Generally, demand had re-established at the pre-crisis level (about 28 kt quarterly, by mid 2009) by the middle of the previous year. It is nice mentioning that the output went up by 7% during Q1 2010, compared to Q1 and Q2 of 2009, and moved at 25 kt.

Over 50% of feedstock processed in Ukraine is imported. According to the results of Q1, they imported 15.5 kt. However, imports have been decreasing over the recent months; according to the results of January-April, imports dropped by 16% as compared with September-December 2009: LyondellBasell cut down supplies by 40% (down to 3 kt), the same did Slovnaft - down by 26%, to 2.4 kt. Borealis and Russia's Nizhnekamskneftekhim and Stavrolen increased their supplies to the Ukrainian market.

Linos is cutting down its shipments to the foreign markets: during the four months, the company exported about 13 kt of feedstock. During the same period in 2009, the company exported about 20 kt. Shipments to Turkey and Russia were nearly stopped in 2010.


For more detailed information and forecast on the Ukrainian polypropylene market, please, see MRC Annual Reports.