Dow and Aksa Akrilik to form a joint venture

(BUSINESS WIRE) -- The Dow Chemical Company, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Dow Europe GmbH, and Aksa Akrilik Kimya Sanayii A.S signed a definitive agreement to form a joint venture to manufacture and commercialize carbon fiber and derivatives.

The joint venture will develop and globally market a broad range of products and technical service support in the rapidly expanding carbon-fiber based composites industry. Very strong and lightweight, carbon-fiber based materials are used in a variety of applications in growth industries such as wind energy, construction, transportation, and infrastructure, where weight savings, emissions reduction, durability and energy efficiency are key performance factors.

Under terms of the agreement, Dow and Aksa will each hold a 50 percent stake in the joint venture. Following initial equity investments from the two companies, the JV will finance its growth through cash flow from operations and financial institutions. Total investment in the project, including third party investments, is expected to reach USD1 billion U.S. dollars in five years and create up to 1,000 employment opportunities.

The JV will expand on Aksa's existing carbon fiber production assets in Yalova, Turkey, and will capture growth by creating a large-scale, integrated production capability for the manufacture and supply of advanced carbon fiber technologies. The venture will have a particular focus on bringing solutions to market that reduce overall costs, thereby enhancing economics and driving adoption in a broader array of markets.


Total to restart its onshore operation in Libya

(Arabian oil and gas) -- French supermajor Total is to restart its onshore operation ⌠in a few days, according to a Reuters report. Michel Seguin, special advisor to the president of Total Exploration & Production, Yves-Louis Darricarrere, told Reuters.

There are still some logistical issues that need to be sorted out" but Libyan onshore production ⌠will resume in a few days.

Seguin was speaking on the sidelines of a visit to Libya by French Trade Minister Pierre Lellouche.

Before the Libyan civil war Total produced a total of 55,000 barrels a day in Libya. It's main onshore asset is the 19,000 bpd Mabruk field. Production at Total's offshore Al Jurf field has been continuing since 25 September at a rate of 41,000 barrels per day.


Octal Petrochemicals plans an expansion of over USD 200 mln

(Plastemart) -- Oman's PET producer and sheet extruder Octal Petrochemicals is planning an expansion at an outlay of over USD200 mln. Capacity will be increased at its Salalah, Oman, production plant by June 2012. Two more reactors and will be added in the expansion Octal has 880 mln lbs of PET capacity of which 770 mln lbs can be used for on-site sheet production.


GSFC to set up an integrated fertiliser and petrochemicals complex at Gujarat

(Plastemart) -- Gujarat State Fertiliser Corporation (GSFC) is setting up an integrated fertiliser and petrochemicals complex at Dahej, Gujarat, at an investment of Rs7,000 crore with an aim to consolidate its position in specialty chemicals. The detailed project report is ready and the process of land allocation and tendering is in progress. Project capacities will include: 1 mln of urea, 0.1 mtpa of caprolactum and 40,000 mtpa of melamine. Any major impact on the company's topline could be visible only after four years when the complex is ready.
⌠The advantage with GSFC is that it has an integrated complex which helps it in manufacturing caprolactum and melamine at highly cost-effective prices which helps in clocking higher margins. With yet another integrated facility coming up, GSFC's leadership in these two chemicals will be unchallenged, said Salil Garg, director at Fitch Ratings.

According to the company's presentation, GSFC currently holds 60% market share in caprolactum and 40% in melamine and experts say it enjoys virtual monopoly in these two chemicals.


In Russia PP production over 11 months grew by 10%

(MRC) -- In November, Russian producers increased their output of polypropylene (PP) to 57.5 thousand tonnes. In general, over the 11 months, overall amount of PP production in Russia grew by 10% to 626 thousand tonnes, according to MRC ScanPlast.

In November, the total volume of PP production in Russia grew by 2% compared with October and made 57.5 thousand tonnes. However, despite the total increase of production volumes, Ufaorgsyntez (Bashneft) and Neftekhimia (Sibur managed company) last month reduced their PP production volume. In November, these companies reduced the output by 21% and 19% compared with October, correspondingly.

At the end of last month there was a slight decrease of raffia production in favour of injection molding grades of PP-homo. The total volume of copolymers of propylene made 10.4 thousand tonnes, that was by 13% more compared with the October index.

In general, over January-November, Russian producers made 626 thousand tonnes of PP and its copolymers, that was by 10% more year on year.

Actually all Russian producers work with capacities utilization close to 100%, and the current production growth was mainly due to reduced period of scheduled turnarounds, particularly at Neftekhimia and Ufaorgsyntez.

According to preliminary estimates, at 2011 year end, the total PP production in Russia made about 680 thousand tonnes, against 626 thousand tonnes in 2010. The results of 2011 were shadowed by an accident at Stavrolen. There are no official statements from Lukoil about the accident, but according to Minister of Industry, Energy and Transport of the Stavropol region, Dmitry Samatov, polymer production at the petrochemical plant will be resumed in February 2012.