Thai Company to Suspend Operations at its Three PP Units in January-February

(chemmonitor) -- The Thailand-based company HMC Polymers intends to close its several units for maintenance works. The facilities are employed in polypropylene (PP) production.

Map Ta Phut (Thailand) is the plants location. Each unit will be closed for about one week. The shutdowns are likely to occur within first two months of 2012.

HMC Polymers is a market leader in specialty polypropylene in Thailand. HMC Polymers established the first polypropylene manufacturing facility in Thailand in 1987 and today's capacity is 450,000 metric tons per annum. In 2006 a decision was made to invest in a Spherizone plant with a production capacity of 300,000 metric tons per annum which will commence operations in mid-2009.
Spherizone is a state-of-the-art polypropylene manufacturing technology that allows the manufacture of innovative resins with properties beyond the known properties of polypropylene.


Coke makes investment push to bring 100% biobased bottle closer to reality

(plasticstoday) -- Coca-Cola is betting on the technologies of three firms to help it get to a 100% biobased bottle by 2020, announcing partnerships with Virent, Gevo and Avantium to take its PlantBottle from 30% renewably sourced to 100% in the next eight years.

Virent and Gevo's technologies center on a biobased route to terephthalic acid (PTA) forerunner, paraxylene, which along with monoethylene glycol (MEG), is used to make bottle material polyethylene terephthalate (PET), while Avantium has create a way to convert carbohydrates into furanic chemical building blocks that could be used to create a biobased route to polyesters, among other materials.

For its part, Avantium believes its PEF material will become the next-generation biobased polyester, since it's essentially a drop-in replacement for PET. Avantium started up a PEF pilot plant on Dec. 8 in Geleen, the Netherlands and says it has already made bottles with exceptional barrier and thermal properties, in a production process that fits into the existing bottle supply chain. It plans commercial PEF production in about three to four years. Virent, meanwhile, is targeting early 2015 for the opening of its first full-scale commercial plant.

Gevo has developed a platform technology based on a proprietary fermentation method that utilizes a biocatalyst and the efficient separation of isobutanol. The company says that combination enables the low cost retrofit of existing ethanol capacity for isobutanol, a forerunner to several chemicals, including paraxylene.

Since introduced it was introduced in 2009, more than 10 billion PlantBottle packages have been distributed in 20 countries worldwide. At this stage, the bottle is 30% biobased, with the MEG portion derived sugar cane ethanol, and the other 70% from petroleum based PTA.


Samsung Total to invest USD1.4 bln in a paraxylene plant at Daesan

(plastemart) -- The board of directors of Samsung Total Petrochemicals has approved an investment outlay of Won 1.66 trillion (USD1.44 bln) to build a new 1 mln tpa paraxylene plant at its Daesan complex. The company's paraxylene capacity will increase to 1.6 mln tpa when the new plant comes on line in September 2014.

Samsung Total is a 50-50 joint venture between South Korea's Samsung Group and the French chemical group Total.


Petronas in talks with oil majors to develop petrochem plants at its USD20 bln refinary

(plastemart) -- Petronas is considering development of petrochemical plants within its US$20 bln refinery complex in the south of Malaysia, for which it is in talks with several major oil companies, including Shell and Exxon Mobil Japan's Itochu Corp and Mitsubishi, as well as Dow Chemical Company.

The company is expected to make a decision on any partnerships in mid-2012. Refinery and Petrochemicals Integrated Development project was announced by the oil major in May 2011, planned to be commissioned by the end of 2016.

Output from the projects will cater to rising demand from Asia and is in line with the company's plans to diversify operations. The company has initiated basic engineering and design which will be followed by the tendering process for building the complex.
Currently, Petronas is on track for timely commissioning of the project. The USD20 billion complex will feature a 300,000 bpd refinery, while the petrochemical developments will include a naphtha cracker capable of producing around 3 mln tpa of ethylene, propylene and C4 and C5 olefins and along with a complex that will produce "differentiated and highly specialised chemicals.

The complex will be located in Southern Johor, chosen for its strategic location, proximity to deepwater port facilities, international shipping lanes and regional demand centres.


Mitsui Chemicals, Sinopec ink agreement to establish an EPT joint venture

(plastemart) -- Japan's Mitsui Chemicals Inc. and China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. (Sinopec) have signed an agreement to establish a joint venture (JV) company for the production and distribution of ethylene-propylene-diene terpolymer (EPT), as per Japan Corporate News NetWork.

The new plant, scheduled for commercial operation in Q1-2014, is expected to be the world's largest state-of-the-art plant in EPT production.