China's Befar shuts PO line on mechanical problems

(ICIS) -- China's Befar Group has shut its 80,000 tonne/year propylene oxide (PO) line in Shandong because of mechanical problems, a company source said on Friday.

The unexpected shutdown occurred on 29 December in the evening, the source said, adding that the company did not know when the unit would be able to be restarted.

The company's other 110,000 tonne/year PO line at the same site is operating normally, according to the source.

PO prices are at CNY12,100-12,400/tonne (USD 1,915-1,962/tonne) DEL (delivered) north China for spot customers, according to data from Chemease.

Befar primarily supplies PO to end-users in northern and eastern China.


China's Sinopec Beihai Petrochemical starts up new refinery

(ICIS)--Sinopec Beihai Petrochemical has started up its new 5m tonne/year refinery at Beihai in Guangxi and will offer oil products from next month, a company source said on Friday.

The company also plans to start up all auxiliary units, primarily a 1.7m tonne/year fluid catalytic cracker, a 2.6m tonne/year gasoil hydrogenation unit, a 1.2m tonne/year delayed coker and a 200,000 tonne/year polypropylene (PP) plant at the same site before the Lunar New Year holiday (22-28 January).

However, initially the units will not run at high operating rates, the source said.
⌠We will begin to supply oil products in January, the source added.
The refinery was previously scheduled to start on 18 December, but production was delayed until late December as a fluid catalytic unit was not ready for operation at the time.

Production at this refinery will help to push up Sinopec's crude throughput in 2012, industry sources said.


Thailand's Formosa Plastics to complete IIR plant in 2013

(ICIS) -- Formosa Plastics Group (FPG), the biggest plastics group in Taiwan, will complete the construction of 50,000 tonnes/year isobutylene isoprene rubber (IIR) plant at Ningbo of Zhejiang province at the end of the second quarter of 2013, a company source said on Friday.
The company, with investment of yuan (CNY) 18bn (USD2.84bn), started the construction of the plant in September 2011, according to the source.

⌠Domestic IIR producers will facing a challenging market because IIR output is expected to exceed downstream demand in the future, a market player said.


Happy New Year and Merry Christmas!

Dear friends! MRC is wishing you happy New Year and Merry Christmas! May each day of the New Year bring happiness, good cheer and sweet surprises to you and all your dear ones!
Sincerely yours MRC.

South Stream pipeline gets Turkey green light

( -- Turkey has given permission for the South Stream gas pipeline to be built across its territories, giving the project a clear run into the lucrative energy markets of Europe.
The pipeline will transport Russian gas to Europe under the Black Sea. It will now be able to bypass Ukraine, which had failed to reach an agreement with the pipeline's owners.

Gazprom has a 50% stake in the project, Italy's Eni 20% and France's EDF and Germany's Wintershall 15% each. A short statement from Gazprom said "all necessary and unconditional permits were granted".
The full pipeline is expected to be completed by the end of 2015.
The main rival to the South Stream project is the EU-backed Nabucco pipeline, which is set to carry gas from the Caspian region to Austria, passing through southern Europe.