Polyolefins Co operates in full after maintenance

(chemmonitor) -- The Saudi Arabia-based company Polyolefins Co (SPC) possesses a polypropylene (PP) unit in the Eastern province. The plant produces 720,000 tonnes annually.

The company restarted the unit after maintenance last week. Currently, the plant is operated in full.

The plant's shutdown was entailed by power outage at the site. The facility was off stream more than a week.

SPC is trying to satisfy the buyers' demand for PP. One more Saudi Arabia producer Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) operates PP units at the same site.


Cardia Bioplastics and Polyden Folien cooperate on sustainable packaging

(polyestertime) --Polyden Folien have launched their new range of packaging films made with Cardia Biohybrid technology that meet highest packaging performance standards.

Cardia Biohybrid proprietary technology combines renewable thermoplastics with polyethylene material to reduce dependence on finite oil resources and to reduce carbon footprint.

Polyden Folien Managing Director, Peter Moser, said "The combination of packaging performance, environmental profile and cost effectiveness made Cardia Biohybrid technology the solution for Polyden Folien's sustainable packaging needs."

Polyden Folien's product launch of flexible films made with Cardia Biohybrid technology is consistent with the company's business development of sustainable packaging.

Cardia Bioplastics is benefiting from the trend towards sustainable packaging with products used in a broad range of packaging applications, including flexible film, injection moulding, blow moulding, foam, extrusion and coating applications.


Exxon Mobil 4Q Profit Rises 1.6% Amid Higher Prices

(nasdaq) -- Exxon Mobil Corp.'s (XOM) fourth-quarter earnings edged up 1.6% as high oil prices offset impacts from lower production and weak refining margins.

The company has been distancing itself from the refining and marketing, or downstream, business globally. A number of major energy companies have been repositioning amid a boom in alternative shale energy fields and a glut of refining capacity. However, big investments in shale natural-gas resources, such as Exxon's $25 billion acquisition of XTO Energy in 2010, remain a bet for the future as natural-gas prices remain at historic lows.

Exxon Mobil, the world's largest publicly traded oil company by market value, reported a profit of $9.4 billion, or $1.97 a share, up from $9.25 billion, or $ 1.85 a share, a year earlier.

Revenue increased 16% to $121.61 billion. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters most recently projected earnings of $1.96 on revenue of $119.7 billion.

Exploration and production earnings were up 18% mostly owing to higher prices as production fell 9% on an oil-equivalent basis.

Refining and marketing slumped 63% on weaker refining margins and lower petroleum product sales.

During the quarter, Exxon Mobil repurchased 69 million common shares at a cost of $5.4 billion, including $5 billion to reduce shares outstanding.

On Friday, Chevron Corp. (CVX) reported that its fourth-quarter earnings declined 3.2%, missing expectations, amid losses at its refining business. On Thursday, ConocoPhillips (COP) said its fourth-quarter profit rose 66% as higher oil prices and asset sales helped offset weak refining results.

Shares closed Monday at $85.49 and were inactive premarket.

In 2011 Russia increased production of chemicals by 5.2%

MOSCOW (MRC) -- In 2011, the growth of chemical production in Russia slowed down and made 5.2%. In 2010, this figure was 14.6%. The highest production growth last year fell on the producers of polyamides and polystyrene, according to MRC analysts.

The volume of production of polyamides in primary forms grew more than by 20%, production of polystyrene - by 14%. The other polymers production grew less by 10%.

The total production of olefins (ethylene and propylene) made 3,686 million tonnes. The output of ethylene increased to 2,468 million tonnes, which was by 3.7% more than in 2010. Production of propylene actually stayed at the level of 2010 - about 1,218 million tonnes. The output of styrene rose to 486 thousand tonnes, with an increase of 2.6%. Benzol production remained the same and made 1.1 million tonnes.

The production of caustic soda has been gradually shortening since 2007 on the back of complete halt of plants (e.g., Usolyekhimprom) as well as reducing of capacities utilization at other facilities. Last year Khimprom (Cheboksary), Khimprom (Volgograd), Sibur-Neftekhim and Novomoskovskij Chlor reduced caustic soda output.

The total volume of caustic soda production declined by 2.5% to 1,047 million tonnes (calculated on 100% basis). With 128,500 tonnes of them fell at the solid caustic soda.


Global plastics demand to grow significantly by 2015

(plastech) -- The global demand for thermoplastics is expected to grow by around 100,000 tonnes by 2015, driven by the developing economies. Polyethylene comprises 35% of this market and polypropylene is 24%, according to leading market consultant Noru Tsalic of Applied Market Information (AMI).

This is an annual increase of 5.6%. The key applications for PE are packaging at 69% and infrastructure at 11%, while for PP the percentages are 43% in packaging and 11% in automotive and appliances.

The leading material suppliers conduct extensive research, like Borealis Polyolefine. Molecular structure, processing and additives all affect properties. Stabilisers and modifiers need to be compatible with the polymer, have high solubility and low migration rate and meet all safety standards. The range used in polyolefins includes antioxidants for processing and long-term stabilisation, UV stabilisers, antistatic, slip agents, nucleating agents, flame retardants, impact modifiers, lubricants, foaming agents, fillers and reinforcements.

It is also important that recipes take account of synergistic or antagonistic effects of additive combinations, for example hindered amine light stabiliser (HALS) is antagonistic to sulfur antioxidants. Some additives have dual effects, for example nucleating agents can improve thermal stability, perhaps because of the increase in crystallinity. Fillers are particularly important as the chemical nature, particle morphology and surface treatment can all affect material performance and additive interaction.