Teijin announced closed-loop system for recycling used uniforms

(teijinaramid) -- The Teijin Group announced the first program in China for collecting and recycling used uniforms, launched in collaboration with Shandong Asahi Green Source Hi-Tech Farm Co., Ltd. and Shandong Asahi Green Source Milk Products Co., Ltd., both subsidiaries of Asahi Group Holdings. The uniforms will be recycled using Teijin's Eco Circle, an environmentally friendly closed-loop system incorporating the world's first technology for the chemical recycling of polyester.

As part of the program, Teijin Fibers' chemically recyclable polyester fiber is woven into textiles and dyed by Nantong Teijin Co., Ltd, a Teijin Group company in Nantong on the east coast of China.

The uniforms will be collected after their useful lives and sent to Teijin Fibers' Matsuyama plant in Japan. After chemical decomposition, they will be converted into polyester raw material offering purity comparable to polyester derived directly from petroleum. The raw material will then be turned into high-quality polyester for the manufacture of new recyclable products.

Repeated recycling achieved with the Eco Circle system significantly reduces both energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions compared to conventional petroleum-based processes for polyester production.


EU petrochemical embargo to take effect in May

(polyestertime) -- A ban on the import of Iranian petrochemical goods is due to go into effect on 1 May 2012. European companies will no longer be allowed to import petrochemical products nor invest in Iran's petrochemical sector.

Exports of key European technologies to the country will also be prohibited. In response to pressure from Greece - a country that is highly dependent on Iranian oil, as are Portugal and Spain - the EU's decision includes a review clause, due for renewed examination on 1 May. As part of the ban, the Union also plans to freeze the European accounts of Tehran's central bank. It should be noted that both the US and the UK already took similar measures against Iran's oil and gas industry in November 2011, and have also ceased all business with Iranian banks.

In response to the EU embargo, Iran itself has threatened a complete cessation of exports. On 26 January, Emad Hosseini, spokesman for the Iranian parliament's energy committee, said a relevant bill would be presented to the country's parliament on 29 January. If the bill passes, Tehran could cease all oil exports to Europe even before the EU embargo is due to go into effect.

Experts believe these developments will result in a number of price increases on the global oil markets, although it now appears as though the extent of the hikes will be far less than initially feared. Following last year's unrest,the return of Libya into the fold of leading global oil suppliers is sure to have a calming effect.


Valero Energy reported Q4 margins fall

(nasdaq) -- Valero Energy Corp. (VLO) swung to a fourth-quarter profit on an inventory gain from a year-earlier quarter that included losses from discontinued operations. Margins fell, however, on lower refining profit.

Valero, the largest independent oil refining company in the U.S., has reported increased revenue in recent quarters as global distillate demand grows despite continuing weakness in the U.S. gasoline market. Gasoline exports to Latin America, due to supply problems there, have also played a part.

But the company warned earlier this month that weak margins on refined products, particularly for gasoline and petrochemical feedstocks, would hurt its fourth-quarter results. Refining margins were also damped by reduced discounts for heavy sour feedstocks and the narrowing of prices for West Texas Intermediate versus Brent crude oils, resulting in higher-priced crude oils flowing through the system.

Valero reported a profit of USD 45 million, or 8 cents a share, compared with a loss of USD 438 million, or 77 cents, a year earlier. Revenue jumped 56% to USD 34.7 billion. Operating margin fell to 0.5% from 1.7%.

At its refining business, operating earnings dropped 91% as the throughput margin per barrel fell to USD 5.46 from USD 7.30 a year earlier. Its smaller U.S. retail operations saw its operating profit rise 36%.


China's ethylene production improves greatly

(Fibre2Fashion) -- There has been a remarkable improvement in China's ethylene production with three leading petrochemical firms expanding their ethylene projects, in order to equip themselves to meet the ever-growing demand for ethylene in domestic market.

In 2012, China's demand for ethylene is expected to touch 35 million tons and Chinese ethylene industry is poised to enter a ⌠big ethylene era.

With vast improvement in China's ethylene production capacity, domestic production is able to meet 70 percent of local demand. However, domestic production is still a long way from attaining self-sufficiency.


Samsung Total Petrochemicals to upgrade Daesan complex in Korea

(plastech) -- Total is consolidating its positions in petrochemicals in Asia with a new expansion and upgrading project for the Daesan complex in South Korea, which the Group owns with Samsung as part of the Samsung Total Petrochemicals 50/50 joint venture. With costs approaching USD1.8 billion, the project calls for the construction of a second aromatics1 unit and an ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) copolymer unit at the Daesan petrochemical complex.

The new aromatics unit will have a production capacity of around 1 million metric tons of paraxylene and 420,000 metric tons of benzene per year and will be completed by September 2014. Paraxylene is used to manufacture polyester, while benzene is used to produce petrochemical products such as styrene.

With the completion of the aromatics unit in 2014 and the upgrade of existing paraxylene capacity in 2012, total paraxylene production capacity will be increased to 1.76 million metric tons.

"This investment project in partnership with Samsung is aligned with Total's strategy of expanding in growth markets. It gives us the strong base we need to maintain our position as a leading supplier of value-added products to meet demand in Asia, especially China, said Patrick Pouyanne, President of Total's Refining - Chemicals business. ⌠We are pursuing our strategy of focusing our spending on our most efficient integrated platforms, such as the Daesan complex.

The Daesan petrochemical complex is a world-class facility that manufactures four main products ≈ polypropylene, polyethylene, styrene monomer and paraxylene. Fifty percent of its output is exported, primarily to China.