Production resumed at Shell's Singapore ethylene cracker

(Reuters) -- Royal Dutch Shell's new 800,000 tpa ethylene cracker in Singapore has resumed operations, after a brief disruption caused by a compressor trip. It remains unclear if the plant, which flared on Tuesday, was partially or completely shut, but it resumed operations around late on Wednesday.

Industry sources say that the unit has been hit by occasional problems since it was commissioned in March with some parts being shut during its four-month operation. The plant is reported to be faced with operational problems since it started because the technology is relatively new and the equipment is very sensitive.


The last price hike in the Russian polypropylene market

MOSCOW (MRC) -- By early August the Russian polypropylene market became extremely scarce. Raffia prices beat all the previous records and reached the level of RUB 63.000 - 63.500/mt - according to MRC Price reports.

A number of unplanned suspensions and a long-term maintenance at two plants caused lack of material and another increase in prices. Nearly three weeks of unplanned shutdown at Budennovsk plant in July led to double-ply fall of polypropylene production. Also the production at Ufaorgsyntez capacities was suspended for a few days due to technical problems. Today the plant is operating under capacity. In mid-July Tomskneftehim was suspended for a month-long scheduled maintenance.

All these factors have led to serious raffia deficit in the market. There are small polypropylene volumes offered in the contract market, but there are no offers at all in the spot market. All the volumes are being purchased long before their shipping from a producer. As a result, many converters are decreasing utlization of their capacities due to low stocks. In some cases, raffia prices reach the level of RUB 63.000 - 63.500/mt, FCA.

Anomalous heat in most of the Russian terrtory also influences the situation. In some regions converters faced problems with cargo transportation by car transport . Transport companies refuse to give vehicles or significantly raise transportation prices.

Improvement of the situation in the polypropylene market is expected in the second half of August. Stavrolen is going to resume raffia shippings to the domestic market; Tomskneftehim will also resume production after the maintenance. PP supply from Turkmenia and Ukraine is expected in the middle of the month. By estimate, in August total material supply from these countries is going to exceed 4 - 4,5 kt.

Market experts say that the situation with raffia supply into the market is going to be stabilized only in September.


For more information about Russian polypropylene market please refer to MRC Price reports

Flash of polypropylene remains at Tomskneftehim

TOMSK (RIA Novosti) --Technological ignition of polypropylene residues happened at Tomskneftehim Ltd. site. The incident hasn't led to victims, destruction or technological process violation.

The incident took place at 11:30 AM local time (8:30 AM Moscow time). Technological ifnition of polypropylene residues in the workshop pipeline happened at manometer plant (part of Tomskneftehim Ltd.) in the building #405, where repairs are on going at the moment.


Kraton Polymers announces improved Q2 results

HOUSTON (PRNewswire) -- Kraton Performance Polymers, Inc., a leading global producer of styrenic block copolymers, announces improved financial results for the quarter ended June 30, 2010.

Revenues in the second quarter 2010 were $332 million, an increase of approximately 42% compared to second quarter 2009 and 22% compared to the first quarter 2010. The increase in revenues compared to the second quarter 2009 and first quarter 2010 was primarily the result of the combined impact of increased price and sales volume. Sales volume in the second quarter 2010 was 86 kilotons, an increase of 21% compared to second quarter 2009 and 18% compared to the first quarter 2010.

Adjusted EBITDA in the second quarter 2010 was $63 million, or 19% of revenue, compared to $13 million, or 6% of revenue, in the second quarter 2009 and $43 million or 16% of revenue in the first quarter 2010.


Gail India increases its net profit in Q1

NEW DEHLI(GAIL) -- Gail India Ltd has reported an increase in its net profit for the Q1 on increased sales driven mainly by higher volume of natural gas transmission, higher production of LPG and liquid hydrocarbons and increase in price of APM gas and polymers.

Q1 net profit reported was of Rs.886.88 crores, rising by 35% in Q1-2009. Net sales for the quarter increased by 17% to Rs.7,095.95 crore y-o-y, while other operating income amounted to Rs.19.80 crore, vs Rs.19.91 crore in the corresponding quarter last year.

Revenue from "Petrochemicals" segment during the quarter amounted to Rs.637.56 crore, marginally down from Rs.638.63 crore for the same period last year.

GAIL also decided to expand the capacity at its Pata petrochemical plant (see also from August 4 2010), which might seriously reflect on the company's results after the expansion.