TNK-BP plans to review operations at unprofitable Ukraine refinery

(hydrocarbonprocessing) -- Russian oil major TNK-BP, half-owned by BP, said Friday that operations at the Lisichansk refinery in Ukraine have become unprofitable and it plans to further review its options for increasing efficiency. The refinery has a capacity of over 7 million tpy of crude oil.

Russian oil major TNK-BP, half-owned by BP, said Friday that operations at the Lisichansk refinery in Ukraine have become unprofitable and it plans to further review its options for increasing efficiency. TNK-BP "observed a serious deterioration of the domestic refining market in Ukraine in the fourth quarter of 2011," a spokesman said.

"The negative trends affecting refining economics in Ukraine have continued into the first quarter of 2012 and have a material effect on the financial results of TNK-BP's subsidiaries in the country," he said. As a result the management is preparing to review possible actions to increase operational efficiency, he said.

The comments came after the Kommersant daily earlier Friday cited unnamed people close to the company as saying TNK-BP is considering shutting down operations at the Lisichansk refinery starting next month. The refinery, which has a capacity of over 7 million tpy of crude oil, supplies oil products to Ukraine's Donetsk and Stavropol regions as well as to Russia's Krasnodar region.


Flexsys to build PVB resin production facility in Malaysia

(chemicals-technology) -- Flexsys Chemicals, a subsidiary of Solutia, will invest RM450m (USD148.8m) to expand its soluble sulphur plant and construct a new polyvinyl butyral (PVB) resin production facility in Kuantan, Malaysia in 2012.

Solutia Singapore president Robert Chu was quoted by The Sun Daily as saying that the expansion and new plant in Kuantan are aimed at ramping up capacity to support the company's businesses worldwide as it expects to see solid and healthy growth in Malaysia.

Soluble sulphur and PVB resin are used to produce rubber tyres for commercial and passenger vehicles, and laminated glass for buildings and windshields, respectively.
Flexsys, a joint venture (JV) formed by Solutia and Akzo Nobel (Netherlands) in 1995, is involved in the growth of automotive, construction and renewable energy business sectors.

Solutia is involved in the manufacture of performance materials and specialty chemicals including polyvinyl butyral (PVB), ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA), and thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) interlayers for laminated glass and aftermarket window films.
The company also manufactures protective barrier and conductive films, and rubber processing chemicals which are used in architectural, automotive, alternative energy, electronic devices, consumer and industrial applications.


SAAC-Persero ink MOU to evaluate economic feasibility of integrated refining project

(plastemart) -- Saudi Aramco Asia Company Limited (SAAC), a subsidiary of Saudi Aramco, and PT Pertamina (Persero) signed a Memorandum of Understanding to jointly evaluate the economic feasibility of building an integrated refining and petrochemical project in Tuban in East Java, in the Republic of Indonesia.

A project team will work on the next phase of the project, which will consist of a joint scoping study that will include market research, configuration studies and economic analysis. The proposed refinery and petrochemicals project will be designed to process 300,000 bpd of crude oil, much of which will be supplied by Saudi Aramco following a long-term contract.

The project will produce high-quality refined petroleum and petrochemicals products to meet rising demand in Indonesia and elsewhere in Southeast Asia. The project represents an opportunity for Saudi Aramco to partner with Pertamina, Indonesia's state oil and gas company, and to capitalize on investment opportunities in Indonesia's growing downstream industry. Additionally, it extends the close cooperation between Saudi Aramco and Pertamina and increases prospects for industrialization and economic diversification in Indonesia.


Ukraine increased polyethylene and PET imports

MOSCOW (MRC) -- In January, the total imports of bulk polymers made about 50,000 tonnes. Last month the external supplies of polyethylene and PET granulate increased, while imports of PVC and polystyrene fell under the pressure of seasonal factors, according to MRC DataScope. In January, the total volume of imports of bulk polymers (polyethylene, polypropylene, polyvinylchloride, polystyrene and PET) to the Ukrainian market grew to 50,000 tonnes. The same figure was 5% lower year on year and made 47,400 tonnes.

The imports of PET granulate increased most significantly last month. Deliveries of polymers increased by 154% compared to December 2011 and made little more than 6,000 tonnes.
Imports of polyethylene also showed a positive trend. Imports grew by 8% compared to December and made more than 27,700 tonnes. In January, supplies of LDPE grew to 11,750 tonnes. External supplies of PE did not change and stayed at the level of December - 10,600 tonnes.

In January, imports of polypropylene decreased by 3% and made 6,600 tonnes. The decline in imports was seen in all grades of polypropylene and resulted from seasonal factors.

Imports of PVC decreased by 38%, largely due to a serious reduction in supplies of suspension. Seasonal factors and a more competitive offer from local producer Karpatneftekhim led to reduced imports of suspension PVC to a record level over the last three years - 3,800 tonnes.

Last month, external supplies of polystyrene and styrene plastics to Ukraine made about 2,930 tonnes, 25% up compared with December 2011. The main reduction in imports fell at expandable polystyrene, due to seasonal factors. The imports of EPS decreased almost twice to 700 tonnes. As for other types of polystyrene and styrene plastics, the decline in imports was not so significant.


Accident at Cologne site brought No.4 cracker off stream for three weeks

(chemmonitor) -- The Luasanne-headquartered (Switzerland) company INEOS announced about the accident at No.4 cracker at Cologne site (Germany).

The cracker was shut last week on the back of a leakage on the superheater. The unpredicted shutdown is expected to last three weeks.

The company operates two crackers at Cologne site. The overall nameplate output reaches 655,000 tonnes per year. One of the crackers produce 450,000 tonnes per annum, the other one's annual nameplate capacity is assessed at 660,000 tonnes.