Russia and China pour oil on troubles

(news.szenergy) -- A Great Wall in energy relations between China and Russia seems to be crumbling. Kommersant says, Rosneft, oil pipeline monopoly Transneft and China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) have settled a year long dispute over oil supplies to China.

Rosneft and Transneft agreed to give CNPC a discount of USD1.5 per barrel. The deal will be signed retroactively with discount taking effect from November 2011. CNPC agreed to pay its overdue debt of USD134mln for oil deliveries since the beginning of 2011. According to Kommersant, CNPC already paid off the debt in mid January.

In 2009, the China Development Bank agreed to lend Rosneft and Transneft USD15 and USD10 bln respectively. The two Russian companies were obliged to deliver 15mln tones of oil to China annually during 2011-2030 via the East Siberian-Pacific Ocean (ESPO) pipeline.

However, in 2011 it turned out that China and Russia estimated the logistic costs differently. As a result, CNPC paid USD13 per barrel less than Transneft expected. If the situation continued, Russia could have lost almost USD30bln by 2030.

Since 2011, the energy issue was a matter of concern in Sino-Russia relations. The countries decided to set up an inter-governmental panel to tackle the problem. Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin took part in the negotiations.

Oil supplies are crucial to the Chinese economy. China's industrial energy conservation plan for 2011-2015 suggests a saving of approximately 670 million tons of coal per year to reduce emissions. Thus, the importance of other energy sources will grow.

As a result of the agreement, Rosneft is expected to loose USD3bln. However, the Russian company sees the outcomes of the negotiations as beneficial as the Chinese demanded a USD13.5 discount, which was almost ten times as much. The market also applauded the results, as Rosneft shares gained 1.7% on the MICEX.

To approve the amendments, Rosneft is expected to call a board meeting on February 28, and extraordinary shareholders' meeting on 9 April. The Board of Transneft approved the amendments on February 22.

Representatives from Rosneft, Transneft, and CNPC, were not available for comment.


New laser head was developed for welding plastic films and sheets

(jeccomposites) -- PlastiCell displayed a demonstrator dedicated to the laser welding of thermoplastic and thin composites sheets. This R&D tool was developed with Innoptics, a startup which specializes in the design and manufacturing of laser diode-based components and subsystems.

Instead of scanning at high speed with a laser spot using galvanometric mirrors as is generally done today, the polymer matrix is softened by moving a highly homogeneous laser line over the overlapping sheets. The laser beam exits the laser head through a light guide which also applies pressure over the sheets and cools down the surface of the upper sheet. This unique design makes the welds as strong as the constituent material. Moreover, they are almost invisible from the outside. This year, PlastiCell will display the new laser head developed with INNOPTICS, which is smaller, lighter but above all much faster than the first one.

This technique is used to produce honeycomb blocks out of any thermoplastic material supplied in the form of a thin sheet reinforced or not with glass fibres or webs. The sheet can be watertight or porous or even perforated. The density of the honeycomb material results from the cell size and the area weight of the plastic sheet. Densities as low as 30 kg/m3 were easily reached with an 8.7-mm hexagonal cell width.

Honeycomb is mainly used as a core for sandwich panels, a construction offering a remarkable strength-to-weight ratio.


LCC Polytar to invest for the production of polyolefin sheets

(plastech) -- LCC Polytar, one of the most important plastics processing companies in the Russian Republic of Bashkortostan, is investing in a KraussMaffei Berstorff system for the production of polyolefin sheets.

The system will shortly come on stream in Salavat, the location of the company's head office. Polytar, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Russian Gazprom Neftechim Salavat Group, is planning to press ahead with the latest plastics processing technologies in the region.

The complete production line featuring the KraussMaffei Berstorff KME 150- 36 B/V single-screw extruder as the key component has a modular design which permits gradual retrofitting at any time to increase processing flexibility. "We attach maximum priority to a modular line concept with which we can easily manufacture different end products since we can attain an enormous leading edge with a wide range of products", emphasized Alexei Vitaljevitch Nikolayev, Director of Polytar. "We are also totally impressed by the processing engineering expertise of KraussMaffei Berstorff."

The system will initially produce 2.5-meter-wide polyolefin sheets up to 40 millimeters thick. In the next phase the customer can process polystyrene, acrylonitrite butadiene styrene and thin sheets (with a thickness ranging between 0.5 and 2 millimeters).

Polytar refines the pipe materials produced in the parent group Gazprom Neftechim Salavat into premium quality end products such as films, geotextiles or highly impact-resistant polystyrene sheets, e.g. for the packaging industry, primarily for the domestic market or for sale in CIS states. Around 7,500 tonnes of polymers are processed annually - and the trend is still upwards. Polytar is planning, for example, to extend production capacities, increase the product portfolio to include other extrusion areas and construct a new technology center in Salavat.

Henkel announces price increases on industrial automotive and metals products

(prnewswire) -- Henkel announces North American price increases on industrial products for the automotive and metals industries. The increases are a result of ongoing escalation of raw material and energy costs. Product categories that will be affected are adhesives, sealants, lubricants and surface treatment products.

The first increases were implemented in January, and the remaining will take into effect throughout 2012 based on product type. Increases will vary by chemical platforms, and customers will be notified directly and in advance to any pricing changes. Henkel feels compelled to take this step in order to further ensure delivery of the same high quality product and service standards expected by its customers.
Henkel operates worldwide with leading brands and technologies in three business areas: Laundry & Home Care, Cosmetics/Toiletries, and Adhesive Technologies. Founded in 1876, Henkel holds globally leading market positions both in the consumer and industrial businesses with well-known brands such as Persil, Schwarzkopf and Loctite. Henkel employs about 48,000 people and reported sales of USD20.07 billion and adjusted operating profit of USD2.27 billion in fiscal 2010. Henkel's preferred shares are listed in the German stock index DAX and the company ranks among the Fortune Global 500.


SK Group and partners to build USD1.1 billion petrochemical plant in China

(news.szenergy) --Korea-based petrochemical company SK Global Chemical Company has signed a deal with Sinopec Sichuan Vinylon Works (Sinopec SVW), a Chinese state-owned energy and petrochemical firm, and British Petroleum to build a CNY7 billion (USD1.11 billion) integrated petrochemical plant in Chongqing, China.

The consortium will build an integrated 1,4-butanediol (BDO) and acetic acid project at Chongqing Changshou Economic and Technological Development Zone, in the northeastern part of Chongqing city by the Yangtze River. The scope of the work involves construction of a 600,000 tons per year acetic acid plant, a 200,000 tons per annum 1,4-Butanediol (BDO) plant as well as associated facilities.

The plant is anticipated to consume 440 million cubic metres of natural gas per year. Construction of the plant has been divided in to multiple phases. The plant is slated for completion in 2015. The companies have completed feasibility study on the project and are awaiting approval from the Chinese Government.

The acetic acid plant will be built by Yaraco, a joint venture of BP, SVW and Chongqing Energy Investment Group (CEIG), while the new BDO plant will be jointly built by SK and SVW.