Russia's Acron may sell some potash areas in Canada

(reuters) -- Russian fertiliser maker Acron may sell some permits to extract potash in Canada through its subsidiary North Atlantic Potash Inc, Acron's chairman Alexander Popov told reporters at a media briefing.

"We have two projects (in Canada) where we would like to stay... and there are several other areas which are up for sale," Popov said in the Russian town of Velikiy Novgorod in remarks cleared for publication on Monday.

North Atlantic sold eight potash licences to the Yankuang Group Corporation Limited of China for USD110 million last October.

It still holds 18 permits in the Prairie Evaporite potash deposit in Saskatchewan province in Canada, of which 9 permits are included into a joint venture agreement with mining giant Rio Tinto.

Popov did not specify whether Acron wants to sell permits, which are a part of the agreement with Rio Tinto.

Chairman added that Acron may boost its output in the first quarter despite production cuts at rivals' assets as it expects the demand for mineral fertilisers to revive in the second half of 2012.

The market had been braced for a gloomy outlook after larger rivals Uralkali of Russia and P otash Corp of Canada warned of weak demand.

Popov expects the demand for nitrogen fertilisers to rise by 1.5 percent per year during the next several years and believes that high prices for food products will support global fertiliser prices in the second half of this year.

Bharat Petroleum to expand Kochi refinery by end of 2015

(hydrocarbonprocessing) -- India's second-largest state-run refiner and fuel retailer will raise the Kochi refinery's output by 120,000 bpd to 310,000 bpd, seeking to keep up with higher sales volumes.

Bharat Petroleum said Friday it will spend INR142.25 billion (USD2.8 billion) by December 2015 to expand its Kochi refinery in southern India by 63%, as it seeks to keep its capacity in line with its refined fuel products sales volume.

India's second-largest state-run refiner and fuel retailer by capacity will increase the Kochi refinery's capacity by 120,000 bpd to 310,000 bpd, it said in a statement to the Bombay Stock Exchange.

Weakness in demand for refined petroleum products amid the global economic slowdown has led several European and US refiners to shut capacity.

However, state-run refiners in India and other emerging markets are ramping up capacities as the expanding economies drive demand for products.

The South Asian nation's state-run refiners and retailers also have an advantage over their private-sector peers as the government partly subsidizes them for selling diesel and cooking fuels at controlled rates.

Linde to supply gases for Sadara Chemical venture

(hydrocarbonprocessing) -- Technology company The Linde Group signed a long-term contract with the Sadara Chemical joint venture in which Linde will supply Sadara with carbon monoxide (CO), hydrogen (H2) and ammonia (NH3) at a chemical complex being built by Sadara in Jubail, Saudi Arabia.

The project will be the world's largest chemical complex ever built in a single phase. The on-site gases supply contract includes a HyCO facility for the production of CO and H2 plus an ammonia plant. Overall, Linde will be investing USD380 million in the project, it said.

Sadara, established in October 2011, is a joint venture developed by Saudi Aramco and Dow Chemical. ⌠This contract is an excellent opportunity from several perspectives, said Professor Dr. Aldo Belloni, member of the Linde executive board.

⌠It is Linde's largest on-site petrochemical project in this region, and our first in Jubail. It thus strengthens our position as a global leader in the generation and supply of carbon monoxide for MDI and TDI production plants at integrated chemical hubs, he continued.

⌠The petrochemical industry is expanding rapidly in Saudi Arabia. We expect that this growth will give added momentum to the expansion of our gases and engineering business in the Middle East.

Linde's engineering division will design, deliver and construct the new turnkey gases facilities at Sadara's site in the Jubail 2 petrochemical cluster, the company said.

Export prices of European polyolefins to increase in April

MOSCOW (MRC) -- In Europe, contract prices of olefins for April rose by EUR40-50/tonne. On the back of rising prices of feedstock European producers in April plan to increase export prices of polyolefins in the CIS countries by EUR20-60/tonne, according to ICIS-MRC Price report.

In Europe, the contract prices of ethylene and propylene for April increased by EUR40-50/tonne compared to the March prices. This month European producers on the back of the growth in contract prices of olefins are planning to reach increase in export prices of polyethylene and polypropylene in the markets of CIS countries by EUR20-60/tonne.

Amid a small domestic deficit in Apri, European producers aim to achieve increase in export prices of LDPE by EUR50-60/tonne, though export quotas will be cut even more due to the scheduled turnarounds of some plants. The situation in the market of LLDPE C6 follows the same trend. The stable demand for polyethylene and reduced production volumes made European suppliers plan to achieve increase in export prices by at least EUR50/tonne.

The prices of LDPE and LLDPE for March were at EUR1,360-1,440/tonne, FCA, and EUR1,460-1,540/tonne, FCA, respectively. European producers plan to raise export prices of HDPE by EUR20-40/tonne compared with the prices for March .

Volumes of polypropylene production in Europe was seriously reduced. There is a small deficit in the domestic market, export quotas are also significantly reduced. As a result, European producers aim to achieve increase in April export prices of polypropylene by EUR50-60/tonne. The European export prices of PP-homo for March were at EUR1,320-1,400/tonne, FCA.


Chevron Phillips to build 1-hexene plant

(ogj) -- Chevron Phillips Chemical Co. LP will build the world's largest on-purpose 1-hexene plant at its Cedar Bayou Chemical Complex in Baytown, Tex., using proprietary technology.

The plant will be able to produce 250,000 tonnes/year of comonomer-grade 1-hexene from ethylene for use in the production of polyethylene.
Chevron Phillips said it has reached agreements with S&B Engineers & Constructors Ltd. for engineering and construction of the plant, which is to start up in first-quarter 2014.

Chevron Phillips recently announced plans to expand capacity of its Sweeny NGL fractionator at Old Ocean, Tex., by 19% based on growing availability of gas liquids produced from shale plays in the region (OGJ Online, Mar. 26, 2012).

The company is studying the feasibility of building a 1.5 million tpy ethane cracker at Cedar Bayou and two related polyethylene plants with capacities of 500,000 tpy each at Cedar Bayou or Sweeny (OGJ Online, Mar. 29, 2011).
In December it said Shaw Energy & Chemicals is designing the ethane cracker.