Kuokuang complex construction accepted by the authorities

(plastemart) -- Taiwan's Minister of Economic Affairs has stated that though the planned Kuokuang petrochemical plant has met with opposition on environmental concerns, its construction seems imperative to ensure the competitiveness of Taiwan's petrochemical sector. The Minister, however, acknowledged that safety and environmental concerns had to be addressed, and accepted that the environmental concerns are legitimate. Hence the government will need to strengthen its role in strictly monitoring the sector to put the minds of residents living near the complexes at ease while at the same time maintaining an appropriate scale of production.

The planned Kuokuang complex, which has faced strong resistance, is to replace the fifth naphtha complex operated by state-run CPC Corp. that was committed to relocation by the government 20 years ago. The minister contended that the Kuokuang project is a vital investment for Taiwan's economy because it cannot enjoy persistent growth without a sound petrochemical industry. Without the complex, midstream and downstream producers would be likely to leave Taiwan, leaving the local industry out of balance. At the same time, the CPC Corp. chain would be weakened, reducing the competition faced by the Formosa Plastics Group.


LyondellBasell plans to terminate operations in Syria and Sudan

(plastemart) -- LyondellBasell plans to cease all business with Syria and Sudan. Much of the company's business in the two countries involves licensing technology for polymer production. This decision means it will stop all licensing of its proprietary technology and services to local petrochemical companies, which have depended heavily on technology from European concerns to produce plastics and other high-value products derived from natural gas.


HDPE operations resumed in Ukraine

MOSCOW (MRC) --The resume of film-grade polyethylene production in Kalush is scheduled for September 3 after two years of inactivity.

According to the company's data, Kalush cracker is to start operations on September 5. Before the shutdown about 40% of Kalush HDPE was sold in Ukraine, about 30% - in Russia and the other volumes were delivered into the international markets.

In two years the structure changed in the markets, and the attractiveness of the Russian market for Kalush HDPE became much higher. To late August the difference in price of Kalush HDPE in the Russian and Ukrainian market exceeded USD 100/mt. Suspension in Kazan is expected soon, that's why film-grade polyethylene from Kalush is going to have good perspective soon.

European producers decreased September HDPE prices for the Ukrainian market by EUR 10-15/mt. Russian producers, vice versa, elevated the prices by USD 30-50/mt.


Styron names new Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

MIDLAND (Styron) -- Styron has announced three new members to the company's executive leadership. The announcement was made by Chris Pappas, President and Chief Executive Officer of Styron.

Richard J. Diemer Jr. has been named Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Styron. Diemer was previously the Senior Vice President and CFO of Albemarle Corporation, a $2.5 bln specialty chemical company. Celso Goncalves, who is currently CFO of Styron, will remain with the company through year-end to ensure a smooth transition.


Miko reports fall in profit as raw material prices rise

(prw) -- Miko the Belgium-based plastics packaging and coffee service firm, says both operating and net profit fell 8% over the first half of the year because of rising raw material prices.

For the period ending 30 June, overall turnover rose 3.3% compared to the same period a year earlier to ┬60.75m. Turnover in the plastic packaging business rose only 1.2% as growth was dampened by a termination of contracts at the Grispa subsidiary in Belgium, and poor ice cream tub sales in Germany.

Overall operating profit fell 7.8% to ┬5.4m, while net profit was down 8.1% to ┬3.9m.