SIBUR to reduce polypropylene deficit in Russian market

(sibur) -- SIBUR is beginning temporary imports of basic grades of polypropylene to reduce the existing deficit in the Russian market. The pilot shipment will amount to 500 tonnes, with subsequent increases in imports up to 2 thousand tonnes per month.

The deficit in the Russian polypropylene market arose due to a forced shutdown of several plants unaffiliated with SIBUR (Stavrolen in Stavropol Krai and the Lisichanskiy refinery in Ukraine), which coincided with the seasonal increase in demand from polypropylene refiners.

The imported volumes will be sold at market prices with a minimal commission from SIBUR. The polypropylene will be purchased from China, India, and the Middle East.

In 2011, Tomskneftekhim produced 128.8 thousand tonnes of polypropylene, while SPE Neftekhimiya, the joint venture between SIBUR and Gazprom neft, produced 114.4 thousand tonnes. The combined capacity of the two facilities grew in 2011 to 243.2 thousand tonnes, an increase of more than 11% from 2010.
Tobolsk-Polymer will be Europe's largest complex for the production of polypropylene, with a capacity of 500 thousand tonnes per year. Construction on the site is expected to finish in the third quarter of 2012, with production due to start in early 2013.


Braskem to switch its PP plants to feedstock from shale

(Reuters) -- As the cost of crude oil and its derivatives hurts profits, Braskem is looking to switch feedstock at its U.S. polypropylene plants from shale gas.

Chief Executive Carlos Fadigas said that the Brazilian petrochemicals company is currently weighing a decision on whether to build its own plant processing propane from natural gas or form a joint venture with a guarantee to buy the project's output.

The decision should be made this year.


Cambodia snaps up Viet Nam plastics

(plasticsinfomart) -- Plastics exports to Cambodia earned USD20 million in the first quarter of this year, reported the Viet Nam Plastic Association.

In March alone, export turnover reached USD 8 million, with plastic bags accounting for about 40 per cent of the value, the association said, noting that Vietnamese companies faced few challenges when exporting this product to Cambodia due to a lack of strict regulations in the neighbouring nation.

Packaging materials accounted for another 17.6 per cent of the total export value during the period.
Exports of plastic construction materials to Cambodia were also expected to recover this year as the building industry recovered.

The association warned, however, that Vietnamese plastics weren't competitive with those from other countries, and it suggested the industry aim to improve technology and cut costs.

Cambodia is now one of the biggest markets for Vietnamese plastics, following Japan, the US, Germany and Thailand.


Saudis face growth limits over natural gas supplies

(downstreamtoday) -- A shortage of natural gas could affect future industrial growth in Saudi Arabia, according to the head of Jubail Industrial City, the world's largest petrochemical cluster.

Jubail, with a current annual production capacity of 68 million tonnes, has already embarked on an expansion that will add a further 21 million tonnes, but any further expansion will bump up against limitations in available feedstock.

"When we have finished Jubail 2, we might start with Jubail 3," said Mosleh Hamed Al Otaibi, the chief executive of the government body that oversees and develops the industrial zone. "But we haven't started with a feasibility study, because of the shortage of gas. We are really a little bit hesitant to go ahead with Jubail 3."

If it were to go ahead, construction on Jubail 3 is scheduled to begin by 2020.


Eastman to add ethylene capacity

(chemmonitor) -- Eastman Chemical Company with HQ in the USA decided to expand ethylene installed capacity at its Texas site.

The company will install a new furnace at the site for this purpose. It will be an Ultra Selective Conversion device.

Another US-based manufacturer, namely Shaw Group, was awarded a contract to procure its own technology for the furnace. It will also provide engineering services and equipment for the device.

The parties do not unveil financial data of the deal.