Japanese polyolefin producer seeks to become world leader

(chemmonitor) -- The Tokyo-headquartered Japanese polyolefin company Prime Polymer Co. Ltd. purchased a controlling block of shares in the Sao Paulo-headquartered polypropylene (PP) compounder, located in Brazil.

Prime Polymer Co. Ltd. -- a resin and compounding joint venture majority owned by Japanese conglomerate Mitsui Chemicals Inc. -- has acquired a controlling stake in a Brazilian compounder.

Tokyo-based Prime Polymer also has confirmed plans to increase compounding capacity at joint venture sites in the U.S., Mexico and China. All of the moves are in polypropylene compounding, primarily for automotive markets.

In Brazil, Prime Polymer has purchased a 70 percent stake in Produmaster Industria e Comercio Ltda. for an undisclosed price. Produmaster is based in Sao Paulo and operates a total of 120 million pounds of PP compounding capacity at sites in Sao Paulo and Camacari.


China's economy in 2012 to be the slowest in eight years

(Reuters) -- China's consumption of plastic could grow by up to 7% in 2012 after stalling in 2011, but the rebound will not be enough to melt a regional supply glut that will curb the output of plastic manufacturers and pressure the petrochemical market.

Weak traditional export markets and Bejing's steps to cool economic growth are still hitting sales. As a result, Asian plastic exporters face possibility of scaling back production further this year, in turn cutting demand for naphtha.
China's consumption of plastic by Asia's top importer growing around 5-7%, up on last year's flat growth but well down on the double-digit growth in 2009-2010.

Higher oil prices with Brent crude averaging USD118.21 a barrel this year, up 6.6% from 2011's USD110.91, are also squeezing margins, which could push plastic makers to cut runs, hitting demand for the raw material ethylene made from naphtha. Several processors are going buying need based and keeping inventories low. If raw material costs get too high, people would stop buying.

China has forecast its economy will grow 7.5% in 2012, the slowest in eight years, with exports crimped to traditional customers such as Europe and the United States.


Iran to set three key petrochemical projects

(presstv) -- Iran is set to officially inaugurate three important petrochemical industry projects in the country?s Mahshahr Petrochemical Special Economic Zone.

The projects include the polyvinyl chloride (PVC) production line at Arvand Petrochemical Complex, the oxygen and nitrogen production line at Maroon Petrochemical Plant and the second liquids loading pier at Mahshahr Petrochemical Special Economic Zone.

All three enterprises are due to be inaugurated in the presence of senior Iranian officials on Monday, May 21. Arvand, the fourth petrochemical complex to produce PVC in Iran, will increase the country's annual production capacity by 340 thousand tons.

The output will fully satisfy Iran's domestic demands and even turn the country into a PVC exporter. It is estimated that the Islamic Republic will hold 25 to 30 percent of the global market following the export of the product.

TNK-BP presented new industrial safety program

(oilandgaseurasia) -- TNK-BP has developed a comprehensive program for integrating the safe operation culture aimed at mitigation and elimination of industrial and environmental risks. Elena Kompasenko, Vice President, Health, Safety and Environment, TNK-BP, presented this large-scale project to participants of the International HSE Excellence Europe Forum 2012 in Rome.

The safe operation culture inculcates careful and meticulous attitude to health, safety and environmental protection in all employees and contractors of the company and ensures strict compliance with all standards and regulations of the company. A special and very important role in integration of the safe operation culture is entrusted to leaders and managers of company subdivisions who imbue responsible attitude to the work and environment in all employees.

The project was presented at a round table meeting dedicated to industrial safety, where E. Kompasenko served as the moderator. Best specialists from the USE, Europe, and Central Asia highly appreciated the project, discussed its different aspects, and outlined possibilities for its implementation in international practice.

"Safety is one of the highest priorities of TNK-BP. Adherence to industrial safety rules and regulations may only be ensured by personal leadership and absolute intolerance to their violations. We are confident that the safe operation culture in any company is based, first of all, on the behavioral standards of employees. This is why these aspects are discussed in TNK-BP at all levels from the Board of Directors to personnel lounges, said she.

Japan's Maruzen to restart naphtha cracker in June

(Reuters) - Japan's Maruzen Petrochemical Co Ltd said on Tuesday it plans to restart its sole naphtha cracker in Chiba, east of Tokyo, on June 21 following scheduled maintenance.

Maruzen Petrochemical, which is 40 percent owned by Cosmo Oil Co group, shut the cracker with the capacity to produce 525,000 tonnes per year of ethylene on May 9, a company spokesman said.

Maruzen Petrochemical Co. develops, produces, imports, and exports petrochemical products. It offers basic petrochemicals and ethylene derivatives, including ethylene, propylene, benzene, toluene, xylene, ethylene oxide and glycol, and high-density polyethylene, which serve as raw materials in plastics, synthetic fiber, synthetic rubber, and coatings.