Demand for recycled plastics will grow annually by 6.5% in the U.S.

MOSCOW (MRC) - According to Freedonia Group's report, demand for recycled plastics in the U.S. will grow by 6.5%in the next four years, while the overall level of processing of polymers will still remain low - less than 7%, reports unipack.

Demand for the recycled plastic in 2016 will reach 3.5 billion pounds. As reported by Freedonia Group, the main drivers of the growth are the development of technologies in recycling, which will allow to increase the amount of plastic that can be processed into high-quality products; improving of the waste collection infrastructure, the pursuit of sustainability among the producers of packaging and consumer goods, as well as continued support from the federal and local governments.

It is expected that by 2016 packaging wil havel remained the main market for recycled plastics, and the basic material for recycling will be bottles. They account for more than half of all plastic collected in 2016.

Freedonia Group states in its report that only half of all plastic collected for recycling, is used for the production of new goods. In 2011, PET and HDPE were the main recycled materials, out of which new products (70% of all the polymers) were produced.

Processing of plastic wastes is growing in Russia and Ukraine. Thus, the company Polymer-vector (Kemerovo), engaged in the processing of chemically contaminated plastic wastes, is going to double its processing capacities in 2013 - up to 1.2 tonnes of plastic wastes and to increase the production of special granules up to 80 tonnes per month to be used for the production of plastic containers, paving and curbs, polypropylene (PP) tape (analogue of metal packing tape), as MRC reported previously. Also, a new plant for the advanced processing of plastic wastes into wood-polymer products was launched in Divnogorsk.

In Ukranie, in late November, GP "Ukrekoresursy" started up a new line for recycling polyethylene (HDPE, LDPE) and polypropylene (PP) wastes into granules in Poltava, Ukraine. Also,in July 2012, the company launched a production line for processing plastic bottles into PET flakes, class "A", in the Khmelnitsky region.

LDPE in Russia dropped in price by Rb8,000-10,000/tonne over the past six weeks

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Sluggish demand and ample supply of low density polyethylene (LDPE) in the Russian market has resulted in a major price cut. From October to mid-December, LDPE went down in value by Rb8,000-10,000/tonne, according to ICIS-MRC Price report.

Traditionally, in October, demand for LDPE starts going down in the Russian market. This year makes no exception. However, while in prior years Russian producers shipped excess volumes of LDPE to foreign markets, this year demand in the foreign markets is also weak and exporting the material is not very profitable for producers. As a result, ample supply of polyethylene amid low demand makes Russian makers reduce prices.

In early October, deals for LDPE 158 were concluded on average in the range of Rb63,000-65,000/tonne, CPT Moscow, including VAT, in the spot market. By mid-December, on the back of weak demand LDPE prices fell to the level of Rb53,500-55,500/tonne, CPT Moscow, including VAT.

This week, there were technical issues with the production of LDPE 158 at Kazanorgsintez. By Wednesday, PE shipments from the plant had not been resumed. Belarusian maker, Polymir, also suspended its production of LDPE 158. Yet, all these factors do not put pressure on the Russian market.

Britain gives green light to shale gas fracking

(The Telegraph) -- The UK's Energy Secretary, Edward Davey, has lifted a ban on the drilling for shale gas in the country, thus, giving green light to gas "fracking", just days after David Cameron said the controversial technique could help bring down household energy bills.

We remind that the ban was put in place after the UK's first project near Lancashire caused tremors last year.

The Energy Secretary's decision will allow companies to explore for the new energy source across swathes of countryside in the south, north-west and north-east of England.

The first company to drill for Britain's shale gas - Cuadrilla Resources - will now be able to resume its operations near Blackpool, with new controls guarding against the risk of mini earthquakes.

Britain has trillions of cubic feet of shale gas covering up to 60% of the countryside but environmental groups and rural communities are concerned the landscape could be scarred and polluted. However, the Energy Secretary assured that there will be tight environmental controls on the drilling and Britain will not exploit the resource at the cost of the environment.

The push to extract shale gas is strongly supported by the Prime Minister and the Chancellor. Ministers believe it could provide a substantial economic boost.

We remind that, as MRC informed earlier, the latest technology of hydraulic fracturing, which provides access to recently inaccessible layers of natural gas, is widely used in the U.S. but not in Europe, where this process has just begun. Due to fracturing, the United States has almost fully met the country's needs with shale gas. Such petrochemical giants, as Dow Chemical, Formosa Plastics and Chevron Phillips Chemical, has already announced their plans to increase production capacities in North America on the development of new shale gas resources in Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York on attractive price of shale gas. In Europe, Poland has the most favorable geological conditions in Europe for the new technology. Some of the European countries are conducting research, but have not started to blow up coalbeds yet.

Borouge supports Volkswagen by replacing PA by a unique short glass fibre reinforced PP

(ringier) -- Borouge, a leading provider of innovative, value creating plastics solutions, has supported Volkswagen in China to successfully replace the use of polyamide (PA6-GF30) for air intake manifolds with GB306SAFC, a unique short glass fibre reinforced polypropylene (PP) produced at its compounding plant in Shanghai.

The air intake manifolds for the Volkswagen (VW) MPI 1.4L and MPI 1.6L engines of the Golf, Lavida, Jetta and Polo car models, in addition to Skoda Fabia, are made from Borouge’s PP GB306SAFC. This material is designed to completely fulfil the parts’ specification and to withstand temperatures of 120°C up to the maximum of 140°C. The parts are manufactured in China by Roechling, one of the leading international manufacturers of automotive parts.

Borouge’s GB306SAFC provides several advantages - a significantly lower cost in parts’ production, considerable weight reduction of at least 15% and a much better acoustic behaviour.

The joint collaboration between Borouge and Roechling serves as best practice for the automotive industry as it reinforces Borouge’s ongoing commitment and mission in enhancing value Creation through innovation to its valued partners.

As MRC wrote earlier this year, Borealis and Borouge, amongst the leading providers of innovative, value-creating plastics solutions, had introduced in the first half of the year a new grade of polypropylene (PP) specified for use in lightweight bumper applications for two new Renault automotive platforms.

Borouge is a joint venture of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company and Austria's Borealis. It has two complementary ventures: Abu Dhabi Polymers Co Ltd (Borouge) - a production company based in Abu Dhabi - and Borouge Pte Ltd based in Singapore. Borouge is a leading supplier of polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP). They focus on differentiated high end applications in the Middle East and Asia Pacific with Borstar Enhanced Polyethylene produced in Abu Dhabi, UAE and the full range of Borealis specialities.

Germany pegged for slight 2013 improvement in chemical production

(hydrocarbonprocessing) -- Domestic sales are likely to be stable, but exports to other European countries, particularly in southern Europe, are likely to decline further in 2013. But there is no reason to be overly pessimistic, and there is no sign of a recession in Germany, according to VCI president Karl-Ludwig Kley.

German chemical industry association Verband der Chemischen Industrie eV said Wednesday it expects production in the sector to rise 1.5% next year and sales to grow 2%.

Domestic sales are likely to be stable, but exports to other European countries, particularly in southern Europe, are likely to decline further in 2013, it said.

"Hopes for a tangible recovery are still in the future," VCI president Karl-Ludwig Kley said at a press briefing.

But there is no reason to be overly pessimistic, and there is no sign of a recession in Germany, Mr. Kley added.

The association confirmed its 2012 outlook of a production decline of 3% and a 2.5% rise in producer prices. It forecasts a 0.5% increase in producer prices for 2013.