Shenhua chooses LyondellBasell Lupotech T technology for the second time this year

(LyondellBasel) -- The largest coal company in the world, China Shenhua Coal to Liquid and Chemical Co. has selected the LyondellBasell Lupotech T process technology for a 270 KT per year low density polyethylene (LDPE) plant to be built in Xinjiang, China.

It is the second time this year that Shenhua chooses the LyondellBasell technology, having previously announced plans for a LDPE plant using the technology in Yulin, China.

"Shenhua’s continued confidence in the Lupotech T process technology is another demonstration of why Lupotech is the leading technology for LDPE and EVA production, and we look forward to continuing a strong relationship with Shenhua," said Bob Patel, LyondellBasell Senior Vice President of Olefins and Polyolefins for Europe, Asia, International, and Technology.

Key features of Lupotech T technology include low manufacturing and investment costs, fast start-up and grade changes, high reliability and capacities of up to 450 KT per year, which makes it today’s technology of choice for the production of LDPE and ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) copolymers.

We remind that PETRONAS (Petroliam Nasional Berhad) has chosen the Spheripol technology from LyondellBasell for two 300 KTA polypropylene (PP) units to be located in Pengerang, Malaysia, as MRC reported earlier. Besides, earlier this year ZapSibNeftekhim L.L.C, a fully owned subsidiary of SIBUR, selected the Spheripol process technology from LyondellBasell for a new 500 KT per year single-line polypropylene (PP) plant to be built in Tobolsk, Russia Federation.

LyondellBasell is a leading licensor of polypropylene and polyethylene technologies. The more than 250 polyolefin process licenses granted by LyondellBasell are twice that of any other polyolefin technology licensor.

Egyptian players complain about limited local PVC and PE supplies

(apic-on-line) -- In Egypt, players moan about limited local supply levels for the locally held PVC and PE markets.

Polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) demand in Egypt is weakening in the uncertain political climate ahead of a referendum on Saturday on a controversial draft constitution.

In the PVC market, a source from the local producer EPC, had commented on their price cut decision and said, “Our prices are reasonable considering the current market conditions in December but we might issue some increases if import prices continue to move up.” The source had also added that they had no supply issues and that they were running their plant at full capacity.

However, players in the market complain about the limited supplies from EPC. A converter noted, “EPC has limited supplies to provide the market and this situation coupled with increasing import American PVC prices cause local distributors to hold onto their offer levels.” A trader also commented, “Overall PVC demand is not bad but availability is limited.”

Meanwhile, similar supply issues are pronounced in the PE market, too. Players cry that there are no HDPE film supplies from the local producer SIDPEC, who had previously informed the market that they are not going to supply HDPE injection until the end of year but reported no issues on HDPE film and blow moulding.

A trader remarked last week, “SIDPEC supplies no HDPE film and we believe that this situation might stem from the fact that they switched their production line to HDPE blow moulding. This situation provides distributors ground to lift up their prices.” Another trader noted, “Overall demand is very weak due to the ongoing political issues inside the country and most converters are running their plants at lower capacities. Yet, limited supplies continue to pull up prices. Some traders, fearing further increases, prefer to hold on to their existing quantities.”

Egypt's local PE production is limited to Sidi Kerir Petrochemicals Co (SIDPEC), while PP production is limited to Oriental Petrochemicals Co (OPC) and Egyptian Propylene and Polypropylene Co (EPPC).

South African petrochemicals group Sasol will continue investing in Iran

(presstv) -- A report says South African petrochemicals group Sasol will continue investing in Iran, despite news last month pointing to the company’s potential disinvestment due to a possible risk of sanctions.

Eric Roper, managing director of Aryasasol Polymer Company, a joint venture between Iran's Pars Petrochemicals Company and Sasol Polymers, a subdivision of Sasol’s chemical cluster, told Fars News Agency on Sunday, that the company “is satisfied with investment in Iran, and does not have any intention of leaving.” The products of the joint venture -- ethylene and polyethylene -- are used in the production of plastics.

Roper also rejected news about the company’s potential divestment.

In October, Sasol said in a filing to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission that due to the company’s investments in Iran, there was a possible risk that sanctions may be imposed on it by the United States, the European Union, and the United Nations.

Sasol has a 50 % stake in Arya Sasol Polymer company, a joint venture with Pars Petrochemical Company of Iran. The venture produces ethylene and polyethylene, which are used in the production of plastics.


Brazilian government develops timetable for petrochemicals tax cuts

(plasteurope) -- The Brazilian government is developing a timetable to reduce the tax burden on petrochemicals companies as part of planned measures to revitalise the sector, according to Luciano Coutinho, president of the national development bank, BNDES.

The sector has been impacted by a long period of appreciation of the Brazilian real and rising international competition, he said at a conference organised by the National Confederation of Industries (CNI, Brasilia) earlier this month.

“It is essential that we preserve the Brazilian petrochemicals and chemicals industry, because we have a huge opportunity regarding the raw materials that will become available in the future,” Coutinho was quoted as saying by local news service Valor Economico. Brazil plans to use gas produced from its offshore pre-salt oil discoveries for petrochemicals production. The government is also preparing a series of incentives and support for the process of innovation, Coutinho said.

Details of the proposed tax cuts and other measures were not discussed, as they depend on the final decision from the Ministry of Finance, he added.

The Brazilian petrochemicals sector is based mainly on naphtha feedstock, and faces strong competition from US production based on low-cost shale gas feedstock.

As MRC wrote earlier, the Foreign Trade Chamber (Camex) has issued a ruling which lowers the import tax on two products used by the Brazilian industry. According to the Brazilian Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade, to which the Camex is linked, the tax has been lowered from 16% to 2% on imports of biaxially oriented polypropylene film (Bopp).


A123 Systems to be aquired by Wanxiang

(polynews) -- China’s Wanxiang Group Corp. is expected to take over lithium-ion battery company A123 Systems Inc. now that Johnson Controls Inc. has backed out of a competing offer to buy the firm’s assets in a bankruptcy auction.

A123 - with headquarters in Waltham, Mass., and battery production in Romulus, Mich., and Livonia, Mich. - entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware in October, with a plan in place for JCI to buy the assets in a deal worth USD125 million.

Wanxiang, based in Hangzhou, entered a competing bid of USD257 million and representatives from A123 announced Dec. 9 that they accepted that higher offer. JCI said in a press release that it was withdrawing from the process.

Interest in battery technology is continuing to grow in the U.S., however, despite the bankruptcy by A123, one of the first auto-focused lithium-ion battery makers in North America.

Lithium-ion batteries use a polymer film at the core of every cell, and also use plastics extensively in structural parts, cooling systems and electrical connections.

JCI is part of a USD120 million research project combining business, government and university researchers to improve battery storage and create next-general battery technology.

Other partners in JCESR are Dow Chemical Co. of Midland, Mich., Applied Materials Inc. of Santa Clara, Calif., Clean Energy Trust of Chicago, Ill., Northwestern University, the University of Chicago, and University of Illinois’ Urbana-Champaign and Chicago campuses. Dow also has its own joint venture lithium-ion battery operation, Dow Kokam LLC of Midland.