Honam Petrochemical and KP Chemical to merge into Lotte Chemical Corporation

MOSCOW (MRC) -- A major South Korean pertochemical and polymer producer, Honam Petrochemical, and one of the largest South Korean PET and PTA producer, KP Chemical, has decided to merge into a new company with a new name Lotte Chemical Corporation, wrote Soo Young Huh, the President and CEO of Lotte Chemical Corporation, in his letter to the company's business partners.

After undergoing a sizable growth, Honam Petrochemical Corp and Kp Chemical Corporation took one step further through a merger between the two companies, which was effective as of December 27, 2012.

The name of the new company will be LOTTE CHEMICAL Corporation. The newly formed company believes that this move will strengthen its position both in domestic and international markets and is in a line with Lotte Chemical's strategy to become a leading global company.

Honam Petrochemical Corporation is a South Korean producer of petrochemicals and polymers with its businesses comprising of polyethylene (PE), high density polyethylene (HDPE), polypropylene (PP), mono ethylene glycol (MEG), ethylene, propylene, benzene, compound polypropylene, and other petrochemical products, providing plastics, synthetics and basic chemicals. It holds the largest shares in HDPE, polyethylene and MEG in the Korean market. The company also supplies its production to the Russian market. As per MRC DataScope, in January-November, 2012, the import volumes of polymers by Honam Petrochemical to Russia amounted to about 36,000 tonnes, out of which PE makes 25,346 tonnes, PP - 5,326 tonnes, PET - 5120 tonnes. It is worth noting that in 2011 the company did not deliver its material to the Russian market.

KP Chemical Corporation is one of the largest Soth Korean polymer companies, which annually produces 740,000 tonnes of paraxylene, 955,000 tonnes of PTA and 446,000tons of PET by using the vertically combined production system established in the Ulsan Plant Complexes 1 and 2. More than 90% of the company's products are exported throughout the world. The major markets pioneered through the company's robust sales network are China, Russia and Europe. According to MRC DataScope, the import volumes of KP Chemical to Russia declined almost twice in January-November, 2012, and amounted to 31,400 tonness, while during the same period of 2011, this index made about 61,000 tonness. Despite the sharp decline in sales in Russia, KP Chemical continues to occupy the leading position among foreign producers in the Russian PET market.

Invista to start Chinese HMD plant in 2015

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Invista's hexamethylene diamine (HMD) plant in Shanghai, China, is set to meet its scheduled 2015 start, following Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) approval from the Shanghai Environmental Protection Bureau, said Chemicals-technology.

"The 215,000tpy plant will produce integrated nylon 6,6 intermediates, as well as high performance polyurethanes."
The 215,000tpy plant will produce integrated nylon 6,6 intermediates, as well as high performance polyurethanes.

Invista senior vice president Steve Kromer said the new plant will give the company and its customers a significant competitive advantage. "With new local production, the plant will facilitate the growing needs of our Asia businesses and strengthen our position in the region as supplier of choice," Kromer added. "The new plant will be the most energy efficient HMD facility in the world."

Invista is a global leader in the production of hexamethylenediamine (HMD), a key intermediate used in industrial, textile, resin, carpet and coating applications.

As MRC wrote earlier, subsidiary of Invista acquired a manufacturing facility previously operated by privately-held VSL Born B.V., which focuses on the compounding and recycling of polyamides used in automotive, electrical, electronic, industrial and consumer goods applications. Invista, a polymer and fiber company with 10,000 employees and operations in more than 20 countries, will place the compounding asset within its Engineering Polymers business.


BASF to increase global hexanediol production

MOSCOW (MRC) -- BASF is planning to increase its annual global production of the chemical intermediate 1,6-hexanediol (HDO) by more than 20%, to more than 50,000tpa, by 2014, said BASF in its press release.

"BASF operates HDO production facilities at its Verbund sites in Freeport, US, and Ludwigshafen, Germany."
As part of the expansion plan, the company will invest more than EUR30m to further optimise its production processes, execute various infrastructure projects and enhance its logistical processes.

BASF operates HDO production facilities at its Verbund sites in Freeport, US, and Ludwigshafen, Germany.
BASF Intermediates division president Sanjeev Gandhi said by increasing the capacity and further optimising its operations, the company can respond to the growing demand for high-performance formulations.

"By aligning with the growth of our customers and ensuring the availability of high-quality HDO we continue to serve our global customers as a reliable partner," Gandhi added.

1,6-Hexanediol is a valuable intermediate for the chemical industry. It has applications in a variety of polymer syntheses and is also used in the synthesis of specialty chemicals. The HDO is used to manufacture industrial coatings, including less volatile organic compound formulations, polyurethane plastics, adhesives and cosmetics.

HDO also serves as a reactive thinner in the formulation of epoxy systems, which are used in manufacturing rotor blades for modern wind turbines as well as the construction of components for automotive lightweight applications.


Iran launches new petrochemical plant

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Iran has opened a new petrochemical plant in the western province of Kermanshah, said Chemicals-technology.

The Kermanshah Polymer Petrochemical Plant has an annual production capacity of 300,000t of heavy polyethylene. It will employ nearly 1,500 people and is also expected to market nearly USD429mln petrochemical products annually.

As MRC wrote earlier, Iran has also launched two other petrochemical projects, which include Kavian Petrochemical Complex and the West Ethylene Pipeline in Assaluyeh, both located in the onshore installations of the South Pars Gas Field, Persian Gulf.

Kavian Petrochemical Complex, with a capacity of 2.18 million tonnes per annum for petrochemical production, is the main source of ethylene for the West Ethylene Pipeline.

Iran has expanded the range and volume of its petrochemical products over the past few years. A few days ago MRC wrote, Iran’s National Development Fund (NDF) has allocated 3.6 billion dollars to the development of the country’s petrochemical industry.

European export prices of PE for CIS markets grew by EUR20-50/tonne

MOSCOW (ICIS-MRC) – European makers announced increase in export prices of PE for the CIS markets by EUR20-50/tonne, on high costs of feedstock, low margins and reduced capacity utilization, according to ICIS-MRC Price Report.

Though the contract price of ethylene in Europe for January remained at the level of December - EUR1,275/tonne, FD NWE, European makers aim to raise export prices of polyethylene (PE) by EUR20-50/tonne.

The smallest price increase was announced on low-density polyethylene (LDPE). The deals for European LDPE for January were agreed at EUR1,320-1,380 per tonne, FCA. The price of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) grew by EUR30-50/tonne, from December. This week the deals were discussed at EUR1,280-1,360/tonne, FCA.

At the same time, there are some exceptions. On weak demand some European makers left the December prices of coloured pipe PE100 for January deliveries. Some companies said that they managed to get price cuts by EUR20/tonne, compared with December.