SABIC first started production of new PP impact copolymer for consumer products in China

MOSCOW (MRC) -– SABIC, Saudi Arabia's petrochemical major, has started producing its new polypropylene (PP) impact copolymer (ICP) grade PP77MK40T in China for the local market, according to the company's press-release.

PP77MK40T is the first product of its type to be made locally, paving the way for a more efficient supply chain, quicker time-to-market and enhanced competitiveness for SABIC's customers in China.

"Consumers are increasingly demanding a wider range of products that are economical, practical, durable and environmentally friendly. SABIC understands what consumers want and is designing products bearing these demands in mind, which in turn supports China’s ultimate drive towards sustainability and reliability," said Gary Lam, Director, Polypropylene, Polymers, Asia Pacific, SABIC.

PP77MK40T is suitable for production of garden furniture, household items, battery casings, containers, toys, crates and boxes, and enriches the polymers portfolio in SABIC.

As MRC wrote previously, SABIC has recently opened a new engineering thermoplastics compounding facility and a polypropylene compounding plant at its manufacturing facility in Jubail, Saudi Arabia.

Besides, the company has been preparing facilities at its plant in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, for the launch of commercial production of bimodal high density polyethylene (HDPE). The start of the production of the new grades for blow moulded bottles for household, industrial chemicals and personal care is scheduled for the second quarter of the current year, with grades suitable for containers up to 5L. The same grades, as well as grades intended for jerry cans, drums and other large containers, will also be produced at one of the company"s plants in Saudi Arabia; production there will start in the third quarter of 2013.

Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) ranks among the world’s top petrochemical companies. The company is among the world’s market leaders in the production of polyethylene, polypropylene and other advanced thermoplastics, glycols, methanol and fertilizers. SABIC recorded a net profit of SR 24.72 billion (USUSD 6.59 billion) in 2012, down 15,5% year-on-year. Sales revenues for 2012 totaled SR 189 billion (USUSD 50.40 billion). Total assets stood at SR 338 billion (USUSD 90.13 billion) at the end of 2012. SABIC manufactures on a global scale in Saudi Arabia, the Americas, Europe and Asia Pacific.

US energy chief is cautious on gas exports

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The new United States energy secretary raised the possibility of delaying further approvals for United States companies seeking to export natural gas, saying he wants to review whether the government's studies of the issue are adequate, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The comments by Ernest Moniz, who was sworn in as energy secretary, came as industry executives urged the Department of Energy to move quickly on export applications, some of which have been waiting for more than a year.

Sempra Energy Executive Octavio Simoes, who is in charge of the company's bid to export LNG, told lawmakers that time is running short for the United States because other natural gas producers around the world are stepping up efforts.

A study commissioned by the DOE last year found that exports would bring net economic benefits to the United States. The department cited that study last week when it approved an application by Freeport LNG to export natural gas from a Texas facility.

Some 19 other export facilities have pending applications at the Energy Department, taking advantage of rising domestic production.

Mr. Moniz showed caution about the existing studies. Speaking to reporters after a speech to an energy-efficiency conference here, he said he was "committed to doing a review of what's out there in terms of impact analyses" before approving more applications to export United States natural gas. Critics have said last year's study didn't rely on the best data available.

As MRC wrote earlier, according to the Year End 2012 Situation and Outlook, published by the American Chemistry Council (ACC) trade group, favorable oil-to-gas price ratios driven by the production of natural gas from shale will drive a renewed US competitiveness that will boost exports and fuel greater domestic investment and economic growth within the business of chemistry. While overall shipments in the business of chemistry slipped 1.5% in 2012, they expected to increase nearly 9% over the next two years, to USD794 billion in 2013 and USD833 billion in 2014.

Celanese looks to sell Spain vinyl acetate plant

MOSCOW (MRC) -- US-based Celanese is attempting to sell its vinyl acetate monomer (VAM) unit in Tarragona, Spain, the company said on Wednesday, according to Hydracarbonprocessing.

The capacity of the VAM unit is 200,000 tpy, according to the company. Celanese said it is committed to taking the appropriate time to find a "credible buyer" for the unit, with primary focus on industrial candidates.

To help with the sales process, Celanese has hired Paris-based consultancy JH Lillian & Co., an advisory firm specializing in the chemicals industry.

Celanese said the decision to sell the plant was driven by a recently completed assessment of the company's overall corporate strategy, which included an assessment of the company’s global manufacturing facilities.

"Specifically in support of the company’s Acetyl Intermediates business, the manufacturing footprint strategy favors integrated production sites that provide critical economies of scale," Celanese officials said.

The company is also looking to sell a 34,000 tpy acetic anhydride facility in Roussillon, France.

"The sale process for both facilities will be open to a broad range of candidates," the company said.

"However, the selection of the buyers will be based on specific criteria, including the ability of the buyers to ensure sustainable operations, retain employees and their ability to meet certain financial conditions."

As MRC wrote before, Celanese and Mitsui & Co. have agreed to form a 50-50 joint venture for a previously announced project to produce methanol at Celanese's integrated chemical plant at Clear Lake, TX.

Celanese Corporation is a global technology leader in the production of differentiated chemistry solutions and specialty materials used in most major industries and consumer applications.

Technip with Samsung and Huanqiu awarded contract for LNG project in Canada

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Technip with Samsung Engineering Co Ltd and China Huanqiu Contracting & Engineering Corporation, was awarded by Pacific NorthWest LNG Limited Partnership a contract for the front end engineering design and the early detailed engineering services of a grassroot liquefied natural gas (LNG) project, said the producer.

This project is proposed to be located on Lelu Island, British Columbia, Canada.

The project will include two six-million tons per year LNG trains, process units and marine facilities,inlet facilities, utilities and power generation, off-sites including buildings and jetty topside facilities. This contract is part of a multiple design competition scheme.

Technip’s operating center in Rome, Italy will execute the contract together with the consortium project team in Seoul, Korea and Beijing, China. Technip will be in charge of the LNG trains, the process units and marine facilities. The project is scheduled for completion in the second semester of 2014.

As MRC wrote earlier, Technip won FEED work on Sibur PE project. The first contract concerns a linear low/high density gas phase polyethylene plant. Meanwhile, the second deal is for a high density slurry phase polyethylene plant, the company said. Each plant will consist of two parallel production trains with a total capacity of 1.5 million tpy of polyethylene.

Technip is a world leader in project management, engineering and construction for the energy industry.
Present in 48 countries, Technip has state-of-the-art industrial assets on all continents and operates a fleet of specialized vessels for pipeline installation and subsea construction.

Samsung Engineering is one of the world’s leading engineering, procurement, construction and project management (EPC&PM) companies. With experience in over 30 countries, the company provides total project management from planning and financing through to construction and commissioning and has built some of the world’s largest and most complex hydrocarbon and industrial plants and facilities.

China Huanqiu Contracting & Engineering Corporation (HQC), affiliated with China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), is an intelligence-intensive, technology-intensive and technology-oriented state-owned backbone enterprise. HQC has fulfilled the tasks of consultation, engineering, construction and EPC contracting for over 2,000 cross-industry large-and medium-scale domestic and foreign projects in more than 50 years.


Romanian AdePlast opens PS factory in Oradea

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Romanian construction materials producer AdePlast, owned by businessman Marcel Barbut, has recently opened a new polystyrene factory in Oradea, Romania, following an investment of EUR 3.2 million, according to Romania-insider.

The new plant’s production capacity is 700,000 cubic meters per year. Through the new production facility, the company aims to cover the Eastern and Northeastern part of the country with lower costs, and also to serve customers in Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova.

This is AdePlast’s second polystyrene factory, after the one located in Ploiesti and the company plans to open a third one in Romania this June, according to Marcel Barbut, CEO Adeplast. "The development of the other industrial platforms in Ploiesti and Roman will continue throughout this year, for July we plan the opening of the paint factory in Ploiesti," added Barbut. AdePlast invested a total of EUR 22 million in the three local platforms, at Oradea, Ploiesti and Roman.

By opening the new factory in Oradea, the Romanian manufacturer aims to consolidate its position in neighboring Hungary and in Western Europe, with exports being a development target for the following years. "Bulgaria, the Republic of Moldova, Ukraine, Hungary, Austria, Germany or Lebanon are markets where we will be increasingly more present; in the first four months, we already had a 49% export increase compared to the same period last year," said Marcel Barbut.

AdePlast is owned by Romanian investor Marcel Barbut and was founded in Oradea, in 1994. The company currently has 250 employees across the country. AdePlast now owns two production units, at Oradea and Ploiesti. Their annual capacity reaches 700,000 tonnes of mortar and 800,000 tonnes of tincture, decorative coating and special humid adhesives.