Exxon Mobil to normalize operations at Torrance refinery

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Exxon Mobil said it still expects to be able to meet contractual commitments while work to normalize operations at its Torrance refinery in California continues, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The 150,000 bpd refinery was hit by an external power disruption that resulted in unplanned flaring. The incident didn't cause injuries to Exxon Mobil employees or contractors, company spokeswoman Gesuina Paras.

All non-essential personnel were evacuated as a safety precaution, and the Torrance Fire Department was on-site to work with Exxon Mobil personnel to safely manage the incident, Ms. Paras added.

"There is no impact to production," Ms. Paras said.

The company in early May said the refinery would conduct "several weeks" of planned maintenance at several process units. In mid May Exxon Mobil said the turnaround maintenance would be performed on a crude distillation unit, a coker unit, one of the plant's hydrogen units, a sulfur recover unit, and an alkylation unit. It hasn't commented on more recent reports of unit start ups, however.

As MRC informed previously, ExxonMobil said on Thursday it had started ethylene production at a new chemical unit in Singapore after expansion. With the start-up of the steam cracker, the company will increase production at other petrochemical units in the Singapore complex over the next few weeks. Ethylene is a feedstock for producing polymers (PE and PP) used in plastics production.

ExxonMobil is the largest non-government owned company in the energy industry and produces about 3 percent of the world's oil and about 2 percent of the world's energy.

KraussMaffei starts production of MX injection moulding machines in China

MOSCOW (MRC) -- KraussMaffei Group GmbH, German machinery producers, started production of MX injection moulding machines at the company's plant in Haiyan, China, in the first quarter of 2013, reported the company on its site.

The first Chinese-assembled MX 850-6100 from the Haiyan production plant was delivered to a long-standing Chinese customer and went into operation shortly afterwards.

"Delivery of the locally produced MX marks a new chapter in the ten-year success story of KraussMaffei in China," emphasized Harald Schweitzer, Head of the KraussMaffei Group subsidiary in China, adding, "We look forward to further extending our product line with the assembly at our Chinese plant of the popular MX machines, which have been well received by the market."

Plant extension work is nearing completion. Extrusion and reaction process machinery products have been in production at Haiyan, near Shanghai, for several years already.

In addition to the hydraulic MX machines, which are largely aimed at the automotive sector, the company also is setting up a lab and training center for PET equipment, related to KM's Netstal business.

As MRC wrote previously, two leading pipe manufacturers from Russia have recently chosen KraussMaffei Berstorff as a systems supplier for premium-quality technology and invested in PO pipe extrusion systems. Isoljazionny Trubny Zawod (ITZ) is seeking to enter into a long-term partnership with KraussMaffei Berstorff. Polyplastic Group is already a satisfied KraussMaffei Berstorff customer and, consequently, has placed a follow-up order.

The KraussMaffei Group is a global leader in the plastics and rubber processing industries. The company covers all areas of injection molding machinery, extrusion technology and reaction process machinery, which gives it a unique selling point in the industry.

Polish chemical maker Synthos halts work at Czech sites due to floods

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Polish chemicals maker Synthos halted production at its three facilities in the Czech Republic due to a risk that a pump station on the swollen Vltava river may be flooded, the company said on Monday, said Reuters.

Floods across central Europe forced factories to close, drove thousands from their homes and killed at least seven people. The Czech Republic, where a state of emergency was announced, faces the worst flooding in a decade.

Synthos, one of the largest makers of chemical raw materials in Poland, said the three facilities located in Kralupy, north of Prague, are not directly at risk from floods.

The company said it could not say how long the outage might last.

As per ICIS-MRC Price Report, Synthos has not yet announced its EPS price for June. Suppliers of Polish PS to Ukraine expect prices to remain steady or grow slightly.

Synthos set its EPS price for May at EUR1,460/tonne FCA. In April the value of the Polish polystyrene ranged EUR1,470-1,570/tonne FCA.

Synthos S.A. is one of the largest manufacturers of chemical raw materials in Poland, as well as being Europe’s No. 1 manufacturer of emulsion rubbers and third largest manufacturer of polystyrene for foaming applications.

PetroChina Dalian refinery blasts injure two-report

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Explosions at a PetroChina refinery in northeastern China has left two people injured and another two missing, said Reuters.

The blasts occurred when two tanks containing residual diesel oil exploded on Sunday afternoon at the PetroChina Dalian refinery. The refinery belongs to Dalian Petrochemical Corp, a unit of PetroChina.

The injured were rushed to hospital for treatment and the fire was put out by the late afternoon.

The Dalian refinery has three crude distillation units with total crude processing capacity of 410,000 barrels per day.

A PetroChina spokesman confirmed an accident had taken place but declined to give more details.

Dalian Petrochemical, in Dalian, Liaoning Province, is one of PetroChina"s main refineries with a refining capacity of 20.5m tonnes/year. The company is able to produce various products including refined oil, lubrication, wax, benzene, polypropylene (PP) and expandable polystyrene (EPS).

PetroChina is one of the largest companies in China and a key player in the country's oil and gas industries. As MRC wrote earlier, PetroChina has overtaken Exxon Mobil as the world"s biggest publicly traded producer of oil. The company announced it pumped 2.4 million barrels a day last year, surpassing Exxon by 100,000 barrels.


Bemis sells Clysar shrink film division

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Bemis Co. Inc. has sold its shrink film division Clysar to Cove Point Holdings LLC, a privately held investment firm based in New York, said Palsticsnews.

Renamed Clysar LLC, Clysar will operate as a stand-alone, independent company. Its headquarters will move from Oshkosh, Wis., to Clinton, Iowa, the site of the company's extrusion and converting campus. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Clysar says it is one of the largest manufacturers or high-performance polyolefin shrink films for packaging applications. Its films are sold through two-step distribution and used strictly in non-barrier applications.
The company was started 50 years ago by DuPont Co. and purchased by Bemis in 2002. It has 300 employees across its plants in Oshkosh and Clinton.

The acquisition is an opportunity for Clysar to "centralize our leadership, technology, development and manufacturing to make us an even stronger force in the shrink film market, said William Hare, general manager of Clysar LLC, in a May 29 news release.

Becoming a privately held company will allow Clysar to better serve critical shrink markets and invest in product innovation, the company announced on its website. Cove Point is wholly owned by its chairman William C. Morris. The firm aims to own, operate and grow manufacturing businesses in the U.S.

Bemis Co. closed a plant in St. Louis Park and will close one in Minneapolis. Both facilities make flexible packaging for food under the Curwood brand, a division of Bemis.

Bemis, based in Neenah, Wis., is one of the country's largest packaging firms and is North America's largest film and sheet manufacturer with annual sales of USD5.3 billion.