Styron appoints Velox as its European distributor for medical industry

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Styron Europe GmbH, the global materials company and manufacturer of plastics, latex and rubber, has appointed Velox GmbH, Hamburg, Germany, as the European distributor for medical product offerings from Styron, according to the company's press release.

Velox, a supplier and marketer of raw materials specialties will represent products for Styron medical applications, including CALIBRE MEGARAD polycarbonate resins and MAGNUM ABS Resins.

This partnership allows Styron to link their established medical grades and technologies to a comprehensive sales network from Velox, meeting the diverse needs of the medical market in more than 18 countries.

"Styron is pleased to join forces with VELOX in this new collaboration. Backed by a focused sales force from VELOX and Styron’s product development and medical policy, we believe the partnership will be fruitful," says Nicolas Joly, Product Market Manager for Polycarbonate, Compounds and Blends.

"We look forward to cooperating with Styron and are excited to add their medical products to our product portfolio for the medical market. It is a complementary fit to our current product portfolio of raw materials," says Francois Minec, General Manager at Velox.

As MRC wrote previously, in February 2013, Styron introduced several new resins for medical equipment enclosures,
which are EMERGE PC/ABS 7700 blend, MAGNUM 2642 MED and MAGNUM 8391 MED ABS resins. These materials complement Styron's portfolio for enclosures providing resins that result in an economical system cost. Styron also introduced a broad range of ISO 10993-tested colorants for its CALIBRE polycarbonate resins, CALIBRE MEGARAD polycarbonate resins, and MAGNUM ABS Resins portfolio.

We remind that this March Arkema also appointed Velox as its exclusive distributor for its medical business development in Europe. The product range includes such polyether block amides resins, as Pebax SA 01 Med, Rilsan Med, Rilsamid Med, and Rilsan Clear Med.

Styron is a leading global materials company and manufacturer of plastics, latex and rubber. Styron's technology solutions are used by customers in industries such as home appliances, automotive, building & construction, carpet, commercial transportation, consumer electronics, consumer goods, electrical & lighting, medical, packaging, paper & paperboard, rubber goods and tires. Styron produces premium quality resins and compounds that are used in the medical device industry for disposable and reusable devices and equipment enclosures under the following recognizable names: CALIBRE polycarbonate resins, CALIBRE MEGARAD polycarbonate resins and MAGNUM ABS resins.

Petronas delays Johor refinery start-up to 2017

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Malaysian state oil and gas company Petronas has pushed back the completion date for its Johor refinery-petrochemical project to 2017 as a final investment decision has been delayed, said Reuters.

The company was expected to give the project the green light this year but had to push it back due to political uncertainty during the national elections early this year, industry sources said.

"It has been delayed by just three months," Petronas CEO Shamsul Azhar Abbas told Reuters, adding that a decision would be made in early 2014.

He said the project's completion would be pushed back to 2017 from the original forecast of end 2016. The CEO is expected to step down before the project is completed. When asked if he would be retiring in 2015, Shamsul said: "That's when my contract ends."

As MRC wrote before, Petronas or Petroliam Nasional Bhd. has announced that first-quarter net profit slipped 4.7% from a year earlier but 2013 earnings may still be steady on higher output. Net profit for the three months ended March 31 was 17.56 billion ringgit (USD5.7 billion) compared with MYR18.43 billion a year earlier, Petronas said in a statement. Revenue rose 1.9% in the period to MYR76.68 billion from MYR75.25 billion.

Petronas, short for Petroliam Nasional Berhad, is a Malaysian oil and gas company wholly owned by the Government of Malaysia. The Group is engaged in a wide spectrum of petroleum activities, including upstream exploration and production of oil and gas to downstream oil refining; marketing and distribution of petroleum products; trading; gas processing and liquefaction; gas transmission pipeline network operations; marketing of liquefied natural gas; petrochemical manufacturing and marketing; shipping; automotive engineering; and property investment.

Solvay third-generation commercial blends receive US EPA approval

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Solvay has recently announced that the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued a SNAP (Significant New Alternatives Policy) approval for the company’s third-generation foaming agent solution commercial blends, reported GV.

Thus, the company's Solkane 365/227 (93:07 and 87:13 blends of HFC-365mfc and HFC-227ea, containing 7 – 13 % HFC-227ea and the remainder HFC-365mfc) were approved by EPA.

Solvay says SNAP approval of its Solkane 365/227 blends makes this third-generation foaming agent solution an acceptable substitute for ozone-depleting substances in rigid polyurethane spray and extruded polystyrene applications.

Solkane 365/227 has been produced and successfully used for years in a broad range of PU and extruded polystyrene applications in Europe and Canada.

In the USA, both HFC-365mfc and HFC-227ea are exempt from VOC (volatile organic compound) classification, an important point for many US customers. Approvals for additional PU applications also remain pending at EPA, says the company.

The Solkane brand categories worldwide include refrigerants, foam blowing agents, solvents, fire extinguishing agents and further specialised niche markets. They are widely used in stationary and mobile AC refrigerant applications, insulating applications, and fire suppression as well as a range of cleaning applications.

According to Solvay, Solkane 365/227 has become the product of choice internationally in a number of PU applications, including spray foam, where non-flammable blowing agents are essential or where high quality is requested. In addition to the applications recently approved in the USA, typical applications elsewhere globally include PU and extruded polystyrene pipe insulation, PU sandwich panels (continuous/discontinuous; construction/reefer), PU and polystyrene insulation panels, as well as PU block and integral foams.

As MRC informed previously, two of Europe’s biggest chemical companies -Solvay and Ineos Group - have recently agreed to form a joint venture that will create one of the world’s largest producers of PVC plastics by revenues. The 50-50 joint venture will allow Solvay to exit the market for PVC, plastics used in the manufacture of construction products such as pipes and window frames, which has suffered during the downturn on the back of waning demand from the building industry.

Construction approved for second Vietnam refinery

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Japanese refiner Idemitsu Kosan Co. and its partners have made a final investment decision on Vietnam's second oil refinery and secured USD5 billion in project finance, reported Hydrocarbonprocessing with reference to Idemitsu's statement.

The USD9 billion Nghi Son complex 180 kilometers south of Hanoi will have a refining capacity of 200,000 bpd. It is slated to process Kuwaiti crude supplied exclusively by Kuwait Petroleum International.

Construction will begin in July and commercial operations are expected to start in the second quarter of 2017.

Idemitsu and Kuwait Petroleum each owns a 35.1% stake in the project. State-owned Vietnam Oil & Gas Group, known as Petrovietnam, and Mitsui Chemicals own 25.1% and 4.7%, respectively.

Petrovietnam will buy all oil products from Nghi Son at Asian market prices, as its output is primarily intended to meet the needs of Vietnam's domestic market. The joint-venture contract also allows it to export any excess production to avoid reducing the refinery's operating rate.

Nghi Son will produce 700,000 tpy of paraxylene, all of which Idemitsu and Mitsui Chemicals will take. Besides, it will produce polypropylene (PP) and aromatics.

The project has been delayed several times -- the final investment decision was originally scheduled for the summer of 2010 -- as the partners struggled to obtain bank financing without underwriting by the Vietnamese government. Talks progressed rapidly, however, after the government agreed in August to take official and unofficial measures to minimize financial risks.

As MRC wrote earlier, in May, 2013, the Vietnamese government approved to a 660,000 barrel oil refinery and petrochemical complex for an estimated USD27 billion by the energy giant PTT Plc, paving the way for a detailed feasibility study within a year.

Nova Chemicals official announces expansion

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Nova Chemicals has begun construction on the expanded polyethylene facilities at the Joffre Site which will include a world-scale polyethylene reactor (R3), said the company in its site.

While R3 and associated infrastructure require a significant USD900-million capital investment, the project is categorized as modest derivative expansion, largely integrated within the site’s existing "footprint."

R3, once it is commissioned in the Fall of 2015, will be the third reactor in our existing PE1 facility. Currently, PE1 has two identical production "trains" referred to as polyethylene reactors. R3 has been designed to produce between 950 to 1,100 million pounds of linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE). This will be an approximate 40% increase in our overall site polyethylene capacity and will use existing Joffre Site ethylene capacity.

As MRC wrote earlier, growth in the LDPE market is part of NOVA 2020, the company's long-term asset strategy to capitalize on emerging feedstock opportunities and growing North American demand. Restoring the Moore facility is the first step in NOVA Chemicals’ plan to strengthen its commitment to the LDPE market to better meet the needs of customers.

NOVA Chemicals Corporation is a plastics and chemical company headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and is a wholly owned subsidiary of the International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.