Nippon Shokubai receives clearance to restart second Acrylic Acid Unit

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Nippon Shokubai Co. has received a new "lift of restrictions," allowing the company to resume production at a second acrylic acid unit at its Himeji complex in Japan, reported Apic-online.

Two separate explosions at its Himeji site last September forced the company to stop production of acrylic acid and superabsorbent polymers and resulted in the suspension of most operations at Himeji.

The company recently was granted a "lift of restrictions" for an acrylic acid plant that was not damaged in the incident, as well as some derivatives facilities, including superabsorbent polymers and water soluable polymers.

Nippon Shokubai noted that it has also been approved to resume operations of some derivative units, including special acrylates.

Nippon Shokubai produces one fifth of the global volume of superabsorbent polymers and it is one of the world's biggest makers of acrylic acid, the main ingredient of a resin called SAP, which is used in diapers.

Petrobras sets new company record for refinery production

MOSCOW (MRС) -- On June 29th and 30th, Petrobras established a production record of 2.2 million bpd of oil at its refineries, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

This volume is 30,000 bbl more than the previous record, set on May 26, 2013.

This strong performance has enabled a reduction in oil product imports, the company said, adding that it reflects the high level of operational efficiency at its refineries and in the integrated management of downstream operations.

Petrobras said it was also important to note that this level was achieved without cutting any corners and fully respecting the health, safety and environment (HSE) principles that govern company activities.

We remind that Moody's changed the outlook for Petrobras to "negative" from "stable," citing rising debt levels and growing uncertainty over how quickly the oil company can bring new production onstream. As MRC reported earlier, Petrobras plans to launch the first of its new refineries in November 2014. The second line will be put in operation in May 2015. The refinery will add 230,000 bpd of processing capacity.

Petroleo Brasileiro S.A. or Petrobras is a semi-public Brazilian multinational energy corporation headquartered in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It is the largest company in the Southern Hemisphere by market capitalization and the largest in Latin America measured by 2011 revenues.

Russian PM holds meeting on developments in petrochemicals

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev held a meeting on the development of the chemical and petrochemical industries, said Fibre2fashion.

The meeting was held at the POLIEF production site, one of Russia’s largest polyester complexes producing feedstock for the manufacture of plastic bottles for food products.

Dmitry Medvedev inspected the POLIEF production site, which is currently expanding its polyethylene terephthalate (PET) capacities. PET is used to produce food and pharmaceutical packaging, and film. POLIEF’s current terephthalic acid (feedstock for PET production) output is 250,000 tonnes per annum, and PET output – 140,000 tonnes per annum. With the expansion of the polyester facility, PET capacities are expected to reach up to 210,000 tonnes per annum.

This project will allow POLIEF to process its own terephthalic acid into high value-added products and to replace imports in some Russian PET market segments. Despite current tightening of spreads between feedstock and finished product prices in the global PET market, the Russian market has substantial growth potential. In 2012, Russia produced about 453,000 tonnes of PET and imported 185,000 tonnes. The current consumption rate per capita of food-grade PET in Russia is 4.1 kg compared with 9.5 kg in the US.

The project is included in the list of priority projects of Bashkortostan. Today, 100% of the production equipment has been installed, and 50% of the construction work has been finished. Commercial operations are scheduled to begin in 1H2014.

POLIEF’s PET fully meets the Russian and international quality standards for food contact materials. The Pira International Certificate of Conformity authorises POLIEF to sell its products in the European market.

The Russian Prime Minister also had a look at the KhimTerra Industrial Park Project. This Project, which is being led by the Bashkortostan Development Corporation, aims to support small and medium-sized businesses and to set up new production facilities that will use POLIEF products. The opening of this Industrial Park will help boost economic growth in the Republic, raise tax revenues, and create new jobs.

SIBUR Holding is the major shareholder of POLIEF; 17.5% interest in POLIEF is held by the Bashkortostan Government.

SIBUR is a uniquely positioned vertically integrated gas processing and petrochemicals company. We own and operate Russia’s largest gas processing business in terms of associated petroleum gas processing volumes and are a leader in the Russian petrochemicals industry.


BTX plant to be shut by Sumitomo for maintenance

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Japan-based Sumitomo Chemical is in plans to shut a BTX plant for maintenance turnaround, said Apic-online.

A source in Japan informed that the plant is likely to be shut in September 2013. It is likely to remain off-stream for around one month.

Located in Chiba, Japan, the plant has a benzene capacity of 150,000 mt/year, toluene capacity of 60,000 mt/year and solvent grade Mx capacity of 30,000 mt/year.

As MRC wrote before, Sumitomo Chemical will permanently wind up the operations of an ethylene plant at its Chiba Works in Ichihara, Chiba, in or before September 2015, following a decline in domestic demand for ethylene derivatives.

Sumitomo Chemical is a Japanese based manufacturer of a diverse range of products, including basic chemicals, petrochemicals and plastics, fine chemicals, agricultural chemicals, IT-related chemicals and pharmaceuticals.

Start-up of new cracker delayed by Wuhan Petrochemical

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Wuhan Petrochemical has delayed the start-up of a new cracker, said Apic-online.

A source in China informed that the start-up has been delayed to July 15, 2013. The cracker was initially scheduled to restart on June 28, 2013.

Located in Hubei province, China, the cracker has an ethylene production capacity of 800,000 mt/year. Currently, Wuhan Petrochemical has an ethylene production capacity of 200,000 tonnes/year and can process 8.5m tonnes/year of crude.

Wuhan Petrochemical Engineering Design Co., Ltd. offers engineering design, supervision, consultation, and related services for oil refinery, petrochemicals, distribution, and storage of oil and gas products. The company is based in China, its parent company is Sinopec.