HC Petrochem to cut further aromatics run rates on poor paraxylene margins

MOSCOW (MRC) -- South Korea's HC Petrochem plans to further cut runs at its No 2 aromatics plant at Daesan to 70% from early next week, due to weak production margins for paraxylene, as per Plastemart.

"Operating at 70% capacity is the lowest level mechanically. We have no choice but to cut runs further as improvement of the PX-MX spread seems unlikely in short term," said a company official.

The No. 2 aromatics unit has been operating at 80% of capacity since August 12, following an initial cut from 100% to 90% on August 1.

The No. 2 aromatics plant, which began commercial operations January 8, is able to produce 800,000 tpa of PX and 120,000 tpa of benzene.

As MRC reported previously, South Korea's paraxylene exports for January-March totaled 806,657 mt, surging 60.5% from a year earlier and up 41.4% from the previous quarter. The sharp increase was due to the startup of a new PX plant there. South Korea's HC Petrochem, a 50:50 joint venture between Hyundai Oilbank and Japan's Cosmo Oil, started commercial operations at its new 800,000 tpa PX plant in Daesan on January 8. Most of the new output from the plant is shipped to China.

HC Petrochem manufactures and markets paraxylene. The company was founded in 2009 and is based in Seosan Si, South Korea. HC Petrochem is a joint venture between Cosmo Oil and Hyundai Oilbank.

Lubrizol CPVC expands BIM offering to BlazeMaster products

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The Lubrizol Corporation is expanding its offering in Building Information Modeling (BIM) real-time, 3D modeling software to include availability of BlazeMaster Fire Sprinkler Systems, according to the company's press release.

Lubrizol CPVC introduced its BIM offering for FlowGuard Gold Pipe & Fittings and Corzan Piping Systems in 2011 and shared them at the American Society of Plumbing Engineers (ASPE) 2012 Convention in Charlotte, N.C.

This software allows architects, plumbing and fire protection engineers to create and manage building and infrastructure projects faster, more economically and with less environmental impact. Lubrizol’s BIM offerings are currently one of the only non-metallic pipe and fitting options available that meets the requirements for both hot and cold potable water as well as fire sprinkler systems established by national model codes.

Lubrizol continues to offer more InsideTM with simple, yet effective tools to increase productivity in building design and construction.

As MRC wrote previously, Lubrizol plans to spend USD125 million to build a Texas plant to supply resins and other materials to polyvinyl chlorine producers. The company said it expects the PVC market to grow in the coming years, especially in India and other developing countries. It added that the plant in Deer Park, near Houston, is the first step to a wider expansion in PVC.

The Lubrizol Corporation, a Berkshire Hathaway company, is an innovative specialty chemical company that apart from its production develops and supplies technologies to customers in the global transportation, industrial and consumer markets. The Lubrizol Corporation is the innovator and world leader in chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC) resins and compounds. The company's high-performance and low-combustibility CPVC technology can be found in FlowGuard Pipe & Fittings, BlazeMaster Fire Sprinkler Systems and Corzan Industrial Systems designed for plumbing, fire protection and industrial piping applications. In addition, Lubrizol's CPVC product is also used in a variety of specialty applications serving diverse markets.

Idemitsu Kosan to sell its PPS resin business to Lion Idemitsu Composites

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Idemitsu Kosan, one of Japan’s largest refining and petrochemical companies, has announces its plans to transfer its PPS (polyphenylene sulfide) resin business to Lion Idemitsu Composites, a 50:50 joint venture between Lion Corp and Idemitsu Kosan, according to the company's press release.

Idemitsu Kosan has been expanding its PPS resin business since 1987. This agreement on the business transfer has been reached based on an assumption that the planned transfer of business to Lion Idemitsu Composites will improve the efficiency of PPS resin business and that the integration between the products of Lion Idemitsu Composites and PPS resin will enhance product lineups and expand the scope of business.

In order to further develop PPS resin business in future, every effort will be made to maximize the strength of Lion Idemitsu Composites.

Lion Idemitsu Composites will also take over and handle transactional relationship with customers who have been doing business with Idemitsu Kosan to date.

PPS resin is a straight-chain polymer having a molecular structure composed of benzene ring and sulfur that are arranged alternately and features outstanding flame retardance, chemical resistance and electrical properties.
Their main application is in home appliances, OA products, automobile parts, etc.

As MRC informed previously, earlier this year, Dow Chemical signed a long-term ethylene off-take agreement with a new Japanese joint venture that will allow the chemical producer to enhance its performance plastics franchise. The joint venture is being formed between Japanese companies Idemitsu Kosan and Mitsui & Co. to construct and operate a Linear Alpha Olefins unit on the U.S. Gulf Coast.

Lion Idemitsu Composites is a 50:50 joint venture between Lion Corp and Idemitsu Kosan.

Idemitsu Kosan is a Japanese petroleum company. It owns and operates oil platforms, refineries and produces and sells petroleum, oils and petrochemical products. The company runs two petrochemical plants in Chiba and Tokuyama. The two naphtha crackers can produce up to 997,000 tonnes of ethylene per year.

Williams increases Q3 dividend

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Williams' board of directors has approved a regular dividend of USD0.36625 on the company's common stock, payable Sept. 30, 2013, to holders of record at the close of business on Sept. 13, reported the company on its site.

The third-quarter 2013 dividend is 17.2% higher than the year-ago amount and 3.9% higher than the most recent quarterly dividend.

The company continues to expect to increase the full-year dividend it pays shareholders by 20% in each 2013, 2014 and 2015 - to per-share amounts of USD1.44, USD1.75 and USD2.11, respectively. Thus, the company reaffirms 2013-2015 guidance for 20% annual dividend growth.

Williams' full-year dividend for 2012 was USD1.20 per share.

The expected quarterly increases in Williams' dividend are subject to quarterly approval of Williams' board of directors.

Williams has paid a common stock dividend every quarter since 1974.

As MRC informed previously, in March 2013, Williams, the world's only processor of oil sands upgrader offgas, approved the construction of a propane dehydrogenation (PDH) facility in Alberta, Canada, the first and only one in Canada, which will allow Williams to significantly increase production of polymer-grade propylene (PGP) from its Canadian operations.

Williams is one of the leading energy infrastructure companies in North America. The company's facilities have daily gas processing capacity of 6.6 billion cubic feet of natural gas, NGL production of more than 200,000 barrels per day and domestic olefins production capacity of 1.35 billion pounds of ethylene and 90 million pounds of propylene per year.

Customs Union renews duties on polymers and feedstock for their production

MOSCOW (MRC) -- New import duties of the Common Customs Tariff affected polymers and came into effect on 1 September of 2013, according to the Decision of the Council of the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) as of 2 July 2013.

In addition to polymers, reductions will affected different kinds of products, including equipment, certain types of fabrics, some clothing, food, etc. Thus, the EEC has fulfilled the commitments undertaken by Russia to the World Trade Organization (WTO).

As reported earlier, the protocol on Russia's accession into the Marrakesh Agreement, establishing the WTO, came into force a year ago, on 22 August. The changes to the Common Customs Tariff (CCT) of the Customs Union affected nearly 10% of import duties (of about 11,000).

Product HS Code Duties valid until 31.08.2013 New duties

MEG 2905 31 000 0 10% 9.3 %
Ethylene 2901 21 000 0 5% 4%
Propylene 2901 22 000 0 5% 4%
Styrene 2902 50 000 0 5% 4%
Benzene 2902 20 000 0 5% 4%
DOP 2917 32 000 0 10% 8.8%
LDPE 3901 10 900 0 10% 9.1%
HDPE 3901 20 100 0 10% 9.1%
EVA 3901 30 000 0 10% 8.8%
Polypropylene 3902 10 000 0 10 % 9.1%
Copolymers of propylene 3902 30 000 0 10% 8.3%
SAN 3903 20 000 0 10% 8.8%
ABS 3903 30 000 0 10% 8.3%
PVC blended unplasticized 3904 21 000 0 10% 6.5 %
PVC plasticized 3904 22 000 0 10% 6.5 %
PET 3907 60 200 0 5% 4%

In accordance with the reached agreements, the average import duty in Russia decreased to 7.8% from 10% in 2011 for all products. For the polymer industry, reductions of import duties are scheduled to be held in two phases for the bulk of large polymers with exception of PET chips. PET import duties were reduced from the current 5% to 4%.

As MRC wrote earlier, after joining the WTO, Russia has been gradually reducing import duties on large polymers from 10% to 6.5%.

EEC reported this year's cuts in duties will affect about 5,100 items, with a drop for each item to be relatively small, often in the range of 1-3%.

EEC's represetatives believe that, jugding from the last year's experience, the current small reduction in duties will not harm the Russian market.