Milliken, Kiefel, SML and Braskem partner to highlight clear polypropylene at K 2013

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Kiefel, SML, Braskem and Milliken will combine their machine and material innovations to bring the powerful material substitution possibilities of Clear Polypropylene (PP) to life, said Azom.

Highly transparent, deep-draw cups produced live by Kiefel on its productivity-boosting systems will let visitors experience first-hand the exceptional high clarity and performance that can be achieved with Braskem’s Inspire 224 PP containing Milliken’s innovative clarifying agent, Millad NX 8000.

Clear PP is revolutionizing the range of applications able to take advantage of the lightweight and efficiency benefits of polypropylene. Through their partnership at K 2013, the four companies will demonstrate the performance potential and how state-of-the-art machinery can maximize the efficiency of using PP, highlighting the material’s viability as an alternative to less sustainable materials.

Extrusion equipment specialists SML will utilize this ease of processability to produce a film sheet in-house for Kiefel on one of its state-of-the-art lines. The SML High Performance extrusion line incorporates High Speed Extrusion (HSE) technology and typically produces more than 1000kg/h of high quality sheet. This ensures that the energy consumption per kg sheet is very low.

Braskem is the largest producer of thermoplastic resins in the Americas. With 36 industrial plants in Brazil, the United States and Germany, the company produces over 35 billion pounds of thermoplastic resins and other petrochemicals per year. Braskem is the world’s leading biopolymers producer with its 440 million pound green polyethylene plant that produces polyethylene from sugarcane-based ethanol.

As MRC wrote before, Braskem announced the expansion of its portfolio of renewable products with the launch of its new line of green low-density polyethylene (LDPE), with this new product family complementing itпїЅs already well known Green Plastics

Kiefel GmbH is a member of the Siegsdorf-based Bruckner Group, a world-leading supplier of machines and plant systems for use in the plastics processing industry. KIEFEL is a world leader in the design and manufacture of machines used to process plastic film materials.

SML is internationally recognized as reliable turn-key supplier of custom-made coex-castfilm-lines, coex-calendering-lines, extrusion-coating-lines and multifilament-spinning-lines. With its strong engineering force, SML has established itself as worldwide technology and market leader in various fields.

Milliken is an innovation company that has been exploring, discovering, and creating ways to enhance people’s lives since 1865. The company creates coatings, specialty chemicals, and advanced additive and colorant technologies that transform the way we experience products from automotive plastics to children's art supplies

Taiwan targets more China petrochemical projects

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Taiwan's government may loosen restrictions on investment in petrochemical production in China, where new projects have already attracted some interest from Taiwanese companies, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Taiwan's Investment Commission, which regulates outbound investments and is under the Ministry of Economics Affairs, said Monday it has proposed to let the island's petrochemical producers build naphtha cracker plants and produce ethylene and propylene in China.

Final approval of projects will hinge on conditions concerning ownership and shipment priority, Emile Chang, executive secretary of the Investment Commission, told the Wall Street Journal. Mr. Chang said the projects will have to be at least 50% owned by Taiwanese companies, which will also pledge to ship the output back to Taiwan if there is a shortage at home.

Taiwan currently doesn't allow investment in naphtha cracking in China, likely as part of efforts to avoid capital outflows.

Still, the island's petrochemical industry has been seeking investment opportunities in China after government-linked Kuokuang Petrochemical Technology Co. failed in the past two years to find a suitable site in Taiwan or Malaysia to build a much-needed naphtha cracker.

Analysts have said that Taiwan's downstream petrochemical companies might face a shortage of feedstock. Taiwan is a net importer of ethylene; it produced 3.47 million metric tons of ethylene in 2012 and imported around 348,000 metric tons of the product.

The Investment Commission's proposal has been submitted to the cabinet and is pending approval, Mr. Chang said, declining to give a time frame on the process.

Formosa Plastics Group, among the most active Taiwanese petrochemical firms investing in China, has flagged an interest to build ethylene plants in the provinces of Zhejiang and Fujian. The company currently produces petrochemical products, such as ethylene glycol and polyvinyl chloride, in its Ningbo petrochemical complex in Zhejiang province.

As MRC wrote previously, about NTUSD100 bln (USD3.35 bln) will be invested in Taiwan's petrochemical industry in 2013, including NTUSD15 bln in high-value petrochemical sectors.

Thousands of plastic processing units facing risk of closure in India

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Indian economy is passing through very difficult times. During the last few years, the plastics sector was growing at an average rate of 12% per annum and was contributing substantially to the growth of GDP and employment generation, but the last one year growth has taken a ‘U’ turn and at present there is a negative growth in the plastics sector, said Plastemart.

Many units have closed down and many more are on the verge of closure. Most of these units are working at less than 70% of their installed capacity.

This situation has risen due to multiple factor, some of which are highlighted below:
Abnormal increase in the price of raw materials i.e. plastics granules viz. PP, PE, PVC, Polystyrene etc. In the last two years the prices of plastics granules have almost doubled causing hardship to plastics processing units which are unable to pass on the increase to their ultimate consumer. Further working capital requirement has suddenly increased substantially which they are unable to manage.

There has been an increase in customs duty on plastic granules from 5% to 7.5% in the month of May 2013, whereas various plastics finished products are imported from neighbouring countries at zero or concessional duty.

The customs duty on plastics raw materials i.e. plastics granules, should always be lower than the customs duty on finished products. The normal rate of customs duty on finished plastics products is also only 10%. This apart from ensuring growth of manufacturing sector will also help in reducing current account deficit, reducing fiscal deficit as well as help in generating employment.

As MRC wrote before, India and Iraq have signed an energy-cooperation agreement spanning oil exploration and refining as well as work toward establishing a 10-year crude oil supply agreement from the Middle East nation. Iraq is eager to boost oil supplies to India, one of the largest oil consumers, in the face of shrinking demand from the US, which has been getting more of its oil and gas from domestic shale deposits in recent years.

Shell appoints John Abbott as Downstream Director

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Royal Dutch Shell plc, an international gas and oil major, has announced the appointment of John Abbott as Downstream Director with effect from October 1, 2013, according to the company's press release.

In his new role, Mr Abbott will become a member of the Company’s Executive Committee and will take over from Ben van Beurden who, as previously announced, becomes Chief Executive Officer with effect from January 1, 2014.

John is a British national and currently Executive Vice President Manufacturing, responsible for some 30 oil refineries and petrochemicals plants world-wide. He joined Shell in 1981, and has held a variety of management positions in refining, chemicals and upstream heavy oil, working in the United Kingdom, Singapore, Thailand, the Netherlands, Canada, and the United States.

As MRC informed previously, Ukraine took its first major step away from dependency on Russian gas imports when it signed a USD10 billion shale gas deal with Shell in early 2013.

Royal Dutch Shell plc is an Anglo-Dutch multinational oil and gas company headquartered in The Hague, Netherlands and with its registered office in London, United Kingdom. It is the biggest company in the world in terms of revenue and one of the six oil and gas "supermajors". Shell is vertically integrated and is active in every area of the oil and gas industry, including exploration and production, refining, distribution and marketing, petrochemicals, power generation and trading.

ELIX Polymers increases ABS prices

MOSCOW (MRC) -- ELIX Polymers, the Spain polymer producer, has announced a necessity to increase prices of ELIX brand acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS), according to the company's press release.

The company explained the present price rise by the additional raw material increases in September. Therefore, the company was forced to raise its ABS prices, which come into effect on 15 September, 2013, as follows:

- ELIX ABS - by EUR100/tonne;
- ELIX 100 series - by EUR60/tonne;
- ELIX 200 series - by EUR90/tonne.

As MRC informed previously, Styrolution sold its Tarragona, Spain acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) plant under a previously announced plan. The facility, operating under the name Elix Polymers, was acquired by private equity firm Sun Capital Partners, Gualdoni says.

ELIX Polymers, S.L. is a strong engineering plastics player with more than 35 years experience in precoloured ABS and ABS specialties. In addition to ABS, ELIX Polymers, S.L. offers its product line of high-quality polymer modifiers, mainly based on acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) and styrene-acrylonitrile (SAN) copolymers employed to improve performance of engineering plastics & PVC compounds.