LyondellBasell opens chemical research center in Houston

MOSCOW (MRC) -- LyondellBasell announced the opening of the 70,000-square-foot Houston Technology Center to develop process technologies and chemical catalysts for its Intermediates and Derivatives business.

Research and development activities at the facility will focus on improving catalyst and process technologies to reduce manufacturing costs, improve yields, and lower capital costs of new construction for LyondellBasell's global chemicals business. Proprietary technologies supported at the site include propylene oxide, butanediol and derivatives, glycols and glycol ethers, acetyls, olefins and solvents.

Manufacturing plants supported by the center include three Houston-area facilities in Channelview, Bayport and La Porte, Texas, as well as Botlek and Maasvlakte, Netherlands, Fos-sur-Mer, France, and a joint venture in Ningbo, China.

The center will employ approximately 80 people, 22 of whom relocated from the company's former facility near Philadelphia, with the balance hired locally. The new facility is adjacent to the company's largest U.S. manufacturing complex in Channelview, east of Houston.

LyondellBasell is among the industry leaders in chemicals and polymers technology. The company has more than 5,000 patents and patent applications worldwide covering manufacturing processes, products and catalysts. This year the company is commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry awarded to Karl Ziegler and Giulio Natta in cooperation with LyondellBasell predecessor companies. Their discoveries led to the production of polyethylene and polypropylene and modern plastics that are lighter, stronger and more durable.


In August EPS production in Russia reduced by twice

MOSCOW (МRC) -- In August production of expanded polystyrene (EPS) in Russia reduced nearly by twice compared to July. It is connected with maintenance works at Russian plants, as MRC ScanPlast informs.

In August in Russia only 5,300 tonnes were produced while in July Russian plants produced about 10,240 tonnes of EPS. In August EPS wasn't produced at Angarsk polymers plant. Also during 17 August-4 September capacities of Sibur-Khimrom were suspended for maintenance.

A buying activity remained high. The decrease of production in August had an effect on the lack of the product in September. A seasonal demand will be kept in October as well.

This year the Russian market demonstrates substitution of the Asian EPS due to grown production at domestic capacities. Over January-August Russian plants produced about 76,600 tonnes of EPS that exceeds the figures of 2012 by 49%. Over the same period a year earlier Russian enterprises produced about 51,000 tonnes of EPS.


Stavrolen suspended polymers production

MOSCOW (МRC) -- Yesterday Stavrolen (Lukoil) suspended production of polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP). Suspension is unscheduled and will last for about 6 days, ICIS-MRC Price report informs.

On 1 October Stavrolen (Lukoil) stopped ethylene output because of technological problems. As a result, production of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and PP was suspended. As unofficials inform, the restart is expected on 5-6 October.

The annual capacity of HDPE and PP makes 300,000 and 120,000 tonnes correspondingly. Over the eight months, the plant produced about 205,000 tonnes of HDPE and 85,000 tonnes of PP.


In August imports of polyolefins to Kazakhstan reduced by 25%

MOSCOW (MRC) -- In August imports of polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) to Kazakhstan reduced by 25% on the back of the limited offer in the external markets, as MRC analysts inform. In August overall imports of PE and PP to Kazakhstan made about 11,200 tonnes compared to 14,900 tonnes in July. The reason for such a serious decrease of imports was a limited offer of polyolefins in the external markets, in particular, from the Russian and Middle Eastern producers.

Referring the brands of polyolefins, overall imports of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) decreased to 8,500 tonnes compared to 11,600 tonnes in July. The main decrease of imports to 650 tonnes (compared to 2,100 tonnes in July) fell at pipe HDPE from the Middle Eastern producers.

External supplies of low-density polyethylene (LDPE) and linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) reduced to 1,400 tonnes against 1,600 tonnes in July. Reduction of imports has been stipulated by a low demand for finished films in the domestic market, in particular, shrinkable films (on the back of a bad weather).

August imports of PP reduced to 1,300 tonnes against 1,800 tonnes in July. PP supplies from Russia decreased by twice - because of the deficit in the domestic market Russian producers reduced their export quotes.


Ufaorgsyntez suspended PP production

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Yesterday Ufaorgsyntez was forced to suspend polypropylene (PP) production. Suspension will take not more than three days, ICIS-MRC Price reports informs.

On 1 October, Ufaorgsyntez suspended polypropylene production. It is caused by interruption in supplies of the feedstock - propane-propylene fraction. As the sources in the company inform, suspension will take about three days.

The annual PP capacity at Ufaorgsyntez makes 100,000 tonnes. In January-August the plant produced about 80,000 tonnes of PP.

As we informed before, because of the lack of the fraction, Poliom was forced to shift the terms of the restart of PP production. On 1 September, Omsk producer suspended its capacities for a two week maintenance. Though on the back of limited feedstock, the restart is expected only this week and with incomplete capacities utilization.