Explosion in Mexico at Pemex refinery kills 1 and injures 5 others

MOSCOW (MRC) -- State oil firm Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) said one person was killed while five others suffered injuries on Tuesday afternoon when an explosion rocked its crude oil refinery in the state of Hidalgo, reported Ubalert.

The incident took place at the Miguel Hidalgo refinery which is situated in the town of Tula.

According to a statement issued by Pemex, the explosion occurred at 3:15 p.m. (local time) at the 500-1 unit in the Hidros Plant Unit I while maintenance work was being conducted. The blast came during the start-up of the Hidros 1 Plant, but operations at the facility were not suspended.

Six injured victims received emergency treatment at a Pemex hospital and a clinic of the Mexican Social Security Institute. Unfortunately, one of them died. Three of the victims are Pemex workers while the other three are from contractors.

The exact cause of the explosion is still unknown and authorities have yet to provide further details.

As MRC informed previoulsy, a powerful explosion rocked the Mexico City headquarters of state-owned oil giant Pemex on 1 February, killing at least 37 people, injuring more than 100 and trapping others inside. An accumulation of gas caused the blast.

Pemex, Mexican Petroleum, is a Mexican state-owned petroleum company. Pemex has a total asset worth of USD415.75 billion, and is the world's second largest non-publicly listed company by total market value, and Latin America's second largest enterprise by annual revenue as of 2009. Company produces such polymers, as polyethylene, polypropylene, polystyrene.

Clariant launches Nipaguard Zero preservative blends as innovative alternatives to parabens

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Clariant, a world leader in specialty chemicals, has launched Nipaguard Zero - a powerful line of optimized preservative blends that contain no parabens, yet deliver a comparable performance, according to the company's press release.

With more than 70 years of combined expertise and experience in this field, Clariant is a market leader in offering solutions for preservation of cosmetics. The company offers a broad portfolio of single actives and optimized blends under the well-known brand names Phenonip, Nipagin and Nipaguard.

The company has developed four Nipaguard Zero blends for use in rinse-off and leave-on applications, wet wipes and difficult-to-preserve formulations, including an Ecocert1 approved option.

The Nipaguard Zero blends are based on 100% renewable Velsan SC - a highly effective, novel synergistic booster developed by Clariant that enables use of a reduced amount of preservatives to provide reliable protection against bacteria, yeasts and fungi. Nipaguard Zero provides broad-spectrum preservation, is easy to use, safe and effective at low concentrations and also meets major regulatory requirements. The four products, all based on Velsan SC are: Nipaguard SCE, Nipaguard SCM, Nipaguard SCP and Nipaguard SCV.

Developed in line with Clariant’s new Secret Code of Beauty concept, Nipaguard Zero has emerged from the unique combination of five codes focused on helping customer achieve new levels of success in Personal Care.

As MRC reported previously, earlier this year, Clariant introduced AddWorks, its new brand for polymer additives solutions. It consists of: AddWorks, application oriented solutions specifically designed by segments of the plastics industry AddWorks LXR, a new range of polymer additives designed to provide particular effects in a wide variety of applications. AddWorks are developed by matching the needs of companies engineering technologies for polymerization, polymer producers, compounders, and even converters.

Clariant AG is a Swiss chemical company and a world leader in the production of specialty chemicals for the textile, printing, mining and metallurgical industries. It is engaged in processing crude oil products in pigments, plastics and paints.

BASF and Styrolution end forces majeures on styrene monomer and styrenics

MOSCOW (MRC) -- BASF South East Asia lifted its force majeure on styrene monomer (SM) supply from Singapore on Monday, reported Apic-online with reference to a company spokeswoman's statement.

The halt in SM supply to customers followed its Singapore-based joint venture Ellba Eastern declaring a force majeure on SM supply from the 550,000 mt/year SM/propylene oxide plant to partners BASF and Shell on September 16.

Ellba lifted its force majeure on Friday.

Among BASF's customers is Styrolution, a 50:50 joint venture between BASF and INEOS, with acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) and polystyrene (PS) plants in South Korea, Thailand and India.

Styrolution has also ended the force majeure it had declared on September 18 to customers in India and South Korea, a spokeswoman for the company said Tuesday.

As MRC informed previously, on 23 September, Ellba Eastern declared force majeure on SM supply to its owners Shell and BASF. This led BASF, which holds a 50% stake in Ellba Eastern, to declare force majeure on SM supply from Singapore to its customers.

BASF is the leading chemical company. It produces a wide range of chemicals, for example solvents, amines, resins, glues, electronic-grade chemicals, industrial gases, basic petrochemicals and inorganic chemicals. The most important customers for this segment are the pharmaceutical, construction, textile and automotive industrie

Ineos appointed a new distributor for PS-based microgranules

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The styrenics business of Ineos (Rolle / Switzerland) has appointed German-based Biesterfeld Plastic (Hamburg) for the global distribution of PS-based microgranulates from its Dutch production site in Breda, said Plasteurope.

PS-based microgranulates are used in many segments including flame protection masterbatches and compounds, colour masterbatches, talcum and calcium carbonate-filled polystyrene masterbatches and styrene-based moulding compounds.

As MRC wrote earlier, Ineos and Solvay agreed to merge their chlorvinyls activities into a EUR 4.3 billion (USD5.6 billion) 50-50 joint venture. The combination would form a polyvinyl chloride (PVC) producer that will rank among the top three worldwide. The combined business would have around 5650 employees across nine countries and would pool each company's assets across the entire chlorvinyls chain. This includes PVC, which is the third most-used plastic in the world, caustic soda and chlorine derivatives.

INEOS ChlorVinyls is one of the major chlor-alkali producers in Europe, a global leader in chlorine derivatives and Europe's largest PVC manufacturer.

PTT Global Chemical to raise run rates at No.1 cracker in Thailand

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Thailand's PTT Global Chemical is in the porcess of raising the run rates at its No. 1 cracker, reported Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in Thailand informed that the run rates will be raised to 90% of production capacity this week. The plant is presently running at 85% of production capacity.

Located in Map Ta Phut, Thailand, the cracker has a production capacity of 515,000 mt/year.

As MRC wrote previously, PTT Global Chemical plans to reduce its petrochemical processing rate to 85% due to a shortage of feedstock after a shutdown of its parent's gas separation plant unit 5 for three to five months.

We remind that in June 2013, Indonesian state-owned energy company Pertamina signed an agreement to purchase petrochemical products from Thailand’s PTT Global Chemical. The agreement serves as a pre-marketing strategy for Pertamina and PTT’s joint Indonesian petrochemical business. Under the agreement, PTT will deliver at least 5,000 tonnes of polyethylene and polypropylene products each month to Pertamina for sale in Indonesia.

PTT Global Chemical is a leading player in the petrochemical industry and owns several petrochemical facilities with a combined capacity of 8.45 million tonnes a year. PTTGC is 49% owned by state-controlled parent PTT Pcl, and uses ethane and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) from the gas plant as feedstock for its I4-2 olefins plant.