Eastman and JM Davy develop advanced technology producing ethylene glycol

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Eastman Chemical Company, in conjunction with Johnson Matthey Davy Technologies Limited (JM Davy), has developed advanced proprietary technology for the production of ethylene glycol from synthesis gas-based feed stocks, as per Plastemart.

Ethylene glycol, commonly referred to as mono ethylene glycol (MEG), is a key industrial chemical for PET production and is also a building block in the production of polyesters for fiber and packaging applications.

This new technology enables the production of MEG from a variety of raw materials, including coal, natural gas, or biomass and is based on new, proprietary catalysts and process design developed by Eastman and JM Davy.

Unlike other recent syngas based processes, this new technology does not go through oxalate intermediates. Extensive pilot plant demonstration of the new process is nearing completion and dialogue is underway for the first demonstration.

"This world-class technology is well positioned to enable global growth for ethylene glycol, a key industrial product," said Dr. Gregory W. Nelson, Eastman's senior vice president and chief technology officer. "The combined expertise of Eastman and JM Davy in synthesis gas chemistry enabled our best process and catalyst scientists to create a superior technology and bring it to market for licensing."

As MRC reported earlier, Eastman Chemical is expanding capacity of its Eastman 168 non-phthalate plasticizers at its manufacturing facility in Texas City, Texas, USA. The expansion at the site will increase the overall capacity of Eastman 168 by approximately 15% and is expected to be operational by mid-2014. Non-phthalate plasticizers are broadly used in products such as toys, childcare items, food contact materials and medical devices, and are also used to provide flexibility to PVC in a wide variety of applications.

Eastman (headquartered in Kingsport, Tennessee, USA) is a global specialty chemical company that produces a broad range of products found in items people use every day. With a portfolio of specialty businesses, Eastman works with customers to deliver innovative products and solutions while maintaining a commitment to safety and sustainability. Its market-driven approaches take advantage of world-class technology platforms and leading positions in attractive end-markets such as transportation, building and construction, and consumables.

PC imports to Ukraine increased by 11% over three quarters 2013

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Imports of polycarbonate (PC) to Ukraine increased by 11% in January-September 2013 compared to the same period last year and totalled about 3,000 tonnes, according to MRC DataScope report.

Ukraine's PC imports from the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, South Korea and China have been steadily increasing over the reported period. The biggest increase in PC imports over the three quarters occurred for the supplies from China, which grew half as much compared to the last year's level and reached 116 tonnes.

Sabic and Bayer, with their shares of 33% and 30% from the total, were the leaders in PC imports to the domestic market of Ukraine over January-September 2013.

Injection moulding PC grades were the most popular grades among Ukrainian producers of automotive components and electrical appliances.
Since the beginning of this year the share of injection moulding PC-chips imports in the total external PC supplies to Ukraine was 79%.


Imports of polyolefins to Belarus dropped by 13% in August

MOSCOW (MRC) -- August imports of polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) fell by 13% from July. PP accounted for the main decrease in shipments, reported MRC analysts.

The August PE and PP imports to Belarus dropped to 14,900 tonnes from 17,100 tonnes in July. PP accounted for the largest decline in supplies on higher prices in Europe and limited export quotas from Russian producers.

High density polyethylene (HDPE) is the only polyolefin, imports of which to Belarus rose in August. The overall imports grew up to 5,400 tonnes from 5,300 tonnes in July. The key HDPE suppliers are still Russian producers with a share of about 56%.

The overall HDPE imports to Belarus increased by a quarter to 42,200 tonnes in the first eight months of 2013. Imports of low density polyethylene (LDPE) and linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) dropped by 21% in August from July and totalled about 3,000 tonnes. Saudi Arabian PE accounted for about half of the total imports.

The overall imports of LDPE and LLDPE fell to 29,400 tonnes in January-August 2013 from 38,700 tonnes a year earlier.

Imports of homopolymer of propylene (homopolymer PP) and copolymers of propylene decreased by 12% and 31%, respectively, from July and amounted to 4,700 tonnes and 1,800 tonnes, respectively. The main reasons for the reduction are limited export quotas from Russian producers (for homopolymer PP) and higher prices in Europe (for copolymers of propylene).

The overall import of homopolymer PP and copolymers of propylene to Belarus in the first eight months of the year totalled 39,100 tonnes and 14,300 tonnes, respectively, while in the same period of 2012 it was 40,700 tonnes and 14,400 tonnes, respectively.

Polyplastics expands business in North America

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Polyplastics Co., Ltd. has announced the launch of a wholly owned sales subsidiary in Mexico City, Mexico, according to the company's press release.

The subsidiary commenced business on October 1.

The new company was created to expand the reach of Polyplastics' sales in the North American market, focusing on the local sales and development needs of existing and new Japanese-affiliated customer companies in this quickly developing region.

In addition, Polyplastics USA, Inc. is expanding its warehouse network, local inventory and order fulfillment functions in North America to quickly and efficiently process orders for our existing and new customers in the region. Its broad product offering includes DURACON(R) POM, DURANEX(R) PBT and DURAFIDE(R) PPS accompanied by our technical solutions network to the market.

As MRC reported earlier, last year Polyplastics Co., Ltd. completed the acquisition of 100% ownership of LCP Leuna Carboxylation Plant GmbH, a German supplier of p-HBA (p-hydroxybenzoate, a key monomer for liquid crystal polymer), from Infatrade (UK) Ltd., London. The liquid crystal polymer is one of the super engineering plastics and has excellent properties such as heat resistance, dimensional stability, flowability and moldability. In recent years, LCP is mainly applied to key electronic parts of cutting-edge IT devices such as smart phones and tablet computers.

Polyplastics is a joint venture between Tokyo-headquartered Daicel and engineering plastics firm Ticona. The company produces polyoxymethylene (POM), polybutylene terephthalate (PBT), fiberglass reinforced polyethylene terephthalate (GF-PET), liquid crystal polymers (LCP), polyphenylene sulphide (PPS) and transparent resin cyclic olefin copolymer (COC).

Jiangsu Leasty Chemical to shut down its SM plant in China

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Jiangsu Leasty Chemical is in plans to shut a styrene monomer (SM) plant for maintenance turnaround, reported Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in China informed that the plant is likely to be taken off-stream in February 2014. It is likely to remain off-stream for around one month.

Locatd in Jiangsu province, China, the plant has a production capacity of 420,000 mt/year.

As MRC informed previously, another Chinese petrochemical producer Xuzhou Hiatian Petrochemical shut down a polypropylene (PP) plant on 26 August. The duration of the closure could not be ascertained. The closure has been attributed to non-availability of feedstock propylene. Located in Jiangsu, China, the plant has a production capacity of 200,000 mt/year.