Mexican oil, petrochem ports closed to shipping amid bad weather

MOSCOW (MRC) -- All of Mexican oil and petrochemicals ports were closed to shipping early Wednesday as a severe cold front swept through the Gulf of Mexico, as per Plastemart.

Winds of up to 70 kph and 10 ft waves were reported, closing the leading crude-loading ports on the Gulf Coast: Dos Bocas, Cayo Arcas and Pajaritos, which also handles petrochemicals. Also closed on the Gulf was the petrochemicals port of Altamira.

The only crude-loading port on the Pacific Coast, Salina Cruz, was closed as the mass of cold air from the Gulf Coast swept through the isthmus of Tehuantepec.

As MRC wrote before, Styrolution announced plans to begin construction on a production line for alpha methyl styrene acrylonitrile (AMSAN) at its site in Altamira, Mexico. Styrolution uses AMSAN in its Luran S acrylonitrile styrene acrylate (ASA) and high-heat Novodur acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) products. The new production line will enable Styrolution to expand its product offering and increase supply reliability in the region. It will also position the company for further growth throughout the Americas as well as in key industries, such as automotive and construction. Production is set to start in the second quarter of 2014.


Shell, Iraq close to signing USD11 bln deal to build petrochemical complex

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Royal Dutch Shell and the Iraqi government are nearing a deal to build a USD11 bln petrochemical facility in southern Iraq, said Plastemart.

The intention to move forward with a petrochemical plant follows a meeting between Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and Shell Chief Executive Peter Voser in Baghdad. The government said in a statement following that meeting that it was about to sign a "heads of agreement," committing both sides to early planning for the project.

A Shell spokesman said that Shell had signed a memorandum of understanding with Iraq in April 2012 to conduct a detailed feasibility study of a potential petrochemicals complex. "We continue to work towards signing a Heads of Agreement with the Government of Iraq in due course," the spokesman said in a statement. The project is being called Nebras, Arabic for "beacon of light." The project envisions an ethane-cracking unit that would produce ethylene, a compound used in making plastic.

Shell already has a big presence in Iraq, where it is developing the huge Majnoon oil field, near Basra. It, and a number of other global energy companies, won the rights to develop several fields to help the country jump start its oil industry, laid low by looting and sabotage. The industry had also suffered years of neglect and sanctions under Saddam Hussein. Shell also signed a USD17.2 bln deal last year to collect natural gas from Iraq's southern oil field production. The gas has traditionally been flared, or burned off, and Iraq has long had ambitions to collect and use the gas to meet domestic energy demand.

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.

Arkema develops two new Rilsan bio-based polyamide grades

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Arkema, the world leader in specialty polyamides, has introduced innovative bio-based polyamide grades for highly demanding markets, reported the company on its site.

Continuing the successful story of Rilsan Clear G830 Rnew, the first bio-based transparent polyamide, Arkema presents new grades - Rilsan Clear G850 Rnew and Rilsan Clear G120 Rnew - for specific customer needs.

Rilsan Clear G850 Rnew has been especially designed for injection molding application (i.e.: optical and electronic), to give maximum freedom to designers. It has higher temperature resistance compared with G830 Rnew, which allows broader decoration techniques use. At the same time, its high fluidity offers perfect solution for thin-wall injected parts and is therefore ideally suitable for eyeglass frames.

Rilsan Clear G120 Rnew, besides the optical and processing properties of the range, has an outstanding chemical resistance, especially with alcohols. Thus, this grade can adapt to thin walled geometries and applications in difficult industrial environments.

All Rilsan Clear grades are BPA free, allowing for a huge number of applications where health is a concern. As Rilsan Clear Rnew grades are partially based on renewable resources, they contribute to reduce CO2 emissions.

As MRC wrote previously, Arkema presented its latest significant innovations in its fluoropolymers, high-performance polyamides, polyolefins, organic peroxides, and plastic additives ranges at K2013. Arkema’s R&D in specialty polymers make the company one of most innovative chemicals manufacturers in the world. Developing lightweight materials to replace metal and reduce oil consumption in transport, producing technical polymers from renewable raw materials, or improving the efficiency of key components to contribute to the development of new energies, are three of R&D Arkema’s five priority areas.

Arkema is a leading European supplier of chlorochemicals and PVC. Kynar and Kynar Flex are registered trademarks of Arkema Inc. Arkema and Addiplast, a French company specializing in the manufacture of specialty compounds, have recently signed an agreement whereby Arkema supplies its polyamides 10, 11 and 12 to Addiplast which will process them into technical compounds and materials.

Rosneft to sell USD6 billion of refined products to BP

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The board of Rosneft has approved deals to sell refined products to BP worth more than USD6 billion, reported Hydrocarbonprodcessing with reference to the Russia-based company's statement.

This comes on top of a prior agreement to sell oil worth USD5.3 billion to BP.

In a regulatory filing, the Russian producer said it would ship up to 3.2 million metric tons of fuel oil to BP Singapore between November 2013 and December 2014.

Rosneft will also sell up to 1.44 million tons of diesel to BP with an estimated value of USD1.77 billion.

Additionally, Rosneft will supply BP with up to 2 million metric tons of fuel oil to BP worth approximately USD1.62 billion, and up to 60,000 tons of naphtha estimated at USD65 million.

The announcement follows a deal last month when BP said it would purchase USD5.3 billion worth of oil from Rosneft.

As MRC informed earlier, in May, 2013, Rosneft and Mitsui signed an agreement to jointly develop the massive Far East Petrochemical Company (FEPCO) project. FEPCO, a subsidiary of Rosneft, is developing the project. Processing capacity of the petrochemical complex is planned at 3.4 million tpy of hydrocarbon feedstock, predominantly naphtha. The capacity of ethylene and propylene production unit is planned at 2 million tpy.

Rosneft became Russia's largest publicly traded oil company in March 2013 after the USD55 billion takeover of TNK-BP, which was Russia’s third-largest oil producer at the time.

SIBUR signs an agreement to sell its LPG rail cars fleet to Rail Garant

MOSCOW (MRC) -- SIBUR and Rail Garant, a freight transportation group, have signed an agreement on sale of SIBUR’ fleet of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) rail cars to Rail Garant, said SIBUR.

The deal is expected to be closed following all the necessary approvals, including the approval of regulators. The LPG rail car fleet owned by SIBUR includes 4,364 tank cars. The deal value is valued at RR 11.5 billion.

According to the agreement, following the transaction the entire fleet will be operated by SIBUR-Trans, SIBUR’s freight operator. Half of the fleet will be leased, and the other half may be used by SIBUR-Trans for product transportation under a service contract. The contracts are valid for six years, thus, reinforcing SIBUR’s ability to transport required volumes of its own products while generating return on investments made earlier into the rail car fleet.

SIBUR-Trans will continue its operations within SIBUR Group to ensure reliable transportation of the Company's products and help develop non-public railway tracks.

SIBUR-Trans transport fleet currently includes 13,113 LPG tank cars, including 4,364 tank cars in ownership and 8,749 tank cars in lease or in operation. Additionally, SIBUR-Trans either owns or operates 3,870 tank cars for petrochemical products, 2,013 LPG tank containers, 386 tank containers for liquid cargo, and 16 all-purpose cars. SIBUR-Trans also operates public railway tracks of a total length of 330 km.

The transaction will enable Rail Garant Group to become a major player at the growing LPG transportation market and will guarantee full utilization of the fleet in spite of prevailing surplus of rail cars at the market.
The LPG transport fleet currently operated by Rail Garant Group comprises 1,500 tank cars and 1,608 tank containers. The Group also operates 6,132 tank cars for crude oil and gasoline and 1,953 tank containers for liquid chemicals.

As MRC wrote before, SIBUR, a leading Russian gas processing and petrochemicals company, and the German chemicals giant BASF signed a Long-Term Cooperation Memorandum to supply additives used for polymer production and processing at SIBUR’s production facilities.

SIBUR is the leading petrochemical company in Russia and Eastern Europe. The Company operates across the entire petrochemical process chain from gas processing to the production of monomers, plastics and synthetic rubbers, as well as the processing of plastics.