Khimprom (Volgograd) not to shut down its PVC production

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The Russian government has been working out issues on liquidation of JSC "Khimprom" (Volgograd ), but the production of emulsion polyvinyl chloride (EPVC) is unlikely to be shut down, reported MRC analysts.

JSC "Khimprom" has become unprofitable for the state for several years, and, therefore, the Russian government is considering a possibility of liquidating the company because of its huge debts before the energy sector. Khimprom's representatives are confident that, despite all the problems, they will be able to preserve EVPC production at the plant.

Volgograd "Khimprom"'s EPVC production is highly profitable among the other plant's units. And, even in case of a shutdown of the high-cost (in terms of energy consumption) chlorine and caustic soda units, the company can still preserve its PVC production. Chlorine for the resin production can be procured from a nearby plant - Kaustik (Volgograd), this scheme has been already practiced before. Despite the fact that it will result in increased costs of PVC production, it will still be highly profitable, a plant's spokesman said.

As noted earlier, JSC "Khimprom" is the only producer of emulsion PVC in Russia. The other two plants that prouduced EPVC were a plant in Novomoskovsk ("Azot", Novomoskovsk) and another one in Usole ("Usolekhimprom"), which were shut down several years ago.

RusVinyl (a JV of SIBUR and Solvin) intends to launch modern EPVC production with the capacity of 30,000 tonnes per year. However, even the launch of new capacities will not allow the Russian market to get rid of dependence from imports, as EPVC imports are about 115,000 tonnes (according to the data of 2012).

Worldwide medical polymer markets to grow

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Medical polymers represents a major opportunity in the medical materials market over the next few years, said Plastemart.

Several factors are leading to growth in this market. Perhaps the most obvious is the aging of the population in developed nations is expanding the addressable market for polymer implants. Many polymer implants are specifically intended to assist elder patients. Opportunity in this market has also expanded because the latest technical developments in medical polymers can fine tune implant capabilities, enable better fits for implants, and increased biocompatibility.

Polymer structures can also now substitute for cartilage or enable doctors to grow a patient’s tissue for transplants. At the same time the new legal protections that followed the silicone breast implant debacle have considerably reduced the risk in the medical polymer space. And as a result of all of these factors, the medical polymer business has taken off, with the emergence of new start ups and plenty of M&A activity.

With all that is happening in this space, NanoMarkets is publishing a report that identifies current and future opportunities in the medical polymers space and provides guidance on the technical and regulatory framework in which these opportunities are arising. As with all NanoMarkets reports in the medical materials field, this report includes a granular eight-year forecast and also profiles key suppliers and analyzes the complete supply chain for medical polymers. For the firms covered we discuss their strategies and needs along with their strengths and weaknesses. Finally, the report provides an analysis of the market for medical polymers in various important country-specific markets.

As MRC wrote before, the value of the global medical polymer market is set to rise by more than half in the next five years, boosted by an ageing population and developing markets. The market is estimated to grow from USUSD2.3 bln to over USUSD3.5 bln, a rise of more than 52%, between now and 2018.

Mechanical issues force CSPC to shut MEG plant

MOSCOW (MRC) -- CNOOC and Shell Petrochemicals Co (CSPC) has shut a monoethylene glycol (MEG) plant owing to mechanical issues, reported Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in China informed that the plant was shut on November 10, 2013. A restart date for the plant could not be ascertained.

Located in Guangdong province, China, the plant has a production capacity of 320,000 mt/year.

As MRC informed previously, another Chinese petrochemical producer Xinjiang Tianye Group is in plans to start a new monoethylene glycol (MEG) plant in August 2014. To be located in Xinjiang province, China, the plant will have a production capacity of 250,000 mt/year.

Besides, Hubei Chemical Fertilizer is likely to start a new monoethylene glycol (MEG) plant in late 2013. Located in Hubei, China, the plant has a production capacity of 200,000 tonnes per year.

PTT to ink JV with Pertamina for a new petrochemical complex

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Thailand’s PTT Global Chemical (PTTGC) will sign a joint-venture agreement with Indonesian state-owned energy company Pertamina to set up a petrochemical complex with an investment of around USd4-5 billion (Bt127 billion to Bt158 billion), as per Plastemart.

Both companies will have a 50:50 stake in this downstream-to-upstream project.

They will also sign a deal to market products from the project jointly. After the deal is signed, they will seek a potential third partner for the project, and both will discuss share dilution accordingly.

As MRC wrote earlier, this summer, Pertamina signed an agreement to purchase petrochemical products from 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.

Pertamina is an Indonesian state-owned oil and natural gas corporation based in Jakarta. It was created in August 1968 by the merger of Pertamin (established 1961) and Permina (established 1957). Pertamina is the world's largest producer and exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG).

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.

Petronas Chemicals sells Vietnam PVC assets

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Petronas Chemicals agreed to sell its Vietnam polyvinyl chloride (PVC) assets to Asahi Glass and Mitsubishi as part of ongoing efforts to refocus its business on higher value products, said Tcetoday.

The sale of its 93% interest in Phu My Plastics and Chemicals, which has a production capacity of 100,000 t/y of PVC, is expected to be completed in Q2 next year. The value of the deal has not been disclosed.

Petronas announced last year that it would close its vinyl business, and has already ceased operations at its vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) and PVC plants in Kertih, Malaysia.

"Our decision allows us to focus our resources on higher value products and our growth projects in the pipeline," Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin, chairman of Petronas Chemicals said when the strategy was first announced.

The vinyl business buys its ethylene dichloride feedstock from the open market, rather than sourcing it from within the company’s existing chemicals production value chain. This lack of integration means the margins are highly susceptible to price changes. Furthermore, it will save the relatively high costs of operating and maintaining its VCM plants, the company says.

The closure will also allow Petronas to divert the ethylene committed to its vinyl business to other higher margin products. When it first announced the new strategy, Petronas said it expected staff in Vietnam will continue to be employed under the management of the new owners.

Petronas, short for Petroliam Nasional Berhad, is a Malaysian oil and gas company wholly owned by the Government of Malaysia. The Group is engaged in a wide spectrum of petroleum activities, including upstream exploration and production of oil and gas to downstream oil refining; marketing and distribution of petroleum products; trading; gas processing and liquefaction; gas transmission pipeline network operations; marketing of liquefied natural gas; petrochemical manufacturing and marketing; shipping; automotive engineering; and property investment.