PTT Global Chemical to shut HDPE plant for maintenance in Thailand

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Thailand's PTT Global Chemical (PTTGC) is in plans to shut its high density polyethylene (HDPE) plant for maintenance turnaround, as per Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in Thailand informed that the plant is likely to be shut in Q1, 2014 for maintenance turnaround. The schedule and duration of the turnaround could not ascertained.

Located in Map Ta Phut, Thailand, the plant has a production capacity of 300,000 mt/year.

As MRC wrote previously, PTT Global Chemical has recently awarded an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract to SK Engineering and Construction and PTT Maintenance and Engineering for a debottlenecking project that will increase aromatics capacity by 16% to about 1.2-million t/y at its Aromatics II complex in Rayong, Thailand.

The approximately USD128.8-million project will increase paraxylene capacity to 770,000 t/y from 655,000 t/y, benzene capacity to 390,000 t/y from 355,000 t/y and will add 20,000 t/y of orthoxylene capacity. Completion of the expansion is scheduled for the end of 2015.

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.

HDPE imports to Russia decreased by 28% in the first eleven months of the year

MOSCOW (MRC) - Imports of high density polyethylene (HDPE) to Russia have decreased significantly on the back of growing domestic production and weak demand. Russia's HDPE imports decreased by 28% in the first eleven months of the year, compared to the same period last year, according to MRC ScanPlast.

HDPE imports to Russia was the lowest in the last four years in November and reached 16,100 tonnes. In general, total imports of HDPE to Russia decreased to 267,800 tonnes from January to November of this year, from 370,200 tonnes year on year.

Such a significant decline in imports resulted from the growing of domestic production, which increased by 42% to 918,200 tonnes and weaker demand in some sectors of consumption. Structure of imports by sector consumption in November was as follows.

Imports of pipe HDPE to Russia fell to the minimum level 2,600 tonnes in November. Total imports of pipe HDPE to Russia decreased to 64,700 tonnes in the first eleven months of the year, from 118,100 tonnes year on year. The main reason for such a serious decline in the pipe HDPE imports was weak demand and high prices in foreign markets.

Russia's imports of blow moulding and injection moulding HDPE in November were practically the same as in October and reached 2,800 and 3,000 tonnes respectively. Total imports of blow moulding and injection moulding HDPE to Russia were 32,200 and 46,000 tonnes in the first eleven months of the year, from 45,700 and 43,300 tonnes year on year.

Russia's imports of film and extrusion HDPE (for coating of large diameter steel pipes) in November was 2,500 tonnes and 4,000 tonnes respectively. Total imports of film and extrusion HDPE to Russia were 43,200 and 66,900 tonnes in the first eleven months of the year, from 92,500 and 55,600 tonnes year on year respectively. Russia's imports of HDPE in other sectors in the first eleven months was 14,700 tonnes.


Landmark energy bill in Mexico nears final approval

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Mexico's Congress was on Thursday poised to complete approval of the biggest overhaul of its oil industry since nationalization 75 years ago, opening the door to investment by oil majors in a bid to reverse falling output, according to Reuters.

The energy bill is a cornerstone of an ambitious reform agenda spanning telecoms to bank lending that President Enrique Pena Nieto hopes will boost growth in Latin America's No. 2 economy, which for years has lagged regional peers.

It aims to entice companies like Exxon Mobil Corp and BP Plc to operate independently in Mexico, or partner state oil giant Pemex through production- and profit-sharing, service contracts and licenses.

Nevertheless, analysts say it will likely be years before such investments materialize and lift the economy.

Lawmakers in the lower house gave general approval to the bill late on Wednesday, and then began an overnight debate of its details. Lawmakers expected final approval of the legislation, which has passed the Senate, later on Thursday.

The bill would allow private companies to operate the country's oil fields, which were nationalized in 1938. Though it stops short of opening the industry to full-blown concessions, it goes much further than many analysts had expected.

As MRC reported earlier, Mexico's state-owned oil and gas company Pemex expects petrochemical production to rise 25% to 10 million tpy if sweeping energy policy overhaul measures are approved.

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 (PE), polypropylene (PP), polystyrene (PS).

Albis Plastic expands partnership with Styrolution in Spain

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The company Albis Plastic, a worldwide specialist for the distribution and compounding of technical thermoplasts located in Hamburg, has broadened its portfolio of distribution brands for the Spanish market to include Terluran standard ABS from Styrolution, according to Styrolution's statement.

This reflects how both companies are consistently expanding their sales cooperation for standard thermoplasts in Europe.

"The cooperation with Styrolution is the expansion of a successful partnership that already exists in numerous European countries. With Styrolution, we now have a partner in Spain that, as the world's leading supplier of acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) polymers has an excellent standing in the market", comments Susann Schrader, Director Business Line Standard Polymers at Albis Plastic.

The distribution agreement covers the injection moulding grades Terluran GP 22 and Terluran GP 35 as well as the extrusion type Terluran HI 10.

Until now, Albis has operated as a distribution partner for Styrolution not only in the sales markets of Germany, Austria, Switzerland (DACH region), but also in large parts of northern, central and eastern Europe. The cooperation not only covers most of Western Europe, it also services the Balkan countries and growing markets in East Europe including Russia.

As MRC informed previously, Albis Plastic has expanded its PPS range thanks to the recently concluded distribution partnership with the Japanese TORAY Group, one of the world's leading PPS producers. As of now, their branched PPS compounds TORELINA A504X90 (PPS GF40) and TORELINA A310MX04 (PPS GF/MR65) are part of the ALBIS delivery program. Albis Plastic has expanded its PPS product range to meet the steadily rising global demand, which has a current growth rate of almost 8%. The automotive and electronics industries in particular have a high demand for TEDUR and TORELINA.

Albis Plastic, the Hamburg-based company, is one of the global operating companies in the distribution and compounding of technical thermoplastics. In addition to the product portfolio of well-known plastic manufacturers, Albis offers the plastic processing industry a diverse product range of high performance plastics, compound solutions and masterbatches.

Pertamina and PTT advance petrochemical complex plans

MOSCOW (MRC) -- PT Pertamina of Indonesia and Thailand’s PTT Global Chemical PCL (PTTGC) have signed a manufacturing joint venture-heads of agreement to pursue the final investment decision for a petrochemical complex in Indonesia slated for commercial operation by 2018, according to Pertamina's press release.

The agreement is aimed to further consider the agreed joint-venture principles and investment scope for the project as well as enable both parties to finalize project details by early 2014 prior to conducting the detailed bankable feasibility study and front-end engineering design, Pertamina said.

This latest agreement follows the completion of the extensive project preliminary feasibility study, which is a part of the partnership HOA signed in April.

The companies expect a final investment decision on the project in 2015, according to Pertamina.

Pertamina and PTTGC have targeted the project feasibility study refinement stage for conclusion by second-quarter 2014 to accelerate the implementation and achieve start-up of the complex by 2018.

Later this month, PTTGC and Pertamina will also enter into a marketing and trading joint venture to initially conduct both PTTGC’s and Pertamina’s polymer products marketing and distribution throughout Indonesia.

Pertamina first announced its intention to construct the USD5 billion complex in December 2012 as part of a plan by the state-owned company to increase its share of the Indonesian petrochemical market.

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.