Evonik recieves a prize for new membrane technology

MOSCOW (MRC) -- With a level of purity approaching 99%, SEPURAN green high performance polymers from Evonik Industries make biogas processing much more efficient, according to the company's press release.

For this achievement, the company has received the 2013 German Innovation Prize for climate and the environment in the "Environmentally friendly technologies" category.

The prize is awarded by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) and the Federation of German Industry (BDI). Dr. Dahai Yu, responsible for the Specialty Materials Segment in the Executive Board: "Innovations are a major contribution towards overcoming the challenges of the future. This also includes securing energy supplies practically from economical, ecological, and social aspects. With SEPURAN Green, Evonik shows what the chemical industry can do to make this happen."

Evonik initially trialed SEPURAN Green in a test plant beside the Vockla River in Neukirchen, Austria. Since then, several biogas processing plants using SEPURAN Green technology have been put into operation.

Evonik is also continuing to develop the SEPURAN technology for new applications, such as separating hydrogen and recovering nitrogen from compressed air.

As MRC informed previously, in late December, 2013, Evonik Industries and LanzaTech have signed a three year research cooperation agreement which will see Evonik combining its existing biotechnology platforms with LanzaTech’s synthetic biology and gas fermentation expertise for the development of a route to bio-processed precursors for specialty plastics from waste derived synthesis gas.

Evonik, the creative industrial group from Germany, is one of the world leaders in specialty chemicals. Its activities focus on the key megatrends health, nutrition, resource efficiency and globalization. Evonik benefits specifically from its innovative prowess and integrated technology platforms. Evonik is active in over 100 countries around the world. In fiscal 2012, the company generated sales of around EUR13.6 billion and an operating profit (adjusted EBITDA) of about EUR2.6 billion.

Dow wins 2013 US presidential green chemistry challenge award

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The Dow Chemical Company, the largest US chemical maker by sales, has been named a winner of the 2013 US presidential green chemistry challenge award for its development of EVOQUETM pre-composite polymer technology, reported the company on its site.

This Dow innovation helps coatings formulators improve paint performance properties while using less titanium dioxide (TiO2), a white pigment that is energy intensive to manufacture but ubiquitous in architectural paint for its ability to provide quality hiding.

This win marks the 9th time that Dow and its affiliates have won the presidential green chemistry award, more than double any other company in award history.

"EVOQUE pre-composite polymer technology was developed with the goal of driving gains in sustainability through more efficient raw material use coupled with increased paint performance," said Keith Watson, global R&D director, Dow Coating Materials and Performance Monomers. "This is our latest development in bringing more sustainable chemistry to the coatings industry, which began when we introduced waterborne binder technology 60 years ago. With the development and market acceptance of EVOQUE pre-composite polymer technology, we are once again driving innovation that is changing the way that paint is made and how we expect it to perform."

EVOQUETM pre-composite polymer allows formulators to further improve TiO2 efficiency and also raise paint performance in key areas such as stain resistance and durability. A recent third-party validated Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) showed that paints formulated with EVOQUETM technology yielded the lowest environmental impact compared to similar technologies in 10 out of 10 key categories, including resource depletion and green house effect. The LCA also demonstrated that EVOQUE pre-composite polymers reduced the paint’s carbon footprint by more than 22% and water consumption by 30%.

As MRC wrote previously, Dow Chemical plans to separate chlorine-related assets including its epoxy business as the company focuses on higher-margin activities. The chlorine assets account for as much as USD5 billion of annual revenue and include plants at 11 sites employing almost 2,000 people. Dow said it hired financial advisers to look at options for the assets including sales, joint ventures and spinoffs. It expects to complete transactions for the assets in the next year or two.

The Dow Chemical Company is an American multinational chemical corporation. As of 2007, it is the second-largest chemical manufacturer in the world by revenue (after BASF) and as of February 2009, the third-largest chemical company in the world by market capitalization (after BASF and DuPont). Dow is a large producer of plastics, including polystyrene, polyurethane, polyethylene, polypropylene, and synthetic rubber.

Sinopec Shanghai restarted ACN plant in China

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Sinopec Shanghai Petrochemical has restarted its acrylonitrile (ACN) plant, reported Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in China informed that the plant resumed operations on December 25, 2013. It was shut on November 20, 2013 for maintenance turnaround.

Located in Shanghai, China , the plant has a production capacity of 130,000 mt/year.

Besides, top Asian refiner Sinopec Corp won initial approval last month from China's top economic planner for a plan to build a USD10-billion refinery and petrochemical complex in Shanghai. Sinopec has started formal planning for the 400,000 barrels-per-day refinery and a 1 million tonnes-per-year ethylene project in a plan to curb pollution by shifting an old plant to Shanghai's southern edge.

As MRC informed previously, Formosa Plastics Corp (FPC) is likely to shut an acrylonitrile (ACN) plant for maintenance turnaround in early February 2014. Located in Mailiao, Taiwan, the pant has a production capacity of 280,000 mt/year.

Sinopec Corp. is one of the largest scale integrated energy and chemical companies with upstream, midstream and downstream operations. Its refining and ethylene capacity ranks No.2 and No.4 globally. The Company has 30,000 sales and distribution networks of oil products and chemical products, its service stations are now ranked third largest in the world.

Competition in the Russian domestic market of PET chips will grow in 2014

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The pressure in the Russian market of bottle PET chips will grow in 2014. Competition in the domestic market will increase on the back of growing production capacities, rise in the import duties in Europe and a number of other factors, said MRC analyst Igor Gryshchenko.

Polief (SIBUR group) will start the second line of 90,000 tonnes/year PET production in 2014, which increases the total plant's capacities to 210,000 tonnes/year. Total capacities of PET production in Russia will increase to 620,000 tonnes, compared with 540,000 tonnes/years in 2013.

Total calculated PET consumption in Russia is traditionally about 600,000 tonnes/year, but according to our estimates this level would not be reached in 2013. For the first time in the history of the nominal capacities of PET production in Russia exceed the total consumption in the country, forcing Russian producers to increase exports to displace foreign producers. However, these plans will not be easy to implement.

European Union raises import duties on Russian PET from 1 January. According to EU Regulation number 978/2012 (from 25 October 2012 on the application of the scheme of generalized tariff preferences and the abolition of the EU Council of the EU Regulation 732/2008) import duties for the Russian PET chips will be raised by 3.5% to 6.5%.
At the same time the European Union clears duty to 0% for Korean producers of PET chips from 1 January, from 1.8% in the second half of 2013. These measures significantly reduce the attractiveness of export markets in Europe in 2014 and force to reorient to the domestic market of Russia and CIS countries. There are not many options for export in the CIS markets.

Relatively large Ukrainian market (PET consumption was 163,000 tonnes in 2012) has an access to the sea and local companies buy cheaper and high quality Chinese PET. The deliveries to Kazakhstan are not economically unprofitable due to the long and expensive logistics (delivery from the Central Region to Kazakhstan may be around EUR180/tonne).

The possibility to increase the share in Belarus is more probable. Mogilevkhimvolokno stays idle at the moment, the company promised to resume production on 15 January 2014. However, according to unconfirmed information, the company may postpone the launch indefinitely due to low profitability of bottle grade PET production. This may be a good opportunity for Russian plants.

Exports of Russian PET decreased twofold to 20,000 tonnes in the first eleven months of the year, compared with the same period in the previous year. Import substitution also has some difficulties. Large converters such as Retal, Europlast, Coca-Cola and Pepsi will not completely refuse from buying Chinese material because of the diversification of supplies. Besides in 2013 the price Chinese PET chips with delivery to Russia was lower than spot prices of Russian PET.

At the same time, in 2013 the import duty was reduced by 1% (from 5% to 4%), which contributed to procurement in Asia. These factors will be taken into account when forming the contracts of Russian and Asian PET in 2014.
Besides PET preform PCO 1881 will be reduced in weigh, there is also a government pressure in the beer market, which also affects the total consumption (according to Rosstat, beer production fell by 8% in the first eleven months of the year, compared to the same period in 2012).

On the other hand, PET consumption per capita in Russia remains low relative to Western countries and is 4.1 kg per person, which is more than two times lower than in the United States. However, there is a question of the market growth rate, which contributes to the stable production work.

MRC team wishes Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Dear readers of MRC!

On this Christmas, the team of MRC wishes everyone happiness and prosperity on the personal and professional life.

Thank you for staying with us in 2013. It has been a pleasure helping you reach your goals, and we look forward to serving you again in the new year.

During this year, we provided reliable analytics on any changes of the polymers market in the CIS countries. We want to take a chance on this so special time to give all our readers and clients the respective thanks for your preference and trust.

We wish you a wonderful new year filled with abundance, joy, and treasured moments. We hope 2014 is a year of great happiness and success for you.

Best wishes,
MRC staff.

We will be back from holidays on 8 January, 2014.