Lukoil acquires loan for Bulgarian refinery upgrade

MOSCOW (MRC) -- OAO Lukoil subsidiary Lukoil Neftochim Burgas AD has secured a €420 million line of credit from five international banks to finance the modernization of its Burgas, Bulgaria, refinery along the Black Sea, said SACE in its press release.

In addition to Italian export credit agency Instituto per i Servizi Assicurativi del Commercio Estero (SACE), which will cover 95% of the 10-year loan - banks providing the credit line include Societe Generale, ING Bank, BNP Paribas, and UniCredit SPA, according to SACE.

The Burgas modernization project is being executed under a lump-sum turnkey contract for the engineering, procurement, and construction of Phase 1 of a heavy residue hydrocracking complex to be built at the refinery that Lukoil let to Technip in January 2012, says SACE.

The contract, worth more than EUR900 million, covers the detail engineering, procurement of equipment and material, construction, precommissioning, and commissioning of a 2.5 million-tonne/year vacuum residue hydrocracker based on Axens H-Oil process, Technip said in a Jan. 25, 2012, release.

Implementation of the project will allow the refinery to increase output of Euro 5 diesel fuel by 1.2 million tpy as well as to cease production of high-sulfur fuel oil, Lukoil said in a separate Jan. 25, 2012, release. The key element of the new complex, which is slated for commissioning in January 2015, is a tar hydrocracker with a planned capacity of 2.5 million tpy, according to Lukoil.


India lifts anti-dumping duty on PP import from Oman

MOSCOW (MRC) -- India has lifted the 6.5% anti-dumping duty imposed on import of polypropylene (PP) from Oman in November 2010, Indian Ambassador to the Sultanate, JS Mukul told reporters in Muscat, reports Fibre2fashion.

The decision of the Government of India would give relief to the state-run Oman Polypropylene Company, as India is a major market for Oman’s PP.

The latest decision is in accordance with the very strong economic and trade relations between India and Oman, and it would lead to a further growth in bilateral trade, particularly in non-oil exports from Oman to India, Mr. Mukul said.

From April to October 2013, bilateral trade between India and Oman was around USD3.65 billion, and it may cross the USD5 billion-mark for the ongoing Indian financial year 2013-14, he informed.

During the seven-month period, Omani exports to India rose by 91% year-on-year to around USD2 billion.

India’s major export items to Oman include textiles.

Oman Polypropylene is an Omani based world-class petrochemical company based in Sohar, Sultanate of Oman. It is one of the leading manufactures of polypropylene in the Middle East. Oman Polypropylene produces homo-polymer and impact and random copolymer with a capacity of 340,000 MT /Year.

LyondellBasell restarts methanol plant at Channelview on schedule

MOSCOW (MRC) -- LyondellBasell announced that its methanol plant at Channelview, Texas, was placed into service in the fourth-quarter 2013 to take advantage of low-cost natural gas from shale formations, said the company in its press release.

The unit had been out of service since 2004 due to the rising cost of natural gas, the key feedstock for methanol production.

"The methanol plant re-start is the first in a series of U.S. Gulf Coast projects by LyondellBasell to take advantage of the natural gas price advantage that we enjoy from shale gas," said Patrick Quarles, senior vice president, Intermediates and Derivatives. "The methanol plant project and our other significant debottleneck projects will bring new capacity into our system earlier and at substantially lower cost than constructing entirely new facilities."

Other LyondellBasell growth projects include expansions of ethylene capacity at La Porte, Channelview and Corpus Christi, Texas, that will add 1.8 billion pounds to the company's annual capacity, and the expansion of a polyethylene facility in Matagorda County, Texas.

Methanol is used in the production of chemicals such as acetic acid and formaldehyde, and in products including adhesives, foams, plywood subfloors, solvents and windshield washer fluid. LyondellBasell is a leading manufacturer and global supplier of acetic acid. Methanol also is used in global gasoline production through direct blending, as well as for the production of methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE), a clean-burning gasoline component produced by LyondellBasell.

As MRC informed before, LyondellBasell has recently introduced Purell HP671T, a sterilizable, high fluidity polypropylene (PP) resin used in injection molded medical applications. Purell HP671T exhibits a very high stiffness, excellent transparency and an enhanced additive package offering increased resistance to gamma sterilization.

LyondellBasell is one of the world's largest plastics, chemical and refining companies and a member of the S&P 500. LyondellBasell manufactures products at 58 sites in 18 countries. LyondellBasell products and technologies are used to make items that improve the quality of life for people around the world including packaging, electronics, automotive parts, home furnishings, construction materials and biofuels.

SIBUR sold OJSC Plastik

MOSCOW (MRC) -- SIBUR has sold its 100% stake in OJSC Plastik (Uzlovaya, Tula Region, Russia) to the group of private investors, said the producer in its press release.

The deal value totalled RUB 575 million. Production of geosynthetics (geogrids and nonwoven geotextiles), spinned off as OOO Plastik-Geosintetika (a joint venture between SIBUR and Leader Innovations Closed-End Venture Capital Fund) in 2010, was not included in the transaction and continues to operate as part of SIBUR Group.

"Sale of OJSC Plastik is in line with the company's strategy of focusing investment resources on its key production assets, with more favourable geographic location and lower production costs," Dmitry Konov, SIBUR’s CEO, said. "We look forward to cooperation with the new OJSC Plastik's owner, who is committed to further development of the asset's core business."

OJSC Plastik's asset base includes production of styrene (with a capacity of up to 60 ktpa), expandable polystyrene (with a capacity of up to 11 ktpa), ABS plastics (with a capacity of 23 ktpa), and separators and phenolic plastics (with a capacity of 6.38 ktpa). It also operates the lines producing parts and components for the automotive industry and machine building, safety products for workers in the mining and construction industries, and household products for a wide range of consumers. Products of OJSC Plastik are sold on the domestic market and also exported to Western and Eastern Europe, CIS, and partially to Asia.

The new investors are bringing in a carefully designed strategy of further business development and growing its petrochemical asset base.

In the medium term, SIBUR plans to partner with OJSC Plastik for production of styrene under an ethylbenzene processing agreement, with OJSC Plastik among the buyers of the manufactured product.

MRC analyst Igor Grishchenko said production of expandable polystyrene (EPS) and ABS plastics at Plastic (Uzlovaya) was 15,860 tonnes in the first eleven months of the year, down by 27.9% year on year. Production at Plastic (Uzlovaya) is fully integrated into the structure of the SIBUR group and depends on the supply of styrene from SIBUR.

SIBUR is a vertically integrated gas processing and petrochemicals company, which operate Russia’s largest gas processing business in terms of associated petroleum gas processing volumes and are the leader in the Russian petrochemicals industry.

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.