Hyundai Oilbank and Lotte Chemical establish JV for oil refining and synthetic materials

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Hyundai Oilbank and Lotte Chemical Corp. have established Hyundai Chemical as a new venture in the "oil refining and synthetic fiber materials business," reported GV with reference to the Korea Economic Daily.

The venture, owned 60 % by Hyundai and 40 % by Lotte, will invest up to 1.2-trillion won, with production targeted to begin in the second half of 2016 at Hyundai’s Daesan plant in South Chungcheong province.

Last year, the two companies signed a memorandum of understanding to build facilities for the production of 1-million t/y of mixed xylene and 1-million t/y of naphtha on the site of Hyundai’s 390,000-b/d refinery.

At that time, it was explained that Hyundai Cosmo, which is a joint venture of Cosmo Oil and Hyundai Oilbank, and Lotte would each take a portion of the mixed xylene production, while Lotte will use the naphtha as feedstock for its petrochemical operations.

As MRC informed earlier, in November 2013, Eni SpA chemical subsidiary Versalis established a 50-50 joint venture with South Korean petrochemical company Lotte Chemical to target the Asian elastomers market. The joint venture is called Lotte Versalis Elastomers Co., and will be headquartered in Yeosu, South Korea. Production capaciy for the elastomers unit includes butadiene and ethylene propylene-derived products for a total capacity of about 200,000 metric tpa.

In early 2013, a major South Korean pertochemical and polymer producer, Honam Petrochemical, and one of the largest South Korean PET and PTA producer, KP Chemical, decided to merge into a new company with a new name Lotte Chemical Corporation. The newly formed company believes that this move will strengthen its position both in domestic and international markets and is in a line with Lotte Chemical's strategy to become a leading global company.

LG Yongxing curtails ABS production at its Chinese plant

MOSCOW (MRC) -- LG Yongxing has reduced run rates at its acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) plant, reported Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in China informed that run rates at the plant have been reduced to 60% of production capacity from 70%-75% run rates earlier. The curtailment in run rates is a result of the Lunar New Year holiday in China.

Located at Ningbo, China, the plant has a production capacity of 700,000 mt/year.

As MRC reported earlier, another Chinese polymer producer Keyuan Petrochemicals has previously announced plans for a new 400,000-t/y acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) plant in China’s Guangxi Province. The company said it is currently going through the government approval process and design phase. Keyuan now expects the first phase of the project to be completed by the fourth quarter of 2014.

Russian producers announce LDPE price increases for February

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Russian producers of high density polyethylene (LDPE) announced price increases for February shipments this week, despite weaker seasonal demand, according to ICIS-MRC Price report.

Contract polyethylene (PE) prices rose by Rb850-1,200/tonne from January 2014. Tomskneftekhim, Kazanorgsintez and Ufaorgsintez were the plants that announced price increases.

Buying activity is low in the market, although some market participants reported a slight upsurge in demand for PE in the last week of January. There were occasional disruptions in supply of this or that LDPE grade, mainly, of PE 108 and 158 grades, because of shipments to foreign markets, but there were no shortage in the market.

Some market participants said higher contract LDPE prices were largely caused by preparations for a season and a major weakening of the rouble against the US dolllar (exports have become more attractive for Russian producers).

Arkema introduces new Pebax RNew grade for free-ride ski boots

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Arkema, a France-based chemical manufacturer, has presented its latest Pebax Rnew grade at ISPO 2014, the European trade fair for winter and outdoor sports that offers a showcase for the latest trends in ski equipment, reported the company on its site.

Pebax RNew 80R53 is a grade that goes beyond the limits of thermoplastic elastomers. This new rigid bio-based Pebax, opens up the scope of ski boot design combining light weight, astonishing responsiveness to skiers’ movements, and creativity in decoration.

Pebax Rnew 80R53 is 50% more rigid than existing Pebax grades, already well-known for several years as reference materials for both alpine touring and cross-country ski boots.

The new grade retains the key Pebax characteristics and environmental qualities that appeal to sportsmen and women: produced from renewable raw materials with more than 90% bio-based content, lightweight, renowned long-term UV resistance and offering great creativity for novel design.

As MRC informed previously, in November 2013, Arkema introduced innovative bio-based polyamide grades for highly demanding markets. 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, while Rilsan Clear G120 Rnew, besides the optical and processing properties of the range, has an outstanding chemical resistance, especially with alcohols.

Arkema is a leading European supplier of chlorochemicals and PVC. Kynar and Kynar Flex are registered trademarks of Arkema Inc.

PP production in Russia increased by 23% in 2013

MOSCOW (MRC) - The growth of capacity utilisation and the launch of new plants resulted in 23% increase in the polypropylene (PP) output in Russia, according to MRC ScanPlast.

A new PP production was launched in February 2013 - Poliom, based in Omsk. Tobolsk-Polymer (SIBUR Group) was launched in late May in test mode. Stavrolen and Neftekhimia (Kapotnya) also Increased their capacity utilisation. All these factors increased the production volume in 2013 to 814,000 tonnes (excluding production of Tobolsk-Polymer), compared with 660,300 tonnes in 2012. Structure of PP production in Russia last year was as follows.

Stavrolen (LUKOIL) last year produced about 125,000 tonnes of polypropylene against 82,900 tonnes in 2012. Such a big difference in the indexes was because of outage of the producer in January and February 2012 (accident at ethylene production in December 2011) and low production rates in 2012.
Neftekhimia (Kapotnya) increased its PP output in 2013 to 121,100 tonnes (in 2012 - 105,800 tonnes) because of production rates growth and reduced maintenance works.

Nizhnekamskneftekhim (TAIF) produced a little more than 208,700 tonnes of polypropylene in 2013 against 210,400 tonnes in 2012, because of a week-long turnaround in September 2013 (maintenance works were not carried out in 2012).

Ufaorgsintez (ONC) in 2013 reduced the output of polypropylene to 115,400 tonnes, down 7% from the level in 2012, because of shortage of main feedstock (propane-propylene fraction) in May.

Tomskneftekhim (SIBUR) reduced the polypropylene production to 127,600 tonnes in 2013 against 136,600 tonnes a year earlier on the back of long turnaround in July - August 2013.

The construction of a new polypropylene production in Omsk (Poliom, Titan Group) started in 2005. Poliom was launched on 11 February 2013.
The output of PP at Poliom was more than 116,100 tonnes in less than eleven months of 2013.

Tobolsk-Polymer (SIBUR) launched its second PP line in 2013 (in May in the test mode, and in October was the official start). The producer has used imported feedstock since May, resulting in a low production rates, which did not exceed 30%. The producer managed to launch its own PP production in mid January 2014, however not at full capacity. The capacities of polypropylene production were not officially disclosed, however, the producer's PP output exceeded 19,000 tonnes in the seven months of 2013 (from June to December).