Arkema implements a further price increase on its EVA copolymers range

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Arkema, a France-based chemical manufacturer, has announced a further price increase of EUR100/tonne on its whole Evatane EVA range, high content ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) copolymer effective from 1 May or as contracts allow, as per the company's press release.

As the world wide shortage on vinyl acetate monomer continues, Arkema is doing its upmost to minimize impact on the Evatane availability.

Marketed under the trademark Evatane, Arkema's EVA functional polyolefins are used in highly diverse industrial applications, including hot-melt, cable, multilayer packaging film, technical polymer modification, solar panel, petroleum additives, bitumen and ink.

As MRC wrote previously, Arkema already increased its April EVA prices by EUR150/tonne prices. That increase was due to rough market conditions, including the world wide unavailability of vinyl acetate monomer.

Arkema with annual revenue of EUR6.4 billion is a leading European supplier of chlorochemicals and PVC. Kynar and Kynar Flex are registered trademarks of Arkema Inc.

Sinopec posts 15% fall in 1Q profit

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Sinopec Corp, Asia's largest refiner, posted a 15.3 percent fall in first-quarter profit, meeting forecasts, as a sharp improvement at its refining business was offset by declines at its upstream and chemicals businesses, said the conpany in its press release.

The company posted a net profit of 14.1 billion yuan (USD2.25 billion) versus 16.7 billion yuan a year earlier, under international accounting standards, it said in a filing with the Shanghai bourse. The result compared with an average forecast of 14.6 billion yuan by two analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.

The state-run oil giant, which unveiled a plan earlier this year to sell up to 30 percent of its massive fuel retailing business, has vowed to put more emphasis on investment quality and efficiency instead of expansion this year.

Sinopec said last month it would cut capital expenditure to 162 billion yuan this year from 169 billion yuan in 2013 - which was already seven percent lower than budget.

As MRC informed previously, in late 2012, Sibur, a Russian gas processing and petrochemicals company, and Sinopec International (Hong Kong) Co. Ltd, the wholly owned subsidiary of Sinopec, signed an agreement that will see Sinopec purchase 25% + 1 share of Krasnoyarsk Synthetic Rubbers Plant JSC (KSRP). Sibur and Sinopec are also discussing projects on setting up a joint venture to produce nitrile and polyisoprene rubbers in Shanghai.

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.

Ukraine closes PVC anti-dumping case against US without imposing duties

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Ukraine has closed its anti-dumping investigation into imports of suspension PVC (SPVC) from the US without imposing any duties, the interagency commission for international trade said in a report published by the government's official Uriadoviy Kurier newspaper, reported Ukrainian magazine of the Central executive authoritites "Uryadovy Kurier".

The commission, which conducted the investigation covering the imports of SPVC from the third quarter of 2011 through Q3-2012, said the imports from the US amounted to dumping.

The commission also said KarpatNaftoKhim, Ukraine's only producer of SPVC and other petrochemical products and which is owned by Russian oil company Lukoil, suffered losses selling its output domestically in the period.

Karpatneftekhim's annual PVC capacity is estimated at about 300,000 tonne, higher than domestic consumption in the range of 100,000-150,000 tonnes. However, Ukraine has been using cheap imports from the US as well as central and eastern Europe. KarpatNaftoKhim suspended most production in late January, citing weak demand as a key factor. The commission found no sufficient evidence that US imports were responsible for the damage suffered by KarpatNaftoKhim.

As MRC informed before, in late December 2013, Karpatneftekhim (LUKOIL) shut down its PVC production.
The company did not comment officially the reason of the suspension. As reported previously, Karpatneftekhim resumed PVC production on 8 November 2013, following long shutdown from September 2012.

Karpatneftekhim (Kalush, Ivano-Frankovsk region) is a subsidiary of LUKOIL, the largest polymers producer in Ukraine. Its capacities allow to produce 300,000 tonnes of ethylene, 100,000 tonnes of HDPE, 180,000 tonnes of caustic and 300,000 tonnes of PVC annually.

Tosoh delays naphtha cracker restart by a week

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Japan's Tosoh Corp restarted its naphtha cracker in Yokkaichi after scheduled maintenance, a week later than originally planned, as per Reuters.

The cracker, with capacity to produce 527,000 tpa of ethylene, was shut on March 14 and was initially scheduled to restart on April 19.

A company spokesman did not give the reason for the delay.

As MRC informed previously, Tosoh also shut down a caustic soda plant for maintenance turnaround in March 2014 for around one month. Located in Nanyo, Japan, the plant has a production capacity of 1.125 million mt/year.

Last year, Tosoh's proposed restructuring of operations in Nanyo could lead to a net loss of 320,000 tpa of vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) capacity, thereby tightening feedstock supply to the polyvinylchloride (PVC) industry. Almost one year after a fire seriously damaged its complex in Nanyo, Tosoh Corporation (Tokyo, Japan) has touted plans to raise output at the site's number 3 vinyl chloride monomer plant. The building phase of the 200,000 t/y capacity expansion was to kick off in November last year, with completion scheduled for October 2014.

Tosoh is one of the largest chlor-alkali manufacturers in Asia. The company supplies the plastic resins and an array of the basic chemicals that support modern life. Tosoh's petrochemical operations supply ethylene, polymers, and polyethylene.

Milliken to double capacity for PP clarifying agent in US

MOSCOW (MRC) -- US plastics additives supplier Milliken plans to double production capacity for the "Millad" NX 8000 clarifying agent for polypropylene (PP) at its Allen facility in Blacksburg, South Carolina by 2015, as per Plastemart.

The unquantified investment will include an additional redundant manufacturing line, which the company said will “ensure ample global supply.”

The capacity upgrade underscores the company’s intention to remain a leading global player, said Allen Jacoby, vice president, Plastics Additives. Jacoby said the fast adoption of the Millad NX 8000 technology over traditional clarifiers has been driven by the material’s cleaner, fresher look and inherent sustainability, along with its improved solubility that enables clarified PP to be processed at cooler temperatures. This, the company claims, enables energy savings of up to 13%, with cycle times accelerated up to 18% and carbon emissions reduced by as much as 13%.

Milliken said the clarifying agent allows manufacturers to replace high-density resins such as PC, PS and PET with lower-density PP to reduce costs and weight and help the environment.

As MRC reported earlier, last September, Kiefel, SML, Braskem and Milliken unveiled their plans to combine their machine and material innovations to bring the powerful material substitution possibilities of clear PP to life. Highly transparent, deep-draw cups produced live by Kiefel on its productivity-boosting systems will let visitors experience first-hand the exceptional high clarity and performance that can be achieved with Braskem’s Inspire 224 PP containing Milliken’s innovative clarifying agent, Millad NX 8000.

Milliken is an innovation company that has been exploring, discovering, and creating ways to enhance people’s lives since 1865. The company creates coatings, specialty chemicals, and advanced additive and colorant technologies that transform the way we experience products from automotive plastics to children's art supplies