Azerbaijan to commission polypropylene plant in 2016

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The plant will be constructed in Sumgayit Chemical Technology Park and SOCAR Polimer takes part in the construction project, said Azernews, citing the Head of the Azerkimya Production Association of Azerbaijan's state energy company SOCAR Mukhtar Babayev.

He also stressed as part of the construction project, most of the equipment has already been delivered to the country and currently, detailed designing and preparation of the construction area are underway.
Touching on the construction of the plant for the production of low pressure polyethylene, Babayev said this facility will be commissioned in the beginning of 2017.

"Initial operational capacity of the polypropylene plant makes up 150,000 tons, and the plant for the production of low density polyethylene-100,000 tons per year," he said.

The SOCAR Polimer enterprise with authorized capital of USD51 million has been established for the implementation of these projects. The state energy company plans to keep its share in the project at 51% and the rest will be offered to privately owned companies.

SOCAR has already transferred 25.5 million manats within the framework of increasing authorized capital of the facility, Babayev added.

As MRC wrote before, SOCAR in 2012 signed a contract to build a plant for the production of polypropylene and polyethylene of high density with an annual capacity of 200,000 and 100,000 tons respectively. Construction of these facilities is planned in the Sumgait Chemical Technology Park.

SOCAR, which is keen on expanding operations in the retail oil products market abroad, is involved in exploring oil and gas fields, producing, processing, and transporting oil, gas, and gas condensate, marketing petroleum and petrochemical products in the domestic and international markets, and supplying natural gas to industry and the public in Azerbaijan

BASF, Linde eye on-purpose butadiene technology

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The Linde Group and BASF intend to cooperate in developing and licensing processes for the on-purpose production of linear butenes and butadiene, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

BASF has developed process technology and catalysts as well as the extraction technologies, while Linde is providing its expertise for the integration, optimization and commercialization of the process.

"We focus on elaborating a solution that provides an efficient process characterized by optimal integration of the whole process chain," said Dr. Ernst Haidegger, head of product line petrochemical plants in Linde’s engineering division. "This new technology is a welcome addition to our existing portfolio of petrochemical technologies."

The new process will deliver an on purpose route from butane to butadiene via butenes. Currently, the industry relies mainly on butadiene as a co-product from napht,ha cracking to ethylene. The shift to lighter cracker feedstock results in reduced volumes of co-products. Therefore the on purpose production of higher olefins is gaining more and more importance.

"The new BASF technology is currently being developed by mini plant and pilot plant operation in Ludwigshafen", said Dr. Heinrich Josef Blankertz, senior vice president of global technology within BASF’s petrochemicals division. "We are optimistic that we can offer a new best in class technology for the manufacturing of on purpose butadiene to help producers meet the increasing global demand."

Butadiene is a monomer used for the production of polymers, paper coating and synthetic rubber mainly for the tire production. Butenes are building blocks which are used in the chemical and in refining industries.

As MRC wrote before, BASF, The Linde Group and ThyssenKrupp plan to develop an environmentally-friendly and competitive to utilize carbon dioxide (CO2) to produce syngas on an industrial scale. They aim to employ innovative process technology to use carbon dioxide as a raw material, with positive effects on climate protection.

BASF is the largest diversified chemical company in the world and is headquartered in Ludwigshafen, Germany. BASF produces a wide range of chemicals, for example solvents, amines, resins, glues, electronic-grade chemicals, industrial gases, basic petrochemicals and inorganic chemicals. The most important customers for this segment are the pharmaceutical, construction, textile and automotive industries.

Indorama expands in Turkey with acquisition of Artenius TurkPET

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Indorama Ventures Ltd., part of global PET giant Indorama Group, has announced it has acquired Artenius TurkPET based in Adana, Turkey, said Plasticsnews.

Artenius TurkPET had been part of insolvent Spanish company La Seda de Barcelona and produces PET resin with 130,000 metric tons of capacity.

The deal comes less than two months after Bangkok-based Indorama signed a deal to acquire 51% of SASA Polyester Sanayi AS of Istanbul. Artenius TurkPET is adjacent to SASA Polyester, which provides Indorama with a central geographic position to expand its sales into domestic and regional markets.

"Indorama leadership in the PET value chain will provide significant synergies to TurkPET in order to deliver above average returns," said CEO Aloke Lohia in a news release. "Turkey and its encompassing region is a fast-growing market and our investments in Turkey are part of a well-defined strategy to bolster our global leadership and competitive advantage. We expect to make further follow-on investments in this thriving economy of 76 million consumers to replicate what we have built in Thailand as we see a similar opportunity to fully leverage on all our products portfolios."

Indorama Ventures is a leading producer in the polyester value chain in Thailand with strong global network and manufacturing across Asia, Europe and North America. Its products serve major players in diversified end use markets, including food, beverages, personal and home care, health care, automotives, textile, and industrial. The company’s main products are PTA, PET and polyester fibre, which are distributed across the world.

LyondellBasell delays restart at La Porte, Texas, steam cracker: sources

MOSCOW (MRC) -- US olefins producer LyondellBasell has postponed the restart of its steam cracker in La Porte, Texas, by one week, reported Apic-online with reference to markets sources' statement.

The planned turnaround at the cracker with ethylene production capacity of 1.7 billion lbs/year started in late March and was to be completed by June 20. However, unforeseen issues have pushed the startup procedures to the late June, market sources said.

The turnaround also includes a planned capacity expansion - the company previously announced plans to increase La Porte's ethylene production capacity to 2.5 billion lb/year.

As MRC wrote previously, in early May 2014, LyondellBasell Industries promised the government to keep petrochemical operations near Marseille operational in the "long term" while a refinery there will be permanently shut. The petrochem major has confirmed that the closure of its refinery will not affect the viability of its petrochemical activities at the Berre and Fos sites. The company also agreed to clean up the refinery site so it can be used for other industrial and logistics businesses. The comments close another chapter in the decline of refining in France. The 105,000 barrel-a-day plant has been mothballed since January 2012 and talks with bidder Sotragem SAM ended without a deal in April 2014.

LyondellBasell Industries NV is a manufacturing company. The company produces chemicals, fuels, and polymers used for packaging, clean fuels, durable textiles, medical applications, construction materials, and automotive parts. LyondellBasell Industries operates globally and is headquartered in the Netherlands. LyondellBasell is also a leading licensor of polypropylene and polyethylene technologies. The more than 250 polyolefin process licenses granted by LyondellBasell are twice that of any other polyolefin technology licensor.

Wacker expands production capacity for dispersible polymer powders in Germany

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Wacker Chemie AG, the Munich-based chemical company, is expanding its production capacity for dispersible polymer powders in Germany, reported the company on its site.

The company is currently building a new spray dryer for dispersible polymer powders with an annual capacity of 50,000 metric tons at Wacker’s parent plant in Burghausen, Germany, investing an amount of around EUR20 million.

The facility is scheduled for completion in the first quarter of 2015 and will be one of the largest of its kind worldwide.

With the construction of a new 50,000-metric-ton spray dryer, Wacker is strengthening its position as a market and technology leader in this field.

Wacker aims to meet the globally rising demand for dispersible polymer powders, which is driven by worldwide trends such as urbanization, renovation and energy efficiency, as well as the increasing need for environmentally compatible dry-mix mortar products. With the planned production expansion, the group is creating the necessary capacity to reliably meet the market growth predicted by industry experts in the long term.

"Worldwide, demand for high-quality dispersible polymer powders is rising particularly in residential construction and infrastructure measures," explains Arno von der Eltz, president of Wacker Polymers. "We started to extend our dispersible polymer powder production at our Nanjing site at the end of last year and now want to push ahead with expanding our capacities in Burghausen, too - and thus strengthen our global position as a leading manufacturer of dispersible polymer powders."

Wacker has been producing dispersible polymer powders as binders for dry-mix mortars in Burghausen, Germany, since 1957 and, today, is a global technology and market leader in this field. VINNAPAS dispersible polymer powders find use in various construction applications such as tile adhesives, self-leveling flooring compounds, plasters, repair mortars, external thermal insulation composite systems and cementitious waterproofing membranes.

As MRC informed previously, Wacker Polymers, a unit of Munich-based specialty chemical company Wacker Chemie, has recently developed a novel dispersible polymer powder for modifying cementitious and gypsum-based dry-mix mortars. VINNAPAS 8620 E is based on a terpolymer of vinyl chloride, vinyl acetate and ethylene (EVA), and is ideal for the formulation of high-quality, low-emission tile adhesives.

Wacker Polymers is a leading producer of state-of-the-art binders and polymeric additives based on polyvinyl acetate and vinyl acetate copolymers. These take the form of dispersible polymer powders, dispersions, solid resins, and solutions. They are used in construction chemicals, paints, surface coatings, adhesives and nonwovens, and in fiber composites and polymeric materials based on renewable resources. Wacker Polymers has production sites in Germany, China, South Korea and the USA, as well as a global sales network and technical centers in all major regions.