INEOS licenses technology for new Turkmenistan petrochemical plant

MOSCOW (MRC) -- INEOS has licensed its Innovene S process to Hyundai Engineering for the Turkmengas new greenfield world-scale petrochemical complex in the Balkan region of Turkmenistan, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The contract for construction of the gas-chemical complex in Turkmenistan, including polyethylene, will be built by a consortium consisting of LG International Corp., TOYO Engineering Corp. and Hyundai Engineering. This is the first Innovene S license awarded to INEOS Technologies in Central Asia.

The complex, which will be operated by Turkmengas, will include a 386,000 tpy line of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) using Innovene S technology alongside a 50,000 tpy black compounding line.

"INEOS is very pleased to support the development of the petrochemical industry in Turkmenistan with Turkmengas and Hyundai Engineering and look forward to working with both companies to ensure the successful start-up of this world-scale petrochemical complex on the Caspian Sea," said Peter Williams, CEO of INEOS Technologies.

The Turkmengas plant will serve their customers with a broad product range, including Bimodal PE 100 Pressure Pipe, ensuring a competitive advantage for their customers both in domestic and global markets.

As MRC wrote before, Sasol Chemicals North America and INEOS Olefins & Polymers announced Monday that they have reached final investment decision to form a joint venture to build a high-density polyethylene (HDPE) plant in La Porte, Texas. The 50/50 joint venture will produce 470,000 tpy of bimodal HDPE using Innovene S process technology licensed from INEOS Technologies.

INEOS is a global manufacturer of petrochemicals, speciality chemicals and oil products. It comprises 15 businesses each with a major chemical company heritage. Its production network spans 51 manufacturing facilities in 11 countries throughout the world.

PP production in Russia increased by 24% in January - May 2014

MOSCOW (MRC) - Production of polypropylene (PP) in Russia increased by 23% in the first five months of this year, compared to the same period in 2013. Predictably, the main contribution to the production growth made new PP plants: Tobolsk-Polymer and Poliom, as per MRC ScanPlast.

Russia's PP production in Russia rose to 90,000 tonnes in May, compared with 87,500 tonnes in April. Total PP production in Russia was 410,100 tonnes in January - May 2014, compared with 329,400 tonnes in the same period of 2013.

Increased production rates at new plants in Tobolsk and Omsk were the main reason for such a serious production growth. Structure of PP production over the reported period was as follows.

Russia's largest producer of polypropylene - Tobolsk-Polymer (SIBUR) increased production volumes to 23,900 tonnes in May. The company produced 76,200 tonnes of PP in the five months of this year. We informed previously that Tobolsk-Polymer began PP production in late May 2013.

The second producer who started production last year - Poliom (Titan Group, Omsk). The producer in May kept the April level of capacity utilisation, and PP production volumes were 15,700 tonnes. Poliom's PP production over the reported period was about 70,000 tonnes.

Nizhnekamskneftekhim and Ufaorgsintez because of the higher capacity utilisation also managed to increase PP production, but not so significantly. May PP production at these plants totalled 18,800 tonnes and 11,100 tonnes, respectively. Nizhnekamskneftekhim and Ufaorgsintez produced 87,800 tonnes (up 2% year on year) and 53,800 tonnes (up 5% year on year) of propylene polymers in the first five months of the year.

Neftekhimia (Kapotnja) kept production at the last year's level. The company produced 9,600 tonnes of PP in May, total PP production over the first five months of this year was 49,200 tonnes. Tomskneftekhim kept the April level of capacity utilisation in May, last month's PP production was 11,100 tonnes. The company produced about 55,000 tonnes of PP in January - May of the current year, down 5% year on year.


HDPE production in Russia decreased by 13% in January - May 2014

MOSCOW (MRC) - Production of high density polyethylene (HDPE) in Russia decreased by 13% in the first five months of this year, according to MRC ScanPlast.

May HDPE production in Russia rose to 67,000 tonnes, compared with 60,800 tonnes in April. Total HDPE production in Russia was about 373,000 tonnes in January - May of this year, compared with 431,200 tonnes in the same period a year earlier. Only Kazanorgsintez and "Gazprom neftekhim Salavat" managed to increase HDPE production over the reported period.

The structure of HDPE production over the reported period looked as follows. Largest producer of polyethylene in Russia - Kazanorgsyntez (Taif) in May increased HDPE production to 44,000 tonnes. The company increased HDPE production to 222,200 tonnes in the first five months of the year, up 8% from the same period in 2013.

"Gazprom neftekhim Salavat" (Gazprom) produced about 9,000 tonnes of HDPE in May, compared with 7,800 tonnes in April. The producer's HDPE output reached 43,400 tonnes in the first five months of the year, up 48% year on year.

The third largest Russian producer of HDPE - Nizhnekamskneftekhim (Taif) because of technical problems in May did not reach the 100% level of capacity utilisation, the May HDPE production figure was around 14,000 tonnes. The company reduced the output of HDPE to 61,500 tonnes in January - May, compared with 69,200 tonnes in the same period a year earlier.


Veka purchases PVC processing plant

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Veka Recycling Ltd. has added a waste PVC collection and processing facility to its United Kingdom operation with the acquisition of family-run Trafford Services for an undisclosed sum, said Plasticsnews.

The Bilston, England, site in the West Midlands adds 20,000 square feet of weighbridge, processing and storage facilities to Veka Recycling’s business. Post-industrial and post-consumer PVC window frame material is reduced in size and sent in loads of 24 metric tons to Kent where it is processed to a high standard of purity for use in new goods.
Veka invested more than 1 million pounds (USD1.67 million) in Kent in late 2013 to boost PVC recycling.

"Having this second centrally-located site means that local installers, fabricators and waste management companies can benefit from our reliable service with prompt payment for waste PVC frames," said Tony Cattini, managing director of Veka Recycling.

"Trafford Services has worked closely with us since 2007, so the company is already familiar with our focus on getting the infeed quality right and reducing contamination. This is vital in maintaining the high quality of our 100 percent recycled PVC-U pellet and micronized PVC-U (pulver)," he added.

As MRC wrote before, in December 2013, Veka Recycling announced the investment of almost EUR1.2 million (USD1.6 million) in its south-east England facility to produce high-quality recyclate suitable for PVC extruded products. A new compounding line will enable the company to supply European markets with PVC pellets derived from post-industrial or post-consumer window frame material. According to the firm, this is in addition to the existing supply of both pellet and micronised PVC from its German and French factories.

Established in the UK since 2007 and with an annual recycling capacity of 20 000-plus tonnes, the Kent-based company is part of the Veka Recycling Group, which has processing facilities in three European countries and has more than two decades' recycling experience in producing pelletised material that can be used in new extrusion products, including windows.

Sasol Chemicals fined R534m for excessive propylene and polypropylene prices

MOSCOW (MRC) -- SASOL subsidiary Sasol Chemical Industries (SCI) has been fined an administrative penalty of R534m by the Competition Tribunal for excessive pricing, said Bdlive.

The fine, for the pricing of purified propylene and polypropylene over a period of four years beginning in January 2004, could mark the end of the long-running matter. This is the first case of excessive pricing brought by the Competition Commission itself.

The first excessive pricing case was brought in 2009, when a Competition Tribunal decision over excessive pricing by steel maker ArcelorMittal was reversed by the Competition Appeal Court. In the ArcelorMittal matter, the miner settled with Harmony and Durban Roodepoort Deep, which had lodged the complaint, and the case never went back to the tribunal. The settlement — coming after the initial fine of R691.8m — was never disclosed.

In addition to penalising SCI, the tribunal also determined a method how the company should price these products in future. In its ruling, the tribunal said the prices SCI charged Safripol - its only external customer for purified propylene - was to Safripol’s detriment and inhibited its ability to effectively compete with SCI.

The Competition Commission had argued that SCI's position as a low-cost producer should have been reflected in its prices and that because of its local dominance, SCI was enjoying higher profit margins on both these products than on any of its other products, and rivals were not able to constrain SCI’s pricing.

The tribunal concluded that SCI’s exercise of market power and its excessive prices had resulted in a missed opportunity for innovation and development for the domestic manufacture of downstream plastic goods.

As MRC wrote before, Sasol Chemicals North America and INEOS Olefins & Polymers announced Monday that they have reached final investment decision to form a joint venture to build a high-density polyethylene (HDPE) plant in La Porte.

Sasol Limited is an integrated energy and chemical company based in Johannesburg, South Africa. It develops and commercialises technologies, including synthetic fuels technologies, and produces different liquid fuels, chemicals and electricity.