New reactor will boost capacity for Nova

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The new 38 mtr reactor for Nova Chemical Corp.’s expanded polyethylene plant was lifted into place at the Joffre complex, said Plastemart.

The approximately 280-tonne piece of equipment is at the centre of a billion-dollar expansion of Nova’s polyethylene plant. It joins two existing reactors and is expected to boost total production capacity by 40% — to approximately 2.5 billion pounds of linear low density polyethylene annually.

The project, which started last spring, is expected to wrap up by mid-2016. The new polyethylene production line is being developed within the Joffre complex’s existing footprint, and the increased ethylene feedstock that will be required can be provided by the three ethylene plants already operating there.

As MRC informed previously, in early 2013 Nova Chemicals decided build two polyethylene (PE) plants and expand its ethylene capacity. NOVA has taken several actions to secure additional ethane feedstock supply for its crackers in Corunna, Ontario, and Joffre, Alberta.

Nova Chemical is one of the largest world's petrochemical companies, a manufacturer of polyethylene, styrene polymers, monomers, and many other related products.


Saudi Petrochem completes 1.2 bln riyal debut sukuk issue

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Saudi Arabia's National Petrochemical Co (Petrochem) has completed a 1.2 billion riyal (USD319.9 million) debut sukuk issue, as per Plastemart.

The Islamic bond, which has a five year lifespan, was priced at 170 basis points over the six-month Saudi interbank offered rate (Saibor).

Deutsche Bank's Saudi Arabian arm and the investment banking arm of Riyad Bank were the lead arrangers for the issue, according to the statement.

A number of Saudi companies have been tapping the local sukuk market in recent months, many for the first time, as they look to take advantage of abundant liquidity among Saudi investors to secure cheap borrowing rates and diversify away from traditional funding sources. (USD1 = 3.7508 Saudi Riyals).

Foreign companies have formed joint ventures with state oil firm Saudi Aramco to seek out gas deposits, but over the past 10 years they have largely failed to find commercially viable deposits. Authorities in Saudi Arabia now reportedly want to focus on the search for unconventional deposits that would require more complex and expensive technologies.


EPS imports to Russia decreased by 16.5% in Jan-July 2014

MOSCOW (MRC) - Imports of expandable polystyrene (EPS) in Russia decreased to 29,000 tonnes in the first half of the year, down 16.5% compared to January-June 2013, according to MRC ScanPlast.

Local companies continued the policy of import substitution, increasing purchases of Russian EPS. Largest importer of EPS in the Russian market continued to be China. However, despite the general decline in imports, shipments of Chinese EPS to Russia rose to 17,500 tonnes in January-June 2014, compared with 13,800 tonnes in the same time in 2013.
The main supplier of Chinese EPS remained Loyal, most popular Loyal's brands in the Russian market were F-MS and F-SA. At the same time, Russian producers reported a good demand for the reporting period.

Given strong demand in the domestic market, SIBUR even had to refrain from the sale of EPS in foreign markets. Because of the shortage of Russian EPS local converters and traders had to increase purchases in foreign markets in the second quarter of this year.

Russia's imports have risen for the fourth month in a row. Russia's EPS imports grew to 8,200 tonnes in June, up 19% year on year.

PVC imports in Russia decreased by 47% in the first half of 2014

MOSCOW (MRC) - Imports of suspension polyvinyl chloride (PVC) in Russia decreased by 47% in the first half of this year, compared with the same tine in 2013. The biggest decrease in imports occurred for US PVC, according to MRC DataScope report.

June imports of suspension PVC (SPVC) in Russia grew to 28,200 tonnes, compared with 27,300 tonnes in May. Total SPVC imports in Russia decreased to 125,600 tonnes in January - June this year, compared with 238,300 tonnes year on year. The biggest decrease in imports occurred for US resin, which can be explained by high export prices and the devaluation of the Russian rouble.

Structure of SPVC imports over the reported period was as follows. June imports of Chinese acetylene PVC in Russia rose to 21,000 tonnes, compared with 17,400 tonnes in May. Russia's imports of Chinese acetylene resin decreased to 69,400 tonnes in January - June 2014, down 28% year on year. Stable pricing policy allowed Chinese producers to minimize their losses in the Russian market.

Russia's imports of US PVC imports from the United States last month fell to 3.1 million tons versus 3.6 million tons in May. Imports of US resin to the country decreased to 26,400 tonnes in the first six months of this year, compared with 113,800 tonnes year on year.

Russian companies reduced their purchases of US SPVC to the minimum because of high prices, and this situation will unlikely change this year.
Russia's imports of European PVC have also remained weak because of the high price; Russia's imports of European resin were about 3,000 tonnes in June, compared with 4,300 tonnes in May.
Total imports of European PVC to Russia were 20,300 tonnes in the first six months of the year, compared with 21,000 tonnes year on year.
Russia's SPVC imports are expected to increase in the coming months on the back of the upcoming scheduled maintenance works at the Russian plants.

The schedule of the shutdowns is as follows: SayanskKhimPlast will shut its capacities for a turnaround from 2 to 28, August; Bashkir Soda Company - from 10t to 30, September, Kaustik (Volgograd) - from 3 to 20, October. A series of scheduled shutdowns will make local converters increase the volume of purchases in foreign markets.


Foster Wheeler Awarded EPCM contract for composites manufacturing plant by Owens Corning

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Foster Wheeler AG subsidiary of its Global Engineering and Construction Group has been awarded an engineering, procurement and construction management contract by Owens Corning for a new composite materials manufacturing facility in Gastonia, North Carolina, said Plastemart.

The Gastonia operation will support growing customer demand for glass non-woven products serving the global building materials market. Non-woven products feature enhanced aesthetics, mold and fire prevention, and corrosion resistance.

Foster Wheeler's contract value was not disclosed. The engineering, procurement and early construction work was included in the company’s first-quarter 2014 bookings and the balance of the construction management scope is expected to be released later in 2014.

Foster Wheeler’s scope of work is expected to be completed by the end of 2015.

As MRC wrote before, Foster Wheeler AG has announced that Eni S.p.A. has renewed for a further two years its existing framework agreement with a subsidiary of Foster Wheeler’s Global Engineering and Construction Group. Under this agreement, Foster Wheeler provides basic design and front-end engineering design for downstream, upstream, power and petrochemical projects world-wide undertaken by five Eni business units: Eni Refining & Marketing, Eni Exploration & Production, Enipower, Versalis and Syndial.