Mitsubishi Rayon to double production capacity at US carbon fiber plant

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Mitsubishi Rayon Carbon Fiber and Composites (MRCFAC) plans to install new facilities capable of 2,000 tons of annual carbon fiber production at its existing site in Sacramento, California, said Jeccomposites.

The site expansion, scheduled to be completed by mid-2016, will double the annual production capacity of currently 2,000 tons up to 4,000 tons. Through development and adoption of renewable energy technology including wind-generated electricity and lightweight solution technology that improve fuel efficiency to extend driving distance of electric vehicles, worldwide demand for carbon fiber is increasing for industrial applications at an annual rate of more than 20%.

Among industrial applications, carbon fiber reinforced pressure vessels are becoming widely used for CNG fuel tanks as well as large-scale CNG transporting vessels. In particular, large buses and trucks proceed with fuel conversion toward CNG; all due to the increased cost efficiency of using natural gas partly attributed to shale gas development and the tightening of automobile exhaust gas regulations.

In addition, fuel tanks to carry high-pressure hydrogen gas for fuel cell vehicles, which are expected as ultimate eco-car, and storage tanks installed at hydrogen stations will utilize carbon fiber, too. In this way, carbon fiber, a material that is directly associated with production and consumption of clean energy is expected further growth of demand toward 2020.

MRC will utilize MRCFAC as production center of high- performance regular tow carbon fiber to serve the growing demand in North American market. MRC will continue the further expansion of value chains related to industrial applications including pressure vessels, windmills, and automobiles.

As MRC wrote before, Mitsubishi Rayon Co. (MRC) and Mitsui & Co. have signed a memorandum of understanding to undertake detailed feasibility studies for establishing a joint venture in the U.S. to build a methyl methacrylate (MMA) monomer unit.

SPVC imports in Ukraine decreased by 23% in the first six months of 2014

MOSCOW (MRC) - Imports of suspension polyvinyl chloride (SPVC) in Ukraine decreased by 23% in the first six months of this year on the back of economy recession, according to MRC DataScope.

Demand for SPVC has seasonally increased in May - June in the Ukrainian market. June SPVC imports to the country grew to 11,000 in June.
However, the recession in the economy and currency devaluation led to a noticeable reduction in demand for the suspension in the first half of the year, which fell to 47,500 tonnes, compared with 62,000 tonnes in the same time a year earlier.

Structure of imports of PVC in Ukraine for the reported period was as follows. June imports of European PVC in the Ukrainian market rose to 6,100 tonnes, compared with 5,200 tonnes in May. Ukraine's imports of European SPVC totalled 20,400 tonnes in the first six months in 2014, compared with 27,500 tonnes in the same period of 2013.

Key suppliers of SPVC to the Ukrainian market due to geographical factors were producers from Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic.
June imports of US resin in Ukraine rose to 4,900 tonnes, compared with 4,800 tonnes in May. Total imports of US PVC in the country decreased to 25,600 tonnes in the first six months of the year, compared with 31,000 tonnes year on year.

European PP prices rose to EUR15-20/tonne in July

MOSCOW (MRC) - European producers announced polypropylene (PP) price increase for July delivery for CIS markets of EUR15-20/tonne, compared with the June level, according to ICIS-MRC Price Report.

July contract price for propylene in Europe was agreed up EUR15/tonne above the June level. Volumes of PP production in Europe are reduced because of many reasons, and this puts additional pressure on prices.

As a consequence, European producers amid tight supply announced increases in PP price of EUR15-20/tonne. Last week deals for European homopolymer PP were discussed in the range of EUR1,235-1,300/tonne FCA.

The low end of PP block copolymers price was at EUR1,320/tonne FCA.

Because of the limited export quotas from certain European producers, some companies said that they did not manage to buy the required volumes of PP for July delivery.


PET consumption in Ukraine decreased by 23% In the first half of 2014

MOSCOW (MRC) - Capacity of Ukrainian polyethylene terephthalate (PET) market in the first half of 2014 decreased by 23% compared to the same period a year earlier. This was indicated by the decrease in Ukraine's PET chips imports, which fell to 77,600 tonnes over the reported period, according to MRC DataScope.

The fall in PET imports in the first half of this year resulted from a weaker demand in the market of beer and soft drinks in Ukraine. Ukrainian companies lost a large market in Crimea of finished products in the high season. Producers of water were sharply affected by the loss in the sales in the Crimean peninsula this summer.
PET consumption was also significantly decreased in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions.

Converters reported an increased competition in the domestic market. At the same time, demand in Central and Western Ukraine, according to the preforms producers, continued to be normal.

The most popular brands in the first six months of the year in Ukraine were Jade CZ-302 by Jiangsu Sanfangxiang production, HY-W01 by Shanghai Hengyi Polyester production, and WK801 from Zhejiang Wankai, with imports volumes over the reported period totalled 11,000 tonnes, 10,000 tonnes and 9,7 tonnes respectively.


Kemira buys rival AkzoNobel paper chemical unit for USD153 mln

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Finnish chemicals company Kemira said on Tuesday it would buy rival Akzo Nobel's paper chemical business for EUR153 million (USD209 million), a move analysts welcomed as a good deal, said Reuters.

Kemira said it expected more than 15 million euros in annual synergies from the purchase of the unit. "153 million euros is a good price from Kemira's point of view, it gives good preconditions to create more shareholder value," research firm Inderes analyst Antti Viljakainen said.

Last year, Akzo's paper chemical business had revenues of 243 million euros and operating profit before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) reached 23 million, Kemira said. The bulk of its sales came from packaging board grade chemicals. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of next year.

As MRC wrote before, AkzoNobel has completed the sale of its Primary Amides chemicals business to PMC Group effective December 31, 2013.

Akzo Nobel N.V., trading as AkzoNobel, is a Dutch multinational, active in the fields of decorative paints, performance coatings and specialty chemicals. Headquartered in Amsterdam, the company has activities in more than 80 countries, and employs approximately 55,000 people.