Mitsubishi Chemical shut down No.2 naphtha cracker at Kashima complex

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Japan's Mitsubishi Chemical Corp., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corporation, has shut its 539,000 tpa No.2 naphtha cracker at its Kashima complex in eastern Japan for about nine days from July 19 for an unplanned inspection, as per Plastemart.

The move comes as the cracker, whose capacity has recently been expanded by about 50,000 tpa to offset lost production from the mothballed Kashima No.1 unit, has been having a problem in the cracked gas compression process, a company spokeswoman said.

We remind that, as MRC reported earlier, in April 2013, Mitsubishi Chemical has purchased all of the assets related to Comtrex's compounding business. The acquisition of the Comtrex business is expected to help MCC speed up the expansion of its performance polymers business through its networks across the world. Having been engaged in the PVC compounding business for more than 30 years, Comtrex started developing a line of vulcanized thermoplastic elastomers (TPV) in 2000 and selling the product in 2002.

Mitsubishi Chemical with headquarters in Tokyo, Japan, is a diversified chemical company involved in petrochemicals, polymers, agrochemicals, speciality chemicals and pharmaceuticals. The company's main focus is on three business pillars: petrochemicals, performance and functional products, and health care.

Styron announces price increase for polycarbonate in Europe

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Styron, the global materials company and manufacturer of plastics, latex and rubber, and its affiliate companies in Europe has announced an increase in its polycarbonate (PC) prices, as per the company's press release.

Thus, effective August 1, 2014, or as existing contract terms allow, the company will increase the selling price of natural PC, as follows:

- CALIBRE polycarbonate resins - by EUR180/tonne.

This price increase is in response to escalating costs of key raw materials used in the production of polycarbonate.

As MRC informed previously, recently Styron (Hong Kong) Limited, an affiliate of Styron and its affiliate companies in Asia Pacific have increased prices for all polystyrene (PS) grades in July.

The prices for the products listed below will increase as follows:

- STYRON general purpose polystyrene grades (GPPS) - by USD20tonne;
- STYRON and STYRON A-TECH high-impact polystyrene grades (HIPS) - by USD20/tonne.

"The price increase responds to the rising costs associated with the manufacturing of polystyrene grades in Asia Pacific," said Samer Al Jabi, Global Product Manager for Polystyrene.

Styron is a leading global materials company and manufacturer of plastics, latex and rubber, dedicated to collaborating with customers to deliver innovative and sustainable solutions. StyronпїЅs technology is used by customers in industries such as home appliances, automotive, building & construction, carpet, consumer electronics, consumer goods, electrical & lighting, medical, packaging, paper & paperboard, rubber goods and tires. Styron had approximately USD5.3 billion in revenue in 2013, with 19 manufacturing sites around the world.

Tomskneftekhim shut down PE and PP production

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Tomskneftekhim (part of SIBUR group) has shut down its low density polyethylene (LDPE) and polypropylene (PP) production for a scheduled maintenance, reported MRC analysts.

Tomskneftekhim shut down its LDPE and PP production yesterday, on 20 July 2014. The outage at the plant's polyolefin production was carried out in the framework of maintenance works, which will last about 14 days. The plant is expected to resume production on 6 August.

Tomskneftekhim's annual LDPE and PP production capacity is 240,000 tonnes and 140,000 tonnes, respectively. According to MRC ScanPlast, the plant's ouput totalled 132,800 tonnes of polyethylene and 67,300 tonnes of polypropylene in the first half of 2014.

LDPE production in Russia remained in H1 2014 at the level of 2013

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The overall output of low density polyethylene (LDPE) in Russia remained over the first six months of 2014 at the last year's level and totalled 327,800 tonnes, according to MRC ScanPlast.

June LDPE production rose to 54,700 tonnes from 48,600 tonnes in May. Kazanorgsintez and Ufaorgsintez reduced their output in the first half of 2014, while Tomskneftekhim and Angarsk Polymer Plant increased their polyethylene (PE) production.

The structure of LDPE production by plants looks the following way over the stated period.

Tomskneftekhim produced 22,700 tonnes of PE in June (22,600 tonnes in May). The plant's overall LDPE production rose to 132,800 tonnes over the first six months of the year versus 130,700 tonnes a year earlier.

Angarsk Polymer Plant produced about 6,000 tonnes of LDPE last month. Angarsk PP's overall output surged by 43% from January to June 2014 and totalled 32,700 tonnes.

Gazprom neftekhim Salavat mantained its production at the last year's level, the plant's total LDPE output was 19,300 tonnes in the first half of the year.

Kazanorgsintez increased its LDPE production to 15,900 tonnes in June. The plant's overall LDPE output fell to 100,000 tonnes over the first six months of 2014, down by 8% year on year, because of long outages in April and May.

Ufaorgsintez increased its LDPE production to 7,100 tonnes last month. The overall plant's PE output dropped to 44,000 tonnes from January to June 2014 versus 47,400 tonnes a year earlier.


SVP Global considers sale of PVC producer Vestolit

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Alternative investment firm Strategic Value Partners (SVP) Global is looking to sell Germany-based polyvinyl chloride (PVC) producer Vestolit for approximately USD407m, as per Chemical Technology.

SVP has appointed investment bank Jefferies to search for a potential buyer, reported Reuters citing three sources familiar with the matter.

The investment firm acquired Vestolit in 2006 from private investor Candover.

Formerly part of chemicals group Degussa-Huls, Vestolit produces PVC used in window frames, floor coverings, tarpaulin fabric and under-body coating for passenger vehicles.

The company generates annual revenues of about EUR500m and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of around EUR40m.

SVP is seeking Vestolit to be valued at around eight times its expected earnings, the source said.

Chemical producers such as Braskem and Axiall could be potential buyers of the PVC business. Westlake Chemical, which acquired PVC producer Vinnolit earlier this year, may also enter the race for Vestolit, the source added.

As MRC wrote before, in late May 2014, Westlake Chemical Corporation as signed a definitive agreement to acquire German-based Vinnolit Holdings GmbH and its subsidiary companies from Advent International, a private equity firm.
Vinnolit is an integrated global leader in specialty polyvinyl chloride (PVC) resins. The acquisition price of EUR490 million will be financed using existing Westlake cash and credit facilities. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2014, subject to standard closing conditions, including regulatory review.

Vestolit GmbH operates in Marl (North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany) the largest fully integrated PVC (polyvinyl chloride) production plants in Europe, with a capacity of 400,000 tonnes per annum. Integration means that, from the starting point of energy and the raw materials ethylene and rock salt via the intermediate products EDC (ethylene dichloride) and VCM (vinyl chloride), the production of PVC all takes place at one location. Vestolit is market leader as raw material supplier for the manufacture of window frames, as well as paste-making PVC for floor coverings, tarpaulin fabrics and underbody coatings.