BP Zhuhai to start new PTA plant in China

MOSCOW (MRC) -- BP Zhuhai is in plans to start a new purified terephthalic acid (PTA) plant in China, reported Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in China informed that the plant is likely to start in Q4, 2014. The exact start-up schedule of the plant could not be ascertained.

To be located in Zhuhai province, China, the plant will have a production capacity of 1.25 million mt/year.

As MRC informed earlier, China based company Xianglu Petrochemical started up its new purified terephthalic acid (PTA) plant in end-November 2013. Located in Xiamen, China, the plant has a production capacity of 1.5 million mt/year.

BP is one of the world's leading international oil and gas companies, providing its customers with fuel for transportation, energy for heat and light, retail services and petrochemicals products for everyday items.

Rosneft pilots Fischer Tropsch gas-to-liquids catalysts at Angarsk plant

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Rosneft has proved its leadership in national GTL (gas-to-liquid) technologies development. First pilot batches of Fischer Tropsch synthesis catalysts have been produced at Angarsk catalyst and organic synthesis plant, reported Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The Angarsk plant is the first Russian enterprise capable of producing such catalysts on a commercial scale.

The implementation of FT synthesis catalysts production national technologies has been performed as part of Program of the Company’s innovation development by scientists of RN-RDC corporate scientific center, a resident of Skolkovo foundation. The catalysts produced provide natural and oil-dissolved gas to be processed into synthetic hydrocarbons. They were tested in laboratory and have already proved its high performance properties.

Possessing commercial technologies of high-performance technologies of FT synthesis catalysts production enable Rosneft to finish the project on creating the first GTL pilot plant equipment in Russia, which is scheduled to put into operation at “Novokuybyshevsky plant” site in 2018. The results of the test performed for GTL PPE will form a base for construction of plant equipment aimed at natural oil-dissolved gas processing into synthetic oil and components of synthetic fuels, including aviation fuel.

The successful implementation of GTL technology in Rosneft is an important step towards gas processing technologies advancement, as well as resource base expansion of oil processing and petrochemical enterprises of the Company.

We remind that, as MRC informed previously, in February 2014, SIBUR, the giant Russian petrochemicals company, reached an agreement with state owned Russian oil company Rosneft to acquire its’ 49% interest in their Yugragazpererabotka gas processing joint venture. The interest has been held by Rosneft-owned RN-Holding, formerly TNK-BP.

After the deal closes SIBUR will own 100% of the venture, and will continue to have access to guaranteed gas supply from Rosneft of up to 10 billion cubic metres/year of gas as feedstock for their plants under a new supply agreement now extending to 2032. The sale of the plant, which processes gas co-produced at some of Rosneft’s oil fields, known as APG, which stands for associated petroleum gas, will be among the first sale by Rosneft of assets it picked up in the USD55 billion acquisition of the TNK-BP joint venture last year.

Rosneft became Russia's largest publicly traded oil company in March 2013 after the USD55 billion takeover of TNK-BP, which was Russia’s third-largest oil producer at the time.

LDPE exports from Russia rose by 23% in H1 2014

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Russian producers of low density polyethylene (LDPE) increased their exports by 23% over the first six months of 2014. As expected, the first months of the year accounted for the peak export sales, according to MRC ScanPlast.

June LDPE exports from Russia rose to 16,00 tonnes after a May reduction of 10,700 tonnes (Kazanorgsintez minimized its export contracts because of a scheduled shutdown for maintenance). Overall, Russian producers increased their LDPE sales in foreign markets (including the countries of the Customs Union) to 102,800 tonnes in the first half of 2014 versus 83,700 tonnes a year earlier. The first three months of the year accounted for the peak export sales, which was caused by weak seasonal demand in the domestic market and the rouble devaluation, which made exports more attractive for Russian producers.

Tomskneftekhim (SIBUR) and Angarsk Polymer Plant (Rosneft) are the main LDPE exporters. These plants' LDPE sales to foreign markets totalled 48,900 tonnes and 30,600 tonnes over the stated period versus 52,000 tonnes and 13,000 tonnes, respectively. Angarsk PP managed to reach such a serious growth in exports because of increased capacity utilisation (the plant's LDPE production rose by 43% to 32,800 tonnes).

Top-5 countries-importers of Russian LDPE are as follows: China (57,400 tonnes), Ukraine (12,800 tonnes), Kazakhstan (8,200 tonnes), Lithuania (5,900 tonnes) and Belgium (5,500 tonnes).


Celanese Corporation reports record Q2 results

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Celanese Corporation, a global technology and specialty materials company and a global leader in vinyl acetate ethylene (EVA) emulsions, has reported second quarter 2014 adjusted earnings per share of USD1.47 versus USD1.33 in the prior quarter, as per the company's press release.

"Our second quarter adjusted EPS was the highest in our history at USD1.47 per share. We expanded segment income margin to 18.6%, a 90 basis point improvement sequentially and a 260 basis point improvement year-over-year. These results were driven by the efforts of our global teams that continued to deliver customer-centric applications that add value. We are also benefiting from the strategic decision to operate our technology-enabled business in a manner that increases our underlying business flexibility and our ability to take advantage of prevailing industry trends," said Mark Rohr, chairman and chief executive officer. "We again delivered strong cash flow, deploying USD50 million on share repurchases and USD39 million on dividends in the quarter. With a cash balance of USD1.1 billion and net debt balance of less than USD2.0 billion, we have an opportunity to create value through our balance sheet."

The company's net sales for the quarter grew to USD1.77 billion from USD1.65 billion in the same period last year and topped thirteen Wall Street analysts' consensus estimate of USD1.72 billion.

Looking ahead, the company raised its growth projection for adjusted earnings per share to a range of 15 to 17 percent from the prior guidance that called for 12 to 14 percent growth.

"We now increase our focus on the Celanese-specific initiatives for 2015 that will help offset the expected headwind related to the expiration of a methanol contract in mid-2015," said Rohr.

As MRC wrote previously, in April 2014, Celanese Corporation developed new emulsion products for architectural paints. The company also expanded its product portfolio for the coatings and adhesives industries, including Celansese's solvents, vinyl acetate monomer, EVA polymers and emulsions.

Celanese Corporation is a global technology leader in the production of differentiated chemistry solutions and specialty materials used in most major industries and consumer applications. Based in Dallas, Texas, Celanese employs approximately 7,400 employees worldwide and had 2013 net sales of USD6.5 billion.

PET capacity utilisation dropped by 12.2%

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The average capacity utilisation of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) in Russia dropped in the first half of 2014 by 12.2% year on year and totalled 71.4% (83.6% - from January to June 2013), according to MRC ScanPlast.

PET production capacities in Russia were expanded to 90,000 tonnes in 2014. The second PET line was installed at Polief. Thus, the sector's overall production capacity reached 610,000 tonnes per year. At the same time, the total output at Russian plants virtually did not change much compared to the first half of 2013. About 218,000 tonnes of PET chips were produced from January to June 2014.

Alco-Naphtha reduced its PET production, despite a stable capacity utilisation of a new line at Polief and the previous production figures of Senezh and SIBUR-PETF.
At the same time, demand for imported PET increased this year. As reported earlier, PET imports to the Russian domestic market surged in the first half of 2014 by 40% year on year and reached 128,000 tonnes.