Formosa to shut its catalytic cracker for maintenance in Taiwan

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Formosa Petrochemical Corp (FPC) is planning to shut its No. 1 residual fluid catalytic cracker (RFCC) for maintenance turnaround, reported Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in Taiwan informed that the unit is planned to be shut in H2 September 2014. The planned shutdown has been planned to take care of a technical glitch.

Located at Mailiao in Taiwan, the unit has a propylene capacity of 375,000 mt/year.

As MRC wrote previously, in early August 2014, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued three final GHG Prevention of Significant Deterioration construction permits for the Formosa Plastics facility in Point Comfort, Texas. Formosa is expanding its chemical complex, located near Victoria, and taking three actions with its turbines unit, olefins unit and low-density polyethylene (LDPE) unit.

According to the olefins GHG permit, a new ethane cracker and propane dehydrogenation (PDH) unit will have a combined capacity of 1.75 million tpy of "high-purity ethylene product". Meanwhile, the LDPE unit will have a a capacity of 625,500 tpy and be able to produce resin at different grades.

Formosa Petrochemical is involved primarily in the business of refining crude oil, selling refined petroleum products and producing and selling olefins (including ethylene, propylene, butadiene and BTX) from its naphtha cracking operations. Formosa Petrochemical is also the largest olefins producer in Taiwan and its olefins products are mostly sold to companies within the Formosa Group. Among the company's chemical products are paraxylene (PX), phenyl ethylene, acetone and pure terephthalic acid (PTA). The company's plastic products include acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) resins, polystyrene (PS), polypropylene (PP) and panlite (PC).

LyondellBasell intoduces LLDPE resins for rotomolding

MOSCOW (MRC) -- LyondellBasell has introduced an innovative suite of linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) resins for rotomolding available in either pellet (Petrothene) or powder (Microthene), as per the company's press release.

Petrothene and Microthene resins from LyondellBasell produce significantly faster curing rates, smoother internal surface finish, and improved color. Faster curing rates minimize the time necessary to eliminate bubbles and therefore reduce oven cycle time. Thus, manufacturers spend less time running ovens and more time building parts. A smoother inner surface improves overall product aesthetics and makes it easier to keep the product clean. Minimizing oven time also enhances color. The new rotomolding products do not require any process changes on existing rotomolding equipment.

"Customers are seeing a significant difference in smoothness and improved color performance,” said Jim Guilfoyle, vice president of sales, LyondellBasell’s Olefins and Polyolefins - Americas. "More importantly, this new innovative family of rotomolding products offers manufacturers what they really want: lower costs and higher productivity."

Typical applications include recreational vehicles, playground equipment, toys, canoes, kayaks, small and large tanks, and IBC containers.

As MRC reported earlier, in May 2014, LyondellBasell received a key permit required in the company's multi-plant ethylene expansion program which, when fully operational, is expected to increase annual ethylene capacity by an estimated USD3.12 billion, for a total estimated capacity of USD19.9 billion in North America. The ethylene expansion program began in 2013 and represents a total investment of approximately USD1.3 billion in the company's Channelview, La Porte and Corpus Christi, Texas plants which benefit from shale gas production.

LyondellBasell Industries NV is a manufacturing company. The company produces chemicals, fuels, and polymers used for packaging, clean fuels, durable textiles, medical applications, construction materials, and automotive parts. LyondellBasell Industries operates globally and is headquartered in the Netherlands. LyondellBasell is also a leading licensor of polypropylene and polyethylene technologies. The more than 250 polyolefin process licenses granted by LyondellBasell are twice that of any other polyolefin technology licensor.

Lotte Chemical Titan restarts HDPE plant in Malaysia

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Lotte Chemical Titan has restarted a high density polyethylene (HDPE) plant, according to Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in Malaysia informed that the plant restarted early this week. It was shut unexpectedly owing to technical issues.

Located at Pasir Gudang, Johor in Malaysia, the plant has a production capacity of 120,000 mt/year.

As MRC reported earlier, in early 2014, Hyundai Oilbank and Lotte Chemical Corp. established Hyundai Chemical as a new venture in the "oil refining and synthetic fiber materials business". The venture, owned 60 % by Hyundai and 40% by Lotte, will invest up to 1.2-trillion won, with production targeted to begin in the second half of 2016 at Hyundai’s Daesan plant in South Chungcheong province.

In early 2013, a major South Korean pertochemical and polymer producer, Honam Petrochemical, and one of the largest South Korean PET and PTA producer, KP Chemical, decided to merge into a new company with a new name Lotte Chemical Corporation. The newly formed company believes that this move will strengthen its position both in domestic and international markets and is in a line with Lotte Chemical's strategy to become a leading global company.

The Lotte Group currently has a presence in Indonesia via its subsidiary, Honam Petrochemicals, which acquired Malaysia’s polyolefin major Titan Chemicals in July 2010. Included in the acquisition was Titan’s Indonesian subsidiary - PT Titan Petrokimia Nusantara (TPN), which has a polyethylene (PE) production capacity of 450,000 tonnes/year.

Evonik was awarded "prime" status for sustainable investment

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The sustainability rating agency Oekom Research has awarded Evonik with the prime status for the comprehensive commitment to sustainability management, reported Evonik on its site.

Evonik was rated for the first time and immediately received an overall rating of B- in the chemical industry. This assessment of its sustainability performance placed the group in the top field of the chemical industry.

Oekom Research particularly appraised Evonik’s environmental management, climate strategy, the measures taken to evaluate substance or product risks, but also the corporate governance.

As MRC reported before, Evonik Industries is making an investment in the double-digit-million euro range in a new research center at the Rheinfelden site. Starting at the beginning of 2016, research into silanes will be carried out in modern laboratories in the four-story building. Silanes are used in the electronics industry, in the tire industry, for the production of adhesives and sealants as well as plastics, and in the construction industry.

Evonik, the creative industrial group from Germany, is one of the world leaders in specialty chemicals. Evonik is active in over 100 countries around the world. In fiscal 2013 more than 33,500 employees generated sales of around EUR12.7 billion and an operating profit (adjusted EBITDA) of about EUR2.0 billion.

Eastman increases acids prices in September

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Eastman Chemical Company, a global specialty chemical company, is increasing prices on the following products from 1 September, or as contracts allow, reported the company on its site.

EASTMAN PROPIONIC ACID, all grades: offlist price increase of USD 0.06/lb (USD 0.13/kg) in North America and Latin America.

These increases are due to elevated operating costs, especially in raw materials.

As MRC wrote previously, earlier this year, Eastman Chemical Company enhanced its medical packaging portfolio with Eastalite copolyester, the company’s first opaque offering, which is styrene-free and can be a sustainable alternative to high-impact polystyrene (HIPS).

Eastman (headquartered in Kingsport, Tennessee, USA) is a global specialty chemical company that produces a broad range of products found in items people use every day. With a portfolio of specialty businesses, Eastman works with customers to deliver innovative products and solutions while maintaining a commitment to safety and sustainability. Its market-driven approaches take advantage of world-class technology platforms and leading positions in attractive end-markets such as transportation, building and construction, and consumables.