Chevron Phillips adding PAO capacity

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Chevron Phillips Chemical Co. plans to add more than 20 million pounds of capacity for low-viscosity polyalphaolefin (PAO) fluids at its Cedar Bayou plant in Baytown, Texas, said Plasticsnews.

The expansion will help the firm, based in The Woodlands, Texas, meet increasing customer demand for sustainable products, PAO global business manager Miles Oberton said in a Nov. 4 news release.

Chevron Phillips also has filed notifications for the project with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. A request for final approval for the project would be filed in the second quarter of 2015, with project completion targeted for 2016.

At Cedar Bayou, Chevron Phillips currently has annual capacity of about 100 million pounds of PAO. The firm recently began construction of a 220 million-pound capacity normal alpha olefin (NAO) expansion there. NAO materials are used as a feedstock for PAO.

PAO materials made by Chevron Phillips are sold under the Synfluid brand name. They’re used in many automotive and industrial applications, including gear oils, greases and lubricants.

As MRC informed earlier, in July 2014, Chevron Phillips Chemical received approval from its board of directors and obtained an environmental permit from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) to expand normal alpha olefins (NAO) production capacity at its Cedar Bayou plant in Baytown, Texas.

Chevron Phillips Chemical, headquartered in The Woodlands, Texas (north of Houston), US,l is one of the world’s top producers of olefins and polyolefins and a leading supplier of aromatics, alpha olefins, styrenics, specialty chemicals, piping, and proprietary plastics. Chevron and Phillips 66 each own 50% of Chevron Phillips Chemical.

Idemitsu Kosan to shut Tokuyama cracker due to start-up problems following scheduled maintenance

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Idemitsu Kosan, one of Japan’s largest refining and petrochemical companies, is to shut the 687,000 tpa naphtha cracker at its Tokuyama plant in western Japan very recently due to an unspecified problem during the start-up process following scheduled maintenance, as per Plastemart.

The company had been in the process of restarting the cracker recently with plans to start producing the so-called "on-spec" products that match specifications from the beginning of November.

A company spokesman did not give the exact date of the beginning of the restart or unplanned shutdown, adding there's no schedule for restart. The company had been conducting the maintenance since Sept. 9.

As MRC reported earlier, Idemitsu Kosan shut down its No 1 styrene monomer (SM) plant in Japan for a one-month maintenance turnaround in late August 2014. Located in Tokuyama, Japan, the plant has a production capacity of 120,000 mt/year.

Idemitsu Kosan is a Japanese petroleum company. It owns and operates oil platforms, refineries and produces and sells petroleum, oils and petrochemical products. The company runs two petrochemical plants in Chiba and Tokuyama. The two naphtha crackers can produce up to 997,000 tonnes of ethylene per year.

LyondellBasell sees tight plastic markets delaying impact of weak oil prices

MOSCOW (MRC) -- LyondellBasell Industries, the world’s biggest maker of polypropylene (PP) plastic, said "tight" markets for its products may stall the narrower margins that it expects will ultimately come from lower oil prices, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The fundamentals of the US chemical industry have remained "favorable" in October, CEO Jim Gallogly said in the Rotterdam-based company’s third-quarter earnings statement. Competitors’ plant outages are keeping products such as polyethylene in short supply and prices high, he said on a conference call.

"Under those conditions, prices don't fall very quickly," Gallogly said on the call. "The supply chain is tight at this point, and of course the US economy is doing well."

US producers of ethylene and related plastics use natural gas liquids such as ethane as a raw material. While NGLs are cheaper than the oil-derived naphtha used in Europe and elsewhere, a drop in crude prices may undermine that advantage. Brent crude has declined more than 20% since its June peak, meeting a common definition of a bear market.

LyondellBasell customers aren't cancelling orders or cutting inventories in anticipation of lower prices, Gallogly said.

"Recent crude oil price declines are expected to ultimately impact domestic margins, but today’s tight market conditions may delay the timing of potential declines," Gallogly said in the statement. "We are watching to see how this develops."

As MRC reported before, LyondellBasell had delayed the start-up of expanded production at its ethylene plant in La Porte, Tex., until later this year. A mechanical issue with a compressor at the plant was partially to blame for the extended turnaround at La Porte.

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.

DuPont named to the 2014 top 100 global innovators by Thomson Reuters

MOSCOW (MRC) -- For the fourth consecutive year, DuPont has been listed as a Top 100 Global Innovator by Thomson Reuters, reported the company in its press release.

An honoree since the inception of the program, DuPont is recognized for its innovation and the worldwide influence of its inventions.

"The combination of biological and materials sciences at DuPont plays a key and indispensable role across our innovation portfolio. As a result, we have a robust pipeline of next-generation products in development that are poised to drive significant growth for the company," said Senior Vice President and Chief Science & Technology Officer Douglas Muzyka. "We are honored to be included on the list as it recognizes the impact our technology is having on global innovation."

DuPont innovation integrates a full complement of capabilities in science and technology, global market insights and collaboration to renew the portfolio continuously and create step-change solutions for customers in a range of markets. To support this collaboration, DuPont has 13 Innovation Centers that connect customers to our 10,000 scientists and engineers working to grow more and better food, create renewable fuels, and protect people where they work and live.

In 2013, DuPont introduced nearly 1,800 new products, which generated USD10 billion in revenue from new products launched between 2010 and 2013. Recent innovations build on a history of innovative products from DuPont including DuPont Teflon nonstick coatings, Kevlar fibers, Tyvek house wrap and medical packaging, Nomex thermal protection, Corian surfaces, Optimum AcreMax Insect Protection Products, Sorona renewably sourced fiber and Rynaxypyr insect control.

As MRC informed previously, Borealis AG is buying out DuPont Co.’s two-thirds share in their Specialty Polymers Antwerp NV joint venture. No purchase price was disclosed. Wilmington, Del.-based DuPont will continue to sell ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) and acrylate compolymers made at the JV’s plant, which is in Zwijndrecht, Belgium.

DuPont is an American chemical company that was founded in July, 1802. The company manufactures a wide range of chemical products, leading extensive innovative research in this field. The company is the inventor of many unique plastics and other materials, including neoprene, nylon, Teflon, Kevlar, Mylar, Tyvek, etc. DuPont was the developer and main producer of Freon used in the production of refrigeration equipment.

Dow Board of Directors Declares 14% dividend increase

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The Dow Chemical Company has announced that its Board of Directors has declared a 14% increase in the company’s dividend, from USD0.37 per share to USD0.42 per share in the fourth quarter, reported the company on its site.

This brings the Company’s annualized dividend to USD1.68 per share. The Company also announced a new USD5 billion tranche to its share repurchase program, bringing the total program to USD9.5 billion.

"Today’s announcement serves as a firm indication of our Board’s confidence in Dow’s fortified balance sheet position and future earnings potential, and further illustrates our commitment to consistently and increasingly rewarding shareholders," said Andrew N. Liveris, Dow’s chairman and chief executive officer.

"The actions we are taking to mitigate external volatility, coupled with the ongoing implementation of Dow’s strategic growth catalysts and market-aligned business strategy, are delivering consistent results - evidenced by eight consecutive quarters of year-over-year adjusted EPS, EBITDA and EBITDA margin growth and significant increases in cash flow, with more upside to come."

The dividend will be payable on January 30, 2015 to shareholders of record on December 31, 2014. This will mark the 413th consecutive cash dividend issued by the Company. Dow has paid its shareholders cash dividends every quarter since 1912. Since 2009, Dow’s dividend has increased by 19 percent on a compound basis.

Purchases under the share repurchase program may be made over time in open market or privately negotiated transactions. As previously announced, the company has committed to complete its previous USD4.5 billion share repurchase program by year-end. This new tranche brings Dow’s total target to USD9.5 billion, with execution timed to proceeds from portfolio management actions and increases in operating cash flows.

As MRC wrote before, Dow Chemical plans to expand capacity and enhance production technologies and equipment at its four polyethylene (PE) production units in Bahia Blanca, Argentina. The four polyethylene units include LDPE, slurry, gas phase and solution. These investments will enable Dow to produce more high-performance resins for flexible and rigid packaging applications to meet growing demand in Latin America, according to company officials.

The Dow Chemical Company is an American multinational chemical corporation. As of 2007, it is the second-largest chemical manufacturer in the world by revenue (after BASF) and as of February 2009, the third-largest chemical company in the world by market capitalization (after BASF and DuPont). Dow is a large producer of plastics, including polystyrene, polyurethane, polyethylene, polypropylene, and synthetic rubber.