Lotte Chemical to shut steam cracker in South Korea for maintenance in 2015

MOSCOW (MRC) -- South Korea-based company Lotte Chemical is likely to shut a cracker for maintenance turnaround next year, reported Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in South Korea informed that the cracker is planned to be shut in October 2015. It is likely to remain off-stream for around one month.

Located in Daesan, South Korea, the cracker has an ethylene capacity of 1 million mt/year, propylene capacity of 500,000 mt/year and butadiene capacity of 150,000 mt/year.

As MRC wrote before, Lotte Group's plan to build an integrated petrochemical plant is still hampered by land problems. Honam Petrochemical Corp., the core company of Lotte Group's chemical division, is planning to build a polyethylene and polypropylene plant worth USD5 billion in Cilegon, Banten. The plant's construction requires a land of 100 hectares and is expected to be completed in three to four years.

Besides, South Korean conglomerate Lotte Group is considering new petrochemical ventures in southeast Asia, including an investment in Indonesia that may top USD5bn (EUR3.6bn).

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.

IndianOil began building PP plant

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Union Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Mr. Dharmendra Pradhan, laid the foundation of USD509.58 million (Rs.3150 Crore) Poly-Propylene plant at IndianOil’s Paradip Refinery project complex, Paradip on Nov. 16, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Addressing the gathering, Mr. Pradhan described the project as a dawn of new era for the industrial development. Emphasising the need for faster pace of industrial development to realize Prime Minister’s dreams, Mr. Pradhan said that this Poly-Propylene plant will also pave way for developing Petrochemical Hub in this zone. Polypropylene produced by this unit of IndianOil’s Paradip Refinery will be used in ancillaries to make moulded furniture, packaging material, containers, medical disposables, adhesive tapes etc.

Referring to the future plans in this direction, the Union minister said that IndianOil is also evaluating the feasibility of setting up of Ethylene Derivative plant at an estimated cost of nearly USD647.09 million (Rs.4000 crore). This will indeed act as a catalyst in the socio-economic development of the country and the state in particular. This plant will provide products that will facilitate manufacturing of Polyester Chips, Fibers, PET bottles, PET Chips, Polyester yarn etc.

IndianOil, Director, Refineries, Mr. Sanjiv Singh, welcomed the dignitaries and spoke about IndianOil’s foray in Petrochemicals. The laying of the foundation stone of the 700 TMTPA Poly-Propylene (PP) Unit marks the first step in the direction of integration and progress. The consumption of Polypropylene in India has seen a steady rise in the last decade and the trend is likely to continue with the increased use of plastics in automotive, processing and packaging industries.

As MRC wrote before, Indian Oil Company is likely to expand the production capacity of its refinery in the western Indian state of Gujarat. Production capacity of the refinery is planned to be increased from 13.5 million mt/year to 18 million mt/year. The capacity expansion will be undertaken at a cost of Rs 5,500. The expansion is likely to be completed in 2016-2017. The refinery is located in the western Indian state of Gujarat.

Indian Oil Corporation Limited, or IndianOil, is an Indian state-owned oil and gas corporation with its headquarters in New Delhi, India.

DSM opens international research center for innovative materials

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Royal DSM has opened its new center for research into and development of high-performance materials on the Brightlands Chemelot Campus in Sittard-Geleen, the Netherlands, as per the company's press release.

The completion of DSM’s largest materials center worldwide is part of the EUR100 million investment in knowledge and innovation in the Netherlands that DSM announced in May 2012. The center employs over 400 knowledge workers and combines important technological skills and expertise unique in the Netherlands for use in applications the world over.

The materials center is an important base for DSM’s Materials Sciences research and marketing activities. Furthermore it will be the most important research center worldwide for DSM Engineering Plastics. Historically, Sittard-Geleen has been the main center of DSM’s high-performance materials research. In addition, being located on the Brightlands Chemelot Campus offers opportunities for open innovation owing to the proximity of other start-up and established companies as well as research and education institutes.

DSM materials are used in applications and products all over the world; from connectors in electronics, surgical sutures and medical implants to heat-resistant plastic engine parts for the automotive industry, smart food packaging material, solar panel coatings and super-strong fibers in, for instance, cables. The materials need to be not only safe and superior in quality but also have a positive impact on people and the environment.

Dimitri de Vreeze, member of the Royal DSM’s Managing Board: "This investment is perfectly aligned with our strategy for growth in Materials Sciences through innovative solutions for a more sustainable future for people today and for generations to come. DSM’s innovations create new possibilities and contribute to solutions to the major challenges the world is facing. Lighter, high-quality materials that replace steel in cars and reduce energy consumption, smart packaging that help us prevent food being wasted, and materials made from biobased rather than fossil resources, helping to facilitate the circular economy".

As MRC reported previously, Royal DSM reported a sharp decline in third-quarter net profit, despite strong performance in all segments. Looking ahead, the company said its full-year 2014 outlook is in line with current market expectations. For the third quarter, net profit decreased 21% to EUR93 million from EUR117 million last year. Net earnings per share was EUR0.51, down from EUR0.65 in the previous year.

Royal DSM is a global science-based company active in health, nutrition and materials. DSM delivers innovative solutions that nourish, protect and improve performance in global markets such as food and dietary supplements, personal care, feed, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, automotive, paints, electrical and electronics, life protection, alternative energy and bio-based materials.

Dow strategic investments in plastics franchise in the Americas are on schedule

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The Dow Chemical Company has announced that several key milestones have been reached with the company’s Plastics investments in the US Gulf Coast and Latin America, as per the company's press release.

The projects on the US Gulf Coast are nearing peak construction and remain on track and on-plan for start-up, with all site construction underway. When fully operational, Dow’s collective feedstock and plastics expansions on the US Gulf Coast are projected to deliver an estimated USD2.5 billion in EBITDA annually. In Bahia Blanca, Argentina, Dow plans to expand capacity and enhance production technologies and equipment of its polyethylene (PE) production units to support increased market demand in consumer and industrial films.

Thus, in Freeport, Texas, all engineering for the on-purpose propylene PDH project is complete and more than 50% of construction is complete. The project remains on track for start-up in mid-2015.

Dow’s previously announced world-scale ethylene production facility, which began construction on June 30, remains on track and on-plan for start-up in the first half of 2017. The facility, which has more than 65% of engineering and 5% of construction complete, will support market growth and derivative expansions of Dow’s industry leading Performance Plastics franchise.

For derivatives, Dow will expand its High Melt Index (HMI) AFFINITY, AFFINITY GA and ENGAGE brand polymer franchises in Freeport. These materials deliver stronger bonding in hot melt adhesives for packaging and hygiene markets, and enable lighter and more durable components for transportation. Building on Dow’s proprietary solution PE technology, the company will also expand its popular ELITE franchise which delivers enhanced durability and flexibility for food packaging, hygiene & medical, and industrial and consumer packaging markets. These high performance brands are powered by Dow's industry leading proprietary INSITE catalyst technology.

In Plaquemine, Louisiana, Dow will expand its NORDEL EPDM franchise with next generation technology. Also powered by INSITE, NORDEL EPDM provides the infrastructure, transportation, consumer durables, appliance and electrical and telecommunications markets with highly flexible, heat and chemical resistant polymers that deliver enhanced durability and long service life. Also in Plaquemine, Dow will expand its low density polyethylene (LDPE) family of high performance products like AGILITY that are faster to process, more stable and deliver improved optics for applications in flexible food packaging.

Besides, starting in 2015, Dow plans to expand capacity and enhance production technologies and equipment at its four PE production units - LDPE, Slurry, Gas Phase, Solution - in Bahia Blanca, Argentina. These investments will enable Dow to produce more high performance resins for flexible and rigid packaging applications to meet growing demand in Latin America.

The LDPE plant will be refurbished to enable production of resins for extrusion coating used in multiple packaging applications. The Slurry plant expansion will help drive growth of bimodal blow molding resins, which is currently in short supply in the region. The Gas Phase plant, which produces resins for geomembranes and pipes, will also be refurbished for improved operational performance. The Solution plant expansion will bring more of Dow's popular DOWLEX and ELITE resins to market and enable Dow to increase its participation in high value markets like food packaging and hygiene.

As MRC informed before, Dow Chemical had signed a definitive agreement under which ANGUS Chemical Co. will be sold to Golden Gate Capital for USD1.215 billion. The transaction is expected to close during the first quarter of 2015, subject to completion of customary regulatory filings.

The Dow Chemical Company is an American multinational chemical corporation headquartered in Midland, Michigan, United States. Dow is a large producer of plastics, including polystyrene, polyurethane, polyethylene, polypropylene, and synthetic rubber. In 2012, Dow had annual sales of approximately USD57 billion. The company's more than 5,000 products are manufactured at 188 sites in 36 countries across the globe.

Exports of Russian polyamide grew by 8% in January-October 2014

MOSCOW (MRC) - Exports of Russian polyamide (PA) grew to 85,100 tonnes in January-October 2014, up 8% year on year, according to MRC DataScope report.

The main producer of PA 6 in Russia, Kuibyshev Azot, is a leading Russian exporter of unfilled PA 6 to foreign markets. The main consumers of Russian polyamide are countries such as China, India, Turkey, Germany. Their share in Russian PA exports occurred for 44%, 18%, 14% and 10% respectively.

Exports of Russian PA in China grew to 37,600 tonnes in January-October 2014, up 28% year on year. Exports of Russian PA in India increased to 15,200 tonnes in the first ten months of the year, up 60% year on year. Exports of Russian PA 6 in Turkey increased to 12,100 tonnes in January-October 2014, up 15% year on year. Exports of Russian PA 6 in Germany remained at the level of 2013 - 8,600 tonnes.

About 60% of all exports of Russian PA 6 occurred for the production of fibers and filaments, which mainly used in textile industry. That is why the main sector of consumption were countries with developed of textile industry and high volume production. The textile industry index was 0.009 in Russia in the first three quarters of the reporting year. Weak growth rates in this sector in Russia because of high costs, outdated technology and low investments.