Chevron Phillips Chemical CEO eyes transparency through social media

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Digital technologies such as social media, mobile devices and the Internet are becoming a driving force behind greater transparency of corporate conduct, and is redefining what sustainability means for the petrochemical industry, said Hydrocarbonprocessing, citing Peter L. Cella, CEO of Chevron Phillips Chemical.

During his address, "Petrochemical Growth v. 2030: How the Connected World is Redefining Sustainability," at the Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA) Annual Forum in Dubai, Cella discussed how sustainability has evolved over the years and how the changing expectations on transparency and corporate conduct in a digital age are impacting the industry.

"Doing the right thing and communicating with greater transparency is becoming an imperative, and social media is one of those essential vehicles," said Cella.

Social media has made the transparency process much easier for businesses, and its power is astounding -- and growing, he said. User activities on Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms lead to almost immediate action, both positive and negative.

It’s this dynamic that businesses and leaders should recognize so they can provide greater transparency among their customers and stakeholders, he says.

Cella explained that customers, business partners, employees and other stakeholders want to work with transparent companies that openly display good corporate conduct. The numerous social media resources readily available allow for prompt and broad communication of strong stewardship and other positive endeavors for companies.

"Let’s be proactive and transparent in shaping our reputation," said Cella. "Social media platforms allow us to do just that – by providing a window into our corporate conduct. They also allow us to gather rich insight and identify potential issues. Let’s use the medium to our benefit."

As MRC wrote before, a pump serving ethylene unit No. 22 at Chevron Phillips Chemical's Sweeny, Texas plant has shut unexpectedly, according to a filing with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. The ethylene unit has an production capacity of 300,000 m tpa. Chevron Phillips operates three steam crackers at the Sweeny site, with estimated ethylene production of 1.9 mln mtpa.

Chevron Phillips Chemica, 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.

LG Chem to restart phenol-acetone plant in South Korea

MOSCOW (MRC) -- LG Chem, South Korean petrochemical company, has restarted a phenol-acetone plant following maintenance turnaround, as per Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in South Korea informed that the plant restarted early this week. It was shut on October 25, 2014.

Located at Yeosu, South Korea, the plant has a phenol capacity of 300,000 mt/year, acetone capacity of 180,000 mt/year and bisphenol-A capacity of 300,000 mt/year.

As MRC informed before, LG Chem is in plans to take off-stream its butadiene (BD) plant in South Korea for maintenance turnaround in March 2015. It is likely to remain off-stream for around one month. Located in Daesan, South Korea, the plant has a production capacity of 145,000 mt/year.

LG Chem Ltd., often referred to as LG Chemical, is the largest Korean chemical company and is headquartered in Seoul, South Korea. According to ICIS report, it is 15th biggest chemical company in the world in 2011. It has eight domestic factories and global network of 29 business locations in 15 countries. LG Chem is a manufacturer, supplier, and exporter of petrochemical goods, IT&E Materials and Energy Solutions.

PVC production in Russia increased by 2% in January - October 2014

MOSCOW (MRC) - Russia's unmixed polyvinyl chloride (PVC) production increased by 2% in the first ten months of 2014.
Bashkir Soda Company and Khimprom Volgograd showed a significant increase in PVC production, according to MRC ScanPlast.

October production of unmixed PVC in Russia decreased to 48,100 tonnes, compared with 61,600 tonnes in September on the back of scheduled maintenance works at two largest Russian producers - Bashkir Soda Company and Kaustik Volgograd. Total PVC production in the country grew to 519,200 tonnes in January - October of this year, compared with 507,400 tonnes year on year. The increase in production resulted from higher production rates at Bashkir Soda Company and Khimprom Volgograd, which worked without turnarounds, as well as the launch of RusVinyl, based in Nizhny Novgorod.

Structure of PVC production over the reported period looked as follows. SayanskKhimPlast produced 26,500 tonnes in October, compared with 26,300 tonnes in September. Total PVC production at SayanskKhimPlast in the first ten months of the year remained practically steady at 233,500 tonnes, compared with the same time a year earlier (234,300 tonnes).

Bashkir Soda Company (BSC), which this year has expanded its PVC capacities to 230,000 tonnes/year, produced 8,900 tonnes of PVC in October on the back of two weeks turnaround. Total PVC production at the company increased to 181,100 tonnes in the first ten months of this year, compared with 174,900 tonnes year on year. The producer plans to increase its PVC capacities to 240,000 tonnes/year.

Kaustik Volgograd also shut its PVC capacities in October for scheduled maintenance work for almost three weeks, as a consequence - the output of the resin decreased to 3,300 tonnes. Total PVC production at the plant was 75,100 tonnes in the first ten months of the year, compared with 74,200 tonnes year on year.

Khimprom Volgograd had to suspend its operation for several days in October because of problems with gas and electricity.
Khimprom's emulsion PVC production was 1,400 tonnes in October, remaining practically at the September level. Total EPVC production at the plant was 15,200 tonnes in the first ten months of the year, up 11% year on year on the back of reduced time of the turnaround. According to unofficial information, in the end of last week, the company stopped its carbide furnaces, it is possible that November will be the last month of the enterprise's work.

As it was already written, RusVinil (JV of SIBUR and SolVin) launched SPVC production in August in the test mode. Total SPVC production at the plant was 14,500 tonnes in September-October of this year. The plant's annual production capacity is 330,000 tonnes.


Canada bitumen processors to cut water use 50%

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Oil-sands producers pledged to lower by half the amount of fresh water used in bitumen processing as the industry counters criticism that it pollutes too much, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Members of Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance, or COSIA, including Suncor Energy and Royal Dutch Shell, aim to lower the amount of fresh water used to process bitumen to 0.2 bbl per barrel of bitumen by 2022 from 0.4 now, the group said today.

Oil-sands operators have come under attack for environmental impact including emissions of greenhouse gas and fresh-water use, helping to stall pipeline construction such as TransCanada’s Keystone XL. Production of bitumen, forecast to more than double by 2030, is the Canada’s fastest-growing source of carbon emissions.

"There is no silver bullet" to minimize the industry’s effects on the environment, said Suncor Energy CEO Steve Williams today at a presentation in Calgary. "This is a complex, multibillion-dollar business of global significance."

Oil-sands producers aim to match the greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions of conventional crude operators -- or even go lower, Williams said. The group also plans targets for land and tailings from mining."

"Cosia remains a black box," Amin Asadollahi, oil sands director at Pembina Institute, an environmental advocacy and consultancy group, said in an interview. “They need to be more transparent about technology and performance."

The water-reduction target is the first numerical environmental performance goal for COSIA, which was founded by oil-sands producers to share technology.

This year, the group has overseen 68 projects with a cost of more than CD200 million (USD178 million), COSIA said.

As MRC wrote before, ConocoPhillips has struck a USD720 million deal to sell off its 100% stake in the Clyden oil sands lease in Canada to ExxonMobil and Imperial Oil.


A. Schulman names vice presidents for United States, Canada and Latin America regions

MOSCOW (MRC) -- A. Schulman Inc., leading international supplier of high-performance plastic compounds, powders and resins, has named Brent Middleton as vice president and general manager, United States and Canada, reported Cleveland Business.

Middleton "will be responsible for driving further growth in the company's United States and Canadian business" and will become a member of the senior leadership team, according to a release from the Akron-based supplier of high-performance plastic compounds and resins.

A. Schulman also announced that Gustavo Perez will become vice president and general manager, Latin America, to specifically focus on growing and developing the Latin America region.

"We have demonstrated strong recent success in the US as we have grown our business in key markets through acquisitions as well as organically," said Bernard Rzepka, chief operating officer of A. Schulman, in the release. He said Middleton "is a strategic thinker and is highly qualified to oversee our continued effort to take advantage of additional opportunities to expand our business in the US and Canada."

Perez has worked in management at A. Schulman since 1995, most recently serving as the company's vice president and general manager, Americas, since August 2010.

As MRC informed previously, in October 2014, A. Schulman signed an agreement and a strategic partnership with the South Korean polymer producer INITZ for the compounding and marketing of INITZ Co. Ltd.'s ECOTRAN Polyphenylene Sulfide (PPS) compounds.

A. Schulman is a global plastics supplier, headquartered in Akron, Ohio, and a leading international supplier of high-performance plastic compounds and resins, which are used as raw materials in a variety of markets. A. Schulman has 33 manufacturing facilities globally. A. Schulman's fiscal third-quarter earnings fell 69% amid continued sluggishness in European markets and higher-than-expected costs in Latin America, where the company has been consolidating its Brazilian operations.