Iran petrochemical production stance in the world: now and future

MOSCOW (MRC) -- It’s been more than 50 years that Iran started producing petrochemical products and Iran National Petrochemical Company (NPC) is celebrating its anniversary this year, said Sirjangostar Global Group (SGG) in its press release sent to MRC.

Iran, as one of the main energy hubs in the world, with huge oil and gas reserves, is one of the leading producers of petrochemical products in the world.

In 2006, the total consumption of different polymer products was 202 million metric tons and it is estimated this figure reach to 316 million metric ton by 2016. This means only countries with huge feeding materials can be successful on raising production level, and gladly Iran is among one of those countries.

Currently number of active Iranian Petrochemical complexes are 53, with total production capacity of 59 million metric ton, producing range of polymers, chemicals, aromatics & liquid gas, located mainly at Iranian south region, next to Persian Gulf, called Assaluyeh and Mahshahr Special Economic Zones.

At the moment, there are 67 developments projects in the country which are under construction, adding 61 million metric ton on total production and estimated to fully run till 2018.

Iran advantage on having easy and fully access to raw materials for producing main olefins would enable this country to have competitive edge among other producers which will result on increasing export capacities in coming years.
In this regard, all Iranian Petrochemical Companies opt to expand their market.

As MRC reported earlier, NPC plans to increase its investments in the country’s petrochemical projects in order to accelerate their progress, wrote in October 2014 Fars News Agency, quoting NPC Deputy Head Mohammad Hassan Peyvandi. The company is legally permitted to have a 20% share in petrochemical investments, but this can increase to 49% in under developed regions.

NPC is prioritizing funding for projects that are at least 60% complete, he said. These include the Takht-Jamshid SBR & PBR unit, the second phases of the Kavian and Karoun petrochemical plants, the West Ethylene Pipeline and petrochemical projects in the provinces of Lorestan, Kurdistan, Illam, Mahabad and Hamedan.

PC production in Russia decreased by 9% in 2014

MOSCOW (MRC) - Polycarbonate (PC) in Russia was 62,000 tonnes in 2014, down 9% year on year, as per MRC ScanPlast.

The production volumes decreased over the reported period because of the scheduled and unscheduled shutdowns in May, August, October, 2014. Structure of PC production in Russia has changed last year.

Last year output of PC for sheet extrusion increased by 14%, and PC for injection moulding grades - reduced by 13%. Last year's production of extrusion PC granules in Russia was 54,200 tonnes in 2014, and injection moulding PC - 7,400 tonnes. The only producer of polycarbonate in the CIS countries, Kazanorgsintez (KOS), adopted a strategy of import substitution and support of national converters amid the rouble devaluation and reduction in imports.

In this regard, the company has reduced the output of injection moulding PC for the supply in the foreign markets and increased production of extrusion PC grades for the domestic market. The producer decreased its production of blow moulding PC granules for the domestic market, which consumes 800-900 tonnes per month. While the producer's share of blow moulding PC granules in Russia makes a third of the market.

Market players said that despite the deterioration of macroeconomic indicators, the extrusion segment of the PC market has not decreased yet mainly because of the presence in the market of Russian material. Some converters expect stronger demand in the spring in line with a seasonal peak. While in January and February there will be a lull in the market of PC and finished PC products.

Late last year, representatives of KOS announced the beginning of strategic cooperation with BASF for a supply of polymers additives, including, for the PC production. Both companies plan to actively participate in the implementation of joint projects aimed at expanding the range of KOS products and the use of the most advanced solutions in the field of stabilisation.

Given the more complicated economic situation in Russia it can be expected that this year the producer will remain more focused on the needs of the domestic market. On the back of the decline in imports and rouble devaluation converters were put in difficult conditions to choose between quality and quantity of the products along with its cost. Evidence of this - entering the market of sheets with a thickness of not conforming to standards and without the necessary protective coating. One of the reason is the usage of recycled or low quality Asian materials. In this case, the Russian-made PC remains an acceptable compromise.


PP imports in Belarus increased by 2% in January - November 2014

MOSCOW (MRC) - Imports of polypropylene (PP) to the Belarusian market increased to 75,500 tonnes in the eleven months of 2014, up 2% year on year. Demand became stringer for propylene copolymers, whereas the need for a homopolymer PP decreased, according to MRC analysts.

According to the National Statistics Committee of Belarus, November imports of polypropylene to Belarus decreased to 7,100 tonnes, compared to 7,500 tonnes in October. In general, total PP imports in the local market reached 75,500 tonnes in January - November 2014, compared with 74,000 tonnes in 2013.

A serious increase in demand occurred for the propylene copolymers (up 19.3%), while the demand for more mass product - homopolymer PP decreased by 4.3%. The structure of PP consumption in the country over the reported period was as follows.

November imports of Russian homopolymer PP into the country fell to 5,100 tonnes, compared with 5,600 tonnes in October. In general, total imports of homopolymer PP in Belarus were about 52,000 tonnes in January - November 2014, compared to 54,100 tonnes year on year.

Key suppliers of homopolymer PP in Belarus are Russian producers, their share for the reported period was about 68%, second and third places shared producers from Poland and Germany. November imports of propylene copolymers in the country rose slightly to about 2,000 tonnes, from 1,900 tonnes in October. Imports of propylene copolymers in Belarus increased by 19.3% to 23,700 tonnes in the first eleven months of 2014. The main suppliers of propylene copolymers to the local market were producers from Germany with a share of about 55%, the share of Russian producers in this segment rose to 14%.

Spot EPS prices dropped in Kazakhstan

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Spot prices of expandable polystyrene (EPS) have falled by Tenge 16,000-20,000/tonne in the Kazakh domestic market since early 2015, according to ICIS-MRC Price report.

Traders reduced prices because of lower purchase prices of material in China. A trader said spot prices will drop further in the domestic market in the near future. Old stocks are coming to an end, and new quantities, purchased at lower prices, have been arriving at the warehouse.

Prices of Chinese EPS of Loyal were at Tenge 380,000-390,000/tonne CPT, including VAT, in the Kazakh domestic market.

Buying activity remaind good in the Kazakh EPS market in January. Traders said they expect demand to traditionally subside in February.

Strengthening of the tenge against the Russian rouble affected demand for Russian polystyrene (PS), which became stronger. The tenge exchange rate against the rouble strengthened to Tenge 2.83 per Rb 1 since the beginning of the year (as per 01.20.2015) from Tenge 3.17 per Rb1 (as of 31.12.2014). Prices of Russian high impact polystyrene (HIPS) and general purpose polystyrene (GPPS) were announced in roubles. Stronger demand for Russian PS grades has been registered since December 2014.

ACN plant taken off-stream by FPC for maintenance

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Formosa Plastics Corp (FPC) has shut its acrylonitrile (ACN) plant for maintenance turnaround, said Apic-online.

A source in Taiwan informed that the plant shut on January 16, 2015. It is likely to remain off-stream for around one month.

Located at Mailiao in Taiwan, the plant has a production capacity of 280,000 mt/year.

As MRC wrote before, FPC shut its polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plant for maintenance turnaround in September 2014 in Ningbo in Zhejiang province of China. The plant has a production capacity of 400,000 mt/year.

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).