Saudi Kayan increased ethane supply allocation for Al Jubail PE expansion

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Saudi Arabia’s Oil Ministry has allocated an additional 10m cbf/d (2.8m cbm) of ethane to Saudi Kayan Petrochemical Co (Al Jubail / Saudi Arabia) to enable an expansion of capacity at its Al Jubail complex, said Plasteurope.

The company plans to widen its ethylene production by at least 93,000 t/y and its ethylene oxide capacity by 61,000 t/y from the second quarter of 2017.

With the increased ethane supply, Saudi Kayan – majority-owned by petrochemicals giant Sabic (Riyadh) and Al Kayan Petrochemical – will be able to reduce its dependence on butane gas feedstock. Also as part of the agreement, Sabic will lower the marketing fees it charges Saudi Kayan, saving the company SAR 280m (USD 74.6m) in 2015 and SAR 600m a year once the projects are completed.

As MRC wrote earlier, Saudi Kayan, Sadara Chemical and Saudi Acrylic Acid Company (SAAC) have joined forces to establish a new company, which will build the first butanol plant in the Middle East and the largest in the world. The Saudi Butanol Company, which will produce butanol to support the growth of the paints and coatings industry in Saudi Arabia, will be located at Tasnee Petrochemicals Complex in Jubail Industrial City and operated by Tasnee.

Saudi Kayan Petrochemical Company is a manufacturing affiliate of the Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic).MRC

BASF-YPC to take off-stream LDPE/EVA plant in China for maintenance

MOSCOW (MRC) -- BASF-YPC, a JV of BASF, the world’s leading chemical company, is in plans to shut its low density polyethylene/ethylene vinyl acetate (LDPE/EVA) plant for maintenance turnaround, reported Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in China informed that the plant is likely to be shut on April 1, 2015. The duration of the turnaround could not be ascertained.

Located at Nanjing in Jiangsu province of China, it has a production capacity of 200,000 mt/year.

As MRC wrote earlier, in summer 2014, BASF undertook three key capacity expansion projects for performance materials at its Pudong site in Shanghai (China).

The capacity expansion projects includes Ultramid (polyamide, PA), Ultradur (polybutylene terephthalate, PBT), Elastollan thermoplastics polyurethane elastomers (TPU), and Technical Center and capacity expansion of Cellasto (microcellular polyurethane components).

BASF is the largest diversified chemical company in the world and is headquartered in Ludwigshafen, Germany. BASF produces a wide range of chemicals, for example solvents, amines, resins, glues, electronic-grade chemicals, industrial gases, basic petrochemicals and inorganic chemicals. The most important customers for this segment are the pharmaceutical, construction, textile and automotive industries. BASF had sales of about EUR74 billion in 2013 and over 112,000 employees as of the end of the year.

Andreas Biagosch joins Wacker Supervisory Board

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Dr. Andreas H. Biagosch (59) has joined Wacker Chemie AG’s Supervisory Board, the Munich-based chemical company announced in its press release.

He succeeds Dr. Bernd W. Voss, who has stepped down for health reasons.

Andreas Biagosch studied mechanical engineering and business administration for engineers at the Technische Universitat Munchen (TUM), before obtaining his doctorate (Dr.-Ing.) there. From 1980 to 1984, he worked as a development engineer at former MTU Munchen GmbH before joining the management consulting firm McKinsey & Company, Inc. He spent over 28 years there in a variety of functions. His work focused on advising companies from the high-tech, aerospace, automotive, chemical and energy sectors.

Since 2013, Biagosch has been Managing Director at Impacting I GmbH & Co.KG and Impact GmbH (consulting and investment firms). He also is a member of Aixtron SE’s Supervisory Board and the Advisory Councils of Commerzbank AG and Lurssen Werft GmbH & Co. KG. In addition, he is Non-Executive Director at the Indian commercial vehicle manufacturer Ashok Leyland and member of the TUM Board of Trustees.

We remind that, as MRC informed earlier, in 2013, Wacker Chemie AG officially launched its new production plant for ethylene-vinyl-acetate copolymer (EVA) dispersions at its Ulsan site in South Korea. The additional 40,000 tonnes from the second reactor line increases the site's EVA-dispersion capacity to a total of 90,000 tonnes per year. As MRC reported previously, the production capacity of the site has, thus, almost doubled, making the plant complex one of the biggest of its kind in South Korea.

Wacker Chemie AG is a worldwide operating company in the chemical business, founded 1914. The company is controlled by the Wacker-family holding more than 50 percent of the shares. The corporation is operating more than 25 production sites in Europe, Asia, and the Americas. The product range includes silicone rubbers, polymer products like ethylene vinyl acetate redispersible polymer powder, chemical materials, polysilicon and wafers for semiconductor industry.

Total Q4 refining and chems profit more than doubles

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Total, the Paris-based oil giant,reported a loss of USD5.7 billion for the fourth quarter of 2014 as it struggles with the deep slump in oil prices, said the company in its press release.

Write-downs of about USD6.5 billion, mostly on Canadian oil sands projects, shale gas operations in the United States and European refining businesses, contributed to the loss, the company said. Total will impose a hiring freeze, leading to the reduction through attrition of 2,000 jobs by the end of this year, a company representative said.

Net income adjusted for inventory changes and one-offs, a measure closely watched by industry analysts, fell 17 percent in the quarter compared with the same period a year earlier, to USD2.8 billion. For the year, adjusted net income fell 10 percent to USD12.8 billion on revenue of USD236 billion.

While quarterly adjusted earnings beat analysts’ expectations, the performance of the company’s core exploration and production division fell 48 percent. Total’s stock price was down 0.3 percent in early morning trading.

Total also said that it would trim investment to USD23 billion from USD26.4 billion, partly by stopping projects that have become less profitable. The company said it would accelerate the sale of some assets, echoing plans announced by other companies.

Total also said it would continue to address the issue of too much capacity in Europe by shutting down some parts of its Lindsey refinery in Britain. The company said a new plan for its refineries in France would be presented in the spring.

As MRC wrote before, Total is in plans to permanently shut its high density polyethylene (HDPE) line. A Polymerupdate source in Belgium informed that the line is planned to be shut by this year-end. The plant will be shut permanently owing to weak margins which have arisen on account of cheap imports in the region. Located at Antwerp in Belgium, the line has a production capacity of 70,000 mt/year.

Total S.A. is a French multinational oil and gas company and one of the six "Supermajor" oil companies in the world with business in Europe, the United States, the Middle East and Asia. The company's petrochemical products cover two main groups: base chemicals and the consumer polymers (polyethylene, polypropylene and polystyrene) that are derived from them.

Solvay unveils a breakthrough highly dispersible silica for productivity and performance of automotive tires

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Solvay Silica is unveiling Efficium a breakthrough Highly Dispersible Silica (HDS), an innovative reinforcing filler which allows for higher productivity and greater flexibility in producing green passenger car and truck tire compounds, reported the company in its press release.

Highly Dispersible Silica is a benchmark for energy-saving and high-performance tires for passenger cars. Efficium offers breakthrough benefits for the automotive industry, allowing for increased productivity due to its impact on mixing and extrusion throughput and adding flexibility thanks to its silanization control and reformulation opportunities without compromising on rolling resistance, wear and grip. Efficium® strongly facilitates the conversion from carbon black to HDS compounds.

"We have recognized the needs of tire manufacturers for a more cost-competitive silica technology to differentiate their product offer with an innovative solution that also supports demanding energy efficient and safety requirements. Efficium Highly Dispersible Silica opens up the answers to these needs on a superior property balance over other silica or silica-based solutions" said Christian Leger, Global Business Director of Solvay’s Silica Global Business Unit. "Efficium provides a unique and flexible solution to meet the global needs of sustainable mobility".

To meet expected demand beyond current trial and testing by major tire manufacturers, Solvay is making Efficium HDS globally available from three different production sites consistently with its business continuity management policy.

We remind that, as MRC wrote previously, in December 2014, Solvay announced that it had acquired Dhaymers, a Brazilian manufacturer of specialty esters, entering the skin care market and expanding its presence in industrial lubricants and mining industries in Latin America.

Solvay Silica is the inventor of Highly Dispersible Silica (HDS) in the 1990's and a key player in energy-saving tires. Its innovative solutions provide tire manufacturers worldwide with the means to progress in sustainable mobility. With nine manufacturing sites and four R&I laboratories on as many continents, Silica also offers a range of applications in personal care, such as toothpastes and exfoliating beads, in animal nutrition, high-performance membranes and in rubber reinforcement.

Solvay S.A. is a Belgian chemical company founded in 1863, with its head office in Neder-Over-Heembeek, Brussels, Belgium. The company has diversified into two major sectors of activity: chemicals and plastics. Solvay supplies over 1500 products across 35 brands of high-performance polymers пїЅ fluoropolymers, fluoroelastomers, fluorinated fluids, semi-aromatic polyamides, sulfone polymers, aromatic ultra polymers, high-barrier polymers and cross-linked high-performance compounds.