Lorestan Petrochemical to shut LLDPE plant in Iran

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Lorestan Petrochemical is in plans to shut a linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) plant for maintenance turnaround, informed Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in Iran informed that the plant is likely to be shut in March 2015. The duration of the turnaround could not be ascertained.

Located in Iran, the plant has a production capacity of 300,000 mt/year.

As MRC informed previously, it has been more than 50 years that Iran started producing petrochemical products and Iran National Petrochemical Company (NPC) is celebrating its anniversary this year.

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.

Advanced Petrochemical to shut production for maintenance

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Saudi Arabia's Advanced Petrochemical plans to shut its propylene and polypropylene plant in March for three weeks for scheduled maintenance, as per TradeArabia.

The plant, in Jubail on the Gulf coast of Saudi Arabia, will go offline on March 1, it said in a bourse statement, adding that any impact from the shutdown would be reflected in the first quarter.

As MRC reported earlier, in early February 2015, Advanced Petrochemical Company announced the signing of long-term off-take agreements on January 29, 2015 for the sale of Polypropylene with Mitsubishi Corporation of Japan (150,000 metric ton per annum) and Domo Investment Group of Belgium (100,000 metric ton per annum), to be effective from January 1, 2019 for a period of ten years after the expiry of existing off-take agreements.

Advanced Petrochemical Company (before Advanced Polypropylene) is a Saudi Joint Stock Company, established in October 2005. The company was initially launched by National Polypropylene Limited, jointly owned by Mr. Khalifa Al Mulhim, the chief executive officer of Advanced, and Mr. Monther Laheeq, who negotiated all the main deals related to the project, either before or after the establishment of Advanced Petrochemical. Currently, National Polypropylene Limited controls 7.9% of Advanced Petrochemical. Advanced Petrochemical started the construction of its plants in May 2005. The company produces 455,000 tons per year of propylene and 450,000 tons per year of polypropylene from its production facility located in Jubail Industrial City, in the Eastern coast of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Sabic names Al-Benyan acting CEO as Al-Mady steps down

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Saudi Basic Industries Corp., the world’s largest petrochemicals maker by sales, named Yousef Al-Benyan acting chief executive officer after Mohammed Al-Mady stepped down to be president of Saudi Arabia’s Military Industries Corp., reported Bloomberg.

Al-Benyan will remain chief financial officer until Sabic’s board decides on a permanent CEO, Mohammed Al Motawa, a company spokesman, said by phone.

King Salman bin Abdulaziz yesterday appointed Al-Mady president of Military Industries Corp. at the request of Defense Minister Mohammed bin Salman.

As MRC informed previously, in 2013, Sabic opened a new engineering thermoplastics compounding facility and a polypropylene compounding plant at its manufacturing facility in Jubail, Saudi Arabia. The products to be manufactured at the new facilities are aimed for the consumer electronics, healthcare, transportation, building and construction industries.

Sabic is ranked among the world's largest petrochemicals manufacturers. It is the largest public company in Saudi Arabia. The comany manufactures chemicals and intermediates, industrial polymers, fertilizers and metals. It is currently the second largest global ethylene glycol producer, the third largest polyethylene manufacturer, the fourth largest polyolefins manufacturer and the fourth largest polypropylene manufacturer. Among its products are propylene, paraxylene, styrene, vinyl chloride monomer.

Bio-based PP market to cross USD36 million by 2020

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The global Bio-based PP market will reach USD36.19 mln by 2020, according to a new study by Grand View Research, Inc., reported Plastemart.

Supportive regulatory and political landscape to promote bio-plastics, coupled with growing demand for lightweight materials in automotive applications will augment bio-based PP market growth. Increasing application scope in textile, packaging and construction industries will have a positive impact on market growth.

Bio-based PP was majorly used in injection applications, accounting for over 50% of market volume in 2013. Primary uses include injection molded parts, aiming for automotive, construction, packaging, electronics, and industrial applications. In addition, application growth of injection molded plastics in packaging would impact favorably.

Further key findings from the study suggest:
- Global bio-based PP market demand was 11.22 kilotons in 2013 and will reach 16.03 kilotons by 2020, growing at a CAGR of 5.8% from 2014 to 2020;
- Bio-based PP could be stretched and extruded to form BOPP (Biaxially Oriented Polypropylene) films, which could be used as a sustainable packaging material meant for use in snack foods, confectionaries and fresh vegetables;
- Europe will be the largest regional bio-based PP market, exceeding 30% of total demand in 2013. The positive regulatory framework for bio-plastics in Europe will have a positive impact on the market in the near future;
- North America will be one of the most promising markets for bio-based PP, and will witness growth in light of regulatory sanctions for automotive weight coupled with positive demand outlook in the U.S. and Mexico;
- The bio-based PP market is at a nascent stage of development with key companies focusing their efforts on raw material and application development.

Trellis Earth Products, after acquiring Cereplast in 2014, is the single manufacturer to commercially produce bio-based PP. Other companies such as Global Bioenergies, Braskem and Dow Chemicals will be key market players over the next six years. French company Global Bioenergies started producing bio-based propylene through direct fermentation in December 2014.

As MRC wrote before, in December 2014, Mazda Motor Corporation announced that, in conjunction with Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation, it had developed a new bio-based engineering plastic that can be used for exterior design parts for automobiles.

Cepsa set to sell off PET/PTA operations

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Compania Espanola de Petroleos, S.A.U. (CEPSA), an integrated energy company, through its subsidiary Cepsa Quimica S.A., intends to sell two Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and purified terephthalic acid (PTA) production plants in southern Spain and Canada, according to Researchviews.

According to the reports, Indorama Ventures PCL will be the bidder for the transaction.

Cepsa Quimica operates one Guadarranque facility near Gibraltar at San Roque, Spain, with capacities of 480,000 tpa of PTA, 175,000 tpa PET and 220,000 tpa of purified isophthalic acid (PIA). The other facility is located in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, with a capacity of 550,000 tpa of PTA.

The Spanish group is reported to be planning greater internationalisation of its overall chemicals business. Cepsa is understood to have informed its San Roque workforce representatives of its ongoing negotiations, according to Spanish media reports.

Cepsa acquired the former Artenius PET line, already fed by its San Roque PTA operation, for €32m back in January 2011 from the since bankrupt Catalan PET packaging group La Seda de Barcelona.

Indorama group subsidiary Indorama Ventures (IVL) has been building up its PET operations in southern Europe since last year with two recent acquisitions in Turkey. In the second quarter of last year, IVL bought La Seda’s local 130,000 tpa Artenius Turkpet PET plant in Adana.

This month, IVL announced it was raising its Turkish capacity to 346,000 tpa by taking over the new 228,000 tpa Istanbul PET facility of Polyplex Europa Polyester Film San ve Ticaret A.S.

Indorama has stated that it aims to consolidate its position in southern Europe to improve its costs and competitiveness in key regional beverage industry markets.