Sabic to shut Yanbu petrochemical complex for 35-day maintenance

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Saudi Arabia's Yanbu National Petrochemical Co. (Yansab) plans to shut its petrochemical complex this month for maintenance for 35 days, the company said in a bourse filing on Thursday, reported Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The shutdown will include an ethylene glycol plant, which will suspend operations for 60 days.

The firm, a subsidiary of Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (Sabic), estimated a financial impact of 350 million riyals (USD93.3 MM), taking into consideration the drop in the current average price of products.

The company reported a 48.7% drop in first-quarter net profits, missing analysts' forecasts, as lower feedstock prices and higher sales volumes couldn't make up for lower average sales prices for all its products.

As MRC wrote before, in November 2014, KBR was awarded a front-end engineering design (FEED) contract by Sabic for the debottlenecking and expansion of its Petrokemya butadiene extraction plant in Al Jubail, Saudi Arabia.

Besides, Sabic is modifying its Wilton cracker in the UK to enable it to use ethane feedstock imported from the US. The company is aiming to complete the project by 2016.

Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic) ranks among the worldпїЅs top petrochemical companies. The company is among the worldпїЅs market leaders in the production of polyethylene, polypropylene and other advanced thermoplastics, glycols, methanol and fertilizers.

PetroChina to commission new refinery in China

MOSCOW (MRC) -- PetroChina, China's largest oil and gas producer, is in plans to commission a new crude oil refinery in China, according to Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in China informed that the refinery is planned to be started in late 2015.

To be located at Anning in Yunnan province of China, the refinery will have a crude processing capacity of 260,000 bpd.

As MRC reported earlier, on 9 April 2015, PetroChina Co. passed Exxon Mobil Corp. as the biggest energy company by market value for the first time since 2010. Exxon’s capitalization was USD352.6 billion compared with PetroChina’s USD352.8 billion as of 1:36 p.m. on Thursday, 9 April, in Shanghai. The Chinese company’s A shares surged about 61 percent the past year, versus Exxon’s 14 percent drop. PetroChina was larger by value most recently at the close of trading on June 25, 2010.

PetroChina Company Limited, is a Chinese oil and gas company and is the listed arm of state-owned China National Petroleum Corporation, headquartered in Dongcheng District, Beijing. It is China's biggest oil producer.

IVL restarted PTA unit in Thailand

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Indorama Ventures Ltd (IVL, Bangkok, Thailand) has restarted its purified terephthalic acid (PTA) unit, according to Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in Thailand informed that the plant restarted early this week. The reason behind its shutdown could not be ascertained.

Located in Rayong province of Thailand, the unit has a production capacity of 700,000 mt/year.

As MRC wrote previously, IVL has recently signed an agreement to acquire 100% shareholding of the Montreal-based purified terephthalic acid (PTA) business of Cepsa Quimica SA, Cepsa Chimie Montreal. Cepsa’s plant is the only PTA facility in Canada, and one of only three PTA suppliers in North America. The acquisition, subject to the usual regulatory approvals, will allow the company to expand its footprint into Canada.

Indorama Ventures is a leading producer in the polyester value chain in Thailand with strong global network and manufacturing across Asia, Europe and North America. Its products serve major players in diversified end use markets, including food, beverages, personal and home care, health care, automotives, textile, and industrial. The company’s main products are PTA, PET and polyester fibre, which are distributed across the world.

US Honeywell Q1 chems segment profit rises 6%

MOSCOW (MRC) - Diversified U.S. manufacturer Honeywell International Inc reported lower-than-expected quarterly revenue, hurt by the sale of its friction materials business and a strong dollar, said Reuters.

The company also cut its full-year revenue forecast to USD39 billion-USD39.6 billion from USD40.5-USD41.1 billion earlier, below the average analyst estimate of USD40.52 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Honeywell's shares were down nearly 1 percent at USD103 in premarket trading on Friday. Sales in the company's aerospace business — its largest — fell 6 percent to USD3.61 billion, while sales at its automation and controls business fell 3 percent.

The Morristown, New Jersey-based company makes aircraft engines, cockpit electronics and climate control systems. Honeywell sold its friction materials business to Federal Mogul last year for about USD155 million.

Revenue for the first quarter fell nearly 5 percent to USD9.21 billion, missing the average analysts estimate of USD9.48 billion.

Net income attributable to Honeywell rose to USD1.12 billion, or USD1.41 per share, in the first quarter ended March 31, from USD1.02 billion, or USD1.28 per share, a year earlier. Up to Thursday's close, the company's shares had risen 4 percent this year.

As MRC informed earlier, OOO Kirishinefteorgsintez selected Honeywell to supply its experion process knowledge system (PKS) and advanced alarm manager system at the company"s refinery in Kirishi, in the Leningrad region of Russia.

Honeywell's UOP C(3) Oleflex process is a propane dehydrogenation (PDH) process to convert propane to propylene. The majority of the operating and licensed PDH units in the world utilize the Oleflex process.

Solvay Specialty Polymers launches PEEK polymer expansion in US

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Solvay Specialty Polymers USA LLC has launched an expansion project at its Augusta manufacturing site to install the first world-scale polyether-etherketone (PEEK) resin production unit in the United States and meet growing demand for Solvay’s KetaSpire and AvaSpire ultra-polymers, as per BusinessWire.

PEEK is a high-temperature, high-strength, and high-purity plastic resin that Solvay uses as a key building block to make its KetaSpire PEEK and AvaSpire PAEK products. These two ultra-polymers are used in a broad range of performance-critical applications such as helping to make airplanes lighter and safer, improving the fuel efficiency of automotive drive trains, and enabling innovations in medical devices.

Roger Kearns, a member of the Solvay Group’s worldwide executive committee, voiced optimism about the company’s expansion in Augusta. "Solvay Specialty Polymers is one of the Group’s growth engines," he said. "Expansion of our KetaSpire and AvaSpire production capabilities plays an important role in Solvay’s continued worldwide leadership in producing innovative high-performance materials that provide sustainable solutions."

Kearns added, "This Augusta expansion is testimony to our researchers, to our plant workers and to the Georgia business environment which welcomes and encourages manufacturing and innovation."

Solvay’s Augusta Plant Manager Alain De Greef echoed Kearns remarks. "Augusta’s workforce is proud of our record of safety, productivity and reliability of supply and we look forward to growing our service to customers and our contributions to Solvay," he said.

The first new structure is expected to rise in mid-summer with completion expected in mid-2016. Solvay currently employs about 200 workers and about 55 contract workers in Augusta.

As MRC informed before, in late 2014, Solvay announced that it had been acquiring 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 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: fluoropolymers, fluoroelastomers, fluorinated fluids, semi-aromatic polyamides, sulfone polymers, aromatic ultra polymers, high-barrier polymers and cross-linked high-performance compounds.