Lotte Chemical restarted SM plant in South Korea

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Lotte Chemical, a subsidiary of Lotte Group, has restarted a styrene monomer (SM) plant, according to Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in South Korea informed that the plant restarted late last week. It was under a three-week maintenance turnaround.

Located at Daesan in South Korea, the plant has a production capacity of 580,000 mt/year.

As MRC informed previously, in early 2013, a major South Korean pertochemical and polymer producer, Honam Petrochemical, and one of the largest South Korean PET and PTA producer, KP Chemical, decided to merge into a new company with a new name Lotte Chemical Corporation. The newly formed company believes that this move will strengthen its position both in domestic and international markets and is in a line with Lotte Chemical's strategy to become a leading global company.

The Lotte Group currently has a presence in Indonesia via its subsidiary, Honam Petrochemicals, which acquired Malaysia’s polyolefin major Titan Chemicals in July 2010. Included in the acquisition was Titan’s Indonesian subsidiary - PT Titan Petrokimia Nusantara (TPN), which has a polyethylene (PE) production capacity of 450,000 tonnes/year.

US Lubrizol investing USd100m to expand Ohio plant

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Lubrizol has started construction for expanding its manufacturing facility in Painesville Township, Ohio, US, with an investment of USD100 m, said the producer in its press release.

Planned to be carried out over a period of five years, the expansion will include additional manufacturing capacity, increase in warehouse space, and enhanced automated packaging, staging and loading of truck shipments capabilities.

As part of the project, the company will add bulk transfer technology to ensure product integrity and reduce in-plant traffic, as well as improve efficiency of handling product drums and totes.
The expansion will support the region with approximately 25 new jobs at the plant, which currently has workforce of more than 300.

Lubrizol Painesville plant manager Craig Hupp said: "The Painesville Township community has been a supportive partner of Lubrizol since we began our operations there in 1956 and we are pleased to further reinvest and expand at the location.

"Through this important initiative, we will be better positioned to meet the changing demands of our customers, ensure the integrity and quality of our products, reinforce personal and environmental safety and attract the workforce talent that is required to run our operations."

For the expansion, the company has been offered tax incentives, as well as a grant from JobsOhio and refundable job creation tax credits from the state.

As MRC informed earlier, Lubrizol Corporation in February 2015 announced that it had acquired EcoQuimica Industria e Comercio Produtos Quimica Ltda., a manufacturer and supplier of coatings technology for products sold into decorative paints, textiles, cement, elastomeric coatings and paper coatings.

Lubrizol produces technologies for global transportation, industrial and consumer markets, including lubricant additives for transportation-related fluids, ingredients and additives for home care and personal care products and pharmaceuticals and performance coatings in the form of specialty resins.


Iran started exporting polycarbonate to Russia

MOSCOW (MRC) -- KHPC, a sole producer of polycarbonate (PC) in Iran, has started exporting different grades of PC to Russian market since April 2015, said Sirjangostar Global Group (SGG) in its press release sent to MRC with reference to the statement of Dr. Hosseini, SGG's President, which he made to Iranian Press.

KHPC finished its fundamental maintenance in early April and now is operating with 70% capacity utilisation and planning to increase production in a short time. It is planned to produce new PC grades, such as bottle and optical grades, this year and produce at least 25,000 MT varieties of PC grades.

Dr. Hosseini also adds 'as the sanctions against Iran is about to lift, this will allow KHPC to start offering its cargos to European market too".

He also mentioned "Russian market imported 35,000 MT of different PC grades to the country, therefore there is a good potential for KHPC to cover at least 10% of the market share for the year 2015".

At the moment, KHPC exports PC to Turkey, India, China, UAE, Vietnam and etc.

We remind that, as MRC reported earlier, 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.

PKN Orlen profit soars 11-fold as oil refining business improves

MOSCOW (MRC) -- PKN Orlen SA said its first-quarter profit rose 11-fold from a year ago, exceeding analysts’ expectations as Poland’s biggest oil company’s refining business benefited from falling crude prices, said Bloomberg.

Net income rose to 756 million zloty (USD203 million) from 64 million zloty a year ago, the Plock, Poland-based company said in a regulatory filing on Thursday. The average estimate in a Bloomberg survey of 10 analysts called for 204 million-zloty profit.

Refining margins, which widened as the global price of oil dropped from a year ago, and a weaker zloty against the dollar boosted earnings by 1.1 billion zloty, the state-controlled company said in the statement. Its Lithuanian refinery, which Orlen considered closing last year due to worsening results, posted net income of 175 million zloty in the first quarter.

The refining margin rose to USD7.5 a barrel in the first quarter compared with USD1.3 a year earlier, it said. The company estimates that the average margin for the entire 2015 will be slightly above the 2014 level, while it also predicts that the Brent oil price will stabilize now temporarily and gain later in the year due to an economic rebound.
The average price of oil fell in the first quarter to USD48.7 a barrel from USD98.6 a year earlier, while the zloty traded at an average of 3.72 per dollar this quarter versus 3.05 per dollar last year.

As MRC reported earlier, in mid-June 2013 PKN Orlen offered for sale a second PLN 200m tranche of its bonds and expects the proceeds from the entire bond issue programme to reach approximately PLN 1bn. This move was done in response to the enormous interest in PKN Orlen bonds on the part of investors, who subscribed to the entire PLN 200m of the first series of bonds in just two days.

Polski Koncern Naftowy ORLEN S.A. (PKN Orlen) is a Polish oil and gas coSolvents plant shut bympany. It has a lot of petrol stations in Poland, Germany, Czech Republic, Lithuania and Slovakia. It is the biggest company in Poland and one of the biggest oil and gas companies in Europe. Polish group PKN Orlen PKNA is a majority owner - 63% of czech polyolefins manufacturer Unipetrol.

PP production in Russia increased by 45% in Q1 2015

MOSCOW (MRC) - Production of polypropylene (PP) in Russia increased to 340,000 tonne in first three months of this year, up 45% year on year, compared to the same period of 2014. Increase in production volumes showed all Russian companies, except Ufaorgsintez and Neftekhimiya, as per MRC ScanPlast.

March PP production in Russia increased to 116,000 tonnes, compared with 111,000 tonnes in February 2015, despite a slight decrease in production rates at Tobolsk-Polymer. Total PP production in Russia reached 340,000 tonnes in the first three months of the year, from 235,100 tonnes in the same period of 2014.

Practically all Russian plants increased their capacity utilisation, the exception was only Ufaorgsintez and Neftekhimiya (Kapotnya), with the largest increase in production figures were traditionally shown by Tobolsk-Polymer and Poliom. Structure of PP production over the reported period looked as follows.

The largest producer of polypropylene in Russia - Tobolsk-Polymer in March showed a slight decrease in capacity utilisation, having produced 37,500 tonnes against 40,900 tonnes a month earlier. Tobolsk-Polymer's PP production was 113,100 tonnes in the first three months of the year, compared with 31,300 tonnes year on year.
Poliom (GK Titan, Omsk) increased PP production in March to 16,500 tonnes, compared with 15,300 tonnes in February. Total PP production at the plant over the reported period exceeded 49,000 tonnes, compared with 38,900 tonnes year on year.

Nizhnekamskneftekhim and Tomskneftekhim's PP production in March were 18,500 tonnes and 11,900 tonnes respectively. Total PP production in January - March 2015 at these plants was 53,700 tonnes and 35,000 tonnes respectively, up 4% and 7%, compared with the same time a year earlier.

Stavrolen (Lukoil) increased PP production in March to 10,700 tonnes, compared with 7,400 tonnes in February. Total PP production at the plant over the reported period was 28,900 tonnes, compared with 18,100 tonnes year on year.

Ufaorgsintez and Neftekhimiya in the first three months of the year reduced the volume of polypropylene to 31,700 tonnes and 28,400 tonnes, down 3% and 4%, respectively, than in the same time a year ago in 2014.