Idemitsu Kosan delayed restart of SM plant in Japan

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Japanese Idemitsu Kosan Co has delayed the restart of a styrene monomer (SM) plant, according to Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in Japan informed that the plant is likely to be restarted on May 14, 2015. It was earlier scheduled for an early-May restart.

The plant was taken off-stream on April 6, 2015 for a maintenance turnaround.

Located in Chiba, Japan, the plant has a production capacity of 210,000 mt/year.

As MRC wrote before, Idemitsu Kosan also shut its refinery in Japan for maintenance turnaround in April 2015. It is likely to remain off-stream for around one month. Located at Chiba in Japan, the refinery has a crude processing capacity of 220,000 bpd.

Idemitsu Kosan is a Japanese petroleum company. It owns and operates oil platforms, refineries and produces and sells petroleum, oils and petrochemical products. The company runs two petrochemical plants in Chiba and Tokuyama. The two naphtha crackers can produce up to 997,000 tonnes of ethylene per year.

Grupa Azoty doubles Q1 net, beats forecasts

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Poland's largest chemicals maker, Grupa Azoty, doubled its first-quarter net profit and beat market forecasts as mild winter boosted fertiliser sales while lower gas tariffs translated into higher margins, said Reuters.

The state-controlled group closed its seasonally best quarter with a bottom line of 276 million zlotys (USD76 million), while analysts expected a profit of 203 million zlotys. Overall sales rose by 5% to 2.84 billion zlotys. Analysts polled by Reuters forecast 2.854 billion zlotys.

"We benefited from mild winter that allowed farmers to use fertilisers earlier than usually, increasing our sales in this segment of the market," Grupa Azoty's deputy chief and chief financial officer Andrzej Skolmowski said in a statement.

"Polish zloty depreciation strengthened our competitiveness in international markets whilst lower prices of natural resources reduced our costs, boosting our performance in the export-oriented parts of the business," he added.

The group said it signed UOP, a unit of U.S. conglomerate Honeywell International, to design technological solutions for Azoty's 1.68 billion zloty project to build Europe's largest propylene plant.

Azoty flagged the investment -- its biggest ever -- to capitalise on a regional shortage of the chemical used to make paint. The plant, part of the group's 7 billion zloty investment plan, is to be completed by 2020. It will increase Grupa Azoty's annual sales by about 2 billion zlotys and profit by "hundreds of millions of zlotys".

As MRC informed earlier, Poland’s Grupa Azoty is making a USD450m entry into the global propylene market, in a move that underscores its position as one of Europe’s biggest chemical companies. The investment, the largest in the company’s history, will create Europe’s biggest production plant for propylene, a critical chemical in the production of plastics and solvents, used in a range of products including car parts, carpets and toys.


Mexichem opens new India pressure pipes plant

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Mexichem, Mexican PVC and specialty chemicals maker, has announced that its Dura-Line Corp. subsidiary has commenced production at a new plant in Hyderabad, India, reported Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The new plant will produce cable ducts and pressure pipes for the water, datacom and gas markets. The new plant is Mexichem’s fourth plant in India, with two other facilities located in Goa, and another in Neemrana, near Dehli.

The location of the Hyderabad plant in South India will allow Mexichem to strategically position itself for exports to Southeast Asia, to serve customers in South India and to capture new business opportunities in the region.

Mexichem says the opening of this plant is part of a continued strategy of becoming a global, vertically integrated chemical company with a focus on high-end specialized products and solutions.

As MRC informed earlier, on 1 December 2014, Mexichem completed the acquisition of Vestolit GmbH. Vestolit will be consolidated under Mexichem's chlorine-vinyl chain for accounting purposes.

Based in Marl, Germany, Vestolit is Europe's only manufacturer of High Impact Suspension PVC (HIS-PVC) for weather-resistant windows and is Europe's second-largest producer of paste PVC for floors and wallpapers. Vestolit also produces alkyl-chlorides, a value-added intermediary used for a variety of chemical and industrial applications and is vertically integrated in a single site from Salt through Specialty PVC. Total installed PVC capacity is 415,000 tons per year.

Mexichem, of Tlalnepantla, an industrial municipality close to Mexico City, is Latin Americaп's largest manufacturer of PVC pipe, vinyl resins and compounds. The company has annual revenues of more than USD5 billion and has been listed on the Mexican Stock Exchange for more than 30 years.

Sadara Chemical enlists Jacobs as EPC contractor

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Jacobs Engineering Group was awarded a four-year contract by Sadara Chemical for engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) services, reported Hydrocarbonprocessing with reference to the company's announcement.

The contract value was not disclosed.

Sadara is currently building the world’s largest chemical complex to ever be constructed in a single phase, with 26 world-scale manufacturing plants, in Jubail Industrial City II, Saudi Arabia.

Under the terms of the contract, Jacobs is providing both In-Kingdom and Out-of-Kingdom EPCM services to Sadara. The In-Kingdom services are being delivered from Jacobs’ local operations in Saudi Arabia with support from its extensive global network.

"We are proud to deepen our relationship with Sadara, which began in 2011," said Jacobs vice president Bassim Shebaro. "Since then, we have developed a strategic business relationship built on value, trust, partnership and commitment."

Established in October 2011, Sadara is a joint venture developed by Saudi Aramco and Dow Chemical. With a total investment of about USD20 billion, Sadara is building a world-scale integrated chemical complex with 26 manufacturing plants and over 3 million tpy of capacity.

Sadara’s differentiated product portfolio, employing cutting-edge technologies, will add downstream value chains to expand and transform the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s existing chemicals landscape, according to project officials.

Sadara also says it will introduce many new products to Saudi Arabia, including the first isocyanate and polyol (polyurethane) plants, enabling many industries that either do not currently exist in the Kingdom or only exist through imports of raw materials.

As MRC informed previously, Sadara Chemical Company plans to begin production of ethylene and polyethylene (PE) - chemicals with wide applications in manufacturing, including plastics, molding, coatings and more - by 2017.

GAF adds PVC roofing line in Utah, looks for additional site

MOSCOW (MRC) -- GAF Materials Corp. plans to open a PVC manufacturing line at its commercial roofing plant in Cedar City, Utah, and it is “actively considering” locations for an additional plant in the Eastern U.S., said Plasticsnews.

GAF said the potential new plant would produce PVC, thermoplastic polyolefin and polyisocyanurate roofing membranes. It currently operates three other plants in addition to Cedar City — in Gainesville, Texas, producing TPO and ISO; in Mount Vernon, Ind., producing TPO; and in Statesboro, Ga., producing ISO.

The firm also produces both TPO and ISO at its Cedar City facility, which opened last year. It projects the new PVC line to be operational as early as mid-2016.

"The Cedar City PVC line will strengthen GAF’s position as a leading-edge, full-service supplier of PVC, TPO and ISO," President and CEO Bob Tafaro said in a statement. "By manufacturing all three products at Cedar City and soon on the East Coast, we will deliver superior economies of scale to our operations and unrivaled service to our customers."

GAF says it is the largest roofing manufacturer in North America with products including steep-slope and commercial roofing systems.