BP officially started up Zhuhai PTA 3 plant

MOSCOW (MRC) -- BP on July 3 celebrated the official start-up of the Phase 3 PTA plant of Zhuhai Chemical Co., enhancing its position in the purified terephthalic acid (PTA) market and its long-term commitment in China, as per The Financial marketplace.

BP Zhuhai, in which BP and Zhuhai Port Co. hold an 85% and 15% stake respectively, is the leading Sino-foreign joint venture producing and marketing PTA in China.

The completed Phase 3 plant, with a design production capacity of 1.25 million tonnes per year, is the world’s largest single train PTA unit, according to BP.

Erginbilgic, Chief Executive of BP Downstream, attended the opening ceremony. He said: "This is a milestone for both BP and BP Zhuhai. I’m very proud to witness its opening. At BP, we are committed to becoming the leading downstream business. The safe completion and successful commissioning of Phase 3 is an important part of our intent to keep our petrochemical business competitive globally."

Zhuhai Phase 3 is the first site to use BP’s most recent version of its PTA technology. Compared with conventional technology, Zhuhai 3 is highly energy efficient and delivers 95% lower solid waste, 65% lower greenhouse gas emissions and 75% lower water discharge, therefore bringing benefits both for society and the company.

Nick Elmslie, Chief Executive of BP’s Petrochemical Business, said: "Technology is one of the key drivers for BP’s success. And this latest unit employs BP’s most advanced PTA manufacturing technology that will enable us to deliver high-quality products to our customers with higher operational efficiency and environmental performance."

PTA is the essential raw material for making polyesters extensively used in producing textiles, packaging and film products.

In addition to PTA manufacturing and marketing, BP’s business activities in Guangdong also include oil product and lubricant retailing, gas terminal, pipelines and trading, aviation fuel supply and oil terminal service.

As MRC informed previously, in November 2015, BP announced its plans to invest over USD200 million to upgrade its PTA plants at Cooper River, South Carolina and Geel, Belgium. The investments will position these assets amongst the most efficient PTA manufacturing facilities in the world.

BP is one of the world's leading international oil and gas companies, providing its customers with fuel for transportation, energy for heat and light, retail services and petrochemicals products for everyday items.

BASF to sell 25% stake of SolVin PVC venture in Germany to Solvay

MOSCOW (MRC) -- BASF, the world's petrochemical major, has sold its 25% share in the joint venture SolVin to Solvay, according to the German chemicals company's announcement.

The transaction took place on July 1, 2015. Financial details were not disclosed.

In addition, BASF says it has reached agreements with Solvay and Inovyn to continue to supply BASF’s site in Antwerp with basic chemicals.

As MRC informed earlier, in September 2014, BASF announced the start-up of a new butadiene extraction plant at its Verbund site in Antwerp, Belgium. The plant has an annual production capacity of 155,000 metric tons.

SolVin was established in 1999 as a 75-25 joint venture between Solvay and BASF in the area of polyvinyl chloride (PVC).

Evonik expands leading market positions in C4 products

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Evonik Industries has strengthened its leading position in C4-based products and has successfully, and on time, put into operation new production plants in Antwerp (Belgium). Also in the Marl Chemical Park (Germany), the C4 capacities are being increased. For this, the company has invested a total amount in the three-digit million range (Euro) in the two sites, reported the producer on its site.

The new plants result in an expansion of capacities for butadiene in Antwerp, for the plasticizer alcohol Isononanol (Marl) as well as for the antiknock agent MTBE (Marl and Antwerp). According to market analyses, the global demand for these products increases by two to five percent per year.

"By expanding our C4 capacities and the necessary and important investments into the supply of raw materials at our sites, we are sustainably strengthening our market positions. At the same time we are supporting our customers’ growth plans in Europe and worldwide," said Klaus Engel, Chairman of the Executive Board of Evonik.

With long-term supply contracts, Evonik has sustainably ensured the raw material supply for the operation of the new plants. As a technology leader, Evonik has also for the first time made FCC- C4 material flows from refineries usable. This demonstrates Evonik’s technological excellence on C4 and is an important contribution to a sustainable production.

With the expanded production networks in Antwerp and Marl, Evonik wants to further develop and strengthen its market positions in C4 chemistry for the long-term.

Butadiene is mainly used in synthetic rubbers, for example for the manufacturing of tires. Furthermore, there is a wide range of application for elastomer and plastics.

The anti-knock agent MTBE (Methyl -tert.-butylether) increases the octane number of fuels in petrol engines and results in an improved combustion of fuels in the engines. This way, MTBE contributes to a better air quality.

Isononanol (INA) is mainly used as an alcohol component in the manufacturing of PVC plasticizers. Plasticizers based on INA are characterized by excellent properties, both in the plastisol and thermoplastic processing.

As MRC reported earlier, Essen-based Evonik Industries is making an investment in the double-digit-million euro range in a new research center at the Rheinfelden site. Starting at the beginning of 2016, research into silanes will be carried out in modern laboratories in the four-story building. Silanes are used in the electronics industry, in the tire industry, for the production of adhesives and sealants as well as plastics, and in the construction industry.

Evonik, the creative industrial group from Germany, is one of the world leaders in specialty chemicals. Its activities focus on the key megatrends health, nutrition, resource efficiency and globalization. Evonik benefits specifically from its innovative prowess and integrated technology platforms. Evonik is active in over 100 countries around the world. In fiscal 2014 more than 33,000 employees generated sales of around EUR12.9 billion and an operating profit (adjusted EBITDA) of about EUR1.9 billion.

Global bio-based PET market expected to grow at 68.25% CAGR by 2019

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The global bio-based polyethylene terephthalate (PET) market is expected to grow at 68.25% CAGR by 2019 as per Plastemart with reference to a report by ReportsnReports.

Bio-based PET is a biodegradable product made from materials such as monoethylene glycol (MEG) and terephthalic acid (PTA). About 30% of bio-based PETs are composed of monoethylene glycol (MEG), a product of sugarcane ethanol, and the rest is composed of purified terephthalic acid (PTA), a chemical-based product of crude oil.

There are different types of bioplastics: polymers directly extracted from biomass and processed, polymers made from bio-based precursors (polylactic acid or PLA), and polymers made from bacteria (PHA and PHBs). They can be used to manufacture tools, bags, beds, furniture, carpets, films, bottles, cups, and other packaging materials. In landfills, they emit about 30-70% less CO2 compared to conventional plastics.

In 2014, Germany was the major contributor to the market, followed by Asia, the US, and Brazil.

We remind that, as MRC wrote previously, the global Bio-based polypropylene (PP) market will reach USD36.19 mln by 2020, according to a new study by Grand View Research, Inc. 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.

IOC Board gives approval for paraxylene/PTA, ethylene glycol units at Paradip

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The board of Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), India's largest refiner and oil marketing company, has given in principle approval for a 350,000 tpa glycol unit to be set up at cost of Rs 3,800 crore, and a 1 mln tpa paraxylene/PTA (purified terephthalic acid) unit at an investment of Rs 8,000-9,000 crore, as per Plastemart.

The two projects are expected to come onstream near its refinery at Paradip by 2020. Both the units are part of the Petroleum, Chemicals and Petrochemical Investment Region (PCPIR) hub being established at Paradip. IOC is the anchor tenant of this hub.

IOC also has plans to set up a petcoke gasification plant with an investment of more than 15, 000 crore.
These facilities are in addition to a 0.7 mln tpa polypropylene unit coming up in the petrochemical hub.

As MRC reported earlier, Indian Oil Corporation's Rs 34,555-crore 15 million tonnes per annum Paradip Refinery has been commissioned in phases from March 2015 onwards. The refinery is capable for processing a broad basket of crude oil grades, including cheaper high-sulphur heavy crudes, which will help the company to improve bottomline,

Indian Oil Corporation Limited, or IndianOil, is an Indian state-owned oil and gas corporation with its headquarters in New Delhi, India.