New IRPC 160,000 tpa propylene unit

(Plastemart) -- Thailand's IRPC plans to build a 160,000 tpa propylene plant by 2014, subject to board approval, as per Platts. The location and the value of the project are not known.

The new plant will help meet all of IRPC's feedstock requirements to make polypropylene, and create a surplus of propylene that will be used to produce more specialty products.

At present, IRPC has a total propylene capacity of 312,000 tpa from its steam cracker in Rayong province. The unit is able to run at 11% above its nameplate capacity. In addition, IRPC currently buys propylene from shareholder PTT in order to make polypropylene.


Iran's non-oil exports have reached $20.30 billion

(Press TV) -- Iran's non-oil exports have reached $20.30 billion in the first eight months of the current Iranian calendar year (March 21 to November 21). Iranian Customs Administration Director Ardeshir Mohammadi made the remarks on Saturday, noting that the value of the country's non-oil export marked a 26-percent increase compared to the corresponding period of the last year.

Mohammadi went on to say that the weight of non-oil exports in the mentioned time span amounted to 44,083 million tons, which means a 27.2-percent growth, underlining that the non-oil exports, exclusive of gas condensates, hit $17.13 billion, marking a hike of 31 percent, ISNA reported.

The official also said the main non-oil product exported in the time span was liquefied propane with $900 million, noting that the product accounted for 5.25 percent of the total non-oil exports.

The next major product exported was polyethylene film grade, with a share of $865 million of the country's total non-oil exports. The main importer of Iranian products was China with a total import value of $3.094 billion which is about 18 percent of the non-oil exports.


Qapco opens new representative office in Istanbul

(Gulf Times) -- Qatar Petrochemical Company (Qapco) has opened its new representative office in Istanbul, Turkey.

Qapco director and general manager Dr Mohamed Yousef al-Mulla reiterated the importance of the Turkish market for Qapco, which has been supplying low-density polyethylene (LDPE) to customers in the country for more than 20 years. The office will help Qapco consolidate its position as a leading exporter of low-density polyethylene (LDPE) to the country, he said.

Ambassador al-Abdul Ghani highlighted the ⌠exceptional relationship between Qatar and Turkey and said the bilateral trade has now exceeded $2bn. Currently, Qapco's LDPE products are sold to more than 4,500 customers in some 85 countries.


GPCA chief hopeful of end to India-Middle East ADD row

(ICIS) -- The Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA) is hopeful that the trade dispute over antidumping duties on polymers between India and the Middle East will soon be resolved, the association chief said on Monday.

Saudi Arabia and Oman, along with Singapore, were slapped with tariffs on polypropylene (PP) shipments to India, upon determination that dumping of the material was taking place. Saudi Arabia had threatened to bring up the case before the World Trade Organisation (WTO) if India did not retract its trade policy.

⌠We are optimistic that a win-win situation for all will be found soon, GPCA secretary general Abdulwahab al-Sadoun told ICIS in a phone interview. The trade squabbles between India and the Middle Eastern countries may be discussed on the sidelines of the 5th annual GPCA meeting in Dubai, which will run from 7-9 December, he said.


BASF, Petronas consider ┬1bn Malaysia specialty chem investment

(ICIS) -- BASF and Petronas are considering jointly investing around ┬1bn ($1.34bn) to produce specialty chemicals in Malaysia, the companies said on Monday.

The German chemicals giant and the Malaysian oil and gas firm have signed a memorandum of understanding to undertake a feasibility study of the project, due to be completed next year, they said in a joint statement.

The study would check on the technical, commercial and economic viability of jointly owning and operating world-scale facilities for the production of specialty chemicals, including non-ionic surfactants, methanesulphonic acid, iso-nonanol as well as other C4-based specialty chemical products.

BASF board director Martin Brudermuller said: ⌠By expanding our local production base in Malaysia, we can further improve our ability to supply our customers in Asia, from Asia. The investment was in line with the German firm's goal of producing 70% of Asia Pacific sales in the region by 2020, with investments of ┬2bn between 2009 and 2013.

The companies have an existing joint venture in Malaysia - BASF Petronas Chemicals - which currently owns and operates an integrated complex in Gebeng, Pahang, Kuantan that produces acrylic monomers, oxo products and butanediol.