Lotte Chemical to expand its Malaysia naphtha cracking centre

MOSCOW (MRC) -- South Korea's Lotte Chemical Corp has announced that the petrochemical firm will expand its naphtha cracking centre in Malaysia at a cost of 300 billion Korean won (USD257 million), reported Reuters.

With the mechanical completion of the expansion scheduled in the second-half of 2017, Lotte Chemical Titan (M) Sdn. Bhd. will have ethylene production capacity of 812,000 tonnes per year (tpy), up 92,000 tpy from the current size, the company said in a quarterly earnings statement.

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.

Demand for SPVC in Russia decreased by 12% in Q1 2015

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Demand for suspension polyvinyl chloride (SPVC-C) subsided in the Russian market by 12% over the first six months of 2015 and totalled just over 384,000 tonnes. The devaluation of the rouble and the increased domestic production allowed to significantly reduce imports, according to MRC ScanPlast report.

The year of 2011 accounted for the peak demand for SPVC, after which the need in this polymer started to decline gradually. Last year's demand for PVC dropped by 5%, and in the first half of 2015, the fall accelerated - consumption decreased to 384,000 tonnes from 436,700 tonnes a year earlier. The start-up of a new plant in the Nizhny Novgorod region in September 2014 allowed to significantly reduce the dependence on imports, and weak demand and the rouble devaluation at the beginning of the year allowed to increase PVC exports.

Producers of shaped and linear articles accounted for the greatest fall in demand for SPVC over the stated period. Sales of shaped and linear articles dropped 15-20% year on year, depending on the product. Producers of plasticized PVC, particularly, of cable compounds accounted for the smallest decrease in demand. In this segment, the need in resin dropped by only 5%.

From the point of view of this year's polymer availability, the situation has changed dramatically. The launch of a new plant RusVinyl (the Nizhny Novgorod region) with the annual capacity of 330,000 tonnes allowed to significantly reduce the dependence on imports. The share of imports fell to 3% of the total consumption over the first six months of 2015, whereas a year ago this figure was about 30%.

The growth of domestic production also allowed to increase export sales. About 23,000 tonnes were shipped to foreign markets over the first six months of 2015, whereas only about 1,000 tonnes were sold for exports in the same period of 2014.

According to some market participants' estimates, in the second half of 2015, demand for PVC from local converters will also be significantly lower than the last year's figure. Thus, demand for SPVC will be reduced by 12-15% in 2015 compared to 2014 (90,000 tonnes).

Middle Eastern pipe grade HDPE became cheaper for Ukrainian consumers

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Negotiations over August prices of Middle Eastern high density polyethylene (HDPE) began this week. Ukrainian companies reported a major fall in prices of pipe grade HDPE, according to ICIS-MRC Price report.

On the back of a great reduction in oil prices, suppliers of Middle Eastern polyethylene (PE) announced a significant decrease in prices for August shipments to the CIS markets. Negotiations began this week, and many market participants said prices were reduced by an average of USD100/tonne from July.

July deals for Middle Eastern black PE100 were done in the range of USD1,640-1,680/tonne CIF Odessa. Negotiations over prices for August shipments are held in the range of USD1,540-1,580/tonne CIF Odessa. At the same time, PE supply increased significantly.

Some Ukrainian companies said they were not in a hurry to confirm deals for August shipments of Middle Eastern PE100 so far. Negotiations over prices of European PE will start next week, and August purchases of Middle Eastern PE will depend on prices in Europe.

A company also reported a major fall in prices of black PE100 in Asia. Thus, offer prices for August shipments of Thai black PE100 were heard at USD1,540/tonne CIF Odessa.

Shareholders of Shaoxing Yuandong Petrochemical approve bankruptcy liquidation filing

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Shaoxing Yuandong Petrochemical Co. shareholders, during a 17 July provisional shareholders meeting, agreed with a decision to file for bankruptcy liquidation, reported GV with reference to a report on the China Chemical Fiber Group’s website.

Yuandong, which operates three 600,000-t/y purified terephthalic acid (PTA) plants and a 1.4-million-t/y PTA plant at Shaoxing in China’s Zhejiang Province, is unable to repay overdue debt.

The company is continuing to seek strategic investors, but plans to apply for capital verification, as well as the bankruptcy liquidation.

As MRC informed earlier, on 3 July 2015, BP Zhuhai Chemical Co Ltd started a new PTA in 2015. Located in Zhuhai, China, the plant has a production capacity of 1.25 million mt/year.

PTA is the raw material used to make polyethylene terephthalante (PET) and polyester which is found in a wide range of consumer goods ranging from fabrics to food and beverage containers. The BP Cooper River site is the largest PTA producer in the Americas and BP Geel is the largest in Europe.

Shaoxing Yuandong Petro-Chemical Co. Ltd. is a petrochemical products manufacturer. The Company mainly produces, processes and sells pure terephthalic acid, polyester chips, chemical fiber and other petrochemical products.

Invista and Plaxica collaborate on bio-derived lactic acid technology

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Invista’s technology and licensing business - Invista Performance Technologies (IPT) - and Plaxica, a chemical technologies company focused on the development of technology for the production of low-cost lactic acid from biomass, have entered into a collaboration that is expected to accelerate the commercialization of Plaxica’s technology, as per Plastemart.

Under the agreement, in which Invista will have an option for an equity stake in Plaxica, Invista will provide Plaxica engineering, technical and commercial support from its global technology licensing organization. The two companies will work together to develop and commercialize Plaxica’s lactic acid technology, which the companies believe will offer substantial cost and performance benefits to licensees in the polylactic acid and bio-propylene glycol value chains.

"We are delighted to be working with Invista," said Philip Goodier, CEO of Plaxica. "This deal gives us access to Invista’s considerable expertise in process technology licensing and to their global engineering, commercial and client support capabilities. We are confident that Plaxica’s strong technology base and existing client relationships, combined with Invista’s expertise and reputation built over many years of successful licensing in the global polyester industry, will strengthen and accelerate the commercialization of our technologies."

"Plaxica’s technology offers an exciting opportunity to add to our technology licensing portfolio in a growing sector," said Mike Pickens, IPT president. "We are very happy to be collaborating with Plaxica to bring their technology to the market."

As MRC reported before, in late July 2015, IPT and Jiaxing Petrochemical Co., a subsidiary of China-based Tongkun Group, reached agreement for the licensing of Invista’s latest P8 process technology for Jiaxing’s second purified terephthalic acid (PTA) line. Jiaxing Petrochemical’s first PTA line, in operation since 2012, also utilizes Invista’s technology.

Invista is one of the world’s largest integrated producers of chemical intermediates, polymers and fibers. The company’s advantaged technologies for nylon, spandex and polyester are used to produce clothing, carpet, car parts and countless other everyday products. Headquartered in the United States, Invista operates in more than 20 countries and has about 10,000 employees.