Unipetrol is assessing damage at Chempark Zaluzi site

MOSCOW (MRC) -- There is still ongoing investigation of a special team composed of the Police of the Czech Republic and the Fire and Rescue Services in place of the accident at Unipetrol's site in Chempark Zaluzi, as per the company's press release.

At the moment, due to the safety reasons, experts of Unipetrol are allowed to enter only into selected parts of the damaged locations. There is ongoing progressive preventative checking if there is any damage of the statics at some constructions, as well as the final removal of residual hydrocarbons in technological facilities in order to ensure that the working of the maintenance team at the site is completely safe. Once the full access will be allowed, our specialists will map out the exact extent of the damages, plan the necessary repairs and schedule the restart of production.

Regarding the production in Chempark Zaluzi, the petrochemical operations remain shut down. The refinery produces mainly gasoline and diesel in a limited extent. At its minimum operation is also the production of agrochemicals. The emergency situation did not affect the refinery in Kralupy that is currently running at its full capacity.
The company wants to re-establish the production in the plant in the shortest possible term. Regarding the restart of operation in full extent, Unipetrol is still talking approximately about the horizon of months rather than weeks.

As MRC informed earlier, Unipetrol has declared force majeure on the petrochemical production section of its Litvinov complex, in the Czech Republic, following a 13 Aug. fire at the 544,000-t/y ethylene cracker. The company said the occurrence and continuation of the force majeure makes it impossible for Unipetrol to fill its contractual obligations with its business partners. Rail and road access to the complex is also temporarily closed.

In addition to the ethylene cracker, the complex includes a polypropylene unit and two polyethylene units, having a combined capacity of 595,000 t/y.

Unipetrol , a.s. is a group of companies operating in the petrochemical industry in the Czech Republic. In 2005 Unipetrol became a part of the PKN ORLEN Group, the largest oil processor in Central Europe. The UNIPETROL Group is oriented mostly towards oil processing, fuel distribution and petrochemical production. In all of these business areas the Unipetrol Group is among the key players both in the Czech Republic and on the Central European market. The Group ranks among the leading firms in the Czech Republic in terms of its revenues, and employs almost 4,000 people.

Asahi Kasei completes acquisition of Polypore

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Asahi Kasei Corp. has completed its acquisition of Polypore International, Inc., according to the company's press release.

The deals was completed on 26 August, 2015.

On February 23, 2015, Asahi Kasei announced a definitive merger agreement to acquire Polypore through a US subsidiary. This acquisition was completed on August 26, 2015, US Eastern time, and Polypore is now a wholly owned consolidated subsidiary of Asahi Kasei.

Immediately prior to the acquisition by Asahi Kasei, Polypore divested its Separations Media segment to 3M Company. As acquired by Asahi Kasei, Polypore will continue to operate its Energy Storage segment focused on battery separators.

As a result of the completion of this transaction, Polypore’s stock is no longer traded on the New York Stock Exchange, and Polypore will cease to have reporting obligations under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

Polypore will now operate as a core operating company of the Asahi Kasei Group. Further development and growth of the battery separator business will be coordinated with Asahi Kasei E-materials Corp., the core operating company which operates Asahi Kasei’s established battery separator business, under the leadership of Shigeki Takayama, who was installed as CEO of Polypore on August 26, 2015, and will continue to serve concurrently as President of Asahi Kasei E-materials Corp.

The effect on the consolidated financial performance of the Asahi Kasei Group will be disclosed without delay when it becomes clear.

Polypore International, Inc., an Asahi Kasei Group company, specializes in highly-engineered microporous membranes used in electric drive vehicles, energy storage systems and emergency backup power systems, portable consumer electronic devices, cars, trucks, buses, forklifts, and submarines.

The Asahi Kasei Group is a diversified group of companies led by holding company Asahi Kasei Corp., with operations in the chemicals and fibers, homes and construction materials, electronics, and health care business sectors. With more than 30,000 employees around the world, the Asahi Kasei Group serves customers in more than 100 countries.

Chandra Asri to shut naphtha cracker in Indonesia for maintenance

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Chandra Asri is in plans to shut its naphtha cracker for a maintenance turnaround, as pre Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in Indonesia informed that the cracker is planned to be shut towards the end of September 2015. It is likely to remain shut for around three months during which a debottlenecking exercise is planned to be undertaken.

Located at Cilegon in Indonesia, the cracker has an ethylene capacity of 600,000 mt/year and propylene production capacity of 320,000 mt/year.

We remind that, as MRC informed previously, Barito Pacific's subsidiary Chandra Asri Petrochemical (CAP) is reportedly planning to build a naphtha refinery at its Cilegon complex in Banten, Indonesia, with an estimated investment of USD740m. The company is now undertaking a one year preliminary study for the proposed project, which would reduce its reliance on naptha imports.

Chandra Asri Petrochemical (CAP) is the largest vertically integrated petrochemical company in Indonesia with facilities located in Ciwandan, Cilegon and Puloampel, Serang in Banten Province. CAP is Indonesia's premier petrochemical plant incorporating world-class, state-of-the-art technology and supporting facilities. At the heart of CAP lies the Lummus Naphtha Cracker producing high quality Ethylene, Propylene, Mixed C4, and Pyrolysis Gasoline (Py-Gas) for the Indonesian as well as regional export markets.

Indian Oil plans USD2.4-billion ethanol investment

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Indian Oil Corp., the nation’s biggest refiner, plans to spend 160 billion rupees (USD2.4 billion) to build a plant for producing synthetic ethanol as it seeks to secure supplies of the biofuel to meet mandatory blending norms, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The state-run company is studying the project to produce 1 million metric tons of ethanol annually for blending with gasoline, S. Mitra, executive director at Indian Oil, said in an interview. Indian Oil plans to seek investment approval from its board next year, after which the facility, to be located at Paradip in eastern India, will take about four years to complete, he said.

The refiner will partner with Dallas-based Celanese Corp. for the ethanol project, which will use petroleum coke as feedstock from Indian Oil’s two refineries in the region, Mitra said.

India is facing a supply shortage of the biofuel, hindering plans to achieve mandatory five percent blending, Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said earlier this month. In December, the federal government allowed ethanol production from non-food feedstock including petrochemicals to improve availability.

Indian Oil and two other state-run refiners, Hindustan Petroleum Corp. and Bharat Petroleum Corp., are seeking 2.66 billion liters of ethanol in the 12 months to Nov. 30, 2016. The supply shortage is prompting Indian Oil, which would need nearly half of the projected requirement, to consider producing its own ethanol, Mitra said.

Indian Oil, which also runs the biggest network of fuel stations in the country, bought about 186 million liters of ethanol for blending through the year to March 31.

As MRC wrote before, Indian Oil Corporation's Rs 34,555-crore 15 million tonnes per annum Paradip Refinery was commissioned in phases from March 2015 onwards. Indian Oil Corporation is conducting feasibility studies to set up a petrochemical complex at Paradip in Odisha for Rs 20,000 crore. The petrochemical complex would be built in the vicinity of the company’s to-be-commissioned 15-mln tpa greenfield refinery at Paradip. The petrochemical complex would be in addition to the already announced Rs 3,150-crore polypropylene project at the same location, the foundation stone for which was laid by MOS for petroleum and natural gas.

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

China detains 23 officials in chemical blast probe

MOSCOW (MRC) -- China’s top prosecutor is holding 10 officials and port executives as well as a senior Transport Ministry official under criminal detention for alleged neglect of duty and abuse of power in the Tianjin warehouse explosions that killed at least 139 people, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing with reference to the official Xinhua News Agency's report.

Those being held include Wu Dai, head of the Tianjin Municipal Transportation Commission, and Zheng Qingyue, president of Tianjin Port (Group) Co., Xinhua said, citing the Supreme People’s Procuratorate. Wang Jinwen, a senior official with the Ministry of Transport, is being investigated for suspected abuse of power, according to the report.

Two blasts wreaked havoc on the night of Aug. 12 at the port, where about 700 tons of sodium cyanide were stored. The explosions sparked concerns about the storage of dangerous chemicals and planning regulations.

Tianjin is the world’s 10th-busiest port and has become a gateway to northern China for shipments of metal ore, coal, autos and crude oil.

As MRC reported earlier, The Binhai district is also home to the manufacturing sites of coatings producer COSCO Kansai Paint & Chemicals Co and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) maker Tianjin Dagu Chemical.

An investigation by the SPP found Wang broke the law to help Tianjin Ruihai International Logistics Co., owner of the warehouse that was the site of the blasts, pass safety evaluations and obtain approvals to handle hazardous materials, the news agency reported.

In a separate statement, the Ministry of Public Security said police had detained 12 suspects suspected of illegally storing dangerous materials.

They include Yu Xuewei, chairman of Tianjin International Ruihai Logistics Co., vice-chairman Dong Shexuan, and Zeng Fanqiang, an employee with a safety evaluation firm suspected of illegally helping Ruihai acquire safety evaluation papers, Xinhua cited the MPS as saying.