PTTGC to shut LLDPE plant in Thailand for maintenance

MOSCOW (MRC) -- PTT Global Chemical (PTTGC) is in plans to shut a linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) plant for a maintenance turnaround, as per Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in Thailand informed that the plant is likely to be shut in early October 2015. It is expected to remain off-stream for around 3 weeks.

Located at Map Ta Phut in Thailand, the LLDPE plant has a production capacity of 400,000 mt/year.

As MRC informed previously, Thailand's PTT Global Chemical PCL is studying several options for supplying sufficient raw material to its petrochemical plants, including imports of oil feedstocks after declines in global crude prices. The move is part of a plan to cope with a potential drop in domestic natural gas supply after Thailand's government put bidding for new oil and gas concessions on hold.

PTT Global Chemical is a leading player in the petrochemical industry and owns several petrochemical facilities with a combined capacity of 8.45 million tonnes a year.

Medical polymers market to grow at a CAGR of 8.4% from 2014 to 2020

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The global medical polymers market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 8.4% from 2014 to 2020, according to GlobeNewswire with reference to a new report by Grand View Research.

Shifting trends towards substitution of conventional materials by high performance polymers such as polypropylene (PP) and PVC in medical devices coupled with growing demand for medical equipments from emerging Asian healthcare market is expected to drive the market over the next five years. Increasing geriatric population, especially in developed economies is expected to further support the growth of this industry.

Growing awareness regarding benefits of using medical polymers with biocide properties is expected to drive market demand. In addition, increasing popularity of lightweight, low cost, portable and small devices in healthcare industry is likely to propel industry expansion.

Medical fibers and resins product segment is expected to grow at a CAGR of over 8% from 2014 to 2020. In addition, increasing consumption of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polyethylene (PE), polystyrene (PS) and PP will fuel medical polymers industry growth. Biodegradable plastics are expected to witness significant gains in light of its mounting utilization in pharmaceutical packaging because of high thermal and mechanical properties. Its demand is likely to reach 79.5 kilo tons by 2020.

In terms of application, medical packaging was the second largest application segment in 2013 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 6.0% from 2014 to 2020 on account of increasing scope of flexible packaging in finished goods. Rising demand from various packaging systems including blood bags, syringes, oral solids and liquids is expected to stimulate development.

North America dominated the global market in 2013, accounting for over 40% of the volume share and is expected to grow substantially on account of technological development and significant investments in R&D. Moreover, increasing need for advanced instruments with better performance and higher strength and flexibility, mainly in the U.S., is likely to spur growth.

The Dow Chemical Company, Celanese, and Eastman Chemical Company dominated the global market share in 2013. Other participants include Bayer, Evonik Industries, Victrex, DuPont, Tianjin Plastics Research Institute Co. Ltd, and Lubrizol Corporation. The key strategies adopted by major players include product developments and mergers & acquisitions.

As MRC informed previously, the global medical polymer market is estimated to grow from USUSD2.3 bln to over USUSD3.5 bln, a rise of more than 52%, between 2013 and 2018, as per NanoMarkets.

Thermoplastic elastomers market to grow at a CAGR of 8% by 2020

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The thermoplastic elastomers market size is projected to reach USD27.8 bln by 2020 at a CAGR of 8%, reported Plastemart with reference to MarketsandMarkets' report.

It also identifies the driving and restraining factors of the Thermoplastic Elastomers Market with an analysis of trends, opportunities, and challenges. The market is segmented and has been forecast on the basis of key regions, such as North America, Asia-Pacific,Europe, and Rest of the World. The market is also segmented on the basis of type and application in major countries in each of these regions.

The thermoplastic elastomers market is segmented into seven applications, automotive, building & construction, footwear, engineering, wires & cables, medical, and others. Among these applications, automotive accounted for largest market share in 2014 in terms of value as well as volume.

Thermoplastic elastomers have region specific demands that are differentiated by placement, cost, and efficiency. These demands are also governed by the prevailing environmental laws, as in Europe and North America the stringent environmental laws calls for more environmentally friendly products, such as those of thermoplastic elastomers, which can be easily recycled.

In terms of value, the thermoplastic elastomers market size in automotive application is projected to reach USD11.9 bln by 2020, at a CAGR of 8.5% between 2015 and 2020. The market in Asia-Pacific accounted for the largest share of the Thermoplastic elastomers in 2014 and is projected to be the fastest-growing market in terms of value, between 2015 and 2020. The growth is attributed to the increasing automotive sales in developing countries, such as India, China, and Indonesia. India is projected to be the fastest-growing country in the Asia-pacific region followed by China.

Asia-Pacific was the major market of thermoplastic elastomers in 2014, which is projected to register the highest CAGR between 2015 and 2020, owing to the increasing demand of tire and other rubber products from end-user industries, such as automotive and building & construction. Asia-Pacific is expected to dominate the Thermoplastic elastomers market by 2020, with high investments from manufacturers in capacity expansion. North America was the second-largest market for Thermoplastic elastomers in 2014 and is expected to get support from increasing tire sales with the recovering automotive industry.

We remind that, as MRC wrote previously, Asahi Kasei Chemicals will increase annual production capacity for hydrogenated styrenic thermoplastic elastomer (SEBS) by 30% at its Kawasaki Works in Kanagawa, Japan, with start-up scheduled for June 2016.

YNCC reaches on spec propylene production at new OCU at Yosu

MOSCOW (MRC) -- South Korean petrochemical producer YNCC has reached on-specification propylene production at its new 140,000 t/yr olefins conversion unit (OCU) at Yosu, said Plastemart.

The company fed in feedstock supplies a week ago, with the OCU currently running at a 70pc operating rate.

YNCC, a joint venture between South Korean firms Hanwha and Daelim, is a key exporter of ethylene and propylene in the country.

As MRC informed earlier, Yeochun Naphtha Cracking Centre (YNCC) is in plans to start a new olefins conversion unit (OCU). Located in Yeosu, South Korea, the unit will have a propylene capacity of 140,000 mt/year.

South Korea’s Yeochun NCC (YNCC) pyrolyzes naphtha to produce basic feedstock materials for the petrochemical industry.

Celanese opens commercial and technical centre in Mexico

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Celanese opens Mexico chemical technology hub. The new center will support the automotive, consumer, petrochemical and aerospace industries, as well as original equipment manufacturers and their tier suppliers, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The facility aims to serve the expanding Central and South American customer base of Celanese, a global technology and specialty materials company. The new center will support the automotive, consumer electronics, appliance, medical device, petrochemical and aerospace industries, as well as original equipment manufacturers and their tier suppliers.

Research and development (R&D) technologists in the center will work directly with manufacturers interested in product innovations in the growing markets of engineering polymers, food ingredients, adhesives, paints and coatings, and consumer goods.

These customers will have greater access to a diverse product and solution portfolio of engineered materials and intermediate chemicals, along with the technologists’ support and technical expertise.

This is the first commercial and technology center for Celanese in Mexico and is modeled after the company’s commercial and technology centers in Shanghai and Korea, which support manufacturers in the Asia region. Celanese has a rich history in Mexico starting in 1945, with a cellulose derivatives manufacturing facility in Jalisco. Since then, Celanese has built two world-class sites in Veracruz, including a chemicals production plant in Cangrejera and a logistics facility in Coatzacoalcos.

The facility will provide customers in Latin America with training in plastics and polymer technology; plastics design, molding and color; and technical and processing support. The center will draw from resources both within Mexico as well as support teams from the company’s global network of manufacturing facilities and other regional commercial and technology centers in the Americas, Europe and Asia.

As MRC informed earlier, in India, the country’s biggest oil refiner Indian Oil plans to invest USD2.4 billion in ramping up its ethanol production program. The company is looking to team with Celanese to build a 1 million metric ton per year of synthetic ethanol production capacity in the eastern town of Paradip.

Celanese Corporation is a global technology leader in the production of differentiated chemistry solutions and specialty materials used in most major industries and consumer applications. Based in Dallas, Texas, Celanese employs approximately 7,500 employees worldwide and had 2014 net sales of USD6.8 billion.