Shell lifts petrochemicals production with successful start-up of new Singapore plants

МОSCOW (MRC) -- Shell today announced that it has more than doubled the production of high-purity ethylene oxide (HPEO) and ethoxylates at its site on Jurong Island, Singapore, said the producer in its press release.

The company has successfully started up a new purification unit with a capacity of 140,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) of HPEO. A new world-scale production unit today can manufacture 140,000 tpa of ethoxylates. Shell delivers HPEO through an ethylene oxide pipeline grid to ‘over-the-fence’ customers and its own expanded ethoxylation operations on Jurong Island. Feedstock for the new HPEO plant comes from Shell’s ethylene oxide/mono-ethylene glycol plant, which is integrated with the company’s ethylene cracker through to its largest fully-owned refinery on Pulau Bukom.

More than six million man-hours went into both projects, which were completed without disruption to existing operations. Some 400 kilometres of cable, 60 kilometres of piping, and 180 pieces of equipment (including columns, reactors, vessels, heat exchangers) were installed across 35,000 square metres of land (about the size of seven football fields), over two years.

Singapore continues to be an important refining and petrochemicals hub for Shell. The two new petrochemicals production units on Jurong Island further strengthen Shell’s portfolio of world-class manufacturing facilities, and boost its chemicals footprint in Asia. The availability of both ethylene oxide and propylene oxide (PO) at the same location offers an advantageous value proposition for specialty chemical companies, who commonly use both of these intermediates to produce value-added products.

In 2013, Shell increased polyols capacity by more than 100,000 tpa and added new grades to its product offering. In December 2014, it took 100% control of Ellba Eastern, the then styrene monomer and propylene oxide (PO) joint venture with BASF. The move enabled integration with and optimisation of Shell’s existing assets on Jurong Island in a difficult cost environment, and the additional volume of PO allowed the company to make the most of its polyols assets there. Most recently, Shell debottlenecked its Singapore ethylene cracker on Pulau Bukom and increased the capacity of olefins and aromatics by more than 20% to over one million tonnes a year.

Derived from ethylene oxide, HPEO is used in a wide range of household and industrial applications. Its largest outlet is the ethoxylation industry, which processes HPEO and alcohol into alcohol ethoxylates. These are key ingredients for a variety of products, such as detergents and personal care items like shampoo and body wash.

As MRC informed earlier, Shell Chemicals plans to rehabilitate the area surrounding an old Horsehead Corp. site along the Ohio River in western Pennsylvania. The company has not announced whether it will build an ethane cracker plant in Potter Township but has been undertaking site preparation projects for potential development.

Royal Dutch Shell plc is an Anglo-Dutch multinational oil and gas company headquartered in The Hague, Netherlands and with its registered office in London, United Kingdom. It is the biggest company in the world in terms of revenue and one of the six oil and gas "supermajors". Shell is vertically integrated and is active in every area of the oil and gas industry, including exploration and production, refining, distribution and marketing, petrochemicals, power generation and trading.

Huntsman, Haydale join forces on nano graphene development

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Haydale Graphene Industries plc, a United Kingdom-based nano-material specialist, has announced that its composite division has teamed up with Huntsman Corp. to develop graphene nano platelets (GNP) in the latter’s Araldite epoxy resins, said Plasticsnews.

As part of the agreement, a letter of intent for which has been signed by both parties, Haydale will functionalize GNP using its proprietary HDPlas process, adding them to Huntsman’s Araldite resins to create a highly loaded masterbatch. The ultimate objective of the collaboration will be to commercialize the graphene-enhanced Araldite resins for a range of applications in the composites market.

Gerry Boyce, managing director of the group’s Haydale Composite Solutions Ltd., said: "We are highly excited about working with a world-leading resins company and to developing markets and applications for these new graphene-enhanced Araldite resins.

"We see graphene enhanced polymer resins and their use in composite materials as being a revolution. This work opens up the potential for a whole new range of advanced composite materials and products with enhanced performance and lower cost."

David Hatrick, European technology director for The Woodlands, Texas-based Huntsman’s advanced materials, added: “We are pleased to be working closely with HCS on this exciting opportunity.

"The combination of HCS's expertise in functionalized GNPs and our capabilities in epoxy chemistry should create multiple new opportunities to meet the needs of the growing composites market."

As MRC informed earlier, Bodo Moller Chemie is now an official distributor for Huntsman Advanced Materials in Eastern Europe. Through the new partnership, the specialty chemicals company is stepping up its commercial activities in the Eastern European growth markets. The distribution business comprises the areas of adhesives, composites and electrical and extend to Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia.

Huntsman Corporation is a publicly traded global manufacturer and marketer of differentiated chemicals .Huntsman is a global manufacturer and marketer of differentiated chemicals. The company's operating companies manufacture products for a variety of global industries, including chemicals, plastics, automotive, aviation, textiles, footwear, paints and coatings, construction, technology, agriculture, health care, detergent, personal care, furniture, appliances and packaging.

Pertamina to resume TPPI refinery next month

MOSCOW (MRC) -- PT Pertamina (Persero) declared that the refinery that belongs to PT Trans Pacific Petrochemical Indotama (TPPI) would be operational again next month, said Katadata.

The refinery has stopped once since May 20th 2014 because Pertamina did not extend their cooperation.

Currently Pertamina as the shareholder of TPPI is conducting preparation stage to operate the refinery again. The target is that by the end of this month, the TPPI refinery would be revived so that next month it can start producing. The Pertamina VP Corporate Communication Wianda Pusponegoro said that the refinery operation would start with initial production capacity to be at the level of 20,000 barrels per day (bpd). The production capacity would later on be increased to be at the level of 50,000 to 55,000 bpd.

The TPPI refinery actually owns 100,000 bpd capacity to produce fuel and aromatic. The fuel products are light naphtha, kerosene, gas oil, fuel oil, mogas, and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). Meanwhile for the aromatic product there are paraxylene, orthoxylene, benzene, toluene, and mixedxylene.

According to the government’s wish, later on the TPPI refinery would be shifted to gasoline mode in order to produce the fuel, which is especially produced for the kind of product that is still being imported in large numbers.

According to Wianda, the TPPI refinery operation must have the government’s support, since the facility would need supplies that could not be relied on only to Pertamina. The government would also need to allocate condensate that has been the government’s portion for the refinery’s raw material, and even more so since condensates are very much needed by the refinery.

Currently, Pertamina is the main shareholder in TPPI, which is 26.6%. The remaining belongs to the Finance Ministry (25%), Argo Capital BV and Agro Global Holdings BV (22%), and Sojitz and Itochu (2%). TPPI also owns a debt to Pertamina in the amount of USD371 million.

As MRC informed earlier, Pertamina signed an agreement to purchase petrochemical products from PTT Global Chemical. The agreement serves as a pre-marketing strategy for Pertamina and PTT’s joint Indonesian petrochemical business. Under the agreement, PTT will deliver at least 5,000 tonnes of polyethylene and polypropylene products each month to Pertamina for sale in Indonesia.

Pertamina is an Indonesian state-owned oil and natural gas corporation based in Jakarta. It was created in August 1968 by the merger of Pertamin (established 1961) and Permina (established 1957). Pertamina is the world's largest producer and exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG).


Kazanorgsintez shuts down LDPE production

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Kazanorgsintez (part of TAIF group), Russia's largest polyethylene (PE) producer, has began a gradual shutdown of its low density polyethylene (LDPE) production for maintenance, according to ICIS-MRC Price report with reference to the statement of the company's customers.

The company's customers said the Kazan plant intends to completely shut down its third LDPE line with the annual production capacity of 117,000 tonnes on 19 September. The outage will last until the end of the month.

The shutdown was mostly caused by a shortage of ethylene (Nizhnekamskneftekhim, a key supplier of ethylene for Kazanorgsintez, will have shut down its ethylene production by the end of the week). The third LDPE line mostly produces 158 grade and 153 grade PE.

On 19 September, Kazanorgsintez plans to begin a gradual shutdown for maintenance at its production of high density polyethylene (HDPE).

As reported earlier, Tomskneftekhim (SIBUR), Russia's largest LDPE producer, shut down its production for a turnaround on 28 August. The outage will last until 24 September. The plant's annual production capacity is 240,000 tonnes.

Kazanorgsintez (part of TAIF) is one of the largest chemical producers in Russia. The plant produces more than 40% of all Russian polyethylene (PE) and also produces PE pipes. The company is Russia's largest producer of pipe grade high density polyethylene (HDPE). The plant's annual HDPE production capacity is 540,000 tonnes and LDPE production capacity - 217,000 tonnes.

BASF appoints new MD for PCI Augsburg

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Marc Christian Koppe, current head of the Refinish Coatings business of BASF Coatings Services GmbH in Dortmund, will assume responsibility for the Business Management PCI Europe Unit, effective October 1, 2015, said the producer in its press release.

Graduated in Business Administration, Marc Christian Koppe joined BASF in 2003. Before, he already worked in various functions in the Construction Chemicals division, which includes PCI, amongst others as Head of Marketing and Sales in China. Since 2012 he was head of the German Refinish Coatings business of BASF Coatings Services GmbH.

Marc Christian Koppe succeeds Clemens Bierig, who will assume a new position within BASF Coatings Services GmbH after eight years.

PCI Augsburg GmbH is part of the business unit Construction Chemicals of BASF and leader in the tile laying materials sector for specialist firms in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. In addition, the company supplies product systems for waterproofing, concrete protection and repair, as well as a complete product range for the soft flooring sector. PCI employs a staff of more than 700 and generated sales of over EUR220 million net in 2014.

As MRC informed earlier, BASF had presented the world's first top mount with polyurethane bearing and polyamide housing. Thus, BASF is now expanding its expertise in top mounts to enable car manufacturers an optimum combination of weight savings, pleasant acoustics and vibration damping.

BASF is the largest diversified chemical company in the world and is headquartered in Ludwigshafen, Germany. BASF produces a wide range of chemicals, for example solvents, amines, resins, glues, electronic-grade chemicals, industrial gases, basic petrochemicals and inorganic chemicals. The most important customers for this segment are the pharmaceutical, construction, textile and automotive industries. BASF had sales of over EUR74 billion in 2014 and over 113,000 employees as of the end of the year.