Mitsubishi Chemical to take No.1 PTA plant in India offstream for maintenance

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Japan-based Mitsubishi Chemical is in plans to shut its No.1 purified terephthalic acid (PTA) plant for a maintenance turnaround, reported Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in India informed that the plant is slated to be taken offstream on December 1, 2015 and will remain shut for a period of around 15 days. Currently, the plant is operating at full production capacity rates.

Located at Haldia in the eastern Indian state of West Bengal, the No.1 plant has a production capacity of 470,000 mt/year.

Last October, Mitsubishi Gas Chemical Co. told "PetroChemical News" (PCN) that it had decided to discontinue its purified terephthalic acid (PTA) business in Japan. Mitsubishi currently operates a 260,000-t/y PTA plant at Mizushima, Japan, through its Mizushima Aroma joint venture with Toyobo Co. A spokesperson at Mitsubishi, when asked for the reason behind its decision to quit the PTA business, said "we cannot anticipate improvement of the profit without global oversupply." The company is "now examining" when to exit the business.

As MRC informed previously, in October 2015, Mitsubishi Polyester Film, Inc. announced an investment of USD100 million to increase its capacity for biaxially oriented polyester (BOPET) film at its plant in Greer, SC. The investment will include a new film production line scheduled to start up mid-year 2017.

Mitsubishi Chemical with headquarters in Tokyo, Japan, is a diversified chemical company involved in petrochemicals, polymers, agrochemicals, speciality chemicals and pharmaceuticals. The company's main focus is on three business pillars: petrochemicals, performance and functional products, and health care.

Celanese Corporation declares quarterly dividend

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Celanese Corporation, a global technology and specialty materials company, has declared a quarterly dividend of USD0.30 per share on its Series A common stock, payable on November 12, 2015, as per the company's press release.

The dividend is payable for the period beginning August 1, 2015 and ending on and including October 31, 2015 to stockholders of record as of November 2, 2015.

As MRC reported before, in June 2015, Jacobs Engineering Group was awarded an engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) contract from Celanese Corp. for the construction of a vinyl acetate ethylene (EVA) emulsions production plant at Jurong Island, Singapore. Construction is expected to begin by mid-2015, and the unit is expected to begin production by second half of 2016. Company officials did not disclose the contract value.

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.


LyondellBasell names Thomas Aebischer Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

MOSCOW (MRC) -- LyondellBasell, one of the world's largest plastics, chemical and refining companies, has announced that Thomas Aebischer has been appointed Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) effective Jan. 1, 2016, as per the company's press release.

"Thomas is a highly experienced and accomplished leader who brings a global perspective, deep knowledge of financial markets and significant experience at the executive level of large, multinational companies. Given his past experience and success in a variety of financial positions all over the world, I am very confident that he will be a tremendous asset as we continue to execute our long-term growth strategy," said Bob Patel, LyondellBasell's Chief Executive Officer.

Mr. Aebischer joins LyondellBasell after having served in a variety of positions, including CFO, over a nearly 20-year career with Holcim, one of the largest cement, concrete and aggregates companies in the world. Holcim merged with Lafarge in 2015.

In his role as Holcim's CFO, Mr. Aebischer's responsibilities included the company's information technology, accounting and administration, investor relations, risk management and procurement functions. Earlier in his career, Mr. Aebischer held positions with PricewaterhouseCoopers and the Bern cantonal tax authorities in Switzerland.

As LyondellBasell's CFO, Mr. Aebischer will be nominated to serve as a member of the Company's management board and will be responsible for leading the company's treasury, information technology, tax, finance and accounting functions. Mr. Aebischer will report directly to Mr. Patel.

As MRC informed previously, in November 2014, LyondellBasell Industries said "tight" markets for its products may stall the narrower margins that it expects will ultimately come from lower oil prices.

LyondellBasell Industries NV is a manufacturing company. The company produces chemicals, fuels, and polymers used for packaging, clean fuels, durable textiles, medical applications, construction materials, and automotive parts. LyondellBasell Industries operates globally and is headquartered in the Netherlands. LyondellBasell is also a leading licensor of polypropylene and polyethylene technologies. The more than 250 polyolefin process licenses granted by LyondellBasell are twice that of any other polyolefin technology licensor.

BASF introduces new Elastollan grades for food contact applications

MOSCOW (MRC) -- BASF is expanding its Elastollan portfolio (TPU, thermoplastic polyurethane) to include special Food Contact (FC) grades which are suitable for use in applications involving contact with food, said the producer on its site.

The new Elastollan portfolio, which is produced using the GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) system of quality assurance, comprises numerous ether- and ester-based grades. They can be used in a wide range of injection-molding and extrusion applications - from conveyor belts, films and fabrics through to hoses.

Plastics which can come into contact with food have to meet the very highest safety and quality standards. Conveyor belts or hoses must, as plant components, not exude any critical substances which are transferred to food and can alter the taste, odor or composition of the food.

The new Elastollan FC grades from BASF comply with both the guidelines of the EU regulations governing food contact applications and the standards of the American FDA (Food and Drug Administration). They satisfy the high safety requirements of GMP (Guidance for Good Manufacturing Practice, 2023/2006/EC) - a regulation for ensuring the quality of the production processes and environment used for manufacturing materials that will come into contact with food.

In addition, since 2014 BASF has been one of the first plastics manufacturers to offer a special FC grade in its PBT (polybutylene terephthalate) range: Ultradur B 1520 FC has a high barrier to water vapor, oxygen and in particular aroma, without the need for any additional coatings. The food contact certification means that the new grade is suitable for coffee capsules and thin-walled, injection-molded packaging for food and cosmetics.

As MRC informed previously, in early September 2015, BASF began its first production of diphenylmethane diisocyanate (MDI) at its wholly-owned site in Chongqing, China. Production will be ramped up gradually in line with market demand. MDI is an important component for polyurethanes - an extremely versatile plastics material that contributes towards improved insulation, provides lighter materials for cars, and helps save energy in buildings. MDI production will support these key industries in China’s western areas.

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.

Shell opens new lube blending plant in Indonesia

MOSCOW (MRC) -- As part of its continued growth strategy, Shell has opened its latest lubricant blending plant in Asia and the largest internationally-operated lubricants plant in Indonesia, according to the company's announcement.

The facility is located at the Marunda Centre, north of Jakarta, and sits on 75,000 square meters of land, equivalent to 10 football fields. The plant is capable of producing 120,000 tons (136 million liters) of finished lubricants each year, enough to change the oil of more than 460,000 motorcycles or almost 90,000 cars every day.

"This plant is testament to our confidence in the strength of the lubricants market in the country," said Mark Gainsborough, executive vice president of Shell Lubricants. "Indonesia is the largest lubricants market in Southeast Asia and is one of the growth engines for the industry in the region, alongside China and India.

"This plant brings our world-class lubricant production capability to Indonesia, strengthening our global supply chain," he continued. "It enables us to meet the lubricant needs of our Indonesian customers, with our high quality and premium lubricants, made at this new facility. Indonesia’s economy has grown rapidly in recent years, and lubricants are an essential enabler for this country’s growth ambitions in almost every sector."

The plant will produce Shell’s leading lubricants brands like Shell Helix (passenger car motor oil), Shell Advance (motorcycle oil), Shell Rimula (heavy duty engine oil), Shell Spirax (transmission oil), as well as other industrial lubricants. These products will support Indonesia’s growing demand for vehicle motor oils and other lubricants for applications in sectors like mining, power generation, transportation and the growing infrastructure building sector.

As MRC wrote before, in April 2015, Shell completed a revamp and upgrade of its Singapore ethane cracker. The project increased production for the 800,000-tpy ethylene plant on Bukom Island by 20%. The ethylene and olefins unit is also integrated with Shell’s 500,000-bpd refinery.

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.