SCG-Dow to take off-stream SM plant in Thailand for maintenance turnaround

MOSCOW (MRC) -- SCG-Dow Chemical, a joint venture between Dow and Siam Cement Group, is likely to take off-stream its styrene monomer (SM) plant for maintenance turnaround, as per Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in Thailand informed that the plant is planned to be taken off-stream in Q1, 2016. It is likely to remain off-stream for around one month.

Located in Thailand, the plant has a production capacity of 175,000 mt/year.

As MRC informed before, in 2014, SCG-Dow Group finalized the start-up of its new propylene oxide (PO) facility in Thailand by successfully completing its full capacity performance test. The world-scale plant, located within the Asia Industrial Estates (AIE) site near Map Ta Phut, Thailand, has a name plate capacity of 390,000 tonnes per annum of PO via the innovative hydrogen peroxide to propylene oxide (HPPO) technology.

The Dow Chemical Company is an American multinational chemical corporation headquartered in Midland, Michigan, United States. Dow is a large producer of plastics, including polystyrene (PS), polyurethane, polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), and synthetic rubber.

LLDPE imports into Russia decreased by 11% in January - October 2015

MOSCOW (MRC) - Imports of linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) in Russia decreased to 159,600 tonnes in the first ten months of this year, down 11% year on year. Reduction in LLDPE imports resulted from the growth of domestic production and weaker demand in some sectors of the processing, according to MRC DataScope.

October LLDPE imports into the country increased to 17,900 tonnes, compared with 16,700 tonnes in September because of stronger demand from the producers of stretch films. Total LLDPE imports into Russia were 159,600 tonnes in January - October 2015, compared with 180,600 tonnes year on year. Such a serious decline in imports of this type of polyethylene resulted from reduced demand in some sectors of consumption and the growth of domestic production, in particular by Nizhnekamskneftekhim.

Structure of LLDPE supply over the reported period looked as follows.

October imports of film LLDPE in the country grew to 15,700 tonnes, compared with 13,700 tonnes in September. The main increase in imports occurred for the few large producers of stretch film. Total imports of film LLDPE in Russia in the first ten months of the year were 134,500 tonnes, compared with 155,900 tonnes year on year.

October imports of linear PE for the production of overall rotomoulded products seasonally decreased to 584 tonnes against 1,100 tonnes in September. Total imports of LLDPE for overall products by rotational moulding production in January-October significantly decreased to 8,400 tonnes, compared with 10,200 tonnes year on year. The main suppliers of PVC into Russia were producers from Asia.

Imports of LLDPE in other consumption sectors (cable extrusion, lamination of paper, moulding, etc.) in the past month fell to 1,600 tonnes against 1,900 tonnes a month earlier because of the reduction in demand in the sector of paper and lamination from producers of pipes. Total imports of LLDPE in other consumption sectors in the ten months of this year increased to 16,700 tonnes, from 14,100 tonnes year on year.


HDPE imports to Russia fell by 37% over ten months of 2015

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The overall imports of high density polyethylene (HDPE) totalled 158,300 tonnes over the first ten months of 2015, down by 37% year on year. HDPE for extrusion blow moulding (EBM) and pipe extrusion accounted for the greatest decrease in imports, according MRC DataScope report.

The October HDPE imports to Russia rose to 17,900 tonnes from 17,200 tonnes a month earlier because of the increased shipments of pipe grade and film grade polyethylene (PE). The overal HDPE imports totalled 158,300 tonnes from January to October 2015 versus 253,100 tonnes a year earlier. Such a major fall in imports was caused by a stable performance of Russian producers and weaker demand in certain consumption sectors.

The supply structure by consumption sectors looks the following way over the stated period.

The October imports of HDPE for extrusion coating of large diameter steel pipes grew to 1,800 tonnes from 1,200 tonnes a month earlier. The overall imports of this PE grade decreased to 41,800 tonnes over the first ten months of the year, down by 14% year on year, partially because of the increased production of Metaclay.

The last month's imports of injection moulding HDPE dropped to 3,100 tonnes from 4,100 tonnes in September because of lower supplies from Uzbekistan. Imports of injection moulding PE totalled 38,400 tonnes from January to October 2015, down by 3% year on year.

The October imports of pipe grade HDPE rose to 6,400 tonnes from 5,500 tonnes in September. The shutdowns for maintenance at Russian plants were the main cause of higher imports of pipe grade PE. The overall imports of pipe grade PE into Russia totalled 32,300 tonnes over the first ten months of the year versus 74,100 tonnes a year earlier.

The last month's imports of HDPE for EBM fell to 1,300 tonnes from 2,500 tonnes in September. The overall imports of this PE grade to Russia totalled 20,700 tonnes over the stated period versus 46,000 tonnes a year earlier.

The October imports of film grade HDPE rose to 3,300 tonnes from 2,100 tonnes a month earlier. Imports of film grade HDPE slumped to 14,100 tonnes over the first ten months of the year from 33,200 tonnes a year earlier.

The overall HDPE imports into other consumption sectors, including the extrusion of cable products, totalled 11,100 tonnes from January to October 2015 versus 11,600 tonnes in 2014.


Japanese refiners Idemitsu and Showa Shell to merge

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Idemitsu Kosan Co. and Showa Shell Sekiyu KK has signed a non-binding agreement to merge, as Japan’s refiners consolidate amid declining domestic demand and a fuel glut, reported Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The two companies expect 50 billion yen (USD407 million) of synergies by the fifth year after a deal, according to a filing on Thursday to the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

The merger is expected to be completed between October 2016 and April 2017. A value for the transaction wasn’t provided.

The memorandum of understanding isn’t binding and most details, including the method for merging, haven’t been decided. In July, Idemitsu agreed to purchase a 33.24% stake in Showa Shell from Royal Dutch Shell for 169 billion yen. A full combination of the two would create a company with about a third of the domestic gasoline market.

Oil demand in Japan has been declining as the nation’s population shrinks and as a shift to more energy-efficient cars prompts refiners to lower output.

The government, a backer of industry consolidation, has asked for cuts in processing capacity as the US boosts exports and new production redraws global gasoline and diesel trade flows.

As MRC informed previously, Shell’s presence in Japan spans more than 100 years and it remains an important LNG market for Shell’s upstream integrated gas business. It also remains an important market for Shell’s downstream business conducted in partnership with Showa Shell, including lubricants, chemicals and trading. Shell will continue to license its brand to Showa Shell for use in its retail business.

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.

Idemitsu Kosan is a Japanese petroleum company. It owns and operates oil platforms, refineries and produces and sells petroleum, oils and petrochemical products. The company runs two petrochemical plants in Chiba and Tokuyama. The two naphtha crackers can produce up to 997,000 tonnes of ethylene per year.

Ruwais Refinery expansion project commissioned with 100% production capacity

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Abu Dhabi Oil Refining Company (Takreer) has announced the commissioning of Ruwais Refinery Expansion Project with a 100 per cent production capacity whereas the crude distillation unit and all associated hydro treating units were commissioned to process 417,000 BPSD (Barrels Per Stream Day) of Murban crude, which is a light mix of onshore crude in a single atmospheric distillation unit, said Gulfnews.

"Commissioning Ruwais Refinery with a full capacity is considered as a major milestone that would boost the local refining industry and attain optimal integration with the country’s petrochemical industry as the new refinery will be producing Propylene, in addition to distillation products that are used as a quality fuel like gasoline, jet fuel and gas oil products," Jasem Ali Sayegh, Chief Executive Officer of Takreer said.

The company has recently exported 105 shipments of fine quality distillates to the global markets in Asia, Europe and Latin America.

One of the biggest shipments to date consisted of 122,000 tons naphtha, while the average shipment of low sulphur gas oil (less than 10 PPM) and jet fuel were 95,000 tonnes each, the company said. Two propylene shipments of 7,000 tons each were also exported to global markets.

The Residue Fluid Catalytic Cracker (RFCC), which is the key unit of the expansion project, has already been commissioned with 75 per cent production capacity. Work is ongoing to increase the production capacity to 100 per cent, the company said.

The unit produces Propylene, Alkaline and gasoline. The RFCC Unit and its associated refining units also aim to improve the heavy residues from the crude oil distillation unit. "The new refinery was designed to double Takreer’ s current capacity to enable the company to refine about 900,000 bpd of crude oil and to maximise the production of propylene," Al Sayegh said in a statement.

Ruwais Refinery Expansion project consists of key processing units like distillation, hydro treatment, gas treatment, catalytic cracking unit, ethylene recovery unit, olefins conversion unit to produce propylene, alkylation unit, and several petrochemical units as well as support facilities that include utilities, off-site facilities for storage and mixing and the jetty area.

As MRC informed previously, in January 2014, Honeywell was awarded four contracts worth a combined USD40 million over an 18-month duration for the Abu Dhabi Polymer Company’s Borouge 3 petrochemicals complex in Ruwais, Abu Dhabi. Honeywell will be the main automation contractor (MAC) for this project, providing Linde and other engineering, procurement and construction (EPCs) contractors involved in the project with integrated control and safety systems.

Takreer was established in 1999 as a public joint-stock company to take over the responsibility of refining operations previously undertaken by the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc). The company’s areas of operation include the refining of crude oil and condensate, supply of petroleum products and production of granulated Sulphur in compliance with domestic and international specifications.