Celanese announces sale of its atmospheric emulsions unit in Tarragona, Spain to IQOXE

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Celanese Corporation, a global technology and specialty materials company, announced that it has successfully concluded the sale of its atmospheric (vinyl and acrylics) emulsions unit in La Canonja (Tarragona), Spain, as per company's press release.

Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

IQOXE, a Tarragona-based petrochemical company specializing in the production of ethylene oxide, glycols and ethylene oxide derivatives, is acquiring the operation from Celanese of the 25,000mt nameplate production capacity atmospheric emulsions unit with 29 employees. Under a multi-year agreement, the buyer will produce certain emulsions products for which Celanese will continue to remain the channel to market for Mowilith and Celvolit atmospheric emulsions.

Celanese launched the sale process for both its atmospheric and VAE (vinyl acetate-ethylene) emulsions production units in Tarragona in March 2015, with the intent to find a credible buyer for both facilities. The sale intention was driven by a review of Celanese’s overall corporate strategy, which also included an assessment of the company’s global manufacturing facilities. In support of the company’s emulsion polymers business, the manufacturing footprint strategy favors integrated production sites that provide critical economies of scale.

As MRC informed earlier, Celanese will proceed with permanently reducing capacity by 50% at its acetate tow production facility in Lanaken, Belgium, as previously proposed. This decision results from continuing declines in the global demand for acetate tow products, especially in Europe, according to company officials.

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.

Ineos declares force majeure on PP supplies from Carson amid feedstock issue

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Ineos Olefins and Polymers USA has issued a force majeure declaration on polypropylene supplies from its Carson, California, facility, said Plastemart, citing Platts.

The force majeure stemmed from "an inability to acquire feedstock", the letter added. Company sources did not return calls asking what the allocation percentage might be or the duration of the force majeure.

No information on specific grades or sites affected was immediately available, but sources said the force majeure likely applied to homopolymer and random co-polymer grades.

As MRC wrote before, Ineos will invest around GBR 640m (USD1 billion) in shale gas exploration in the United Kingdom. The company plans to use the gas as a raw material for its chemicals plants, including Grangemouth in Stirlingshire. Grangemouth is currently running at a loss, but Ineos believes shale gas will transform the economics of the plant.

Ineos Group Limited is a privately owned multinational chemicals company consisting of 15 standalone business units, headquartered in Rolle, Switzerland and with its registered office in Lyndhurst, United Kingdom. It is the fourth largest chemicals company in the world measured by revenues (after BASF, Dow Chemical and LyondellBasell) and the largest privately owned company in the United Kingdom.

Unipetrol selects Technip and Linde for ethylene plant reconstruction project in Záluží

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Czech Republic-based oil distribution company Unipetrol has awarded two separate contracts to Linde Engineering and Technip for conducting reconstruction work at the company's damaged ethylene plant in Zaluzi, said the producer on its site.

Under the deal, German group Linde Engineering will provide engineering, procurement and construction management for the reconstruction of the plant, and Technip will supply technological units including four new pyrolysis furnaces for the same plant. Financial detail of the deal has not been disclosed.

An accident that occurred in October damaged the plant, and Unipetrol expects to operate the reconstructed facility by next year.

We are doing our maximum in order to put the Ethylene unit into operation in the shortest possible term."
Restarting of partial operation at the ethylene plant that includes petrochemical production and an increase in the capacity of the Litvinov refinery is expected to be completed by July next year, and the remaining part of the plant is expected to be operational by October next year."

Unipetrol Board of Directors chairman and CEO Marek Switajewski said: "We are doing our maximum in order to put the Ethylene unit into operation in the shortest possible term. The involvement of internationally recognised and experienced companies Linde and Technip is a quality guarantee of repair works and should maximally contribute to compliance with a set schedule."

As MRC reported earlier, Unipetrol's cracker with the capacity of 545,000 tonnes of ethylene per year was last taken off-stream from 20 June to 6 July because of technical issues at its production.

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 brought on-stream SM plant in Japan

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Asahi Kasei, one of the world's petrochemical majors, has restarted its No.3 styrene monomer (SM) plant at Mizushima, according to Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in Japan informed that the company has resumed operations at its plant over the weekend following a maintenance turnaround. The plant remained shut for around 6-7 weeks.

Located in Mizushima, Japan, the plant has a production capacity of 390,000 mt/year.

As MRC wrote previously, Asahi Kasei’s (Tokyo, Japan) Fibers division will expand production capacity for polypropylene spunbond nonwovens in Thailand at its subsidiary Asahi Kasei Spunbond (Thailand) Co. AKST will add a new production line of 20,000 metric tons per year capacity which, combined with its existing production line, will double its capacity for spunbond nonwovens to 40,000 m.t/yr. The investment for the capacity expansion is approximately USD5 billion, with a scheduled startup of November 2015.

Asahi Kasei Corporation is a global Japanese chemical company. Its main products are chemicals and materials science.

Supreme Petrochem reported disruption of operations of Chennai plant due to floods

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Supreme Petrochem has the informed the bourses that operations at the company’s EPS plant at Chennai have been disrupted due to the heavy rains and floods, said Thehindubusinessline.

The expected downtime can be assessed only after normalcy returns, it added. However, the company does not anticipate any material loss of revenue as customers can be serviced from its EPS plant located at Village Amdoshi/Wangani, District, Raigad, Maharashtra. The plant has adequate insurance cover against natural calamities, Supreme Petrochem said.

As MRC informed earlier, several years ago Supreme Petrochem declared force majeure for its exports after Mumbai port was closed due to collision of two ships. Up to 100 containers of polystyrene targeted for export markets were stranded at the port.

Supreme Petrochem Ltd., incorporated in the year 1989, is a Mid Cap company (having a market cap of Rs 1140.65 Cr.) operating in petrochemicals sector. Supreme Petrochem Ltd (SPL) is India’s largest producer and exporter of polystyrene polymer based in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India. In Indian market it has share of more than 50%. SPL is also the largest exporter of PS from India, exporting to over 93 countries around the globe.