Sadara starts operations at Jubail polyethylene plant

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Dec 8 Saudi Arabia's Sadara Basic Services, fully owned by Sadara Chemical, said on Tuesday that operations had started at its polyethylene (PE) plant in Jubail Industrial City II, said Reuters.

The plant is designed to produce 375,000 metric tons per year of products used in specialty applications, such as the manufacture of food-grade plastics, industrial and consumer packaging and health and hygiene films, it said in a bourse statement.

It is the first of 26 plants being built in the Sadara complex located in Jubail Industrial City II, it said. Sadara said this year that the plant would start producing petrochemicals by the end of 2015.

The start-up is expected to impact fourth-quarter results, it said.

Sadara Chemical is a USD20 billion petrochemical joint venture between Saudi Aramco and Dow Chemical.

As MRC wrote earlier, in June 2015, Sadara Chemical Co. signed a 20-year supply agreement with Energy Chemicals Sources Co. (ECSC), a new joint venture of Halliburton and The Industrialization & Energy Services Co. (TAQA), to supply feedstock to ECSC's planned chemical production facility to be built in Jubail.

Sadara is building a world-scale, fully integrated chemicals complex in Jubail Industrial City 2, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The complex will be comprised of 26 manufacturing units, will possess flexible cracking capabilities and is expected to produce more than 3 million metric tons of high-value performance plastics and specialty chemical products. The first production units are expected to come on-line in the second half of 2015, with full production starting in mid-2016.

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, polyurethane, polyethylene, polypropylene, and synthetic rubber. In 2012, Dow had annual sales of approximately USD57 billion. The company"s more than 5,000 products are manufactured at 188 sites in 36 countries across the globe.

ChinaCoal Mengda’s PP & PE project delayed by environmental concerns

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The start of production at ChinaCoal Mengda New Energy & Chemical Industry Co.’s polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene (PE) plant in Ordos, Inner Mongolia, has been delayed until the first quarter of next year because of environmental concerns, the China Chemical Fiber (CCF) Group reported, as per GV.

Initially scheduled to begin production in 2014, the 10.5-billion yuan methanol-based project is designed to produce 300,000 t/y of PP and 300,000 t/y of PE.

CCF noted that the delay of the project will give a break to the "already-in-surplus" PP market in China.

We remind that, as MRC informed before, Jiutai Energy started commercial production at its new coal-to-polyethylene in September 2015. The plant began to operate at normal rates from December 2015. Located at Erdos, Inner Mongolia region in China, the new PE plant has a production capacity of 300,000 mt/year.

Technology from Honeywell UOP helping meet growing fuel and petrochemical demand in China

MOSCOW (MRC) -- UOP LLC, a Honeywell company, announced that Shandong Luqing Petrochemical Co. has started up a new production unit in just 20 months, leveraging Honeywell UOP technology and a pre-engineered, fast-to-market design, reported GV.

Located in Shandong Province on China’s East Coast, the new unit will use Honeywell UOP’s C4 Oleflex process to produce 170,000 metric tons per year of isobutylene, a key ingredient for making high-octane fuel and synthetic rubber used in tires, healthcare supplies and other consumer products.

"UOP’s fast-to-market solution with key, pre-engineered components enabled this project to go from kick-off to start-up in just 20 months - about 10 to 12 months earlier than a typical project of this size - allowing Shandong Luqing to start producing isobutylene sooner," said Mike Millard, vice president and general manager of UOP’s Process Technology and Equipment business unit. "With the lowest cash cost of production and the highest return on investment, Oleflex technology makes Luqing a more competitive player in the market for isobutylene."

In addition to licensing, UOP provided the engineering design, catalysts, adsorbents, equipment, staff training and technical service for the project. The C4 Oleflex process uses catalytic dehydrogenation to convert isobutane to isobutylene. The technology consistently delivers superior performance due to its high reliability, low energy usage, high isobutylene yields, and a fully recyclable platinum alumina-based catalyst system using proven continuous catalyst regeneration (CCR) technology. Last year, Hebei Xinxinyuan Energy Co., Ltd. became the eighth producer in China to license the C4 Oleflex process. The unit is expected to start up later this year.

As MRC reported earlier, Shandong Chambroad Holding Co., Ltd. has become the first company in China to commission a combined C3/C4 dehydrogenation unit to meet growing demand in Asia for plastics, high-octane gasoline and synthetic rubber.

Shandong Shouguang Luqing Petrochemical Co. is an independent integrated refiner that produces gasoline, liquefied petroleum gas, and the gas additive MTBE.

INEOS expands feedstock procurement and trading activity in Europe

MOSCOW (MRC) -- INEOS has announced the expansion of its cracker feedstock procurement and trading activity within Europe. The new trading business will be headquartered in Rolle, Switzerland and, from next month, will also have operations based out of INEOS' office in London, said the producer on its site.

Having previously outsourced the majority of the procurement of its European naphtha requirements, INEOS is now bringing this "in-house" to leverage its large and established position within these commodity markets. This activity will be conducted through the Trading & Shipping business which is part of INEOS Europe AG.

David Thompson, CEO of INEOS Trading & Shipping said “We are delighted to be enhancing our presence within the feedstock trading sectors which will contribute significantly to the sustained delivery of commercial value across our large portfolio of assets."

As an integral part of this project , INEOS is pleased to announce the conclusion of an agreement with Oiltanking Ghent for the storage and throughput of naphtha.

Although this business will encompass all of INEOS’ naphtha activity including the output of the refineries at Grangemouth and Lavera, the main beneficiary of the agreement with Oiltanking Ghent is the INEOS site in Koln. Naphtha is the main feedstock used at the site which supplies two ethylene production units (crackers) of 1.3 million tons per annum total capacity and is delivered to the site by pipeline or barges on the River Rhine.

INEOS is a significant consumer of ethane, propane, butane, naphtha and condensates. The integrated trading business enables not only provision of these feedstocks where they are needed but also financial risk management in a constantly changing market.

As MRC informed earlier, Ineos have been making space on their massive Grangemouth site to build a new GBP20 million headquarters. The explosive demolition work at the plant last week helped clear the way for the state-of-the-art four storey facility – just one element of the company’s multi-million pound regeneration of the 1700 acre site - which is scheduled to be operational by September 2016.

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.

Sabic eyes up acquisitions in 2016

MOSCOW (MRC) -- One of the world’s largest petrochemical manufacturers, Saudi Basic Industries Corporation, or Sabic, will make "at least one acquisition" next year, according to its chief executive, reported GV.

Yousef Al Benyan, acting vice chairman and chief executive of the Riyadh-based company, said on that Sabic was planning to announce the potential additions to its core market early in 2016. "I can tell you that [we are evaluating] between two to four companies in North America and China,” he said, declining to expand on the types of companies being looked at.

"All options are open as long as those potential targets fit with the strategy either in our core products - specifically technology – we are willing to go after it," said Al Benyan. Sabic’s goal is to take advantage of the current market volatility, triggered by the drop in oil prices, which has threatened the industry as margins tighten.

Al Benyan said that the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) petrochemical industry had to improve its competitiveness with the rising threat of US producers and increasing self-sufficiency of China.

As MRC wrote before, in November 2014, KBR was awarded a front-end engineering design (FEED) contract by Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (SABIC) for the debottlenecking and expansion of its Petrokemya butadiene extraction plant in Al Jubail, Saudi Arabia.

Besides, Sabic is modifying its Wilton cracker in the UK to enable it to use ethane feedstock imported from the US. The company is aiming to complete the project by 2016.

Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic) ranks among the worldпїЅs top petrochemical companies. The company is among the worldпїЅs market leaders in the production of polyethylene, polypropylene and other advanced thermoplastics, glycols, methanol and fertilizers.