Equate to complete polyethylene project in H1 2016

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Kuwait’s Equate Petrochemical Company President and CEO Mohammad Hussain said a project aimed at increasing polyethylene (PE) production would be completed in the first half of next year, as per GV.

The first phase of this project regarding production of ethylene would end this year, while the second phase, the polyethylene plant, would be completed next year, he said. Hussain, answering a KUNA question in a news conference on fringes of the 10th session of the forum of the Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA), said this project would contribute to boosting polyethylene production from 825,000 tons to a million tons.

Asked about the petrochemicals industries in the Gulf region, Hussain said the Arab Gulf countries have huge potentials and were capable of maintaining this edge regardless of turmoil affecting regional economies. He did not expect the Gulf countries to slow down their petrochemicals industries. Hussain said Equate depended on its marketing capability coupled with availability of crude materials in North America. He said Equate human resources were its most successful capability.

Hussain underlined importance of the Chinese market, which has an average growth of 5-7 %. He said Kuwait should have a comprehensive national vision to develop the petrochemical sector and noted that global economic slowdown should not mean the stop of development and growth in the petrochemical sector because of the high importance of the manufacturing industries.

As MRC informed previously, in late 2014 - early 2015, Equate successfully entered its final stage of the turnaround’s operations relevant to a number of industrial units for ethylene, polyethylene and ethylene glycol.

Established in 1995, EQUATE Petrochemical Company is an international joint venture between Petrochemical Industries Company (PIC), The Dow Chemical Company (Dow), Boubyan Petrochemical Company (BPC) and Qurain Petrochemical Industries Company (QPIC). Commencing production in 1997, EQUATE is the single operator of a fully integrated world-scale manufacturing facility producing over 5 million tons annually of high-quality petrochemical products which are marketed throughout the Middle East, Asia, Africa and Europe.

Arkema opens new Bostik production facility and training center in Texas

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Bostik (part of Arkema), a leading global adhesive specialist for construction, consumer and industrial manufacturing markets, has announced the opening of its new Dallas plant, one of many strategic plants being built around the globe, said Arkema in its press release.

This site will produce ceramic tile adhesives (CTA) and floor preparation products.

"We are pleased to expand our manufacturing presence in the United States," stated Bob Marquette, Senior Vice President - Americas. “Dallas is a key market for new construction, and having production located near demand centers is a critical component of our business development strategy for the construction market. Our new Dallas plant will enable us to provide our customers with superior on-site technical service, reduced freight costs, timely and convenient delivery and a centrally located fulfillment warehouse."

The opening of the new facility follows recent plant inaugurations in India, Malaysia and Brazil and will complement Bostik’s existing manufacturing presence in the United States. The tiling and floor preparation products being manufactured at the facility are based on Bostik’s world-class Polymer Modified Binder (PMB) technology platform which remains a focus of its ongoing innovation, research and development activities.

The highly automated design of the facility will offer a positive impact on safety, quality and productivity. In addition to production, the Dallas location also offers a state-of-the-art onsite training and demonstration facility.

As MRC wrote earlier, on 2 February 2015, Arkema finalized the acquisition of Bostik, the world's No. 3 in adhesives.
With this acquisition, the group reaches a new milestone in its development, and confirms its ambition to become a world leader in specialty chemicals and advanced materials.

Bostik develops high-performance and high-value-added bonding and sealing products for the nonwoven, industrial, construction, and consumer markets. Bostik employs about 4,900 people across 48 production facilities - 18 in Europe, 10 - in North America, 8 - in Asia, 6 - in Australia and New Zealand, 2 - in Africa, and 4 - in South America.

Arkema is a leading European supplier of chlorochemicals and PVC. Kynar and Kynar Flex are registered trademarks of Arkema Inc.

Petroleo Brasileiro SA to ink naphtha supply contract with Braskem

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Brazil's energy minister Eduardo Braga said on Friday that he expects Brazil's state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA to sign a naphtha supply contract with Brazilian petrochemical company Braskem SA by Dec. 15, as per Plastemart.

Earlier on Friday, Braskem Chief Executive Officer Carlos Fadigas said months of talks with Petrobras, as the state-run oil company is known, are nearly complete and will result in Braskem paying a price "slightly above" the European reference price for naphtha, a petrochemical feedstock.

Braskem depends on naphtha from Petrobras to operate its Brazilian plants, the dominant supplier of polyethylene, polypropylene and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) to Brazil, the world's seventh-largest economy.

As MRC wrote before, Braskem SA will soon decide whether to build a plant in Texas or Pennsylvania to convert low-cost natural gas into polypropylene. The factory would produce at least 1 billion pounds (450,000 metric tons) of resin a year and would be the U.S. polypropylene industry’s first world-scale project in about 12 years, said Mark Nikolich, a vice president at Braskem in June 2015. Preliminary engineering is under way for construction at existing Braskem sites in either La Porte, Texas, or Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania.

Braskem S.A. produces petrochemicals and generates electricity. The Company produces ethylene, propylene, benzene, toluene, xylenes, butadiene, butene, isoprene, dicyclopentediene, MTBE, caprolactam, ammonium sulfate, cyclohexene, polyethylene theraphtalat, polyethylene, and polyvinyl chloride (PVC).


Singapore Prime Evolue halts mLLDPE trial production amid ethylene shortage

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Singapore Prime Evolue has halted trial production at its new 300,000 tpa metallocene hexene-based linear low density polyethylene (mLLDPE) plant on Jurong Island due to the lack of feedstock ethylene following the force majeure on ethylene supply by Shell, reported Plastemart with reference to a company source.

Prime Evolue is a joint venture between Mitsui Chemicals and Prime Polymer. "We can expect C2 (ethylene) to be very tight from December to June," the source said, declining to comment on the restart date saying it was "too sensitive for the time being".

Shell Chemicals declared a force majeure on ethylene supply on December 1 following mechanical problems at its steam cracker in Pulau Bukom, which produces 960,000 m tpa of ethylene. Shell has also declared a force majeure on other petrochemicals including propylene oxide, monopropylene glycol, polyols, propylene, monoethylene glycol, butadiene.

Prime Evolue was established in 2012 for the sales and production of Mitsui Chemical’s Evolue LLDPE in Singapore. The venture, owned 80% by Prime Polymer and 20% by Mitsui, and with a capital of USD115-million, built a 300,000-t/y Evolue production unit, as MRC wrote previously. Initially, construction was scheduled for completion in December 2014, with commercial operations to start during the second quarter of 2015.

ExxonMobil starts Banyu Urip central processing facility in Indonesia

MOSCOW (MRC) -- ExxonMobil announced the successful and safe startup of the onshore central processing facility at the Banyu Urip field in Indonesia, helping increase production to more than 130,000 barrels of oil per day, as per company's press release.

With the central processing facility now online, production will continue to increase in the coming months. Once full field production is reached, Banyu Urip will represent approximately 20 percent of Indonesia’s 2016 oil production target.

Banyu Urip is expected to produce 450 million barrels of oil over its lifetime. The project consists of 45 wells producing from three well pads, an onshore central processing facility, a 60-mile onshore and offshore pipeline and a floating storage and offloading vessel and tanker loading facilities in the Java Sea. ExxonMobil, partnering with PT. Pertamina EP Cepu and the Cepu Block Cooperation Body, commenced production from Banyu Urip in late 2008, and output has increased as additional facilities were brought online in 2014 and 2015.

ExxonMobil expects to increase its global production volumes in 2015 to 4.1 million oil-equivalent barrels per day. The volume increase is supported by the ramp up of projects completed in 2014 and the startup of major developments in 2015.

As MRC informed earlier, ExxonMobil is studying a proposal to expand its 334,600-bpd refinery in Beaumont, Texas, into the largest in the US. ExxonMobil has pulled together a group of experts at the plant to do more detailed studies on potentially adding a third crude distillation unit (CDU). The new CDU could make the Beaumont refinery the largest in the US, with capacity rising to as much as 850,000 bpd.

ExxonMobil is the largest non-government owned company in the energy industry and produces about 3% of the world's oil and about 2% of the world's energy.