Taiwan's energy demand fell after petrochemical maker shut plants

(Bloomberg) -- Taiwan's energy demand fell for the first time in more than a year after the island's biggest petrochemical maker shut plants for routine maintenance and unscheduled repairs.

Combined consumption of coal, petroleum, gas, thermal energy and electricity declined 0.1 percent in October from a year earlier to the equivalent of 10.1 million kiloliters of oil, or about 2 million barrels a day, according to an e-mailed report from the Bureau of Energy in Taipei today. Demand last dropped in August last year.

Formosa Petrochemical Corp., Taiwan's biggest petrochemical maker, shut its second-largest ethylene plant on Oct. 5 for scheduled repairs. The company also halted a residual fuel processing plant and its smallest ethylene unit after fires in July. The chemical is a raw material for plastics and fabrics.


Oman Polypropylene Company shuts down plant

(Arabian Oil and Gas) -- Oman Polypropylene Company has shut down its polypropylene plant located in its facility in Sohar, Oman, for two weeks, according to a source close to the company. A shortage of propylene feedstock caused the company to halt production. The plant was expected to resume its operation in mid-December.

The polypropylene plant had also reduced its operational rate in early November as the refinery at Al Fahl Port was closed for maintenance.

The polypropylene maker is 40% owned by Oman Oil. LG International, Gulf Investment and International Petroleum Investment each hold a 20% share in OPP.


Sabic innovative plastics solution for extruded window frames and gutters

(Azom) -- SABIC Innovative Plastics developed Geloy XTW resin, a high-end acrylonitrile-styrene-acrylate (ASA) resin that has become the standard for excellence in co-extruded window profiles, gutters, siding and roofing for the building and construction industry.

When used as a cap layer over polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and other materials, Geloy XTW ASA resin maintains its color and gloss up to 10 times better than competitive products. This resin demonstrates SABIC Innovative Plastics' unmatched ability to repeatedly develop breakthrough materials that give customers a significant differentiator in challenging market sectors.


Ineos and PetroChina negotiating Grangemouth refinery

(Plastemart) -- Talks are underway between Grangemouth refinery owner Ineos and Chinese giant PetroChina. The two have been negotiating a possible deal for at least a year. Discussions are expected to continue this week amid claims that an agreement for sale was signed last month.

Last year, Ineos secured a grant of 7.6 mln pounds from the Scottish Government to upgrade the refinery petrochemicals complex as part of a 110 mln pounds investment plan. However, it had to shell out 170 mln pounds for industrial relations problems over the closing of its pension scheme.

Ineos has been considering options for the facility which needs considerable investment. It is unclear whether the talks are focused on an outright sale to PetroChina, or selling the refining business, but not the petrochemical division.


Growth in EU chems industry will slow to 2.5% in 2011 - Cefic

(ICIS) -- Growth in the EU's chemicals industry will slow to 2.5% in 2011 after a recovery of 10% this year as domestic demand remains below pre-crisis levels, chemical industry association Cefic said on Tuesday.

⌠We maintain our view from earlier this year that the sharp chemicals rebound in 2009 and early 2010 was driven by inventory rebuilding, support measures, and exports, said Cefic's director general Hubert Mandery.

⌠But chemicals output levels forecast for the end of 2011 will remain well below the peak levels reached in 2007, he added.

Cefic said that overseas demand had been the main driver of growth in 2010, but added that domestic demand from within the EU still remained short of pre-crisis levels.

Strong economic activity in Asia is currently driving up commodity prices, notably of oil, and destabilising price spikes are possible, said Cefic.

It also said the European chemical industry had undertaken streamlining of operations, but that global competition remained fierce as Middle East capacity increases, the expansion of Asian producers continues and companies in the US benefit from less expensive shale gas.