Protectionism to curb Mideast's petrochemical growth

(ICIS) -- The recent rise in countries' antidumping measures are likely to impede the growth and trade flows of petrochemicals from the Middle East, senior industry officials said on Wednesday.

While the Middle East is projected to supply up to 40% of Asia's expected demand for petrochemicals in the medium term, protectionist measures could curb this outflow, said Sheikha Lubna Bint Khalid al-Qasimi, the United Arab Emirates' minister of foreign trade. She was speaking at the fifth annual Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA) forum in Dubai.

India recently put tariffs on polypropylene (PP) shipments from Saudi Arabia, Oman and Singapore. The increase in antidumping measures has grown in tandem with the recovery in the global economy, as economies with large export deficits create an environment conducive to protectionist measures, said SABIC CEO Mohamed al-Mady.


Saudi Aramco in talks with prospective customers to sell paraxylene and benzene

(Plastemart) -- Saudi Aramco is in talks with prospective customers to sell paraxylene and benzene cargoes from its 400,000 bpd refinery in Jubail Industrial City in late 2013 or early 2014, as per Platts.

Saudi Aramco and Total are building a refinery in Jubail Industrial City 2 to produce gasoline, low-sulfur diesel and naphtha. The project will also process heavy crude to produce 700,000 tpa paraxylene, 140,000 tpa benzene and 200,000 tpa polymer grade propylene.

Aramco and Total will each have a claim over 50% of the output. Saudi Aramco is looking to sell 25,000-100,000 tons of cargoes of paraxylene and benzene under long-term contracts.


Saudi Arabia and India over the anti-dumping duties on PE

(Plastemart) -- Talks are underway between Saudi Arabia and India over the anti-dumping dumping duties levied on polyethylene (PE) imports by India, the chief executive of Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC), is reported to have said as per Reuters.

This year saw China and India launch anti-dumping probes of Gulf firms, including SABIC, to assess whether methanol was being dumped onto the Chinese market at below-production prices.


Reconstruction of oil and petrochem terminal in Malaysia to be completed early 2011

(Plastemart) -- Reconstruction is to complete in early 2011 on the oil and petrochemicals terminal in Malaysia's Tanjung Langsat Port, as per Platts. The port was shut following a fire in August 2008. Reconstruction on tanks 1 and 2, with a combined capacity of 20,000m3 are still under way and are targeted for completion end January 2011. Full operation at the 100,000m3 oil and petrochemicals terminal is expected at the end March or early April next year.

This will be followed by the inspections and the approval process by the federal authority's Department of Occupational Safety and Health, or DOSH, all of which will take an estimated two months, following which the terminal will be able to restart at full capacity.


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.