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.


DSM to increase prices for its compounds

(DSM) -- DSM Engineering Plastics has announced its intention to increase prices for its Akulon PA6 and PA66 compounds. This increase, which will be effective immediately, is to offset continued escalations in the costs of key raw materials.

While DSM Engineering Plastics continues to pursue and implement cost savings initiatives targeted at absorbing the impact of these raw material escalations, this increase is necessary to safeguard DSM Engineering Plastics' sustainable long-term growth.

Due to strong demand in the China market, all regions are experiencing cost increases for flame retardants, glass and other key raw materials, with the strongest additional cost increases of up to $250/Ton being realized in Asia.

⌠Similar appropriate action has already been taken in our polymers and high viscous PA6 business and we feel that we have no choice but to implement this increase for compounds as well, said Richard Pieters, Global Business Director Akulon/Novamid.