Clariant and CB&I win design work for huge Chinese dehydrogenation unit

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Clariant has been awarded a contract by Hengli Petrochemical (Dalian) Refinery Co. to develop an extensive propane and butane dehydrogenation unit in cooperation with CB&I, according to the companies' announcement.

The project includes the license and engineering design of the co-processing unit, which is to be built in Dalian, Liaoning Province, China.

The design will be based on CB&I’s Catofin catalytic dehydrogenation technology using Clariant’s tailor-made Catofin catalyst and Heat Generating Material (HGM) to process feedstock containing 300,000 tpy of propane and 600,000 tpy of isobutane for the joint production of propylene and isobutylene.

When completed, it will be the largest single-train co-processing dehydrogenation unit in the world, and will play a key role in Hengli’s expansion plans.

"We are very pleased to be part of this groundbreaking project for Hengli Petrochemical Refinery," said Stefan Heuser, senior vice president and general manager for Clariant's catalysts business. "The contract is further proof that our customers recognize and demand the technological and economical advantages of Catofin and HGM."

The Catofin process is recognized as a highly reliable and efficient technology for producing propylene from propane, and isobutylene from isobutane. The process operates at optimum reactor pressure and temperature to maximize conversion of propane and isobutene for a high yield of propylene and isobutylene, and correspondingly low investment and operating costs.

As MRC informed before, in 2014 CB&I and Clariant, a world leader in specialty chemicals, announced that their new Ziegler-Natta (ZN) polypropylene catalyst plant in Louisville, Kentucky, is on schedule to begin production in 2015.

Clariant AG is a Swiss chemical company and a world leader in the production of specialty chemicals for the textile, printing, mining and metallurgical industries. It is engaged in processing crude oil products in pigments, plastics and paints.

Covestro appoints new head for polycarbonates

МOSCOW (MRC) -- Covestro said on Friday that Michelle Jou took over as head of polycarbonates effective 1 January 2016, said the company on its site.

She succeeds Markus Steilemann who now heads polyurethanes. Since 1 September 2015 he is also member of the board of Covestro responsible for Innovation. Jou has over 20 years of experience in the chemical industry in Asia, where she served in a variety of positions in sales, marketing and supply chain management. Before joining Bayer in 2003, she worked for a leading French petrochemicals company in Hong Kong and Shanghai.

Covestro, formerly known as Bayer MaterialScience, has its headquarters for polycarbonates in Shanghai.

Bayer MaterialScience has operated under the name of Covestro since September 1, 2015. The company had already relocated the headquarters of its global polycarbonate activities to Shanghai in 2011, as the primary markets for thermoplastics are located in Asia.

With 2014 sales of EUR 11.8 billion, Covestro is among the world’s largest polymer companies. Business activities are focused on the manufacture of high-tech polymer materials and the development of innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The main segments served are the automotive, electrical and electronics, construction and sports and leisure industries. Covestro, formerly Bayer MaterialScience, has 30 production sites worldwide and employs approximately 15,700 people (calculated as full-time equivalents) at the end of September 2015.

Mitsubishi took off-stream its cracker in Japan

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Mitsubishi Chemical has shutdown its No. 2 naphtha cracker, as per Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in Japan informed that the company has halted operations at it cracker January 22, 2016 owing to a technical glitch. The exact duration of the outage could not be ascertained.

Located in Kashima, Japan, the plant has an ethylene capacity of 526,000 mt/year and propylene capacity of 260,000 mt/year.

As MRC informed earlier, Mitsubishi Gas Chemical Co. decided to discontinue its purified terephthalic acid (PTA) business. Mitsubishi currently operates a 260,000-t/y PTA plant at Mizushima, Japan, through its Mizushima Aroma joint venture with Toyobo Co.

Mitsubishi Chemical with headquarters in Tokyo, Japan, is a diversified chemical company involved in petrochemicals, polymers, agrochemicals, speciality chemicals and pharmaceuticals. The company's main focus is on three business pillars: petrochemicals, performance and functional products, and health care.

PP imports into Ukraine decreased by 15% in 2015

MOSCOW (MRC) - Imports of polypropylene (PP) into Ukraine decreased to 96,200 tonnes in January-December 2015, down 15% year on year. The greatest decrease in imports occurred for homopolymer PP, according to MRC DataScope.

December imports of polypropylene in to Ukraine increased, despite the seasonal factor and the expectations of the abolition of the temporary import duty of 5% from 1, January 2016, and amounted to about 10,500 tonnes against 9,300 tonnes in November. Total PP imports in Ukraine decreased to 96,200 tonnes in January - December 2015, compared with 113,400 tonnes in the same time a year earlier. The largest decline in imports occurred for homopolymer PP, the smallest reduction in supply occurred for PP random copolymers.

Structure of PP imports over the reported period was as follows.

December imports of homopolymer PP in to the Ukrainian market were about 8,200 tonnes, while a month earlier this figure was 7,100 tonnes.
The main increase occurred for the supply of homopolymer PP raffia grade from Saudi Arabia. Imports of homopolymer PP in to the country decreased to 73,800 tonnes in 2015, down 17% year on year. The main decline in demand occurred for homopolymer PP raffia grade (-16%), while the demand in the sector of injection moulding, on the contrary, has increased by 6%.

December imports of PP block copolymers also increased to 1,200 tonnes against to 1,000 tonnes in November on a stronger buying of injection moulding PP block copolymers. Total imports of PP block copolymers into the country fell to 10,400 tonnes in 2015, compared with 11,500 tonnes year on year. The largest drop in demand occurred in the sector of extrusion of pipes and sheet - more than 20% ; demand in the sector of injection moulding decreased by 12%.

December imports of PP random copolymers into Ukraine were about 755 tonnes, compared to 871 tonnes in November on the reduction of purchases occured for pipe copolymers. Total imports of PP random copolymers into Ukraine were about 9,200 tonnes in January - December 2015, compared with 9,500 tonnes year on year. Demand for PP random copolymers decreased in all sectors of consumption, the exception was the local producers of injection moulding products - their demand increased by 2%.

Total imports of other propylene copolymers over the reporting period were about 2,800 tonnes, compared with 3,600 tonnes in the same time a year earlier.


Celanese to grow engineered materials portfolio with a PA platform

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Celanese Corporation, a global technology and specialty materials company, has announced it will expand its world-class engineered materials product portfolio with the addition of Nylon 6 and Nylon 6/6 using differentiated technology developed by Celanese, reported the company in its press release.

Some grades of nylon will be available immediately and some will be available beginning in the third quarter of 2016.

"With the addition of these high performance products to one of the world's broadest, most technically proven engineered materials portfolios, Celanese will leverage its technical capabilities to create differentiated solutions for our customers and be positioned to deliver greater value to molders, tier suppliers and OEMs in key industries including automotive, consumer goods and electrical/electronics," said Scott Sutton, president of Materials Solutions for Celanese.

As MRC wrote before, in June 2015, Jacobs Engineering Group was awarded an engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) contract from Celanese Corp. for the construction of a vinyl acetate ethylene (EVA) emulsions production plant at Jurong Island, Singapore. Construction is expected to begin by mid-2015, and the unit is expected to begin production by second half of 2016. Company officials did not disclose the contract value.

Celanese Corporation is a global technology leader in the production of differentiated chemistry solutions and specialty materials used in most major industries and consumer applications. Based in Dallas, Texas, Celanese employs approximately 7,500 employees worldwide and had 2014 net sales of USD6.8 billion.