Sinopec Hubei to restart MEG plant in China after maintenance

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Sinopec Hubei Chemical Fertilizer plans to restart a monoethylene glycol (MEG) production following a maintenance turnaround, as per Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in China informed that the plant is likely to be resumed operations by end March 2016. The plant was taken off-stream in end-November 2015.

Located at Zhejiang in Hubei province of China, the plant has a production capacity of 200,000 mt/year.

We remind that, as MRC informed previously, Sinopec Hubei Chemical Fertilizer started a new MEG plant on February 8, 2014. Initially the plant was scheduled to start commercial production in late 2013. Located at Zhejiang in Hubei province of China, the plant has a production capacity of 200,000 mt/year.

Dow PDH unit completes performance test

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The Dow Chemical Company has announced that its new world-scale propane dehydrogenation unit (PDH), located at the company’s Oyster Creek site in Freeport, Texas, successfully completed the performance test, certifying that the unit is operating at full capacity, and is meeting the Honeywell UOP Oleflex performance guarantee, said the producer on its site.

The new 750 KTA facility began commercial operations in December 2015 and completed the performance test in less than two months.

These milestones represent progress of Dow’s comprehensive investment plan to further connect its U.S. operations with cost-advantaged feedstocks from increasing supplies of U.S. shale gas and deliver long-term competitive advantage for Dow’s Performance Materials, Consumer and Infrastructure Solutions businesses.

"Dow’s world-scale PDH unit has reached full rates and passed acceptance testing in record time," said Jim Fitterling, Dow’s president and chief operating officer. "The unit enables the replacement of purchased propylene with cost-advantaged production that will ultimately enable growth in attractive markets across North and South America. The timing of Dow’s strategic growth investments on the U.S. Gulf Coast has afforded us first-mover advantage."

Dow also continues to make significant progress on its world-scale ethylene unit, supporting infrastructure and the derivative investments aligned to the Company's Performance Plastics franchise, located at Dow sites across the U.S. Gulf Coast. The completion of the Performance Plastics derivative investments will be synchronized with the new ethylene unit.

"The successful start-up of UOP’s Oleflex unit at Dow’s Gulf Coast facility is a major milestone in our ability to provide world-class technology that enables companies like Dow to use domestic shale gas resources to produce key petrochemicals in the U.S.," said Mike Millard, vice president and general manager of Honeywell UOP’s Process Technology and Equipment business. "In addition to technology licensing, UOP provided the basic engineering design, modular CCR, control systems, catalyst, adsorbent and start-up services for the unit, which reached acceptance in record time."

As MRC reported earlier, in November 2014, The Dow Chemical Company announced an increased divestiture target aligned to further enhance the value of its portfolio and support the company’s market-driven, integrated strategy.

The Dow Chemical Company is an American multinational chemical corporation. As of 2007, it is the second-largest chemical manufacturer in the world by revenue (after BASF) and as of February 2009, the third-largest chemical company in the world by market capitalization (after BASF and DuPont). Dow is a large producer of plastics, including polystyrene, polyurethane, polyethylene, polypropylene, and synthetic rubber.

South Korean KPIC to expand ethylene capacity by H1 2017

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The Korea Petrochemical Ind. Co., LTD (KPIC) aims to expand its ethylene production capacity by the first half of 2017, company CEO Jeong Young Tae said.

Jeong said that KPIC’s ethylene capacity expansion for its Ulsan-based Naphtha Cracking Center (NCC) is ongoing and is expected to start commercial operation from Jun 1, 2017, South Korea’s Seoul Economic Daily reported.

Currently, KPIC produces about 470,000 mt/year of ethylene from its Ulsan-based NCC. With the ongoing capacity expansion, the company will be adding 330,000 mt/year of ethylene, and its combined ethylene capacity will reach 800,000 mt/year.

KPIC is one of the key producers of ethylene in South Korea. The company’s ethylene capacity accounts for about 6% of total ethylene production in South Korea.

When the capacity expansion is completed, however, the company’s market share will be increased to nearly 10%.

As MRC wrote before, in July 2015, KPIC awarded GS Engineering & Construction a USD270-million contract to increase ethylene capacity to 800,000 t/y and aromatics capacity to 300,000 t/y from 220,000 t/y currently. The project also includes the capacity to produce 150,000 t/y of propylene.

The global market for pipe coatings is projected to reach USD11.63 bln by 2020

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The global market for Pipe Coatings is projected to reach US$11.63 bln by 2020, registering a CAGR of 4.5% between 2015 and 2020, as per Plastemart with reference to MarketsandMarkets.

This growth is fueled by the high potential from the industrial end-use industry, increasing shale gas development in North America, and increasing infrastructure development activities in the Asia-Pacific region.

Thermoplastics such as PVC, PP, PE, and others are widely used in different applications of pipe coatings. These pipes are lightweight and cheaper than polyester, epoxy, and vinyl-ester-based pipes. They are predominantly used in sewage, irrigation, construction, mining, and chemical processing applications due to their excellent chemical resistance capacity.

Thermoplastic coated pipes are environmentally friendly as compared to other pipes and can be recycled for reuse. Polyethylene thermoplastic coating provides excellent corrosion protection. Pipe coatings are widely used in the oil & gas industry for smooth transportation of hydrocarbons from one place to another and also from country to country for the end-use consumption. Pipe coatings help to increase the shelf-life of the piping system and reduce replacement cost. Owing to their impressive resistance to corrosion, abrasion, and excellent mechanical properties, pipe coatings are the popular material preferred in the oil & gas end-use industry.

Thermoplastic coatings are the most appropriate and adaptable pipe coatings in the oil & gas end-use industry. Oil & gas is the leading end-use industry performing significantly in the Pipe Coatings Market with growth in developing unconventional reserves and exploration & production activities.

North America is the largest market for pipe coatings due to the presence of numerous key companies in the region. In North America, the demand for pipe coatings has grown due to increase in pipeline construction activities in the region. Abundance of shale oil & gas reserves in the country, upsurge in production from shale operations, and deep-water E&P in the Gulf of Mexico are also some of the major factors contributing to the demand of pipe coatings.
The pipe coatings market has a few numbers of global players competing for the market share, who are actively investing in various strategies such as new product developments and joint venture & collaboration projects globally to increase their market reach. Also, companies are investing on R&D activities. Major players such as Arkema S.A. (France), LyondellBasell Industries Holdings B.V. (Netherlands), AkzoNobel N.V. (Netherlands), and BASF SE (Germany) among others have adopted various organic and inorganic developmental strategies.

We remind that, as MRC reported earlier, in February 2016, AkzoNobel, the leading global producer of paints and coatings, said it is in discussions with BASF to acquire BASF’s industrial coatings business. BASF confirmed that it is in discussions with AkzoNobel on the potential sale, but also declined to give further information. BASF is relatively small in industrial coatings. Its main coatings sectors are automotive and consumer. Industrial coatings are lumped under others, which in 2014 had sales of about EUR240 million, or 8% of coatings sales of EUR2.98 billion. BASF says its main competitors in industrial coatings are AkzoNobel and PPG.

Arkema and Xenia to develop carbon fiber reinforced chain polyamides

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Arkema, a France-based chemical manufacturer, and Xenia have recently signed a cooperation agreement for the development of carbon fiber reinforced long chain polyamides, including the famous Pebax thermoplastic elastomer, as per Arkema's press release.

These compounds will find various applications in sports, optical, and electronics, where toughness and lightness are crucial.

Carbon fiber technology enhances the performance of polymers in the search for lightness and strength. This technology allows the production of ultra-thin and lightweight parts while keeping extremely high stiffness and impact resistance.

In collaboration with Xenia, newly developed Pebax grades will have higher rigidity while keeping the universally recognized features of Pebax TPE. These include enduring elasticity and impact resistance even at extremely low temperature, and also outstanding processability through direct injection moulding.

As MRC wrote before, in 2014, Arkemaand developed two new grades - Luperox organic peroxides and Kynar Flex PVDF resins -specifically designed for electric and electronic wires and cables applications.

Arkema with annual revenue of EUR6.4 billion is a leading European supplier of chlorochemicals and PVC. Kynar and Kynar Flex are registered trademarks of Arkema Inc.