Denka intends to boost competitiveness by streamlining utilities at Chiba site

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Denka Co. Ltd., formerly Denki Kagaku Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha, has decided to boost the competitiveness of its Chiba, Japan, facility by streamlining its utilities, as per GV.

This move, Denka explained, is in line with the company’s policy of promoting close cooperation among companies throughout the Maruzen Petrochemical complex in Chiba, including oil refineries and plants producing ethylene and its derivatives.

Currently, Denka has two boilers at Chiba that provide steam and electricity for its styrene monomer and styrene based functional resin production, as well as polymer processing facilities. The company plans to shut down one boiler and associated power generation system in June in conjunction with scheduled maintenance, while the other boiler, which is equipped with a highly efficient gas turbine power generation system, will continue to operate.

The resulting shortfall in steam supply will be met by Maruzen’s Chiba ethylene facilities under an agreement between Denka and Maruzen.

Denka noted this plan will help decrease both steam procurement cost and costs for the maintenance, upgrading and repair of boilers, resulting in an estimated annual savings of about JPY 300-million. At the same time, Maruzen will benefit because the Denka facilities will consume a steady supply of steam by-product from Maruzen’s ethylene production.

Going forward, Denka said it also plans to increase cooperation with other companies in the Maruzen complex to enhance the competitiveness of the complex as a whole and decrease the site’s total carbon dioxide emissions.

As MRC reported earlier, in 2013, Denka, in order to accelerate business development to meet market demand, reorganized six business divisions into four units and renamed some of its departments.

Thus, the former Electronic Materials, Styrene, Chemicals, Cement and Special Cement Additives, Living and Environmental Products and Medical Sciences Divisions were transformed into the Elastomers & Performance Plastics, Infrastructure & Inorganic Materials, Electronics & Innovative Products and Life Sciences & Environment Products business units. In addition, the Elastomers & Acetylene Black Dept. was renamed the Organic Chemicals Dept., the Agri-Products Dept. is now the Fertilizer Dept., and the Adhesives & Solutions Dept. is the Tapes & Adhesives Dept.

Toray subsidiary Carbon Magic opens new carbon fiber reinforced plastic parts plant in Thailand

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Toray Industries Inc. has announced that it and Toray Carbon Magic Co., Ltd. (TCM) held the inauguration ceremony for a new plant of Carbon Magic (Thailand) Co. Ltd. (CMTH), a subsidiary manufacturing carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) parts. The ceremony was held at the Saha Group industrial park in Sriracha, Chonburi, Thailand, reported GV.

The establishment of the new CMTH plant is part of the move to enhance production capacity of TCM and CMTH announced in May 2014. In addition to the enhancement of functions with the new TCM office building completed in December 2014, CMTH newly established integrated mass production plant covers the processes from molding to coating in the about 22,000 m2 premise newly leased from Saha Group. Since coming under the Toray Group from Dome Group in April 2013, TCM and its Thai production base of CMTH have been adding the competitive edge of Toray’s high quality materials to TCM’s outstanding design technology and CMTH’s mass production cost competitiveness, which has led to even higher rating and expectations from the market.

The current enhancement of TCM and CMTH is in response to the market needs for their products, which are not only for premium vehicles and motorbikes, the company’s specialty for long, but also for new fields such as aircraft and trains as well as wheel chairs and prosthetic limbs, for which the companies are seeing rapid increase in inquiries for design, development of prototype and mass production.

Toray Group positions TCM as the core base of the advanced composite business and aims to develop new markets and increase applications for CFRP parts, in addition to the existing automobile field, in cooperation with other composite bases outside japan such as Euro Advanced Carbon Fiber Composites GmbH (EACC) in Germany and Plasan Carbon Composites, Inc. (PCC) in the U.S. Moreover, the Group will enhance the supply chain starting from carbon fibers in upstream to base materials in middle stream and to CFRP composite in downstream by including large tow carbon fibers of Zoltek Companies, Inc., which joined the Group in February 2014, and Composite Materials (Italy) s.r.l (CIT) and Delta Tech S.p.A with its subsidiary Delta Preg S.p.A, two Italian prepreg manufacturing bases which became Toray subsidiaries one after another in 2015.

Under the medium-term management program Project AP-G 2016, which was launched in fiscal year 2014 and is scheduled to be accomplished in fiscal year 2016, the Toray Group is driving forward the Green Innovation Business Expansion (GR) Project in a group-wide endeavor to expand the business that contributes to solving environmental problems and resource and energy issues. The carbon fiber composite material business, which improves mileage through weight reduction of automobiles and aircraft and contributes to reduction of CO2 emissions, is at the center of this GR Project, and the Toray Group is determined to continue contributing to the realization of a sustainable society through expansion of this business.

As MRC wrote previously, in December 2014, Toray Industries, Inc. announced that the company and its subsidiary Toray Advanced Materials Korea, Inc. would expand the production facility for high-performance polypropylene (PP) spunbond at P.T. Toray Polytech Jakarta (TPJ) by 18,000 tons per year. After the enhancement, the production capacity of TPJ will be about 37,000 tons per year, boosting the Toray Group-wide PP spunbond production capacity to about 153,000 tons per year. The added production facility at TPJ is expected to start operating in September 2016.

Toray Industries is a multinational corporation headquartered in Japan that specializes in industrial products centered around technologies in organic synthetic chemistry, polymer chemistry, and biochemistry. Its founding business areas were fibers and textiles, as well as plastics and chemicals. Toray Group Malaysia companies are involved in four main businesses -- polyester fibres, textiles, plastic resins and polyester films.

Production of products from polymers in Russia rose 4.6% in January - February 2016

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Russia's production of finished products from polymers grew in February 2016. Last month's output of basic products from polymers rose by 19.6% from January, and the increase in overall production was 4.6% in January - February 2016, reported MRC analysts.

Last month's production of key products from polymers rose in Russia by 19.6% from January 2016 under the pressure of seasonal factors. Polymer pipes, hoses and fittings accounted for the main increase in the output.

Overall production of products from polymers grew by 4.6% year on year over the first two months of the year. The sheets segment showed a negative growth in production.

According to the Federal Service of State Statistics, February production of plastic pipes, hoses and fittings went up to 37,400 tonnes from 25,600 tonnes a month earlier. Overall output of these products totalled 63,000 tonnes in January - February 2016, up by 7.5% year on year.

Last month's output of unreinforced and non-combined films grew to 73,200 tonnes from 50,800 tonnes in January. Production of films rose over the stated period by 10.7% year on year, totalling about 124,000 tonnes.

February production of plates, sheets and non-combined films reached 20,400 tonnes versus 16,400 tonnes a month earlier. Overall production of these products rose to 36,800 tonnes in January - February 2016, down by 8.8% year on year.

Last months's production of plates, sheets and polymer porous films was 19,600 tonnes compared to 15,400 tonnes in January. Overall output of these polymer products dropped over the stated period by 6.6% year on year to 35,000 tonnes.

PP production in Russia increased by 6% in January - February 2016

MOSCOW (MRC) - Production of polypropylene (PP) in Russia increased to 239,200 tonne in first two months of this year, up 6% year on year, compared to the same period of 2015. Such a serious increase in production volumes provided Tobolsk-Polymer, according to MRC ScanPlast.

February PP production in the country was 116,700 tonnes, compared with 122,500 tonnes in January. Reduction in production mostly resulted from the calendar factor. Total PP production in Russia reached 239,200 tonnes in the first two months of the year, compared with 225,400 tonnes in the same period of 2015. The growth in the output showed all companies except Nizhnekamskneftekhim, with the largest increase in production occurred for Tobolsk-Polymer.

Structure of PP production over the reported period looked as follows.

The largest producer of PP in Russia - Tobolsk-Polymer (SIBUR) in February produced about 41,700 tonnes against 43,200 tonnes a month earlier. Tobolsk-Polymer's PP production reached 84,900 tonnes in the first two months of the year, compared with 77,000 tonnes year on year.

Poliom (Titan Group) last month produced about 16,200 tonnes of PP, compared with 17,800 tonnes in January. Total PP production at the plant over the reported period exceeded 34,000 tonnes, compared with 32,600 tonnes year on year.

Nizhnekamskneftekhim in February produced about 17,400 tonnes of polypropylene compared with 18,800 tonnes in January. Total PP output at Nizhnekamskneftekhim reached 36,100 tonnes in Jan-Feb 2016, compared to 35,200 tonnes in the same time a year earlier.

Tomskneftekhim in February produced about 11,600 tonnes of polypropylene, while in January PP output slightly exceeded 12,00 tonnes.
The producer's PP production over the two months of the year was 23,600 tonnes, which was practically equal to the level in the same time a year earlier.

Stavrolen (LUKOIL) last month increased capacity utilization, total polypropylene production had risen to 9,600 tonnes against 9,200 tonnes in January. PP production at Stavrolen was 18,700 tonnes in the first two months of the year, compared with 18,200 tonnes in the same time a year earlier.

Neftekhimiya (Kapotnya) last month produced about 10,400 tonnes of PP, compared with 11,300 tonnes in January. The producer's PP output in the first two months of the year exceeded 21,700 tonnes, up 23% year on year.

Ufaorgsintez last month produced about 9,900 tonnes against 10,200 tonnes a month earlier. Total PP output at Ufaorgsintez decreased to 20,100 tonnes in January - February 2016, compared with 21,000 tonnes.


US shale gas arrives in Europe for the first time on board the INEOS Intrepid

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Ineos today confirmed that its vessel, the INEOS Intrepid, has arrived at the INEOS petrochemicals plant at Rafnes in Norway, carrying 27.500m3 of US shale gas ethane, said the producer on its site.

This is the very first time that ethane from US shale gas has ever been exported from the USA and the first time it has been imported into Europe. It gives the continent the chance to benefit from US shale gas economics which did so much to revitalise manufacturing in the USA.

Jim Ratcliffe, chairman and founder of Ineos, says, "This is a strategically important day for INEOS and Europe. We know that shale gas economics revitalised US manufacturing and for the first time ever Europe can access this essential energy and raw material source too."

The INEOS Intrepid is currently one of four specially designed Dragon class ships that will form part of a fleet of eight of the world’s largest ethane capable carriers.

The project has included the design and long term charter of all eight Dragon class ships which will collectively create a virtual pipeline across the Atlantic; connection to the new 300 mile Mariner East pipeline from the Marcellus shale in Western Pennsylvania to the Marcus Hook deep water terminal near Philadelphia, together with new export facilities and storage tanks.

Ineos has invested USD2 billion bringing US shale gas to Europe.

To receive the gas, Ineos has built the largest two ethane gas storage tanks in Europe at Rafnes in Norway and Grangemouth in Scotland.

Ineos will use the ethane from US shale gas in its two gas crackers at Rafnes and Grangemouth, both as a fuel and as a feedstock. It is expected that shipments to Grangemouth will start later this year.

Jim Ratcliffe adds, "We are nearing the end of a hugely ambitious project that has taken us five years and cost USD2 billion, as we begin supply of ethane from shale to our sites in Europe. This is a world first and I am incredibly proud of everyone involved in it. I believe that Ineos is one of very companies in the world who could have successfully pulled this off. "

As MRC wrote before, Ineos Group Ltd. is considering expansion of its plants in USA to take advantage of low-cost natural-gas liquids as feedstock for ethylene production. The company is likely to add 250 mln-1 bln lbs of annual ethylene production at its Chocolate Bayou site south of Houston, Dennis Seith, chief executive officer of the company’s U.S. olefins and polymers unit, said. Additional polypropylene and alpha-olefins capacity may be added at the site. Decisions on all three investments will be made within a year, with the expanded ethylene output available early next decade, he said in an interview.

INEOS Group Limited is a privately owned multinational chemicals company consisting of 15 standalone business units, headquartered in Rolle, Switzerland and with its registered office in Lyndhurst, United Kingdom. It is the fourth largest chemicals company in the world measured by revenues (after BASF, Dow Chemical and LyondellBasell) and the largest privately owned company in the United Kingdom.