PCS to invest USD80 mln in naphtha import facilities

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Petrochemical Corporation of Singapore (PCS) plans to invest USD80 mln in new naphtha import facilities here, including storage tanks and a liquid berth to handle large vessels, as per Plastemart.

In a press statement, PCS managing director A. Yonemura said the project was in response to the global trend of moving naphtha to larger vessels and will strengthen the companies import logistics, giving it better efficiencies.

PCS is jointly owned by Japan-Singapore Petrochemicals Company (led by Sumitomo Chemical), Qatar Petroleum International and Shell Petrochemicals (Singapore). Naphtha is currently stored in tanks leased from other companies. The new facilities will include storage tanks, a liquid berth capable of handling large vessels transporting naphtha and its associated facilities.

The project "will help ensure PCS continues to be a reliable supplier to all our customers with smooth and stable operations", Mr Yonemura said. The project is targeted to be ready by the third quarter of next year and expected to start operations by the fourth quarter.

The company operates two crackers on Jurong Island, supplying petrochemical building blocks such as ethylene and propylene to industrial customers. Mr Damian Chan, executive director of energy and chemicals at the Economic Development Board, said improving its cost competitiveness will have a positive knock-on effect for Singapore's energy and chemicals ecosystem of which PCS is a core part.

We remind that, as MRC wrote previously, PCS restarted its butadiene unit on March 17 after being shut for three weeks. Both crackers are located on Pulau Ayer Merbau, on Singapore's Jurong Island. The unit at its No. 2 cracker is able to produce 140,000 mt/year of butadiene. The No. 2 cracker has a capacity of 655,000 mt/year of ethylene and 350,000 mt/year of propylene. The No. 1 cracker has a capacity of 474,000 mt/year of ethylene and 270,000 mt/year of propylene.

BASF supports Pfluger TOB to develop new window and door installation

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The company Pfluger TOB GmbH, which is based in Obersteinach, Germany, offers a new generation of windowsill connection profiles, substructure insulation profiles and frame extensions, made with BASF’s structural foam Kerdyn Green FST, reported BASF on is site.

Kerdyn Green FST conforms to construction material class B2 and is noted for its high compressive strength, good screw extraction values, as well as high temperature and chemical resistance. Kerdyn Green FST is therefore also compatible with a large number of adhesive and sealing systems.

Thanks to its very low thermal conductivity, Kerdyn Green FST is suitable for the use in a window or door profile in passive houses. Moreover, the water absorption of the material of less than 2% is extremely low.

Next to the material’s outstanding mechanical properties, Kerdyn Green FST also makes a contribution to sustainability. At the end of its life cycle, the high-performance material on the basis of PET can be easily recycled.

High-quality structural foams on the basis of PET (polyethylene terephthalate) offer extraordinarily good mechanical properties and are suitable for many different processing operations. PET foams have a high temperature resistance and very good chemical resistance. They are therefore extremely suitable for use as a composite material.

As MRC reported before, BASF is significantly expanding its production capacity for about 20 specialty amines at its Verbund site in Ludwigshafen, Germany. BASF says it will invest a double-digit million euro amount in expanding current production facilities, which are planned to go on stream gradually by early 2017. The specialty amines are especially used for the manufacturing of coatings, lubricants, crop protection products and pharmaceuticals.

BASF is the leading chemical company. It produces a wide range of chemicals, for example solvents, amines, resins, glues, electronic-grade chemicals, industrial gases, basic petrochemicals and inorganic chemicals. The most important customers for this segment are the pharmaceutical, construction, textile and automotive industries.

Global polypropylene market expected to reach USD170 bln in 2022

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The global polypropylene (PP) market is expected to reach USD170 bln in 2022, as per Plastemart with reference to a report by Reportbuyer.

Growth of key end-use industries such as packaging and automotive in Asia Pacific is expected to drive the global polypropylene market the forecast period. In addition, increasing construction spending particularly in emerging markets of China, India and Indonesia is also expected to have a positive influence on the market growth. Volatile propylene prices on account of constantly fluctuating crude oil prices are expected to remain a key challenge for market participants. Stringent environmental regulations regarding production and disposal of polypropylene is also expected to degrade the market growth over the forecast period. In order to overcome these issues, major participants have shifted their focus towards development of sustainable polypropylene.

Injection molding emerged as the leading application segment and accounted for 46.1% of total market volume in 2014. Shift towards replacement of steel automotive industry in order to improve fuel efficiency of automobiles is expected to remain a key driving factor for this segment over the forecast period. Films are expected to witness the highest growth rate of 5.7% from 2015 to 2022. Growing demand for BOPP films for myriad of applications is expected to drive this segment over the forecast period.

Further key findings from the study suggest:

- global polypropylene market demand was 58.45 million tons in 2014 and is expected to reach 87.35 million tons by 2022, growing at a CAGR of 5.2% from 2015 to 2022;
- Asia Pacific continued its dominance in the global PP market accounted for 44.8% of total consumption in 2014. Asia Pacific is also expected to witness the highest growth of 5.8% from 2015 to 2022. Growth of automotive and construction industries in India, China and Indonesia is expected to drive the regional growth over the forecast period;
-bio-based polypropylene demand is more dominant in emerged markets of North America and Europe. These markets are characterized by stringent regulations and aware consumers regarding the environmental hazards caused due petrochemical based polypropylene.

Polypropylene industry is characterized by low white space, high price sensitivity and numerous producers. The market is dominated by top multinational corporations which have presence across the value chain. Key industry participants are investing heavily in R&D initiatives and engaging in mergers & acquisitions with an aim to improve their product portfolio and increase production capacity.

Some major industry participants include Braskem, Chevron Phillips Chemical Company, Japan Polypropylene Corporation, Reliance Industries Limited, BASF, Sinopec, Borealis AG, ExxonMobil, DuPont, LyondellBasell Industries, SABIC, Bayer Material Science, Fulton Pacific, INEOS, Total S.A, Washington Penn Plastic Company Inc., PetroChina Company Limited and Qatar Petrochemical Company.

We remind that, as MRC informed previously, global staples PP Non-woven fabric demand was 1,949.2 kilotons in 2013 and is expected to reach 3,103.9 kilotons by 2020, growing at a CAGR of 6.9% from 2014 to 2020.

Williams Advances Unique Position in Canada with Startup of Second Offgas Processing Plant

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Williams has announced the startup of its second offgas liquids extraction plant, a key asset in the company’s Canadian midstream and petchem complex, said the producer on its site.

The new plant boosts domestic production of petchem feedstocks and significantly reduces emissions in the oil sands production process while recovering valuable natural gas liquids (NGLs) and olefins.

Serving an upgrader facility north of Fort McMurray, Alberta, the plant is designed to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) - a greenhouse gas - by an average of approximately 200,000 tonnes per year and reduce emissions of sulphur dioxide (SO2) - a contributor to acid rain - by an average of approximately 2,800 tonnes per year.

Williams is the only company extracting and fractionating NGL/olefin mixes from oil sands upgrader offgas. Its first plant of this kind serves the upgrader of another third-party oil sands producer. The two plants recover ethane, propane, propylene and other liquids from the upgraders’ offgas streams. Williams then transports, fractionates and markets the products.

"This new offgas plant at the upgrader is helping the environment and creating value from what was previously a low-value oil sands resource," said David Chappell, president, Williams Energy Canada. "It adds to our world-class, long-life complex of assets with a highly sustainable competitive advantage in a key North American energy hub."

The plant increases by 60 percent the amount of NGLs produced by Williams in Canada to a total of approximately 40,000 barrels per day. At peak construction the project employed 1,200 workers and more than a dozen permanent staff operate the facility.

Alberta’s Minister of Environment and Parks, Shannon Phillips, who is also Alberta’s Minister Responsible for the Climate Change Office, praised Williams for improving both the environment and the economy.

"We applaud Williams Energy Canada for their efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, add value to our resources and create good jobs here in Alberta," said Phillips. "The startup of this plant is a testament to the innovation of Alberta’s energy industry."

The Fort McKay First Nation, whose traditional land is nearby the new facility, stated: "The Fort McKay First Nation appreciates that the Williams facility is expected to have a positive impact on the local air shed by reducing carbon and sulphur dioxide emissions. This will mean a healthier future for our people and for the environment. We are pleased to support companies that are putting the environment first and are respectful of our traditional lands."

Following extraction at the upgrader, the NGL/olefins mixture will be transported by Williams’ recently extended Boreal Pipeline to Williams’ expanded Redwater Olefinic Fractionator (ROF), the only olefin/paraffin fractionator in Canada. Most of the propane is expected to feed Williams’ planned propane dehydrogenation (PDH) facility near Edmonton for the manufacturing of polymer-grade propylene. As previously announced, a private equity global petrochemical group has executed a long-term contract with Williams for 450 KTA of the propylene for polypropylene production.

"This developing complex will greatly reduce Canada’s current dependence on polypropylene imports while spurring domestic manufacturing and strengthening the region’s economy," said Chappell.

Portions of this document may constitute “forward-looking statements” as defined by federal law. Although the company believes any such statements are based on reasonable assumptions, there is no assurance that actual outcomes will not be materially different. Any such statements are made in reliance on the “safe harbor” protections provided under the Private Securities Reform Act of 1995. Additional information about issues that could lead to material changes in performance is contained in the company’s annual reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

As MRC reported earlier, Williams Partners announced its expanded Geismar plant began manufacturing ethylene for sale in February 2015 after experiencing an unexpected delay in the final stages of commissioning.

Williams, headquartered in Tulsa, Okla., is one of the leading energy infrastructure companies in North America. It owns controlling interests in both Williams Partners L.P. and Access Midstream Partners, L.P. through its ownership of 100% of the general partner of each partnership. Additionally, Williams owns approximately 66% and 50% of the limited partner units of Williams Partners L.P. and Access Midstream Partners, L.P., respectively. On June 15, 2014 Williams proposed the merger of Williams Partners and Access Midstream Partners. The proposed merger has been approved by boards of each partnership and is expected to close in early 2015.

Bayer AG names Preuss head of communications

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Bayer has promoted Dr Michael Preuss to head of communications, government relations and corporate brand to succeed Dr Herbert Heitmann, said the company in its press-release.

When he takes up his new role on May 1 Dr Preuss will be responsible for the firm's internal, external and digital communications, its political communication activities and the Bayer umbrella brand. In this position he will report to Werner Baumann, who will become chairman of the board of management of Bayer AG, another change taking place on May 1.

Bayer communications head Dr Michael PreussDr Preuss (pictured right) currently heads the corporate communications department at Bayer, having first joined the company in 1998 as media spokesman for the North America region.

In 2005, he moved to German engineering and electronics company Robert Bosch GmbH to head its media relations and PR department, before returning to Bayer in 2008 as head of corporate policy and media relations.
Dr Preuss' predecessor Dr Herbert Heitmann had served as communications head since September 2013, having previously held comms roles at Royal Dutch Shell and SAP. Bayer said Dr Heitmann was "leaving the company at his own request".

As MRC informed earlier, Bayer AG in Sept 2015, moved a step closer to floating its EUR11 billion (USD12.3 billion) specialty chemicals business by "legally and economically" separating the unit, now named Covestro AG.

Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the fields of health care, agriculture and high-tech polymer materials. As an innovation company, it sets trends in research-intensive areas. Bayer's products and services are designed to benefit people and improve their quality of life. At the same time, the Group aims to create value through innovation, growth and high earning power. Bayer is committed to the principles of sustainable development and to its social and ethical responsibilities as a corporate citizen.