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.

Global bio polypropylene market to exceed USD40 mln by 2022

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The global bio polypropylene (PP) market is estimated to exceed USD40.3 mln by 2022, reported Plastemart with reference to a research report by Global Market Insights, Inc.

With the market size pegged at USD28.9 mln in 2014, a CAGR of 4.9% is expected to register. Increase in lightweight plastics demand to optimize vehicle fuel efficiency and decrease overall weight is likely to drive the bio PP market size. These materials also find use in applications such as pressure vessels, medical technology and wind turbines, another factor which should drive overall demand.

Injection applications led bio PP Market share and accounted for over 52% of the global consumption in 2014. These applications are likely to witness significant gains, due to their use in manufacturing of injection molded parts for applications such as automotive, packaging, construction and electronics. Textile applications are anticipated to witness below average growth rate of 5.9%, from 2015 to 2022.

Stringent regulations from EPA and the EU (Regulation No.443/2009) specify reducing carbon footprints and increase vehicle fuel economy, which should help industry participants find market acceptance. Preference of substitute products such as PLA & bio PET coupled with shale gas production from hydraulic fracturing is anticipated to hamper industry growth.

Key report insights suggest:

- Global Bio PP market size was estimated 11.4 kilo tons in 2014 and should register 18.0 kilo tons by 2022, growing at over 6% from 2015 to 2022;
- Europe bio PP market share dominated global demand and accounted for 37.6% of the total volume in 2014, and is likely to grow steadily over the forecast period. Favorable government regulations promoting bioplastics usage coupled with presence of automotive giants in countries such as France and Germany is likely to drive regional demand. Injection application demand in Europe registered over 2 kilo tons in 2014 and is likely to grow at a CAGR of 6.5% up to 2022;
- U.S. bio PP market share is likely to witness significant growth, at an estimated CAGR of 6.5% from 2015 to 2022. Asia Pacific accounted for less than 20% of the market share and is anticipated to witness moderate growth rates over the forecast period;
- Bio PP market share is presently at a nascent stage, with a number of companies focusing on raw material innovation to reduce cost. Companies operating in this market include Trellis Earth Product, Dow Chemicals, Global Bioenergies, Braskem and Biobent Polymers.

We remind that, as MRC reported before, the global PP market is expected to reach USD170 bln in 2022, as per 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 over the forecast period. Global PP 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.

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.

BASF and Kolon Plastics to set up joint venture for the production of polyoxymethylene in Korea

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Kolon Plastics and BASF has signed an agreement to establish a joint venture in Korea to manufacture polyoxymethylene (POM), an engineering plastic used in industrial, transportation, construction and consumer markets, said BASF on its site.

The 50:50 joint venture named "Kolon BASF innoPOM, Inc." will have an annual capacity of 70,000 metric tons. It will be located at the existing manufacturing site of Kolon Plastics in Gimcheon, Korea, which already includes a POM production. The start of operation is scheduled for the second half of 2018 creating in total the world’s largest complex for the production of POM.

Both companies have long-term experience in POM production and will use Kolon’s highly efficient production technology to provide best-in-class product quality. "In the new joint venture the strengths of each company will be reinforced enhancing our overall competitiveness. Kolon Plastics’ globally leading technology and the efficiencies of the existing infrastructure will generate significant synergies. We are looking forward to this joint venture that may lead to further opportunities for cooperation," said Mr. Hee Goo Jang, CEO of Kolon Plastics.

The products are to be marketed around the world separately by the two companies under their respective trade names and proprietary formulations. "Kolon and BASF have had an excellent business relationship for many years," said Raimar Jahn, President of BASF’s Performance Materials division. "The markets for POM are growing around the world. Particularly in Asia the joint venture will strengthen our ability to support our customers with high-performing, innovative specialties."

Following the start-up of the new plant in Korea in the second half of 2018, BASF will discontinue production of POM in Ludwigshafen.

Polyoxymethylene resins are engineering plastics used in complex and highly durable components. Their high strength and resilience, friction performance and chemical resistance enable a broad range of applications used in automotive manufacturing as well as for electric and electronic goods, consumer goods, medical products and construction.

Kolon markets its POM product line under the trade name Kocetal. BASF offers POM products for a wide range of applications under the trade name Ultraform.

We remind that, as MRC informed before, in September 2015, BASF began its first production of diphenylmethane diisocyanate (MDI) at its wholly-owned site in Chongqing, China. Production will be ramped up gradually in line with market demand. MDI is an important component for polyurethanes – an extremely versatile plastics material that contributes towards improved insulation, provides lighter materials for cars, and helps save energy in buildings. MDI production will support these key industries in China’s western areas.

BASF is the largest diversified chemical company in the world and is headquartered in Ludwigshafen, Germany. BASF 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. BASF generated sales of more than EUR70 billion in 2015.

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.