Sabic starts trial operations at new rubber plant with ExxonMobil

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (Sabic) said that last week it had started trial operations at a new rubber plant it has built as a joint venture with a unit of ExxonMobil, reported Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Trial operations had started at the carbon black and utilities unit of the Al-Jubail Petrochemical Co. (KEMYA) rubber plant, it said in the statement.

The financial impact of the facility, a joint venture between SABIC and Exxon Chemical Arabia, a subsidiary of ExxonMobil, would be reflected in SABIC's results from the second quarter of 2016 onwards, SABIC said.

The project, estimated to cost USD3.4 billion, is expected to supply over 400,000 tpy of rubber, thermoplastic polymers and carbon black to serve emerging local and international markets in Asia and the Middle East.

As MRC informed previously, Sabic and ExxonMobil announced the construction of this plant in June 2012. Initiall the plat should have been completed in 2015. The annual capacity of the new facility is 400,000 tonnes per year of rubber- including halobutyl, styrene butadiene, polybutadiene, and ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) rubbers - thermoplastic specialty polymers, and carbon black to serve local markets, the Middle East and Asia.

Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic) ranks among the world's top petrochemical companies. The company is among the world's market leaders in the production of polyethylene, polypropylene and other advanced thermoplastics, glycols, methanol and fertilizers.

ExxonMobil is the largest non-government owned company in the energy industry and produces about 3% of the world's oil and about 2% of the world's energy.

Group NanoXplore introduces graphene enhanced PE and PC

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Group NanoXplore Inc., a Montreal-based company, has introduced graphene-enhanced plastics, as per the company's statement.

Compounded pellets for different grades of polyethylene (PE) and polycarbonate (PC) are available.

NanoXplore is targeting graphene-enhanced thermoplastics in response to broad customer interest for engineering plastics with enhanced electrical, thermal, and mechanical properties. The company commissioned its 8,500 sq. foot manufacturing facility in December, 2015 and today has a capacity of 400 metric tons per year of compounded master batch pellets. NanoXplore has been taking orders and sampling pellets to customers in Europe and North America since January 2016.

NanoXplore has been focusing recently on polyethylene (PE) thermoplastics and has obtained significant multi-functional improvements in performance compared to base resins. For HDPE at 0.5 weight% graphene loading, a 15% increase in tensile strength was achieved without degrading material toughness. For LLDPE at 15 weight% graphene loading, thermal conductivity was doubled, yield strength increased by more than 30%, and electrical conductivity was increased to the anti-static range.

NanoXplore's ability to tailor the final properties of the plastics by adding graphene paves the way for engineering plastics in real world products such as electric motors, cellphone and tablet casings, and automotive and aerospace parts.

We remind that, as MRC wrote previously, in 2013, Dow Elastomers, a business unit of The Dow Chemical Company unveiled a breakthrough compatibilization technology that offers a tuneable range of new-to-the-world, highly effective solutions for combining both non-polar and polar polymers with polypropylene. INTUNE PP-based Olefin Block Copolymers from Dow offer highly effective solutions for combining polyethylene (PE), polyolefin elastomers (POE) and polar materials such as ethylene vinyl alcohol (EVOH) and polyamide (PA) with polypropylene (PP) to provide the best benefits of each material, while minimizing individual trade-off properties.

Celanese increases EVA and LDPE prices in Asia and North and South America

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Celanese Corporation, a global technology and specialty materials company, has increased list and off-list selling prices for Ateva EVA and LDPE polymers, said the producer on its site.

The price increase is effective April 1, 2016 or as contracts allow.

Prices of Ateva EVA will rise by USD0.03/lb (USD 0.07/kg or USD70/tonne) for North and South America and by USD50/tonne for Asia, whereas LDPE prices will increase by USD0.04/lg (USD 0.09/kg or USD90/tonne) for North and South America and by USD50/tonne for Asia.

We remind that, as MRC informed previously, Celanese Corporation raised its prices of vinyl acetate-based emulsions sold in Asia by Yuan 200/MT for China and USD25/MT for the rest of Asia effective March 10, 2016. This price increase affects all applications including, but not limited to, adhesives, paints and coatings, waterproofing, building and construction, glass fiber, carpet and paper. This increase is attributed to the continued pressures on raw materials, notably ethylene and vinyl acetate monomer (VAM).

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, Celanese employs approximately 7,000 employees worldwide and had 2015 net sales of USD5.7 billion.

PTTGC resumed operations at LLDPE plant in Thailand

MOSCOW (MRC) -- PTT Global Chemical (PTTGC) has restarted its linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) plant following a maintenance turnaround, as per Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in the Thailand informed that the company has resumed operations at its plant on April 5, 2016 . The plant was shut for maintenance in early-March 2016.

Located at Map Ta Phut in Thailand, the LLDPE plant has a production capacity of 400,000 mt/year.

As MRC informed before, As MRC wrote before, PTTGC is studying several options for supplying sufficient raw material to its petrochemical plants, including imports of oil feedstocks after declines in global crude prices. The move is part of a plan to cope with a potential drop in domestic natural gas supply after Thailand's government put bidding for new oil and gas concessions on hold.

PTT Global Chemical is a leading player in the petrochemical industry and owns several petrochemical facilities with a combined capacity of 8.45 million tonnes a year.

Honeywell performance materials chief Adamczyk named COO

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Honeywell said Monday that it promoted Darius Adamczyk to the newly created role of president and chief operating officer of the industrial company, said Cnbc.

Adamczyk, 50, has been president and CEO of Honeywell's performance materials technologies unit since 2014. He is being replaced in that role by Rajeev Gautam, who has been president of Honeywell's gas processing unit since 2009.

As chief operating officer, Adamczyk will oversee the growth of Honeywell's software offerings, the Morris Plains, New Jersey-based company said.

As MRC informed earlier, Honeywell International, a diversified technology and manufacturing company, said that it has entered into a supply agreement and technology license with an Indian manufacturer to produce Honeywell Solstice yf.

Honeywell International Inc. operates as a diversified technology and manufacturing company worldwide. Its Aerospace segment offers aircraft engines, integrated avionics, systems and service solutions, and related products and services for aircraft manufacturers and operators, airlines, military services, and defense and space contractors, as well as spare parts, and repair and maintenance services for the aftermarket.