Tosoh Corp to restart its cracker in Yokkaichi after maintenance

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Japan's Tosoh Corp is set to restart its 527,000 tpa naphtha cracker in Yokkaichi, central Japan after planned maintenance, as per sources in Reuters.

The cracker, which has been shut since March 8, had been expected to restart mid-April.

The company runs two low-density polyethylene (LDPE) lines with a combined production capacity of 56,000 mt/year and a 43,000 mt/year LDPE/ ethyl vinyl acetate (EVA) swing plant at the same site.

It also runs 120,000 mt/year high density polyethylene (HDPE) plant.

We remind that, as MRC wrote previously, Japan’s Asahi Kasei Chemicals shut its cracker permanently on Feb 12. The cracker in Mizushima had an ethylene capacity of 504,000 mt/year and a propylene capacity of 300,000 mt/year. Feedstock ethylene for its 390,000 mt/year of styrene monomer (SM) plant came from a new 750,000 mt/year steamcracker which is a joint venture between Asahi Kasei and Mitsubishi Chemical. The new unified cracker started up on April 1.

Tosoh is one of the largest chlor-alkali manufacturers in Asia. The company supplies the plastic resins and an array of the basic chemicals that support modern life. Tosoh's petrochemical operations supply ethylene, polymers, and polyethylene.

JBF secures paraxylene supply from ONGC

MOSCOW (MRC) -- India-based JBF Petrochemicals has signed a long-term agreement with ONGC Mangalore Petrochemicals Ltd. (OMPL) for the supply of paraxylene, the main raw material in the production of purefied terephthalic acid (PTA), said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

JBF Petrochemicals is in the process of commissioning a PTA plant with 1.25 MMtpy of capacity, using technology from BP, at Mangalore. The paraxylene will be supplied by OMPL to JBF through a dedicated pipeline of about 3 kilometers in length.

The agreement includes the supply of paraxylene (PX) over a period of 10 years, with a provision to further increase the period of supply by another 5 to 10 years by mutual consent.

The deal assures the long-term supply of raw material for the PTA project, according to JBF officials.

As it was written earlier, in 2013, Technip was awarded by JBF Petrochemicals, a wholly–owned subsidiary of JBF Industries Ltd, an important contract(1) for a 1.25 million tons per year latest-generation purified terephthalic acid (PTA) unit, to be located in the Special Economic Zone in Mangalore, India.

Fairfax India investing USD300 mln for 30% Sanmar chemicals stake

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Fairfax India Holdings Corp., through wholly-owned subsidiaries, has agreed to invest USD300-million in exchange for a 30% equity interest in the Sanmar Chemicals Group, reported Apic-online.

Fairfax is limited to investing no more than 25% of its total assets in any single investment, with a current limit of about USD250-million.

The company said it will fund an initial tranche of USD250-million upon the closing of the transaction, and the second tranche of $50-million will be funded within 90 days thereafter by subsidiary Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. The first tranche is expected to be completed during the second quarter of this year.

Sanmar currently has a combined total of 300,000 t/y of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) capacity at facilities in Mettur and Cuddalore, India. The company is also expanding its Egyptian PVC capacity to 400,000 t/y from 200,000 t/y.

"Once the expansion is completed, Sanmar will have a total PVC capacity of over 700,000 t/y, making it among the largest PVC companies in the world," noted Fairfax. Additionally, Sanmar produces ethylene, caus-tic soda and other chemicals.

We remind that, as MRC informed previously, Taiyo Vinyl, another large petrochemical producer in Asia and one of Japan's largest PVC manufacturer, is likely restart its PVC plant in mid-April 2016 following a maintenance turnaround. The plant was taken offstream in early March 2016. Located in Yokkaichi in Japan, the PVC plant has a production capacity of 310,000 mt/year.

Fire at United petrochemical plant in Saudi's Jubail kills 12

MOSCOW (MRC) -- A fire broke out during routine maintenance at a United Petrochemical Company plant in the Saudi industrial city of Jubail on Saturday, killing 12 workers and injuring another 11, said Reuters.

The fire was small and extinguished quickly, the report said, but left people with severe smoke inhalation due.

United is a subsidiary of Saudi Arabia Basic Industries Corp 2010.SE (SABIC).

Spokesmen for SABIC and United could not immediately be reached for comment.

As MRC informed earlier, SABIC said that it had started trial operations at a new rubber plant it has built as a joint venture with a unit of ExxonMobil.

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.


Saudi Aramco, Sinopecs Yasref refining venture secures USD4.7B loan

MOSCOW (MRC) -- An oil refining joint venture between national oil firm Saudi Aramco and China's Sinopec has obtained a USD4.7 billion syndicated loan to refinance shareholder funds used for its construction, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Yanbu Aramco Sinopec Refining Co. (Yasref), owned 62.5% by Aramco and the rest by Sinopec, said the unsecured loan was obtained from 26 local, regional and international financial institutions, and was oversubscribed.

Yasref, which operates a 400,000-bpd refinery next to the Red Sea, began working at full capacity last July. In December, bankers told Reuters that Yasref was seeking the loan to replace some cash which Aramco had invested to build it, so that Aramco could use the money elsewhere.

The new loan includes a U.S. dollar-denominated, seven-year term facility totalling USD3.1 billion from 17 regional and international institutions, priced at a margin of 105 basis points over the London interbank offered rate, Yasref said.

It also includes a seven-year term facility of 6 billion Saudi riyals (USD1.6 billion) from nine local financial institutions, at a margin of 100 bps over the Saudi interbank offered rate.