SABIC highlights innovation with details of CO2 purification plant

MOSCOW (MRC) -- SABIC announced its fifth Sustainability Report, Enabling Tomorrow’s Solutions. The report is a summary of the successes SABIC achieved in many areas of its business in 2015 on the journey to a more sustainable future, said the producer in its press release.

SABIC has always brought enormous economic, social, and environmental benefit to the many countries where it operates all over the world. Wherever SABIC goes, it brings innovation, human development, and economic prosperity. SABIC strives to protect the environment and – through social programs and volunteering – contribute to healthy communities.

The Sustainability Report is a portrait of this invaluable work; it is a platform to communicate SABIC’s sustainability achievements and dedication to creating a better world.

Featuring prominently in this report is the CO2 purification and utilization plant at SABIC affiliate United in Jubail, which started operating in 2015. This ambitious project is designed to capture up to 500,000 tons of CO2 every year before purifying the gas and channeling it through a network to other SABIC affiliates to create valuable products, such as agricultural nutrients.

As the largest project of its kind in the world, the plant received considerable international attention for its innovation in emission reduction, material distribution through a manufacturing network, and operational efficiency. The project has become a beacon of sustainable development, an example of the business value of cross-site integration, and a showcase to the world of SABIC’s ambitions and capabilities as a global leader.

With achievements such as this, SABIC is setting new standards for sustainable development in the chemical industry.

As MRC informed earlier, SABIC reported a 13.2% drop in first-quarter net profit, extending a profit slump but beating analysts' forecasts. SABIC made a net profit of 3.41 billion riyals (USD909.4 million) in the three months to Mar. 31, down from 3.93 billion riyals in the year-earlier period

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


Aekyung Petrochemical to export eco-friendly plasticizer manufacturing tech to Russia

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Aekyung Petrochemical Co., a petrochemical arm of Aekyung Group (South Korea), is exporting its new eco-friendly plasticizer manufacturing technology to Russia’s largest energy company at USD 10 million (11.6 billion won), as per GV.

The company announced on 6 Apr. 2016 that it held the export contract signing ceremony at the Sibur headquarters in Moscow, Russia, on 5 Apr. 2016, attended by executives from the two companies, including President Lee Jong-ki and Konstantin Lugov, president of Sibur Group and general manager of the Perm plant.

By applying the sequential processing system for the first time in the world, Aekyung Petrochemical’s environmentally friendly plasticizer manufacturing technology, which was independently developed by the company in 2008, is a new technology that addresses mixing problems with phthalate plasticizer, which is against environmental regulations, and improves the product quality further with the eco-friendly production method. Also, it uses steam, which is generated in the manufacturing process, as the energy source, reducing production costs.

The global environmentally friendly plasticizer market amounts to approximately 1 million tons and Aekyung Petrochemical produces and sells 120,000 tons out of it.

Aekyung Petrochemical manufactures various industrial intermediate products such as phthalic anhydride, plasticizer, polyol and bio-diesel. Sibur is Russia’s leading energy, petrochemical and plastic producer.

We remind that, as MRC informed before, in 2013, Eastman Chemical, a global specialty chemical company, has announced the expansion of its non-phthalate plasticizer portfolio with the addition of Eastman Effusion plasticizer. Effusion is an extremely efficient fast-fusing solution that can enable increased production line speeds and lower processing temperatures, reducing production costs for manufacturers. In flooring, Eastman Effusion is the ideal plasticizer for use in resilient sheet, luxury vinyl tile, vinyl composite tile, and PVC-backed carpet. Effusion can bring value in lowering both formulation and production costs. Effusion has been shown to have advantages in both efficiency and rheology to standard phthalate plasticizers that this industry has relied upon.

AkzoNobel expands Indonesian coatings plant to meet growing demand

MOSCOW (MRC) -- AkzoNobel has completed phase one of the EUR2.5 million expansion of its performance coatings plant in Cikarang, Indonesia, said the producer on its site.

The investment will increase capacity at the facility by 40 percent and will help the company meet growing domestic demand – driven by the petrochemical and power sectors – for its International brand marine and protective coatings products.

Speaking at the recent inauguration ceremony, Mauricio Bannwart, Managing Director of AkzoNobel's Protective Coatings business, said: "This investment is a testament to our commitment to Indonesia, which continues to improve its position as an emerging market.

"We have installed state-of -the-art, automated equipment at Cikarang, which will significantly improve product quality, safety and sustainability standards."

Commenting on the expansion, Oscar Wezenbeek, Managing Director of AkzoNobel's Marine Coatings business, said: "We are excited about the fast-growing domestic market opportunity in Indonesia. The country has great maritime potential, with a 54,720 kilometer coastline, inclusive government policy and an opportunity to build a robust shipbuilding industry."

Having first established itself in Indonesia in 1971, AkzoNobel has since become the largest paints and coatings producer in the country. The company operates three manufacturing sites, supplying both decorative and performance coatings, employing more than 1,000 people.

As MRC informed earlier, AkzoNobel seeks further expansion in China with its new plant in Chengdu, capital city of China’s southwestern Sichuan Province, starting operation on 29 April. The plant is AkzoNobel’s fourth production site in China, which will mainly provide decorative painting and powder coating products to architectural markets across Sichuan Province and nearby areas. The firm hopes to further explore the potentials in China’s western areas amidst the country’s urbanization process.

Akzo Nobel N.V., trading as AkzoNobel, is a Dutch multinational, active in the fields of decorative paints, performance coatings and specialty chemicals. Headquartered in Amsterdam, the company has activities in more than 80 countries, and employs approximately 55,000 people.

Russian ESPO crude falls out of favor with teapot refiners in China

MOSCOW (MRC) -- China's independent refiners have switched to buying more oil from Africa and Latin America instead of large volumes of Russia's ESPO crude as they have struggled to cope with the excess light fuels that come with processing the grade, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The change in preference shows the transient nature of crude purchases from the new Chinese buyers, also known as teapots, who are still trying out different crude grades to identify suitable types for their refineries. The teapots' tapering demand for the Russian grade pushed spot premiums for June-loading cargoes to as low as USD2/bbl from as high as USD5.60/bbl for April loaders, catching some traders who sell to teapots off guard.

Lured by the short shipping distance and six-year low crude prices, teapots paid strong premiums to secure Russian ESPO oil in the first quarter.

Spurred by the strong teapot demand, Russia overtook Saudi Arabia as the biggest crude exporter to China for four months in late 2015 and again in March. Nearly half of the Russian ESPO exports landed at the port of Shandong, where most of the teapots are located, each month between February and April, data from Reuters Trade Flows showed.

But Shandong's imports may fall in the coming months as some refiners found the crude too light, several trade sources said. High crude inventories and large supplies waiting to offload at congested ports also reduced teapots' appetite for ESPO, they said.

As MRC informed earlier, China's monthly oil imports from Saudi Arabia hit their second highest level on record in February, while arrivals from Russia also surged, as weak crude prices prompted the world's top energy consumer to bring in record high volumes in March.


Vietnamese plastics industry could fall into hands of foreigners

MOSCOW (MRC) -- A lot of merger & acquisition (M&A) deals in the plastics sector in Vietnam have been completed recently, while some more are being planned, as per GV.

Tin Thanh Plastics, one of the five biggest plastic packaging enterprises, unexpectedly sold 80 percent of its stake to Siam Cement Group (SCG) last year (2015) at USD 44.4 million. Analysts said Tin Thanh is a big manufacturer in Vietnam. It now has a lot of big customers such as Nestle, Bayer, Dupont, C.P, Walmart, Trung Nguyen and Vinamit, which can bring stable profits. However, it decided to sell to a foreign investor amid increasingly stiff competition in the market.

As for SCG, this is the best way for it to expand production and cement its position in the South East Asian market. Not only taking over Tin Thanh, SCG has been trying other ways to penetrate deeply into the Vietnam’s plastic industry. It bought 20 percent of stake of Binh Minh Plastics and 25 percent of stake of Tien Phong Plastics, the two companies which hold 50 percent of the market share.

Analysts commented that if SCG can obtain higher ownership ratios in Binh Minh and Tien Phong, the group will control the structural plastics industry in Vietnam. To date, SCG has spent USD 121 million to invest in seven Vietnamese plastics companies. Besides the companies, SCG also holds shares of Vietnam-Thailand Plastchem, TPC Vina, Chemtech and Minh Thai Plastic Material Company. It also injected money into Kraft Vina, Tan A Industry, AP Packaging, Alcamax and Packamex - packaging companies.

The Vietnamese plastics market has also been eyed by South Korean and Japanese investors. Japanese Oji Holding Corporation, for example, has bought United, while Sagasiki Vietnam bought Goldsun, a printing and packaging firm.

Most recently, RISA Partners, a Japanese investment institution, has shown its intention to invest in Dong A Plastics. Meanwhile, Tan Tien Plastic Packaging, a listed company, surprised the Vietnam plastics industry as it fell into South Korean hands.

Tan Tien’s CEO Le Minh Cuong found that a large amount of the company’s shares were going to the pockets of a South Korean investor. Cuong then hurried to mobilize all possible financial sources in an effort to raise his ownership ratio in Tan Tien. However, it was too late. Cuong now holds 23.67 percent of the company’s shares, while the 'South Korean hunter' now holds the controlling stake.

The golden age of Tan Tien was in 2011 and before, when its turnover was VND1 trillion and the profit was VND85 billion. After acquiring Tan Tien, the investor from South Korea is restructuring the enterprise.

As MRC informed earlier, in 2014, Vietnam Polystyrene expanded the production capacity of its expandable polystyrene (EPS) plant. The capacity of the plant raised to 50,000 mt/year. Located in Vietnam, the plant previously had a production capacity of 40,000 mt/year.