Iran acquires knowledge to produce PET

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Iran has acquired the technical know-how to produce polyethylene terephthalate (PET), according to the head researcher at the Malek Ashtar University of Technology Mohammad Reza Sovizi as quoted by the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA), reported GV.

"We have been able to indigenize the production of the petrochemical catalyst and Iran is the first country in the region to acquire self-sufficiency in the production of this chemical item which used to be imported," said the assistant professor of analytical chemistry.

"This has saved Iran USD 22 million (annually)," he added.

"Petrochemical industries are among strategic, and parent industries and Iran in recent years has achieved great development in this sphere," the university professor said.

"With regard to the abundant raw materials found in Iran, our country has a great potential for generating income and promoting sustainable employment by relying on the petrochemical industries," Sovizi said.

We remind that, as MRC informed previously, in March 2016, The National Petrochemical Company (NPC) of Iran and France-based Total signed an memorandum of understanding (MoU) to build a petrochemical complex in Iran. Total sealed the cooperation agreement with NPC to build a petrochemical complex after signing a separate deal to buy 160,000 bpd of Iranian crude oil. The complex will include a world-scale steam cracker unit in the coastal area. It will be based on a combination of feedstocks comprised of ethane, naphtha and LPG, as well as other available feed.

New YPFB polypropylene plant to utilize LyondellBasell technology

MOSCOW (MRC) -- LyondellBasell, one of the world's largest plastics, chemical and refining companies, has announced that Bolivia's state-owned petrochemical company, Yacimientos Petroliferos Fiscales Bolivianos (YPFB), has selected LyondellBasell's 5th Generation Spheripol polypropylene (PP) process technology for a 250 Mtpy plant in Tarija, Plurinational State of Bolivia, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Mario Salazar Gonzales, Petrochemical Plants Manager at YPFB stated, "We selected the Spheripol process for Bolivia’s first polymer plant because of its superior economics, proven track record and broad product slate.”

"The Spheripol process is the most widely practiced polypropylene technology in the world and is well established in Latin America," said Dan Coombs, executive vice president of Global Olefins & Polyolefins and Technology at LyondellBasell. "Customers appreciate the Spheripol process’s track record of high plant operability, leading operating cost, excellent product properties and the ability to make rapid grade changes."

As MRC informed before, in April 2016, LyondellBasell completed the previously announced acquisition of the PP compounding assets of Zylog Plastalloys Pvt. Ltd. (Zylog) in India. The company entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Zylog's PP compounding assets in November 2015.

LyondellBasell is a leading licensor of polypropylene and polyethylene technologies with more than 250 polyolefin process licenses. Spheripol is the leading polypropylene process technology with more than 22 million tons of licensed capacity. It combines globally recognized quality polypropylene grades with leading monomer efficiency and investment costs to make it the technology of choice.

Celanese announces acetic acid price increase in China

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Celanese Corporation, a global technology and specialty materials company, had increased June list and off-list selling prices for acetic acid in view of recent market conditions, said the producer on its site.

The price increase for China was RMB100/mt.

Besides, the company will raise list and off-list selling prices for acetic acid in the European region. The price rise will be effective July 1, 2016, or as contracts allow and will be EUR30/tonne.

As MRC informed previously, Celanese Corporation raised list and off-list selling prices for vinyl acetate monomer (VAM) from 1 June, 2016, or as contracts allowed, as follows:

- by EUR50/mt - for Europe;
- by USD50/mt for Central and South America and Mexico;
- by USD0.02/lb for USA and Canada.

Besides, earlier, Celanese Corporation increased its list and off-list selling prices for Ateva EVA and LDPE polymers, effective May 1st, 2016 or as contracts allowed. Prices of Ateva EVA rose by USD50/tonne for Asia, whereas LDPE prices grew by USD0.04/lg (USD 0.09/kg or USD90/tonne) for North and South America and by USD50/tonne for Asia.

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.

India caps refiners dollar buying for Iran dues to shield rupee

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The Reserve Bank of India has capped weekly dollar purchases by oil refiners to pay off their debts to Iran in order to avoid pressure on the rupee, three sources said on Monday, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

India is one of the biggest buyers of Iranian crude and built up a payments backlog when Iran was under Western sanctions, with its refiners owing about USD6.5 B to Iran.

They have cleared USD770 MM in Euros through Turkey's Halkbank to National Iranian Oil Co (NIOC). State-run Union Bank of India facilitated the payments.

The refiners had been holding back 55% of payments to Iran after a channel through Halkbank was closed in 2013, although payment of some of those funds was allowed after an initial temporary deal to lift the sanctions.

Last week, on the basis of an RBI advisory, India's oil ministry wrote to refiners saying the remaining dues can be settled in three months from May 30 and told companies to ensure demand for foreign exchange is limited to USD500 MM per week, the sources told Reuters.

"RBI wants to stagger payments to Iran to pre-empt any undue volatility in the domestic forex market," said one source.

The rupee touched a near three-month low of 67.77 to the dollar last week, partly due to dollar purchases to settle a portion of the Iranian oil dues the week before.

India's oil ministry has asked state refiner Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd. (MRPL) to coordinate with other firms to ensure that weekly payments do not exceed USD500 million.

We remind that, as MRC informed earlier, in August 2015, MRPL initiated its downward integration by amalgamation with ONGC Mangalore Petrochemicals Limited (OMPL). Last year, OMPL had commissioned a state-of-the-art aromatic complex with 914,000 tpa capacity of paraxylene and 283,000 tpa capacity benzene adjacent to the refinery. The amalgamation will ensure optimal utilization of resources which will lead to improvement in overall working culture and environment.

Chemtura expands distribution relationship with Azelis Americas

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Chemtura has announced that Azelis Americas (formerly Koda Distribution Group) will be the sole distributor for its pre-polymer urethanes, curatives, and polyester polyols product lines in North America, reported GV.

The agreement will be effective from 26 July 2016, in addition to the current urethanes surface coatings portfolio. At the same date, Chemtura will be discontinuing its relationship with AdipreneDirect in North America.

Azelis Americas with headquarters in Stamford, CT, USA, is part of the Azelis Group, which is based in Luxembourg.

As MRC reported earlier, in April 2016, Chemtura Corporation announced the expansion of the Low Free (LF) MDI polyurethane elastomers production capacity at its Latina, Italy, facility. The expansion, due for completion by the end of 2016, will complement the company’s existing LF MDI production capability in Gastonia, NC, USA, and ensure a flexible, reliable supply to its customers. Chemtura is increasing production of Adiprene LF MDI prepolymers to ensure a flexible and reliable supply to customers.

Chemtura, with 2015 sales of USD 1.7 billion, is a global manufacturer and marketer of speciality chemicals headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, with its other principal executive office in Middlebury, Connecticut. The company focuses on specialty chemicals for various industrial sectors, and these are transportation (including automotive), energy, and electronics.