PET imports to Kazakhstan down 30% in Jan-Apr 2016

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Imports of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) into Kazakhstan decreased in January-April 2016 by 30% year on year, totalling 10,700 tonnes. Imports from China has been growing, whereas shipments from South Korea and Russia have been going down, according to ICIS-MRC Price report.
Kazakhstan has no own PET production, therefore, the processing needs are met by imports. China is the main PET supplier to Kazakhstan. The share of Chinese PET grew to 89% in the total imports in January-April, whereas a year earlier the share of Chinese PET was 59%.

In terms of quantities, Kazakh companies increased their purchasing of PET in China. PET imports of Chinese plant rose by 6% in January-April to 9,500 tonnes.

At the same time, shipments of Russian PET decreased. PET imports from Russia were about 1,000 tonnes in the first four months of the year, down by three-fold year on year. Imports from South Korea also virtually ceased. Imports of Korean PET chips to Kazakhstan totalled only 124 tonnes in January-April 2016, whereas shipments of Korean PET exceeded 3,000 tonnes in January-April 2015.


Sabic inks project development agreement with Shenhua Ningxia Coal Industry

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Sabic has signed a Project Development Agreement (PDA) with Shenhua Ningxia Coal Industry Group Co. Ltd. (SNCG), a subsidiary of Shenhua Group Corporation Limited, to be effective by May 30, 2016, said the producer on its site.

The PDA relates to the two parties’ potential joint development of a greenfield petrochemical complex to be located in the Ningxia Hui Region of China. The parties would proceed with further actions to implement the project in the event of a positive final investment decision and subject to obtaining all necessary governmental approvals. The joint venture would benefit from its location in Ningxia and utilize locally available coal feedstocks to be supplied by SNCG.

The PDA provides a basis for the parties to conduct a joint feasibility study on the project, within three years starting from the date when the agreement became effective, and, subject to a positive outcome, to prepare and submit the materials necessary to obtain Project Application Report approval (PAR Approval) from the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) of the Peoples’ Republic of China.

This project is part of SABIC’s ongoing strategy to geographically diversify its operations and to seek future investment opportunities that opens doors to new markets. Sabic will announce further details in due course.

HRH Prince Saud Bin Abdullah Bin Thenayan Al Saud, Chairman of the Royal High Commission for Jubail and Yanbu and Chairman of Sabic highlighted the importance of the agreement, "This agreement clearly reflects Sabic’s desire to expand its global operations and get ever closer to our customers. Sabic’s ongoing strategy is to geographically diversify our operations and seek future investment opportunities that open doors to new strategic markets."

Sabic Vice Chairman & CEO, Yousef Al-Benyan commented on this agreement saying, "This project reflects our enthusiasm to diversify our sources of feedstock, paving the way for further investment opportunities that depend on different and untraditional sources of feedstock. This protects SABIC against the fluctuations and cyclical movements in feedstock price in the international markets, which helps ensure a profitable growth strategy."

As MRC reported earlier, in 2014, Sabic and the Korean petrochemical company, SK Global Chemical, signed a 50-50 joint venture agreement in Seoul, South Korea, for a total investment of USD595 million to manufacture a range of high-performance polyethylene products using SK’s cutting edge Nexlene solution technology. The joint venture, which is located in Singapore, is expected to operate a series of manufacturing plants, the first of which was recently completed by SK Global Chemical at its complex in Ulsan, South Korea, with an expected annual capacity of 230,000 tons. The plants will produce metallocene linear low density polyethylene, polyolefin plastomers and polyolefin elastomers that will meet the growing needs of diverse industries such as advanced packaging, automotive, healthcare, footwear and electrical and lighting. A second plant is planned for Saudi Arabia.

Sabic is a diversified manufacturing company, active in chemicals and intermediates, industrial polymers, fertilizers and metals. It is the largest public company in Saudi Arabia. It is the largest company in the Middle East.
Sabic is currently the second largest global ethylene glycol producer and is expected to become number one after the introduction of these new projects. Sabic is the third largest polyethylene manufacturer, the fourth largest polyolefins manufacturer and the fourth largest polypropylene manufacturer. It is also the world's largest producer of mono-ethylene glycol, MTBE, granular urea, polyphenylene and polyether imide.

Egyptian Carbon Holdings has first backing for US$5 bln petrochemical funding

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Egypt's Carbon Holdings has secured agreement with one of the four export credit agencies expected to provide financing between USD4 and 5 billion for its massive Tahrir petrochemicals project, as per Plastemart.

The USD7 billion scheme at Ain Sokhna at the southern end of the Suez Canal will be one of the largest petrochemicals projects in Egypt. It is projected to increase by about 50% the amount of such products made by the North African country in the first 10 years after becoming operational.

The financing was expected to close by the end of 2015 and be provided by five agencies, but talks were put on hold because the Export-Import Bank of the United States (U.S. EXIM) could not lend new cash until its licence was renewed by Congress, according to Carbon Holdings CEO Basil El-Baz.However, the U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation has now agreed to direct funding, Baz told Reuters in Dubai without stating for how much the agreement was worth. "We are optimistic that we should be in a position to wrap this up this year," Baz said of the full finance package.

Carbon Holdings expects three other agencies to contribute to the 17-1/2 year debt facility, either through direct lending or guarantees for commercial bank loans. They are U.S. EXIM, Sace of Italy and UK Export Finance. The start of Tahrir's construction has also been delayed from the timetable given last year. Baz said that work is now expected to begin at "the back end of this year" and last for about 48 months. Societe Generale is advising on the Tahrir project, Baz said.

As MRC wrote previously, in February 2015, CB&I has been awarded a contract by Carbon Holdings for the license and engineering design of a polypropylene (PP) unit to be built in Ain Sokhna, Egypt. The unit will be aligned to the Tahrir petrochemical complex and use CB&I's Novolen technology to produce 350,000 tpy of polypropylene.

Italian credit agency SACE guarantees credit line for LIWA petrochemical complex

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Italian export credit agency SACE guaranteed a credit line of USD840 mln issued by State-controlled investment bank Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) for a share of USD189 mln to support the construction in Oman of the LIWA petrochemical complex (Liwa Plastic Industries Complex), as per Plastemart.

SACE presented the business opportunities of the project in Milan. The financing will sustain supply contracts awarded by ORPIC (a company controlled by the Omani government active in crude oil refining and petrochemicals) to Maire Tecnimont, and subcontracts that will be assigned to numerous Italian companies, especially SMEs, that produce machinery tools for the oil & gas sector. LIWA will produce 1.1 tpa of polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene (PE), intended primarily for international markets, and will be part of the Sohar integrated industrial zone owned by ORPIC.

Once completed, the petrochemical complex will become one of the world's most technologically advanced, enabling Oman to develop a solid local plastics industry in line with the government's economic diversification plans.

As MRC informed previously, The Export-Import Bank of Korea (Korea EXIM Bank) will provide USD370 million worth project financing to Oman Oil Refineries and Petroleum Industries Company (ORPIC)’s petrochemical project in Liwa province. The Liwa petrochemical project is Oman’s national project that aims to build the country’s first petrochemical plant using natural gas as feedstock. The project is worth USD6.3 billion and it was awarded to a consortium led by South Korea’s GS Engineering & Construction in December 2015.

Global short fiber thermoplastics market forecast to grow 4.5% by 2021

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The future of the short fiber thermoplastic (SFT) composites market looks attractive with opportunities in the transportation, consumer goods, and electrical/electronics industries. The global short fiber thermoplastics market is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 4.5% from 2016 to 2021, as per Plastemart with reference to Research and Markets.

The major drivers for the growth of this market are recyclability, ease of processing, and better capability of making parts with complex geometry. In this market, fiber (glass fiber, carbon fiber) and resin (polyamide, polypropylene, and polybutylene terephthalate) are the major raw materials used for producing short fiber thermoplastic composites. The demand for SFT is likely to experience a good growth during the forecast period supported by growing demand in end-user industries. On the basis of comprehensive research, the report forecasts that the transportation segment is expected to show above average growth during the forecast period.

Asia Pacific (including Rest of the World) is expected to remain the largest market and is expected to witness highest growth rate during the forecast period due to the anticipated growth in the end user industries and increasing focus on high performance thermoplastic composites.

For market expansion, this report suggests innovation and new product development, where the unique characteristics of SFT can be capitalized. The report further suggests the development of partnerships with customers to create win-win situations and development of high performance products for the end use industries. Emerging trends in the global SFT market which have a direct impact on the dynamics of the industry are establishment of manufacturing facilities in high growth markets and integration of operational capabilities.

We remind that, as MRC informed previously, the global continuous fiber thermoplastics market is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 6.9% from 2015 to 2020, according to a new market report by Lucintel. The major driver of growth for this market is increasing level of penetration in aerospace and automotive industries, largely to address the increasing requirement of lightweight, recyclable, and environment friendly products. In this market, glass & carbon fibers are major reinforcements and polyamide (PA), polypropylene (PP), polyetherimide (PEI), polyphenylene sulfide (PPS), & polyetheretherketone (PEEK) resins as major matrices are used for making continuous fiber thermoplastics