BASF postpones decision on natural gas-based propylene investment in Freeport, Texas

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Considering the current volatility of raw material prices and the prevailing economic environment, BASF has postponed its final investment decision regarding the construction of a methane-to-propylene complex at its Freeport, Texas, site, said the producer on its site.

"On-purpose production of propylene based on favorable U.S. shale gas is interesting for BASF. We will regularly review the development of raw material prices and the relevant market conditions to determine the right point in time to commence such a major investment," said Wayne T. Smith, member of the Board of Executive Directors of BASF SE.

As MRC reported earlier, in March 2015, BASF made progress in its plans to build a world-scale methane-to-propylene complex on the US Gulf Coast by selecting Freeport, Texas, as the potential site, where it will use Air Liquide's proprietary Lurgi MegaMethanol and methanol-to-propylene (MTP) technologies. BASF also contracted Air Liquide to provide basic engineering services for this gas-to-propylene complex.

The plant is planned to have a production capacity of approximately 475,000 tpy of propylene. This project would be BASF's largest single-plant investment to date and is subject to final approval in 2016 by the BASF executive board.

The Freeport site was founded in 1958 as the first BASF manufacturing facility outside of Europe. With more than 800 full-time employees, the Freeport site is one of two BASF Verbund sites in North America and uses propylene in its manufacturing processes.

BASF is the leading chemical company. It produces a wide range of chemicals, for example solvents, amines, resins, glues, electronic-grade chemicals, industrial gases, basic petrochemicals and inorganic chemicals. The most important customers for this segment are the pharmaceutical, construction, textile and automotive industries. BASF generated sales of more than EUR70 billion in 2015.

BASF expands acrylates production capacities in Europe

MOSCOW (MRC) -- BASF is extending its existing production facilities for Laromer UV/EB acrylates, which are part of BASF’s C3-Verbund system, at its Ludwigshafen site in Germany, as per the company's press release.

By significantly increasing its production capacities, BASF is responding to the rising demand for high-quality UV/EB acrylates and strengthening its position as one of the world’s leading manufacturers of UV/EB resins used as binders for energy-curable coatings and inks. The additional capacities will be available as of the 3rd quarter of 2016.

"We have experienced a considerable increase in global demand for our high-quality UV/EB acrylates over the last few years. This investment is our response to rising demand. The additional capacities will help us increase our supply reliability and show our commitment to provide customers with high-quality UV/EB acrylates," says Ulf Neidlein, Vice President, who is responsible for BASF’s resin and additive business in Europe.

UV/EB-curable acrylates are one of BASF's pillars of growth. In response to the demand, BASF began setting up additional capacities at its site in Meaux, France early in 2014.

Customers use Laromer resins as binders to formulate coatings for furniture and flooring, inks and overprint varnishes as well as coatings for plastics and metal substrates. In addition, BASF offers a broad portfolio of complementary resins such as polyisocyanates, dispersions and additives.

As MRC wrote previously, in April 2016, BASF celebrated the inauguration of its new PU flooring facilities for the production of Ucrete in Bukit Raja, Klang/Malaysia. It is the first manufacturing hub in Asia Pacific to produce all components of Ucrete.

BASF is the largest diversified chemical company in the world and is headquartered in Ludwigshafen, Germany. BASF produces a wide range of chemicals, for example solvents, amines, resins, glues, electronic-grade chemicals, industrial gases, basic petrochemicals and inorganic chemicals. The most important customers for this segment are the pharmaceutical, construction, textile and automotive industries. BASF generated sales of more than EUR70 billion in 2015.

AESSEAL wins five-year service agreement with Total Lindsey Oil Refinery

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Total Lindsey Oil Refinery Ltd. has awarded AESSEAL a five-year managed reliability contract for their mechanical seals at Lindsey Oil Refinery, reported Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The contract, which was negotiated over a two-year period, will include the supply and repair of the mechanicals seals used on over 600 rotating equipment assets.

Working closely with the Total rotating equipment and operations teams, AESSEAL is tasked with improving reliability and reducing total cost of ownership by extending the meantime between failures on the assets.

Total is the world’s fourth-largest independent oil and gas company, with operations in 130 countries and more than 100,000 employees. The Lindsey Oil Refinery is situated in Killingholme, North Lincolnshire, UK and is one of the six UK oil refineries.

As MRC informed before, Total's proposed new ethane cracker near its refinery in Port Arthur, Texas, is being designed to have a capacity of 1 million tpy, the company said in a permit application to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), in April 2015. Construction on the cracker could start in June 2016, the company said, with operations starting three years later. The project would include seven ethane-cracking heaters.

Total S.A. is a French multinational oil and gas company and one of the six "Supermajor" oil companies in the world with business in Europe, the United States, the Middle East and Asia. The company's petrochemical products cover two main groups: base chemicals and the consumer polymers (polyethylene, polypropylene and polystyrene) that are derived from them.

Shenhua Ningxia brought on-stream No 1 PP line in China

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Shenhua Ningxia Coal Industry has restarted its No. 1 polyproplyene (PP) line following a maintenance turnaround, as per Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in China informed that the No. 1 line resumed production early this week. The line was taken off-stream on May 15, 2016. The other three PP lines are likely to be restarted before June 15, 2016.

Located at Ningxia province of China, the PP plant comprises of four lines have a combined production capacity of 1 mln mt/year.

As MRC informed previously, in early June 2016, Sinopec Yangzi Petrochemical took off-stream its PP plant for a brief maintenance. It is likely to remain off-line for period of around 1 week. Located in Jiangsu province, China, the plant has a production capacity of 200,000 mt/year.

Shenhua Ningxia Coal Industry Group Co., Ltd. engages in coal mining and washing, coal deep processing, coal chemical industry, electric power, real estate, and other businesses.

AkzoNobel to produce marine and protective coatings in Russia

MOSCOW (MRC) -- AkzoNobel said on 9 June that it is adding marine and protective coatings capacity at its existing performance coatings site at Lipetsk, south of Moscow, said Chemweek.

The new capacity is expected to be operational in the third quarter of this year. It will enable AkzoNobel to supply protective coatings for the regional oil and gas, mining, power and infrastructure markets, as well as marine coatings for ship building, maintenance and repair. The investment represents a further expansion for the multi-business site at Lipetsk.

As MRC informed earlier, AkzoNobel said it is in discussions with BASF to acquire BASF’s industrial coatings business. BASF confirmed that it is in discussions with AkzoNobel on the potential sale, but also declined to give further information. BASF is relatively small in industrial coatings.

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.