Wacker Polymers raises June prices for EVA dispersions in the Americas

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Wacker Polymers is to raise its prices for vinyl acetate-ethylene (EVA) and ethylene-vinyl chloride-based (EVCh) copolymer dispersions of the VINNAPAS and VINNOL brand in the Americas region, said the producer on its site.

As customer contracts allow, effective June 15, 2016, prices will be raised by up to 5%. This measure has been necessitated by the increase in raw-material costs, especially for vinyl acetate monomer (VAM), a crucial raw material for the manufacturing of Wacker’s dispersions.

The price adjustment enables Wacker Polymers to continue providing customers with a wide-range of innovative quality products and comprehensive technical, sales and customer support services.

Dispersions of the VINNAPAS and VINNOL brand are applied in a broad variety of industries, ranging from adhesives, caulks, nonwovens, paints and coatings to paper, carpet and textiles.

As MRC informed earlier, in October 2015, Wacker Chemie AG officially started up a new reactor for EVA dispersions at its Calvert City site in Kentucky, USA. By expanding its capacities, Wacker is meeting global demand for its dispersions and dispersible powders which is rising amid such world trends as urbanization, renovation and environmental consideration. As a result, Wacker is now well positioned to offer its customers in the region consistently high product quality and supply security over the long term. Having invested around EUR50 million in the site’s capacity and infrastructure, Wacker is strengthening its position as one of the world’s leading suppliers of EVA-based dispersions and dispersible powders. Wacker’s complex in Calvert City is the big-gest of its kind outside of Europe.

Wacker Polymers is a leading producer of state-of-the-art binders and polymeric additives based on polyvinyl acetate and vinyl acetate copolymers. These take the form of dispersible polymer powders, dispersions, solid resins, and solutions. They are used in construction chemicals, paints, surface coatings, adhesives and nonwovens, and in fiber composites and polymeric materials based on renewable resources. Wacker Polymers has production sites in Germany, China, South Korea and the USA, as well as a global sales network and technology centers in all major regions.

BASF Shanghai Coatings starts building Shanghai automotive coatings plant

MOSCOW (MRC) -- BASF Shanghai Coatings has started construction on an automotive coatings plant at its Shanghai Chemical Industry Park in Caojing, China, said Chemicals-technology.

BASF will invest around EUR140m in the new plant, which is expected to become operational in the fourth quarter of 2017. As part of the latest investment of the joint venture between BASF and Shanghai Huayi Fine Chemical, the new facility is an expansion of the automotive coatings plant that started production in 2014.

BASF Greater China chairman and president Dr Stephan Kothrade said: "With the expansion, we continue to invest in local production to get even closer to China's automotive industry. "BASF will take an active role in developing this rapidly growing business, based on our local production network, innovative power and market knowledge."

BASF coatings solutions Dr Markus Kamieth said: "Our automotive OEM customers in China are increasingly looking for innovative, eco-efficient coatings solutions to drive sustainability in their processes. Adding world-class manufacturing and R&D capabilities in the country is our contribution to the rapidly evolving expectations of the automotive industry.

"This new investment in China is another example of our ongoing growth strategy in this region and in our automotive coatings business."

As well as the new facility, BASF operates a production facility for resins and electrocoat at the same site.

The proximity of these plants is expected to lead to more synergies and efficiency.

As MRC informed earlier, in April 2016, AkzoNobel said it is in discussions with BASF to acquire BASF’s industrial coatings business.

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.

Technip acquires ethanol-to-ethylene technology from BP

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Technip, a world leader in project management, engineering and construction for the energy industry has announced the acquisition of Hummingbird ethanol to ethylene technology from BP Chemicals, said the company on its site.

The technology converts ethanol to ethylene through dehydration, utilising a proprietary catalyst operating under mild operating conditions.

"This acquisition progresses Technip's onshore strategy to add process technologies that differentiate us and bring value to our customers. Hummingbird allows us to offer customers an alternative method to produce sustainable products from bio-based materials while expanding our technology positions in ethylene-derived chemicals and plastics such as polyethylene (PE), ethyl benzene styrene monomer (EB/SM) and polyethylene therephthalate (PET)," said Stan Knez, president, Technip.

The Hummingbird technology is cost effective and simpler compared to the previous technologies. The technology is available for licensing from Technip's center in Milton Keynes, United Kingdom. Ongoing catalyst development will be provided by the Technip Research Center in Massachusetts, US.

"BP has a strong track record of developing differentiated technologies. We are pleased to see our Hummingbird process taken to the market by Technip, a world-class technology licensing and engineering company," said Angello Amorelli, vice president BP Group Research.

As MRC informed earlier, Technip was awarded a contract by CTCI Corp. (Taiwan) to provide basic engineering and proprietary equipment for a grassroots ethylene cracking furnace at the Saudi Kayan Petrochemical Co.’s petrochemical complex in Jubail, Saudi Arabia. The furnace design will be based on Technip’s proprietary USC furnace technology.

Technip is a world leader in project management, engineering and construction for the energy industry.
Present in 45 countries, Technip has state-of-the-art industrial assets on all continents and operates a fleet of specialized vessels for pipeline installation and subsea construction.

Pertamina to take one LPG cargo a month over a year from Iran

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Indonesia is taking its first 44,000-mt LPG cargo from Iran in August under a one-year renewable contract signed recently, in which state-run Pertamina will take one monthly cargo, reported Apic-online with reference to a source familiar with the matter.

Pertamina will normally seek an evenly split cargo of propane and butane, though it will be up to the National Iranian Oil Co., or NIOC, to allocate the parcel split depending on availability and timing. This could include a cargo comprising 33,000 mt propane and 11,000 mt butane, or vice versa, the source added.

"We are waiting for Iran to allocate the volumes to Pertamina. All the commercial side has been done," the source said. "The first cargo is expected in August."

The source said Pertamina requires new term contracts because its current term import volumes are not sufficient to meet growing demand.

Pertamina's 10-year term supply contract with international trading firm Petredec is also due to expire in 2018. The contract volumes for 2016 are around 1.22 million mt, steady from last year.

The source said Pertamina plans to issue a tender next year ahead of the expiry of the Petredec deal, though the duration of the new contract - which will be opened to as many trading firm as possible - will likely be limited to one to three years. This was in view of the wider supply sources and low prices seen over the past year.

Long-term contracts will likely be restricted to government-to-government agreements, he said.

As MRC wrote previously, in April 2016, it was announced that Indonesia is strengthening its bilateral cooperation with Iran particularly in the oil and gas sector following the recent removal of sanctions on Iran, one of the world’s biggest oil producers. During a bilateral meeting in Bogor, West Java, the two countries agreed to cooperate in the upstream oil and gas sector, and data and technology exchange. The Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry’s oil and gas director general Wiratmaja Puja said Iran offered to supply crude oil, condensate and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) as well as to develop refineries in Indonesia. In addition, the two countries also agreed to develop human resources as well as conduct research and development together.

Besides, in May 2016, Indonesia’s PT Pertamina (Persoro) and Saudi Aramco let a contract to a subsidiary of Amec Foster Wheeler PLC to provide engineering and project management services for the upgrade and expansion of the 348,000-b/d Cilacap refinery on Java, Indonesia. Amec Foster Wheeler Energy Ltd. will execute the basic engineering design study as well as finalize the process configuration and licensors’ packages for the proposed upgrading project over the next 9 months. The overall expansion, which comes as part of Pertamina’s Refinery Development Master Plan (RDMP) to increase Indonesia’s energy security and ensure the long-term competitiveness of its refineries (OGJ Online, Oct. 7, 2013), will cost an estimated USD4-5 billion, the companies said.

Pertamina is an Indonesian state-owned oil and natural gas corporation based in Jakarta. It was created in August 1968 by the merger of Pertamin (established 1961) and Permina (established 1957). Pertamina is the world's largest producer and exporter of liquefied natural gas (LNG).

Kuwait orders investigation into US Dow Petrochemical deal

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Kuwait has asked the public prosecutor to open an investigation into a scrapped deal with US firm Dow Chemical that resulted in a USD2.2 bln fine, as per ArabNews.

Citing an unnamed high-ranking source, Al-Qabas daily said the government last week sent a large number of documents to the public prosecutor all the details about the deal.

The documents included the names of officials who have been associated with the USD17.4 billion joint venture. Kuwait and US petrochemicals giant Dow Chemical signed the deal in 2008 but the emirate unilaterally scrapped it later in the same year due to a political dispute between the government and parliament.

The International Chamber of Commerce, acting as an arbitrator, later ordered Kuwait to pay a penalty of USD2.2 bln for scrapping the deal. The government paid the fine in May 2013 although parliament had warned against making the payment before conducting a probe.

The oil-rich Gulf state's move comes six months after a parliamentary probe into the case urged the government to prosecute 24 ex-officials, including two former oil ministers and several top former industry executives.

The parliamentary probe report, debated by MPs in December, charged the officials of squandering public funds and making illegal profits.

As MRC informed before, in December 2015, Dow Chemical finalized the transaction to sell its ownership interest in MEGlobal to EQUATE Petrochemical Company K.S.C. and has received USD1.5 billion in pre-tax proceeds. Dow had previously announced its intent to optimize its ownership in its Kuwaiti Joint Ventures and the closure of this transaction represents progress toward delivering this commitment.

The Dow Chemical Company is an American multinational chemical corporation. As of 2007, it is the second-largest chemical manufacturer in the world by revenue (after BASF) and as of February 2009, the third-largest chemical company in the world by market capitalization (after BASF and DuPont). Dow is a large producer of plastics, including polystyrene, polyurethane, polyethylene, polypropylene, and synthetic rubber.