Indonesian plastic industry expansion eyed in 2016 despite new taxes

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Sales in Indonesia's plastic industry are expected to rise 6.5% to 4.3 million tons (roughly USD8 billion) in 2016 supported by rising plastic and plastic products demand in those industries that use these materials (for example, Indonesia's food & beverage industry and the automotive industry), as per GV.

Fajar Budiono, Secretary General of the Aromatic, Olefin and Plastic Industry Association (Inaplas), said the year 2016 should be a good one for the plastic industry as the economy of Indonesia has started to stabilize after a prolonged slowdown.

However, in the first quarter of 2016, sales of plastic materials in Indonesia actually fell 1 percent due to the government's decision to implement an IDR 200 charge on each plastic bag sold by retailers such as supermarkets and vendors. This charge is part of a six-month trial and aims at curbing consumption of plastic bags, while at the same time generating more government revenue (the move to add a charge on each plastic bag has reportedly managed to reduce plastic bag consumption in Indonesian supermarkets by 25%).

Despite the weaker performance in Q1-2016, turnover in Indonesia's plastic industry is expected to rise 2% (y/y) to 2 million tons (USD 2.2 billion) in the second quarter of the year supported by rising consumption due to the fasting month of Ramadan and Idul Fitri (Muslims’ biggest religious festival) festivities. During these Islamic celebrations Indonesians increase consumption of food and beverage products as well as products such as clothes, shoes and bags.

Inaplas also stated that it hopes more Indonesian investors in the plastic industry to import new plastic manufacturing equipment from Taiwan. Most machinery that is used to produce plastic in Indonesia is imported from Taiwan due to the relatively affordable price and relatively high quality of the machinery. New developments in Taiwan have given birth to better equipment (higher quality, more efficient, and more environment-friendly). Therefore Inaplas recommends Indonesia's plastic and rubber manufacturing community to attend the Taipei International Plastic and Rubber Industry Show (PLAS) in Taiwan between 12-16 August 2016.

We remind that, as MRC reported earlier, Barito Pacific's subsidiary Chandra Asri Petrochemical (CAP) is reportedly planning to build a naphtha refinery at its Cilegon complex in Banten, Indonesia, with an estimated investment of USD740m. The company is now undertaking a one year preliminary study for the proposed project, which would reduce its reliance on naptha imports.

Idemitsu Kosan and Showa Shell to merge in 2017

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Japanese refiner Idemitsu Kosan Co. and smaller rival Showa Shell Sekiyu will merge on April 1 next year, the two companies said.

Japan's No.2 and No.5 refiners by revenue agreed last November in a deal worth approximately USD4 B to create the nation's second-biggest refiner sometime between October 2016 and April 2017.

An Idemitsu spokesman said the company had expected to receive approval from the Japan Fair Trade Commission by the end of June on the purchase of Royal Dutch Shell's one third stake in Showa Shell, but that the review was taking more time than expected. He did not give further details.

An official with the Fair Trade Commission was not immediately available for comment.

Idemitsu said it now planned to acquire Showa Shell shares in September, delayed from its previous goal of before the end of June.

The Japanese government has been encouraging consolidation in the refining sector, where five big firms and three smaller ones were vying for business in a country where a shrinking population is increasingly opting for more fuel efficient vehicles.

Japan's JX Holdings and TonenGeneral Sekiyu agreed in December to merge in April 2017, joining forces to create a dominant player in a refining market that is in long-term decline.

Together, Idemitsu Kosan and Showa Shell control about 28% of Japan's refining market, lagging behind JX Holdings, which has a 35% share.

As MRC informed previously, in July 2015, Idemitsu signed an agreement to acquire Shell’s 33.24% stake in its Japanese venture Showa Shell Sekiyu KK for JPY 169 billion (approximately USD1.4 billion).

Royal Dutch Shell plc is an Anglo-Dutch multinational oil and gas company headquartered in The Hague, Netherlands and with its registered office in London, United Kingdom. It is the biggest company in the world in terms of revenue and one of the six oil and gas "supermajors". Shell is vertically integrated and is active in every area of the oil and gas industry, including exploration and production, refining, distribution and marketing, petrochemicals, power generation and trading.

Idemitsu Kosan is a Japanese petroleum company. It owns and operates oil platforms, refineries and produces and sells petroleum, oils and petrochemical products. The company runs two petrochemical plants in Chiba and Tokuyama. The two naphtha crackers can produce up to 997,000 tonnes of ethylene per year.

Socar Polymer to sell its output through sub-companies

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Output of Socar Polymer LLC from two Sumgait plants under construction will be sold at local and foreign markets through other sub-companies of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (Socar), reported GV.

Socar Polymer head Farid Jafarov says that the Socar Marketing & Economic Operations Department will deal with sales of future products of the company (polypropylene and high density polyethylene) at the local market and Socar Trading at foreign markets.

"The relevant contracts have already been signed," Jafarov added.

Marketing studies have shown that 30% of the output can go to the domestic market and the rest for export.

The plants will be built turnkey by Italian company Maire Tecnimont by 2018.

High-density polyethylene (HDPE) will be produced on the basis of INEOS Innovene S technology in volume of 120,000 tons and polypropylene - 180,000 tons a year. The project will be financed mainly by the USD 489 million loan of Russia’s Gazprombank, while total project costs on the two plants is USD 700-750 million.

"We’ve already received two tranches from Gazprombank for the project. Funds are transferred as necessary," Jafarov said.

As MRC informed previously, SOCAR’s Polymer investment project, which is first of its nature and scale implemented for the last 40 years in Azerbaijan’s downstream oil and gas industry, will make USD10-11 billion of revenues during the plant’s lifetime.

Socar Polymer was established by Socar with share capital of USD 100 million. Since late 2013 Socar owns 51% of shares of the company, while 49% are distributed between Pasha Holding, Gilan Holding and Azersun Holding.

SOCAR is involved in exploring oil and gas fields, producing, processing, and transporting oil, gas, and gas condensate, marketing petroleum and petrochemical products in domestic and international markets, as well as, supplying natural gas to industry and the public in Azerbaijan. Three production divisions, one oil refinery and one gas processing plant, a deep water platform fabrication yard, two trusts, one institution, and 23 subdivisions are operating as corporate entities under SOCAR.

Velox extends its distribution activities for Topas Advanced Polymers

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Velox GmbH, a European distributor of raw material specialities for the plastics, composites, rubber, paints and coatings industries, has announced its extended distribution partnership with Topas Advanced Polymers, reported GV.

Velox will be distributing Topas COC and Topasblend series in Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland.

Topas Cyclic Olefin Copolymers (COC) belong to a new class of polymers with a property profile that can be varied over a wide range, says the company. In contrast to the semi-crystalline polyolefins PE and PP, Topas are amorphous, transparent copolymers.

According to the manufacturer, the property profile of these copolymers include low density, high transparency, good water vapour barrier properties, low water absorption, high rigidity, strength, and hardness, low birefringence, variable heat deflection temperature (HDT/B) up to 170 C, good biocompatibility as well as resistance to acids and alkalis.

Thus, Topas copolymers are of particular interest for primary packaging of pharmaceuticals, medical devices and diagnostic disposables.

Topas grades can be sterilised by gamma rays as well as electron beams and ethylene oxide. The steam sterilisation can be possible for Topas grades with corresponding higher softening point. Topasblend resins offer the benefits of polyolefins plus the high heat resistance of engineering plastics and can be considered for applications with multiple steam sterilisations, says the company.

We remind that, as MRC informed previously, in 2013, The Hamburg-based German company Velox GmbH was chosen to be the preferred distributor for the ABS/SAN-based modifier product range from Spanish company Elix Polymers, S. L., Tarragona, and licensed distributor in Germany, France, Italy, Austria, as well as Switzerland. The modifier range offers various advantages, including improved impact resistance for PC, PBT, PVC and SMA blends, increased mechanical properties of ABS and PC/ABS, improved flow and dimensional stability, superior heat distortion and thermoformability to opaque PVC as well as ABS compounds, as anti-dripping additive for flame retardant ABS, PC/ABS, and HIPS, as intermediate for the production of polymer blends, and as base resin for colour concentrates (ABS, SAN, PVC, PC).

Besides, in 2013, Arkema appointed Velox GmbH, as its exclusive distributor for the medical business development in Europe.

China orders 255 Shanghai industrial facilities to shut for G20

MOSCOW (MRC) -- China has ordered at least 255 Shanghai-based industrial facilities, including part of a major oil refinery operated by Sinopec Corp, to shut for 14 days to reduce pollution ahead of the G20 summit, according to an official document reviewed by Reuters.

The document, issued by the Shanghai Environment Protection Bureau, has ordered a wide range of companies from power and petrochemical plants to logistics firms to shut down between Aug. 24 and Sept. 6 for the upcoming G20 meet in Hangzhou. Authorities in neighboring Zhejiang and Jiangsu province are set to issue similar orders to limit air pollution and safety hazards within a 300 km radius from Hangzhou, according to industry and government officials. The G20 summit, hosted in the first week of September, has become China's biggest diplomatic event of the year and is expected to gather together world leaders like Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Barack Obama. The 255 factories based in Shanghai, about 200 km from Hangzhou, cover sectors like chemicals, building materials, pharmaceuticals and printing, according to the document. The government is offering no subsidies for the shutdowns, according to four plants contacted by Reuters.

China has previously shut down factories and limited the operation of heavy equipment ahead of high-profile diplomatic and sporting events - such as meetings of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation and the Beijing Summer Olympics of 2008 - to cut the choking smog that afflicts many of its cities.

As MRC informed earlier, Chinese petroleum Corporation Sinopec for the first time in the last 40 years, began refining oil imported from USA. This was reported by news portal Sina. According to him, a tanker with 42,000 tons of oil moored at the port of Zhanjiang (Guangdong province, South China) on 7 May.