Reliance shut down Hazira PTA unit No. 2 for maintenance

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) has taken off-stream its No. 2 purified terephthalic acid (PTA) unit in Hazira, reported Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in India informed that the company has recently shut the unit for a maintenance turnaround. The unit is expected to remain off-line for around 15 days.

Located in Hazira, Gujarat in India, the No. 2 PTA unit has a production capacity of 510,000 mt/year.

As MRC informed earlier, in April 2015, RIL successfully put into operation two plants in Dahej, Gujarat, India. The first is a polyethylene terephthalate (PET) resin plant, which consists of two lines with a combined manufacturing capacity of 650 KTA. This is one of the largest bottle-grade PET resin capacity at a single location globally, and consolidates Reliance’s position as a leading PET resin producer with a global capacity of 1.15 MMTPA. PET resin from the new capacity would find application in packaging for water, carbonated soft drinks, pharmaceuticals and other food and beverages.

The second facility is a new PTA plant that provides a capacity of 1,150 KTA. With the commissioning of this plant, also built with Invista technology, Reliance’s total PTA capacity will increase to 3.2 MMTPA, and its global capacity share will rise to 4%.

Reliance Industries is one of the world's largest producers of polymers. The company's polymer production in 2010-11 (polypropylene, polyethylene and polyvinyl chloride) made 4,094 kilo tonnes.

Evonik innovation campaign bears fruit—innovative power considerably enhanced

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Evonik Industries is strengthening its innovative power. Last year, the specialty chemicals company increased the value of its innovation pipeline by half a billion euros, said the producer on its site.

This now places the value of the pipeline in the lower single-digit billion euro range-a figure that is expected to continue growing over the next few years. At today’s R&D press briefing in Essen, Germany, Chairman of the Executive Board of Evonik Industries Klaus Engel said: "Our innovation campaign is bearing fruit. The constant flow of new products, applications, and business models is a major driver of profitable growth at Evonik. Innovations are to make an even larger contribution to sales and profit going forward." In the medium term, the Group aims for products and applications developed in the past five years to account for over 16% of sales. Currently, these constitute around 10% of sales.

"It’s an ambitious goal," said Evonik Chief Innovation Officer Ulrich Kusthardt, "and we have taken additional steps in order to meet it." Evonik has brought its innovation portfolio into focus, redefined its growth fields, and taken the development of its innovation culture still further. Kusthardt said, "We have a total of six growth fields, which we expect to contribute over EUR1 billion in additional sales by the year 2025." These fields are in highly attractive markets where Evonik can offer new products and solutions in line with its core competencies. Examples here include sustainable nutrition, healthcare solutions, and cosmetic solutions.

Reorganizing these growth fields goes hand in hand with focusing on the innovation portfolio. The streamlined innovation portfolio now includes a more significant portion of larger innovation projects, as well as those to be carried out over the medium and long term. This will allow the company to make more efficient use of resources. Idea competitions and fostering entrepreneurship represent additional ways of improving the culture of innovation.

The planned acquisition of the specialty additives business (the Performance Materials Division) of US-based Air Products is likewise expected to strengthen Evonik’s innovative power in the field of specialty additives. Air Products’ specialty additives business employs excellent R&D personnel and maintains a powerful R&D pipeline.

"We want to become one of the most innovative companies in the world," said Kusthardt, underscoring the ambitions of the specialty chemicals company. According to a Forsa survey, nearly 50 percent of those surveyed trust Evonik to meet this goal over the medium term. Over 75% of those surveyed see Evonik as an innovative company. Early this year, Evonik contracted Forsa, an independent opinion research institute, to conduct the survey among select target groups, such as customers, investors, politicians, scientists, and employees.

As MRC wrote previously, Evonik Industries further steps up its activities in the attractive membrane business. The specialty chemicals company has recently started operating a thin-film composites plant to coat membranes for use in organic solvent nanofiltration and gas separation at its Marl site in Germany.

Evonik, the creative industrial group from Germany, is one of the world leaders in specialty chemicals. Its activities focus on the key megatrends health, nutrition, resource efficiency and globalization. Evonik benefits specifically from its innovative prowess and integrated technology platforms. Evonik is active in over 100 countries around the world.

Evonik is conducting research on new composite materials for the fixation of fractured bones

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Evonik is conducting research into biodegradable high-strength composites, which could potentially replace metal in implants used for the internal fixation of fractured bones, said the company on its site.

Implants play a key role in supporting bones until they heal. Today’s metallic devices typically remain in the body for the rest of the patient’s life or require additional surgery for removal. By contrast, devices made with Evonik’s new composites will be absorbed by the body gradually once the bone healing process has taken place. These materials consist of polymers and of substances that naturally occur in bones. Evonik’s research is still in its early stages - however, the possible benefits for patients are already clear. Patients will no longer need to undergo additional surgical procedures to remove the implanted devices. Specific device designs may also help bones regenerate faster.

The project is one of a number currently being conducted at the Medical Devices Project House in Birmingham, Alabama, USA, which employs a team of more than 20 experts. Its mission is to develop new medical technology solutions and materials, with a particular emphasis on implants.

Medical device manufacturers use Resomer polymers marketed by Evonik’s healthcare business line to make bioabsorbable screws, pins and small plates. These are primarily used for torn ligaments in the knee or shoulder, and for fixation of smaller bones in fingers or the face.

As MRC informed earlier, Evonik Industries recently started operating a thin-film composites plant to coat membranes for use in organic solvent nanofiltration and gas separation at its Marl site in Germany.

Evonik, the creative industrial group from Germany, is one of the world leaders in specialty chemicals. Its activities focus on the key megatrends health, nutrition, resource efficiency and globalization. Evonik benefits specifically from its innovative prowess and integrated technology platforms. Evonik is active in over 100 countries around the world.


Ethylene XXI project to bolster Braskem's international strategy

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Braskem Idesa, the 75-25 joint venture of Braskem and Idesa (Mexico City), will officially inaugurate Ethylene XXI, its petrochemical complex at Nanchital, Mexico, this week, said Chemweek.

"Production in Mexico raises Braskem to a new level," said Fernando Musa, CEO of Braskem, during a press conference in Mexico City on Monday evening. "We have broadened the reach of our operations."

The USD5.2-billion complex consists of an ethane cracker and three downstream polyethylene (PE) units with total production capacity of 1.05 million m.t./year. The downstream complex consists of two high-density PE (HDPE) production units and one low-density (LDPE) unit.

Half of the total output to be marketed will initially be allocated to Mexico with the rest exported to markets including North America, Central America, Europe, and potentially Asia, Musa said. However, over the next 3-5 years, the plan is for 80-90% of the total production to be sold to the domestic market, Musa said. Mexico currently imports more than 60% of its PE consumption. Braskem expects Mexico's PE demand to grow on average 3-4% over the next few years, above the 2.5-3% anticipated growth rate of the Mexican economy.

The Ethylene XXI cracker's feedstock needs are being met under a 20-year ethane supply agreement with Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex). Braskem Idesa started HDPE production at the site in April and the LDPE plant is expected to be up and running by 22 June, said Roberto Bischoff, CEO of Braskem Idesa.

Braskem Idesa does not have plans to expand at this time, but production could potentially be hiked if additional feedstock is made available locally. "First tenders for exploration have taken place under Mexico's energy reform, however the potential for new exploration to turn up new raw material supplies is still unknown," Bischoff added.

Braskem S.A. produces petrochemicals and generates electricity. The Company produces ethylene, propylene, benzene, toluene, xylenes, butadiene, butene, isoprene, dicyclopentediene, MTBE, caprolactam, ammonium sulfate, cyclohexene, polyethylene theraphtalat, polyethylene, and polyvinyl chloride (PVC).

Thai Map Ta Phut Olefins sells 2 solvent-MX cargoes after plant restart

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Thailand's Map Ta Phut Olefins Company (part of SCG Chemicals) has sold two July-loading solvent-MX cargoes of 2,000 mt each after restarting its aromatics plant earlier this week, sources close to the company said late Thursday, reported Apic-online.

The plant was shut two weeks ago due to a problem with the hydrogenation unit, the source said, adding that the issue had since been resolved.

The plant was now running at "close to 100%" of capacity, the source said.

The shutdown had no impact on the plant's July production, the source said, pointing to the the two cargoes sold this week.

The plant has the capacity to produce 150,000 mt/year of benzene, 70,000 mt/year of toluene and 70,000 mt/year of mixed xylenes.

Map Ta Phut Olefins Co. is 67% owned by SCG Chemicals.

As MRC wrote previously, Siam Cement Group (SCG) Chemicals' subsidiary plans to invest in a new grade of high value added (HVA) polyethylene (PE), with commercial production beginning by the end of the year, said SCG President Chonlanat Yanaranop earlier this month. SCG plans to submit a proposal at next month's board meeting for the project, Chonlanat said. No other details were given.

SCG Chemicals is a subsidiary of SCG and is one of SCG’s 3 core businesses consisting of Chemicals, Paper and Cement-Building Materials. SCG embarked upon the chemicals business in 1989. At present, SCG Chemicals manufactures and supplies a full range of petrochemical products ranging from upstream petrochemicals such as Olefins, intermediate petrochemicals such as Styrene Monomer, PTA, and MMA, to downstream petrochemicals such as Polyethylene, Polypropylene, Polyvinyl Chloride, and Polystyrene resins. SCG Chemicals is now one of the largest integrated petrochemical companies in Thailand and a key industry leader in the Asia-Pacific region.