Nghi Son refinery construction facing delays

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The construction of Vietnam's second oil refinery, the USD7.5 B Nghi Son plant, is falling behind schedule, the government said, extending the country's reliance on imported products in 2017, reported Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Test runs of the 200 Mbpd refinery, scheduled for November 2016, would be delayed by about four months, according to state oil group PetroVietnam.

The Nghi Son plant, initially slated to start operations in July 2017, will refine Kuwaiti crude to make liquefied petroleum gas, petrol, diesel, kerosene and jet fuel among other products mainly used for domestic markets.

Vietnam's existing Dung Quat refinery meets about 30% of domestic demand.

Senior government and PetroVietnam officials met on Tuesday to tackle issues surrounding the construction of the refinery, the government report said, without elaborating.

Japan's Idemitsu Kosan and Kuwait Petroleum International each own 35.1% of the facility, while PetroVietnam has 25.1% and Mitsui Chemicals 4.7%.

As MRC wrote previously, in June 2013 ,Mitsui Chemicals, Idemitsu Kosan, Kuwait Petroleum International, and Petro Vietnam announced the final decision to invest a total USD9 billion in their refinery and petrochemical complex construction project at Nghi Son economic zone, Thanh Hoa Province, Vietnam. Following this decision, Nghi Son Refinery & Petrochemical Limited Liability Company, the project's joint venture company, concluded a financing agreement with a public financial institution and private banks in a total of USD5 billion. This final decision on project investment and financing agreements allowed construction to start in July. Initially, construction was scheduled for completion in 2016 and commercial operation is targeted for 2017.

Air Liquide announces divestiture of U.S. assets to Matheson Tri-Gas

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Air Liquide announced that it has entered into an agreement to sell certain assets in the United States to Matheson Tri-Gas, Inc. (Matheson), a subsidiary of Taiyo Nippon Sanso Corporation of Tokyo, Japan, said the company on its site.

Under the terms of the purchase agreements, Matheson will acquire the following assets from Air Liquide:

Eighteen air separation units in sixteen locations;
Two nitrous oxide production facilities;
Four liquid carbon dioxide production facilities in four states, including two dry ice production facilities;
Three Airgas retail packaged welding gas stores in Alaska.

In addition, Air Liquide is currently in negotiations to sell two of its facilities in Iowa that produce both liquid carbon dioxide and dry ice, which are the remaining assets ordered by the FTC to be divested in connection with Air Liquide’s acquisition of Airgas.

As previously indicated, all assets to be sold under these divestitures generated revenues of approximately $270 million for the year ended December 31, 2015. The Matheson transaction and the sale transaction for the Iowa plants remain subject to FTC approval and are expected to close in the third quarter of this year.

As MRC informed earlier, Air Liquide finalised on 23 May the acquisition of US peer Airgas.

L'Air Liquide S.A., or Air Liquide, is a French multinational company which supplies industrial gases and services to various industries including medical, chemical and electronic manufacturers.

Mitsui Chemicals shuts naphtha cracker at Osaka for maintenance

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Japan's Mitsui Chemicals Inc's wholly-owned unit Osaka Petrochemical Industries Ltd shut the 500,000 tpa naphtha cracker at its Osaka plant in western Japan on Wednesday, as per Reuters.

The shutdown was for a previously scheduled maintenance.

The shutdown is not part of any government-mandated planned maintenance but for cleaning and other production adjustment purposes to coincide with maintenance of some other related units, a company spokesman said.

As MRC informed earlier, Mitsui Chemicals, announced its expansion plan of its high performance nonwoven facilities at its Nagoya works plant, Japan to foster a more stable supply of high performance nonwoven fabrics for premium diaper manufacturers.

Mitsui Chemicals is a leading manufacturer and supplier of value added specialty chemicals, plastics and materials for the automotive, healthcare, packaging, agricultural, building, and semiconductor and electronics markets. Mitsui Chemicals is a Japanese Chemicals company, a part of the Mitsui conglomerate. The company has a turnover of around 15 billion USD and has business interests in Japan, Europe, China, Southeast Asia and the USA. The company mainly deals in performance materials, petro and basic chemicals and functional polymeric materials.

LLDPE plant of PTTGC operates at full rates

MOSCOW (MRC) -- PTT Global Chemical (PTTGC) is presently running its linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) plant at 100% of production capacity levels, according to Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in the Thailand informed that the company has resumed operations at the plant last weekend. The plant was taken off-stream on June 1, 2016 owing to shortage of feedstock ethylene.

Located at Map Ta Phut in Thailand, the LLDPE plant has a production capacity of 400,000 mt/year.

As MRC informed earlier, PTTGC already took off-stream this LLDPE plant for maintenance in early March 2016 and resumed its production on 3 April.

PTT Global Chemical is a leading player in the petrochemical industry and owns several petrochemical facilities with a combined capacity of 8.45 million tonnes a year.

Tomskneftekhim shuts PP and PE production for turnaround

MOSCOW (MRC) - Tomskneftekhim (TNKhK), a subsidiary of SIBUR and one of the largest Russian producers of polymers - polypropylene (PP) and high density polyethylene (LDPE), started the serial shutdown of the production of polyolefins for scheduled maintenance work, said the company's customers.

TNKhK on Monday began the process of the shutdown of the production of polyethylene and polypropylene for the preventive maintenances. The company's customers reported it had been suspended the work of one of the two lines for LDPE production. The producer shuts the polyolefins production completely by the end of the week. The maintenance works are scheduled to be conducted during one month.

During the turnaround producer also intends to complete the last stage of the modernisation of LDPE production, which involves increasing capacity by 30,000 tonnes/year -. to 270,000 tonnes/year. The total volume of investments in modernisation amounted to almost 11 billion roubles.

The producer finished modernisation of PP production in 2015, having increases plant capacity from 130,000 to 140,000 tonnes/year.

Tomskneftekhim LLC is a subsidiary of SIBUR and one of the largest Russian producers of polymers - polypropylene and low density polyethylene. The capacity for Tomskneftekhim's production of LDPE is 240,000 tonnes/year, PP production is 140,000 tonnes/year, ethylene production 300 tonnes/year.