Iranian fire-damaged petchem plant to be online within three weeks

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Iran expects most units at its Bu Ali Sina petrochemicals complex to resume operations within three weeks, after a fire was extinguished early on last Saturday, Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh was quoted as saying by his ministry's website, Shana, reported Reuters.

"The paraxylene tower will take longer to get back (online)," Zanganeh said, adding that the rest of the plant would be restarted in two to three weeks, Shana said.

The fire broke out at the complex in the southwestern city of Bandar Mahshahr on Wednesday, but caused no fatalities, state media reported.

As MRC reported earlier, as of 2015, number of active Iranian Petrochemical complexes were 53, with total production capacity of 59 million metric ton, producing range of polymers, chemicals, aromatics & liquid gas, located mainly at Iranian south region, next to Persian Gulf, called Assaluyeh and Mahshahr Special Economic Zones.

At the moment, there are 67 developments projects in the country which are under construction, adding 61 million metric ton on total production and estimated to fully run till 2018.

BASF introduces tailored polyamide portfolio for the charge-air duct in modern combustion engines

MOSCOW (MRC) -- BASF, the world's pretrochemical major, has introduced tailored polyamide portfolio for the charge-air duct in modern combustion engines, said the producer on its site.

The reductions in fuel consumption and emissions which are prescribed by law in many countries are forcing the automotive industry to act. Besides developing alternative drives, the optimization of traditional combustion engines continues to play a key role. Downsizing results in higher pressures and temperatures, especially in components that carry air behind the turbocharger. BASF is responding to this development in engine designs with a consistent portfolio of PA6 and PA66 grades that meet the higher demands on the materials, their mechanical properties and temperature resistance.

Depending on the base polymer and stabilization system, the materials are resistant to heat aging up to 220 C and show excellent burst pressure and weld strength. This means the part developer can be provided with the optimum material for each of the different components in the charge-air duct that offers the best value for money. Selected grades are based on global specifications: They are supplied worldwide from local manufacturing facilities, with uniform material properties and a consistently high level of quality.

Turbochargers can be used to compensate for a loss of power in the engine while at the same time reducing the cubic capacity. Turbocharging produces higher pressures and temperatures in the engine compartment, especially in the charge-air duct. At the same time, car makers continue to develop the design of the charge-air duct to make the installation space more efficient and reduce emissions. This technological advancement in engine design is being accompanied by global processes of standardization and relocation of production facilities: Globally standardized engines and respective add-on parts are used in different vehicles that are produced locally. BASF is responding to this trend by offering a range of globally available products manufactured locally with globally valid specifications.

BASF offers polyamides for the various temperature requirements of the charge-air duct. The range comprises PA6, PA66 and PA66/6 grades with a glass fiber content between 30 and 50 percent. Ultramid B3WG6 GPX, a PA6 containing 30% glass fiber, has been newly added to the portfolio. It is resistant to temperatures up to 180 C and for a short time up to 200 C. Due to its excellent burst pressure and weld strength, it is suitable for air intake manifolds made from several parts. The upper end of the temperature range is covered by Ultramid Endure, a specialty polyamide which can stand constant use temperatures of 220 C and peaks up to 240 C.

The grades Ultramid Endure D3G7 with 35% glass fiber reinforcement and D3G10 with 50% glass fiber reinforcement are suitable for injection molding. They are proven to work well in air intake manifolds of turbocharged diesel engines as well as in resonators and sensors. Well-known OEMs use Ultramid Endure D5G3 BM (with 15% glass fiber), which is suitable for blow molding, in charge-air pipes. For temperatures between 180 C and 210 C, the portfolio contains PA66 plastics with enhanced heat stabilization. These include Ultramid A3W2G6 to G10 (with glass fiber reinforcements from 30 to 50%) for temperatures up to 190 C, e.g. in charge air cooler endcaps, and the new Ultramid A3W3G7 for temperatures up to 210 C.

As MRC informed earlier, in May 2014, BASF offered high performance Ultramid (polyamide), which is derived from renewable raw materials with certified biomass. The share of renewable raw materials in the sales product is then indicated in the respective quantity. A third-party certification confirms to customers that BASF has used the required quantities of renewable raw materials which the customer has ordered in the value chain.

BASF operates Ultramid polymerization plants in Ludwigshafen, Germany; Antwerp, Belgium; Freeport, Texas and Sao Paulo, Brazil. In May 2015, the company inaugurated its new Ultramid (polyamide 6 and 6/6.6) polymerization plant at the Shanghai Chemical Industry Park in Shanghai, China. The production of polyamide for film, textile and carpet fiber as well as for engineering plastics applications is integrated into BASF’s global Verbund structure with polyamide intermediates (i.e. adipic acid, anolon, caprolactam), chemical raw materials (i.e. ammonia, cyclohexane, sulfuric acid), energy, by-product recovery, logistics and other services.

Idemitsu Kosan merger talks with founding family end without agreement

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Monday’s talks between Japan's Idemitsu Kosan Co Ltd. and its founding family did not yield any agreement regarding the family's opposition to the oil refiner's proposal to buy rival Showa Shell Sekiyu KK, the family's lawyer said, reported Reuters.

The country's second-biggest refiner has argued the acquisition is its best course of action in a shrinking domestic oil market, where five large and three small refiners compete.

But descendants of founder Sazo Idemitsu, including octogenarian son Shosuke Idemitsu - a former president and now honorary chairman - have said the companies are too different for a merger to work.

They have also said they saw no chance of compromise, the lawyer, Takujiro Hamada, previously told Reuters.

On Monday, Idemitsu Kosan President Takashi Tsukioka and colleagues met family members including Shosuke Idemitsu and his two sons to discuss the proposal, which may dilute the family's minority stake, Hamada told reporters after the talks.

He also said the parties agreed to meet again, but had not set a date.

The proposal includes Idemitsu Kosan's purchase of 33.3% of Showa Shell Sekiyu from Royal Dutch Shell PLC.

The family's 33.92% stake in Idemitsu Kosan is large enough to veto the proposal when presented for consideration at a special shareholders' meeting likely later this year.

As MRC informed earlier, Japanese refiner Idemitsu Kosan Co. and smaller rival Showa Shell Sekiyu announced in April 2016 that they would merge on April 1 next year. 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.

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.

Mitsui Chemicals plans maintenance at Chiba phenol/acetone plant

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Mitsui Chemicals will be taking its phenol/acetone plant off-stream for a maintenance turnaround, as per Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in Japan informed that the company is likely to shut its plant in end-October 2016. It is expected to remain off-stream for around one month.

Located at Chiba in Japan, the plant has a phenol capacity of 190,000 mt/year and acetone capacity of 120,000 mt/year.

As MRC informed previously, in June 2016, Mitsui Chemicals, Inc. and Prime Polymer Co., Ltd. (JV between Mitsui Chemicals - 65% and Idemitsu Kosan - 35%) announced production augmentation, to strength the group’s position in growth markets, at three of its global PP compound hubs - United States, Mexico, and India - in response to growing demand for automotive use polypropylene. Thus, in fiscal 2017, the Group will strengthen its production capacity by 5% in North America, Europe, and Asia bringing the production capacity to 1.05million from the current 1 million tons, thereby securing its position as the world’s top class provider of PP compounds for automotive use.

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.

JBF Industries provides update of new Mangalore PTA plant

MOSCOW (MRC) -- JBF Industries, in its latest financial results, said that its JBF Petrochemicals subsidiary is proceeding satisfactorily with implementation of a new purified terephthalic acid (PTA) plant in Mangalore, India, reported Apic-online.

The 1.25-million-t/y facility, which is based on BP's latest technology, had originally been scheduled for commissioning by June of this year. JBF Industries now expects the project to be completed by the end of its current financial year, 31 Mar. 2017.

JBF Petrochemical entered into a long-term agreement earlier this year with ONGC Mangalore Petrochemicals for the supply of paraxylene to the PTA plant.

As MRC informed earlier, the 3,90,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) project, which is co-located on the BP Aromatics site, was executed through JBF Global Europe BVBA, wholly owned step subsidiary of JBF Industries Limited, in July 2014.

PTA is a feedstock for PET production. PET is one of the most commonly used food grade packaging polymer due to its chemical inertness and appealing physical properties.