SABIC developed next generation LDPE foam grades to increase production efficiency

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The first product of a new generation of low density polyethylene (LDPE) foam grades from SABIC has been designed to increase production efficiency at the foam manufacturer, as per the company's press release.

The new SABIC LDPE "fast converting" foam grades reduce the time that semi-finished products need to be kept in storage, thanks to faster degassing of the blowing agent. They can therefore reduce the working capital of foam manufacturers drastically. These new SABIC foam grades also help to create additional value by increasing production efficiency through higher material yield.

Polymeric foams are widely used in areas that encompass building and construction, automotive, packaging, sports and leisure, and more. Trends in these industries are driven by consumers looking for solutions that are smarter, better and more sustainable, whilst at the same time reducing total costs. Foam and lightweight solutions are essential to respond to these trends: they enable a more efficient use of materials and energy and, at the same time, they can enhance properties.

Frank de Vries, Leader of SABIC’s Global Foam Team, commented: "We continue to push the boundaries of technology to discover new solutions. In our dedicated SABIC Foam Innovation Center, we developed this new series of ‘fast converting” foam material solutions that provides further improvements in the foam manufacturers production efficiencies."

SABIC LDPE 2102FC is the first in a series of products that combine up to 50% savings in degassing time - reducing the foam manufacturer’s inventory - and an improvement in production efficiency of up to 5% through less production waste and better foam consistency.

As MRC reported earlier, in 2015, SABIC broadened its SABIC PCG portfolio for healthcare with the addition of a new LDPE grade to help the global IV packaging industry benefit from consistent and reliable supply. The new grade, SABIC LDPE PCG06 is typically for use in semi-rigid plastic bottles obtained from the Blown Fill Seal (BFS) process to package a variety of Large Volume Parenteral (LVP) solutions such as saline or dextrose.

Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic) ranks among the worldпїЅs top petrochemical companies. The company is among the worldпїЅs market leaders in the production of polyethylene, polypropylene and other advanced thermoplastics, glycols, methanol and fertilizers.

Chandra Asri considers major expansions in its complex in Cilegon over 2019-2025

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Indonesia's Chandra Asri is considering a major expansion and debottlenecking of its naphtha-fed steam cracker at Cilegon and downstream derivative plants over 2019-2025, the company said at the Indonesia Refining and Petrochemical Summit in Jakarta, of which reported Apic-online.

According to Suhat Miyarso, vice president of corporate relations, the company's ethylene production capacity will be increased from 860,000 mt/year to 2 million mt/year around 2025 while propylene production will rise from 470,000 mt/year to 1.09 million mt/year.

Its butadiene production capacity will be hiked to 137,000 mt/year in 2019 from 100,000 mt/year currently, he added.

Although the company is increasing its polyethylene (PE) capacity from 336,000 mt/year to 736,000 mt/year around 2020, Chandra Asri is considering plans to boost PE capacity by 800,000 mt/year to 1.536 million mt/year by 2025.

Via debottlenecking, its polypropylene (PP) capacity will grow from 480,000 mt/year to 560,000 mt/year by 2025.

The company is also studying plans to either build an aromatics plant or a benzene extraction plant so that it can use its 400,000 mt/year of pyrolysis gasoline to obtain benzene feedstock for its 100,000 mt/year styrene monomer (SM) plant.

Currently, the company imports all its benzene requirements while the pygas is fed to Pertamina for the gasoline pool.

As MRC reported earlier, in March 2015, Barito Pacific's subsidiary Chandra Asri Petrochemical (CAP) unveiled its plans to build a naphtha refinery at its Cilegon complex in Banten, Indonesia, with an estimated investment of USD740m.

Chandra Asri Petrochemical (CAP) is the largest vertically integrated petrochemical company in Indonesia with facilities located in Ciwandan, Cilegon and Puloampel, Serang in Banten Province. CAP is Indonesia's premier petrochemical plant incorporating world-class, state-of-the-art technology and supporting facilities. At the heart of CAP lies the Lummus Naphtha Cracker producing high quality Ethylene, Propylene, Mixed C4, and Pyrolysis Gasoline (Py-Gas) for the Indonesian as well as regional export markets.

Mangalore refinery receives first crude parcel from Iran for strategic reserve

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd. (MRPL) has received the first parcel of crude oil for delivery into the Mangalore cavern of Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserves Ltd., as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The first parcel of 2.6 MMt of Iran mix crude was received in a VLCC and started pumping into the Mangalore cavern.

To ensure energy security, the Government of India had decided to set up 5.33 MMt of strategic crude oil storages at three locations namely, Vishakhapatnam, Mangalore and Padur (near Udupi).

These strategic storages would serve as a cushion during any external supply disruptions. The strategic crude oil storage facilities are being managed by Indian Strategic Petroleum Reserves Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Oil Industry Development Board under the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas.

The Vishakhapatnam facility, with 1.33 MMt, capacity was commissioned in June 2015. The Mangalore facility with capacity of 1.5 MMt has started receiving crude to test the facility. The Padur facility with 2.5 MMt capacity is expected to be ready by the end of this year.

As MRC wrote before, in June 2015, MRPL successfully commenced commercial production of PP from its polypropylene plant as part of its phase-III refinery expansion and upgradation project in Mangaluru. The plant has a capacity to produce 4,40,000 tonnes of PP per annum. Feedstock for the PP plant - polymer grade propylene - is being produced from upstream petrochemical fluidised catalytic cracking unit of the refinery. Technology provider for the PP plant is Novolen of Germany. The plant has been engineered and constructed by Engineers India Ltd.

Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Limited (MRPL), is an oil refinery at Mangalore and is a subsidiary of ONGC, set up in 1993. The refinery is located at Katipalla, north from centre of Mangalore city. The refinery was established after displacing five villages of Bala, Kalavar, Kuthetoor, Katipalla, and Adyapadi.

BP to vigorously defend against Marathon suit

MOSCW (MRC) -- BP said it would vigorously defend itself against a federal civil suit by Marathon Petroleum Corp. alleging that it had failed to deliver a Texas oil refinery and three products terminals in the condition promised under a USD2.4-B sales agreement signed in 2012, reported Reuters.

"This suit is nothing more than an attempt by Marathon to renegotiate the terms of the Texas City refinery purchase of almost four years ago," Geoff Morrell, BP's senior vice president of US communications and external affairs, said in an emailed statement.

Marathon took over the 459-Mbpd refinery in Texas City, Texas, and terminals when the transaction closed on February 1, 2013, and began finding problems that breached the sale agreement, according to the lawsuit filed on Monday.

When sold in 2013, the Texas City refinery fulfilled the terms of the sale agreement and met all commitments BP had made to federal regulators, Morrell said, adding BP tried to resolve Marathon's complaints through mediation.

"It is disappointing that immediately following the first mediation session, Marathon chose to go to court."

Marathon also alleged BP planned to carry out an overhaul of an aromatics recovery unit prior to the sale being complete, but did not do so after signing the sale agreement, according to the lawsuit.

However, BP said it spent billions of dollars in the years before the sale to upgrade the Texas City refinery.

"Marathon insisted on and received a discounted sales price so it could make some additional capital investments," Morrell said. "Marathon conducted extensive due diligence and was given virtually unrestricted access to documents and equipment at the refinery."

The BP Texas City refinery was the site of a March 23, 2005, explosion that killed 15 workers and injured 180 others. BP was fined $84.6 MM by the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration between 2005 and 2012 for safety rules violations found at the refinery in investigations following the blast.

BP pleaded guilty to a federal environmental law violation and paid $50 MM to the US Justice Department in 2009. BP also paid more than USD2 B to settle lawsuits stemming from the 2005 explosion.

Monday's lawsuit was filed in the US District Court for Southern Texas in Galveston, Texas by Marathon subsidiary Marathon Petroleum Co. against BP subsidiaries BP Products North America Inc. and BP Pipelines (North America) Inc.

As MRC informed before, earlier this year, BP PLC sold its petrochemical complex in Decatur, Alabama, to Indorama Ventures Public Co. Ltd. (IVL.TH), for an undisclosed sum, as part BP's plan to restructure its global petrochemicals business. The divestment was in line with BP’s global petrochemicals strategy of pursuing a competitively advantaged portfolio through world-scale, low-cost facilities that utilize BP proprietary technology, including the production of purified terephthalic acid, or PTA, a key raw material in the production of polyester.

BP is a leading producer of oil and gas and produces enough energy annually to light nearly the entire country for a year. Employing about 17,000 people across the country, BP supports more than 170,000 additional jobs through all of its business activities.

SK Global to bring on-stream LLDPE plant in South Korea

MOSCOW (MRC) -- SK Global Chemical is likely to restart its No.1 linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) plant following a maintenance turnaround, as per Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in South Korea informed that the company has schedule to resume operations at the plant in last week of October 2016. The plant was shut in mid-September 2016 for planned maintenance.

Located in Ulsan, South Korea, the No.1 LLDPE plant has a production capacity of 210,000 mt/year.

As MRC wrote before, in October 2015, SABIC and South SK Global Chemical inaugurated a new industrial plant to manufacture a range of high-performance polyethylene products using the cutting-edge Nexlene Solution Technology. The 50-50 joint venture holding company, SABIC SK Nexlene Company (SSNC) was established in July 2014 and is headquartered in Singapore. Its wholly-owned subsidiary, Korea Nexlene Company (KNC), owns the plant in Ulsan, which has an annual capacity of 230,000 tons. The aggregate purchase price for the technology and plant is approximately USD 640 million.

SK Global Chemical is a pioneering petrochemical company in Korea, being the first in the country to build a naphtha cracking facility in 1972. Through continuous facility investment, R&D and technological improvement, the company has maintained its position as the leader of the petrochemical industry in Korea.