Turkmenbashi refinery postponed launch of PP production

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Turkmenbashi refining complex has postponed the resumption of polypropylene (PP) production after the shutdown for a scheduled maintenance, according to ICIS-MRC Price report with reference to the plant's customers.

The plant's customers said the complex's PP production capacities were shut down for the scheduled turnaround in early November. The plant's PP unit was planned to resume its production on 24-25 November, but the launch of the facility did not take place because of technical problems.

Another attempt to resume PP production is scheduled for 4 December. The plant's annual capacity is 100,000 tonnes.

Turkmenbashi refining complex is the flagship of the oil-refining industry of Turkmenistan. Turkmenbashi refinery produces unleaded gasoline, aviation and technical kerosene, jet and diesel fuel, fuel oil, lubricating oil, polypropylene, heating oil, light gas oil, petroleum electrode coke, liquefied petroleum gas, construction and road bitumen and other petrochemical products, which are the basis of the country's export potential.

PE imports into Kazakhstan decreased by 6% in January - October 2016

MOSCOW (MRC) - Imports of polyethylene (PE) into Kazakhstan dropped to about 78,400 tonnes in January-October 2016, down 6% compared with the same time a year earlier, according to MRC analysts. The main decrease in demand occurred for high density polyethylene (HDPE), according to MRC analysts.

October PE imports into the country increased to 8,100 tonnes, compared with 7,100 tonnes in September because of stronger purchases of high density polyethylene (HDPE) and low density polyethylene (LDPE). Total PE imports into the country were about 78,400 tonnes in January - October 2016, compared with 83,800 tonnes in the same time a year earlier. Demand for HDPE and LDPE decreased over the reported period, while the need for linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE), on the contrary, increased.

Structure of PE imports into the country in the reporting period was as follows.

October HDPE imports into Kazakhstan rose to 6,300 tonnes from 5,700 tonnes a month earlier. Film grade PE from Uzbekistan accounted for the main increase in supplies. HDPE imports exceeded 60,100 tonnes in the first ten months of 2016, down by 8% year on year.

October imports of LDPE by local companies grew to 1,400 tonnes against 1,000 tonnes, on increased purchases from Russian producers.
Total imports of LDPE into Kazakhstan were about 14,200 tonnes in the first ten months of the year, down 4% year on year.

Purchases of LLDPE by local companies in October were reduced to 395 tonnes compared to 438 tonnes a month earlier. Total LLDPE imports reached 4,200 tonnes in January-October versus 3,400 tonnes a year earlier.


Calumet completes facility expansion, partners with BP

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Calumet Specialty Products Partners, L.P. announced that it has partnered with BP Lubricants USA to begin blending Castrol Motor Oil in its newly expanded blending and packaging facility in Shreveport, LA, said Pubs.lubesngreases.

The company will officially announce the partnership at a ceremony on Dec. 5 at the facility.

Recently, Calumet greenlit a capital improvement project to expand the Shreveport facility. The facility is a 15-acre space where Calumet manufactures, blends and packages specialty lubricants, fuels and solvents.

It operates a highly automated explosion-proof filler with a capacity of 3.7 million gallons. When Calumet first acquired the facility in 2012, it was an 85,000 square foot production and warehouse facility with bulk tank storage capacity of approximately 1.5 million gallons.

The Shreveport facility now has 400,000 sq. ft. in additional storage, dual loading/unloading racks, as well as a dedicated rail spur and convenient railway access.

"We are confident in the capabilities of the Shreveport facility team and are excited at the potential opportunities stemming from this partnership with BP Lubricants," said Harji Gill, Vice President of Sales Brand Products for Calumet.

As MRC informed earlier, Commodity trader Guangdong Zhenrong Energy Co. has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with BP for commercial cooperation on an oil refinery in the Caribbean, according to a senior executive and a statement from the Chinese company.

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.

Gazprom finds new partner to produce polyethylene in Astrakhan

MOSCOW (MRC) - Gazprom might partner with LLC Caspian Innovation Company (CIC) on the construction of a polyethylene plant based at the Astrakhan Gas Processing Plant instead of petrochemical group Sibur, with which negotiations on the project were held in the last decade, said Interfax.

CIC as registered in Astrakhan in September, the SPARK-Interfax database shows. The company's founders are Sergei Shtepa and LLC Promaktiv, which is owned by Viktoria Shtepa Skiyerkovski.

Shtepa presented his project at the Gas Chemicals 2016 conference at the Gazprom VNIIGAZ institute. He said the "initiator of the company's creation was JSC Metaklei," of which Shtepa is the CEO.

Gazprom bought Metaklei, which produces anticorrosion coating for large-diameter gas pipelines, from Rusnano and other shareholders earlier this year.

The feedstock for the project will come from the Astrakhan gas condensate field. Gazprom Dobycha Astrakhan currently delivers 6.878 billion cubic meters of commercial gas, including 271 million cubic meters of ethane fraction (equivalent to 330,000 tonnes) per year, Shtepa said.

The project calls for supplying the ethane fraction to the gas chemical plant and the space freed up in the pipeline can be used to ship additional Gazprom commercial gas.

As MRC informed earlier, Borealis AG, one of the largest polyolefins producers in Europe, and PAO Gazprom in April 2016 signed a Memorandum of Understanding. The document reflects the parties' interest in evaluating opportunities to develop joint gas chemical projects in Russia.

PAO Gazprom (Russia) is a large Russian company founded in 1989 which carries on the business of extraction, production, transport and sale of natural gas. The company name is a contraction of the Russian words Gazovaya Promyshlennost. The headquarters of Gazprom are in Moscow.

Braskem close to leniency deal in US and Brazil

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Brazil's petrochemical company Braskem SA said in a securities filing on Friday it was "in advanced talks" with authorities in Brazil and the United States related to a corruption investigation known as "Operation Carwash", reported Reuters.

On Thursday, Braskem's parent Odebrecht SA, Latin America's largest engineering firm, signed a leniency deal with prosecutors in Brazil's biggest graft case.

As MRC informed earlier, Brazil's state-controlled oil producer Petrobras is seeking to sell its 5.8 billion Brazilian real (USD1.4 billion) stake Braskem SA, Latin America’s biggest petrochemical maker. Petrobras has hired Brazilian bank Banco Bradesco SA as a financial adviser and has started to pitch the sale to foreign investors.

Petrobras owns a 36% stake in Braskem, Latin America's largest petrochemical producer. The sale would help Petrobras meet its target of selling USD15.1 billion worth of assets in 2015-16, a key part of its plan to cut debt as oil prices plunge to 12-year lows.

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