Indorama and JNC open novel fiber plant in Thailand, plan expansion in the US

MOSCOW (MRC) -- On December 7, ES FiberVisions (ESFV), a joint venture between FiberVisions LLC, a subsidiary of Thailand's Indorama Ventures PCL, and Japan's JNC Corporation held an opening ceremony to celebrate the completion of its newest plant in Rayong, Thailand, said Indorama.

This state-of-the-art facility was constructed adjacent to Thailand's largest fiber facility to expand ESFV’s global production capacity and produce the highest quality bicomponent fiber in a hygienic environment. The plant has 14,000 tons of capacity per year and was designed to allow for future expansion as ESFV continues to invest globally to meet the needs of its customers.

The ES FiberVisions joint venture is the world’s largest producer of polyolefin bicomponent fibers and has production facilities in China, Denmark, Japan, Thailand and the United States.

Over 100 government representatives, customers, suppliers and contractors attended the opening ceremony. It was hosted by Mr. Aloke Lohia, Group CEO of Indorama Ventures, Dr. Yasuyuki Gotoh, CEO and President of JNC, Mr. Yozo Shimomura, Chairman of ESFV and Managing Executive Officer of JNC and Mr. Tom Zaiser, CEO of FiberVisions.

Mr. Lohia noted that this plant reflects the partners’ strong commitment to growth worldwide and "will allow ES FiberVisions to continue delivering the differentiated bicomponent fibers that our customers need in order to be successful in their businesses."

As MRC informed previously, in January 2016, BP PLC sold its petrochemical complex in Decatur, Alabama, to Indorama Ventures Public Co. Ltd. for an undisclosed sum. Under the terms of the agreement, Indorama Ventures purchased the Decatur complex including working capital and related infrastructure and assume certain contracts with suppliers and customers.

Indorama Ventures Public Company Limited, listed in Thailand (Bloomberg ticker IVL.TB) is one of the world’s leading petrochemicals producers, with a global manufacturing footprint across Africa, Asia, Europe and North America. The company’s portfolio is comprises Necessities and High Value-Added (HVA) categories of Polymers, Fibers, and Packaging, selectively integrated with self-manufactured Ethylene Oxide/Glycols and PTA where economical. IVL products serve major brand-owners and FMCG companies in consumer products and niche applications, i.e. Beverages, Hygiene, Personal Care and Safety segments. IVL has ~14,000 employees worldwide and consolidated revenue of USD 7.5 billion in 2014.

ABS-classed VLEC loads first ethane shipment

MOSCOW (MRC) -- ABS is pleased to announce that the ABS-classed Ethane Crystal, the world’s first Very Large Ethane Carrier (VLEC), has loaded its first shipment of ethane cargo at Enterprise Products Partner’s Morgan’s Point Terminal, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

"Loading ethane onto the world’s first VLEC represents a significant milestone for the global gas industry," said ABS Chairman, President and CEO Christopher J. Wiernicki. "ABS is proud to have worked alongside all of the stakeholders throughout the design, construction, delivery, and now, during operation of this vessel."

Delivered in November 2016, the Ethane Crystal is the first of six VLECs that will be delivered with ABS Class through 2017. The second vessel, the Ethane Emerald, was delivered in early December 2016. This state-of-the-art liquefied gas carrier is able to carry cargoes such as ethane and liquefied petroleum gases (LPG). With an 87,000 cbm cargo carrying capacity, the vessel was the first of its kind to be constructed with a specially designed GTT Mark III membrane cargo containment system.

The Ethane Crystal operates on a trade route between North America and India, carrying ethane that will be used as feedstock for petrochemical production. With its global reach and strong presence in the US, ABS is well-positioned to provide support and guidance throughout the vessel’s life.

"Using vessels like this VLEC can help make expansion into new and emerging markets scalable and economical for the entire supply chain," said ABS Executive Vice President for Global Marine Kirsi Tikka. "As a trusted advisor, ABS provides support to owners and operators throughout the life of their vessels to advance safer and more sustainable shipping."

ABS launched its Global Gas Solutions team in 2013 to support industry in developing gas-related projects.

Shell completes the sale of Shell Refining Company in Malaysia

МОSCOW (MRC) -- Shell has completed the sale of its 51% shareholding in the Shell Refining Company Berhad in Malaysia, which includes the 125,000-bpd refinery in Port Dickson, to Malaysia Hengyuan International Limited for USD66.3 million, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

"Shell is the leading retail fuels and lubricants provider in Malaysia, which remains an important market for the company," the company said in a press release. "Shell will maintain supply to its retail and commercial customers, and will honor all current commercial arrangements through existing comprehensive supply agreements in the country. This divestment is consistent with Shell’s strategy to concentrate its global downstream operations in areas where it can be most competitive."

As MRC informed earlier, Shell is considering selling out of its oil fields in Iraq as part of its global USD30 billion asset disposal program.

Royal Dutch Shell, commonly known as Shell, is an Anglo–Dutch multinational oil and gas company headquartered in the Netherlands and incorporated in the United Kingdom.Created by the merger of Royal Dutch Petroleum and UK-based Shell Transport & Trading, it is the fourth largest company in the world as of 2014, in terms of revenue, and one of the six oil and gas "supermajors".

Hengli Petrochemical selects Dupont technologies for alkylation complex

MOSCOW (MRC) -- DuPont Clean Technologies announced that Hengli Petrochemical Company, based in Dalian, China, has awarded DuPont a contract to supply the alkylation and spent acid regeneration technologies for the nrew, grassroots refinery in the Changxing Island Harbor Industrial Zone, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The contract includes the license and engineering design packages for the Stratco alkylation an Mecs SAR units. Instillation of the new units at Hengli is planned for 2018, with startup anticipated in 2019.

"DuPont is pleased to provide Hengli Petrochemical with our world-class sulfuric acid alkylation technology to improve gasoline pool from the refinery," said Kevin Bockwinkel, global business manager for the Stratco alkylation technology. "The unique feed stream (100% isobutylene) available from the Hengli Petrochemical facility marks the beginning of a new era for alkylation in the gasoline market as the butane-to-alkylate movement grows around the world.

The alkylation process was invented in the 1930’s and since that time, alkylation feed streams have primarily come from either the FCC, MTBE or Coker. Typical alkylation feeds are made up of Butylene olefins, and in some cases propylene and/or amylene olefins as well.

DuPont is developing numerous projects with atypical olefin feed streams, such as 100% isobutylene, 100% propylene and 100% amylene. Driven by the low cost of LPG and the high value of alkylate, many in the refining and petrochemicals industries are finding that converting these atypical feed streams into alkylate make for very attractive projects.

DuPont’s Stratco sulfuric acid alkylation technology is being used by customers with the most unusual and challenging feedstocks when a full-range of olefins may not be an option.

As MRC informed earlier, DuPont Co. and Dow Chemical dislosed the merger in the late December 2015.

TiO2 imports to Russia fell by 36% in the first eleven months of 2016

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Imports of titanium dioxide (TiO2) into the Russian market decreased in the first eleven months of 2016 by 36% year on year, totalling 40,500 tonnes, according to MRC's DataScope report.
Overall TiO2 imports was 3,700 tonnes in November, the same as in October.

The imports structure looked as follows.

Chemours has significantly increased its share since 2015 and with 13,200 tonnes, it accounted for 34% of the imported material market. Kronos' share was 17% or 6,500 tonnes. The share of Sachtleben Chemie was 12% or 4,500 tonnes of TiO2.

The share of Chinese producers that sell material in the Russian market was much lower than that of European manufactures. This year, the Ukrainian plant SumyKhimprom did not ship TiO2 to the Russian market.
Imports of TiO2 for the production of paints and coatings were 30,500 tonnes in the first eleven months of the year or 75% of the total shipments. Imports of TiO2 for polyvinyl chloride (PVC) production totalled 8,100 tonnes or 20% of the imported material.