PT Polytama to shut PP plant in Indonesia for maintenance

MOSCOW (MRC) -- PT Polytama Propindo is in plans to take a polypropylene (PP) unit off-stream for a maintenance turnaround, reported Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in Indonesia informed that the unit is expected to be taken off-line in end-January 2017. The planned maintenance is expected to remain in force until mid-February 2017.

Located in Balongan, Indonesia, the unit has a production capacity of 180,000 mt/year.

We remind that, as MRC informed earlier, in 2010, Chandra Asri, Dow Chemicals, Pertamina, Polytama and Try Polyta invested a total of USD1.12 bln in Indonesia as per an association of olefin and plastic industries. The projects planned by the five Indonesian petrochemical companies were expected to reduce a deficit in the supplies of petrochemical products.

PT Polytama Propindo was established in 1993 as a signifcant manufacturer of polypropylene resin (PP resin) in Indonesia. Polytama is taking a leading role in Indonesia's fast growing economy by utilizing the country wealth i.e. the secondary processing yield of oil and natural gas , through industrial manufacturing. The factory located in Balongan, Juntinyuat district, Indramayu-West Java, using one of the best technology in the world, the Spheripol technology of Montell (now LyondellBasell), with an installed capacity of 100,000 metric tons per year.

Two years later the construction of the factory was completed on July 27, 1995 and PT Polytama Propindo started the production (the product trade name: Masplene), the supply of raw material propylene with high purity from PERTAMINA refinery UP-VI (now RU-VI ) Balongan. In 1996, and the plant capacity grown to 180,000 tons per year. Response to the addition of propylene production capacity of PERTAMINA RU-VI in 2004, PT Polytama Propindo increased its capacity to 200,000 tons per year.

Ethylene-propylene elastomers market will continue to grow by 2021

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The ethylene-propylene elastomer market is highly dependent on both the building construction sector and the automotive sector. Ethylene-propylene elastomers (EP elastomers) are one of the most widely used and fastest growing synthetic rubbers, after polybutadiene rubber and styrene-butadiene rubber (SBR), as per Plastemart.

Ethylene-propylene elastomers have outstanding resistance to ozone, aging, weather and high temperature; good low-temperature flexibility and excellent electrical properties. Ethylene-propylene elastomers are also resistant to polar solvents like acids, water, phosphate esters, alkalies and many ketones and alcohols. Ethylene-propylene elastomers have lower densities than all other elastomers and plastics and can accept high loadings of reinforcing agents, fillers and plasticizers, making them an economical choice for a wide range of applications. Ethylene propylene elastomers have use in wide range of industries including: building and construction, automotive, plastic modification, lubricant additive, wire and cables and tyres and tubes among others. Ethylene-propylene elastomers are sold under the brand names Norde, Keltan and Royalene among others.

As per Persistence Market Research, ethylene-propylene elastomers have a large number of uses due to the numerous ways in which the polymers can be designed, for example; it is used in automotive weather-stripping and seals, radiators, glass run channels, garden and appliance hoses, belts, tubing, rubber mechanical goods, roofing membranes, plastic impact modification, thermoplastic vulcanisates and motor oil additive applications. Ethylene-propylene elastomers are used as an insulator for high-voltage cables since they have superior insulative characteristics over more traditional cables, such as cross-linked polyethylene, enabling a smaller cross sectional area for the same load carrying capacity. The cable is well suited to applications where regular cable movement is required such as in the mining industry. Polymerization and catalyst technologies in use today provide the ability to design ethylene-propylene elastomers to meet specific and demanding application and processing needs.

Ethylene-propylene elastomers market is being driven by growth in end-user industries. The ethylene-propylene elastomer market is highly dependent on both the building construction sector and the automotive sector. Consumption of ethylene-propylene elastomers in automotive applications is the major use for ethylene-propylene elastomers, accounting for majority of global demand. Ethylene-propylene elastomers are used for body and chassis parts, door and window weather-stripping, radiator and heater hoses. Hence, growth in the consumption of ethylene-propylene elastomers depends heavily on the growth of the automotive industry as a whole. In addition, growth in plastic modification market will be a major driving factor for the growth of ethylene-propylene elastomers market.

Furthermore, the exceptional characteristics and superior performance of ethylene-propylene elastomers will boost the demand for ethylene-propylene elastomers. Emerging markets also have great influence on the rise in demand and production of ethylene-propylene elastomers available on the market. However, increase in the production cost of ethylene-propylene elastomers and rising awareness of health hazards associated with ethylene-propylene elastomers could hamper the growth of this market.

Along with the developed economies like North America and Europe, emerging markets are recording rapid growth in terms of demand and applications for ethylene-propylene elastomers. Asia Pacific is one of the fastest growing markets for ethylene-propylene elastomers due to high growth in end-user industries such as automotive, lubricant additive, wire and cables.

As MRC reported earlier, the 2015 Analysis of the Global Elastomers Market from Frost & Sullivan finds that the total market was worth USD 21.52 billion in 2014 and is expected to grow to USD 34.73 billion in 2021. Compared to synthetic elastomers (SE), the thermoplastic elastomers (TPE) segment is expected to grow faster.

Iran and China to sign USD3 billion contract to upgrade Iranian refining capacity

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Iran and China will sign a USD3 billion contract next month to upgrade Iran's oil refining capacity, according to Iran's Mehr News agency, reported Reuters.

Iran's deputy oil minister Abbas Kazemi said in Tehran last Tuesday that the deal will focus on upgrading the Abadan oil refinery, Mehr said.

"Last week, China officially opened the financing for the plan to fix and improve the quality of the Abadan refinery," Mehr quoted Kazemi as saying.

Iran's refineries are in a state of disrepair after years of sanctions which prevented access to parts and new technology.

The deal is expected to be signed when a delegation of Chinese oil officials visit Tehran next month, Kazemi said, according to Mehr News.

As MRC wrote previously, in March 2017, The National Petrochemical Company (NPC) of Iran and France-based Total have signed an memorandum of understanding (MoU) to build a petrochemical complex in Iran. Total sealed the cooperation agreement with NPC to build a petrochemical complex after signing a separate deal to buy 160,000 bpd of Iranian crude oil. The complex will include a world-scale steam cracker unit in the coastal area. It will be based on a combination of feedstocks comprised of ethane, naphtha and LPG, as well as other available feed. In addition to steam cracker unit, the complex will include relevant downstream units for supplying its products to domestic and international markets.

Braskem starts up new US polyethylene plant

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Braskem, the largest thermoplastics resins producer in the Americas, has announced the startup of its new UTEC Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMWPE) production plant at its La Porte, Texas site, reported Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Braskem sells high-performance UHMWPE under the trade name UTEC, developed and produced through Braskem's proprietary technologies.

"This is an exciting day for Braskem America and our colleagues worldwide," said Christopher Gee, Braskem Global Business Director for UTEC. "Our team has worked diligently over the last two years on the construction, commissioning and startup of this state-of-the-art US based UHMWPE UTEC production plant. Braskem has now significantly strengthened its global position as one of the largest producers of UHMWPE, developing and producing advanced UTEC engineered polymer applications that meet the needs of our clients and their end -market customers. We are looking forward to continuing to grow and advance Braskem's UHMWPE business worldwide."

UTEC is an engineered polymer with mechanical properties, such as high abrasion resistance, impact strength and low coefficient of friction. It is a self-lubricating, high-strength, lightweight machinable product used for semi-finished goods. UTEC is eight times lighter than steel and lasts ten times longer than High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE). The product is utilized in an array of applications in the following industries: automotive and transportation, electronics, fibers and textiles, industrial and heavy equipment, material handling, oil and gas, pipe and mining, porous plastics, and recreation and consumer.

As MRC wrote before, Braskem SA will soon decide whether to build a plant in Texas or Pennsylvania to convert low-cost natural gas into polypropylene. The factory would produce at least 1 billion pounds (450,000 metric tons) of resin a year and would be the U.S. polypropylene industry’s first world-scale project in about 12 years, said Mark Nikolich, a vice president at Braskem in 2015. Preliminary engineering is under way for construction at existing Braskem sites in either La Porte, Texas, or Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania.

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

Nova Chemicals starts up new world-scale LLDPE gas phase reactor in Canada

MOSCOW (MRC) -- NOVA Chemicals Corporation, a leading supplier of polyethylene in the Americas, has announced the start up of its new world-scale linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) gas phase reactor at its Joffre, Alberta site, as per the company's press release.

The new reactor started up in December 2016, and the company is now shipping butene LLDPE produced on the asset to its customers. This is the first new LLDPE reactor in the Americas in over a decade. The new capacity allows NOVA Chemicals to meet the growing demand for flexible films used in food packaging, heavy-duty sack and can liners.

"The new supply of LLDPE from our PE1 Expansion Project will enhance NOVA Chemicals’ position as a leading polyethylene supplier in the Americas, helping our customers grow and succeed in their businesses," said Senior Vice President, Polyethylene Business Chris Bezaire.

The addition of this reactor increases NOVA Chemicals’ LLDPE production capacity by close to one billion pounds, giving the company total polyethylene production capacity of approximately 5 billion pounds. NOVA Chemicals’ butene LLDPE is already known in the industry for a range of benefits including excellent balance of physical properties, product uniformity and consistency, and best-in-class gel performance.

As MRC informed previously, in early 2013 NOVA Chemicals decided build two polyethylene (PE) plants and expand its ethylene capacity. NOVA has taken several actions to secure additional ethane feedstock supply for its crackers in Corunna, Ontario, and Joffre, Alberta.

Nova Chemical is one of the largest world's petrochemical companies, a manufacturer of polyethylene, styrene polymers, monomers, and many other related products.