New $800m petrochemical plant for Jubail

(Construction Week Online) -- Saudi International Petrochemical Company (SIPCHEM) has announced that it has awarded a contract to build a new $800m Ethylene Vinyl Acetate (EVA) and Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE) in Jubail's Industrial City.

The contract has been awarded to Korean firm GS Engineering & Construction Corporation and covers the engineering design, procurement and construction of the plant. It's envisaged the new factory will be operational by Q2, 2013, will employ 200 workers, and will have an annual production capacity of 200,000 metric tons.

In a statement to the Saudi stock exchange, SIPCHEM's board chairman said that the award of the contract is considered an important step in the company's expansion and development program.


Iranian Petchem projects get US$23.5bn bank loan

(Arabian Oil and Gas) -- Iran's petrochemicals industry is set to get a US$23.5 billion loan from domestic banks to fund projects according to an official from National Petrochemical Company (NPC), a subsidiary of the Iranian Petroleum Ministry. The amount will be used for construction plan of 35 petrochemical projects, according to the Mehr News Agency.

An agreement worth $6 billion for financing 21 projects is being finalised with Bank Melli Iran, while Bank Mellat will allocate $4 billion for construction plan of Damavand Petrochemical Complex. Bank Pasargad will also allot $2 billion to four projects and Bank Saderat of Iran will allocate $3.5 billion for another four projects.

According to the officials, Bank Sepah will finance two petrochemical projects worth $2 billion, while Sepehr Energy Corporation, an affiliated company of Bank Saderat of Iran, will allocate $7 billion to three other projects.


BASF and Sinopec to expand joint venture

(Plastics News) -- BASF-YPC, BASF SE and Sinopec have signed a memorandum of understanding to explore expansion of their integrated petrochemical joint venture, BASF-YPC Co. Ltd. In a Dec. 17 announcement, BASF said part of the expansion will be a world-scale hydrogen peroxide-propylene oxide (HPPO) facility.

BASF said the main projects include extension of the C3 and C4 value chains with construction of a 160,000 metric ton-per-year acrylic acid facility, a new butyl acrylate plant, as well as capacity increases at the 2-propyl-heptanol, styrene monomer, and non-ionic surfactants plants. A superabsorbent polymers (SAP) plant, to be built as the final part of the ongoing expansion project, will get feedstock from the acrylic acid facility.

The projects will collectively total about $1 billion. The final scope of the investments will depend on the outcome of joint feasibility studies for each project, a joint statement said.


PVC-S imports to Russia made about 322 KT

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Import supplies of PVC-S to the Russian market over the eleven months have exceeded pre-crisis 2008 and made about 322 KT, according to MRC analysts.

The Russian PVC market continues to show good growth dynamics. In pre-crisis 2008 total imports of suspension to the Russian market made about 320 KT. Financial crisis resulted in considerable diminution in demand for finished goods from PVC, hereupon resin import in 2009 reduced by the level of 2006.

In 2010 the Russian market of suspension PVC started its dynamical recovery. Demand for PVC in separate consumer's sectors grew by 20-30%. Lack of Russian PVC in terms of dynamical growth of the market was compensated at the expense of imports. Total imports of PVC-S over the eleven months have increased three times compared to 2009 and made about 322 KT.

North American suppliers pressed the position of the Russian market leaders - producers from China. Import supplies of PVC-S from USA increased to 126 KT, supplies of Chinese acetylene resin made 110 KT. Seasonal reduction of demand conditioned serious fall of PVC-S imports in December - over the ten days imports decreased to 6.65 KT.

More detailed analysis of PVC market in Russia see in MRC DataScope.


Borealis to upgrade its PE2 production in Finland

(Plastics News) -- European polyolefins producer Borealis AG is spending 17 million euros to upgrade its PE2 polyethylene production capacity in Porvoo, Finland.

The upgrade, which was approved by the Borealis board on Dec. 15, includes a new ethylene compressor and an upgrade to the monomer purification line. It is expected to see output from the Porvoo PE2 plant to increase by 15,000 metric tons annually, from the current capacity of 240,000 metric tons per year.

The Porvoo PE2 plant is Borealis's demonstration unit for upscaling of new Borstar PE technologies and for introduction of new PE products.