Sylvin Technologies developed flexible PVC grades using plant-based plasticizer

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Sylvin Technologies, Inc. has developed a new and innovative series of bio-based flexible PVC compounds made with only FDA sanctioned ingredients, reported Plastemart.

Formulated from renewable feedstock, Sylvin's new 39 series compounds are formulated with a plant-based plasticizer rather than traditional petroleum-based plasticizers such as phthalates.

The 39 series incorporates only ingredients that are sanctioned for use by the FDA and the compounds have the same feel, flexibility and ease of processing as traditional flexible vinyl products. "With today's increasing regulations, we recognized the need for eco-friendly alternatives that are also compliant with the FDA's stringent requirements," says Chris O'Connell, Vice President of Sales. "These products allow FDA applications to offer a lower carbon footprint without compromising performance."

39 Series compounds are suitable for both injection molding and extrusion processing and are available in 55-95 Shore A hardness. Compounds can be purchased clear or in custom colors and can be tailored to meet the specific performance and regulatory requirements of a wide variety of applications including tubing, toys, food processing belting and medical devices.

We remind that, as MRC informed before, in 2013, Lubrizol, an innovative specialty chemical company, is planning a four-year, USD400 million global expansion of its chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC) resin and compounding manufacturing sites.

Sylvin Technologies, Inc., manufacturer of flexible and semi-rigid vinyl and vinyl alloy compounds is located in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Founded in 1978, Sylvin Technologies has evolved as a leading supplier of vinyl compounds - available in custom and standard formulations in a broad spectrum of colors and material enhancements - for a variety of markets and applications including automotive; general purpose/industrial - including products for extrusion and injection molding; specialty blends - high performance vinyl blends; highly regulated - FDA, medical, appliances, toys, etc.; building and construction; wire and cable and electrical.

BP to develop Indonesian retail fuel business with AKR Corporindo

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Oil major BP has signed an agreement with Indonesian petroleum and chemicals logistics company AKR Corporindo for the joint development of a "differentiated" domestic fuel retail business, said Reuters, citing BP.

The joint venture will form a company, PT Aneka Petroindo Raya, which will operate as BP AKR Fuels Retail, and expects to open its first retail site in Indonesia in 2018, the statement said.

"We are delighted to be working with AKR to help meet Indonesia's growing demand for fuels and provide superior convenience offers," BP downstream chief executive Tufan Erginbilgic said.

Oman Oil Co unveils plans for mammoth petrochemicals complex at Duqm SEZ featuring 10 plants

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Oman Oil Duqm Development Company, a vertical of the wholly government owned strategic investment group Oman Oil Company, has unveiled plans for the establishment of a mammoth petrochemicals complex at the Duqm Special Economic Zone (SEZ), featuring as many as 10 large-scale plants and involving several billions of dollars in investment, as per ZAWYA.

Hilal al Kharusi (pictured), Executive Managing Director, said a dedicated zone earmarked for the sprawling development will host 10 plants producing over 20 products ranging from commodities to specialty products, paving the way for over 30 chemical processing businesses to be set up further downstream of the value chain.

The centrepiece of the ambitious development is the Duqm Refinery, a green-field refinery with a capacity to process 230,000 barrels per day (bpd) of domestic and export crude. Oman Oil Company (OOC) and Kuwait Petroleum Corporation are the 50:50 equity joint venture partners in the estimated USD6 billion refinery venture. A formal partnership agreement will be signed here in Muscat on April 10, 2017.

"This is the first major cross-country refinery and petrochemical investment in the GCC. It is also the first GCC refinery that will import and export crude and petrochemicals," he added.

As MRC wrote before, Oman Refineries and Petroleum Industries Company (Orpic) plans to raise capacity of its polypropylene (PP) plant to 340,000 tpa of high quality PP from 200,000 tpa. The plant is part of the government's vision to develop the petrochemical industry. It is also part of the efforts made by the Sultanate to diversify sources of national income and benefit from gas production.

MOL Slovak refinery starting planned turnaround in April

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Slovak oil refiner Slovnaft, part of the Hungarian oil and gas group MOL, will shut down some production starting over the Easter holiday in April for a general turnaround lasting until June, said Reuters.

The company will invest 57 million euros into the turnaround during which it will undertake inspections, maintenance and upgrades, it said in a statement on its website on Wednesday.

The shutdown will not impact its Bratislava refinery customers, Slovnaft said, adding stocks and production within the MOL group will cover needs.

A total of 16 productions will be gradually shut down and a restart of full production is expected in mid-June.

Iran struggles to expand oil exports as sea storage cleared

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Iran has sold all the oil it had stored for years at sea and Tehran is now struggling to keep exports growing as it grapples with production constraints, said Reuters.

Since the easing of international sanctions in January 2016, Iran tried to make up for lost sales by releasing millions of barrels parked on tankers offshore. Tanker tracking and oil sources said Iran had sold its last stocks from the floating storage in the past two weeks. Much of the oil stored was condensate, a very light grade of crude.

With no more stocks at sea, Iran has lost a vital resource that had propped up exports. "We do think that (floating storage) has been the primary cause of the boost in exports," Energy Aspects analyst Richard Mallinson said, adding that now floating storage had ended total exports of crude and condensate were likely to slip.

"We see a very difficult path for Iran to raise crude output until it can get the Western expertise and investment back into the upstream, which has been notably slow to materialize," he added. After Western sanctions were eased, Iran's output jumped from about 2.9 MMbpd to about 3.6 MMbpd in June.

But it has barely risen since—fluctuating between 3.6 MMbpd and 3.7 MMbpd— even though Iran fought hard with fellow OPEC members to be excluded from production cuts that came into effect on Jan. 1 and will last till June.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries pledged to reduce output by about 1.2 MMbpd, but Iran was allowed a small increase to compensate for years of isolation. Yet it has produced less in the past three months than it was allowed.

Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said last month Tehran was prepared to produce 3.8 MMbpd if OPEC agreed to extend cuts to the second half of 2016, effectively signaling there was little hope of a steep rise in Iranian output.

Prior to the lifting of sanctions, Iran stored unsold oil on ships, which peaked in 2015 at 40 MMbbl on around 25 tankers. The country has up to 60 oil tankers in its fleet. Iran's drawdown of floating storage gathered pace in September. By the start of 2017, Iran still held an estimated 16 MMbbl of oil on ships. Since then, they have emptied.

While the EU and United Nations lifted sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program more than a year ago, the United States has held separate measures in place and President Donald Trump's administration has promised a tough line.

This has increased concerns among Western banks about offering finance to Iran, slowing energy investment decisions. French oil company Total said in February it planned a final investment decision on a USD2 B gas project in Iran by the summer, but said this hinged on a renewal of US sanctions waivers.

"The uncertainty over the US position on further sanctions is casting a huge shadow on the oil trade with Iran," said Paddy Rodgers, chief executive of tanker company Euronav.

In addition, the oil minister's efforts to secure deals with Western firms has run into internal opposition in Iran, which holds the world's fourth biggest oil reserves. The plans have now been postponed until after a May presidential election.

"Iran needs billions of dollars of investment to boost crude oil production and natural gas capacity," said Mehdi Varzi, a former official at state-run National Iranian Oil Company and now an independent consultant. "Most of the fields were discovered many decades ago and are way beyond their production capacity," he said.