Pembina Pipeline, Petrochemical Industries sign JV for integrated polypropylene facility

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Pembina Pipeline Corporation announced that it, along with Petrochemical Industries Company K.S.C. of Kuwait, has reached key milestones for the previously announced proposed integrated propylene and polypropylene production facility in Sturgeon County, Alberta, said Refiningandpetrochemicals.

Pembina and PIC have executed 50/50 JV agreements that includes binding commercial terms in support of the Project and have formed a new entity, Canada Kuwait Petrochemical Corporation. Additionally, Pembina is pleased to announce that CKPC will proceed with activities for front end engineering design for the Project.

"The encouraging results of the recently completed feasibility study, the previously announced award of $300 million in royalty credits from the Alberta Government's Petrochemicals Diversification Program, and a Joint Venture with our world class partner, PIC, gives Pembina the confidence to further advance the Project," said Stuart Taylor, Pembina's Senior Vice President, NGL & Natural Gas Facilities. "This Project represents a material extension of our natural gas liquids value chain strategy and creates a significant incremental local market for western Canadian hydrocarbons."

The anticipated cost of FEED is expected to represent approximately 2.0% to 2.5% of the Project's current cost estimate. FEED activities are expected to be completed by late 2018, followed by a final investment decision from each partner.

The proposed PDH/PP Facility is expected to consume 22,000 bpd of Alberta-produced propane, which is expected to be sourced from Pembina's Redwater Fractionation Complex, as well as other regional facilities. The Project is anticipated to produce in excess of 1.2 B pounds per year of polypropylene which would be transported to North American and global markets. Subject to required approvals and a positive FID, the JV expects to construct the PDH/PP Facility in close proximity to RFS in Sturgeon County, part of Alberta's Industrial Heartland.

Aramco inks agreement with a foreign investor for production of PTA and PET

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Aramco has announced the signing of an agreement with a foreign investor, which includes land allocation land in Jazan Economic City, for the production of purified terephthalic acid (PTA) and Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET), as per Plastemart.

The company said that the completion percentage the project of Jazan Economic City reached about 53% for the whole project and all its various facilities, industrial and services, stressing that the work is going on well and fast.

The city’s economic projects in Jazan include the Aramco refinery project, which will be the center of the city, it is considered to be one of the largest refinery projects in the world in the past 20 years, with its size, advanced technology, production capacity and integration to maximize value. The refinery is designed to process more than 400,000 bpd of heavy and medium thickness Arab oil, to provide values for manufacturing industries and fulfill the needs of refined petroleum products for the region.

In addition to the power generation center, which includes the first laboratory in KSA to convert heavy petroleum liquids into clean purified gas and then produce electricity using high efficiency composite cycle technology with a capacity of 3900 MW. This center will produce more than 2,400 megawatts of electricity for the national electricity network. Clean energy will be available in an economical, high quality and reliable method.

As MRC wrote previously, in June 2016, Saudi Arabian Oil Co. and Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (Sabic) became one step closer to building their first plant to process crude directly into chemicals, cutting out a link in the production chain from hydrocarbons to the finished products that go into plastics and other consumer goods. The state-owned companies signed an agreement to study such a project to be located in Saudi Arabia. A joint venture is possible if the companies decide to move ahead after the study is completed by early 2017, they said. Oil companies normally refine crude into transportation fuels including gasoline and diesel and leave byproducts such as naphtha to be processed separately into chemicals.

Saudi Aramco is an integrated oil and chemicals company, a global leader in hydrocarbon production, refining processes and distribution, as well as one of the largest global oil exporters. It manages proven reserves of crude oil and condensate estimated at 261.1bn barrels, and produces 9.54 million bbl daily. Headquartered in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, the company employs over 61,000 staff in 77 countries.

BASF to increase prices for construction chemicals across Europe

MOSCOW (MRC) -- BASF’s Construction Chemicals division increased prices across Europe during the first quarter of 2017, resulting in effective prices 2-3% above prior year, as per the company's press release.

The price increase was necessary to continue to provide customers with high quality products and high levels of service in an environment of rising personnel and raw material cost. As of May 15, 2017, BASF will implement a further 4-7% price increase on all project-based price quotations and expiring contracts. All contractual obligations towards customers will be fulfilled.

As MRC reported earlier, in May 2016, BASF announced that its Construction Chemicals division had started production of waterproofing solutions from the MasterSeal solutions range at its plant located in Bolshoe Tolbino, Podolsk District, Russia. BASF thus extends its portfolio of Master Builders Solutions in Russia and enhances the supply network for regional markets and customers.

BASF is the largest diversified chemical company in the world and is headquartered in Ludwigshafen, Germany. BASF produces a wide range of chemicals, for example solvents, amines, resins, glues, electronic-grade chemicals, industrial gases, basic petrochemicals and inorganic chemicals. The most important customers for this segment are the pharmaceutical, construction, textile and automotive industries.

Cosmo Films upgrades its anti-fog film for wider applications

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Cosmo Films, a leading manufacturer of speciality BOPP films, has come up with an improvised anti-fog film with excellent cold & hot anti-fog properties and high hot tack & low coefficient of friction which can deliver high speed overwrapping performance. This means that the film would now be suitable for packaging of even unpolished fruits in trays on high-speed HFFS machines, as per the company's press release.

Anti-fog films are generally transparent films which go in for fresh fruits/vegetables, salad packaging, meat packaging applications. The high moisture content in these food items lead to mist formation on the film surface thus affecting the visibility and therefore perceived freshness of the food packed inside. An anti-fogging film not only prevents this phenomenon leading to a better visibility of the contents inside but also renders the pack a better shelf appeal owing to its enhanced gloss/optics. The film complies with the EC and FDA food contact regulations.

The film is a co-extruded both sides heat sealable, both sides treated BOPP film where printing is done generally on the top side and inner side lends in the anti-fogging characteristics. The film works well in a single layer as well as BOPP/AF BOPP laminate structure.

Commenting on the development, Mr. Shailesh Verma, Head- Packaging Films Exports, Cosmo Films said, "The film has excellent machinability, high heat seal & high hot tack strength and low seal initiation temperature and therefore works very well on high-speed packing machines. The film is available in 15 to 40 microns thickness. The company also makes film compatible for sealing on PE trays. A Keep Fresh grade providing longer shelf life because of anti-bacterial properties is also available."

As MRC informed before, in late March 2017, Cosmo Films commenced a new line of BOPP films. The new line has a capacity of 60,000 tpa, which will enhance the company’s overall capacity by 4%. Cosmo Films’ overall BOPP manufacturing capacity will move up from the current 1.36 lakh tpa to 1.96 lakh tpa. The new line is of the highest capacity in the world and will be the first 10.4 metre wide line in India.

BOPP-films (bi-axially oriented polypropylene films) which offers high strength, elasticity, high barrier properties, resistance to various corrosive environments, and inertness go into making of flexible food packaging, adhesive tapes, labels and lamination applications.

Established in 1981, Cosmo Films Limited today is one of the global leaders and manufacturers of Bi-axially Oriented Polypropylene (BOPP) films used for packaging, labels and lamination applications. The company is the largest exporter of BOPP films from India and is also the largest producer of thermal lamination films in the world with plant cum distribution centres in India, Japan, Korea & the U.S along with global channel partners in more than fifty countries.

PP imports to Russia fell by 7% in the first four months of 2017

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Overall imports of polypropylene (PP) into Russia decreased in the first four months of 2017 by 7% year on year, totalling 45,800 tonnes. Shipments of propylene homopolymer (homopolymer PP) slumped, as per MRC's DataScope report.

Russian companies reduced their PP imports last month because of quite high prices in foreign markets. April imports were 10,600 tonnes, compared to 13,500 tonnes in March. Overall, 45,800 tonnes of propylene polymers were imported into Russia in January-April 2017, compared to 49,300 tonnes a year earlier. Shipments of homopolymer PP fell significantly, whereas imports of propylene copolymers, on the contrary, increased.

Overall, the structure of PP imports looked the following way over the stated period.

April imports of homopolymer PP decreased to 3,300 tonnes from 4,300 tonnes a month earlier. Local companies reduced their shipments of homopolymer PP raffia from Central Asia. Overall imports of this PP grade reached 14,000 tonnes in the first four months of 2017, compared to 23,000 a year earlier.

Last month's imports of PP block copolymers were 2,800 tonnes versus 4,400 tonnes in March. Local companies reduced their purchasing of PP block copolymers for pipes extrusion and injection moulding. Imports of PP block copolymers into Russia reached 13,600 tonnes in January-April 2017, compared to 9,700 tonnes a year earlier.

April imports of stat-propylene copolymers (PP-random) were slightly over 2,200 tonnes versus 2,000 tonnes a month earlier. Despite a sufficient supply of pipe grade PP, local pressure pipes producers increased their purchasing in foreign markets. Overall imports of this grade of propylene copolymers were 8,700 tonnes in January-April 2017, compared to 8,500 tonnes a year earlier.

Imports of other propylene polymers totalled 9,500 tonnes over the stated period, compared to 8,100 tonnes a year earlier.