Braskem approves construction of new PP plant in the United States

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Braskem America Inc., Philadelphia, a subsidiary of Braskem SA, Sao Paulo, is investing $675 million to build what will become North America’s largest polypropylene (PP) production line at the company’s existing manufacturing site in La Porte, Tex., about 26 miles outside of Houston, said the company on its website.

Approved by the company’s board as of June 22, the PP unit will add another 450,000 tonnes/year of production capacity for homopolymers, random copolymers, impact copolymers, and reactor thermoplastic polyolefins to the La Porte plant’s current PP production capacity of 354,000 tpy, Braskem said.

The Delta production line comes as part of Braskem’s global growth strategy to help meet rising demand from customers both in the Americas and abroad by leveraging access to low-cost sources of feedstock from North American shale production as well as existing support infrastructure already in place to accommodate the expansion, the operator said.

With project engineering design already well under way and construction scheduled to begin by midsummer, Braskem said it expects to reach mechanical completion of the PP unit during first-quarter 2020.
Once completed, the Delta project will boost Braskem’s total US PP production capacity to 2.02 million tpy from a current output of 1.57 million tpy.

Braskem’s announcement of the planned PP expansion follows the late-2016 commissioning and early 2017 full startup of the company’s UTEC ultrahigh-molecular weight polyethylene production plant at the same La Porte site.

Braskem is the largest manufacturer of thermoplastic resins in the Americas, with an annual output of over 20 million metric tons, including the production of other basic chemical and petrochemical products, with an annual revenue of R54 billion. With the aim of improving the lives of people, creating sustainable solutions in chemistry and plastics, Braskem is present in over 70 countries, with roughly 8,000 members, and operates 41 industrial units located in Brazil, the United States, Germany, and Mexico - the latter in partnership with the Mexico-based company Idesa.

PP imports to Ukraine down by 4% in Jan-May 2017

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Overall imports of polypropylene (PP) into the Ukrainian market decreased in the first five months of 2017 by 4% year on year to 46,600 tonne, as per MRC's DataScope report.

May PP imports to Ukraine rose to 9,400 tonnes from 8,700 tonnes a month earlier, with the propylene homopolymer (homopolymer PP) and block propylene copolymers (PP block copolymers) accounting for a slight increase in shipments. Overall imports of propylene polymers reached 46,600 tonnes in January-May 2017, compared to 48,400 tonnes a year earlier. PP block copolymers accounted for the increase in imports, whereas demand for statistical propylene copolymers (PP random copolymers) and homopolymer PP subsided.

The structure of PP imports by grades looked the following way over the stated period.

Last month's imports of homopolymer PP to the Ukrainian market grew to 6,800 tonnes from 6,400 tonnes in April. Local companies offset a shortage of PP from European producers by higher shipments from Russia. Overall shipments of homopolymer PP reached 35,400 tonnes in the first five months of 2017 versus 37,300 tonnes a year earlier.

May imports of PP block copolymers were over 1,200 tonnes, compared to 900 tonnes a month earlier, demand for injection moulding propylene copolymers increased. Over 5,000 tonnes of PP block copolymers were imported over the stated period, whereas last year's figure was 4,600 tonnes. Local pipes producers accounted for the greatest increase in demand.

Last month's imports of PP random copolymers virtually remained at the level of April and were 1,200 tonnes. Overall imports of PP random copolymers exceeded 5,000 tonnes in January-May 2017, whereas this figure was 5,600 tonnes last year.

Overall imports of other propylene copolymers totalled about 1,000 tonnes over the stated period.


Global PET demand estimated to reach USD38,014 mln by 2023

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The global polyethylene terephthalate (PET) market was valued at USD23,891 mln in 2016, and is projected to reach USD38,014 mln by 2023, growing at a CAGR of 6.9% from 2017 to 2023, as per Plastemart with reference to Allied Market Research.

The packaging segment accounted for nearly 75% share of the global market, in 2016.

PET is one of the most common thermoplastic polymer resin of the polyester family and is widely used in fibers for food containers, liquid containers, clothing, and thermoforming for manufacturing. PET is also used in combination with glass fiber for the synthesis of engineering resins.

Increasing trend of replacing traditional glass packaging with that of PET packaging is one of the major factors driving the growth of the global market. In addition, key characteristics, such as recyclability of PET also fuels the growth of this market. Moreover, PET witnesses high demand in the developing countries, which is expected to boost the overall market growth. However, volatility in prices of crude oil and the increase in implementation of stringent government regulations related the application of polyethylene terephthalate hamper the growth of the global PET market.

Polyethylene terephthalate is anticipated to register the highest growth in packaging application, owing to increase in demand for efficient and rigid packaging materials and growth in consumer preference toward high quality packaging material. Furthermore, rapid urbanization and upsurge in demand for low cost and waterproof packaging are expected to boost the market growth. PET possess advantages, such as superior clarity, excellent barrier properties, and recyclability, higher reliability, longer life cycle, and cost reduction.

The packaging application segment accounted around three-fourths share, in terms of volume, in 2016. In response to the perennial modifications in the packaging industry, efficient PET formulations are in high demand globally. Thus, increase in requirement of high-tech PET resins and rise in adoption of new PET materials in consumer goods fuel the demand for PET globally.

Key Findings of the Polyethylene Terephthalate Market:
- The packaging application segment is anticipated to grow at the highest CAGR during the analysis period.
- Asia-Pacific is projected to maintain its lead position from 2017 to 2023, growing at a CAGR of 5.8%, in terms of volume.
- The packaging application segment occupied around three-fourths of the total market, in 2016.
- China occupied around one-third share of the Asia-Pacific market, in 2016.
- In terms of value, Germany is expected to grow at a significant CAGR of 7.0% during the forecast period.

In 2015, Asia-Pacific and LAMEA collectively accounted for more than half of the global market, in terms of volume, and are expected to continue this trend, owing to increase in urbanization, specifically in China, India, Brazil, and other developing countries. Moreover, rise in urban population with increased per capita disposable income and growth in overall consumer expenditure drive the growth of the Asia-Pacific market.

As MRC informed before, global bio-based PET market is expected to reach 5,800 kilo tons by 2020, according to a study by Grand View Research, Inc.

Kuraray, Sumitomo & PTTGC to develop new Thai butadiene derivatives project

MOCOW (MRC) -- Kuraray, Sumitomo and PTT Global Chemical (PTTGC) have signed a Key Principle Joint Venture Agreement confirming their intention to develop a project to manufacture and sell super engineering plastic and hydrogenated styrenic block copolymer (HSBC) products in Thailand, as per Apic-online.

The project involves a new facility, located in Hemaraj Eastern Industrial Estate in Rayong Province, which will have the capacity to produce 13,000 t/y of high-heat resistant polyamide 9T and 16,000 t/y of HSBC products.

Kuraray will also conduct a feasibility study for a 5,000-t/y 3-methyl-1,5-pentanediol unit. PTTGC has agreed to supply butadiene and isobutene feed for the project.

An investment decision is planned for the end of 2017 and a new joint venture company is expected to be formed at the beginning of next year.

The partners have already completed a front-end engineering design study for the project, following an agreement signed in September 2016, and said they are confident about implementing the project.

"This investment will play a key role in further developing Thailand's chemical sector and make an important contribution to the country's economic growth, increasing competitiveness and reinforcing the government's drive to become Thailand 4.0," said Supattanapong Punmeechaow, president and chief executive of PTTGC.

As MRC informed previously, PTT is on track to start commercial operations at its new 400,000 mt/year metallocene C6 linear low density polyethylene plant at Map Ta Phut, Thailand, in the first quarter of 2018. PTT will start up the plant by the end of this year.

PTT Global Chemical is a leading player in the petrochemical industry and owns several petrochemical facilities with a combined capacity of 8.45 million tonnes a year.

Sumitomo Chemical is a Japanese based manufacturer of a diverse range of products, including basic chemicals, petrochemicals and plastics, fine chemicals, agricultural chemicals, IT-related chemicals and pharmaceuticals.

Kuraray produces specialty chemicals, fibres and other materials, including functional resins and films, synthetic isoprene chemical products, synthetic leather, vinylon fibre and polyester fibre.

HDPE production in Russia dropped by 3% in January-May 2017

MOSCOW (MRC) - Production of high density polyethylene (HDPE) in Russia decreased to about 405,300 tonne in the first five months of 2017, down 3% year on year. Gazprom neftekhim Salavat and Nizhnekamskneftekhim showed a decrease in production, according to MRC ScanPlast report.

May HDPE production in Russia was 93,000 tonnes, while in April it was about 73,900 tonnes. The main increase in production was provided by Nizhnekamskneftekhim. Overall HDPE output decreased 405,300 tonnes in the first five months of 2017, compared to 418,000 tonnes a year earlier. Kazanorgsintez and Stavrolen's higher output did not allow to offset the reduction in production at the other two plants.

Structure of HDPE production over the reported period looked as follows.

Russia's May HDPE production at Kazanorgsintez decreased to 40,100 tonnes from 46,100 tonnes a month earlier. The producer's total HDPE production was 222,900 tonnes in the first five months of the year, up 12% year on year.

May HDPE production at Stavrolen reached about 24,800 tonnes against 18,400 tonnes in April. The low figure for April was a result of ten-day scheduled maintenance works. The plant's HDPE output reached 116,300 tonnes in the first five months of 2017, up by 9% year on year.

Gazprom neftekhim Salavat produced 10,200 tonnes of HDPE in May, compared with 9,400 tonnes in April. Thus, overall HDPE production at Gazprom neftekhim Salavat reached 41,500 tonnes in the first five months of 2017, down by 9% year on year.

Nizhnekamskneftekhim shifted to the production of linear polyethylene and in the second half of January and returned to the production of HDPE only in the early May. HDPE production at the Tatar plant was 13,900 tonnes over an incomplete month of work. Overall HDPE production at the plant in January-May was only 24,600 tonnes compared with 67,100 year on year.