PTT explores possibility of propylene oxide, polyether polyols complex in Thailand

MOSCOW (MRC) -- PTT Global Chemical (PTTGC) has signed two head of agreements (HoAs), to jointly perform engineering study for potential development of Propylene Oxide (PO) 200 KTA with Toyota Tsusho Corporation (TTC) and to jointly perform engineering study for potential development of Polyether Polyols (Polyols) 130 KTA with Toyota Tsusho Corporation (TTC) and Sanyo Chemical Industries, Ltd. (SCI), reported Hydrocarbonprocessing.

This complex will be located in Hemaraj Eastern Industrial Estate (HEIE), Rayong in Thailand and total investment is approximately USD1 B.

Through this joint study, PTTGC will secure a reliable and stable supply of feedstock - propylene for PO production and ethylene oxide for polyols production - while SCI will provide its technology know-how and research and development for polyols to fulfill customer’s requirement.

TTC will support the project with its logistics and order management expertise with strong market and sale network around the world, especially in the Asia Pacific and India for both PO and polyols.

After the completion of a prelim joint feasibility study began in early of 2015, when PTTGC, TTC and SCI signed a memorandum of understanding to launch the effort, the project has moved to the early phase of engineering study to perform front end engineering design and verify the viability of the project before Final Investment Decision (FID), which’s targeted next year, for going to the phase of execution with engineering, procurement and construction (EPC).

Polyols is key raw material for manufacturing of high-quality Polyurethane foams, added benefits of consuming less energy and process materials, as well as generating less waste, in automotive, furniture, band bedding, construction, electronic and electrical industries.

As MRC informed before, PTT is on track to start commercial operations at its new 400,000 mt/year metallocene C6 linear low density polyethylene (MLLDPE) 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.

Stepan to buy surfactant production facility from BASF in Mexico

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Stepan Company, through a subsidiary in Mexico, has announced that it has reached an agreement with BASF Mexicana, S.A. DE C.V. to acquire its surfactant production facility in Ecatepec, Mexico, and a portion of its associated surfactants business, reported GV.

The facility is located close to Mexico City and has over 50,000 t/y of capacity, 11,519 m2 (124,000 square feet) of warehouse space, a large laboratory and office space. The definitive agreement is subject to closing conditions and the satisfaction of certain other requirements. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2017. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

"The acquisition supports the company's growth strategy in Latin America. We believe this acquisition significantly enhances Stepan's market position and supply capabilities for surfactants in Mexico and positions us to grow in both the consumer and functional markets for surfactants," said F. Quinn Stepan Jr., Chairman, President and CEO of Stepan Company.

Stepan with headquarters in Northfield, IL, USA, is a manufacturer of speciality and intermediate chemicals used in a broad range of industries. The company is also a producer of surfactants, which are key ingredients in consumer and industrial cleaning compounds. Furthermore, the company is a supplier of polyurethane polyols used in the expanding thermal insulation market and CASE (coatings, adhesives, sealants, and elastomers) industries.

As MRC wrote previously, within the next five years, BASF SE (Ludwigshafen, Germany) plans to invest globally more than EUR200 million in its plastic additives business, approximately half of which in Asia, focusing on capacity expansions and operational excellence.

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.

PP imports to Russia fell by 4% in January-July 2017

MOSCOW (MRC) - Russia's imports of polypropylene (PP) decreased to about 92,600 tonne in first seven months of this year, down 4% year on year, compared to the same period of 2016. Not all PP grades accounted for the decrease in shipments, according to a MRC's DataScope report.

July imports of PP into Russia increased to 16,700 tonnes against 14,700 in June, the increase accounted only for homopolymer PP raffia grade from Central Asia. In general, PP imports into Russia totalled 92,600 tonnes in January-July 2017, compared with 96,600 tonnes year on year. The reduction in external supplies was seen only for homopolymer PP and PP random copolymers, while imports of PP block copolymers and other propylene copolymers, on the contrary, increased.

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

July imports of homopolymer PP into the country grew to 7,200 tonnes, compared with 5,200 tonnes in June. Local companies increased their shipments of homopolymer PP raffia grade from Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Overall imports of this PP grade reached 33,300 tonnes in the first seven months of 2017, compared to 45,300 a year earlier.

July imports of PP block copolymers in Russia increased to about 3,200 tonnes against 3,500 tonnes in June. Local companies reduced purchasing of PP block copolymers for non-pressure pipes extrusion.
Imports of PP block copolymers into Russia reached 23,600 tonnes in January-July 2017, compared to 18,000 tonnes a year earlier. Last month's imports of PP random copolymers were about 2,700 tonnes, which was virtually equal to the June figure. Total imports of PP random copolymers in Russia were 16,300 tonnes in January - July 2017, compared with 18,100 tonnes year on year.

Imports of other propylene polymers for the reported period increased to about 19,400 tonnes compared with 15,300 tonnes in the same time a year earlier.


Evonik increases prices for VESTANAT and VESTAGON products

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Evonik has raised the prices for its aliphatic diisocyanates and derivatives, offered under the brand names VESTANAT and VESTAGON up to 10% on a global basis with immediate effect, as per the company's press release.

All existing contracts will be honored.

After many years of stable prices the price increase has become unavoidable to compensate higher costs for personnel, maintenance, regulatory affairs and logistics.

This adjustment will enable the business line Crosslinkers to continue to provide to its customers a superior quality, excellent service with special focus on supply reliability and the

As MRC informed earlier, Evonik is expanding its production facilities in Birmingham (Alabama, USA) and Darmstadt (Germany). This will create additional capacity for the production of biodegradable polymers marketed globally under the brand names RESOMER and RESOMER SELECT. These poly-lactic-glycolic-acid (PLGA) copolymers are primarily used to manufacture bioresorbable medical devices and controlled-release formulations for parenteral drug delivery.

Evonik, the creative industrial group from Germany, is one of the world leaders in specialty chemicals. Its activities focus on the key megatrends health, nutrition, resource efficiency and globalization. Evonik benefits specifically from its innovative prowess and integrated technology platforms. Evonik is active in over 100 countries around the world.

Shell completes USD820 MM SADAF chemicals sale to SABIC

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Shell has completed the sale of its 50% share in SADAF, the petrochemicals JV, located in Al Jubail, in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to SABIC for USD820 MM, said the company on its website.

This sale was announced on Jan. 22. Completion follows anti-trust filings in the relevant countries and regulatory approval from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

This acquisition will enable SABIC to optimize operations at SADAF and further invest in the facilities, integrating them with SABIC’s other affiliates. This step will allow Shell to focus its downstream activities and make selective investments to support the growth of its global chemicals business.

Completion of this deal shows the clear momentum behind Shell’s global, value-driven USD30 B divestment program.

This deal does not impact Shell’s other interests in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) ranks among the world’s top petrochemical companies. The company is among the world’s market leaders in the production of polyethylene, polypropylene and other advanced thermoplastics, glycols, methanol and fertilizers.

Royal Dutch Shell plc is an Anglo-Dutch multinational oil and gas company headquartered in The Hague, Netherlands and with its registered office in London, United Kingdom. It is the biggest company in the world in terms of revenue and one of the six oil and gas "supermajors". Shell is vertically integrated and is active in every area of the oil and gas industry, including exploration and production, refining, distribution and marketing, petrochemicals, power generation and trading.