SABIC continues global growth with innovative polypropylene ventures in Europe

MOSCOW (MRC) -- SABIC continued its global expansion with the inauguration of a new polypropylene (PP) pilot plant in Geleen, the Netherlands, and the announcement of a new investment in a state-of-the-art PP extrusion facility to be built at the same location, said Yourpetrochemicalnews.

Both facilities, dedicated to innovation in SABIC® PP products, support SABIC’s 2025 strategy to be the preferred world leader in chemicals by delivering ‘Chemistry that Matters™’. An opening ceremony for the pilot plant and a customer event was presided over by Yousef Al-Benyan, SABIC Vice Chairman and CEO, and the Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs, Henk Kamp.

"In times of change, organizations have two options: drive or be driven," said Mr Al-Benyan during the opening ceremony. "At SABIC, we have a long-term vision to drive sustainable success for our customers and we work constantly to create and deliver innovative solutions that answer their challenges. It’s about innovative thinking, extending and improving our portfolio, and – as we are showing here today – investing in technology and innovation."

In line with SABIC’s strategic commitment to customer-driven innovation, the new PP pilot plant, located at the SABIC’s Global Technology Center for Europe in Geleen, will design next-generation PP materials. It is already on-stream using gas-phase polymerization technology. The plant will enable accelerated development and commercialization of highly innovative material solutions that meet the growing needs of various industries, including automotive, health- and personal care, appliances and advanced packaging.

Abdulrahman Al-Fageeh, Executive Vice President of Petrochemicals at SABIC, was also present at the event. "These facilities are great establishments for our company and for the benefit of the world at large, thanks to the dedication, skills, and hard work of our employees,” he said. “They will support our company’s strategy to develop new sustainable material solutions that help our customers achieve their goals, as we work with them in ever-closer collaboration."

Across industry, Al-Fageeh explained, there is an increasing need for creative solutions that are sustainable, cost-efficient and compliant with ever-tougher regulations. At the same time, they must provide increased consumer safety and convenience, while delivering improved functionality. "At SABIC, we are playing our part by relentlessly pursuing cutting-edge technologies, both in production and new material development. We are very happy to have so many customers here today to celebrate this inauguration."

Al-Fageeh described how innovation and collaboration are the key enablers of SABIC’s 2025 strategy. "We look at specific challenges and market needs through the lens of collaboration and innovation to create products and solutions that lead to business growth internally and at our customers,” he said. “Our new investments will open up opportunities to create smarter, more efficient, higher performing products that can generate sustainable solutions for long-term success."

The new facility will serve to develop grades with improved balance in stiffness and impact resistance, flow properties and other properties specific to target applications. SABIC plans to concentrate on development of impact grades of polypropylene, as well as random copolymers and homopolymers. It will also carry out experiments on advanced catalysts.

The Geleen pilot plant is part of SABIC’s network of 21 Global Technology Centers, located strategically around the world. It will support strategic innovation initiatives for SABIC’s comprehensive polypropylene product line to address continuously evolving market needs.

The highly automated, cutting-edge PP extrusion line is expected to be in operation in the fourth quarter of 2017 on SABIC’s Geleen site. It will answer customers’ needs for advanced materials that can support them developing the next generation lightweight applications in industries such as packaging, appliances, automotive, and healthcare.

CNPC and Eni sign a cooperation agreement

MOSCOW (MRC) -- China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) and Eni signed cooperation agreement today in order to cooperate in oil & gas exploration and production, gas and LNG value chain opportunities, trading and logistics opportunities, refining and petrochemicals, said the company on its web-site.

The partnership will regard both China and overseas activities. The signing took place in Rome at Eni's headquarters during a meeting between the Chairman of CNPC, Wang Yilin, and Eni's CEO, Claudio Descalzi.

The meeting was a chance to further strengthen the relationship between the two companies and was an opportunity to discuss ongoing joint projects as well as future opportunities between CNPC and Eni across the energy value chain.

Eni is an Italian multinational oil and gas company headquartered in Rome. It has operations in in 79 countries, and is currently Italy's largest industrial company with a market capitalization of EUR68 billion (USD 90 billion), as of August 14, 2013. The Italian government owns a 30.3% golden share in the company, 3.93% held through the state Treasury and 26.37% held through the Cassa depositi e prestiti. Another 39.40% of the shares are held by BNP Paribas.

Sinopec starts up Tianjin commercial crude reserve

MOSCOW (MRC) -- A new commercial crude oil reserve base built by China’s Sinopec Corp in northern Chinese port of Tianjin received its first oil shipment on Wednesday, reported Reuters with reference to the state refiner.

The new site consists of 12 tanks each sized 100,000 cm, totaling about 7.56 MMbbl.

This is the fourth commercial crude storage site Sinopec has started since 2012 in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei cluster region. The first three sites are in Caofeidian and Tianjin.

As MRC informed before, China's Sinopec group, parent of Sinopec Corp, will invest USD29.05 billion to upgrade four refining bases between 2016 and 2020 to produce higher-quality fuels. Sinopec's upgrades come as China, the world's second-biggest oil consumer, is embracing more stringent fuel standards in its battle against pollution and suffering an overall glut in refining capacity. After the upgrades, the total refining capacity of the four refining sites will reach 130 MMtpy, or 2.6 MMbpd, while ethylene capacity will reach 9 MMtpy, Sinopec said.

Sinopec Corp. is one of the largest scale integrated energy and chemical company with upstream, midstream and downstream operations. Its principal business includes: exploring, developing, producing and trading crude oil and natural gas; producing, storing, transporting and distributing and marketing petroleum products, petrochemical products, synthetic fiber, fertilizer and other chemical products. Its refining capacity and ethylene capacity rank No.2 and No.4 globally. Sinopec listed in Hong Kong, New York, London and Shanghai in August 2001. Sinopec Group, the parent company of Sinopec Corp., is ranked the 5th in Fortune Global 500 in 2012.

Pemex delays starting Salina Cruz refinery after quake

MOSCOW (MRC) — Mexican state-run oil company Pemex has not yet restarted its Salina Cruz refinery due to aftershocks following last week’s huge earthquake that struck off southern Mexico, said Hydrocarbonprocessing, citing a company spokesman.

Pemex had shut down the refinery as a precaution following the 8.1 magnitude quake late last Thursday.

As MRC informed earlier, Mexico's top anti-corruption agency said on Monday it had identified USD6.7 MM in "new irregularities" from a contract between state oil company Pemex and Odebrecht, the Brazilian engineering firm that has admitted paying bribes in a dozen countries in recent years.

In June, Pemex said it notified Odebrecht that it was canceling the 2015 engineering, procurement and construction contract at the Tula refinery, following an investigation into "administrative irregularities."

Imports of PP into Russia decreased by 7% in January-August

MOSCOW (MRC) - Russia's imports of polypropylene (PP) decreased to about 108,800 tonne in first eight months of this year, down 7% 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.

Russian companies decreased PP imports to 16,200 tonnes last month from 16,700 tonnes in July, a significant reduction of supply of homopolymer PP raffia from Central Asia was offset by increased demand for propylene block copolymer (PP block copolymer). In general, PP imports into Russia totalled 108,800 tonnes in January-August 2017, compared with 117,500 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.

August imports of homopolymer PP into the country decreased to 3,800 tonnes, compared with 7,200 tonnes in July. Local companies decreased their shipments of homopolymer PP raffia grade from Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Overall imports of this PP grade reached 37,100 tonnes in the first eight months of 2017, compared to 55,900 a year earlier.

August imports of PP block copolymers in Russia increased to about 5,300 tonnes against 3,200 tonnes in July. Local companies reduced their purchasing of PP block copolymers for non-pressure pipes extrusion and injection moulding. Imports of PP block copolymers into Russia reached 28,900 tonnes in January-August 2017, compared to 21,100 tonnes a year earlier.

Imports of PP random copolymer in August rose to 3,000 tonnes against 2,700 tonnes a month earlier, amid good demand, local companies increased the volume of purchases of polypropylene for pipe production. Total imports of PP random copolymers in Russia were 19,300 tonnes in January - August 2017, compared with 22,400 tonnes year on year.

Imports of other propylene polymers for the reported period increased to about 23,400 tonnes compared with 18,000 tonnes in the same time a year earlier.