Iranian AKPC aims to bring polyethylene into Southeast Asia

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Iran's Amir Kabir Petrochemical Company aims to export 5,000-8,000 mt/month of polyethylene (PE) to Southeast Asia in 2018, with Vietnam expected to be the main target market, as per Apic-online with reference to Sales and Marketing Manager Daiko Abbasi.

"This is our first year participating in VietnamPlas. We see great opportunities in Vietnam, as the packaging and film grade consumption is increasing [in line] with its young population," Abbasi said.

Grades that are expected to see good demand include general purpose and heavy-duty linear low density PE, high density PE film, and HDPE pipe grade, he added.

"Our strategy is to bring large volumes of PE directly from Iran to Vietnamese traders, distributors and end-users, without going through intermediaries," he said.

AKPC had sold smaller quantities of PE to Vietnam about two years ago, Abbasi said without elaborating.

AKPC operates a petrochemical complex at Bandar Imam with a nameplate capacity of 300,000 mt/year of LLDPE, 300,000 mt/year of LDPE, and 140,000 mt/year of HDPE, and is currently operating at "full rates," according to the company.

We remind that, as MRC informed before, in July 2017, France's Total signed a deal with Tehran to develop phase 11 of Iran's South Pars, the world's largest gas field, marking the first major Western energy investment in the Islamic Republic since the lifting of sanctions against it. Total will be the operator with a 50.1 percent stake, alongside Chinese state-owned oil and gas company CNPC with 30%, and National Iranian Oil Co subsidiary Petropars with 19.9%.

Indian HPCL makes its first US oil purchase

MOSCOW (MRC) — Indian state refiner Hindustan Petroleum Corp has made its first purchase of US oil, buying high sulfur crude Mars in a tender, company chairman M. K. Surana said on Monday, as per Reuters.

Earlier Indian Oil Corp and Bharat Petroleum Corp, both state refiners, had purchased the US oil through tenders.

HPCL has bought 1 MMbbl of Mars oil from trader Trafigura for delivery in December at the southern Indian port of Vizag, he said.

Chinese August crude oil imports hit 8-month low

MOSCOW (MRC) -- China's crude oil imports rose 3.4% in August from the same month a year earlier but slid to their lowest monthly level since January, as some independent refiners closed for longer-than-expected maintenance amid a wave of government environmental inspections, reported Reuters.

China imported 33.98 MMt of crude in August, or 8 MMbpd, data from the Chinese General Administration of Customs showed on Friday. That compared with 8.18 MMbpd in July.

A string of independent refiners, known as 'teapots,' in eastern Shandong province carried out planned repair work in the July-August period before the peak demand season in September–October, Shandong-based refinery sources said.

Some were shut longer than planned because of safety problems detected in checks by central government environmental authorities.

Imports for the first eight months combined rose 12.2% from the same period a year ago to 281.05 MMt, or 8.44 MMbpd.

Meanwhile data showed China's refined fuel exports expanded 24% to 4.6 MMt in August from a year earlier. Exports were up from 4.55 MMt in July, supported by firm export margins.

Refined fuel imports gained 35.1% in August versus a year ago at 2.73 MMt.

Natural gas imports rose 69.5% on year in August at 5.66 MMt, a level down from July's 5.75 MMt.

As MRC informed before, China's crude oil imports will exceed 400 MMt this year, as continuing low oil prices and declining domestic output sparked increased overseas purchase. China's crude imports are also expected to grow by double digits in 2018, Zhang Haichao, vice president of Sinopec Group, told Reuters on the sidelines of an industry conference in Beijing in July 2017.

LyondellBasell receives European Innovation Award for a smart polymer with "self-healing" properties

MOSCOW (MRC) -- LyondellBasell, one of the largest plastics, chemicals and refining companies in the world, has received a European Innovation Award from Plastics Europe and the Society of Plastics Engineers (SPE) in the category "Material Innovation", as per the company's press release.

LyondellBasell was honored with a "Material Innovation" award from Plastics Europe and the Society of Plastics Engineers for the development of Koattro KT MR05, a new plastomer with “self-healing” properties. The energy injected by the cutting instrument melts the amorph-soft surface and the two components can be joined together before the surface recrystallizes.

This material could be used to advance the production of seals for aluminum, plastic and wooden windows and doors. The components are cut and pressed onto the carrier surface without the use of glues, adhesives, special tooling or the need for extensive preparation work.

"We are honored to receive this Innovation Award from Plastics Europe," said Richard Roudeix, LyondellBasell's senior vice president olefins and polyolefins for Europe, Asia and international. "Innovation is a part of our DNA and our extensive R&D and Technical Service teams around the world are helping our customers advance their product portfolio, making more sustainable production processes a reality."

The European Innovation Award was launched by The Society of Plastics Engineers and Plastics Europe to raise awareness about the potential of plastic materials. With this award, Plastics Europe and SPE honor companies that have excelled with regard to innovation in the plastics industry. All companies that play a role in the value chain of plastics products, from the larger chemical companies to the plastic converting SMEs, are eligible for the award.

The Koattro family of high performance plastomers based on Butene-1 is characterized by several unique properties such as transparency, softness, flexibility without the use of plasticizers and products that are elastic without any cross-linking. This new family of products is the latest example of LyondellBasell's ability to translate material science into applications that advance traditional polymers into next generation materials.

As MRC wrote earlier, in late August 2017, LyondellBasell's Hostalen Advanced Cascade Process (ACP) polyethylene technology was selected by Shandong Shougang Luqing for a planned 350kta high-density polyethylene (HDPE) unit in China. The unit will be built in Shandong’s petrochemical complex at Bohai Industry Park in the Shandong Province. The Hostalen ACP technology is claimed to increase flexibility and versatility to manufacturers in the production of multimodal HDPE resins, which have a strong impact and stress cracking resistance.

LyondellBasell is one of the world's largest plastics, chemical and refining companies. The company manufactures products at 57 sites in 18 countries. LyondellBasell products and technologies are used to make items that improve the quality of life for people around the world including packaging, electronics, automotive parts, home furnishings, construction materials and biofuels.

Indorama Ventures Enters into Licensing Agreement with Toyobo

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Indorama Ventures Public Company Limited (IVL), a global chemical producer, and Toyobo, announced a license agreement that provides IVL with rights to Toyobo’s aluminum catalyst technology for the production of PET resin, said the company on its website.

Under the terms of the license and agreement, IVL may use this polymerization technology in its manufacture of PET resin globally through a Tokyo-based sales agent, Iwatani Corporation.

PET resin production requires raw materials and a catalyst to facilitate a polymerization reaction. Conventionally, a heavy metal or rare metal compound has been used as a catalyst. TOYOBO GS Catalyst® was developed in 2002 as sustainable way forward. Furthermore, the aluminum catalyzed PET resin is easy to recycle, contributing to a reduction of the environmental impact. Indorama Ventures has started manufacturing PET resin with TOYOBO GS Catalyst® for beverage bottles for Suntory Holdings Limited.

Mr. Dilip Kumar Agarwal, CEO of Feedstock and PET Business of Indorama Ventures, commented "We have been very pleased with the success to-date of our strong partnership with Toyobo, and are excited to extend the collaboration to this specific polymerization technology. We believe this agreement will enable IVL to offer our customers what we believe to be an industry-leading solution, and respond to growing interest in sustainable products. The technology delivers many expected benefits, including excellent transparency, thermal stability and recyclability, thus making our products more competitive in the market."

"Toyobo is one of our closest partners. This collaboration shows the commitment from both parties to creating great products that will contribute to a better future for society, and will strengthen IVL’s position as a preferred, sustainable supplier of PET. We look forward to continuing this successful and trusted partnership", Mr. Agarwal concluded.

Indorama Ventures has a long-established relationship with Toyobo since its first joint acquisition of PHP Fibers GmbH, a Germany-based manufacturer of filament yarns for airbags in 2014, and extending to the joint venture Bicomponent Fiber plant at Indorama Polyester Industries in Rayong, Thailand in 2015.