YNCC eyes maintenance at No.3 naphtha cracker next year

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Yeochun NCC (YNCC) is likely to undertake planned maintenance at its No.3 naphtha cracker at Yeosu, as per Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in South Korea informed that the company has planned to shut the cracker for a maintenance turnaround in 2018. The plant is likely to be shut in October/November 2018 for a period of around one month.

Located in Yeosu, South Korea, the No.3 cracker has an ethylene production capacity of 470,000 mt/year and propylene production capacity of 230,000 mt/year. Currently the cracker is running at full production capacity levels.

As MRC wrote before, last year, YNCC shut its 578,000 tonne/year No 2 naphtha cracker in Yeosu since 10 March for a regular maintenance. The company resumed operations on 9 April.

South Korea’s Yeochun NCC (YNCC) pyrolyzes naphtha to produce basic feedstock materials for the petrochemical industry. YNCC, a joint venture between South Korean firms Hanwha and Daelim, is a key exporter of ethylene and propylene in the country.

Nanjing Chengzhi lets Wison contract for new MTO unit and butadiene facility

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Nanjing Chengzhi Yongqing Energy Technology Co. has awarded an engineering, procurement and construction contract to Wison Engineering (China) Ltd. for a new methanol-to-olefins (MTO) plant and butadiene unit in Nanjing, China, as per GV.

The 600,000 t/y MTO plant will utilize Honeywell UOP's advanced process technologies and Wison Engineering's high recovery olefin separation technology to produce ethylene and propylene.

Nanjing Chengzhi's 100,000 t/y butadiene plant will be based on Wison's proprietary Oxidative Dehydrogenation of Butene to Butadiene technology.

The projects, for which a cost was not given, are scheduled for completion in December 2018.

As MRC informed previously, in November 2016, China’s Jilin Connell Chemical Industry Co. selected Honeywell UOP’s Advanced methanol-to-olefins (MTO) process to tap domestic coal resources to produce ethylene and propylene. Jilin Connell is the ninth company to license the Honeywell UOP technology, which produces superior yields at lower cost compared to competing technologies. The new plant, scheduled for completion in 2017, will be located in Jilin City in China’s Jilin Province, and will convert domestic sources of methanol into 300 Mtpy of ethylene and propylene. The new plant’s offtake will be supplied to ethylene oxide and propylene oxide manufacturers currently operating in the same industrial park.

Chinese customs seizes USD13 MM worth of smuggled fuel

MOSCOW (MRC) — Chinese customs in Nanjing city has seized 12 Mt of smuggled fuel worth USD12.98 MM, state news agency Xinhua reported on Monday, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The seizure is a result of months of investigations in coastal provinces of Jiangsu, Fujian and Zhejiang province. The authorities have also arrested 17 suspects.

Smuggling was carried out outside the mouth of Yangtze River and at sea, through ship-to-ship loadings with foreign vessels, said Xinhua, which cites state-run Legal Daily as saying. The report did not specify which refined products were smuggled.

BASF declares force majeure for MDI production in Chongqing

MOSCOW (MRC) -- BASF has declared force majeure for its methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) production in Chongqing, China, on 12 December 2017, due to a supply shortage of natural gas at its syngas supplier, as per GV.

According to the company, the supplier has not yet provided a timeline for restart of the syngas. BASF said it will inform customers of the MDI plant restart as soon as syngas supply resumes.

As MRC informed before, in early 2017, BASF completed a capacity increase of its MDI production facilities at the company's Verbund site in Antwerp, Belgium. The capacity increase brings the annual production of MDI in Antwerp from 560,000 metric tons per year to 650,000 metric tons per year.

MDI is an important component for polyurethanes – an extremely versatile plastics material. It contributes to improved insulation, provides lighter materials for cars, and helps save energy in buildings.

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.

PMV not to rebuild vinyl monochloride production capacity in Mexico

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Mexichem announced that its joint venture, Petroquimica Mexicana de Vinilo (PMV), a co-investment with PPQ Cadena Productiva, a subsidiary of Pemex Etileno (PPQC), and of Mexichem’s Vinyl Business Group, has decided not to rebuild its Vinyl Monochloride (VCM) production capacity, said Refiningandpetrochemicals.

Therefore, the joint venture’s VCM production, and the assets and liabilities associated with ethylene production and auxiliary services associated with VCM and ethylene will be classified as discontinued operations in Mexichem’s financial statements for the years 2015, 2016 and 2017.

The discontinued operation will not have an impact in PMV’s cash balance or cash flow (See Annex1). It is important to mention that Mexichem, PPQC and Pemex Etileno will continue to evaluate the possibility of investing in the future, jointly or separately, through PMV or another vehicle, in businesses related to the existing ones or in other types of businesses.

It is publicly known that on April 20, 2016 there was an explosion in the VCM plant of the Pajaritos Petrochemical Complex where two of the three plants are located, the VCM plant and the ethylene plant; as well as auxiliary services, such as energy generation and production, steam sales and water treatment. The VCM plant (Clorados III) was the one damaged. The chlorine and caustic soda production plant is located at a separate site.

This represents the exit of PMV from the VCM and ethylene businesses in Mexico, but not the chlorine-soda business, whose plant will continue to be operated by PMV, and therefore the alliance between the PPQC subsidiary of PEMEX Ethylene and Mexichem will remain in place.

PMV’s decision to exit the VCM and Ethylene businesses does not impact Mexichem’s guidance for EBITDA growth for 2017, which is expected to be between 20% and 25% above the $884 million reported in 2016.