thyssenkrupp to build two major polymer plants in Turkey

MOSCOW (MRC) -- thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions’ subsidiary Uhde Inventa-Fischer has signed a contract to build two new world-scale polymer plants for SASA Polyester Sanayi A.S in Adana, Turkey, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

One plant is planned to produce 380,000 tpy of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) for low-viscosity applications.

The second plant will use Uhde Inventa-Fischer’s proprietary patented MTR technology to produce 216,000 tpy of resin for the production of PET bottles. Both new plants are among the largest single-line production plants for their respective products.

The scope of delivery for both projects will include basic and detail engineering, the delivery of all necessary components, and technical services for erection, pre-commissioning and commissioning supervision.

The MTR process eliminates solid-state polycondensation (SSP) and leads to substantial energy savings. It reduces investment, operating and maintenance costs, has a higher raw material yield and results in products of superior quality. The MTR process is based on Uhde Inventa-Fischer’s proprietary 2-reactor technology, which uses the patented ESPREE and DISCAGE reactors to obtain the desired high melt viscosities.

The design of the polycondensation plant will be based on the same proprietary technology, which in this case enables the production of superior high-quality polyester polymer. A characteristic feature of the plant is that the polymer melt will be conveyed directly from the polycondensation plant to several downstream lines.

As MRC informed before, in August 2017, half a year after the announcement of the 2030 strategy, MOL Group reached an important milestone in its industrial transformational journey. The license agreements signed with Evonik and thyssenkrupp, will enable MOL to produce propylene oxide, a key component for the production of polyether polyols. MOL intends to become a significant producer of polyether polyols, high-value intermediates for products applied in the automotive, packaging and furniture industries.

PE imports to Kazakhstan rose by a quarter in ten months of 2017

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Imports of polyethylene (PE) into Kazakhstan grew in the first ten months of 2017 by 25% year on year, totalling about 100,000 tonnes. Shipments of all PE grades increased, reported MRC analysts.

October 2017 PE imports to Kazakhstan rose to 8,500 tonnes from 7,900 tonnes a month earlier, local companies significantly increased their purchasing of high density polyethylene (HDPE) in Russia. Overall PE imports were about 100,000 tonnes in January - October 2017, compared to 79,900 tonnes a year earlier. Purchasing of all PE grades rose, with linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) accounting for the greatest increase.

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

October HDPE imports into Kazakhstan grew to 6,600 tonnes from 6,200 tonnes a month earlier. Local companies managed to increase PE purchasing in Russia after several months of severe restrictions from local producers because of shutdowns for maintenance. Thus, overall HDPE imports reached 76,400 tonnes in the first ten months of 2017, up by 28% year on year.

October purchases of LDPE by local companies increased to 1,500 tonnes from 1,300 tonnes in September, Russian producers raised their shipments. Overall LDPE imports into Kazakhstan totalled about 18,000 tonnes over the stated period, up by 13% year on year.

Purchasing of LLDPE by local companies was 5,600 tonnes in January-October 2017 versus 4,300 tonnes a year earlier.


PP import into Kazakhstan grew by 26% in ten months; exports up 26%

MOSCOW (MRC) - Imports of polypropylene (PP) into Kazakhstan exceeded 27,200 tonnes in first ten months of this year, up 26% compared to the same period of 2016. Export of polypropylene also increased by a similar amount, according to MRC analysts.

October 2017 PP shipments to Kazakhstan grew to 2,400 tonnes from 1,600 tonnes a month earlier, local converters increased their purchasing of homopolymer PP in Russia. Total imports homopolymer PP into Kazakhstan exceeded 27,200 tonnes in January - October 2017, compared with 21,700 year on year. The main increase in demand occurred for propylene copolymers.

Structure of PP imports over the reported period was as follows.

October imports of homopolymer PP rose to 1,800 tonnes from 700 tonnes a month earlier, local companies increased their purchasing of homopolymer PP raffia from Russian producers after several months of serious restrictions due to preventive shutdowns of production.
Overall PP imports of this PP grade exceeded 16,900 tonnes in the first ten months of 2017, compared to 13,700 tonnes a year earlier.

Shipments of propylene copolymers decreased to 600 tonnes in October from 900 tonnes in September, local pipes producers reduced their purchasing. Thus, imports of propylene copolymers reached 10,300 tonnes over the stated period, compared to 8,000 tonnes a year earlier.

Polypropylene exports from Kazakhstan increased along with imports. PP exports were not carried out in October because of the planned turnaround of the local producer. Total PP exports from Kazakhstan were about 18,500 tonnes in the first ten months of this year, compared with 14,700 tonnes in the same time a year earlier.


US ethanol makers call on Mexico, India to reduce biofuel glut

MOSCOW (MRC) — US ethanol producers, looking to relieve a growing domestic glut, are hunting for new international fuel markets to replace China and Brazil after trade disputes slashed exports to those top buyers, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Without new markets, US producers may have to pare output after spending hundreds of millions of dollars on biofuel production plants in recent years. Currently, the most promising potential destinations for US fuel exports appear to be Mexico and India, industry executives said.

China and Brazil accounted for 41% of the 1.17 Bgal the United States exported last year. Shipments to the two shriveled in September, making US exports for that month the smallest in more than a year. "There are only so many times you can replace your top market," said Tom Sleight, president of the US Grains Council, which officials said has been calling on potential buyers in Kenya, Ghana and Nigeria.

China's demand plummeted by more than 100 MMgal this year after it removed a preferential tariff rate. Brazil's imports tumbled after it put a quota on imports in September to protect its domestic producers. To drum up new customers, Illinois-based ethanol producer Marquis Energy has sent executives to India, China, Thailand and the Philippines, promoting the corn-based fuel additive as a smog and oil-import fighter.

"I've had a lot of people over there almost nonstop over the last three months," the company's chief executive Mark Marquis said of the hunt for buyers in Asia. Archer Daniels Midland Co and Flint Hills Resources also have stepped up efforts to sell into Mexico, traders said.

US ethanol prices have slid to nearly a 2-yr low as daily domestic production last week hit a record 45.1 MMgal, making the search for new export markets more urgent. Output this year could reach about 16 Bgal, nearly triple that of 2007.

US exports fell since hitting 2.5 MMgal/d in the first 8 mos this year. Shipments to Brazil sank to 19 MMgal in September, the smallest monthly volume in more than a year. Exports to China through September were just 60,880 gallons, a precipitous drop from 198 MMgal a year earlier, according to US Department of Agriculture data.

The marketing effort could pay off in Mexico, whose energy regulatory commission (CRE) is to vote soon to ease the flow of fuel imports through state-run Pemex facilities to several Mexican states bordering the United States. If approved, significant new volumes of gasoline blended with 10% ethanol could begin flowing in 2018 into Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo Leon and Tamaulipas states, CRE Commissioner Luis Guillermo Pineda told Reuters.

"The largest supplier is logically the United States, but it can be from anywhere," Pineda said of the ethanol blend. Ray Young, ADM's finance chief, last month told analysts Mexico could be importing 200 MMgal annually by 2019. US ethanol exports to Mexico last year totaled about 30 MMgal.

US inventories reached 920 MMgal in the week ended Nov. 17, up 16% from a year earlier, the US Energy Information Administration said. Ethanol futures have fallen to USD1.36/gal on the Chicago Board of Trade, down 20% from their 2017 high in April.

US producers are pitching China and India on ethanol's smog-fighting potential. This month, United Airlines canceled flights to India's capital, New Delhi, citing heavy smog as a public health emergency. China ordered Beijing and more than two dozen other cities to start meeting limits on airborne pollution starting this month. Ted McKinney, a USDA official interviewed during a biofuel-promotion trip to India, expressed optimism that country could import much more US ethanol for cars and trucks. But others were not so sure.

India's government wants to promote biofuel production using its own agricultural waste, said Jai Asundi, research coordinator at Bengaluru-based think tank Center for Study of Science, Technology and Policy (CSTEP). "There is a potential for producing ethanol from locally available sources without depending on imports," Asundi said.

JXTG Nippon selects AspenTech supply chain software

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Aspen Technology, Inc., the asset optimization software company, announced that JXTG Nippon Oil and Energy, the largest oil company in Japan, has selected the company’s aspenONE Petroleum Supply Chain software as its preferred optimization solution for economic and operational planning, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

JXTG Nippon Oil & Energy chose Aspen PIMS-AO, Aspen Petroleum Scheduler and Aspen Multi-Blend Optimizer products to optimize refinery profitability and reduce product quality giveaway. This improved capability is crucial, as planners and schedulers navigate a volatile and increasingly complex global marketplace, and companies focus on operational excellence and long-term business sustainability. AspenTech’s accurate planning and advanced scheduling tools can protect against declining profitability while helping companies mitigate the issue of skills shortage.

With the ability to perform key refinery planning and scheduling activities from a single integrated AspenTech platform, JXTG Nippon Oil and Energy can now optimize its entire operations asset lifecycle. This single platform provides best-in-class solutions that leading refineries and olefins plants around the world use for feedstock selection, product slate optimization and production planning.