Indian refiners turn to use dirty fuel to produce power, gas

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Indian oil refiners are drawing up plans to use petroleum coke for power generation and to produce syngas after the government banned use of the heavily polluting fuel in and around New Delhi, reported Reuters.

The country's top refiner Indian Oil Corp (IOC) and other refiners have invested billions of dollars in recent years to install delayed coker units to produce high-value added products such as gasoline and liquefied petroleum gas.

The units produce petcoke as a byproduct, equivalent to 25%-30% of a unit's capacity, which refiners sell to local industries. But after the Supreme Court imposed a ban on petcoke in New Delhi and three surrounding states from last month to fight pollution, refiners are having to rethink what they do with the fuel.

IOC supplied petcoke from some of its plants, mainly in northern India, to industries in Haryana, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh - the states where it is now banned. It is still producing petcoke but diverting it to regions where it is not banned, its chairman Sanjiv Singh said on Tuesday.

The oil ministry has also asked state refiners to consider setting up petcoke gasifiers, a government source said.

IOC is evaluating building a 2 MMtpy petcoke gasifier costing USD2.3 B-USD3.1 B at its 300,000-bpd Paradip refinery in eastern India, its chairman said.

Gas made from petcoke can be used internally in refineries and at petrochemical plants.

"Normally petcoke gasifiers are large and capital intensive. A possibility is that we can build one gasifier for two to three refineries," Singh said. IOC operates 11 refineries in India.

Reliance Industries, owner of the world's biggest oil refining complex, has set up petcoke gasifiers to produce gas for internal needs using 6.5 MMtpy petcoke produced at its two refineries.

As MRC wrote before, in February 2016, RIL was awarded a contract worth Rs. 100 crore to Petron Engineering Construction Ltd for its linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) plant in Gujarat. The LLDPE plant is part of RIL's J-3 project in Jamnagar in the western Indian state of Gujarat. The J-3 project boasts of a petroleum refinery and allied petrochemical plants for the production of plastics and fibre intermediates.

PP imports to Belarus rose by 2% in first ten months of 2017

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Overall imports of polypropylene (PP) into Belarus grew in January-October 2017 by 2% year on year to 78,500 tonnes. Demand for all PP grades increased, as per MRC's DataScope report.

October PP imports to Belarus dropped to 6,400 tonnes from 8,300 tonnes a month earlier, lower shipments of propylene polymers were caused by scheduled shutdowns for maintenance at Russian plants. Overall imports of propylene polymers reached 78,500 tonnes in January-October 2017, compared to 77,000 tonnes a year earlier.

The supply structure by PP grades looked the following way over the stated period.

October imports of propylene homopolymers (homopolymer PP) to the Belarusian market dropped to 4,700 tonnes from 5,400 tonnes a month earlier, all Russian producers reduced their PP shipments because of outages at some plants. Thus, overall shipments of homopolymer PP reached 52,800 tonnes in the first ten months of 2017, compared to 51,900 tonnes a year earlier. Russian producers with the share of about 87% of the total shipments were the key suppliers.

October imports of propylene copolymers to Belarus decreased to 1,700 tonnes from 3,000 tonnes a month earlier, local companies reduced their procurement of injection moulding statistical copolymers (PP random copolymers) in Russia. Thus, overall imports of propylene copolymers reached 25,700 tonnes in January-October 2017, whereas this figure was 25,200 tonnes a year earlier.


BorsodChem to expand TDI capacity at Kazincbarcika site

MOSCOW (MRC) -- BorsodChem has announced that it will double the capacity of its TDI crystallisation unit at its Kazincbarcika plant in Hungary, as per GV.

According to the company, this capacity expansion will allow BorsodChem to meet the strong growth in global demand for T65 and T100 TDI grades and continue to provide stable supply in the coming years. Details on the annual production capacity were not disclosed.

Construction of the new unit has begun at the Kazincbarcika plant. Start-up is expected in Q3 2018. T65 and T100 grades are largely used in the polyurethane industry for flexible foam, coatings and adhesive production.

BorsodChem is part of Wanhua Group, one of the largest MDI producers in the world with more than 2,000 kt/y MDI capacity. BorsodChem is a leading producer of MDI, TDI and other speciality chemicals in Central and Eastern Europe.

As MRC reported earlier, in July 2017, Wanhua & BorsodChem announced the set-up of a new MDI bulk storage facility in the Rotterdam area. Two new tanks will be located at LBC Tank Terminals, one of the largest chemical storage service providers in the world. Wanhua said that this bulk storage facility is ideally located to serve as the company’s regional European distribution hub of Wannate MDI products imported from China for European customers. The tanks were commissioned in July 2017.

KMI restarts methanol plant in Indonesia

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Kaltim Methanol Industri (KMI) has brought on-stream its methanol plant following a maintenance turnaround, as per Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in Indonesia informed that the company has resumed operations at the plant on December 16, 2017. The plant was taken off-line in end-November 2017.

Located in Bontang, Indonesia, the methanol plant has a production capacity of 660,000 mt/year.

We remind that, as MRC wrote before, in March 2017, Honeywell announced that Jiangsu Sailboat Petrochemical Company, Ltd. had started its UOP Advanced Methanol-to-Olefins (MTO) unit with an annual production capacity of 833,000 mtpy, making it the largest single-train MTO unit in the world.

Located in Lianyungang City in China's Jiangsu Province, the Sailboat facility will produce propylene for the production of acrylonitrile, which is used to make clothing and fabrics, and high performance polymers used in automotive parts, hard hats and other hard plastic products. The plant also will produce ethylene for the production of ethylene vinyl acetate copolymers, which are used to make adhesives, foams, medical devices, photovoltaic cells, and other products, as well as C4 olefins for the production of butadiene, an ingredient in synthetic rubber.

Oil rises on UK pipeline outage but US supply caps gains

MOSCOW (MRC) — Oil edged up towards USD64/bbl on Tuesday, helped by a North Sea pipeline outage, OPEC-led supply cuts and jitters about threats to Middle East supplies after a missile was fired by a Yemeni group at the Saudi capital, as per Reuters.

But rising output in the United States has put a lid on gains. Shale production will rise to a record in January, according to a government forecast published on Monday, as higher prices encourage companies to pump more. Brent crude, the global benchmark, was up 22 cents to USD63.63 a barrel at 1220 GMT. US crude gained 33 cents to USD57.49.

The shutdown of the North Sea's Forties pipeline since last week has supported Brent in particular, as Forties is the largest of the five crude grades underpinning the benchmark. Brent reached USD65.83, its highest since mid-2015, on Dec. 12.

"This should ensure buying pressures remain at the fore of the Brent structure until the turn of the year at the very least," said Stephen Brennock of oil broker PVM. Ineos, operator of the Forties pipeline, said on Tuesday it was moving forward with a preferred repair option and the timeframe for the fix remained two to four weeks starting from Dec. 11, the date of the shutdown.

Oil ticked up after reports that a missile was fired at Riyadh from Yemen, but pared gains after Saudi Arabia said it intercepted the missile and no casualties were reported. A deal by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and non-member producers including Russia to cut supplies to curb a supply glut that has built up since 2014 has also boosted prices.

OPEC and its allies have extended the agreement until the end of 2018 and Russia's Rosneft said on Monday it could be maintained beyond next year. As a result of the cuts, oil inventories are falling globally and the latest weekly supply reports are expected to show a further reduction in US crude inventories.

The first of these reports, from the American Petroleum Institute, is due at 2130 GMT on Tuesday. Still, rising US production is countering lower supply elsewhere. US shale output in January is forecast to increase by 94,000 bpd to 6.41 MMbpd, according to the EIA's monthly drilling productivity report. "The US shale oil report issued late yesterday is on the bearish side," said Olivier Jakob, analyst at Petromatrix.