Japan plans maintenance at seven naphtha crackers in 2018

MOSCOW (MRC) — Seven naphtha crackers in Japan are expected to be shut in 2018 for scheduled maintenance, industry and company sources said, as per Reuters.

That is up from three crackers that underwent planned maintenance shutdowns last year as turnarounds that are conducted once every two or four years usually concentrate in even-numbered years, the sources said.

Mitsubishi Chemical plans to shut its 539 Mtpy naphtha cracker from May 9 to July 3, followed by a scheduled restart on July 4, a company spokesman said.

Other ethylene manufacturers operating crackers include oil refiner JXTG Nippon Oil & Energy, and Osaka Petrochemical Industries Ltd, a wholly owned unit of Mitsui Chemicals.

Keiyo Ethylene is 55% owned by Maruzen Petrochemical Co and 45% by Sumitomo Chemical Co. Maruzen Petrochemical is a subsidiary of Cosmo Energy Holdings.

Tonen Chemical Corp is part of JXTG group. Showa Denko and Tosoh Corp also operate naphtha crackers. Asahi Kasei Mitsubishi Chemical Ethylene Corp, a 50–50 JV of Asahi Kasei Chemicals and Mitsubishi Chemical, operates a naphtha cracker in Mizushima, western Japan.

PTTGC likely to shut HDPE plant for maintenance

MOSCOW (MRC) -- PTT Global Chemical (PTTGC) is expected to shut its high density polyethylene (HDPE) plant, according to Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in Thailand informed that the company is likely to shut the plant in February/March 2018, for a maintenance turnaround. The plant is expected to remain offline for around 2 weeks.

Located at Map Ta Phut in Thailand, the HDPE plant has a production capacity of 250,000 mt/year.

As MRC reported earlier, PTT is on track to start commercial operations at its new 400,000 mt/year metallocene C6 linear low density polyethylene plant at Map Ta Phut, Thailand, in the first quarter of 2018.

PTT Global Chemical is a leading player in the petrochemical industry and owns several petrochemical facilities with a combined capacity of 8.45 million tonnes a year.

Shell to retain ownership of A/S Dansk Shell

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Shell has announced that the agreement it signed with Dansk Olieselskab AS (DO) in September 2016 regarding the sale of A/S Dansk Shell, which consists of the Fredericia refinery and local trading and supply activities, has terminated and the sale will not complete, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

A/S Dansk Shell, including the refinery and local trading and supply activities, will remain under Shell’s ownership and continue business as usual.

Shell Group’s USD30 B divestment program remains on track to complete in 2018, with deals worth USD23 B completed, USD2 B announced and USD5 B in advanced progress.

As MRC informed earlier, in late 2015, Shell PLC sold its Butagaz LPG business in France to DCC Energy for 464 million euros (USD512.78 million), following the approach made in May.

Royal Dutch Shell plc is an Anglo-Dutch multinational oil and gas company headquartered in The Hague, Netherlands and with its registered office in London, United Kingdom. It is the biggest company in the world in terms of revenue and one of the six oil and gas "supermajors". Shell is vertically integrated and is active in every area of the oil and gas industry, including exploration and production, refining, distribution and marketing, petrochemicals, power generation and trading.

Lotte begins commercial operations at TE3 expansion project in Johor

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Lotte Chemical Titan said that its catalytic cracking reactor within its TE3 expansion project in Johor, Malaysia, has begun commercial operations, as per Apic-online.

The catalytic cracking reactor, based on KBR's cata-lytic olefins technology, is connected to an existing naphtha cracker plant.

The USD276-million project increase's ethylene production capacity by 92,000 t/y, propylene capacity by 170,000 t/y and BTX (benzene-toluene-xylene) capacity by 134,000 t/y, according to several industry sources.

In 2014, KBR said it won a contract from Lotte Titan to provide licensing and basic engineering design services to revamp an existing steam cracker in the Asia-Pacific region, in order to increase the plant's production capacity and help diversify its feedstock.

Titan has 10 production facilities located on two inte-grated industrial sites in Pasir Gudang and Tanjung Langsat in Johor.

As MRC informed before, in 2015, Lotte Chemical Corp announced that the petrochemical firm would expand its naphtha cracking centre in Malaysia at a cost of 300 billion Korean won (USD257 million). With the mechanical completion of the expansion scheduled in the second-half of 2017, Lotte Chemical Titan (M) Sdn. Bhd. will have ethylene production capacity of 812,000 tonnes per year (tpy), up 92,000 tpy from the current size.

South Korean Lotte Chemical is a global petrochemical company, established in 1976. It produces low density polyethylene (LDPE), high density polyethylene (HDPE), linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE), polypropylene (PP), functional resins, styrene monomer (SM), polyethylene terephthalate (PET), etc.

PP imports to Kazakhstan rose by 28% in first eleven months of 2017, exports up by 20%

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Imports of polypropylene (PP) into Kazakhstan grew in the first eleven months of 2017 by 28% year on year, exceeding 30,900 tonnes. PP exports also increased by 20%, reported MRC analysts.

PP imports to Kazakhstan rose to 3,700 tonnes in November 2017 from 2,400 tonnes a month earlier, local converters increased their purchasing of propylene homopolymer (homopolymer PP) and pipe grade statistical copolymer of propylene (PP random copolymer) in Russia. Overall PP imports exceeded 30,900 tonnes in January-November 2017, compared to 24,100 tonnes a year earlier. The main increase in demand occurred for propylene copolymers.

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

November imports of homopolymer PP grew to 2,000 tonnes from 1,800 tonnes a month earlier, local companies increased their purchasing of homopolymer PP raffia from Russian producers. Overall PP imports of this PP grade exceeded 18,900 tonnes in the first eleven months of 2017, compared to 15,300 tonnes a year earlier.

Shipments of propylene copolymers rose to 1,700 tonnes in November from 600 tonnes a month earlier, local pipes producers raised their purchasing. Thus, imports of propylene copolymers reached 12,000 tonnes over the stated period, compared to 8,800 tonnes a year earlier.

PP exports from Kazakhstan increased along with imports. 18,600 tonnes of PP were shipped to foreign markets in January-November 2017, compared to 15,500 a year earlier.