Lotte Chemical to invest USD47.1 million to ramp up PIA production

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Lotte Chemical Corp. will invest KRW 50 billion (USD 47.1 million) to add production facilities for high value-added purified isophthalic acid (PIA), a move that is expected to nearly double the PIA output of the Korean company to cement its world’s top rank in the field, as per GV.

Lotte Chemical said on Monday (15 Jan 2018) its board approved the KRW 50 billion investment plan to ramp up its production facilities for PIA in Ulsan, South Gyeongsang Province.

PIA is the raw material of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles and unsaturated resins. Only seven makers across the world can currently produce it, and the Korean producer has dominated the global market since 2014.

Following the addition, Lotte Chemical’s PIA production capacity is expected to jump from 460,000 t/y to 840,000 t/y. The added facilities will also house facilities that can manufacture purified terephthalic acid, a company official said, adding that an increase in output of the two high-value added products would help the company improve profitability and price competitiveness. The company aims to complete its construction by the second half of next year.

As MRC wrote before, in May 2016, Lotte Chemical Corp. has finalized the takeover of Samsung Group’s chemical units.The company said that it paid for money to acquire Samsung SDI Chemical on Apr. 29 and completed the acquisition of Samsung Group’s chemical businesses in about six months after the announcement of "Big Deal" in October 2015. Samsung Fine Chemicals, which was completely taken over by Lotte in Feb., changed its name to Lotte Fine Chemical, while SDI Chemical, which completed the acquisition process on the 29th, changed its name to Lotte Advanced Materials through the general meeting of stockholders.

Established in 1976, Lotte Chemical has been solidifyng its position by localizing cutting-edge petrochemical technologies. Among the high-quality products produced by Lotte Chemical through its efficient processes are ethylene, HDPE, LDPE, LLDPE, PP, functional resin, EG, SM, PIA, PET, etc. Lotte Chemical’s products are being distributed to 152 countries around the world. With the acquisition of Pakistan’s PTA in 2009, Artenius in the UK in 2010 and Titan Chemical Corp., Lotte Chemical is now able to efficiently supply excellent products to an increasing number of countries. The company is further accelerating its efforts to strengthen its global competitiveness by establishing overseas branches in Hong Kong, Russia, and USA, along with the sales corporation in China for active sales activities both in domestic and abroad.

SIBUR appoints Karisalov as CEO

MOSCOW (MRC) -- SIBUR has updated its Articles of Association and now has two single-member executive bodies, namely Chairman of the Management Board of SIBUR Holding and CEO of SIBUR. This decision results from the previously initiated processes seeking to separate strategic management from operational to further enhance management efficiency, as per company's press-release.

The Chairman of the Management Board of SIBUR Holding is in charge of overall management of SIBUR Holding and overseeing its strategic processes. The CEO of SIBUR is responsible for the Company's ongoing development and is the chair of the Management Board of SIBUR. This management system is designed to facilitate SIBUR’s development strategy implementation in the most balanced way.

Dmitry Konov remains the Chairman of the Management Board of SIBUR Holding. Mikhail Karisalov, previously Chief Operating Officer of SIBUR, was appointed as the Company’s CEO and Chairman of the Management Board.

Mikhail Karisalov was born on 11 June 1973 in Leningrad. He graduated from the Russian Presidential Academy of Civil Service (currently, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration); also from Tyumen State Oil and Gas University. Since 2003, Mr Karisalov held various positions in SIBUR such as Advisor to President, Procurement Director, Head of Logistics and Capital Construction, CEO of SiburTyumenGaz (SIBUR Group).

2006–2011: Vice-President – Head of Hydrocarbon Feedstock Department of SIBUR.

Since June 2007: Member of the Management Board of SIBUR Holding.

Since November 2009: Member of the Management Board of SIBUR. 2009–2012: concurrently CEO of Tobolsk-Polymer (SIBUR Group).

Since January 2012: Deputy Chairman of the Management Board – Executive Director of SIBUR, the management company of SIBUR Holding.

Since 2016: Chief Operating Officer of SIBUR.

The price rise of Russian SPVC continues in February

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Negotiations over February shipments of suspension polyvinyl chloride (SPVC) began in Russia between producers and converters last week. All producers announced a Rb1,000-2,000/tonne price reduction from January, according to ICIS-MRC Price report.

The growth of prices for suspension PVC in the Russian market began in January, and local producers also announced price increases for February deliveries. A serious increase in exports in December - January helped Russian producers to balance the domestic market in a low season.

PVC prices began grow dynamically In foreign markets in December, which affected the Russian market recently.
At the same time, the current appreciation of the rouble against the dollar does not save the situation for converters. Deals for February deliveries were discussed at Rb1,000-2,000/tonnes higher than the level in January.

PVC prices began to rise in Asia in December, and the upward trend continued in January. PVC prices from Chinese producers, the main importers of PVC in Russia, exceeded USD900/tonne, DAP Moscow in the end of January. That even in the current strengthening of the rouble against the dollar does not make the prices of Chinese PVC comparable to the price of Russian producers.

Demand for PVC from Russian consumers has traditionally been very low in January-February due to the seasonal factor, but this year producers have been more prepared for this scenario, having significantly increased exports (PVC exports in December exceeded 21,000 tonnes). Some producers increased PVC prices in January by Rb1,000/tonnes.

Many converters complained that, if they accept the price rise in February, they will have to raise prices for finished products, while demand for finished products leaves much to be desired. But they realised that there is no alternative to the Russian PVC, even taking into account the increase in prices.

Some producers do not rule out further growth in PVC prices in March, including due to the situation in the PVC market in Asia.

Overall, deals for January shipments were done in the range of Rb63,500-65,000/tonne CPT Moscow, including VAT, for K=65/67 and for volumes up to 500 tonnes. Negotiations over prices for resin with K70 started from Rb63,500/tonne CPT Moscow, including VAT, and higher. Prices for PVC with K58 were on average up by Rb1,000/tonnes than PVC with K70.

IOC claims 'tech breakthrough' in Octomax unit of Mathura refinery

MOSCOW (MRC) -- State-owned Indian Oil Corp (IOC) today said it has made a technological breakthrough in commissioning a Octomax unit at its Mathura refinery that will help manufacture Euro-VI fuel emission compliant petrol, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

"The breakthrough technology developed by IOC's R&D Centre converts C-4 streams from Catalytic Cracker and/or Naphtha Cracker units to high-octane gasoline (petrol) blending stream, thereby enabling compliance with stringent fuel quality norms," a company statement said.

The Octamax Unit has been completed ahead of the targeted schedule and without any cost overrun, IOC said.

"The blending octane number of the sample drawn from the newly commissioned unit was seen to be 118, higher than the guaranteed 108, while meeting all other defined product properties," it said.

IOC said Octamax truly is a 'Make in India' venture where all activities, from concept to development of the technology, preparation of basic design engineering package, erection and commissioning of the unit, have been accomplished through indigenous efforts.

European consortium with Shell and ITM Power to build hydrogen electrolysis plant at Rhineland Refinery

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Shell and ITM Power will build the world’s largest hydrogen electrolysis plant at Rhineland refinery, Germany, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

With a peak capacity of 10 megawatts the hydrogen will be used for the processing and upgrading of products at the refinery’s Wesseling site as well as testing the technology and exploring application in other sectors.

The European partner consortium of Shell, ITM Power, SINTEF, thinkstep and Element Energy has now secured 10 million euros in funding from the European "Fuel Cell Hydrogen Joint Undertaking". The project’s total investment, including integration into the refinery, is approximately 20 million euros. Detailed technical planning and the approval process will now begin. The plant, named "Refhyne" is scheduled to be in operation in 2020 and will be the first industrial scale test of the polymer electrolyte membrane technology process.

"This new unit at Rhineland enables hydrogen to be made from electricity rather than natural gas. A unit of this kind brings a flexibility that can help the stability of the power grid, thereby facilitating more use of renewable electricity", explains Lori Ryerkerk, Executive Vice President of Shell Manufacturing. "In addition, if powered by renewable electricity, the green hydrogen will help reduce the carbon intensity of the site - a key goal for us".

Currently the Rheinland refinery, Germany’s largest, requires approximately 180,000 tons of hydrogen annually, which is produced by steam reforming from natural gas. The new facility will be able to produce an additional 1,300 tonnes of hydrogen per year, which can be fully integrated into the refinery processes, such as for the desulphurisation of conventional fuels.

Shell Rheinland Refinery General Manager Thomas Zengerly highlights: "We are pleased to be working collaboratively with the European Union and to assist in developing Europe’s future energy system by testing this technology at the Wesseling site. If successful there is potential for this technology to be expanded at our refinery." Hydrogen has the potential to play an important role in the energy transition. Today, hydrogen is already being used in transport by fuel cell vehicles, as well as in industrial applications. When used in transport, hydrogen can help improve local air quality, as the only emissions of fuel cell vehicles is water vapor. When the hydrogen is produced from renewable sources, it can help improve CO2 emissions from the transport sector. Shell is taking part in several initiatives to build up a hydrogen refueling network for transport in a number of markets, including Germany.

As MRC informed earlier, in December 2017, CB&I announced it had been awarded a contract for more than USD95 MM by Saudi Aramco Shell Refinery (SASREF). The scope of work includes the engineering, procurement and construction management for SASREF's modernization and expansion of its existing refinery in Al-Jubail city, Saudi Arabia.

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.