Full Apex unit to invest SGD 4 billion in Saudi petrochemical project

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Full Apex (Holdings) has announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Pan-Asia PET Resin (Guangzhou) Co., is investing USD 3 billion (SGD 4 billion) to build a petrochemical and chemical fiber integrated project in the Jazan Economic City (JEC) in Saudi Arabia, as per GV.

Pan Asia is currently an investor and manufacturer of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) resin in China.

The group plans for the project to be constructed in three stages, starting from 2018.

The first stage will include the construction of a PET plant and a purified terephthalic acid (PTA) plant, with capacity of 500,000 t/y and 1.25 million t/y, respectively.

The project is located near a refinery complex currently being built by Saudi Aramco – the world’s largest oil company - which is expected to have a crude oil processing capacity of up to 20 million t/y. Paraxylene (PX) produced by Saudi Aramco’s refinery will be used to produce PTA and PET.

It adds that it is considering various ways to finance the project, including loans from Saudi Industrial Development Fund, and capital funds from strategic partners.

KraussMaffeis Bourdon becomes a member of the Plastics Hall of Fame

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Dr Karlheinz Bourdon, senior vice president integration at KraussMaffei Group, is to be included in the Plastics Hall of Fame, at the University of Massachusetts in Lowell, the US, as per Plasticsnewseurope.

The decoration honours people who have made a significant contribution to the development and growth of the plastics industry.

According to the Plastics Academy, during his long-term activity in the plastics industry, Bourdon has in past years made a decisive contribution to the advancement of injection moulding machinery.

A mechanical engineer, Bourdon started working at KraussMaffei in 1990 as head of system technology. This is where he set the first technological milestones in the field of automated mould changing and robot demoulding systems.

He then moved to Ferromatik Milacron as president global plastics machinery before rejoining KraussMaffei as managing director and CEO Injection Molding Machinery in 2008.

He became vice president technologies in the Injection Molding Machinery segment in 2012.

Air Liquide Foundation Awards recognize scientific research and the commitment of Group employees

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The Air Liquide Foundation Awards honor the most innovative organizations among those supported by the Foundatio, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

For this second edition, two scientific organizations were singled out in the Research category for their projects promoting the Environment and Health.

New this year, the 2018 Awards for Societal Commitment honor the engagement of Group employees working alongside associations on citizenship projects supported by the Foundation. In all, six employees and six organizations received awards. The Group's employees also awarded a special "Coup de Coeur" prize to a project supported by Air Liquide employees, presented by Benoit Potier, the Chairman and CEO of Air Liquide, during a special ceremony held in Paris on February 5, 2018.

Since it was founded in 2008, the Air Liquide Foundation has been supporting research in the areas of the Environment and Health, as well as contributing to local development in countries where the Group does business. Since its inception, the Foundation has supported 284 projects in 50 countries thanks to the involvement of 345 employee sponsors who recommend and support these projects.

The 2018 Awards for Research, which were handed out in the Health category by Diana Schillag, European Healthcare Operations Vice President at Air Liquide, and in the Environment category by Francois Darchis, Innovation and Development Vice President at Air Liquide, supervising the Sustainable Development program, honored: The Universite Paris Descartes in collaboration with Institut Cochin for their research into the lung damage associated with a rare disease, systemic scleroderma1.

The Institut de Recherche pour le Developpement (IRD) of Paris for its research on the capacity of the Vietnam mangrove to capture CO2.

European PVC increased in price for CIS markets in February

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Negotiations on prices of European polyvinyl chloride (PVC) for February shipments to the CIS countries started last week. With the rise in the cost of ethylene, European producers have gone to increase export prices this month, according to the ICIS-MRC Price Report.

The February contract price of ethylene was agreed up by EUR20/tonne from January, which presupposes a EUR10/tonne increase in PVC production costs. Taking this into account European producers announced an increase in export prices for supplies to CIS markets by EUR10-20/tonne.

Demand for PVC from main consumers is still quite low due to the seasonal factor, while European producers do not activate their sales in this direction. Producers' stocks were not so critical, and some producers, on the contrary, limit their sales to form additional stocks of PVC for the high season.

Negotiations on February deliveries of suspension polyvinyl chloride (SPVC) for the CIS markets were done in the range of EUR725-800/tonne FCA, while the January deals were done in the range of EUR715-780/tonne FCA.
Some producers announced their price offers for February deliveries at the level of EUR860-880/tonne FCA, but no deals have been reported about such deals.

Preparing for the Disruptions that Lie Ahead - Shell Global Solutions

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Over the last four decades, refiners have had to adjust to a relentless stream of changes in product demand patterns and ever-more-stringent environmental regulations, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Making the adjustment takes time and requires a good assessment of the potential future scenarios. We had the unleaded gasoline mandate, followed by the introduction of oxygenates to gasoline. Next, came the trend for ultra-low levels of sulphur in diesel. Then, over the last 10 years or so, the momentum in dieselisation, changing crude slate and the need for tighter integration with petrochemicals have given refiners even more new things to think about.

Each time, refiners have displayed remarkable flexibility in reconfiguring their facilities and operating strategies. And now, further challenges lie ahead. Two in particular will have a profound impact on refiners.

First, we have the International Maritime Organization’s (IMO) MARPOL 73/78 Annex VI (IMO 2020) on the horizon, which will cut the allowable sulphur content of marine bunker fuel from 3.5 to 0.5%. Achieving full residue conversion is likely to be extraordinarily capital intensive and might not be necessary anyway, but cost-effectively reducing fuel oil exposure is almost certainly a good idea, as it has a clear link with competitiveness.

Secondly, a global energy transition is under way. One element of this is that we are starting to see battery electric vehicles gaining consumer acceptance. Worldwide, about 50% of refinery output is directed towards road transportation fuels, so any substantial moves towards electrification have significant potential to reduce demand for diesel and gasoline.

Disruption N1 - IMO 2020: Although clean air concerns have driven the IMO 2020 legislation, it is not necessarily a compliance issue for refiners.

After 2020, ships that are not fitted with scrubbers will not be able to use high-sulfur fuel oil. However, that does not mean that refiners will not be able find outlets for it, especially as about 50% of the current high-sulfur fuel oil market is not marine fuel so will not be affected by the IMO regulations. In addition, there will be a limited number of ships fitted with scrubbers that can process it. Alternatively, other refiners that have spare residue conversion capacity may take it – but at a price.