Borealis and UCC sign agreement for PE and PP project in Kazakhstan

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Borealis and United Chemical Company LLP (UCC) have signed a Joint Development Agreement (JDA) for the development of a world-scale polyethylene project, integrated with an ethane cracker, in the Republic of Kazakhstan, as per company's press release.

Simultaneously, a government support agreement was signed between the two companies and Samruk-Kazyna Chief Executive Akhmetzhan Yessimov as well as the government of the Republic of Kazakhstan, represented by the Minister of Energy, Mr. Kanat Bozumbayev. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was also signed to cooperate on a 500 ktpa polypropylene project that is currently being implemented by Samruk-Kazyna Sovereign Wealth Fund and is under construction. The agreements were ceremoniously signed in Abu Dhabi on 24 March 2018 by the Ministers of Energy of Kazakhstan and of the UAE, in the presence of the President of Kazakhstan, H.E. Nursultan Nazarbayev and the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, H.H. Mohammed bin Zayed bin Sultan Al-Nahyan.

The companies, represented by Mark Garrett, Borealis Chief Executive and by Zhenis Osserbay, UCC Chief Executive, then also signed the agreements.

The signing of the JDA comes after the successful conclusion of a pre-feasibility study. The project will now move into the feasibility study phase, which is expected to run until Q1 2019. After the successful completion of the feasibility study confirming the attractive project parameters, a local JV with UCC will be set up.

The scope of the JDA will include the construction of an ethane cracker and 2 Borstar® PE units, with a total capacity of 1.250 ktpa and with a pre-investment in the cracker for future expansion. The final investment decision on the project is expected to be taken in 2020 and start-up would be scheduled for 2025.

Through this strategic partnership, Borealis and UCC are exploring the opportunities of jointly developing the Kazakhstan polyolefin industry.

“The project is well aligned with the country’s strategy to develop its petrochemical industry and would serve as a strong basis for establishing Kazakhstan on the global polyolefin market,” said Samruk-Kazyna Chief Executive Akhmetzhan Yessimov.

“This project would significantly strengthen Borealis’ position in the CIS markets; adjacent to our home market, with growth rates above WE and significant potential for development of advanced PE business based on our Borstar technology,” said Borealis Chief Executive Mark Garrett.

“A polyethylene plant of this scale would be a significant step forward in creating long term, sustainable value for Kazakhstan from its petrochemical industry,” said Zhenis Osserbay, UCC Chief Executive. “We look forward to continuing our work with Borealis in developing this opportunity.”


PE imports into Russia increased by 3% in January-February

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Overall imports of polyethylene (PE) into the Russian market increased in the first two months of 2018 by 3% year on year to 78,400 tonnes. Imports of high density polyethylene (HDPE) and ethylene-vinyl-acetate (EVA) grew significantly, according to MRC's DataScope Report.

February PE imports into the Russian market increased to 40,400 tonnes from 38,000 tonnes a month earlier, local companies increased their purchases of linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) and EVA. Overall PE imports into the country increased to 78,400 tonnes over the stated period versus 75,800 tonnes a year earlier. The HDPE and EVA segments accounted for the increase in imports, whereas LLDPE grades accounted for the decrease in import shipments.

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

Last month's HDPE imports rose to 17,500 tonnes from 17,200 tons in January, local companies slightly increased their HDPE purchasing in Uzbekistan. Overall HDPE imports reached 34,700 tonnes in the first two months of 2018 versus 24,700 tonnes a year earlier; the volumes of polyethylene deliveries from Uzbekistan and Finland have significantly increased.

February LLDPE imports into Russia increased to about 10,600 tonnes against 7,900 tonnes a month earlier, local converters increased their purchases of film PE. Imports of LLDPE into Russia in January-February 2018 amounted to about 18,500 tonnes against 27,200 tonnes a year earlier, an increase in production volumes from Nizhnekamskneftekhim was the main reason for reducing dependence on external supplies.
February LDPE imports into Russia remained practically steady from the January's levels, totalling about 7,200 tonnes. Overall LDPE output totalled 14,400 tonnes over the stated period, compared to 13,000 tonnes a year earlier.

February imports of EVA were about 4,500 tonnes against 2,700 tonnes in January; demand for EVA for compounds grew. Imports of this ethylene copolymer grade grew by 32% over the stated period to 7,200 tonnes.

A high level of imports of EVA will remain in March-April due to the forced shutdown of Kazanorgsintez capacities. Imports of other propylene polymers for the reported period increased to about 6,600 tonnes compared with 5,500 tonnes in the same time a year earlier.


SABIC previews breakthrough mass production technology for thermoplastic composite laminates

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Thermoplastic composites are prized for their light weight and exceptional strength. However, mainstream adoption has lagged due to shortcomings in existing production processes, which are slow, costly, and labor- and waste-intensive. To drive broader use of these advanced materials across multiple industries, SABIC, a global leader in the chemical industry, has invested in the composites industry’s first automated, digital system for the large-scale manufacturing of laminates made with its continuous fiber reinforced thermoplastic composite (CFRTC) tapes, as per the company's press release.

Exhibiting at JEC World 2018 in stand L84, hall 5, SABIC is previewing the Digital Composites Manufacturing system, an automated and digitized production line developed with Airborne and powered by Siemens. The new line, slated to go live in early 2019, will aim to offer customization capabilities - using sophisticated technologies and processes that can drive down cycle times and system costs. Click here to learn more: video Digital Composites Manufacturing system.

At JEC World SABIC, Airborne and Siemens are presenting the Digital Composites Manufacturing line together at the Siemens stand G51, in Hall 6, on Tuesday, March 6 at 2 p.m., Wednesday, March 7 at 10 a.m. and Thursday, March 8, at 10 a.m.

“Rapid mass production of high-quality, fully customized thermoplastic composite parts at an affordable cost will soon be a reality,” said Gino Francato, global business leader, Composites, SABIC. “The upcoming launch of our Digital Composites Manufacturing line - the composites industry’s first large-scale production solution - is a major step toward that goal.”

Arno van Mourik, chief executive officer of Airborne, added: "With Airborne’s ingenuity and more than 20 years of experience in composites manufacturing processes, we are developing this line using Industry 4.0 automation and data exchange principles. This will enable SABIC’s customers to develop, prototype and produce unique, differentiated products that leverage the strength and light weight of SABIC’s continuous fiber reinforced thermoplastic composites."

The Digital Composites Manufacturing line will be supported by predictive engineering capabilities at SABIC’s Center of Excellence in The Netherlands. Predictive engineering for UDMAX tapes is based on computer-aided engineering (CAE) software that uses material data and material modeling (such as elastic properties and damage initiation/rupture behavior) to create simulations of how the composite material will perform in an application during its use, taking into account the influence of manufacturing processes.

The Digital Composites Manufacturing line will premiere its first-generation technology to meet immediate needs in the consumer electronics industry.

The Digital Composites Manufacturing line will be able to mass-produce lightweight, high modulus and low warpage, custom-engineered laminates as per thickness, dimensions, lay-up preferences and desired performance. Made with carbon-fiber reinforced polycarbonate composite, these SABIC laminates will be used for laptop covers.

As MRC informed before, in October 2016, Sabic announced that it had developed next generation low density polyethylene (LDPE) foram grades. The first product of a new generation of LDPE foam grades from SABIC was designed to increase production efficiency at the foam manufacturer.

Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic) ranks among the worldпїЅs top petrochemical companies. The company is among the worldпїЅs market leaders in the production of polyethylene, polypropylene and other advanced thermoplastics, glycols, methanol and fertilizers.

Kuwait Petroleum Corporation selects Jacobs for expansion in local refining capacity pre-feasibility study

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. has been awarded a contract for a pre-feasibility study, with the option of proceeding to a detailed feasibility study, for Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) and its subsidiaries, as per MorningStar.

The studies are in support of KPC's strategic directions and downstream long term plans for the period up to 2040.

Jacobs will evaluate how domestic refining capacity can be best expanded, in a cost-effective way, while providing advantaged feedstocks for integrated petrochemical production. The studies will cover evaluation and optimization of alternative process configurations using an integrated Linear Program model, various technical studies, licensor evaluation, cost estimation, financial modeling and risk assessment and management, with a focus on increasing refining capacity and optimum petrochemical integration.

"As refiners across the industry look to the chemical market for profit growth, Jacobs leverages its proven, differentiated capabilities that have helped refiners explore options and define strategies for optimized refinery-petrochemical integration," said Jacobs Petroleum and Chemicals President Vinayak Pai. "This new award is an affirmation of our refining, petrochemicals and Oil-to-Chemicals (OTC) expertise and perfectly aligns with our strategy to expand services in the Middle East region."

With more than 40 years operating in the Middle East, Jacobs is planning to increase its presence in Kuwait, with an eye on long-term and continued involvement in the country's upstream, refining and petrochemical industries. Examples of the company's work in the region include BP Khazzan Oman Gas Field, Sinnovate Smart Technology Hub, Zuluf Gas/Oil Separation Plant FEED, King Abdulaziz Project for Riyadh Public Transport, Sadara Chemical Company, Prince Mohammed bin Abdulaziz International Airport, Ma'aden Wa'ad Al-Shamal Phosphate Company and numerous infrastructure projects with the Saudi Industrial Property Authority (MODON).

Jacobs leads the global professional services sector delivering solutions for a more connected, sustainable world. With USD15 billion in fiscal 2017 revenue when combined with full-year CH2M revenues and a talent force of more than 74,000, Jacobs provides a full spectrum of services including scientific, technical, professional and construction- and program-management for business, industrial, commercial, government and infrastructure sectors.

As MRC informed before, Kuwait Petroleum Corp expects to spend over USD500 billion as it boosts its crude oil production capacity to 4.75 MMbpd in 2040, the national oil firm said in early February, outlining ambitious growth plans for the next two decades.

Kuwait Petroleum Corp signs deal for long-term LNG supplies

MOSCOW (MRC) - Kuwait's oil minister said on Thursday that Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) had signed an agreement with an international firm for long-term supply of natural gas'>liquefied natural gas (LNG), state news agency KUNA reported, as per Reuters.

Bakheet al-Rashidi did not mention the name of the company, describing it as a leading player in the LNG sector. KUNA quoted him as saying the agreement would help KPC meet rising demand for power generation in the Gulf Arab state.