BASF opens lab facilities in Melbourne for Its dispersions and resins business

MOSCOW (MRC) -- BASF has opened a new lab and technical development center for its dispersions and resins business in Australia and New Zealand at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, as per GV.

The new state-of-the-art lab, located at the university's Clayton campus. will have access to the university's extensive facilities and expertise in green chemistry and engineering.

The facilities comprise two labs, office and storage facilities and will be supported by three permanent chemist positions at the site.

As MRC reported earlier, in December 2017, BASF’s Coatings division inaugurated a new automotive coatings plant at its Bangpoo manufacturing site, Samutprakarn province, Thailand. The new plant is the first BASF automotive coatings manufacturing facility in ASEAN, and will produce solventborne and waterborne automotive coatings to meet growing market demand in the region.

Stepan completes acquisition of a surfactant production facility from BASF in Mexico

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Stepan Company reported that, through a subsidiary in Mexico, it has closed on the previously announced agreement with BASF Mexicana, S.A. DE C.V. to acquire the surfactant production facility in Ecatepec, Mexico, and a portion of the associated surfactants business, as per GV.

The facility has over 50,000 t/y of capacity, 124,000 square feet (11,520 m2) of warehouse space, a large laboratory and office space.

"We welcome the Ecatepec employees that have transferred as part of the transaction to the Stepan team," said F. Quinn Stepan Jr., Chairman, President and CEO of Stepan Company. “This acquisition supports the company's growth strategy in Latin America. We believe this acquisition significantly enhances Stepan's market position and supply capabilities for surfactants in Mexico and positions us to grow in both the Consumer and Functional markets for surfactants. The acquisition is expected to be slightly accretive to earnings during the remainder of 2018.

As MRC wrote previously, within the next five years, BASF SE (Ludwigshafen, Germany) plans to invest globally more than EUR200 million in its plastic additives business, approximately half of which in Asia, focusing on capacity expansions and operational excellence.

BASF is the largest diversified chemical company in the world and is headquartered in Ludwigshafen, Germany. BASF produces a wide range of chemicals, for example solvents, amines, resins, glues, electronic-grade chemicals, industrial gases, basic petrochemicals and inorganic chemicals. The most important customers for this segment are the pharmaceutical, construction, textile and automotive industries.

Stepan with headquarters in Northfield, IL, USA, is a manufacturer of speciality and intermediate chemicals used in a broad range of industries. The company is also a producer of surfactants, which are key ingredients in consumer and industrial cleaning compounds. Furthermore, the company is a supplier of polyurethane polyols used in the expanding thermal insulation market and CASE (coatings, adhesives, sealants, and elastomers) industries.

Sinopec Shanghai brought on-stream No. 2 LDPE unit in China

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Sinopec Shanghai Petrochemical has restarted its No. 2 low density polyethylene (LDPE) unit in Shanghai, as per Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in China informed that the company has resumed opertions at the unit on May 14, 2018 following a turnaround. The unit was under maintenance around one week.

Located at Shanghai in China, the No.2 LDPE unit has a production capacity of 45,000 mt/year.

As MRC reported earlier, on 26 March, 2018, Sinopec Shanghai Petrochemical restarted its No.3 LDPE unit in Shanghai following a turnaround. The unit was shut for maintenance on 26 February, 2018. Located at Shanghai in China, the LDPE unit has a production capacity of 100,000 mt/year.

China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation, or Sinopec Limited is a Chinese oil and gas company based in Beijing, China. It is listed in Hong Kong and also trades in Shanghai and New York . Sinopec is the worlds fifth biggest company by revenue.

South Korea to impose anti-dumping duties on PET film imports

MOSCOW (MRC) -- South Korea's finance ministry said it has decided to levy anti-dumping duties on polyethylene terephthalate (PET) film imported from Taiwan, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates for the next three years, reported GV.

In January, the country's trade commission recommended the government levy stiff duties on the product, citing substantial damage to the local industry.

Starting 30 April 2018, duties ranging from 3.67 % to 60.95 % were slapped on synthetic resin imported from the three countries for the next three years. Since November last year, the finance ministry has been imposing duties of 3.92 % to 51.86 % on the imported PET film.

The foreign manufacturers have argued that Korean PET film has lost price competitiveness and the high tariff on foreign goods will only burden domestic consumers. The local market for the chemical compound was estimated at KRW 1 trillion (USD 927 million) last year, with products imported from the countries accounting for 10%, according to Seoul's trade ministry.

Conoco has seized Venezuela PDVSA products from Isla refinery -Curacao

MOSCOW (MRC) -- U.S. oil major ConocoPhillips has seized products belonging to Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA from the Isla refinery it runs on Curacao, an island official told Reuters.

Conoco has won court orders allowing it to seize PDVSA assets on Caribbean islands, including Curacao, in efforts to collect on a USD2 billion arbitral award linked to the 2007 nationalization of Conoco assets under late leader Hugo Chavez.

"PDVSA products from the installations of the Isla refinery have been confiscated. We don’t have any way to get them," said Steven Martina, Curacao’s minister for economic development, who did not provide the amount or value of the seized products.

Conoco and PDVSA did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Martina added that Curacao was planning to meet with PDVSA and Conoco this week to discuss the dispute that has led Conoco to seize Venezuelan assets in the Caribbean, wreaking havoc on PDVSA’s export chain.

The dispute has also caused worry on Curacao, a constituent country within the kingdom of the Netherlands with a vibrant tourism industry and deep-water ports used by the oil industry. The island is heavily dependent on the refinery, which provides as much as 10 percent of Curacao’s gross domestic product and is a big source of employment on the island just off Venezuela.

"There is no need to be alarmed, fuel and services are guaranteed," Curacao's Prime Minister Eugene Rhuggenaath said in a news conference on Sunday. He added that lawyers are also contacting Conoco to "reach a deal and negotiate."

PDVSA is preparing to shut a Caribbean refinery that is running out of crude amid threats by Conoco to seize cargoes sent to resupply the facility, two sources with knowledge of the situation told Reuters on Friday.

But Martina said the 335,000 barrel-per-day Isla refinery was still operating, albeit at low levels, thanks to Curacao's reserves.