Celanese raises June prices of emulsion polymers in the Americas

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Celanese Corporation, a global specialty materials company, will increase list and off-list selling prices for Vinyl Acetate Ethylene (EVA) emulsions and copolymers of Vinyl Acetate Monomer (VAM) and EVA for the USA, Canada and the countries of South America, as per the company's press release.

The price increases below will be effective for orders shipped on or after June 1, 2018, or as contracts otherwise allow.

- EVA - by 5%;
- VAM Homopolymers (PVAC) - by 5%;
- VAM Copolymers - by 5%;
- Pure Acrylics - by 5%;
- Styrene Acrylics - by 5%.

As MRC informed previously, the company also raises June list and off-list selling prices for VAM sold in Europe, Middle East, Africa and the Americas, as stated below:

- by EUR150/mt - for Europe, Middle East & Africa;
- by USD0.05/lb - for the USA and Canada:
- by USD150/mt - for Mexico & South America.

Celanese Corporation is a global technology leader in the production of differentiated chemistry solutions and specialty materials used in most major industries and consumer applications. Based in Dallas, Celanese employs approximately 7,600 employees worldwide and had 2017 net sales of USD6.1 billion.

PPG COMEX completes USD1.8 mln investment in Mexico distribution center

MOSCOW (MRC) -- PPG COMEX has announced that it has completed a USD1.8 million investment at a new distribution center in Chihuahua, Mexico, as per TaiwanNews.

The 49,000 square foot (4,600 square meter) facility located in the northern part of Mexico will be utilized for more than 15,000 unique paint and coatings products. It is the brand’s seventh distribution center in the country.

Located in the Chihuahua Industrial Complex, the center serves more than 125 PPG Comex stores located in the cities of Bocoyna, Camargo, Chihuahua, Cuauhtemoc, Delicias, Guerrero, Hidalgo del Parral, Jimenez, Juarez, Madera, Meoqui, Ojinaga and Santa Isabel. Its central location reduces transportation time to the stores by up to 85 percent, helping PPG Comex meet its promise to fulfill orders from each of its nearly 4,500 stores in Mexico within 24 hours.

"Chihuahua, which is the fifth largest economy in the country, has maintained double-digit growth over the past three years and represents a strategic opportunity for PPG," said Henrik Bergstrom, president, PPG Comex. "With this new center, we have consolidated our distribution strategy to move 1.3 million gallons of paint daily within Mexico so we can better serve our customers."

Bergstrom indicated that PPG Comex will continue to strengthen its position as one of the largest retailers in Mexico, facilitating the renovation of 160,000 homes each day. Joining PPG Comex leaders at the center’s inauguration were representatives from the Chihuahua state government.

"We provide the latest paint and coatings technologies to protect and beautify, and we offer the highest level of professional and technical support to ensure our customers are fully satisfied," Bergstrom said.

PPG Comex employs approximately 4,500 people in Mexico at its company-owned stores, six manufacturing facilities, four training centers and three research centers. It is a leader in the manufacture, marketing and distribution of decorative paints, waterproofing products, wood care products, industrial coatings and accessories. The brand is celebrating its 65 th anniversary in 2018.

As MRC wrote previously, in November 2016, PPG announced that it had reached an agreement with the Emerging Europe Accession Fund (EEAF) to acquire DEUTEK S.A., a leading Romanian paint and architectural coatings manufacturer.

PPG Industries, Inc. (PPG) is a global supplier of protective and decorative coatings. Performance Coatings, Industrial Coatings and Architectural Coatings- EMEA segments supply protective and decorative finishes for customers in a range of end use markets, including industrial equipment, appliances and packaging; factory-finished aluminum extrusions and steel and aluminum. Founded in 1883, PPG has global headquarters in Pittsburgh and operates in nearly 70 countries around the world.

Brazil oil worker strike gains steam in another blow to government

MOSCOW (MRC) -- A 72-hour strike by Brazilian oil workers halted refineries and rigs on Wednesday, union leaders said, a new blow to President Michel Temer on the heels of a trucker protest that has strangled Latin America’s largest economy for over a week, reported Reuters.

The strike by workers demanding changes at state-led oil firm Petroleo Brasileiro SA is the latest challenge for the company known as Petrobras, whose shares have tumbled nearly 30 percent in two weeks over fears that political interference would unwind recent investor-focused policies.

The economic and political storm has shaken the lame duck Temer government ahead of October elections and rattled nerves about the path forward for Petrobras, Latin America’s biggest oil producer.

It has also raised the spectre of protests spreading to more sectors as Brazilians vent frustration with the unpopular government and an uneven economic recovery.

With truckers protesting over high diesel prices, government sources told Reuters on Tuesday that Temer had been considering scrapping a market-based fuel pricing policy at Petrobras. But by Wednesday morning the president’s office issued a statement saying he would preserve the policy.

Petrobras said before the strike that the disruptions would not have an immediate major impact on its output or overall operations. Brazil produces about 2.1 million barrels of oil per day.

According to a source close to the company, Petrobras has a significant stock of fuel on hand, especially as the 10-day trucker protest prevented significant amounts of fuel from leaving refineries.

The truckers’ roadblocks and resulting fuel shortages have halted major industries and hammered exports of everything from beef and soybeans to coffee and cars.

Steelmaker Cia Siderurgica Nacional SA, Brazil’s second-largest iron ore exporter, declared force majeure for its mining products due to disrupted supplies of diesel, explosives and food to it mines.

The 10-day trucker protest left major cities running short on food, gasoline and medical supplies, and officials warned it would take days to restore supply lines.

FUP union said workers did not show up to work on Wednesday at 10 refineries stretching from Manaus in the Amazon to Rio de Janeiro in the southeast. They also walked off the job at plants handling lubricants, nitrogen and shale gas, as well as in the ports of Suape and Paranagua.

The oil strike was declared illegal by Brazil’s top labour court late Tuesday, after Petrobras argued it was about politics rather than labour issues. FUP leader Jose Maria Rangel said by phone that the union "will not be intimidated" by judicial decisions, and called the three-day strike a "warning."

Unions representing oil workers said they were demanding the resignation of Petrobras’ chief executive, Pedro Parente. They also want the end of the market-based fuel pricing policy and other changes made at Petrobras since Temer took power in 2016.

Petrobras said on Wednesday that board member Jose Alberto de Paula Torres Lima had resigned, citing "personal reasons." He was one of three board members recruited by an outside agency and added to the board in April in an effort to establish its independence.

Petrobras did not respond to questions about his departure.

Pucheng Clean Energy brought on-stream PP plant in China

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Pucheng Clean Energy has restarted its polypropylene (PP) plant following an unplanned shutdown, as per Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in China informed that the company has resumed operations at the plant on May 28, 2018. The plant remaind off-line for around one week owing to technical issues.

Located at Shaanxi province in China, the plant has a PP production capacity of 400,000 mt/year.

As MRC informed previously, in mid-October 2017, the company shut down its PP plant for a one-month turnaround.

Besides, earlier, in mid-May 2017, Sinopec Yangzi Petrochemical took off-stream its PP plant in China for a maintenance turnaround. The duration of the planned shutdown could not be ascertained. Located in Jiangsu province, China, the plant comprising three units have a production capacity of 200,000 mt/year, 100,000 mt/year and 100,000 mt/year.

Enterprise and Navigator begin construction of ethylene export terminal

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Enterprise Products Partners L.P. and Navigator Holdings Ltd. have announced that construction is now underway on a 50/50 joint venture ethylene export terminal which will be located at Enterprise's Morgan's Point, Texas facility on the Houston Ship Channel, according to Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The terminal will have the capacity to export approximately 2.2 billion pounds of ethylene per year.

Refrigerated storage for 66 million pounds of ethylene is being constructed on-site and will provide the capability to load ethylene at rates of 2.2 million pounds per hour. Commercial operations are expected to begin in the fourth quarter of 2019, one quarter earlier than previously projected.

By providing access to international markets, the new export terminal will facilitate the continued growth of domestic ethylene production, which is expected to reach 90 billion pounds per year by 2021. In addition, the terminal being constructed by Enterprise and Navigator will promote supply diversification for expanding markets like Asia, which rely on cost-advantaged U.S. feedstocks.

The high-capacity ethylene salt dome storage facility Enterprise is developing at its complex in Mont Belvieu, Texas is scheduled to begin service in the second quarter of 2019. Upon completion, this storage facility will have a capacity of approximately 600 million pounds with an injection/withdrawal rate of 420,000 pounds per hour and will be designed to enable connections to the eight ethylene pipelines within a half-mile of the Enterprise ethylene storage system. In addition, Enterprise is building a new ethylene pipeline from Mont Belvieu to Bayport, Texas, which is on schedule to begin service in 2020. The section from Mont Belvieu to Morgan's Point is scheduled to be in service in 2019 to support the export terminal.

As MRC wrote earlier, in 2015, Enterprise Products Partners L.P. announced a series of projects to convert and expand segments of its petrochemicals pipeline network designed to increase throughput capacity for polymer grade propylene (PGP) and enhance system flexibility and reliability.