INEOS Oxide announces an expansion of Dipropylene Glycol (DPG) capacity

MOSCOW (MRC) -- INEOS Oxide announces that it is progressing plans to expand Dipropylene Glycol (DPG) capacity at its site in Koln Germany, as per the company's press release.

The company confirmed that it has started the Front End Engineering Design (FEED) and expects to complete the engineering studies during the course of 2018.

Currently construction of the plant is expected to start in 2019 with start-up planned for early 2020.

"This is an important project for INEOS’ propylene oxide and glycol business", said Santiago Ciruelos, Business Manager for Propylene Oxide/Propylene Gylcols. "We have seen significant increased demand for DPG from our customers and we are excited to find opportunities to support their growth."

Dipropylene glycol is used as a solvent and scent carrier in the fragrance and laundry industries, as well as a component of speciality plasticisers and unsaturated polyester resins. INEOS manufacture DPG today as part of its propylene oxide and glycol portfolio.

MOL Group enters into a partnership with INOVACAT

MOSCOW (MRC) – MOL Group entered into a strategic partnership with INOVACAT, a Dutch technology innovator in the refining and petrochemical industries, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The cooperation is expected to further upscale and commercializes INOVACAT’s breakthrough GASOLFINTM technology that converts naphtha into propylene, butylene and BTX (benzene, toluene, and xylene), while supporting MOL’s strategic objective to become a leading chemical company in Central Eastern Europe.

MOL Group will support the next stages of the development program of INOVACAT and will investigate different options for the implementation of GASOLFINTM in its production facilities. This patented technology delivers propylene yields up to 45% depending on the feedstock, can convert any light straight run naphtha including pentanes and is fully flexible on product output without a catalyst change-over. It is also at least 30% more energy efficient than comparable conventional processes, with CO2 emissions being at least 25% lower.

Through its cost-leading, drop-in technology INOVACAT enables any refiner or petrochemical company to fully integrate their operations for maximum profitability and flexibility, providing them with a competitive advantage in their markets.

"A main challenge of the MOL 2030 Strategy is to increase production of value-added products while reducing the production of fuels over the next 15 years. We are investigating technical solutions to develop our existing refining and petrochemical asset base, but we are also very interested in new technologies like INOVACAT’s GASOLFINTM, that can potentially significantly help us meet our goal." - said David Pullan, VP Group Downstream Technology & Development.

"We are looking forward to working in partnership with MOL to provide them with our very competitive GASOLFINTM technology. This will enable MOL to convert their lower-value naphtha into propylene, butylene and BTX in a flexible and capital-efficient way." - commented Niels van Buuren, CEO INOVACAT.

As MOL Group’s 2030 transformational strategy aims to diversify the company away from fossil-based motor fuels, it is continuously looking for new innovative technologies that increase the flexibility and strengthen its footprint in the petrochemicals business. By 2030, MOL plans to increase its non-fuel production in refining from the current 30% to 50% of total output, which will be done mostly through increasing feedstock transfer to chemicals. In order to reach its strategic goals, MOL plans to invest around USD 4.5 billion into its petrochemical segment by 2030, focusing mainly on the extension of the propylene value chain in the next five years.

Clariant inaugurates new additives production facilities in China

MOSCOW (MRC) --Clariant, a world leader in specialty chemicals, has announced the official opening of two new, fully-owned additives facilities at its site in Zhenjiang, China, said the producer in its press release.

This completes a multi-million CHF investment originally announced last year and puts Clariant’s Additives business in China on track to further expand its offering of customized, high-end solutions for the plastics, coatings & ink industries.

"This completed investment in the Zhenjiang Economic and Technological Development Zone marks another milestone in our commitment to expand capability and capacity in China, one of the most important strategic markets for Clariant. We are pursuing a dedicated strategy aimed at increasing and sharpening the focus on China. I am proud to see this being executed successfully and am excited about its benefits going forward", said Christian Kohlpaintner, member of Clariant's Executive Committee, at the opening ceremony.

The newly opened facilities are dedicated to the production of Ceridust micronized waxes and AddWorks synergistic additive solutions, both of which are used in various applications across the plastics, coatings and ink industries. Clariant ‘s Additives business is already a partner of choice for producers in these industries and the additional local production capacity will allow Clariant to provide more tailored solutions at shortened lead times. Such tailored solutions are a key component in continuing to expand Clariant’s China sales, as they fulfill the demand for environmentally compatible and safe products as outlined in China's 13th Five Year Plan and the industrial policy 'Made in China 2025', while allowing Clariant to differentiate itself in the market environment.

Stephan Lynen, Head of Clariant’s Business Unit Additives, told the audience: "We already have a strong focus on China, with our additives for plastics, coatings, and consumer industries". "With the new investment and our enhanced innovation capabilities, our focus on this market is being strengthened further. These two fully-owned production facilities complement the company’s long-standing regional network of commercial and technical support not only for China, but for the whole of Asia. We will continue to support the sustainable growth in this region."

As MRC reported earlier, in June 2016, Clariant inaugurated its new production plant for water-based pigment preparations in Mexico. The new plant located in Santa Clara doubles Clariant’s Mexico annual production capacity for water-based pigment preparations and enhances its ability to serve customers across North and Latin America.

Clariant AG is a Swiss chemical company and a world leader in the production of specialty chemicals for the textile, printing, mining and metallurgical industries. It is engaged in processing crude oil products in pigments, plastics and paints. Clariant India has local masterbatch production activities at Rania, Kalol and Nandesari (Gujarat) and Vashere (Maharashtra) sites in India.

PKN Orlen unveils expansion program

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Poland’s PKN Orlen has announced a petrochemical investment program amounting to approximately 8.3 billion zloty (USD2.3 billion), described as its largest on record, as per Chemanager-online.

The company said the investment would enable deeper integration of its refining and petrochemical segments and further diversity its revenue sources.

The projects will both add new capacity and expand existing output of products such as aromatic derivatives, olefins and phenol at its sites in Plock and Wloclawek by 2023. An undisclosed portion of the sum will also be invested in the company’s R&D center.

Once completed, the program could add as much as 1.5 billion zloty to its annual EBITDA, meaning that the investment would be returned in five to six years, Daniel Obajtek, CEO and president of PKN Orlen’s management board, said. The company also noted that the program would bring tangible benefits to the Polish economy by helping the country transition from a net importer of petrochemicals to a net exporter.

"The investment program will increase our petrochemical production capacity by approximately 30%. Importantly, the new products will be sold on the local market, improving Poland’s balance of trade in petrochemicals," Obajtek said. According to the Plock-based group, the value of Poland’s petrochemicals and base plastics market will double by 2040.

The company is currently constructing a metathesis plant in Plock, which will add 100,000 t/y of polymer-grade propylene, taking total output to 550,000 t/y. The project, costing more than 400 million zloty, is scheduled to go online in the second half of 2018. Technology has been licensed from Lummus Technology, a division of US contractor CB&I (now part of McDermott International), which is providing technical and engineering consultancy services.

Petrobras extends deadline for nondisclosure agreements on refineries

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Brazilian state-controlled oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA said on Monday it extended a deadline to sign nondisclosure agreements for partnerships in refining, as requested by interested parties, reported Reuters.

Five companies have signed nondisclosure agreements and others have expressed interest, Petrobras said in a securities filing, without naming the firms. The new deadline was not disclosed.

Petrobras’ planned sale of a 60 percent stake in four refineries, announced on April 19, is part of a wider effort to unload assets to reduce debt. The refineries will be sold in two regional blocks, in the Northeast and in the southern region, with two refineries each.

Petrobras has said it will retain about 75 percent of its domestic refining capacity after the privatization of the four units.

Reuters reported on May 24 that Petrobras would accept nonbinding proposals by July. Among the potential bidders were buyout firms Patria Investimentos Ltda, which has an investment agreement with Blackstone Group LP, and First Reserve Management LP, as well Brazilian firms Ultrapar Participacoes SA and Cosan SA Industria e Comercio.

As MRC wrote previously, in October 2017, Petrobras’s minority stakes in Braskem and Deten Quimica was excluded from Petrobras’s divestment program, according to a government decree published in Brazil’s Official Gazette. The decree prevented Petrobras from immediately selling its minority stake in Braskem, which had been announced last year. A new decree will be required to release the stock sale.

Headquartered in Rio de Janeiro, Petrobras is an integrated energy firm. Petrobras' activities include exploration, exploitation and production of oil from reservoir wells, shale and other rocks as well as refining, processing, trade and transport of oil and oil products, natural gas and other fluid hydrocarbons, in addition to other energy-related activities.