KBR technology selected for GS Caltex grassroots olefins plant in South Korea

MOSCOW (MRC) -- KBR announced that it has been awarded a contract to supply its proprietary SCORETM Ethylene Technology to GS Caltex Corporation for a grassroots mixed feed cracker (MFC) for its project in Yeosu, South Korea, said the company.

Under the terms of the contract, KBR will provide its innovative Selective Cracking Optimum Recovery (SCORETM) technology license and basic engineering design services for a 700 KTA ethylene mixed feed cracker to be built by GS Caltex, a company owned by GS Energy and U.S. based Chevron Corp. The new plant will use naphtha, liquefied petroleum gas and refinery off-gases as its main feedstocks. It will be constructed in the South Korean southern city of Yeosu where GS Caltex's 790,000 barrels-per-day refinery is located. The project will use KBR's highly selective SC-1 furnaces for the highest yield and flexibility.

"We are honored to be selected as the licensor for GS Caltex's first ethylene plant," said John Derbyshire, KBR President, Technology. "SCORETM technology is highly flexible and enables producers to maximize profitability through superior yield, energy, and operational performance."

KBR has been a leader in olefin plant design, construction and technology development for more than 50 years. Since 1990 over 20 new ethylene plants with a combined capacity of 13 million metric tons per year have been brought on-stream using KBR's cost-effective cracking technologies and flexible plant designs to produce ethylene, propylene and other byproducts from a variety of feedstocks.

KBR is a global provider of differentiated professional services and technologies across the asset and program life cycle within the Government Services and Hydrocarbons sectors. KBR employs approximately 34,000 people worldwide (including our joint ventures), with customers in more than 75 countries, and operations in 40 countries, across three synergistic global businesses.

Arlanxeo invests to reinforce its market position in synthetic rubber

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Arlanxeo is strengthening its position as the world’s leading manufacturer of synthetic rubber, as per the company's press release.

Over the next three years, Arlanxeo will invest EUR mid double-digit million to modernize its production sites in Triunfo, Brazil and La Wantzenau, France.

"With this investment program, we are laying a foundation for the company’s further profitable growth," said Jorge Nogueira, Arlanxeo CEO. “In this context, we are systematically implementing advanced technologies for growing high performance rubber grades in order to support the development of our customers in important regions over the long term,” he explained further. The program will be financed by Arlanxeo own cash flow.

In Brazil Arlanxeo is investing in its facility in Triunfo, Rio Grande do Sul, to make the production of polybutadiene rubber (PBR) more flexible. Currently emulsion styrene-butadiene rubber (E-SBR), which is mainly used in car and truck tires, is produced there. As a result of the upgrade, the company will also be able to produce the more advanced PBR types Nd-BR (neodymium butadiene rubber) and lithium butadiene rubber (Li-BR) for tire and non-tire applications in Triunfo in the second half of 2020. This follows the growing need of the local tire manufacturers for high performance tires.

At the same time, Arlanxeo is relocating part of its existing E-SBR production in Triunfo to its facility in Duque de Caxias, Rio de Janeiro, where E-SBR is already produced. This should allow for better economics going forward.
"This investment highlights our commitment to Brazil and the long-term importance of the Brazilian market for our high-performance rubbers, especially in the tire segment,” said Matthias Gotta, Head of Arlanxeo Tire & Specialty Rubbers business unit (BU TSR). “We want to support our local customers with the innovative technologies that will make tires, and as a result, transportation safer, more environmentally friendly, and thus more sustainable,” he added.

Demand in Brazil for high-performance rubbers for tires continues to grow, supported by the tire labeling regulation, similar to laws that are already in place in the European Union, Japan, and South Korea, for example. All new tires produced in Brazil must be rated with respect to their rolling resistance, grip on wet track, and external noise. The use of Nd-BR in tires significantly improves tire performance, resulting in lower fuel consumption and better wet grip, among other benefits.

Polybutadiene rubbers under the Arlanxeo brand name Buna® are primarily used in the tread and sidewalls of tires. In addition to tires, they are also used to modify plastics in the production of HIPS (high impact polystyrene) for injection molding applications. Other areas of application include golf balls, running shoes, and conveyor belts.

BASF appoints new Asia Pacific president

MOSCOW (MRC) -- BASF has appointed Dr. Ramkumar Dhruva as President, South & East Asia, ASEAN, and Australia/New Zealand at BASF, effective July 1, 2018, said the producer on its site.

He succeeds Dr. Andrea Frenzel, who will assume responsibility for BASF’s global Intermediates Division.

Dhruva joined BASF in 1996. He has been Senior Vice President, Monomers, Asia Pacific, since 2013. Before assuming his current role, he headed BASF Polyurethanes, Asia Pacific and BASF Coating Solutions, Asia Pacific. Dhruva has held several positions at BASF in India, including Chief Executive of BASF Coatings India, Sales Manager and Product Manager. He previously worked in Product Development, Production and R&D in Ludwigshafen, Germany.

Dhruva was born in India in 1968. In 1996 he earned a PhD in Organic Synthesis, Photo & Electro Chemistry from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras.

As MRC informed before, 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.

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.

Gazprom neftekhim Salavat shut down PE production

MOSCOW (Market Report) -- Gazprom neftekhim Salavat, one of Russia's largest production complexes for oil refining and petrochemicals, shut down its polyethylene (PE) production for a scheduled turnaround, according to a ICIS-MRC Price report.

On Sunday, 1 July, Gazprom neftekhim Salavat took off-stream its low density polyethylene (LDPE) and high density polyethylene (HDPE) production capacities, in order to conduct scheduled maintenance works. The plant's representative and customers said the shutdown of HDPE production will be short and operations are planned to be resumed already in seven days.

At the same time, the plant's LDPE production was shut for a longer period, the resumption of LDPE output is planned only after 30 days.

Gazprom neftekhim Salavat's LDPE and HDPE production capacities are 45,000 and 120,000 tonnes per year, respectively.

OAO "Gazprom neftekhim Salavat" (formerly OAO "Salavatnefteorgsintez") is one of the leading petrochemical companies in Russia, carrying out a full cycle of processing hydrocarbon material. The list of products manufactured by the plant includes more than 140 items, including 76 grades of the main products: gasoline, diesel fuel, kerosene, fuel oil, toluene, solvent, liquefied gases, benzene, styrene, ethylbenzene, butyl alcohols, phthalic anhydride and plasticizers, polyethylene, polystyrenes, silica gels and zeolite catalysts, corrosion inhibitors, elemental sulfur, ammonia and urea, glycols and amines, a wide range of household products made of plastics, surfactants and much more.

Iran closer to fuel self-sufficiency, aims to export

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Tehran was closer to its goal of self-sufficiency in gasoline production after inaugurating the second phase of the Persian Gulf Star Refinery in the southern port city of Bandar Abbas, reported Reuters.

Weeks after President Donald Trump pulled out of an international nuclear deal with Iran and threatened to reimpose sanctions on Iran, the United States told all countries on Tuesday to stop importing Iranian oil from November.

"When under threat of sanctions by our enemy, if we control and reduce our domestic consumption of gasoline ... we can say that we are self-sufficient in fuel production," Rouhani said in a televised speech.

OPEC member Iran has for years struggled to meet its domestic fuel needs due to a lack of refining capacity and international sanctions that limited the supply of spare parts for plant maintenance.

Iran's Persian Gulf Star Refinery converts light crude, known as condensate, into gasoline and naphtha. Rouhani said that with the inauguration of the new phase, the refinery would produce 24 million liters of petrol per day.

"If we can reduce our domestic consumption of 80 million liters of gasoline per day ... we can even export gasoline," Rouhani said.

Iran's Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said the refinery, once fully operational, would produce 36 million liters of petrol per day.

"With the refinery becoming fully operational, we will have no concerns over sanctions," he said on Iran's Oil Ministry website SHANA.

Khatam al Anbia Construction Headquarters (KAA), the engineering arm of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), was one of the main contractors of the project.