Output of products from polymers in Russia up 4% in H1 2018

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Russia's output of products from polymers grew in June 2018 by 7.4% year on year. Thus, this figure grew by 4% year on year in January-June 2018, reported MRC analysts.

According to the Russian Federal State Statistics Service, June production of unreinforced and non-combined films was 95,800 tonnes, compared to 98,900 tonnes a month earlier. Output of film products grew in the first six months of 2018 by 8.1% year on year to 513,600 tonnes.

Last month's production of non-porous boards, sheets and films was 31,100 tonnes, compared to 31,600 tonnes in May. Thus, output of these products reached 168,100 tonnes in January-June 2018, up by 3.3% year on year.

June production of non-porous boards, sheets and films was 28,300 tonnes, compared to 25,000 tonnes a month earlier. Overall output of these products reached 136,800 tonnes in the first half of 2018, up by 12% year on year.

Last month's production of plastic windows and door blocks was 2,400,000 sq metres and 115,000 sq metres, respectively, versus 2,120,000 sq metres and 105,000 sq metres in May. Overall output of these products was 9,900,000 sq meters and 474,600 sq meters, respectively, in the first six months of 2018, up by 9% and 11% year on year, respectively.

June production of plastic bottles and flasks did not exceed 2,000,000 items, which virtually corresponded to the same figure a month earlier. Overall output of these plastic products totalled 10,315,000 units over the stated period, compared to 10,082,000 units a year earlier.

June production of polymer pipes, hoses and fittings grew to 58,300 tonnes from 52,000 tonnes a month earlier. Overall output of these products was 264,200 tonnes in January-June 2018, up by 3% year on year.

Fuji Oil using new Honeywell UOP catalyst to increase production of aromatics

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Honeywell announced that Fuji Oil Co., Ltd. has begun using Honeywell UOP's new R-364 Platforming catalyst to produce more aromatics for chemical production at its Sodegaura Refinery on Tokyo Bay in Chiba Prefecture, Japan, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The R-364 catalyst converts naphtha feedstock into aromatics, which are used to make petrochemical compounds, or blended into gasoline to improve its octane rating. The high-activity catalyst features an innovative design that can increase production of a CCR Platforming unit by up to 10 percent.

"We count on UOP to develop new catalysts that improve our economics," said Daiki Imai, General Manager of Operation Management Department for Fuji Oil. "The R-364 catalyst is a drop-in replacement catalyst that effectively increases our capacity and flexibility."

"Fuji Oil selected the R-364 catalyst because it can increase the refinery's production of aromatics by boosting throughput of the existing CCR Platforming unit," said Mike Cleveland, senior business director for Honeywell UOP's refining catalysts product line. "The catalyst meets Fuji Oil's requirements for performance, product quality and economics without modifications or investment in new equipment."

Demand for gasoline in Japan has been declining since reaching a peak in 2004. Japanese refiners such as Fuji Oil have turned to manufacturing higher-value aromatics such as chemical grade benzene and mixed xylenes instead of gasoline. These aromatics have a greater value than motor fuels.

Honeywell UOP introduced the R-364 catalyst in 2017. It retains all the properties of the previous R-264 catalyst, but with better activity and lower coke production, which improves the efficiency of catalytic reactions. As a result, the R-364 catalyst is a drop-in replacement for the R-264 catalyst that increases yields of gasoline, aromatics and hydrogen while producing less coke.

The CCR Platforming process is a continuous catalytic reforming process used throughout the petroleum industry to convert low-quality naphtha into blending stocks for gasoline, aromatics for plastics production and high-purity hydrogen. The CCR Platforming process is in operation at more than 250 customer sites.

Sinopec Yangzi resumes production at No. 2 HDPE unit

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Sinopec Yangzi Petrochemical has completed turnaround at its No. 2 high density polyethylene (HDPE) unit in Jiangsu, as per Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in China informed that the company has planned to resume operations at its unit on July 29, 2018. The unit was shut in mid-July 2018 for maintenance.

Located in Jiangsu province, China, the No.2 HDPE Unit has a production capacity of 80,000 mt/year.

As MRC informed previously, in the second week of March 2018, Sinopec Yangzi Petrochemical Company restarted an HDPE/linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) swing plant, which was taken off-line for maintenance on February 24, 2018. Located at Jiangsu in China, the plant has a production capacity of 200,000 mt/year.

Sinopec Corp. is one of the largest scale integrated energy and chemical companies with upstream, midstream and downstream operations. Its refining and ethylene capacity ranks No.2 and No.4 globally. The Company has 30,000 sales and distribution networks of oil products and chemical products, its service stations are now ranked third largest in the world.

Indonesia president pushes biodiesel plan to stop currency tanking

MOSCOW (MRC) - Indonesia's president called for the immediate implementation of a plan to widen the use of biodiesel that his economic ministers hope will cut the country's fuel import bill by billions of dollars and halt a decline in the rupiah currency, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Joko Widodo also sounded an alarm on the foreign exchange reserves of Southeast Asia's largest economy, less than a week after he pleaded with exporters to bring home earnings they currently keep offshore to stem the slide in the rupiah.

"The country needs dollars now," Widodo said at the opening of a cabinet meeting before reporters were ushered out. "I don't want to keep doing meetings without good implementation."

Concerns about tighter U.S. monetary policy and a global trade war have put emerging market currencies under pressure.

Indonesia's central bank has spent about $12 billion of its foreign exchange reserves in recent months and hiked policy interest rates by 100 basis points to defend the rupiah, which has lost about 6 percent of its value against the dollar this year.

Cabinet ministers have met at least six times since the start of July to tackle concerns over trade and the rupiah, said a senior government official, who asked not to be named because of the sensitivity of the issue.

"Like any other central bank in the world, Bank Indonesia can only slow things down and smooth things out, but cannot stop underlying trends driven by fundamentals," the official said.

One key remedy the government sees as a way to cut the current account deficit - which the central bank estimated would widen by $8 billion this year - is a plan to substitute fuel imports with palm oil-based biodiesel by making it mandatory for all diesel vehicles, including locomotive engines and heavy equipment.

The present rules, intended to boost consumption of palm-oil-based biodiesel, apply only to subsidized diesel, which some users and vehicles are not allowed to buy.

Indonesia is the world's top producer of palm oil, the raw ingredient for fatty acid methyl ester (FAME), which can be used to make biodiesel.

Jiutai Energy to start up HDPE/LLDPE and PP plants in Ordos in end-2018

MOSCOW (MRC) -- China's Jiutai Energy plans to startup its new 250,000 mt/year coal-based high density polyethylene(HDPE)/linear low density (LLDPE) unit and 350,000 mt/year polypropylene (PP) unit in Ordos, Inner Mongolia, at the end of 2018, as per Apic-online.

Market sources expect the full commissioning and startup to last into the early part of 2019, as typical of all polymer units, which require time to startup.

It already operates a 250,000 mt/year PE plant, a 1 million mt/year coal-based methanol unit and a 100,000 mt/year dimethyl ether facility at the same site.

As MRC informed before, Jiutai Energy started commercial production at its new coal-to-polyethylene in September 2015. The plant began to operate at normal rates from December 2015. Located at Erdos, Inner Mongolia region in China, the new PE plant has a production capacity of 300,000 mt/year.