PVC imports into Kazakhstan increased by 18% in January-May

MOSCOW (MRC) - Imports of unmixed polyvinyl chloride (PVC) into Kazakhstan increased to about 22,000 tonnes in January-May 2018, up 18% compared with the same time a year earlier, according to MRC analysts.

There was a slight increase in demand for PVC in May from local companies. May imports of unmixed PVC amounted to 4,200 tonnes against 7,300 tonnes a month earlier.
Thus, overall imports of PVC to Kazakhstan totalled 22,000 tonnes in January-May 2018, compared to 18,600 tonnes a year earlier. Due to the geographical position, the main suppliers of PVC to Kazakhstan were Chinese producers, with the share of about 90% of the local market over the stated period.

The second largest supplier of PVC is Russia, during the period under review, Russian PVC supplies reached 2,200 tonnes.

Jizzakh petroleum to build new refinery in Uzbekistan

MOSCOW (MRC) – Honeywell announced that Jizzakh Petroleum JV LLC will use Honeywell UOP technologies to build a new refinery capable of processing 5 million tons per year of crude oil to produce clean-burning gasoline, diesel and jet fuel, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The refinery is being built in the Jizzakh region of Eastern Uzbekistan.

Honeywell UOP will provide licensing and basic engineering design services to Jizzakh Petroleum for CCR Platforming™, Par-Isom™, Distillate Unionfining™, Unicracking™ and Merox™ processes. When completed, the refinery will produce 3.7 million tons per year of Euro V-quality motor fuels, 700,000 tons per year aviation fuel and 500,000 tons per year of other products, including LPG and bitumen.

"Jizzakh Petroleum is building this refinery to increase production of high-quality motor fuels and meet growing domestic demand for those fuels,” said John Gugel, president of Honeywell UOP. “The company chose Honeywell UOP due to the suitability of its technologies and its experience working in the region."

The Jizzakh refinery is part of the Uzbekistan government’s multi-year development plan to achieve national energy independence and increase the country’s export potential. With 33 million people, Uzbekistan is the most populous country in Central Asia.

Honeywell UOP’s CCR Platforming process converts low-quality naphtha to high-octane blending components for gasoline and a feed for aromatics production. Its Unicracking process provides deep refining of crude oil feedstocks, which enables it to produce transportation fuels that adhere to more stringent emissions regulations from a wider range of feedstocks than has previously been possible.

The UOP Par-Isom™ process upgrades light naphtha into high-value isomerate for gasoline blending, and the UOP Merox process treats jet fuel and LPG to meet product specifications. UOP distillate Unionfining is a middle distillates hydrotreating process that removes contaminants from feed streams.

The Jizzakh Refinery is a project of Jizzakh Petroleum JV LLC, a joint venture of JSC Uzbekneftegaz and Gas Project Development Central Asia (a subsidiary of Gazprom International).

Valero and Marathon beat profit estimates as refining margins rise

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Two of the biggest independent oil refiners in the United States beat Wall Street profit estimates as greater processing of cheap, light crude from West Texas helped boost margins, reported Reuters.

Shares of Findlay, Ohio-based Marathon Petroleum gained as much as 7 percent to USD79.43, while those of San Antonio, Texas-based Valero Energy Corp rose 4 percent to touch USD113.53.

Most refiners in the United States process heavy crude from countries such as Venezuela or Canada into diesel, gasoline and other products, but the U.S. shale revolution has added millions of barrels of very light crude to the supply mix.

After reporting a doubling of profit in the second quarter, Marathon Petroleum Chief Executive Officer Gary Heminger said business prospects should hold up "given strong global demand, wider crude differentials, and the changing dynamics of the low-sulfur fuel market."

The company said it plans to run 32 percent West Texas crude at its refineries in the third quarter, up from 23 percent a year earlier.

"As we look at our optionality and crude slate, we see opportunities to maximize usage of WTI crude," Heminger said on a post-earnings call with analysts.

Valero Energy CEO Joe Gorder said the refiner processed near record volumes of light crude in the second quarter.

Marathon’s earnings beat estimates by 24 cents, while rival Valero posted a profit of USD2.15 per share, ahead of estimate of USD1.98.

Marathon’s refining and marketing margin jumped 36 percent, while those for Valero rose 14 percent.

Margins were boosted by a discount on crude prices in Midland, Texas, which widened by nearly USD10 a barrel against the benchmark during the second quarter, as production in the Permian surged beyond pipeline capacity. Lower tax rates also helped.

Strong crack spreads - the margin on turning crude oil into diesel, gasoline and other products - also spurred utilization rates, or the extent to which refineries are running at full capacity without downtime.

Marathon operated its refineries at near full capacity in the quarter, while Valero ran at 93 percent and expects it to scale up to 95 percent in the current quarter.

The rise in margins was also helped by wider differentials between Western Canada Select, the benchmark for heavy crude found in Canada’s oil sands, and U.S. crude as a result of supply bottlenecks in Canada.

Revenue rose 22 percent at Marathon, while it surged 39 percent at Valero.

Profit at Valero jumped 54.2 percent from a year earlier, also helped by a drop in biofuel blending costs to USD131 million from USD255 million a year earlier, mainly due to lower Renewable Identification Number (RIN) prices.

RINs, which are renewable fuel credits, are used to comply with the country's biofuels requirements. A surge in waivers to refiners seeking exemptions here from the law under President Donald Trump's administration has sent the price of biofuels compliance credits to five-year lows.

Toyo awarded Olefin expansion project in Thailand

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Toyo Engineering Corporation has been awarded offshore engineering and procurement services of olefin expansion project by Map Ta Phut Olefins Co., Ltd (MOC), a joint venture company of SCG Chemicals Co., Ltd (SCG Chemicals) and The Dow Chemical Company (DOW), as per Hydracarbonprocessing.

This project intends to increase the annual olefin production capacity of an existing plant by 350,000 tons from the current capacity of 1,700,000 tons (900,000 tons of ethylene and 800,000 tons of propylene). The plant is to be constructed adjacent to MOC’s existing olefin plant in Map Ta Phut, Rayong, Thailand and scheduled for completion in 2021.

This is an EP contract following the Front End Engineering Design (FEED) contract awarded to TOYO in the middle of last year. TOYO’s strong and long-term relationship with SCG Chemicals and various attractive and aggressive proposals under FEED were highly evaluated, leading to the awarding of this project.

TOYO focuses on the expansion of the business opportunity of ethylene projects as its core business and this award becomes TOYO’s brilliant track record as TOYO’s 46th ethylene plant projects worldwide following on the ongoing ethylene projects in USA, Malaysia and Turkmenistan. This is also the 4th ethylene project in Thailand following on the past ethylene projects for National Petrochemical Company (Current PTT Global Chemical Public Company Limited), Rayong Olefin Co. Ltd (a subsidiary of SCG Chemicals) and PTT Polyethylene Co., Ltd. TOYO will continue to contribute to the development of the petrochemical industry in rapidly growing Southeast Asia, including Thailand.

Indorama acquires French PET recycler to advance sustainability goals

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Indorama Ventures Public Co. Ltd (IVL) has acquired French plastics recycler Sorepla Technologie SA, as part of its long-term sustainability objectives, as per Plasticsnewseurope.

The Thai chemicals supplier said the purchase was carried out through its PET recycling business, Wellman International Ltd, and includes Sorepla subsidiary Societe de Recyclage de Matieres Plastiques (Sorepla Industrie) SA in France.

Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed. Sorepla is a leading plastics recycler in Europe with a capacity to produce 52,000 tonnes of recycled plastics per annum.

Based in Neufchateau, France, Sorepla was founded in 1991 and has production lines for recycled PET, recycled high density polyethylene (rHDPE) and food grade pellets.

In a 30 July statement, Indorama said the acquisition improved its position as a recycler in Europe, helping the company cater for the increasing demand for recycled PET (rPET).

IVL already has a strong recycling presence in France through its subsidiary, Wellman France Recyclage in Verdun. The company expects Sorepla’s proximity to its existing recycling business to create synergies of management and supply chain.

rPET resin is widely used for food and beverage packaging as well as fibre applications in Europe. According to IVL, demand for food-grade rPET in Western Europe is set to grow at a CAGR of 7% from 2018-2021, and is currently exceeding supply.

"We believe that the recycling of PET packaging is one of the most responsible solutions for the preservation of resources and the reduction of PET containers in landfills," said Aloke Lohia, Group CEO of Indorama Ventures commenting on the acquisition.

With a comprehensive European network for bottle sourcing and good supply chain efficiencies, IVL says the acquisition will help future growth in the sustainable recycling business.

Mechanical recycling is not the only solution IVL is exploring. Earlier this year, Indorama entered into a three-party project with consumer goods giant Unilever and start-up company Ioniqa to pioneer a new technology which converts PET waste back into virgin grade material for use in food packaging.

Eindhoven, Netherlands-based Ioniqa has developed a proprietary technology that is able to convert any PET waste back into transparent virgin grade material, a technology that the three partnering companies believe will ‘transform’ the industry.