Jinxi Petrochemical restarted SM plant in China after maintenance

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Jinxi Petrochemical (part of PetroChina) has brought on-stream its styrene monomer (SM) unit following a maintenance turnaround, according to Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in China informed that the company has completed turnaround at the unit in end-July 2018. The unit remained under maintenance for around two months.

Located in Huludao in Liaoning province, China, the unit has a production capacity of 60,000 mt/year.

As MRC reported earlier, on 10 June 2018, Sinopec Zhenhai Refining & Chemical Company plans restarted its 620,000 mt/year SM plant at Zhenhai in eastern China's Zhejiang province, following planned maintenance. The plant was taken offline April 21, in line with planned maintenance at its upstream naphtha-fed steam cracker over the same period. The cracker is able to produce 1 million mt/year of ethylene, 550,000 mt/year of propylene and 180,000 mt/year of butadiene.

PetroChina has designated three refineries in northeast China - Dalian, Liaoyang and Jilin - as the main receiving points for the increased Russian supply. Liaoyang will begin taking more crude once a major upgrade is completed at the end of this year. The new volumes will flow as a result of Russia and China expanding the East Siberian Pacific Ocean pipeline that starts at Rosneft’s oilfields in East Siberia and enters China at border town of Mohe.

PTTGC to shut LLDPE plant in Thailand for maintenance

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Bangkok Polyethylene, a PTT Global Chemical (PTTGC) subsidiary, is likely to undertake a planned shutdown at its low density polyethylene (LDPE) plant, as per Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in Thailand informed that the company has schedule to shut the plant in early-September 2018. The planned shutdown is expected to remain in force for around two weeks.

Located at Map Ta Phut in Thailand, the plant has a production capacity of 300,000 mt/year.

As MRC wrote before, PTT started commercial operations at its new 400,000 mt/year metallocene C6 linear low density polyethylene plant (MLLDPE) at Map Ta Phut, Thailand, in the first quarter of 2018.

Previously, PTT had a total capacity of 800,000 mt/year of high density polyethylene (HDPE), 300,000 mt/year of low density polyethylene and 400,000 mt/year of LLDPE at the same site.

PTT Global Chemical is a leading player in the petrochemical industry and owns several petrochemical facilities with a combined capacity of 8.45 million tonnes a year.

Sinochem Energy files for USD2B Hong Kong listing

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Sinochem Energy, a unit of China’s state-owned Sinochem Group, has filed for a Hong Kong initial public offering (IPO) of about USD2 billion, as the group seeks to raise capital amid a shift to higher-value businesses, including petrochemicals production, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Sinochem Energy operates the group’s oil and petroleum products trading, refining, storage and logistics, as well as distribution and retail businesses, but not its struggling upstream business that includes overseas oil and gas production.

Reuters reported in April that the group had hired seven banks for the listing of its key oil assets that was expected to raise about USD2 billion.

The proposed float comes amid a push by Beijing to inject new life into bloated state-owned enterprises by encouraging private capital investment in such enterprises.

China Tower, the world’s largest telecoms tower operator, for example, is raising up to USD8.7 billion in its Hong Kong listing. The state-owned firm has secured USD1.4 billion from 10 cornerstone investors.

Beijing is also looking to create bigger, stronger state firms, and build globally competitive enterprises.

Sinochem Group is set to merge with state-owned ChemChina, which in 2016 agreed to buy Swiss pesticides and seeds group Syngenta for USD43 billion.

The Sinochem-ChemChina deal will create the world’s biggest industrial chemicals firm worth around USD120 billion, to be led by Sinochem Chairman Frank Ning.

Sinochem Energy’s IPO plans have been pushed ahead by Ning, who joined its parent group in early 2016 from food group COFCO, where he was well known for aggressive restructuring and M&A.

Under his leadership, several Sinochem units have been given more leeway in their expansion plans and more support for tapping capital markets for fundraising.

Hit by low oil prices over the last few years, Beijing-based Sinochem Group has aimed to shift from exploration and production to value-added refining and retailing businesses.

Venezuela-run Isla refinery in Curacao not operating

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The Venezuelan-run 335,000-barrel-per-day (bpd) Isla refinery in Curacao is down after an operational problem triggered a blackout, refinery spokesman Earl Balborda said, adding he expected "progress" to reactivate operations this week, reported Reuters.

Isla was only producing some 50,000 bpd before a problem at the unit that supplies the refinery with compressed air, water and power, Balborda added. The refinery has been working far below capacity due to insufficient deliveries of crude from Venezuela, where oil production has fallen.

Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA did not respond to a request for comment.

As MRC informed before, Curacao’s Isla refinery is considering offers from 15 companies interested in temporarily operating the 335,000-barrel-per-day facility to replace the current operator, Venezuela’s ailing PDVSA state oil company, the refinery and the Curacao government said in a joint statement in late July 2018.

AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals to acquire leading South American organic peroxides maker

MOSCOW (MRC) -- AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals has finalized an agreement to acquire Brazilian firm Polinox, South America’s leading producer of ketone peroxides, essential in the manufacture of polymers, as per the company's press release.

The acquisition will expand the company’s footprint in South America, and establish it as one of the region’s leading producers of curing systems for polyester thermoset resins. The sale is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2018.

"Our business is on a growth trajectory," said Johan Landfors, Executive Committee Member responsible for Polymer Chemistry. "Over the past three years, we have invested more than EUR180 million to better serve our customers, upgrade technologies, increase capacity, and reposition our global manufacturing footprint. The acquisition of Polinox presents a great opportunity to further strengthen our presence in the South American market."

The company will acquire Polinox’s brands and trademarks, which include Brasnox, Perbenzox and TecnoxSuper, as well as its customer list and production knowhow. AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals will invest to add capacity in its own site at Itupeva, Brazil and transfer manufacturing there after the expansion is completed.

"It is very gratifying to look back over the years and think about everything that we were able to accomplish here at Polinox," said Managing Director Roberto Pontifex. "AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals is highly respected in South America, and I am excited to know that Polinox will play a part in its growth ambitions."

Werner Fuhrmann, CEO of AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals, added: "This is an exciting opportunity to further expand our position in an important growth market. Making smart, strategic acquisitions is another key element of our strategy to invest to grow with our customers."

As MRC informed previously, in June 2018, AkzoNobel entered into an agreement to acquire 100% of the shares of Fabryo Corporation S.R.L. (Fabryo), becoming the leader in the Romanian decorative paints market. The transaction includes two production facilities and six distribution centers for decorative paints, adhesives and mortars, including one of the largest decorative paints factories in the region, with capacity for further expansion.

Akzo Nobel N.V., trading as AkzoNobel, is a Dutch multinational, active in the fields of decorative paints, performance coatings and specialty chemicals. Headquartered in Amsterdam, the company has activities in more than 80 countries, and employs approximately 55,000 people.