Nuberg EPC was awarded a contract for a USD53 million chlor-alkali and calcium chloride project in Saudi Arabia.

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Nuberg EPC has been awarded a USD53 million turnkey project contract by Middle East Chemicals Company (Midchem), Saudi Arabia, according to Process Worldwide.

The exclusive agreement covers EPC & LSTK services and solutions for chlor alkali plant and calcium chloride plant in Riyadh

The contract will be executed for the company Saudi Factory for Chlorine and Alkalies (Sachlo), Midchem’s group company. The production capacity will be 60 TPD for chlor alkali plant which is an expansion of its previous plant of 60?TPD making it a total of 120 TPD, and 150 TPD for calcium chloride plant.

Sachlo is one of the largest manufacturers of chlor alkali and chlorine derivatives in Saudi Arabia. Chemicals produced in the new facility are intended to serve the needs of downstream and petrochemical, hydrocarbon and energy industry in the domestic Saudi market as well as the Middle East & Africa (MEA) and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region.

PetroChina Yunnan refinery processes Iranian crude for first time

MOSCOW (MRC) -- PetroChina’s Yunnan refinery has processed 56,000 tonnes, or 408,8000 barrels, of Iranian heavy crude, reported Reuters with reference to the company’s official newspaper.

This was the first time that the 260,000-barrel-per-day refinery processed heavy corrosive Iranian crude. China has indicated that it will continue to buy Iranian crude after the United States seeks to halt Iranian oil exports.

As MRC wrote previously, in January 2018, PetroChina nearly doubled the amount of Russian crude being processed at its refinery in Dalian, the company’s biggest, since January, as a new supply agreement has come into effect.

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.

LyondellBasell completes acquisition of A. Schulman

MOSCOW (MRC) -- LyondellBasell, one of the largest plastics, chemicals and refining companies in the world, has announced it has completed the acquisition of A. Schulman, Inc., a leading global supplier of high-performance plastic compounds, composites and powders, as per LyondellBasell's press release.

"This acquisition builds upon our complementary strengths, creating a substantial value proposition for our customers and positioning the company for future growth in this space," said Bob Patel, CEO of LyondellBasell. "Moving forward, our team is focused on a seamless integration that captures opportunity and creates exceptional value for our shareholders."

The acquisition more than doubles LyondellBasell's existing compounding business and broadens the company's reach into growing, high-margin end markets such as automotive, construction materials, electronic goods and packaging.

The combined business will operate as a stand-alone Advanced Polymer Solutions reporting segment. In addition to LyondellBasell's existing polypropylene compounding (PPC) assets and the A. Schulman assets, the segment will include:

- Catalloy thermoplastic resins – polymers that combine the advantages of polyolefins and elastomers, offering customers durable and flexible products for the automotive, packaging and construction industries.
- Polybutene-1 resins - plastics that offer a combination of temperature resistance and strength and are used in modern water pipes, construction materials and re-closeable packaging.

New to LyondellBasell's product portfolio are several materials previously manufactured by A. Schulman that will also be included in the Advanced Polymer Solutions segment going forward:

- Engineered composites - lightweight, strong materials that are used in infrastructure, aerospace and automotive applications such as headlamps.
- Powders - specialty particle materials used in coatings, rotational molding, toll compounding and other technical applications.
- Masterbatches - coloring and additive materials used in the production of paper, paint and plastic goods around the world.

"With the combination of LyondellBasell's vertically integrated polypropylene compounding business and A. Schulman's agile customer focus across broad and growing markets, Advanced Polymer Solutions is well positioned to deliver significant value for our customers and our shareholders," said Jim Guilfoyle, Executive Vice President, Advanced Polymer Solutions and Global Supply Chain for LyondellBasell. "I'm convinced we have all of the ingredients to build a world-class business that will reach a multitude of markets with a full range of innovative, tailored products and solutions."

As MRC informed previously, in the second half of May 2018, LyondellBasell, one of the largest plastics, chemicals and refining companies in the world, announced that it has received unconditional clearance from the Chinese State Administration of Market Regulation (SAMR) for its pending acquisition of A. Schulman.

A. Schulman, Inc. is a leading international supplier of high-performance plastic compounds, composites and resins headquartered in Akron, Ohio. Since 1928, the company has been providing innovative solutions to meet its customers' demanding requirements. The company's customers span a wide range of markets such as packaging, mobility, building & construction, electronics & electrical, agriculture, personal care & hygiene, sports, leisure & home, custom services and others. The company employs approximately 5,200 people and has 54 manufacturing facilities globally. A. Schulman reported net sales of approximately USD2.5 billion for the fiscal year ended August 31, 2017.

LyondellBasell is one of the world's largest plastics, chemical and refining companies and a member of the S&P 500. LyondellBasell manufactures products at 55 sites in 17 countries. LyondellBasell is also a leading licensor of polypropylene and polyethylene technologies. The more than 250 polyolefin process licenses granted by LyondellBasell are twice that of any other polyolefin technology licensor.

PP imports to Belarus rose by 6.4% in Jan-Jun 2018

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Overall imports of polypropylene (PP) into Belarus grew in the first half of 2018 by 6.4% year on year, totalling slightly over 49,500 tonnes. Demand for all grades of propylene polymers increased, according to MRC's DataScope report.

June PP imports into Belarus were 8,400 tonnes, compared to 9,000 tonnes a month earlier, local companies reduced their purchasing of injection moulding propylene copolymers in Russia. Overall imports of propylene polymers reached 49,500 tonnes in January-June 2018, compared to 46,500 tonnes a year earlier, with propylene homopolymers (homopolymer PP) accounting for the greatest increase in demand.

The supply structure by PP grades looked the following way over the stated period.

June imports of homopolymer PP to the Belarusian market virtually remained at the level of May, totalling slightly over 6,000 tonnes. Overall imports of homopolymer PP reached 33,600 tonnes in the first six months of 2018, up by 7.6% year on year. Russian producers with the share of about 89% of the total shipments were the key suppliers.

June imports of propylene copolymers to Belarus were 2,300 tonnes versus 3,000 tonnes a month earlier, local companies reduced their procurement of injection moulding block-copolymers of propylene (PP block copolymer) in Russia. Thus, overall imports of propylene copolymers reached 16,000 tonnes in January-June 2018, whereas this figure was 15,300 tonnes a year earlier.


PE imports to Belarus dropped by 5% in Jan-June 2018

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Overall imports of polyethylene (PE) into Belarus decreased by 5% year on year in the first six months of 2018, reaching 58,800 tonnes. At the same time, local companies reduced purchasing of exclusively linear polyethylene (LLDPE), according to MRC's DataScope report.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics of Belarus, imports to Belarus dropped to 9,100 tonnes in June 2018 from 9,600 tonnes a month earlier. Local companies reduced their purchasing of high density polyethylene (HDPE). Overall PE imports totalled 58,800 tonnes in the first six months of 2018, compared to 61,900 tonnes a year earlier. Demand for HDPE and low and high pressure polyethylene (LDPE) increased, whereas demand for LLDPE subsided significantly.

The structure of PE imports to Belarus by grades looked the following way over the stated period.

June total LDPE imports fell to 3,700 tonnes from 3,900 tonnes a month earlier. Overall imports of this PE grade into Belarus totalled about 18,700 tonnes in January-June 2018, compared to 18,400 tonnes a year earlier.

June LLDPE imports were about 1,200 tonnes, which virtually corresponded to the figure a month earlier. Thus, overall LLDPE imports reached 10,900 tonnes over the stated period, whereas this figure was about 21,000 tonnes a year earlier.

June HDPE imports decreased to 4,200 tonnes from 4,500 tonnes a month earlier. Local companies increased their purchasing of PE from the Ukrainian producer. Thus, overall HDPE imports totalled 28,200 tonnes in the first six months of 2018, up by 27.4% year on year.