Jakub Kosmowski is appointed the new Marketing Director of the Unipetrol

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Jakub Kosmowski has been appointed the new Marketing Director of the Unipetrol Group. Jakub Kosmowski has thirteen years of experience in marketing. In 2010, he founded the JFK Studio marketing and graphic design company based in Krakow, said the company.

In 2016 and 2017, he worked as marketing manager for the Krakow branch of Mercedes-Benz Polska.
Jakub Kosmowski (31) is also a former athlete. In 2008, he was the Polish windsurfing champion, and he fought his way into the European championship finals in the same year. He was born in Krakow, Poland. He is married and has two children. He is a graduate of the University of Management and Banking in Krakow.

"My objective is the intensive coordination of marketing activities of all the subsidiaries of our group and the profiling of the brand with regard to the fact that the current majority owner of Unipetrol, the Polish petrochemical giant PKN Orlen, is becoming its 100% owner," explained Jakub Kosmowski, Director of the Marketing Division of the Unipetrol Group, adding: "It is great for me to come to such an amazing team. I aim to combine both creativity and efficient use of our resources when planning and implementing our marketing activities."

The Marketing Division of the Unipetrol Group consists of the wholesale marketing and retail marketing departments and ensures the marketing activities of the Unipetrol Group and its subsidiaries, including the promotion of the wholesale brands Spolana, Liten, Mosten, Spolsan and Chezacarb, and the retail brands Benzina, Verva, Efecta, Stop Cafe, Paramo and Mogul.

The Unipetrol Group is the largest refinery and petrochemical company in the Czech Republic. It focuses primarily on crude oil processing, distribution and sale of fuel and petrochemical products — particularly plastics and fertilisers. In all these fields, the group is a key player on both the Czech and Central European market. The Unipetrol Group includes refineries and production plants in Litvinov and Kralupy nad Vltavou, Paramo with the Mogul brand in Pardubice and Kolin, Spolana in Neratovice, and two research centres in Litvinov and Brno. Unipetrol also owns the Benzina network of petrol stations with 406 stations, which is the largest chain in the Czech Republic. Unipetrol is one of the largest companies in the Czech Republic in terms of turnover. The group created revenue of over CZK 122 billion last year and employs more than 4600 people. In 2005, Unipetrol became part of the PKN Orlen Group, the largest crude oil processor in Central Europe.

October prices of European PP did not rise for CIS markets despite higher monomer prices

MOSCOW (Market Report) -- The October contract price of propylene was agreed in Europe up by EUR20/tonne from September. However, virtually all European producers announced a roll-over of September export polypropylene (PP) prices for October shipments to the CIS markets, according to ICIS-MRC Price report.

Negotiations over October prices of European PP began last week. All market participants reported producers' desire to maintain their export prices of propylene polymers at the last month's level, despite the increase of EUR20/tonne in propylene prices in the region.

Deals for October shipments of propylene homopolymer (homopolymer PP) were discussed in the range of EUR1,165-1,240/tonne FCA, which virtually corresponds to September prices. Deals for block-copolymers of propylene (PP block copolymers) were done in the range of EUR1,240-1,310/tonne FCA.

Many companies reported no restrictions on this month's PP exports.

PVC production in Russia up by 7% in January-September 2018

MOSCOW (MRC) - Production of unmixed polyvinyl chloride (PVC) in Russia increased to about 699,900 tonnes in the first nine months of this year, up 7% compared to the same period of 2017. All producers increased production volumes over the reported period, according to MRC ScanPlast.

September output of unmixed PVC increased to 77,400 tonnes against 70,600 tonnes a month earlier, the low indicator of August was a result of a scheduled maintenance works at SayanskKhimPlast. Overall PVC production reached 699,900 tonnes in January-September 2018, compared to 652,500 tonnes a year earlier. All plants raised their production, with Bashkir Soda Company and RusVinyl accounting for the greatest increase in the output.

The structure of PVC production by plants looked the following way over the stated period.

RusVinyl (JV of SIBUR and SolVin) produced about 29,800 tonnes of PVC in September, with emulsion polyvinyl chloride (EPVC) accounting for 2,300 tonnes, compared to 30,000 tonnes a month earlier. RusVinyl's overall output of resin reached 243,300 tonnes in the first nine months of 2018, up 8% year on year.

Sayanskhimplast last month increased its capacity utilization, the final output of suspension PVC reached 24,000 tonnes, whereas in August it amounted to only 10,300 tonnes (from 15 July to 15 August, the company shut the capacities for scheduled maintenance ). The Sayansk plant managed to produce over 197,200 tonnes of resin in the first nine months of 2018, compared to 184,600 tonnes a year earlier.

Bashkir soda company (BSC) in the second half of September, due to technical problems, reduced capacity utilisation, so the total PVC production amounted to 16,400 tonnes against 22,500 tonnes a month earlier. The Bashkir plant's overall production of PVC reached 190,000 tonnes in January-September 2018, up by 8% year on year. Such a great increase in the output was largely caused by the absence of a scheduled shutdown this year, whereas last year, the plant took off-stream its production capacities in mid-July.

Kaustik (Volgograd) in September decreased SPVC production, reaching about 7,200 tonnes, compared with 7,800 tonnes in August. The plant's overall production of resin exceeded 69,500 tonnes over the stated period versus 67,700 tonnes a year earlier.


Saudi Aramco and Total launch engineering studies to build a giant petrochemical complex in Jubail

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Amin H. Nasser, President and Chief Executive Officer of Saudi Aramco and Patrick Pouyanne, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Total, have signed in Dhahran the joint development agreement for the front-end engineering and design (FEED) of a giant petrochemical complex in Jubail, on Saudi Arabia’s eastern coast, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Announced in April 2018, the world-class complex will be located next to the SATORP refinery, operated by Saudi Aramco (62.5%) and Total (37.5%), in order to fully exploit operational synergies. It will comprise a mixed-feed cracker (50% ethane and refinery off-gases) - the first in the Gulf region to be integrated with a refinery - with a capacity of 1.5 million tons per year of ethylene and related high-added-value petrochemical units. The project represents an investment of around $5 billion and is scheduled to start-up in 2024.

The project will provide feedstock to other petrochemical and specialty chemical plants located in the Jubail industrial area and beyond, representing an additional USD4 billion investment by third-party investors benefitting to the Saudi economy.

The overall complex will represent an investment of approximately USD9 billion and is expected to create 8,000 local direct and indirect jobs.

Saudi Aramco Chief Executive Officer Amin H. Nasser said: "SATORP’s second-phase expansion represents a quantum leap in Saudi Aramco’s downstream strategy to maximize our hydrocarbon resources and help position the Kingdom as a chemicals manufacturing hub, thus supporting economic diversification. Today’s signing will deliver on multiple levels, from high-value fuels and petrochemical products for consumers on three continents to meaningful job creation and local content development. We’re pleased to celebrate with Total this latest milestone in the SATORP journey.

Patrick Pouyanne, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Total said: "We are delighted to write a new page of our joint history by launching a new giant project, building on the successful development of SATORP, our biggest and most efficient refinery in the world. This world-class complex also fits with our strategy to expand in petrochemicals by maximizing the synergies within our major platforms, leveraging low-cost feedstocks and taking advantage of the fast-growing Asian polymer market."

As MRC wrote before, in July 2017, Saudi Aramco and France's Total unveiled plans for building a mixed-feed cracker and derivatives in Jubail, near their joint refining complex. The cracker is expected to have a capacity of 1.5 MMtpy.

Saudi Aramco is an integrated oil and chemicals company, a global leader in hydrocarbon production, refining processes and distribution, as well as one of the largest global oil exporters. It manages proven reserves of crude oil and condensate estimated at 261.1bn barrels, and produces 9.54 million bbl daily. Headquartered in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, the company employs over 61,000 staff in 77 countries.

Total S.A. is a French multinational oil and gas company and one of the six "Supermajor" oil companies in the world with business in Europe, the United States, the Middle East and Asia. The company's petrochemical products cover two main groups: base chemicals and the consumer polymers (polyethylene, polypropylene and polystyrene) that are derived from them.

U.S. ethanol exports to Brazil drop to nearly three-year low

MOSCOW (MRC) - Exports of corn-based U.S. ethanol to Brazil sank to the lowest levels in nearly three years in August, U.S. Department of Agriculture data showed, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

A big Brazilian sugar harvest pressured domestic biofuel prices, making imported ethanol comparatively more expensive than local sugar-based supplies, according to Geoff Cooper, chief executive of the Renewable Fuels Association trade group.

The downturn in U.S. ethanol exports to Brazil, while somewhat expected, was another blow to biofuel producers reeling from low prices and near-record large stockpiles.

Only 4,395 gallons (about 105 barrels) of U.S. ethanol were exported to Brazil in August, down sharply from 24.5 million gallons (about 583,400 barrels) in the same month a year ago. The monthly imports were the smallest since Brazil brought in no U.S. supplies in October of 2015, USDA data showed.

“We were fully expecting the big drop in Brazil. This may be a little less than we were thinking,” Cooper said. Sales of Brazilian sugar-based ethanol in the second half of August hit an all-time high, cane industry group Unica said.

Brazil last year imposed a tariff on U.S. ethanol imports. China, another top global biofuel buyer, increased an existing tariff on U.S. ethanol imports as part of the Washington-Beijing trade dispute, hampering shipments.

U.S. ethanol futures have recovered from an over decade-low of USD1.21 per gallon on Aug. 30, edging up 0.2 percent to USD1.32 on Friday. In a move that U.S. biofuel makers hope will shore up demand, President Donald Trump next week in Iowa is expected to announce the lifting of a summer ban on the sale of higher ethanol blends of gasoline in the United States, sources told Reuters.

Ethanol producers have been angling for the removal of the ban. The industry has been at odds with the White House after the administration gave numerous oil refineries exemptions from the nation’s biofuels blending laws that require them to blend – or pay for credits – corn-based biofuels into the nation’s fuel stock.