Explosion and fire shut Irving Oil refinery in Canada

MOSCOW (MRC) -- A major incident occurred at Irving Oil’s Saint John refinery in New Brunswick on Monday morning, reported Reuters with reference to the company's statement on Twitter.

Residents in the area reported an explosion and fire at the refinery, local media reported.

Irving Oil Corp shut its Saint John refinery in the Canadian province of New Brunswick after an explosion and a major fire that followed.

"We can confirm that a major incident has occurred at our Saint John refinery this morning. We are actively assessing the situation at this time and will share more information when available," The company shared on Twitter.

The company operates the 320,000 barrel-per-day refinery at this site.

As MRC wrote before, in July 2018, the sale of a remote Canadian refinery was scuttled as two former oil traders running the company locked horns over the value of the plant. The partners, former traders Neal Shear and Kaushik Amin, sought to sell the 130,000 barrel-per-day refinery in Come By Chance, Newfoundland last year to privately held Canadian refiner Irving Oil, which was seen as the leading bidder.

Shenhua Baotou resumes PP production

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Shenhua Baotou has restarted a polypropylene (PP) plant following a maintenance turnaround, as per Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in China informed that the company has completed turnaround at the plant in end-September, 2018. The plant was shut for maintenance on September 1, 2018.

Located at Baotou City, China, the PP plant has a production capacity of 300,000 mt/year.

Shenhua Baotou also runs linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) plant at the same site. The company conducted maintenance at its LLDPE plant from 12 September to late September, 2017. Located at Baotou City, China, the plant has a production capacity of 300,000 mt/year.

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.