Yantai Wanhua picks LyondellBasell technologies for new PE & PP facilities in Yantai City

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Yantai Wanhua Chemical Group has selected technology from LyondellBasell for a new high-density polyethylene (HDPE) plant and polypropylene (PP) unit in Yantai City, Shandong Province, China, as per Apic-online.

The complex will include a 350,000-t/y HDPE plant, based on LyondellBasell's Hostalen ACP process technology, and a 300,000-t/y PP unit, which will utilize LyondelBasell's 5th generation Spheripol PP process technology. Cost of the project and a schedule were not given.

"We selected LyondellBasell's Spheripol process be-cause of the technology's low capital and operating costs, leading monomer consumptions and excellent operability," said Liu Boxue, vice president of Wanhua. "We also chose their Hostalen ACP process to better meet our customer's growing demand for HDPE products in China."

As MRC wrote before, LyondellBasell has recently announced that Zhejiang Petroleum & Chemical Co. Ltd (ZPCC) has selected LyondellBasell’s polypropylene (PP), high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and low-density polyethylene (LDPE) technologies for five new plants. The plants will be built in ZPCC’s petrochemical complex in Zhoushan City, China. The complex will include two 450 000 tpy PP plants that will use LyondellBasell’s Spherizone PP process technology and two LDPE plants, 300 000 and 400 000 tpy respectively, which will use Lupotech T process technology. The complex will also include a 350 000 tpy HDPE plant which will use Hostalen ACP process technology.

At a total capacity of almost 2 million t, these new licenses constitute the largest volume of new capacity ever licensed by LyondellBasell in a single location.

LyondellBasell is one of the largest plastics, chemicals and refining companies in the world. Driven by its 13,000 employees around the globe, LyondellBasell produces materials and products that are key to advancing solutions to modern challenges like enhancing food safety through lightweight and flexible packaging, protecting the purity of water supplies through stronger and more versatile pipes, and improving the safety, comfort and fuel efficiency of many of the cars and trucks on the road. LyondellBasell sells products into approximately 100 countries and is the world's largest licensor of polyolefin technologies.

West Europe PET bottle recovery grows, but challenges remain for rPET supply chain

MOSCOW (MRC) -- PET bottle recycling rates in Europe are improving but collection remains a key challenge according to a report published by Wood Mackenzie Chemicals earlier this month, as per Plasticsnewseurope.

The collection rate for PET bottles during 2017 rose to nearly 2 million tonnes in Europe, 6.3% higher than 1.88 million tonnes collected the previous year, according to "rPET study – West Europe 2017".

Total production of PET bottles rose 3% year-on-year to 3.2 million tonnes in 2017, making it a “rollercoaster year” of high demand and capacity shortages.

"With exceptionally good weather in Europe boosting demand and capacity outages impacting output, the European virgin PET resin market environment rapidly shifted from one of excess supply to supply challenges," said Helen McGeough, Wood Mackenzie Chemicals senior consultant, commenting on the findings of the study.

The Wood Mackenzie research also pointed to "a significant shift" in rPET market prospects as the industry changes focus from economics to sustainability.

"The potential for recovery of large quantities of PET containers is evident, and PET bottle collection volume is projected to reach 2.3 million tonnes by 2022," said the Wood Mackenzie consultant.

The study found that almost 75% of the collection volumes came from just five key markets, and only a few countries saw significant increases in recovery volumes compared to 2016.

One of the key findings of the report was, however, the growing challenge in improving collection rates and bale qualities.

According to the report, roughly two thirds of collection systems currently in use in West Europe are kerbside systems, as opposed to deposit systems.

"The ever-decreasing bale yield, due to contamination, suggests the dominant collection systems (i.e. kerbside) are not producing the optimum qualities, therefore adding weight to the argument in favour of bottle deposit systems,” the report suggested.

Additionally, according to McGeough, some government initiatives such as taxation, in isolation, are unlikely to increase collection rates.

Output of chemical products in Russia grew by 2.7% in January-September 2018

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Russia's output of chemical products dropped in September 2018 by 1% month on month. However, this figure increased by 2.7% in the first nine months of 2018, according to Rosstat's data.

According to the Federal Service of State Statistics, last month's production of basic chemicals decreased by 1% from August 2018, with benzene accounting for the main reduction. Overall production of chemical products grew in January-September 2018 by 2.7% year on year, with benzene accounting for the greatest increase in the output.

232,000 tonnes of ethylene were produced in September versus 243,000 tonnes a month earlier, Kazanorgsintez and Ufaorgsintez's production capacities were shut down for maintenance last month. 2,234,000 tonnes of this olefin were produced in the first nine months of 2018, up by 4.5% year on year.

Last month's production of benzene dropped to 104,000 tonnes from 115,000 tonnes in August. However, overall output of this product reached 1,069,800 tonnes over the stated period, up by 6,6%year on year.

September production of sodium hydroxide (caustic soda) was 102,000 tonnes (100% of the basic substance) versus 108,000 tonnes a month earlier, Bashkir Soda Company reduced its capacity utilisation. Overall production of caustic soda grew to 946,500 tonnes in January-September 2018, up by 3.5% year on year.

Last month's output of mineral fertilizers was 1,760,000 tonnes (in terms of 100% nutrients) versus 1,819,000 tonnes in August, Russian producers reduced their production of phosphate and potash fertilizers. Overall, Russian plants produced 17,224,000 tonnes of mineral fertilizers in the first nine months of 2018, up by 1.9% year on year. Nitrogen fertilizers accounted for the greatest increase in the output - up by 5.4% year on year.

Kazanorgsintez resumed HDPE production

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Kazanorgsintez (part of TAIF Group) resumed its high density polyethylene (HDPE) production after a scheduled turnaround, according to ICIS-MRC Price report.

Kazanorgsintez began a sequential launch of its production capacities last week after the scheduled maintenance. The plant's representatives said all three reactors had been launched by the beginning of this week.

The outage was not long and lasted for less than four weeks, the overhaul started on 26 September.

Kazanorgsintez's annual HDPE production capacity is 540,000 tonnes.

PJSC "Kazanorgsintez" is one of the largest producers of polyethylene (PE) and PE pipes in Russia and the only national polycarbonate (PC) manufacturer. The company's facilities produce more than 170 types of chemical products with a combined tonnage of over 1.3 million tonnes.

PE imports to Ukraine fell by 3% in January-September 2018

MOSCOW (MRC) - Imports of polyethylene (PE) into Ukraine decreased to 179,000 tonnes in the first nine months of 2018, up 3% compared to the same period of 2017. At the same time, a decrease in imports was seen in the segment of high density polyethylene (HDPE) and ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA), according to the DataScope.

September PE imports to Ukraine decreased to 16,500 tonnes against 20,700 tonnes in August, the main reason for the decline in purchases is limited export quotas from producers in Europe and Russia. Total PE imports into the country exceeded 179,000 tonnes in January - September 2018, compared with 185,400 tonnes in the same time a year earlier. Imports of HDPE and EVA decreased, while demand for other ethylene polymers increased.

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

September imports of high density polyethylene (HDPE) decreased to 4,900 tonnes against 6,200 tonnes in August, the decrease in supplies accounted on polyethylene for the production of plastic bottles and film products from Europe. Overall HDPE imports reached 54,900 tonnes in the first nine months of the year, compared to 74,700 tonnes a year earlier.

Film grade HDPE accounted for the greatest reduction in imports (-60%), which was caused by the resumption of the local production.
September imports of low-density polyethylene (LDPE) decreased to 4,500 tonnes against 6,300 tonnes a month earlier, some companies reduced purchases of LDPE in Russia and the Middle East. Overall LDPE imports reached 59,500 tonnes over the stated period, up by 15% year on year.

September imports of LLDPE into the country decreased to 5,800 tonnes, compared with 6,200 tonnes in August on a weaker purchases from local producers of large items produced by rotational moulding. In general, January - September LLDPE imports into Ukraine increased to 55,400 tonnes compared with 49,300 tonnes year on year. The main increase in demand occurred for the local producers of the film production.

Imports of other grades of polyethylene, including EVA for the period under review reached about 11,700 tonnes against 11,900 tonnes a year earlier.