Honggang chooses Invista technology for new PTA line in China

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Jiangsu Honggang Petrochemical Co. will utilize Invista Performance Technologies' latest P8 purified terephthalic acid (PTA) technology for a new 2.4-million-t/y PTA line in China, as per Apic-online.

"This is the first time that Invista and Honggang would be collaborating to build state-of-the-art PTA assets," Invista noted. The project is expected to start up in the fourth quarter of 2020. No other details were given.

Honggang, a subsidiary of Shenghong Petrochemical, started up the first phase, a 1.5-million-t/y PTA line, in July 2014.

As MRC wrote before, in May 2018, Invista Performance Technologies (IPT) announced the success of its latest P8 PTA technology deployed on Jiaxing Petrochemical’s second PTA Line. Started up in record time in December 2017, the plant is now consistently operating at 100 percent design rate with a variable cost performance better than the target, firmly establishing Jiaxing Petrochemical’s second PTA Line as the global leader in terms of raw material and utility consumptions.

Invista is one of the world's largest integrated producers of polymers and fibers, primarily for nylon, spandex and polyester applications. With a business presence in over 20 countries, Invista's global businesses deliver exceptional value for their customers through technology innovations, market insights and a powerful portfolio of global trademarks.

Refiners get taste of post-IMO world with gasoline/diesel imbalance

MOSCOW (MRC) - Refineries around the world are squeezing out every last drop of diesel while drowning in gasoline, in what could well become the new normal for the next few years, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The imbalance is a confluence of major shifts in oil markets - surging production of light U.S. shale oil, plummeting exports of heavier Venezuelan and Iranian crude, weakening gasoline demand and rising diesel consumption. The coming in 2020 of the biggest change in fuel regulations in decades, when the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) will start requiring ships to use cleaner fuel, is likely to prolong this reality, oil executives and analysts say.

Refineries that distill crude oil into fuel have always had to adapt their output to shifting demand patterns such as high consumption of gasoline in summer and increased demand for heating oil in winter. But the market for refined products appears out of kilter in a way rarely seen before, and the IMO changes are likely to prolong the imbalance.

“We are witnessing a microcosm of the post-IMO environment,” Jefferies analyst Jason Gammel said. The new IMO regulations will reduce the allowed content of sulphur in shipping fuel, known as bunker fuel, from 3.5 percent to 0.5 percent, increasing demand for diesel at the expense of dirtier fuel oil.

Ahead of the change, refineries invested in equipment to remove more sulphur from crude oil and increase production of diesel. At the same time, a slew of new refineries has come or will come on stream in coming years. Several long-term changes are further impacting oil refining.

First, gasoline demand is gradually decelerating due to higher engine efficiency, slowing economic growth in China and a gradual expansion of the electric vehicle fleet. The International Energy Agency has estimated that gasoline demand will grow by “a puny” 80,000 barrels per day in 2018, the slowest expansion since 2011.

Diesel demand, on the other hand, has been persistently strong due to higher industrial activity in the United States, while global stocks have tightened as a result of lower exports from China and refinery outages.

Acquisition adds rubber manufacturing to New York-based injection molder Jrlon Inc

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The Palmyra, N.Y.-based custom manufacturer of specialty metal and high-performance plastic products has acquired RotaDyne Corp.’s engineered products division for an undisclosed amount, as per Plasticsnews.

The division, based in Spencerport, N.Y., will bring a range of complementary manufacturing services to Jrlon. The unit consists of 33 employees and produces compression molded elastomers, small rubber rollers and offers precision CNC machining.

Jrlon started as a high-performance plastics processor, mainly fluoropolymer materials, and has added other plastic materials to its portfolio. Now half of its business is within the metal worlds. Its capabilities include compression and injection molding, CNC machining, powder coating and assembly.

Brandon Redmond, co-owner and chief operating officer of Jrlon, said bringing rubber under its roof was the next logical step.

“We’ve steered clear of rubber in the past mostly because we just didn’t have the expertise on hand in the elastomer world,” he said. “We had already expanded into other materials, but at this point it’s logically the next step to take. We’ve already gotten heavily into the metals and other plastics, so rubber at some point was likely to follow.

“Any time you’re able to offer your customers a more diverse range of processes or products, you’re a more valuable supplier. One of the things we’ve always been able to sell to our customers is, because we have so many different processes under one roof, we’ve had customers be able to eliminate multiple other vendors by adding us as a vendor.”

Redmond said RotaDyne had been a customer of Jrlon’s for more than 20 years, so there was a familiarity between the two operations. So much so that when the Spencerport site got word that RotaDyne had put it up for sale, Redmond said the facility leadership reached out to Jrlon. He said it didn’t take long for both parties to see the deal as a good fit.

“We view this as an opportunity to supply them the support to really fulfill the potential that they had,” he said. “We view this as a location that’s going to expand and grow. I anticipate over the next several years adding multiple jobs to that facility as we fill capacity.”

Jrlon operates out of a 100,000-square-foot site in Palmyra with 90 employees. The facility consists of 85 CNC machines, 12 compression molding presses (two fully automatic) and five injection molding machines.

PPG receives BCF Corporate Social Responsibility Award for second consecutive year

MOSCOW (MRC) -- PPG said it received the 2018 Corporate Social Responsibility Award from the British Coatings Federation for the second consecutive year, said Coatingworld.

The award recognizes the company that has clearly demonstrated an outstanding and successful charity or CSR campaign across any aspect of social responsibility.

PPG’s signature initiative for supporting communities, the COLORFUL COMMUNITIES program, aims to protect and beautify the neighborhoods where PPG operates around the world. Since the program’s launch in 2015, PPG and its employee volunteers have completed more than 170 Colorful Communities projects and have impacted nearly 5 million people in 25 countries, including in the U.K. PPG also offers the Colourful Futures Education program and the Chemistry Education Project in the U.K. and supports leading educational institutions, such as the National Space Centre.

"Having PPG recognized alongside industry peers is an honor and will allow us to continue our work delivering value to the community,” said Vincent O’Sullivan, PPG architectural coatings business unit director, United Kingdom and Ireland. “We are delighted to have won this award for the second year running, which has not been done before. Receiving the award will enable us to continue celebrating with our great people, who generously donate their time and effort. We express our gratitude to every organization or group that has helped make our community programs possible."

The 2018 BCF Awards received more applicants than any previous year, highlighting their growing importance and standing within the U.K. paint and coatings industry. PPG was a finalist in five categories – Sustainable Innovation, Corporate Social Responsibility, Excellence in Training, Customer Service and Coatings Care.

BCF is the sole trade association representing the British coatings industry. Its members’ products support a supply chain of 300,000 people and represent 95 percent of U.K. sales of coatings, inks and wallcoverings.

India to keep buying Iranian oil despite US sanctions

MOSCOW (MRC) -- India will buy 9 million barrels of Iranian oil in November, two industry sources said, indicating that the world’s third-biggest oil importer is to continue purchasing crude from the Islamic republic despite US sanctions came into force on Nov. 4, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

"Refiners have placed November nominations to lift 1.25 million tonnes (about 9 million barrels) of oil from Iran," one of the sources said.

Indian Oil Corp will lift 6 million barrels of Iranian oil and Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd 3 million barrels, the source told Reuters.

The United States imposed new sanctions targeting Iran’s oil sector on Nov. 4 to try to stop the country’s involvement in conflicts in Syria and Iraq and bring Tehran to the negotiating table over its ballistic missile program.

The sources declined to be identified as they were not authorized to speak to the media. Indian Oil and Mangalore Refinery did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

"India is continuing with its relationship with both its key energy partners Iran and the US," a second source said.

Indian refiners imported around 10 million barrels of Iranian oil in October, and its November shipments are expected to be lower.

In the previous round of sanctions, India continued to buy Iranian oil although it had to cut purchases significantly to protect its wider exposure to the US financial system.

India’s foreign minister said in May it abides only by sanctions imposed by the United Nations and not those imposed by any other country.

With the European Union considering the creation of a "special purpose vehicle" before November to facilitate trade with Iran, India hopes to find a way to settle payments to Tehran.

"Previously there was no European channel. This time Europe is not working with the US, so we intend to evolve a mechanism," the second source said.

India, Iran’s top client after China, has close diplomatic ties with Iran, where it is building a strategic port called Chabahar that is expected to be operational by 2019. At the same time, India is closely working with the United States to further its strategic interests.

"It is still early to say how India will settle its trade with Iran," the first source said, adding that India could consider paying Iran for crude with the rupee currency.