Indorama acquires PET recycling facility in USA

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Chemical producer Indorama Ventures Plc (IVL) has entered into an agreement to acquire a PET recycling facility from Custom Polymers PET in Alabama, US., as per the company's press release.

The facility consists of two production lines; recycled Polyethylene Terephthalate (rPET) Flake and food-grade rPET Pellets, with a combined capacity of 31,000 tonnes/annum.

Regardless of the fluctuations in the quality of post-consumer feedstock, this recycling facility can offer consistently high quality recycled PET material that meets customers’ specific needs in packaging and fibre. With this new acquisition, Indorama Ventures is strengthening its footprint in recycling in multiple locations in Europe, in Mexico, in Thailand and now in USA.

A growing emphasis on sustainability and circular economy objectives among packaging and consumer product manufacturers is expected to be amongst the key factors driving market growth. This acquisition is strategically in line with the Company’s objectives of long-term sustainability. The acquisition of this recycling facility from Custom Polymers will allow IVL to have a secured supply of rPET Flake and food-grade100% rPET Pellets in US, and this will open up new opportunities to meet the ever increasing food grade rPET demand for more sustainable packaging solutions by major brand owners. The proximity of this recycling facility to existing polyester manufacturing entities in US, synergies of management and supply chain are expected to benefit Indorama Ventures’ ability to serve customers in North America, Aloke Lohia, Group CEO of Indorama Ventures said on Monday.


BASF launches a new innovative adsorbent solution family

MOSCOW (MRC) -- BASF has announced the commercial launch of Durasorb, a new family of adsorption solutions designed for Natural Gas processing. Durasorb provides gas processing plant operators, especially liquefied natural gas (LNG) plants, with more reliable and more robust dehydration service, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The new product family combines innovative materials developed from BASF’s unique Sorbead technology and proprietary design software to calculate the performance of the adsorbents in all parts of the dehydration vessel and maximize the overall performance and life of the bed.

Based on design calculations, BASF natural gas experts choose the ideal combination of adsorbents out of the comprehensive BASF portfolio. The resulting installation ensures more efficient removal of water and hydrocarbons and solves regeneration-reflux problems. With more robust and reliable products, Durasorb solutions support value creation at gas processing plants by increasing production capacity and deliverability of high-value cargoes, reducing bed sizes, increasing bed life, and enabling higher throughput rates.

Building on the success of development trials in North American gas processing plants, BASF has installed its first reference in an LNG pre-treatment plant. Plant operation of Durasorb verified the ability to improve dehydration systems’ durability which expands production potential, leading to higher yields of valuable products.

"Some of our core strengths are our innovative power, the extraordinary know-how of our natural gas experts and our deep experience with adsorption solutions," said Detlef Ruff, Senior Vice President Process Catalysts at BASF. "The Durasorb offering combines those strengths and will help gas plants worldwide increase production of valuable cargoes and help position them for success."

Sorbead Alumina-Silica gel was first introduced to the market in 1953 and has since been installed in hundreds of gas plants worldwide for hydrocarbon and water dew point control, membrane protection, underground storage operations and pipeline dehydration. In 2017, BASF implemented a significant expansion of the Sorbead manufacturing plant in Nienburg Germany, demonstrating its commitment to grow this important global market.

BASF entered the molecular sieve business in 2010 and has since developed innovative products that are resistant to hydrothermal damage. With a broad portfolio of adsorbent products, BASF technology experts use combination bed technology to provide customers with a tailored design, performance warranty, and unmatched service.

As MRC reported earlier, in August 2016, BASF has introduced tailored polyamide portfolio for the charge-air duct in modern combustion engines. The reductions in fuel consumption and emissions which are prescribed by law in many countries are forcing the automotive industry to act. Besides developing alternative drives, the optimization of traditional combustion engines continues to play a key role. Downsizing results in higher pressures and temperatures, especially in components that carry air behind the turbocharger. BASF is responding to this development in engine designs with a consistent portfolio of PA6 and PA66 grades that meet the higher demands on the materials, their mechanical properties and temperature resistance.

BASF is the largest diversified chemical company in the world and is headquartered in Ludwigshafen, Germany. BASF produces a wide range of chemicals, for example solvents, amines, resins, glues, electronic-grade chemicals, industrial gases, basic petrochemicals and inorganic chemicals. The most important customers for this segment are the pharmaceutical, construction, textile and automotive industries.

PP imports to Ukraine increased by 9% in January-November

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Ukraine's polypropylene (PP) imports totalled about 122,800 tonnes in the first eleven months of the year, up 9% year on year. Demand for all PP grades increased, as per MRC's DataScope report.

November PP imports into Ukraine dropped to 11,600 tonnes from 13,500 tonnes a month earlier, with propylene homopolymers (homopolymer PP) accounting for the main decrease in shipments. Overall imports of propylene polymers reached 122,800 tonnes in January-November 2018, compared to 112,400 tonnes a year earlier.

Demand for all PP grades increased, but PP block copolymers accounted for the greatest growth. The supply structure by PP grades looked the following way over the stated period.

November imports of homopolymers of propylene to the Ukrainian market decreased to 9,000 tonnes against 10,400 tonnes a month earlier, local companies decreased the volume of purchases of homopolymer PP raffia in Saudi Arabia and Russia. Overall shipments of homopolymer PP reached 93,200 tonnes in the first eleven months of 2018 versus 85,800 tonnes a year earlier.

Last month's imports of block propylene copolymers (PP block copolymers) were 1,100 tonnes, compared to 1,300 tonnes in October. Demand for injection moulding propylene copolymers improved from local companies. 12,200 tonnes of PP block copolymers were imported over the stated period, whereas last year's figure was 11,900 tonnes.

November imports of PP random copolymers exceeded 1,300 tonnes versus 1,500 tonnes a month earlier, demand for PP decreased from pipes producers. Overall imports of PP random copolymer reached 15,300 tonnes in January-November 2018, whereas this figure was 12,800 tonnes a year earlier.

Overall imports of other propylene copolymers were 2,100 tonnes over the stated period.


PVC imports to Ukraine fell by 35% in January-November 2018

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Imports of suspension polyvinyl chloride (SPVC) into Ukraine decreased in the first eleven months of 2018 by 35% year on year to 61,600 tonnes. The growth of domestic production was the main reason, according to MRC's DataScope report.

Last month's SPVC imports to the Ukrainian market rose to 4,500 tonnes from 3,900 tonnes in October, with US resin accounting for the main increase in shipments, which was caused by a scheduled shutdown for a long turnaround at the local producer - Karpatneftekhim - in November. Overall SPVC imports reached 61,600 tonnes in January-November 2018, compared to 94,000 tonnes a year earlier. Karpatneftekhim's stable operations after many years of outage helped to reduce the dependence of the Ukrainian market on imports.

The structure of PVC imports into Ukraine looked the following way over the stated period.

Last month's imports of US SPVC grew to 2,000 tonnes from 1,000 tonnes in October. Thus, imports of US resin totalled 35,900 tonnes in the first eleven months of 2018, compared to 47,900 tonnes a year earlier. February-March accounted for the peak of imports.

November shipments of European PVC to the Ukrainian market were 2,600 tonnes, compared to 2,900 tonnes a month earlier. Overall imports of European PVC into Ukraine totalled 24,400 tonnes in the first eleven months of 2018, compared to 31,500 tonnes a year earlier.

As reported earlier, Karpatneftekhim shut down its PVC production for a scheduled maintenance on 5 November. The shutdown was quite long and lasted approximately until 9 December. The plant's overall annual PVC production capacity is 300,000 tonnes.


Pemex aims for splash in shallow waters, retreats from the deeps

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Mexican state-run oil giant Petroleos Mexicanos will focus on existing shallow water assets and refining next year at the expense of riskier, deepwater projects under a new government that has vowed to turn around the ailing company, reported Reuters.

The 2019 budget blueprint presented on Saturday by officials of leftist President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador calls for some USD23 billion (465 billion pesos) in discretionary spending for the company known as Pemex, up about 14 percent from this year.

Almost half the Pemex budget is earmarked for exploration and production, mostly in shallow water and some onshore areas.

Setting out his plans on Saturday, Pemex Chief Executive Octavio Romero said two previous governments had little to show for putting 41 percent of exploration funding into deep waters: "At best we’d have the first drop of oil by 2025," he said.

Mexican crude output has fallen for 14 straight years. Pemex aims to increase production by almost 50 percent by the end of the six-year term of Lopez Obrador, who wants to reduce Mexico’s dependence on imported fuels.

To that end, the budget projects Pemex spending almost USD2.5 billion on an oil refinery Lopez Obrador is building at the southern Gulf coast port of Dos Bocas. The facility aims to be able to process 340,000 barrels per day (bpd) of heavy crude.

"Pemex’s E&P unit and refining will total 98 percent of all capital expenditures. All other subsidiaries will get scraps," said Gonzalo Monroy, a Mexico City-based oil analyst.

Another USD245 million in funding is planned for upgrades to Pemex’s six existing domestic refineries.

The plan cuts funding for units focused on fertilizers, ethylene, drilling services and its corporate offices.

The budget also provides for about USD6.2 billion in so-called non-discretionary spending to cover costs like debt servicing. Pemex has financial debts of some USD106 billion, among other hefty obligations, fueling concern over its credit rating.

Pemex is government-owned and the senior management is hand-picked by the president, including the chief executive and the chairman of the board, who is also the energy minister.

Monroy identified two planned exploration and production outlays as "potential headaches" due to their complexity and cost: Chicontepec, a tight oil onshore project, and Lakach, a mostly natural gas deepwater scheme budgeted for USD673 million.

pez Obrador firmly opposed the 2013 constitutional overhaul championed by his predecessor, who ended Pemex’s decades-long monopoly and allowed foreign and private producers to bid on developing oil and gas projects for the first time.

The shakeup also allowed Pemex to form joint ventures, a common practice in the industry aimed at sharing risks and rewards that Lopez Obrador has yet to embrace - or reject.

Earlier this month, Energy Minister Rocio Nahle said two onshore auctions scheduled for February would be canceled.

Mexico’s oil regulator later said auctions due at the same time for the right to partner with Pemex on seven onshore contracts had been postponed until next October.

In the past three years, Pemex has inked three joint ventures, including one with Australia’s BHP Billiton for the deepwater Trion project.

While Pemex cedes control on these projects, it attracts significant investment from partners without having to pledge much of its own funding during the initial phase.

Lopez Obrador will need to authorize more Pemex joint ventures, also known as farm-outs, to reach his goal of boosting crude output to 2.6 million bpd in six years from 1.8 million now, said Raul Feliz, an economist at the CIDE think tank.

"If Pemex has to do it all by itself with this level of funding, it won’t be enough," he said.

As MRC informed previously, Mexican national oil company Pemex is currently processing about 9 percent more crude oil at its domestic refineries than it did in 2017, said Chief Executive Officer Carlos Trevino in April 2018.

Pemex, Mexican Petroleum, is a Mexican state-owned petroleum company. Pemex has a total asset worth of USD415.75 billion, and is the world's second largest non-publicly listed company by total market value, and Latin America's second largest enterprise by annual revenue as of 2009. Company produces such polymers, as polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), polystyrene (PS).