PVC imports to Ukraine dropped by a third in 2018

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Imports of suspension polyvinyl chloride (SPVC) into Ukraine slumped in 2018 by 33% year on year to 66,100 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 virtually remained at the level of November, totalling 4,500 tonnes. Overall imports of suspension reached 66,100 tonnes in 2018, compared to 98,500 tonnes a year earlier. Karpatneftekhim's stable operations after many years of outage helped to significantly reduce the dependence of the Ukrainian market on imports. Higher production allowed to increase exports.

The structure of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) imports into Ukraine looked the following way over the stated period.

Last month's imports of US SPVC grew to 2,600 tonnes from 2,000 tonnes in November. Thus, imports of US resin totalled 38,600 tonnes last year, compared to 49,800 tonnes a year earlier. February-March accounted for the peak of imports.

December shipments of European PVC to the Ukrainian market were 1,800 tonnes, compared to 2,600 tonnes a month earlier. Overall imports of European PVC into Ukraine totalled 26,200 tonnes over the stated period, compared to 32,800 tonnes a year earlier.

Overall, Karpatneftekhim shipped to foreign markets over 147,500 tonnes last year, whereas this figure was 51,900 tonnes a year earlier.


Petronas RAPID project achieves mechanical completion of new LLDPE and EO/EG facilities

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Samsung Engineering said that mechanical completion (MC) has been achieved at a new linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) plant and an ethylene oxide (EO)/ethylene glycol (EG) facility, built as part of Petronas' Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development (RAPID) project, in Pengerang, Johor, Malaysia, as per Apic-online.

In 2016, PRPC Polymers, a subsidiary of Petronas, awarded an engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning contract (EPCC) to a consortium of Sam-sung Engineering Co., Samsung C&T and Samsung Engineering Sdn Bhd for the 350,000-t/y LLDPE unit.

At the same time, Petronas' PRPC Glycols subsidiary awarded the consortium an EPCC contract for the 740,000-t/y EO/EG plant.

The RAPID project includes a 300,000-b/d refinery and a petrochemical complex with a capacity of over 7-million t/y. Operations are expected to begin early this year.

As MRC wrote before, in June 2017, Malaysia's state oil firm Petroliam Nasional Berhad said its new USD27 billion refining and petrochemical complex project in the southeast Asian country is on track for start-up in 2019.

Petronas, short for Petroliam Nasional Berhad, is a Malaysian oil and gas company wholly owned by the Government of Malaysia. The Group is engaged in a wide spectrum of petroleum activities, including upstream exploration and production of oil and gas to downstream oil refining; marketing and distribution of petroleum products; trading; gas processing and liquefaction; gas transmission pipeline network operations; marketing of liquefied natural gas; petrochemical manufacturing and marketing; shipping; automotive engineering; and property investment.

PP imports to Belarus rose by 4% in January-November 2018

MOSCOW (MRC) - Imports of polypropylene (PP) into Belarus increased to about 90,500 tonnes in the eleven months of this year, up 4% year on year, compared to the same period of 2017. The greatest increase in imports accounted for homopolymer PP, according to MRC DataScope.

November imports of PP into Belarus reached about 7,600 tonnes, which almost the same as a month earlier. Total PP imports into the country reached 90,500 tonnes in January - November, compared with 87,100 tonnes year on year. The demand for homopolymer PP increased, but demand for propylene copolymers decreased.

The structure of PP imports by grades looked the following way over the stated period.

November imports of homopolymer PP to the Belarusian market decreased to 5,000 tonnes from 5,900 tonnes a month earlier, shipments of homopolymer PP from Russia decreased. Overall imports of homopolymer PP reached 62,200 tonnes in the first eleven months of 2018, up by 6.4% year on year. Russian producers with the share of about 88% of the total shipments were the key suppliers.

November imports of propylene copolymers to Belarus increased to 2,700 tonnes from 1,800 tonnes a month earlier, local companies increased their procurement of injection moulding statistical copolymers (PP random copolymers) in Russia. Total imports of propylene copolymers in the country reached 28,400 tonnes in January-November 2018, down 0.9% year on year.


Tellurians Driftwood LNG gets final environmental nod

MOSCOW (MRC) - Tellurian Inc's proposed Driftwood liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in Louisiana took a major step forward on Friday as the U.S. federal energy regulator issued a final environmental report clearing the way for the company to seek a permit to build the export terminal, as per Reuters.

The company said it now needs an order from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) allowing the construction and operation of the 27.6 million tonne per annum (mtpa) liquefaction plant aimed at meeting growing global demand for the supercooled fuel.

"Tellurian will then stand ready to make a final investment decision and begin construction in the first half of 2019, with the first LNG expected in 2023," said Tellurian Chief Executive Meg Gentle in an statement.

In the report, known as a final environmental impact statement, FERC staff concluded that the Driftwood LNG project "would result in adverse impacts on the environment; however, impacts on the environment would be reduced to less than significant levels" with avoidance and mitigation measures.

Driftwood is one of dozens liquefaction/export projects under development in the United States seeking customers so they can start construction and enter service over the next decade to meet growing global demand for the fuel.

U.S. LNG exports have quadrupled in the last two years and are expected to top 10.3 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd) by the end of 2020, making the country one of the world's largest LNG exporters. One bcf of gas is enough to fuel about 5 million U.S. homes for a day.

In addition to the LNG terminal, Tellurian is developing pipelines to transport gas from shale formations in Texas and Louisiana to LNG terminals and other Gulf Coast customers.

Chinas 2018 oil refinery output, Dec gas production hit records

MOSCOW (MRC) - Chinese oil refiners raised their output to a record in 2018, led by state-run oil majors which maximised operations on firm profit-margins and private refiners which increased processing after being granted higher crude import quotas, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Refiners processed 603.57 million tonnes of crude last year, or about 12.07 million barrels per day (bpd), up 6.8 percent from 2017, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Monday. In December, crude runs rose 4.4 percent from the year before to 51.17 million tonnes, or 12.05 million bpd, hovering near a record of 52.78 million tonnes racked up in October.

Top oil and gas group CNPC said on Monday that its crude processing volume rose 4.7 percent last year from 2017 to 207.3 million tonnes, or 4.15 million bpd. New refineries including Zhejiang Petrochemical and the Sinopec-Kuwait refining complex in Zhanjiang were expected to add 32 million tonnes of new refining capacity to the world's largest energy consumer, according to the research unit of China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC).

China's crude runs are likely to grow 4.7 percent in 2019 from last year to hit a record of 634 million tonnes, or 12.68 million bpd, according to a report from CNPC's think tank on Wednesday. Crude oil output dropped in 2018 for a third straight year despite increasing capital spending from oil producers, the data showed. Annual crude production declined 1.3 percent to 189.11 million tonnes, or 3.78 million bpd.

But in December, output recorded a rare year-on-year increase of 2 percent after companies stepped up drilling, with monthly output at 16.33 million tonnes, or 3.845 million bpd, the highest daily level since June last year. For most of the last three years, China's monthly crude oil production has shown year-on-year declines amid the higher costs of operating mature fields and a lack of new discoveries.

China's CNOOC said on Friday that it aimed to double its domestic exploration work and proven oil and gas reserves in seven years.

Meanwhile, December natural gas output surged to a record 15.3 billion cubic metres (bcm), up 10 percent from a year ago, exceeding a record of 14.27 bcm in November, the data showed. For all of 2018, gas output rose 7.5 percent from a year earlier to 161 bcm.