Sinopec Shanghai took off-stream its No. 2 LDPE unit in China for maintenance

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Sinopec Shanghai Petrochemical has undertaken a planed shutdown its No. 2 low density polyethylene (LDPE) unit in Shanghai, as per Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in China informed that the company has halted operations at the unit on February 10, 2019. The unit is likely to remain under maintenance until end-March 2019.

Located at Shanghai in China, the No. 2 unit has a production capacity of 45,000 mt/year.

As MRC informed before, Sinopec Shanghai Petrochemical conducted a turnaround at its another LDPE unit in Shanghai from February 26 to March 26, 2018. Located at Shanghai in China, the LDPE unit has a production capacity of 100,000 mt/year.

China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation, or Sinopec Limited is a Chinese oil and gas company based in Beijing, China. It is listed in Hong Kong and also trades in Shanghai and New York . Sinopec is the worlds fifth biggest company by revenue.

Stavrolen shut PE and PP production

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Stavrolen, Russia' major polyolefins producer, shut down its polypropylene (PP) and high density polyethylene (HDPE) production because of technical issues, according to ICIS-MRC Price report with reference to the plant's customers.

The company's clients said Stavrolen planned to take off-stream its PP production from 11 February due to technical problems. According to preliminary data, the outage will last for about a week.

Stavrolen's (part of Lukoil) annual capacity of LDPE and HDPE production is 120,000 and 300,000 tonnes, respectively. The plant's output of polymers of propylene and HDPE exceeded 111,800 tonnes and 293,600 tonnes last year, up by 11% and 26%, respectively, year on year.

CDU at Phillips 66 Wood River refinery shut by fire

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The second largest crude distillation unit (CDU) was shut by a fire at Phillips 66’s 330,000 barrel-per-day (bpd) joint-venture Wood River, Illinois, refinery, reported Reuters with reference to a source familiar with plant operations.

One person was taken to a local hospital with burns, the source said.

The 120,000 bpd DU-2 CDU was returning to operation after an overhaul when the fire broke out, the source said.

Phillips 66 spokesman Joe Gannon said in an email the fire had been extinguished.

Gannon also said the injured person walked to the ambulance for transport to the hospital. St. Louis television station KMOX-TV said the person’s injuries were not life-threatening.

All other employees and contractors at the refinery have been accounted for.

Local and social media reports said on Sunday there had been an explosion at the refinery, 23 miles (37 km) northeast of St. Louis.

"At approximately 4:30 p.m. CST (2230 GMT) on Sunday, February 10, there was an event at the refinery that resulted in a fire in one of the process units," Gannon said.

The Wood River refinery is a 50-50 joint venture between Phillips 66 and Cenovus Energy Inc. Phillips 66 is the managing partner.

As MRC informed before, US-based Phillips 66 remains open to developing another ethane cracker for its Chevron Phillips Chemical (CP Chem) joint venture, the refiner's CEO said in March 2018.

BASF opens application technology laboratory for personal care in Nigeria

MOSCOW (MRC) -- BASF’s Care Creations has yesterday officially opened its new Application Technology Laboratory for personal care in Lagos, Nigeria. With the establishment of local competence in application and formulation technology, BASF commissioned its local technical service for African hair and skin care applications throughout sub-Saharan Africa, as per the company's press-release.

At the same time, the company strengthens its network of local expertise in marketing and sales in the region. "Customized solutions meeting the specific requirements of consumers in different markets are key for business growth. With our broadened presence and the investment in a new Application Laboratory in sub-Saharan Africa, we can provide on-site technical expertise and market insights to our customers and support the local development of tailor-made products for the specific needs of African hair and skin," said Dirk Mampe, Vice President Business Management Personal Care Solutions Europe.

Hair and skin and thus consumers’ personal care regimens vary widely across regions, necessitating tailored cosmetic products. The new state-of-the-art Application Laboratory in Nigeria is designed to offer formulation support and, based on BASF’s deep global expertise in hair and skin care performance testing, to expand and develop consumer-relevant claim support for the needs of consumers in sub-Saharan Africa. The laboratory is part of BASF’s new regional headquarter for West Africa which was commissioned in Lagos in October last year. As one of the fastest-growing beauty markets in sub-Saharan Africa, Nigeria is well-suited as a regional hub for BASF’s personal care business.

"The expansion of BASF’s operations in West Africa, including the opening of this new Personal Care Application Laboratory, clearly demonstrates BASF’s commitment to West Africa and the confidence we have in Nigeria and the whole region," said Jean Marc Ricca, Managing Director for BASF West Africa.

The new laboratory is also part of BASF’s global application technology network in 21 countries. Being at the pulse of the sub-Saharan African personal care market, the local BASF team will support customers in the creation of both hair and skin care applications for African consumers to answer specific needs and trends.

The unique African hair is typified by kinks and coils along the hair shaft, an elliptical cross-section, and fewer cuticle layers than other hair types. These characteristics make natural African hair more difficult to comb through and prone to breakage, necessitating a tailored care regimen to maintain healthy hair. Popular styles such as natural afro hair, chemically-relaxed hair, dreadlocked hair and the usage of styling tools, e.g. flat irons, also call for specialty products.

As with hair, African skin types have distinct characteristics such as a relatively high amount of protective melanin, skin lipids and sebum secretion, and a comparatively large pore area. An intensive and gentle cleansing combined with suitable skin care products can improve the skin texture by supporting the balance between moisture and sebum production.

The BASF division Care Chemicals offers a broad range of ingredients for personal care, home care, industrial &
institutional cleaning, and technical applications.

Ethane producer announces USD72 B export deal

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Texas-based ethane producer and exporter, American Ethane announced plans to build ethane export terminals on the site of Martin Midstream Partners’ Beaumont, Texas, terminal on the Neches River, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Ethane from the terminal would be exported to China.

According to the company, American Ethane has signed binding agreements with three Chinese companies to buy and sell USD72 billion of ethane, the largest such agreement in history.

John Houghtaling, CEO of American Ethane, estimated the project would create up to 5,000 construction and production jobs in the United States and more than 1,000 jobs in the Beaumont area.

The announcement from American Ethane said China must still issue permits for the three Chinese companies, but Houghtaling expressed confidence, given that the project has been part of trade negotiations between the Trump administration and that of Chinese President Xi Jinping.

S&B Engineers and Constructors will build the export terminals and will oversee the initial hiring for the job.

"Everything will be dependent on the local workforce," S&B CEO James Brookshire said. "We don’t want to have to bring in what we would call travelers. We would much rather recruit locally."

American Ethane said skills pertinent to the terminal construction project will include pipefitters, electricians, cement finishers, ironworkers, riggers, equipment operators and other industrial tradesmen.

The announcement comes after American Ethane signed a memorandum of understanding with China Merchants Group (CMG), China’s largest state-owned entity, to deliver America-sourced ethane to China. The transportation group, operating under the subsidiary of Nanjing Tanker Corporation, plans to build, own and operate a fleet of Very Large Ethane Carriers to transport up to 7.2 million tons of ethane per year from the United States to China, according to the agreement between American Ethane and CMG.