Shuaiba SM plant brought on-stream by Equate

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Equate Petrochemical Company has restarted its styrene monomer (SM) plant at Shuaiba, according to Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in Kuwait informed that that the company has resumed operations at the plant late last week. The plant was shut for maintenance on Janauary 12, 2019.

Located at Shuaiba in Kuwait, the SM plant has a production capacity of 450,000 mt/year.

As MRC informed before, Kuwait-based Equate Petrochemical Company continued its global growth through its wholly owned subsidiary MEGlobal with the launch of work on a new world-scale ethylene glycol (EG) manufacturing facility in Freeport, Texas, US, in August 2016. With this plant, Equate is the first Kuwaiti petrochemical company to invest in the US. The new facility, to be completed during 2019, will increase Equate’s monoethylene glycol (MEG) capacity by 750,000 metric tonnes annually and will enhance the company’s global presence to meet customer needs.

Equate is the world’s second largest EG producer with 12% of the global market share.

Equate Petrochemical Company K.S.C.C., together with its subsidiaries, manufactures, markets, and distributes petrochemical products. The company produces ethylene, polyethylene terephthalate, polypropylene, styrene monomer, paraxylene, heavy aromatics, and benzene; polyethylene for various applications, including flexible and food packaging, industrial packaging, agricultural films, HIC, and others; and monoethylene and diethylene glycol that are used in polyester fiber for fabrics, water-based adhesive materials, shoe polish, and printer inks, as well as automotive anti-freeze and coolants. The company sells its products in Kuwait and other Gulf Cooperation Council countries, North America, Asia, Europe, and internationally. Equate Petrochemical Company K.S.C.C. was founded in 1994 and is headquartered in Safat, Kuwait.

ELIX Polymers presents plating portfolio developments at PIAE

MOSCOW (MRC) -- ELIX Polymers will present latest developments in its portfolio of chrome-platable ABS-based materials at PIAE, the Plastics in Automotive Engineering congress in Mannheim, Germany on April 3 and 4, said the company.

Once again at this leading annual industry event, ELIX will have its own stand – Booth 99 – where it will show its product portfolio and new innovations.

The company recently commissioned a study to compare its ELIX Ultra HH4115PG platable ABS/PC (an ABS modified with polycarbonate) with the benchmark platable product under Volkswagen specification TL528-B. The tests, carried out at the Kunststoff-Institut Ludenscheid, produced similarly very good results for both materials; each showed adhesion values clearly over the requirements. The plastics institute carried out a roll peeling test (DIN 53 494), climate change tests (PV 1200) and a cross-cut test (TL528). But while the test results are similar, ELIX Ultra HH4115PG is 3% less dense, it has better flow properties, and can be processed at lower temperatures. ELIX Polymers will have full details of the test results available on its stand.

ELIX Polymers’ ELIX ABS P2MC, a benchmark platable ABS in Europe, is already approved at many OEMs and is used by customers around the world. A high-heat version, ELIX ABS HHP2MC, was launched in 2016. For applications where even higher temperature resistance or impact strength is required, Ultra HH4115PG offers advantages over grades of PC modified with ABS in terms of processability, lightweighting and costs.

All three grades have special formulations dedicated to electroplating process requirements. To ensure Class A surfaces, the company has put in place a process of intensive quality control and selection of intermediate products. ELIX Polymers is now developing a new platable ABS/PC with even better flow, for very demanding parts.

Approvals for ELIX UltraHH4115PG have been achieved at Renault-Nissan (PMR2019), Daimler (DBL 5404.AA77), and General Motors (GMW15581P-ABS + PC-T7). More approvals are in the process of being obtained.

ELIX Polymers is cooperating with the main producers of plating chemicals as it develops resins optimized for use with chromium 6-free technologies (inhaled chromium 6 – also known as hexavalent chromium – is a human carcinogen), in order to ensure that plated plastic parts continue to have the highest possible quality. ’'It is important that all involved parties – plating chemistry producer, resin producer, Tier, OEM – all work together in the early development phase,” says Fabian Herter, Marketing Manager Automotive & ABS Specialties.

Last November, ELIX Polymers participated in the “Chrome 2030 – the future of plating on plastics in the Automotive Industry” conference organized by “Fachverband Galvanisierte Kunststoffe (FGK) in Stuttgart, where the latest authorisation status, experience of alternative chromium conditioning and plating systems, progress results and technology comparisons were all discussed.

Evonik expands its portfolio of silica exfoliating particles

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The cosmetic industry’s demand for raw materials that are approved for use in natural cosmetic products is steadily on the rise. With SIPERNAT 250 PC and SIPERNAT 9000 PC, Evonik is launching two additional products that offer alternatives to microplastics, said the company.

The new SIPERNAT 250 PC is designed for body scrub applications. The hardness of its particles is well suited for use on normal skin.

SIPERNAT 9000 PC is designed for applications involving larger amounts of dirt, or less sensitive body areas such as feet. These applications benefit from the harder and durable particles of SIPERNAT 9000 PC to create a better scrubbing effect.

The products complement the existing assortment of SIPERNAT 22 PC and SIPERNAT 2200 PC, which are preferred in formulations for facial and body care products for sensitive skin.

As a result, the four SIPERNAT PC products of Evonik now cover virtually all rinse-off formulation needs in addition to offering benefits such as global availability and controlled, consistent quality.

All SIPERNAT PC products are listed as nature-identical by the International Natural and Organic Cosmetics Association (NATRUE), a globally active association dedicated to promoting natural skin care.

Moreover, all four products are certified with the COSMOS label and can therefore be used in natural cosmetic products. They are INCI-classified as hydrated silica, which makes them “derived mineral ingredients” in the definition of ISO 16128-1.

Evonik is a leading global manufacturer of silica. In addition to the fumed silica AEROSIL® and the precipitated silica ULTRASIL, SIPERNAT, ZEODENT and SPHERILEX, Evonik also produces silica based matting agents under the brand name ACEMATT and other fumed metal oxides under the brand AEROXIDE. Overall, Evonik has a global production capacity for all silica based products of about 1 million metric tons/year.

Italy makes major oil find in Angola

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Italian company Eni said it had made a major oil discovery in Angola that would boost its credentials as one of the most successful foreign oil producers in Africa in recent years, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The find is Angola's largest offshore discovery in years and may help Africa's second-biggest crude producer avoid a steep decline in output due to the ageing of its other fields.

Oil accounts for 95 percent of exports and around 70 percent of revenues, and the government has recently offered better fiscal terms and more collaboration to international energy firms in an effort to help its mostly impoverished population.

Eni said its new Agogo prospect in Angola's deep waters contained between 450 million and 650 million barrels of light oil with potential for further upside.

Data from the exploration well pointed to a production capacity of more than 20,000 barrels of oil per day, it said.

"This is a valuable find of light, sweet oil which they will be able to fast-track to meet increasing demand in 2020-2021," Santander oil analyst Jason Kenney said.

Eni, which has been in Angola since 1980, will be operator at the field with a stake of 36.8 percent, the same as Angola's state-owned Sonangol. SSI Fifteen Ltd has 26.3 percent.

Angola, a member of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, is a key location for the Italian state-controlled major. The company currently produces around 155,000 barrels of equity oil equivalent per day in the African nation.

Eni, which in 2018 produced 1.85 million barrels per day, was struggling to replace reserves a decade ago and lost credibility over its management of the huge Kashagan oilfield in Kazakhstan.

But giant gas finds at Mamba in Mozambique and Zohr in Egypt have since given it the strongest discovery record in the industry.

The major, which produces more than half its oil and gas in Africa, has made a move to diversify away from the continent by clinching a series of deals in the Gulf region.

It is set to uncover its new strategy plan to 2022 on Friday.

As MRC reported before, in February 2018, Italy’s Eni and France’s Total discovered a promising natural gas field off Cyprus, Eni said on Thursday, saying the find looked geologically similar to the mammoth Zohr field off Egypt.

Lubrizol acquires Laboratoire Phenobio

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The Lubrizol Corporation announces the acquisition of Laboratoire Phenobio, an innovative supplier of naturally-derived extracts and botanical active ingredients, said the company.

Recognized across the world as a pioneer in botanical extracts and natural performance ingredients, this addition expands Lubrizol's existing capabilities to provide clean natural ingredients across the cosmetic, nutraceutical and life sciences industries.

Located near the Bordeaux region in France, the company's unique capabilities in subcritical water extraction (SWE) of botanical biomass, coupled with their energy-economic and eco-responsible technologies provide significant value to Lubrizol's global sustainability efforts. This expertise includes a technology used to extract phytoactives from botanical raw materials and is also commonly known as pressurized low polarity water (PLPW). The technology involves extraction of a broad range of phytoactives that are not normally obtained with only water.

"Lubrizol continues to invest in innovative technologies to offer step change formulations for the personal care and life sciences markets" states Deb Langer, Lubrizol vice president and general manager of personal, home and healthcare. "With this acquisition, Lubrizol customers will have access to novel botanical extracts compliant with ECOCERT® and COSMOS standards that meet the naturality and sustainability expectations end users are requiring on a global basis. Additionally, our preferred partners will have access to final formulations using this exciting new technology."

The Lubrizol Corporation, a Berkshire Hathaway company, is a market-driven global company that combines complex, specialty chemicals to optimize the quality, performance and value of customers' products while reducing their environmental impact. It is a leader at combining market insights with chemistry and application capabilities to deliver valuable solutions to customers in the global transportation, industrial and consumer markets. Lubrizol improves lives by acting as an essential partner in our customers' success, delivering efficiency, reliability or wellness to their end users. Technologies include lubricant additives for engine oils, driveline and other transportation-related fluids, industrial lubricants, as well as additives for gasoline and diesel fuel. In addition, Lubrizol makes ingredients and additives for home care, personal care and skin care products and specialty materials encompassing polymer and coatings technologies, along with polymer-based pharmaceutical and medical device solutions.