PVC production in Russia up by 5% in Q1 2019

MOSCOW (MRC) - Russian producers of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) increased high capacity utilisation in the first three months of the year.
Total production of PVC reached 260,200 tonnes in January-March, up 5% year on year, according to MRC ScanPlast.

March total production of unmixed PVC grew to 90,700 tonnes from 81,700 tonnes a month earlier, Bashkir Soda Company and SayanskKhimPlast increased their capacity utilisation. Overall PVC production reached 260,200 tonnes in January-March 2019, compared to 246,800 tonnes a year earlier. All plants raised their output, except for Kaustik Volgograd.

The structure of PVC production by plants looked the following way over the stated period.

RusVinyl (JV of SIBUR and SolVin) produced about 31,200 tonnes of PVC in March, with emulsion polyvinyl chloride (EPVC) accounting for 2,500 tonnes, compared to 28,600 tonnes a month earlier. Overall PVC production at RusVinyl was 89,200 tonnes in January-March 2019, up by 5% year on year.

SayanskKhimPlast produced 28,000 tonnes of suspension PVC (SPVC) last month, whereas this figure was only 25,100 tonnes in February. The Sayansk plant managed to produce about 82,100 tonnes of resin in January-March, compared to 76,700 tonnes a year earlier.

Baskhir Soda Company produced about 24,500 tonnes of SPVC in March, against 21,500 tonnes a month earlier. Total SPVC production at Baskhir Soda Company increased to 68,900 tonnes in the first three months of this year, compared to 66,800 tonnes in the same period in 2018.

Kaustik (Volgograd) produced 7,100 tonnes of SPVC in March, compared with 6,600 tonnes in February. Thus, Kaustik's overall production of SPVC reached 21,300 tonnes in the first three months of 2019 versus 23,600 tonnes a year earlier.


Sipchem and Sahara Merger Progresses

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Sahara Petrochemicals has announced that its current CEO, Salah Mohammed Bahmdan, will head up the new group that will be formed from its merger with Saudi International Petrochemical (Sipchem), as per Chemanager-online.

Abdullah Saif Alsaadoon, Sipchem’s CEO, will be appointed as chief operating officer of the combined company.

The companies disclosed last December that they had agreed to a merger of equals in a move they estimate to yield synergies of up to 225 million Saudi riyal, or $60 million, by the end of the third year after completion.

Synergies will be achieved by product cross-selling, an internal balancing of chemicals between co-located assets in Al Jubail, Saudi Arabia, and increased scale in common procurement spending, consolidated shipments and logistics.

The merger will be carried out via a share swap, in which all Sahara shares will be exchanged for new shares in Sipchem. The combined company will be named Sahara International Petrochemical and owned equally by both Sipchem and Sahara shareholders.

The transaction expected to be finalized by Jun. 30, 2019 will create Saudi Arabia’s second-largest non-SABIC related company, behind Petro Rabigh. The deal remains subject to regulatory and shareholder approval.

As MRC wrote before, in March 2018, Sipchem said it was planning to resume proposed merger talks with Sahara Petrochemical 2260.SE in a deal that could create a 14.7 billion riyals (USD3.9 bln) chemicals company. The two companies called off a planned merger in 2014, citing an inadequate regulatory framework in the kingdom for the collapse.

Established in 1999, Saudi International Petrochemical Company (Sipchem) manufactures and markets methanol, butanediol, tetrahydrofuran, acetic acid, acetic anhydride, vinyl acetate monomer. Besides, it has launched several down-stream projects to manufacture ethylene vinyl acetate, low density polyethylene, ethyl acetate, butyl acetate, cross linkable polyethylene, and semi conductive compound that are scheduled to start in 2013.

Sahara Petrochemical is involved in building and operating petrochemical projects, especially propylene, polypropylene, ethylene and mixed polyethylene industries.

CSPC shut No. 2 PP plant in China due to technical issues

MOSCOW (MRC) -- CNOOC and Shell Petrochemicals Co (CSPC) has taken off-stream its No. 2 polypropylene (PP) unit in Guangdong, according to Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in China informed that the company has halted operations at the unit on April 7, 2019 owing to technical issues. The plant is likely to remain shut for around 10 days.

Located at Huizhou in Guangdong province of China, the No. 2 PP unit has a production capacity of 400,000 mt/year.

As MRC wrote previously, a blast at CNOOC’s Huizhou refinery that killed one worker has not affected crude oil runs at the company’s biggest refinery. The blast, which also injured another worker, came during a trail start of one of the refinery’s secondary units on Feb. 18, 2019. The blast was caused by fuel gas exceeding safe limits at a steam furnace at the refinery’s partial oxidization coal-to-hydrogen plant, according to the document published on the official wechat account of China’s Chemical Safety Association.

CNOOC and Shell Petrochemicals Company Limited (CSPC) was established in late 2000. It has built and now operates a world-scale petrochemical complex in the Daya Bay Economic and Technological Development Zone, Huizhou, Guangdong Province. The joint venture partners are Shell Nanhai BV, a member of the Royal Dutch Shell Group, with a 50 per cent stake, and CNOOC Petrochemicals Investment Limited (CPIL), also with 50 per cent. CPIL is owned by China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) (90%) and Guangdong Guangye Investment Group Company Limited(10%).

As an integrated petrochemical complex, the major facilities of the complex include 11 process units, steam and power generation and other utility provisions, storage and handling and shipping facilities, as well as environmental protection facilities. The heart of the complex is a world-scale cracker producing 950,000 tons per annum ethylene and 500,000 tons per annum propylene. In total, the complex produces some 2.7 million tons per annum of ethylene and propylene's derivative products to supply the domestic market.

Strikes expected to hit oil refinery production

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Royal Dutch Shell confirmed labor strikes started on Monday at its 404,000 barrel per day Pernis oil refinery in the Netherlands and that production would be affected, reported Reuters.

"There will be impact on production but at this point we can’t say exactly what the exact impact will be because we don’t know yet," a spokeswoman said.

Dutch trade union FNV said production at the plant will be gradually reduced to 65 percent of capacity on Monday.

The reduction in capacity will last until Wednesday night, FNV spokesman Egbert Schellenberg said.

The Shell spokeswoman said a technical meeting with the unions was planned for Monday afternoon.

We remind that, as MRC informed before, in May 2018, China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) and Shell Nanhai B.V. (Shell) announced the official start-up of the second ethylene cracker at their Nanhai petrochemicals complex in Huizhou, Guangdong Province, China.

Royal Dutch Shell plc is an Anglo-Dutch multinational oil and gas company headquartered in The Hague, Netherlands and with its registered office in London, United Kingdom. It is the biggest company in the world in terms of revenue and one of the six oil and gas "supermajors". Shell is vertically integrated and is active in every area of the oil and gas industry, including exploration and production, refining, distribution and marketing, petrochemicals, power generation and trading.

Eastman new solution to address global plastic waste issue

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Eastman has recently announced a breakthrough innovation to address the world's plastic waste problem. The firm’s innovation-driven growth strategy is underpinned by creating value through sustainability and a commitment to enhancing the quality of life in a material way, said Process-worldwide.

The strategy is driving the company's efforts to advance the circular economy by finding new uses for products or materials otherwise reaching end of life. In March, the company announced plans to launch an advanced circular recycling technology that breaks down polyester waste that cannot be recycled by current mechanical methods into basic polymer building blocks that can be reintroduced as new polyester-based polymers, delivering a true circular solution.

The recent announcement introduces a second Eastman innovation called carbon renewal technology, which is capable of recycling some of the most complex plastic waste, including non-polyester plastics and mixed plastics that cannot be recycled with conventional recycling technologies. With this new recycling technology, materials such as flexible packaging and plastic films, among others, can be diverted from landfills.

By modifying the front end of Eastman’s cellulosics production, carbon renewal technology uses plastic waste as feedstock and converts it back to simple and versatile molecular components. The process partially oxidizes the plastic and, at a very high efficiency, converts it into the basic building blocks of certain Eastman products, including Advanced Materials and Fibers segment products that serve ophthalmics, durables, packaging, textiles and nonwovens end-use markets.

The company has completed pilot tests at its Kingsport site and plans commercial production in 2019 by leveraging existing assets. This rapid success in developing a new recycling approach is a further example of how the firm leverages its scale and integration to provide sustainable solutions to the world.

The company is exploring commercial collaborations to yield mixed plastic waste to be recycled through carbon renewal technology at commercial scale.

As MRC informed earlier, Jacobs Engineering won a contract from Eastman Chemical to provide capital construction, maintenance and turnaround services at Eastman sites in Longview, Texas, and Kingsport, Tennessee. The contract includes additional maintenance services scope at the Kingsport facility where Jacobs previously provided capital construction services. At the same time, Jacobs will expand its delivery to maintenance and construction at Eastman's Longview facility.