Hanwha Total Petrochemical declares force majeure on SM supply from Daesan plant

MOSCOW (MRC) -- South Korea's Hanwha Total Petrochemical on Thursday declared force majeure on styrene monomer supply from its 650,000 mt/year No. 2 unit in Daesan, due to an ongoing labour strike, reported Apic-online with reference to sources with knowledge of the matter.

The Daesan plant operates two SM units with a nameplate capacity of 400,000 mt/year and 650,000 mt/year, respectively.

The units were shut for scheduled maintenance on March 22, S&P Global Platts reported previously.

The original start-up date for the smaller No. 1 unit had been April 25, but was delayed to May 6, and is currently running at a low operating rate, sources said.

The No. 2 unit was scheduled to resume operations on May 8, but sources said the restart date is unclear amid the strike.

As MRC informed before, Hanwha Total Petrochemical Co Ltd said in December 2017 that it planned to spend USD331.29 MM on a new factory in South Korea to increase polyethylene (PE) output by 400 Mtpy by 2019. The joint venture of South Korean conglomerate Hanwha Group and French oil and gas company Total SA in a statement said the factory will raise its polyethylene capacity to 1.12 MMtpy when completed by the end of 2019.

Hanwha Group is one of the largest business conglomerate in South Korea. Founded in 1952 as Korea Explosives Inc., the group has grown into a large multi-profile business conglomerate, with diversified holdings stretching from explosives, their original business, to retail to financial services.

Shin-Etsu eyes maintenance at PVC plant

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Shin-Etsu is likely to start maintenance at its polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plant in Kashima, according to Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in Japan informed that the company has schedule to shut the plant for turnaround in mid-May, 2019. The plant is likely to remain off-line for a period of around two weeks.

Located at Kashima in Japan, the plant has a production capacity of 550,000 mt/year.

As MRC informed earlier, last year, Shin-Etsu started maintenance at its PVC plant in Kashima in April 2018 for a period of around six weeks. The exact date of the shutdown could not be ascertained. Located at Kashima in Japan, the plant has a production capacity of 550,000 mt/year.

Shin-Etsu is the world and US' largest PVC producer.

Polytek acquires Environmental Technology

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Polytek Development Corp., a manufacturer of specialty polymers for mold making and casting applications, announced today the acquisition of Environmental Technology, Inc. ("ETI"), said the company.

Polytek is a portfolio company of Arsenal Capital Partners.

Founded in 1969 and located in Fields Landing, CA, ETI formulates innovative coating, casting and molding products for the professional artist, crafter and hobbyist. Their widely-known products, which are available in major retail outlets throughout the world, include EnviroTex® Epoxy Coating, EasyCast® Clear Casting Epoxy, EasySculpt® Epoxy Modeling Clay, EasyMold® Silicone Rubber, Putty and Paste and FastCast® Casting Urethane.

This acquisition further fortifies Polytek's position as a leader in consumer mold making and casting materials and elevates the company's ability to manufacture and supply high-quality products to a broad range of users. Jonathan Kane, CEO of Polytek, commented, "Complementary to the 2018 acquisition of Alumilite Corp., the acquisition of ETI enhances our presence in consumer markets and allows us to further provide our customers with excellent service, increased accessibility, and a variety of mold making and casting solutions."

David Fonsen, founder of ETI added, "In planning a transition of the company, I can think of no better home than Polytek, and I look forward to the continued success of the ETI brand."

David Fonsen will remain in his current role through the integration process, and the two companies will continue to do business under their existing names.

Genesis Capital, LLC acted as the financial advisor to Polytek.

Founded in 1984, Polytek® Development Corp. is headquartered in Easton, PA with operations in Pomona, CA, Kalamazoo, MI and Franklin, IN. Polytek is a leading manufacturer of specialty polymers including polyurethane elastomers and casting resins, silicone, latex, plastisol, thermoplastic elastomers, and epoxies. These systems are used primarily in mold making and casting applications in industrial, construction, entertainment, arts and crafts, and technology sectors.

Belarus state oil firm says Novopolotsk refinery short on clean oil

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Belarus state oil firm Belneftekhim said in a statement on Saturday that not enough clean oil is available for the Novopolotsk refinery to work at its optimal capacity, after contaminated oil was received via the Russian Druzhba pipeline, reported Reuters.

Belneftekhim also said the Belarussian operator Gomeltransneft Druzhba had informed Russia’s Transneft of its readiness to increase volumes of pumped oil in response.

As MRC wrote previously, The Russian energy ministry said that clean Russian crude oil meeting all quality requirements had arrived at the Mozyr refinery in Belarus, after contaminated crude led it to halt flows in the pipeline in early May.

European PVC prices continued to rise in the CIS markets in May

MOSOCW (MRC) - Negotiations on European polyvinyl chloride (PVC) prices for May delivery into the CIS markets were actively conducted last week. Higher feedstock prices made European producers raise their export prices for third time, according to ICIS-MRC Price Report.

The May contract price of ethylene was agreed up by EUR30/tonne from April, which presupposes the increase in PVC production costs in the region by EUR15/tonne. The rising cost of raw materials was the main reason for the rise in export prices of PVC from European producers in the last three months.

European producers announced price increases of EUR10-25/tonne for the May shipments to the markets of the CIS countries. Demand for PVC has remained weak from the main consumers in the CIS countries for several months due to seasonal factors and sufficient supply of PVC was supplied by national producers. Also in favour of domestic PVC was the fact that local raw materials are cheaper than European ones.

Some European producers still have had restrictions on export shipments since March because of the upcoming shutdowns for maintenance, but given the current low demand for imported PVC, such restrictions are not critical.
Deals for May shipments of suspension polyvinyl chloride (SPVC) to the CIS markets were negotiated in the range of EUR720-805/tonne FCA, whereas last month's deals were done in the range of EUR710-785/tonne FCA.