Unplanned outage reported at Beek cracker by SABIC

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) has taken off-stream its SABIC Olefins 4 cracker owing to technical issues, as per Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in the Netherlands informed that the cracker has halted operations at the cracker on May 10, 2019. Further details on duration of the shutdown could not be ascertained.

Located in beek, the Netherlands, the cracker has an ethylene production capacity of 690,000 mt/year and a propylene production capacity of 360,000 mt/year.

As MRC reported earlier, in response to customer needs, in February 2018, Sabic announced projects in Asia and the Netherlands designed to increase global capacity for two of its high-performance engineering thermoplastic materials, Ultem and Noryl resins. The planned new production facility in Singapore is expected to go online in the first half of 2021. The company also plans to recommission operations at its Bergen op Zoom PPE resin plant in the Netherlands by the end of 2019 to produce polyphenylene ether (PPE), the base resin for its line of Noryl resins and oligomers.

Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic) ranks among the world's top petrochemical companies. The company is among the worldпїЅs market leaders in the production of polyethylene, polypropylene and other advanced thermoplastics, glycols, methanol and fertilizers.

Total curbs German refinery output, national supply security not at risk

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Total said it had curbed output at its German refinery at Leuna due to continuing problems with contaminated Russian crude oil supply, while Germany’s oil industry’s lobby said national supply security was not at risk, reported Reuters.

Russia’s oil export flows have been disrupted since April when high levels of organic chloride were found in crude pumped via the Druzhba pipeline to the Baltic port of Ust-Luga and elsewhere in Europe via Poland.

Total said that "due to the prolonged exceptional situation on the Russian crude contaminated with high levels of organic chloride, Total Raffinerie Mitteldeutschland GmbH (Leuna) had to take some units of the refinery out of operation last week in order to make appropriate technical checks."

Operations at the refinery started to resume at the beginning of the week, using uncontaminated crude that was stored in Germany, it added.

But continuing problems with the Druzhba pipeline meant the refinery’s capacity will remain limited for now.

Leuna and Schwedt, another big refinery in north eastern Germany and thus also receiving Russian oil via Druzhba, are receiving some alternative shipments of uncontaminated oil via the ports of Gdansk and Rostock on the Baltic Sea.

A spokesman for the German mineral oil industry group MWV in Berlin said the Druzhba pipeline was still shut for the time being, but supply security was not in danger.

"Domestic supply with mineral oil products is still ensured," he said.

MWV represents 14 member companies, 17 refinery sites with 103 million tonnes of processing capacity, and 10 oil pipelines.

Total S.A. is a French multinational oil and gas company and one of the six "Supermajor" oil companies in the world with business in Europe, the United States, the Middle East and Asia. The company's petrochemical products cover two main groups: base chemicals and the consumer polymers (polyethylene, polypropylene and polystyrene) that are derived from them.

Brazil corn ethanol industry booms as cereal's output nears 100 mln T

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The news back in 2014 of a group of investors launching a project to build Brazil’s first ethanol plant based 100% on corn raised eyebrows in a country that had invented a national ethanol program entirely based on sugarcane, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Analysts thought the plan carried risks associated with an unstable market for the fuel and uncertainty regarding corn supplies and prices, beyond the fact that there was a general assumption that it was more expensive to produce ethanol from corn than from sugarcane.

Five years on, the group has doubled capacity in the initial plant, built a second unit and announced plans for three more, as Brazilian farmers ramp up corn production.

Two other companies are building 100% corn-based ethanol plants in Brazil, and others are revamping existing mills to run on corn as well in the cane’s between-harvests periods, the so-called flex ethanol plants.

"We are pleased with the outlook, our first plant has been delivering excellent results," said Rafael Abud, chief executive of FS Bioenergia, the pioneering company backed by Brazil’s Tapajos Participacoes SA and the United States’ Summit Agricultural Group.

All five FS plants will be located in Mato Grosso, Brazil’s top grain state, where corn production has increased by 275% in the last ten years, mostly due to the growing practice by farmers to plant a second crop, normally corn, after the harvest of the main summer crop, usually soybeans.

Mato Grosso is leading Brazil’s growth in corn production, expected to reach a record near 100 million tonnes this crop.

"The second crop with corn is consolidated. That opens room for several projects in Brazil,” said Ricardo Tomczyk, head of UNEM, a recently created group to represent the corn ethanol industry in Brazil.

He says strong ethanol demand lately, partly due to high gasoline prices, has helped. That demand may increase next year when Brazil begins the RenovaBio program, with targets for fuel distributors to cut carbon emissions by gradually increasing use of biofuels.

Impasa, a company operating two corn ethanol plants in Paraguay, will open its first unit in Brazil in July. Luis Pomata, Inpasa’s commercial manager, says that besides ethanol, byproducts such as dried distillers grains (DDGs) and corn oil are also in demand.

As MRC informed earlier, the United States has asked Brazil to consider lifting tariffs imposed on its ethanol exports and is hopeful of a positive outcome.

Transneft to discuss oil contamination in Poland on Thursday

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Russia’s Transneft TRNF-p.MM has scheduled a meeting in Poland with Polish pipelines operator PERN and Polish and German refineries affected by contamination of Russian oil, reported Reuters with reference to sources.

Russia’s oil export flows have been disrupted since April when high levels of organic chloride were found in crude pumped via the Druzhba pipeline to the Baltic port of Ust-Luga and elsewhere in Europe.

Transneft did not immediately reply to a Reuters request for comment. Poland’s PKN Orlen, Grupa Lotos and PERN were not immediately available for comment.

As MRC informed before, Russia’s state pipeline monopoly Transneft will compensate all parties for losses incurred from contaminated oil, but they must prove the damage, a government official said earlier this month, as the first European refinery declared force majeure.

SIBUR oficially launches DOTP production at Perm site

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Dmitry Kozak, Deputy Prime Minister, Maxim Reshetnikov, Perm Region Governor, and Dmitry Konov, Chairman of the Management Board of SIBUR Holding, attended commissioning ceremony of a newly built eco-friendly dioctyl terephthalate plasticiser (DOTP) facility, as per SIBUR's press release.

Other participants included Viktor Evtukhov, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade, Pavel Sorokin, Deputy Minister of Energy, local authorities and SIBUR’s clients and partners.

DOTP, a key component in floor and roof coatings, wallpaper, cable compounds and automotive coatings, designed to ensure their plasticity, enhanced durability, and wear and cold resistance. 100 ktpa DOTP production facility not only will cover the needs of the domestic market (estimated at 60 ktpa) but also will contribute to the non-commodity non-energy exports to Europe and other regions. Unlike phthalate plasticisers DOTP is an eco-friendly product that complies to the highest European and other international environmental standards. DOTP production facility features state-of-the-art (water and air) treatment facilities, including biochemical treatment unit for industrial wastewater (upgraded in 2018).

SIBUR’s Perm-based DOTP production facility is the single largest production site in Europe. SIBUR invested RUB 6.95 bn (net of VAT) into the project, of which 82% was sourced to the Russian suppliers and service providers.

NIPIgas, a leading Russian research centre for facility design, procurement, logistics, and construction, acted as a general designer and developed design and engineering solutions. Russian companies were the key partners in the project. Suppliers of the core production equipment included Uralkhimmash, RSP Alexiy, RPC Mediana-Filter, PHM Mach, Penzneftekhimmash, Electroprofi and others. Perm-based contractors GSE-Permneftegazstroy and SMK Delta carried out construction and installation works.

The project was supported by the Perm Region Government under a special investment contract structure to promote creation of new production facilities offering high-tech jobs.

Dmitry Kozak, Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister:

– SIBUR is a leader in chemicals and petrochemicals and is committed to exploring new technologies set to underpin the offering of competitive Russian products commercially successful around the world. Going forward, we will extend our support to such initiatives and new projects, in particular via the International Cooperation and Exports national programme with a goal to promote Russian products and facilitate introduction of new technologies. A draft law to regulate special investment contracts for new technologies envisaging extensive preferences and subsidies has already been submitted to the State Duma. It is meant to support R&D activities bound to reshape our industry landscape. I would like to thank you for your vigorous and insightful efforts aimed at developing the Russian chemical industry."

Dmitry Konov, Chairman of the Management Board of SIBUR Holding:

– DOTP is a new product for the Russian market. Along with being one of the key import substitution projects in Russia’s petrochemical industry, the Perm facility is also going to drive the growth of the country's non-commodity exports. Finally, DOTP is an eco-friendly product, which is very much in line with the industry trends.

After the commissioning ceremony at SIBUR-Khimprom, Dmitry Kozak hosted a meeting on development of the petrochemical industry.

As MRC informed before, on 25 March 2019, the Perm facility was 100% ready for commissioning, with the first batch of dioctyl terephthalate coming off the line and shipped to customers as part of the pre-commissioning pilot.