PE imports to Russia grew to record 450 KT

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Total volume of import supplies of PE to the Russian market in 2010 grew more than by 35% and exceeded the level of 450 KT, according to MRC analysts. This is a record index over the 20 years. In pre-crisis 2008 total volume of import supplies of PE made about 390 KT.

As expected the main gain in imports volumes was marked by HDPE and LDPE - by 47% and 20% respectively. The launch of new PE productions over last two years in Nizhnekamsk and Salavat with total capacity of 350 Kt didn't let cover growing demand of the Russian market.


Bulgaria proposes to introduce planned tax on plastic bags

(Plastemart) -- With effect from July 1, 2011, Bulgaria's environment ministry proposes to introduce a planned tax on plastic bags. The move is aimed at limiting the use of polyethylene bags in the country. Tax will be increased gradually each year, with the price of one bag to be raised to 55 stotinki in 2014 from the current 15 stotinki.

According to local businesses, however, the proposed term is too short for manufacturers and retailers to adjust their operations. Retailers will most likely cease the use of plastic bags by July and add the tax to the price of their products, which would be passed on to end users.


Mexichem concludes acquisition of compounding business

(Plastemart) -- Mexichem SAB, Mexicos' PVC maker and the largest maker of plastic pipes in Latin America, has acquired Rockwood Holdings Inc.'s AlphaGary thermoplastic compounds business for US$300 mln in cash, as per Bloomberg. AlphaGary has operations in USA, UK and Canada with annual sales of US$231 mln. Rockwood, the world's largest producer of lithium products, expects to use the sale proceeds to reduce debt.

The PVC maker has made at least four acquisitions this year, including the purchase of a fluorine unit from Ineos Group Holdings Plc for about US$350 mln. Mexichem plans to expand production of vinyl chloride monomer ( VCM) in the state of Veracruz, Del Valle.


PTT plans to consolidate its petrochemical and refinery businesses

(Plastemart) -- Thailand's state-controlled company PTT plans to consolidate its petrochemical and refinery businesses, as per Reuters. The company seriously studies the merger plan, which should be finished in Q1-2011. Conclusion of the study will be followed by a legal process after which the new company should be set up in Q3-2011.

PTT chief executive Prasert Bunsumpun opines that consolidation may involve three companies that have operations in Rayong, probably in two phases. The merger is expected between IRPC, which operates Southeast Asia's biggest integrated petrochemical complex, and aromatics-based refiner PTT Aromatics and Refining.


Gulf petchem industry urged on unity against ADD

(Arabian Oil and Gas) -- A clarion call for the Gulf petrochemical industry to stand up against anti-dumping practices was made on the second day of ArabPlast 2011 in Dubai. The call came from major Saudi Arabian petrochemicals company which serves more than 57 countries.

The company said that when the global market looks at the petrochemicals industry as a large economic body, the negotiation power of this industry on the global map would be more impactful.

NATPET also urged for higher deployment of local manpower in the petrochemicals sector, and called on universities and industry leaders to collaborate on preparing petrochemical specialists who could lead this rapidly growing industry in the Gulf.