SK Global to shut LLDPE plant in Ulsan for maintenance

MOSCOW (MRC) -- SK Global Chemical's is likely to shut its linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) plant, as per Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in South Korea informed that the company has schedules to start turnaround at the plant on September 17, 2019. The plant is slated to remain under maintenance for about two weeks.

Located in Ulsan, South Korea, the LLDPE plant has a production capacity of 210,000 mt/year.

As MRC reported earlier, in December 2017, SK Global Chemical completed its acquisition of Dow Chemical’s packaging product business. SK Global Chemical, the chemical unit of SK Innovation, signed a deal with Dow Chemical to acquire the US chemical firm’s polyvinylidene chloride (PVDC) unit last October. PVDC is used for clear film packaging including plastic food wrap. With the deal completed, SK Global Chemical now has full control of properties previously owned by Dow Chemical. They include Michigan-based facilities, related technologies and intellectual assets, as well as the trademark right to the plastic wrap brand Saran.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, LLDPE shipments to the Russian market increased in the first seven months of 2019 by 8% year on year to 234,130 tonnes. Local producers increased their production by 24%.

SK Global Chemical is a pioneering petrochemical company in Korea, being the first in the country to build a naphtha cracking facility in 1972. Through continuous facility investment, R&D and technological improvement, the company has maintained its position as the leader of the petrochemical industry in Korea.

Mexican plastic pipe and chemicals company Mexichem announces name change

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Mexican plastic pipe and chemicals company Mexichem said on Tuesday that it is changing its name to Orbia Advance Corporation under a restructuring and reorganization plan, said Reuters.

As MRC informed earlier, in 2014 Mexichem SAB de CV agreed to buy German PVC paste producer Vestolit GmbH from investment company Strategic Value Partners LLC (SVP Global) for 219 million euros (USD293 million).

According Price Report ICIS-MRC, negotiations over September contract prices of Russian polyvinyl chloride (PVC) began this week. As expected, Chinese producers announced price decreases on the back of bigger supply in the domestic market. Demand for PVC from the domestic market was at a good level in August, but some consumers limited their purchases of PVC amid expectations of a price drop in September.

Mexichem, of Tlalnepantla, an industrial municipality close to Mexico City, is Latin America’s largest manufacturer of PVC pipe, vinyl resins and compounds. Neither it nor SVP mentioned when they expected the deal to be completed.
New York investment banking firm Jefferies LLC advised SVP. JP Morgan Chase & Co was Mexichem’s adviser.

PP imports to Ukraine increased by 7% in January-July

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Ukraine's polypropylene (PP) imports totalled about 79,000 tonnes in the first seven months of the year, up 7% year on year. The greatest increase in imports accounted for homopolymer PP, according to MRC DataScope.

July PP imports in Ukraine rose to 12,200 tonnes, compared with 10,200 tonnes in June; the main increase accounted for the supply of homopolymer PP from Russia. Overall imports of propylene polymers reached 79,000 tonnes in January-July 2019, compared to 74,000 tonnes a year earlier. Homopolymer PP accounted for the main growth in imports, whereas demand for propylene copolymers subsided.

The structure of PP imports by grades looked the following way over the stated period.

July imports of propylene homopolymers to the Ukrainian market grew due to growth in supplies from Russia and amounted to about 9,300 tonnes against 8,100 tonnes a month earlier. Overall shipments of homopolymer PP reached 61,400 tonnes in the first seven months of 2019 versus 54,800 tonnes a year earlier.

Last month's imports of block propylene copolymers (PP block copolymers) were 1,100 tonnes, compared to 1,000 tonnes in June. Imports of PP block copolymers into the country were about 7,500 tonnes in January-July , compared with 7,700 tonnes year on year.

July imports of statistical copolymers of propylene (PP random copolymer) were 1,600 tonnes from 1,000 tonnes a month earlier, local companies significantly reduced their purchasing of pipe and injection moulding PP random copolymer. Overall imports of PP random copolymers exceeded 9,000 tonnes in January-July 2019, whereas this figure was about 10,200 tonnes a year earlier.

Ukraine's imports of other propylene copolymers for the period were about 1,100 tonnes in the first seven months of the year.


W.R.Grace licenses PP process technology to PetroChina Guangdong Petrochemical

MOSCOW (MRC) -- W. R. Grace & Co., the leading independent supplier of polyolefin catalyst technology and polypropylene (PP) process technology, has licensed its UNIPOL PP Process Technology to PetroChina Guangdong Petrochemical Company Limited, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Located in Jieyang, Guangdong province, China, the new facility is slated to be completed in 2023 and will produce 500 KTA of polypropylene. This will be the largest single-line UNIPOL PP unit in China and will produce homopolymer, random copolymer, and impact copolymer resins.

Grace's all gas-phase UNIPOL PP Process Technology provides the broadest range of homopolymers, random copolymers, and impact copolymers in the industry. This process technology, without any moving parts inside of the reactor and requiring less equipment than any alternative, is a reliable, safe, and stable operation which leads to lower capital, operating, and maintenance costs.

PetroChina’s decision to choose the UNIPOL PP technology was based on the ease of operation, the low-cost investment, the mature technology, and Grace’s catalysts portfolio. The UNIPOL PP process technology also will provide an efficient way to produce a broad range of products and deliver significant value to customers throughout China.

Laura Schwinn, President of Grace’s Specialty Catalysts business, said, “This is the fourth UNIPOL PP line licensed by the PetroChina Company Ltd. and we are excited to be the technology choice once again for their subsidiary in Guangdongprovince. The UNIPOL® PP Process Technology coupled with Grace’s 6th generation non-phthalate CONSISTA catalysts and leading technical support will enable PetroChina Guangdong to meet the complex needs of their customers.”

As MRC wrote before, in April 2019, LyondellBasell (Rotterdam, the Netherlands) announced that PetroChina will use the LyondellBasell Hostalen "Advanced Cascade Process" (Hostalen ACP) technology to produce 1,100,000 metric tons per year (m.t./yr) of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) capacity.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estmated PP consumption was 796,120 tonnes in January-July 2019, up by 11% year on year. Shipments of PP block copolymer and homopolymer PP increased.

PetroChina Company Limited, is a Chinese oil and gas company and is the listed arm of state-owned China National Petroleum Corporation, headquartered in Dongcheng District, Beijing. It is China's biggest oil producer.

Nizhnekamskneftekhim raises September PS prices for Ukraine

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Nizhnekamskneftekhim (part of TAIF group) has announced an increase in its polystyrene (PS) prices for September shipments to Ukraine, according to the ICIS-MRC Price report.

Ukrainian buyers and traders said to MRC that quantities of Russian producer's material would be limited next month.

In August, Nizhnekamskneftekhim shipped general purpose polystyrene (GPPS) to the region at USD1,100/tonne FCA Nizhnekamsk, including VAT, and high impact polystyrene (HIPS) - at USD1,160/tonne FCA Nizhnekamsk, including VAT.

PJSC "Nizhnekamskneftekhim" (NKNK) - one of the largest Russian manufacturers of petrochemical products. The industrial complex of the company includes ten major production plants and ten departments (Railway Transport, Ethylene trunk, etc.). NKNKh produces more than 120 types of chemical products, including synthetic rubber, polyethylene, polypropylene, polystyrene, surfactants. Nizhnekamskneftekhim is a member of TAIF Group of Companies.