SIBUR and Russian Export Centre agree to promote non-commodity exports

MOSCOW (MRC) -- SIBUR and Russian Export Centre (REC) agreed to promote non-commodity exports, as per the company's press release.

At the Eastern Economic Forum, Dmitry Konov, Chairman of the Management Board at SIBUR Holding, and Andrey Slepnev, General Director of the REC, signed a cooperation agreement on providing loans and insurance to support the Company’s major export-related projects. The support will involve interest rate and export transportation subsidies, as well as loans and insurance.

In particular, this will include the export support of the thermoplastic elastomers (SBS polymers) production facility currently under construction with a capacity of 50 ktpa for road construction, roofing and other purposes, plus the future maleic anhydride facility with a capacity of 45 ktpa for healthcare, fuel, packaging, and other industries.

Dmitry Konov, Chairman of the Management Board at SIBUR Holding: "SIBUR is a major contributor to the promotion of Russian non-commodity and non-energy exports. We sell our products to 80 countries for consumer goods, automotive, construction, energy, and chemical applications. Thanks to the Russian Export Centre, Russia's future petrochemicals will receive a much-needed boost for entering the global market."

Maleic anhydride is a feedstock for the production of tetrahydrofuran, tetrahydrophthalic anhydride, films and synthetic fibers, pharmaceuticals, detergents, plasticizers, maleic, succinic, fumaric and malic acids and a number of chemicals for agriculture.

Plasticizers are substances introduced into a polymeric material to give it elasticity and plasticity during processing and operation. In particular, plasticizers are used to produce polyvinyl chloride (PVC). The share of plasticizers used for the production of PVC products is about 80%.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, demand in the Russian unmixed PVC market increased only in the emulsion segment in January-July 2019, the market of suspension polyvinyl chloride (SPVC) decreased by 7%. The growth in demand for the suspension showed only producers of plastic compounds and plasticized films. Scheduled maintenance works of two Russian producers at once did not result in a significant shortage of SPVC in the market. The growth in imports helped to avoid shortages.

SIBUR is the largest integrated petrochemicals company in Russia. The Group sells its petrochemical products on the Russian and international markets in two business segments: Olefins & Polyolefins (polypropylene, polyethylene, BOPP films, etc.) Plastics, Elastomers & Intermediates (synthetic rubbers, EPS, PET, etc.). SIBUR’s petrochemicals business utilises mainly own feedstock, which is produced by the Midstream segment using by-products purchased from oil and gas companies. More than 26,000 employees working in SIBUR contribute to the success of customers engaged in the chemical, fast moving consumer goods (FMCG), automotive, construction, energy and other industries in 80 countries worldwide. In 2018, SIBUR reported revenue of USD 9.1 billion and adjusted EBITDA of USD 3.3 billion.

Ningbo Fund Energy brought on-stream PP plant in China

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Ningbo Fund Energy has restarted a polypropylene (PP) unit following an outage, according to Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in China informed that the company has resumed operations at the PP unit in end-August, 2019. The unit was shut in mid-August, 2019.

Located at Ningbo in Zhejiang, China, the PP unit has a production capacity of 440,000 mt/year.

As MRC wrote before, Ningbo Fund Energy restarted its PP unit on 14 November 2018, following an unplanned outage. The plant was shut on November 10, 2018 owing to a technical glitch.

Propylene is a feedstock for the production of polypropylene (PP).

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

Ningbo Fund Energy Co. Ltd. manufactures and distributes petrochemical products. The Company produces ethylene glycol, polypropylene, and other products.

Celanese raises September prices of emulsion polymers in China

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Celanese Corporation, a global specialty materials company, has increased its September list and off-list selling prices for emulsions polymers for China, as per the company's press release.

The price increase of RMB200/mt is effective for orders shipped on or after 29 August, 2019, or as contracts otherwise allow, and is incremental to any previously announced increases.

As MRC informed previously, the company also raises September list and off-list selling prices for Vinyl Acetate Monomer (VAM) sold in China.

Thus, September VAM prices rose for the Chinese region by RMB400/mt.

According to MRC's DataScope report, July EVA imports to Russia increased by 4% year on year to 3,490 tonnes from 3,350 tonnes in July 2018, and overall imports of this grade of ethylene copolymer into the Russian Federation decreased in January-July 2019 by 14, 3% year on year to 22,440 tonnes (26,170 tonnes in the first seven months of 2018).

Celanese Corporation is a global technology leader in the production of differentiated chemistry solutions and specialty materials used in most major industries and consumer applications. Based in Dallas, Celanese employs approximately 7,700 employees worldwide and had 2018 net sales of USD7.2 billion.

Sasol recieved commerial production at new Louisiana ethane cracker

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Sasol has announced that its world-scale US ethane cracker reached beneficial operation on 27 August 2019, as per the company's press release.

Sasol’s new cracker, the heart of our Lake Charles Chemicals Project (LCCP), is the third and most significant of the seven LCCP facilities to come online and will provide feedstock to our six new derivative units at our Lake Charles multi-asset site.

"The Cracker is the cornerstone of Sasol’s transformation into a global chemicals company," said Sasol Joint President and Chief Executive Officer Stephen Cornell. "It solidifies our presence in the United States and will anchor our operations there for decades to come."

Sasol’s Lake Charles Ethane Cracker, which uses Technip Stone & Webster technology, is one of the largest in the world with a nameplate capacity of 1.54 million tons per year. Approximately 90% of the Cracker's ethylene output will be further processed into commodity and high-margin specialty chemicals for markets in which Sasol has a strong position, underpinned by collaborative customer relationships.

The ethylene produced in the facility will be used in six downstream plants on site to produce a range of high-value derivatives including ethylene oxide, mono-ethylene glycol, ethoxylates, low density and linear low density polyethylene, and Ziegler and Guerbet alcohols. Sasol’s customers use these products as ingredients in detergents, fragrances, metalworking and lubrication fluids, abrasives, paints and coatings, film, food packaging, personal care products and many more applications and end-markets. The remaining 10% of the ethylene will be sold on the merchant market and supply Sasol’s share of our high-density polyethylene (HDPE) joint venture with INEOS in Texas.

The utilities and infrastructure systems that enable the entire project are fully operational. The Linear Low Density Polyethylene and Ethylene Oxide/Ethylene Glycol units achieved beneficial operation earlier this year. The Low Density Polyethylene unit is expected to achieve beneficial operation by November 2019, while the Ziegler Alcohol, Ethoxylates and Guerbet alcohol units are on track to achieve beneficial operation in early 2020.

"With the first three units commissioned, plants representing more than 60% of the project’s total output are now online," said Sasol Joint President and Chief Executive Officer Bongani Nqwababa. "Our construction and commissioning teams are working flat out to deliver the rest of the units between November 2019 and by first quarter of 2020."

At present the Cracker continues to operate stably at a capacity utilisation of around 50%. The current output is utilised by the LCCP’s downstream units and the remainder is sold to external customers. The company will continue to focus on improving the ethylene quality and ramp up the plant in accordance with our plans.

To date, the project has generated more than 800 full-time quality manufacturing jobs, with up to 6,500 people on site during construction, USD4 billion to Louisiana businesses and nearly USD200 million in local and state taxes.

Ethylene and propylene are feedstocks for producing polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP).

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 1,255,800 tonnes in the first seven months of 2019, up by 9% year on year. Shipments of all PE grades increased. At the same time, the estimated PP consumption in the Russian market was 796,120 tonnes in January-July 2019, up by 11% year on year. Shipments of PP block copolymer and homopolymer PP increased.

Sasol is an international integrated chemicals and energy company that leverages technologies and the expertise of our 31 270 people working in 32 countries. The company develops and commercialises technologies, and builds and operates world-scale facilities to produce a range of high-value product stream, including liquid fuels, petrochemicals and low-carbon electricity.

Karpatneftekhim reduces September HDPE prices for Ukraine

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Karpatneftekhim (Kalush, Ivano-Frankivsk region), Ukraine's largest petrochemical plant, - announced a reduction in its high density polyethylene (HDPE) prices for shipments to the domestic market in September, according to ICIS-MRC Price report.

Thus, the decrease in September prices of the company’s HDPE was USD48/tonne compared to August.

The Ukrainian producer of material made this decision under the pressure of the situation in foreign markets.

Karpatneftekhim is one of the largest enterprises of Ukraine's petrochemical complex. Currently, the plant can produce annually 300,000 tonnes of PVC, 200,000 tonnes of caustic soda, about 180,000 tonnes of chlorine, as well as 250,000 tonnes of ethylene and 100,000 tonnes of polyethylene.