Dow Chemical began maintenance works at cracker at Terneuzen

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Dow Chemical began major maintenance on the LHC 1 cracker at Terneuzen, Netherlands from 9 September, said the company on its web-site.

More than 1,500 extra employees from various external companies will carry out maintenance work in the subsequent period.

LHC stands for Light Hydro Carbons, or hydrocarbons. The cracker splits naphtha - a derivative of crude oil - into hydrocarbons such as ethylene and propylene. These are the raw materials for the other Dow factories that make chemicals and plastics from them. Together with two other naphtha crackers, LHC 1 forms the heart of the Terneuzen Dow site.

The maintenance stop is expected to create extra traffic. Together with the Terneuzen Municipality, the Westerscheldetunnel N.V. and the Water Board, we looked at how to direct traffic to the Dow site as well as possible. The Wevelswaaldijk is open to traffic in the morning and evening rush hour.

In order to stop the cracker from the beginning of September and to restart it safely later, the use of the torch installation is necessary. The flame of the torch can be accompanied by a humming sound and a bright glow. Dow will also keep the environment up-to-date via the social media channels about the flares.

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

Dow believes that plastic waste has value and can be transformed into new products and energy. In addition to plastic roads, Dow is working with key partners in South America to use recycled plastics to develop construction materials for schools in Colombia. Dow is also at the forefront of developing and scaling chemical recycling technology to take recycled plastic waste back to feedstock for the creation of new products. By reimagining new ways to reuse, recycle and repurpose plastic waste, Dow and its partners are leading the way in the development of innovative circular economy solutions.

US propylene stocks down for first time in three weeks

MOSCOW (MRC) -- US propylene stocks fell to 4.062 million barrels the week ended September 6, reported S&P Global with reference to the US Energy Information Administration data released Wednesday.

This represented the first decrease for propylene inventory after steadily increasing for the past three weeks.

The lowest level of 2019 was reached one month ago when stocks fell to 3.885 million barrels the week ended August 9.

Non-fuel-use propylene stocks were down 101,000 barrels from a week earlier, though still up by 1.255 million barrels from the same time last year. The decrease came alongside slightly higher refinery utilization rates of 95.1%, up 0.3% week on week.

A source attributed the decline in propylene stock to propane dehydrogenation issues. Dow is expected to have a turnaround at its Freeport, Texas, PDH unit in early September. The company would not confirm any turnaround, but sources say the PDH unit is expected to be down for 30-60 days.

As MRC wrote previously, US propylene stocks rose to 4.117 million barrels in the week ended August 23. The increase also represented a second consecutive weekly increase for propylene inventory. The uptick comes on the heels of lower stockpiles, with levels having reached the lowest level of 2019 as recently as the week of August 9.

Propylene is the main feedstock for producing polyprolypele (PP).

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, the estimated consumption of PP in the Russian market totalled 694,210 tonnes in January-June 2019, up by 14% year on year. The supply of propylene block copolymers (PP-block) and propylene homopolymers (PP-homo) increased.

Chemplast to shut its PVC plant in India for turnaround

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Chemplast, is in plans, to undertake a planned shutdown at its polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plant, in Cuddalore, Tamil Nadu, as per Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in India, informed that, the company is likely to start a maintenance turnaround at the plant, by mid-September, 2019. The plant is expected to remain off-line, for about 15 days.

Located at Cuddalore, Tamil Nadu, India, the plant has a production capacity of 300,000 mt/year.

As MRC wrote before, in May 2017, Kem One and Chemplast Sanmar signed an agreement to establish Kem One Chemplast, a 50:50 joint venture to manufacture chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC) in India. The new facility will come up at a coastal location at Karaikal, Puducherry, India. The project which is being set up at an estimated cost of Rs. 325 crores (about 48 MUSD) will have technology from Kem One and a capacity of 22,000 TPA of CPVC resins. It will also manufacture CPVC compounds.

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%. Only producers of plastic compounds and plasticized films showed the growth in demand for the suspension. Scheduled maintenance works simultaneously at two Russian plants did not result in an acute shortage of SPVC in the market. Higher imports helped to avoid shortages.

Chemplast Sanmar Limited is a chemical company based in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. It is part of Sanmar Group which has businesses in Chemicals, Shipping, Engineering and Metals. It has a turnover of over Rs.65 billion and a presence in some 25 businesses, with manufacturing units spread over numerous locations in India.Chemplast Sanmar's manufacturing facilities are located at Mettur, Panruti, Cuddalore and Ponneri in Tamil Nadu, Shinoli in Maharashtra, and Karaikal in the Union Territory of Puducherry. It is a major manufacturer of PVC resins, chlorochemicals and piping systems. The Cuddalore PVC project commissioned in September 2009 is the largest such project to come up in Tamil Nadu. It's aggregate capacity of 235,000 tons makes it one of the largest PVC players in India.

Bartek announces MA capacity increases

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Bartek Ingredients announced the decision to purchase a 22,000 metric tons/year reactor from MAN Energy Solutions in Deggendorf, Germany, said the company.

The reactor will expand the company’s maleic anhydride capacity ahead of anticipated long-term growth in the global acidulants market. It further integrates Bartek’s upstream raw material production with its downstream finishing capacity.

"The new reactor will be a welcome addition to the North American market, where additional capacity is projected to be required by 2023,” Bartek CEO John Burrows said. “Bartek is committed to leading the global market in malic and food grade fumaric acid, and ensuring that our customers are supplied for years to come is a vital element of our long-term strategy."

Bartek expects delivery of this new reactor in Q4 2020 with the capacity to be online in Q2 2021.

"This investment decision by the Bartek board supports the company’s strategy of investing ahead of market demand and reinforces the company’s objective to operate a best-in-class manufacturing operation,” said Matt Chapman, partner at Bartek’s parent company, TorQuest Partners.

As it was written earlier, Bartek Ingredients is celebrating its 50th year as the global leader in malic and fumaric acid with a series of investments in its brand, facilities, and leadership team.

Established in 1969, Bartek Ingredients Inc. is a leading producer of malic acid, fumaric acid, and maleic anhydride. Headquartered in Stoney Creek, Ontario, Canada, Bartek employs 120 people across its two production facilities in Southern Ontario.

DSM appoints Shruti Singhal as head of engineering plastics

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Royal DSM has appointed chemical industry veteran Shruti Singhal as president of DSM Engineering Plastics, effective Oct. 1, 2019, said the company.

Singhal replaces outgoing president Roeland Polet, who is retiring in mid-2020 after having led the company since 2015.

Singhal joined Singapore-based DSM Engineering Plastics in July 2018 as managing director, global powder, can and coil and CMO at DSM Resins and Functional Materials. Prior to joining DSM, he served as senior vice president and president EMEA of General Cable. Earlier positions included stints with multinational companies including Henkel, Cognis (now BASF), Rohm & Haas, Dow Chemical Co., Ashland, and Solenis.

Singhal holds a master’s degree in Chemical Engineering from Drexel University, Philadelphia, and completed the Global Marketing Management Program at The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

A division of science company Royal DSM, DSM Engineering Plastics offers polyamides, polyesters, nylon, polycarbonate, and extrudable adhesive resins products.

As MRC wrote earlier, in November 2017, Royal DSM announced a new approach for its additive manufacturing (AM) activities. By aligning all its AM activities within the Materials cluster and promoting a partnership approach, DSM can provide customers an open and flexible infrastructure. This will help customers to find exactly the right materials and production systems for their applications. The new customer-centric organization will build on experience and expertise from all of DSM’s existing materials businesses, combining deep market segment-specific application understanding and expertise in all polymer AM processing technology platforms.

Royal DSM is a global science-based company active in health, nutrition and materials. DSM delivers innovative solutions that nourish, protect and improve performance in global markets such as food and dietary supplements, personal care, feed, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, automotive, paints, electrical and electronics, life protection, alternative energy and bio-based materials.