Indian Oil to resume its cracker in Panipat in early October

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Indian Oil Corp is likely to restart operation at its naphtha cracker, according to Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in India, informed that, the company has planned to complete turnaround in early-October, 2019. The cracker was shut in early-September, 2019 for a maintenance turnaround.

Located in Panipat, in the northern Indian state of Haryana, the cracker has an ethylene production capacity of 857,000 mt/year and propylene capacity of 425,000 mt/year.

As MRC reported before, Indian Oil witnessed a massive blast in its refinery at Panipat, Haryana. A domestic source informed then that the blast took place in the naphtha cracker of the refinery in the afternoon, on 22 January 2018. One contractual employee of IOCL was reportedly killed in the accident while 5 others were injured.

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.

Indian Oil Corporation Limited, or IndianOil, is an Indian state-owned oil and gas corporation with its headquarters in New Delhi, India.

INEOS Styrolution introduces new NAS XC grades

MOSCOW (MRC) -- INEOS Styrolution, the global leader in styrenics, has introduced new members of its NAS family of SMMA (styrene methyl methacrylate) materials, as per the company's press release.

NAS transparent copolymers are a premium choice for applications demanding a strong, stiff, water-clear plastic.

NAS XC and NAS XC® UV are the latest additions to INEOS Styrolution’s NAS portfolio, "XC" standing for "Xtra Clear" and "XC UV" standing for "Xtra Clear with enhanced UV stability". The material is designed for applications in need of ultra clarity and very low haze.

Electronics is considered to be the focus industry for NAS XC. Applications like light guide panels (used in TVs, computers, phones, tablets, laptops and other mobile devices) will benefit tremendously from the product properties.

NAS XC UV provides enhanced UV and high UV colour stability making it an ideal material for exterior and interior applications in the Automotive industry. It may also be used as a co-extruded layer on a different material making it a suitable material for a broad range of household and construction applications, including e.g. shower trays.
James Wang, Regional Industry Lead APAC - Electronics & Household, welcomes the new material: "With the Electronics industry having a production stronghold in Asia, I expect the new NAS XC to play an important role in this region."

The INEOS Styrolution family of NAS materials includes NAS 21 (general purpose blending with SBCs), NAS 30 (best colour, clarity, luster and chemical resistance) and NAS 90 (tougher, blending with SBCs).

We remind that, as MRC informed before, in February 2019, INEOS Styrolution made its first production move into China with the acquisition of two 200,000-tonne polystyrene (PS) facilities from Total S.A.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated consumption of PS and styrene plastics was 39,130 tonnes in July 2019, down by 1% year on year (39,600 tonnes in 2018). Consumption of PS and styrene plastics was 287,370 tonnes in January-July 2019, up by 2% year on year.

INEOS Styrolution is the leading, global styrenics supplier with a focus on styrene monomer, polystyrene, ABS Standard and styrenic specialties. With world-class production facilities and more than 85 years of experience, INEOS Styrolution helps its customers succeed by offering the best possible solution, designed to give them a competitive edge in their markets. The company provides styrenic applications for many everyday products across a broad range of industries, including Automotive, Electronics, Household, Construction, Healthcare, Packaging and Toys/Sports/ Leisure. In 2018, sales were at EUR5.4 billion. INEOS Styrolution employs approximately 3,500 people and operates 20 production sites in ten countries.

Iran oil minister inspects cyber security at key refinery

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh discussed cybersecurity and production bottlenecks during a visit to a major refinery and petrochemical plants on Iran’s Gulf coast, the official news agency IRNA reported, as per Reuters.

"Investigating the refinery’s civil defense situation and related topics is among the goals ... of the oil minister’s one-day trip to Bandar Abbas," IRNA reported.

Iran’s civil defense body is in charge of issues including cybersecurity.

IRNA said Zanganeh inspected several petrochemical plants and the 350,000-barrels per day Persian Gulf Star refinery, which helped Iran declare self-sufficiency in gasoline after the inauguration of its third phase in February.

In 2016, Gholamreza Jalali, head of Iran’s civil defense, said Tehran had detected malicious software from two of its petrochemical complexes, but added that this was not linked to petrochemical fires.

Iran has long been on alert over the threat of cyber attacks by foreign countries. The United States and Israel covertly sabotaged Iran’s nuclear program in 2009 and 2010 with the now-famous Stuxnet computer virus, which destroyed Iranian centrifuges that were enriching uranium.

As per MRC DataScope, at present, Iran is the third largest country supplying polystyrene (PS) to Russia after Belgium and South Korea. Thus, the share of Iranian material was 14% in January-August 2019, whereas that of Belgium was 37% and of South Korean - 22%. Shipments of general purpose polystyrene (GPPS) and high impact polystyrene (HIPS) from Iran to Russia increased in August almost by four times from the previous month, totalling 920 tonnes versus 240 tonnes in July.

PetroChina Dushanzi Petrochemicals resumes PP production

MOSCOW (MRC) -- PetroChina Dushanzi Petrohemicals, an affiliate of the Chinese petrochemical giant PetroChina, has brought on-stream its Polystyrene (PS) plant in Xinjiang, according to Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in China, informed that, the company has resumed operations at the plant on September 20, 2019. The plant remained under maintenance for about two months.

Located in Xinjiang province, China, the plant has a production capacity of 130,000 mt/year.

As MRC reported earlier, PetroChina Lanzhou Petrochemical, another subsidiary of PetroChna, conducted an unscheduled maintenance at its PP plant in China from end-April to mid-June. Located at Gansu province in China, the PP unit has a production capacity of 110,000 mt/year.

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.

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.

Icahn opposes new directors chosen by Occidental CEO

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Activist investor Carl Icahn, who has launched a proxy fight to win seats on Occidental Petroleum's board, said he opposed efforts by the Houston-based company to name new directors without picking from his slate, said Hydrocarbonprocesiing.

Icahn cited a Bank of America Merrill Lynch analyst's report published on Monday that quoted CEO Vicki Hollub as saying the oil producer's board planned to make governance changes, including the appointment of two "qualified" directors.

Occidental had previously dismissed his candidates as inadequate. The activist investor owns nearly $2 billion in shares of oil and gas producer Occidental, and last month launched a battle to remove four Occidental directors and replace them with his own, four-person slate.

He blasted Hollub for looking for directors "anywhere but in our direction," asking in an open letter to shareholders why his candidates had not been considered. A spokesman for Occidental did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

"We're going to keep fighting them," said Icahn in an interview on Wednesday. "Unless we get on the board, we're not going away until the annual meeting" next year, he said.

Icahn, who continues to seek support for a consent solicitation, predicted he would get 20% of Occidental shareholders to call on the company to set a record date for a vote. "We have proposed four highly-qualified director candidates," Icahn said in his letter. His slate includes two executives of his hedge fund, the former finance chief of a U.S. consumer products company, and the former president of Royal Dutch Shell's U.S. arm.

Occidental completed a USD38 billion purchase of rival Anadarko Petroleum this month, a deal that Icahn had opposed, calling it "hugely overpriced."

He criticized the firm's existing directors for failing to give shareholders a say on the purchase. He has claimed Occidental pursued Anadarko to avoid becoming a takeover candidate.

A suit against Occidental, seeking documents on its pursuit of Anadarko and deal with Berkshire Hathaway Corp will be heard in a Delaware court next month, he said.

Berkshire committed USD10 billion to bankroll the Occidental-Anadarko deal on terms that Icahn said were too favorable to Berkshire.

As MRC said earlier, Occidental Petroleum Corp shareholders have voiced opposition to the oil company's USD38 billion bid for rival Anadarko Petroleum Corp that now includes a pricey financing deal with billionaire Warren Buffett.