Formosa Plastics shut its No.2 PP plant in Ningbo for unscheduled maintenance

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Taiwan’s Formosa Plastics has taken off-stream its polypropylene (PP) unit owing to technical glitch, according to Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in China informed that the company has halted operations at the unit in end-September, 2019. The units is likely to remain off-line till mid-October, 2019.

Located at Ningbo in China, the No. 2 PP unit has a production capacity of 280,000 mt/year.

As MRC informed before, Formosa Petrochemical Corp aims to lower its October average run rate at the 540,000-barrel-per-day (bpd) Mailiao refinery in October to about 70% from more than 87% last month due to maintenance. Formosa, Asia’s sixth-largest standalone refinery by capacity, has taken an 80,000-bpd residue desulphurizer down for a planned maintenance since Tuesday.

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.

Formosa Petrochemical is involved primarily in the business of refining crude oil, selling refined petroleum products and producing and selling olefins (including ethylene, propylene, butadiene and BTX) from its naphtha cracking operations. Formosa Petrochemical is also the largest olefins producer in Taiwan and its olefins products are mostly sold to companies within the Formosa Group. Among the company's chemical products are paraxylene (PX), phenyl ethylene, acetone and pure terephthalic acid (PTA). The company"s plastic products include acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) resins, polystyrene (PS), polypropylene (PP) and panlite (PC).

Polief partially suspended production due to leakage

MOSCOW (MRC) - The Polief, part of SIBUR holding, partially suspended the production process due to a leak from a tank with industrial effluents, the company told Interfax.

The leak occurred due to the collapse of a part of the wall of a concrete structure. To investigate the cause of the incident, the company will create a commission, according to the website of the company. Eight tonnes of industrial effluents leaked from a 20-tonnes tank.

The waste fell "on the adjacent territory", no one was injured in the incident, the Ministry of Emergency Situations informed. Emergency recovery work was carried out by 167 people, 83 pieces of equipment are involved, an obstruction wall has been created on the way of drains. The quality of drinking water is examined every hour by Ufavodokanal on 105 indicators. This is the third accident at the enterprise over the past six months.

As MRC reported previously, Polief launched the production of terephthalic acid (PTA) in Blagoveshchensk in September 2019. The modernisation of the production of terephthalic acid (PTA) at Polyef was completed in mid-August. The volume of consumption of PTA in the Russian market is about 500,000 tonnes per year. Thus, the reconstruction of the existing production at Polief with an increase in the production capacity of the product from 272,000 tonnes to 350,000 tonnes per year will significantly replace imports.

SIBUR began the reconstruction of the production of PTA in Blagoveshchensk in December 2017. Polief is the only producer of terephthalic acid in Russia; it is 100% owned by SIBUR; it produces terephthalic acid and polyethylene terephthalate - raw materials for the production of food packaging.

Uzbek company Uz-core GAZ Chemical will shut production of polyethylene for maintenance works

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The joint venture Uz-Kor Gas Chemical, established by the National Holding Company Uzbekneftegaz and the investment consortium of Korean companies - Kogaz, Lotte Group and STX Energy, plans to take off-stream its production of polymers for a turnaround in October, according to ICIS-MRC Price Report with reference to the plant's customers.

According to the company's customers, Uz-Cor Gas Chemical intends to shut the production of low-pressure polyethylene (HDPE) for scheduled maintenances on 14 October. The shutdown will last approximately 10 lays until 24 October. At the same time, initially the shutdown was not planned and was caused by technical problems.

As MRC reported earlier, Uz-Kor Gas Chemical was founded on the basis of Ustyurt Gas Chemical Comples (Surgil deposit). The total cost of the project is over USD4 billion. The complex provides processing of 4.5 billion cubic meters of natural gas and includes HDPE and PP production facilities with the annual capacity of 386,000 and 80,000 tonnes, respectively.

Demand for PET remained weak in the Russian market

MOSCOW (MRC) - Trends in the Russian market for PET chips remained unchanged in early October from the previous month, as per the ICIS-MRC Price Report.

Contract and spot prices continued falling.

The contract prices of Russian plants for most buyers this month were in the range of roubles (Rb) 76,500-79,500/tonne CPT Moscow, including VAT.

Most formula buyers buy decreased purchasing volumes of PET; demand was extremely low or not at all in the spot market.

Domestic PET market is expected to improve in November.

As MRC informed earlier, Plant of New Polymers Senege, one of the Russian producers of PET chips, shut production of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) for scheduled repairs on 1 October. According to a source in the company, the shutdown will take about a month. The exact date of the completion of the turnaround was not reported.

Chemical production resumed at Exxon Mobil Beaumont cracker

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Exxon Mobil Beaumont confirmed that operations at its cracker resumed in the morning on 26 September, 2019, after being shut down more than a week in the wake of Tropical Depression Imelda, reported BeaumontEnterprise.

Nakisha Burns, government and public affairs manager for Exxon Mobil Beaumont, said crews began the process of restarting the plant Thursday evening and production had been resumed by the next day.

"There was some flairing associated with the process that lasted through the night, but it ended by early Friday morning," Burns said.

The company shut down chemical production at the plant on Sept. 19, the day after Tropical Depression Imelda dumped dozens of inches of rain across Southeast Texas, and said it was considering similar steps for its refinery. The refinery ultimately remained operational, but flares remained heavily active after the storm.

Exxon Mobil Beaumont also reported the largest emissions release associated with the storm, releasing more than 36,000 pounds of pollutants. In its initial report to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, the plant said the storm caused a process unit compressor to trip, which compelled employees to shut down a unit.

The company operates a cracker with a capacity of 830,000 mt of ethylene and 195,000 mt of proplyelen per year, low density polyethylene (LDPE) plant with a capacity of 236,000 mt per year and linear low density polyethylene plant with a capacity of 727,000 tonnes per year.

Exxon’s Beaumont refinery is the fourth-largest oil refinery in Texas, churning through about 370,000 barrels of oil a day to produce gasoline and other fuels. The refinery is undergoing a major expansion to make it one of the two largest refineries in the country.

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

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption was 1,081,100 tonnes in the first half of 2019, up by 8% year on year. Deliveries of all PE grades increased. Meanwhile, 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.

ExxonMobil is the largest non-government owned company in the energy industry and produces about 3% of the world's oil and about 2% of the world's energy.