SP Chemicals to restart VCM No. 1 plant in China after maintenance

MOSCOW (MRC) -- SP Chemicals is likely to restart its No.1 vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) plant after maintenance works in early December, according to Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in China informed that the company took its VCM plant off-stream in early-November, 2019. The plant is slated to remain under maintenance for around one month.

Located at Taixing in Jiangsu province of China, the No. 1 plant has a production capacity of 200,000 mt/year.

The company also operates No. 2 VCM plant Taixing in Jiangsu province of China with a production capacity of 300,000 mt/year.

As MRC reported before, this plant was shut for a turnaround on 17 August, 2019, and was brought back on-stream after maintenance on 18 September, 2019.

VCM is a feedstock for the production of polyvinyl chloride (PVC).

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's overall PVC production reached 809,000 tonnes in the first ten months of 2019, up by 3% year on year. At the same time, not all Russian producers raised their output.

SP Chemicals, a Singapore-based company is one of the largest ion-membrane chlor-alkali producer and aniline producer in China. The company's products include: aniline, caustic soda, chlorine, chlorobenzene, nitrochlorobenzene, nitrobenzene, vinyl chloride monomer (VCM). SP Chemicals plans to invest approximately RMB1.1 billion in facilities for the production of styrene monomer, an intermediate raw chemical used in making polystyrene plastics, protective coatings, polyesters and resins.

PetroChina Q3 2019 profit tumbles on lower oil prices, slowing gas demand

MOSCOW (MRC) -- PetroChina Co, Asia’s largest oil and gas producer, reported a sharp fall in third-quarter profit on Wednesday, dragged down by weaker global energy prices and slowing growth in its domestic gas market, reported CNBC.

Net profit for the July to September quarter was 8.83 billion yuan (USD1.25 billion), down 58.4% compared with the same period a year ago and the weakest quarterly results this year, according to a company filing with Hong Kong stock exchange.

For the first nine months of 2019, net income fell 23.4% from a year earlier to 37.25 billion yuan, the state firm said.

"Amid an increasingly complex and rigid global economic and trade environment ... international oil prices have fallen over last year," the company said.

"Domestically, China’s refined fuel supply capacity is in severe overcapacity...(and) growth in the natural gas market is slowing."

Revenue for the quarter edged up 1.8% from a year ago to 618.14 billion yuan. For the first nine months, revenue rose 5.1% to 1.81 trillion yuan.

PetroChina also said its natural gas import business recorded a 21.76 billion yuan net loss during the January-September period, deepening from a 19.96 billion loss recorded for the same period in 2018 due to a weaker Chinese currency and higher import cost.

The group’s crude oil output increased 2.9% during the first nine months versus a year earlier to 682.7 million barrels, while gas output rose 8.7% to 289.3 billion cubic feet (bcf).

The stronger growth in gas versus crude oil production follows an accelerated drilling programme in key basins such as Sichuan in the southwest, Ordos in the north and Tarim in the northwest.

This has also led to sizeable discoveries such as conventional gas deposits in the Bozi-9 well in the Tarim basin of Xinjiang region and shale gas in the Changqing-Weiyuan and Taiyang blocks in Sichuan.

The company’s Hongkong-listed shares have fallen by 18% so far this year, weighed by concerns that Beijing’s plan to set up a national oil and gas pipeline group will force it to cede control of its dominant pipeline assets, which have generated steady revenues.

PetroChina, which is also China’s second-largest oil refiner, processed 906 million barrels of crude in the first nine months of the year, up 4.3% from a year earlier.

Despite the growth in throughput, PetroChina’s operating profits at its refining department shrank nearly 90% during the period to 3.4 billion yuan as a domestic supply overhang squeezed margins, the firm said.

As MRC informed earlier, in April 2019, LyondellBasell announced that PetroChina will use the LyondellBasell Hostalen "Advanced Cascade Process" technology to produce 1,100,000 metric tons per year of high density polyethylene (HDPE) capacity. Licensor selection had been done by China HuanQiu Contracting & Engineering Co., Ltd. (HQC), a wholly owned subsidiary of PetroChina. The low-pressure slurry process technology will be used for a 300,000-mt/year HDPE unit to be built in Korla City, Xinjiang Province, a 400,000-mt/year plant in Jieyang City, Guangdong Province and a 400,000-mt/year plant in Yulin City, Shaanxi Province in the P.R. China.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's September estimated HDPE consumption fell to 70,570 tonnes from 108,320 tonnes a month earlier. Russian producers reduced their output due to maintenance works, whereas imports were high partially because of an increase in US shipments. The estimated HDPE consumption totalled 862,170 tonnes in January-September 2019, up by 7% year on year. HDPE imports increased by 47%, whereas production dropped by 5% due to a long period of maintenance works at three production capacities.

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.

Sinopec Q3 profit drops a third on fuel glut, lower oil prices

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Sinopec Corp, Asia’s top refiner, has posted a 35% fall in third-quarter net profit versus a year earlier, according to Reuters calculations based on a company filing, dragged down by narrowing refining margins and weaker global oil prices, reported Reuters.

The decline follows the launch of two privately owned mega-refineries and the expansion of other major refining plants, which added to the fuel surplus in China’s refined oil market, slashing profit margins for oil processors.

Sinopec reported 11.94 billion yuan (USD1.69 billion) net earnings for the July-September period, down just over a third from the same period last year.

In the first nine months of 2019, Sinopec’s net profit was down 27.8% year-on-year at 43.28 billion yuan under Chinese accounting standards, while revenue reached 2.23 trillion yuan, up 7.7%, the company said in its filing on Wednesday.

During the same nine-month period, Sinopec produced 212.78 million barrels of crude oil, down 1.6% from a year earlier, and 773.41 billion cubic feet of natural gas, up 8.4% on the year.

Sinopec, among China’s top three importers of natural gas, recorded a 5.5 billion yuan loss in the imports of 10 million tonnes of the fuel over the first three quarters, it told analysts in a briefing on Thursday, without giving a year-on-year comparison.

Despite a weaker global gas market, however, the company managed to lift sales prices to an average of $6.19 per thousand cubic feet during the period, up from USD5.91 a year earlier.

Capital spending in the company was 78 billion yuan over the first three quarters, mainly for shale gas exploration in southwestern China and oilfield expansion in the northwestern part of the country, as well as the construction of its Zhanjiang integrated refinery in Guangdong.

Company officials said on Thursday that capital spending so far accounted for 57% of the annual budget and the company expects to step up spending in the fourth quarter to meet its target for the year.

As MRC wrote earlier, in mid-September 2019, SIBUR Holding (SIBUR) and China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (Sinopec) signed a framework cooperation agreement to produce SEBS (styrene, ethylene and butylene-based block copolymers). SEBS is a pelletised modifier for thermoplastics used to impart elasticity to plastic materials or as a primary polymer to produce elastic components. SEBS boasts excellent durability and is leveraged across a variety of industries such as plastics and bitumen modification, adhesives, modification compounds, and toys. Under the agreement, SIBUR and Sinopec will establish a 50/50 joint venture (JV) in Russia to produce at least 20 ktpa of SEBS.

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

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 1,589,580 tonnes in the first nine months of 2019, up by 7% year on year. Shipments of all PE grades increased. The estimated PP consumption in the Russian market was 976,790 tonnes in January-September 2019, up by 4% year on year. Shipments of PP block copolymer and homopolymer PP increased.

Sinopec Corp. is one of the largest scale integrated energy and chemical company with upstream, midstream and downstream operations. Its principal business includes: exploring, developing, producing and trading crude oil and natural gas; producing, storing, transporting and distributing and marketing petroleum products, petrochemical products, synthetic fiber, fertilizer and other chemical products. Its refining capacity and ethylene capacity rank No.2 and No.4 globally. Sinopec listed in Hong Kong, New York, London and Shanghai in August 2001. Sinopec Group, the parent company of Sinopec Corp., is ranked the 5th in Fortune Global 500 in 2012.

Honeywell to be main automation contractor for KIPIC project

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Kuwait Integrated Petroleum Industries Company (KIPIC) selected Honeywell Process Solutions (HPS) to be the main automation contractor for its new Petrochemicals and Refinery Integration Al Zour Project (PRIZe), said Hydrocarbonengineering.

Under the agreement, HPS will provide KIPIC with front-end engineering design and advanced process control technology for the complex, which will help KIPIC expedite production start-up and assist with reaching production targets faster and more efficiently.

The PRIZe project will become the first integrated refining and petrochemicals complex in Kuwait. The new facility – developed as part of the Al-Zour Complex – will significantly enhance Kuwait’s domestic petrochemicals, aromatics and gasoline manufacturing capabilities.

Honeywell UOP was also awarded a contract with KIPIC earlier this year for modernisation of the Al Zour complex. Honeywell UOP will revise the configuration and capacity of the refinery’s gasoline production facilities and supply technology licenses, design services, key equipment, and state-of-the-art catalysts and adsorbents to produce clean-burning fuels, paraxylene, propylene, and other petrochemicals.

Honeywell has been in Kuwait for more than 50 years. The company supports Kuwait’s energy industries through cutting-edge technologies, efficient business solutions, local training, research and development initiatives. It aims to build ‘Made in Kuwait’ solutions to power digital transformation across the country’s growing oil, gas and petrochemical sectors. The company also operates the Honeywell Automation College in Mina Abdullah, which delivers global training capabilities locally through more than 300 courses specifically designed to address the requirements of Kuwait’s power and water, oil and gas and automation industries.

"Honeywell has a long history of successfully delivering world-class automation solutions to the oil downstream industries in Kuwait, and this new agreement highlights the trust our customers have in our technologies,” said Rachad Abdallah, President for Honeywell in Kuwait. “At the integrated refining and petrochemicals complex at Al-Zour, we are leveraging our experience and technologies to help develop one of the most ambitious initiatives in the region. This project will help transform Kuwait into a pioneering manufacturer in the downstream oil and gas industry."

KIPIC is a subsidiary of Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) set up by the State of Kuwait to manage refinery, petrochemicals and LNG import operations at the Al-Zour complex.

As MRC informed earlier, Honeywell announced at China International Import Expo (CIIE) 2019 that Dayuewan (Zhuhai) Petrochemical Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of China Grain Petrochemical Group, will use a range of technologies from Honeywell UOP to upgrade heavy fuel oil into higher value petrochemical products at its complex in the Gaolan Port Economic Zone in Guangdong Province.

As MRC informed earlier, Fujian Meide Petrochemical Co. Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of China Packing Group Company Ltd, will utilize the Honeywell Process Reliability Advisor for prescriptive monitoring of on-purpose propylene at its new UOP C3 Oleflex unit in Fuzhou, Fujian Province, China. The plant is designed to convert propane into 660,000 t/y of propylene. Status of the facility could not be confirmed.

Propylene is a feedstock for the production of PP.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, the PP consumption in the Russian market was 909,260 tonnes in January-August 2019, up by 10% year on year. Shipments of PP block copolymer and homopolymer PP increased.

Honeywell is a global diversified technology and manufacturing company with a wide range of aerospace products and services, control, sensing and security technologies for buildings, homes and industry, turbochargers, automotive products, specialty chemicals, electronic and advanced materials, process technology for refining and petrochemicals and energy efficient products and solutions for homes, business and transportation.

Berry Global and SABIC to collaborate on recycled polymers

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Berry Global Group announced a collaboration with SABIC to drive the innovation and use of polyolefin resins made from chemical recycling, said Britishplastics.

The companies boast a long partnership and focus on their shared values of sustainability and promotion of a circular economy.

The partners will focus on innovation and use of polyolefin resins from chemical recycling. The move is a part of Berry’s sustainability strategy Impact 2025 announced earlier this year.

According to the strategy, Berry will transform its packaging to be completely reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025.

The company has also planned to collaborate with ‘trusted suppliers’ to introduce environmentally sustainable packaging.

Berry chairman and CEO Tom Salmon said: "As a leader in sustainable packaging, we place a high value on innovation surrounding the methods, by which we recover valuable plastic materials. "SABIC’s timeline for beginning semi-commercial production is one of the fastest we have seen in the industry and we were eager to join with them in initiatives that support circular economy."

Chemical recycling involves removal of contaminants, inks and colourants. It can recycle mixed plastic waste and develop new material for food packaging. SABIC is planning to construct a unit in the Netherlands to purify feedstocks produced from mixed plastic waste recycling.

The company’s plants have already produced certified circular polymers, which Berry used to develop a recyclable, coextruded stand-up pouch. Berry’s pouch includes 30% post-consumer recycled content sourced from SABIC’s circular polymer.

SABIC Sustainability Technology and Innovation executive vice-president Bob Maughon said: “This exciting project is testament to our commitment to scale up advanced chemical recycling processes of plastics back to the original polymer.

Earlier this year, Berry pledged to design 100% of its packaging to be reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025.

SABIC announced at the end of 2018 its project to build a semi-commercial unit in the Netherlands to refine and upgrade feedstocks produced from the recycling of low-quality, mixed plastic waste.

As it was informed earlier, SABIC signed a preliminary agreement with the state-controlled Russian Direct Investment Fund and Moscow-based ESN Group for a potential investment in a methanol plant in the Russian Far East, as the Middle East’s biggest petrochemicals producer looks to expand its international footprint.

Besides, in the first week of September 2019, SABIC Europe, an affiliate of SABIC, started maintenance work at its cracker No.3 at Geleen site in the Netherlands. The planned maintenance is slated to last around 2 months. The company operates two steam crackers in Geleen which are capable of producing 1,250,000 tons/year of ethylene and 675,000 tons/year of propylene in total.

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

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 1,436,390 tonnes in the first eight months of 2019, up by 9% year on year. Shipments of all PE grades increased. At the same time, the PP consumption in the Russian market was 909,260 tonnes in January-August 2019, up by 10% year on year. Shipments of PP block copolymer and homopolymer PP increased.

Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) ranks among the world's top petrochemical companies. The company is among the worldпїЅs market leaders in the production of polyethylene, polypropylene and other advanced thermoplastics, glycols, methanol and fertilizers.