Output of chemical products in Russia grew by 3.6% in January-September 2019

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Russia's output of chemical products dropped in September 2019 by 2.4% month on month.
However, production of basic chemicals increased by 3.6% in the first nine months of 2019, according to Rosstat's data.

According to the Federal State Statistics Service of the Russian Federation, the largest increase in production volumes on an annualized basis accounted for mineral fertilizers and polymers in primary form. Thus, 200 ,000 tonnes of ethylene were produced in September, compared to 255,000 tonnes a month earlier. Kazanorgsintez and Stavrolen capacities were shut for maintenances in September. Thus, 2,256,000 tonnes of this olefin were produced in January-September 2019, up by 0.7% year on year.

Benzene production in September amounted to 108,000 tonnes against 117,000 tonnes a month earlier, which was also a result of the shutdowns in Kazan and Budenovsk. Overall output of this product reached 1,076,000 tonnes in the first nine months of 2019, up by 0.6% year on year.

September production of sodium hydroxide (caustic soda) were 107,000 tonnes (100% of the basic substance) versus 111,000 tonnes a month earlier. Overall output of caustic soda totalled 960,900 tonnes over the stated period, compared to 946,500 tonnes a year earlier.

1,927,000 tonnes of mineral fertilizers (in terms of 100% nutrients) were produced in September versus 1,939 mln tonnes a month earlier. Overall, Russian plants produced 18,180,000 tonnes of fertilizers in January-September 2019, up by 4.3% year on year.

Last month's production of polymers in primary form decreased to 670,000 tonnes, up 8.8% from August due to scheduled maintenance works of several manufacturers. Overall output of polymers in primary form totalled 6,338,000 tonnes over the stated period, up by only 3.2% year on year.

Output of polymer products in Russia up by 1.7% in Jan-Sept

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Russia's output of products from polymers rose in September by 5.2% year on year. However, this figure increased by 1.7% year on year in the first nine months of 2019, reported MRC analysts.

According to the Russian Federal State Statistics Service, September production of unreinforced and non-combined films was slightly over 107,300 tonnes, compared to 110,000 tonnes a month earlier. Output of films products grew in January-September 2019 by 9.1% year on year to 893,000 tonnes.

Last month's production of non-porous boards, sheets and films rose to 32,900 tonnes from 33,100 tonnes in August. Thus, overall output of these products reached 284,100 tonnes over the stated period, up by 11.3% year on year.

September production of porous polymer boards, sheets and films was 26,100 tonnes, compared to 25,700 tonnes a month earlier. Overall output of these products reached 174,800 tonnes in the first nine months of 2019, compared to 202,900 tonnes a year earlier.

September production of plastic bottles and flasks decreased to 1,527,000 items from 1,643,000 items a month earlier. Overall output of these plastic products totalled 15,420,000 units in January-September 2019, compared to 15,836,000 units a year earlier.

Last month's production of polymer pipes, hoses and fittings was 60,800 tonnes versus 64,100 tonnes in August. Overall output of these products was 462,500 tonnes in the first nine months of 2019, up by 3.5% year on year.

September production of sacks and bags from ethylene polymers reached 2,500,000,000 units, compared to 2,300,000,000 units a month earlier. Overall output of these plastic products totalled 19,135,000,000 units over the stated period, compared to 20,154,000,000 units a year earlier.

Last month's production of linoleum and floor coverings was 14,270,000 square metres, compared to 14,880,000 square metres in August. Overall output of these products totalled 111,700,000 square metres in January-September 2019 versus 100,630,000 square metres a year earlier.

NATPET to showcase advances in several polypropylene resin grades at K 2019

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Saudi Arabia’s National Petrochemical Industrial Co. (NATPET), a major producer of propylene and polypropylene, plans to highlight advances in several of its material grades at K 2019, taking place Oct. 16-23 in Dusseldorf, Germany, said the company.

It will mark the firm’s fourth consecutive appearance at this large, triennial plastics fair. On Stand A74 in Hall 8B, NATPET will be showcasing the following products: Recently developed polypropylene grades –– R40MLT-MG, R25MLT-MG and H12MLT-MG –– targeting healthcare and medical applications. NATPET is the first and only producer in the Middle East and Africa to manufacture such resins for these demanding markets. A new random copolymer PP grade –– R70MLT –– that delivers higher melt flow rates to speed up production output; and a newly commercialized, phenol-free fiber grade –– H25FBF –– for the production of bulk continuous filaments (BCF), continuous filaments (CF) and staple fiber. The material also can be used in carpet and upholstery, and in some automotive compounding applications.

"Additionally,” said Chief Commercial Officer Jamal Malaikah, "at our booth we will be offering both existing and potential customers technical awareness sessions on different NATPET grades, and providing information how best to optimize use of these grades for maximum commercial feasibility."

Machine manufacturer FANUC Deutschland GmbH will be running NATPET grades on its K Show booth: they will be making parts from medical-grade R40MLT-MG resin on Booth A60 in Hall 14. NATPET also cited its ongoing cooperation with Milliken Chemical, which began more than eight years ago, with the aim of improving the optical properties of random copolymer and other PP grades used in thermoforming. “We believe this joint development has added value to both firms," Malaikah said, “and we believe there is good reason for further cooperation."

NATPET, meanwhile, continues to expand, having become the sole owner of Bonar NATPET Geosynthetics by acquiring the 50 percent share of the foreign partner (Low & Bonar) from U.K. Bonar NATPET is selling its PP fibers to well-known companies worldwide, and has become the geotextiles market leader in the Middle East. NATPET is investing to further broaden the company’s PP fiber production capabilities.

Separately, NATPET has gained a new partner in NATPET Schulman Speciality Plastic Compounds (NSSPC) –– one of its compounding plants –– following the purchase by LyondellBasell of A. Schulman Inc.’s global compounding business. NATPET holds a 50 percent stake in that joint venture, which produces high-quality compounds for automotive, home appliance and other applications.

As MRC informed earlier, NATPET restarted PP production in late September following an unplanned outage. The plant was shut following fire occured on October 2, 2018. The incident in the complex has caused a few casualties with 1 person reported to have been killed and 11 others injured. Located at Yanbu in Saudi Arabia, the PP plant has a production capacity of 400,000 mt/year.

As per MRC's DataScope, September PP imports into Ukraine increased to 11,400 tonnes from 11,100 tonnes a month earlier, local companies raised their purchasing of of homopolymer PP grades in Middle West. Overall imports of propylene polymers reached 101,500 tonnes in January-September 2019, compared to 97,700 tonnes a year earlier. Homopolymer PP accounted for the main growth in imports, while the demand for propylene copolymers declined with a few exceptions.

Founded in 1999, NATPET operates a 400,000 metric-ton-per-year polypropylene plant in Yanbu Industrial City on Saudi Arabia’s west coast, producing a wide range of polypropylene products using the state-of-the-art Spheripol® process licensed from LyondellBasell. The company also produces its own, high-quality main raw material, propylene, through an integrated propane dehydrogenation (PDH) plant on the site.

SABIC opens new caps & closures Technology and Innovation Center in the Netherlands

MOSCOW (MRC) -- SABIC, a global leader in the chemicals industry has announced the opening of its new Technology and Innovation Center dedicated to the caps and closures segment in Geleen, the Netherlands, as per the company's press release.

Located in SABIC’s Global Technology Center for Europe on the Chemelot Campus, this investment is proof of SABIC’s commitment to the industry to develop new materials and technologies focused on caps and closures.

The opening ceremony of the new facility was led by Sergi Monros, SABIC Vice President of Performance Polymers & Industry Solutions, Petrochemicals. The facility opening comes just a year after SABIC established its Caps & Closures industry segment organization.

"With our dedicated organisation, we already have a strong focus on innovation-driven solutions to meet the changing market trends that our customers within this strategic segment are demanding," says Monros. "This new state of the art facility will enable us to accelerate the pace by using market-leading materials and technologies aimed at a range of related applications – not only caps and closures, but also pumps, dispensing systems and other product delivery mechanisms for beverages, food and non-food applications."

Monros points to the growing need for creative solutions that are sustainable, cost-efficient and compliant. These solutions are coupled with the increased number of regulations governing product safety and consumer well-being. "End-users are looking for convenience too, and we are always thinking about new ways to improve functionality."

SABIC is pursuing cutting-edge technologies related to both new material development and to application testing. Polymers developed specifically for applications in this sector help enable, for example, lighter caps, and pumps and dispensing systems that are more efficient and easier to manufacture, all the while supporting customer efforts to improve overall sustainability.

"This new Caps & Closures Technology and Innovation Center will provide an environment where we can engage with our customers, strengthen our collaboration and ultimately deliver better solutions for the benefit of our consumers," concludes Monros.

The center includes facilities that allow SABIC to simulate the real-life performance of finished products. The dedicated research laboratory has equipment for testing material characteristics such as mechanical properties, dimensional stability and environmental stress cracking resistance (ESCR). Cap specimens can be produced in-house for performance testing for potential applications and for the development of improved products. There will also be capability for developing and testing new product designs.

As MRC reported earlier, SABIC Europe, an affiliate of Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC), has been conducting maintenance works at its cracker No.3 at Geleen site in the Netherlands. The planned maintenance started in September and will last for around 2 months.

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.

Husky commits to sustainable packaging

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Canadian injection molding equipment maker Husky Injection Molding Systems Ltd. is using the K 2019 trade show to highlight its commitment to sustainable packaging solutions, said Canplastics.

As part of this, Bolton, Ont.-based Husky has signed the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy Global Commitment.

And at the K, Husky is highlighting a range of systems that allow for post-consumer resin in packages, including PET preform molding systems that can handle 100 per cent recycled content as well as post-consumer resin options for its multilayer technology.

Husky is also developing a new system focused on post-consumer resin that could enable customers to bring more than 60 million kgs of PET annually into the circular economy within the next two years. The system works in conjunction with equipment that purifies recycled material and eliminates intermediate steps of pelletizing and re-melting, reducing costs while ensuring package quality, Husky said.

"Enabling more recycled content in packaging, researching innovative and sustainable materials, finding more efficient production methods, reducing waste in the injection molding process; these are all factors that impact our customers as they look for ways to be more sustainable,” Joachim Niewels, Husky’s vice president of innovation and sustainability, said at the show. “At Husky, innovation is in our DNA. We endeavour to be a partner to our customers, to the industry and to the environment by continually finding new solutions that further enhance both sustainability and value."

One of Husky’s sustainable technologies being shown at K 2019 is its HyPET HPP5e. Husky is running a fully integrated HyPET HPP5e system on its booth. The system is processing 100 percent post-consumer recycled resin, producing a 12.1 gram preform on a 96-cavity mold and running a 6.2 second cycle time.

As MRC informed earlier, Husky Energy continues to make steady progress towards a return to full operations at the Superior Refinery.