Ulsan PP breaks ground on new polypropylene facility in South Korea

MOSCOW (MRC) -- LyondellBasell (LBI) has announced that Ulsan PP Co., Ltd., a joint venture between PolyMirae Company Ltd, a 50-50 partnership of LyondellBasell and Daelim, and SK Advanced broke ground in the southeastern port city of Ulsan, South Korea, as per LBI's press release.

This new plant will utilize LyondellBasell’s world leading fifth generation Spheripol technology and is expected to begin production in May 2021. With its 400 kiloton annual capacity, the facility will be one of the largest polypropylene plants of its kind in Asia.

"Joint ventures are an important part of our growth strategy to reach the global market," said Ken Lane, executive vice president of Global Olefins & Polyolefins (O&P) at LyondellBasell. "With the combined advantages of LyondellBasell, Daelim and SK Advanced, this new joint venture will be able to provide competitive and differentiated polypropylene products that help advance fuel efficient vehicles, flexible packaging solutions, clean water and high-quality hygiene to serve the rapidly growing markets in Asia."

The Ulsan PP plant will leverage a vertically integrated value chain of SK, converting propane supplied by SK Gas to propylene by SK Advanced and finally to polypropylene with LyondellBasell’s leading Spheripol PP process technology. Through this integrated value chain approach, the companies will enhance the stable supply of raw materials, operational efficiency and responsiveness to market changes.

PolyMirae will offtake all polypropylene produced by Ulsan PP which will be sold to customers in South Korea through PolyMirae and exported throughout Asia through LyondellBasell and Daelim, utilizing their superior market knowledge and expertise.

As MRC informed before, in September 2019, LyondellBasell sarted up a new, fifth production line at its polypropylene compounding plant in Knapsack, Germany capable of producing 25 kt/yr. With this, capacity of the Knapsack facility is over 200 kt/yr, making the site "the world’s largest polypropylene compounding facility".

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.

Ulsan PP Co., Ltd. is a joint venture between PolyMirae and SK Advanced. Established in November 2018, the company is headquartered in the new port of Hwangseong-dong, Namsan-gu, Ulsan, South Korea.

PolyMirae is a 50-50 joint venture between Daelim and LyondellBasell, both of which are well respected companies worldwide, and is a leading polypropylene production company in Korea. With Daelim's outstanding accumulated on-site operational experience and LyondellBasell's core technologies and worldwide sales network, PolyMirae was founded on September 1st 2000 in order to produce and supply the best polypropylene in Asia.

Daelim Industrial is a construction and petrochemical company that is a part of the Daelim Group hailing from South Korea. Daelim builds petrochemical, refinery and power plants in more than 36 countries. With headquarters in Seoul, South Korea, Daelim completed more than 600 engineering and construction projects around the world, as well as operates manufacturing facilities in South Korea. Founded in 1939, Daelim has approximately 7,000 employees worldwide. Revenues for 2018 is USD10 billion.

SK Advanced is a joint venture between Korea’s SK Gas, Saudi Arabia’s APC and Kuwait’s PIC, a subsidiary of Kuwait’s state-run oil company, Kuwait Petroleum Company (KPC). SK Advanced won the Industrial Peace Prize of Ulsan city for its efforts to maintain an accident-free workplace and build excellent labor-management relations since 2016.
LyondellBasell is one of the largest plastics, chemicals and refining companies in the world. Driven by its 13,000 employees around the globe, LyondellBasell produces materials and products that are key to advancing solutions to modern challenges like enhancing food safety through lightweight and flexible packaging, protecting the purity of water supplies through stronger and more versatile pipes, and improving the safety, comfort and fuel efficiency of many of the cars and trucks on the road. LyondellBasell sells products into approximately 100 countries and is the world's largest licensor of polyolefin technologies.

BP plans to build a USD25 million pilot plastics-to-feedstocks plant in US

MOSCOW (MRC) -- BP plans to build a USD25 million pilot plant to test new technology the energy company says will allow plastic bottles and food packaging to be recycled again and again, reported Reuters.

Polyethylene terephthalate, or PET, is one of the most widely recycled plastics. About 27 million tonnes of PET is used annually in packaging, with bottles accounting for around 23 million tonnes of that, BP said in a statement, citing data from consultancy Wood Mackenzie.

However, only around 60% of PET used for bottles is recovered, with the vast majority recycled only once before being either buried in landfill or burnt as the current recycling process leaves a lot of impurities.

BP said that its new recycling technology, named Infinia, can transform used PET plastics into brand-new plastic feedstock, allowing them to be recycled repeatedly.

The company will build a USD25 million plant in the United States in 2020 to test the technology before deciding on whether it can be fully commercialised.

BP's head of refining and petrochemicals Tufan Erginbilgic said the technology was a "game-changer" for the plastics recycling industry.

"It is an important stepping stone in enabling a stronger circular economy in the polyester industry and helping to reduce unmanaged plastic waste," Erginbilgic said.

As MRC informed earlier, BP and China’s Zhejiang Petroleum and Chemical Corporation (ZPCC) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to explore the creation of a new equally-owned joint venture to build and operate a 1 million ton per year (Mtpy) acetic acid plant in eastern China. The proposed facility - in Zhoushan, Zhejiang Province - would deploy BP’s CATIVA XL technology to produce acetic acid, a versatile intermediate chemical used in a variety of products such as paints, adhesives and solvents. It is also used in the production of purified terephthalic acid (PTA) of which BP is a leading global manufacturer.

BP’s Global Petrochemicals Business has total (net to BP) capacity at 18 locations in ten countries of 18.3 million tpa including 6.7 million tpa of PTA.

According to MRC's DataScope report, Chinese bottle grade PET deliveries to Russia increased 34% in the first eight months of 2019 to 95,600 tonnes. China accounted for 90% of the total imports, compared to 85% a year earlier.
August imports of material from China decreased by 41% to 7,600 tonnes from 12,800 tonnes in July. Jiangsu Sanfangxiang, Yisheng, Wankai and Sinopec were the leading Chinese suppliersof material to the Russian market.

BP is one of the world's largest oil and gas companies, serving millions of customers every day in around 80 countries, and employing around 85,000 people. BP’s business segments are Upstream (oil and gas exploration & production), and Downstream (refining & marketing). Through these activities, BP provides fuel for transportation; energy for heat and light; services for motorists; and petrochemicals products for plastics, textiles and food packaging. It has strong positions in many of the world's hydrocarbon basins and strong market positions in key economies.

Thai PTTGC runs HDPE plant on reduced ops, LDPE plant remains offline

MOSCOW (MRC) -- PTTGC has shut all high density polyethylene (HDPE) production lines except keeping only one line on normal production at present, reported NCT with reference to sources close to the company.

Located in Map Ta Phut, Thailand, the company’s HDPE plant includes four production lines with a combined capacity of 330,000 tons/year.

The source also said that the producer conducted a test run at its 300,000 tons/year low density polyethylene (LDPE) plant, adding that the plant was not yet ready to start production. The plant, shut in early October for maintenance, currently remains offline with no definite restart schedule.

As MRC informed earlier, PTT started commercial operations at its new 400,000 mt/year metallocene C6 linear low density polyethylene plant at Map Ta Phut, Thailand, in the first quarter of 2018.

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.

PTT Global Chemical is a leading player in the petrochemical industry and owns several petrochemical facilities with a combined capacity of 8.45 million tonnes a year.

Honda brings forward goal to be fully electrified in Europe to 2022

MOSCOW (MRC) - Japanese carmaker Honda has brought forward a goal to only sell electric and hybrid cars in Europe by three years to 2022, said Reuters, cting a leading company executive.

Last month, Honda said it would phase out all diesel vehicle sales in Europe by 2021 in favour of electrified vehicles.

The carmaker had said in March it intended "to move 100% of its European sales to electrified powertrains by 2025."

"By 2022 we are confident we can have the full range electrified and actually deliver something quite extraordinary," Tom Gardner, senior vice president at Honda Motor Europe, said.

Gardner made the announcement in Amsterdam, where Honda was presenting the new fully-electric Jazz model for the European market. "We see a big change happening in Europe and today we are announcing our response to that."

"We can also feel the fact that the market around us is expanding. Obviously the legislation around the environment is getting clearer as well. It is the track we are on in terms of the development of the new fully electrified line up."

The European Union has set new rules for carmakers to reduce carbon dioxide vehicle emissions from next year, or face fines.

India eases fuel retail rules, allows entry of non-oil firms

MOSCOW (MRC) - India relaxed its rules for setting up fuel stations in the country after a gap of 17 years, opening to non-energy companies a sector long eyed by global oil majors, said Reuters.

India, where fuel demand is expected to rise in coming years, has become a lucrative market after the government removed controls on retail pricing of gasoline and gasoil.

However, regulations framed in 2002 had made it difficult for new players to obtain a retail license, such as an investment commitment of 20 billion rupees (USD282 million) in the country's oil and gas sector.

Under the new rules, any company with a net worth of 2.5 billion rupees will be eligible for marketing rights, a government statement said, paving the way for convenience stores, shopping malls and hypermarkets to sell fuel.

Indian fuel retailing is dominated by state refiners - Indian Oil Corp, Bharat Petroleum Corp and Hindustan Petroleum Corp.

Companies including Reliance Industries, Royal Dutch Shell and Nayara Energy, partly owned by Russian oil major Rosneft, account for about 10% of the roughly 64,625 fuel stations in the country.

The new rules will help in attracting investment and create jobs, Information and Broadcasting Minister Prakash Javadekar told a news conference. "Competition will increase productivity and services, eventually benefiting the consumers," he said.

Global oil companies including Saudi Aramco, Trafigura's Puma Energy and France's Total have said they are interested in setting up fuel stations in India.

The new rules mandate that in addition to gasoil and gasoline, companies must install facilities within three years for the sale of at least one alternative fuel such as compressed natural gas, liquefied natural gas or electric charging.

As it was written earlier, Rosneft is spearheading a move to develop polymer production in India through its recently acquired local subsidiary, Mumbai-based Nayara Energy Ltd. Preliminary plans have been unveiled to construct a 450,000tpa polypropylene production plant at Nayara Energy's Vadinar oil refinery in Gujarat state, India, which is scheduled to go on stream in 2022.

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.