Dow closes sale of acetone business to Altivia

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Altivia Ketones & Additives, LLC an affiliate of Altivia Petrochemicals, announced that it acquired Dow’s Acetone Derivatives Business and associated chemical manufacturing assets at Institute, W.Va., as well as the Institute Industrial Park, said Chemengonline.

Altivia successfully assumed operations and product distribution without delay on November 1.

The Acetone Derivatives Business manufactures ketones and carbinols, used primarily in the coatings, adhesive and pharmaceutical industries. It is the largest North American production facility of its kind.

"We have implemented a thorough transition plan over the past 12 weeks to ensure continuity and avoid disruptions during our assumption of operations at Institute, West Virginia,” said Altivia’s Chief Executive Officer J. Michael Jusbasche. “Customers of our Ketones business and stakeholders at our Institute Industrial Park will experience a seamless transition to Altivia."

The 460-acre Institute Industrial Park was originally operated by Union Carbide and became an industrial park in the mid-1980s. The facility houses the acetone derivatives business acquired by Altivia, as well as other Dow and DuPont businesses, which receive utility and logistics services to support chemical production activities.

Earlier in 2019, Dow had said that the business's acetone derivatives are used as solvents and as chemical intermediates. The coatings industry uses the solvents for nitrocellulose and other cellulose ethers as well as for vinyl chloride-vinyl acetone and other resins. The companies announced the deal in mid-August.

As MRC informed earlier, Dow Chemical's propylene dehydrogenation (PDH) unit in Freeport, Texas, is offline for a turnaround. Sources said the PDH unit went offline for scheduled maintenance September 26, and the work is expected to last 45-60 days. Originally, sources expected the turnaround to begin in early September, but then learned it had been delayed.

As MRC informed previously, Dow Chemical began major maintenance on the LHC 1 cracker at Terneuzen, Netherlands from 9 September, 2019. More than 1,500 extra employees from various external companies will carry out maintenance work in the subsequent period.

Propylene is a feedstock for producing polyprolypele (PP).

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.

Dow believes that plastic waste has value and can be transformed into new products and energy. In addition to plastic roads, Dow is working with key partners in South America to use recycled plastics to develop construction materials for schools in Colombia. Dow is also at the forefront of developing and scaling chemical recycling technology to take recycled plastic waste back to feedstock for the creation of new products. By reimagining new ways to reuse, recycle and repurpose plastic waste, Dow and its partners are leading the way in the development of innovative circular economy solutions.


Total finds buyer for contaminated Urals crude

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Seven months after loading a cargo of Urals crude that was contaminated with excess organic chlorides, reported S&P Global with reference to Total said Thursday a trading house bought the oil in a tender on Wednesday.

The price, a steep discount to the market, highlighted the ongoing costs of the contamination of the Russian crude earlier this year.

The sale came on the same day that Hungary settled with Russia over the contaminated oil that it had received through the Druzhba pipeline as part of the same episode, which damaged the reputation of the world's second largest crude exporter. None of the parties to the agreement - Lukoil, MOL and Transneft - gave financial details.

Totsa awarded its tender for a 100,000 mt cargo - equivalent to 720,000 barrels - of contaminated oil to an undisclosed energy trader on Wednesday at a discount of more than USD25/b to Dated Brent, Totsa - Total's trading arm - said Thursday.

The cargo was sold on an FOB basis and was expected to be lifted in November.

A representative from Totsa said the tender "was sold at a hefty loss (but) we have been able to sell everything".

Total has held similar tenders in recent months that failed to find any interest, and the conditions of Wednesday's tender showed flexibility on the part of the French major, with bidders able to request as little as 50,000 barrels and choose between oil that contained organic chlorides in a concentration of 27.3 ppm and 22.1 ppm.

Exports of Urals crude via the 1 million b/d Druzhba pipeline system were suspended mid-April after dangerous levels of corrosive organic chlorides were found in crude transported via the northern route into Belarus.

At the height of the episode, the levels of organic chlorides detected in the Urals stream at Ust-Luga rose to more than 60 ppm in several instances.

As MRC informed earlier, Total has decided to double the production capacity of its affiliate Synova to meet growing market demand for high-performance recycled materials. By early 2021, Normandy-based Synova, a French leader in its sector, will produce 40,000 tons per year of recycled polypropylene (PP) that meets the demanding quality standards of automotive OEMs and carmakers.

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.

Total S.A. is a French multinational oil and gas company and one of the six "Supermajor" oil companies in the world with business in Europe, the United States, the Middle East and Asia. The company's petrochemical products cover two main groups: base chemicals and the consumer polymers (polyethylene, polypropylene and polystyrene) that are derived from them.

Russian Sakhalin-2 LNG plant expansion put on hold

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Plans for the expansion of Russia's Sakhalin-2 liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant have been put on hold, according to three sources involved in the project, a potential setback to Russia's ambition to lift its global LNG market share, as per Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The main reasons for the hold-up are the lack of gas resources and international sanctions, the sources said, but plans of Russian gas giant Gazprom to boost its pipeline gas supplies to China, have also had an impact.

Equity holders in the Sakhalin Energy consortium include Gazprom which controls the project with a majority share, as well as oil major Royal Dutch Shell, Japan's Mitsui and Mitsubishi Corp.

Russia plans to raise its global LNG market share from less than 10% now to 20% by 2035, mainly thanks to cranking up of output by non-state producer Novatek and its partners in the Arctic.

Gazprom, Russia's sole exporter of natural gas via pipelines, has been slower in its LNG plans, focusing on pumping the fuel via pipes instead.

Sakhalin-2, off the country's eastern shores, is Russia's first LNG producing plant with a capacity of over 10 million tonnes per year. Its two production units, or trains, were launched in 2009 in strategic proximity to Japan, the world's largest consumer of the sea-borne LNG.

The consortium, Sakhalin Energy, has plans to expand and build a third train with a capacity of 5 million tonnes per year. Gazprom had said the expansion could happen in 2021.

"There have been no movements on the third line," a source from within the consortium said.

Shareholders have considered several options for the expansion: buying gas from the neighbouring Sakhalin-1 project led by ExxonMobil, developing new resources or a combination.

Yet, Sakhalin-1, where the state oil company Rosneft is also a shareholder, is aiming for its own LNG plant.

The talks about usage of Sakhalin-1 gas for the Sakhalin-2 LNG plant's expansion have dragged on for years.

Gazprom had initially planned to use resources from the Yuzhno-Kirinskoye field - yet to be commercially drilled and developed - for the Sakhalin-2 expansion.

Gazprom and Sakhalin Energy have not responded to requests for comment. Shell in Russia said the company remains committed to the expansion.

"The project is very robust from the technical and commercial point of view. However we need to confirm the feed gas supply source," it said in emailed comments.

"Only after such a source is determined, it will be possible to progress the project to FID and further construction."

In 2015, the United States restricted exports, re-exports and transfers of technology and equipment to the Yuzhno-Kirinskoye field, making it harder to develop, in response to Russia's annexation of Crimea from Ukraine a year earlier.

Gazprom has discovered another field, Yuzhno-Lunskoye, but the resources there are not enough for a third train at Sakhalin-2, according to a company source.

Next month, Gazprom plans to start landmark gas supplies to China via the Power of Siberia pipeline through which flows are expected to gradually rise to 38 billion cubic metres (bcm) per year during the next five years.

Other ways of pipeline gas delivery to China have been under discussion and one of the new possible routes of supplies is the existing Sakhalin - Khabarovsk - Vladivostok pipeline.

Russia wants to build a spur from the pipeline to China to the tune of 10 bcm per year but no deal has been clinched with China on that route yet.

Sinopec Guangzhou Petrochemical to restart No. 1 PP line in China in early November

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Sinopec Guangzhou Petrochemical, part of China's petrochemical giant - Sinopec, is expected to bring on-line its No. 1 PP unit after maintenance in early November 2019, reported CommoPlast with reference to market sources.

Based in Guangzhou, China, this unit's production capacity is 140,000 tons/year. This is the old PP line. The company also operates a new No. 2 PP line at the site with a production capacity of 200,000 tons/year.

Both units were shut down for a turnaround on 9 October 2019.

Meanwhile, its 60,000 tons/year old PP line 2 is still running regularly at the moment.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, 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.

China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation or Sinopec Limited is a Chinese oil and gas company based in Beijing, China. Sinopec's business includes oil and gas exploration, refining, and marketing; production and sales of petrochemicals, chemical fibers, chemical fertilizers, and other chemical products; storage and pipeline transportation of crude oil and natural gas; import, export and import/export agency business of crude oil, natural gas, refined oil products, petrochemicals, and other chemicals.

Nova becomes first Canadian-based company to participate in Operation Clean Sweep Blue

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Material supplier Nova Chemicals Corp. has become the first Canadian-based company to publicly pledge its commitment to Operation Clean Sweep Blue (OSC Blue) and verify compliance within all program parameters by January 1, 2022, as per Canplastics.

The program is an enhancement to Calgary-based Nova’s ongoing sustainability efforts to further eliminate plastic pellet spills and reduce plastic waste in the environment. OCS Blue is an international product stewardship program aimed at the prevention of plastic pellet, flake, and powder leakage to the environment, and requires enhanced company engagement, transparent reporting, and formal audit. Moving forward, OCS Blue metrics for all Nova’s facilities will be reported in compliance with the program in Nova’s annual Sustainability Report.

Nova has been a partner of Operation Clean Sweep since the early 1990s.

"We know plastic products have great value, making our everyday lives healthier, easier and safer,” Sarah Marshall, Nova’s director of sustainability, said in a statement. “We also agree that plastic waste does not belong in our oceans or the environment. Our commitment to Operation Clean Sweep Blue is another important step toward supporting the plastics circular economy, and creating a world free of plastic pollution, starting with the pellet."

The move is the latest in a series of sustainability initiatives undertaken by Nova. The firm recently joined the Alliance to End Plastic Waste as one of its founding members. The growing group of more than 40 global companies is one of the most comprehensive business consortiums across the entire plastics and consumer goods value chains. The Alliance has pledged more than USD1 billion with a goal of investing USD1.5 billion over five years to help eliminate plastic waste in the environment and especially the oceans.

Nova has also been a strategic partner to global Project STOP initiative since 2018, pledging nearly USD2 million over three years to prevent plastic debris from reaching the ocean.

As it was reported earlier, Nova Chemicals was ordered by a Canadian court to settle CSD1.43 bn (USD1.08 bn) to Dow for the ethylene feedstock dispute between the companies.

We also remind that in January 2017, NOVA Chemicals Corporation, a leading supplier of polyethylene in the Americas, announced the start up of its new world-scale linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) gas phase reactor at its Joffre, Alberta site.

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.

Nova Chemical is one of the largest world's petrochemical companies, a manufacturer of polyethylene, styrene polymers, monomers, and many other related products.