Hengyi Brunei starts on-specification aromatics output

MOSCOW (MRC) -- China's Hengyi Petrochemical, a joint petrochemical venture between China and Brunei, has achieved on-specification aromatics output at its new plant in Brunei, which has nameplate production capacity of 1.5mn t/yr of paraxylene (PX) and 500,000 t/yr of benzene, reported Argus.

Hengyi Brunei's aromatics units are currently running at 60-70%, after its reformer started trial runs in mid-October.

Most PX output will be consumed by Chinese producer Yisheng Petrochemical's three PTA plants in Ningbo, Zhejiang province, which have combined nameplate capacity of 5.15mn t/yr. Hengyi owns a 50% stake in Yisheng Petrochemical, while the other 50% is owned by fellow private-sector firm Rongsheng Petrochemical.

The first PX shipment from the Brunei plant will probably be loaded in late November and head to China.

Hengyi Brunei is in negotiations with market participants over sales of benzene to northeast and southeast Asia, traders said. The company has already started some spot sales of benzene, including at least one cargo sold for first-half December delivery to Singapore at parity to fob South Korea prices.

Hengyi Petrochemical is one of the largest polyester producers in China. The company, based in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, owns more than 6mn t/yr of capacity in Zhejiang, Jiangsu and Fujian.

As MRC wrote before, on 9 October 2019, Hengyi Industries Sdn Bhd inked commercial agreements with Brunei Shell Petroleum Company (BSP) and Brunei Shell Marketing Company (BSM) for the supply of crude oil to Hengyi and selling of fuel products in Brunei market.

Paraxylene is a raw material for the synthesis of terephthalic acid (TFA) - an intermediate for the production of polyethylene terephthalate (PET).

According to ICIS-MRC Price Report, 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.

Hengyi Industries is a joint venture of Zhejiang Hengyi Group (70%) and Damai Holdings, a subsidiary of the Brunei government's Strategic Development Capital Fund (30%).

Clariant completes sale of healthcare business

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Specialty chemical company Clariant has completed the sale of its healthcare packaging business to Arsenal Capital Partners, a leading private equity firm investing in specialty industrials and healthcare companies, said the company.

The company will be rebranded as Airnov Healthcare Packaging (“Airnov”).

The business unit was sold for Swiss francs (Swfr) 308m (USD311m) , which is equivalent of 13.2 times adjusted for the fiscal year (FY) 2018 earnings before interest taxation depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA).

The initial signing to the US-based private equity firm took place on 22 July 2019, and this announcement comes in the wake of Clariant’s steady Q3 results.

Executive chairman Hariolf Kottmann said: "The divestment of the Healthcare Packaging business is the first step of our announced strategy to become a more focused and innovative specialty chemical company."

As MRC informed earlier, Clariant announced that it has been awarded a contract by Dongguan Grand Resource Science & Technology Co. Ltd. to develop a new propane dehydrogenation unit in cooperation with CB&I. The Dongguan plant will be one of the largest single-train dehydrogenation units in the world. Clariant's technology partner CB&I will base the plant's design on its Catofin® catalytic dehydrogenation technology, which uses Clariant's tailor-made Catofin catalyst and Heat Generating Material (HGM).

Propylene is the main feedstock for producing polyprolypele (PP).

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, 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.

Clariant AG is a Swiss chemical company and a world leader in the production of specialty chemicals for the textile, printing, mining and metallurgical industries. It is engaged in processing crude oil products in pigments, plastics and paints. Clariant India has local masterbatch production activities at Rania, Kalol and Nandesari (Gujarat) and Vashere (Maharashtra) sites in India.

Shapoorji Pallonji Oil & Gas awarded two global Business Excellence Awards

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Shapoorji Pallonji Oil & Gas Pvt Ltd (SP O&G) won two global awards commemorating their significant contribution in the Oil & Gas sector, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The company was conferred with ‘Business Excellence’ at the 4th ASEAN-India Business Awards 2019 in Manila, Philippines. In the presence of H.E. Shri Ram Nath Kovind, Hon’ble President of India and other ASEAN Ministers, the award was received by Mr. Ravi Shankar, CEO, SP O&G, from H.E. YB Senator Waytha Murthy Ponnusamy, Hon’ble Minister for Trade, National Unity in the Prime Minister’s office, Malaysia and H.E Mr. Ramon M Lopez Hon’ble Secretary, Minister for Trade and Industries of Philippines.

The company was also conferred with ‘Excellent Performance Award of FPSO Contractor of the Year’ at the 6th FPSO & FLNG & FSRU Asia Pacific Summit 2019 in Shanghai. The award was received by Mr. Biswa Mohan Jha, Planning Manager, SP O&G and Mr. Hemant Bedi, DGM Commercial, SP O&G from Mr. Nazery Khalid, Head, Planning & Development at Boustead Heavy Industries Corp., Malaysia. The awards were focused on the ‘Rebound of FPSO & FLNG Global Development and Upgrading’ and Design Innovation and Process Optimization of FPSO and Best Industry Practices.

"I commend our teams at Shapoorji Pallonji Oil & Gas for their dedication to engineering & Construction excellence, which has led us to grow and achieve a respectable milestone in this niche industry segment. We are the only company specializing in offshore processing in both floating and fixed platform segments. It goes to prove that our world-class excellence lies not only in our engineering, procurement & construction capability, innovative financing, talented human resources but also our operating philosophy of safety & quality,” said Mr. Ravi Shankar, CEO, SP Oil & Gas.

The 4th ASEAN - India Business Awards, held on 19th October 2019 aimed to acknowledge the ASEAN companies who have made significant contribution for strengthening bilateral trade and business investment between ASEAN & India member countries.

The 6th FPSO & FLNG & FSRU Asia (FFA) Pacific Convention, ‘Offshore China Awards’, held on 24th and 25th October 2019, celebrated the industry’s best practices and performances. FFA is a leading Global FPSO, FLNG and FSRU industry conference and exhibition held in China, which attracts key decision makers from the industry. The conference represents industry leaders with a particular focus on China and Southeast Asia’s Floating Production Market.

As MRC informed earlier, Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), the country’s largest fuel retailer, has posted an 83 per cent dip in net profit at Rs 563 crore for the second quarter ended September on the back of decreased revenue and fall in gross refinery margins.

Indian Oil Corp restarted operation at its naphtha cracker in India in early-October, 2019, after completing maintenance works. The cracker was shut in early-September, 2019 for a maintenance turnaround. Located in Panipat, in the northern Indian state of Haryana, the cracker has an ethylene production capacity of 857,000 mt/year and propylene capacity of 425,000 mt/year.

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.

Total quits U.S. oil lobby group over climate policy differences

MOSCOW (MRC) -- French oil giant Total SA said it won’t renew its membership of a key industry lobby group because the organization’s stance on climate issues doesn’t align with its own, said Bloomberg.

The company’s decision to leave the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers association follows a similar move by Royal Dutch Shell Plc earlier this year. Such lobby groups have long been a target of environmental activists, but now oil majors are increasingly feeling the heat from investors demanding that their business models align with the Paris climate accord.

Total reviewed its membership of 30 industry associations, and detailed its subsequent decision to leave the AFPM in its “Integrating Climate Into Our Strategy” report, released on Friday. It also singled out three other North American lobby groups with which it’s only “partially aligned” on climate issues, and said it would “advocate internally for changes” in their positions.

Total said it would reconsider its memberships of these three groups “in the event of lasting divergences."

Explaining its planned exit from the AFPM, Total said it held different views on the Paris agreement, carbon pricing and renewable energies.

Anglo-Dutch rival Shell said in April that its position on climate change was misaligned with about half of the trade associations it’s a part of, and the disagreement with the AFPM was so severe that the company was withdrawing.

The AFPM said at the time that it works on “myriad issues” for its members, and “like any family, we aren’t always fully aligned on every policy.” It added that “we always strive to reach consensus positions on policies that are in the best interest of our membership and the communities and consumers that rely on us."

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.

Perstorp breaks ground on India pentaerythritol site

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Perstorp has broken ground at a new site in Gujarat, India, for the production of pentaerythritol (penta), said the company on its website.

The world scale, green-field Gujarat plant will produce Penta, including the renewable grades of Voxtar, providing up to a 60% reduced carbon footprint.

Construction of the Gujarat plant started in October this year, with commercial production planned to start in Q1 2022. When fully operational, the site will employ 120 people. The investment will significantly expand Perstorp’s Penta production capacity, designed to produce 40,000 ton/yr of Penta from 2022.

Penta has a vast range of application areas, being an essential building block ingredient in coatings, as well synthetic lubricants and antioxidants. The Gujarat investment will reinforce Perstorp’s ability to meet growing demand, particularly in Asian markets, as well as offering various Penta qualities including Penta Mono and Di-Penta and, additionally, calcium formate.

Perstorp will also produce its renewable grade of penta – which can be used as a building block ingredient in coatings, as well as synthetic lubricants and antioxidants – which can provide up to a 60% reduction in carbon emissions.

As it was written earlier, Perstorp introduced in September 2019 a renewable polyol ester (non-phthalate) plasticizer Pevalen Pro. It will make flexible PVC an even more attractive choice of plastic, based on a significantly lower carbon footprint versus competing materials and technologies. Pevalen Pro improves the sustainability of PVC without compromise on quality and performance.

As per ICIS-MRC Price Report, negotiations over November shipments of suspension polyvinyl chloride (SPVC) began in the Russian market this week. Some producers significantly decreased prices, in some cases up to roubles (Rb) 4,000/tonne. November deals for K64/67 PVC were negotiated in the range of Rb72,000-74,000/tonne CPT Moscow, including VAT, for lots of less than 500 tonnes. K70 PVC was contracted at the prices, which were by on average of Rb1,000/tonnes higher.