Huntsman Chairman, President, and CEO to become New Officer of American Chemistry Council

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The American Chemistry Council (ACC) announced at its board of directors meeting that Huntsman Chairman, President and CEO Peter Huntsman will become the Council’s newest board officer, effective January 1, 2020, said Americanchemistry.

"Innovation and sustainability remain at the forefront of a thriving U.S. chemical industry,” said incoming ACC President and CEO Chris Jahn. “Peter Huntsman represents one of the world’s most highly diversified chemical products companies serving a broad range of end use markets. He knows first-hand the importance of a regulatory framework that bolsters the confidence of our value chain that our members’ products are safe for their intended use. His leadership will help to ensure ACC continues to articulate the industry’s view and commitment to a more circular economy and distinguishes the industry as a constructive partner in that evolution," he added.

"Peter’s insight, experience and guidance will strengthen ACC’s position as the leading voice for the industry as we continue to promote the role of American chemistry in a global manufacturing future,” said Chemours CEO Mark Vergnano, incoming Chairman of the Board.

Following formal approval by the board of directors, Huntsman will first assume the role of Vice Chairman of the Board and chair of the Council’s Board Finance, Audit and Membership Committee. He’ll serve in this capacity for one year, followed by a one year term each as Chairman of the Executive Committee and Chairman of the Board. Huntsman was first elected to ACC’s board of directors in February 2017.

As MRC informed earlier, the Chemical Activity Barometer (CAB), a leading economic indicator created by the American Chemistry Council (ACC), fell 0.4 percent in October on a three-month moving average (3MMA) basis following stable activity during the third quarter. On a year-over-year (Y/Y) basis, the barometer was off 0.5 percent (3MMA).

As MRC informed earlier, 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. 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.

South Africa awaits Aramco move on planned refinery, petchem project

MOSCOW (MRC) -- South Africa has agreed "in principle" to the construction of a new refinery backed by Saudi Aramco though the timing for the project remained unclear, reported S&P Global with reference to South Africa's energy and minerals minster's statement.

"In principle, we have agreed to it," Gwede Mantashe told reporters on the sidelines of an industry event in Cape Town.

"What is left now is to see contractors on site. I will only be convinced when the contractors are on site."

South Africa and Saudi Arabia reached a framework agreement for a new refining and petrochemicals complex in January as part of Saudi Arabia's USD10 billion investment plan for South Africa.

Mantashe said the government has agreed with Aramco's plan to build the plant at Richards Bay in the northeast despite the government's preferred site being Coega in the Eastern Cape. He gave no further details on the scale of the plant which would reduce South Africa's need for refined product imports.

South Africa imports around 40% of its crude requirements from Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Aramco is also looking to diversify its crude storage options by using the Saldanha Bay terminal in South Africa with a capacity of around 50 million barrels and between demand centers in Asia and Europe.

As MRC informed previously, Saudi Aramco, which temporarily lost half of its oil production following the September 14 attacks on two key oil facilities, is running its local refineries at full capacity and is forging ahead with plans to start up new refineries. The company is also starting up a joint venture refinery in Malaysia next year. According to Aramco's bond prospectus released in April, the refining and petrochemical joint venture with Petronas - the Malaysian national oil company - collectively known as PRefChem, was supposed to start this year.

The PRefChem joint venture includes a 300,000 b/d refinery, an integrated steam cracker with capacity to produce 1.3 million mt of ethylene located in Johor, Malaysia. Aramco was supposed to provide a significant portion of PRefChem's crude supply under a long-term supply agreement. Jazan and PrefChem will help Aramco reach a gross refining capacity of 5.6 million b/d, it said in the prospectus. The company currently owns and has stakes in four refineries abroad with a total refining capacity exceeding 2 million b/d.

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

Saudi Aramco is an integrated oil and chemicals company, a global leader in hydrocarbon production, refining processes and distribution, as well as one of the largest global oil exporters. It manages proven reserves of crude oil and condensate estimated at 261.1bn barrels, and produces 9.54 million bbl daily. Headquartered in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, the company employs over 61,000 staff in 77 countries.

Sipchem announces appointment of chairman of board

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Saudi International Petrochemical (Sipchem) has announced that the board of directors approved by circulation on 27 October 2019 the appointment of Khalid A Al-Zamil as Sipchem chairman till the end of the current board cycle on 9 December 2019, reported Refining&Petrochemicals.

Al-Zamil has various practical experiences in engineering and management. He holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Southern California University in the United States.

As MRC wrote before, in March 2018, Sipchem said it was planning to resume proposed merger talks with Sahara Petrochemical 2260.SE in a deal that could create a 14.7 billion riyals (USD3.9 bln) chemicals company. The two companies called off a planned merger in 2014, citing an inadequate regulatory framework in the kingdom for the collapse.

As in early April, 2019, Sahara Petrochemicals announced that its current CEO, Salah Mohammed Bahmdan, would head up the new group that will be formed from its merger with Sipchem. Abdullah Saif Alsaadoon, Sipchem’s CEO, will be appointed as chief operating officer of the combined company. The companies disclosed last December that they had agreed to a merger of equals in a move they estimate to yield synergies of up to 225 million Saudi riyal, or $60 million, by the end of the third year after completion.

Besides, we remind that on 29 December, 2014, Sipchem started a new ethyl vinyl acetate (EVA) film plant. Located at Hail in Saudi Arabia, the plant has a production capacity of 4,000 mt/year.

According to MRC's DataScope report, September EVA imports to Russia fell by 22,7% year on year to 3,420 tonnes from 4,430 tonnes in September 2018, and overall imports of this grade of ethylene copolymer into the Russian Federation decreased in January-September 2019 by 18,2% year on year to 29,190 tonnes (35,690 tonnes in the first nine months of 2018).

Established in 1999, Saudi International Petrochemical Company (Sipchem) manufactures and markets methanol, butanediol, tetrahydrofuran, acetic acid, acetic anhydride, vinyl acetate monomer. Besides, it has launched several down-stream projects to manufacture ethylene vinyl acetate, low density polyethylene, ethyl acetate, butyl acetate, cross linkable polyethylene, and semi conductive compound that are scheduled to start in 2013.

Shenhua Baotou restarts coal-to-olefin plant

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Shenhua Baotou has brought on-stream its coal-to-olefin plant following a maintenance turnaround, as per Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in China informed that the company has completed maintenance turnaround at its plant in early-November, 2019. The plant was taken off-line for maintenance in mid-September, 2019.

Located at Baotou City, China, the plant have ethylene and propylene production capacity of 300,000 mt/year each.

As MRC reported before, Shenhua Baotou shut its polypropylene (PP) plant for a planned maintenance on September 18, 2019. The plant was expected to remain under maintenance for about six weeks. Located at Baotou City, China, the PP plant has a production capacity of 300,000 mt/year.

Shenhua Baotou also runs linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) plant at the same site. The company conducted maintenance at its LLDPE plant from 12 September to late September, 2017. Located at Baotou City, China, the plant has a production capacity of 300,000 mt/year.

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

Dalian Yisheng startup new PET bottle plant

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Dalian Yisheng Co Ltd has started up its new polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottle plant by last weekend, reported CommoPlast with reference to market sources.

Based in Dalian, China, the new plant has a production capacity of 350,000 tons/year. The company is ramping up its production rate and expected to have prime grade by this week.

We remind that, as MRC wrote previously, another major Chinese PET producer - Shaoxing Reignwood Petrochemical - took off-stream a purified terephthalic acid (PTA) plant for maintenance on September 20, 2019. The plant was slated to remain under maintenance for about a week. Located at Shaoxing in China, the PTA plant has a production capacity of 1.4 mmt/year.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PET consumption dropped in September 2019 by 10% year on year, totalling 58,210 tonnes. Overall, 551,320 tonnes of PET was processed in Russia in the first nine months of 2019, up 9% year on year.

Yisheng Petrochemical is jointly owned by polyester giants Zhejiang Hengyi Group and Zhejiang RongSheng Group.