Shell restarts CDU after maintenance

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Royal Dutch Shell Plc is finishing a planned multi-unit overhaul as it begins restarting the large crude distillation unit (CDU) at its 340,000 barrel-per-day joint-venture Deer Park, Texas, refinery, said sources familiar with plant operations, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The 270,000 bpd DU-2 CDU was shut on Sept. 23 at the start of the multi-unit overhaul planned to last for about two months, the sources said.

Shell spokesman Ray Fisher said planned work was still underway at the Deer Park refinery, which is a joint-venture between Shell and Mexico’s national oil company Petroleos Mexicanos.

In addition to DU-2, Shell shut the 92,000 bpd coker, the 67,000 bpd hydrocracker and 40,900 bpd gas oil hydrotreater along with several other units.

The gas oil hydrotreater restarted on Tuesday. The hydrocracker is preparing to restart along with DU-2. The coker will restart along with the CDU or shortly after it, the sources said.

DU-2 is the larger of two CDUs doing the primary breakdown of crude oil into hydrocarbon feedstocks for all other production units at the refinery.

The coker converts residual crude oil from distillation units into feedstocks for motor fuels or petroleum coke, a coal substitute. Hydrocrackers use hydrogen under high pressure and high heat with a catalyst to convert gas oil into motor fuels, primarily hydrogen. Hydrotreaters remove sulfur from motor fuels in compliance with U.S. environmental rules.

As MRC wrote before, in mid-October 2019, Royal Dutch Shell Plc restarted the hydrocracker at its 225,300 barrel-per-day (bpd) Norco, Louisiana, refinery. The 40,000 bpd hydrocracker was shut on Sept. 9 for a planned month-long overhaul. A longer than expected restart of the unit stretched the outage to six weeks, the sources said.

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

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 1,589,580 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.

Royal Dutch Shell plc is an Anglo-Dutch multinational oil and gas company headquartered in The Hague, Netherlands and with its registered office in London, United Kingdom. It is the biggest company in the world in terms of revenue and one of the six oil and gas "supermajors". Shell is vertically integrated and is active in every area of the oil and gas industry, including exploration and production, refining, distribution and marketing, petrochemicals, power generation and trading.

Polief is not expected to resume PTA production this month

MOSCOW (MRC) - Polief is not expected to resume terephthalic acid (PTA) production by the end of November, as per ICIS-MRC Price Report.

Because of this Russian producers do not want to cut spot prices, and even slightly increased them. However, there were no signals of a possible shortage of Russian-made PET. Contract buyers continued to receive Russian material on average at Rb75,000-78,000/tonne CPT Moscow, including VAT.

Spot prices from Russian producers were in the range of Rb82,000-88,000/tonne CPT Moscow, including VAT.

Earlier it was reported about an accident at Polief, which happened on 9 October. Due to the collapse of the concrete tank, about 8 tonnes of untreated sewage spilled onto the territory of the plant and adjacent. A criminal case has been instituted on this fact regarding a violation of the rules for the treatment of environmentally hazardous substances and wastes. Investigation preliminary estimates environmental damage at 44 million roubles.

As MRC previously reported Polief plant suspended sales in the spot market after force majeure and focused on fulfilling of contractual obligations.

Polief launched the production of terephthalic acid (PTA) in Blagoveshchensk in September. The modernisation of the production of terephthalic acid (PTA) at Polyef was completed in mid-August. The volume of consumption of PTA in the Russian market is about 500,000 tonnes per year. Thus, the reconstruction of the existing production at Polief with an increase in the production capacity of the product from 272,000 tonnes to 350,000 tonnes per year will significantly replace imports. SIBUR began the reconstruction of the production of PTA in Blagoveshchensk in December 2017.

Polief JSC (Blagoveshchensk, Republic of Bashkortostan) is the only producer of terephthalic acid and the largest supplier of polyethylene terephthalate in Russia. The capacity for the production of PTA after modernisation is 350,000 tonnes per year, PET - 219,000 tonnes per year.

Imports of injection moulding PET into Russia increased by 9% in Jan-Oct 2019

MOSCOW (MRC) - Imports of PET chips into Russia increased by 9% in ten months of this year compared to the same time a year ago and reached 118,000 tonnes (excluding supplies from Belarus over the past two months), according to MRC's DataScope.

Russia's PET imports increased by 26% in October to 6,300 tonnes against 5,000 tonnes in September; last October, material imports amounted to 7,020 tonnes.

The share of Chinese material was 92% (5,800 tonnes) in October versus 89% (4,400 tonnes) a month earlier. In October last year, the share of Chinese material in total imports amounted to 81% (5,700 tonnes).
As MRC reported earlier, imports of injection moulded PET chips to the Russian market in September decreased by 70% compared to September 2018 and amounted to 5,000 tonnes (excluding supplies from Belarus).

The total volume of imports of bottle grade PET grew by 10% to 111,000 tonnes in January-September of this year against 101,000 tonnes in the same period last year.

Turkish operator lets contract for the first PDH unit in the country

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Ceyhan Polipropilen Uretim AS, a joint venture of Ronesans Holding and Algeria’s state-owned Sonatrach SPA, has recently let a contract to Honeywell UOP LLC to provide process technology for propylene production at a grassroots petrochemical complex in the Ceyhan Mega Petrochemistry Industry Zone of Ceyhan, Turkey, reported Oil&Gas Journal.

As part of the contract, Honeywell UOP will license its proprietary C3 Oleflex technology for the new propane dehydrogenation (PDH) unit, which will be equipped to produce 457,000 tonnes/year of polymer-grade propylene for production of polypropylene (PP) at the complex, the service provider said.

Alongside technology licensing, Honeywell UOP also will provide customized basic engineering design, services, equipment, catalysts, and adsorbents for the plant.

Once completed, the PDH plant will be Turkey’s first.

The new unit will enable Ceyhan Polipropilen Uretim to manufacture polypropylene domestically, reducing Turkey’s dependence on imports from manufacturers in the Middle East and Western Europe. Demand for polypropylene in Turkey - which accounts for half the total demand for PP in the region - is expected to rise at about 2.5%/year over the next decade, Honeywell UOP said.

The PDH plant will reduce Turkish PP imports by 25%, as well as offset about USD13 billion in imported petrochemicals, representing a third of Turkey’s foreign trade deficit in manufacturing.

In 2017, Turkey imported more than 2 million tonnes of polypropylene, according to the service provider.

Ceyhan Polipropilen Uretim, which was formed early this year, plans to begin production at its new USD1.2-billion, 450,000-tpy PP plant in 2023, according to a Dec. 3, 2018, release from Ronesans Holding.

As MRC wrote before, Sonatrach's petrochemicals joint venture with Total has selected Honeywell UOP's C3 Oleflex technology for its proposed 565,000 tonne/year polymer-grade propylene project in Arzew, Algeria. The catalytic dehydrogenation technology converts propane into propylene.

Propylene is a feedstock for producing polyprolypele (PP).

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.

Teijin opens new compounding plant in Thailand

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Teijin Ltd has recently started operations at its compounding plant and a related R&D facility in Ayutthaya, Thailand to address the rising demand for new compounds in the ASEAN region, driven by economic development and growth in population, according to PlasticsNesEurope.

Marking Teijin’s third resin-related R&D hub in Asia, the new technical centre will collaborate with R&D units in Japan and China to develop compounds particularly for the automotive and E&E sectors.

In its statement, Teijin said it was positioning the new technical center as a development hub for the ASEAN region in order to to strengthen product development capabilities and increase focus on the fast-growing Chinese and ASEAN markets.

Teijin is currently producing compounds at its facilities in Japan and China and through subcontractor factories across the ASEAN region.

The new 10-kilotonnes-per-annum plant in Thailand will improve the company's production capacity to meet that growing demand more quickly.

The EUR11.3m facility, according to Noboru Yamanishi, general manager of Teijin’s resin & plastic processing business unit, will offer materials which will help reduce weight and enhance functionality of next-generation cars and communication device.

"We aim to contribute to the further development of the region by collaborating proactively with ASEAN customers and partner companies in order to provide innovative products that meet diverse needs," he added.

As MRC informed before, by end 2015, Japan's Teijin shut down its polycarbonate (PC) resin plant in Singapore and put the industrial facility on Jurong Island up for sale through an expression of interest. The Singapore plant haв 225,000 t/y of PC capacity.

According to ICIS-MRC Price report, Russia's estimated PC consumption rose in in the first three quarters of 2019 by 11% year on year to 61,000 tonnes (54,800 tonnes a year earlier). Consumption in the injection moulding sector grew in the first nine months of 2019 by 10% year on year to 7,900 tonnes from 7,200 tonnes a year earlier.

Teijin is a technology-driven global group offering advanced solutions in the areas of sustainable transportation, information and electronics, safety and protection, environment and energy, and healthcare. Its main fields of operation are high-performance fibers such as aramid, carbon fibers & composites, healthcare, films, resin & plastic processing, polyester fibers, products converting and IT. The group has some 150 companies and around 17,000 employees spread out over 20 countries worldwide.