LyondellBasell technology selected for new PP plant in Turkey

MOSCOW (MRC) -- LyondellBasell has announced that Ceyhan Polipropilen Uretim A.S, a joint venture between Turkey’s Ronesans Holding and Algeria’s Sonatrach S.p.A., has selected the company’s Spheripol technology for a new polypropylene (PP) unit to be constructed in Ceyhan, Turkey, reported NCT.

The unit will have a production capacity of 450,000 tons/year of PP.

As MRC informed earlier, in October 2018, Yantai Wanhua Chemical Group has selected technology from LyondellBasell for a new high-density polyethylene (HDPE) plant and polypropylene (PP) unit in Yantai City, Shandong Province. The complex will include a 350,000-t/y HDPE plant, based on LyondellBasell's Hostalen ACP process technology, and a 300,000-t/y PP unit, which will utilize LyondelBasell's 5th generation Spheripol PP process technology. Cost of the project and a schedule were not given.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, the estimated PP consumption in the Russian market in January-October 2019 totalled 1,066,520 tonnes, up by 7% year on year. Supply of block copolymers of propylene (PP block copolymer) and homopolymer of propylene (homopolymer PP) increased, demand for statistical copolymers (PP random copolymer) decreased.

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.

Versalis to increase Italian ABS capacity

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Eni's Versalis plans to increase production capacity for acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) at its Mantua, Italy, facility, according to GV with reference to several industry reports.

The project will boost ABS capacity at its existing unit by 30,000 t/y. The engineering phase has already begun, and production is scheduled to start in 2020.

Versalis may add another 70,000 t/y of ABS capacity with an additional unit at the site, which would be based on the company's One Step technology. A pilot plant was started up at Mantua in 2017 to validate the One Step technology.

As MRC reported earlier, in mid-September 2018, Versalis opened a new EPDM rubber production plant in Ferrara, which will mainly supply the automotive industry. The new facility is an excellent example of reindustrialization of an Italian production plant. Over 250 million euros were invested in the project, which involved constructing a new production line on a land which was reclaimed and duly authorized for renewed industrial use, and the revamping of the existing elastomer plant.

According to MRC's DataScorpe report, overall ABS imports to the Russian market fell in the first ten months of 2019 by 2% year on year to 28,000 tonnes. This figure was 28,600 tonnes in January-October 2018. October ABS imports to Russia dropped by 4% year on year to 3,500 tonnes from 3,600 tonnes in October 2018. Imports of material into the country were 2,600 tonnes in September 2019.

Eni is an Italian multinational oil and gas company headquartered in Rome. It has operations in in 79 countries, and is currently Italy's largest industrial company with a market capitalization of 68 billion euros (USD 90 billion), as of August 14, 2013. The Italian government owns a 30.3% golden share in the company, 3.93% held through the state Treasury and 26.37% held through the Cassa depositi e prestiti. Another 39.40% of the shares are held by BNP Paribas.

PE imports to Ukraine increased by 12% in January-November 2019

MOSCOW (MRC) - Imports of polyethylene (PE) into Ukraine increased to about 248,400 tonnes in the first eleven months of 2019, up 12% compared to the same period of 2018. The greatest increase in demand occurred for high density polyethylene (HDPE), according to MRC DataScope.

Last month's PE imports to Ukraine rose to 24,300 tonnes from 23,300 tonnes in October, with high density polyethylene (HDPE) accounting for the increase in shipments. Overall PE imports reached 248,400 tonnes in January-November 2019, compared to 222,100 tonnes a year earlier. The highest supply of HDPE increased most of all, while imports of ethylene copolymers declined.

The supply structure by PE grades looked the following way over the stated period.

November imports of high density polyethylene increased to 8,200 tonnes compared with 6,900 tonnes in OctoberUkrainianan companies increased their imports of blow moulding and injection moulding grade HDPE. Overall HDPE imports reached 87,600 tonnes last year, compared to 70,300 tonnes a year earlier, PE shipments to all consumption sectors increased.

November imports of low density polyethylene (LDPE) into Ukraine were about 7,800 tonnes against 7,900 tonnes a month earlier. Overall LDPE imports reached 73,900 tonnes over the stated period, up by 7% year on year.

Ukraine's PE imports in November remained practically at the October level at about 7,400 tonnes, almost at the January level. In general, January - November LLDPE imports into Ukraine increased to 75,500 tonnes compared with 68,300 tonnes year on year.

Imports of other PE grades, including ethylene-vinyl-acetate (EVA), totalled 11,400 tonnes over the stated period, compared to 14,500 tonnes a year earlier.


SOCAR not concerned about future gas sales

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Azerbaijan's state-owned SOCAR expects to see its gas sales continue unimpeded by the energy transition, reported S&P Global with reference to the oil company's president Rovnag Abdullayev.

Despite a growing backlash across Europe toward fossil fuel use, Abdullayev also told S&P Global Platts in an interview with this week that gas still had a crucial role to play in the European energy mix.

SOCAR was looking at carbon capture and storage (CCS) and carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) projects as a way of reducing emissions, he said.

"As a company, we have not observed this backlash against gas yet," Abdullayev said. "We rather feel that there is a more general resentment towards the excessive use of fossil fuels."

Abdullayev said that while there were some general considerations, from a corporate perspective "we are not so concerned about the future sales of gas from Azerbaijan".

Gas from the second phase of the Shah Deniz offshore field is piped to Turkey and will be able to flow onward to Bulgaria, Greece and Italy once the TAP pipeline and the Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (IGB) line are completed.

First gas to Italy was expected in October next year, with Shah Deniz 2 set to have annual production of some 16 Bcm/year.

"We have almost completed the Southern Gas Corridor, strictly abiding to the highest security and environmental standards," Abdullayev said.

According to European Commission-backed research, Azerbaijan has been classified as a "low-emission source" in the chain from the gas fields to the consumption market among European gas suppliers, he said.

"We have signed contracts for the sale of gas for the next 25 years with a wide array of major European companies. Our buyers do not anticipate any difficulties in the buying of our products as there is a widening gap between local production in Europe and demand, according to forecasts."

Abdullayev said SOCAR was also benefiting economically from its environmental policies, including limiting flaring of associated gas from its oil operations.

"The results of collecting associated gas from our platforms - instead of flaring them - are quite remarkable. It has a significant benefit both in terms of the protection of the environment and as an additional source of income for SOCAR," he said.

Associated gas collected from SOCAR-operated platforms amounts to about 15% of its total annual gas production, while from 2020 the company aims to halt flaring altogether., Abdullayev said.

"From next year, we will have zero flaring of associated gas at SOCAR. This gives us an advantage compared to other companies in the industry that are aiming to achieve these results by 2030."

"This is a case where an environmental program can be regarded both as an investment in sustainable production and business," he said.

Sustainability, he said, was becoming "increasingly important for us as a company".

"We are reviewing project ideas for the accumulation of carbon emissions, to be used as raw materials and to inject it into the underground layers in various segments of our manufacturing chain," Abdullayev said.

"Our methanol plant has already been equipped with an online monitoring system for the reuse of CO2 emissions during the combustion phase of production."

The company has also declared a "long-term goal" for its own operations to be zero emissions, including using more environmentally-friendly corporate transport, such as hybrid vehicles and compressed natural gas (CNG)-fueled vehicles.

Abdullayev said public discourse "sometimes does not differentiate between different types of energy sources and the role of oil and gas beyond its use as fuel is often overlooked".

"For several years, we have been increasing our investments in the petrochemical industry. We provide direct feedstock for a wide array of commodity goods, such as plastics, rubber, fertilizers, and medicine. The feedstock for the petrochemical industry comes from the production of crude oil."

"We need to properly differentiate between the restriction on fossil fuels that have a higher or lower polluting impact for the environment. There is an environmental risk to increasing the ratio of more polluting and sometimes cheaper fuels in the energy basket, like heavy oil and coal, as opposed to natural gas, which is an environment-friendly alternative," he said.

Abdullayev said Socar had also assumed an additional role as a "proactive contributor to and a driving force within the international environmental movement".

For instance, Socar recently organized an international conference on the role of the Paris Agreement in combating climate change and protecting the environment.

As MRC informed before, SOCAR Turkey Energy, which is a subsidiary of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR), plans to lay the foundation of the Mercury petrochemical complex in Turkey in H1-2020. The plant will be located in Aliaga district, next to the Petkim petrochemical complex and the STAR refinery. With the commissioning of this plant, Turkey will settle the matter with the import of purified terephthalic acid (PTA).

PTA is one of the main feedstocks for the production of polyethylene terephthalate (PET).

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's overall estimated PET consumption reached 42,020 tonnes in October 2019, down by 32% year on year. At the same time, the estimated PET consumption in Russia increased to 593,480 tonnes in January-October 2019, up by 5% year on year.

SOCAR, which is keen on expanding operations in the retail oil products market abroad, is involved in exploring oil and gas fields, producing, processing, and transporting oil, gas, and gas condensate, marketing petroleum and petrochemical products in the domestic and international markets, and supplying natural gas to industry and the public in Azerbaijan.

Polief postponed the resumption of PET production in Blagoveshchensk until the end of December

MOSCOW (MRC) - Polief plant, the Bashkirian subsidiary of SIBUR, did not resume production of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) after forced repairs, according to the ICIS-MRC Price Report.

The producer extended the period of unscheduled shutdown at the Polief plant in Blagoveshchensk until 31 December of this year.

Polief resumed PTA production at one of its two lined in the early December in Blagoveshchensk It was expected that the second line will be launched soon.

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.

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.