Victrex forms JV with Yingkou Xingfu Chemical to build China plastics factory

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Plastics company Victrex said it had formed a joint-venture with Yingkou Xingfu Chemical Company to build a polymer factory in Liaoning, China, said Stockmarketwire.

Victrex would have a 75% share of the facility and contribute GDP32m, comprising around GDP28m of capital expenditure and GDP4m of start-up costs.

Commissioning of the factory, capable of producing up to 1,500 tonnes of product a year, was anticipated in early 2022, subject to conditions, including finalising land purchase and permit applications.

Chief executive Jakob Sigurdsson said the investment would differentiate the company's range of plastic grades.

It would also set the stage, he added, for specific geographic growth, whereby Victrex could can capitalise on significant opportunities in China and the Asia Pacific region by having a manufacturing presence there.

'Overall, we believe this is a good entry point to a China manufacturing operation, working with an established partner and offering an attractive returns profile,' Sigurdsson said.

As MRC informed earlier, Victrex and Tri-Mack Plastics Manufacturing Corporation have established a joint venture, TxV Aero Composites, to accelerate the commercial adoption of polyketone (PAEK) composite applications within the aerospace industry, through the manufacture of parts utilizing new and innovative processes.

As MRC informed earlier, Russia's output of chemical products dropped by 3.2% in November 2019 month on month.
However, production of basic chemicals increased by 3.6% in the first eleven months of 2019, according to Rosstat's data. According to the Federal State Statistics Service of the Russian Federation, the largest increase in production volumes on an annualized basis accounted for mineral fertilizers and polymers in primary form. Last month, 255,000 tonnes of ethylene were produced versus 210,000 tonnes in October; by November, Russian producers had completed all their scheduled works. Thus, 2,721,000 tonnes of this olefin were produced in January-November 2019, up by 0.3% year on year.

Victrex plc is a United Kingdom-based holding company. The Company is engaged in the manufacture and sale of various polymers. The Company's operating segments include Industrial (Victrex Polymer Solutions) and Medical (Invibio Biomaterial Solutions). The Victrex Polymer Solutions segment focuses on automotive, aerospace, electronics and energy markets.

BPCL to invest Rs 25,000 cr on an ethylene cracker unit at Rasayani

MOSCOW (MRC) -- State-owned Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) will invest about Rs25,000 crore to set up an ethylene cracker plant at Rasayani, 50 kilometres from its Mumbai refinery, as the firm pushes further into the petrochemicals business to fuel growth, reported TheHinduBusinessLine.

The share of petrochemicals in BPCL’s portfolio is currently "around 1per cent" as the refiner mostly focussed on transportation fuels so far. But, with electric vehicles coming in, the firm reckons that "it is likely to have some impact on transportation fuels".

"We are now thinking of diversifying more into petrochemicals. Our plan is to move from 1 per cent to 10 per cent and, if possible, go up to 15 per cent. This is what the existing configuration of our refineries will allow us. The existing configuration cannot be tweaked to a large extent to achieve higher percentage of petrochemicals unlike a new refinery," D Rajkumar, BPCL’s Chairman and Managing Director, said.

India’s second biggest fuel retailer is currently in the midst of modernising its Mumbai refinery and shifting some of its non-process related facilities such as the LPG and POL plants to Rasayani, where it is buying land from Hindustan Organic Chemicals Ltd (HOC) to set up these units.

"The main thing for Rasayani is petrochemicals which will be done in two phases. In the first phase, we will put up the LPG and POL plants and replace the old Catalytic Cracking Unit (CCU) and Fluidized Catalytic Cracking Unit (FCCU) with a modern Petro Resid Fluidized Catalytic Cracking Unit (PRFCC), which will produce Propylene," R Ramachandran, director (refineries), BPCL, said.

Propylene is used as a feedstock for making Polypropylene - a polymer used in industrial applications such as packaging, plastics, textiles, living hinges and the automobile industry.

The LPG and the POL plants will cost about ?2,000 crore and the Polypropylene plant will be about Rs4,500 crore.

"We are not stopping there. We have in mind a second phase which mainly involve setting up an Ethylene cracker plant that is also connected to the refinery which will require an investment of about Rs 25,000 crore. We are planning for that two years from now. We have a first stage clearance from the board for the Ethylene cracker plant and we are starting a feasibility study on that," Ramachandran said.

BPCL is looking to buy some 1,000 acres of land from HOC for the Rasayani facility. It has an arrangement with HOC for taking 684 acres, of which 243 acres is in its possession to be used for the LPG and POL plants, while the balance is in the process of being acquired, Ramachandran said adding that the company was "buying extra land to build the Ethylene cracker unit".

It has also bought some land at Chembur, close to its refinery.

The refiner is looking to cut down the truck movement to and from the Mumbai refinery by shifting some of the non-process related facilities to Rasayani with the aim of reducing pollution."In the de-bottlenecking from Chembur (where the Mumbai refinery is located) to Rasayani, we had estimated a reduction of 150 trucks per day initially. But, after buying more land at Chembur, we may further reduce some 40 trucks per day. So, totally we expect a reduction of 150-200 trucks per day which is a significant number," Ramachandran said.

BPCL will commission its Rs5,236 crore Propylene Derivative Petrochemical Project (PDPP) at Kochi refinery for manufacturing niche petrochemicals in the next six months. To expand its product portfolio further, BPCL is investing Rs11,130 crore to set up a facility in Kochi refinery for manufacturing Polyols, Propylene Glycol and Mono-Ethylene Glycol.

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

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 1,904,410 tonnes in the first eleven months of 2019, up by 6% year on year. Shipments of all PE grades increased. PE shipments increased from both domestic producers and foreign suppliers. The PP consumption in the Russian market was 1,161,830 tonnes in January-November 2019, up by 7% year on year. Deliveries of all grades of propylene polymers increased, with the homopolymer PP segment accounting for the largest increase.

Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) is an Indian state-controlled oil and gas company headquartered in Mumbai, India. Bharat Petroleum owns refineries at Mumbai, Maharashtra and Kochi, Kerala (Kochi Refineries) with a capacity of 12 and 9.5 million metric tonnes per year.

Shell Chemicals to explore polycarbonate production in Singapore

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Shell announced it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with CNOOC Oil & Petrochemicals Co Ltd (CNOOC) to explore its first commercial-scale polycarbonate (PC) production unit, which would be located at the CNOOC and Shell Petrochemical Company (CSPC) joint-venture chemicals complex in Huizhou, China, reported Kemicalinfo.

As an interim step, Shell has started constructing a PC development unit at its Jurong Island chemicals plant in Singapore.

An expanded and differentiated product range is a key part of Shell’s growth strategy for its chemicals business.

PC is a transparent and impact-resistant engineering polymer, and is used to make vehicle headlights, LED spotlights, UV-blocking windows and spectacles.

"We have an advantaged route to production and are looking at investment in a number of commercial-scale units to serve the growing number of polycarbonate customers," said Thomas Casparie, Executive Vice President of Shell’s global chemicals business.

The platform for this new product entry is Shell’s own patented diphenyl carbonate (DPC) process technology. Shell has developed this over recent years to achieve significant advantages in cost, safety, efficiency and CO2 footprint. Shell will now combine its DPC technology with melt-phase PC technology licensed from EPC Engineering & Technology GmbH in Germany.

Shell’s PC production units will also produce alkyl carbonates. These are used for lithium ion batteries which support the energy transition.

As MRC informed earlier, Shell Singapore restarted its naphtha cracker in Bukom Island in the first week of December 2019, following a two months maintenance shutdown since the beginning of October 2019. Thus, this cracker was taken off-stream for the turnaround on 1 October 2019. The cracker is able to produce 960,000 tons/year of ethylene and 550,000 tons/year of propylene.

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

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 1,904,410 tonnes in the first eleven months of 2019, up by 6% year on year. Shipments of all PE grades increased. PE shipments increased from both domestic producers and foreign suppliers. The PP consumption in the Russian market was 1,161,830 tonnes in January-November 2019, up by 7% year on year. Deliveries of all grades of propylene polymers increased, with the homopolymer PP segment accounting for the largest increase.

Besides, Russia's estimated consumption of PC granules (excluding imports and exports to\\from Belarus) fell in January-November 2019 by 14% year on year to 70,700 tonnes (62,000 tonnes a year earlier), as per MRC's ScanPlast report.

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.

Yisheng Petrochemical took off-stream PET plant in China

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Yisheng Petrochemical has undertaken a planned shutdown at its polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plant, as per Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in China informed that the plant was taken off-line for maintenance in end-December, 2019. It is likely to remain off-line for about three weeks.

Located in Yangpu, China, the PET plant has a production capacity of 500,000 mt/year.

As MRC wrote before, in early November 2019, Dalian Yisheng Co Ltd started up its new PET bottle plant. Based in Dalian, China, the new plant has a production capacity of 350,000 tons/year.

As per MRC's ScanPlast report, imports of PET chips into Russia increased by 13% year on year in the first eleven months of 2019, reaching 130,800 tonnes, compared to 116,100 tonnes a year earlier (excluding shipments from Belarus). Russia's PET imports almost doubled in November 2019, totalling 12,300 tonnes, versus 6,300 tonnes in October; imports of material were 8,200 tonnes in November 2018. The share of Chinese material was 78% (9,600 tonnes) in November versus 92% (5,800 tonnes) a month earlier.

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

Evonik acquires US-based phytochemical producer Wilshire Technologies

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Evonik has concluded a purchase agreement to acquire Wilshire Technologies Inc., with the transaction to be completed by the end of January, said the company.

Headquartered in Princeton NJ (USA), Wilshire Technologies supplies phytochemicals and derivatives to the global cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries. The new home for the cosmetics part of Wilshire’s product portfolio will be in Evonik’s Care Solutions business line.

The purchase price will not be disclosed. Wilshire Technologies has developed a strong technology which obtains products based on renewable and non-animal-origin sources. Utilizing more sustainable and renewable sources for cosmetic ingredients has become an extremely important criteria that many personal care companies in the market today are aiming for.

This acquisition, which comprises approximately 10 employees, and marks a substantial addition to Evonik’s sustainable cosmetic active ingredients portfolio. Evonik’s Care Solutions business will be able to expand its product range into phytochemicals, such as plant derived cholesterol, as a replacement for animal originated ingredients in cosmetic active ingredients. This move supports the ongoing transformation of Evonik’s cosmetics ingredients portfolio towards sustainability and natural-based ingredients.

Additionally, Evonik’s Health Care business line will also benefit, from an enhanced portfolio for its naturally derived excipients and intermediates for pharma and food applications. With the acquisition of Wilshire Technologies and its innovative products for the cosmetics, pharmaceutical and food ingredients markets, Evonik is strengthening its focus on its “Health & Care” growth engine, established to meet the increasing demands from customers towards the global trend of more bio-based and sustainable products.

As MRC informed earlier, Evonik joined with other manufacturers in the High Phthalates Panel (HPP), a sector group of the American Chemistry Council (ACC), in a voluntary manufacturer request to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to conduct a broad-based risk evaluation of the uses of DINP. The EPA granted the request in early December 2019, a decision welcomed by Evonik. The EPA’s risk evaluation will be performed using the best available science and weight of scientific evidence. The process will be documented and open for public review and comment.

As per MRC's ScanPlast, Russia's overall production of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) reached 975,000 tonnes in 2019, up by 2% year on year. At the same time, not all Russian producers raised their output. December total production of unmixed PVC was about 81,400 tonnes versus 84,600 tonnes a month earlier, RusVinyl decreased their capacity utilisation in November. Overall PVC production reached 975,000 tonnes in January-December 2019, compared to 958,600 tonnes a year earlier. All plants raised their output, except for Kaustik Volgograd.

Wilshire Technologies was founded in 1997 by former Rutgers professor, Joe San Filippo, who has over 35 years of product development experience in this field. The company’s broad portfolio provides cosmetic and pharma actives that come from natural and renewable sources.

Evonik is one of the world leaders in specialty chemicals. The focus on more specialty businesses, customer-oriented innovative prowess and a trustful and performance-oriented corporate culture form the heart of Evonik’s corporate strategy. They are the lever for profitable growth and a sustained increase in the value of the company. Evonik benefits specifically from its customer proximity and leading market positions. Evonik is active in over 100 countries around the world with more than 36,000 employees.