ChemChina plans to invest in the construction of a cracking unit in Shandong

MOSCOW (MRC) - ChemChina plans to invest CNY50 billion in the construction of a cracking unit in Dongying, Shandong Province, Polymerupdate reports citing a market source.

The project is in a preliminary stage and no details were available at the moment. The company is also awaiting project approval from the government of Shandong.

If approved by the government, ChemChina will build its first cracker.

As previously reported, ChemChina is in talks with another major chemical company, Sinochem, on mergers and acquisitions.

It was previously noted that Beijing sees the deal between Sinochem and ChemChina as a plan to rationalize and consolidate its disparate state-owned enterprises, with the result that major market leaders will be created.

It was previously reported that for the first time ChemChina plans to acquire the Sinochem Group became known in October 2016.

Ethylene and propylene are the main raw materials for the production of polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP), respectively.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 2,093,260 tonnes in 2019, up by 6% year on year. Shipments of all PE grades increased. PE shipments rose from both domestic producers and foreign suppliers. The estimated PP consumption in the Russian market was 1,260,400 tonnes in January-December 2019, up by 4% year on year. Supply of almost all grades of propylene polymers increased, except for statistical copolymers of propylene (PP random copolymers).

China National Chemical Corporation, commonly known as ChemChina, is a Chinese state-owned chemical company in the product segments of agrochemicals, rubber products, chemical materials and specialty chemicals, industrial equipment, and petrochemical processing.

Belarus says its oil refineries operating at half capacity

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Belarusian state energy company Belneftekhim said that the country’s refineries were currently working at half their capacity and had refined 1.8 million tonnes of oil in January and February, said Reuters.

Belarus is locked in a row over oil supply with Russia, and flows to Belarus slowed dramatically from Jan. 1 after Minsk and Moscow failed to agree terms for supplies.

As per MRC's DataScope, overall imports of unmixed polyvinyl chloride (PVC) into Belarus increased by 19% in 2019 year on year, totalling 38,800 tonnes. Local converters slightly reduced their purchasing of PVC in December 2019, overall imports totalled 3,400 tonnes, compared to 3,300 tonnes a month earlier. Russian producers with the share of about 82% of the Belarusian market were the key suppliers of resin to Belarus over the stated period. Producers from Ukraine and Germany with the share of 8% and 6%, respectively, were the second and third largest suppliers.

Also, December 2019 PP imports to the Belarusian Republic were 9,600 tonnes, compared to 9,800 tonnes a month earlier, local companies reduced their purchasing of PP in Russia. Overall imports of propylene polymers reached 109,400 tonnes in January-December 2019, compared to 99,500 tonnes a year earlier, demand increased for all PP grades, with propylene copolymers accounting for the greatest growth.

Hexion Inc. announces sale of Colombia manufacturing site

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Hexion Inc. announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell its manufacturing site in Yumbo, Colombia to a joint venture led by Master Paints & Chemical Corporation, said the company.

"We believe the Yumbo site’s diversified manufacturing capabilities and strong track record of safe operations will serve Master Paints well going forward".

The Yumbo site produces decorative paints under the Algreco® brand name, among others, as well as private-label paints. The site employs approximately 150 associates and had 2018 revenue of approximately $15 million. The site includes resin manufacturing capacity for both alkyd and water-based paints, as well as asphalt production capabilities. The site operated within Hexion’s Forest Products Resins Segment. No other terms of the transaction were announced.

"We believe the Yumbo site’s diversified manufacturing capabilities and strong track record of safe operations will serve Master Paints well going forward,” said Craig Rogerson, Chairman, President and CEO. “Considering the site serves primarily a consumer-facing paint business, the transaction is consistent with our ongoing portfolio optimization as we further position the Company for profitable growth. I would like to thank our associates at the Yumbo site for their many contributions and I am confident they will have exciting opportunities ahead."

Earlier it was reported that Hexion in mid-January announced force majeure for the supply of BPA from the plant in Deer Park (Deer Park, Texas, USA). It was expected that this enterprise with a capacity of 140 thousand tons of BPA per year will resume its work in mid-February.

Large manufacturers of BPA and epoxy in the United States are companies such as Hexion, Huntsman and Olin.

Bisphenol A is used as a hardener in the manufacture of plastics, as well as plastic-based products. It is one of the key monomers in the production of epoxy resins and polycarbonate (PC).

According to the ICIS-MRC Price Report, in December last year, imports of PCs and compositions to Russia excluding supplies from Belarus amounted to 1,400 tonnes compared to 1,520 tonnes a month earlier and 1,110 tonnes in December 2017. According to the results of last year, in general, imports of PCs and compositions to Russia excluding Belarus grew by 13% to 16,200 tonnes against 14,300 tonnes in 2017.

Based in Columbus, Ohio, Hexion Inc. is a global leader in thermoset resins. Hexion Inc. serves the global adhesive, coatings, composites and industrial markets through a broad range of thermoset technologies, specialty products and technical support for customers in a diverse range of applications and industries.

Crude exports stable in Dec as Saudi Arabia dips into stocks

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Saudi Arabia, the world's largest crude exporter, maintained its exports at close to a year-high of 9.373 million b/d in December as the kingdom dipped into its crude stockpiles, reported S&P Global with reference to data released Monday by the Joint Organisations Data Initiative showed.

Saudi Arabia's crude production fell to a three-month low of 9.594 million b/d in December but exports were stable, with the OPEC member having managed to boost shipments sharply towards the end of the year after the September 14 attacks.

The kingdom has had to bolster its production to replace inventories drawn in the wake of the Abqaiq attacks in September. Stockpiles hit a 15-year low of 152.5 million barrels that month.

Saudi Arabia's December exports were stable from November, when they breached an 11-month high.

Production in December fell by 296,000 b/d after averaging 9.89 million b/d the previous month.

Total Saudi crude oil inventories were 155.199 million barrels as of the end of December, compared with 167.013 million barrels the previous month.

This is down 11.814 million barrels for the month, which explains why, despite a sharp fall in production, exports remained steady.

Domestic refinery runs rose marginally to 2.32 million b/d in December from 2.31 million b/d in November.

But refining runs are expected to fall steadily in the first three months of 2020 due to scheduled maintenance at some of its plants.

Saudi Arabia's 140,000 b/d Riyadh refinery, the 400,000 b/d Petro Rabigh plant and the 440,000 b/d Satorp refinery were scheduled for partial maintenance during the first quarter, according to sources.

Total Saudi oil products exports in December fell 121,000 b/d to 1.05 million b/d.

The kingdom's direct use of crude burned for power generation rebounded to 374,000 b/d from 342,000 b/d in November.

Combining the exports, refinery runs and direct-use figures indicates Saudi Arabia supplied 10.07 million b/d to the market, compared with 9.926 million barrels

Saudi pumped 9.74 million b/d, according to the latest S&P Global Platts survey, with exports largely stable while refinery runs were down due to planned maintenance. That is 400,000 b/d below its quota of 10.14 million b/d as it seeks higher oil prices to carry out major economic reforms.

The kingdom self-reported production of 9.75 million b/d in January.

Saudi energy minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman has pledged to hold the kingdom's output at around 9.74 million b/d in early 2020, as long as other OPEC+ members respect their quotas.

The armed drone attack on two key Saudi Aramco facilities in September temporarily knocked down nearly 5% of the world's global oil supply, but production and capacity were back to normal by the end of the year, Saudi officials said at the time.

As MRC informed before, in October 2019, McDermott International was awarded a contract by Saudi Aramco and Total Raffinage Chimie (Total) for their joint venture (JV) Amiral steam cracker project at Jubail, Saudi Arabia. Amiral is a JV in which Aramco holds 62.5% and Total the rest. The plant, designed to produce 1.5 million metric tons/year (MMt/y) of ethylene, will be one of the world's largest mixed-feed crackers.

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

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 2,093,260 tonnes in 2019, up by 6% year on year. Shipments of all PE grades increased. PE shipments rose from both domestic producers and foreign suppliers. The estimated PP consumption in the Russian market was 1,260,400 tonnes in January-December 2019, up by 4% year on year. Supply of almost all grades of propylene polymers increased, except for statistical copolymers of propylene (PP random copolymers).

DSM appoints new EVP Materials and member of the Executive Committee

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Royal DSM, a global science-based company in Nutrition, Health and Sustainable Living, announces that Helen Mets, currently Business Group Director DSM Resins & Functional Materials, is appointed as Executive Vice President Materials per 1 March 2020, said the company.

Helen Mets will succeed Dimitri de Vreeze who was appointed Co-CEO of DSM together with Geraldine Matchett, as of 15 February 2020. Helen will become member of the Executive Committee of DSM.

Helen, a British and Dutch national, holds a Master’s degree in Marketing and a Bachelor’s degree in Business & Finance from the University of Northumbria, Newcastle. She is also a graduate of the Harvard Advanced Management Program. She joined DSM in August 2017 in her current role of Business Group Director DSM Resins & Functional Materials. In this role, Helen was instrumental in developing and executing a growth transformation for the Resins business, and strengthening the portfolio and innovation pipeline, as well as shaping the digital journey within DSM Resins & Functional Materials.

Before joining DSM, Helen held several senior leadership positions in Avery Dennison, including leading its global Specialty Materials Businesses, and Pon Holdings in the Netherlands. Helen has a proven record in business transformations and developing business in emerging countries.

In her new role, Helen will report to Dimitri de Vreeze, Co-CEO of DSM. Helen will continue her role as Business Group Director DSM Resins & Functional Materials ad interim.

In 2019, sales at the Nutrition division stood at EUR6.03bn, while Materials posted EUR2.75bn. Adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) at the Materials division came in at EUR509m, while Nutrition's stood at EUR1.25bn.

As MRC informed earlier, DSM entered into an agreement with Borealis, Austria to sell DEXPlastomers, a joint venture of DSM and a subsidiary of ExxonMobil Chemical. DEXPlastomers is a 50:50 joint venture between DSM and Exxon Chemical Holland Ventures that manufactures C8 plastomers and linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE).

As per MRC's ScanPlast, December total LLDPE production in Russia dropped to 21,000 tonnes, whereas this figure was 25,200 tonnes a month earlier. Kazanorgsintez and Nizhnekamskneftekhim reduced their output. Thus, overall LLDPE production reached 232,300 tonnes in 2019, compared to 175,500 tonnes a year earlier. Producers from Tatarstan raised their polyethylene (PE) production, with Kazanorgsintez showing the largest increase. A new production was also launched at ZapSibNeftekhim at the end of last year.

Royal DSM is a global science-based company active in health, nutrition and materials. DSM delivers innovative solutions that nourish, protect and improve performance in global markets such as food and dietary supplements, personal care, feed, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, automotive, paints, electrical and electronics, life protection, alternative energy and bio-based materials.