Denmark to make decision on Nord Stream 2 permit request within four weeks

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Denmark expects to rule "within four weeks" on a request from the developer of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia to Germany for permission to lay the line in Danish waters using ships with anchors, a spokesman for the Danish Energy Agency said June 17, reported S&P Global.

Nord Stream 2 has asked - as a precautionary measure - for an amendment to its Danish pipelaying permit to allow the potential use of pipelay ships that use anchors for positioning.

"The Danish Energy Agency expects to be able to make a decision on Nord Stream 2 AG's request within four weeks," the spokesman said.

The Gazprom-owned company had hoped to bring Nord Stream 2 online by the end of 2019, but first permitting issues in Denmark and then the US sanctions meant the project has been delayed.

The 55 Bcm/year pipeline is crucial to Russia's plans to scale down from 2021 the use of the Ukrainian transit corridor in its gas supplies to Europe.

Just 160 km (99 miles) of Nord Stream 2 is left to lay in Danish waters out of the total 2,460 km length.

According to the Danish permit from October last year, pipelaying ships, such as the Pioneering Spirit used by Switzerland-based Allseas to lay much of the pipeline before the US sanctions forced it to halt work, should have dynamic positioning capabilities.

Nord Stream 2 said the technique of using anchored ships was used successfully during the installation of the already operational Nord Stream pipelines in Danish waters, and for the Nord Stream 2 pipelines already installed in German waters.

However, being anchored would slow significantly the progress of a ship laying the pipeline, while ships with dynamic positioning are able to lay pipe at a much faster rate.

With the uncertainty ongoing over how the line will be finished, the US is also pressing to introduce expanded sanctions against the project.

At the start of June, a new US Senate bill was introduced that aims to block completion of the project by expanding existing sanctions to target more companies involved in building the line's final segment.

As MRC informed earlier, Gazprom neftekhim Salavat shut down its dioctyl phthalate (DOP) production for a scheduled maintenance. Market participants and a plant"s representative said Gazprom neftekhim Salavat took off-stream its DOP production for a long scheduled turnaround. The outage began on 12 May and will last for about 30 day.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russian producers of unmixed PVC decreased capacity utilisation in April. However, Russia's overall PVC output totalled 351,000 tonnes in January-April 2020, up by 2% year on year.

Shenhua Ningxia delays restart of LLDPE unit

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Shenhua Ningxia Coal Industry, has postponed the restart process at its linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) unit till this weekend, as per Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in China informed that, the company is likely resume operations at the unit on June 20, 2020. The unit was shut for maintenance on May 3, 2020 and was supposed to restart on June 12, 2020.

Located at Ningxia, China, the LLDPE unit has a production capacity of 450,000 mt/year.

As MRC reported previously, SNCG brought on-stream its linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) plant on January 19, 2019, following an unplanned outage. The unit remained off-line for around one week owing to technical issues. Located at Ningxia province of China, the plant has a production capacity of 450,000 mt/year.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, April LLDPE shipments to Russia rose to 42,830 tonnes from 36,790 tonnes a month earlier, production increased. Russia's overall LLDPE shipments totalled 152,840 tonnes in the first four months of 2020, up by 13% year on year. SabSibNeftekhim accounted for the main increase in shipments.

Shenhua Ningxia Coal Industry Group Co., Ltd. engages in coal mining and washing, coal deep processing, coal chemical industry, electric power, real estate, and other businesses.

COVID-19 - News digest as of 17.06.2020

1. Ships carrying stored gasoline to discharge cargoes at Indonesia

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Two of six tankers used to store gasoline in Asia have arrived in Indonesia, with shipments into Asia’s largest petrol importer expected to rise this month versus May as Pertamina replenishes stocks, reported Reuters with reference to industry sources and Refinitiv shipping data. Indonesia’s fuel demand slumped in the second quarter and inventories rose after the government imposed measures to curb the coronavirus, prompting companies to store gasoline onboard ships off Singapore and Malaysia.


Invista breaks ground on Shanghai adiponitrile

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Invista’s world-scale adiponitrile (ADN) plant began construction on Tuesday in the Shanghai Chemical Industry Park (SCIP) in Jinshan District. The construction is one of Shanghai’s 152 major projects for 2020, said Chemweek.

Investment in the plant will total more than 70 billion yuan (USD9.89 billion). When completed in 2022, it will supply 400,000 tons of ADN a year to China and the Asia Pacific region.

Vice Mayor Wu Qing said at the site that “The Shanghai government will continue to support the project and is looking forward to its completion by 2022."

Ma Jing, director of the park’s administrative committee, said: “Within 10 months, Invista has successfully initiated the construction of the ADN facility with support from all parties. The ADN project enriches the product chain of SCIP while improving the quality of the Shanghai chemical industry."

On a video link, Jeff Gentry, chairman and CEO of Invista, said: “The growing demand for high-quality nylon products in China and the Asia-Pacific region, and the continued optimization of the business environment in Shanghai give us the confidence to continue investing in Shanghai."

Adiponitrile is an intermediate chemical used in the production of nylon 6,6 for use in the automobile industry, electrical and electronic industry and in many other consumer and industrial applications.

Bringing ADN technology to China will reduce the country’s dependence on imports with estimated to become the world’s largest consumer of nylon in the next few years, according to Invista.

Invista is one of the world’s largest producers of chemical intermediates, polymers and fibers. It is owned by Koch Industries, America’s largest privately held company. Since 2014, it has invested more than 4 billion yuan in manufacturing facilities in the Shanghai park.

As MRC informed earlier, Invista technology and licensing group, INVISTA Performance Technologies (IPT), and Hengli Petrochemical (Dalian) Co., Ltd (Hengli) are pleased to announce that Hengli’s 4th PTA line utilising Invista P8 Process Technology has met all performance guarantees. Hengli’s 4th PTA line of 2.5 million tonnes per annum capacity, located in Changxing Island, Dalian City, Liaoning Province, utilising Invista P8 PTA technology with industry leading variable cost, capital productivity and environmental performance, came online on January 8th, 2020. This PTA line also produces benzoic acid as co-product, utilising INVISTA’s proprietary R2R technology.

Аccording to MRC"s DataScope report, April imports amounted to 16,600 tonnes, 26% more than the previous month. External supplies of material were at the level of 14,100 tonnes in April last year. The volume of supplies of bottle grade PET from China to Ukraine over the fur months of the year fell almost three times: from 36,400 tonnes in January-April 2019 to 12,200 tonnes.

Delo reports higher revenue despite COVID-19 disruption

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Delo (Windach, Germany), a manufacturer of high-tech adhesives and other functional materials, says revenue for the fiscal year ended 31 March increased by almost 5%, to EUR163 million (USD179 million) from EUR156 million in the previous year, according to Chemweek.

The company says that its fiscal fourth-quarter performance also contributed to the positive result, despite the worldwide restrictions due to the pandemic caused by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Earnings and quarterly figures have not been disclosed.

“We felt the effects of the slowdown in the global economy during the last fiscal year. What is remarkable is that we managed to finish the last quarter of our fiscal year above expectations despite the massive coronavirus restrictions and worldwide production shutdowns,” says Wolf Herold, managing partner at Delo. “This is mainly due to our Asian customers who were increasingly building up stocks in order to be independent from possible local restrictions.”

Europe excluding Germany, and North America, together accounted for a third of Delo's sales, with China and the rest of Asia excluding Singapore together accounting for another third, and Germany and Singapore accounting for 18% and 14% of sales, respectively, Delo says. China, as well as South Korea and Italy are the countries in which the company recorded the strongest increases in sales. The consumer, automotive, and industrial electronics industries remained the most important consumer sectors in driving growth, the company says.

Delo's outlook for the current fiscal year is cautiously optimistic. “We have coped well with the coronavirus crisis so far and are doing everything we can to keep it that way", says Herold. “If the global economy continues to recover and no further shutdowns occur, we could see an increase in sales by the end of this fiscal year.”

Delo has subsidiaries in the US, China, Singapore, and Japan. It employs 800 people with 710 based at its headquarters. The company says that “a 4,800 m2 building for the development and production of dispensing and curing devices has been put into operation recently and a new production hall with an area of more than 8,000 m2 has been handed over.”

We remind that PPG Industries has recently announced a plan to cut about USD160-170 million/year in costs in an effort to reduce the company’s cost structure due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The plan includes staffing reductions, under a “voluntary separation program,” in the US and Canada.

As MRC informed earlier, Russia's output of products from polymers grew in April 2020 by 11.2% year on year due to quarantine restrictions. However, this figure increased by 3.4% year on year in the first four months of 2020. According to the Russian Federal State Statistics Service, April production of unreinforced and non-combined films decreased to 107,000 tonnes from 110,400 tonnes a month earlier. Output of films products grew in the first four months of 2020 by 12.5% year on year to 402,800 tonnes.