MOSCOW (MRC) -- Polynt-Reichhold has decided to build a 50,000 metric tons/year maleic anhydride plant at its Morris, Illinois, site, said Chemweek.
The move is part of the company’s Strategic Integration Initiative, which was announced in 2019. The company says it is still considering its options for production of another key feedstock, phthalic anhydride, and it expects to make a decision by the end of 2020.
Polynt-Reichhold currently produces both maleic and phthalic anhydride in Italy. The company has 36,000 metric tons/year of maleic anhydride capacity based on benzene at Scanzorosciate, and 65,000 metric tons/year of capacity based on n-butane at Ravenna, according to data from IHS Markit. The company has 30,000 metric tons/year of phthalic anhydride capacity based on ortho-xylene at San Giovanni Valdarno, and 80,000 metric tons/year of capacity at Scanzorosciate.
"For maleic anhydride, we evaluated options for purchasing an existing plant, but this proved to not be feasible,” says Rosario Valido, president and CEO. “Therefore, we decided to go ahead and build our own maleic anhydride plant."
Polynt-Reichhold says its options for phthalic anhydride are integrating with existing operations or construction of a greenfield plant, and a decision is expected by year-end. “An investment in phthalic anhydride will strengthen our competitive position in the Americas while leveraging our proprietary technologies and deep experience operating intermediates facilities in Europe and Asia," notes Valido.
The company owns all of the technology and catalyst manufacturing necessary for the production of phthalic anhydride. Global capacity for maleic anhydride totaled 3.6 million metric tons/year in 2019. The largest producer was Huntsman, with 208,000 metric tons/year of capacity.
Global capacity for phthalic anhydride totaled 6.3 million metric tons/year in 2019. The largest producer was UPC, with 750,000 metric tons/year of capacity. A producer of intermediates, coating and composite resins, thermoset compounds, gelcoats, and niche specialties, Polynt-Reichhold was formed in May 2017 by the merger of Polynt and Reichhold.
Ethylene and propylene are feedstocks for producing polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP).
According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 721,290 tonnes in the first four month of 2020, up by 4% year on year. Low density polyethylene (LDPE) and linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) shipments grew partially because of the increased capacity utilisation at ZapSibNeftekhim. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market totalled 347,440 tonnes in January-April 2020 (calculated by the formula production minus export plus import). Supply exclusively of PP random copolymer increased.