PTTGC to shut LDPE plant for scheduled turnaround in late September

MOSCOW (MRC) -- PTT Global Chemical (PTTGC) is in plans to undertake a planned shutdown at its low density polyethylene (LDPE) plant by 24 September, reported CommoPlast with reference to market sources.

The plant is expected to remain shut for a turnaround until 17 October, 2020.

Located at Map Ta Phut in Thailand, the LDPE plant has a production capacity of 345,000 mt/year.

As MRC wrote before, PTTGC undertook a planned shutdown at its LDPE plant for turnaround on July 7, 2019. The plant remained shut for around 3 weeks.

PTT has a total capacity of 800,000 mt/year of high density polyethylene (HDPE), 345,000 mt/year of LDPE and 800,000 mt/year of LLDPE at the same site.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, June estimated LDPE consumption in Russia grew to 55,260 tonnes from 45,490 tonnes a month earlier. Kazanorgsintez raised its PE output after a spring shutdown for a scheduled turnaround. Russia's estimated LDPE consumption rose to 291,270 tonnes in January-June 2020, up by 5% year on year. Russian producers raised their production, and LDPE imports also increased.

PTT Global Chemical is a leading player in the petrochemical industry and owns several petrochemical facilities with a combined capacity of 8.45 million tonnes a year.

Jiangsu Sailboat Petrochemical to run second ACN plant in Jiangsu at 50% in September

MOSCOW (MRC) -- China's Jiangsu Sailboat Petrochemical, also known as Jiangsu Shenghong, will maintain the run rate at its second 260,000 mt/year acrylonitrile (ACN) plants at Lianyungang at half the rate for September, reported S&P Global.

The company shut down its both 260,000 mt/yr ACN plants on July 16, 2020 due to the unexpected outage of its upstream methanol-to-olefins plant. The second ACN plant resumed operations on August 6, 2020.

Jiangsu Sailboat is not running the second ACN plant at full due to the lack of propylene feedstock.

As MRC informed before, in March 2018, Honeywell announced that Jiangsu Sailboat Petrochemical Company, Ltd. had accepted a new methanol-to-olefins (MTO) unit provided by Honeywell UOP, and that the plant was operating and had met all guarantees. With a production capacity of 833,000 metric tons per year, the unit is the largest single-train MTO unit in the world. Honeywell UOP, which pioneered MTO technology, started its first MTO unit for China's Wison Clean Energy in 2013.

ACN is a feedstock for the production of acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS).

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, the estimated consumption decreased in January-June 2020 by 18% year on year in the Russian ABS sector, totalling 19,360 tonnes. 2,680 tonnes of ABS plastics were processed in Russia in June 2020.

Jiangsu Sailboat Petrochemical, part of the Shenghong Holding Group, is a major petrochemical manufacturer in China, including polyethylene (PE) and ethylene-vinyl-acetate (EVA). The company's production facilities are located in the new Xuwei Industrial Park in Lianyungang City, Jiangsu Province.

WTI slides nearly 4% as market eyes weakened demand outlooks

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Crude oil futures prices fell further Sept. 4, with front-month contracts settling near two-month lows as global demand outlooks dimmed following a mixed US jobs report, according to S&P Global.

NYMEX October WTI settled USD1.60 lower at USD39.77/b, while ICE November Brent was down USD1.41 to settle at USD42.66/b.

US payrolls expanded by about 1.4 million jobs in August, US Labor Department data showed Sept. 4, pushing the unemployment rate down to 8.4%. While the headline jobs figure was in line with market expectations, there were some signs of weakness in the report. About 17% of the monthly job gain was from temporary government hiring for the US Census, and the number of permanent job losses rose 534,000 to 3.4 million, Labor Department data showed.

NYMEX October RBOB settled 2.77 cents lower at USD1.772/gal and October ULSD declined 1.62 cents to settle at USD1.1515/gal.

The labor report may be paradoxically bearish for global markets as it may forestall further US stimulus efforts, analysts said.

"The biggest takeaway right now is that with what we've seen in equities and oil prices, a lot of the historic rebound we saw from negative $40/b or so prices to where we are now, a big component of that was that we had unlimited amounts of stimulus, or at least it felt unlimited, that was getting pumped into the economy," OANDA senior market analyst Edward Moya said. "But now we are seeing unemployment beating (US Federal Reserve) expectations. This means that the Fed was overly pessimistic and that is very, very concerning for risky assets that got propped up by the stimulus trade."

Front-month Brent and WTI last settled lower July 9.

US oil demand remains tepid despite the rebound in labor markets. Refined product demand slid 13% during the week ended Aug. 29, US Energy Information Administration data showed Sept. 4 - the largest one-week fall since the week ended April 3, during the ramp-up of nationwide coronavirus lockdowns. The fall pushed weekly product demand to the lowest since the week ended May 29, and the four-week moving average down to a six-week low of 18.28 million b/d.

The crude oil forward structure has turned significantly more bearish in recent days. The contango between front-month and year ahead WTI contracts opened to $3.72/b Sept. 4, the widest since May 27. The contango in front-to-12th month Brent contracts opened to USD4.22/b, the widest since May 29.

As MRC wrote before, more consolidation was expected in the European refining system post COVID-19 as operators had already been facing flat or falling demand and rising competition from new refineries in Asia, according to delegates at the S&P Global European Refining Virtual Conference Sept. 3. "There will be some consolidation in the refining system in Europe," according to Adi Imsirovic, research associate at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies.As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, "we have lost 9 million barrels of demand," Imsirovic said, adding the immediate impact for a few simple refineries was that they "are worried about survival".

We remind tha tin September 2019, six world's major petrochemical companies in Flanders, Belgium, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, and the Netherlands (Trilateral Region) announced the creation of a consortium to jointly investigate how naphtha or gas steam crackers could be operated using renewable electricity instead of fossil fuels. The Cracker of the Future consortium, which includes BASF, Borealis, BP, LyondellBasell, SABIC and Total, aims to produce base chemicals while also significantly reducing carbon emissions. The companies agreed to invest in R&D and knowledge sharing as they assess the possibility of transitioning their base chemical production to renewable electricity.

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

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's overall PE production totalled 1,712,400 tonnes in the first seven months of 2020, up by 58% year on year. Linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) accounted for the greatest increase in the output. At the same time, overall PP production in Russia increased in January-July 2020 by 24% year on year to 1,063,700 tonne. ZapSibNeftekhim accounted for the main increase in the output.

Sinopec Qilu resumed LLDPE production in China after unscheduled maintenance

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Sinopec Qilu Petrochemical, part of Sinopec Group, has restarted its Linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) unit in Shandong, reported Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in China informed that, the company resumed operations at the unit on August 29, 2020. The unit was shut for unplanned maintenance on August 11, 2020.

Located at Shandong province in China, the LLDPE plant has a production capacity of 140,000 mt/year.

As MRC informed earlier, Sinopec Qilu Petrochemical shut its No. 3 LLDPE unit for scheduled turnaround from 2 to 11 June, 2020.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, June LLDPE shipments to the Russian market rose to 38,600 tonnes from 31,290 tonnes a month earlier, production increased. Russia;s overall LLDPE shipments totalled 191,700 tonnes in the first six months of 2020, down by 7% year on year. Production increased by 89% year on year, whereas exports grew by several times.

Sinopec corp. is one of the world's largest integrated energy and chemical companies. Business Sinopec Corp. includes oil and gas exploration, production and transportation of oil and gas, oil refining, petrochemical production, production of mineral fertilizers and other chemical products. In terms of refining capacity, Sinopec Corp. ranks second in the world, in terms of ethylene capacity - fourth.

INVISTA agrees to license PTA technology to Jiatong Energy

MOSCOW (MRC) -- INVISTA Textiles (U.K.) Limited’s technology and licensing business, INVISTA Performance Technologies (IPT), and Jiangsu Jiatong Energy Co., Ltd, a subsidiary of Tongkun Group (Tongkun), have reached agreement to license INVISTA’s latest P8 PTA technology for two PTA lines, said the company.

These two lines will be installed in Rudong, Nantong City, Jiangsu province, China. Both lines deploy INVISTA’s largest twin stream design respectively, utilising INVISTA’s latest P8++ PTA technology.

Tongkun and INVISTA have been working together for 10 years in PTA. INVISTA’s first P7 and first P8 technology platforms were successfully installed, commissioned, and operated at another subsidiary (Jiaxing Petrochemical) of Tongkun Group. Based on the successful co-operation on these projects, Tongkun has again selected INVISTA’s latest P8++ PTA technology for the Jiatong project.

Adam Sackett, IPT vice president PTA, commented: "We are honoured that our industry-leading P8++ PTA technology has been selected again by Tongkun Group. Our companies have a long history of PTA innovation, and we look forward to working together on this new chapter of technology and cooperation between the two parties."

A kick-off meeting was successfully concluded on 15 August 2020, by Jiatong, INVISTA and CTCI (the engineering contractor). A project start-up date of 4Q22 is targeted for the first line.

PTA is used to produce polyethylene terephthalate (PET), which is used in the manufacturing of plastic bottles, films, packaging containers, in the textile and food industries.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PET consumption totalled 367,720 tonnes in the first six months of 2020, up by 19% year on year. Russian companies processed 62,910 tonnes in June.