Tangshan Zhongrun shut methanol plant in China for maintenance

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Tangshan Zhongrun Coal Chemical, has taken off-stream its Methanol plant for a turnaround, as per Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in China informed that, the company halted operations at the plant on September 8, 2020. Further details on duration of shutdown could not be ascertained.

Located at Tangshan in Hebei province, China, the plant comprising two units has a production capacity of 100,000 mt/year each.

As MRC reported earlier, in late April, 2020, the first phase of Connell Chemical Industry Ltd.'s 600 KTA MTO complex, a 300 KTA MTO plant, successfully started up and produced on-spec ethylene and propylene. This project is the first large-size chemical project brought online during period when China was in the process of restarting the economy while fighting COVID-19 pandemic. The MTO plant started feed-in at 8:18 AM on April 15, produced on-spec propylene at 7:00 AM on April 18, and produced on-spec ethylene at 4:00 AM on April 20.

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

According to MRC's DataScope report, PE imports to Russia dropped in January-June 2020 by 7% year on year to 328,000 tonnes. High density polyethylene (HDPE) accounted for the main decrease in imports. At the same time, PP imports into Russia rose in the first six months of 2020 by 21% year on year to 105,300 tonnes. Propylene homopolymer (homopolymer PP) accounted for the main increase in imports.

Two new PP and PE plants in China achieved on-spec cargoes

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Two newly constructed plants in China have achieved on specification polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene (PE) cargoes following a trial run throughout the month of August 2020, reported CommoPlast.

These companies are stabilizing rates, from which players are expecting more steady quantities in the near-term.

The first company, Liaoning Baolai Petrochemical Co Ltd (Bora Petrochemical) - a 50:50 joint venture between LyondellBasell and Baolai Group. The company has been offering off-grade PP and PE cargoes in August and the first on-spec parcels emerge this week. Bora Petrochemical owns two PP lines with a combined capacity of 600,000 tons/year, a 350,000 tons/year high density polyethylene (HDPE) unit and a 450,000 tons/year linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) unit.

The second company, Zhongke Refinery and Petrochemical has also offered prime grade homo-PP cargoes this week after much struggling to stabilize the units in August. The two PP lines with a combined production capacity of 550,000 tons/year are slated to enter commercial production by the second half of September 2020.

As MRC informed previously, China’s Bora LyondellBasell Petrochemical, a JV between the privately owned Bora Enterprise Group and the world's petrochemical major - LyondellBasell, started up its new steam cracker at the Panjin complex in northeast China in early August, 2020. The steam cracker, when fully operational, is able to produce up to 1 mln mt/year of ethylene.

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.

Air Products wins contract to supply chip maker in Malaysia

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Air Products announced it has been awarded a long-term onsite contract from a global leader in memory and storage solutions to supply its state-of-the-art new facility in Penang, North Malaysia, said the company.

The latest win will further strengthen Air Products’ long-standing relationship with its global customer and its leading position to serve the fast-growing electronics markets. Air Products will install a proprietary PRISM cryogenic nitrogen generator to supply high purity, reliable and economical on-site gaseous nitrogen, and a significant volume of liquid nitrogen to the new facility, located in one of the fast-growing industrial parks in Penang. The gases will be used in the customer’s chip assembly processes and cold testing of the memory products, helping improve product quality, productivity, and environmental performance.

Air Products has been serving Malaysia since 1974 and is recognized for its excellence in safety, reliability and operations. Air Products has established a leading position in North Malaysia. In Penang, the company’s two advanced air separation units in the Prai Industrial Park, together with an extensive supply network that expands into the Bukit Minyak Industrial Park and the Batu Kawan Industrial Park, provide a strong and highly reliable gases supply to its customers.

"We are honored by the continued trust of our customer in our capability to support their growth plans with this significant investment in Malaysia,” said Alex Tan, president of Air Products Southeast Asia. “Malaysia is one of the largest exporters of electrical and electronics (E&E) products. The E&E industry is not only a key growth driver of the country’s industrial development, it also enables the country to move into Industry 4.0 by leveraging the latest smart technologies such as Internet of Things and artificial intelligence with the intermediary products and components produced. We strive to grow with our customers and fuel thriving E&E industry in Malaysia through our safety, reliability, efficiency and excellent service."

Serving the global electronics industry for over 40 years, Air Products’ total solutions, including gas supply, application solutions and equipment help electronics packaging and assembly manufacturers meet the increasing demand for the newest generation of semiconductors. The company’s electronics packaging, assembly and testing laboratory at its state-of-the-art Asia Technology Center develops advanced application solutions to support the fast-paced growth of the Asia markets.

As MRC reported earlier, in December 2014, SIBUR-Khimprom (a subsidiary of SIBUR Holding) and Air Products entered into an agreement to build a new air separation unit in Perm and to supply the facility with locally produced gases. The unit came on-stream in 2016. After the commissioning Air Products will supply industrial gases for SIBUR-Khimprom over the next 20 years.

Besides, we remind that in September 2019, SIBUR, the largest petrochemical comples in Russia and Eastern Europe, and BASF, Geman petrochemical major, agreed to closely cooperate on sustainable development to share their best practices.

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

According to MRC's DataScope report, PE imports to Russia dropped in January-June 2020 by 7% year on year to 328,000 tonnes. High density polyethylene (HDPE) accounted for the main decrease in imports. At the same time, PP imports into Russia rose in the first six months of 2020 by 21% year on year to 105,300 tonnes. Propylene homopolymer (homopolymer PP) accounted for the main increase in imports.

Air Products is a world-leading industrial gases company in operation for nearly 80 years. Focused on serving energy, environment and emerging markets, the Company provides essential industrial gases, related equipment and applications expertise to customers in dozens of industries, including refining, chemical, metals, electronics, manufacturing, and food and beverage. Air Products is also the global leader in the supply of liquefied natural gas process technology and equipment. The Company develops, engineers, builds, owns and operates some of the world's largest industrial gas projects, including gasification projects that sustainably convert abundant natural resources into syngas for the production of high-value power, fuels and chemicals.

PTT unexpectedly shut down at its LDPE plant in Thailand

MOSCOW (MRC) -- PTT Global Chemical Public Co Ltd (PTTGC) has unexpectedly shut its low density polyethylene (LDPE) unit in the morning of 9 September due to minor plant issue, reported CommoPlast with reference to market sources.

Based in Map Ta Phut, Thailand, the LDPE plant has a production capacity of 400,000 tons/year.

A source closed to the company informed that the unit was expected to restart by 10 September, meanwhile the initial turnaround schedule of this unit on 24 September is still in plan.

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.

COVID-19 - News digest as of 10.09.2020

1. Chevron Phillips Chemical delays final investment decision on USGC petrochemical JV with QP

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Chevron Phillips Chemical has deferred a final investment decision on a USD8 billion joint venture petrochemical complex project along the US Gulf Coast that was expected in 2021, reported S&P Global with reference to Phillips 66's statement. Company executives did not mention the project or its FID deferral during a second-quarter 2020 earnings call, as discussions focused largely on coronavirus pandemic fallout on Phillips 66's crude oil and refined fuels businesses. The company's earnings release noted the FID deferral, but did not specify a new target date. The project, in partnership with Qatar Petroleum (QP), was announced in July 2019. It is slated to include a 2 million mt/year cracker and two 1 million mt/year high density polyethylene plants. The FID delay will also push the original target startup date past 2024.