Celanese raises September prices of EVA emulsions in Americas

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Celanese Corporation, a global technology and specialty materials company, and a global leader in vinyl acetate ethylene (EVA) emulsions, has announced an increase in its September prices of vinyl acetate-based emulsions sold in the Americas, as per the company's press release.

The price increases below are effective for orders shipped on or after 15 September 2020, or as contracts otherwise allow, and are incremental to any previously announced increases.

Thus, prices of EVA emulsions rose, as follows:

- by USD0.03/lb - for the USA and Canada;
- by USD66/mt - for Mexico & South America.

As MRC reported earlier, Celanese also raised its September prices of EVA emulsions for China by CNY300/mt and for Asia outside China (AOC) - by USD50/mt, as well as for Europe, Middle East and Africa - by EUR50/mt.

According to MRC's DataScope report, June EVA imports to Russia fell by 22,5% year on year to 2,940 tonnes from 3,800 tonnes a year earlier, and overall imports of this grade of ethylene copolymer into the Russian Federation dropped in January-June 2020 by 8,16% year on year to 17,440 tonnes (18,980 tonnes a year earlier).

Celanese Corporation is a global technology leader in the production of differentiated chemistry solutions and specialty materials used in most major industries and consumer applications. Based in Dallas, Celanese employs approximately 7,700 employees worldwide and had 2019 net sales of USD6.3 billion.

Shanghai SECCO resumes production at PP plant in China

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Shanghai SECCO has restarted its polypropylene (PP) plant following an unplanned outage, according to Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in China informed that, the company resumed operations at the plant on September 16, 2020. The plant was shut for unplanned maintenance on September 11, 2020.

Located at Shanghai, China, the PP plant has a production capacity of 280,000 mt/year.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, PP shipments to the Russian market reached 654,600 tonnes in the first seven months of 2020 (calculated using the formula: production minus exports plus imports and without the producer's inventories as of 1 January, 2020).

Shanghai SECCO is owned by Sinopec Petrochemical, Sinopec Shanghai Petrochemical and Sinopec Shanghai Gaoqiao Petrochemical, with 30%, 20% and 50% holdings respectively.

Ineos shuts Chocolate Bayou cracker due to technical glitch

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Ineos, one of the world’s largest manufacturing companies, has undertaken an unplanned shutdown at its No. 1 olefins unit at Texas cracker, according to Apic-onlne.

A Polymerupdate source in the US said, the company halted operations at the cracker for maintenance on September 18, 2020 owing to technical issues. Further details on duration of the shutdown could not be ascertained.

Located at Chocolate Bayou in Texas, the No. 1 Olefins unit has an ethylene production capacity of 1.07 million mt/year and propylene production capacity of 235,000 mt/year.

As MRC wrote before, in April 2020, Ineos and Plastic Energy agreed to collaborate in constructing a new plant to convert waste plastic into raw material to make new plastic. The new facility would be operational by the end of 2023.

We remind that in January 2019, Ineos announced Antwerp as the location for its new petrochemical investment. The EUR3 billion investment will be the biggest ever made by INEOS and is first cracker to be built in Europe in 20 years. The investment is a game changer for the chemical sectors and will bring huge benefits to the Belgium and wider European economies.

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.

Ineos is a global manufacturer of petrochemicals, specialty chemicals and oil products employing 22,000 people. It has 34 businesses, with a production network spanning 183 manufacturing facilities in 26 countries.

Sasol expects to restart Louisiana complex by mid-October

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Sasol expects to restart crackers and downstream derivative units at its Lake Charles, Louisiana, complex by early- to mid-October once full load power is restored, reported S&P Global with reference to the company's statement Sept. 21.

"The Sasol Lake Charles site is currently partially energized," the company said. Regional power provider Entergy "expects full load service, industrial-level reliability power, to be available to Sasol and other industrial customers in the area by early- to mid-October."

Sasol added that it had finished damage assessments of all 14 manufacturing units and associated utilities and infrastructure at the complex, which was shut ahead of Hurricane Laura's Aug. 27 assault. Lake Charles took a direct hit from the Category 4 storm, which came ashore Aug. 27 packing 150 mph winds.

Sasol said those assessments found moderate wind damage to cooling towers and some insulation and building damage, but no apparent damage to major process equipment, utilities and infrastructure.

"This will need to be confirmed once site electrical power is completely restored and all systems are tested," the company said. "The critical path for operational restart is the re-establishment of reliable external electrical power service from Entergy."

Sasol's Lake Charles complex includes 1.5 million mt/year and 439,000 mt/year crackers; a 470,000 mt/year linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) plant; a 380,000 mt/year ethylene oxide/monoethylene glycol (MEG) unit; and a new 420,000 mt/year low density polyethylene (LDPE) plant slated to start up in September. The company issued a force majeure declaration on North American PE.

As MRC reported before, Sasol's world-scale US ethane cracker with the capacity of 1.5 mln tonnes per year reached beneficial operation on 27 August 2019. Sasol's new cracker, the heart of Lake Charles Chemicals Project (LCCP), is the third and most significant of the seven LCCP facilities to come online and will provide feedstock to the company's six new derivative units at its Lake Charles multi-asset site.

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.

Sasol is an international integrated chemicals and energy company that leverages technologies and the expertise of our 31 270 people working in 32 countries. The company develops and commercialises technologies, and builds and operates world-scale facilities to produce a range of high-value product stream, including liquid fuels, petrochemicals and low-carbon electricity.

Phillips 66 contributes USD750,000 to Hurricane Laura relief

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Phillips 66, which quickly marshaled its logistics capabilities to get help to its employees affected by Hurricane Laura, is also contributing USD750,000 to the American Red Cross to support the relief efforts in its communities, said the company.

The hurricane, one of the strongest on record to hit the U.S., made landfall on Aug. 27 and left life-altering devastation throughout Southwest Louisiana and Southeast Texas. Phillips 66 has nearly 1,000 employees who work at its numerous assets in the area, including the Lake Charles Manufacturing Complex, the Gulf Coast Lubricants Plant, and pipelines and terminals, including Clifton Ridge, Westlake and Pecan Grove.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected by the disaster, including our many employees, friends and neighbors across Southwest Louisiana and Southeast Texas," said Phillips 66 Chairman and CEO Greg Garland. “The impact from Hurricane Laura reaffirms the importance of Phillips 66's continued support for the American Red Cross. We believe this gift will enable the organization to use its broad and specialized resource network to support recovery efforts and help those most in need."

Phillips 66 committed a total of USD1 million in August in support of disaster relief to areas where its employees live and work. In addition to the USD750,000 donation for Hurricane Laura relief efforts, it gave USD200,000 to help support communities in California affected by wildfires and USD50,000 to help support relief efforts in South Texas after Hurricane Hanna.

"We are incredibly honored to receive this generous donation from Phillips 66," Henry Van de Putte, Regional Chief Executive, American Red Cross of the Texas Gulf Coast, said of the Laura donation. "Their continued dedication to the Red Cross mission allows us to offer much-needed food, shelter and comfort to those who are reeling from the impact of Hurricane Laura during a pandemic."

All of Phillips 66’s employees who work in the impacted areas are safe and accounted for, though many have reported damage to their homes and property. Phillips 66 quickly mobilized its Emergency Operations Center, which was able to secure hard-to-find items — generators and accompanying safety packages, including carbon monoxide detectors, as well as portable A/C units — and loan them to employees soon after the hurricane hit. This is in addition to providing essential items like water, ice, fuel and roof-repair supplies, and finding hotel rooms for those who are displaced.

The company is also offering employees financial assistance in the form of emergency cash and hardship loans to assist with immediate needs, as well as inspection and insurance claims assistance. And it will pay for small-branch removal and tarping for employees with minor roof damage.

"We have weathered a number of storms over the years, and our ability to respond at times like these sets us apart," Garland said. "The people of Phillips 66 always rise to the occasion and demonstrate an unyielding commitment to supporting their peers, our communities and our assets."

As MRC informed before, last month, US refiner Phillips 66 said it plans to reconfigure its refinery in Rodeo, California to produce renewable fuels from used cooking oil, fats, greases and soybean oils.

We remind that US-based Phillips 66 remains open to developing another ethane cracker for its Chevron Phillips Chemical (CP Chem) joint venture, the refiner's CEO said in March 2018.

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.