COVID-19 - News digest as of 10.11.2020

1. Eastman Chemical sales fall 8.7%, volumes improve sequentially

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Eastman Chemical reports third-quarter net earnings of USD165 million, down 38% year on year (YOY), as volumes remained lower YOY due to the COVID-19 pandemic but improved sequentially, reported Chemweek. Adjusted earnings of USD1.57/share was down 19.1% YOY but beat the analysts’ consensus estimate of USD1.37/share, as reported by Refinitiv (New York). Net sales fell 8.7%, to USD2.1 billion. Volumes fell 5% YOY, but in end markets hit hardest by the pandemic, such as transportation, building and construction, and consumer durables, showed signs of improvement over the second quarter.


PVC imports to Ukraine fell by 30% in January-October, exports remained steady

MOSCOW (MRC) - Imports of suspension polyvinyl chloride (SPVC) into Ukraine decreased by 30% in the first ten months of this year, compared to the same period in 2019 and reached about 29,000 tonnes. Sales of Ukrainian PVC to foreign markets remained at the level of 2019, according to MRC's DataScope report.

Last month's suspension polyvinyl chloride (SPVC) imports into the Ukrainian market increased to 2,200 tonnes from 1,700 tonnes in September, with European PVC accounting for the decrease in shipments. Overall SPVC imports reached 29,000 tonnes in January-October 2020, compared to 41,300 tonnes a year earlier.

At the same time, the increased demand from the domestic market amid growing capacity utilisation of the Ukrainian producer kept export volumes at the level of the previous year. European producers with the share of about 80% of the total imports over the stated period were the key suppliers of PVC to the Ukrainian market. Producers from the USA with the share of about 17% were the second largest suppliers.

Last month, Karpatneftekhim decreased the volume of external sales, the export sales of Ukrainian PVC amounted to 11,900 tonnes against 13,400 tonnes in September. Overall, about 136,300 tonnes of PVC were shipped for export in January-October 2020, which in fact corresponded to the last year's figure.


November prices of European PP roll over from October for CIS markets

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The November contract price of propylene was agreed in Europe at the last month's level. Thus, many European producers rolled over their October export polypropylene (PP) prices for November shipments to the CIS countries, according to ICIS-MRC Price report.

Negotiations over November prices of European PP began in the middle of last week. All market participants said European producers rolled over their October export prices of propylene polymers for November shipments, but in some cases, prices still rose by EUR10/tonne or higher.

Deals for November shipments of homopolymer propylene (homopolymer PP) were discussed in the range of EUR840-900/tonne FCA, whereas last month's deals were done in the range of EUR830-900/tonne FCA. Deals for block copolymers of propylene (PP block copolymer) were negotiated in the range EUR920-980/tonne FCA.

Grace licenses UNIPOL to PT Pertamina Rosneft Pengolahan dan Petrokimia

MOSCOW (MRC) -- W. R. Grace & Co., a leading independent supplier of polyolefin catalyst technology and polypropylene (PP) process technology, has licensed its UNIPOL PP Process Technology to PT Pertamina Rosneft Pengolahan dan Petrokimia (PRPP), a joint venture between Indonesia’s PT Pertamina and Russia’s Rosneft Oil Company, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The UNIPOL® PP facility, located in Tuban, Indonesia, will include two lines, each designed to produce 580KTA for a total of 1160KTA of polypropylene.

The agreement includes a long-term catalyst supply contract and a license for Grace’s UNIPOL® PP UNIPPAC Process Control (UUPC) Software. This tailored package, in conjunction with the UNIPOL® PP process technology, guarantees the opportunity for PRPP and Grace to work closely together over the lifetime of the plant, resulting in a fully optimized solution.

Grace's all gas-phase UNIPOL® PP Process Technology and CONSISTA® 6th generation catalyst and donor technology provide the broadest range of PP homopolymers, random copolymers, and impact copolymers from a single catalyst. Grace’s patented advanced donor technology and UUPC Software deliver outstanding plant operability.

Kadek Ambara Jaya, PRPP President Director said, “We are excited to install the UNIPOL® PP Process Technology at our Tuban, Indonesia site. The mature technology, low investment, and the relationship with the Grace team all were factors in our decision to choose this technology. We are confident that, with Grace’s process technology and catalysts, we will provide our customers with the best possible polypropylene resin options in the region."

“Grace is excited to partner with PRPP on this significant, world-class project,” said Laura Schwinn, President of Grace’s Specialty Catalysts business. “PRPP will be able to meet growing demand for higher value polypropylene products using our best-in-class catalyst systems and proven UNIPOL® PP Process Technology."

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

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 1,496,500 tonnes in the first eight months of 2020, up by 5% year on year. Shipments of all ethylene polymers increased, except for linear low desnity polyethylene (LLDPE). At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market reached 767,2900 tonnes in the eight months of 2020 (calculated using the formula - production minus exports plus imports - and not counting producers' inventories as of 1 January, 2020). Supply increased exclusively of PP random copolymer.

McDermott earns next phase of Russian ethane cracker project from CC7

MOSCOW (MRC) -- McDermott International, Ltd announced it has secured the next phase of the ethane cracking project from China National Chemical Engineering & Construction Corporation Seven, Ltd (CC7), said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

In 2019, McDermott was awarded a contract for the extended basic engineering on the project. This has now been expanded to include the provision of the engineering and procurement early works package for all schedule critical equipment.

The project is the largest ethylene integration project in the world. Located near Russia's shores at the Gulf of Finland, the natural gas processing chemical plant, owned by Baltic Chemical Plant (BCP), will be comprised of two ethylene cracking trains with an annual capacity of 1.4 million tons each.

"The expansion of this award is a direct result of our execution performance to date and we will continue to drive excellent results to support CC7 and BCP in the development of this world-class project," said Tareq Kawash, Senior Vice President, Europe, Middle East and Africa. "From concept design to commissioning and start-up, McDermott is uniquely positioned to execute fully integrated ethylene projects."

Lummus Technology was previously awarded the Process Design Package Engineering on the project and the license for its olefin production and recovery technology. McDermott and Lummus work jointly on projects through a strategic agreement that leverages their respective strengths for customers.

The early works package will be executed from McDermott's offices in The Hague, the Netherlands and in Brno, Czech Republic.

As MRC informed earlier, in March 2020, McDermott International, Inc. announced that the company intends to move forward with the previously announced share and asset purchase agreement to sell all of the Lummus Technology business to a joint partnership between The Chatterjee Group and Rhone Capital (the "Joint Partnership").

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, September estimated LDPE consumption in Russia fell to 23,930 tonnes from 47,610 tonnes a month earlier. Russian producers reduced their domestic LDPE shipments due to shutdowns for maintenance at production capacities in Ufa, Tomsk and Kazan. Russia's estimated LDPE consumption totalled about 406,500 tonnes in January-September 2020, which virtually corresponded to the last year's figure.

McDermott is a premier, fully integrated provider of technology, engineering and construction solutions to the energy industry. For more than a century, customers have trusted McDermott to design and build end-to-end infrastructure and technology solutions to transport and transform oil and gas into the products the world needs today. Our proprietary technologies, integrated expertise and comprehensive solutions deliver certainty, innovation and added value to energy projects around the world. Customers rely on McDermott to deliver certainty to the most complex projects, from concept to commissioning. It is called the "One McDermott Way." Operating in over 54 countries, McDermott's locally focused and globally-integrated resources include approximately 32,000 employees, a diversified fleet of specialty marine construction vessels and fabrication facilities around the world.