Restart of Borealis Stenungsund cracker underway, force majeure remains

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Start-up of the 625,000-metric tons/year steam cracker operated by Borealis at Stenungsund, Sweden, is now "in process," but the declaration of force majeure remains in place, reported Chemweek with reference to a company spokesperson's statement to OPIS Tuesday.

"The force majeure on our cracker is still in place. Start-up of the cracker is in process, however this is a complex procedure that needs time," Borealis said in an emailed statement to OPIS.

Restarting the cracker could take several weeks, according to Matthew Thoelke, research and analysis director/global olefins at IHS Markit. "The restart of steam crackers after an outage can often take some time, and with prolonged outages, the challenges are often significant," Thoelke said.

Force majeure at Stenungsund was declared after a fire started at the cracker on 10 May last year. A restart of the cracker was initially planned for the fourth quarter of 2020, a Borealis spokesperson told OPIS in September.

Some crackers in Europe have undergone highly problematic restarts, and have taken several months to achieve full operational capacity, according to Thoelke. "The start-up process, if everything goes smoothly, could take a few days before on-spec production is achieved. However, start-ups can often highlight or introduce additional issues and the process can take several weeks," said Thoelke.

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

According to MRC's DataScope report, PE imports to Russia decreased in January-November 2020 by 17% year on year and reached 569,900 tonnes. High density polyethylene (HDPE) accounted for the greatest reduction in imports. At the same time, PP imports into Russia increased by 21% year on year to about 202,000 tonnes in the first eleven months of 2020. Propylene homopolymer (homopolymer PP) accounted for the main increase in imports.

Borealis is a leading provider of innovative solutions in the fields of polyolefins, base chemicals and fertilizers. With headquarters in Vienna, Austria, Borealis currently employs around 6,500 and operates in over 120 countries.
MRC

MEGlobal raises ACP for February 2021 by USD70 per tonne

MOSCOW (MRC) -- MEGlobal has announced its Asian Contract Price (ACP) for monoethylene glycol (MEG) to be shipped in February 2021, according to the company's press release.

Thus, on 11 January, the company said ACP for MEG would be at USD740/MT CFR Asian main ports for arrival in February 2021, up by USD70/MT from December.

The February 2021 ACP reflects the short term supply/demand situation in the Asian market.

As MRC reported earlier, MEGlobal announced its January ACP for MEG at USD670/MT CFR Asian main ports, up by USD10/tonne from December 2020.

MEG is one of the main feedstocks for the production of polyethylene terephthalate (PET).

According to ICIS-MRC Price report, in Russia, market participants expected a traditional slowdown in the buying activity in the first half of January, 2021. Market players expect prices of material to rise significantly after the holiday season. Producers said they planned to increase spot prices in January. According to preliminary expectations, January PET prices might exceed Rb92,000/tonne, including VAT.

MEGlobal is a fully integrated supplier of monoethylene glycol (MEG) and diethylene glycol (DEG), collectively known as ethylene glycol (EG).
MRC

Trinseo raises January PC prices in Europe

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Trinseo, a global materials company and manufacturer of plastics, latex binders and synthetic rubber, and its affiliate companies in Europe have announced a price increase for all polycarbonate (PC) grades in Europe, as per the company's press release as of 5 January.

Effective January 1, 2020, or as existing contract terms allow, the contract and spot prices for the products listed below increased as follows:

- CALIBRE PC resins - by EUR300 per metric ton.

As MRC informed earlier, Trinseo last raised its prices for all PC grades in Europe on 1 December 2020 by EUR250 per metric ton.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated consumption of PC granules (excluding imports and exports to\from Belarus) rose in January-November 2020 by 18% year on year to 83,600 tonnes (70,600 tonnes a year earlier). Consumption decreased by 21% in the injection moulding PC segment to 8,700 tonnes from 10,900 tonnes a year earlier.

Trinseo is a global materials company and manufacturer of plastics, latex and rubber. Trinseo's technology is used by customers in industries such as home appliances, automotive, building & construction, carpet, consumer electronics, consumer goods, electrical & lighting, medical, packaging, paper & paperboard, rubber goods and tires. Formerly known as Styron, Trinseo completed its renaming process in 1Q 2015. Trinseo had approximately USD3.8 billion in net sales in 2019, with 17 manufacturing sites around the world, and approximately 2,700 employees.
MRC

Synthos restarts E-SBR facility after fire

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Synthos (Oswiecim, Poland) has restarted its 185,000-metric tons/year emulsion styrene butadiene rubber (E-SBR) facility in Oswiecim following a fire on 7 January, reported Chemweek with reference to the producer's statement to OPIS Monday.

"Production (has) restarted," Synthos confirmed. "The event doesn't have any impact on the operations and delivery of products from other business units of the company."

Production at the Synthos Dwory E-SBR unit in Oswiecim was idled after the fire broke out following an explosion on 7 January "in the incinerator of the E-SBR rubber production installation," according to a company statement. The synthetic rubbers segment represents a considerable part of its operations, according to Synthos.

Synthos produces 120,000 metric tons/year of styrene and 105,000 metric tons/year of expandable polystyrene (EPS) at Oswiecim and it makes 50,000 metric tons/year of polystyrene (PS) at the site, according to IHS Markit data. The company also produces synthetic adhesives and latex. E-SBR is used in the production of various downstream items including car tires, conveyor belts, and footwear.

As MRC informed earlier, Polish chemicals and plastics group Synthos has launched a new eco-friendly EPS grade for heat insulation panels which includes recycled polystyrene raw material. Synthos, headquartered at Oswiecim in southern Poland, started extruding the product, ‘InVento Optima’ on a dedicated line installed at its base manufacturing site at the end of 2018.

SM is the main feedstock for the production of PS.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated consumption of PS and styrene plastics totalled 454,990 tonnes in the first eleven months of 2020, which corresponds to the previous year's figure. November estimated consumption of PS and styrene plastics grew by 4% year on year to 45,830 tonnes.

Synthos SA is one of the largest producers of petrochemical products in Poland and is the largest producer of emulsion rubbers in Europe. Besides, it is the third largest European EPS producer.
MRC

Kemira upgrades 2020 earnings projection

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Kemira says it has upgraded its 2020 earnings projection following "good demand and cost management" in the fourth quarter, reported Chemweek.

The company now estimates its operative EBITDA in the second half of 2020 to have been above the EUR214.0 million (USD260.4 million) of the first half, and operative EBITDA for full-year 2020 to have increased from EUR410 million in 2019.

The new update is partly a reversal of the estimate the company provided in October 2020, according to which it expected its operative EBITDA in the second half of 2020 to be lower than in the first half of the year. The expectation for full-year operative EBITDA is the same as in October’s update.

In November, Kemira updated its 2020 financial targets and said it was aiming for an operative EBITDA margin of 15–18%, growth above market rates, and a debt/equity ratio below 75%.

As MRC informed earlier, in September 2020, Kemira signed a multi year extension of its polymer supply agreement with Ithaca Energy. Kemira said it had signed a multiyear extension to its polymer supply agreement with Ithaca Energy (Aberdeen, UK). The agreement extends the contract between the two companies, signed in 2018, covering the supply of polymers to enhance oil extraction performance at one of the assets operated by Ithaca Energy in the UK North Sea.

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

According to MRC's DataScope report, PE imports to Russia decreased in January-November 2020 by 17% year on year and reached 569,900 tonnes. High density polyethylene (HDPE) accounted for the greatest reduction in imports. At the same time, PP imports into Russia increased by 21% year on year to about 202,000 tonnes in the first eleven months of 2020. Propylene homopolymer (homopolymer PP) accounted for the main increase in imports.
MRC