Denka discontinued GPPS production in Singapore

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Denka Singapore Co Ltd has announced that it would discontinue the production of DENKA STYROL GPPS after 22 years in business, according to CommoPlast with reference to the company's official statement.

The production of the seven (7) grades had been suspended by the end of November 2020. The final sales of these cargoes took place by the end of December 2020.

Denka cited the cease of general purpose polystyrene (GPPS) production in order to optimize the overall operation of the plastic business. The company would switch to produce Ms resin (Methyl. Methacrylate Styrene Copolymer).

Denka Singapore Co Ltd is one of the major polystyrene (PS) producers in the Southeast Asia region with an annual capacity of 200,000 tons of GPPS.

As MRC reported earlier, in September 2020, Denka Company Limited announced that as part of its initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions based on its ESG management policy, it had decided to invest approximately 3.7 billion yen in the installation of high-efficiency gas turbine power generation facilities for private power generation at its Chiba Plant (Ichihara-shi, Chiba), its core petrochemical production plant. Through the introduction of facilities such as these, Denka will facilitate the reduction of greenhouse gas (CO2) emissions by at least 12,000 tons annually and accelerate its efforts to realize a sustainable society.

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 last year's figure. November estimated consumption of PS and styrene plastics in Russia grew by 4% year on year to 45,830 tonnes.

RadiciGroup to invest in PPE component capacity in Italy

MOSCOW (MRC) -- RadiciGroup is investing EUR15m to purchase a production line for meltblown nonwoven, a material used in protective face masks, said the company.

The move follows a shortage of the material in Italy. The synthetic fibre producer will manufacture meltblown nonwoven polymer filaments, the key component in personal protective equipment (PPE), saying that current supply in Europe is insufficient to keep up with the heightened demand brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

"In the midst of the pandemic crisis, the lack of meltblown nonwoven became evident," said Maurizio Radici, COO of RadiciGroup.

"We kept receiving tens of requests from potential customers. A very small quantity of meltblown material is produced in Europe, which is certainly not sufficient to meet demand in a health emergency," he added.

The production line, which will be installed at the company’s site in Bergamo, Italy, can be utilised to manufacture materials based on polypropylene (PP), polyester, polyamide and thermoplastic polyurethane.

As mRC informed earlier, Radici Group announced force majeure for the supply of polyamide (PA 6.6) from its plant in Novara (Novara, in the Italian region of Piedmont) in 2018. The company was forced to declare force majeure for supplies from this enterprise with a capacity of 90 thousand tons of PA per year in February 2018 due to a lack of raw materials.

According to ICIS-MRC Price report, negotiations over January prices of European PP began in the first days of the month. All market participants reported that European producers have gone for a significant increase in export prices for propylene polymers. Moreover, some producers adjusted their export prices twice in the first two weeks of January.

YNCC confirms cracker restart delay in Yeosu after ethylene expansion

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Yeochun Naphtha Cracking Centre (YNCC) has pushed back the restart of its No. 2 naphtha cracker in Yeochun, Yeosu, South Korea to 18 January, 2021, after completing the expansion work, reported Chemweek.

The company took the cracker off-stream around the third week of October 2020 for two months of maintenance, YNCC has been also expanding the cracker's capacity to 915,000 tons/year of ethylene from the existing 580,000 tons/year.

YNCC is a joint venture between South Korean firms Hanwha and Daelim. The new ethylene capacity would be supplied to Daelim’s new mPE plant at the adjacent location.

YNCC owns two other naphtha crackers in Yeosu with a combined capacity of 1.325 million tons/year.

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.

South Korea’s Yeochun NCC (YNCC) pyrolyzes naphtha to produce basic feedstock materials for the petrochemical industry. YNCC, a joint venture between South Korean firms Hanwha and Daelim, is a key exporter of ethylene and propylene in the country.

PVC production in Russia grew by 0.2% in 2020

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Overall production of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) reached 976,500 tonnes in 2020, up by 0.2% year on year. Only two producers managed to increase their PVC output, according to MRC's ScanPlast report.

December total production of unmixed PVC was about 85,300 tonnes versus 86,100 tonnes a month earlier, RusVinyl decreased its capacity utilisation last month. Overall output of polymer were 976,500 tonnes in 2020 from 975,000 tonnes a year earlier. Two producers increased their production, whereas two other manufacturers reduced their output.

The structure of PVC production by plants looked the following way over the stated period.

RusVinyl reduced its capacity utilisation in December and produced about 27,400 tonnes of PVC, with emulsion polyvinyl chloride (EPVC) accounting for 2,300 tonnes, compared to 28,900 tonnes a month earlier. Total SPVC production at RusVinyl was 332,900 tonnes in 2020, compared to 339,800 tonnes in 2019.
SayanskKhimPlast increased its capacity utilisation last month and produced about 27,900 tonnes of suspension PVC (SPVC), whereas this figure was 27,100 tonnes in November. The plant managed to produce 299,500 tonnes of PVC in January-December 2020, compared to 294,500 tonnes a year earlier.

Baskhir Soda Company produced about 23,100 tonnes of SPVC in December, against 23,200 tonnes a month earlier. The Baskhir plant's overall production of PVC reached 267,600 tonnes in January-December 2020, up 2% year on year.

Kaustik, Volgograd's PVC production was about 6,900 tonnes last month versus 7,000 tonnes in November. The plant's overall production of PVC reached 76,500 tonnes in 2020 versus 77,500 tonnes a year earlier.

Epsilyte hikes EPS prices for second consecutive month

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Expandable polystyrene (EPS) resin producer Epsilyte (The Woodlands, Texas) is hiking prices for the second month in a row for all grades of EPS by 4 cents/pound, effective 1 February 2021 or as contracts permit, said Chemweek.

The price rise “is necessary based on the need for the business to achieve reinvestment economics,” it says. The company announced a price increase in December on all its EPS grades, effective 1 January 2021, saying that rise was necessary based on supply and demand dynamics, as well as the need for reinvestment economics.

According to MRC's ScanPlast, in Russia, the estimated consumption of PS and styrene plastics for the eleven months of 2020 amounted to 454.990 tonnes, which corresponds to the consumption indicator for the same period last year. The estimated consumption of PS and styrene plastics in the country in November increased by 4% compared to the same month of 2019 and amounted to 45,830 tonnes.

Epsilyte is owned by private equity firm Balmoral Funds (Los Angeles, California).