Sinopec Yizheng selects INVISTA leading PTA Technology

MOSCOW (MRC) -- INVISTA’s technology and licensing group, INVISTA Performance Technologies (IPT), and China Petrochemical International Co., Ltd. (Sinopec Yizheng) have reached an agreement for licensing of INVISTA’s industry leading PTA P8++ technology for Sinopec Yizheng’s third PTA line, reported BusinessWire.

This plant will be installed in Jiangsu province, China, with an annual name-plate capacity of 3 million tonnes.

Sinopec Yizheng previously utilised IPT’s P6 PTA technology for its 450,000 te/annum second PTA line. Sinopec Yizheng and INVISTA are pleased to once more leverage this technology to create long-term value for both parties.

This is a further confirmation of INVISTA’s strategy of relentlessly improving its PTA technology offering, through a combination of increased scale, reduced capital and variable cost per tonne of PTA, and greater sustainability.

During the recent project kick-off meeting, Mr. Guo Xiaojun, Sinopec Yizheng’s General Manager, expressed his trust in the INVISTA PTA technology and extended his gratitude towards the INVISTA project team. Mr. Guo said, “These 3 million te/annum PTA plants is a major project for SINOPEC during the 14th five-year plan period and a critical project for Sinopec Yizheng as well. I look forward to the cooperation between the two parties. To ensure the success of the project, we will execute the project in an effective manner by setting the goal as ‘excellent quality, fast schedule and profitable investment’.”

Adam Sackett, IPT vice president of PTA, commented, “Following the experience of working directly with the Sinopec Yizheng team on the second PTA line in 2003, I am excited by this new chapter in the partnership between our organizations. The manufacturing capability of Sinopec Yizheng combined with INVISTA’s industry leading PTA technology is a great fit, which should meet the ambitious project goals set by Mr. Guo.”

INVISTA’s industry-leading PTA technology, including its latest version of P8 technology, is available as a license package from IPT.

As MRC wrote before, Sinopec Yangzi Petrochemical Company, part of Sinopec Group, has brought on-stream its No.3 purified terephthalic acid (PTA) unit in Nanjing. The company resumed operations at the unit on August 21, 2020. The unit was shut for maintenance on August 6, 2020. Located at Nanjing in China, the No.3 PTA unit has a production capacity of 650,000 mt/year.

PTA is used to produce polyethylene terephthalate (PET), which, in its turn, is used in the manufacturing of plastic bottles, films, packaging containers, in the textile and food industries.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimate PET consumption reached 61,110 tonnes in November 2020, up by 1% year on year. Overall PET consumption in Russia reached 648,110 tonnes in the first eleven months of 2020, down by 18% year on year.

China Petrochemical Corporation (Sinopec Group) is a super-large petroleum and petrochemical enterprise group established in July 1998 on the basis of the former China Petrochemical Corporation. Sinopec Group's key business activities include the exploration and production of oil and natural gas, petrochemicals and other chemical products, oil refining.

Mexico City goes back to the future with plastic bag ban

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Mexico City’s new ban on plastic bags has inspired visions of a journey back in time even as local makers of the packaging worry they could become obsolete, said Reuters.

The city’s government this week banned single-use plastic bags to complement worldwide efforts to protect the environment, sparking protests from companies that produce them. "We have to take plastic out of circulation,” said Andree Lilian Guigue, the official overseeing the ban in Mexico City, one of the world’s biggest metropolises. “Plastic and other waste products that damage the planet end up in the ravines, woods and public spaces of the city - and nobody cleans it up."

The ban that began Jan. 1 prohibits the sale or distribution of the bags pervasive everywhere from Walmart to corner shops.

Plastics industry association ANIPAC says the roughly 20 million people who live in Mexico City and its sprawl use about 68,000 tons of bags a year. Fines for plastic offenders could range from 42,000 pesos (USD2,219) to 170,000 pesos.

Gabriel Sanchez, who hawks produce at a marketplace, said the ban was a return to 1960s packaging. "Now we’re going back to paper bags, sacks, baskets,” he said. “I think it will take a while but people will get used to it."

Firms including Walmart's Mexico unit WALMEX.MX, breadmaker Bimbo BIMBOA.MX and conglomerate Femsa FEMSAUBD.MX agreed to offer free reusable bags this month and explore more ways to reduce plastic packaging.

Plastic producers say the plan will hurt an industry already struggling to adjust to a patchwork of reforms across Mexico, and are lobbying lawmakers to enact a federal law that would standardize rules and allow reusable, thicker bags. "The solution should be regulating bags, not prohibiting them," said Aldimir Torres, president of ANIPAC, which registers 141 plastic bag producers in Mexico City.

Nationwide the industry generates about USD30 billion a year, but it shrunk in 2019, partially due to plastic bans in various cities. Mexico City thinks the solution could be compostable bags, which easily break down.

But Jose del Cueto, spokesman of Inboplast, an association of companies that make more environmentally-friendly bags, says that would require costly imported materials. He wants the city to take after California, which banned single-use bags in 2014, but allows multiple-use plastic bags.

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.

Celanese globally raises February prices for engineered materials

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Celanese (Irving, Texas) says it will raise prices globally for its portfolio of engineered materials due to strengthening product demand and increased transportation, energy, and raw material costs, as per the company's press release.

The price hike will be effective for orders shipped on or after 1 February 2021 or as contracts otherwise allow.

Nylon-6,6, polyphenylene, long-fiber thermoplastics, and amorphous products will be increased in price by USD0.30/kilogram (kg), while GUR - the trade name for its ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) product - will rise by USD0.25/kg. Nylon-6, polybutylene terephthalate, and polyoxymethylene products will each be increased by USD0.20/kg, with its technical thermoplastic elastomer product to rise by USD0.15/kg.

Individual grades may be subject to higher increases than the rises specified, the company said.

As MRC informed previously, in October, 2020, Celanese (Dallas, Texas) announced plans to add a 15,000-metric tons/year line for the production of GUR ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) at its facility in Bishop, Texas. Startup is expected by the beginning of 2022.

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.

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.

Linde to build ASU in Hungary as part of new industrial gases deal with BorsodChem

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Linde has signed an agreement with BorsodChem (Kazincbarcika, Hungary) for the long-term supply of nitrogen, oxygen, and compressed air to BorsodChem’s chemical complex in Kazincbarcika, including the construction of a new air separation unit (ASU), said Chemweek.

The company will build one of the largest ASUs in Hungary as part of the supply deal, with the unit expected to be completed by the end of 2021, Linde says. “In addition to supporting BorsodChem’s expansion, the plant will provide additional nitrogen, oxygen, and compressed air to meet the increasing demand for industrial gases in Hungary and surrounding countries,” it says.

The building of new capacity in Hungary will give Linde the opportunity to broaden its supply of industrial gases to other regional customers “in response to increasing demand from resilient end markets,” says Linde’s Andreas Muller, head of its Hungary and Austria business.

As per MRC, BorsodChem (Kazincbarcika, Hungary) is planning to start production at its new 200,000-metric ton/year aniline plant in Kazincbarcika during the third quarter of 2021. The facility in northern Hungary has received around EUR45 million (USD53 million) in state subsidies from the Hungarian government, which were approved by the European Commission in 2018. Production was initially scheduled to start in the second quarter of next year, but progress has been delayed due to COVID-19 and other “unforeseen issues,” according to market sources.

According to MRC's DataScope report, last month's SPVC imports to Russia dropped to 0,600 tonnes from 1,600 tonnes in November. High PVC prices in foreign markets and a seasonal decline in demand in the last two months have put serious pressure on import purchases of PVC from Russian companies. Thus, overall imports were 40,800 tonnes in January-December 2020, compared to 50,900 tonnes a year earlier, with PVC from China and the United States accounting for the main reduction in imports. PVC shipments from these countries decreased by almost a third over the stated period.

Wanhua-BorsodChem is a Hungarian chemical raw material manufacturing company headquartered in Kazincbarcika, Northern Hungary. It is the European member of the Wanhua Chemical Group. The company specializes in isocyanates (MDI, TDI), PVC and chlor-alkali (vinyl) businesses.[1] The main production site is located in Kazincbarcika, Hungary but the production is also supported by other European production capacities located in Ostrava, the Czech Republic and Kedzierzyn-Kozle, Poland. Several branch offices are available in Hungary, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Italy and Poland.

COVID-19 - News digest as of 21.01.2021

1. Repsol upstream production slips 8% at 648,000 boe/d in 2020

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Spanish integrated energy group Repsol reported Jan. 19 that its estimated upstream oil and gas production in 2020 decreased 8% year on year at 648,000 b/d of oil equivalent - its lowest annual total since the 2015 purchase of Talisman - with Libyan interruptions and the oil price impact from the pandemic weighing on volume, according to S&P Global. The full-year total was nonetheless in line with the company's postpandemic revised target of 650,000 boe/d, which it sees through to 2030. By region, Europe and Africa showed the largest production decline in 2020, falling 29% year on year to 86,000 boe/d. Repsol's share in the Libyan El Sharara field can supply up to 39,000 boe/d net to Repsol, but output suffered interruptions throughout the year following a shutdown at the field in January 2020 and a blockade of oil terminals.