Nan Ya Plastics to restart its new MEG plant in Texas

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The restart of Formosa's ethylene cracker in Point Comfort, Texas, USA, completed the week of April 5, is expected to allow Nan Ya Plastics, Formosa's sister company, to restart its new monoethylene glycol (MEG) unit at the same site, reported S&P Global with reference to sources, familiar with the plant's operations.

This plant with the capacity of 800,000 mt/year of MEG was shut im mid-February because of deep freeze in the region.

Meanwhile, Nan Ya Plastic's smaller 370,000 mt/year MEG plant is expected to remain shut until mid-summer, said sources familiar with its operations.

As MRC reported earlier, the mew MEG plant's start-up was pushe back to early 2021 from H1 2020 on coronavirus pandemic-related concerns to ensure worker safety and social distancing.

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

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PET consumption increased in February 2021 to about 57,760 tonnes, up by 7% year on year. Overall PET consumption in Russia totalled 115,210 tonnes in the two months of 2021.

Nan Ya's 800,000 mt/year monoethylene glycol (MEG) plant in Texas is expected to come online by late 2020 or early 2021 rather than the third quarter of 2020, reported S&P Global with reference to a source familiar with company operations.

Azerbaijan increases profit from PP exports by more than a quarter in Q1 2021

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Azerbaijan exported 23,988 tonnes of polypropylene (PP) in primary forms in January-March 2021, said the Azeri news agency REPORT with reference to the data of customs declarations.

According to the State Customs Committee, the cost of PP exports totally USD26.791 million, up by USD5.672 million (26.8%) and down by 935 tons (3.8%) year on year.

In the last quarter of 2020, the share of PP in the total exports of the non-oil sector was 5.34%, and in the total export volume - 0.65%.

As reported previously, PP is produced in Azerbaijan at SOCAR Polymer's plant, which was commissioned on July 18, 2018. The design capacity of the plant is 184,000 mt/year of PP. A plant for the production of high density polyethylene (HDPE) with a capacity of 120,000 mt/year started up on February 18, 2019.

In general, the plants of SOCAR Polymer, a subsidiariy of the state oil company of Azerbaijan - SOCAR, are designed to produce 10 grades of PP and 4 grades of HDPE. SOCAR Polymer's revenues from these plants for the period of operation are expected at USD6.6 billion, net profit will amount to USD1.98 billion. For the entire period of operation of the plants, tax payments to the state budget of Azerbaijan will amount to USD600 million.

It was also reported that most of the PE and PP quantities produced at SOCAR Polymer are exported. Thus, Azerbaijan exports these products mainly to Turkey, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Poland and Lithuania.

Azerbaijan also produces low density polyethylene (LDPE) at the Ethylene-Polyethylene plant of the Azerkhimia production association of SOCAR in the amount of over 60,000 mt/year.

SOCAR Polymer was founded by the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan. Currently, SOCAR's share in the company's capital is 57%. LLC "Vitol Black Sea V. L. L", LLC "Ecoland" and a number of other companies are also among the shareholders.

Kazanorgsintez shuts LDPE production for scheduled turnaround

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Kazanorgsintez (part of TAIF Group) has shut some of its low density polyethylene (LDPE) production capacities for a scheduled turnaround, according to ICIS-MRC Price report.

The plant's customers said on 16 April, Kazanorgsintez completely shut production at its third LDPE line for the annual scheduled maintenance. The outage will be lengthy, with the completion of the maintenance works is scheduled for mid-May.

The third line's production capacity is 140,000 tonnes/year.

At the same time, the next shutdowns for maintenance at Russian LDPE plants are planned in June-July. Angarsk Polymers Plant and Gazprom neftekhim Salavat will take off-stream their production capacities for turnarounds.

PJSC "Kazanorgsintez" (part of TAIF Group) is one of Russia's largest plants. Kazanorgsintez produces 40% of overall Russian polyethylene (PE) and is the country's largest exporter. To date, the plant produces PE, polycarbonate (PC), PE pipes, phenol, acetone, bisphenol A. Kazanorgsintez is Russia's only PC producer. It manufactures a total of 170 items of products. Kazanorgsintez's annual output is 1.6 million tonnes. The plant is Russia's largest producer of high density polyethylene (HDPE). The plant's annual HDPE production capacity is 540,000 tonnes and its annual LDPE capacity is 225,000 tonnes.

Trinseo and BASF to cooperate on circular styrenic plastics

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Trinseo, a global materials company and manufacturer of plastics, latex binders and synthetic rubber, and BASF, the world's largest petrochemical company, have announced the intention to expand their businesses with the production of styrene monomer (SM) based on circular feedstock, said BASF in its press release.

The enhanced collaboration between Trinseo and BASF aims to increase efforts by both companies in the development and management of SM featuring an improved environmental profile.

Trinseo has recently been procuring first supplies of the synthetical chemical styrene based on circular feedstock from BASF for use in its Solution-Styrene Butadiene Rubber (S-SBR) and polystyrene (PS) products. Trinseo supplies S-SBR to major tires manufacturers while its PS products are used in applications such as food packaging and appliances. The first few customers have already processed the material.

“By creating synergy across the value chain, the Trinseo-BASF collaboration is an important move towards helping our customers reach their sustainability goals as well as the development of a truly circular economy,” said Nicolas Joly, Vice President, Plastics & Feedstocks of Trinseo. “The initiative is also in line with Trinseo’s 2030 Sustainability Goals announced earlier this year.”

“CO2 emission reduction and a circular economy are BASF’s paramount targets. Using circular feedstocks instead of virgin fossil resources contributes directly or indirectly to an improved CO2 footprint of subsequent products,” says Klaus Ries, Vice President for BASF’s Styrenics Business Europe. “While our customer Trinseo procures biomass balanced (BMB) styrene for their downstream business already, styrene Ccycled will be available in the near future”.

As MRC reported earlier, Trinseo and its affiliate companies in Europe have announced a price increase for all PS, acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) and acrylonitrile-styrene copolymer (SAN) in Europe. Effective April 1, 2021, or as existing contract terms allow, the contract and spot prices for the products listed below rose as follows:

- STYRON general purpose polystyrene grades (GPPS) -- by EUR330 per metric ton;
- STYRON and STYRON A-Tech and STYRON X- Tech and STYRON C- Tech high impact polystyrene grades (HIPS) - by EUR330 per metric ton;
- MAGNUM ABS resins - by EUR300 per metric ton;
- TYRIL SAN resins - by EUR350 per metric ton.

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 USD3.0 billion in net sales in 2020, with 17 manufacturing sites around the world, and approximately 2,600 employees.

BASF is the leading chemical company. It produces a wide range of chemicals, for example solvents, amines, resins, glues, electronic-grade chemicals, industrial gases, basic petrochemicals and inorganic chemicals. The most important customers for this segment are the pharmaceutical, construction, textile and automotive industries.

BASF continued partnership with Omya

MOSCOW (MRC) -- BASF extended partnership with Omya (Oftringen, Switzerland), in the paper & board coating area and will continue to make joint use of BASF’s pilot coating center at Ludwigshafen, Germany for at least four more years, said the company.

Omya offers mineral filler solutions and innovative coating concepts based on Calcium Carbonate, complementary pigments, and additives, for the production of paper and board. BASF supplies a comprehensive and innovative product range of binders and coating additives for the formulation of paper and board coatings.

In 2003, both companies decided to join forces and bundle their know-how in the area of paper & board coating. The centerpiece of the partnership is BASF’s Pilot Coating Center in Ludwigshafen, Germany, which offers state-of-the-art pilot coating equipment – including 2 pilot coaters, one Supercalender and lab testing equipment – operated by a highly skilled team. The existing partnership would have expired by the end of 2021. Both Omya and BASF are now happy to announce that their existing partnership will be prolonged for a minimum of four years. Their customers will continue to benefit from world-class technical service and coating expertise of the two market leaders.

BASF’s pilot coating center offers “state-of-the-art pilot coating equipment,” including 2 pilot coaters, one supercalender and lab testing equipment, the company says. “The pilot coating center facilitates the efficient transfer of technical solutions, new product developments and optimized recipes from lab to paper mill while reducing risk. This is even more important in today’s challenging times with increased competitive and cost pressure,” says Volker Scharffenberger, head of BASF’s pilot coating center.

As per MRC, BASF Sonatrach PropanChem (BSP), a joint venture between German BASF and Algerian Sonatrach, closed the propane dehydrogenation unit in Tarragona (Tarragona, Spain) on April 15 for unscheduled repairs. Market sources said the propane dehydrogenation (PDH) unit with a capacity of 350 ktpa of propylene joint venture between BASF and Sonatrach has been shut down for maintenance until mid-May.

As MRC informed before, in mid-February, BASF said it was restarting one of its steam crackers at its Ludwigshafen complex in Germany after operations were halted last Wednesday due to a technical issue. The naphtha cracker produces ethylene and propylene, and is one of two crackers on the site. One has a production capacity of 420,000 metric tons/year, with the other's capacity at 240,000 metric tons/year, according to IHS Markit data.

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

According to MRC"s ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated polyethylene (PE) consumption totalled 356,370 tonnes in the first two month of 2021, down by 9% year on year. Shipments of exclusively low density polyethylene (LDPE) increased. At the same time, polypropylene (PP) shipments to the Russian market was 246,870 tonnes in January-February 2021, up by 30% year on year. Supply of homopolymer PP and PP block copolymers increased.

BASF is the leading chemical company. It produces a wide range of chemicals, for example solvents, amines, resins, glues, electronic-grade chemicals, industrial gases, basic petrochemicals and inorganic chemicals. The most important customers for this segment are the pharmaceutical, construction, textile and automotive industries.