GS Caltex to start up new HDPE plant in South Korea

MOSCOW (MRC) -- GS Caltex, a major South Korean petrochemical producer, is planning to start up its new high density polyethylene (HDPE) plant in Yeosu this June 2021, according to CommoPlast with reference to market sources.

This schedule is earlier than the initial plan of 2022.

The HDPE unit has an annual capacity of 500,000 tons/year that would concentrate on producing the film (TR-144, TRB-115), blow molding (5520BN or BM593), and injection (6060 or 6060UV) grades.

The company also operates the new mixed-feed cracker that produces 700,000 tons/year of ethylene and 180,000 tons/year polypropylene (PP) plant at the same complex.

The project is a 50-50 joint venture between GS Energy Corp. and Chevron Corp., costing 2 trillion won (USD1.84 billion) that started construction work in 2019.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's overall HDPE production of totalled 505,800 tonnes in the first three months of 2021, up by 15% year on year. At the same time, only one Russian producer increased its output.

Chevron Lummus Global starts up renewable base oil unit at Houston facility

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Chevron Lummus Global (CLG) announced the successful startup of a 100% renewable base oil unit in Novvi's Deer Park, Houston facility that employs CLG's patented state-of-the-art ISODEWAXING catalyst and technology, according to Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Chevron, one of the joint venture parents of CLG, is an equity partner in Novvi LLC (Novvi), a California-based company that engages in the development, production, marketing, and distribution of high-performance base oils from renewable sources.

Chevron's Richmond Technology Center is home to CLG's revolutionary ISODEWAXING technology. A research and development facility that has led the development of various technological advancements to bring cleaner fuels, premium base oils, and now renewable base oils to the market to continue to enable cleaner, more sustainable, and affordable energy across the globe in both fuels and lubricants.

As MRC reported earlier, in November 2020, Chevron Lummus Global (CLG) was awarded a contract by China's largest oil and gas producer and distributor, PetroChina Company Limited, for the supply of its proprietary ISOMIX-e reactor internals for two of their RDS units in Liaoning Province.

We remind that in September 2020, Chevron Phillips Chemical, part of Chevron Corporation, deferred a final investment decision on a USD8 billion joint venture petrochemical complex project along the US Gulf Coast that was expected in 2021. The project, in partnership with Qatar Petroleum (QP), was announced in July 2019. It is slated to include a 2 million mt/year cracker and two 1 million mt/year high density polyethylene (HDPE) plants. The FID delay will also push the original target startup date past 2024.

Ethylene and propylene are the main feedstocks for the production of polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP), respectively.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 576,270 tonnes in the first three month of 2021, up by 4% year on year. Low density polyethylene (LDPE) and HDPE shipments increased. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market totalled 410,890 tonnes in January-March 2021, up by 56% year on year. Supply of homopolymer PP and PP block copolymers increased.

Headquartered in San Ramon, California, Chevron Corporation is the the second-largest integrated energy company in the United States and among the largest corporations in the world. Chevron is involved in upstream activities including exploration and production, downstream activities including refining, marketing and transportation, and advanced energy technology. Chevron is also invested in power generation and gasification processes.

Indonesia plans big changes to its energy infrastructure to stop LPG and fuel imports by 2030

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Indonesia will stop both liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and fuel imports by 2030 and plans big changes to its energy infrastructure to meet that target, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

President Joko Widodo has tasked the National Energy Council, a board made up of seven ministries and other stakeholders that plans energy policy, to devise a strategy to allow for a halt on LPG and fuel imports, said the council's secretary general, Djoko Siswanto.

Once a former OPEC member, maturing fields and investment lags has turned Indonesia to a net importer of oil and gas. The president has for years announced steps to cut imports, in a bid to contain the country's current account deficit.

The strategy includes building or upgrading refineries, converting refineries to biodiesel refineries, increasing domestic LPG production and building a gas pipeline with a target of 10 million gas connections, Djoko told CNBC Indonesia in a live telecast. "The government will encourage gas infrastructure development for public transportation," Djoko said, adding that the government was also optimizing biofuel production and promoting electric vehicles.

Indonesia is aiming to increase domestic crude oil production to 1 million barrels per day by 2030 by developing new oil fields, using enhanced oil recovery methods in existing oil fields and boosting production in marginal fields, Djoko added.

Indonesia, the world's top exporter of thermal coal, has long vowed to cut LPG imports while maximizing use of domestic coal assets, and creating jobs in a downstream coal industry, Djoko said, reiterating plans to convert coal to dimethyl ether as a substitute to LPG.

As MRC informed earlier, Enterprise Products Partners LP (Houston) announced Dec. 17 that the first vessel powered by liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) has been loaded at the Enterprise Hydrocarbon Terminal on the Houston Ship Channelm. The Very Large Gas Carrier (VLGC) BW Gemini, which had been retrofitted for dual fuel capabilities, was loaded with a record 590,000 bbl of LPG, including cargo and fuel.

We remind that in July, 2020, Enterprise Products conducted maintenance at its propane dehydrogenation (PDH) unit in Mont Belvieu, Texas. This PDH unit has the capacity of 750,000 mt/y of propylene.

Propylene is the main feedstock for the production of polypropylene (PP).

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's PP shipments to the Russian market totalled 410,890 tonnes in January-March 2021, up by 56% year on year. Supply of homopolymer PP and PP block copolymers increased.

Indiian Indorama Synthetics posts net profit of US17.6 mln for Q4 FY20-21 versus net loss a year earlier

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Indorama Synthetics (India) Limited, one of India’s major polyester manufacturer, has announced its results for the quarter and financial year ended March 31, 2021, according to Kemicalinfo.

The company reported a net profit of Rs 128.65 crores (USD17.6 million) for the quarter ended March 31, 2021, against a net loss of Rs 50.08 crores (USD6.8 million) in the prior-year quarter.

The company’s net revenue increased 74% to Rs 835.93 crores (USD114.3 million) for the quarter ended March 31, 2021, as against Rs 480.65 crores (USD65.7 million) in the prior-year quarter.

For the year ending March 31, 2021, Indo Rama reported a net profit of Rs 113.38 crores (USD15.5 million) as against a net loss of Rs 316.54 crores (USD43.3 million) during the last financial year.

Net sales for the financial year ended March 31, 2021 dropped 3% to Rs 2063.71 crores (USD282.2 million) as compared to Rs 2127.95 crores (USD291 million) in the previous year.

The Board of Indorama Synthetics (India) at its meeting held on 19 May 2021 has approved capex plan up to Rs 600 crore (USD82 million) in the company and its wholly owned subsidiarie(s) at Butibori, Nagpur towards addition of balancing equipment for value addition, manufacture of specialty yarns including recycled filament yarns and also to install a 700 TPD PET Resin manufacturing facility to diversify the product portfolio of the company.

We remind that, as MRC informed before, Indorama Ventures Public Company Limited (IVL), a global chemical producer, has announced its third quarter 2020 financial results. Reported net profit is THB 380 million in 3Q20 and THB 1,104 million for 9M20.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's total estimated consumption of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) reached 64,750 tonnes in March 2021, which corresponds to the the previous year's figure (64,520 tonnes). The estimated PET consumption decreased in Russia year on year by 5% in January-March 2021 to 182,300 tonnes.

Indorama Ventures Public Company Limited, listed in Thailand (Bloomberg ticker IVL.TB), is one of the world’s leading petrochemicals producers, with a global manufacturing footprint across Africa, Asia Pacific, Europe and Americas. The company’s portfolio comprises Integrated PET, Olefins, Fibers, Packaging and Specialty Chemicals. Indorama Ventures products serve major FMCG and automotive sectors, i.e. beverages, hygiene, personal care, tire and safety segments. Indorama Ventures has approx. 24,000 employees worldwide and consolidated revenue of US$ 11.4 billion in 2019. The Company is listed in the Dow Jones Emerging Markets and World Sustainability Indices (DJSI).

Washington state bans polystyrene, limits single-use plastic at restaurants

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill May 17 that will limit the use of single-use plastic across the state, said Recyclingtoday.

Introduced by Sen. Mona Das, Washington’s SB 5022 bans the manufacture, sale and distribution of certain expanded polystyrene (EPS) products. This includes packing peanuts, foam plastic coolers and dinnerware, according to the bill.

According to a press release by Oceana, a group focused on ocean conservation, the bill also requires dining establishments to omit single-use plastic utensils, straws, cold-beverage cup lids and condiment packaging unless requested by customers. This applies to dine-in, takeout or delivery.

Oceana also reports that only 9 percent of the plastic scrap generated is recycled.

"Washington demonstrated its leadership in the fight against the growing plastic pollution crisis threatening our environment, health and future,” says Christy Leavitt, Oceana’s plastics campaign director. “Washington residents will now be able to skip much of the unnecessary and previously unavoidable single-use plastic that accompanies their meals."

In addition, Washington state will be the first US state to require minimum recycled content for plastic bottles and jugs for household cleaning and personal care products. This includes laundry detergent, spray cleaners, shampoos, conditioners, and lotion, starting with 15% recycled content in 2025 and increasing 50% in 2031.

Washington will also be the first state to require customers to be provided single-use utensils only upon request. The law applies to most food establishments, including third-party delivery services. This comes after many other states have enacted legislation surrounding chemical recycling to help end plastic waste. This month, Arkansas became the 13th US state to enact legislation.

Florida, Wisconsin, Georgia, Iowa, Tennessee, Texas, Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Oklahoma, and Arizona have passed similar legislation to promote advanced recycling. In the last year, recycling legislation across many US state legislatures is seeing a resurgence as extended producer responsibility (EPR) bills take centre stage. These bills aim to shift recycling cost to product packaging producers. At the federal level, the Break Free from Pollution Act, which includes an EPR proposal, has been reintroduced.

As per ICIS-MRC Price Report, Prices of Russian EPS were not adjusted in the domestic market in the middle of the month. Prices for SIBUR-Khimprom's material remained at Rb157,000-165,000/tonne CPT Moscow, including VAT, this week. The producer Plastik, Uzlovaya did not reduce prices of its material on the back of high feedstock prices and continued to sell EPS at Rb158,000-160,000/tonne CPT Moscow, including VAT. A Russian EPS producer said EPS consumption increased in May.