PVC imports into Ukraine fell by 40% in Jan-Apr, exports up by 10%

MOSCOW (MRC) - Imports of suspension polyvinyl chloride (SPVC) into Ukraine decreased by 40% in the first four months of this year, compared to the same period in 2020 and reached about 8,600 tonnes. Sales of Ukrainian PVC to foreign markets increased by 10% year on year on a higher prices in the foreign markets, according to a MRC's DataScope report.

Last month, imports of PVC-S to the Ukrainian market rose to 2,200 tonnes against 1,700 tonnes, despite serious export restrictions, local companies still managed to slightly increase purchases of European PVC. Overall SPVC imports exceeded 8,600 tonnes in January-April 2021, compared to 14,300 tonnes a year earlier.

Limited export quotas from European and North American producers were the main reason for such a serious drop in imports. European producers with the share of about 97% of the total imports over the stated period were the key suppliers of PVC to the Ukrainian market.

Last month, Karpatneftekhim increased the volume of external sales, the export sales of Ukrainian PVC amounted to 19,100 tonnes against 18,800 tonnes in March. Overall, about 79,500 tonnes were shipped for export in the first four months of 2021, compared to 72,300 tonnes a year earlier.


Seaboard Energy picks Topsoe HydroFlex technology for production of renewable fuels at Kansas complex

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Topsoe has been chosen as the licensor and supplier of basic engineering, proprietary equipment, catalyst, and technical services for Seaboard Energy’s renewable fuels complex in Hugoton, Kansas, US, according to Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The project is based on HydroFlex, a world-leading, industry-proven Topsoe technology to produce renewable fuels from a wide variety of renewable feedstocks.

“We chose Topsoe after a very thorough investigation into the technologies available in the market. Topsoe’s solution does not only promise the highest yield; it was also the least complicated and most efficient to implement. The fact that Topsoe can deliver the integrated hydrogen unit along with the hydroprocessing unit was important for us as well. Finally, our visit to Topsoe’s R&D facilities emphasized to us that we are working with a world-leader in the field,” says Gary Louis, President and CEO, Seaboard Energy.

With HydroFlex, customers can convert low value feedstocks to renewable fuels that qualify for the California Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) credit. The innovative HydroFlex process layout offers lower capital expenditure (CAPEX), but also a lower energy consumption during operation, resulting in a lower Carbon Index (CI). Topsoe’s HydroFlex can be deployed in both grassroots units and revamps for co-processing or stand-alone applications.

As MRC wrote before, in January, 2021, Haldor Topsoe technology was also selected for revamp to another renewable diesel production. The project will convert an existing hydrocracker for the production of low-carbon renewable diesel from soybean oil, resulting in a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions compared to hydrocarbon diesel. The renewable diesel is expected to meet the ASTM D975 diesel specification and qualify for programs such as the California Low Carbon Fuel Standard.

We remind that earlier this month, US refiner Marathon Petroleum Corp said its board had approved the conversion of the Martinez refinery in California to a renewable diesel plant. Besides, the company made a final investment decision regarding this project. Martinez, once complete, will be one of the largest renewables facilities in the country.

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 high density polyethylene (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.

Haldor Topsoe is a global leader in supply of catalysts, technology, and services to the chemical and refining industries. Topsoe aims to be the global leader within carbon emission reduction technologies by 2024. By perfecting chemistry for a better world, we enable our customers to succeed in the transition towards renewable energy. Topsoe is headquartered in Denmark and serves customers around the globe.

Asahi Kasei discontinues acrylic latex and photocatalyst coating businesses by closing Wakayama plant

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Asahi Kasei has decided to discontinue its businesses for Polydurex and Polytlon acrylic latexes and for photocatalyst coating, and to close its Wakayama plant which manufactures these products, as per the company's press release.

Acrylic latex has been manufactured at the Wakayama plant since 1970 and supplied to customers around the world for 51 years, while photocatalyst coating has been manufactured at the same plant since 2009 and supplied in Japan for 12 years.

Recently, however, demand has declined especially in the domestic Japanese market, resulting in lower shipment volumes and diminished profitability. Although various efforts have been made to enable both businesses to continue, the decision was made to discontinue the businesses and to close the Wakayama plant considering the difficulty of devising a strategy for future expansion.

As MRC informed before, in July 2019, Asahi Kasei decided to expand its plant for the artificial suede LamousTM in Nobeoka, Miyazaki Prefecture, Japan, by four million m2/year, increasing the total production capacity to 14 million m2/year upon completion in 2021.

We remind that Asahi Kasei’s net profit for the fiscal year ending March 2021 slumped by 23.2%, weighed down by weakness in its materials business, and as the company booked a one-off loss for the period. The materials segment was hit by global economic deterioration amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Asahi Kasei Corporation is a multinational Japanese chemical company. Its main products are chemicals and materials science. It was founded in May 1931, using the paid in capital of Nobeoka Ammonia Fiber Co., Ltd, a Nobeoka, Miyazaki based producer of ammonia, nitric acid, and other chemicals. Now headquartered in Tokyo, with offices and plants across Japan, as well as China, Singapore, Thailand, USA and Germany.

DuPont invests in automotive adhesives expansion in Germany and Switzerland

MOSCOW (MRC) -- DuPont is to invest around USD 5 m at facilities in Germany and Switzerland to increase capacity for automotive adhesives, said Chemengonline.

The investment will expand capacity to support growing demand for advanced mobility solutions for vehicle electrification. New equipment has been delivered and installed that will increase manufacturing capacity as well as accelerate delivery of product samples to customers.

"As we see continued recovery of the global automotive market, we’re closely collaborating with our customers in Europe to deliver innovative advanced mobility solutions to meet their business needs,” said Tina Wu, Vice-President and General Manager, Advanced Solutions, DuPont Mobility & Materials. "This investment reinforces our commitment to increase capacity and accelerate growth in hybrid and fully-electric vehicles."

The facilities produce materials that assist in thermal management for electric batteries, bonding and structural adhesives for cars and batteries, and windshield adhesives.

This capacity increase in Europe follows recent announcements the company has made reinforcing its ability to produce and supply customers with advanced adhesives solutions in the Asia-Pacific region. DuPont Mobility & Materials business has manufacturing operations and R&D capabilities globally in North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia-Pacific.

It was erlier reported, DuPont is investing USD400 million in the production capacity of Tyvek nonwoven fabric made from high density polyethylene (HDPE) at its site in Luxembourg. A new building and a third work line at the production site will be constructed. The launch of new facilities is scheduled for 2021.

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 high density polyethylene (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.

The DuPont Corporation, founded in the USA in 1802, operates in more than 70 countries. The company produces specialty chemicals, offers goods and services for agriculture, food production, electronics, communications, security and protection, construction, transport and light industry. In Russia, DuPont has 100% control over the DuPont Khimprom plant since 2005, and in 2006 established a joint venture between DuPont - Russian Paints and Russian Paints.

Technip Energies awarded contract for PTA and PX contract from Indian Oil

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Technip Energies (Paris) has been awarded a large Engineering, Procurement, Construction and Commissioning (EPCC) contract by Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) for its Para Xylene (PX) and Purified Terephthalic Acid (PTA) complex project at Paradip, Orissa, on the East Coast of India, said Cmenonline.

This EPCC contract covers the delivery of a new PTA plant and associated facilities. PTA is a major raw material used to manufacture polyester fibers, PET bottles and polyester film used in packaging applications. The new PTA plant’s capacity will be 1.2 million metric tons per year (m.t./yr).

Marco Villa, Chief Operating Officer of Technip Energies commented: “We are pleased to be awarded another prestigious contract by Indian Oil Corporation Limited. We look forward to starting this significant project which illustrates our commitment to India – a core market for us. It also significantly consolidates our leading position for executing complex petrochemical projects."

Paradip Refinery is the most-modern refinery in India. Its products meet the energy demands of the domestic market and are partly exported. With the aim to create a value chain, Paradip Refinery has ventured into petrochemicals with the production of Polypropylene (PP), Mono Ethylene Glycol (MEG), and is now going into Para Xylene (PX) and Purified Terephthalic Acid (PTA) production. The availability of PTA at Paradip will provide a boost to polyester manufacturing facilities in the vicinity.

As per MRC, Technip Energies (Paris, France) announced that its work on the Azerikimya modernization project in Azerbaijan has been completed on time. The overhaul of the Socar petrochemical complex near the nation’s capital, Baku, is now complete and the plant has been handed over and is fully in operation. It has been producing ethylene and propylene on demand since October 2020.

According to ICIS-MRC Price Report, demand for preforms in the mid -May was generally good, and consumption of beverages was at a high level during holidays. Contract prices from Russian producers in May were in the range of Rb103,000-117,000/tonne CPT Moscow, including VAT.

Technip Energies has a strong footprint in India and local presence in Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Dahej.