Fire breaks out at Ufaneftekhim of Bashneft

MOSCOW (MRC) -- A fire broke out at the site of Bashneft-Ufaneftekhim branch in Ufa, reported Interfax with reference to the press service of the Ministry of Emergency Situations in Bashkiria.

The fire was quickly extinguished by the operational services of the branch. No one was injured.

Bashneft-Ufaneftekhim explained that a small volume of oil caught fire at the industrial site, the area of the fire did not exceed 15 sq. m.

The company does not see environmental threats: constant environmental monitoring is carried out on site. The main production of the plant is operating normally.

At present, the weather in Ufa is very hot. On May 25, due to the expected heat of 32 degrees in the city, it was decided to ban the movement of heavy trucks during the day. The ban will be in effect until the end of the month.

Bashneft-Ufaneftekhim, along with Bashneft-Novoil, Bashneft-UNPZ is part of the Ufa group of the Bashneft refining complex.

As MRC informed earlier, January fire at Ufaorgsintez (a subsidiary of Bashneft, part of PJSC "NK Rosneft") did not lead to a shutdown of low density polyethylene (LDPE) and polypropylene (PP) production capacities. On 25 January, two containers with a methane-hydrogen fraction caught fire at the Ufa plant, and the blaze was extinguished in the morning of 26 January. The plant's customers said the fire was not critical for polymer production. PP production continued operating normally, whereas the LDPE production temporarily reduced its capacity utilisation, thus, production of 158 grade polyethylene (PE) was suspended.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Ufaorgsintez was operating with higher capacity utilisation in March, the plant's PP production totalled about 11,400 tonnes versus 9,500 tonnes a month earlier. The Ufa plant's overall PP output reached 32,800 tonnes in the first quarter of 2021, down by 3% year on year.

Bashneft-Ufaneftekhim produces high-octane gasoline, diesel and boiler fuel, bitumen, coke, lump and granular sulfur, liquefied gases, benzene, ortho- and paraxylenes, and specializes in the processing of several types of hydrocarbon raw materials. The enterprise includes gas catalytic, commercial, service production, as well as production of aromatic hydrocarbons. The installed capacity is 24.1 m tonnes/year of hydrocarbons.

COVID-19 - News digest as of 26.05.2021

1. ACC CAB rises by 1,2% in May

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The Chemical Activity Barometer (CAB), a leading economic indicator created by the American Chemistry Council (ACC), increased 1.2% on a sequential three-month-moving-average (3MMA) basis in May, according to CISION with reference to ACC's statement. This follows a 1.0% increase in April. The CAB was up 18.6% on a year-on-year (YOY) basis, as the year-ago period included the deep trough of the COVID-19 recession.“The latest CAB reading is consistent with marked expansion of commerce, trade, and industry,” says Kevin Swift, chief economist at ACC.


UPP starts marketing PP cargoes from its new plant in South Korea

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Ulsan Polypropylene (UPP), a joint venture between PolyMirae Company Ltd and SK Advanced, has started marketing polypropylene (PP) cargoes from its new plant in Ulsan, South Korea, according to CommoPlast.

Since mid-May, the company has been offering homo-PP yarn and injection parcels to Vietnam at USD1240/ton CIF term - the lowest for non-dutiable origins at the moment.

The plant uses Spheripol PP technology licensed by LyondellBasell and receives propylene feeds from the nearby SK Advanced’s PDH plant. The PP unit has a production capacity of 400,000 tons/year.

As MRC wrote previously, in October, 2020, Advanced Petrochemical signed an amendment to the partnership agreement between its subsidiary, Advanced Global Investment Co. (AGIC), and SK Gas Petrochemical Pte. Ltd. (SKGP), a unit of SK Gas Co. Ltd.. Under the amendment, an isopropanol (IPA) plant with a capacity of 70,000 tons per annum will be added, along with the Propane Dehydrogenation (PDH) and Polypropylene (PP) plants that were already announced earlier. The company said in a bourse statement that by adding the IPA plant with an estimated cost of SAR 300 million (USD80 million), the total cost of the project for the three factories is currently estimated to be approximately SAR 7.05 billion (USD1.88 billion).

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, 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.

PolyMirae is a joint venture between LyondellBasell (50%) and Daelim (50%), currently operating 4 PP Spheripol production lines in Yeosu with a total capacity of 700,000 tons/year.

SK Advanced is a joint venture within SK Gas, Advanced Petrochemical Company, and Petrochemical Industries Company, and operates a 600,000 tons/year PDH plant in Ulsan.

KraussMaffei appoints Jorg Bremer as new CFO

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Plastics equipment manufacturer KraussMaffei Group has named Jorg Bremer as its new chief financial officer (CFO), effective July 1, said Canplastics.

Bremer, 44, will also become the CFO of the Shanghai-listed KraussMaffei Co. Ltd. and a member of the KraussMaffei Group management board.

Most recently, Bremer was CFO and management board member of international mobility service provider Sixt SE; prior to that, he was the North American CFO of automotive supplier Brose Fahrzeugteile.

"We are delighted to have been able to recruit an accomplished manager as Jorg Bremer as CFO for KraussMaffei,” Dr. Michael Ruf, KraussMaffei CEO chairman of the management board, said in a May 25 news release. “His many years of experience in international companies are a great asset for us. I am firmly convinced that with his dynamism and competence we will achieve our ambitious growth targets."

As per MRC, Krauss Maffei opened its new plant in Jiaxing, with which the company plans to double its production capacity in China. More than 600 customers and partners came to the opening ceremony of the new Chinese plant. In an exhibition, they saw ten different machine types and 16 different applications. These included machines that are developed and manufactured in China for the Chinese market, such as the PX Agile series of electrical injection molding machines, the ZE GP-Agile twin-screw extruders and a mixing and dosing machine.

As MRC informed before, Russia's output of chemical products rose in March 2021 by 5.4% year on year. Thus, production of basic chemicals increased year on year by 6.7% in the first moths months of 2021. March production of polymers in primary form was 958,000 tonnes versus 861,000 tonnes in February. Overall output of polymers in primary form totalled 2,740,000 tonnes over the stated period, up by 8.5% year on year.

Germany-based KraussMaffei makes injection molding machines, extruders for pipe and profiles, compounding extruders, and polyurethane processing machinery.

Pemex to invest USD2.6 billion at Tula refinery to reduce its dependence on imported fuel

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Mexico's Pemex will invest USD2.64 billion to complete a coking plant at its Tula refinery as the country seeks to reduce its dependence on imported fuels, reported S&P Global with reference to the state company's CEO's statement.

The project, which Pemex expects to finish by 2023, will allow Pemex to process 90% of the fuel oil produced at Tula and at neighboring Salamanca, Octavio Romero Oropeza said during the daily press conference held by Mexican President Manuel Andres Lopez Obrador.

Mexico currently has six refineries with a combined nominal capacity to process 1.6 million b/d, three of which have a coking plant. However, during the last decade they have been running at a fraction of their capacity, processing less than 600,000 b/d in 2020 on average, as two of the refineries were built over a century ago.

Under Lopez Obrador, Pemex has recently increased its gasoline output to close to 300,000 b/d, a figure not seen in the last four years, data from the Energy Secretariat shows. Lopez Obrador has promised the country will stop importing fuels when his term finishes in 2024. In April, Mexico imported little under 500,000 b/d of gasoline and almost 300,000 b/d of diesel, slightly below the average of the last five years, data from the secretariat, or SENER, shows.

"When the coking plant is ready, it will process 140,000 b/d of fuel oil to generate 42,000 b/d of gasoline; 78,000 b/d of diesel and 20,000 b/d of fuel oil," Romero Oropeza said.

Romero Oropeza mentioned that the investment is part of a broader scheme to restore the strength of the state oil company after it was neglected for years under past administrations.

The previous administrations managed to sell three important hydrogen plants inside the refineries of Tula, Madero and Cadereyta, although they are essential for the operation, Romero Oropeza said. The current administration managed to cancel the sale of Cadereyta, Romero Oropeza said, but Pemex continues to pay high sums for the lease of those facilities, he said.

"The Tula plant was sold for little over $50 million in 2017, but by the end of 2020, Pemex had paid the new owners over USD49 million in lease fees," Romero Oropeza said, adding that the contract extends for another 15 years.

To avoid those excessive costs, the government is now in negotiations to buy back the other two plants, he said.

As MRC informed before, earlier this month, a major fire broke out at an oil refinery run by Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) in the eastern city of Minatitlan in the southern state of Veracruz. The blaze started at this refinery, one of six operated by Pemex, which has a capacity of up to 285,000 barrels per day, on Wednesday afternoon, 7 April.

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.

Pemex, Mexican Petroleum, is a Mexican state-owned petroleum company. Pemex has a total asset worth of USD415.75 billion, and is the world's second largest non-publicly listed company by total market value, and Latin America's second largest enterprise by annual revenue as of 2009. Company produces such polymers, as polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), polystyrene (PS).