Adani Group to invest USD4 bln in new coal-to-PVC plant in Gujarat

Adani Group to invest USD4 bln in new coal-to-PVC plant in Gujarat

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The Adani Group will be developing a new coal-to-polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plant in Mundra, Gujarat, India, according to Kemicalinfo with reference to an application by the company to India’s Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change.

The plant is expected to produce 2 million metric tons per year PVC grades such as suspension PVC (SPVC), chlorinated PVC (CPVC) and emulsion PVC (EPVC).

The company also intends to establish a vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) plant to produce PVC. This unit is projected to have a capacity of 2.002 million tons per year.

The company expects to complete the project within the next four years after receiving all the necessary approvals, it added.

The group stated that coal of about 3.1 million tonnes per year for the project will be sourced mainly from Australia, Russia and other countries.

According to the company, the project will produce 2.86 million metric tons per year of lime, 2.9 million metric tons per year of calcium carbide, and 860,000 metric tons per year of acetylene, and hydrate lime sludge from coal feedstock which are then processed to produce PVC.

In addition, the conglomerate also expects to produce 1.3 million metric tons per year of caustic soda, 1.23 million metric tons per year of hydrochloric acid (HCL), and 16,000 metric tons per year of sodium hypochlorite as byproducts. The facility is also expected to produce 130,000 metric tons per year of caustic potash, 100,000 metric tons per year of potassium carbonate, and 200,000 metric tons per year of sodium bicarbonate.

The proposed project will also help to reduce import dependence for polymers by promoting domestic production, the company concluded.

As MRC reported earlier, Technip Energies has been recently awarded a significant Engineering, Procurement, Construction and Commissioning (EPCC) contract by Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) for its BR9 Expansion Project in Barauni, Bihar, in the Eastern part of India. This EPCC contract covers the installation of a new Once-through Hydrocracker Unit (OHCU) of 1 million metric tonnes per annum (MMTPA) capacity, a Fuel Gas Treatment Unit (FGTU) and the associated facilities.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's overall PVC production reached 346,100 tonnes in the first four months of 2021, down by 1% year on year. All producers decreased production volumes over the stated period, with the exception of Bashkir Soda Company.

Russian PVC prices increased again and broke another record in June

Russian PVC prices increased again and broke another record in June

MOSCOW (MRC) - Limited supply from producers and still high price levels for suspension polyvinyl chloride (SPVC) in several regions of the world continue to push prices up in Russia as well. Russian producers achieved an increase in prices of Rb2,000-25,000/tonne for June shipment, according to the ICIS-MRC Price Report.

PVC prices began slowly decrease in some regions of the world in May - early June, but are still at a fairly high level.
As a result, there was still no import alternative for Russian converters, with the exception of China. At the same time, the possibilities for the supply of domestic PVC producers to the domestic market were limited, including due to the upcoming scheduled maintenances in July of two plants. Because of this PVC prices in Russia continued to grow; domestic producers announced a price increase of Rb2,000 - 25,000/tonnes for June shipments.

High price levels in several regions of the world have led to an increase in export sales of PVC from some Russian producers in the past few months. Although on a cumulative basis since the beginning of the year, the total export sales of Russian producers were lower than in 2020. Nevertheless, in fact, it was only in June that PVC prices approached export sales in some areas in the domestic market.

In 2021, Russian producers and converters entered with a minimum PVC warehouse stock. Some producers have been shipping PVC to consumers with delays in the past three months, and converters, in turn, cannot replenish their inventories in full. In addition, it is worth noting that in July it is planned to shutdown the facilities of SayanskKhimPlast and the Bashkir Soda Company, the total nominal capacity of which is 590,000 tonnes/year.
Some converters have already reported that producers informed them about the impossibility of supplying PVC to them in July.

PVC imports have increased this year, with a surge in supplies in March and May, but external supplies were still not sufficient to meet demand, which, despite record high PVC prices, is strong. From the point of view of an alternative to Russian PVC, Chinese PVC remains the only option, although PVC in the United States has been dynamically becoming cheaper in the past few weeks. Export prices from Chinese producers for acetylene PVC were currently more attractive than prices from Russian producers.But complex logistics and a long time lag between the conclusion of the contract and the receipt of PVC do not allow us to speak of the possibility of a serious replacement of domestic raw materials with supplies from China.

Discussions on prices for June shipment of Russian PVC began in the second half of last week, but most of the deals were agreed upon in the first days of negotiations. At the same time, the primary issue was the availability of PVC volumes. The price did not matter for many converters for several months. In general, deals for the supply of Russian PVC with K64 / 67 were done in a very wide range: Rb145,000-171,000/tonne CPT Moscow, including VAT for volumes up to 500 tonnes, against Rb135,000-150,000/tonne CPT Moscow, including VAT in May.


PE production in Russia up by 9% in January-April

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Russia's overall polyethylene (PE) production totalled 1, 080,000 tonnes in the first four months of 2021, up by 9% year on year. Linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) accounted for the greatest increase in the output, according to MRC's ScanPlast report.

April total PE production in Russia fell to 256,700 tonnes, whereas this figure was 283,900 tonnes a month earlier. Russian producers reduced the production of low density polyethylene (LDPE) and high density polyethylene (HDPE). Thus, overall PE production reached 1,080,500 tonnes in the first four months of 2021, compared to 993,000 tonnes a year earlier. The main increase in production volumes accounted on linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE), while the production of LDPE decreased.

The structure of PE output by grades looked the following way over the stated period.

April HDPE production reached 147,700 tonnes versus 175,900 tonnes a month earlier, Kazanorgsintez and ZapSibNeftekhim raised their HDPE output. Russian plants' overall HDPE output reached 653,500 tonnes in January-April 2020, up by 9% year on year.

Last month, the total output of LDPE decreased to 50,100 tonnes against 60,100 tonnes in March, Tomskneftekhim and Kazanorgsintez reduced their capacity utilisation (due to a shutdown for scheduled preventive maintenance). Thus, overall production of this PE grade totalled 228,400 tonnes over the stated period, down by 2% year on year.

April LLDPE production rose to 58,900 tonnes from 47,800 tonnes a month earlier, all producers increased their output. Overall LLDPE output rose to 198,600 tonnes in January-April 2021 from 159,100 tonnes a year earlier.


Indonesia biodiesel consumption down 8.2% in Jan-Apr 2021

Indonesia biodiesel consumption down 8.2% in  Jan-Apr 2021

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Indonesia's consumption of biodiesel fell by 8.2% year on year in the first four months of 2021, data from the country's producers' association showed, as transportation demand remained muted due to the coronavirus pandemic, reported Reuters.

Domestic consumption of biodiesel was 2.669 million kilolitres in the January to April period, down from 2.907 million kilolitres last year, according to the Indonesian biodiesel producers' association (Aprobi).

"Transportation movement has still not recovered to 2019 levels," Paulus Tjakrawan, vice chairman of Aprobi told Reuters.

Biodiesel output however, edged 1.4% higher in January-April to 2.95 million kilolitres, compared to a year earlier. Meanwhile, exports were 16,637 kilolitres, the data showed, more than seven times higher than last year.

Indonesia is the world's biggest producer of palm oil, and its government has mandated that diesel must be blended with at least 30% of the edible oil.

Indonesia expects to consume 9.6 million kilolitres of biodiesel in 2022, up from the 9.2 million kilolitres targeted for this year, official data showed in April. By 2030, the data estimates the country will consume 14 million kilolitres of biofuel.

As MRC informed before, Indonesia's largest petrochemical producer Chandra Asri and Netherlands-based storage and terminal operator Vopak are planning to set up an infrastructure joint venture in Indonesia. The two companies signed a letter of intent on 5 October, 2020, to set up the partnership, which aims to establish a new jetty and tank farm business that will serve third-party customers and to build secondary infrastructure at Chandra Asri's new petrochemical complex.

Chandra Asri's second petrochemical complex will include a 1.1mn t/yr naphtha-based cracker, 450,000 t/yr high-density polyethylene (HDPE) unit, 300,000 t/yr low-density polyethylene unit (LDPE) and a 450,000 t/yr polypropylene (PP) unit. The producer is aiming to commission the complex in 2024, barring any delays because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ethylene and propylene are the main feedstocks for the production of polyethylene (PE) and 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. 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.

SK invests in US green hydrogen firm Monolith Materials

SK invests in US green hydrogen firm Monolith Materials

MOSCOW (MRC) -- South Korean industrial holding SK Inc has led an investment round to help US-based green hydrogen company Monolith Materials expand its operations, said Chemengonline.

The investment will support expansion of Monolith’s green hydrogen production facility in Nebraska and further SK’s strategy to make carbon-neutral energy accessible to global markets as part of a commitment to Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) management practices.

In addition to the investment, SK Inc. will collaborate with Monolith Materials on future expansion into global markets. Monolith Materials is the first U.S. manufacturer to produce an industry-transforming hydrogen known as “green hydrogen” on a commercial scale using its proprietary methane pyrolysis process. Through this process, Monolith manufactures clean, economically sustainable hydrogen using 100% renewable energy. Monolith’s hydrogen is classified as green hydrogen, which is the cleanest hydrogen available today. Monolith also counts Mitsubishi Heavy Industries as a major investor.

“Monolith Materials’ proprietary green hydrogen production process supports SK’s initiative to lead the global transition to a hydrogen economy and make meaningful progress toward a more sustainable energy system,” said Moo-hwan Kim, executive vice president of SK Inc. “SK recognizes the critical role hydrogen plays in alternative energy sources, and we are encouraged by Monolith’s technology that advances clean hydrogen production."

SK Inc. led a consortium of investors that also included NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, a leading clean energy company headquartered in Juno Beach, Fla., and Perry Creek Capital. This round also included additional investment from current Monolith funders Azimuth Capital Management, Cornell Capital and Warburg Pincus.

Monolith Materials, which was founded in 2012, developed a process technology that uses renewable energy to convert natural gas into clean hydrogen and a solid carbon material called carbon black, a critical raw material in the automotive and industrial sectors. The company is currently in the operating stage of its first commercial-scale production facility in Hallam, Nebraska. Along with producing green hydrogen, the company recently announced its plans to produce clean ammonia at a second phase production facility nearby.

When its expansion is complete, expected to occur in 2024, Monolith Materials’ production of green hydrogen, clean ammonia and carbon black is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 1 million metric tons per year compared to traditional manufacturing processes.

For SK, hydrogen has become a key part of its overall green energy growth strategy. SK Inc. is pursuing various strategies to foster hydrogen businesses, such as diversifying hydrogen production methods, expanding demand development and forming global partnerships. SK Inc. aims to secure clean hydrogen leadership and accelerate the global hydrogen ecosystem.

The Monolith investment also reinforces SK’s commitment to expanding its U.S. businesses. In 2019, SK Group Chairman Tae-won Chey committed to investing USD10 billion to create new jobs and opportunities for communities across the U.S. SK companies have more than 2,000 employees at sites in 10 states with plans that could more than triple its U.S. employee base in the next three years.

As per MRC, South Korean SK Global Chemical (SKGC) plans to start scheduled preventive measures at the end of May on line No. 1 for the production of paraxylene in Ulsan (Ulsan, South Korea). It is estimated that maintenance on this 450 ktpa paraxylene line will continue for approximately 45 days. The company also operates another line at its Ulsan facility with a capacity of 400,000 tonnes of paraxylene per year.

Paraxylene is used as a raw material for the synthesis of terephthalic acid, an intermediate product for the production of polyethylene terephthalate (PET).

According to MRC's ScanPlast, in March of this year, the total estimated consumption of PET in Russia amounted to 64,750 tonnes, which corresponds to the previous year (64,520 tonnes in 2020). Estimated PET consumption in the country increased in January - March 2021 compared to the same period last year by 5% and amounted to 182,300 tonnes.

SK Global Chemical is a division of SK Group, Korea's first refinery in operation for over 50 years. SK Group has more than 70 thousand employees working in 113 offices around the world. Its largest enterprises produce mainly petrochemical products.