PetroRabigh has no plans to overhaul its PP plant in Saudi Arabia

PetroRabigh has no plans to overhaul its PP plant in Saudi Arabia

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Saudi Arabia’s Rabigh Refining and Petrochemical Co (PetroRabigh) has no overhaul schedule for its polypropylene (PP) plant at the moment, according to CommoPlast with reference to market sources.

The company operates two lines at this plant, which can produce 350,000 mt/year of PP each.

As MRC wrote previously, the company conducted a 55-day scheduled turnaround at its PP units in Rabigh since end-February 2020.

Besides, the company has a 300,000 mt/year high density polyethylene (HDPE) unit, a 160,000 mt/year low density polyethylene (LDPE) unit and a 600,000 mt/year linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) plant at the same site.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, PP deliveries to the Russian market were 523,900 tonnes in January-April 2021, up by 55% year on year. Supply of homopolymer PP and PP block copolymers increased, whereas shipments of PP random copolymers decreased.

PetroRabigh, a joint venture between Saudi Aramco and Japan's Sumitomo Chemical, has an annual output capacity of 18 million tonnes of refined products and 2.4 million tonnes of petrochemicals. Thus, the complex currently has a cracker to produce 1.6-million t/y of ethylene, as well as downstream production of polyethylene, polypropylene, propylene oxide, ethylene glycol and butene-1.

HDPE production in Russia up by 7% in Jan-May 2021

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Russia's overall production of high density polyethylene (HDPE) totalled 831,100 tonnes in the first five months of 2021, up by 7% year on year. At the same time, only one Russian producer increased its HDPE output, according to MRC's ScanPlast report.

May total HDPE production in Russia grew to 177,600 tonnes, whereas this figure was at 147,700 tonnes a month earlier, all producers raised their capacity utilisation. Thus, overall HDPE output reached 831,100 tonnes in January-May 2021, compared to 778,400 tonnes a year earlier. Only ZapSibNeftekhim's production increased, whereas three others reduced their output.

The structure of polyethylene (PE) production by plants looked the following way over the stated period.

ZapSibNeftekhim's May total HDPE production reached 101,300 tonnes versus 81,600 tonnes a month earlier. The Tobolsk plant's overall HDPE output reached 473,000 tonnes in the first five month of 2021, up by 31% year on year.

Kazanorgsintez's total HDPE production grew to 38,600 tonnes last month from 29,000 tonnes in April, the increase in the output was due to lower linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) production. Thus, overall HDPE output totalled 174,900 tonnes over the stated period, down by 23% year on year.

Stavrolen produced 26,300 tonnes of HDPE in May versus 26,900 tonnes a month earlier. Overall output of this PE grade exceeded 134,300 tonnes in the first five months of 2021, down by 1% year on year.

Gazprom neftekhim Salavat's total HDPE production reached 11,400 tonnes last month, compared to 10,200 tonnes in April. Thus, the Salavat plant's overall production of this PE grade totalled 48,900 tonnes in January-May 2021, down by 8% year on year.


SIBUR launches Vivilen brand of products containing recycled waste

SIBUR launches Vivilen brand of products containing recycled waste

MOSCOW (MRC) -- SIBUR, Russia’s largest integrated petrochemicals company and a leader in sustainable development, is introducing the Vivilen brand that will see recycled materials incorporated into its production process, said the company on its site.

The brand manufactures polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene (PE) utilising partners’ capacities. In the future, the product line will be expanded with polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and other products.

New polymer grades were developed by SIBUR’s R&D Polylab facility and tested by processing companies. SIBUR has already started to supply new solutions on an industrial scale and is going to ramp up its output going forward into 2H 2021.

Promoting circular economy and developing polymer recycling are essential focus areas of SIBUR’s Sustainable Development Strategy.

Secondary polymers have a great recycling potential and can be reused up to ten times or more. When used to manufacture end products, they help reduce the environmental footprint: by 2050, recycling of the world’s polymer waste will cut down GHG emissions by 1.6 bt.

Vivilen (vivo is Latin for “to live”) is an innovative brand that meets the circular economy principles and breathes new life into polymers. The Vivilen products combine high-quality primary feedstock and recycled products. The new brand will bring together solutions for blow moulding, injection moulding and production of heat shrink film. It can be used to manufacture plastic containers for household chemicals and housekeeping needs, cosmetics and other goods packaging, FMCG products (for example, clothes hangers). At this stage, the average share of recycled polymers in the Vivilen solutions will account for some 25% of the end product depending on its type.

Sergey Komyshan, SIBUR’s Management Board member and Executive Director commented on the event: “Vivilen is unique for the Russian market as it follows the environmental trend and satisfies the growing demand for the use of recycled materials coming from processing companies and end consumers. Through Vivilen, our partners embracing innovation will not just get granules with new properties, but a full-fledged platform to respond to the public demand for green solutions and achieve their own sustainable development goals. The platform encompasses joint R&D, materials for end consumers that describe the advantages of these solutions, and feedstock quality guaranteed by SIBUR.”

As MRC informed earlier, in April 2021, SIBUR approved its Policy on Circular Economy and Climate Impact Mitigation at the meeting of its Board of Directors. The Policy sets out the main principles, strategic goals and objectives of SIBUR in these areas and outlines the key activities at each stage of product life cycle to achieve the above objectives. The petrochemical industry is well positioned to develop circular economy due to the unique properties of polymers, including recyclability and reusability. This enables reducing the use of primary feedstock and cutting greenhouse gas emissions, while the development and improvement of polymer waste recycling helps build on these effects.

We remind that SIBUR increased sales of PP and PE last year amid growing utilization of the ZapSibNeftekhim complex. This led to an increase in the company's revenue in the olefins and polyolefins segment by 77.1% to Rb187.3 bn. This growth was mainly due to an increase in sales of polypropylene and polyethylene as a result of increased utilization of the ZapSibNeftekhim complex and was partially offset by a decrease in prices for these types of products.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 744,130 tonnes in the first four month of 2021, up by 4% year on year. Shipments of all PE grades increased. At the same time, PP deliveries to the Russian market were 523,900 tonnes in January-April 2021, up by 55% year on year. Supply of homopolymer PP and PP block copolymers increased, whereas shipments of PP random copolymers decreased.

SIBUR is the largest vertically integrated gas processing and petrochemical company in Russia, uniting a number of production sites in various regions of the Russian Federation. The company sells products to consumers in the fuel and energy complex, automotive, construction, consumer goods, chemical and other industries in more than 80 countries around the world.

TAIF plans to increase polypropylene production capacity at meringue NKNKh

TAIF plans to increase polypropylene production capacity at meringue NKNKh

MOSCOW (MRC) - TAIF plans to increase its polypropylene production capacity, Realnoe Vremya reports.

Nizhnekamskneftekhim (part of TAIF Group) plans to build a new polypropylene plant with a design capacity of 400,000 tonnes of products per year in the near future. A tender has already been announced, and companies-applicants for the contract from Europe, Korea, Japan and China are competing in whose offer will be the best in terms of the combination of price and quality of performance. Business negotiations with the management of the Chinese corporation China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC) and its business partner China Huanqiu Contracting & Engineering Corporation (HQC) took place the other day.

The management of TAIF PSC and Nizhnekamskneftekhim met with the top managers of CMEC Corporation and HQC Company, applying for a contract for the construction of PP-400.

It is noted that Nizhnekamskneftekhim is already one of the leaders in the Russian Federation in this segment with a design capacity of the existing polypropylene production of 180,000 tonnes and a real production of 215,000 tonnes per year. Taking into account the existing plant and the one that is planned to be built - with a design capacity of 400,000 tonnes - Nizhnekamskneftekhim will almost triple the production of polypropylene and become one of the largest and most powerful producers of polypropylene in Europe.

The decision to create in Tatarstan its own production of polypropylene used in almost all industries - from medicine to astronautics, was made in the early 2000s. In 2003, a licensing agreement was signed with the international company LyondellBasell. Initially, it was assumed that a unit with a capacity of 120 thousand tons per year would be built, but later it was decided to increase the volume to 180,000 tonnes. Less than 3 years after the acquisition of the technology, in September 2006, the new facility produced the first products.

By 2020, the range of polypropylene produced by TAIF already numbered 51 brands, including special and with improved performance characteristics, and the share of the Russian market occupied by Nizhnekamskneftekhim specifically for polypropylene was 13% (the second largest result among domestic producers).

It is noted that polypropylene is the only base polymer (except for LDL), and the production and consumption of which has been steadily growing for almost 10 years. Analysts suggest that by 2024, in Russia alone, PP production will reach 4.5 million tons per year, with the share of imports in consumption of only 8%. With the completion of construction and the launch of a new unit, TAIF Group will account for over 600,000 tonnes.

The Polypropylene-400 project is part of the large-scale Development Strategy of TAIF Group as a whole. The program is designed for the period up to 2030 and is estimated at over USD20 billion. Currently, projects worth approximately USD8 billion have already been implemented or are under implementation.

Partners who have already proven their reliability and high quality of work have high chances for continued cooperation. "There is a lot of work to be done, and we are interested in long-term partnership," said Albert Shigabutdinov. But he made it clear that it was subject to compliance with the agreements and fair financial policy.

The final decision on who will be entrusted with the implementation of the Polypropylene-400 project has not yet been made, said Airat Safin, general director of Nizhnekamskneftekhim.

According to the ScanPlast survey of MRC, Nizhnekamskneftekhim produced slightly less than 18.6 thousand tons of propylene polymers in April, which is in line with the previous month. In January - April, the total polymer output at the Nizhnekamsk enterprise reached 72,800 tonnes against 73,100 tonnes in 2020.

Earlier, SIBUR and TAIF started to merge petrochemical businesses. The process implies the creation of a company on the basis of SIBUR Holding PJSC, 15% in which will be received by the current shareholders of TAIF. In return, a controlling stake in a Tatarstan group consisting of petrochemical and energy enterprises will be transferred. According to the press service of SIBUR, the remaining stake in TAIF may be subsequently redeemed by the merged company.

Earlier it was noted that the joint company of SIBUR and TAIF will include the parent company of the Tatarstan group, its two chemical plants and an energy company. On the part of TAIF, the following companies will join the merged company: TGK-16 JSC, Kazanorgsintez PJSC, Nizhnekamskneftekhim PJSC and TAIF JSC. The oil complex of TAIF-NK PSC is not included in the deal with SIBUR.

PJSC "Nizhnekamskneftekhim" (NKNKH) is one of the largest Russian producers of petrochemical products. The production complex of the company includes ten factories of the main production and ten departments (railway transport, main ethylene pipelines, etc.). NKNKh produces over 120 types of chemical products, including synthetic rubber, polyethylene, polypropylene, polystyrene, surfactants

AFPM issues statement in favour of refineries

MOSCOW (MRC) -- American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers President and CEO Chet Thompson issued the following statement upon the release of the Supreme Court’s opinion in the case HollyFrontier Cheyenne Refining, LLC v. Renewable Fuels Association (20-472), according to Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The Justices ruled 6-3 in favor of refineries, a decision that upholds Congress’s vision for the Renewable Fuel Standard small refinery relief program and the ability for small refineries experiencing disproportionate economic hardship to petition and receive RVO relief from the EPA at any time.

Statement from Chet Thompson: AFPM is very pleased with this ruling and hopes that EPA now moves expeditiously to provide critical relief to those small refineries that have demonstrated disproportionate economic harm resulting from the RFS. RFS compliance costs hit all-time highs this month, nearing 25 cents per gallon. The program is hurting consumers and jeopardizing the viability of refineries across the country, as well as the jobs and communities they support. Further delay from the Administration in setting achievable annual volume standards, issuing small refinery waivers, and responding to numerous petitions for relief will make a bad situation even worse.

As MRC wrote previously, US refiner HollyFrontier Corp said in early May, 2021, it would purchase a 149,000-bpd refinery in Washington from Shell as part of the European company"s strategy to reduce its global refinery footprint.

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 744,130 tonnes in the first four month of 2021, up by 4% year on year. Shipments of all PE grades increased. At the same time, PP deliveries to the Russian market were 523,900 tonnes in January-April 2021, up by 55% year on year. Supply of homopolymer PP and PP block copolymers increased, whereas shipments of PP random copolymers decreased.