Reliance Industries conducts turnaround at one PP line in Jamnagar

Reliance Industries conducts turnaround at one PP line in Jamnagar

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Reliance Industries (RIL) has taken off-stream one of its polypropylene (PP) plants in Jamnagar, India for a scheduled maintenance, according to CommoPlast with reference to market sources.

Thus, this unit with an annual capacity of 400,000 tons/year of PP was shut on 5 August 2021 and will remain idle for approximately one month.

The local supply is expected to take a hit from the shutdown, especially when demand is recovering from the COVID-19 outbreak.

As MRC reported earlier, RIL shut its another PP unit in Jamnagar, India for a 20-day maintenance on 15 October, 2020. This unit came back online on 5 November, 2020. The plant has an annual capacity of 480,000 tons/year.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, PP shipments to the Russian market were 727,160 tonnes in the first six months of 2021, up by 31% year on year. Supply of homopolymer PP and block-copolymers of propylene (PP block copolymers) increased. Supply of statistical copolymers of propylene (PP random copolymers) subsided.

Reliance Industries is one of the world's largest producers of polymers. Thus, the company produces among others polypropylene, polyethylene and polyvinyl chloride.

Formosa to start up its expanded PVC production capacities in Baton Rouge in Q4 2022

Formosa to start up its expanded PVC production capacities in Baton Rouge in Q4 2022

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Formosa Plastics USA, part of Formosa Petrochemical, has postponed the start-up of its expanded polyvinyl chloride (PVC) production capacities at its existing plant in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, to Q4 2022, reported S&P Global with reference to sources familiar with company operations.

Initially, the company planned to launch the expanded capacities at its 513,000 mt/year of PVC plant in Q4 2021. Formosa did not respond to inquiries about the delay.

The company intends to debottleneck production at this plant, adding 130,077 mt/year of PVC capacity, according to permitting documents.

Formosa's last public announcement about the expansion came in November 2019, when it was in "detailed engineering design" with steady commercial operation slated for Q4 2021, a year later than announced in December 2018.

As MRC informed earlier, as part of the expansion project, new equipment will be installed at this plant, including the one for the production of halogenated acids, whose products Formosa will use to produce vinyl chloride monomer (VCM). As a result of the modernization of PVC production, the company plans to increase the output of material and its sales by 20%.

Back in 2017, Formosa announced its plans to expand PVC capacity in Louisiana, and in March 2019, the Louisiana Economic Development and FPC began to discuss this project. The state had allocated a grant of USD500,000 for this project.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's overall production of unmixed PVC totalled 580,500 tonnes in the first seven months of 2021, up by 4% year on year. At the same time, one producer reduced its output.

Formosa Petrochemical is involved primarily in the business of refining crude oil, selling refined petroleum products and producing and selling olefins (including ethylene, propylene, butadiene and BTX) from its naphtha cracking operations. Formosa Petrochemical is also the largest olefins producer in Taiwan and its olefins products are mostly sold to companies within the Formosa Group. Among the company's chemical products are paraxylene (PX), phenyl ethylene, acetone and pure terephthalic acid (PTA). The company"s plastic products include acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) resins, polystyrene (PS), polypropylene (PP) and panlite (PC).

Indorama Ventures to acquire Brazil-based Oxiteno for USD1.3 bln

Indorama Ventures to acquire Brazil-based Oxiteno for USD1.3 bln

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Thailand-based Indorama Ventures Public Company Limited (IVL), a global chemicals producer, has announced it agreed to acquire Brazil-based Oxiteno S.A. Industria e Comercio, a subsidiary of Ultrapar Participacoes S.A. for USD1.3 bln,, as per the company's press release

The acquisition gives IVL a unique portfolio in high-value surfactants and significantly extends its existing Integrated Oxides and Derivatives (IOD) business.

Oxiteno is a leading integrated surfactants producer, catering to highly attractive end-use markets in LATAM. The acquisition brings an excellent management team, world-class expertise in green chemistry innovation, strong customer relationships in Brazil, Uruguay and Mexico, and substantial growth potential in attractive end markets, including the US through a new facility in Pasadena, Texas. Oxiteno has a strong commitment to environmental governance, and its focus on lowering greenhouse gas emissions will also enhance IVL’s ESG credentials.

Through the acquisition, IVL will assume a unique market position in technologies catering to niche, IP-rich and value-added applications in home & personal care, agrochemicals, coatings and oil & gas markets. The surfactants market has seen consistent growth over the last decade, driven by trends in population growth, urbanization and increasing hygiene awareness amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

With 11 manufacturing plants, customers in 4 continents, and an experienced management team, Oxiteno will complement IOD’s footprint in the USand Latin America, while its 5 research and technology centers will add to IVL’s innovation credentials in green chemistry. The extended footprint has potential to drive expansion in Europe and Asia by leveraging on IVOX’s surfactants business in Australia and India and IVL’s global presence in 34 countries. IVL expects to realize synergies of USUSD100 million by 2025 through portfolio adjustments, asset optimization and operational excellence.

IVL will purchase Oxiteno for USUSD1.3 billion (subject to adjustments at closing), with a deferred payment of USD150 million in 2024. The transaction is subject to customary conditions to closing, including approval of relevant regulatory authorities. The transaction is expected to close in Q1 2022 and will be earnings accretive immediately.

Financing is secured through deferred payment, using existing extra cash on our balance sheet, free cash flow generated from existing businesses, short term loans against working capital and the balance as long-term debt.

As MRC reported earlier, in July 2021, IVL, a large producer of recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET) for beverage bottles, has announced plans to build a facility in Karawang, Indonesia, to recycle almost 2 billion plastic bottles a year in support of the Indonesian government’s plan to reduce ocean debris. The facility, which is planned to open in 2023, will recycle 1.92 billion PET bottles annually and will employ 217 people.
The plant will provide the washed and shredded postconsumer bottles as PET flake feedstock to produce recycled resin that is suitable for food-contact use.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PET consumption totalled 411,200 tonnes in the first six month of 2021, up by 12% year on year. Russian companies processed 62,910 tonnes in June, compared to 85,890 tonnes a month earlier.

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).

PE imports to Ukraine sank by 9% in January-July

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Polyethylene (PE) imports into the Ukrainian market reached 145,200 tonnes in the first seven months of 2021, down by 9% year on year. The decrease in imports accounted for high density polyethylene (HDPE) and low density polyethylene (LDPE), according to the DataScope report.

Last month's PE imports to Ukraine increased to 23,400 tonnes versus 18,500 tonnes in June, local companies increased their purchases of all PE grades. Thus, overall PE imports reached 145,200 tonnes in January-July 2021, compared to 159,500 tonnes a year earlier. HDPE and LDPE imports decreased, whereas imports of other PE grades increased.

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

July imports of HDPE into the country increased to 8,000 tonnes, compared with 6,600 tonnes in June, Ukrainian companies have increased their purchases of film and blow moulding polyethylene. Overall HDPE imports totalled about 47,700 tonnes in the first seven months of 2021 versus 61,000 tonnes a year earlier.

July imports of low-density polyethylene (LDPE) slightly exceeded 7,300 tonnes versus 5,000 tonnes a month earlier, Ukrainian companies raised their purchases in Belarus and Russia. Overall LDPE imports reached 43,800 tonnes over the stated period, down by 7% year on year.

Last month's imports of linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) were about 6,400 tonnes, compared with 5,300 tonnes in June, shipments of film grade LLDPE from Saudi Arabia increased. However, overall LLDPE imports reached 43,500 tonnes in the first seven months of 2021, equal the performance a year earlier.

Imports of other PE grades, including ethylene-vinyl-acetate (EVA), totalled about 10,200 tonnes over the stated period, compared to 7,800 tonnes a year earlier.


Valero insists newly hired workers in Texas and Louisiana to be vaccinated against COVID-19

Valero insists newly hired workers in Texas and Louisiana to be vaccinated against COVID-19

MOSCOW (MRC) -- San Antonio-based Valero Energy Corp, the second-largest US oil refiner, will require newly hired workers in Texas and Louisiana to be vaccinated against COVID-19 as a condition of employment, reported Reuters with reference to six people familiar with the matter.

Valero becomes the first US refiner to require vaccinations as a condition for new workers, the people said. Current employees at the firm’s Gulf Coast refineries are not required to be vaccinated, the sources added.

A Valero spokeswoman did not reply to a request for comment.

As COVID-19 has spread in the US South this summer, Valero and other US refiners have required workers wear face masks where social distancing is not possible. Several also limited the number of staffers able to gather together at work.

New employees hired to Valero’s Port Arthur, Texas, and Meraux, Louisiana, refineries were told this week they would have to get vaccinated, the people said. Some of the new hires were scheduled to begin work within two weeks, the sources said, and will be placed on an at least six-month probationary period, a time they are considered at-will employees and can be dismissed without cause.

Other refiners that have resumed strict rules this month to prevent the spread of the virus include the nation’s largest refiner, Marathon Petroleum Corp, and Motiva Enterprises.

Chevron Corp this week postponed the full return of employees to company offices in California and Texas, joining companies like Facebook Inc and Inc, due to a resurgence in coronavirus cases related to the fast-spreading Delta variant.

As MRC wrote previously, Valero Energy Corp. operated its 14 refineries up to 89% of their combined total throughput capacity of 3.15 million barrels per day (bpd) during the second quarter of 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 1,176,860 tonnes in the first half of 2021, up by 5% year on year. Shipments of exclusively low density polyethylene (LDPE) decreased. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market were 727,160 tonnes in the first six months of 2021, up by 31% year on year. Supply of homopolymer PP and block-copolymers of propylene (PP block copolymers) increased. Supply of statistical copolymers of propylene (PP random copolymers) subsided.