Thirumalai Chemicals to build new phthalic anhydride plant in Western India

Thirumalai Chemicals to build new phthalic anhydride plant in Western India

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Thirumalai Chemicals Limited has announced its plan to execute a project to manufacture 180,000 tons per year of Phthalic Anhydride (PA) and 30,000 tons per year of Fine & Specialty Chemicals, at its existing site at Dahej, Gujarat, and Western India, according to Kemicalinfo.

The project is expected to be executed in two successive phases. Thirumalai expects to bring the first of these two phases on-stream in about 2 years after receipt of all needed approvals.

It further informed that work has commenced on design & engineering of the plant.

The raw materials for this integrated plant will be sourced primarily within Gujarat; the finished products are aimed at the large West & North Indian markets, and at Exports.

Thirumalai Chemicals further said that the commissioning of the company’s first PA plant at Dahej, was delayed by the recent pandemic wave in Gujarat. Startup is now under progress, it added.

Phthalic Anhydride has a wide variety of uses in colorants, polymer additives, reinforced polymers, fine chemicals etc. India’s consumption levels in PA and the above products are still very low compared to other countries, while demand growth has been strong. This project is expected to replace the large imports of PA and drive downstream growth in India.

As MRC wrote before, India’s crude oil imports in June dropped to their lowest level in eight months as refiners cut down processing in the face of a tumultuous second wave of the coronavirus, government data showed. Crude oil imports rose in June by 16.3% to 15.90 million tonnes from a year earlier, but dropped 7.8% from May, data on the website of the Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC) showed. “Refiners reduced runs after the COVID-19 cases increased in April-May, which might have contributed to lower imports,” said Refinitiv analyst Ehsan Ul Haq, adding that the nation’s vaccine programme is the key to future demand. “If we don’t see another wave, demand will recover significantly in the fourth quarter of this year."

Thirumalai Chemicals Limited has been a leading producer of phthalic anhydride and derivatives over 45 years; its range of products includes Maleic Anhydride (produced by its subsidiary), food ingredients and fine chemicals. It presently has two manufacturing facilities - in South and West India; its subsidiary in Malaysia operates butane maleic anhydride & derivatives plants. All of these based on TCL’s in-house process technologies and engineering capabilities. The company sells its products primarily in India, South East Asia, Middle East and Europe, with some quantities in North America.

Eneos to resume operations of CDU unit at its Oita refinery

Eneos to resume operations of CDU unit at its Oita refinery

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Japan's largest refiner Eneos Corp (formerly known as JXTG Nippon Oil & Energy) plans to restart the 136,000-bpd crude distillation unit (CDU) at its Oita refinery, reported Reuters with reference to the company's executive.

The unit has been shut since May last year. It was to resume operations on Saturday.

The company sees a risk of delayed recovery in local fuels demand due to a recent resurgence of COVID-19 infections, Eneos Senior Vice President Soichiro Tanaka told an earnings news conference.

As MRC informed previously, in the first week of June, 2021, Eneos Corp restarted the 168,000-bpd No.1 CDU at its Kashima refinery, east of Tokyo, after it was shut on May 11 due to system trouble. The refiner, which is a unit of Eneos Holdings Inc, restarted the 105,000-bpd No.3 CDU at its Mizushima-B refinery, western Japan, in early June, 2021. The CDU was shut on Feb. 25 for turnaround.

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.

Japan's largest refiner JXTG Nippon Oil & Energy was renamed ENEOS Corporation on 25 June, 2020, as part of a wider re-organization of the parent company JXTG Holdings. The move, which also involved renaming the parent company to ENEOS Holdings upon approval at its annual shareholders meeting in June 2020, comes as it strives to be a more comprehensive energy and materials company under its 2040 vision announced in May, 2019. JXTG Holdings was formed as a result of a merger between JX Holdings and TonenGeneral in April 2017. This followed the establishment of JX Holdings as a result of the merger between Nippon Oil and Nippon Mining Holdings in April 2010.

COVID-19 - News digest as of 13.08.2021

1. COVID-19 infection halts China second-busiest container port in Ningbo

MOSCOW (MRC) -- A terminal at China's second-busiest container port, Ningbo Zhoushan, suspended operations Aug. 11 after a port worker tested positive for COVID-19, fueling worries that export cargoes will be further delayed heading into the August-November peak season for shipments to the US and Europe, reported S&P Global. Meidong Container Terminal halted inbound and unloading services from 3:30 a.m. local time Aug. 11. A similar outbreak at Shenzhen's Yantian port in May curtailed operations for a month, contributing to severe congestion at nearly all major North American ports in early August as Yantian ramped up operations to clear backlogs of cargo.


Crude oil futures going down in Asia on COVID-19 concerns and bearish IEA report

Crude oil futures going down in Asia on COVID-19 concerns and bearish IEA report

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Crude oil futures were lower during midmorning Asia trade Aug. 13 as pandemic concerns continued to keep prices in check, with the sentiment also taking a hit after the International Energy Agency (IEA) said global oil demand recovery had reversed its course in July, reported S&P Global.

At 11:15 am Singapore time (0315 GMT), the ICE October Brent futures contract was down 48 cents/b (0.67%) from the previous close at USD70.83/b while the NYMEX September light sweet crude contract was down 51 cents/b (0.74%) at USD68.58/b.

The spread of the delta variant of the coronavirus can potentially jeopardize the global economic recovery and sap demand for oil and energy, analysts said.

Parts of major Asia-Pacific regional economies, including India, China and Australia, have imposed mobility restrictions in a bid to curb infection numbers. The market is particularly concerned about the world's second largest oil consumer China, which is currently dealing with its broadest outbreak since 2019.

"Crude oil fell as concerns of weaker demand amid the spreading Delta variant grew. A COVID-zero approach by Chinese authorities has seen strict guidelines on movement," ANZ analysts said in an Aug. 13 note.

The situation was also grim in the West, with COVID-19 infection numbers in the US and countries in Europe remaining elevated.

The delta variant has spread so rapidly in the US that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said more than 90% of the counties are experiencing substantial or high transmission rates. The seven-day moving average of infections in the US has surged to 124,234 as of Aug. 11, the highest since early February, data from The New York Times showed.

Amid rising infection numbers, the IEA said in its latest oil market report released Aug. 12 that the global oil demand recovery went into reverse in July, when oil demand fell by 120,000 b/d. In the report, the agency lowered its estimate for 2021 demand growth to 5.3 million b/d from 5.4 million b/d, while raising its 2022 growth estimate to 3.2 million b/d from 3 million b/d.

As MRC informed earlier, crude oil stockpiles fell modestly last week, while gasoline inventories dipped to their lowest level since November, according to the US Energy Information Administration. Crude inventories fell by 447,000 barrels in the week to Aug. 6 to 438.8 million barrels, compared with analysts' expectations in a Reuters poll for a 1.3 million-barrel drop. Overall crude inventories have been on the decline for several weeks due to increased demand.

We remind that US crude oil production is expected to fall by 160,000 barrels per day (bpd) in 2021 to 11.12 million bpd, the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) said in a monthly report, a smaller decline than its previous forecast for a drop of 210,000 bpd.

We also remind that BP raised Aug. 3 its 2025 oil price assumption by USD5/b to USD60/b to reflect an expected supply constraint, while promising a recovery in its own production volumes following a maintenance-related slump in the second quarter.

August prices of European PE drop for CIS markets

August prices of European PE drop for CIS markets

MOSCOW (MRC) -- August contract price of ethylene in Europe was agreed up by EUR53/tonne from the previous month. However, some European producers announced a slight reduction in export polyethylene (PE) prices for August shipments to the CIS markets, according to ICIS-MRC Price report.

Negotiations over August prices of European PE began in the middle of last week. All market participants said some European producers reduced their export prices of ethylene polymers by EUR10-20/tonne for this month's shipments. At the same time, there were quite many cases of a roll-over of July prices. A shortage of some PE grades still remained in Europe.

August deals for low density polyethylene (LDPE) were done in the range EUR1,600-1,650/tonne FCA, whereas last month's deals were done in the range of EUR1,610-1,670/tonne FCA.

Deals for high density polyethylene (HDPE) were discussed in the range of EUR1,240-1,320/tonne FCA versus EUR1,250-1,340/tonne FCA a month earlier.

Many buyers said all European producers still had export restrictions, at the same time, demand for European PE was weak due to more attractive prices of producers from Central Asia and the Middle East.