BASF building new pilot plant in Ludwigshafern in a move to strengthen its global catalyst development

BASF building new pilot plant in Ludwigshafern in a move to strengthen its global catalyst development

MOSCOW (MRC) -- BASF, the world's petrochemical major, is strengthening its global catalyst development and helping customers to bring new products faster to the market. As part of this strategy, BASF is building a new pilot plant center at its Ludwigshafen site, according to Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The new Catalyst Development and Solids Processing Center will serve as a global hub for pilot-scale production and process innovations of chemical catalysts. The construction of the new pilot plant center in Ludwigshafen also emphasizes the importance of the site for global research. The new building is scheduled for completion by mid-2024.

"The new Catalyst Development and Solids Processing Center strengthens our focus on innovative and sustainable solutions that benefit our customers and the environment. It is a strong sign of our continuous commitment to innovation in our chemical catalysts portfolio. It allows us to more quickly respond to market needs and contribute to a more sustainable chemical industry," said Dr. Peter Schuhmacher, President, Catalysts at BASF.

Specifically, the new pilot plant helps chemical catalysts experts transfer laboratory recipes to production scale more quickly and manufacture sample quantities of new catalysts on a technical scale with short lead times. Customers thus gain faster access to new catalyst technologies - a factor that is critical to the successful introduction of new products to the market.

As MRC wrote before, BASF will build a battery recycling prototype plant in Schwarzheide, Germany, at the site of its cathode active materials (CAM) plant.

We also remind that n June, 2021, Trinseo, a global materials company and manufacturer of plastics, latex binders, and synthetic rubber, and BASF announced the intention to expand their businesses with the production of styrene monomer (SM) based on circular feedstock. Trinseo has procured first supplies of SM based on circular feedstock from BASF for use in its Solution-Styrene Butadiene Rubber (S-SBR) and polystyrene (PS) products. Trinseo supplies S-SBR to major tyre manufacturers while its PS products are used in applications such as food packaging and appliances. The first few customers have already processed the material, said the company.

BASF is the leading chemical company. It produces a wide range of chemicals, for example solvents, amines, resins, glues, electronic-grade chemicals, industrial gases, basic petrochemicals and inorganic chemicals. The most important customers for this segment are the pharmaceutical, construction, textile and automotive industries.

Kazanorgsintez resumed work after power failure

Kazanorgsintez resumed work after power failure

MOSCOW (MRC) - Kazanorgsintez (KOS, part of the TAIF group) has restored its work after a large-scale power failure of the Kazan power center, BUSINESS-Online reports.

Last Saturday, August 21, there was a failure in the unified power supply system of the Republic of Tatarstan. This led to an unscheduled shutdown of production at Kazanorgsintez.

The automated industrial safety systems of the enterprise worked in normal mode, and the product immediately went to the torch at the time of production interruption. Residents of neighboring houses observed burning and smoking of KOS torches.

A large-scale power disruption occurred due to forest fires in the Volga region. Due to the burning of the ground under the high-voltage lines, an accident occurred at the Pomary substation. The failure affected the entire power system of the Kazan hub.

The regular work of most of Kazanorgsintez's production facilities was resumed on 21 August. On the morning of 22 August, Sunday, the intense burning of torches stopped. The regular work of all productions was resumed the same day.

Earlier it was reported that the subsidiaries of the Italian engineering company Maire Tecnimont S.p.A. received a contract for the construction of a new Kazanorgsintez plant (KOS, part of TAIF) for the production of high-pressure polyethylene (LDPE) / ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) at the existing KOS complex in Kazan (Tatarstan, Russia). The capacity of the new enterprise will be 100,000 tonnes of LDPE / EVA per year.

According to MRC's ScanPlast, in June the estimated consumption of LDPE fell to 45,190 tonnes against 47,780 tonnes a month earlier. Russian manufacturers have increased export sales of polyethylene (PE). In the first six months of the year, the estimated consumption of LDPE in Russia amounted to 280,850 tonnes, which is 2% less than a year earlier. PE output decreased, while export volumes increased.

Kazanorgsintez PJSC is one of the largest enterprises in the Russian Federation (TAIF Group of Companies). It produces 40% of all Russian polyethylene and is its largest exporter. Currently, PE, polycarbonate (PC), polyethylene pipes, phenol, acetone, bisphenol A are produced. KOS is the only Russian PC manufacturer. There are 170 types of products in total. The annual production volume is 1.6 million tons. The enterprise is the largest Russian manufacturer of low-pressure polyethylene (HDPE) pipes. The annual capacity of HDPE production is 540,000 tonnes, and LDPE - 225,000 tonnes.

COVID-19 - News digest as of 24.08.2021

1. U.S. energy companies are moving to require that employees receive COVID-19 vaccinations

MOSCOW (MRC) -- U.S. energy companies are moving to require that employees receive COVID-19 vaccinations as infection rates rise across the United States and energy workers, according to health surveys, remain among those most reluctant to get inoculations, said Hydrocarbonprocessing. Calls to require vaccinations for employees who work closely together in oilfield and refinery operations come as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Monday fully approved the Pfizer-BioNTech shot. The second-largest U.S. oil producer, Chevron Corp, and refiner Valero Energy Corp will require jabs for certain field workers or new workers. Top oilfield services firm Schlumberger said last week some customers are requesting that its staff be vaccinated or tested before arriving on job sites.


Upcoming turnarounds affect PP prices in Russia

Upcoming turnarounds affect PP prices in Russia

MOSCOW (MRC) - The price of polypropylene (PP) peaked in early April in the Russian market, and after that the polymer became cheaper. PP prices increased again in the second half of August on the back of upcoming scheduled maintenance works stops of three producers in September-October, according to the ICIS-MRC Price Report.

The dynamically growing prices of polypropylene in Europe and Turkey in the first quarter have affected the Russian market as well, polymer prices in Russia reached record levels in history. The situation began to gradually improve since the second half of April, and PP prices began to steadily decrease until the beginning of August.

But the situation began to change already in the middle of the month, and the PP prices increased at several sellers.
The supply of polymer has noticeably decreased, and three producers will start preventive repairs at once in September-October. The exact dates of the turnaround were officially announced only by Stavrolen, the maintenance works are scheduled from 13 October. The outage will be quite long and will last for about 26 days.
The plant's annual production capacity is 120,000 tonnes.

Poliom and Ufaorgsintez have not officially announced their plans regarding the dates of preventive maintenance works. They are planned in September and will take no more than two weeks from each side. The plants' production capacities are 230,000 and 140,000 tonnes per year, respectively.

This year, imports of inexpensive polypropylene from Turkmenistan have significantly decreased. Imports of Turkmen PP have slightly exceeded 10.300 tonnes over the seven months, which is almost two times less than a year earlier.
And at the moment, the supply of Turkmen polypropylene on the Russian market is virtually completely absent.
Demand for finished goods was mixed in August.

Some converters have been restricting their purchases for several months, hoping for even greater price reductions.
Demand from the converters have improved this month. By the beginning of August, spot homopolymer PP of the raffia grade at some sellers fell in price to Rb144,000-146,000/tonne CPT Moscow, including VAT.

But already a week later, because of strong demand and a reduction in supply, polypropylene began to rise in price.
By the second decade of August , prices of homopolymer PP grade had increased to Rb147,000 - 152,000/tonne CPT Moscow, including VAT, and lower.

Orbia appoints new CFO

Orbia appoints new CFO

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Orbia Advance Corporation S.A.B. de C.V., formerly Mexichem (Mexico City), has announced the appointment of James P. Kelly as Chief Financial Officer (CFO), according to BusinessWire.

Mr. Kelly will begin his employment on August 30, 2021. He will be based out of Orbia’s global headquarters in Boston, Massachusetts.

Mr. Kelly most recently served as Vice President and Corporate Controller leading the reporting, accounting and internal control functions at Cabot Corporation, a US-based specialty chemicals and performance materials company with operations covering 36 manufacturing plants across 20 countries.

As CFO, Mr. Kelly will lead Orbia’s global finance organization and preside over the accounting, treasury, financial planning and analysis, tax and investor relations functions.

Sameer Bharadwaj, CEO of Orbia, said: “Jim brings over 30 years of leadership experience in complex, global organizations to Orbia, along with an extensive track record of building world-class financial organizations, processes and controls to drive growth, operational excellence and competitive positioning in a dynamic market environment.” Mr. Bharadwaj continued, “Jim possesses a keen understanding of global production structures as well as experience in leading companies and finance teams through transformations. With his wide and deep expertise in corporate finance, external reporting, financial planning and analysis, investor relations and audit, I believe Jim has all the acumen to strengthen Orbia’s financial foundation for a future of resilience and value creation as we work to provide solutions that help people around the world live well and thrive.”

Mr. Kelly stated, "I am thrilled to be joining Orbia’s leadership team and leading its global finance organization to contribute to the company’s transformation, executing on strategy, accelerating growth and unlocking value for all shareholders and stakeholders."

As MRC reported earlier, last summer, Orbia Advance Corp. said that in view of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the global economy and capital markets, it had decided to pause its efforts to divest or seek an alternative strategy for its Vestolit vinyls business.

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.

Orbia is a global leader in specialty products and innovative solutions spanning the precision agriculture, building and infrastructure, fluorinated products and technologies, polymer solutions and data communications verticals, with broad experience in corporate and operational finance. The company has commercial activities in more than 110 countries and operations in over 50, with global headquarters in Mexico City, Boston, Amsterdam and Tel Aviv.