Ukrainian PVC imports down by 26% in Jan-Aug 2021, exports up by 17%

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Imports of suspension polyvinyl chloride (SPVC) into Ukraine fell in the first eight months of 2021 by 26% year on year, totalling 18,500 tonnes. Export sales of Ukrainian PVC rose by 17% year on year partially due to record high prices in a number of regions of the world, according to MRC's DatasScope report.

Last month's SPVC imports to the Ukrainian market decreased to 2,700 tonnes from 3,100 tonnes in July, Ukrainian companies reduced their shipments of polymer from China. Overall SPVC imports reached 18,500 tonnes in January-August 2021, compared to 25,100 tonnes a year earlier. Limited export quotas of European and North American producers were the main reason for such a major fall in imports.

European producers with the share of about 86% of the total imports over the stated period were the key suppliers of resin to the Ukrainian market.

Last month, Karpatneftekhim maintained its export sales at a good level, export sales of Ukrainian resin were 13,300 tonnes versus 13,600 tonnes in July. Overall, slightly less than 129,700 tonnes of PVC were shipped for export in the first eight months of 2021, compared to 111,000 tonnes a year earlier.


Apparent oil spill in Louisiana reported in wake of Ida

Apparent oil spill in Louisiana reported in wake of Ida

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The US Environmental Protection Agency dispatched a surveillance aircraft to an area in Louisiana hard hit by Hurricane Ida that includes a refinery where an apparent oil spill has been reported, according to Reuters.

The aircraft dispatched from Texas will gather data on the Phillips 66 refinery and other priority sites, an EPA spokesman told Reuters.

"EPA's ASPECT aircraft - the Agency's airborne real-time chemical and radiological detection, infrared and photographic imagery platform - has been activated to support the state of Louisiana," the spokesman said.

Phillips 66 said earlier that flooding had occurred at its Alliance Refinery and a sheen of unknown origin in some flooded areas of the refinery had been discovered.

"At this time, the sheen appears to be secured and contained within refinery grounds. Clean-up crews are on site. The incident was reported to the appropriate regulatory agencies upon discovery", the company said.

"A full post-storm assessment remains underway at the refinery. An investigation into the cause/origin of the sheen will be conducted. The refinery remains shut down", it added.

The Associated Press has also reported a possible spill near an offshore rig in the Gulf of Mexico after a review of aerial images of the disaster zone taken by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The photographs appeared to show a miles-long brownish-black slick in the waters south of Port Fourchon, Louisiana.

The rig had Enterprise Offshore Drilling marked on its helipad. Enterprise Offshore Drilling said in a statement on its website that its rig had not suffered any damage or failure and that "no environmental discharges had occurred from our facility".

The Louisiana Oil Spill Coordinator's Office said that state regulators were still in the very early stages of responding to the environmental hazards brought by Ida.

As MRC informed earlier, Enterprise Products Partners has reported flaring at its propane dehydration, or PDH, unit in Mont Belvieu, Texas. According to the filing made public Aug. 10, the 750,000 mt/year PDH unit was shut down following a leak on Aug. 9.

Propylene is the main feedstock for the production of polypropylene (PP).

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.

Ineos Stryolution launches its first specialty ABS with recycled content

Ineos Stryolution launches its first specialty ABS with recycled content

MOSCOW (MRC) -- European Ineos Styrolution, a global leader in styrenics, has launched its first specialty acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) with recycled content, the company said Sept. 8.

The new specialty AMOBS grades, NovodurECO and Novodur ECO High Heat will contain up to 70% and 50% mechanically recycled post-consumer waste respectively.

The company states that the new products have identical mechanical properties to their virgin ABS counterparts, Novodur and Novodur High Heat and can be used as drop-in solutions in their respective applications.

The company already produces TerluranECO, a version of its general purpose ABS Terluran brand with a recycled ABS content of up to 70%.

As MRC reported earlier, in April 2021, INEOS Styrolution, Recycling Technologies and Trinseo announced that they had reached a significant milestone in their plans to build commercial polystyrene (PS) recycling plants in Europe. Recycling Technologies has been selected as the technology partner.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, ABS imports into Russia grew in January-July 2021 by 33% year on year to 24,300 tonnes from 18,200 tonnes a year earlier. The share of South Korean shipments fell to 57% (13,700 tonnes) from 63% (11,400 tonnes) a year earlier.

INEOS Styrolution is the leading global styrenics supplier, with a focus on styrene monomer, polystyrene, ABS Standard and styrenic specialties. With world-class production facilities and more than 90 years of experience, INEOS Styrolution helps its customers succeed by offering solutions, designed to give them a competitive edge in their markets. At the same time, these innovative and sustainable best-in-class solutions help make the circular economy for styrenics a reality. The company provides styrenic applications for many everyday products across a broad range of industries, including automotive, electronics, household, construction, healthcare, packaging and toys/sports/leisure. In 2020, sales were at 4 billion euros. INEOS Styrolution employs approximately 3,600 people and operates 20 production sites in ten countries.


Construction of the Amur GCC is ahead of schedule

Construction of the Amur GCC is ahead of schedule

MOSCOW (MRC) - The construction of the Amur Gas Chemical Complex (AGHK, part of SIBUR Holding) is going ahead of schedule, its completion is scheduled for mid-2024, TASS reports, citing the words of the company's managing director Pavel Lyakhovich as part of the VI Eastern Economic Forum.

"The Amur Gas Chemical Complex, which we are building, at the end of the summer, it already has about 20% progress and is very serious, positive. Positive, slightly outstripping development growth. And we will complete it, now we see it, in mid-2024," he said he. Lyakhovich noted that the Amur Gas Chemical Complex is a mega-project for the company, which will be noticeable on the global oil and gas chemistry market.

“We live not only in large-scale chemistry. There are projects for medium-scale chemistry on the radar. there is even more product on the market. We are also thinking about the production of special plasticizers at the Perm site, "noted P. Lyakhovich.

"Limitations, of course, are possible anyway, because the coronavirus has not disappeared anywhere, it is constantly mutating. Unfortunately, it moves between borders rather quickly, so here, of course, the influence of it and new strains is possible on all segments. And, of course, forecasts. As usual, this is not a very rewarding business. But if some collapses do not happen, then we see that 2021-2022 will show growth for us in the segment itself, which cannot but rejoice, "said the managing director of SIBUR.

For the Russian petrochemical industry, 2020 turned out to be even better than the previous ones due to the commissioning of new capacities. Thus, the growth in the volume of chemical production in the Russian Federation in 2020 amounted to 7%, and in the first half of 2021 - 8%, noted P. Lyakhovich.

"It is probably important that not only production, but also consumption, primarily in 2021, we note a very serious growth in the consumption of petrochemical products. Therefore, in Russia, compared to the world, there are more optimistic positive figures," added P. Lyakhovich ... At the same time, the automotive industry and construction in the world continue to recover in 2021–2022, which also inspires optimism, concluded a member of the SIBUR board.

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.

SIBUR Holding is the leader in the Russian petrochemical industry and one of the largest global companies in the sector with more than 23 thousand employees. SIBUR processes by-products of oil and gas production and thereby contributes to the reduction of CO2 emissions from their combustion. Over the past 10 years, SIBUR has implemented a number of large-scale investment projects worth about 1 trillion rubles.

Brenntag to become part of Germany leading stock index

Brenntag to become part of Germany leading stock index

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Brenntag, the global market leader in chemicals and ingredients distribution, will be included in the DAX on September 20, 2021. Brenntag will thus become part of Germany's leading stock index, the composition of which has been expanded from 30 to 40 companies as part of a reform, as per the company's press release.

Christian Kohlpaintner, Chief Executive Officer Brenntag SE, said: “We are delighted about our inclusion in the expanded DAX. It is an acknowledgment for our achievements and the successful development of our company in recent years. We are proud of this. This success would not have been possible without our more than 17,000 employees. We would therefore like to take this unique moment to thank them for their outstanding commitment and performance. Our thanks also include our investors. Their trust is another important motivator for us.”

The DAX expansion is accompanied by a comprehensive reform: from now on, a company's free float market capitalization as a main indicator determines its inclusion in the index. A criterion that Brenntag safely meets. The Brenntag share has been listed in the MDAX on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange since 2010. During this time, the company's market capitalization has quadrupled and amounts today to more than EUR13 billion.

Brenntag's objective and strategic focus is to consistently expand its position as the global market leader in chemicals and ingredients distribution.

As MRC reported earlier, this summer, Brenntag acquired all operating assets and business of Matrix Chemical, LLC. The company is a solvents distributor and the largest distributor of acetone in North America with sales of around USD 200 million year to date in 2021.

Along with phenol, acetone is largely used to produce bisphenol A (BPA), which, in its turn, is used in the production of plastics such as polycarbonate (PC) and epoxy resins.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's overall estimated consumption of PC granules in the Russian market were almost 56,000 tonnes in January-July 2021, down by 3% year on year (58,000 tonnes).