Karpatneftekhim shut PE production

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Karpatneftekhim (Kalush, Ivano-Frankivsk region), Ukraine's largest petrochemical plant, shut down its high density polyethylene (HDPE) production, according to ICIS-MRC Price report.

The plant's customers said the Ukrainian producer was forced to take off-stream its PP production on 23 September due to technical issues. The outage will not last long, and polyethylene (PE) production is planned to resume operations by 28 September The plant's annual production capacity is 120,000 tonnes.

Karpatneftekhim is one of the largest enterprises of Ukraine's petrochemical complex. Currently, the plant can produce annually 300,000 tonnes of PVC, 200,000 tonnes of caustic soda, about 180,000 tonnes of chlorine, as well as 250,000 tonnes of ethylene and 100,000 tonnes of polyethylene.

BASF introduced a range of additives for recycled plastics

BASF introduced a range of additives for recycled plastics

MOSCOW (MRC) -- BASF has launched IrgaCycle a new range of additive solutions to address the imminent needs in plastics recycling, said the company.

The plastics industry is seeking ways to incorporate higher content of recycled polymeric material in all major applications to meet sustainability goals, while facing growing consumer concerns and stricter regulatory requirements to reduce plastic waste. Hereby a major challenge is to mitigate quality deficiencies of polymers arising from thermal and mechanical stress during the recycling process.

Recycled plastics often contain impurities and polymer contaminants that accelerate polymer degradation, which change the material properties. Consequently, recyclers and plastic converters are facing quality and performance issues while processing recycled polymeric material. Formulated additive packages improving the properties of these recycled plastics can be a solution for this challenge.

The production of plastics from mechanical recycling is expected to almost triple by 2030, driven by improved technologies and regulation. This corresponds to a growth of around 10 percent per year,” says Dr. Thomas Kloster, President of BASF’s Performance Chemicals division. ?With IrgaCycle we are expanding our existing portfolio step by step by specific solutions for recycling to support the circular economy goals for plastics."

The new IrgaCycle range includes additive solutions that can help increase the percentage of recycled content in several end-use applications such as packaging, automotive & mobility, and building and construction. These solutions address specific quality issues associated with recycled resins, such as limited processability, poor long-term thermal stability and insufficient protection from outdoor weathering. At launch, the product line includes a range of different additive formulations, with more to follow in the future.

"We have formulated these solutions based on our extensive experience in the plastics industry, combining the high quality of our antioxidants and light stabilizer systems with our application expertise,” says Dr. Volker Bach, Global Lead Innovation at BASF Plastic Additives. “With our global setup we are able to engage across the entire value chain of the recycling industry, be it with brand owners or converters alike and in all regions."

The IrgaCycle range is offered as part of the VALERAS portfolio. In addition to enabling plastics circularity with IrgaCycle, VALERAS solutions bring significant sustainability value to plastic applications by improving durability, reducing waste, saving energy, reducing emissions, and promoting biodiversity.

As MRC informed earlier, BASF and Natural Machines announced their strategic partnership in developing a technology that enables customized face masks and eye patches produced in 3D printers.

As per MRC, BASF reported a better-than-expected second-quarter net profit as it managed to increase volumes and prices thanks to strong demand. Low commodity prices during the coronavirus pandemic weighed on BASF’s earnings last year, but the German group recorded a rapid recovery so far in 2021 as the global economy picked up faster than expected.

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.

BASF's business structure comprises six main segments: chemicals, materials, industrial solutions, surface technologies, nutrition and care, agricultural solutions. At the end of 2020, BASF had sales of EUR59 bn. BASF shares are traded on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (BAS), on the St. Petersburg Stock Exchange in Russia, and as an American Depositary Receipt (BASFY) in the United States. BASF has been operating in Russia since 1874, is represented in the rating of the 500 largest companies in the country in terms of revenue.

COVID-19 - News digest as of 23.09.2021

1. Drive towards electrification of road transportation may cut global refining capacity demand by half in 2050

MOSCOW (MRC) -- A global drive towards electrification of road transport to reduce carbon emissions may cut demand for the world's oil refining capacity by half in 2050, reported Reuters with reference to consultancy Rystad Energy. "Going forward we will be touching by 2050 somewhere very close to 90% of electrification," Mukesh Sahdev, senior vice president and head of downstream at Rystad Energy said, adding that this scenario would probably lead to a 50% decline in global refining capacity. Electric vehicles will cut global consumption of gasoline and diesel, but demand for other refined oil products in aviation, maritime and petrochemical sectors could remain high because of urbanisation which will pose a challenge to the refining sector, Mukesh said.


Crude oil futures stable to higher in Asia amid supply restrictions and increased US stocks

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Crude oil futures were stable to higher during mid-morning trade in Asia trade Sept. 23 amid supply constraints and a draw in US crude stocks, reported S&P Global.

At 10:10 am Singapore time (0210 GMT), the ICE November Brent futures contract was up 15 cents/b (0.2%) from the previous close at USD76.34/b, while the NYMEX November light sweet crude contract was 9 cents/b (0.12%) higher at USD72.32/b.

"Crude prices rallied after US stockpiles tumbled to the lowest levels since October 2018," said OANDA senior market analyst Edward Moya, adding that oil market fundamentals were turning bullish as concerns of an economic slowdown in China eased and amid forecasts that supply shortages for natural gas could lead to increased demand for oil.

ANZ Research analysts similarly noted that crude oil prices have risen as supply availability was back in focus, with US oil inventories falling for the seventh consecutive week.

US commercial crude stocks fell 3.48 million barrels to 413.96 million barrels in the week ended Sept. 17, to more than 8% below the five-year average, Energy Information Administration data showed. Stocks were last lower Oct. 5, 2018.

Oil supply disruptions due to Hurricane Ida continue as operators in the US Gulf of Mexico struggle to return to full production. Almost 294,214b/d or 16.18% of production remained shut-in as of Sept. 22. according to the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement. US crude output averaged 10.6 million b/d in the week ended Sept. 17, up 500,000 b/d week on week but still down 900,000 b/d from pre-Ida levels.

Global oil supply was also expected to remain tight, with UAE energy minister Suhail al-Mazrouei saying Sept. 21 that OPEC and its allies should stick to its agreement to increase production by 400,000 b/d each month, even as some observers call for a greater production increase as pandemic restrictions ease, S&P Global reported.

As informed earlier, Shell said earlier this month it observed damage from Hurricane Ida to its transfer station West Delta-143 offshore facilities in the Gulf of Mexico. West Delta-143 serves as the transfer station for all production from its assets in the Mars corridor in the Mississippi Canyon area of the Gulf of Mexico to onshore crude terminals. Shell said then it was not yet safe to send personnel offshore to learn the full extent of the damage and estimate the effect on production.

We remind that in late August, 2021, US crude stocks dropped sharply while petroleum products supplied by refiners hit an all-time record despite the rise in coronavirus cases nationwide, the Energy Information Administration said. Crude inventories fell by 7.2 million barrels in the week to Aug. 27 to 425.4 million barrels, compared with analysts' expectations in a Reuters poll for a 3.1 million-barrel drop. Product supplied by refineries, a measure of demand, rose to 22.8 million barrels per day in the most recent week. That's a one-week record, and signals strength in consumption for diesel, gasoline and other fuels by consumers and exporters.

We also 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.

Showa Denko appoints new CEO

Showa Denko appoints new CEO

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Showa Denko has announced that Kohei Morikawa will resign as President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to become Representative Director and Chairman of the Board of SDK, and Hidehito Takahashi, Representative Director, Managing Corporate Officer, Chief Strategy Officer and General Manager, Preparation Office for Group Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) of SDK will succeed Morikawa, effective January 4, 2022, according to ACNNewswire.

Takahashi is currently in charge of Carbon and Ceramics divisions, Coating Materials Department, Yokohama and Shiojiri plants and Corporate Strategy Department of SDK.

SDK also announces that at Showa Denko Materials Co., Ltd. (SDMC), which is a consolidated subsidiary of SDK, Hisashi Maruyama will resign as President and CEO to become Representative Director and Chairman of the Board of SDMC, and that Hidehito Takahashi, Director of SDMC, will succeed Maruyama, effective January 4, 2022.

These changes in the presidencies have been decided at SDK's board of directors meeting on 22 September.

Through unification of the presidencies and generational changes in top management, SDK and SDMC aim to accelerate integration of the two companies and foster speedy management of the Showa Denko Group as a whole.

As MRC reported earlier, in March 2018, Showa Denko shut its crackert in Oita (Japan) for a scheduled maintenance. The turnaround at this cracker with the capacity of 691,000 mt/year of ethylene lasted until April 19, 2018.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 1,396,960 tonnes in January-July 2021, up by 7% year on year. Shipments of all grades of ethylene polymers increased. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market were 841,990 tonnes in the first seven months of 2021, up by 29% year on year. Supply of propylene homopolymers (homopolymer PP) and block-copolymers of propylene (PP block copolymers) increased, whereas supply of statistical copolymers of propylene (PP random copolymers) subsided.

Showa Denko K.K. (SDK; TSE:4004, ADR:SHWDY) is a major manufacturer of chemical products serving from heavy industry to computers and electronics. The Petrochemicals Sector provides cracker products such as ethylene and propylene, the Chemicals Sector provides industrial, high-performance and high-purity gases and chemicals for semicon and other industries, the Inorganics Sector provides ceramic products, such as alumina, abrasives, refractory/graphite electrodes and fine carbon products.