Orlen Unipetrol to increase the capacity of its petrochemical production

Orlen Unipetrol to increase the capacity of its petrochemical production

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Orlen Unipetrol (part of PKN Orlen), a major Czech producer of petrochemical products, will expand the capacity of its steam cracker in Litvinov (Czech Republic) by installing a new furnace, PKN Orlen reported.

The new cracking unit will be built by Technip Energies in Zaluzi, the largest chemical plant in the Czech Republic, and is due to be commissioned in 2022. Orlen is investing over 700 mln Czech crown (CZK) in the project.

The move follows the completion of a new PLN 10 billion plant for the production of low-density polyethylene (HDPE) last year. The installation of the latter furnace will increase the total ethylene capacity to 545,000 tonnes per year.

It was previously reported that Unipetrol was renamed Orlen Unipetrol effective January 1, 2021. Unipetrol is 100% owned by the Orlen Group.

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.

Czech Orlen Unipetrol is a joint stock company that deals with oil refining and production of petrochemical products in the Czech Republic and Central Europe. It is one of the ten largest Czech companies in terms of revenue. The company was founded in 1994 and since 2004 has been part of PKN Orlen, which owns 94.05% of the shares in the company.

Lukoil starts building complex of the Stavrolen gas processing plant

Lukoil starts building complex of the Stavrolen gas processing plant

MOSCOW (MRC) - Lukoil, the second largest oil company in Russia, began construction of the second stage of a gas processing unit (GPU-2) on Stavrolen in Budennovsk in the Stavropol Territory on 7 October, the company said.

The construction of the GPU-2 will increase the intake of associated petroleum gas from the fields of the North Caspian to 5 billion cubic meters. m per year, which will increase the volume of valuable raw materials for pyrolysis (ethane and NGL), which Stavrolen uses to produce marketable products.

GPU-2 is the first facility to be built as part of a comprehensive enterprise development program. The company plans to increase the productivity of pyrolysis technological units, as well as the volume and range of produced polyethylene and polypropylene.

It is expected that following the implementation of the comprehensive development program for Stavrolen, the capacity for ethylene production will grow from 350 to 420 thousand tons per year, polyethylene - from 300 to 405 thousand tons, copolymer grades of polypropylene - from 80,000 to 120,000 tonnes.

Lukoil plans to invest 300 billion rubles in the development of the Stavrolen petrochemical enterprise.

Earlier it was reported that in July of this year, Lukoil began construction of a polypropylene (PP) production complex on the territory of the Nizhny Novgorod refinery in the city of Kstovo. The complex will become the largest polypropylene production facility in Russia integrated into an oil refinery. The raw material for polypropylene production at Lukoil's Nizhny Novgorod site will be propylene from two modernized catalytic cracking units with a capacity of 4 million tonnes per year. After putting the complex into operation, the enterprise will be able to produce about 500,000 tonnes of polypropylene grades.

In addition, Lukoil is preparing a feasibility study for an investment project to monetize its own raw materials into ethylene oxide, mono-, di- and triethylene glycols at one of the production sites in the Volga Federal District.

According to MRC's DataScope, PP imports to Russia grew by 16% in the first eight months of this year compared to the previous year and amounted to 165,800 tonnes. The main increase in external supplies fell on propylene copolymers.

Lukoil is one of the leading vertically integrated oil companies in Russia. The main activities of the company include operations for the exploration and production of oil and gas, production and sale of petroleum products. Lukoil is the second largest privately-owned oil company in the world in terms of proven hydrocarbon reserves. The structure of Lukoil includes one of the largest petrochemical enterprises in Russia - Stavrolen. Previously, the company also included Karpatneftekhim, the largest polymer producer in Ukraine, but in February 2017 Lukoil completed a deal to sell this asset.

Albemarle announced new technology product

Albemarle announced new technology product

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Albemarle Corporation, a leader in the global specialty chemicals industry, announced today the addition of ACTION+ Catalyst Technology to the company’s cornerstone ACTION FCC Catalyst line following two successful commercial trials, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The company announced this new technology product during the 2021 AFPM (American Fuel & Petroleum Manufacturers) Summit in New Orleans, an annual two-day industry education event.

“Introduced in 2007, Albemarle’s ACTION Catalyst Technology has delivered best-in-class performance in butylene yield/selectivity and gasoline octane to refiners worldwide,” said Raphael Crawford, President, Catalysts. “Today’s introduction of ACTION+ catalyst technology builds off that strong history with next-generation butylene yields and gasoline octane."

ACTION+ leverages the core technology of ACTION, the shape-selective ZT-400, in conjunction with ZT500, a new, innovative, Y-zeolite stabilization system. ZT-500 minimizes hydrogen transfer reactions, providing maximum LPG olefinicity with unrivaled butylene/propylene selectivity, and preserves those species which maximize gasoline octane.

"Albemarle understands that today's refiners face new, diverse and daunting obstacles to profitable FCC operation in an extremely challenging and competitive business environment,” said Crawford. “Our goal is to continue to provide novel, creative solutions for shaping and optimizing product yield slates to ensure maximum returns."

ACTION+ Catalyst Technology is available on a global basis after completing two commercial campaigns.

As MRC wrote previously, in 2018, W. R. Grace & Co. completed the USD416 million acquisition of the Polyolefin Catalysts business of Albemarle Corporation. The acquired business primarily develops and manufactures proprietary and custom-manufactured single-site catalysts as well as metallocenes and activators used in the production of plastic resins. The transaction also includes a comprehensive series of highly optimized Ziegler-Natta catalysts for polyethylene (PE) production.

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.

Albemarle Corporation, headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., is a global specialty chemicals company with leading positions in lithium, bromine and refining catalysts. The company actively pursues a sustainable approach to managing our diverse global footprint of world-class resources.

Shell Q3 earnings to be hit by Hurricane Ida

Shell Q3 earnings to be hit by Hurricane Ida

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Royal Dutch Shell warned of a USD400 million hit to third-quarter earnings from the damage caused by August’s Hurricane Ida, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

However, in an update ahead of quarterly results this month, the oil major also flagged a boost to cashflows from soaring natural gas and electricity prices. Gas and power prices have been surging as tight gas supplies have collided with strong demand in economies recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Shell is the world’s top seller of liquefied natural gas (LNG), accounting for about 20% of global demand, though its sales have declined in recent months because of production problems.

The company said third-quarter cashflow at its LNG division “is expected to be significantly impacted by large variation margin inflows on the back of the prevailing gas and electricity price environment”.

Shell will be holding more cash from buyers as deposits in the face of the large fluctuations in gas prices. The cash will eventually flow back out as prices cool. Liquefaction in the quarter is expected to be between 7 and 7.5 million tonnes, the lowest since 2016, “reflecting feedgas constraints and additional maintenance”, Shell said. LNG earnings will, however, receive a boost from stronger trading results, it added.

As per MRC, Royal Dutch Shell has suspended scheduled repairs at a cracker on Pulau Bukom Island, Singapore due to measures to contain the spread of COVID-19. Shell has suspended repairs to its cracking unit due to staffing problems related to the tightening of measures to contain the spread of COVID-19 by the Singapore government. The original plan was to close the plant for about a week in the first half of October.

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.

Royal Dutch Shell is an Anglo-Dutch oil and gas company headquartered in The Hague (Netherlands). Shell conducts geological exploration and production of oil and gas in more than 80 countries around the world. The company fully or partially owns more than 30 oil refineries. In addition, Shell owns a significant number of chemical plants, as well as the production of solar panels and other alternative energy sources.


Plastics industry asked US Congress to drop tax on virgin plastic

Plastics industry asked US Congress to drop tax on virgin plastic

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The Plastics Industry Association on behalf of 67 companies urged US Congress to drop the inclusion of a 20 cent/lb tax on virgin plastic resin in the USD3.5tr budget reconciliation package, said the organization.

In the letter sent to both chambers of Congress, major plastic producers raised concerns about increased costs to the entire plastic industry chain and reduced US manufacturing competitiveness. Among the companies signing the letter were Chevron Phillips, Eastman, Epsilyte, ExxonMobil, Formosa, LyondellBasell, NOVA Chemicals, SABIC, Shell and Westlake Chemical.

The group of companies argued that while they are committed to increasing the amount of recycling resin, the proposed tax ignores the supply constraint that it would cause due to limited recycled resin supply, especially for food-grade packaging.

Legislators have not yet fully vetted the proposed tax with the regular legislative process, which includes expert analysis and public debate. The letter signed by major chemical companies follows another similar letter sent to Congress last week from 23 trade associations.

The revenue from the REDUCE Act’s proposed 10 cent/lb tax for 2022 would have gone into the creation of a Plastic Waste Reduction Fund to implement initiatives to reduce plastic waste and improve recycling rates. Now, the 20 cent/lb tax is one of several options highlighted by the US Senate Finance Committee to pay for the budget reconciliation bill.

The proposals could likely need to be developed further before being included in any legislation, as the details of the spending bill continue to be discussed.

As per MRC, Eastman is increasing capacity for its Naia-brand cellulosic filament yarn at its plant in Barcelona, Spain. Eastman is increasing its capacity to produce Naia cellulosic filament yarns at its plant Barcelona, by 30% by mid-2021, and by more than 50% by the end of 2022.

As per MRC's ScanPlast, Russia's consumption of PC granules (excluding imports and exports to Belarus) decreased by 14% and reached 62,000 tonnes in January-August 2021 against 72,100 tonnes in the same period of 2020. 13,500 tonnes of PC were consumed for the production of injection moulding products in Russia over the stated period, down by 29% year on year, whereas the last year's figure was 10,500 tonnes.

The Plastics Industry Association (PLASTICS) is the only organization that supports the entire plastics supply chain, representing nearly one million workers in the $395 billion U.S. industry. Since 1937, PLASTICS has been working to make its members and the industry more globally competitive while advancing recycling and sustainability.