PVC imports to Belarus rose by 22.5% in January-August

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Overall imports of unmixed polyvinyl chloride (PVC) into Belarus totalled about 40,000 tonnes in the first eight months of 2021, up by 22.5% year on year, according to MRC's DataScope report.

According to the statistics committee of the Republic of Belarus, local converters were unable to replenish their PVC inventories in full in August of this year, due to limited stocks at the main suppliers - producers from Russia.
August imports of unmixed PVC amounted about 4,900 tonnes, while in the previous month they were 4,800 tonnes. Thus, imports of unmixed PVC reached 40,000 tonnes in January-August 2021, compared to 32,600 tonnes a year earlier.

Russian producers with the share of about 92% of the Belarusian market were the key suppliers of resin to Belarus over the stated period.
Producers from Germany with the share of about 7% were the second largest suppliers.

Stavrolen shut PP production for turnaround

Stavrolen shut PP production for turnaround

MOSCOW (MRC) - Stavrolen, a major producer of polyolefins in Russia, shut down its polypropylene (PP) production for scheduled maintenance works, according to the ICIS-MRC Price Report.

The plant's clients said Stavrolen began a scheduled turnaround at its PP production on 17 October. The shutdown will be short and will last for about 24 days. The plant's annual production capacity is 120,000 tonnes.

It is also worth noting that Stavrolen shut its high density polyethylene (HDPE) production from 12 October for scheduled repairs. The outage will last for 36 days. The plant's annual production capacity is 300,000 tonnes.

Stavrolen, Lukoil's subsidiary, is Russia's second largest high density polyethylene (HDPE) producer after Kazanorgsintez and the fifth largest PP manufacturer. Stavrolen's HDPE and PP production capacities are 300,000 tonnes and 120,000 tonnes per year, respectively, the plant also produces 80,000 tonnes of benzene and 50,000 tonnes of vinyl acetate per year.

ExxonMobil may drop several major oil and gas projects

ExxonMobil may drop several major oil and gas projects

MOSCOW (MRC) -- ExxonMobil Corp board is debating whether to continue with several major oil and gas projects amid a global push from investors for fossil fuel companies to be more cost-conscious and green-energy friendly, according to Reuters with reference to WSJ's report.

Activist investor Engine No. 1 in May shocked the oil-and-gas industry when three of its four nominees were elected to the board by Exxon shareholders, who were frustrated by weak returns and the company's flagging attention to climate concerns.

The appointment of activist Jeff Ubben in March put a third of the 12-member board in new hands.

The board members expressed concerns about some projects, including a USD30 B liquefied natural gas development in Mozambique and another multibillion-dollar gas project in Vietnam, the WSJ report said, citing people familiar with the matter.

The Mozambique and Vietnam projects have been stalled for long periods over local fights as well as sour gas and high costs. No final investment decisions have been taken on these projects.

The talks on projects are taking place as part of a review of Exxon's five-year spending plan, on which the board is set to vote at the end of this month, WSJ reported.

Exxon is also analyzing the expected carbon emissions from each project and how they would affect its ability to meet pledges to reduce emissions, the report said.

The annual projected emissions from the Mozambique and Vietnam projects were among the highest in Exxon's planned pipeline of oil and gas projects, according to a pre-pandemic internal analysis by Exxon, which was reviewed by WSJ.

As MRC reported earlier, ExxonMobil plans to build its first, large-scale plastic waste advanced recycling facility in Baytown, Texas, and is expected to start operations by year-end 2022. By recycling plastic waste back into raw materials that can be used to make plastic and other valuable products, the technology could help address the challenge of plastic waste in the environment. A smaller, temporary facility, is already operational and producing commercial volumes of certified circular polymers that will be marketed by the end of this year to meet growing demand.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 1,638,370 tonnes in the first eight months of 2021, up by 10% year on year. Shipments of all grades of ethylene polymers increased. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market were 989,570 tonnes in the first eight months of 2021, up by 30% year on year. Deliveries of homopolymer PP and block-copolymers of propylene (PP block copolymers) increased, whereas shipments of injection moulding PP random copolymers decreased significantly.

ExxonMobil is the largest non-government owned company in the energy industry and produces about 3% of the world's oil and about 2% of the world"s energy.

PPG honored for sustainable innovation, marketing campaign

PPG honored for sustainable innovation, marketing campaign

MOSCOW (MRC) -- PPG announced that it has been honored with British Coatings Federation (BCF) awards in the Sustainable Innovation and Marketing Campaign of the Year categories, said Coatingworld.

The prestigious awards recognize excellence in companies and individuals working in the coatings sector. The novel PPG MOONWALK robotic system for mixing automotive refinish coatings earned first place in the Sustainable Innovation category. The award recognizes commitment to sustainability through the launch of innovative sustainable products, processes or services.

"The innovative PPG MoonWalk system saves labor, reduces waste and transforms the mixing room into a clean and safe environment, setting a new standard for the refinish market,” said Timothy Nevell, PPG regional business solutions manager, automotive refinish. “Paint technicians and body shop managers benefit from the extreme accuracy of the automation of the mixing process, improving speed, quality and color consistency."

The LEYLAND TRADE SMART product range by PPG received the Marketing Campaign of the Year award. The honor recognizes the BCF member company that has produced and delivered the most innovative and effective marketing campaign that makes a demonstrable impact on the target audience.

"The Leyland Trade Smart range by PPG is designed to address the frustrations the multi-skilled tradesperson faces,” said Ben Wilde, PPG marketing manager, architectural coatings. “We designed a simple, jargon-free marketing campaign that shows how the paint saves them time, money and space and delivers a high-quality end result, helping to ensure repeat business."

PPG was also a finalist in four other BCF award categories – Corporate Social Responsibility, Young Leader of the Year, Coatings Care Progress, and Diversity & Inclusion.

As per MRC, PPG Industries announced it will acquired Worwag (Stuttgart, Germany), a producer of liquid, powder and film coatings for industrial and automotive applications.

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.

PPG Industries Group was founded in 1883 in the USA. PPG Industries Inc. is an international American company producing paints and varnishes, chemicals, optical components, specialty materials, glass and fiberglass. The company includes over 150 production units and representative offices in more than 60 countries around the world. PPG is one of the 500 largest US corporations by sales.


Thailand to extend cap on diesel prices to help consumers

Thailand to extend cap on diesel prices to help consumers

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Thailand will extend its diesel price cap of 30 baht (USD0.8987) per liter beyond this month, its deputy prime minister said on Wednesday, as global oil prices put a strain on consumers and an economy struggling from the pandemic, reported Reuters.

The support will be financed by the country's oil fund and a loan, Deputy Prime Minister Supattanapong Punmeechaow, who is also energy minister, told a news conference.

He did not provide a timeframe for how long the price cap, which was due to end this month, would be in place.

However, the current oil fund of about 9 B baht (USD269.5 MM) and a loan of 20 B baht should support the price freeze for four to five months, if global oil prices stay at USD87.5 per barrel, Supattanapong said.

"By that time, we expect oil prices to gradually fall due to a warmer climate," he said.

If the funds are still insufficient, however, the energy ministry will work with the finance ministry on other measures, including a possible excise tax cut, Supattanapong said.

We remind that, as MRC wrote before, PTT Global Chemical (PTTGC) is in plans to undertake a brief shutdown for maintenance at its low density polyethylene (LDPE) plant in October. However, the exact dates of the turnaround were not given. Located at Map Ta Phut in Thailand, the LDPE plant has a production capacity of 345,000 mt/year.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, July estimated LDPE consumption in Russia grew to 52,280 tonnes from 45,190 tonnes a month earlier. Russian producers raised their PE output, imports also increased. Russia's estimated LDPE consumption was about 332,840 tonnes in the first seven months of 2021, up by only 1% year on year. PE production and exports decreased, whereas imports increased.