PP imports to Belarus up by 9.4% in Jan-Aug 2021

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Overall polypropylene (PP) imports to Belarus rose in the first eight months of 2021 by 9.4% year on year to 79,100 tonnes. Demand for all grades of propylene polymers increased, according to MRC's DataScope report.

August PP imports into the Republic of Belarus dropped to 9,400 tonnes from 9,500 tonnes a month earlier. Local companies raised their purchases of propylene homopolymer (homopolymer PP), whereas their purchased of propylene copolymers decreased. Overall imports of propylene polymers reached 79,100 tonnes in January-August 2021, compared to 72,300 tonnes a year earlier, demand for all grades of propylene polymers increased, with homopolymer PP accounting for the greatest growth in demand.

The supply structure by PP grades looked the following way over the stated period.

August imports of homopolymer PP grew to 7,600 tonnes from 7,200 tonnes a month earlier, purchases of injection moulding homopolymer PP in Russia increased. Overall imports of homopolymer PP reached 58,100 tonnes in January-August 2021, up by 9.7% year on year.

August imports of propylene copolymers to Belarus were 1,800 tonnes versus 2,300 tonnes a month earlier, local companies reduced their procurement of injection moulding block-copolymers of propylene (PP block copolymer) from Russian producers. Thus, overall imports of propylene copolymers reached 20,000 tonnes over the stated period, up by 8.6% year on year.


Poliom resumes PP production

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Poliom (joint venture of SIBUR and Gazprom Neft) has resumed operations at its polypropylene (PP) production after shutdown for a scheduled turnaround, according to ICIS-MRC Price report.

The plant's customers said the Omsk producer resumed its PP production on 13 October after the scheduled maintenance. The outage was short and lasted for a little less than two weeks. The plant's annual production capacity is 230,000 tonnes.

It is also worth noting that Stavrolen intends to shut its PP production for a 26-day turnaround on 22 October. The plant's annual production capacity is 120,000 tonnes.

Poliom, one of the largest PP producers in Russia, started its operations in 2013. Poliom was formed as a joint venture of such companies, as Gazprom Neft (25%), SIBUR (25%) and the Titan Group of Companies (50%), in 2014. In July 2019, SIBUR and Gazprom Neft consolidated 100% of the authorized capital of Poliom LLC. The range of manufactured products is about 100 PP grades. The propane-propylene fraction, which comes from the Omsk Oil Refinery Gazprom Neft, is the main feedstock for the plant's production. SIBUR provides distribution of finished products in the market of the Russian Federation and the CIS countries. The plant is certified according to international standards. The best developments and technologies are used at Poliom to ensure a zero-waste production cycle.

Sumitomo Chemical switches to renewable energy at its Oita site in a move to cut gas emissions by 30%

Sumitomo Chemical switches to renewable energy at its Oita site in a move to cut gas emissions by 30%

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Sumitomo Chemical Co., Ltd. (Tokyo, Japan) has decided to switch all of the electricity purchased for its Oita Works (Oita City, Oita Prefecture, Japan) to renewable electricity starting November 2021, as part of its efforts to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, according to MarketScreener.

The switch will reduce CO2 emissions from the plant approximately 20% compared to FY2013. In addition, the company has changed fuel used as an energy source at Oita, from heavy oil to natural gas, which has a lower CO2 emission factor, while also working to optimize plant operating conditions to maximize the benefit of the change of fuel. By implementing all these measures, the Company will reduce GHG emissions from the Oita Works approximately 30% in total from FY2013 levels.

The Oita Works mainly manufactures crop protection chemicals, active ingredients and intermediates for pharmaceuticals, and fine chemicals such as resorcinol, a raw material for adhesives for tires. Sumitomo Chemical has long been working to reduce environmental impact and improve unit energy consumption, and has more recently been exploring ways to mitigate GHG emissions related to fuel and electric power used in its operations. The Company has decided to make the electricity purchased for the Oita Works 100% renewable in order to continue to fulfill its obligation as a manufacturing company to reduce emissions from its production while at the same time ensuring safe and stable operations and improving competitiveness.

The Sumitomo Chemical Group has set a goal of reducing GHG emissions 30% by FY2030 compared to FY2013, which was certified by the Science-Based Targets (SBT) initiative in October 2018.

To achieve this target, the Group has been implementing a variety of initiatives, and as a result, by FY2020, GHG emissions were reduced by 2.12 million tons, or 22%, from 9.54 million tons in FY2013. Going forward, additional reductions are expected to come from the switch to renewable electricity and the change of fuel at the Oita Works, as well as from the Group's on-going projects to construct a liquefied natural gas-based thermal power plant at its Ehime Works and introduce high-efficiency gas turbine power generators at its Chiba Works.

Currently, the Group is considering raising its GHG emissions reduction targets in view of the Japanese government's revised target of cutting emissions 46% by 2030, and plans to announce new targets by the end of 2021.

As MRC informed earlier, Sumitomo Chemical Co. has decided to construct a pilot facility for chemical recycling of acrylic resin (PMMA, poly-methyl-methacrylate) at its Ehime Works in Niihama City, Ehime Prefecture, Japan. The new facility is scheduled to begin pilot tests in the fall of 2022 and to start providing samples in 2023. In parallel with this project, the company will work to develop a recycling system for PMMA, from collection of used acrylic resin to recycling and reprocessing into products, aiming for early commercialization of chemically recycled PMMA.

With its own basic technology to pyrolyze acrylic resin and regenerate it as MMA monomer, which is used as a raw material, now successfully established, Sumitomo Chemical has decided to construct a pilot facility. The acrylic resin produced by re-polymerizing MMA monomer obtained by this technology is expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions over the entire product life cycle by more than 60% compared to virgin materials produced from fossil resources, while maintaining the same level of basic properties, such as transparency and strength.

The main sector consuming approximately 75% of MMA is the production of polymethyl methacrylate acrylic plastics (PMMA). Methyl methacrylate is also used to produce methyl methacrylate-butadiene-styrene copolymer (MBS), used as a modifier for polyvinyl chloride (PVC).

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's overall production of unmixed PVC totalled 746,700 tonnes in the nine months of 2021, up by 4% year on year. All producers increased their output.

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.