Belarus plans to expand petrochemical production despite sanctions

Belarus plans to expand petrochemical production despite sanctions

MOSCOW (MRC) - The Belarusian authorities strategically intend to expand petrochemical production in the face of increased Western sanctions against Belarusian oil products and the Naftan refinery, Interfax reports.

“Under the pressure of sanctions, the only possible strategy for maintaining the competitiveness and sustainable operation of our oil refinery is to diversify the existing product portfolio towards organizing the production of new petrochemical products. a propylene plant. The task is to build it in this five-year period, "said Deputy Prime Minister of Belarus Yuri Nazarov.

According to the Deputy Prime Minister, for the project on Polimir "we are now at the stage of announcing a competition." “We hope that our Chinese partners will respond to this competition, because these technologies are well developed there,” said Yu. Nazarov.

As reported, on April 19, the US Treasury canceled the moratorium on sanctions against the Belneftekhim concern, its trade office in the United States and seven of its member enterprises, in particular the Naftan refinery, which had been in effect since October 2015.

On June 21, 2021, EU sanctions came into force against 78 Belarusian individuals and eight organizations due to the situation with human rights violations in Belarus. Thus, in total, 166 individuals and 15 organizations are now under individual sanctions imposed by the EU against Belarus. In particular, the sanctions apply to MAZ and BelAZ.

In parallel with the EU, the US, UK and Canada expanded the sanctions lists. On June 24, the EU Council adopted a decision to impose sectoral sanctions against Belarus, which, in particular, relate to the transit and export of Belarusian potash fertilizers, oil products, and restrict access to the EU financial market.

In March of this year, the Naftan refinery announced that it plans to attract significant loans for the implementation of the project for the construction of an ethylene-propylene unit (EP-200) at the Polymir petrochemical plant, which is part of its structure. As a result of the project implementation, the annual output of target products will total 300,000 tonnes, including 200 thousand tons of ethylene and 100,000 tonnes of propylene.

According to the ICIS-MRC Price Report, Polymir, a member of Naftan OJSC, on 1 October shut part of the production of low-pressure polyethylene (LDPE) for scheduled preventive maintenance. According to the company's clients, the Belarusian manufacturer has stopped the second stage of LDPE production (158th polyethylene) for scheduled repairs. Production downtime is planned within 30 days. And this is the second stop for repairs this year.

The Polymir plant (OJSC "Naftan"), the largest petrochemical enterprise in Belarus, produces a wide range of chemical products such as high-pressure polyethylene, acrylic fibers, organic synthesis products, hydrocarbon fractions, etc. Polymir was founded in 1968. In the process of creating a production and technical base, technologies were used by the largest foreign firms in England, Japan, Germany, Italy (Courtaulds, Asahi Chemical Co. Ltd, Kanematsu Gosho, SNIA BPD, etc.), as well as the development of research institutes and design institutes of the CIS countries. The annual design capacity of LDPE production is 130,000 tonnes.

Kazanorgsintez tripled its net profit in nine months

Kazanorgsintez tripled its net profit in nine months

MOSCOW (MRC) - Kazanorgsintez (KOS, part of the TAIF group) in January-September 2021 increased its net profit by 3.1 times compared to the last year - to Rb19.9 bn, according to the company's report on Russian accounting standards.

The company's revenue grew 1.6 times - up to Rb76.5 bn, the cost price - by 32.8%, up to Rb45.6 bn, sales profit - 3.2 times, up to Rb25.8 bn, profit up to taxation increased by 3 times - up to Rb25 bn.

Earlier it was reported that in the first nine months Kazanorgsintez produced 512 thousand tons of polyethylene and 72,000 tonnes of polycarbonates. In general, the production output at the enterprise in January - September 2021 decreased by 4.4%. Including the production of low-density polyethylene fell by 13.5%, the company focused on the maximum production of more expensive high-density polyethylene.

The general director of Tatneftekhiminvest-holding Rafinat Yarullin noted that this year the problem with the supply of raw materials to polyethylene plants at Kazanorgsintez is increasing.

According to the ScanPlast survey of MRC, last month the total volume of HDPE production at Kazanorgsintez decreased to 19,400 tonnes against 29.500 tonnes in August, the decrease in production was due to a stop for preventive maintenance in mid-September. Thus, for the period under review, the total production of this type of polyethylene amounted to 283,600 tonnes, which is 26% less than a year earlier.

According to the ICIS-MRC Price Report, Kazanorgsintez (KOS, part of the TAIF group) partially stopped the operation of its polyethylene (PE) production facilities due to technical problems. By 21 October, KOS partially stopped production of low-density polyethylene (LDPE) and high-density polyethylene (HDPE) due to technical problems. The idle capacity is unplanned, the time frame for reaching full capacity has not yet been announced.

It is also worth noting that from October 12, Stavrolen stopped its HDPE capacities for scheduled repairs. The Budennovsk manufacturer plans to resume production of PE from 17 November. The annual production capacity is 300,000 tonnes.

PJSC Kazanorgsintez is one of the largest enterprises in the Russian Federation (PJSC TAIF Group of Companies). It produces 40% of all Russian polyethylene and is its largest exporter. Currently, PE, polycarbonate (PC), polyethylene pipes, phenol, acetone, bisphenol A are produced. KOS is the only Russian PC manufacturer. There are 170 types of products in total. The annual production volume is 1.6 million tonnes. The enterprise is the largest producer of low-pressure polyethylene (HDPE) pipes in Russia. The annual production capacity of HDPE is 540,000 tonnes, and LDPE - 225,000 tonnes.

Trafigura receives fuel oil export contract from Petroecuador

Trafigura receives fuel oil export contract from Petroecuador

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Ecuador's state-owned oil company Petroecuador has awarded a contract to commodity trader Trafigura for exporting fuel oil, the volume of which will depend on how much it refines each year, reported Reuters.

The 25-mos contract will include the delivery of between 30% and 50% of the annual production of fuel oil, mostly used in power generation, in the Esmeraldas refinery, Ecuador's largest, which has a capacity to refine 110,000 bbl of crude per day.

Trafigura was the only company of 36 invited to bid on the contract that presented an economically viable offer, with a premium of 41 cents per bbl, Petroecuador said in a statement.

"In opening this bid we considered the minimal storage capacity of fuel oil number six at the Esmeraldas refinery," the company said.

"Continuously exporting shipments of this product will allow operation of the plant to be constant and not paused due to lack of storage."

Esmeraldas produced 12.1 MM bbl of fuel oil between January and October this year.

The plant resumed full operating capacity in September. Output was limited following severe damage to the refinery's fluid catalytic cracking unit due to a failure in Ecuador's electricity grid.

As MRC informed earlier, Trafigura is preparing to sell its 24.5% indirect stake in an Indian oil refining joint venture with Russia's Rosneft to an Italian group. Trafigura holds the stake in Nayara Energy, which owns India's third largest refinery, a port and a network of more than 6,000 fuel stations across India, indirectly through a 49.84% holding in Singapore-based Tendril Ventures Pte Ltd.

We remind that India's Nayara Energy hopes to operate its 400,000 barrels per day (bpd) refinery in western India at close to 100% capacity in 2021 as fuel demand is picking up.

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 1,868,160 tonnes in the first nine months of 2021, up by 18% year on year. Shipments of all grades of ethylene polymers increased. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market were 1,138,510 tonnes in January-September 2021, up by 30% year on year. Supply of propylene homopolymer (homopolymer PP) and block-copolymers of propylene (PP block copolymers) increased, whereas supply of injection moulding statistical copolymers of propylene (PP random copolymers) decreased significantly.

ALPLA strengthens its footprint in Asia-Pacific region by opening office in Singapore

ALPLA strengthens its footprint in Asia-Pacific region by opening office in Singapore

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The ALPLA Group, the global packaging solutions and recycling specialist, has announced that it is strengthening its footprint in Asia, according to Polymerupdate.

Thus, the Austrian recycler will open an office in Singapore on 1 January, 2022, to serve as its administrative hub for the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region, including its operations in China, Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines.

The APAC region will be managed by Roland Wallner, currently ALPLA Managing Director North East Asia.

With 2,750 employees, ALPLA APAC is well situated to develop the packaging of tomorrow for the Asian market.
Alongside extending the reach of Alpla’s industry-leading moulding technology, a strong focus lies on the further development of circular economy activities in the region.

As MRC reported earlier, in August 2021, packaging supplier ALPLA Group announced a purchase of the Wolf Plastics Group for an undisclosed amount in a move to expand the company's product portfolio in Central and Southeastern Europe. Headquartered in Kammern, Austria, Wolf also has production facilities in Hungary and Romania.

We remind that the ALPLA Group is also investing more than EUR5m in an extrusion system for food-grade recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET) made of used PET bottles at its site in Anagni, Italy.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, the estimated polyethylene terephthalate (PET) consumption in Russia increased to 56,960 tonnes in September 2021, up by year on year. Russia's overall PET consumption reached 592,560 tonnes in the nine months of 2021, up by 12% year on year.

Headquartered in Hard, Austria, ALPLA specializes in blow molded bottles and caps, injection molded parts, and preforms and tubes. ALPLA operates its own recycling plants for PET and HDPE in Austria, Poland, Mexico, Italy and Spain, and in the form of joint ventures in Mexico and Germany. Other projects are being realised elsewhere around the world.

GNS started commissioning of the catalytic cracking complex

GNS started commissioning of the catalytic cracking complex

MOSCOW (MRC) - Gazprom neftekhim Salavat has started the final stage of commissioning of the catalytic cracking complex, the company said in a statement.

The commissioning of a catalytic cracking complex will increase the production of commercial high-octane motor gasolines that meet Euro-5 requirements, as well as significantly reduce the burden on the environment.

When debugging the operation of the equipment and bringing the complex to normal technological mode, in particular, the first start-up of the centrifugal compressor of wet gas, part of the gases is temporarily directed to the flare stack for the period of setting the parameters of the compressor, as a result of which the gases are burned with intense smoke generation. Combustion of gases on a flare stack is a controlled process and is an integral part of start-up operations. The impact on the environment does not exceed the permitted standards.

The catalytic cracking complex is designed for the production of a high-octane component of motor gasoline and liquefied hydrocarbon gases - propane-propylene and butane-butylene fractions, which are a valuable raw material for petrochemicals.

The implementation of the project will increase the production of commercial high-octane motor gasolines that meet Euro-5 requirements and, accordingly, the output of light petroleum products. The complex meets all the requirements of environmental and industrial safety. The project provides for specialized gas cleaning facilities, electrostatic precipitators, in which all harmful impurities will be screened out. There are no environmental risks. The catalytic cracking complex will replace two outdated units: Katcracking-1 and Katcracking-2, built in the 50s of the last century.

Earlier it was written that RusGazDobycha plans to create a gas chemical cluster on the basis of Gazprom neftekhim Salavat (GNS), one of the largest oil refining and petrochemical complexes in the Russian Federation, for which almost 30 billion cubic meters of "ethane" gas will be supplied from Yamal. In particular, the gas processing complex that RusGazDobycha will build at the gas pumping station will process ethane-containing gas from the Nadym-Pur-Taz region and the Tambeyskoye field (Yamal).

According to the ICIS-MRC Price Report, Gazprom neftekhim Salavat (GNS, Salavat, Bashkortostan) resumed production of low-pressure polyethylene (LDPE) after shutting for a long planned maintenance works. GNS 1 October resumed production of low-pressure polyethylene (LDPE) after shutting for scheduled preventive maintenance. The idle capacity was quite long and started on the 20th of July. The annual production capacity is 45,000 tonnes.

OJSC Gazprom neftekhim Salavat (formerly OJSC Salavatnefteorgsintez) is one of the leading petrochemical companies in Russia, which carries out a full cycle of hydrocarbon processing. The list of commercial products manufactured by the enterprise includes more than 140 names, including 76 names of the main products: motor gasolines, diesel fuels, kerosene, heating oil, toluene, solvent, liquefied gases, benzene, styrene, ethylbenzene, butyl alcohols, phthalic anhydride and plasticizers, polyethylene, polystyrene, silica gels and zeolite catalysts, corrosion inhibitors, elemental sulfur, ammonia and urea, glycols and amines, a wide range of plastics household products, surfactants and much more.