Sinopec starts up seventh alculation unit in Fujian Province utilizing Dupont Stratco technology

Sinopec starts up seventh alculation unit in Fujian Province utilizing Dupont Stratco technology

MOSCOW (MRC) -- DuPont announced that the STRATCO alkylation unit at the Fujian Refining and Petrochemical Co., Ltd (FREP) refinery in Quanzhou, Fujian Province, China, has successfully started up and completed the performance test, certifying that the unit is meeting performance guarantees, according to Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The STRATCO alkylation unit at FREP is designed to produce 7,700 bpd (300 kmta) of alkylate from a mixed butylene FCC feedstock.

This startup is the seventh successful STRATCO alkylation technology startup within Sinopec and allows compliance with the China VI standard which limits sulfur content in gasoline to a maximum of 10 ppm by generating low-sulfur, high-octane, low-rvp alkylate. As the world’s largest vehicle market in the world, China is committed to improving air quality in the country by introducing legislation, such as the China VI fuel standards, to reduce automobile-generated pollution.

Alkylate produced by Sinopec will meet both the current China VIA fuel standard and the VIB standard expected to come into force in 2023, which further reduce the levels of benzene, aromatics and olefins in the gasoline pool. As a paraffinic hydrocarbon, alkylate plays a key role in improving air quality and public health.

“Over the last several years, we have been able to work with multiple Sinopec refineries, building an energetic relationship and providing a reliable technology solution at each site. The consistency of our technology provides Sinopec the ability to deliver high quality alkylate to the gasoline pool, decreasing the environmental impact of its fuels. It has been a pleasure to work regularly with the Sinopec organization, a rapport that will continue throughout the lives of these seven units,” said Kevin Bockwinkel, global business manager, STRATCO Alkylation Technology.

With this startup at the FREP refinery, the total capacity of alkylate produced by STRATCO alkylation units in the Sinopec refinery network is 60,380 bpd (2,360 kmta).

As MRC wrote before, earlier this month, Amur Gas Chemical Complex LLC agreed and signed loan documents to finance the completion of Amur GCC’s construction. Amur GCC will act as the borrower; SIBUR and Sinopec will be sponsors proportional to their stakes (60/40, respectively) in the joint venture (JV). Upon completion of standard conditions precedent, AGCC will begin to draw on the loan which will total USD USD9.1bn and has a final maturity of 2035. Project costs in excess of USD 9.1bn will be covered by the JV parties pro rata.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 2,047,100 tonnes in the first ten months of 2021, up by 17% year on year. Shipments of all grades of ethylene polymers increased. At the same time,
PP shipments to the Russian market were 1,226,530 tonnes in January-October 2021, up by 26% year on year. Supply of propylene homopolymers (homopolymer PP) and block-copolymers of propylene (PP block copolymers) increased, whereas supply of injection moulding stat-copolymers of propylene (PP random copolymers) decreased significantly.

Sinopec corp. is one of the world's largest integrated energy and chemical companies. Business Sinopec Corp. includes oil and gas exploration, production and transportation of oil and gas, oil refining, petrochemical production, production of mineral fertilizers and other chemical products. In terms of refining capacity, Sinopec Corp. ranks second in the world, in terms of ethylene capacity - fourth.

COVID-19 - News digest as of 10.12.2021

1. Crude oil prices fall as China developer downgrades add to fears of demand outlook and on new restrictions to fight Omricon

MOSCOW (MRC) - Oil prices fell on Thursday on fears about the economic outlook in the world’s biggest oil importer following ratings downgrades to two Chinese property developers, and after some governments took measures to fight the Omicron varaint of the coronavirus, reported Reuters. Brent crude futures fell USD1.01, or 1.3%, to USD74.81 a barrel by 12:05 p.m. EDT (1705 GMT), backing off a session high of USD76.70. US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down USD1.00, or 1.4%, at USD71.36 after hitting a peak of USD73.34. On Thursday, ratings agency Fitch downgraded property developers China Evergrande Group and Kaisa Group to “restricted default” status, saying they had defaulted on offshore bonds, while a source said that Kaisa had started work on restructuring its USD12 billion offshore debt.


Trinseo raises December PS, ABS and SAN prices in Europe

Trinseo raises December PS, ABS and SAN prices in Europe

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Trinseo, a global materials company and manufacturer of plastics, latex binders, and synthetic rubber, and its affiliate companies in Europe, have announced a price increase for all polystyrene (PS), acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS) and acrylonitrile-styrene copolymer (SAN) in Europe, according to the company's press release as of December 2.

Effective December 1, 2021, or as existing contract terms allow, the contract and spot prices for the products listed below rose, as follows:

- STYRON general purpose polystyrene grades (GPPS) -- by EUR50 per metric ton;
- STYRON and STYRON A-Tech and STYRON X- Tech and STYRON C- Tech high impact polystyrene grades (HIPS) - by EUR50 per metric ton;
- MAGNUM ABS resins - by EUR50 per metric ton;
- TYRIL SAN resins - by EUR50 per metric ton.

As MRC reported earlier, Trinseo raised its prices for all PS, ABS and SAN grades on November 1, 2021, as stated below:

- STYRON GPPS -- by EUR290 per metric ton;
- STYRON and STYRON A-Tech and STYRON X- Tech and STYRON C- Tech HIPS - by EUR290 per metric ton;
- MAGNUM ABS resins - by EUR230 per metric ton;
- TYRIL SAN resins - by EUR240 per metric ton.

According to ICIS-MRC Price report, in Russia, for large- and middle-sized buyers, December prices of Nizhnekamskneftekhim's GPPS were in the range of roubles (Rb) 172,750-183,700/tonne CPT Moscow, including VAT, whereas HIPS prices were at Rb178,750-189,000/tonne CPT Moscow, including VAT. Penoplex's limited December GPPS quantities were contracted at Rb195,000-197,000/tonne CPT Moscow, including VAT, in early December. The producer reported the absence of available quantities until the end of the month. Prices of Gazprom neftekhim Salavat's GPPS were at Rb172,500-181,000/tonne CPT Moscow, including VAT, this week.

Trinseo is a global materials company and manufacturer of plastics, latex and rubber. Trinseo's technology is used by customers in industries such as home appliances, automotive, building & construction, carpet, consumer electronics, consumer goods, electrical & lighting, medical, packaging, paper & paperboard, rubber goods and tires. Formerly known as Styron, Trinseo completed its renaming process in 1Q 2015. Trinseo had approximately USD3.0 billion in net sales in 2020, with 17 manufacturing sites around the world, and approximately 2,600 employees.

December European PVC for CIS countries rolled over from November

December European PVC for CIS countries rolled over from November

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Negotiations over prices of European polyvinyl chloride (PVC) for December shipments to the CIS countries started in the middle of last week. Ethylene prices decreased slightly in the region, so European producers rolled over November PVC export prices for December shipments, according to the ICIS-MRC Price Report.

December contract price of ethylene was agreed down by EUR10/tonne from the previous month, which theoretically allows to talk about an decrease of EUR4/tonne in the net cost of PVC production compared with November. But good demand for PVC, including from the domestic market, allows to keep high prices.

Most producers rolled over November export PVC prices for December shipments. The planned shutdowns of facilities in Europe have actually come to an end, and the supply of PVC is gradually increasing in the market, but the market is still far from saturation. In addition, interruptions in the work of some producers remain.

In particular, according to market participants, the Polish Anwil stopped production due to technical problems.
All these factors allow European producers to maintain record high price levels for both the domestic and export markets over the past few years.

In general, deals on December shipments of suspension polyvinyl chloride (SPVC) to the CIS markets were held in the range of EUR1,650-1,710/tonne FCA, which practically corresponds to the November level.


PP prices in Russia remained steady from late October

PP prices in Russia remained steady from late October

MOSCOW (MRC) - Scheduled maintenance works of several production facilities in the second half of October led to an increase in polypropylene (PP) prices on the Russian market. The shutdowns have finished, but PP prices remained steady, according to the ICIS-MRC Price Report.

Three Russian producers shut their capacities for maintenance works in September - November. In parallel, the prices of polypropylene were growing in some export directions. As a result, because of a limited supply of PP in the domestic market and the situation in foreign markets in the second half of October, Russian producers increased prices on average by roubles (Rb) 3,000/tonne.

The shutdowns ended by the second half of November, but this factor did not affect prices. The last maintenance works at Russian plants ended on 11 November, Stavrolen resumed its work after almost a month's downtime, the annual capacity of which is 120,000 tonnes.

Ufaorgsintez and Poliom stopped their production for maintenance works in September - October. Nevertheless, supply of Russian homopolymer PP remained.

Stavrolen again stopped its production from 2 December for a week due to technological issues, and the producer plans to cut production of homopolymer PP in favour of propylene copolymers. Due to technical problems, Ufaorgsintez reduced capacity utilisation, and there is a high likelihood of restrictions on homopolymer PP supplies to the domestic market in December.

Some market participants reported tight supply of PP from other producers. But there has been no need to talk about a deficit of homopolymer PP sin the Russian market so far. The demand for polymer from several consumption segments seasonally decreased, with the most noticeable decrease in processing volumes was in the construction sector.

Also, a fairly large number of converters have sufficient PP stocks from the past months. Foreign market have not affected Russian PP prices; due to a some factors, a decrease in prices was seen in a number of export directions.
As a result, Russian producers decreased export PP prices significantly in December.

Domestic prices of homopolymer PP have been steady since the second half of October, with the greatest fluctuations from some sellers. This week's spot deals for homopolymer PP raffia grade were done at Rb155,000-158,000/tonne CPT Moscow, including VAT. Prices for injection moulding homopolymer PP were heard at Rb157,000 - 160,000/tonne CPT Moscow, including VAT.