European PVC prices steady for CIS markets since November

European PVC prices steady for CIS markets since November

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Negotiations over prices of European polyvinyl chloride (PVC) for January shipments to the CIS countries began in the middle of last week. Ethylene prices have been steady in the region for the second month in a row, on the back of which European producers rolled over their December export PVC prices for January shipments, according to ICIS-MRC Price report.

The January contract price of ethylene was agreed at the previous month's level, which theoretically allowed to talk about the steadiness of the net cost of PVC production. Strong demand for resin also remained in Europe, including demand from some export markets. And these conditions allowed to maintain high prices for resin. Most producers rolled over their December export PVC prices for January shipments, which virtually corresponded to the level of November.

In fact, there was a shortage of PVC in Europe during the whole year of 2021 because of scheduled and unscheduled shutdowns for maintenance of local producers and lower imports. Supply of PVC has begun to gradually increase in the market for the past two months of 2021, but the market is far from being saturated. In addition, interruptions in the work of some producers remain.

In January, European producers were in no hurry to adjust their export prices for the CIS countries and, in fact, maintained them in the range of EUR1,650-1,710/tonne FCA, which virtually corresponded to the level of November and December.

At the same time, it should be noted that supply of PVC for shipments from the USA has grown significantly since December. Thus, the key suppliers announced their offer prices for February shipments at USD1,700/tonne CFR and lower.

PVC production in Russia grew 3% in 2021

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Overall production of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) exceeded 1.0 mln tonnes in 2021, up by 3% year on year. Three producers increased their output, according to MRC's ScanPlast report.

December production of unmixed PVC rose to 88,400 tonnes from 86,600 tonnes a month earlier, higher output was due to the increased capacity utilisation at RusVinyl. Overall output of polymer totalled 1,007,000 tonnes in 2021 versus 976,300 tonnes a year earlier. Three producers increased their production, whereas one producer kept his last year's figures.

The structure of PVC production by plants looked the following way over the stated period.

RusVinyl produced slightly over 30,600 tonnes of PVC in December, with emulsion polyvinyl chloride (EPVC) accounting for 2,500 tonnes, compared to 29,600 tonnes a month earlier. RusVinyl's overall output reached 349,400 tonnes in 2021, compared to 333,400 tonnes in 2020.
Higher production was mainly caused by the absence of a shutdown for maintenances this year.

SayanskKhimPlast produced 27,900 tonnes of suspension PVC (SPVC), compared to 27,100 tonnes in November. The Sayansk plant managed to produce about 309,300 tonnes of PVC in January-December, compared to 298,800 tonnes a year earlier.

Baskhir Soda Company produced about 22,900 tonnes of SPVC in December, against 23,000 tonnes a month earlier. The Baskhir plant's overall production of PVC reached 268,200 tonnes in 2021, which virtually corresponds to the last year's figure.

Kaustik (Volgograd) last month produced a little more than 6,900 tonnes of PVC suspension, which is actually the same as in November.
The plant's overall production of PVC reached 80,300 tonnes over the stated period, up by 5% year on year.


ExxonMobil seeks buyer for US shale gas properties in Ohio

ExxonMobil seeks buyer for US shale gas properties in Ohio

MOSCOW (MRC) -- ExxonMobil on Tuesday launched the sale of shale gas properties stretching across 27,000 acres in the Appalachian basin of Ohio, which is part of an ongoing divestiture of US assets, reported Reuters with reference to the company's confirmation.

The top US oil producer is marketing 61 wells that last year produced around 81 million cubic feet per day equivalent (mmcfd) of natural gas, according to a marketing document viewed by Reuters. The sale includes another 274 wells operated by other companies.

A sale could value the assets at around USD200 million based on current natural gas prices and existing production from the wells, a person familiar with the matter said.

"ExxonMobil is providing information to third parties that may have an interest in the assets, but no agreement has been reached and no buyer has been identified," said spokeswoman Sarah Nordin. Operations are continuing, she added.

The company in 2020 took about a USD20 billion writedown on properties, primarily purchased with subsidiary XTO Energy a decade earlier. It removed gas assets in Appalachia, the Rocky Mountains, Oklahoma, Texas and elsewhere from its development plan after the writedown.

The Ohio properties produced around 250 mmcfd of gas in 2017 and are among assets that Exxon put on the market as it focuses development in Guyana, offshore Brazil and Texas's Permian Basin shale field.

The company three years ago set a goal of raising USD15 billion from asset sales, and last year accelerated its marketing efforts as energy prices recovered from the pandemic.

As MRC informed previously, in mid-January, 2022, Exxon Mobil Corporation’s Baytown refinery in Texas continues to produce at reduced rates after a fire broke out at a reformer feed hydrotreater on Dec 23,202. The Baytown refinery is one of the largest refining and petrochemical facilities in the United States, with a crude processing capacity of 560,500 barrels per day. The fire took place at the refinery’s hydrotreater unit, which had been closed due to a leakage in the bypass line. The cause of the fire has not yet been determined.

Exxon's Baytown facility is home to a chemical plant, an olefins plant and the country's fourth-biggest oil refinery, with capacity to process 560,500 bpd of crude.

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 2,265,290 tonnes in the first eleven months of 2021, up by 14% year on year. Shipments of all grades of ethylene polymers increased. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market were 1,363,850 tonnes in January-November, 2021, up by 25% year on year. Supply of homopolymer PP and block-copolymers of propylene (PP block copolymers) increased, whereas supply 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.

Evonik to expand production of amorphous poly-alpha-olefins

Evonik to expand production of amorphous poly-alpha-olefins

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Evonik is expanding its portfolio of amorphous poly-alpha-olefins for the adhesives industry to include a sustainable product range, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The new products are marketed under the brand name VESTOPLAST eCO and consist of more than 90% ISCC PLUS-certified, mass-balanced sustainable material. The use of these sustainable raw materials significantly reduces CO2 emissions compared to the qualitatively equivalent, petrochemical-based VESTOPLAST. By using renewable energy in production, the CO2 footprint can be further reduced.

VESTOPLAST is mainly used as a raw material for hotmelt adhesives applied in various industries, such as the hygiene, automotive, packaging, and wood processing branches. The biomass content of VESTOPLAST eCO is calculated according to the mass balance method: In other words, the product is manufactured using a mix of bio-based and fossil-based resources. The resulting physical properties are identical to those of the classic portfolio.

"As a specialty chemicals company, we are taking important steps to reduce the impact of our products on the environment. With the new VESTOPLAST eCO product portfolio, we want to reduce the use of fossil resources in the adhesives industry in favor of bio-based,” explains Roberto Vila-Keller, head of the Coating & Adhesive Resins business line. “With the mass-balancing approach, Evonik is committed to increasing the use of biomaterials and reducing our customers' dependence on fossil resources."

As per MRC, Evonik plans to launch new plasticizer products based on the raw material INA (Isononanol) next year. This will strengthen the Group's global business in plasticizers, which are used in particular for flexible PVC products such as cables, flooring and roofing membranes. The new products are to be manufactured at the Group's largest site in Marl, Germany.

As MRC informed earlier, in February, 2020, Dow and Evonik entered into an exclusive technology partnership. Together, they plan to bring a unique method for directly synthesizing propylene glycol (PG) from propylene and hydrogen peroxide to market maturity.

Evonik Industries is one of the world's leading chemical companies in the promising areas of specialty chemistry. The company's products are focused on the high growth rates of megatrends, especially healthcare, nutrition, resource efficiency and globalization.

TotalEnergies and Plastic Energy formed chemical recycling JV in Spain

TotalEnergies and Plastic Energy formed chemical recycling JV in Spain

MOSCOW (MRC) -- TotalEnergies and Plastic Energy have formed a joint venture to build a 33,000 tonne/year chemical recycling plant for plastics in Seville, south Spain, said the company.

Financial details were not disclosed. The facility will be built within Plastic Energy facilities in Seville and expected to start up in 2025.

The plant will process and convert 33,000 tonnes of post-consumer end-of-life plastic waste yearly, that would otherwise be destined for landfill or incineration. The plant is expected to become operational in early 2025, with TACOIL to be used for the manufacturing of high-quality polymers in TotalEnergies’ European-based production units, following a successful processing experimentation in TotalEnergies’ petrochemical platform in Antwerp. With identical properties to virgin ones, the recycled polymers will be suitable for use in food-grade applications, such as flexible and rigid food packaging containers.

Plastic Energy and TotalEnergies are both firmly committed to develop plastics recycling to address the issue of plastic waste, and to build a circular economy in Europe and globally. In line with this commitment, TotalEnergies and Plastic Energy have announced in September 2020 a joint venture to build a plastic waste conversion facility with a capacity of 15,000 tonnes per year at the TotalEnergies Grandpuits zero-crude platform in France. The project is expected to be operational in 2023.

Additionally, Plastic Energy, Freepoint Eco-Systems and TotalEnergies announced a strategic partnership in October 2021 for a similar recycling plant in Texas, U.S.A. This plant, which is a joint venture between Plastic Energy and Freepoint Eco-systems, will have the capacity to recycle 33,000 tonnes of plastic waste per year, and is expected to be operational by mid-2024. Under the agreement, TACOIL will be converted by TotalEnergies in its Texas-based production units.

As per MRC, Plastic Energy Ltd has announced plans to partner with Freepoint Eco-Systems LLC and TotalEnergies to build a pyrolysis-based chemical recycling facility in Texas. According to a joint news release on the partnership, the project will process and convert 33,000 tons of postconsumer end-of-life plastic scrap annually. The plant is expected to become operational by 2024. TACOIL will be used to manufacture polymers in TotalEnergies’ Texas-based production unit to help create items such as flexible and rigid food packaging containers.

As MRC informed before, TotalEnergies has recently inaugurated the extension of Synova in Normandy, the French leader in recycled polypropylene production. TotalEnergies is therefore doubling its mechanical recycling production capacity for recycled polymers, to meet growing demand for sustainable polymers from customers, such as Automotive Manufacturer (Auto OEM) and the construction industry.

TotalEnergies is a broad energy company that produces and markets energies on a global scale: oil and biofuels, natural gas and green gases, renewables, and electricity. The company rebranded itself from Total to TotalEnergies during Q2 2021. The French firm has announced allocating part of surplus revenues to share buybacks. Its 105,000 employees are committed to energy that is ever more affordable, clean, reliable and accessible to as many people as possible. Active in more than 130 countries, TotalEnergies puts sustainable development in all its dimensions at the heart of its projects and operations to contribute to the well-being of people.