Wacker opens cement, concrete additives R&D centre in Moscow

Wacker opens cement, concrete additives R&D centre in Moscow

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Wacker Chemie has opened a laboratory in Moscow for research and development (R&D) on water-repellent silicone additives for cement and concrete, said the company.

Financial details on capital expenditure (capex) for the site were not disclosed. The additives are used in cementitious materials to provide protection against moisture, salts, or unwanted chemical reactions. The company thus aims to tap into the petrochemicals-intensive construction industry in Russia.

The Moscow laboratory is part of Wacker’s Innovation Hub for Cement and Concrete. “Our new lab in Moscow will give us our first ever opportunity for systematically studying and testing a wide range of raw materials used in cement and concrete,” said Thomas Koini, head of Wacker’s Performance Silicones division.

As per MRC, Wacker Chemie AG is moving forward with “Shape the Future,” its efficiency program initiated last November. The Munich-based chemical company has recenly announced that company management and employee representatives have agreed on a framework for the planned job cutbacks.

As MRC reported earlier, Wacker Chemie operates a 90 ktpa EVA compounding plant at the Ulsan site, consisting of two lines. The second line with a capacity of 40 thousand tons of products per year was launched in 2013.

Wacker Chemie manufactures and markets EVA dispersions under the VINNAPAS brand name. VINNAPAS polymer dispersions are used in a wide range of industries: for the production of complex thermal insulation systems, building and tile adhesives, plaster, building mixtures and mortars, cement sealing slurries and nonwovens.
MRC

PKN Orlen selected Scientific Design EO/EG technology for olefins expansion project in Poland

PKN Orlen selected Scientific Design EO/EG technology for olefins expansion project in Poland

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Scientific Design Company announces that PKN Orlen has selected Scientific Design’s EO/EG technology for olefins expansion project in Plock, Poland, said the company.

Scientific Design was awarded the project as part of the Hyundai Engineering and Tecnicas Reunidas EPC consortium.

The award includes the license of process technology, the provision of a process design package, technical assistance and start up services and the initial charge of Scientific Design’s ethylene oxide catalyst. Completion of the project is scheduled for 2024, with production expected to begin early 2025.

As it was written earlier, PKN Orlen is exploring ways to produce polymers using carbon dioxide. New technology to capture, store, reuse or replace carbon pollution is being explored around the world, with some companies working on methods of converting the greenhouse gas into products such as plastic, soap, or fabric.

Under its 2030 strategy, Orlen plans to reduce CO2 emissions from existing refining and petrochemical assets by 20% and by 33% from its power generation business. It has also set a 2050 target date for achieving a net zero carbon footprint.

Polski Koncern Naftowy Orlen S.A. (PKN Orlen) is the largest Polish oil and gas company and one of the largest oil and gas companies in Europe. In Plock, the nominal capacity of the polypropylene (PP) line is 400 thousand tons per year. PKN Orlen owns a controlling stake (63%) in the Czech polyolefin producer Unipetrol. In addition, the largest Czech chemical manufacturer Spolana is also part of the Polish group PKN Orlen. The enterprise produces PVC, caprolactam, sulfuric acid, mineral fertilizers.
MRC

COVID-19 - News digest as of 21.01.2022

1. Crude oil prices go down, though supply concerns still dominant

MOSCOW (MRC) - Crude oil edged lower on Thursday, posting slim losses after several days of strength that pushed benchmarks to seven-year highs due to concerns about tight supply, reported Reuters. Brent crude futures settled down 6 cents to USD88.38 a barrel. The global benchmark rose to USD89.17 on Wednesday, its highest level since October 2014; the benchmark is up 13% on the year so far.US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures for February delivery lost 6 cents to USD86.90 a barrelon the last day of the contract's life. WTI is up 15% so far this year. The more active March WTI contract settled at USD85.55 a barrel, down 25 cents.Crude stocks rose by 515,000 barrels last week while gasoline inventories rose by 5.9 million barrels, boosting those inventories to their highest in a year, according to the US Energy Department.

MRC

Crude oil prices go down, though supply concerns still dominant

Crude oil prices go down, though supply concerns still dominant

MOSCOW (MRC) - Crude oil edged lower on Thursday, posting slim losses after several days of strength that pushed benchmarks to seven-year highs due to concerns about tight supply, reported Reuters.

Brent crude futures settled down 6 cents to USD88.38 a barrel. The global benchmark rose to USD89.17 on Wednesday, its highest level since October 2014; the benchmark is up 13% on the year so far.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures for February delivery lost 6 cents to USD86.90 a barrelon the last day of the contract's life. WTI is up 15% so far this year. The more active March WTI contract settled at USD85.55 a barrel, down 25 cents.

Crude stocks rose by 515,000 barrels last week while gasoline inventories rose by 5.9 million barrels, boosting those inventories to their highest in a year, according to the US Energy Department.

"I don't think the build in gasoline supplies is a bull killer. We're going to need refiners to continue to refine to meet gasoline demand in the summer driving seasons - that is one of the reasons the market is still supported despite the build in gasoline supplies," said Phil Flynn, senior analyst at Price Futures Group.

Trading has been dominated by supply concerns, from short-term issues like a temporary halt to flows in an Iraq-to-Turkey pipeline to a consistent shortfall from OPEC+ members in reaching targeted supply increases.

In the meantime, demand remains steady, with U.S. product supplies, a proxy for demand in the world's largest consumer, reaching 21.2 million bpd over the past four weeks, ahead of the pre-pandemic pace.

Supply concerns have mounted this week after a fire temporarily halted flows through an oil pipeline running from Iraq's Kirkuk to the Turkish port of Ceyhan on Tuesday.

The OPEC+ producer group comprising OPEC and allies led by Russia has been producing less than its targets, with the International Energy Agency (IEA) on Wednesday estimating that the group produced about 800,000 barrels per day (bpd) below its December targets.

The IEA said that while the oil market could be in a significant surplus in the first quarter of this year, inventories are likely to be well below pre-pandemic levels. The agency also upgraded its 2022 demand forecast.

As MRC informed earlier, global oil refining capacity fell for the first time in 30 years last year, as new capacity was outweighed by closures, said the International Energy Agency's (IEA) in its monthly oil market report on Wednesday. Refining capacity was down by 730,000 bpd in 2021, the IEA said, but net additions were expected to amount to 1.2 MMbpd in 2022.

We remind that China's refinery output hit a fresh high in 2021, up 4.3% from a year earlier on robust fuel demand especially in the first half of the year, and as refiners ramped up processing to fill a supply gap after a hefty new tax closed loopholes in blending fuel imports. Total refinery throughput last year reached 703.55 MM tons, or 14.07 MMbpd, data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed on Monday, roughly 620,000 bpd above the 2020 level.

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.
MRC

KPIC to reduce run rates at its Onsan cracker by 15% in late January

KPIC to reduce run rates at its Onsan cracker by 15% in late January

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Korea Petrochemical Industry Co (KPIC) plans to cut capacity utilisation at its naphtha cracker in Onsan, South Korea by, at least, 15% by late January, 2022, due to negative profit margins, according to CommoPlast.

The cracker with the production capacity of 800,000 mt/year of ethylene and 410,000 mt/year of propylene will be operating at the reduced rates throughout February.

As MRC informed previously, in June 2017, KPIC finilized the expansion of its ethylene production capacity. Thus, KPIC started commercial operation at its Ulsan-based Naphtha Cracking Center (NCC) from Jun 23, 2017. Earlier, KPIC produced about 470,000 mt/year of ethylene from its Ulsan-based NCC. With the expansion, the company added 330,000 mt/year of ethylene, and its combined ethylene capacity reached 800,000 mt/year.

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.

KPIC is one of the key producers of ethylene in South Korea. The company's ethylene capacity accounted for about 6% of total ethylene production in South Korea before the expansion was completed, and now the company's market share will be increased to nearly 10%.
MRC