Arkema to increase PVDF capacity in China

Arkema to increase PVDF capacity in China

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Arkema will be increasing its fluoropolymer capacity at its site in Changshu, China by 50% instead of 35%, said the company.

The decision to increase polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) capacity at the site is to cater to growing demand for lithium-ion batteries for semiconductors, water filtration and specialty coatings markets. This is not expected to change the expected start-up date, which is still scheduled for the end of 2022.

Arkema previously increased capacity of the Changsu site by 50% in November 2020, and this will be a further 50% increase on top of that. The French producer did not disclose the total capacity at the site, or the cost of the investment.

Arkema, a global leader in PVDF production, also recently announced a 50% PVDF capacity increase at its Pierre-Benite site in France, which is scheduled to come on stream in the first quarter of 2023.

As per MRC, Arkema declared force majeure on its sales of methyl acrylate (methyl-A) in Europe. Arkema does not produce methyl-A in Europe, but provides it to customers via a combination of imports from the US and swap deals with other local producers. However, imports from the US are currently restricted, and there are limitations on the amount of material available for swap deals because of feedstock issues, meaning Arkema is unable to fully meet its contractual obligations.

Arkema is one of the world's leading chemical manufacturers headquartered in Colombes (near Paris, France). Established in 2004 as a result of the restructuring of the French oil company Total, Arkema, with a turnover of EUR6.5 billion, has subsidiaries in 40 countries, 10 research centers around the world, and 85 plants in Europe, North America and Asia.

Linde archives another record year for small on-site contracts in 2021

Linde archives another record year for small on-site contracts in 2021

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Linde has announced it has achieved another record year for small on-site contracts, signing 43 new projects during 2021, a 19% increase compared with 2020, as per the company's press release.

Linde signed new agreements totaling USD170 million in 2021, with customers across 20 countries and end-markets including energy, electronics, mining and manufacturing. The new long-term agreements meet Linde's strict investment criteria and, once operational, will produce a steady revenue stream that will contribute directly to Linde's underlying growth. As most of these new contracts will require investments under USD5 million, they are separate from the company's reported project backlog.

"Linde employees around the world have used our extensive portfolio of products and technologies to deliver a second successive record year for small on-site project signings," said Sanjiv Lamba, Chief Operating Officer at Linde. "All regions contributed to this success, ultimately growing our business while helping our customers become more productive and sustainable."

In addition to signing 43 small on-site sale of gas agreements, Linde started up 32 small on-site projects during 2021.

As MRC reported earlier, in JUne 2021, SIBUR -Neftekhim and Linde Gas Rus signed agreements on implementation in 2021-2022. a project for the utilization of carbon dioxide (CO2) generated in the technological process of the SIBUR enterprise in Dzerzhinsk. SIBUR -Neftekhim will build an infrastructure for the transportation to the Linde Gas Rus site of crude CO2 obtained as a by-product in the process of ethylene oxide synthesis. In turn, Linde Gas Rus will build a unit to bring the quality of this gas to the level of a commercial product, applicable, among other things, in the food industry, and will sell it to end consumers.

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.

Linde is a leading global industrial gases and engineering company with 2020 sales of USD27 billion (EUR24 billion). The company serves a variety of end markets including chemicals & refining, food & beverage, electronics, healthcare, manufacturing and primary metals. Linde's industrial gases are used in countless applications, from life-saving oxygen for hospitals to high-purity & specialty gases for electronics manufacturing, hydrogen for clean fuels and much more. Linde also delivers state-of-the-art gas processing solutions to support customer expansion, efficiency improvements and emissions reductions.

Saudi Kayan receives profits of USD640m in 2021 as petrochemical sector blossoms

Saudi Kayan receives profits of USD640m in 2021 as petrochemical sector blossoms

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Saudi Kayan Petrochemical Co., an affiliate of Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC), has seen its 2021 earnings turn into profits of SR2.39 billion (USD640 million), buoyed by higher selling prices and sector-wide growth, according to ArabNews.

As the economic situation improved globally, the homegrown firm managed to erase losses of SR785 million from a year earlier, according to a bourse filing.

Revenues soared over 58% in 2021, and earnings per share amounted to SR1.6, against a loss per share of SR0.52 a year ago.

The improved performance was driven by higher selling prices and a drop in financing costs, despite an increase in feedstock costs, Saudi Kayan said in a bourse statement.

On a broader scale, data by Gastat earlier showed that outgoing chemical shipments picked up pace significantly prompting the Saudi non-oil exports growth to hit an annual rate of 26.1% in November.

As MRC wrote previously, Saudi Kayan conducted a 21-day scheduled maintenance at its ethylene glycol (EG) and ethylene oxide (EO) facilities at Jubail, Saudi Arabia, starting on 1 February, 2020. The company said that some of its other facilities that rely on EG and EO feedstocks would also undergo periodic maintenance and improvements.

EO is one of the main feedstocks for the production of purified terephthalic acid (PTA), which is used to produce polyethylene terephthalate (PET). And PET is used in the manufacturing of plastic bottles, films, packaging containers, in the textile and food industries.

Saudi Kayan operates a MEG plant in Jubai, Saudi Arabia, which has a production capacity of 566,000 mt/year.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PET consumption grew to 737,590 tonnes in the first eleven months in 2021, up by 14% year on year. November estimated PET consumption in Russia rose by 25% to 75,760 tonnes versus 60,520 tonnes a year earlier.

Saudi Kayan Petrochemical Company is a manufacturing affiliate of the Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC). Headquartered in Jubail Industrial City, Saudi Kayan is a leading chemical maker operating in the Kingdom’s petrochemical sector since 2007.

EEC completed an investigation into the supply of Uzbek HDPE to the EAEU market

EEC completed an investigation into the supply of Uzbek HDPE to the EAEU market

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The board of the Eurasian Economic Commission has conducted an anti-dumping investigation into virgin low-density polyethylene (HDPE) from the Republic of Uzbekistan, the ministry said in a statement.

At the same time, taking into account the price obligations adopted by Uzbek producers and the approved volumes of imports, the measure regarding the supply of products to the countries of the Eurasian Economic Union, except for Russia, will not actually be applied.

Thus, the parameters for the presence of Uzbek polyethylene in the EAEU market have been agreed upon, taking into account the changed circumstances and the formation of the largest producer of this type of product in the Russian Federation, as well as the need for uninterrupted supply of processing enterprises from other states of the Union, where there is no production, with polyethylene at affordable prices.

"The Eurasian Economic Commission succeeded in balancing the interests of producers and consumers, as well as stabilizing the situation, taking into account the interests of Uzbek companies and the status of Uzbekistan as an observer country in the EAEU," Andrey Slepnev, Minister for Trade of the EEC, commented on the decision.

Earlier it was reported that the Eurasian Economic Commission proposes to introduce an anti-dumping duty in the amount of 20.3% of the customs value for a period of 5 years in relation to primary low-density polyethylene (HDPE) from Uzbekistan.

So, on 27 July 27, 2020, the Eurasian Economic Commission launched an anti-dumping investigation against primary low-density polyethylene originating from the Republic of Uzbekistan. The object of the investigation is primary polyethylene in solid primary forms with a specific gravity of 0.94 g/cm3 or more, originating from the Republic of Uzbekistan, classified by code 3901 20 900 9 of the FEACN of the EAEU.

The agency decided to start an anti-dumping investigation based on the results of consideration of the application filed on behalf of Nizhnekamskneftekhim (NKNKH, part of TAIF) and Kazanorgsintez (KOS, part of TAIF) and supported by the West Siberian Petrochemical Plant (ZapSibNeftekhim, part of SIBUR Holding).

The production of HDPE in Uzbekistan is carried out by the Uz-Kor Gas Chemial joint venture (Ustyurt Gas Chemical Complex, UGCC), which produces HDPE under the license of LOTTE Chemical (Korea) and the Shurtan Gas Chemical Complex (SHGCC, SGCC).

Uz-Kor Gas Chemical was put into operation in 2016 and has production capacities for the production of ethylene 400 thousand tons per year, HDPE 387 thousand tons per year, propylene and polypropylene (PP) 83 thousand tons per year. Shurtan GCC has a production capacity for the production of HDPE and LDL in the amount of 125 thousand tons per year.

Clariant shows its commitment to decarbonize chemical industry in Oman

Clariant shows its commitment to decarbonize chemical industry in Oman

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Clariant, a focused, sustainable, and innovative specialty chemical company, further underlines its commitment to decarbonize the chemical industry and supports the prestigious overall USD3.5 B project to produce green ammonia and green hydrogen in Duqm, Oman, according to Hydrocarbonprocessing.

Clariant will supply KBR with its next-generation AmoMax 10 Plus ammonia synthesis catalyst for the upcoming ACME green ammonia plant of the Oman Company for the Development of the Special Economic Zone at Duqm. Once completed, the plant will be a fully integrated, carbon-neutral facility, using solar and wind energy to produce 300 tons of ammonia per day.

Stefan Heuser, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Business Unit Catalysts at Clariant, commented, “We are convinced that green ammonia will play a crucial role in the global energy transition and with our novel ammonia synthesis catalyst AmoMax 10 Plus, we provide a state-of-the-art product to facilitate this change towards a more sustainable future. Together with our partner KBR we look forward to setting a new standard in a more sustainable and profitable green ammonia production.”

The wustite-based AmoMax 10 Plus is particularly well suited to the requirements of green ammonia production. Based on Clariant’s industry-proven ammonia synthesis catalyst AmoMax 10, this new catalyst is designed with an optimized promoter set, greatly increasing its activity and stability while reducing startup times. The superior activity of AmoMax 10 Plus allows operation with a higher per pass conversion and lower loop pressure. Consequently, it can be used to increase ammonia production and/or to reduce energy consumption. Moreover, the catalyst’s improved stability and excellent resistance to poisons like water and oxygen increase its robustness and lifetime.

These combined features ensure that AmoMax 10 Plus can deliver stable and reliable performance despite fluctuating feed conditions caused by the variable supplies of renewable energy. Overall, green ammonia producers can expect maximum yields with minimum operating expenses.

As MRC reported earlier, in October 2020, Clariant announced the construction of a new state-of-the-art catalyst production site in China. This project represents a significant investment which further strengthens Clariant’s position in China and enhances its ability to support its customers in the country’s thriving petrochemicals industry.

The new facility will be primarily responsible for producing the Catofin catalyst for propane dehydrogenation, which is used in the production of olefins such as propylene. Thanks to its excellent reliability and productivity, Catofin delivers superior annual production output compared to alternative technologies, resulting in increased overall profitability for propylene producers, says the company. Construction at the Dushan Port Economic Development Zone in Jiaxing, Zhejiang Province was scheduled to commence in Q3 2020, and Clariant expects to be at full production capacity by 2022.

Propylene is the main feedstock for the production of polypropylene (PP).

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, 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.

Clariant AG is a Swiss chemical company and a world leader in the production of specialty chemicals for the textile, printing, mining and metallurgical industries. It is engaged in processing crude oil products in pigments, plastics and paints.