PVC imports into Belarus up by 11% in 2021

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Overall imports of unmixed polyvinyl chloride (PVC) into Belarus totalled 58,300 tonnes last year, up by 11% year on year, according to MRC's DataScope report.

According to the statistical committee of the Republic of Belarus, local converters reduced their purchasing of suspension in Russia due to seasonal factors. December imports were about 4,000 tonnes, whereas this figure was at 4,700 tonnes a month earlier.

Overall PVC imports reached 58,300 tonnes in 2021 versus 53,000 tonnes a year earlier.

Russian producers with the share of about 92% of the Belarusian market were the key suppliers of resin to Belarus over the stated period. Producers from Germany with the share of over 8% were the second largest suppliers.


PP imports to Kazakhstan grew by 3% in 2021, exports up by 20%

MOSCOW (MRC) - Imports of polypropylene (PP) into Kazakhstan increased by 3% in 2021 year on year and reached 43,300 tonnes.
PP exports increased more significantly by 20%, reported MRC analysts.

December PP shipments to Kazakhstan grew to 3,500 tonnes from 2,400 tonnes a month earlier, local converters increased their purchasing of homopolymer PP in Asia and Azerbaijan. Overall imports of PP practically reached 43,300 tonnes in 2021, compared to 41,800 tonnes a year earlier.

At the same time, the stable work of the local producer in 2021 has made it possible to significantly increase the export sales of polypropylene, and mainly to Russia.

December imports of homopolymer PP and propylene copolymers increased to 2,900 tonnes and 630 tonnes, respectively, versus over 2,100 tonnes and 300 tonnes a month earlier, local companies increased purchases pipe PP random copolymers in Russia and homopolymer PP in Azerbaijan and Asia.
Overall imports of homopolymer PP and propylene copolymers reached 31,500 tonnes and 11,800 tonnes, respectively, in January-December 2021, compared to 32,600 tonnes and 9,200 tonnes a year earlier.

December exports of PP from Kazakhstan increased to 1,200 tonnes against 1,600 tonnes in November. Kazakhstan's PP exports in 2021 increased to 29,200 tonnes, whereas this figure was 24,400 tonnes a year earlier.

About 93% of total exports accounted for Russia.

Lummus technology selected for new alkylation unit in China

Lummus technology selected for new alkylation unit in China

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Lummus Technology announced that Shandong Yulong Petrochemical Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of China's Nanshan Group, has selected its CDAlky technology for use in a new 400 KTA alkylation unit, according to Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The unit will be part of Shandong Yulong's 20,000 KTA refining and petrochemical integrated project, a mega complex in Shandong Province, China.

Lummus' scope for this award includes the technology license, basic engineering, technical services and proprietary equipment supply.

The CDAlky technology will produce alkylate with a high-octane rating and low sulfur concentration without any olefins. This results in a superior gasoline-blending component that improves fuel efficiency and reduces environmental impact.

In addition to alkylation technology, Lummus has licensed several other technologies to Shandong Yulong. In 2020, Shandong Yulong selected Lummus as the licensor for two mixed feed crackers, two polypropylene lines, an ethylbenzene unit and a styrene monomer unit. These facilities also are part of Shandong Yulong's refining and petrochemical integrated project.

Lummus' CDAlky technology is an advanced low-temperature sulfuric acid alkylation process for the production of high quality alkylate. It reacts light olefin streams from refinery sources such as fluid catalytic cracking units or from steam cracking units with iso-paraffins to produce motor fuel alkylate.

As MRC informed earlier, in January, 2022, Lummus Technology announced it had been awarded a contract from Lukoil Permnefteorgsintez for a new integrated methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) and alkylation plant at Lukoil"s refinery in Perm, Russia. The MTBE unit will use Lummus" CDEtherol technology and the alkylation unit will use Lummus" CDAlky technology.

We remind that earlier last month, Honeywell announced that Lukoil -Permnefteorgsintez, a subsidiary of Lukoil, will use a range of Honeywell UOP process technologies at its refinery to convert low value vacuum gasoil into high value products such as gasoline and propylene.

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

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, PP shipments to the Russian market were 1,363,850 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.

Lukoil is one of the leading vertically integrated oil companies in Russia. The main activities of the company include exploration and production of oil and gas, production and sale of petroleum products. Lukoil is the second largest private oil company in the world in terms of proven hydrocarbon reserves. The structure of Lukoil includes one of the largest petrochemical enterprises in Russia - Stavrolen.

Perstorp reports record EBITDA in Q4

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Perstorp reported record fourth-quarter earnings before interest, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) in 2021, said the company.

Swedish Perstorp defended and improved margins over and above increased variable cost as energy prices rose and logistics remained challenging. Performance was supported by healthy demand and outages at other producers, forcing Perstorp to keep or impose allocation for most products.

The resins and coatings segment was strengthened by the acquisition of US producer GEO’s dimethylolpropionic acid (DMPA) unit which gave Perstorp better access to polyurethane dispersions (PUD) technology for artificial leather.

"We are well positioned to take on a new year, having a robust foundation as a sustainable solutions provider with a diversified customer base, a growing partnership approach with our customers as well as formulation and application expertise. Our current view of 2022 is positive, while we are well aware of the geopolitical tensions and underlying volatility," said Perstorp president and CEO Jan Secher.

As per MRC, at the beginning of September, Perstorp shut down the phthalic anhydride production facility in the town of Nol (Nol, Sweden) for preventive maintenance. Perstorp shut down its 35 ktpa phthalic anhydride plant in Nola for the entire September due to scheduled maintenance. Repair of phthalic anhydride production is carried out simultaneously with repair of plasticizers production.

Earlier it was reported that Perstorp announced force majeure on 23 March for the supply of plasticizers from the plant in Stenungsund (Stenungsund, Sweden). A source in the company said that on 23 March, a force majeure was announced for the supply of dipropylheptyl phthalate (DPHP) with a capacity of 65 thousand tons per year due to a sudden stop of production at the supplier of raw materials on 19 March.

Perstorp Specialty Chemicals AB is a subsidiary of Perstorp Holding AB. The company was founded in 1881 and is based in Perstop, Sweden. Perstorp Specialty Chemicals AB manufactures chemical products. The company offers base and specialty polyols, formates, organic acids and formaldehyde products.

Evonik invests in US medical device start-up

Evonik invests in US medical device start-up

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Evonik Venture Capital has invested in CircumFix Solutions, a Tennessee, US-based start-up that has developed a new sternal closure device to improve patient recovery after open chest surgery, as per the company's press release.

The patented orthopedic device, made of a high-performance polymer from Evonik, closes and holds the sternum securely together after surgery.

“We are seeing a revolution in implantable medical devices with the shift from metal to high-performance polymers and this investment supports that shift,” said Bernhard Mohr, head of Evonik Venture Capital. “Patients and doctors can benefit enormously from a technology that is safe, reliable and enhances recovery.”

CircumFix’s medical device is composed of a slender chest plate placed on the sternum and held in place by fasteners that encircle the sternum and are affixed to the plate. The construct allows for even “load sharing” of bone and device and restricts motion, which increases stability and reduces pain. Surgeons can close the sternum faster and more easily than with traditional devices. Should a further operation be needed the device can be quickly reopened and closed again. It is safe and comfortable as a permanent implant. In comparison to some metal devices currently on the market, bones and tissue aren’t damaged.

The Evonik material used in the closure device is an implant grade polyether ether ketone, or PEEK. The material is biocompatible - not harmful or toxic to living tissue - and bioinert - it doesn’t initiate a response from the body. These properties as well as being hydrophobic - repelling water - significantly reduce the chance of infection. Being made from PEEK polymer means that the device is transparent to x-rays and therefore doesn’t interfere with post-surgical diagnostics.

“The investment will deepen our relationships across the medical technology industry and with engineering companies,” said Marc Knebel, head of Medical Systems at Evonik. “At the same time, we can reach US clinical experts in orthopedics, many of whom are less aware of PEEK as an alternative to titanium and stainless steel.”

The US sternal closure device market was estimated at USD1.4 billion for 2021 with more than 700,000 procedures performed per year. The market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 5 percent reaching USD1.9 billion by 2026.

The investment will allow Evonik to build on expertise already acquired in implant-grade high-performance polymers. PEEK is already used in spine, skull, jaw and face surgery as well as orthopedics and has high potential to be used in other medical applications.

Evonik markets its high-performance polymer Polyether ether ketone under the name VESTAKEEP.

As MRC reported before, Evonik is investing a three-digit million-euro sum in the construction of a new production plant for bio-based and fully biodegradable rhamnolipids. The decision to build the plant follows a breakthrough in Evonik's research and development. Rhamnolipids are biosurfactants and serve as active ingredients in shower gels and detergents. Demand for environ-mentally friendly surfactants is growing rapidly worldwide.

We remind that 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.

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

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, PP shipments to the Russian market were 1,363,850 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.

Evonik is one of the world leaders in specialty chemicals. The company is active in more than 100 countries around the world and generated sales of EUR12.2 billion and an operating profit (adjusted EBITDA) of EUR1.91 billion in 2020. Evonik goes far beyond chemistry to create innovative, profitable and sustainable solutions for customers. About 33,000 employees work together for a common purpose: to improve life today and tomorrow.