BASF to expand its production capacity of Ultramid polyamide in India

BASF to expand its production capacity of Ultramid polyamide in India

BASF India Limited will expand the production capacity of its Ultramid polyamide grades to meet increasing market demand. The increased capacity at BASF’s production site in Panoli, Gujarat, will be available in Q4 2022, said the company.

"The additional capacity reaffirms our dedication to being our customers’ supplier of choice for polyamidesand will help us meet the rapidly growing demand for our Ultramid polyamide grades in India. It will accordingly shorten local delivery times and help us to better meet the just-in-time needs of original equipment manufacturers (OEMs)," said Andy Postlethwaite, Senior Vice President, Performance Materials Asia Pacific, BASF.

Ultramid is used in automotive applications, electrical & electronics sector, industrial products and consumer goods.

In January, 2019, BASF and B2B Cosmetics announced an exclusive, long-term strategic partnership in the field of personalized personal care products, including a strategic investment into B2B Cosmetics by BASF. The French company B2B Cosmetics will contribute a unique personalization system, marketed under the name Emuage technology. BASF will bring in expertise in personal care solutions.

As MRC wrote before, BASF will build a battery recycling prototype plant in Schwarzheide, Germany, at the site of its cathode active materials (CAM) plant.

BASF is the leading chemical company. It produces a wide range of chemicals, for example solvents, amines, resins, glues, electronic-grade chemicals, industrial gases, basic petrochemicals and inorganic chemicals. The most important customers for this segment are the pharmaceutical, construction, textile and automotive industries.

Solvay to suspend dividend from Rusvinyl JV but remains shareholder

Solvay to suspend dividend from Rusvinyl JV but remains shareholder

Solvay is to suspend dividend payments from its Russian joint venture with SIBUR for the production of chlorvinyls, said the company.

Solvay owns a 50% stake in the Rusvinyl joint venture located in Kstovo, in the Nizhny Novgorod region, around 450km west of Moscow. Solvay did not clarify, however, whether it plans to exit the joint venture entirely, and in doing so follow other western companies who announced such a measure last week, like the UK’s energy major BP or its Dutch peer Shell.

The company also said it is to suspend new investments in Russia.

Rusvinyl has the capacity to produce nearly 1.7m tonnes/year of chlorvinyls like chlorine, ethylene dichloride (EDC), polyvinyl chloride (PVC), and vinyl chloride monomer (VCM).

As it was written earlier, Solvay is suspending operations and new investments in Russia after the invasion of Ukraine.

As MRC reported earlier, in August, 2020, through the acquisition of the Solvay polyamide (PA) business, BASF enhanced its R&D capabilities in Asia Pacific with new technologies, technical expertise, and upgraded material and part testing services. BASF is planning to integrate the R&D centers from Solvay into its R&D existing facilities in Shanghai, China, and Seoul, Korea. The enhanced capabilities will boost BASF’s position as a solution provider to develop advanced material solutions for key industries.

Solvay is a science company whose technologies bring benefits to many aspects of daily life. With more than 24,100 employees in 64 countries, Solvay bonds people, ideas and elements to reinvent progress. The Group seeks to create sustainable shared value for all, notably through its Solvay One Planet plan crafted around three pillars: protecting the climate, preserving resources and fostering better life. The Group’s innovative solutions contribute to safer, cleaner, and more sustainable products found in homes, food and consumer goods, planes, cars, batteries, smart devices, health care applications, water and air purification systems. Founded in 1863, Solvay today ranks among the world’s top three companies for the vast majority of its activities.

Lukoil refinery working normally in Italy

Lukoil refinery working normally in Italy

Italy's ISAB refinery, owned by Russia's second-largest oil producer Lukoil, is operating normally even if a series of "difficulties" has complicated things, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

"The plant is working regularly at the moment," ISAB Deputy General Manager for Human Resources and External Relations Claudio Geraci told Reuters in a phone conversation. Geraci said there were some commercial issues that were making things more problematic but said these were manageable for the time being.

His comments come as Russia's invasion of Ukraine prompts the U.S. and Europe to impose sweeping sanctions, affecting companies and global payments systems. On Wednesday the European Union excluded seven Russian banks from the SWIFT messaging system, but stopped short of including those handling energy payments.

"There are complications that make the running of a refinery as big as ours much more complex," Geraci said, without giving details. He said the government in Rome had not asked for any specific information as yet on the situation at the refinery. ISAB is owned by Swiss-based trading and supply group Litasco SA which sells 89% of its output. Litasco is controlled by Lukoil.

Lukoil, majority owned by its head Vagit Alekperov and his deputy Leonid Fedun, called for a fast resolution to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. ISAB, located on the island of Sicily, is Italy's biggest refinery in terms of capacity, accounting for around 22% of overall capacity, according to data from oil industry body Unem.

In 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic sapped energy demand, ISAB's output totaled 10.6 MMt, 13% of Italy's total.

As per MRC, Lukoil entered into an agreement to acquire a 50% operator interest in the Area 4 offshore project in Mexico through the acquisition of the operator's holding company.

It was also reported that Lukoil plans to invest about USD3 billion in petrochemical projects in the next 6 years, V. Alekperova also told reporters in June. At the same time, the company does not plan to adopt a separate petrochemical strategy, he said then.

Lukoil is one of the leading vertically integrated oil companies in Russia. The main activities of the company include operations for the exploration and production of oil and gas, production and sale of petroleum products. Lukoil is the second largest privately-owned 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.

Trinseo raises March PS, ABS and SAN prices in Europe

Trinseo raises March PS, ABS and SAN prices in Europe

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 March 2.

Effective March 1, 2022, 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 EUR125 per metric ton;
- STYRON and STYRON A-Tech and STYRON X- Tech and STYRON C- Tech high impact polystyrene grades (HIPS) - by EUR125 per metric ton;
- MAGNUM ABS resins - by EUR110 per metric ton;
- TYRIL SAN resins - by EUR110 per metric ton.

As MRC reported earlier, Trinseo reduced its prices for all PS grades on February 1, 2021, as stated below:

- STYRON GPPS -- by EUR40 per metric ton;
- STYRON and STYRON A-Tech and STYRON X- Tech and STYRON C- Tech HIPS - by EUR40 per metric ton.

According to ICIS-MRC Price report, in Russia, this month's prices of Nizhnekamskneftekhim's PS increased by Rb6,000/tonne, whereas March prices of Penoplex's material grew by Rb8,000/tonne. During last week, prices pf Gazprom neftekhim Salavat's GPPS rose and were at Rb196,000-205,000/tonne CPT Moscow, including VAT.

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.

Refining profits may surge further after US ban of all Russian oil imports

Refining profits may surge further after US ban of all Russian oil imports

Refining profits, or margins, from turning crude oil into products such as gasoline and diesel are ballooning, and could surge further after the US, the world's top oil consumer, on Tuesday banned all Russian oil imports in retaliation of Moscow's invasion of Ukraine, reported Reuters.

The US ban on the world's biggest oil exporter of over 7 MMbpd of crude and petroleum products is expected to make it more difficult for domestic refiners to source the feedstocks needed to make diesel and other products, market participants said.

Until now, Russia's energy exports had been exempted from international sanctions by most nations. The US ban, announced by President Joseph Biden, was joined by Britain, which said it would phase out oil imports by the end of the year.

The move against Russian oil pressured the already tightly supplied market even more. Since the Feb. 24 invasion, global benchmark Brent crude futures have soared about 35% to hit USD133.15 a bbl on Tuesday, while US crude has surged 40% to USD129.44 a bbl.

European benchmark diesel's six-month spread surged to record-high backwardation of USD509.75 a ton on Tuesday, due to fears of disruptions to Russian supplies.

The US is not a big importer of Russian crude, but it imported about 350,000 bbl of unfinished oils every day in 2021, according to US Energy Department figures. Those products are used in refining to be turned into fuels for general use, of which Russia is a big supplier. They include unfinished oils such as naphtha, some types of fuel oil, and feedstock for refiners of heavy crude.

Those products are crucial for processing into other refined goods that the US exports, largely to South America and Mexico.

Margins to produce distillates in the US, such as heating oil and diesel climbed as high as USD63.26 a bbl on Tuesday, their highest since April 2020, when crude futures turned negative during the coronavirus pandemic.

US gasoline margins rose to USD36.39 a bbl on Monday, also its highest since April 2020, but since edged down to around US31 per bbl on Tuesday.

The 3-2-1 crack spread, a proxy for refining margins, surged to USD41.19 a bbl on Tuesday, the highest since at least a year ago, according to available data from Refinitiv Eikon.

As MRC informed before, Finland's Neste has replaced most of its Russian crude oil purchases with other crudes such as North Sea oil due to the crisis in Ukraine. Previously the Finnish refiner purchased from Russia some two-thirds of the crude oil it uses.

We remind that Neste has successfully concluded its first series of trial runs processing liquefied waste plastic at its Porvoo refinery in Finland. After kicking the series off with its first-ever industrial scale trial run with liquefied waste plastic in 2020, Neste has conducted additional runs in 2021. In the course of the trial runs, Neste has been able to upgrade liquefied waste plastic to drop-in solutions for plastic production and develop industrial scale capabilities to upgrade recycled feedstocks. Trials pave the way for continuous and commercial activities. Neste has set itself the goal of processing more than 1 MM tons of plastic waste per year from 2030 onwards.

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 2,487,450 tonnes in 2021, up by 13% year on year. Shipments of all grades of ethylene polymers increased. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market totalled 1,494.280 tonnes, up by 21% year on year. Deliveries of homopolymer PP and PP block copolymers increased, whreas.shipments of PP random copolymers decreased significantly.