Eight injured in S. Korea S-Oil Ulsan refinery

Eight injured in S. Korea S-Oil Ulsan refinery

MOSCOW (MRC) -- South Korea's third largest refiner, S-Oil Corp, has suspended production of several processing units after a blast at its Onsan refinery, it said on Friday, a step that could tighten gasoline supplies and boost refiners' margins in Asia, said Reuters.

Aramco Overseas Co., a subsidiary of Saudi Aramco, is S-Oil’s major shareholder. According to the local media, firefighters were notified of an explosion at the S-Oil refinery at 8:52 p.m. The facility is situated some 400 km southeast of Seoul.

The injured workers were shifted to a nearby hospital. The exact cause of the accident has yet to be determined. The Korean Herald quoted fire authorities as saying “the accident occurred inside S-Oil’s refinery at Onsan industrial park while crude oil was being processed into petroleum.”

The injured workers who were transferred to the hospital are being treated for second-degree burns to the face and the palms, according to authorities. S-Oil is the third-largest oil refiner in Korea.

The firefighters at the refinery appeared to be having trouble fighting the blaze, according to local reports.

As MRC reported earlier, S-Oil, South Korean petrochemical major, took off-stream its residue fluid catalytic cracker (RFCC) unit for a turnaround in June, 2020. The company undertook a planned shutdown at the unit by early-July, 2020. The unit remained off-line for about two weeks. Located at Onsan, South Korea, the RFCC unit has a propylene capacity of 705,000 mt/year.


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Sumitomo Chemical to exit the dyestuff business

Sumitomo Chemical to exit the dyestuff business

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Sumitomo Chemical announced its decision to close down its production facilities for dyestuff at its Osaka Works (Konohana-ku, Osaka, Japan) and exit the dyestuff business by the end of March 2023, said the company.

Sumitomo Chemical acquired Japan Dyestuff Manufacturing Company in 1944, and has since engaged in development and manufacture of dyestuff products for clothes. As the environment surrounding the dyestuff business has increasingly become challenging, the Company has been striving for the structural reform of the business, such as enhancing the value added to its products, optimizing the product line, and reducing costs across the board. Meanwhile, as production facilities are ageing, maintenance and repair costs are increasing year after year. Under these circumstances, the Company has concluded that, despite all those reform measures, it will be unable to steadily generate profits from the business over the medium to long term. Management resources cultivated through the dyestuff business support the foundations of Sumitomo Chemical’s specialty chemicals businesses, such as IT-related products, health and crop protection chemicals, and pharmaceuticals. In particular, organic synthesis technology derived from the dyestuff business has been applied to product development in these areas.

Going forward, Sumitomo Chemical will continue to direct its resources to fields in which the Company has competitive advantages, and strive to achieve sustained growth by creating new value.

As per MRC, Sumitomo Chemical announced its decision to close down its production facilities for caprolactam, a raw material for nylon, at its Ehime Works (Niihama city, Ehime, Japan) in October 2022, and exit the business. Sumitomo Chemical started production of caprolactam at its Ehime Works in 1965, employing a liquid-phase process, and has since been engaged in the business for more than 50 years.

Also, Sumitomo Corporation has commenced sales of the industrial park developed in a special economic zone in Narayanganj District, Dhaka Division, Bangladesh together with Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority.

Sumitomo Corporation has taken part in the business of development, sales and operation of industrial parks in Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Myanmar and India. As of February 2022, the 7 industrial parks have invited 563 tenant companies with 220,000 direct employment. This year marks the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Bangladesh and Japan. Sumitomo Corporation will utilize its know-how obtained through industrial park business operations in other countries to support tenant companies and contribute to the diversification of the industrial sector and encouraging job creation in Bangladesh.
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Lotte Chemical to invest USD7.8 bil in hydrogen and batteries

Lotte Chemical to invest USD7.8 bil in hydrogen and batteries

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Lotte Chemical Corp will invest 10 trillion won (USD7.8 billion) to expand its hydrogen and battery materials businesses through 2030 in a bid to accelerate its decarbonization goals, said Theedgemarkets.

The Seoul-based petrochemical producer is targeting annual sales of 5 trillion won each in its hydrogen and battery divisions by the end of the decade, it said in a statement. It will spend 6 trillion won on its hydrogen operations and 4 trillion won to boost battery materials output.

South Korean corporates have been spending aggressively to cut their carbon footprints after Seoul pledged in 2020 the country would be carbon neutral by 2050. SK Innovation Co is pumping 30 trillion won through 2025 into its green business portfolio, mainly in batteries and recycling plastic waste, while LG Chem Ltd is investing 10 trillion won through 2025 in battery materials.

Lotte Chemical said it’s aiming to produce 1.2 million tons of hydrogen a year by 2030, and is also planning to import the green variety of the fuel. In battery materials, it wants to supply electric vehicle producers in the US.

Separately, the company is looking to scale up its recycling and bio-plastic businesses by investing another 1 trillion won through 2030. It’s targeting annual sales of 2 trillion won from these businesses by the end of the decade, it said in the statement.

As per MRC, Lotte Chemical has recently informed that that company has decided to proceed with the 5 trillion won (USD4.4 billion) petrochemical project in Cilegon, Indonesia after the previous delay due the pandemic. The project named Lotte Chemical Indonesia New Ethylene (LINE) is to commence construction in 2022.

We remind, Subsidiaries of South Korea’s Lotte Chemical Corporation on Friday announced the award of contracts worth USD757.2m to begin building a USD3.9bn petrochemical complex in Indonesia. The Lotte Chemical Indonesia New Ethylene project (LINE) will be located in Merak, Banten Province, western Java.
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Milliken will begin production at its new clarifier plant in autumn

Milliken will begin production at its new clarifier plant in autumn

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Milliken & Company will begin production at its new clarifier plant soon in Blacksburg, S.C. This significant additional capacity will address strong worldwide demand for clarified plastic products, said the company.

The company, a global manufacturer with plastic additives and colorants expertise, says this new, world-class facility will increase production capacity of its market-leading Millad® NX® 8000 polypropylene clarifier by more than 50 percent.

“This represents the largest clarifier plant investment in Milliken history,” said Cindy Boiter, president of Milliken’s Chemicals Business. “Engineering is complete, and we are in the process of commissioning the plant. When we launch production in the fall, it will allow us to address both current market needs and increasing demand for these products well into the future."

“Global demand for Millad NX 8000 clarifier has grown at an 11 percent compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) for each of the past nine years,” added Boiter. “Global clarifier demand grew by 16 percent in just the past two years,” outstripping the growth rates for global polypropylene (PP) resin. “All regions have contributed to the growth of clarified PP, with Asia leading the way."

A number of factors are driving this demand. Milliken’s own customer research underscores the importance of being able to clearly see the products they are buying. Millad NX 8000 provides close to glass-like clarity in PP packaging, which improves customer confidence during their buying process, especially for food products. This clarity enables brand owners to replace PET, polystyrene, polycarbonate, and more with PP — shown by studies to be a more sustainable option.

The current soaring energy prices, meanwhile, have also spiked interest in any resins or additives like this one, which can help converters to save energy during processing. As a result of these certified savings, brand owners using PP clarified with Millad NX 8000 ECO can display a UL Environmental Claim Validation label on their injection molded parts.

Polypropylene is not only lightweight and durable; it also is one of the least energy-intensive polymers to make and recycle compared to other clear polymers.

As per MRC, Milliken & Company is moving boldly to address anticipated market needs by expanding the facilities and capacity it acquired last March via its purchase of Germany’s Zebra-chem GmbH. Zebra-chem is a specialty compounder and chemicals company that makes additive and blowing agent concentrates for polyolefins, polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and engineering thermoplastics.

Milliken & Company is a global manufacturing leader whose focus on materials science delivers tomorrow’s breakthroughs today. From industry-leading molecules to sustainable innovations, Milliken creates products that enhance people’s lives and deliver solutions for its customers and communities. Drawing on thousands of patents and a portfolio with applications across the textile, flooring, specialty chemical, and healthcare businesses, the company harnesses a shared sense of integrity and excellence to positively impact the world for generations.
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Sika bought US manufacturer of liquid waterproofing products

Sika bought US manufacturer of liquid waterproofing products

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Sika has bought a US manufacturer of liquid waterproofing products, said the company.

United Gilsonite Laboratories (UGL) manufactures products for consumer and DIY waterproofing applications. In 2021, UGL generated sales of CHF65m (GDP53m). UGL is based in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and has two additional production sites in Illinois and Mississippi.

Sika said that the acquisition will increase its presence with major retailers and other building material stores by widening the range and opening up cross-selling opportunities. It believes that demand for watertight basements is anticipated to grow at above-average rates in the years to come, as homeowners refurbish and create more living space with basements. In commercial construction, the need for watertight basements also continues to grow. “With the combined offerings of the two companies, Sika can take advantage of the growth trends in both the residential and commercial construction segments,” it said.

Sika regional manager Americas Christoph Ganz said: “UGL is a perfect complement to Sika’s current portfolio. The UGL brands are well recognized in the USA, and their consumer and DIY waterproofing solutions allow Sika to extend its business in the USA construction industry. We warmly welcome all the UGL employees to our Sika team."

As per MRC, Sika AG (Baar, Switzerland) has opened a new plant in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, thus doubling its production capacity for mortar and concrete admixtures in Bolivia. With this new facility in one of the country’s main industrial agglomerations, Sika is positioning itself for continued growth in the dynamic Bolivian construction market.

As per MRC, Sika has agreed to sell Aliva Equipment, a Swiss unit supplying machines for the application of shotcrete, to Normet Group Oy, a Finnish global company providing solutions for underground construction. In 2021, Aliva Equipment generated sales of CHF 12 million.
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