Fire breaks out at Thai-invested Long Son petrochemical complex

Fire breaks out at Thai-invested Long Son petrochemical complex

MOSCOW (MRC) -- A fire broke out Saturday afternoon at the Long Son Petrochemicals Complex in Vung Tau town, southern Vietnam, during a test run, said the company.

At around 2:30 p.m., the fire created a column of black smoke rising several dozen meters from the project site in Long Son commune. Fire trucks and dozens of on-site fire fighting staff were deployed, and the blaze was extinguished after more than 40 minutes.

Colonel Bui Van Thao, chief of police in Ba Ria-Vung Tau, told local press that the fire happened when the contractor was carrying out a test run. There were no casualties and the cause was being investigated, he added.

Thailand’s Siam Cement Group (SCG) is the main investor in the Long Son Petrochemicals Complex. The project was 96.2% complete as of July, according to a source with knowledge of the matter. The Thai conglomerate started construction of the USD5.4 billion complex in the fourth quarter of 2018. It expects a partial start to operations this year, three years behind the original plan, and a complete start in the first half of 2023.

In August 2018, SCG signed loan agreements worth more than USD3.2 billion with six leading financial institutions to implement the project, namely Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, Mizuho Bank, Bangkok Bank, Krungthai Bank, Siam Commercial Bank and Export-Import Bank of Thailand.

In a meeting with Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh this February, SCG president and CEO Roongrote Rangsiyopash had said the group was eyeing two projects - upgrading production capacities in the complex and developing the second phase.

He said phase two would employ environment-friendly, advanced technology, and concentrate on the production of high-value added products such as SCG green polymer, an innovative eco-friendly polymer, to promote sustainable development. Vietnam now has two operational oil refineries - Nghi Son Refinery and Petrochemical complex in Thanh Hoa province, and the Binh Son Refining and Petrochemical in Quang Ngai province, both in the central region.

Nghi Son is a USD9 billion refinery co-owned by state-run Petrovietnam, Kuwait Petroleum Europe B.V. (KPE) and Japan’s Mitsui Chemical and Idemitsu Kosan Co. The other complex, better known as Dung Quat Refinery, is a Petrovietnam subsidiary and has received more than USD3 billion in investments.

State-run Petrovietnam last month proposed the government consider investment for a USD19 billion oil refinery and national crude oil, petroleum reserve in the Long Son Petroleum Industrial Park of Ba Ria-Vung Tau.

Earlier it was reported that this year Vietnam may impose import duties of 3-5% on polyethylene (PE) imports ahead of the launch of the Long Son petrochemical complex. Vietnam is the most competitive polyethylene market in Southeast Asia and the largest polyethylene consumption market in the region. Among the reasons for this is its position as a major center for the production of finished goods and the lack of a local producer of polyethylene, which makes it completely dependent on imports to meet its needs for polyethylene.

North Asian refiners to get full allocation of Saudi crude in October

North Asian refiners to get full allocation of Saudi crude in October

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Saudi Aramco has notified at least three North Asian buyers that it will supply full contractual volumes of crude in October, said Reuters.

The world's top oil exporter has slashed its official selling prices (OSPs) to Asian buyers for the month, the first reduction in four months.

The price cut was overall in line with the market expectation as the spot premiums for the Middle Eastern crude dipped since mid-August amid an increasing number of arbitrage cargoes flowing into Asia.

"The market (in Asia) is still holding up. The pressure is now more on Europe instead of Asia," said a Singapore-based trader.

Spot premium for Dubai rebounded from as low as USD3.53 a barrel over the Dubai quotes on Aug.23 to stand at an average of USD5.6 a barrel in September.

The major oil producers last week has agreed to lower oil production by 100,000 barrels per day, or 0.1% of global demand, from October to bolster oil prices which have slid on fears of an economic slowdown.

We remind, Saudi Arabian Oil Company (“Aramco”) inaugurated the Aramco Research Center at KAUST (ARC KAUST), which aims to accelerate the development of low-carbon solutions for the energy industry using advanced analytics. Strategically located within the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), the newly established research hub deploys artificial intelligence and machine learning to develop innovative ways to advance low-carbon solutions and enable a Circular Carbon Economy.

Thai oil refining firm TOP to expand operation in Vietnam

Thai oil refining firm TOP to expand operation in Vietnam

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Thai Oil PLC (TOP), Thailand’s largest oil refining company by capacity, will select Vietnam as one of three destinations for its investment expansion, along with Indonesia and India, said the company.

TOP will invest in the fields of oil refinery, lube oil, and high-value petrochemical products, according to the newswire Bangkok Post. The total investment capital for these projects has yet to be disclosed. The expansion of its operations overseas is to meet the growing demand for energy and petrochemical products.

Wirat Uanarumit, president and CEO of TOP, stated that these three markets have the advantages of high rates of economic growth and large numbers of young people, thus these nations offer the best potential for investment throughout the Asian region.

It is not its first investment in Vietnam. In 2009, TOP expanded its business network in Asia-Pacific by establishing the TOP Solvent (Vietnam) Co., Ltd in Ho Chi Minh City, which operates the business of distributing solvents and chemicals imported from Thailand and abroad. The main warehouse is located in Dong Nai in the south of Vietnam.

In April 2019, TOP Solvent opened its 27,000-square metre integrated solvent facility in DEEP C Industrial Zone, gearing up to extend its reach not only in Vietnam but all across Southeast Asia. The facility has the total investment capital of USD13 million.

As per MRC, The Map Ta Phut site of Covestro in Thailand recently received ISCC PLUS certification, an internationally recognized system for biomass and bioenergy sustainability certification. This means the company can now offer its customers in the ASEAN region large volumes of the high-performance plastic polycarbonate, including compounds and polycarbonate films, produced with alternative raw materials in the same good quality as their fossil-based counterparts.

LyondellBasell licenses Lupotech T technology to Polski Koncern Naftowy ORLEN S.A.

LyondellBasell licenses Lupotech T technology to Polski Koncern Naftowy ORLEN S.A.

MOSCOW (MRC) -- LyondellBasell announced that Polski Koncern Naftowy ORLEN S.A. (PKN ORLEN) will be using the LyondellBasell Lupotech T high-pressure polyethylene technology, said the company.

The Lupotech T process technology will be used for a 250 kiloton per year (KTA) low density polyethylene (LDPE) line. The new line will be located at their existing complex in Plock, Poland.

“With our high-pressure process engineering capabilities and long-standing operating and product expertise, LyondellBasell is delighted to become PKN ORLEN’s licensing partner for the new LDPE project at their site at Plock,” said Neil Nadalin, Director Global Licensing and Services at LyondellBasell. Nadalin added, “For larger scale production of LDPE resins, the Lupotech T process technology has proven to be the safe, reliable and energy efficient benchmark for our customers around the world."

Mr. Daniel Obajtek, President of PKN ORLEN S.A. stated: “Once the plant is started-up, PKN ORLEN S.A. will expand its product portfolio with benchmark LDPE resins. LDPE is a widely used polymer enhancing people’s everyday lives such as for film in agricultural applications or packaging such as for food preservation. The program to expand the value chain of olefins, especially ethylene and downstream products, is in line with PKN ORLEN’s strategy. The LDPE Project is the foundation for PKN ORLEN’s further development, contributing to an increase in the share of the stable EBITDA of petrochemicals in the PKN ORLEN’s results”.

Decades of experience in high-pressure application design makes the Lupotech T process the preferred technology for LDPE plant operators. High conversion rates, demonstrated high plant availability and effective process heat integration are key attributes of the Lupotech T process, designed to ensure this technology’s energy efficiency.

More than 14 million KTA of the Lupotech T process for LDPE/EVA production capacity has been licensed by LyondellBasell in over 70 lines around the world. Licensees can take advantage of LyondellBasell’s in-house expertise of continuous production improvement, product development according to the latest environmental regulations and LyondellBasell’s knowhow in high pressure design, by optionally joining our Technical Service program.

We remind, LyondellBasell has introduced an energy surcharge on its European sales of polypropylene, high-density polyethylene and low-density polyethylene. Register Now The surcharge is based on the average of the German month-ahead forward power price and will total Eur160/mt during September, the company said. The surcharge will then automatically increase or decrease in following months according to the electricity price.

Clariant signs definitive agreement to sell Quats business

Clariant signs definitive agreement to sell Quats business

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Clariant, a focused, sustainable, and innovative specialty chemical company, announced that it has reached a definitive agreement for the divestment of its Quats business to Global Amines Company Pte. Ltd., a 50/50 joint venture owned by Clariant and Wilmar, Asia’s leading agricultural business and oleochemicals business globally, said the company.

This divestment is a further step in Clariant’s portfolio transformation to focus operations purely on specialty chemicals. Quats are quaternary ammonium compounds, a group of chemicals used for a variety of purposes including as preservatives, surfactants, and as antistatic agents. Quats are used in a wide range of commercial, industrial, and consumer products. The business maintains an excellent reputation as a leading supplier of quats with proprietary technology and a good service reputation.

The transfer will be an asset sale of the sites in Germany, Indonesia, and Brazil and will provide for tolling agreements where needed. The sales price, subject to standard closing conditions, is set at USD 113 million. The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions. The transaction is expected to be consummated in the first half of 2023.

We remind, Clariant has been awarded a major contract by Wanhua Chemical Group to supply catalysts for its new maleic anhydride plant, which will be one of the largest in the world. Designed to produce 200 kilotons of maleic anhydride annually, the plant will rely on Clariant’s SynDane catalyst for the production process. The facility will be located in Yantai city, Shandong province, and is scheduled to commence operation in 2023. Also based in Yantai, Wanhua is one of the largest chemical producers in China and is among the top 30 chemical producers globally by 2020 sales.

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.